* Posts by The Mole

272 posts • joined 18 Apr 2007

Page:

British cops to film you with 59k body-worn cameras by end of year

The Mole

Re: All their rights and entitlements would be exactly the same

"*Did you know that it's now an offence to create a nuclear explosion?"

Reading the section you quoted that isn't true, under that bit of law you can perfectly legally create a nuclear explosion.. you just have to convince the court it wasn't a weapon 'no officer it was a science experiment that went wrong'...

Ok maybe the man on the street may have problems convincing a judge on that grounds but at least our scientists can actually research nuclear stuff which is an improvement over some other laws..

0
0

Insure against a cyberwhat now? How the heck do we crunch those numbers?

The Mole

Also I'd point out Lloyds of London has been providing a market place for maritime insurance since 1688 - 328 years ago which I'm happy to accept being rounded to 350 particularly as there was probably some insurance happening before then!

0
0

Safety, pah! Digital Dukes of Hazzard have robot cars powersliding

The Mole

Re: Wrong solution

I agree with you that public transport is better than car ownership when feasible, however all the suggestions you have assume a very urbanised population with people who have sufficient mobility to use public transport effectively.

The fundamental problem with public transport is that it is costly and inconvenient for areas of low population densities. Trains/Trams etc only run on very fixed routes, as soon as you are a few blocks away they quickly become very unattractive to use. Busses are more flexible but their schedules are generally inconvenient outside massive cities, plus the cost of a driver driving round a bus which is empty for much of the day just doesn't stack up unfortunately.

Self driving vehicles have the potential to solve many of these problems, buses and taxies which are computer driven will be cheaper to run, routes can be made much more flexible with call buttons/online booking to get the bus/pool car to reroute and pick you up where you are - particularly in rural areas, cheaper more flexible public transport with pool cars is where I see the future ending up for many people.

10
1

G4S call centre staff made 'test' 999 calls to hit performance targets

The Mole

"The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has also reviewed the evidence and has determined there are no grounds to pursue a criminal prosecution."

I'm no lawyer but surely this behaviour would count as fraud - or do the targets not actually impact anything financially.

Lets hope in the future test calls are explicitly excluded from statistical purposes.

7
0

Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

The Mole

Re: ick, ethicists

"Deliberately with-holding medical care so that someone dies is murder."

No it isn't, and it is actually pretty routine. Daily doctors make the decision to turn off incubators, to stop doing radiation or chemotherapy, to not perform aggressive (or any) resuscitation on patients, or otherwise stop or not start various types of treatment. All of these are forms of withholding the medical care which may prolong the patients life and without which will generally directly lead to their death. Generally this is justified on lack of any foreseeable quality of life in any form and/or the fact the life is only being kept through artificial methods.

There are also cases where the decision is made but then the incubator is kept running a while longer until a match has been found and prepared for their organs so that they are, um, the freshest possible.

Medical ethics is a complex and complicated landscape with very few clear cut decisions.

12
0

EU set to bin €500 note

The Mole

Re: No more free bus rides then

I actually had that happen in Hampshire (thin kit was actually a £10) they just printed off a voucher ticket for the remaining value which could be used on another bus. Needing to get home I didn't have much choice in the matter. Though that is better than Coventry buses which don't give change - you had to put your coins down a slip and the bus driver didn't have access - think a note in that would have caused issues.

3
0

FBI ends second iPhone fight after someone, um, 'remembers' the PIN

The Mole

Re: Q: How is the government ever going to convict bad guys without access to encryption?

So I think you are saying we should keep an eye on anybody who is educated (particularly in Chemistry) just in case? Perhaps the solution is to ban education then people won't be able to write the contents of encrypted communication, problem solved?

9
0

Lock-hackers crack restricted keys used to secure data centres

The Mole

The article said you don't have to buy an identical lock - you just need the face of the lock looking similarly enough/the right shape to accept the key (easily knocked up from a photo), and then have the cylinder accept any key so locks and unlocks but doesn't actually check the shape of the key.

1
0

Idiot millennials are saving credit card PINs on their mobile phones

The Mole

Surely it depends on how the PINs are stored? If they are in an appropriately secure password vault its no worse than storing other types of password and pretty secure. Similarly if the PINS are sufficiently steganographically hidden (inside a fake contact phone number perhaps) then as long as it isn't obvious the odds of an attacker knowing it is there and guessing the right set of numbers before the card is blocked is pretty secure (I'd be more worried about them resetting your paypal password through access to your email account).

