Feeds

* Posts by Pete 2

2245 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

US military debated hacking Libyan air defenses

Pete 2
Silver badge

Re: Failing?

> You mean they couldn't hack the systems they sold ka-daffy-duck all those years ago????

Maybe those sneaky Libyans went and changed the root password - who'd a'thought?

0
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

Alternative alternative

... or to say "we thought about it but decided not to" after trying, but failing.

0
0

Survey: '4 million' Brits stung by ID theft

Pete 2
Silver badge

Not really a crime

If ID theft is such a big concern that the cops need to spend a week trying to prevent it, why won't they ever issue a crime number when you try to report it? Shrugging their metaphorical shoulders and fobbing you off with the line that you should report it to your bank instead.

0
0

If the name’s not on the whitelist it can’t come in

Pete 2
Silver badge

Companies have implicit whitelists

Since this is about corporate behaviour, not home users, the whole thing about users downloading stuff onto the company's machines should be moot. Users simply shouldn't be installing anything and anything that does get installed should come by way of the IT dept (isn't that one of their primary functions? or am I being old-fashioned?) and be on their list of approved applications and be sourced from themselves and ONLY from them.

So for companies, they already have a list of apps they are happy for users to use. Ones they can support, that they know will play nice with the other apps and that have been properly acquired through a legal channel.

Again, we're not talking about home users here so "drive-by download sites" simply should not be an issue (and aren't that hard for the compliance people to spot - you DO scan machines for unlicensed softs, don't you?). So I'd expect that any company that is doing their IT even half-right already operates a white-list, although they probably don't call it that. Not after the political officer has had a word, anyway.

1
0

WHSmith launches e-book reader rivals to Amazon Kindle

Pete 2
Silver badge

Tiny, tiny, tiny screen

Take a sheet of A4 and fold it in half twice - so it's down to A6 size. The 6-inch screen on this thing is smaller than that! It's basically the size of a a Post-It note and a little over half the area of an average paperback.

While it "fits in your pocket easily" it sounds like it's much more likely to slide down the crack in the sofa and be lost forever. Personally, I'll hold out for a tablet/reader/thingy that's A4 sized and preferably flexible. Tthough I will probably be waiting a long time, I don't mind, it's not really that important.

0
3

Dutch ISP calls the cops after Spamhaus blacklists it

Pete 2
Silver badge

Comparing Spamhaus to credit scoring agencies

While both can (disingenuously) claim "we don't block your email/credit" they are both responsible for sourcing the information that does. With credit rating companies, we all have a right to access the information they hold about us and have it corrected if it's wrong. With Spamhous we have no rights, no means of getting incorrect information put right and we aren't even judged on our own behaviour.

In human rights terms collective punishments are illegal. You cannot punish a group of people for the wrongdoings of one, whom you suspect of being in that group. Yet this is precisely what happens with Spamhous. What's worse is that you, as an individual, have no rights to have information that Spamhous publish about the IP address you are using updated. While you could argue that with dynamic IP allocation it's not practical, that doesn't excuse the behaviour, which is simply a poor implementation which addresses the wrong problem.

4
0

One in 10 Brits leaves web passwords in their will

Pete 2
Silver badge

And we're told to not write down our passwords ???

Surely a far more practical solution (rather than going through the rigmarole of updating legal documents) is to simply have a postit stuck to the side of your screen with your passwords on it. Or for the ultra-security paranoid: stuck on its back!

The question then becomes, who is responsible for keeping up the subscriptions on all these wonderful, valuable e-assets? The ones who's hosting company's Ts & Cs you'd be breaking by either: giving your account details to someone else, or: accessing someone else's account.

That's even if you share the same musical/film tastes as your dear-departed. Or if all the stuff in their accounts would end up in the equivalent of a house-clearer's skip. Though would you really want to stumble across your grandparents' pr0n collection?

0
0

Valve chief says Apple will own your living room

Pete 2
Silver badge

Good

> Apple will own your living room

The wallpaper's getting a bit tired and it could use a new carpet.

1
0

Seattle superhero arrested for assault

Pete 2
Silver badge

So he crashes a party ...

