1591 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007
No, it is not pointless.
The point is with .docx you have to do it MS' way, and they can fiddle with that and withhold info (e.g. the binary blobs in .doc format that is included), while with .odf it is an open and transparent standard.
That way anyone can do it properly and the goal is to compete on the quality/price ratio of your editor, and not on having the only one that works with some secret sauce.
Long term, that is MS' way forward to a profitable future - to do better and not to rely on lock-in and unethical practice. Not holding my breath, of course...
Re: Already Given Up
"Anyone can grab hold of a 1/4-20 UNC bolt and use it to mount their camera anywhere they want"
Tsk, tsk, you should be using BSW for that...
"Did you know that Word 97 and Powerpoint 97 work quite happily with the 2007 converter pack?"
Er, have you tried to use them with a 2010+ era .docx document? It sucks and MS has only themselves to blame, so .odf is a major improvement here as it won't have the same petty hidden changes to bother with.
If this brave new world of on-line services resulted in an end to stupid GUI changes and features no one wants, and instead bugs were fixed and actual improvements made I would support it.
Sadly from my (limited) experience of MS and Google, it is the usual stupidity but on a regular payment plan.
And people wonder why the likes of MS and Adobe are pushing on-line versions? Money, regular money, and no need to offer something new/better to keep getting paid.
Re: "lying face down on with arms and legs dangling"
Now where has my spanking paddle gone?
Alternatively they looked at the success (or otherwise) of other's attempts (e.g. the French) and decided its not cost-effective.
While availability of legal sources for some things is much improved (e.g. no DRM on audio after Apple's ITunes more or less forced the major player's hands), there are still problems in video actually getting what you want, when you want it, and in a format that won't piss you around in an attempt to play it.
Some will always pirate, some may stop if they are threatened, but the results of, for example, Spotify on music piracy where it is available has been enormous and that is a lesson to be learned. Shame it has not benefited the artists as much :(
Re: SourceFire report
Oh, the other thing lacking from the report is the time-to-patch. That is a big factor in how secure you can be with a given product/supplier.
It is worth reading the SourceFire report as it gives an interesting look at the disclosed vulnerabilities over the years.
Forum trolls will delight in being able to quote it for/against any fanbois of OS as well. It has some correct, possibly controversial, ways of reporting, for example counting the webkit browser engine as "Apple" so the CVE count is way higher than you might have expected. Similarity it treats Linux as one product, but the different versions of Windows as separate (mostly, this is discussed).
However, what the report lacks is the exploit count relating to these. For example, it has the iPhone as much worse than Android by CVE count (210 versus 24), but we all know that Trojans and general shit-ware, etc, for Android are much, MUCH bigger problem in practice.
Oh, and check your buffers please? That is the No.1 vulnerability of the quarter-century!
Time-line is claimed to be:
VIII. DISCLOSURE TIMELINE
2011-02-12 - Vulnerability Discovered by VUPEN Security
2014-03-14 - Vulnerability Reported to ZDI and Microsoft During Pwn2Own 2014
2014-06-10 - Vulnerability Fixed by Microsoft
2014-07-16 - Public disclosure
Do we really believe they told no one before Pwn2Own?
Maybe the Russians had a point in dumping iPads, etc, for gov work after all?
Short answer is probably the knew it would loose money. After all they are pushing a similar form-factor in the bigger Nokia-softs and, while decent enough phones in many ways, they are hardly flying off the shelves.
I guess the recent changes to the user-whoring platform to push adverts in to the news feed is working then, but I find it astonishing there is enough sales liked to FB adverts to justify agencies spending "$6.44 in average revenue per user in the US and Canada".
Re: Good article, but...
Same idea as the French insult (more of a derogatory term than outright insult mind you) referring to the British as roast beefs, presumably from out habit of cooking meat until it is usable for shoe soles.
I am sure there are folk in my list of friends who would struggle with email, but they can use a phone so that is not a problem.
Also I don't really want to be part of making FB the only way folk communicate, a propitiatory way that is controlled by one company with the primary goal of whoring us from advertiser to advertiser.
I got fed up of the endless stream of pointless re-posting of crap and generally depressing updates from my "friends" on trivia and decided to ignore it completely for a while. Anyone who really needs to contact me can use email, or better still actually call and talk to me.
If FB is important enough to you, try the F.B.Purity add-on for Chrome & Firefox, it makes the current website a touch more bearable. Sadly it won't deal with idiots polluting your news feed.
While it is tempting to poke fun at Yahoo, etc, the issue of what happens to our digital data once we are gone is something that needs to be properly addressed.
While I might not care (on account of being dead, for example) it might still have some impact on the few living ones who may care about me in some way. When stuff like bank accounts and other aspects of one's estate become virtual and there is no obvious paper print outs lying around my 2nd last resting place, how will those who should benefit from whatever I have to leave find them and access them?
