* Posts by smudge

359 posts • joined 8 Aug 2008

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Microsoft starts switching on paid Wi-Fi service with latest Windows 10 preview

smudge
FAIL

As long as you're in the country where you bought Microsoft Wi-Fi...

Sounds like another scheme thought up by some American without a passport who thinks that international news comes from anywhere outside their own state.

Global solutions, guys - global solutions.

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

smudge
FAIL

Correction

"As we know from experience, governments are not good at big infrastructure projects because it's not their business," she said.

No. Other, non-UK governments are good at big infrastructure projects because they are committed to serving their citizens, not to lining the pockets of themselves and their mates.

Or, for the cynical, "...as well as lining the pockets..." :)

9
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It's the hottest day of the year. So check out John Lewis' Xmas tech range!

smudge
Paris Hilton

Xmas tree spotted

Birmingham Airport Holiday Inn has a 6-foot, decorated Xmas tree in their lobby, and brochures in every room advertising their Xmas and New Year events.

I hope they get no bookings.

Paris Hilton, because I'll bet they don't have one.

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‘Clandestines' prompt British border blockade in France

smudge
Facepalm

stored where?

Managed and kept by Sussex Police ... the NBA is available for use by all UK police forces for deployment at security sensitive sites or major events.

Of course, Sussex is just so central within the UK. The obvious location to store an item that is available to all of the UK.

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Will a datacentre be driving your car in 12 years' time?

smudge
Big Brother

All this will require very wide band communication into the car.

And this will work in the Highlands of Scotland? The Alps? The Rocky Mountains? <insert your favourite remote - not necessarily mountainous - region here>

So it will have to be possible to drive the car manually with all the remote stuff switched off. In the case of systems/network failure, as well as when you are in a remote region.

Once these cars become commonplace, will it be illegal to drive manually if you have remote control and could use it? So how easy will it be to switch it all off?

Especially when you're entering the Highlands of Scotland....

5
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Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

smudge
Happy

Re: just watch this

That's the one! I was going to provide a link to it - thanks for doing it for me.

Just don't play it on speakers in the office... :)

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Sunday Times fires off copyright complaint at Snowden story critics

smudge
Headmaster

Re: "fair use rights s"?

"Sorry to be a bore but I'm not sure that applies in British law."

Sorry to be a bigger bore, but there is no such thing as British law. There are three separate legal systems in different parts of the UK.

Anyway, there's nothing in the article that suggests that Greenwald's blog is covered by any UK jurisdiction. If you'd bothered to look at the blog, you'd have seen that it appears to come under the laws of the state of New York. So El Reg's comment is valid and yours is irrelevant.

5
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Condoleezza to China: 'The rules' mean cyber-spying isn't allowed

smudge
Big Brother

Least of my worries

“The problem is, nobody really trusts Huawei because of cyber-security issues.”

I have a Huawei phone, but I'm sure that everything I say and do is recorded by at least two national security agencies before it ever reaches the Chinese.

1
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Top Eurocop: People are OK with us snooping on their phone calls

smudge
Big Brother

Re: It could be useful ...

In the 1970's, my wife worked in the West Highlands of Scotland, where it was still necessary to ask the operator to connect local calls.

"I'd like to speak to Mrs MacDonald at Croft number 5, please."

"She's over having tea at Mrs McKay's. I'll put you through there."

Very useful!

1
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Capita wins four out of five stars for 'good', 'inexpensive' service

smudge
Facepalm

Don't tell them!

I am sure that they would be horrified if they knew that they were being confused with the IT services industry giant.

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Passions run high in EU parliament debate over air passengers' privacy

smudge
Unhappy

Re: Safety first

I just checked, and it's not that bad.

They only retain it until you are 100 years old.

8
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Fondleslab deaths grounded ALL of American Airlines' 737s

smudge
Facepalm

Re: Stoopid flyboys

Knowing American Airlines, as I did slightly many years ago, they could well be doing that.

About 11-12 years ago, my work took me to Dallas TX, and my customer had a deal with American Airlines so I had to fly with them. Their in-flght corporate videos - eg "Welcome to American Airlines", "Finding your way around Dallas Airport", etc - commenced with an animated rotating Earth.

But the Earth was rotating in the wrong direction...

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GSMA: Er, sorry about that MWC brothel ad with our logo

smudge
Coat

Seems very appropriate

Mobile World Congress. An accurate and concise description of what happens in a brothel near an airport.

9
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GRUNTY CHIMPS 'blend in among locals' after moving to Scotland

smudge
Facepalm

Re: Maybe...

"So they've swapped "er, excuse me? may I have some fruit, good sir?" for "see you, pal - gi'us that apple or ah'll put in the heid"?"

