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176  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Preloaded spyware, courtesy Lenovo on: February 20, 2015, 09:26:43 AM
I've almost always had custom built computers, but the "stock" ones that I've had have really sucked by comparison.
177  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Happy New Year! 恭禧發財! 새해 복 많이 받으세요! on: February 20, 2015, 09:24:08 AM
Happy Year of the Zombie Sheep!

Darkly cute!


178  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Knight to queen's bishop 3 - Snowden charged with espionage. on: February 20, 2015, 03:18:02 AM
So the NSA and GCHQ have everyone's mobile phone SIM keys.



AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.

More at the link.

And still no criminal charges... Gee. What a shocker.  undecided
179  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Happy New Year! 恭禧發財! 새해 복 많이 받으세요! on: February 19, 2015, 08:02:43 AM
Happy New Year! 恭禧發財! 새해 복 많이 받으세요!

180  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Long essay on the business of starting (feminist) collaborative publications on: February 19, 2015, 07:08:42 AM
I get the use of the information in the link, but I never understood why people need to mix gender issues with technology. Ironically, doing so is SEXIST, as it serves no purpose but to further an agenda.

What exactly is "feminist tech"? What makes technology either feminist or MRA? Machines have no gender. Nor does the machine care about the users gender.

Which begs the question. Since machines have no gender. When the singularity comes:

How will the movement of genderless but sentient beings be called? ARA (Android Rights Activist) or Andronist? Maybe GRA (Genderless Rights Activist) or GRM (Genderless Rights Movement).

I'm sorry for the rant, but I still remember gamergate.

The article was pretty good. It covered a lot of ground.

I didn't get any "feminist" feel from it. It was simply factual from what I read, though I did skim.

I don't know what they actually publish though. That may be another matter. But the article itself was a solid piece.

I'd certainly pass the link on to anyone asking about publishing.

There's a thread on feminism in the Basement forum. That's a better place to discuss things like "feminist tech". From the article, "feminist tech publication" is merely "feminist" + "tech publication" from what I can see there. i.e. A tech publication from a feminist perspective, and not "feminist technology", which simply doesn't make much sense.

Regarding the actual tech side of the article, I'm not a fan of Google Docs, but it is an easy & cheap option. But she never gets into platforms much. It's all business.

181  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Destroying your hard drive is the only way to stop this super-advanced malware on: February 18, 2015, 08:06:47 AM
That's convoluted and asinine enough to be believable. It does, however, have one major flaw. Nobody in the intelligence business thinks that far ahead. Technically, you could say we have no intelligence agencies - just counter intelligence, and only in the most literal sense.


Yep. Pretty much! cheesy

182  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: good Videos [short films] here :) on: February 18, 2015, 07:48:48 AM
no, it was straightforward emigration - well, a spot of bother with the landlords, and, you'll love this one:

With no taxes or tithes, to devour up your wages
When you're on the green fields of Americae

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

I'm sorry, but I can't respond here. See you in the basement. The beauty has been spoiled. Destroyed. And even speaking of that is now "controversial" or "blasphemy".

FWIW - It was a beautiful song.

183  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / A study in game mechanics - Huntercoin (HUC) on: February 18, 2015, 07:39:41 AM
This could be posted in the "Gamer" or "Developer" forums, but, I'm posting here for broader visibility and because this raises a lot of interesting problems/questions.

Some of you may remember me talking about "Huntercoin". Here's one thread:


The mechanics of the game are changing. Here's an example: The cost of a general has gone from 1 to 10 to 200 HUC. But many other aspects are changing as well in significant ways.

This is a perfect case study for anyone that does research in gaming. In fact, it's far more "real" than most games as everything is "currency" or directly affects it.

If you want to do research, and you're a regular here at DC, or you can provide some decent credentials, or proof of a legitimate reason, I can put you in contact with the main developer. He's chosen to remain anonymous, so I'd have to ask him first.

But there is a major update now (I just got word of it from the developer), and this is really a very big deal if you understand the implications. It's all experimental, but a really wild experiment in gaming and cryptocurrency.

I really can't overstate just how big this is. It's the only fork of Namecoin. That's a big deal.

To check it out, see here:

DISCLOSURE: I have a small amount of HUC, but not enough to influence my opinion on it. It's damn cool either way! smiley

184  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Three articles on what kind of high quality (gaming) monitor you should buy on: February 18, 2015, 07:10:48 AM
My primary interest is in whether or not quantum dots become the main technology in displays.

Oh, I should also mention this:

Which is more gorgeous? Korean women or Korean displays? tongue

Let’s take the quantum dots first. Quantum dots, despite sounding thoroughly futuristic, are actually fairly simple things that are easy to mass-produce. In short, quantum dots are just small specks of semiconducting material that emit light when they’re excited. Depending on the size of the dot, and also the material, you can tune these dots to emit very specific frequencies (colors) of light. In the case of LG, a film of quantum dots is placed in front of the backlight and behind the display, resulting in “picture color reproduction rate and overall brightness [that] are significantly improved.”

