* Posts by Peter X

137 posts • joined 12 Apr 2008

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Mirai variant turns TalkTalk routers into zombie botnet agents

Peter X
Devil

Dark Mesh

How long before such a thing exists... it seems like there are enough vulnerable wifi connected devices to make this technically possible? And at that point, aren't TalkTalk, etc all guilty of subverting the governments attempt to monitor all communications? Dido could be facing terrorism charges!! ;)

But more realistically, if you _were_ a would be terrorist, wouldn't you make sure you had TalkTalk provided internet & router in order to have plausible deniability if you ever got questioned over visiting (say) beheading/bomb-making websites?

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Hull surfers cut off by router attack

Peter X

I'm sure I read a recent story on here about certain models of ZyXel being wide open to attacks due to an internet facing open management port which was meant to be locked down to certain IPs, but was left open to everyone and his dog.

TalkTalk and the Post Office apparently. Hard to believe a company as diligent as TT got hit though... they'll have to deploy Dido to allay fears!

Actually, the linked BBC article mentions that the Post Office have/are deploying router updates and requesting customers to reboot their routers to install the update. So that's something.

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Chernobyl cover-up: Giant shield rolled over nuclear reactor remains

Peter X

You could fill a indoor stadium full of chain smokers on 200 a day and say look how many there are here!

Ahhh... the Smoking Olympics. Whatever happened to that?

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British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

Peter X

Six people...

Prolly less though because you're assuming that people with a Lloyds account *and* a Windows phone all choose to bank online with their phone. I have an Android but I don't use that for online banking; I prefer something with a keyboard for that kind of thing.

So I'm going to go with FOUR people... tops!

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Peter X

Re: "U" in "Universal Windows Platform" actually stand for?

plays-for-sUre?

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We're going to have to start making changes or the adults will do it for us

Peter X

Re: I'm afraid to tell you that....

Peter X points at IsJustabloke and declares: "He's a non-believer. Make him use Notepad.exe for all eternity!!!"

Also... it's tabs btw! :D

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Peter X

Re: TAB treachery

Reading the article I was thinking, "yeah, but now I'm older I'm much more easy going about such things". But then you mentioned tailing spaces... and I don't know why but they *REALLY* irritate me.

These days my .vimrc contains this:

match ErrorMsg '\s\+$'

to highlight trailing white-space, and all is good with the world!

Rationally, I should not care about this. Yet I do. It's really strange and I'm fairly sure no one outside of IT could possibly understand this.

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Hitler's wife's lovely lilac knickers fetch £2,900 at auction

Peter X

I bet Trump bought them so he can wear them at his inauguration.

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What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

Peter X

Re: No F35 in the list?

Formation flying would require a software update.

Plus another for each colour of smoke!

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New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

Peter X

Re: Esc

By far the bigger dealbreaker is that the 13in MBP with Touch Bar is £1749.

And still not having a proper UK keyboard layout! (I'm assuming they haven't fixed that yet)

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Donald Trump running insecure email servers

Peter X

Re: So...

It's not directly comparable to the Hillary thing, but then again, if you're going to run for president and try to give your adversary a hard time over her email indiscretions, then probably the thing you really really want to not screw up on, is your own email set up.

As we all know here, running out of support software is really not best practice, and is inexcusable if that software is internet connected.

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Audit sees VeraCrypt kill critical password recovery, cipher flaws

Peter X

Vera vs True

One thing that has caused me not to use VC yet is that it will no longer create TrueCrypt containers; according to Wikipedia that's because "The VeraCrypt development team believes that the old TrueCrypt format is too vulnerable to an NSA attack and thus it must be abandoned."

Which is fine... but up until now I've not been inclined to switch.

Also, it's source repo is on CodePlex... and that place always has a funny smell to it!

So is it time to switch or should I wait another year to so before thinking about it?

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New GCHQ unit: Psst, breached biz bods. We won't rat you out to the ICO

Peter X
Alien

Re: Far off the topic, but I had to..

I noticed that too. Can't believe it's accidental though. But, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!!!

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Smell burning? Samsung’s 'Death Note 7' could still cause a contagion

Peter X
Mushroom

Samsung PR need to think outside the box

Samsung PR need to think outside the box; my suggestion, given that one of the "features" of the Note 7 was being water resistant is... A BUCKET. If every owner gets a bucket of water to carry their phone in, then surely that would minimise the fire risk?

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Police raid India call centre, detain 500 in fraud probe

Peter X

Re: 500 seats...

