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Comment They did have some other priorities... (Score 1) 96

Although there is no excuse for lousy security, the "security hobbyist" did fail to mention in the article that the city was hit by an earthquake in February 2011, which mostly destroyed the central city. I suspect that might have more to do with Ecan's delay in implementing a new system, rather than just "they wanted a new flashy-looking website".

Comment Simple Machines Forum (Score 1) 259

I've been using Simple Machines Forum for a number of years, and although I would say that it's totally customizable, there are number of templates and adds for it, it's very stable, and has worked great for me. And it's free, although it's a always a good idea to become a through $50 a year at them and become a charter member (having said that, I think I've let my charter membership lapse at the moment!). Development seems very slow, with releases few and far between; however I'm still very pleased that I chose SMF when I went looking for forum software.

Submission + - Software bug caused Qantas Airbus A330 to nose-div

pdcull writes: "According to this article, the Australian Transport Safety Board found that a software bug was responsible for a Qantas Airbus A330 nose-diving twice while at cruising altitude, injuring 12 people seriously and causing 39 to be taken to hospital.

The event, which happened three years ago, was found to be caused by an airspeed sensor malfunction, linked to a bug in an algorithm which 'translated the sensors' data into actions, where the flight control computer could put the plane into a nosedive using bad data from just one sensor.' A software updated was installed in November 2009, and the ATSB concluded that 'as a result of this redesign, passengers, crew and operators can be confident that the same type of accident will not reoccur.'

I can't help wondering just how could a piece of code, which presumable didn't test its' input data for validity before acting on it, become part of a modern jet's onboard software suit?"

Comment Re:He should hide out in Brazil (Score 1) 1020

Oh bummer, finger trouble and firefox freezes... that should have read:

Successful thieves don't steal a little and hope that nobody finds out - they steal so much that, even though everybody knows, they can't be punished. Brazilians talk about "rouba mas faz" - he steals but does something - which I suppose it still better than "steals and does nothing for the country".

This guy was the highest voted Federal Congressman in 2006, although this time round an illiterate clown took first place.

Comment Re:He should hide out in Brazil (Score 1) 1020

Successful thieves don't steal a little and hope that nobody finds out - they steal so much that, even though everybody knows, they can't be punished. Brazilians talk about "rouba mas faz" - he steals but does something - which I suppose it still better than "steals and does nothing for the country". This guy was the in 2006, although this time round an illiterate clown" took first place.

Comment Re:That's not copy protection (Score 2, Informative) 226

That story - or one very similar - is in the book "How the Irish saved civilization" by Thomas Cahill (chapter 6), where a monk named Columcille made an unauthorized copy of a psalter that belonged to the Bishop Finian of Clonard. The dispute as to whether he could keep the unauthorized copy was resolved by the King Diarmait, whose decision in history’s first copyright case was logical: "To every cow her calf; to every book its copy". However, for some reason the RIAA must have existed in some medieval variant, and Columcille was forced to return the copy to Finian, and the story ends with Columcille's not-so-pacifistic followers defeating Diarmait’s soldiers in battle, and the copied psalter, henceforth known as the “Cathach” or Warrior, returning to Columcille, which I guess is one way to resolve copyright disputes!

Submission + - World cup predication failures 1

pdcull writes: We all read on Slashdot about the investiment banks using their massive computer power and clever modelling techniques to predicate the FIFA World Cup outcome. Now that Goldman Sachs', UBS' and Danske Bank's favorite, Brazil, has been eliminated, and with JP Morgan's England long gone, the question that begs to be asked is: can we really trust these guys to predict the financial markets any better than they did World Cup?

Submission + - Brazilian police puzzled by ATM robbery (

pdcull writes: "According to this article (in Portuguese) or it's translation here, São Paulo police are puzzled by the theft of nearly R$150,000 (US $80,000) from a branch of the Banco do Brasil.

From the article: "Remaing from the invasion over the weekend are two unusable ATMs and a mystery for the police: how the criminals managed to withdraw R$147,950.00 without damaging the machines. The bank suspects that the thieves had connected a portable computer to the cables from the ATMs. With this they managed to invade the system and withdraw the money". It sounds a lot different from the normal Brazilian ATM smash-and-grab, which usually involve trucks and machine guns."

Comment Re:Migrating from CompuServe (Score 1) 224

Oh, and 100242,1513 too by the way... I think I signed up around 1993. I remember taking my notebook to a bar inside what was then the most violent slum in Rio de Janeiro city, Santa Marta, to use their telephone to dial in... somehow the system worked enough for me to send and receive emails. And then worrying about whether the drug lords were wanting a computer or whether the police would steal it from me during a raid... .those were the days! Paul
The Internet

Submission + - New Zealand anti-spam operation (

pdcull writes: "New Zealand news site Stuff is reporting that two businessmen were "interviewed" and twenty-two computers seized in what is believed to be the country's first anti-spam operation:

The Internal Affairs Department's anti-spam unit executed four search warrants simulataneously, seizing 22 computers and boxes of documents from four Christchurch addresses. Anti-spam investigators interviewed two Christchurch businessmen as part of the operation, the result of two-months of work with international agencies, Internal Affairs deputy secretary Keith Manch said.
The article states that the operation had to be rushed due the BBC publishing this article which could have alerted the spammers that their location had been identified as being in New Zealand's South Island."

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