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Comment In Boca Raton, with IBM (Score 1) 320

I had just started a two year assignment to the IBM Boca Raton laboratory from the UK. I had arrived in the US on a plane to Miami on January 22nd, and I was still in a hotel room, working for most of the day and getting out in the later afternoon to meet with realtors to find somewhere to live. In those days, IBM paid hotel and car expenses for four weeks, but after that you were on your own. I was in a meeting in Boca, when an old time IBMer called Ron Cope knocked the door, came in and announced the news very solemnly. Many of the IBM older guys had worked at IBM Federal Systems Division at the Cape before joining the Boca lab, so it was a very personal loss to them all. I was very sad - not least since there wouldn't be another shuttle launch for the whole of my time in Florida, before returning to the UK.

Comment Toshiba Satellite (Score 1) 332

The oldest computer in regular use for me is a Toshiba Satellite (1996 vintage) that I have upgraded to Windows 98, and is the only native diskette-equipped machine I still have. It has a PCMCIA wireless adapter (!) so it's on the network, and it has an ALL-11P programmer attached to it. I (though ALL-11P software will run in WINE, so I should really re-organise the place a bit and find a USB-serial that the software can use to find the programmer)

I recently used it to create boot diskettes for an HP16500A logic analyser - that was a bit of a trick, since the diskettes have to be 77 track and not 80 track, and the software to do that was written back in the MS-DOS days and will not run on anything later than Win98, and certainly won't run on USB-connected diskette drives.

Comment Dear ISP, is my traffic being spied on today? (Score 1) 152

"Dear ISP, is my traffic being monitored today?" No.

"Dear ISP, is my traffic being monitored today?" No.

"Dear ISP, is my traffic being monitored today?" No.

"Dear ISP, is my traffic being monitored today?" We can neither confirm nor deny your traffic is being monitored today.

Comment A kind of "Nous sommes des Inconnus" .. (Score 4, Interesting) 488

IS is one of the largest threats to our way of life in the west, but we are thinking too small when we think of ways to combat it. They believe they are on a mission from God, bringing about the final reckoning between good and evil - the Apocalypse. We think of them as trouble-makers that need to be sorted out as painlessly as possible, a short-term problem that can be solved with conventional weaponry, with relatively small losses. They aren't.

How we respond to them is difficult to work out. Maybe the Anon approach of hacking and defacing their web sites - cutting off the oxygen of publicity - would be a Good Idea. It may be better than trying to pick the right targets out of the desert with smart bombs and drones. It might be better than turning the entire region into green, glowing glass.

Comment S322 Abend - out of time (Score 3, Insightful) 78

Well, what a good innings and what a man who helped bring computing technology to where it is today. There must be some way that we can immortalise people like he and Seymour Cray. I worry that people will forget the legacy that mainframe computing architecture has left us; if we knew more about the history of computing architecture, we might stop re-inventing wheels.

Comment Weapons and all that (Score 1) 400

I've been searching for years to learn more about the weapons I use in online games. It's a particular fascination. Of course possessing such weapons in my country is illegal with many years of time in jail as a punishment. I can imagine that I am on a few watchlists for that alone. Add to that an intense interest in electronics and computers. There is no hope for me.

Comment To be fair, I do the same (Score 2) 121

Many, many times in my career I have found some vunerability and delayed disclosing it while enjoying it myself. I found a wonderful way of spiriting - nay, liberating - electronic components out of work that would have found their way into a dumpster. I found a way of accessing peoples' accounts on TSO and VM; I found ways of resetting the prepayment cards for lunch at work. I've keylogged PCs; I have tcpdumped and etherealed to find passwords to gain access to systems. I used I don't know how many exploits to get free Sky TV. I installed an FM transmitter in my manager's office about that time of year when salary plans were being discussed. I've picked many locks. I've used Apache and other exploits to break into systems where admins had long before forgotten root passwords. Not everything I have done has been legal. It's all contributed to me being who I am today, and having the skill set that I rely on to do my job.

If I think about it, I can't expect any different from the NSA. If they are going to learn the skills that they need to do their jobs, they do need to flex their muscles. We do need to have some level of trust in the agencies that have been put into place to protect our citizens.

Comment Now come on Vodafone, not really trying. (Score 1) 9

2,000 ? It's not really news unless we get into the hundreds of thousands - and if that really is the level of information that has been leaked, it is not devastating.

Mind you, I did receive a call from someone today claiming to be from "Windows". Apparently I have a problem with my computer, and if I just go to their web site, they will help me solve my problem. I wonder if Vodafone told them I have a problem?

Comment El Capitan Works - but there are some buts (Score 1) 138

First off was the failure to boot from cold after the upgrade with a kernel panic. After some searching around, I found some discussion about kext (from SyncMate) that upset El Capitan .. after manually hacking those out from the recovery mode, the machine was back again. It wasn't until today, that I found I couldn't use airplay to display video on the TV using my jailbroken AppleTV 2. Apparently El Capitan insists on a new encryption which is only available when Apple TV is running the latest version of iOS.

Not happy.

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