I don't feel entirely sorry for them because they must've realised this wasn't a legit call-centre gig. But at the same time, I doubt they made much money at it.

Even if we assumed the the revenue was split equally, 125K into 500 = £250 per day. A good rate for a call-centre job and I imagine especially so in India, except....

Elsewhere I read that the call centre got 70% of the revenue and parties in the US supplying the data got 30%. And there's no way the people on the phone were making the bulk of the money anyway... so... probably not worth risking being at the wrong end of a fraud probe for that really.

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Panasonic wants you to wear Li-Ion batteries. The ones that explode

Peter X

Re: PCMCIA

I have an ancient, but still working, Packard Bell laptop with a still functioning Netgear PCMCIA Wifi card. All completely useless now of course!

I seem to recall my Amiga 1200 had a PCMCIA slot on it. No idea if there were any peripherals that used it... I'm guess that must have been one of the earliest devices to sport such a port?

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Matt LeBlanc handed £1.5m to front next two series of Top Gear

Peter X

EJ

I don't mind EJ on F1 because he does at least know the business and is happy to ask rich, important people awkward questions. But I wouldn't have bothered with him for Top Gear... there's just no point in him. I'm not even sure if he's really that into cars - in a petrol-head way?

Rory Reid was better than I had expected and I think he improved with each Extra Gear and you need his character to help with Chris Harris's dryness.

I hope they put the Reasonably-Priced-Car track back to how it was before. The changes they made were stoopid. I'm also not 100% convinced that having two stars to interview/race was a good idea either.

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Legend of Zelda cracked with 6502 assembly language glitch

Peter X
Happy

This is fantastic!

Fantastic this is!

Was discovered by (a). reverse engineering the entire code base by hand, (b). noticing an occasional crash in the graveyard and wondering why, or (c). something completely different?

I'd imagine (a). Very impressive whatever the reason though!!

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Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

Peter X
Mushroom

This is the wrong thing to do, but I'd be tempted

I'd be inclined to report fully on Apples competitor phones and make direct comparisons. But (and here's why it's wrong), *always* get the technical specs of the Apple product wrong. Heh... just for laughs.

*If* you did that, would Apple PR be forced to contact you? Just, you know, out of interest. Because that could be really fun!

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Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

Peter X

Mark Heap

^ Just thought of this one and had to add him! So maybe re-cast Toby Jones as Q? Pretty sure Broadbent can play any role... so we'll have to hang on to him to.

I'm thinking Mark Heap should play his bond very much as he played "Jim" (as in, Jim. Jim from next door) in Fright Night Dinner. Maybe if Wilson the dog can be in it, all the better.

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Peter X

Re: I'M SUPRISED THAT NO ONE HAS MENTIONED THE CUMBERBATCH!

Who?

(continuing the Toast theme!)

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Peter X

Toby Jones

My second choice just because he's so completely un-bond-like, it *might* just work!

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Peter X

Jim Broadbent

Because, I think I'm correct in saying, that's the *only* thing he's not been in.

Seriously - he's in everything! He must have more money than Spectre by now.

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Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

Peter X
FAIL

Re BBC

The BBC news site will play HTML 5 video *if* your user agent looks like something mobile. Otherwise it just says "You need flash to play this content" (or something like that), Which is a bit crap really.

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Openreach boss Clive Selley wants Ofcom to wrap it up already

Peter X

25,00 new homes every week?

Are there really that many new homes every single week? (honestly, I have no idea... but that sounds considerably higher than I might've guessed)

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Graphene is actually self-folding origami, proclaim physicists

Peter X

Re: I've seen that picture before-

That'll be why they didn't zoom in enough to see the green blobs!!

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Student Loans Company burns £50 million in IT project superfail

Peter X

What happens to the deliverables?

When these projects fail, where do the incomplete deliverables go? Surely if they (the gov.) don't intend to use them, they should be available to the public?

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4-day Fasthosts outage: Customers' sites go TITSUP

Peter X
FAIL

very small proportion of our (former) customers

It's been noted here previously, how frequently this turn of phrase appears particularly with not-particularly-clueful-vendors. TalkTalk springs immediately to mind!

Given that these "customers" are likely to be leaving anyway, I think they should have some fun with it... say something like "only customers with very small proportions are affected" or something. It'd be funny!! :D

On a related note, it's *all* their customers then, yes?

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Idiot brings gun-shaped iPhone to airport

Peter X

I can see the future!!! :O

I can see it now... said moron arrives at (say) Brussels airport for his flight home... moments after he enters the building, gun fire can be heard and shortly after, a bomb is detonated.