There is also the question of which is better - 1 pin for all n cards you have, or a pin for each card but that leads to issues with remembering them all so you have to record them securely in your phone.

34
0

Music's value gap? Follow the money trail back to Google

The Mole

Dodgy numbers

" YouTube generated an average of $0.72 in music royalties per user. In 2014, Spotify generated $20.16 per user: 28 times as much."

I'd hazard a guess here that all of spotify users listen to music, and spend a long time listening to many many different tracks. On the other hand many many of you tube users only use you tube very occasionally and may never watch a video with infringing music (too busy watching badly filmed cat videos). But then comparing apples to oranges to get some meaningless numbers never hurt anybody did it?

8
2

Staff 'fury' as penny pinching IBM offers legal minimum redundo payoffs

The Mole

Re: Owners matter too

The reason for offering higher is it is a bribe to stop people suing for unfair dismissal. With only statuatory payout IBM has to be 100% confident they have clearly followed every letter of the law otherwise they could end up with some rather expensive employment tribunals costing far more.

17
0

BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

The Mole

Re: Then start showing ads

I'd much prefer to pay a modest amount on the tv license and not see ads than have the BBC descend even further.

As for other TV services, the reason you should pay for the bandwidth to view the adverts (assuming you really are paying per MB) is because that is your (indirect) contribution for paying for the thing you obviously value as being worth more than zero.

As for the BBC comments considering how many devices (smart tvs/STB/consoles/media centers etc) have integrated iplayer into them, anything they do to change how it works has a large chance of breaking those devices and so is a challenging thing to plan and execute. That said simply changing the rules without any enforcement would get a bit more revenue from those honest households who want to follow the letter of the rules.

13
2

Standing desks have no effect on productivity, boffins find

The Mole

Re: Not Your Average Office Environment

I'm sure the research paper ends with the statement "further research (and big research grants) are required to validate these conclusions in different environments".

Professional researchers never claim all the research required has been performed.

8
1

UK court approves use of predictive coding for e-disclosure

The Mole

Re: I'm obviously missing something...

I presume the ruling was that English civil procedure rules do not prohibit the use of predictive coding software. Presumably before the ruling nobody knew if it was legal.

1
0
The Mole

Re: Just one question ..

Who verifies the quality of the paralegals/interns who are given the task to read through 3 million documents? (The expensive lawyers won't be looking at them all). Given how dull and boring many of these documents are I wouldn't be surprised if there is a very high error rate from humans doing the filtering.

2
0

All-American Apple challenges US gov call for iOS 'backdoor'

The Mole

Precedent setting?

My understanding was that there are third party firms who provide hacks to governments (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/09/17/nsa_vupen/) and I would therefore be very surprised if these firms haven't developed the techniques that the FBI is looking for - with physical access to the device most things are possible. Given that in this case the FBI would never need to use the contents of the phone in a court of law I see on reason why they wouldn't be able to use these third party companies.

Therefore this looks to be part of a long term strategy and this case is being used to set a precedent as it is an easy sell to the man on the street as being a proportionate action. Once the precedent is set they can start sliding down that slippery slope to their final much less morally defensible objectives.

12
0

Blighty cops nab Brit teen for 'hacking' CIA Brennan's AOL email

The Mole

Re: Legal questions

In short yes.

The CPS guidance here is worth reading: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/a_to_c/computer_misuse_act_1990/

Basically if "at least one significant link with the domestic jurisdiction" - so either the hack was performed from the UK, or targeting a computer in the UK would look to be sufficient.

Hacking an online account is no different to any other type of hacking, you are still trying to gain access to computers for which you don't have permission (or are exceeding your permission), in this case computers owned (or operated) by AOL.

0
0

Let's play immutable infrastructure! A game where 'crash and burn' works both ways

The Mole

"The last thing your script does is turn off the SSH port (or whatever method your OS uses to let you logon) so you can’t log-on to the machine anymore."

There goes any chance of performing diagnostics on that machine then, or presumably copying files off the machine to read logs or extract core dumps etc. Or if you can copy files back and forth the machine is no longer immutable.

Perhaps sysadmins should be employed who can follow procedures and can be trusted to only make manual changes on machines when they have to?

3
0

Software devs' new mantra: Zen dogs dream of small-sized bones

The Mole

Shock News

“We did an analysis of hundreds of projects over a multi-year period. The ones that delivered in less than a quarter succeeded about 80 per cent of the time, while the ones that lasted more than a year failed at about the same rate.”

So the simple projects (note no comment about release schedules) are much more likely to succeed than more complex projects. In other news...

