* Posts by John H Woods

1503 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

John H Woods
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Re: Is this a lost in translation

@Lusty,

With the greatest respect, this is not "the same crap"; I know many find it surprising, but it is UK Law.

Sources:

1) The Driving Course I've just been on, courtesy of Warwickshire Police :-)

2) Wikipedia

"In the UK Highway Code, a built-up area is a settled area in which the speed limit of a road is automatically 30 mph (48 km/h). These roads are known as 'restricted roads' and are identified by the presence of street lights."

3) Section 125 of the highway code

https://www.gov.uk/general-rules-all-drivers-riders-103-to-158/control-of-the-vehicle-117-to-126

"*The 30 mph limit usually applies to all traffic on all roads with street lighting unless signs show otherwise."

4) Section 82 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act, 1984

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1984/27/section/82

"(1) Subject to the provisions of this section and of section 84(3) of this Act, a road is a restricted road for the purposes of section 81 of this Act[F1if—

(a)in England and Wales, there is provided on it a system of street lighting furnished by means of lamps placed not more than 200 yards apart;"

In conclusion, on a road in a built up area (please tell me where there is one, we'll have a look on StreetView) and there are no signs which say otherwise, then the national speed limit does apply and, if you are driving a driving a normal car (i.e. no trailer etc), that limit is 60mph. UNLESS there is a pattern of streetlights. I think whether they are lit or not is a red herring --- otherwise such roads would not be restricted during the daytime, which would be nonsensical.

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John H Woods
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Re: Is this a lost in translation

"No, single carriageway roads are 60MPH whether lit or otherwise. Built up areas are 30 whether lit or not, and whether single or multiple carriageway. Street lighting is sometimes an indicator that an area is built up, but not the best one. " -- Lusty

You keep repeating this, but it is not really correct. The presence of street lights* MEANS 30mph UNLESS contra-indicated.

* not single ones - in fact I think they have to be less than 600' apart. Nevertheless, a road with regular lamp-posts has a 30 mph limit unless otherwise stated.

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John H Woods
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Re: My wife's car has automatic headlights.

This is not quite your fault. I have auto headlights too, and whilst they will dip in the presence of streetlighting, they certainly wouldn't go off. There's something wrong with your sensors (possibly their design): the ambient light even on a dull day is massively greater than even fairly bright streetlighting.

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700,000 beautiful women do the bidding of one Twitter-scamming man

John H Woods
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"consume fewer calories than you expend in exercise" -- 1980s_coder

YMMV but I find even this is not necessarily true. Whenever I start exercising properly it makes me eat - vastly more than the calories I expend, but I still lose weight. I must have eaten 750kcal of honey on toast yesterday, for instance, after expending probably what, about 2/3 of that in the gym?

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Silent server monitoring: A neat little cure that doesn't kill the patient

John H Woods
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Re: troll troll troll

Agreed. At one stage the analysis of giant text-based log files was almost my principle skill. There's nothing quite like being able to load a 100MB file into Emacs and use replace regexp to convert all the US format dates to something more sensible ...

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CREEPS rejoice: Small biz Cisco phones open to eavesdrop 0-day

John H Woods
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Many of the attacks are possible due to the heavy feature set the devices contain poor quality design, implementation and testing.

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NZ used XKEYSCORE to spy on World Trade Org election emails

John H Woods
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Re: What a Surprise

Which do you think is more likely: that people who disagree with you can't do simple logic; or that they don't agree with one or both of your premises? Firstly, I would agree that diplomats are supposed to look after their country's interests but I disagree that this should be by any means possible. Secondly, I would contend that the role of intelligence seekers is not primarily to "find out intelligence of use to the diplomats" (isn't there the rather more pressing matter of national security?) but, to the extent that it is, I disagree that this should be any and all such intelligence.

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Dear departed Internet Explorer, how I will miss you ... NOT

John H Woods
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Re: Ahh CL

"... that the reason why Adobe InDesign uses faux Latin for its dummy text ..." -- Alastair Dabbs

If you mean lorem ipsum, that's been used as a typographical placeholder for a long time --- fifty years at least.

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Another GDS cockup: Rural Payments Agency cans £154m IT system

John H Woods
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Re: Design by committee and this is what you get

"£154M <> £500M" --- jeffdyer

Did you skip the bit (in the subhead) about the potential for a consequent £400M fine?

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Fanbois: We paid $2000 for full satisfaction but now we have SPREADING STAINS

John H Woods
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Re: Rubbish

Mage, stop bragging about your Osborne :-)

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NYPD cop in court for allegedly hacking into the FBI

John H Woods
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point of order...

... as to whether using secret cameras to capture passwords and other information really counts as "hacking"...?

