* Posts by Paul Crawford

2990 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

We saw the future: Apart from the bath apps it looks like the past

Paul Crawford
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Re: Very common

No if the cable is too long you can do any of the following:

1) Place the appliance further away if it is useful.

2) Coil up the cable, possible with some form of cable tie to hold it neatly in place.

3) Cut the cable a little too long[*] and put a new plug on it.

Easy really...

* We all know a cable cut to length will be too short.

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Penny wise and pound foolish: Server hoarders are energy wasters

Paul Crawford
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Yes, Windows as such is more expensive. But the overall cost comes down to what you need to run and how much effort you are willing or able to put in to it.

Most readers of El Reg who don't have much legacy Windows stuff will be happy to run various servers of all sorts to do the job, and much cheaper than cloud solutions. Other do need Windows and maybe that is the cheapest solution for either local hardware or cloud provisioning.

On the other hand, a lot of SMB have no real tech support and the cloud suits them in both style and cost. Think web email, document collaboration with Google Docs or Office 365.

And then we get on to data sovereignty and what happens if you decide not to pay suppler #1 any more...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: The reason why some businesses are still running P4s

Our experience of P2V converters is mixed, my old home machine (W2k) worked perfectly after I did a bit of file system re-arranging and had enough external HDD to direct the output to. Another machine failed, but that might have been due to the odd/legacy drivers that were not uninstalled first.

I suspect old systems are find with VM emulation, so long as you go for a low enough starting point. Also you can try/wipe/try again with greater ease. Overall I have been really impressed by the VMplayer as a tool to preserve old flaky Windows software and set-ups.

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Official: North America COMPLETELY OUT of new IPv4 addresses

Paul Crawford
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Go on sucker, try attacking me! I bet you can't touch my 127.0.0.1 address :)

Where is the MC Hammer icon when you need it?

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Russian Tor network-wrecking effort takes bizarre turn

Paul Crawford
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Re: Makes sense

Maybe they found the only practical way to do what the Russian gov wanted is to run a few thousand Tor exit nodes that actually "work" in the sense of being seen to provide proper connectivity.

And that would result in jail-time in Russia.

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India to cripple its tech sector with proposed encryption crackdown

Paul Crawford
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Re: "NSA takes a few liberties in the US"

They don't have to, just a secret order and the US companies have to comply.

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CHEAT! Volkswagen chief 'deeply sorry' over diesel emission test dodge

Paul Crawford
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Code audit time?

Considering this case of VW (and no doubt others) lying in such test.

Toyota with unintended acceleration (and a few deaths) due to poorly design software

Ford with cars that would not shut off.

Others like Jeep with crappy security where in-care entertainment could fiddle with braking, etc.

it seems it is high time that on-board software was treated as something to be subject to an independent audit to establish that it is not cheating in test (that any "saving features" really work for normal driving) and that safety and security is taken seriously.

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Crash Google Chrome with one tiny URL: We cram a probe in this bug

Paul Crawford
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Re: "Opera 32.0 which is based on Chromium 45"

Tried this with Chromium 37.0.2062.120 Ubuntu 12.04 (281580) (64-bit) (version, out of date, supplied with Ubuntu 12.04) and no problems. Guess this bug was introduced since then?

Same test for Firefox on this machine (40.0.3), no problems.

Same test for older Opera (12.16), also no problems. Tried new Opera, it lacked most of the good features of old one (the "turbo" proxy server is its only benefit) so went back. If I need more up-to-date support I have Firefox or can fire up VMs with other choices.

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SCREW YOU, FEDS! Dozen or more US libraries line up to run Tor exit nodes

Paul Crawford
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Re: More things criminals could use

Hey, you know they might use guns as well to conduct crime, so lets ban the sale of those! What, is that is too political in the USA?

Well how about doing a bit of freedom-bothering at the local library, no one will mind that...

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SAP CEO McDermott loses AN EYE, almost his life in horror plunge

Paul Crawford
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Unhappy

Re: Wow. Minor accident, massive consequences.

