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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1511 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Passwords are for AES-holes

Graham Dawson
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Re: If that's so, then why

If by saying I wasn't up to the job you mean I wasn't complete up my own arse then, yes, you're right. I lacked sufficient rectocranial insertion to survive the world of software development.

No, I wrote good code. It works, does its job and is secure. I was not the best but I was good. I left because a) people like you kept telling me how to do things despite their claimed solutions being obviously stupid and broken and b) I get better money making holes in peoples walls and filling them with copper, with the added bonus of setting my own hours and not having to deal with (a) at all.

My assertions are no more beardless than yours: you may believe that your complete knowledge of your own experience makes your claims superior to my own but that simply demonstrates further your apparent inability to understand that other people disagree with you for reasons other than being stupid lusers and XKCD fans. In fact you may be surprised to learn that there are people who have had far more experience of this than you. You're arguing with some of them right now and making yourself look like an arrogant cock in the process.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: If that's so, then why

"you mean you guys actually let random people on the Internet sit there and beat on your login prompts with brute-force attempts?"

Well if anyone had actually said that you might have a point.

Again you're assuming you know everything.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: If that's so, then why

So we reach the crux of it, which is that you just don't like anything that refers to XKCD and your'e so determined to hate everything related to Randall Munroe's "opus" that you reject, out of hand, eminently sensible and workable solutions to the whole password problem with the same elitist bullshitting attitude you always seem to have on these forums.

Now here's the affix: I don't work in anything directly related to IT these days. I got out of it, in part, because of people like you throwing your not inconsiderable weight around every chance you got, insulting everyone who wasn't uyou as "luser" waste of space morons who obviously have to be nannied through everything - even when it wasn't true. In fact especially when it wasn't true. You are an arrogant little blowhard who has a little bit of power over his domain (oh ho ho) and refuses to accept that maybe, just maybe you might be wrong sometimes.

What's the biggest single security hole passwords have these days? People writing them down. Why do they write them down? Because they can't remember them. What do we want people to do with their passwords? Remember them and not write them down. On that score alone the regular language phrase is superior to the cryptic nonsense string of characters. People are able to remember phrases because they are semantic. They contain meaning, and meaning is the glue that makes memory stick.

And in terms of entropy it's a winner again. An 8 character password is easier to brute-force than a 32 character one no matter what characters it's made up from. There is no difference between the strings abababab and nGl04$sh when you are brute-forcing and if you have access to hash tables there's no amount of security that can keep you out over even a short period.

So it comes back to blocking that one major hole: the user. Your solution ensures that there will always be a human-readable copy of some large portion of your userbase's passwords available on handy little pieces of paper. The regular language solution provides a way to close that hole.

So as far as I can tell the only reason you have for rejecting it is that you didn't come up with the idea and Monroe did. Which says plenty about you and little about the idea itself.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: In fact it is not

Okay, so how do they enter their strong password made up of numbers and letters and a limit set of non-alphanumeric characters in a field with masked input without typos?

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Crazy Texans dunk servers in DEEP FRYERS

Graham Dawson
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Mineral oil has a flash point of 170°C and a boiling point of, I think, 310°C. It will burn, but by the time it starts burning the rest of your data centre is already so far gone that a regular air-cooled system would have been reduced to twisted metal and ash. In fact it may well preserve your hardware against fire and subsequent water damage.

Possibly.

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Review: Raspberry Pi

Graham Dawson
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Thumb Up

Re: Desktop performance is not surprising

Thanks!

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Desktop performance is not surprising

What tablet would this be? Sounds like an ideal candidate for a project I've been pondering.

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IP law probe MPs hunt for smoking gun, find plenty of smoke

Graham Dawson
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Re: Deja Vu

You're mixing up positive and negative rights. Negative rights are rights that exist regardless of regulation (and are usually curtailed by it). They are everything that require no other person to be deprived in order to exist, such as the right to own property (the actual ownership of property is a separate issue) and the right to free speech. Nobody has to be prevented from speaking to allow me to speak, for instance. They require no action to exist and require a negative action - an action against them - to be curtailed.

Positive rights require one party to be deprived in some way in order for another party to enjoy a "right" such as the right to not be offended that is the essence of all hate speech legislation, or the right to force others to provide access to their property regardless of their opinion about what you want to do with it. Those rights must be created by regulation, otherwise they wouldn't exist - they require "positive action" to exist in the first place.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Would be a different story if copyright/IPO had been respected.

Quite right. Unfortunately, all the re-writes proposed to date seem to respect only the bank accounts of the big distributor-middlemen and what might be termed professional rights-holders, organisations that create no wealth and serve only to redistribute what already exists.

