* Posts by Steve Foster

585 posts • joined 10 Oct 2007

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Bank in the UK? Plans afoot to make YOU liable for bank fraud

Steve Foster

Idiot Banks

One of the reasons that people get caught by phishing attacks is the banks idiotic behaviour when they call you in demanding you answer "security questions" - when *they're* the unknown quantity.

I always decline to do so, and try to explain that I'm not going to answer questions from some random stranger who's called my number, and nor am I going to call any number they give me - at least not until and unless they prove who they are to my satisfaction first.

Another example of cretinous behaviour on their part:

Most of my bank accounts are protected by 2FA of one sort or another. One day, using a shiny new laptop, I logged in to one of my accounts (that uses a PIN protected challenge/response key generator thingy), authenticated with multiple user codes, plus the 2FA response, arranged a regular payment _to an existing recipient_, received confirmation of payment and logged off.

A couple of days later, I went to log in again, to be told that my account was "not initialised properly" (or some such) and I could not login. Figuring this was some temporary glitch at their end, I tried again the next day. Still no access. After a couple of days of this, I gave in and called their support number. After passing their security questions, they told me that my account had been frozen (no payments out, internet access blocked) due to "suspected fraudulent activity" (the payment that I made online [by now] a week earlier [which they'd actually cancelled]). I asked what was the point of having and using 2FA and all their other security measures if they were all going to be overridden/ignored just because I used a new computer!

While I do appreciate that they are supposed to make efforts to prevent fraud, a single minor difference out of several test elements should not be enough for them to a) lock me out of my own account, b) cause payments to be summarily cancelled, and (most especially) c) do this all without making any sort of attempt to contact me in any way.

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Irish data cops kick Max Schrems' latest Facebook complaint up to EU Court

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Another thumbs up to Max!

That hardly seems like a fitting reward for his efforts!

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Thai bloke battles jumbo python in toilet todger thriller

Steve Foster

Re: Wild Python?

Wild? I expect it was absolutely livid.

(with credit to Rowan Atkinson/NTNON)

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Got $130,000 down the back of the sofa? Great. Grab an HP 3D printer

Steve Foster
Facepalm

And, of course, this being HP...

...a JetDirect card to connect it to the network will not be supplied as standard.

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Art heist 'pranksters' sent down for six months

Steve Foster
Alien

@Doctor Syntax

s/transplants/implants/

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Microsoft bods tell El Reg: We've re-pivoted open-source .NET Core

Steve Foster

Re: The real news

Nah, it's the fruity firm that won't talk to ElReg.

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Google, Honeywell put away Nest patent knives

Steve Foster

Re: And it all works until...

I have a Nest thermostat. It is not connected to the internet, and yet it works just fine (albeit I accept that I can't "manage" it from my smartphone [I don't see any need to do so]).

Since it is not connected, it's hard to see how it could be remotely disabled or rendered inoperative because some "cloud" service evaporated overnight.

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So you’d sod off to China to escape the EU, Google? Really?

Steve Foster

@WibbleMe

Except that Google do indeed do just that - or at least, they were doing so when they were the outsourced mail provider for Virgin Media (for email from one [!] of several identically-configured domains on a shared mail server).

Recently, Hotmail have reverted to rejecting email rather than silently swallowing it, so that I do at least know that messages have not been delivered (I'm still peeved that we're being blacklisted without good cause).

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Ironic: CCTV systems slide open a backdoor into your biz network

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: Given that such cameras are often pointed at physical access points in buildings...

Not only that, but you can extract a better-than-passport-quality image of the users face from their reflection in the keypad buttons.

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Ad-slinger Opera adds ad-blocking tech to its browser

Steve Foster
Boffin

Re: Eh?

Yes, it was part of the Presto-based Opera, and that and so much more was all lost when Opera became a reskinned Chrome derivative.

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Alice, Bob and Verity, too. Yeah, everybody's got a story, pal

Steve Foster
WTF?

Re: Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue, Deborah, Annabel too...

Aargh! Now I have *that* tune in my head for the rest of the week. So annoyingly catchy that even a very large thimbleful of scumble isn't going to be enough to expunge it.

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Samsung is now shipping a 15TB whopper of an SSD. Farewell, spinning rust

Steve Foster
Joke

Government Time saver?

Now they can lose all of our personal data in one go when they leave it on a train!

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

Steve Foster
FAIL

“The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it."

Wrong, Whittingdale, wrong.

As all well-informed Regtards know, it's funded by all those with a television*, regardless of whether they watch the BBC or not.

* discounting the small number of non-payers.

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Nearly a million retail jobs will be destroyed by the march of tech, warns trade body

Steve Foster
Holmes

In Other News...

...the freight industry reports that there are 250,000[1] new driving jobs being created every year, due to the increased use of logistics and delivery services on the back of that shift to "online and digital".

[1] number plucked out of thin air by me.

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Samsung off the hook as $120m Apple patent verdict tossed

Steve Foster
Black Helicopters

Re: hold on..

Ah, well, you see, now that Apple are "sponsoring" terrorism, they're agin the guvmint.