I think "freak" is more accurate than "unfortunate".

Still, a sobering thought as to how an apparently minor incident could be so bad. Guess its up there with folk who die having tripped and fallen on dishwashers with the knives packed pointy-end upwards.

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Uber is killing off iconic black cabs, warns Zac Goldsmith

Paul Crawford
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"So by that very argument, Uber should be allowed then."

So long as the drivers & cars meet the same standards of training, insurance/liability, and working wage limits etc, that other cab companies are bound to operate by, yes.

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Wi-Gig signals are bouncing off the walls, can't settle on the sofa

Paul Crawford
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So much time, effort and money spent on such new technology to solve the problems of connectivity inside a small area. Something also possible with IR light.

And yet a cable can do 1-10Gbps with current technology, and transfer lots of power as well.

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Should take down mean stay down? EU’s Big Internet quiz leaks

Paul Crawford
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Take-down distinction

There is a major difference in the nature of Google searching (as it covers everyone's web sites) and YouTube (where Google run the site).

As you rightly point out, it is quite practical for YouTube to perform at least some basic fingerprinting of files to see if they match known copyright works and then apply some sane action (e.g. if its a fraction of a work, its probably 'fair use' for commentary or discussion but if most of the work then its not).

However, it is another matter altogether to apply the same reasoning to web search results as the BPI, MPAA, etc, would like. For example, if a copyright work has a very generic name like "Pixels" then we see how stupid the automated take-down notices are:

https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-group-hits-indie-creators-for-using-the-word-pixels-150808/

Even though such notices are supposed to carry financial penalties if incorrectly used, somehow they are not being applied.

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Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

Paul Crawford
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Re: Goodbye Labour Party

What will replace it? The Labour Party.

Meet the new boss, same as the old[n-3] boss

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ALIENS on CERES? Nope – it's just dwarf's tucked away MOIST BITS

Paul Crawford
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Re: It's Cheese! Cheese I tell you!1!

"correlate the size of spunkage"

Please tell me its not actual spunk?

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Sign of the telly times: HDR shines, UHD Blu-ray slides at IFA

Paul Crawford
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Re: Ambilux

Dot Cotton does Dagenham

<shudder>

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Paul Crawford
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Re: UHD Blu-ray is already sunk

The real question is why 4k BD has been delayed so much.

Is it a case of continued arguments about intrusive DRM schemes? Ones that demand an internet link to spy on you reporting every disk you play, etc?

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Paul Crawford
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Gimp

Ambilux

I shudder to think of what the results of playing some "speciality" video will be with the Ambilux image-related back lighting.

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Yahoo! won't! fix! emoticon! exploit! in! death! row! Messenger!

Paul Crawford
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Re: pidgin

I used to use pidgin and it worked well. But my (few) mates all deserted MSN and Yahoo to FB, so I just ignore it now.

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North Korea exploits 0-day in Seoul's favourite word processor

Paul Crawford
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Re: Stand to your reft.

Then a jump to your right,

Its the pelvic frust

That really drive you insa-a-a--nne!

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Ofcom issues stern warning over fake caller number ID scam

Paul Crawford
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Re: It should be illegal ...

Where as allowing it to remain legal makes it stop quicker?

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SPACE WHISKY: Astro malt pongs of 'rubber and smoked fish'

Paul Crawford
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Who tastes the tasters?

Will professor Quatermass be keeping an eye on the whisky specialists who tried this just to see if they mutate in to hideous blobs of alien material?

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So Quantitative Easing in the eurozone is working, then?

Paul Crawford
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I also like Tim's articles, even though I often disagree with some of his positions on free markets, etc.

Same with several other who write for El Reg, mostly they write sense, sometimes they fit my socio-economic views, other times they don't. But I'm not here to have my views confirmed, I want to see other arguments as I might be wrong or ill-informed and only by listening and thinking will anyone advance.