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Smoke-belching flash drive self-destructs on command

Graham Dawson
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Re: Remember this is not intended for Joe Bloggs users.

@AC

I don't know about UK procedures but I'm given to understand that the US armed forces employ a three-part procedure to destroy their data. First they format the drives, then they cut the drives into pieces with an industrial cutter, then they pile them up with a few cases of thermite and throw a match. You know, just in case.

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Txt-speak is a sign of humanity 4 U

Graham Dawson
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Re: As a recent member of this "yoof"...

No, but they may have 200+ friends and acquaintances. Notice there was no specification of how many of the 200 fell into each category.

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Facebook's Eduardo Saverin: I'm not a tax-dodger

Graham Dawson
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Re: Insult to middle class Americans?

On the other hand, what gives the US government the right to tax people who have specifically renounced US citizenship? They would be taxing foreign nationals at that point, something that most countries consider to be a bit beyond the pale.

They're trying to tax him on income that he hasn't earned yet. If he earns that income after renouncing his citizenship they have no right to tax it, just as he has no right to avail himself of the facilities the US government provides to its citizens. Quid pro quo and all that.

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Council fined £70k after burglars nick vulnerable kids' files

Graham Dawson
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Re: Barnet Council

It works because the people at the top, who should be making sure that these "mistakes" don't happen through appropriate leadership and management, are completely isolated from any consequences. If the people at the top - particularly the chief execs - feel the pain caused by the inefficiencies and lack of competence of their employees they will make damn sure that they start doing their job properly.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Barnet Council

These "punishments" won't have any effect until they start docking the wages of councillors and Chief Execs to pay them.

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Steve Jobs' death clears way for rumoured 4in 'iPhone 5' screen

Graham Dawson
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Re: Big screens

My brother (sa hi david!) has a note. I mentioned the idea that it might look silly to answer such a large phone and he sort of stared at me for a bit, like he didn't quite understand what I had said, then said something like "who gives a crap?" And I can see his point: if you buy a phone purely based on how you think it will affect other people's perceptions of you then perhaps you are not making the most rational of decisions to begin with.

Having said that, I am quite keen on getting the padfone just so I can answer calls with that stylus. I want to see how people react to me talking to a pen.

Rational? Me? :D

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Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

Graham Dawson
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Re: Yeah, Date/Time Units Are A Buttfuck

Well oka, strictly speaking, there were 10 months in the so-called Romunal calendar, but that had been replaced by a 12 month lunar calendar centuries before Julius Caesar came along. And he didn't "want" the month named after him. It was named after him as an honour bestowed by the Roman state, likewise Augustus.

In addition the pre-julian Roman calendar occasionally had 13 months to line things up when the months got too far out of line with the actual lunar phase, and there were days added to the beginning or end of months when they needed to. Not counting the occasional changing of the length of a year to make sure a ruler was put out of office early or kept on longer than he should have been...

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Yeah, Date/Time Units Are A Buttfuck

@AC That is so very, very wrong. There were always 12 months. Augustus and Julius renamed months, they didn't create brand new ones.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Shame!

French cockney rhyming slang must be an interesting thing to hear...

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Graham Dawson
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Re: From the Dead Sheep Dept

And the difference with Labour is...?

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Napoleon and his metric system conquered Europe,

Don't give up on fingers! I can count to 32 on one hand.

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Graham Dawson
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Actually they do have a "mystical rightness", depending on how you define these things. The foot has maintained a consistent length for thousands of years, all the way back to the ancient Greece and Egypt and it seems that it can actually be derived with two sticks and the night sky to a surprising degree of accuracy.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Shame!

You realise that the rule about the split infinitive is a continental import, yes? It was invented when French-educated scholarly types (Actually this isn't strictly fair as the French they spoke was actually London French and very different from Paris French) attempted to forcibly apply Latin rules of grammar to English. This raises a conflict with one particular point of Latin; that being it is entirely inflected. The infinitive is a single grammatical unit, whilst English, like many other non-inflected languages, forms the infinitive with an additional particle or auxiliary word, such as "to".

It is "impossible" (for a given value of imbloodypossible) to split the infinitive in inflected languages as that would require splitting a word. Applying this rule to a non-inflected language with weak word-order-meaning and flexible sentence structure makes little sense and can create very awkward sentences if the writer chooses to pointlessly apply it without considering whether there is a reason to do so.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Point 57 of a litre please.

Aye, but with metric, a half of shandy would last the whole night...

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Google compressed-filth legal battle with smut site ended in US

Graham Dawson
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Re: Typical Daily Mail reader reaction to this story below...