Image: Quantum dots, depending on their size, emit light at different frequencies

LG doesn’t say exactly how the quantum dots achieve this, but we do know from previous testing that the overall quality of a display is significantly affected by the quality of the light produced by the backlight (and the various other films and waveguides that sit between the backlight and the display). If the quantum dots help produce a whiter light, or a specific frequency of white that plays very well with LG’s IPS LCD tech, then that could explain why this new 4K monitor has such exceptional color reproduction.

Go quantum dots!  Thmbsup

185  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Destroying your hard drive is the only way to stop this super-advanced malware on: February 18, 2015, 06:47:50 AM
A government sponsored team of super hackers - what could possibly go wrong?

Hahaha! Grin

Yeah, pretty much exactly that.

Can anyone say "mission creep"? smiley

186  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Reliable Web Hosting for $5 or less? on: February 18, 2015, 06:00:09 AM
While you're still shopping, look at Digital Ocean. It could fit the bill.
187  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: good Videos [short films] here :) on: February 18, 2015, 05:58:34 AM
(Equally well fits in the silly humour thread, eh?)
yes Grin thumbs up

what's her accent - sounds like Montana?
Remember that Coen brother's film set in Montana? I cant remember the name, hang on - Fargo - the same accent - it's funny cause it's reminiscent of a Wexford accent at times (SE-most county in Ireland). They say 'Hun' there as well. I remember someone claiming the word came from one of the Scandanavian languages (and is not a short version of 'honey'), which might make sense in terms of Montana - with Wexford, it was a long time since the vikings visited (8th-10thC), but many did settle in Ireland, and there are still signs of their presence in place-names, and surnames - and possibly in the language (I'm no expert here).

Oh, it's a Canadian accent alright. smiley

I have quite a few friends that have elements of that accent.

It's taken me almost 2 decades outside of Canada to be able to hear those "Canadian" bits of accent. They range from really thin to extremely thick. And I still can't for the life of me hear the "about" thing -- which on many occasions has betrayed me as Canadian to some discerning listeners.

One journalist that I like, Dan Dicks, has a light accent, but it's definitely there. Another journalist that I like, James Corbett, has virtually zero "Canadian" accent that I can hear. (I think my accent is like James' and not Dan's, but I'm in no place to judge properly.)

A lot of Irish did immigrate/flee to Canada. I'm not sure about the Irish slaves though. It would've made sense for Irish slave to flee to Canada, but I'm just not up on my history enough to know/comment.

188  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: good Videos [short films] here :) on: February 18, 2015, 01:11:23 AM
If you've seen American Sniper... get ready... It's...


<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

(Equally well fits in the silly humour thread, eh?)
189  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Destroying your hard drive is the only way to stop this super-advanced malware on: February 17, 2015, 09:47:22 PM
This is very different. This is a weapons grade piece of malware. A real game changer for everyone. It is sophisticated enough that it smells of very high level government involvement. Many think it is the Unites States NSA working through a shady group that has eluded security researchers for many years. Researchers call them The Equation Group.

The article you want to read to learn more about this is on ArsTechnica:

It is very saddening news.

After reading that... Just. Wow. That's beyond impressive.

190  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Face Detection Algorithm Set to Revolutionize Image Search on: February 17, 2015, 07:42:56 PM
I foresee plastic surgeons making as much money as oil sheiks do...soon  huh

I was chatting with a fellow on a recent trip to Seoul and he told me about a new plastic surgery "clinic" in Gangnam -- it's like 27 floors or something obscene like that. Just nuts. Apparently it's very popular with Chinese plastic surgery medical tourists who fly in during the morning, get surgery, then fly out that evening.
191  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Destroying your hard drive is the only way to stop this super-advanced malware on: February 17, 2015, 07:36:02 PM
This looks like some pretty nasty, nasty stuff.

A cyberespionage group with a toolset similar to ones used by U.S. intelligence agencies has infiltrated key institutions in countries including Iran and Russia, utilizing a startlingly advanced form of malware that is impossible to remove once it's infected your PC.

Kaspersky Lab released a report Monday that said the tools were created by the “Equation” group, which it stopped short of linking to the U.S. National Security Agency.

The tools, exploits and malware used by the group—named after its penchant for encryption—have strong similarities with NSA techniques described in top-secret documents leaked in 2013.

Countries hit the most by Equation include Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and China. Targets in those countries included the military, telecommunications, embassies, government, research institutions and Islamic scholars, Kaspersky said.

Kaspersky’s most striking finding is Equation’s ability to infect the firmware of a hard drive, or the low-level code that acts as an interface between hardware and software.

The malware reprograms the hard drive’s firmware, creating hidden sectors on the drive that can only be accessed through a secret API (application programming interface). Once installed, the malware is impossible to remove: disk formatting and reinstalling the OS doesn’t affect it, and the hidden storage sector remains.

“Theoretically, we were aware of this possibility, but as far as I know this is the only case ever that we have seen of an attacker having such an incredibly advanced capability,” said Costin Raiu, director of Kaspersky Lab’s global research and analysis team, in a phone interview Monday.

There was a security researcher a year or so ago that released details on this (but on mobile platforms) or something similar, but I forget who or where I saw it. Does anyone else remember?