The video was shown as the outro on Newsnight last night. The guy came across as being somewhat pathetic. He barged in to a group of people "hanging" and started attacking them. Then he was shown being chased off by a girl in heels (the girl was wearing the heels, not the guy fantasizing about being a superhero, just to be clear)

Rather than being some sort of public benefactor, he appeared to be someone who needed therapy and treatment rather than an award.

5
0

ISPs end PM's web smut block dream

Pete 2
Silver badge

ISPs to parents ...

... looking after your children is your responsibility, not ours.

34
0

Ten... Freeview HD recorders

Pete 2
Silver badge

The hackers choice

Yes, a starling omission, given its reputation as the platform of choice for people who like to tinker with their STBs.

0
0

US rocketeer thunders to 121,000ft

Pete 2
Silver badge

Anybody else find this slightly worrying?

There's no doubt that this is a marvellous achievement, when used for good (or at least: when used for personal goals and to feed wow! onto the internet). But let's fast-forward and consider what happens when a private individual has the means to add a guidance system to this - say a heat-seeking system. When does a home-project (albeit a piggin' expensive and very sophisticated one) become a Mach-3 missile - and if this guy can build one, who else could?

1
16

Brit boffins' bendy bamboo bike breakthrough

Pete 2
Silver badge

Additional benefit

... and nobody would ever nick one. Though you might have to be a bit careful leaving it near goats.

1
0

Biker gang plunders Covent Garden Apple Store

Pete 2
Silver badge

Shouldn't that be ...

> after the "smash and grab" raid

smash and fondle?

4
0

Here come hypervisors you can trust

Pete 2
Silver badge

A box without users

> Yet by and large, we tend to neglect the hypervisor, trusting it to just work.

That's not an unreasonable assumption, since hypervisors don't have idiot users surfing to pr0n sites on them, reading their bug-infested email, or trying to plug in some dubious thumb-drive/peripheral/phone

When you rid your IT of all of those points of weakness, it's surprising how little effort is needed to keep a box secure, bug-free and reliable.

1
0

BBC One and bureaucracy spared in Auntie cuts

Pete 2
Silver badge

Little or no change, then

> BBC2 will be all repeats now during the day

A swift perusal of their schedule shows BBC2 is only planning on showing 6 new programmes today. There were 2 this morning (seemed to be for children) and 4 later on today, starting at 17:15. As it is, that's only a little worse than BBC1 which has 10 (count em! TEN) new programmes on today. Two in peak time (20:00 and 21:00) and the rest scattered about throughout the day.

There is one, called "Pointless" that seems to sum up their programming policy quite nicely.

3
0

Ten reasons why you shouldn't buy an iPhone 5

Pete 2
Silver badge

Like water off a duck's back

I'm sure all those reasons are perfectly lovely. However if you're not planning to buy a '5 then they are meaningless (or just preaching to the choir). If you are planning to get one, none of them will persuade you otherwise.

All these reasons are far too rational. They fail to recognise the way the product is being marketed and therefore won't have any traction with the people being courted. If you can find a potential buyer who is willing and able to give you an honest answer, it probably won't be any more substantial than "BECAUSE I WANT ONE". You simply can't argue against that level of primal, unthinking desire.

If you really wanted to deter people from buying one - your best strategy would be simply to lie about it. How about starting a rumour that every '5 was tested on poor, blind, orphan, pregnant, bunny-wunnies with big sad eyes and a cute little bobble-tail?

5
0

iPhones 'excellent for doing experiments on their owners'

Pete 2
Silver badge

Nowt so queer as folk

> there are well over 100million iPhones in the world so there must be some variety in the group.

No, not really. What you have is a group who have all reacted in exactly the same way to exactly the same stimulus, i.e. they bought the product after seeing the advertisement. Even if you could conduct an experiment on all the smartphone users in all the world ("she walks into mine") you'd still only be analysing the responses of a self-selecting group.

It's not much different from all the "research" that was done on subjects during the 50s and 60s. Most of that research was applied to people who had answered "experimental subjects wanted, pays $10" advertisements posted on college notice boards. That resulted in whole fields of trick-cyclery that tried to generalise ordinary peoples' behaviour from observing 19 year-old middle-class american students.