A will is the obvious starting place, but how many would think of listing all on-line accounts in there (and updating them with the regularity they change at which is typically much shorter time-scales than a will) , and how to manage the passwords?
Re: What could go wrong?
Or the seemingly endless stream of XSS flaws that has bothered Yahoo mail in recent years?
Re: @Crazy Operations Guy
"get a copy of a terrorist handbook and make it the same way that they do"
Thanks, but no. I'd rather keep my limbs if you don't mind...
If you really like stuff that is not nice to handle (for various reasons), just Google for "Things I won't work with" (for Derek Lowe's blog).
Re: Venezuelan Beaver Cheese?
I am simultaneously intrigued and horrified by the prospect of tasting Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.
I think the original commentard was referring to this:
Cyanobacteria are postulated to be the cause of the first major organism extinction as they produced plentiful O2 by photosynthesis which is toxic to obligate anaerobes.
So the first life on Earth did not need atmospheric oxygen, but of course it did need it bound with hydrogen in water.
Re: What is the point of a warrant?
There is little you can do about limiting reading to pairs of keys, as with email you have to be able to read it stand-alone from the other person being present. So with encrypted traffic either party can decrypt it, or its no good. You are always one of the two parties even when many others with different keys are present.
A much simpler and easier option is for the police to ask the judge "We believe that ABC and XYZ were involved in criminal actives between START and STOP dates, please can we get those emails?" and the judge to get a 3rd party to filter both ABC and XYZ's emails for the period START-STOP for communications each other.
Job done, police can look for the specific info the believe is needed to clinch prosecution and 3rd parties are not having their privacy invaded.
Re: There's a peculiar phenomenon at work here ...
That is exactly my concern. Today I don't really have anything to fear from what GCHQ know about me, but can you imagine what would happen in a few years of the likes of the BNP/UKIP got in to power and started looking for anyone who was a "threat" to their propaganda and monitoring of Joe Public to find them?
Same here for most El Reg readers - dangerous intellectuals with an interest it technology...
Re: @Roj Blake
You might also want to include the "USA" in how it dealt with the native Indians (not to mention the first appearance of prisoner camps in the civil war), and the Spanish in various south America countries.
Not to mention government-church sanctioned massacres throughout Europe in the late middle ages, oh yes, and that bit of bother caused by the Romans earlier...
A few nutters have nothing on the ability of national organisation to cause suffering.
Re: Dangerous precedent
I think the Nuremberg trials established that simply obeying orders and laws is not an acceptable defence against actions that are clearly morally abhorrent.
By implication, those who speak out and act against said actions should be protected against perverse laws or illegal orders.
It is the whistle-blower's charter on a grand scale: If you have evidence of wrong-doing you should not be punished for revealing it, but that is kind of hard when the evidence is against the government who is also in charge of the trial & punishment.
Dunno, maybe they like that sort of thing?
Had a quick shuffle over to ppv.xxxurabi.com but damn - its all in Japanese! Other than the NSFW images of course...
Unless your PC is also compromised, then said kiddy-porn or terrorist postings would be traced back to other IP addresses where it was logged in under control of the hackers.
The bottom line is people are shit at security, and some things (like regular password resets) don't help at all. What MS recognise is that not all accounts are equal, and the consequences need to be weighed up against the effort of remembering passwords.
 Assume that you are forced to change password one per year, as my work proposes. If your password has been randomly compromised then the mean time to exploit it is 6 months. Just how long does a hacker need to have it to install a trojan and/or create another account for mischief?
So why bother unless there has just been a major breach and they KNOW that everything has to be reset?
I would have though that hard coding the login credentials (as in SSH key, etc) to the source code would be a BLOODY STUPID thing to do. He asked for the code, not the cryptography keys. There are numerous open-source projects that don't get magically hacked because they are fully inspected by all.
And if, as you suggest, there are dozens of ways to break this then it is clearly not good enough for an important job such as vote-counting. At the very least it should have been subject to more than one security review by competent outfits and the result published after the flaws have been fixed (and not those with any ties to the supplier).
Re: At least...
Oh you just had to slip that one in...
Re: Until key length equals...
Oh yes. And just how do you distribute said one-time pads securely to the world+dog for use?
That is the point of practical cryptography, to make stuff "secure enough" while still being practical to use from a key management and encoding/decoding effort point of view. If you run a web server with limited resources, you don't really relish everyone going to 16k key lengths for access to videos of cats, etc.
Even with 128 bit keys, if implemented properly and used by all, the effort of breaking it would overwhelm the TLAs. That is why they sought to get the private keys by other means. Of course, if targeted by a gov or major criminal organisation so a lot of resources can be target at only your messages then 128 bits is clearly not enough, but you need to put usage in to perspective.
