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* Posts by Paul Crawford

1536 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Sony to cut 10,000 jobs in quest for profitability

Paul Crawford
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Re: And who said wishes don't come true.

Sadly I can remember when Sony was an honourable company, and a good example of Japanese excellence.

Probably about the time before it bought in to media and the USA way of litigation, DRM, etc.

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WTF is... UltraViolet

Paul Crawford
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Re: A grave misconception

It is all about this petty control, and getting you used to it before they discontinue optical disks in a decade or so.

Why bother stopping you copying anyway? if you are a dedicated 'freetard' you will get it pirated easily enough, so its not like those are going to change.

Make it nice & easy to use without needing an "approved" device (i.e. no DRM) and make the price & availability right and it will succeed. Sadly I fear they have not quite learned that yet...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Remind me?

Are you talking about Android on a locked bootloader system?

I.e. One you don't actually "own" in any real sense (i.e. can run what software/OS you please)?

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Sarkozy hails 'success' of Hadopi's pirate cops

Paul Crawford
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Re: Even if people stopped downloading

"It's not helping anyone unless they start buying"

That is possibly the most succinct statement of the whole issue. While big media likes to portray 'piracy' as the cause of their financial downfall, its not the whole story and more laws to play whack-a-freetard are not really helping anyone.

As the author (who is very much pro-copyright) has pointed out before: legitimate services have by-and-large sucked. If they make paying for stuff easy and don't piss paying folk off with DRM and "you are probably a thief" messages, maybe things will improve.

But, and there is the rub, maybe the disposable money is never going to return to past levels enjoyed by the music/movie biz due to the range of other things Joe Public has to spend it on now (mobile phone contracts, fondle slabs, multi-player games, etrc)?

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Plastic that SELF-REPAIRS using light unleashed by prof

Paul Crawford
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Re: Better than that,

No doubt with the custom ROM fitted?

(apologies to XKCD)

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Female Chinese astronauts must have no scars, straight teeth

Paul Crawford
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Joke

"Sod this you smelly bastards, I'm off out for the day!"

What do you think the space-walks are for?

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Paul Crawford
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Trollface

<= I think you missed icon selection.

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Tripleton touts telephone for double-ohs

Paul Crawford
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Re: At the risk of doing a 'Lewis'

Actually, one difference in favour of the Tripleton, other than possibly cost (Wikipedia has the Selectra at $3k versus £1k3), is "No Windows Mobile or Symbian OS systems"

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Paul Crawford
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Re: At the risk of doing a 'Lewis'

I suspect it depends on the colour of your tinfoil hat, and how much you trust (or don't) each company.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Different w.r.t. Blackberry

I suspect in most not-totally-paranoid countries (e.g. excluding recent events in Iran) the intelligence services don't fear "unbreakable" encryption, they fear mass adoption of half-decent encryption so keyword searches and similar methods used to target traditional resources at real suspects is harder.

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Paul Crawford
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Different w.r.t. Blackberry

There are two important differences:

1) This uses standard GSM calls, but scrambles them if you are talking to another secure phone, so unless they are already targeting you (or that recipient, or scanning all calls for scrambling), they won't know you have one in use.

2) Unlike the Blackberry, there is no central server in *any* country to tap, so the only simple option (short of finding & arresting you) is to block the call.

In both cases (block or arrest) you then know you were targeted, and they probably have to charge you with something, not generally convenient for them without other proof of illegal activity (e.g. if you are actually doing business and it is legitimate). It would be pretty hard for any gov to simply outlaw encryption and still expect to do major international business.

For any real intelligence agency I can't see such a big deal in any case. I guess MI6 and similar would deploy other ways of listening in without you knowing about it if you were that important(bugged car/apartment/paid-off lover/goat/etc).

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Rovio: Actually there will be Angry Birds Space on Windows Phone

Paul Crawford
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Perplexed reply to Angry reply. Asks where he can get $SexualDeviance as reasonable price?

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Windows 8 on ARM vs iPad: Has Microsoft lost already?

Paul Crawford
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Re: Woa is me AC 21:18

"they might find themselves paying for machines that weren't running their OS and couldn't run MS Office"

The short & smug answer is tell them to release Office for Linux. I would buy it for sure.

The more complex answer is it shows how anti-competitive they are if they are using success in one area (e.g. Office document support) to boost another (the OS no one seems to want).

Realistically I would have though Office for iPad should have been out by now. Its not like they haven't ported it to MacOs already...same for Linux...how hard can it be if you already have more than one OS supported?