Won't someone PLEASE think of the children!

No, no not like that! Stop it!

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Stuck in a dull conference? You need Verity's survival guide

Graham Dawson
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I'd suggest the solution to "room for little me" is to take a women's coat and bag, place it on the seat so it's hanging against the ground and conceal a glass of wine on the floor next to it. When the whale arrives he's almost guaranteed to kick over the glass all over the coat, or knock it over when shifting the thing, and you can scream bloody murder at how he's ruined your friend or significant other's brand new accessories.

Theoretically anyway. If anyone could test this for me I'd be most appreciative.

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UK milk wastage = 20,000 cars = actually completely unimportant

Graham Dawson
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Re: So...

If you want to eat more cows you're going to the wrong place there, matey.

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Cameron's F-35 U-turn: BAE Systems still calls the shots at No 10

Graham Dawson
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Re: It's all so depressing...

It does if that 1960s technology has proven capable of the role asked of it.

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Intelligence a genetic mistake

Graham Dawson
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Re: Mutation

Certainly is, especially in humans for some reason. We have so many duplicates of genes it's not even funny.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Didn't take long did it?

El reg commentards seem to be losing their edge recently. I remember the days when anti-christian or anti-religion comments were actually witty and entertaining. Back then you could joust and debate and everyone went away feeling just dandy, maybe having even learned something in the process. Now all we get is plain old dehumanising hate which, as any fule kno, does nothing to advance a point of view.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Mutation

It's not the miscopying, it's the duplication. The genes in question were duplicated to other, unused parts of the genome where error correction doesn't prevent mutations from happening. Then later they were moved to a spot where they started to express again. Without that mechanism, mutations on genes get corrected out.

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Java jury finds Google guilty of infringement: Now what?

Graham Dawson
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Re: Pandora's box??

Okay john 112 - who owns English?

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MP blasts 'ineffective' games regulation

Graham Dawson
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Re: Hmm

See, generally speaking, when... say, an islamist goes off in a crowded town centre he's made a video telling everyone how what he's doing is for God and Islam and all that. Hell even those abortion doctor killers over in the states are usually clear about their justification for it. They say "God told me to do it" though, on the face of it, they're ignoring a few commandments to get to that point. It's hard to deny what they themselves claim to be, though I don't think they'd use terrorist as a self-descriptor.

Breivik did not do that. He explicitly pointed out that he is not religious, that he values science above religion and that he is "culturally" christian. He isn't proclaiming that he is doing God's will, he's talking about how he wants to do his will and reach his goals. He went to great lengths to make it clear that any religious belief is not his motivator and even points out in his manifesto that he believes religious belief, specifically protestant christianity, has been a detriment to his idealised Europe in recent times.

If anyone wants him to be anything it's the media looking for an equivalent to islamist walking bomb in Europe. He isn't a christian terrorist. It would make as much sense to say he's a darwinian terrorist, or a moderate centrist terrorist, or... well the list goes on really.

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Graham Dawson
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Re: Hmm

"As for the Church and science, it is essential that science takes an undisputed precedence over biblical teachings. ... Regarding my personal relationship with God, I guess I'm not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic. However, I am a supporter of a monocultural Christian Europe."

"As this is a cultural war, our definition of being a Christian does not necessarily constitute that you are required to have a personal relationship with God or Jesus."

"Being a Christian can mean many things; That you believe in and want to protect Europe's Christian cultural heritage. ... It is not required that you have a personal relationship with God or Jesus in order to fight for our Christian cultural heritage and the European way. ... It is enough that you are a Christian-agnostic or a Christian atheist (an atheist who wants to preserve at least the basics of the European Christian cultural legacy (Christian holidays, Christmas and Easter)). The PCCTS, Knights Templar is therefore not a religious organisation [sic] but rather a Christian 'culturalist' military order."

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Graham Dawson
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Actually he only considered himself a "cultural christian" and professed no belief in God, even going to great lengths to explain that he didn't believe in God in his manifesto. Calling him a christian terrorist doesn't make sense.

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ARM creators Sophie Wilson and Steve Furber

Graham Dawson
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I'm not alone!

I do that all the time, it's so very annoying.

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Chip alchemists 'turn cheap silicon into longer-lasting flash'

Graham Dawson
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Re: Christians are up in arms.

ಠ_ಠ

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Google took a bath on Android in 2010, judge reveals

Graham Dawson
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Re: Accounting can be very creative

Depends if you actually stole the DVD, doesn't it? This case is more akin to "they made a DVD that looks a lot like ours and they should pay as if they bought ours".