Re: Not an ISO 3166 code
Same country code most likely, just like USA & Canada do.
Re: re. " ... the chains of digital bondage"
Given the way the MSPs went ever further than the UK's "extreme porn" bill, then yes they will because a portion of them are small-minded petty Calvinists and a lot of rest think too much of the opinions of the Daily Fail and similar.
Eh? Only some?
"some business centre computers may have taken the safeguard of not allowing anyone to log in with Administrator rights"
I leave it as an exercise for El Reg readers to determine one of the key problems here.
Re: Turmeric's not a root ...
The root of all eyeful?
Mine has the book of bad puns in the pocket...
Re: Isn't it great...
Still getting the "security" updates for version 11x on Linux using apt-get (Ubuntu) as they never supported anything later. Unless of course it is embedded in Chrome for Linux (with added Google spy-ware).
Adobe is such a crap company...
How do Apple rank in terms of PC-based profits? I'm guessing that is a more useful measure if you are a shareholder.
Whether it makes a difference or not is largely irrelevant.
The simple fact that such profound policy-making is being negotiated in secret, save for industry pressure organisations, is an affront to democracy world-wide and for that reason alone it deserves to die.
DNS and "filtering"?
Any coincidence I got an email from them yesterday telling me I could enable the (largely pointless and broken) content filtering supposedly there to protect the children?
As for other comments, I was OK as I use the older modem-only device and my own router with OpenDNS.
This article might be of interest to the educated reader when wondering why the gov took such an about-turn on the merits (or lack of) filtering after their own consultation rejected it:
Yes & No.
Of course heat is the end product of all losses, but if you have a ~100W device on full power device that heats the touchable case by ~20C above ambient to dissipate said heat, you will hardly notice if it is down to 5W, 1W or 0.2W when on stand by without a lot of careful measurement as you would be looking at order of 1C or less.
"ignoring the cause of these things - which are that XP has a far weaker security model than Vista onwards which is really what causes people and processes to need to be admin by default."
No, the problem is a legacy one that MS allowed, and in some cases encouraged, bad security practice so they ended up with an OS that could not be properly secured because the software for it assumed all sorts of privileges that were removed by Vista and later to make things better.
I have at least one package that I can't run on XP without admin, or on later, because it needs to modify registry keys (now secured) for f-all reason.
Do I change OS and pay ~£1k for the latest version (and also change code using it), or so I run XP in a VM just for that job?
Yes, Windows 7 is a whole lot better OS than XP, but that is not going to make up for the sort of business legacy that is the reason folk use Windows in the first place.
What is missing from such a statement is how old most of the useful data is. Do the police request data for 1 week before the reported/alleged criminal incident? 1 month? 3 months?
I think other EU states have a 6 month retention period which I suspect is more than enough for most cases, as a judge can always request an on-going recording of data on any that is an on-going investigation.
Do they still ask if you committed war crimes in 1939-45?
Did anyone ever confess?
Alas - fixing broken email clients is often the reason for the call :(
Re: "Presumed innocent until proved guilty"
Presumed innocent unless proved guilty.
An important distinction.
Child porn is always a good way of silencing debate in a privacy issue. As is terrorism. Something governments are all to happy to use when promoting yet more invasive spying on our lives.
Please ignore the man behind the curtain.
Upgrade to Vista?!
Too cruel a punishment for holding on to XP! Really, if upgrading go to 7 and do not pass TIFKAM.
Or, unless you really need it, uninstall Java. Most home users simply don't.
Re: "Only terrorists want privacy. Apparently."
And politicians. Often those who were fiddling their expense accounts...
Re: What part of distributed did you not understand?
Maybe the bit when I said: "that might be part of the overall system design and fail-over strategy for cloud use"
Either way, you still have to migrate running jobs off a given machine/kernel in order to have it updated when traditional Linux could often be kept going.
Re: @Matt Bryant
A number of folk had a good idea of what NSA & GCHQ were up to, but were labelled as tin-foil hat wearing nutters by the press in general. That label turned out to be wrong.
The same goes for the degree of cooperation between USA-based corporations and the NSA. True, they had little choice in most cases but they hardly bleated when being paid for services rendered, and only made a lot of noise now they are loosing business world-wide due to the distaste about the dragnet operations.
I certainly don't approve of the whole-sale release of information that puts informants lives at risk, but equally I can't see another way of persuading the public to notice what is done in their name, and with (some of) their taxes.
- JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
- Google flushes out users of old browsers by serving up CLUNKY, AGED version of search
- GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine
- China: You, Microsoft. Office-Windows 'compatibility'. You have 20 days to explain
- Twitter declines to deny JLaw tweet scrubdown after alleged iCloud NAKED PHOTOS hack