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Comment Re:Can we get rid of the US Congress so easily? (Score 1) 227

One response only... "[citation needed]". Some of the stuff you listed are just random delusions that you can find in The Sun every time. Others seem like one-off crazy cases that can happen... but they happen more or less everywhere else too and when you present them stripped out of context, they don't really matter (they're usually connected to long-standing conflicts). I can only confirm the whole bin collection thing - it is just crazy and it is a big problem (although I don't know about any place that does the collection less than once a week).

Also, if only all bureaucracies worked as well as UK's! I don't mind filling loads of forms if they actually solve my problem in time - which was not always the case in other countries I lived in.

Comment Re:They're just reprogramming the IMEI and IMSI... (Score 5, Interesting) 181

Agreed - the explanation seems weird. I'm not sure about Nokia patching scene, but most of the Siemens *45, *55, *65 phones could be completely reprogrammed and were well understood. SL45 was one of the best examples - it's annotated assembler firmware was so nice to work with that people simply wrote binary patches in assembler, or used C compiler + binary patched some jump addresses. There were complete design notes circulating on P2P networks. I'm not sure what can be so specific to Nokia 1100 that they don't want to reprogram any other device.

Even better - if they're good enough to reprogram Nokia to interact directly with SIM and GSM module, why won't they just buy GSM modules themselves and clone some random SIM cards? It's not like GSM transmitters are some controlled goods available only to Nokia et al. If you can afford 100 of them, they should be quite easy to obtain.

So yeah - it seems there's something more going on here. Or they're just some script kiddies who bought a "hacking technique" from someone more advanced and now they can only replicate the issue on that one device.

Comment Re:LOL: Bug Report (Score 1) 421

Pretty much every programming book presents a simplified view of the world. Because it teaches C, not systems. Try Rochkind's "Advanced unix programming" one day if you want something close to real world. fsync()'s fairly portable and can be redefined to noop where needed, so I don't see a problem there.

Of course "Adding fsync() all over the place wouldn't fix anything". On the other hand, adding it where it's supposed to go, will :) You cannot be both fast AND transactional in every operation.

Comment Re:Ouch (Score 1) 556

Do they have some kind of special wiring that can detect whether it's her grandkids calling or an angry scam victim?

Actually, they know which provider sent in the call. So they can point at the original company that allows spoofing.

Can they reach their fingers through the lines and stop the scammers from spoofing the old lady's phone number even through the call probably doesn't originate or even necessarily terminate on their lines?

I'm not sure which company regulates telecomunication laws in US, but I guess they have the authority to force it on PSTN and they *are* interested.

And the FBI. What do they have to go on? They know that someone, somewhere is spoofing her phone number. I'm not sure that is even illegal. So what basis do they have to justify the expense of an investigation?

I guess they will be interested if someone can spoof any number. Otherwise, you can call anyone passing yourself as a local FBI worker ("you can compare my caller id with your phonebook, I'm an FBI agent")

I've had my email address used by spammers as their return address.

Only clueless people will respond to a spammer - there is no defence here. But if someone blames you, you can easily prove you're right by email headers.

She should change her phone number.

Will you sponsor her new line, send notifications to all her friends&family and spend time correcting contact details in the bank, insurance company, etc.?

It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - Nuke-proof bunker turns out not water proof.

An anonymous reader writes: CNN reports about the opening of a vault which should have been able to withstand a nucleair attack by the Russians. 50 years ago they put an Plymouth Belvedere in the vault to preserve it so that we could get a good look at it in the (for that time) magical year 2007. Unfortunatly it turns out that the vault wasn't capable to withstand water, the once beautiful car is now a real rust bucket in the literal meaning of the word.

Makes one wonder about the quality of the other shelters...

