* Posts by Paul Crawford

1696 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Responsible criminals?

What, are they like film critics now?

" when the responsible criminals are apprehended."

I would have though it should be "the criminals responsible", but maybe the first one is more accurate.

1
1

30,000 people buy a box of BOVINE EXCREMENT

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Ronseal -

Non-UK readers might not get that reference.

1
1

Chrome devs hatch plan to mark all HTTP traffic insecure

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: I'd consider "broken HTTPS" far more insecure than HTTP

Before worrying about sites that use HTTP for non-important data (OK, you may disagree with that) the world+dog needs to fix the massive hole that is SSL certificate issuing.

As it stands, you only need one signing agency to be compromised and-or paid-off/and-or politically pressured to get a cert for any site in the world. So of the 600+ (?) issuers, only 1 in 600+ need be knobbled to fail, that has to change. We need a system where any dodgy certificate is found out immediately by cross-checking with several brokers, and not accepted because one in that hige parallel chain failed.

5
0

Ofcom mulls selling UK govt's IPv4 cache amid IPv6 rollout flak

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: @P. Lee

That was exactly my point, until the ISPs are offering unmolested IPv6 to customers (none of the "carrier grade NAT" crap), there is zero incentive for the customers to even consider having IPv6 internally.

Yes, IPv6 has a lot of stupidity in its design (not being v4 backwards be design, assuming no one might want NAT in their own system for other reasons, etc) but it is the only realistic way out of IPv4 exhaustion and to give properties with multiple devices an easy way to have external connections if they want (whether that is a good idea is, of course, another matter).

0
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Oh FFS!

They are the industry regulators, just how damn hard is it for them to impose a time limit and fines on the operators? Set an achievable date of say 2016 and fine any ISP that has not provided working IPv6 as far as the customers, per day, after that date.

Of course, there will be customers without IPv6 support in older routers and end computers, but if the ISP-supplied kit is usable then any supported Windows, Mac or Linux PC is going to be just fine.

8
10

TalkTalk customers demand opt-out fix for telco's DNS ad-jacking tactics

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: I'm not an expert but...

If/when I get a Virgin "Smart Hub" it will be put in modem mode and a proper router behind it...

4
0

BOFH: Capo di tutti capi, bah. I'm having CHICKEN JALFREZI

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: The best part of the week...

I was thinking more corporate Merlin & Morgana le Fey myself, and Merlin usually has something up those wizard's sleeves...

7
0

US Navy's LASER CANNON WARSHIP: USS Ponce sent to Gulf

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Ouch, my eyes...

"if it blows up your eyes, it's illegal, but it's fine if it blows up your whole head"

AFIK that is it, the convention prohibits weapons intended to cause permanent injury, but not if the goal is killing. A kind of twisted logic that makes sense in only a few situations :(

1
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Ponce

I wonder if they sang that on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Venus_(R50) ?

At last we reached our station

Through skilful navigation

But the ship was sunk, on a wave of spunk

From too much fornication!

0
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: HMS Unicorn

Indeed there is a HMS Unicorn, build in 1824 and still afloat in Dundee!

Not exactly in fighting condition, but if the gov makes any more cuts we might need to press-gang in into service once more :(

0
0

REVEALED: Titsup flight plan mainframe borks UK air traffic control

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Mirrored systems

We have had some experience of fail-over systems and it is much harder to make it work properly than you imagine at first. You have a few rather tricky issues to address:

1) On what conditions do you fail over? Total loss of one system is obvious (power off, kernel panic, etc) but what do you do if some part is down and other look OK? What exactly are the thresholds for action?

2) If you go for something more useful than total outage, how do you make sure its not triggered by a temporary condition (flood of data requests, etc) that might push system load up higher than normal, but is in fact an acceptable short term condition?

3) When failing over, how do you ensure data completeness and integrity? If, for example, one hard on a NAS fails you could end up with partly written files and may not be sure of what the clients think was successfully written.

4) How do you avoid the "split brain" problem when one system takes over from what it thinks is a failed mirror, but that mirror is still doing stuff with shared resources? If you go for powering down the failed system (AKA "shoot it in the head", zombie apocalypse style) to be damned sure its not meddling with shared stuff, how do you then avoid the risk of mutually assured destruction if both lose the heartbeat link and more or less simultaneously kill the other?

7
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Damn, these guys are good

You could argue: Never have a system that you can't manually work around for the time when (not "if") it goes tits-up.

Massive inconvenience, true, but not one died so that is a pretty good outcome.