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Our 4King benders are so ace we're going full OLED, says LG

John H Woods
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Re: I want mine on a large sheet of paper

"No, what I want is a screen that's so thin you can buy it as a roll and then just put in a wall like a poster."

Or so thin you can just paint it on, like I did. Although I cheated --- there's a projector on the ceiling :-)

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Zuck: Get your FULLY EXPOSED BUTTOCKS off my Facebook

John H Woods
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Re: not appropriate, reg

john@t410:~$ head -3 /etc/hosts

127.0.0.1 localhost

127.0.1.1 t410

0.0.0.0 regmedia.co.uk

john@t410:~$

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Bride legs it from wedding after groom proves unable to add up

John H Woods
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"Mine started nagging at the alter" -- AC.

Nice; I wish I had an alter for SWIMBO to nag.

BTW, wasn't it Benny Hill who said (maybe in a song, IIRC?) that the bride thinks "Aisle altar hymn"

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Pi(e) Day of the Century is upon us! Time to celebrate 3/14/15 in style, surely?

John H Woods
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Re: Rounding down from "9"

"Bankers Rounding dictates that you round to the nearest even number" -- Ken Moorhouse

Pretty sure that's not quite right ... 2.9 does not get rounded to 2, surely? I think you only round to the nearest even when you are at exactly 0.5, i.e. 2.5 is 2 and so is 1.5. My maths is rusty but I think that means that you can never use the rule when rounding a irrational number.

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John H Woods
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Re: Oh, lighten up already!

Love the pie approximation idea, that is utterly brilliant (although the corollary is that the interval in which you can eat an actual pie is infinitesimally short).

The Yank-bashing in this thread is just a bit of light-hearted nerdy banter, which - in this case - is richly deserved. First line of www.piday.org says: "Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world"

Get them to change that to in the USA and Belize and you might have a point :-)

Seriously, tho[ugh], American nerds should campaign for that date format to be abolished, just as European nerds should for DD/MM/YYYY: these formats are effectively ambiguous for 36.2% of the time!

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John H Woods
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Re: Correction...

Bye Bye Miss American Pi,

We'll celebrate ours in the last half of July

22 over 7 is 3.1429

And we all know the slash as the division sign

So July 22nd is the new date and that's that

Because we all hate the dumb USA date format.

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Yahoo! spaffs! out! plugin! to! bring! crypto! to! everyone's! email!

John H Woods
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"you can't route a message if the address isn't in the clear"

but you can post it on a forum...

/XlWH0wBITAhITAhLTBPcjtSdEsoPfsg9hEGgTYtAQZeukIallFDVJghMTAhp9g3xy1/b8VvY/XT

fD6Qp3DpubNWLTlzYpW2nd2mSb87xsCTITE2MCGiLW/Iy02WYVmAK4jwhgc0afkt/zz7VB0SITEy

ISgx5r3CfYPXHS3p0A==

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Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

John H Woods
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Re: I'm reminded of NASA's convention

Yeah it's here if you want to see it again. Off topic, but a good theme for El Reg is their radio skit on Identity Theft

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John H Woods
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Re: Consultants etc

"a highly skilled medical Consultant is a "Mr" AC

Actually it's about surgery --- e.g. a senior psychiatric consultant is a Dr, a neurosurgeon a Mr, regardless of the other qualifications of each.

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A gold MacBook with just ONE USB port? Apple, you're DRUNK

John H Woods
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Ditch the sockets ...

... completely.

If you want to do something new, how about a completely water and dustproof device with no sockets at all? Massive bonus if you can autoclave it. Ok that's a bit of a challenge, but surely there's a a moderately big vertical market out there for sterilizable, hygenic computing devices?

And in design terms, sockets are ugly: almost as ugly as dust on the inside of the screen and the bill when you get your device a tiny bit damp. So, put the sockets and all the other cobblers on the wireless charging device, and it you get a full-fat docking station and a hermetically sealed device.

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UK Supreme Court waves through indiscriminate police surveillance

John H Woods
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Re: It's Over for Democracy

"...how does "false sense of security" sound to you?"

I know what one is, but

1) El Reg have never said that's their reason --- they've never given any good reason. It can't be cash: the commentards would buy them a decent cert and some more capable webservers if they created a fund.

2) If your benchmark for security is "impenetrable", apart from some esoteric quantum techniques you're probably out of luck. Any determined criminal can get into my house, but do I count locking my door as a 'false sense of security'?

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John H Woods
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Re: It's Over for Democracy

"you just submitted this comment over unencrypted HTTP"

yep, and El Reg have never provided a satisfactory reason for never providing https:// --- looks deliberate to me.

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Broadband routers: SOHOpeless and vendors don't care

John H Woods
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Re: I honestly don't know what to do about this?