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Paul Crawford
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@h4rm0ny Re: kB

The only place where 1024 makes sense for defining 'kilo' is when the attribute is addressed by a binary array. So really only RAM/EPROM/etc with an integer number of address lines are used and no sane designer would leave part of a decoder to unassigned storage.

For everything else k = 1000 is the sane choice for us creatures with 10 digits that originally assisted our counting and became the basis of our number representation. It is used for kilometres, kilograms, kilobits, kilowrists, etc.

The weasel-worded aspect is when talking about storage and some assume that k/M/G/T are all 1024 and forget that for both SI and marketing reasons they will be 1000. Oh, and not to forget the overheads in a file system...

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Reg reader shares AshMad blackmail email about which he gives 'zero f***s'

Paul Crawford
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Joke

"B. I'm a virgin"

Yes, but in which orifice?

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BOFH: Power corrupts, uninterrupted power corrupts absolutely

Paul Crawford
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Re: Strangely Appropriate

You never know if a UPS/backup generator/etc system will work until the mains goes off. But no one will take the risk of pulling the big red leaver[1] at the master distribution panel just to find out...

[1] We really did have one of those, with a telescoping handle for a 400A 3-phase switch for our lab. There were also a few big switches for long-gone stuff with simple but intriguing labels such as "magnet" that always made me want to power the circuit up just to see what would happen. Alas, common sense meant I resisted the temptation to "do an Igor".

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Europe yawns at EU robo-commish Ansip's digital plans

Paul Crawford
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How does restrictive licensing make more money?

I am perfectly serious in this question. If you can't *buy* access to Estonian films in the UK even though a number of folk in the UK (Estonian or otherwise) who want to see it, how do they earn more than if they do offer it for sale?

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US mulls unprecedented Chinese sanctions in wake of hacks – report

Paul Crawford
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"The US has publicly accused Beijing of funding hacking teams to steal intellectual property from American companies"

Of course that is a bad thing, the proper way is for US companies to give it all over to Chinese joint ventures in return for cheaper labour than keeping stuff in the USA. All about who profits...

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Linux Foundation releases PARANOID internal infosec guide

Paul Crawford
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Re: "Good security starts at the perimeter"

Always assume the enemy is already inside your network, as that sound of someone knocking at your door could be from either side...

By the way, when did you last patch or audit to code for that network printer of yours?

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Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

Paul Crawford
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Linux

Re: Five year old

Chances are a fresh install of Win7 would fix things. Though I have no interest in Win10 for various reasons (e.g. I like my privacy and for the machine to do what I tell it), I know at least one person who did the "upgrade" on her Win7 laptop and is very happy with its performance.

But why not try one of the Linux distros on a USB stick? You might find you like it enough to change. Even if you do depend on Windows for some programs, making a clean Win7 VM without AV crap, etc, and only installing the stuff you really need is a way to get the best of both worlds.

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Perhaps the AIpocalypse ISN'T imminent – if Google Translate is anything to go by, that is

Paul Crawford
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My hovercraft is full of eels.

No, I will not buy this tobacconist, it is scratched!

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'Web brothel' CEO, staff cuffed on prostitution rap – clue: the website is called Rentboy.com

Paul Crawford
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Re: Did someone finally notice......

"Why is Homeland Security investigating male prostitution? Isn't counter-terrorism enough for them?"

Probably they found there are virtually no terrorists to arrest, but plenty of folk whoring themselves shamelessly to America's serious disadvantage.

But they were told they could not arrest congress, so had to make do with stitching up a rent-boy site instead.

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Paul Crawford
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Facepalm

Re: a simple solution to illegal prostitution

Wait! How can a politician or church leader possibly allow consenting adults to indulge in perfectly legal activities for money?

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Why Nobody Should Ever Search The Ashley Madison Data

Paul Crawford
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Re: 9 gig dump

Most people will not get the torrent and try to load it in to a database themselves. They will go to one of many scam sites set up to offer such a service and you can bet your bottom dollar that most of them are in it for the money (yours) by any means possible.