4
0

Little warning: Deleting the wrong files may brick your Linux PC

The Mole

Re: This is like BIOS flashing by Unix commands

The blame is on the firmware designed because when developing firmware you should be coding defensively, you shouldn't assume that all the layers above you behave perfectly and understand the implications of operations they perform. They should have anticipated failure modes where the UEFI data gets corrupted/zeroed/deleted and coded to defend against this (failing back to using defaults).

9
0

Two-thirds of Android users vulnerable to web history sniff ransomware

The Mole

Re: Not really an security exploit

Most businesses would disagree with you, they want apps to be able to perform (remotely controlled) wipes/factory resets in case a device containing sensitive data is lost.

13
1

There's no guidance for Scottish police use of UK facial recog database

The Mole

"Brian Plastow, told The Register that the PND system was "not that great" as it returns only a number of possible image matches which require human assessment, comparison and investigation."

To me that sounds exactly the correct implementation, there will always be margins of error and it should be up to a human to recognise that they should assess and investigate the results properly, not just go with the highest hit and ignore the very similar looking person in position. The fact he thinks that makes it really not that great is worrying - though obviously I've not seen the implementation so it may be made really badly..

9
0

Google patents robotic 'mobile delivery receptacle'

The Mole

IR?

Presumably the IR is for allowing the drone to align and hit the target, I would have thought some wireless protocol (bluetooth, wifi etc) would be far more suitable for communication.

0
0

Blighty's Parliament prescribed tablets to cope with future votes

The Mole

Re: As a vote is a binary decision..........

Actually with voting there are 4 options:

1. Aye

2. Nay

3. Can't even be bothered to turn up

4. Abstain (The whips will make my life hell if I actually vote against)

There is no division for abstain in parliament, however parliamentary rules do allow you to go into both divisions giving your name to the clark and actually voting Aye and Nay at the same time, thereby actively abstaining (and also having a chance to gossip with MPs from both sides of the house.

2
0

Watch infosec bods swipe PINs, magstripe data from card readers live on stage

The Mole

Which is why if I were doing the attack I'd just display a message "Card error please retry" and so have the user re-enter the PIN to validate the true transaction. The till operator will notice it happening but they will just re-assure the customer thta the machine has been playing up all day.

4
0

Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him

The Mole

Re: What I fail to understand about this...

You don't know how much they spent on it, nor how well it actually works in reality - remember the options with SIGINT is either ensure the enemy doesn't realise that it exists and so therefore doesn't defend against it, or make the enemy believe it is far better than it really is so they are forced to use less efficient/more costly/less flexible methods.

There's probably also the fact that they deliberately excluded the politicians from the process and so didn't have the goal posts and requirements constantly being moved and changed.

5
0

Samba man 'Tridge' accidentally helps to sink request for Oz voteware source code

The Mole

You could also say human counters are valueless as they can make mistakes and be subverted.

In reality they both can have their place. The voting system needs to have a proper secure paper audit trail than can be manually verified by hand. Against an attacker attempting to subvert the election result then polling machines could theoretically be subverted, however an attacker of that kind can also subvert human counters, fake postal votes and generally get their own way, having a paper audit trail (done properly) which can be verified helps protect against this case. Voting machines can however ensure that counts are done quicker (not that I understand the obsession on speed) but also more accurately, if in doubt look at how often paper recounts occour and how often they produce different results even in first past the post. When you have multiple layers of rounds and complicated vote allocation systems these mistakes are far more likely to occur and the odds are a properly tested and vetted machine is more likely to get it correct.

Of course the machines should be properly tested and vetted by independent experts, and at the minimum the test cases and results being freely accessed and reviewed with a mechanism for test cases to be challenged and additional tests to be proposed.

0
0

Royal Mail mulls drones for rural deliveries

The Mole

Drones are clearly a stupid idea. Driverless vans/minibuses on the other hand would make sense. Currently a lot of time is spent with posies driving round to pick up other posties to get them to the next part of their route or resupply then with the next bag to deliver. Driverless vehicles could fulfil this post of the role well. Though electric trikes and the like may also work out cheaper and more environmental.

0
0

Deutsche Bank to axe 'excessively complex' IT, slash 9,000 jobs

The Mole

Re: Respect

My assumption is that someone was asked to produce a large number so probably took the approach of counting OS versions so that Windows XP, 2k, Vista, 7 and 8 all count as different OSs as do Red Hat 5,6,7 and Centos 5,6,7 and however many other flavours of Linux are deployed.