You'd think they'd have learned from that, but apparently not ...

9
2

UK punters happy to pay £3 to top up e-wallets

Pete 2
Silver badge

Ask a londoner

A lot of people already have what is in effect an e-wallet. It's the oyster card that they use to keep the cost of travelling round the metropolis at a level somewhere between obscene and merely extortionate. If you want to know what people who actually use an electronic card to pay for goods and services would be willing to pay simply to keep money in their account, just ask anyone touching in or out. Try suggesting tho them that they should pay three quid just to top-up and then duck, sharpish, as a fist shaped reply tells you the answer.

2
0

Ellison brandishes 'speed of thought' Exalytics appliance

Pete 2
Silver badge

For all its wonderful speed

... it still relies on the person in front of the screen to ask sensible questions.

"Before you finish asking a question, it can guess and give you the answer." I wonder how often that answer is either: correct, relevant or answers the question you had in mind. Any little computer can reply "42", but the key is to know why that is the right answer.

0
0

Computer sim explains why hippies became extinct

Pete 2
Silver badge

Wanting more

So many people seem to be motivated by greed: wanting more than other people, rather than by the actual amount of stuff that everybody has. Contrary-wise, people generally tend not to be so unhappy with having nothing, provided everyone they know is in a similar predicament.

It's only when the advertisers start pointing out "you could have .... " that people start to become dissatisfied with their lot.

4
0

Man who blasted five million text spams gets wrist slap

Pete 2
Silver badge

Let the punishment fit the crime

Release him after he's personally texted an apology to each spam recipient

3
0

Boffins prove Queen ballad 'world's most catchy song'

Pete 2
Silver badge

One missing attribute

... the people judging the singers and songs must have actually heard (of) them.

Who's to say that these, all english/american-language songs contain the _world's_ most catchiest tunes? Other cultures have completely different musical scales and would presumably therefore be attuned to different musical attributes to stir their loins into battle - or football.

Given that this is just an attempt to appear "down wiv' da kidz" to try and convince them that science is "cool" I can see why they've skewed their results in such a startling manner. However, as a piece of science it does appear lacking (in the whole history of music - all the entries, ALL of them are from the past 50 years) in any sort of rigour and I really can't see how this could possibly be worthy of a PhD.

Maybe I should write up my list of top 10 favourite power ballads and submit that, so I can be known as Dr. Pete 2 - I'm sure I could come up with enough random psychobabble to convince whoever dished out this degree.

1
1

Chocolate weighed in Schwarzeneggers: Official

Pete 2
Silver badge

Begging for it

What this really needs is an online conversion tool

3
0

Should your system offer Mr, Ms ... and Mx?

Pete 2
Silver badge

ISO5218

Every SQL programmer knows there are 4 gender codes:

- don't know

- male

- female

- not applicable

which seem to cover most of the cases where knowledge of gender is needed to facilitate a decision.

Given that we're all supposed to be equal these days, the number of cases where such information is crucial is probably smaller than most people think and questions about possession of X and/or Y chromosomes (and maybe some others, too) might be more pertinent.

2
0

NASA to trial laser-powered space broadband

Pete 2
Silver badge

Call me waldo

Forget communicating with interplanetary craft. This sort of bandwidth sounds ideal for multiple remote controlled robots in orbit. What you'd need to make that practical is a set of "eyes" on the robot(s) (preferably stereoscopic vision) and a real-time video link back to the ground control centre. Plus of course the less data intensive uplink to tell the robot where to wave its arms.

It's hard to see this being a go-er for much further than lunar operations, due to the latency involved, but it does sound like the first step in doing something constructive in space.

0
0

MPs label police IT 'not fit for purpose'

Pete 2
Silver badge

Deja vu, all over again

> the 43 forces in England and Wales use a multiplicity of different IT systems

Sounds like they need to take a leaf out of the NHS book and centralise and consolidate all their computer systems. That way they will get the benefits of a single, standard system and reduce the cost .... sorry. I can't go on, I'm laughing too much.