The article is really aimed at the unwashed masses using partially patched Windows boxes with Flash installed on auto-play, not El Reg readers who are likely to have somewhat hardened machines.

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Paul Crawford
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FAIL

Re: Wait, what?

"Pregnancy" covers the whole process through childbirth and possible complications, and a few women find they don't like/want sex afterwards.

If you read the article again you will notice the main moral point was for consenting couples who wish to stay together for any of various reasons, but are not having sex for whatever reason(s) and one of them still wants to.

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Boffins promise file system that will NEVER lose data

Paul Crawford
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Will be interesting to see what it turns out to be.

With a lot of "mathematically proven" systems you end up moving the problems/bugs from the implementation process to the initial specifications, which are often not 100% complete nor correct for anything of reasonable complexity.

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Ex-HP top aide in the clink for racking up $1m on company credit cards

Paul Crawford
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Re: Spending limit

When I arranged a company credit card the bank's guidance was to set the limit at 1.5 times the persons monthly salary, unless it was used for something specific (e.g. a card for purchasing equipment without setting up trade accounts, etc) or their job had the expectation of unusually high expenses from frequent travel/hotels/etc.

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Paul Crawford
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$1M? Pah chicken feed!

If you are a proper exec you buy some company for $11B and when it turns out to be as stupid as most folk though, you blame it on the seller (and not, strangely, on the auditors) and try and sue them.

That, my girl, is how you win a pissing contest!

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Win8 inventory glut? Yep, it's all Microsoft's fault, says HP

Paul Crawford
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Re:@kb

Yup, and just look at all those folk returning their iPads and Android tablets because they don't run windows stuff...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Obligatory Linux post.

I think most Linux users have no problem with making an Amazon search available, nor with the concept of a Linux distro making money. What pissed them off was having it slipped in to the desktop search which very likely would be used for private matters.

Again an example of arrogance (as one must assume Mark S is not stupid to have got so far), and it could have all been avoided by simply having two search buttons "local" for your own file system, and "everywhere" for Internet + local files.

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Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

Paul Crawford
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Discovery

A simple concept, you have things with recognisable names such as "start", "file", "edit" etc for menus and buttons and folk can guess what they do and see where to find them. Works well.

Now look at the efforts of today's GUI muppets who hide thing behind bizarre icons or simply remove them altogether and folk get pissed off. Where are settings, and why is a cog-thing where you would expect to see them? They are not gears after all. Or is it some sort of burger icon, or maybe some dots for no bloody good reason. Left hand or right? Looking at you Chrome, Android and Firefox.

Then we have Win8 where you have to somehow know to swipe from some obscure corner to find something, and by touching the touchpad by accident in some equally obscure way you get the metro stuff thrown in your face. Fine for kids and some geek folk who are happy just to slap things around until something happens, but have you tried to help or support an OAP with this shit?

Yes, I know about the Windows key and search, but again for a lot of computer users they don't know the names of stuff, but are able to recognise them in a familiar menu location.

Oh and the same dumb-ass approach is what made Gnome 3 a whole lot shittier than Gnome 2. The whole "we know better than our users and their 20 years of experience" ideology so lets bugger around for no good reason.

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Směrť Špionam! BAN Windows 10, it SPIES too much, exclaim Russians

Paul Crawford
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Rasputin, bring in the bucket of soapy frogs and remove his trousers!

While everyone can see that Russia is hardly a bastion of freedom or protecting citizens from spying, it would be good if a few big enough countries kicked MS so hard in the privates that they were forced to make Win10 defaulting out of all spying.

Then users would have to bend over and lub themselves, rather then find the new trousers come with a convenient hole and pre-lubed for MS' convenience.

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Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

Paul Crawford
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Re: Mint is the way?

For a lot of folk they only have one or two Windows-only programs, and also a lot of them don't need internet access (and a few have it only for DRM reasons occasionally). In those cases you can often put them in a XP VM or a Win7 VM and it works just fine, with the bonus that you can disable external networking to enhance the security (e.g. if you accidentally open an infected Word document it can't phone home), and only give the VM access to a restricted area of your Linux host's file system.