To be fair when looking at consolidating what you have to support that isn't an unreasonably approach, IT generally only want to support once specific OS release version not any flavour of Linux that a random dev happens to favour.

19
0

UK's Lloyds Banking Group scrambles to patch account-snooping security hole

The Mole

Re: You say bug he says feature

Yes it is a bug. It may be a bug in the requirements and design but that is still a bug in the application. I'd agree it's not a coding bug but it is still basic functionality that the test team should have discovered and raised.

0
0

How French spooks can silently command Siri, Google Now on phones

The Mole

Other attacks

Is this attack fundamentally linked to their being a microphone amp/long antenna in the circuit or could it theoretically be deployed against other types of cable (usb cables etc)?

0
0

Let’s hear it for data scientists! Making our lives more and more frictionless

The Mole

Differentiated pricing

Of course the less scrupulous systems also do differentiated pricing on the offers. From a demographic who shop around and have little disposable income, congratulations we will give you an offer to get 50% off . From a demographic who generally don't shop around or use price comparisons sites, fantastic, we will milk you for all we can get and give you an exclusive offer for 1% off and make finding the best deals really hard!

4
0

PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row

The Mole

I'm quite happy for animals to own the copyright for pictures .. as long as the animal can file the appropriate paperwork and show in court that they took the photo with intent.

8
0

Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

The Mole

Re: Waitaminute...

Or perhaps 8192/2048 = 4 bytes available per tile some of which is then used as a pointer into the TilesInViewEx table to find the remaining data?

Wonder why they couldn't just update the original table with a new size, or use something that wasn't placing such low bounds in data size.

4
0

My parents don't know I'm in SEO. They think I play piano in a brothel

The Mole

I'm not surprised many SME businesses don't know what SEO is. Whilst this may be a big problem for the SEO companies is it actually a problem to the majority of the local market focused SME? My experience is that searching for "<placename> <businesstype>" seems to work pretty effectively, and even more effective is following links from business directories/rating sites.

9
0

Mining for insight in the economy of things? Check your toolkit

The Mole

Farming

"Take farming, for example. Not traditionally at the forefront of technological change"

Are you sure about that? If you ignore weapons many of the first stone tools would have been for farming, then as metal developed farming tools improved and would have driven the change, then look at the ploughs and other large metal devices where getting good quality metal was essential, then the development of steam driven threshers, tractors etc. Moving forward some of the first computers (Leo) were being used for optimizing food distribution, then development of sensors to automatically detect which plants are ripe ready for harvesting, gps based mapping of what areas have been ploughed/sprayed, or fully automated milking parlours which cows can just wander up to on demand, be milked by a robot and have all the data logged..

Farming as an industry is and always has been a hotbead of technological change, though individual farmers are none to stick in their ways.

1
0

Don't bother buying computers for schools, says OECD report

The Mole

Which of course is why the teaching pendulum swung to preferring course work and analytical type questions rather than memory recall (particularly in subjects like history). However then 'everybody' started complaining that it made getting the qualifications too easy as the students could copy from each other, plagiarize (or is that research?) and produce good work, also they no longer could recall key dates, so the pendulum has now swung back to concentrating on final exams benefiting the quick writers with good memories. Give it another 5 years and it will rebound back again...

1
0

Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

The Mole

Re: i for one, welcome... (actually I don't but that's by the by)

UKIP is biding its time waiting for the Euro Referendum debate to really kick off at which point we'll have to put up with them again. Farage meanwhile is insulting his fellow members of the European parliament.

3
0

Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts

The Mole

When you are using it as a GPS in the car a good viewing angle makes placement much easier.

Also if you like to show photos/videos/youtube clips to groups of other people.

Or glance down at it to lying on the desk to see the time.

Plenty of potential reasons... some better than others

1
0

Legal eagles accuse Labour of data law breach over party purge

The Mole

"then "data protection" does not apply to them using that tweet to decide you cannot vote."

The information is in the public domain yes, but the argument is that by copying the tweet into their own database, by associating that tweet with a person applying for membership, and then by using that tweet to determine whether the application should succeed then they are storing and processing sensitive personal information without informed explicit concent.

The fact it was originally public information (probably) becomes irrelevant as soon as they start to process it for other purposes.

3
0

Oi, Google! Remove links to that removed story, yells forceful ICO

The Mole

Re: Please remove the link...

Something along the lines of:

if search.query contains "Blobbo Boggins and result contains "inflatable friend" then exclude result from list.