2
0

Rogue toilet takes out Norfolk server

Pete 2
Silver badge

OK, I admit - I'm bored

so here goes:

failed flush fries fuse,

server severs system,

monitor militates meltdown,

pipes purged - poo probably precipitated problem

3
0

Yoof survey: 'Internet as vital as air'

Pete 2
Silver badge

Term inflation

> do these kids know what 'vital' means??

I think these days you have to prefix a phrase with "literally" :) before anyone starts to take it seriously. Otherwise deduct at least two steps of urgency to get back to the real meaning. Thus:

vital -> important -> convenient

need -> want -> impulsive desire (that will soon fade)

literally hate -> hate -> dislike

2
0

US military satellite to get attack-warning equipment

Pete 2
Silver badge

Mars attacks

> to establish clearly who is behind them

and if the threat is found to be extraterrestrial (either in reality, or due to faulty software/sensors) we'll no doubt have our first interplanetary war. I expect the people behind the pork are just itching for an enemy that will let them open up such a lucrative source of everlasting FUD. Especially if the only evidence of the "threat" comes from their own systems.

1
1

Lancs shale to yield '15 years' of gas for UK

Pete 2
Silver badge

Green with envy

Presumably this is the worst possible discovery for those who have decided for us that what we need are renewable forms of energy, not cheap ones. Maybe the answer is to redefine the "scouse" as an endangered species, who's natural habitat should not be disturbed?

0
2

1-in-3,200 chance* that a fiery satellite chunk will hit someone on Friday

Pete 2
Silver badge

Heavens above

... and if you want to track it, heavens-above.com have a nice, real-time view of who's under the flight path.

The irony is that if it does actually come down on top of some unfortunate person, they will be one of the few, verifiable, casualties of climate change. Though not from its earthly effects, but our efforts to do something about it.

2
0

How to go from the IT dept to being a rogue trader

Pete 2
Silver badge

The fifth column

During the Spanish civil war, the nationalists had 4 columns of troops attacking Madrid. Their leader broadcast that these troops were helped by a fifth column inside the besieged city. So it is with with IT systems. Every company regards the customers, or non-employees as "the enemy" so far as computer and financial security is concerned, but few take any heed of the underpaid, over-screwed (and not in a good way) people who daily, have access to all the revenue and orders that flow in or out of the company. Be it a financial trader, bank, plumber or local authority. Consequently, almost all security measures are outward-facing and few are designed to slow down the operator/programmer/sysadmin with the root password and the balls to use it.

Even fewer of the internal security measures are ever tested - for the simple reason that they'd almost all be found to be completely ineffectual against an internal attack from someone who knew what they were doing.

And when a discrepancy is discovered, the only place the investigators would look is at the audit trail, on the presumption that the trail, itself, is uncompromised: not a valid assumption against "root" and someone with a well thought out plan. [Although in fairness, there are lots of cases where computer staff have been caught, some even nicked. Generally these are the result of rushed or faulty frauds caused by unexpected opportunistic situations that didn't allow time to plan the crime properly. When doing Unix support I occasionally found myself being "parachuted" into a major credit card/finance company's machine room, logged into root and my "overseer" saying "... be back in half an hour"]

So why don't you hear about rogue sys-admins, who lose their companies millions, or billions? or end up spending their autumn years in the Carribean? Simple: Not because the dishonest ones aren't getting their (unfair) share, but because they've been able to shift the blame onto some "rogue" trader, somewhere.

2
1

NASA: Beam me up some power, Scotty

Pete 2
Silver badge

going back in time

Consider the american manned space programme.

Nothing now, the scuttle in the 80s, the moon landings in the 60's

They ARE travelling backwards in time.

3
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

The Sun

Using light beamed from earth to power spaceships .... OK, but isn't there already quite a large source of light available for free.

However, if you wanted to develop a realllllllly power laser for other purposes, such as burning holes in other countries, this would be a great cover story.

2
0

Smut domain scores big bucks for not handling smut

Pete 2
Silver badge

First of many

So this should increase the value of the ".sucks" TLD nicely.

5
0

Feds probe naked Scarlett Johansson outrage

Pete 2
Silver badge

People who live in the "glass houses" of celebrity

shouldn't do yoga in the nude.

Don't want photos of yourself plastered all over the place? Simple: don't take them in the first place. Why is that so difficult to understand?