10
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: User submissions need pre-check

I want a flying shark, even without the laser it would be a cool thing!

Oh and while I am dreaming, a castle or island lair so I can have a moat for said flying sharks to frolic.

2
0

Speaking in Tech: Sony breach proves you can NEVER defend perimeter

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Of course

Agreed:

1) Defend your perimeter as far as reasonably.

2) Assume the enemy is already inside said perimeter...

3) Segment internal machines and protect them from what (2) suggests.

4) Don't forget printers and other systems that never get security updates...

1
0

Ford dumps Windows for QNX in new in-car entertainment unit

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Honestly ...

On the same hardware?

Really?

2
0

UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Edinburgh

"I expect the right answer"

Which is: they are both a bunch of lying, thieving, two-faced, thieving bastards...

0
0

Solar sandwich cooks at 40 per cent efficiency

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Professor Green?

It was done by Professor Green with a telescope in the Observatory!

Or was it by Miss Scarlet with a strap on in the basement?

Any clues?

11
0

How HAPPY am I on a scale of 1 to 10? Where do I click PISSED OFF?

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: OK

Yes, people need to get priorities straight and that means *useful* screening and not the various pointless additions (like 100ml fluids) that were knee-jerk reactions to a failed terrorist attempt. They are winning you know, not by blowing us up but by wasting our lives and freedom by knee-jerk reactions.

Incidentally can anyone cite a case of the new THz scanners actually leading to an arrest or something to justify the additional invasion of privacy?

4
0

'We're having panic attacks' ... Sony staff and families now threatened in emails

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Err...

It this the plot of a new film script? Sound interesting...

0
0

One year on, Windows 8.1 hits milestone, nudges past XP

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: "security swiss cheese known as linux"

Indeed, so many desktops running Linux are hacked. infested with malware and pointless browser toolbars and parasitic AV software that didnt do its job, leaving the poor users to wipe & re-install from scratch, and left hunting for their license key to re-enable the OS and the recovery DVD they (failed to make) made when it was new.

Oh wait, got the wrong OS...

3
0

Orion 'Mars' ship: Cosmic ray guard? Go. Parachutes? Go. Spacerock shield? Go!

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Disappointed!

Nothing like my disappointment!

This isn't the Orion spacecraft I was hoping for...

This is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion)

12
0

Deloitte's files on bean counters swept up in Sony hack stash – report

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: A Silver Lining?

"any of them online could only come from one source so it will be easy to trace the downloaders and sue them several hundred gazillion dollars"

Oh please tell me the torrents were seeded from Sony machines before this hack was discovered? The irony would be delicious and good for my red blood cell count...

2
0

IETF takes rifle off wall, grabs RC4 cipher's collar, goes behind shed

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Joke

But not long enough for bad women!

1
1

Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

How would compensation work? A tax on blank CDs (a past technology for music transfer), or on HDDs, and if so how is it calculated? Given a 4TB disk could hold millions of songs, should it be taxed to the £1k range?

The other side of this coin is the question of pirating, if you have already paid compensation on your audio equipment for the right to copy, why should it matter where you copied from? In such a case it is going to end very badly for the music industry.

Finally, how is this done in the USA where "fair use" AFIK allows copying without a fee? Do they offer compensation for it, and if not, why should the EU?

(Just to say I do believe musicians deserve compensation for their work, but this seems an unworkable position that you deserve compensation for what has been allowed for years and is seen as "fair use").

13
0

Google dodges 'costly' legal precedent, settles Daniel Hegglin case

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Yes, but its easier to shoot messengers.

8
3

Windows Phone will snatch biz No 2 spot from Android – analyst

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Telling...

I think the answer is so many people, in particular high up in the company, just don't want a Windows phone/tablet. Have you ever tried to use a typical non-tech person's home Windows PC (not an El Reg reader) that is more than a few months old? It is a horrific experience of blot, advert tool bars, shitty trial-ware AV, etc.

So when they first used an iPad or iPhone with near instant resume, slick UI and more or less "just working" experience they liked it and wanted it for work.

Of course a large scale corporate deployment by a good Windows admin person is easier and in most ways better than wrangling iOS, but it seems not to be what enough important folk want.

2
0

Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: I seem to remember

It is a good approach, but not many places are suited to using it (i.e. close to the magma's heat). Iceland is a good example, but few others I can think of.

5
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: reducing energy consumption

The big things we need for comfort, like heat and clean water and being washed more than twice a year are not something we really want to give up.

