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Comment Wanted for crimes against decimal points (Score 1) 208

Yeah, I know some places use a "," instead of a decimal point. That's why it's a good idea if dealing with an international audience to use a space separator for thousands. But using a full-stop as a thousand separator and a comma for the decimal point is just whacky. Not as whacky as writing dates in MM-DD-YYYY format, but close. Perhaps one party really did think that the transaction was just twelve-and-a-half euro.

Comment AT&T invented Unix (Score 5, Informative) 167

AT&T Bell Labs invented Unix. Yeah, I know that's not quite the same AT&T as we see today (Bell Labs is part of Alcatel-Lucent-Nokia) but nonetheless today's AT&T is a direct descendant of the AT&T of the 1970s the developed Unix for it's own use. Heck, so they should be using Unix rather than Linux.. but they don't actually own it any more.

Comment (Score 2) 122

Curiously enough, I am just running an analysis of several thousand domains hosted by Eurobyte. My preliminary data on about 7500 domains currently or historically hosted by this block is that 35% of them are tagged by Google as being malicious in some way. I'm guessing that most of the others are also malicious, but they haven't been tagged.

Eurobyte operate a fairly big block rented from Webazilla, which is and I recommend that you block traffic to that entire lot. But a lot of Webazilla's other customer are pretty shitty too. I don't think you miss much if you blocked traffic to the entire AS35415.

Comment Tape (Score 1) 168

The problem with ONLINE backups is that the ransomware might try to encrypt those too, and even "cloud" based backups could be vulnerable.. basically anything you can drag and drop to.

Old fashioned backups such as tape (in a business environment) and an external drive you don't have connected all the time are probably safest.

As for anti-virus, well.. a good AV application is always useful, but this stuff tends to get past most scanners at first. It's not much use having your AV program clean up the malware AFTER you got infected either.

Comment DMCA, or.. (Score 1) 73

It's a kinda interesting conundrum. Obviously Simonds have a complaint against CHM Constructions but if their lawyers have advised them to do this, then I think they need better lawyers.

Blocking access to the site from Australia probably won't make a whole lot of difference, because the real reputational damage might arise elsewhere. Simonds need to get the site shut down or amended.

The most obvious way to do this would be to file a DMCA complaint. "But wait," you say ,"neither party is in the US!" True - but is hosted in the US, and all the major search engines are *also* hosted in the US, do they *do* have to comply with a DMCA complaint. In my opinion, there is sufficient copied material on the Indian site to justify a DMCA complaint. And you don't even need to get lawyered up for that.

The other way to do it is to hire a law firm in INDIA and threaten legal action over there. Indian lawyers are not expensive, but in my personal experience in a similar case.. they are of highly variable quality. Probably better than the Ozzie lawyers Simonds hired though. But if you actually want to *do* something about the problem, then India is the place to go.

Comment Re:I worked at Gateway 2000 from 1990-1996 (Score 1) 77

The cow-spotted boxes were marketing genius. Also I seem to remember cow-spotted mouse mats. The AnyKey programmable keyboard was.. interesting too.

Gateway boxes were sporadically available in the UK in the early to mid 1990s, imported from the US via a grey imported. They were a much higher quality than anything else we had, especially in terms of industrial design. The first Gateway box I had (I 386SX I think) lingered for years, but people often commented on how nice it looked ("Is that new?" "Errr.. no"). A few years later Gateway started shipping directly to the UK, for a while at least.

I don't think that they ever reached their full potential. But I guess the cow thing might have stuck in my head.


Comment Re:Wow, way to fuck that up (Score 4, Interesting) 172

I remember when AltaVista first came out.. it was a revelation. The result you wanted was normally on the first few pages. Don't laugh - that was a big frigging deal at the time. These days, if the result you want isn't number one then you assume something is borked.

But it was quite easy to game the system. To begin with, if you wanted to be #1 for "SEX" you would just repeat the word "SEX" a lot of times. It was all done on in-page factors. Of course, AltaVista engineers eventually tried to counteract the spam (use a word too many times and it counts against you, for example), but the whole PageRank idea did lead to better results.

I seem to remember that AltaVista was originally a project to show how powerful DEC's Alpha processors were. Instead, it opened up the idea that the whole web (or at least millions of pages) could be searchable on a full-text basis. That was pretty revolutionary at the time.

Comment Re:Not on List (Score 1) 311

Hah, I was thinking the same thing. Although I get them for free (well, through the taxes I pay), doctors are still reluctant to prescribe them because even the cheapest are around £25 ($40) for 50 retail.

Here, the companies that make the meters give them away to the health service for free, because they know they'll get the prescriptions for the test strips. It's a bit like inkjet printers.. the printer is really cheap, the ink is really expensive.

Comment (Score 0) 381

I read that the government is going to set up it's own porn portal for "approved" smut while banning everything else. I read it on the internet so it must be true.

Two things.. one, almost all of these porn sites are not in the UK so basically won't give a shit.

Secondly, isn't it the case the those people who are most on a crusade against porn are the ones with the really sick and disturbing fetishes. Perhaps I could have 30 minutes with David Cameron's personal laptop just to check?

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