Annoying but no different to what they do with safe search or other types of illegal content they have to block

6
3

Austrian court rules online radio streaming is not broadcasting

The Mole

Re: Just cos it's legal doesn't mean it's right

The court ruled that it is not illegal to own a computer and access the online version of the content without having paid the license.

The court did not rule that the broadcaster has to make the online content available to everyone, just that they couldn't prosecute against those who didn't have the license.

Unless required by law to provide the online content (which I'd be surprised at) then they can apply whatever access controls restrictions they like and as long as it isn't discriminatory then there is little the courts are likely to do.

7
0

Ireland loses entire airport amid new postcode chaos

The Mole

Re: Privacy concern?

Because a lot of surveys ask for postcode (and no other address details) for categorizing responses into geographic areas. Generally in the UK they will only use the first 4 or 5 digits (not needing to go down to road segment level) but will get a user to enter the entire postcode as its easier than trying to explain which part they do want. If the eircode identifies the house the anonymous survey is suddenly a lot less anonymous.

1
0

This box beams cafes' Wi-Fi over 4kms so you can surf in obscurity

The Mole

Re: Fail of fails.

In the UK librarians (as opposed to volunteers) are increasingly rare in libraries, there will be IT staff in the central office who will nominally be looking after the IT infrastructure, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Wifi was subcontracted out to a third party to operate, probably with some form of unlimitted/Gigabytes plan. A single person connecting from a long way away is not going to add any traffic spikes above what a single additional person connecting locally will do. The contractor won't care even if they did as they aren't spending their own money to monitor it. The wifi will no more be watched over than the taps are watched over by an onsite plumber...

15
0

Blocking mobile adverts just became that little bit easier

The Mole

Well it is being done by an Israeli tech company so I'm sure they've thought long and hard about interception.

As well as the interception issues there are likely to also be copyright issues for the operators. Unlike home users modifying the content on their own machines (probably covered under fair use/private copying type provisions) the mobile operators are modifying the page content for profit (through reducing costs), at the same time they are depriving the content providers of advertising revenue meaning there are actual damages that those content providers will be able to claim for. Personally if I were a mobile operator lawyer I wouldn't want to go near it because of this reason.

6
1

Ofcom: Oi, BT! Don't be greedy – feed dark fibre to your rivals

The Mole

My guess is because BT is able to deploy dark fibre much cheaper thanks to all the ducting, exchange buildings and other infrastructure which was 'gifted' to BT when it became a private company.

4
3

Self-STOPPING cars are A Good Thing, say motor safety bods

The Mole

Re: Transitional period

If you are following the highway code distance then you will be able to stop in time regardless of how quickly the car in front breaks. The highway code distance is assuming something has fallen off the back of a lorry and so isn't moving, the stopping distance should be the distance required to recognise, break and come to a stop before hitting it. Most drivers don't follow the highway code however and assume that a shorter gap is sufficient, relying on the fact the car in front is unlikely to come to a sudden halt and so the total distance you have to stop over is longer than the initial gap..

4
0

Don’t want a footie-field-size data centre? No problem (or is there?)

The Mole

Re: Not really surprising

Don't forget the level of support/warranty you are likely to get between the two offerings as well.

0
0

Infusion pump is hackable … but rumours of death are exaggerated

The Mole

Network accessibility

Gaining access to the wifi network may be challenging if it has been properly secured, but the fact is most hospitals have been retrofitted with ethernet cabling all over the place - certainly to doctors offices and nurses stations. These networks will be connected to the wifi network (I assume the whole sales pitch of needing wifi on pumps is to allow the nurses to monitor them remotely without having to actually go look at their patients?).

The question isn't how secure is the wifi network, but how hard is it to plug a cable into a spare ethernet network port and start using the network?

A well setup network will presumably use mac address checking and the like to prevent rouge devices connecting but I don't know how easy those are to be defeated.

0
0
The Mole

Re: So an exploit can be delivered over WiFi. What about a harmful agent?

A lot of drugs need to be infused over a period of time otherwise they are dangerous - hence why they are being infused rather than injected in the first place. If you deliver over 30 minutes what should have been delivered over 6 hours then there is a very real chance of serious harm before it is noticed.

That said I do agree that the real risk is relatively low - though the low risk of getting caught and impersonal nature of doing it remotely may make the theoretical risk higher than that of a person walkign round fiddling with the machines.

That said I'm not sure why they would need wifi to begin with, they have a screen for a reason and I'd hope don't require regular software updates anyway given they don't actually do much.

0
0

Page:

Forums