Transport is another that we could do much better on, but ain't going away so long as we operate efficient farming, etc, that moves large amounts of stuff globally.

And we have a LOT of folk still in 3rd world misery and they also deserve something better.

So efficiency might help a bit, like 20-50% perhaps, and reducing birth rate would help a lot long term, but really the Google guys are right - we need so much energy for a comfortable life that when either fossil runs out or it screws our climate beyond achievable farming and population relocation changes, we are fscked.

Unless we do something now about large scale generation that is not fossil based.

37
5

Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Fabulous news

I'm sure the official+cracked apps need all those permissions for a good reason.

Fixed it for you...

0
0

'Most advanced mobile botnet EVER' is coming for your OFFICE Androids

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Just shows if you give an ignorant person the ability to install crap with system-wide capabilities then you get Trojans.

12
0

YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: So in short, you've four motivations to look out for.

Everyone has their price, its just a shame its so low in some cases.

Really you need to plan for people making mistakes or doing the wrong thing, and have arrangements to detect and correct that as far as possible. Often that costs money or causes inconvenience though so its not done...

2
1
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: One trick I heard of..

They were kind. The alternative punishment/time-waste is to send them to a meeting to suffer hours of "death by powerpoint"!

But seriously, the problem in some cases is they only have one admin, or only one that every looks after XYZ systems, so on antagonistic exit (or a bus accident, etc) they find they can't do anything due to a lack of passwords or alternative admin accounts.

Businesses, particularly those with only one admin person, should have a policy of root passwords being written down and kept in a safe and regularly tested to ensure they still allow access, and that password changes are recorded and done for good reason[1].

[1] Changing periodically to me is dumb, it just promotes writing stuff down in insure places. For example, changing once per year would give a hacker a mean time of 6 months to do stuff. just how long do you need to set up shadow accounts, email redirects, etc?

However, if you think a compromise might have occurred, or someone leaves, then changing is essential.

0
0

HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Christ on a bike!

I am sure they already have enough DNA from the various "pluck'em, fuck'em, chuck'em" alien sex tourism experiences that red-neck abductees report...

7
0

YIKES: Combination of LIVING WOMAN and MACHINE sighted in NYC

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Snake skin?

Most women I know would want nothing to do with snake skin.

Alas the bit "Intel is hoping that women are eager to strap a rather flashy, blinged-up gizmo" quickly disappointed me when I read it was the wrist upon which the gizmo would be strapped on.

3
0

Cries of spies as audit group finds possible 'backdoor' in Bittorrent Sync

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Dan 55

I take that back, just had a cursory look at the code and found stuff like this without any comments:

bs, _ = base64.StdEncoding.DecodeString("H4sIAAAJbogA/0SPsW4iMRCG+3sKM0I6W7L8AKCrTtw16ZIOURh7nDXx2pvxLAQtvHucJZBuPP413/fb/DomS6YvfkwoYbDV2TQQuo4Nk801WUZQJljHhc4Slo/tM1uO7l9MWJ+K9Uigt7B8Bw3LjnkAHcbsOJYsrd6riZBHyuKxdGqKQS7c5bJwphFD/JjHOoY2Ku6onETGk9gQFZLwt4zJ598sUoOJOsNF+KJrkYu4XRCFxO2AqAO6GCL6Baj10ZLwf6zxGJCkWn/L7OU0Ulpt7wLamTc867vEzhxKzBJA6R65K34F/zcvoAdLtq8rgKtqSeewVvlTVk3eENaSjtgeLYJzgUfg9n9Ax3LGtYj2TaD0seL1ulPrX58AAAD//wEAAP//1rAncZcBAAA=")

gr, _ = gzip.NewReader(bytes.NewBuffer(bs))

bs, _ = ioutil.ReadAll(gr)

assets["angular/angular-translate-loader.min.js"] = bs

So sorry "Syncthing" but unreadable code for me means untrustworthy code.

5
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Dan 55

Beat me to it: why trust a closed-source program? While open/closed tells you nothing about how good the programmers are, or the underlying ideas, at least with open it is possible[1] to audit the code and much harder to conceal back doors[2].

[1] Possible yes, but not necessarily going to happen.

[2] Back doors are still possible, but code changes/commits need a bit more explaining.

0
0

The Nokia ENIGMA THING and its SECRET, TERRIBLE purpose

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

@fearnothing

Well played!

0
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Teledildonics

I'm betting on a nice matching his&hers[1] remotely linked sex toys all in a discrete black box. And guaranteed to fit her black box as well (other colours supported).

