* Posts by smudge

407 posts • joined 8 Aug 2008

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If we can't find a working SCSI cable, the company will close tomorrow

smudge
Facepalm

Not IT, but a similar experience

I once had a holiday which was a bus tour of the old cities of Morocco. (recommended, BTW.)

One morning at breakfast, the American lady next to me - whom I hadn't previously spoken to - said that her camera wasn't working.

So I asked what was wrong, and she said it was just completely dead. It had been fine the previous day.

So I asked if I could have a look. Took out the batteries, cleaned all the terminals and connectors, and put it back together. It worked perfectly. She was utterly amazed and extremely grateful.

So we started chatting.

"What do you do?", I asked.

Said she, "I design satellites for Hughes".

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UK.gov flings £30m at driverless car R'n'D, wants plebs to speek their branes

smudge

Why "IN" the vehicle?

A remote controller in a centre somewhere would probably be equally as effective, assuming the car has the number of sensors required to give all-round view to keep the AI happy.

I am originally from the Scottish Highlands.

Things that work effectively in the flatlands - mobile communications, for example - may not work so effectively in challenging terrain.

There is also, as I said, the possibility of "systems failure", which could be a comms failure.

In which case either the car fails safe - i.e. stops - in a mid-winter blizzard in the middle of nowhere, or the occupant takes control. I know which I'd prefer!

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smudge
Thumb Down

So commuters can actually get something done whilst commuting and people who like to go to restaurants and have a couple of glasses of wine can get home in their own vehicle without risking a driving ban, and elderly people who are no longer able to drive can still be mobile.

I think that for a long time to come there will still be a legal requirement for someone in the vehicle to be capable of taking over in the event of an emergency or a systems failure. Think of it like the quailified driver who has to accompany a learner.

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When Capita job ads go BAD

smudge

Re: Continuing the posterior-related theme....

Having spent my career in safety and security, my most common typo was "emergency shit-down".

It was nearly always appropriate and in context...

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Belgian brewery lays 3.2km beer pipeline

smudge
Pint

Re: Go visit

Yup - we did the brewery tour. The woman guide was brilliant - completely dry humour. "Before you start drinking in our bar, you will write down the name of your hotel on a piece of paper. This is so we can put you into a taxi when we decide that it is time for you to go. Do not say "the hotel next to the big church". We have sixteen of them. "

We were there in 2012 to avoid the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations in the UK. This weekend the UK will be celebrating her 90th birthday - and Mrs Smudge and I will be in Norway.

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Spying on you using fake social media profiles: One Scots council could

smudge
Big Brother

"... include all eventualities ..."

" ... a policy must be put in place to include all eventualities even if they are not used."

So how about "entering into a personal relationship with the third party/group member" in meatspace, not cyberspace? As practised by the Met Police.

It's an "eventuality", so what does their policy say?

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XMA shutters its City pad, will service London from St Albans

smudge
Headmaster

Re: "major hub inside the M25"

St Albans post code, for sure - but that's Colney Street!

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Former Brit police IT boss cuffed over bribery allegations

smudge
Black Helicopters

Re: Since when are you allowed to publicly state your clearance?

SC permits unsupervised access to SECRET, and occasional, supervised access to TS.

DV permits frequent, unsupervised access to TS.

So what he said was correct and not BS - it just omitted some of the detail.

But I agree with your puzzlement about him advertising his clearance.

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Investigatory Powers Bill: Spooks willingly entering the light?

smudge
Alien

Re: "a social compact.." "extensive public debate.." "a new democratic licence to operate.."

Apparently he is distantly related to Prostetic Vogon Jeltz: "...you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaints and its far too late to start making a fuss about it now.... I’m sorry but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that’s your own lookout... God I don’t know…apathetic bloody planet, I’ve no sympathy at all."

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Triple-murderer prisoner keeps mobile phone in his butt for a week

smudge
Pint

Well, I did it, so ...

“The first rule of command is never expect your people to do something you're not prepared to do. This includes asking officers to put on a rubber glove and extract a phone from Georgiou 's bum.”

The UK Cabinet is now terrified of Cameron saying "Actually, I did stick my prick into a dead pig's mouth..."