Michty me, no! This is not Glasgow, this is Edinburgh Zoo, in the posh area of Corstorphine. What the poor beasts have learned is "You'll have had your tea, then?".

14
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Assange's cop chaperones have cost £10 MEEELLION to date

smudge
Headmaster

Has it cost anything at all?

Have any additional staff been recruited because of this? Or is it simply that expenditure of £10M, which would have been spent anyway, has been directed into this exercise?

You may say I'm splitting hairs. But remember that the Government said that Thatcher's funeral did NOT cost millions - did not cost anything - because all the police and armed services personnel who were involved were already employed anyway, and would of course have been paid no matter what they were doing.

So

- enemy of the state: costs us a fortune

- enemy of the people: costs us nothing.

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Breaking news: BBC FINALLY spots millions of mugshots on cop database

smudge
FAIL

What purpose?

One of the requirements of the Data Protection Act is that personal data is used only for the purpose for which it was collected.

"Barton also said he was "unashamed" about keeping the photos of innocent Brits on the database because the police apparently needed them "for different purposes"."

Oh dear. Epic fail.

20
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MYSTERY RADIO SIGNAL picked up from BEYOND our GALAXY

smudge
Boffin

Re: Space is big, my brain just ain't

That's a tough one because El Reg doesn't have a standard unit for energy, but it does have a unit for mass.

So doesn't that mean it can have a standard unit for energy, derived from its unit for mass? All you have to do is use the most famous equation in the world.

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UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

smudge

There was a data centre (in Denmark or the Netherlands, I think), where the power supply failed.

The diesel generator came up as it should, and powered everything for a couple of days, by which time it needed refuelling.

The diesel tanker duly arrived - and crashed into the outbuilding, completely trashing the generator inside.

20
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smudge

http://www.allen-diesels.com/case-studies/civil-aviation-authority.php

Two 16kV, 5MW diesel engines, it seems.

Note that this is not a comment on Allen Diesels, nor am I suggesting that they are in any way at fault. I merely came across that page when searching around t'interweb to see what sort of backup power supply Swanwick has.

3
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Assange's WikiLeaks: Give generously this Xmas – for STATUE of our DEAR LEADER

smudge
WTF?

Standing on chairs??

Are they afraid of mice?

Or is that the CIA interrogation-technique-du-jour?

9
1

And the award for the world's most tech-savvy country goes to …

smudge
WTF?

International Internet bandwidth (bit/s) per Internet user ??

Isn't that going to promote small countries where nothing much happens (aka "is hosted")?

Such as Denmark.

0
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Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth

smudge
Pint

Zero-G effects

...spun around the earth at 17,227 mph, orbiting 15 times a day...

Exactly the same effect as too much usquebaugh has on me!

4
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Computer misuse: Brits could face LIFE IN PRISON for serious hacking offences

smudge
Headmaster

Any place?

To provide greater clarity on this point, therefore, Amendment 17 replaces the reference to damage to human welfare in any country with a reference to damage to human welfare in any place. Amendment 18 similarly replaces the reference to damage to the environment in any country with a reference to damage to the environment of any place.

So what's the definition of "any place". Are they about to outlaw interplanetary hacking? Inter-galactic? Have they taken the possibility of the multi-verse into account?

0
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Martha Lane Fox: YEUCH! The Internet is MADE by MEN?!?

smudge

Re: That explains it...

The point is that the IQ spread of the aristocracy is about that of the general public...

Indeed. This has been advanced as an argument in favour of a House of Lords populated by people who are there solely by birthright - not by appointment or, heaven forbid, by election.

The reasoning being that if you select purely by accident of birth, you'll get a general cross-section of IQ range and abilities. Whereas if you include those who have succeeded in being appointed or elected, you will skew the curve towards ambitious, pushy, self-centred types - like the House of Commons.

Not saying I agree with this - just pointing out that there is some logic in it.

12
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Official: Turing's Bombe BETTER than a Concorde plane

smudge
Black Helicopters

all dismantled...

"... the original Bombes built by the British Tabulating Machine Company were all dismantled after the war."

Yeah right. Thus leaving GC&CS/GCHQ without a means of attacking messages from the many other countries which were still using Enigma or variations (pun intended) thereof. Including the countries to which the UK sold them.

Did anyone ever believe the story the everything was destroyed?

4
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Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

smudge
Pint

Re: Go there!

Our brewery tour guide was a woman with a wicked, dry sense of humour and a completely deadpan face. She was brilliant.