Of course it is no excuse for not being careful, running some sort of AV on the host (to be honest, they all seem to suck and be ineffective), and having a proper off-line backup in case of cryptolocker style malware.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: @Mark 85 The seem to be going in an unsavory direction...

It is a bit tasteless to remind us of the many talents of Mr Almond.

Still, if win10 is a taste of things to come from MS I will sit among the penguins (where no man is an island, unless he is called Madagascar) and laugh. That is, unless me and my brother Kyle lose the rock-off, in which case I might be gargling mayonnaise till the end of time and the pros and cons of hitch-hiking operating systems will be of little concern.

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The Ashley Madison files – are people really this stupid?

Paul Crawford
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Re: @Charlie Clark

"Why the fuck should IT departments be running filters?"

To reduce the exposure to phising and drive-by attacks, to limit the possibility of data egress from Trojans, etc, going unnoticed, to limit the bandwidth socked up by advertisements, etc. There are a lot of good reasons to filter things for business use.

As pointed out by the A/C above this could be a largely self-policing activity where users can unblock a web site using an internal web page, were hopefully it shows the real source site and they then enter ID/2nd password to have it added to the white list.

Also the A/C addressed the personal use aspect by having either the odd PC outside of the company internal LAN, or maybe by offering a 'guest' WiFi without filters for phones, tablets, etc, so folk can do stuff outside of the business without putting the internal network at risk.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Blocking dating sites has too much fallout

Block lists seem a pointless arms race. If you have a work situation that needs protection, why not a white list?

OK it is some work for a junior admin, but folk can put in requests for sites they NEED to use for work, and then they get added after a cursory check. You could start with the obvious ones related to type of work, wikipedia, few moderately trustworthy news sites, etc, and just see what folk are using and why. While it sounds restrictive, it would kill dead most phising sites and malware C&C servers.

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Bruce Schneier: 'We're in early years of a cyber arms race'

Paul Crawford
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Re: We have met the enemy...

We, collectively, are the reason for this because we are happy to accept shitty software because it is shiny and new (e.g. Android) or the established model (e.g. Windows) and we want everything Internet-connected for convenience and to save a little money on not having to make trips to physically visit important sites.

While some nation state attacks have shown the ability to jump air-gaps using infected USB sticks, etc, the vast majority rely on the simple fact that we put critical stuff on the same machines and networks as we use for external access (web, email) and then get surprised when we find our OS, software and firmware in routers, etc, is full of holes that let the two leak.

Convenience trumps security, and so far we have not had anything big enough go wrong for the law to come down and enforce stricter practice.

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Pirate MEP: Microsoft's walled garden is no consumer pleasure park

Paul Crawford
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Re: Update --> Update

...even delete the kernel accidentally...

I once tried to deleted everything on a running machine just to see what would happen. It was about to be re-installed, I'm not quite that insane! Yet.

All gone, only a couple of in-use directors left on the HDD when I booted the live CD to install the new distro. I was impressed, it did just what it said it would, including rm rm'ing itself.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Earth to Microsoft

I set up Ubuntu for my pensioner-age father. He is not quite a technophobe as he will try stuff, but his knowledge of computers is practically non-existent. So far its been over 5 years of minimal trouble, no viruses, and the previous XP set-up was cleaned and put in a VM so he can run some flaky genealogy package.

So Linux can be viable for a lot of the population with minimal training, but how likely we are to see it come pre-installed and sanely configured on PCs is another matter.

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Paul Crawford
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WTF?

Re: Unauthorised peripherals?

That was my question, just WTF is an "unauthorised peripheral" here?

Could a chipped ink cartridge be counted so you can re-fill/recycle it against the printer company's policy? Maybe some audio card that won't play ball with the DRM-of-the day?

For the few things I do that need Windows, it looks as if XP and 7 VMs are going to be my final solution.

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