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Graham Dawson
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Re: What comes to mind...

But enough about windows 8, what about android?

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Why embossed credit cards are here to stay

Graham Dawson
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Re: Never use credit cards.

"why are private companies being allowed to issue currency?"

Guess you don't use stamps, then. Or collect coupons, or use cheques. They're all currency by any reasonable definition of the term - people still use stamps as a reserve currency and for payment. Coupons are self-explanatory.

Cheques are particularly interesting. They're essentially the same as a promissory note and have the same origin as paper money, in credit notes issued by a bank, being a promise to pay the bearer on demand, except issued by a private individual rather than a private corporation.

And of course you must not use any currency valued greater than £1 at any time, as all the paper money in the UK is issued by private companies. The Bank of England is not a government institution and never has been. The banks that issue notes in Scotland and Northern Ireland are also not government institutions and never have been. The government may create fiat money out of thin air these days but all it's actually doing is legislatively requiring the private company of the Bank of England to issue to issue currency that didn't previously exist.

And all contemporary currency, even the shrapnel tinkling away in your pocket, ultimately began as currency issued by a private company.

So. Why are you spending currency issued by a private company if you're so against it?

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Star Trek's Wesley Crusher blasts Google+ landgrab

Graham Dawson
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Re: Wil who?

Wouldn't that make Jar Jar the Wesley Crusher of Star Wars?

I don't care if he was an annoying pr... character in Star Trek, he's a bloody great guy in real life.

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Dinosaurs were DRAINED of blood by GIGANTIC HORROR FLEAS

Graham Dawson
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Coat

Re: They still exist today

It's shocking what goes on in the bedrooms of this once great nation...

*flicks open his copy of the daily mail and tuts at the house prices*

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Graham Dawson
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Re: I for one welcome our prehistoric blood-sucking overlords, etc...

15 to 30mm is... 1.5 to 3cm, or approximately 1 inch. A flea one inch long? No thanks!

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Biennial boner blights Beemer biker

Graham Dawson
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Re: Hang on a mo..

Priapism is a very painful condition.

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Nympho hauled to loon-cooler after serial bonkathon brutality

Graham Dawson
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Re: Actually, it is very possible to get too much

Vanilla.

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Half of UK smart TV owners don't know what the 'smart' bit is for

Graham Dawson
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On the other hand my parents, who are presumably of a similar age (60s or so) took the the whole "pause live TV" like a fish to water and absolutely love everything about these digital doohickeys, though they use computers for the internet. A TV is just no good for that.

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CISPA passes House of Representatives vote

Graham Dawson
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Re: Lame excuse

Of course the bill does nothing to actually address the issues they claim it will address.

A thing to bear in mind for each side of this:

1) A victim of a crime is not suddenly at fault because they left their door unlocked. It was the criminal that chose to enter.

2) As with just about everything, laws exist to cover the claimed issue already. This new bill is using "cyberterrorism" as an excuse to grant the state sweeping new powers that benefit nobody but the state itself and stretch far beyond the borders of the US.

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Samsung overtakes Nokia, Apple in mobile handset race

Graham Dawson
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Re: The only sane metric is profitability.

I can't believe people are still wheeling out this tired "android copied IOS" meme. Ooh, it's a touch-screen OS on a phone, it's exactly the same! If anything it's more like Maemo.

Grow up.

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Space-cadet Schwartz blows chunks out of Oracle's Java suit

Graham Dawson
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Unhappy

What is it with people who have hair arguing over whether it's long or short?

Bastards, the lot of you.

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Mobile phones still safe... probably

Graham Dawson
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AND it'll cause house prices to fall.

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DARPA overjoyed that its hypersonic glider came apart, blew up

Graham Dawson
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Re: How?

The goal is a self-propelled aircraft that can get from point A to point B in a very short period without leaving the atmosphere. A sub-orbital rocket can get from A to B pretty fast but once you know where it's from and what it's trajectory is, you can make a fairly accurate guess of where it will go and take countermeasures. An aircraft that can move at a significant chunk of the speed of a ballistic missile yet which is capable of changing direction would negate that completely. Its target would be unpredictable.

Like I said, they're testing the aerodynamics of the vehicle, not the actual vehicle itself. The eventual goal is a hypersonic jet aircraft, manned or unmanned, that can get to anywhere on the planet in just a couple of hours.

A hypersonic plane could also theoretically get most of the way out of the atmosphere without using much fuel. Scramjets could take it to the edge of space, then a rocket could take over from there. It would save the entire first stage of a launch system in theory. That's a huge saving.

Can't do any of that unless you know it's going to actually fly, hence the rocket-launched drones.

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