"When you finish the tour and start drinking in our bar, you will first write down the name of your hotel. This is so that we can give instructions to the taxi when we decide that it is time for you to leave. It is no good saying that you are staying in an hotel with a large church beside it. We have fifteen of them."

5
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Salesforce plan to rename London skyscraper 'Salesforce Tower' DEMOLISHED

smudge
FAIL

Just like opinions

Salesforces are like arseholes - everyone has one.

Stupid name for a company, let alone a building.

5
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Hawking: Higgs boson in a BIG particle punisher could DESTROY UNIVERSE

smudge
Trollface

George Osborne is the saviour of the Universe

Hawking: "...unlikely to be funded in the present economic climate."

Osborne: "See, I told you we needed those austerity measures!".

17
1

UK Xmas 2014: Go to shops a normal human, walk out a glasshole

smudge
WTF?

Any eye you like, as long as it's the right

I’d have preferred the viewfinder over the left eye, but it’s not obvious if this will be an option any time soon.

I wasn't in the market for one, but it never occurred to me that it was for the right eye only. Remind me what century this is?

My master - and stronger - eye is my left, and that's where I'd definitely want it. And too bad if you don't have a functioning right eye.

Surely it could be made so that it could just be flipped over for use on the left eye? Yes I know that they are permanently fixed to the frame, but at least there would then be right and left options.

6
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ICO probes BBC after secret British army unit's info LEAKED

smudge
Holmes

Re: lack of word-processing/office skills

That's clearly a code of some sort, but I'm damned if I can work it out.

0
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Cybercrooks breed SELF-CLONING MUTANT that STEALS your BANK DETAILS

smudge
Windows

Re: By opening the file

Ummm.... right. If everyone could see the file type, no-one would open dodgy attachments. Well, OK - whatever you say...

0
1

Linux turns the crank on code for cars

smudge
Facepalm

Re: With added Google?

Immediately before the word "Maps" in the final paragraph.

3
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ARRRRR. Half world's techies are software PIRATES – survey

smudge
Facepalm

Complete... err... fabrications

"ARRRRR. Half world's techies are software PIRATES – survey

Almost half of the world's enterprise IT managers openly admit to using pirated software at work – at least a survey from a software industry association says so."

Your headline and first sentence of the article are complete fabrications. Nowhere in the report does it say this.

The report says that 43% of PC software is unlicensed. This is NOT the same as "Almost half of the world's enterprise IT managers openly admit to using pirated software...".

You might have only a tiny number of managers admitting it, but if they were responsible for very large numbers of PCs, this would skew the results. The number of PCs is taken into account in calculating the figure - see page 14 of the report.

There's plenty of other things to question in the report - e.g. could the increase from 42% to 43% be within the error bands for the survey? - but please let's not make things up.

14
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Assange™ makes fresh bid for FREEDOM from Scotland Yard's 'physical encirclement'

smudge
FAIL

Re: Fees

What "added requirement"? Sure, there have been police assigned to this, who could have been doing other things. But has the police force spent £6M that they wouldn't have spent anyway? No.

Remember, the UK Government claimed that Thatcher's funeral cost nothing, because no additional resources were recruited.

Same argument must also apply to watching out for Assange.

Unless someone can show us the police officers recruited specifically to do that.

12
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Boris: Look on 'London's digital tentacles', ye mighty, and despair!

smudge
Facepalm

Re: Forget Scottish Independence

"..I am not keen on breaking up the UK.

I am willing to make an exception of London though. "

You didn't explain why.

"...we don't need a reclaimed swamp in the remote south east to keep us going."

Ah. The usual pig-ignorance and blind prejudice. That explains why!

0
4
smudge
Holmes

Adolescence?

"...London’s tech sector, which despite only being in adolescence..."

When I started working (1978), the cream of the UK's IT consultancies and software houses were concentrated in the West End - Soho, Fitzrovia and Covent Garden.

Logica, Scicon, SPL, Hoskyns, CAP - and probably more, but as you'd expect from an old fart, the memory is going now....

3
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Measure for measure: We visit the most applied-physicist-rich building in the UK

smudge
Happy

Re: When did computing & networking close?

Thank you! I have just ordered a copy of that book.

0
0
smudge
Unhappy

When did computing & networking close?

I worked there on a joint industry-NPL computing project in the late 1970s. Some famous names were still around, like Donald Davies (one of the inventors of packet-switching), Mike Woodger (assistant to Turing when here was there) and Brian Wichmann (programming languages, especially Ada).

They were still doing interesting things in computer architectures and networking - but I assume that some review some time decided that this was better left to the private sector?

1
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100% driverless Wonka-wagon toy cars? Oh Google, you're having a laugh

smudge
Paris Hilton

Re: Things I would like to see

"Hendon Central would do it for me."