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GCHQ intel used to develop Stuxnet, claims new documentary

smudge
Coat

Re: Forte Mead

Hey, it has all the right letters - just in the wrong order.

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Head transplant candidate sells souvenirs to fund operation

smudge

He can do better than that!

Surely locks of his hair - "from the first human transplant head!!!" - would sell for more, and cost little to produce?

Yes he does have hair - I've checked.

I would also have suggested teeth, but let's be generous and assume that he'll need them after the op.

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The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

smudge

Re: I used to think 'the clearner' was urban myth...

You mean apart from now having a dirty EM noise generating motor on what should be a clean power line for computers?

I see your vacuum cleaner and raise you...

Back in the days when I did hospital pathology lab minicomputer systems, I was with a customer who had complained of the system shutting down at random times. We were in the computer room, staring at the system (as if that would help) when there was a dull "whump!" that was felt as much as heard, and the lights flickered.

"What was that?" I said. "Just the X-ray department next door." said he.

Problem solved.

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smudge
Facepalm

Similar...

35 years ago, disc drives were standalone, waist-high units, each with their own off/on button and a set of lights that indicated off/on status, disk activity, etc.

One morning one of my customers - an NHS consultant pathologist - phoned up and said they couldn't get the lab minicomputer system started.

I went through a number of basic questions. I didn't know their exact configuration, so I asked "Are ALL your disk drives powered up?". The answer was in the affirmative.

Couldn't get the damn thing to start up. Then a colleague, who knew their configuration, came into the office. He asked "Are BOTH your disk drives powered up?".

"Oh! No - I haven't turned one on. That'll be it. Thanks."

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Government in-sourcing: It was never going to be that easy

smudge
Holmes

Spot what's missing!

The answer is not to bring it all back in house," he said. "Instead have the very best in four key areas of skill: project management, architecture and design, procurement, and finance."

"And forget about defining the requirements, that's not important!".

1
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How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

smudge
Joke

Re: It's not just tech...

...for at least the first 4 weeks we were there another parent brought his son along, but didn't seem to feel it necessary to actually bring a guitar along too...

Clearly the kid was learning air guitar.

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For fsck's SAKKE: GCHQ-built phone voice encryption has massive backdoor – researcher

smudge
Big Brother

Am I missing something?

It's an encryption system for intra-Government use. Of course they're going to ensure that they can listen in. Why would anyone assume otherwise?

From the RFC: "The Initiator and the Responder trust a third party, the KMS, which provisions them with key material by a secure mechanism."

Now who do you think that will be?

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George Osborne fires starting gun on £20m coding comp wheeze

smudge
Holmes

“Our world is run on software – medical devices, finance, IoT, access to knowledge via Internet, etc – so any foundational security training must include the ability to code securely.”

Which should include the use of encryption on messages sent between sensitive devices and systems, such as medical devices, finance, IoT. Except that only terrorists, paedos and drug-dealers do that...

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DS5: Vive la différence ... oh, and throw away the Citroën badge

smudge
Pint

Re: Meh...

At the end of the 70s I had a GS, which was their Escort-sized medium family runabout.

Hydropneumatic suspension, air-cooled flat four engine, spade-handle handbrake coming out of the dash, one-spoke steering wheel, radio mounted vertically between the front seats, streamlined boat-like underside with exhaust and brake pipes set into recessed channels, hatchback incorporated part of the rear bumper so you only had to lift stuff a few inches... I could go on.

Main drawback was that the near-horizontal rear window meant that the rear-seat covering was reduced to baked dust after a few summers' sun.

They don't make 'em like that any more!

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MPs to assess tech feasibility of requirements under draft surveillance laws

smudge
Holmes

“data” includes any information which is not data'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell's_paradox ??

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smudge
Boffin

My submission in full

More specific issues of interest to the Committee include the extent to which communications data and communications content can be separated

Dear Commmittee,

They can't be separated.

Luv,

Smudge

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Shadow state? Scotland's IT independence creeps forth

smudge
FAIL

What one-party state? The article is about proposals from the Scottish Government. You do know they have a Government in Edinburgh? The current state of the Scottish Parliament is 127 seats excluding the Presiding Officer, with 64 SNP MSPs.

