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Comment Re:Non-answers (Score 2) 477

No, what one does is provide the answer as requested, then offer that there is another solution if circumstances permit.
The problem you don't see is that the "better approach" will be an order of magnitude more complex and advanced than the otherwise workable one which the requester has been squaring up for. Like refusing to answer someone's batch file question because you really think they ought to handle it in Python or Rails.

Comment Re:documentary on Chernobyl (Score 1) 173

Boy, are you wrong! I support nuclear power as long as we aren't building power plants on fault lines or using antique designs that get explodey when the electricity goes off. Liquid sodium and Thorium reactors look like reasonable stepping-stones until we have aneutronic or fusion reactors working.

Comment Re:Wild Life (Score 1) 173

AC: Ya know, I am actually capable of critical thinking, and if all they showed was a cherrypicked patch or two of brown grass, I probably wouldn't have mentioned it. You seem to know about the article, or a similar one to that which I'm talking about. Please post a link to it, and we can compare. Regardless, the article I read was more substantial than you mockingly retort. Ultimately, we'll only know for sure if it was credible, if we each became polyglot nuclear scientists and ecologists, and team up together to verify the findings. Short of that, it's quite reasonable to take the word of the article's author and the Ukranian researchers s/he wrote about. Their point was that they found something very wrong with the ecology within and around the Exclusion Zone, and they needed more time and resources to determine the extent of it. I'm so very sorry that this clashes with your happy thoughts of a human-free paradise where gentle woodland critters flourish and dance about in the woods, but them's the breaks.

Comment Re:Wild Life (Score 1) 173

A pictorial documentary which I saw in the last year or so studied the plant life within the exclusion zone. They're hanging dosimeters on tree trunks to see what their dosages are over time. It appears that in some places the natural cycle of composting and regrowth has halted. Organisms are no longer decomposing biomass, so it piles up much longer than is natural. The ecology is being starved of nutrients, so remaining growth is slowed. There are dead forested areas persistently standing instead of crumbling and being overgrown. The pics looked appropriately post-apocalyptic. :(

Comment Re:My Back door to the Internet (Score 1) 136

Hahah, I was dialed into a local number to the University's free Gopher-based card catalog, but I was telnetting to cyberspace.??? from there for my free 30-day trial shell account(s). Pretty sure it was .com. I don't even know where it was physically located. The domain's changed hands many times since then.

IO was a fun, sometimes strange place to work. When were you a customer? I worked there 2000-2001. Did you see the archival copy I linked to? Lots of interesting pictures, and you can even see the employee-only intranet pages with procedure, schedules and web tools.

Comment My Back door to the Internet (Score 4, Interesting) 136

In 1994, BBSs were still the dominant experience for the common man. However, the University had a dial-up line that was configured to use a Gopher client as shell, for purposes of searching an online card catalog for one of the libraries. I found I could use the search engines of the day, Archie and Jughead (and Veronica?) to find hosts offering free access to Lynx (the text-only browser) and even Telnet "gateways". was offering free trial Unix accounts, literally with no verification. They offered Pine, storage space and plenty of other things. I could now surf the whole existing web, Gopherspace, read Usenet and download files and warez from there. Since Zmodem was borked by the Gopher client I was connected through, I couldn't download directly. So, I used Pine to re-mail them to myself at a local BBS which had a nightly UUCP connection where it exchanged email (with bangs as well as @) and updated it's select Usenet posts.

At one point, I struggled to run DOSSLIP and DOSLYNX directly on my PC, but this never compared to just using a BBS dialup program and doing things on the terminal. I still use Lynx and (Al)Pine several times a week!

Another Lynx trick came in handy 5 years later: You could telnet to from anywhere in the world, and log on as guest. Lynx was configured as the shell, and you would then be presented with the minimalist web-based customer tools found at to reset your password, update your address, etc. IO forgot to disable browsing the filesystem (press g, period, enter). Also, IO never enforced uniform /home/user/ directory permissions or audited active accounts. As a result, through 2004, when IO was taken over by Prismnet (or later), you could roam around and directly view many customer's private files, email, and IO's sensitive system areas. This was a direct back-door into everything! That was a full two years after IOCOM "hardened" their network to sell network security services.

The Illuminati Online website is archived by an old employee here:

Comment Re:Underwater cables (Score 4, Interesting) 177

As khallow said, they add the taps during scheduled downtime. They also add the taps during an outage. And you can imagine how easy it is to arrange for a trawler to "accidentally" drag it's anchor across the ocean floor. There is some risk of being detected by diagnostic equipment at either end of the cable, since they can determine the distance to the break, but if the trawler break and submarine tap are 10 miles apart, the sub should go unnoticed, and the difference in distance is within a margin of error.

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