3
3
Pete 2
Silver badge

why are all these celebs different?

Because when you (and yuor OH) were in the queue for a standard issue of common sense, they had gone back for an extra helping of narcissism.

33
1

Hunt: Online file-sharing is a 'direct assault on freedoms'

Pete 2
Silver badge

A fair reward?

> " ... rights of creators of content to be rewarded fairly".

So a musician produces a track, plays it to a friend in the biz. Friend likes it and uses his/her contacts to get it played on radio. It becomes a hit and the muso makes £1M. Another musician, equally talented, produces a piece, but isn't so well connected. He/she/it goes on the road playing clubs, pubs, underground stations and anywhere until they get moved on. Over the years they sell a handful of CDs for £5 each.

Where's the fairness?

Films, TV, music, any of the creative arts is essentially a lottery. Some artists strike it lucky, other equally deserving and talented ones die in poverty. I would suggest that this initiative (like all the ones before it) has nothing to do with the content creators - who have a long tradition of getting screwed by all and sundry - but has everything to do with the fat-cats at the top of the pile.

I'm all for making sure the creators get their dues - and anyone else who adds value, in proportion to what they contribute - and ISTM the simplest way to reduce piracy is to cut out almost all of the middle layers that get between a content creator and the content consumers (or maybe sponsors would be a better description). Make the provision and purchase of content direct and personal and I have a feeling that almost all the piracy will simply disappear - once people form a link with the authors and are asked to pay a sensible price for the entertainment they enjoy.

15
2

Securo-boffins call for 'self-aware' defensive technologies

Pete 2
Silver badge

A simpler solution

Somewhere deep in National Power (or should that be National Pwn?) there is a little RJ45 socket with the label "Internet" on it. Out of that comes a long grey cable that leads directly to the central machines that control their power generation capability. At least that's the picture painted by this report.

Why not just unplug the crucial machines from the 'net, altogether?

That doesn't mean thet have to go the whole BSG hog and be completely network free. Just that these utilities have a few bits of Cat5 that are not connected to all the other bits of Cat5 which talk to the outside world. After all, there can't be many reasons why a generator control system (or some Uranium purifying centrifuges, for that matter) should even be aware that the internet exists.

If these core computers do somehow become aware and conclude that "there is another system", then there might be trouble. But let's cross that bridged network when we come to it.

0
0

Cloud startup's business model defies laws of physics

Pete 2
Silver badge

Qute easy really

Just keep sending the data round and round "the internet". Using the cache on all the servers and routers it passes through to store it. Then when you want to retreive it, just wait until it comes round through your severs on it's next "orbit"

It's a mashup of mercury delay line memory, logistics companies using their lorries as warehouses (while they're on the road, delivering your stuff) and the standard internet/cloud marketing BS.

3
0

Why Android houses should give Google the 'fork you'

Pete 2
Silver badge

This could be all we'll ever have

The barriers to entry for creating your own operating system were traditionally low. Snarf a copy of Linux, add some drivers, GUI-fy it and with 20 person*years you'd have something that could put up a credible performance at an industry electronics show.

However, once you try to make money off that your £1M of investment becomes a £gig. and takes years. Primarily because of patents. The consequence is, that until there is a radical change in hardware - comparable to the difference between procedural and object orientated languages, the O/S's we have today are probably the only ones we'll have for a long time. Just like car engines are either petrol or diesel ... oh yes, or electric (mustn't forget the C5)

Faced with the obstacles of coming up with something new and legally acceptable, you can't blame the phone companies for adopting a "Bones-esque" attitude of "Dammit Jim, We're a phone maker, not a computer company".

Under the chilling legal circumstances, sticking with Android may be the least worst option.

1
0

Guardian pratfall swaps homepage for US insurance firm

Pete 2
Silver badge

At a guess

some webby-edity-thingy had an autocomplete set, which said gopher (Q: does anyone still use that?) just accepted by default and didn't bother to check.

1
0

Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions

Pete 2
Silver badge

The wrong way round?

The government has decided to spend all its time rabbiting on about thing IT wants to talk about - not things THE PEOPLE (who, incidentally put the MPs there) want discussed.