I would call that an overall majority of 1.

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smudge

Re: Jeez

Well, the Scottish citizens have the opportunity to vote in the Scottish Parliamentary election next May.

Given that the SNP government seems to consist of fairly canny operators, I would expect that anything that looks like a vote-loser will have disappeared well before the election. And if it's not a vote-loser, then - given that there is a free and open democratic system in Scotland - then good luck to them, even if we would disagree.

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Pause Patch Tuesday downloads, buggy code can kill Outlook

smudge
Windows

Re: Directly from Microsoft

Hmmm... dilemma. The original KB3097877 was installed yesterday on my Win 7, Office/Outlook 2010 machine. No problems so far.

What I assume is the revised version is being offered to me today.

To install, or not to install...?

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GCHQ director blasts free market, says UK must be 'sovereign cryptographic nation'

smudge
FAIL

Re: Paging David Cameron

"First is the myth that the government wants to ban encryption," said the head of GCHQ. "We don’t. We advocate encryption."

If that is really, truly, accurately what he said, then he needs to reminded sharpish that he is a civil servant, and is NOT the government.

To save time, he could be done alongside that eejit general who was shooting his mouth off at the weekend.

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Royal Mail mulls drones for rural deliveries

smudge

the kind of places Royal Mail has trouble delivering to also happen to have the worst possible weather for flying ...

And also the sorts of roads that could be more difficult for "autonomous ground vehicles".

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UK.gov finally promises legally binding broadband service obligation – by 2020

smudge

Re: What use is a "right to request"?

BT, or Kingston Communications if you live in Hull, will be obliged to say yes.

I wonder about that. I'm on the edge of St Albans - not in the sticks - and my BT line delivers me 3Mbps in summer, dropping to 2Mbps in the winter. An Openreach engineer has said "That's pretty good for round here!".

But NTL cabled up the street years ago, and every week I receive an offer from the bearded one to buy his services.

So would the gummint say that I already have the possibility of >10Mbps internet, but that I am choosing not to take it up? Or are they really going to force the monopoly operator (BT/Kingston Comms) to upgrade?

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UK's super-cyber-snoop shopping list: Internet data, bulk spying, covert equipment tapping

smudge
FAIL

It's personal data

It's unfortunate for her that May has compared the "Internet Connection Record" to an "itemised telephone bill".

The ICO's own quick reference guide about what is "personal data" says "Data such as personal bank statements or itemised telephone bills will be personal data about the individual operating the account or contracting for telephone services. ".

So our internet connection records are personal data under the Data Protection Act. The ISPs will have to treat the data as such.

They must respond to subject access requests.

They must also ensure that appropriate protection is applied to this personal data.

They must delete it when no longer required.

More interestingly, the ISP must declare to the customer the reason for storing this data, and obtain the customer's consent.

Have they thought this through?

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smudge

Re: Cautiously optimistic

I've always assumed that my ISP has a complete record of every page I visit, and I have no idea how long they keep it for.

The main thing that worries me - like the posters above - if how easy it will be for Plod and other services to get their hands on that data.

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UK watchdog offers 'safe harbor' advice on US data transfers

smudge

Re: @vimes

They were also paid to support the system after the fact. That to me implies IMO that they had access to the data passing through it too.

...

I wonder what level of access they had?

None whatsoever. All comms were managed by C&W, and LM were not even allowed on-site at the data processing centres. They did provide support such as fault diagnosis and correction using their own pre-production systems - undoubtedly made more difficult by the fact that no data from the live systems was transferred to them.

I can be as anti-US as the next person, and indeed I am currently advising a customer NOT to go to a cloud-based solution because of US legislation. But as far as I know the Census had all proper safeguards in place.

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smudge
FAIL

I seem to remember that the UK census personal information was to be processed by a US company in the US,

Wrong. The England, Wales & NI data was processed by a UK company in Manchester, England, giving over a year's employment to several hundred people. The systems were built by the UK subsidiary of Lockheed Martin - that's what you are "remembering" - who handed them over to the Office for National Statistics before the Census started.

The Scotland data was processed in Scotland - can't remember who was involved there.