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Paul Crawford
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Stop

Re: qwarty

"don't understand why you want to pay Apple or Microsoft for their OS only to remove it to install Linux."

There are a lot of good reasons why you might want or need to boot an alternative OS!

One example (maybe less of an issue for WOA) is to rescue a screwed up system. With MS' attitude you will only be able to do that with WOA. Not so good if its a nasty virus in there that has already taken WOA down...

Or more likely, some rootkit. Now secure boot is supposed to prevent this, but what if one is created with MS' support (such as the German police's trojan) that then escapes? Or the bad guys break the boot signing (like every DRM scheme created so far)?

But more fundamentally than all of this, it is my damn thing and I should be free to do as I want. OK, default is secure and prompt me if I do something potentially stupid, but I own it!

That, of course, applies equally to Apple & MS, but the reason I single MS out for this dirty trick is a combination of their numerous other previous anti-competative dirty tricks to capture the markets, and the basic difference that Apple make their own hardware, while MS seek to impose their will on every other hardware maker who wants/needs Windows for the majority of customers' needs.

Who says x86 won't be next? They already say it is 'optional' to allow me to boot something else, but who is to say the manufacturer will allow it (or has had back room pressure applied to stop it)?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Woa is me

Its not Apple-bashing, the DRM in question is MS insisting on secure boot without ANY option for booting a non-MS system.

In fact, I would rather like WOA to fail just because of that on petty issue - the prevention of dual boot with Linux/BSD/anything else.

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German court: Rapidshare must HUNT for dodgy pirate links

Paul Crawford
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Re: @problem (@Paul Crawford)

Firstly on "It won't work" lets take a simple example: say I upload a collection of my own scribblings called "the Rolling Stones collection", and say its in some encrypted form (or just non-standard) then how will an automated system decide if I have infringed copyright?

On the sole basis of the file name components? On fragments of that (as anti-spam filters fail to stop v1agra and similar subjects)? Or will *my* rights be blocked "just in case" someone else's are infringed?

In reverse, it is then easy for infringes to do the same and avoid detection. So quite how is this filter going to *work* to any usable degree? And if it fails, will the courts shut the site down for not doing the impossible?

As for the bigger question of "Outdated business model" then its going to take more space & time to discuss than I have here. While I have great sympathy for the creative industry, the simple fact is the digital era *has* changed the world, for better generally, and there has to be adaptation to this new world.

And yet (as El Reg's Andrew Orlowski has covered in considerable detail) we still don't have very good options for legitimate sales. For music, its got better with DRM-free downloads, but really often more or less at the same cost as physical media (with its manufacturing, shipping, shop front, etc, overheads). Who are they kidding?

To put the preservation of copyright above all other considerations like fundamental privacy and services to others is farcical. Yes, the creative industry deserves payment, but they have to adapt to the way it is now with price & convenience that will win over the moral majority, and not to rely on courts imposing technical decisions they don't understand.

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Paul Crawford
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Childcatcher

@problem

The problem is it just won't work.

No one has an acceptably fool-proof filter and such sites don't have the profit margins to employ the hundreds of people needed to manually review and validate the *user uploaded* content. And the rights holders also feel it is too expensive and difficult for them to do via the sites take-down procedures.

Finally, there is this thing called "privacy" which is a right, much older and more basic than copyright, and people should resist its systematic erosion in the name of profits and/or gov paranoia.

Really, the copyright holders are not happy that sharing data is cheap & easy and want it to be made too impractical for the hosting sites to survive, so this new internet business just fades away and things return to the days of old.

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Citrix: Stream Office from Windows Server, not Windows 7

Paul Crawford
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CAD VMs

Oh, but make sure you configure all software in the VM to use a "network drive" (at least not C: locations) for all of the important files. Then your VM's virtual disk is not storing your data, so that can be kept on the Linux host, or better still some RAID-based NAS that is backed up properly, etc.

VMware has an option to mount host folders as 'network drives' but it sucks (becomes disabled for no obvious reason, unable to cope with case sensitivity/unsensitivity), so if you can use a NAS with CIFS export, or run samba on the Linux host to do network drives properly.

Not sure about VirtualBox, etc, but they are probably similar.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: That's what I was thinking...

"Has anyone any experience of getting Engineering and CAD packages working within a Linux VDM?"

Some, but probably very few, will run with wine.

However, as far as I know (and use) there is nothing in that old XP license you have that stops you turning it in to a VM to run such CAD stuff on a Linux desktop. I use some CAD software that way.