I'd put money on it being hard-coded to drive on the right :)

(Which would be fine for Paris...)

2
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ICO raps UK Student Loans Co for leaking MEDICAL files and more

smudge
Holmes

Re: The article keeps changing

But neither is it the Ministry of Truth :)

1
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Privacy International probes GCHQ's mouse fetish

smudge
Facepalm

Re: Won't someone think of the mice?

It's so obvious, I'm embarrassed!

In the environment in which they were used, there would have been little chance of someone modifying a mouse unobserved - and there was a good culture of "report anything suspicious". Also little chance of smuggling in a modified mouse.

But since mice are cheap, why take the risk?

My self-esteem has just come down a notch, and my respect for that customer has just gone up.

0
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smudge
Black Helicopters

Won't someone think of the mice?

You mentioned mice in the headline, but, as far as I can see, not in the article.

I recently worked on a large HMG project - sensitive, but not highly classified. At the end, HMG insisted that all the mice were destroyed.

Removable memory and storage media cleared in accordance with HMG standards - no problem. Destruction of printers - OK. Memory cards or chips that couldn't be removed from switches - we argued about them, but I think we destroyed them too.

But mice??? What information can a mouse retain?

0
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How exec snatched $6m budget from his infosec team because he couldn't see ROI

smudge
Holmes

No appetite

"...Masters said infosec bods would score resources if they pitched projects against the specific risk appetite of the board.

"[Approval] depends on where a potential breach sits within the specific risk appetite of a business," Masters told The Register.

"If they show ROI in this language, they will succeed."

Masters said this was a guaranteed ROI recipe."

Just one teensy problem. The part of an extremely large household-name company that I am currently working for:

- has no idea what "risk appetite" is

- doesn't see why they should have one

- doesn't see why they should have to accept any risk.

0
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UK bank heist-by-KVM gang sent down for 24 years after nicking £1.2m

smudge

And no offences under the Computer Misuse Act?

4
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Despite your fancy-schmancy security tech, passwords still weakest link in IT defences

smudge
Holmes

Kettles, meet the pot

That will be the same Verizon whose POS terminal at my local petrol station tells me what software, including version number, it is running, every time I use it?

Tell them to come back when they have a clue.

1
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French firms: You want us to compile DATABASES... of our SECRET information?

smudge
Paris Hilton

Interesting

In my many years in information security, I've often thought that a lot of the information that is kept secret does not need to be kept secret, and that it would make bugger all difference if it was published.

The problem is, of course, that you'd have to get everyone to do it, otherwise those who do could be at a disadvantage to those who don't.

Will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Paris - because that's where a lot of the info will be.

0
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Dimwit hackers use security camera DVRs as SUPER-SLOW Bitcoin-mining rig

smudge

It's like the old urban legend of the guy who collected up all the fractional payments the company rounded down on its payroll. A lot of tiny amounts soon adds up.

No urban legend - a pretty common fraud. Known as a "salami swindle".

1
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US to strengthen privacy rights for Euro bods' personal data transfers

smudge
Black Helicopters

They missed out a bit

The bit about repealing the USA PATRIOT Act.

Without that, any promise from the US to respect the privacy of furriners must rank alongside "Yes, I will still love and respect you in the morning.".

And that's the open, public legislation. There's also the NSA...

26
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Brit game devs WILL get tax relief for, er, EastEnders Game and Legend of Slough

smudge
Pint

Sim Scotland

You are a bumptious leader of a Scottish Government, with a trusty sidekick. (Note to games devs - give them some funny names for the younger players - fish, for example.)

The game starts off with an independence referendum whose result is not pre-determined.

Then, depending on the result, you have to try to continue to govern Scotland and keep it solvent, regardless of whether it is independent or not. You have to negotiate with the evil government of your neighbour, Etonia, for money and other resources, and you have to get yourself re-elected every four years.

The game is open-ended, but there are various scenarios which will bring it to a halt:

- you lose an election

- nuclear catastrophe at Dounreay or Faslane

- the Etonians invade and successfully capture Edinburgh (although there is an alternative scenario in which the game starts with them already there, and you have to drive them out)

- you sell the country to a consortium led by Bernie Ecclestone, a Russian oligarch and the Emir of Qatar.

Overall design concept: Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Artwork: Allan Ramsay (people) and William McTaggart (landscapes)

Storylines: Sir Walter Scott and Irvine Welsh

Music: The Peatbog Faeries, Susan Boyle, and the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band.

A Wee Eck Production.

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smudge
Facepalm

Re: British Culture?

And who do you think gave us straight roads?

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