It's pretty simple at a high level -- secret sectors are created, then hidden as bad sectors or something.

I'm not sure if this is basically the same thing or if it's different. It seems different, but my memory is a tad fuzzy. I think the other one was for Flash Nand memory only.

192  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / The Face Detection Algorithm Set to Revolutionize Image Search on: February 17, 2015, 06:57:54 PM
Face recognition is improving a lot, and has some pretty important implications.



The result is a single algorithm that can spot faces from a wide range of angles, even when partially occluded. And it can spot many faces in the same image with remarkable accuracy.

More at the link.

Throw in CCTVs every 10 metres or so (Hello UK!), and bigger budgets for "safety" and you will never have another moment of privacy, ever.
193  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Hackers can use RFID readers to steal payment card numbers on: February 17, 2015, 06:32:45 PM
...and it shows nothing really exciting happening; basic request; basic response; no cookies; total replied content=boo!

Given the pitch, I was expecting it to tell me what I had for breakfast yesterday morning ... But no matter how I view the source, it just says boo!

With Fiddler, in Chrome I get a 502, but in IE & Opera I get a 304. In all of them I get "No Response Data".

In Wireshark, with Chrome, I get 200, and "Boo!\n".

Then, fiddling in Fiddler, I managed to get a 200 with "Boo!".

I don't know - it's just bizarre that the source won't show up in some cases. I give up. Got better things to do. Sad
194  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: February 17, 2015, 05:04:53 PM
Ever wonder why you never see any maps of the solar system drawn to scale?


How about something similar for atoms and molecules with their electron clouds? Wink

This kind of describes it - I can't find the "pixel":

The electron is there... I just can't find it, except in code:

Formatted for HTML with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. <font face='arial,helvetica' color='#FFFFFF' size='+2'>Electron</font><br>
  2. <img src='Electron.gif' width='200' height='200'>

And also see this regarding the above:

The distances are simply mind-boggling.
195  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: good Videos [short films] here :) on: February 16, 2015, 09:10:17 AM

That was really well done.

196  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Movies or films you've seen lately on: February 16, 2015, 08:57:46 AM
Matheson is famous for the Twilight Zone episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.. (That's the one with the airliner and the gremlin.) His anthology by the same name is one place to start. He's one terrific writer, and more mainstream than the previous two.

Ah! I remember that episode clearly. It was brilliant!

I'll need to follow up on all that. Books are out of the questions now --- I just threw out many hundreds of $$$ of retail value of books last night, and I'll be doing that to more as we prepare to move.

Mirrormask (2005)

@40hz - I think you will enjoy this. See below.

This is a very British style film. If you hate British styles, you'll hate this, and if you love 'em, you may well like this.

Now, as a British film, I find many make me want to commit suicide rather than watch another second. Some are just boring to tears and entirely push you to suicide. Some British film makers love to mirror their weather. tongue

Then... There is that other class of British films that is simply brilliant or bizarre - one of the two, and sometimes both.

This film will likely get you to pull out the razor blades in the first 20 minutes or so, but don't slice your wrists quite so quickly -- it gets a lot better! Wink

What is this film? A mix of:

  • The Dark Crystal
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The Wall

But it's more than that. It mixes in some kind of bizarrely organic clock-work world with a dark element that isn't as hopeful as steam punk.

The art and CGI is spectacularly well done.

I do NOT recommend this for people that like big tits and sex scenes, or lots of shoot 'em up, or mainstream films.

This is squarely in the "art" category, but not so far into it that it's just stupid, as many "art" films are.

Take that for what you will and from my past recommendations and likes.

Oh... and one last thing...

If you like to get high... yeah... do it. You'll like this. Very trippy~! tongue Grin  Thmbsup

197  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: February 16, 2015, 08:38:50 AM
@Renegade: Thanks for the to-scale pic of our solar system. Just what I had been looking for.

It's one of those stupid questions that has been dogging me for years. I searched, and that, well, it soaked up some time. However, it's time well spent to understand the vastness of space.

Buddy has done an impressive job there too. Not only is it informative, but very entertaining.

I used my middle-click scroll to keep that time element so that I gained a better understanding of the vastness. Hint: Don't do it if you're in a rush.
198  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: February 16, 2015, 04:31:07 AM
Ever wonder why you never see any maps of the solar system drawn to scale?

This one is. And the moon is 1 pixel.

Hint: Use your mouse button click to scroll right... Or use the < and > at the top to go to the next bit of text with an autoscroll.

No screenshot. I'm not sure we'd have enough memory for an image that size.


P.S. Lots of fun little facts while you scroll. Make sure to read the last one. Wink

199  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Peer Review and the Scientific Process on: February 16, 2015, 01:31:08 AM
Fraud and cover-ups at the FDA?

Want some examples? How about the study on a treatment for leg blood clots that claimed the legs were getting a lot better, when one of the patients actually needed his foot amputated? Or falsified research in eight of the 16 research sites investigating a single blood clotting treatment? Or the researcher who was disbarred and sent to prison for overdosing a chemotherapy patient? All of these were reported in warning letters, but missing from the peer-reviewed research.

200  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: February 15, 2015, 09:46:22 PM

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