Keep web & email on the Linux host, and block (or at least seriously restrict) the XP VM from Internet access, and turn off USB autorun, etc. Then you don't have much to worry about for malware so can drop AV (or use Klam etc on the Linux host for sanitisation of stuff).

Then as the PC is replaced down the line, no re-install and driver issues for XP to keep it running on new hardware, just copy the VM. And as it drops from MS support in 2 years time you don't have much to worry about the lack of patches for malware (assuming its kept in a network sandbox).

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Adobe can't penetrate punters' tight wallets: Users holding out for CS6

Paul Crawford
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Re: I'm really happy with The Gimp

So am I, just add in UFRaw for camera's raw files, and you have most of what you might need for non-professional camera work.

Photoshop is simply too expensive, and complex to use, for the basic image editing I need and I suspect that applies to a *lot* of folk (even if they don't realise it). Also you don't get Photoshop for Linux so my choice would be getting a copy of Windows and the sucking AV software, bloat, etc, that comes with that, or the additional expense for a Mac.

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Sad but true: Napster '99 still smokes Spotify 2012

Paul Crawford
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Control

The article is, in my view, pretty much right if you discount some of the nit picking here. In that:

Most folk, and that includes the majority of 'pirates' agree that the creator should get some fair remuneration[1], and if we think about it, that means those who support them in the form of the record companies also deserve a fair cut of this[2].

But none of the P2P services *ever* had a chance of a legal option as history shows the record labels (and I guess the same applies to movies) are absolutely loathed to give up control over their 'rights'.

They wanted the same sort of ability to dictate who, where, and what price, they always had by virtue of having the physical distribution channels sown up. Well you know what happened there, don't you?

In sort, they blew it. They tried to set up label-specific web sites, but of course nobody gives a monkeys todger about what label their favourite artist is on, so they all failed. They imposed DRM on legitimate sites, even though all it serves in practice is to piss off the *paying* customers, and the result was P2P flourished.

Then (and certainly for a while) the only viable legal site to pop up was iTuens, by virtue of Apple being big enough, and focused enough, to bang their collective heads together and get sufficient sense out of them at last. But I'm not a fan of iTunes either, and it is far from perfect.

You see, the internet has removed virtually all of the cost and boundaries for distribution of digital media, but they hang on to the old regional licensing terms (OK, there may be difficulties in re-negotiating some of that with the artists). They also expect to impose their own pricing model and, in the case of video, still try to foist DRM on consumers.

But now the economics are different, they are no longer having to adjust the price on the basis of "what the customer will pay in market XYZ" because it is not just buy it or leave it, as they now have easy pirating to compete with.

Which is good, and not impossible. Why? Because most folk (as Andrew has reported on in the past several times) *are* willing to pay, but they want it to be easy, and global, and not to piss them off with every new (or old) device they choose to play it on.

When or how will this happen? Buggered if I know :(

[1] yes, the period of copyright is moot, and arguments abound about how much, but in principle its accepted.

[2] stop laughing please, we could imagine a world in which the big record labels were not lawyer-driven entities focused on screwing over artist & consumer, so their cut was morally acceptable. I'm not holding my breath though.

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High Court confirms 'cheap DVD' tax loophole will close

Paul Crawford
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"I feel sorry for the couple of dozen companies and hundreds of people"

True, but then again, they also displaced a similar number of jobs on the UK mainland due to the loophole.

While I don't feel much sympathy for HMRC generally, I don't think such an import tax-relief scheme is fair to UK based companies. Sure, keep relief for goods *made* in those islands, but for the multi-nationals like Play & Tesco, etc, using it as a dodge?

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Microsoft slashes Office 365 prices

Paul Crawford
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Big Brother

Re: Office 365 for corporate use ?

That is one of the SERIOUS issues for any company or big organisation if you have sensitive information, and not just the blindingly obvious gov secret, but commercially or ethically like medical trials.

OK, everyone here *knows* that email is unencrypted and basically a postcard, but go for these office suites and *everything* is exposed.

Also the traditional company email server keeps all internal emails internal (wow!), so less of a problem than the lack of any real security might otherwise cause. But if you use a cloud service it all goes out to a US company at some point...

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Paul Crawford
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Re: AC:13:00 Incentive?

I think the readers of El Reg know enough about Mr Balmer's behaviour and general character (as MS' boss) to know that there is a *much deeper* reason for my poking fun at him.

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Paul Crawford
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Incentive?

"offering massive discounts and audiences with Steve Ballmer himself to keep big clients"

I think NOT having an audience with Uncle Fester would me more helpful!

