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* Posts by smudge

339 posts • joined 8 Aug 2008

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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!".

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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.

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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.

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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...

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Linux turns the crank on code for cars

smudge
Facepalm

Re: With added Google?

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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....

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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.

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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?

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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...)

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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 :)

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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?

4
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US-Russia Soyuz 'nauts STUCK IN SPACE after ISS dock fail

smudge
Coat

Delay to your journey today

Roscosmos wishes to apologise for the delay to your journey today between Earth and the International Space Station.

This has been caused by an unexpected power supply issue - due to the wrong type of vacuum outside - meaning that we were unable to transfer from the slow orbit to a faster trajectory.

Your service is now running approximately two days late, and we hope that this does not cause you any inconvenience.

We realise that you had no choice of carrier today, but we still thank you for travelling with us, and hope to see you on the return flight in approximately six months time. That's if Putin hasn't sparked off nuclear Armageddon by then.

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

smudge
Unhappy

Why could they turn everything off?

One thing which has been bothering me - is there any good reason why the pilots should be able to turn off all comms and transponders?

Another way of asking that is - is there any failure mode of the comms and/or transponder equipment which represents such a hazard to the plane - or to others - that shutdown of all such equipment is justified?

Serious question. I guess that if there's no good reason, then somewhere along the line there will be a recommendation that all passenger aircraft carry some comms equipment that cannot be shut off by normal cockpit control.

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O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! Friday is Pi Day

smudge
Coat

So you'll celebrate Tau Day, not to-day? :)

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Nipper rolls up at nursery with 48 wraps of HEROIN

smudge
Childcatcher

Changed days

When we had bring-and-buy sales at school, my Mum used to bake some cakes* for me to take in.

*The flour-butter-egg-sugar-fruit kind of cake, OK?

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UK's CASH POINTS to MISS Windows XP withdrawal date

smudge
Windows

Applying business logic

"The PCI DSS states operating systems must be protected against known vulnerabilities using vendors’ latest security patches."

Big Banker 1: "But the vendor is no longer producing security patches. Therefore we remain compliant indefinitely."

Big Banker 2: "Great thinking! Large bonuses all round!!"

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What the world really needs: A telescopic SELFIE STICK

smudge
Facepalm

FOAD

"The manufacturer ... sees it as just the thing for taking pictures over the heads of fellow concert goers."

Absolutely. Concerts will be improved immeasurably by a forest of these things between me and the stage.

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Candy Crush King stops trying to trademark CANDY in the US

smudge
Flame

What's in a name?

If they have registered their trademark in the EU, then clearly they haven't been stopped by the well-known manufacturer of self-immolating washing machines (see icon).

Different target demographic I suppose, so little risk of confusion.

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MtGox boss vows to keep going despite $429 MILLION Bitcoin 'theft'

smudge
Facepalm

<sigh>

I've been thinking lately that we ought to have a variant of Godwin's Law, to cover the fact that, sooner or later, every online discussion nowadays seems to include a sarky comment about Salmond specifically or Scottish independence in general.

First names that came to mind were North Berwick Law and Denis Law, but I suggest Rubi's Law, because that's an area of Aberdeen most famous for a f--king great hole in the ground.

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Random car shutdowns force Toyota to recall Prius hybrids - AGAIN

smudge
Windows

Re: Toyota Update?

> How far are we away from "Patch Tuesdays" for cars?

Exactly what I was thinking.

But then no one would buy a new model until Service Pack 1 had been released....

6
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BT scratches its head over MYSTERY Home Hub disconnections

smudge
Boffin

pip pip pip pip...

The punters are obviously too young to know that when the pips sound, you have to put more money in.

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Security guru Bruce Schneier to leave employer BT

smudge
Black Helicopters

Re: Cryptogram

....which I normally receive on the 15th.

It's the 16th now, and no sign of it.

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Home Office clumsily LEAKS data of 1,598 immigrants, blames 'transparency'

smudge
Boffin

Re: Security: It is a measure, not a process!

That article in full for you:

"Staff have been told not to hide columns in spreadsheets."

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Universal Credit: £40 MILLION and counting's been spaffed up the wall on useless IT gear

smudge
Holmes

No totally digital service?

"...no such example of a totally digital service was being used by businesses in the UK - such as the banking sector - that involved the delicate and complex processing of an individual's finances..."

Who'd have guessed it? Who knew?

Somewhere behind the cash machine and the cheque reader machine at my bank, behind the POS terminals that I encounter everywhere, behind my electronic account statements.... there is still an army of clerks in a massive room with rows of desks, each clerk scratching away at a ledger with a quill pen.

Or am I misunderstaninding the twat?

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Thought you didn't need to show ID in the UK? Wrong

smudge

Re: Not my driving license...

Just don't get stopped by the Police in various European countries as, I think, they will not accept the old paper licences and expect you to be able to produce a (EU standard) photo card.

I have an old-style no-photo licence, and have never had the slightest problem hiring cars in Greece, Spain, & Portugal.

I've never been stopped by the police there, but I'd have thought that if the police didn't accept them then the hire company wouldn't either, because surely they would also be in trouble with the police?

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Switzerland to set up 'Swiss cloud' free of NSA, GCHQ snooping (it hopes)

smudge
Black Helicopters

Possibly more holes than their cheese

"Data protection and privacy is a long tradition in Switzerland... " Swisscom's head of IT services Andreas Koenig told Reuters.

So, allegedly, is cooperation with NSA. Just type "Crypto AG" and "NSA" into your favourite search engine.

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UK.gov BANS iPads from Cabinet over foreign eavesdropper fears

smudge
Holmes

“I think my phone has been modified by GCHQ enough that it'd [bugging] be difficult, but I'm sure the Chinese have had a good go."

GCHQ has taken the battery out so that they don't have to listen to him.

12
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Nothing to sniff at: Dell Ultrabooks REEK OF CAT PEE, scream users

smudge
Pint

So it must smell like Sauvignon Blanc?

What's not to like?

1
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SEX CRAZED FISH keeping hapless Southamptonites awake

smudge
Coat

So teach them the words...

... and then they won't have to hum.

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UK.gov open to hiring EX-CON hackers for cyber reserves

smudge
Headmaster

Hitting people is risky

"David Emm ... said that hitting people who had proved themselves to be "motivated by money and misplaced ideals" was a risky strategy, at best. "

I don't know. We could reduce the risk by going in mob-handed. I'm sure that lots of us would like to hit people like that, probably starting with the banking industry.

Or maybe you meant "hiring"?

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Bonking boffins say bacon biters won't breed

smudge
Boffin

Any fule kno...

... that fish are better swimmers than pigs.

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