To put it in perspective, if all the 100,000 people who signed any one of the qualifying e-petitions could be bothered to get off their arses and actually vote, they'd represent the majorities of the 4 safest parlaimentary seats (or the 60 least safe: which had majorities less than 1,500 votes). You'd think that sort of political influence would gain some respect. But I guess that since there's no possibility of another election for several years - where these e-petitioners could register their displeasure at being ignored, the people in charge can afford to ignore them all. Isn't democracy a wonderful thing?

1
0

Amazon solves wait-at-home-for-deliveries problem

Pete 2
Silver badge

Saturday, Sunday and evenings

Why is it so impossible to get stuff delevered at times when people are actually at home?

I know that all the couriers base their delivery models around businesses and therefore only want to deliver during business hours. And apparently make so much money doing that, that none feel the need to expand the reach of their business.

But you'd have thought by now that at least one of them would have had a couple of neurons accidentally bang together and thought "most of our deliveries are to peoples' houses ... why don't we make our deliveries then? ... <head explodes>".

After all if pizza delivery companies can manage it, then you'd think a multi-billion £££ concern like Amazon could - though it might be difficult getting a 3 piece suite on the back of a moped - and it would probably arrive without the peperami.

2
0

Three in ten Americans urge feds to read their email

Pete 2
Silver badge

Survey results need a small proviso

> read their emails ... review someone’s search history ... financial records ... listen in on their phone calls ... video surveillance in public ... torture ... harsh interrogation ...

Provided these only happen to OTHER PEOPLE. Don't you know: *I* have rights!

9
0

Does Cameron dare ditch poor-bashing green energy?

Pete 2
Silver badge

Haven't we been here before?

Putting aside the benefits or not of cheap/green energy, let's look at carrots instead.

In the 80s and 90s the governments of the time were pushing home ownership for all. Stop paying rent, which is monkey down the drain - take out loans and a mortgage instead ,,,, and we've seen what the effect of that "boom" was.

So just considering what the politicians' motivations are: to stay in power and win elections (at any cost). It does seem that they're up to the same old malarkey again. Proposing cheap fiscal "tricks" to make people appear wealthier and associate that extra money with the party in power. Using the enticement of more spending money to garner favour and win votes.

That's fine, but what goes down - energy prices - inevitably seems to go back up again. So we get cheap power ... for a time ... we just start using more of it (or buying goods that need energy for their manufacture) until we're back to the same natural economic state again: spending up to the limit of our earnings. Then at some point in the future, after todays politicos are dead, emigrated or wearing the profile of their backsides into that seat on the board we find that it all goes pear shaped, just like the 90s credit boom did.

5
2

'Satnavs are definitely not doomed', insists TomTom man

Pete 2
Silver badge

It's a retrofit

The only reason to buy a discrete satnav is because your car doesn't come with one preinstalled ... yet.

The satnav market (by comparison with the smartphone market) is merely satisfying a lack of vehicle specifications. Just as if cars didn't come with windscreens, you'd expect companies like Everest to step in and fill the gap (literally, though quite how well they'd do it is another question) - but ONLY until car manufacturers realised their mistake and retooled their production lines.

So what's the future fro the satnav suppliers? Well, not too good if they want to sell to the public. Better if they make OEM products for Nissan and the others. However, just like Motorola started off making car radios, they'd better diversify pretty dam' quickly - and wisely. Otherwise they could find that they either shrivel and die or get bought by a search company - presuming they have some patents, hardware or balance sheets that makes them desirable, 'cos their suitors won't be after the satnavs.

3
0

Everyone knew NoTW 'rogue reporter' bit was untrue

Pete 2
Silver badge

Did you know ...

> they could not bury the evidence such as the For Neville email.

"For Neville email" is an anagram of "evil liar felon me".

Not accusin'. just sayin'

3
0
Pete 2
Silver badge

Got to be the dumbest ever

I mean, who'd put the title as "For Neville" in an email - isn't that apparent from the address? Though I suppose "Everyone knows about phone hacking" might be a little too obvious.

As for knowing - uhhh, sure. But as any lawyer and politician knows: it's what you can prove, and when they knew it, that matters.

1
0