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Bring your backups out of the closet! It's time for 'Tape Pride'

Paul Crawford
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Lifetime?

"and a 30-year life that can be relied on"

Which tape drive manufacturers are guaranteeing a 30 year supported life for the format (and without any stupid firmware updates that render previously written tapes unreadable)?

Yes, I'm cynical, as I doubt any archive policy that is not along the lines of "change every 5 years to suit technology" won't work.

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Why Windows 8 server is a game-changer

Paul Crawford
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Re: @Trevor_Pott (no s)

"Outside of a rapidly dwindling list of companies, there simply isn’t a need for Microsoft-based desktops any more. They are an option, but they are not a requirement."

I think this is probably the most significant result of the iPhone/iPad/Android market of recent years, a lot of people (i.e. beyond the geeks trawling and trolling these boards) now realise that Windows is *not* the be-all and end-all of personal computing, for some things they are way nicer, and ultimately choice is good.

I certainly applaud your approach to assisting companies with thier IT needs.

Myself, I don't see much reason for Windows server unless you have important windows-only stuff, so I embrace the penguin instead. I just wish Ubuntu had not lost its mind with Unity :(

And if I had a wish list, then MS doing a non-ribbon Office suite for Linux would be it - I would pay £100-200 for it working properly. Oh, look! There is a unicorn outside my window!

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HTC slaps Ice Cream Sandwich on 16 handsets

Paul Crawford
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Unhappy

Wildfire dissapointment

Sad to see no sign of any update for my HTC Wildfire. It sucks so much donkey b*lls that I'm considering rooting it to put something else on it in the vain hope it helps (sluggish display, crashed in areas of poor reception, time keeping pants, I could go on but need to take my dried frog pills now...).

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Encyclopaedia Britannica nukes print edition, goes digital-only

Paul Crawford
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Re: End of an era..

Yes, site up and it says "Full Payment Amount: £1,195.00"

Still, it would look impressive...

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Paul Crawford
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Unhappy

Re: End of an era..

I went to see how much it would cost to get such a piece of history - their server was down.

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Microsoft hikes SQL Server 2012 price 'by 20 per cent'

Paul Crawford
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Trollface

Nice

Nice to see MS' loyal customers getting reamed again. Guess the consolation is its a little less painful than Oracle's DB licensing...

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How a tiny leap-day miscalculation trashed Microsoft Azure

Paul Crawford
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$diety, not again...

"A certificate created by an agent in a VM on 29 February 2012 will expire on 29 February 2013, a date that simply doesn't exist"

Err, how about treating that at 1 March 2013, perhaps?

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Deutsche Telekom shatters data-transfer speed record

Paul Crawford
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Re: El Reg units?

If you need something doing...based on the figures here:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/12/arizona_boffins_grasp_fat_pipes/

The demo link was thus able to deliver 'pleasingly sharp' gratification at an impressive 15.6killowrist, and the proposed switch was just a few tissues short of the mythical Megawrist barrier that has eluded desperate boffins so far.

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Paul Crawford
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El Reg units?

Surely we need this new uber-capacity pr0n hose specified in terms of the standard unit of the kilowrist?

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Warp drives are PLANET KILLERS, Sydney Uni students find

Paul Crawford
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Joke

In a distant galexy...

...what we though were GRB due to massive supernova turned out to be the ill-advised warp drive designs of spaceships stopping off at intergalactic fast food place asking "where is the beef?" for the upteenth time.

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Becrypt disk crypto earns first Brit spook kitemark

Paul Crawford
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Re: So you can be Assured

I personally would only trust open source encryption, otherwise how can you know what it is doing?

However, there are *VERY FEW* people who are competent to properly asses cryptographic software, so CESG-approval has its place, but as this appears to be a paid-for service, I don't see FOSS getting assessment any time soon.

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Paul Crawford
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Only 'restricted'?

I thought that was the lowest of the low, basically not worth any song and dance about?

So my questions is, what aspect(s) of the product stopped it from getting at least 'confidential' if not 'secret' rating? Or would secret need hardware-based disc encryption that cannot be turned off/bypassed by the legitimate user?

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FBI boss warns online threats will outpace terrorism

Paul Crawford
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Re: Bruce Schneier is a twit

The loss of phones is an inconvenience, yes it could impact ambulance support and have major economic effects, but it is not that big a worry.

Take down electricity grid and then you are talking serious problems - no heating (no gas pumping, and most gas boilers *need* electricity anyway), no fresh water (remember the electric pumps?), no petrol after a day or so as cars run out and the station's pumps are down, little hospital service once the local stock of diesel for the back-up generators runs out, shop food runs out due to transport fuel shortages, etc.