[1] Also fits his&his, or hers&hers, of course.

11
0

This 125mph train is fitted with LASERS. Sadly no sharks, though

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Or the money saved can be put into making things more efficient/faster, and that also earns money.

1
0

Words to put dread in a sysadmin's heart: 'We are moving our cloud from Windows to Linux'

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Windows upgrades

Moving from OS to OS, or between versions of the "same" OS separated by many years, is often a real pain and takes a lot of effort and testing. For some legacy applications the cost or trouble may not be worth it. If you have legacy code that is not internet-facing, then running it in VMs of NT4, W2k, old Linux, etc, is probably going to be your saviour.

You can typically run a good few VMs on a single newer server with your preferred OS (Linux or Windows) using either a paid-for VM or (if willing to risk it) a free one. All at lower cost and higher performance, security, and ease of backup/restore, than keeping old machines going.

2
0

Emoticons blast three security holes in Pidgin :-(

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

I have Pidgin installed on my Linux box at home, but honestly never use it. Those I used to IM with now use Facebook's chat, which I don't like, and the rest just seem to have vanished with MSN closing.

How many folk still use this?

0
0

BOFH: SOOO... You want to sell us some antivirus software?

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Why do you use AV, unless you are compelled?

You make an important point, considering how practically useless and excruciatingly unpleasant the "cure" for viruses is.

What matters most is you have some off-line backup & restore strategy and actually use it.

Then you are probably better to run Windows without AV and just be willing to nuke it and restore the backup when t gets infected. This has the added bonus of getting rid of general crap and bloat (aka "windows entropy") as well.

0
0

Ex-NSA lawyer warns Google, Apple: IMPENETRABLE RIM ruined BlackBerry

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

WTF?

Either this guy has been smoking something his former employers would have strong policies against, or he is barking mad. Who wants to be spied upon, given the bad guys (for any preferred definition of "bad"), gain the same capability?

On the other hand, maybe he is sane and just revealed the existence of a behind-the-scenes campaign by the US gov to discredit RIM to a number of big businesses?

On the third hand, for those of you with special capabilities, maybe he is talking up the 'problem' knowing full well they already have to broken enough for business as usual?

34
1

Luxembourg: Engine-room of the tax-break economy

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Luxembourg

Funny that, I didn't think there was so much software writers and servers in what is basically a big city...

0
0

Eye laser surgery campaigner burned by Facebook takedown

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

@JDX

Or how many who are saved from eye damage by plastic lenses taking some of the blow?

1
0

Rovnix Trojan infection outbreak infects 130,000 machines in Blighty

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: A simply secure OS ?

The problem for most folk is that so much of what they want to do on-line, like buy stuff, relies on stuff that NoScript blocks. Once users get the idea of just clicking 'yes' to make things work you have something just as bad as the typical Windows plus shitty AV software that asks users if they want shaftmesideways.exe to run.

Until (and I advise you not to hold your breath) most web sites are designed to work without suspect scripting that crosses domains, then NoScript is just an annoyance to non-tech folk that they will click-through, rendering it pointless.

1
1

Languages don't breed bugs, PEOPLE breed bugs, say boffins

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Joke

What, no assembly language projects?

6
0

NSA director: We share most of the [crap] bugs we find!

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Time scale?

Did he say how long they sit on a bug before disclosing it?

Given the weasel-worded manner of bureaucrats everywhere, they could disclose them a year or two later and still be technically correct in saying they share discovered vulnerabilities.

3
0

Having a Web Summit? Get some decent Wi-Fi!

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: What? Techies that don't have their own mobile data plan?

You seriously think that a typical nearby phone cell is going to offer usable data to 22 thousand delegates?

That is why venues charge a lot for good wifi (though clearly the 2nd part was missing here) as you need a lot of coordinated access points and serious back-end capacity. You know, simplistically 22k users trying to get a miserable-by-3g-standards 100kbit is going to peak at 2.2Gbit/sec for the broadband link out.

9
1

Microsoft: How to run Internet Explorer 11 on ANDROID, iOS, OS X

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

MS missing the point, again.

Why can't they make IE a stand-alone product like every other browser manages? I thought they had got to the point with a GUI-less Windows Server that this was now possible (or at least, not *essential* for Windows to run), so why don't they?

How hard could it be for a multi-billion dollar company to make their software cross-platform like all other seem to manage on a fraction of the budget?

4
0

Forums