Submission + - 5 great free utilities which I use as an IT pro (

prevett writes: "This article is not an advertisement for any of the utilities/packages listed. These are the most common utilities which I use in a real world situation,to support friends and family (outside of real job) during my everyday life as an It Professional. I hope it will be helpful to anybody who reads this article. 5. RealVNC ( — Whenever I install a new machine, whether it be at the office, or in my personal life (you know, mom, dad, neighbor, etc), I always throw a copy of VNC server on their machine. Although I would generally consider this security risk, I always set the startup type to manual in the services management console. I then put a shortcut to the command to start the VNC server service on their desktop and open port 5900 on their firewall. Now, if they ever need my support, all I need to do is tell them to double click the VNC icon on their desktop, and hold their mouse over the little VNC logo next to the clock, and give me the ip address which pops up. Within seconds I am connected and fixing the issues which "magically" started happening to their machine... which they of course had nothing to do with. This generally works out just fine, unless they are behind a router, and have a private IP address, but even in most of these cases, I am the one who installed the router, and I have made sure that the correct ports are forwarded to the machine. Then I just tell them to send me an email from their local email. I can then in most cases get their routers IP address from the internet headers, and I am in. 4. Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE personal ( — How many times have you logged onto somebody's computer to troubleshoot an issue, and you realize the issue is that the user has clicked on just about every single popup window he/she has ever seen in their life? This has caused 37 different toolbars to be running on top of IE, and whenever you open IE, 40-50 more IE windows popup with the content which you generally wait until really late at night to view! Now you get smart, and enter the registry and remove all 97 entries within the HKLM/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current Version/Run section, only to realize that as soon as you delete them they come right back. At this point I generally install Ad-Aware SE, let it update itself. Reboot the machine INTO SAFE MODE, and run it from there. Let it quarantine all 89000 items it has found. Upon reboot, the machine will be much more manageable, and you can then troubleshoot it, if the issue hasn't been fixed. 3. AVAST Antivirus by Alwil software ( — If I had a nickel for every machine which I set out to trouble shoot/fix which I found to have antivirus software which expired in 1989, I would probably be a millionaire. AVAST's business model allows for free home use of their product, AKA the "home" version. I actually don't really know the difference between the home and pro version. This nice Antivirus package scans everything, instant messaging, internet mail, a network shield, an Outlook plug-in, a p2p shield, a web shield, and a standard virus shield. It scans all files coming in and going out of the computer. And here is the kicker. It works, and works very well. I have actually found that it detects and cleans items which big boy AV software simply ignored. It's nice every morning when I turn on my home PC, it yells out "Virus Database has been updated" Every morning! Alwil software is on the ball! On another note, their pre-boot scan which AVAST can be set to do has helped me on a couple of occasions where the virus has been loading before the Virus software has loaded and would not get removed during a regular scan. The licensing on this software allows for home use, and not business use, but when my current two year virus license expires at the office, I will be purchasing Avast Pro for my 40 office computers and their server products for my servers. This is truly how happy I am with the product which this company puts out. 2. RyanVM Integrator ( — How many times have you had to do a fresh install of Windows XP, and then, an hour later, after it has been installed, take another two hours to run windows update and download and install close to 100 updates? Well, this little utility, along with a secondary download will take your current windows XP SP2 CD, and Integrate all of Microsoft updates, and then create a new ISO which you can burn to a CD. You now have a bootable windows XP SP2 disk will 99% of the Microsoft updates already integrated into the install. I think the last time I did a fresh install, there were only like 7 updates which were required after the install. Need I say more? 1. BartPE — Preinstallation Environment ( If I could only tell you how many times this utility has saved my ASS in a hurry.. Have you ever had a windows XP or Windows Server machine which would simply not boot, and you had no way to get into the system to see what the hell is going on. This utility allows you to boot into a stripped down windows XP environment (completely outside of your computers environment) and yet get to your files on your hard drive. So that you can restore a registry or remove a virus, etc. you can set it up with Ghosting utilities, check disk, VNC, Remote Desktop, Firefox, and so much more. I have even created a thumb drive which boots this environment for those times when I don't have my trusty boot cd available. If you are an IT Pro, you should really have a look-see! You won't be disappointed."
The Internet

Submission + - Facebook Apps Facing Delays and Uncertainties

NewsCloud writes: "After reading about the Facebook platform launch, I spent the next week learning the API and building my application. Facebook's platform has been pretty successful despite complaints of poor documentation, instability and outcries over its application approval process. I've been waiting two weeks for my application to be approved for their directory and had my account disabled (temporarily) after I invited a large number of colleagues. While I'm impressed with the potential of the platform, the experience has made me more concerned about the lack of transparency in privately held social networks and the risks we take as developers when we invest time in a company's platform. Facebook's home page advertises itself as "a social utility that connects you with the people around you." My concern with Facebook is that there's no one regulating the utility."

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