Therefore, I would not be at all surprised to watch as lots of their patents (initially those where litigation is in progress) will suddenly be revealed to have been "obvious", or invalidated by examples of prior art, etc, etc. And, no doubt, the USPTO will soon be under instructions to reject all future applications from Apple.

(several of ElReg's icons would suit this post, but I'm going with the obligatory helicopters to match the "conspiracy theory" tone)

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Still running IE10? Not for long, says Microsoft

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Edge is hardly an alternative

Particularly as it's not available as a standalone download for Vista, 7SP1, Server 2008, Server 2012 or any of those other listed OS's with an obsolete version of IE.

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Ethernet switch sales flatten but 40 Gbps starts to take off

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Maths fail?

You do have to remember that this is IDC we're talking about...

0
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French Playmobil heist: El Reg denies involvement

Steve Foster
Joke

@CMOT Barnes

Would you be suggesting that the rumours of the imminent rename from LOHAN to LUCAN are not true?

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GCHQ's exploding doughnut threatens to ooze into innocent field

Steve Foster
Big Brother

Re: So many other options available..

"Yes, I'm happy to remain anonymous, thank you."

Yes, I'm happy with the appearance of being anonymous, thank you.

There, FTFY.

(would have liked to use the Joke Alert icon, but sadly, Big Brother is more apropos.)

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Qualcomm’s first charger with Quick Charge 3.0 breaks cover

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Ah, yes...

Obligatory XKCD.

(he says, surprised it's not already been posted)

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The last post: Building your own mail server, part 1

Steve Foster
WTF?

Greylisting

I've used greylisting for years. However, lately some of the big providers (Hotmail and their ilk) from whom I do sometimes receive genuine emails, but who use vast server farms, and therefore routinely manage to make contact from a previously unseen server, are not processing the temporary errors properly - they're giving up after the one attempt, just like the spammers do.

I'm watching this fairly carefully, as it may mean I have to abandon the practice (it's no good getting rid of the crap if it costs me real email).

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Partially blind albino porn pirate nabbed for £300k bedroom streaming site

Steve Foster
Devil

Re: "...exactly what albino porn was..."

The very definition of a niche market?

(although apparently there's enough call for it to be segmented further by body-part fetishes, in this case "partially blind").

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BOFH: Power corrupts, uninterrupted power corrupts absolutely

Steve Foster
Devil

Re: Only me

"what do you think the light is?"

If the goal is space heating, it's a waste by-product.

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Take two mobes into the shower? I didn't before, but I do now

Steve Foster

Useful for tablets?

Could this be used to give a simple tablet phone capabilities? Logically, it should be possible...

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Perhaps middle-aged blokes SHOULDN'T try 34-hour-long road trips

Steve Foster
Facepalm

Re: Lane merging

"Joining a motorway isn't really an example; it's more a case of 'give way' that people don't understand."

Except that as with anything else, TPTB have muddied the waters by adopting multiple approaches, and using them inconsistently.

For example, the M25 has a mixture of junctions with traditional slip roads (where joining traffic must give way), and junctions where lane one is taken via the junction (ie approaching the junction, lane one exits the motorway, and leaving the junction, rejoins the motorway; drivers in lane one who want to stay on the motorway are obliged to move into lane two for the duration).

Hell, the M25 even has a junction where you (theoretically) exit the motorway in order to stay on it! (J5)

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Internet, schminternet: Boffins propose private 100Gbps HYPERNET

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: Darn....

Bah, we're working on LudicrousNet here...

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OnePlus phone fanbois flock for a shiny phondle

Steve Foster
Alert

Re: specify parts like on laptops

More worryingly, the laptop market seems to be moving towards the phone model, with the latest laptops increasingly being "sealed tin" with little or no upgradeability (a move seemingly pioneered by Apple, but definitely spreading much more widely).

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Microsoft Edge web browser: A well-presented mea culpa

Steve Foster

Hitherto IE-exclusive feature

Does Edge support the "external requests reuse the current tab" option that IE has, and is sorely lacking in other browsers? (a large part of my life is running applications that show nice output in a web page, but like to "reload" that over and over again for the slightest change, rather than letting the page refresh - and in anything but IE, that leads to lots and lots and lots and lots of tabs)

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TITSUP: Apple Music, App Stores, iCloud, iTunes, Radio, iBooks

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: Total Inability To Provide Usual Purchases

Ah, but Apple are a family-friendly organisation, and don't allow such in their ecosystem.

We need a backronym for mammaryglandup...

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Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

Steve Foster

Re: @BB- What the...?

Quoting the SNP vote as a percentage of the entire UK is disingenuous at best, since all of their candidates stood in Scotland, whereas the LibDems and UKIP were (generally) standing across the UK.

The SNP share of the vote outside Scotland was negligible (if not outright zero), and their seats outside Scotland reflect that.

The flip side is that the SNP result shows that the LibDems and UKIPs best options for increasing their seats is to persuade all of their voters to move into the same area, and then they'd win those seats.

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Whither the PC? Mobes, slabs drive majority of traffic for top news sites

Steve Foster

@AC

The new BBC news web site works much better with JavaScript disabled. That gets rid of all the silly stuff, and leaves the actual news stories. Story images go a bit lo-res, as they seem to be using JS to optimise the pictures in some way too (that I haven't investigated closely).