The shipped credentials on mine were

admin

sky

Yeah, I'm speechless too

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John H Woods
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Re: What is missing from this article is...

I've said it before so sorry if I'm boring people, and I haven't yet tested it myself, but I am pretty sure that, in the UK, SoGA (The Sale of Goods Act) should enable you to get your money back. It would be moderately easy to argue that a basic level of cybersecurity is a realistic expectation regarding being "fit for purpose" -- certainly the consumer would be entitled to compensation had they purchased a door lock with analogous defects.

Of course, the level of security one can reasonably expect depends on other factors ... nobody expects a cheap lock from a DIY store to be match expensive high security locks. But even very cheap items must be fit for purpose, and as many of these routers come with explicit claims about security or "firewall" functionality, I think they'd find it pretty hard to defend their case.

Who's going to try it?

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In assault on American values, Lockheed BLASTS PICKUP with RAYGUN

John H Woods
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input vs. output

beast666: "My Renault Scenic outputs 90Kw."

IANALE (I am not a laser expert) but I think you might need to put in a tad more than 90kW in order to get 30kW out :-)

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Storm in a K-Cup: My SHAME over the eco-monster I created, says coffee pod inventor

John H Woods
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Aeropress Crema

You can definitely get a crema from an Aeropress. Use *plenty* of espresso ground high roast coffee (Lavazza will do), pour a little cold water on the grounds to make a paste, then fill. It's takes some bloody weight to press it, but you'll get a crema.

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John H Woods
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Re: Bah ... philistines

"French press is dumb; ruins perfectly good coffee. You have two choices - some sort of modern espresso machine or the proper Italian stove-top deals."

I agree --- well I did until I bought an Aeropress.

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Ministry of Fun tries again on mobile mast planning permission

John H Woods
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NIMBYs

Somebody once told me, on a dark post pub evening, that they had led their local nimby-masts-cause-cancer campaign to successfully have a proposed discrete village mast banned.

I asked them if they could see the street light down the road. They said of course, and when they looked back at me I shone my torch in their face. They were pretty annoyed about that; but I've never bettered it as a practical demo of the inverse square rule.

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C’mon Lenovo. Superfish hooked, but Pokki Start Menu still roaming free

John H Woods
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Re: You can always try YumCha

I think he's getting his Dimms and Simms confused with his Dims and Sims.

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John H Woods
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Re: The problem starts with punters and prices

"how to fix it will be very controversial: do you ban certain types of software, can you force a "data security" warning on certain software like the warnings on cigarettes?" -- Anonymous Blowhard

Not sure it will be that controversial; as I'm pretty sure that *certain* types of software are already doing something that is pretty much illegal. This is *exactly* what consumer protection legislation is for: you are assured a minimum standard of electrical safety when you buy your laptop and you should similarly be assured of a minimum standard of cybersecurity.

I wonder if you could actually use the UK Sale of Goods Act to claim that such a computer was not 'fit for purpose' given that the purposes the customer reasonably expected included being able to make secure online transactions?

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$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement

John H Woods
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What is this?

"three patents related to iTunes, specifically regarding the accessing and storing downloaded songs, videos and games"

I'm guessing that's the patent on storing them somewhere and accessing them somehow?

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SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog

John H Woods
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Passing off

I still can't understand why this isn't passing off. IANALBIPOOTI and I believe that Reckitt & Colman Products Ltd v Borden Inc established that there are three criteria: the trader enjoys some goodwill; there is some misrepresentation by a third party; and the trader suffers damage to the aforementioned goodwill.

OK, so HSBC has some goodwill. Yes they launder drug money; help people evade taxes and charge you a fortune for incurring a small overdraft. But nevertheless, you trust them not to hand over your account to a third party for them to do as they will.

When you https:// to hsbc.co.uk, you are using their goods and services, to wit, their online banking facility. Part of that service is your assurance that you are connected to HSBC before you start typing the sort of stuff you really want to remain private. When you see the padlock in the address bar, you believe that you have a connection to an entity whose identity is assured by another entity that can be trusted to assure that identity. Any software that presents you with an MITM certificate for hsbc.co.uk signed by one of these dodgy outfits who have installed a bogus (yes I really think that's the word) root cert is surely passing off their own certificate as the certificate which has been presented to you by the organisation you think you are connected to?

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'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross

John H Woods
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Content and Style

I've never understood why an author would need a word processor to write a book. The content producer should write it in plain text, and the publisher should mark it up. The only real reason to use Word is in the circumstances where you are responsible for the final presentation style yourself. I'm sure there are other functions on top of a plain text-editor that would be useful to an author (dictionary, change tracking) but I'm pretty sure that formatting and style is completely surplus to requirements.