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Feds in America very excited about new global privacy alert system

smudge
Big Brother

Re: So

I wonder how the war with Eastasia is going?

Eastasia is our friend and ally, and always has been. Only last week, Airstrip One was honoured by a visit from their glorious leader.

Eurasia is our enemy, and always has been. Very shortly, Big Brother will give us all the opportunity to leave it forever.

Benefits are restraints.

Cuts are liberation.

Plutocracy is equality.

5
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Support scammers target Mac fanbois

smudge
Windows

Should have made it harder for them

Crooks have registered a domain called ara-apple.com that closely resembles the legitimate Apple locale (ara.apple.com)

Would have expected Apple to register a number of domain names which closely resemble the correct name...

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Experts ponder improbable size of Cleopatra's asp

smudge
Holmes

It's obvious!

"Plutarch noted that the two puncture marks on her arm..."

So it was a vampire, then.

When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

14
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CISA blowup: 'Web giants sharing private info isn't about security – it's state surveillance'

smudge
Angel

I now believe in reincarnation

That pic of Senator Feinstein. It's Liberace, innit?

Who? Ask yer granny!

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Future civilisations won't know how the universe formed

smudge
Alien

It seems statistically unlikely that we should somehow be in the first 8% of all possible Earthlike planets.

So you'll be completely freaked out by the argument that we are almost certainly living in a computer simulation.

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smudge
Alien

Re: The Universe is only 4000 years old and was made by God

I have a book here which says that the entire Universe was in fact sneezed out of the nose of a being known as the Great Green Arkleseizure.

I'll bet that my book is more fun than yours.

31
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Fixing Windows 10: New build tweaks Edge, sucks in Skype

smudge
WTF?

Default definition

"...the last printer used is the default."

As Douglas Adams, a devoted Apple fanboi, so nearly said: "This is obviously some strange usage of the word 'default' that I wasn't previously aware of."

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Daily Mail caught on hooks of Angler exploit kit

smudge
Unhappy

this malware...

... it causes cancer, doesn't it?

2
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UK.gov finally unveils new parly spook-watching panel

smudge
Black Helicopters

Excellent news, M! Only 4 new members...

...for which we need to dig up the dirt, visit them with the evidence, and then carry on doing whatever the hell we want...

1
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Feeling sweary? Don't tell Google Docs

smudge
Thumb Up

Re: "or the Austrian village "Fuck"."

You're lucky you saw the sign. I remember reading that the number one local complaint is "People are always stealing our "Fucking" sign!".

10
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Met Police to slash hundreds of IT jobs, hands £216m outsourcing gig to Steria

smudge
Holmes

Re: "outside of the London area".

"Birmingham...well technically Solihull near the Airport and NEC....Allegedly ;-)"

Ah yes - I know exactly where that is!

Unfortunately, the next paragraph of the article says "Newport and Newcastle".

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Prof Hawking cracks riddle of black holes – which may be portals to other universes

smudge
Coat

If only you had said "...two short plancks" :)

2 x 16.162×10−36 metres

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Camera-carrying DOLPHIN SPY caught off Gaza

smudge

Hamas are hoping to exchange it for some nice tuna and a year's supply of sardines.

2
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Hillary Clinton kept top-secret SIGINT emails on her home email server

smudge

Re: Rules of the road

I'd also want to know how the TS emails were exported from the TS system to her email server or thumb drive.

3
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Oracle pulls CSO's BONKERS anti-bug bounty and infosec rant

smudge
FAIL

Re: Sensational historical revelation!

Of these, "shooting" could apply only to bows.

And I don't think the Greeks would bother doing that since they could probably just hit the bloke with a very large stick....

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smudge
FAIL

Sensational historical revelation!

...shooting the messenger (the fate of bearers of bad news in Ancient Greece)

The Ancient Greeks had firearms?

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Brit-educated bloke takes Dept of Homeland Security's infosec reins

smudge

Re: "Brit-educated bloke"

His PhD (2003-2007) supervisor at Cambridge was Ross Anderson. Must have had some interesting discussions if Ozment was as pro-government then as his subsequent career would suggest.

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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.

4
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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..." :)

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