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E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

Steve Foster

Turnout

Seems like an easy way to increase turnout would be to pay everyone who votes a modest sum, say £10. In the overall scheme of government funding, and things they manage to waste billions on, it's a tiny amount to spend to get a "representative" government. If almost everybody does vote, it may turn out that FPTP is good enough.

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

Steve Foster

"If you want big corps to stop avoiding taxes you need to close the loopholes that allow them to do that."

As Tim has been trying to explain, paying corporation tax in your home country is not a loophole.

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Steve Foster

Re: Taxing at the wrong end

"A foreign company can sell 10 choccy bars to a customer in the UK for £10 because he pays no tax here, a UK company has to sell the same choccy bars for £12 because it has to give the taxman £2."

But ForeignCo does still have to pay tax to ForeignHMRC. That might be £2. Or maybe £3 or £5 or £1.50 or 2½p. Whatever rate ForeignGov decides is appropriate (and I think £0.00 as you claim is very unlikely).

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Ad bidding network caught slinging ransomware

Steve Foster
Happy

@omg...

Hmmm, sounds like you may have identified a gap in the market...

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The BBC wants to slap a TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY

Steve Foster

@J.G.Harston

The actual comment was: "Hall also noted that the BBC was the only British website in the UK’s top five."

Presumably the "UK's top five" refers to most-visited rather than source location, in order for the comment to make sense.

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Steve Foster

@Doctor Syntax

The BBC is already subject to influence from the government of the day. Whether it is funded by the licence fee or by grant from general taxation is not relevant to that status.

A switch to grant-funding doesn't have to mean any other changes (though such an opportunity might be considered as a good time to look at whether any such changes are appropriate).

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Steve Foster

@Riku

True, but Capita are just agents acting under instruction from the BBC. So ultimately, it is the BBC calling the shots, and prosecuting those who watch TV without a TV licence.

I think that last time I looked at the figures in the BBC accounts, they were spending somewhere in the order of £140m on licence fee collection (ie that's the amount paid to Capita for carrying out those prosecutions).

Which means that any other method of funding the BBC that doesn't involve criminalising those who are almost unable to avoid it would automatically benefit the BBC to the tune of £140m pa.

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Prawn cocktail offers hot new way to make solar cells

Steve Foster

@Jess--

That will be part of the work to come, but ultimately if (say) power-comparable solar cells made with chitin last half as long but are only 10% of the cost of rare-metal based cells, then they'd make commercial sense.

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Microsoft tells big biz: No free Windows 10 for you, crack wallets open

Steve Foster
Boffin

Re: @Sampler

Ctrl+V can be configured to work in CMD, and that has been the case since at least XP. In the Properties for your command prompt, set "QuickEdit Mode".

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Professor's BEAGLE lost for 10 years FOUND ON MARS

Steve Foster
Joke

Hmmm...

But what about after it left earth?

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No, the Linux leap second bug WON'T crash the web

Steve Foster
Boffin

Bah

All these minor system concerns around airline booking systems, check-in desks and so on and so forth, and yet no-one has thought to ask whether the SPB have tested LOHAN's systems for leap second bugs. Let's face it - if NASA's boffins decide to batten down the hatches, the question is are SPB up for the challenge? (presumably NASA having a quiet lie down gives LOHAN a reasonable launch window!)

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Latest NORKS Linux and Android distros leak

Steve Foster
Headmaster

Re: unfiltered access

"Unfiltered" - no content restrictions were imposed.

"logged" - a record of what activities were carried out is kept.

Two distinct options which are not mutually exclusive.

The use of a proxy would allow filtering to occur, if the operators of the proxy so desired, but the implication is that they have chosen not to do so.

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*HIC*... tweet: Sloshed birdsh shlur songs, boffins say

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: This is the kind of research the world needs.

Presumably, you were expecting (hoping for?) a story about tits...

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LOHAN's Plucky Playmonaut touches down at Spaceport America

Steve Foster
Boffin

"Can you guess which one of these is not going according to plan?"

HA! Clearly this is a trick question, and the correct answer is:

(D) All of the above.

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QEMU, FFMPEG guru unleashes JPEG-slaying graphics compressor

Steve Foster
Holmes

Amazed this hasn't been posted already, but...

...obligatory XKCD.

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FOUR, count 'em, FOUR big rockets launching in next seven days

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: Talking of rocket launches

I believe that is en-route to the colonies by packet steamer.

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ICO warns UK broadcasters over filming using drones

Steve Foster
Alert

Re: Hypothetical situation:

I rather think the answer would be to equip your garden with a big ole' water sprinkler, and if the drone happens to get in the (ahem) "line of fire", that'd hardly be your fault!

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What the 4K: High-def DisplayPort vid meets reversible USB Type C

Steve Foster
Joke

Re: its all made of serial....

Ah, did you mean:

It's serial all the way down...

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SHARE 'N' SINK: OneDrive corrupting Office 2013 files

Steve Foster
Joke

Makes a nice change...

...from Office 2013 corrupting Office 2013 documents.

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