Luckily, our moron is sufficiently far away to be uninjured by the blast.

There's smoke all around. People are in shock. The shock turns to panic. Mobile phones can be heard ringing as friends and family check on loved ones.

Inexplicably at this point, Steve Jobs is also in the same airport (back story: he never really died and just wanted to live a more normal life... or something. Whatever, I need him for the punch line later on...). Steve calmly surveys the scene trying, liking everyone, to understand wtf just happened.

He see's a young man (our moron), in oddly ill fitting clothes, maladjusted baseball cap, but still with impeccable hair. More mobile phones are ringing. The moron pulls what looks to Steve like a gun from his bag; "perhaps he's an undercover cop", thinks Steve momentarily? But... hang on, why has he grabbed it by the barrel? And he's poking it with his other hand!

At this point, the moron is shot by _actual_ undercover cops... the last words to float through his vacuous skull being those of Steve: "You're holding it wrong!".

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We'll smash probe into comet 300 million miles away for kicks, er, sorry, ... for science

Peter X

Re: landing at an angle that denied its solar panels vital sunlight

To be fair, I think an RTG does increase the costs quite a bit which is a shame because they are perfect for this kind of thing.

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Fedora 24 is here. Go ahead – dive in

Peter X

Re: GNOME Problem...

^ re Gnome's bloatyness, has this not improved at all?

I'm still running Ubuntu 14.04 on my main machine (2.6GHz quad-core i5), but I've recently been trying to use a Raspberry Pi 3 as my main machine! Yes, the Pi is much slower with many things, especially the browser (albeit Chromium on the Pi 3 is just about tolerable), but the thing that really amazes me is that the file manager (PCManFM) is *considerably* snappier on the Pi than Nautilus is on my i5.

I do appreciate that the i5/Ubuntu setup is running compiz and therefore has a little more work to do... but even so, I'm kind of of the opinion that a file manager really shouldn't be perceptibly slow.

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TalkTalk says 8-month app outage lasting 'bit longer than we hoped'

Peter X

Contract

Can people stuck on a TT contract use this as a reason for escape?

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Windows 10 market share jumps two per cent

Peter X

Re: It's the leap before the deadline

"That Win 1 0 is getting a (small) boost in market share is understandable, the deadline for "not free" is fast approaching."

If that is the case, and I'm not sure it is, but if it is.... would MS not be better just dropping the price of Windows to ~$20. Maybe different pricing for enterprise, but otherwise, just have a single version of Windows equivalent to Pro for use by home and small business users for basically a minimal price to cover media distribution?

That would effectively mean giving it free to OEMs, but at least they might then increase the user base a bit more than now; cheaper PCs, slightly more upgrades... maybe?

In other news, Microsoft might in effect be allowing upgrades to Win 10 after the cut off date, providing you pretend to be are a user who requires assistive technologies!

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As US court bans smart meter blueprints from public, sysadmin tells of fight for security info

Peter X
FAIL

They don't deserve their jobs

So (1). they think that security by obscurity is a useful primary defence layer *AND* (2). they've then given away the very same information that they consider to be their primary defence layer.

Even if they could convince anyone that point 1 is valid, then surely they are guilty of aiding terrorists because of point 2?

They deserve to be absolutely destroyed in court over this level of f*k-wittery.

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Surrey teen charged over Mumsnet hack attack

Peter X

His _own_ toothbrush!

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Embattled 123-reg flings six months' free hosting at angry customers

Peter X

Re: Salt into the wounds

If you were in the sorry situation of having no backups of your own, then way-back-machine or google-cache might be your best option. EXCEPT way-back-machine won't show anything if the robots.txt file is no longer being served (or indeed, if it's set to block bots).

Anyone know what 123-reg have been serving for sites that have been nuked? It would be interesting to see if they do serve a robots.txt file.

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123-reg still hasn't restored customers' websites after mass deletion VPS snafu

Peter X

How many servers? How many websites?

The article says "114,933 servers out of 115,000".... so am I correct in thinking that that's considerably more than "a minority of customers" or whatever 123-reg's original assessment of impact was?

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SQL injection vuln found at Panama Papers firm Mossack Fonseca

Peter X

Re: Onion?

Onion?

I thought it was Orion?

Word-for-word, that's exactly what their admin said. Probably! :D

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Iceland prime minister falls on sword over Panama Papers email leak

Peter X

Re: Didn't realize there were more data dumps to come

Totally guessing, but maybe Mossack Fonseca is just one of a number of companies operating in this [ahem] area of expertise [/ahem]. I'm going to guess there's a *lot* of people suddenly needing to double check their own arrangements, maybe proxy through more than one of such companies, and make sure things are really really air-tight.

