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Submission + - What pranks have you pulled on scam callers? 1

flatulus writes: My wife has been getting calls repeatedly from "the Windows IT department" about our computer. She tells them she's not biting and hangs up.

This morning I had the pleasure of answering the call. It went like this:

"Hi, this is the Windows IT department calling about your computer."
"A computer? what's that?"
"I'm calling about your computer."
"Computer? I've never heard of this. What is a computer?"
"What is a computer? OK, buddy — get lost" (hangup)

So, what fun stories do you have about pranking scammers?

Comment Re:The America Invents Act (September 16, 2011) (Score 2) 148

The US switched from First-to-invent to First-to-File starting March 16, 2013.

This website is about 5-10 years too late.

Just replying to try to mod this up a notch (my postings seem to come in at 2, and I don't have moderator points today).

This needs to be emphasized: Prior art doesn't mean what it used to mean as of 2013 as said above. This further tilts in the direction of large companies who can better afford to "carpet bomb" the patent office with filings.

Anyone who thinks the patent system has any resemblence to "fair" should try filing just one patent on their own, without legal representation. If you have a career history of filing patents (for instance, with an employer who wants you to do it, so pays for the process), you might learn enough to succeed individually. But even then I wonder.

Expect each and every one of your claims to be rejected when you file. It's standard practice, regardless of what the claims say. Expect to have to "plead" (respectfully of course) that the patent examiner reconsider these rejections. Expect to need to cite precedence from prior patent proceedings and case law to support your "plea".

Comment Re:Internet != internet (Score 1) 218

I believe it was John Quarterman's 1990 book "The Matrix" (seriously, and you thought the Wachowski brothers, er sisters, er.... made it up huh?) that coined the term "the Internet", emphasizing and classifying the distinction between "an internet" and "the Internet" in precisely this way. Common usage of not capitalizing is a consequence of many millions of people not knowing the distinction.

The distinction is essentially the same as "a man" vs. "the Man", which was a popular distinction in my youth. Perhaps it still is, but for the most part I've checked out of modern culture.

Comment Re:Data needed (Score 1) 40

How often does the TCP/UDP checksum detect errors that the previous two could not?

May I remind the distinguished audience that IPv6 does NOT have a Header checksum. Therefore, on IPv6, TCP/UDP/SCTP checks are MANDATORY in all cases...

One REALLY NEEDS to do those checks.

(Computer networks teacher speaking here).

May I remind the distinguished teacher that (a) the checksums in TCP and UDP are lame compared to CRC and (b) they are irrelevant given a sufficiently robust data link layer. As I said in another post just above, TCP and UDP originally included checksums because IP was being carried over lame data links, and so the checksums were a bit of "belt and suspenders". Very few data link protocols today lack a robust CRC, so the checksums are anachronistic.

The particular issue in this topic seems to be not that the Ethernet CRC32 is lame (it most certainly is not), but that the Linux network stack had a subtle bug introduced into it that caused known bad packets to be passed along as if they were not. This is not a failure of Ethernet, it is a failure of the Linux network stack. I for one am ecstatic that this has been found, because I think this might be what has been haunting a product of mine for several years! (hopefully preparing to rejoice).

Comment Re:Data needed (Score 1) 40

I started working on transport protocols, And I always wondered about this:
ethernet has its crc, ipv4 has its crc, how often does the TCP/UDP checksum detect errors that the previous two could not?

TCP was finalized in 1981, long before modern Ethernet was around. TCP was originally developed for ARPAnet which used various longhaul communications technologies (think "modems") to interconnect sites. In those days, communications hardware usually did not have CRC or any other checksum checking. So TCP did its (simplistic) checksum to provide some protection.

IPv6 does not have the checksum, but the ethernet one is still there.

IPv6 came along much later, after Ethernet (and long-haul communications) had advanced to the point where CRC protection was a standard expectation. The value of a checksum in the IP header was recognized as sufficiently pointless to drop it.

The mystery to me is that an Ethernet NIC passes up a known corrupt packet, and the kernel doesn't drop it! I suppose this is so it's possible for a human to sense the presence of hardware failures, since pcap (aka tcpdump, aka WireShark) can show the corrupt packets. It really sucks that this, due to a subtle bug, could result in known bad packets leaking into apps which assume the lower layers did their job. That's what happened, yes?

Comment Re:Accidentally (Score 1) 387

You don't believe him because his story isn't plausible, yet you automatically believe the girl that left a nightclub with a millionaire, crashed at his place, and then cried rape in the morning? Took the jury 30 minutes to decide his story was better than hers.

No dispute with you on that. I never said I believed the girl (was raped).

I suspect the jury had an easy go of it because the girl was 18. I don't know (but will presume) that 18 meets "age of consent" in that jurisdiction, hence no statutory rape possible. If she had been a bit younger, it could have had a completely different outcome.

Comment Re:Accidentally (Score 1) 387

It seems that accidentally is another English word that is reversing its meaning.

Well we all understand how Ehsan Abdulaziz could "accidentally" lose his balance ending up with physical evidence suggesting he raped an 18 year old. One just can't control where that pesky little poker will wind up when you're in freefall...

So how hard is it to believe MSFT accidentally overlooked resetting a user's defaults.

Comment Re:This opens up new arguments (Score 1) 364

I love this post! WTF indeed!

It's not unlike DoD (years ago, for you youngsters) implementing GPS with Selective Availability so they could de-accurize it in times of war, only to have the Coast Guard develop and install a network of differential correction transmitters (aka differential GPS). And today we have WAAS (equivalent of USCG's differential GPS, but I guess better?). But the "de-accurize" genie is way out of the bottle, btw. I'm just using this as an example as to how government left-hand doesn't know what government right-hand is doing.

Comment Re:They're still doing it wrong. (Score 4, Informative) 141

Is the reliability that bad? Looking to buy a new SSD, and reliability and cost are my top concerns.

OCZ had a bad spell a few years ago and were the "king of unreliability". My employer deployed Vertex2 drives. We had a few field failures, but not really all that many. But the brand got blasted in user reports and reviews - one article rated it the most unreliable SSD, head and shoulders above (below?) all others.

IIRC, OCZ went bankrupt and was purchased by Toshiba. They (Toshiba) chose to keep the OCZ brand (putting it on a 12-step plan) rather than using their own name on consumer products (like how Crucial is actually Micron, but they keep the names separate).

So I wouldn't necessarily hold the "new" OCZ responsible for the "old" OCZ's missteps.

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