Now can we get back to the more pressing issue of muppets putting SCADA systems on-line (and mostly Windows-based with often unpatched/out of data software on them) in utilities to save costs and thus exposing essential infrastructure to on-line attacks?

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Test Firing Shot/Salvo/Cascade? Media ... the Ultimate Deterrent

From the paper "An organization able to spend one trillion US$ (which is roughly a single-

year defense budget of the US [38]) for designing and building a large-scale supercomputer based on such optimized processors could theoretically break the full 256-bit AES in a time frame of as little as one year when using RKC or another attack of similar complexity."

One key per year for US1T$?

Methinks it would be cheaper to buy-off/bribe practically any organisation (or small country)!

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Tick-like banking Trojan drills into Firefox, sucks out info

Paul Crawford
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@Antony Riley

The example paths for the stuff dropped were the OS ones, presumably equivalent to /usr/lib/firefox-10.0.2/components/ and similar on my Linux box, and they would need root/sudo to write there.

Also the symantic text says it is executed, and also changes the registry, so presumably is Windows-specific.

However, it could as a user program write to the likes of /home/paul/.mozilla/firefox/{random}.default/extensions/{more random}/components but the question is would it be executed? Could it be downloaded with execute permissions, or be a script that Firefox is (incorrectly) running?

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Google tramples over Euro data protection law – French watchdog

Paul Crawford
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Re: Don't forget...

"deleting its record of your actions whilst signed in."

Don't you mean "removing your view of the data Google hold on you"?

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Hacking breach made us stronger says RSA

Paul Crawford
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Re: I suppose there might be some truth in what they are saying...

I think a big factor was the placing of all customers' balls in the one place, so they could be kicked in one easy swing of the boot...

If the key seed information was handled per-company, then some companies would be more vulnerable, but at least one screw-up would not have compromised every customer. Less profits that way though?

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Windows Phone armed with 'military-grade' email upgrade

Paul Crawford
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Meanwhile in India...

MS hand over the backdoor keys as requested by the gov (as for any other state who asks), rendering the email not much better than anything else running over the network...

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Storage players pitch DRM tech for downloads

Paul Crawford
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Unhappy

And yet even more bollocks

There seems to be absolutely nothing in this for the consumer, and it is just more trouble. Why don't they realise that DRM only inconveniences the paying punter, while making the pirate's experience better by comparison.

In this particular case I wonder how one goes about backing up that ever-so-precious content to a NAS or new HDD, and how one recovers the data in the event of the HDD (and thus one presumes the encryption key) failing?

Or is that the scam, get punters on to an HDD-based key that fails at 1-3% per annum, and the roger the unfortunate ones that have it fail in the time scale where they wanted to 'own' the media?

And to answer the question about HD being precious - it isn't - it is just a new set of media & standards that the content industry believes it can DRM-encumber in ways that have failed for the original 'SD' of free-to-air TV and the weak CSS of DVDs.

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Child abuse suspect won't be forced to decrypt hard drive

Paul Crawford
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Re: Khaptain

"If the police have him held as a child abuse subject then we can presume that they have done their homework"

Look up 'Operation Ore' and see how well that was managed.

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Paul Crawford
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Re: Can we extend this thought?

Simple if you read the article - this is about you being compelled to provide INFORMATION in your head.

DNA or a physical key are objects that you can be expected to posses. Extracting information by threat of indefinite prison for contempt of court is one step away from torture to obtain confessions.

This is not just about alleged kiddy-fiddlers, this is about YOU in 10 years time when some baseless accusation is made against you in respect to a computer you once had, that is encrypted, and you are then in contempt of court for not providing that knowledge what you don't actually posses.

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Pirate Bay AND its users violate labels' copyright - judge

Paul Crawford
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Re: Searching

In the UK, yes. You are a dirty criminal as you performed the heinous act of 'format shifting' without obtaining the copyright holder's prior permission.

You do realise that such acts are funding terrorism and organised crime at this very moment?

Think of the children!

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Security biz scoffs at Apple's anti-Trojan Gatekeeper

Paul Crawford
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Joke

@Aaron Em

Beavis: Hur hur, he said "stuff the tape in the slot"

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Ten... digital adult toys

Paul Crawford
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Music lists?

Given the audio-triggered nature of some of these toys, when can we get a list of the best music to 'enjoy' the evening to?

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Apple antagonist Proview unveils its own iPad

Paul Crawford
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Time to fondle like its 1999!

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