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Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows

Peter X
Happy

Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

However, there will still be a lot of impedance mismatch between the Windows and Linux universes. Anyone who does not want to fight with strange compatibility quirks at every turn will still use a real Linux distribution to get work done.

It's an interesting one that... because initially when I heard about this, I thought that this is the "embrace" phase, and next things will be written to target the Microsoft version of Linux. But it is perhaps more likely that open-source projects that currently target Windows and Linux, can now just focus on Linux and thus be more reliable and easier to maintain?

I certainly think that's what cross-platform open-source projects should be looking to do!

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Microsoft to add a touch of Chrome to Edge

Peter X

Documentation

Have MS made their extension documentation public yet? I'm just wondering if it's the same as Chrome or if they've [ahem] extended it in some way.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Peter X

If he didn't mention porn or cats then he was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off the mark!

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Mozilla will emit 'first version' of Servo-based Rust browser in June

Peter X

Even if it is just an early preview, it does represent (to me anyway) the most interesting this Mozilla has done in years. I'm particularly interested in seeing how it performs on low-end hardware such as a Raspberry Pi.

They really need to change the name "browser.html" though because, to be blunt, its fucking stupid. Seriously.

Also, they might want to think twice about calling anything Graphene, because that's just a name used for things that show promise but don't actually exist.

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Clive Sinclair Vega+ tin-rattle hits £300,000

Peter X

Re: I could order one

If only you'd waited... you'd have waited (IIRC) about 3 _extra_ months, and when it arrived you would've also got a letter offering money off a roll of thermal paper for a ZX Printer. I never took them up on that offer!

The Spectrum was great though... so maybe I can start to begin to consider thinking about maybe letting that incident from 30+ years ago... go. Maybe! :D

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Sir Clive Sinclair in tech tin-rattle triumph

Peter X

Re: 30% chance of failure?

I seem to recall some games were terrible because they used "turbo loaders" (increased baud rate) and entirely didn't bother with error correction, so even the original cassette was hard to load.

Using a Multiface One to deal with - (ahem) - creating backup copies, worked much more reliably because it just dumped the RAM image out.

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Ready for a nostalgia kick? Usborne has put its old computer books on the web for free

Peter X

Re: Machine Code For Beginners

The name Toni Baker rings a bell. Was the cover of that book mostly dark green / black and I think the text was gold/yellow? If so, then that was the book where I *finally* after a very long time, managed to grasp Z80 assembler.

UPDATE - I used "Google" (whatever that is) to find it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mastering-Machine-Code-Your-Spectrum/dp/0907563236

That was totally my bible when I were a kid - so thanks Toni Baker!

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Ex-TalkTalker TalkTalks: Records portal had shared password. It was 4 years old

Peter X

Re: ICO should open another investigation.

"Some of these reports can be somewhat humorous. For example: 'Customer answered door wearing an adult nappy'."

Doesn't sound like this private data is needed for the bisness purpose that TT is supposed to be providing.

If the customer concerned had these details leaked* and this particular bit of information, I'd say [IANAL] they'd be sue the crap** out of TT.

* No. Just no.

** Still no.

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Smart toys spring dumb vulns. Again. This time: Cuddly bears, watches

Peter X

"Johnny, what have I told you about not talking to toys?"

Honestly, when you step back from it and look at it... it's sooo stupid putting internet connectivity in these things not least because local data-storage and raw CPU power aren't particularly expensive these days.

It probably won't change, at least not whilst it's mere childrens privacy being violated. Once we have a high-ranking GCHQ/NSA operative's super-secrets stolen by their own childs toy bear*, *then* maybe they'll start to take it seriously!

* (note to self... contact Charlie Brooker about a possible Black Books script entitled "Rupert-Gate: the tale of an entire government brought down by actions of a rogue soft-toy")

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Uni of Manchester IT director resigns after chopping 68 people

Peter X

Bird-skeleton

...is titled "Crucified Hope".

Or "The Crucified Hope of Gerry Pennell" these days I'd imagine.

His Wikipedia page says he's an IT Executive and he studied maths, but I can't see anything else - presumably he did something else to qualify him for these jobs?

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Peter X

Re: Lower to uppercase

I appreciate that was probably very old code... but you do realise that changing case in ASCII is just a bitwise operation? You could probably speed up your old code ten-fold! :D

That said, I just did a Google and discovered people on stack exchange marvelling at such wonders. Makes me feel old!

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