The problem starts to become apparent in business when you are producing client-facing documents which have a strict style set by your marketing department. Theoretically, it is possible to take the style they have painstakingly (but often inexpertly) created, and fill it with content which will automatically take the corporate style. In practice, however, I have found this very hard to achieve.

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Lenovo to customers: We only just found out about this Superfish vuln – remove it NOW

John H Woods
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"Unfortunately, in this situation a vulnerability was introduced unintentionally by a third party"

Errr ... no. That vulnerability is the entire purpose of the software produced by that third party ... and you were paid by that third party for including that software.

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For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

John H Woods
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Re: have you tried....?

If you think upgrading software or hardware is expensive, wait till you try to upgrade your wife.

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Euro broadcast industry still in a fug over that 4K-ing UHD telly

John H Woods
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Re: HD, schmaydsdee

Indeed. Best case for decent eyesight is about 1 arcminute. At 3m from the screen (you won't be much nearer a TV, even in a cramped British living room) that is around 0.9mm per pixel, or a 1080 screen around a metre high. At an aspect ratio of 16:9, that is a diagonal of 1.9m.

So you need a TV with a minimum 75" screen to see pixels at 1080 / 16:9 / 3m viewing distance. In fact, I watch a 720 picture on a 100" diagonal on a projector that (2nd hand) cost less than 100 quid from eBay and I can't see the pixels when I'm watching my rPi playing TV (although I can make them out on the OpenElec screen when I'm choosing files).

Contrast ratio, colour gamut and frame rate are all far more important for image quality. The only reason to welcome 4K resolution is for computer displays.

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Want a MEEELLION-year data storage? Use DNA of course

John H Woods
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Re: You could duplicate it ...

"Reading DNA pair-for-pair quickly is pretty advanced stuff y'know.."

I do know (was a biologist before reincarnation as an IT guy) -- but surely any sufficiently advanced civilization will be able to read DNA. A couple of decades technology setback would stop you reading it, I agree --- but a couple more decades of technology advance will let you read it again.

The real challenge is self a self describing code. It's easy to store stuff in binary form that proves intelligence and knowledge - binary encodings of pi, e, the Fibonacci sequence etc would be recognised by any sufficiently advanced intelligence, however alien. But how do you (or even can you) embed some kind of Rosetta Stone that bridges the gap between this material and the advanced content?

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John H Woods
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Re: You could duplicate it ...

"It could duplicate itself - that's kind of its raison d'etre..." -- Warm Braw

No, it really can't :-) and it really isn't.

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John H Woods
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You could duplicate it ...

.With appropriate checksumming / redundancy, you could always duplicate the DNA before sequencing it. The truly great thing about DNA though, is that we'll always know how to read it!

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Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY

John H Woods
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Re: @All Names Taken -- Don't be daft?

"It seems to me there's a secret, well-rehearsed magic script that security gnomes read to politicians (or more likely instruct them to follow) when they first get into government that scares the shit out of them and which simply puts the kibosh on any genuine well-intentioned plans." -- RobHib

"I've often wondered about that myself so you could well be onto something." -- AbelSoul

Isn't it quite simple? "We know everything you've ever said, done, seen, searched for on the Internet. Do what we say and we'll get along fine. Cross us, and we'll ruin you for ever"

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Shodan boss finds 250,000 routers have common keys

John H Woods
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Re: @Dan 55

"A public key is the product of two large primes" - Flocke Kroes.

It's not usually as simple as that; and if you are thinking of the RSA cryptosystem the public key is an exponent and a modulus, whilst the private key is another exponent (and the same modulus).

I may be missing something here but ... when you ssh to a router, you check the public key is the one that you expect, then you store it. So, the small problem is that, as they all have the same public key, you could mistakenly recognise another router for your own. But the big problem is that they all have the same private key, as you said. So if you go and buy a router at the shop, and extract its private key, you now have the private key for tens of thousands of routers, rather than just for the router you have purchased.

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Apple design don Jony Ive: Build-your-own phone is BOLLOCKS

John H Woods
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So I take it ...

... that Lego is design anathema ... and all modular systems of any kind whatsoever?

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HOLY SEA SNAILS! Their TEETH are strong enough to build a plane

John H Woods
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Space Elevator potential?

Come on, we're nearly there ...

... (IS2R Kevlar would be strong enough to build one on Mars, but not quite good enough for Earth).

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Want to find LOVE online? Make sure your name is high up in the alphabet

John H Woods
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Re: Forty years of feminism

"And I still hear women discussing potential dates as a "good catch" listing good salary, own house, impressive car etc., as key points." --- Zog_but_not_the_first

Presumably you haven't heard what 'key points' men discuss about female potential dates?

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