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* Posts by Mark #255

165 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

Mark #255

Section 3?

Section 3 covers intent to impair.

But seeing if Heartbleed is fixed or not (AFAIAA) does not (a) impair the operation of the computer; (b) prevent or hinder access; or (c) impair program operation or data reliability.

It just gets back random data; so I don't see how S3 applies here. *.

Section 1 (unauthorised access to computer), probably (but IANAL).

* For other types of penetration testing, eg SQL injection, I could see how it could apply.**

** Would changing your name as per little Bobby Tables be an offence under the CMA, I wonder.

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Murdoch says Microsoft needs 'big clean out'

Mark #255
Trollface

Skycrosoft? MicroNewsInt?

I have to say, a mega-corp merger of Sky/NI and Microsoft would allow me to consolidate most of my daily moans of discontent into a single roar of unalloyed ire.

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Samsung's thumb-achingly ENORMO Galaxy Note Pro 12.2

Mark #255
Coat

Re: WTF is the point of this thing

... it runs win 7/linux duel boot...

What, they fight each other? To the Pain?

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Win XP usage down but not out as support cutoff deadline looms

Mark #255

Bye-bye, XP

I'm happy to report that my XP netbook (an Asus eeePC) is now running Ubuntu 12.04 as well as it did WinXP. WiFi, webcam, Bluetooth, touchpad, even the 3G dongle Just (F***ing) Worked. Most gratifying.

And for balance, the XP desktop (which does gaming duty) is midway through a transition to Win7 (hurray for eBay, and the Digital River official downloadable Windows ISOs).

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

Mark #255

Re: Causes cancer, prevents cancer...

Ultimately, you're mortal, deal with it.

+1 Depressing.

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Don't look at Maria's SQL, look at MY SQL, pleads Oracle

Mark #255
Unhappy

Re: Cheap swipe

the workbench is a huge improvement over previous tools.

I (foolishly) updated from version 5.something to version 6 and was "rewarded" with a sodding TIFKAM-style abomination.

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MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

Mark #255

I'm afraid this has set off my Poe's Law alarm...

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Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

Mark #255

Cloth nappies FTW

As long as you're not on a water meter, cloth nappies work out cheaper in the long run (well, they did for us 7 years ago).

Plus you get a seemingly inexhaustible supply of dusters, napkins etc for the following years.

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PM Cameron leaps aboard Internet of Thingies

Mark #255
WTF?

"electricity meters that talk to the grid to get you the best deals"

Which version of the Smart Meter roll-out is that going to be?

Because I'm fairly sure that the ones being delivered by 2017 or thereabouts aren't required to do anything like that.

And I'm stone-cold certain that no incumbent supplier is going to be offering devices which minimise customer revenue without such requirements.

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Two in five Brits cough up for CryptoLocker ransomware's demands

Mark #255
Boffin

Re: Changing passwords

Indeed. Bruce Schneier disagrees with you, El Reg

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NHS England tells MPs: 'The state isn't doing dastardly things with GP medical records'

Mark #255

Re: Private interests

Ben Goldacre is now rather less optimistic. If you look at his tweets yesterday (@BenGoldacre), you'll see - it's the most vexed I've ever seen him.

And given his (guarded) optimism in that piece last Friday, it seems that care.data is sunk.

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Brit boffins brew up blight-resistant FRANKENSPUD

Mark #255

Re: Can anybody point me at ANYTHING that is not GMO?

The distinction you're after is "natural selection" vs "unnatural/artificial/directed selection".

Trying to coopt "GMO" as a homonym for artificial selection is either disingenuous or naive.

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Scotland to test mobe signals slammer jammer

Mark #255
Boffin

Re: Faraday Cages

No, we couldn't.

Faraday Cages are a static/low frequency concept; as you get higher in frequency, the doors/windows/riveted seams let through more and more energy.

EM screened/anechoic chambers (which do block mobile phone/wifi/etc signals) are really hard to make, and really quite expensive (5 to 6-figure sums) because of it. They're also easy to compromise, either deliberately or accidentally*.

* Yesterday, I had breakthrough into my chamber at 1.8 GHz; it transpired that one of the (sodding expensive) coax cables had degraded.

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Is modern life possible without a smartphone?

Mark #255

Shouldn't need the charger

I'd take the charger too (just in case it turns out that the battery is nearing the end of its life), but my last two "feature" phones (a candy-bar Motorola and a slide-to-open Samsung) would last 2 weeks between charges.

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UK.gov to Google: Kill impostor taxmen ADs hogging top spot in YOUR search results

Mark #255
Headmaster

Re: Sorry to be grumpy, as usual

The OED describes "imposter" as a customs agent who classifies imported goods according to the rates of duty payable (ie "one who imposts").

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Margaret Hodge, PAC are scaring off new biz: Treasury source

Mark #255

The Bible in a tweet

OK, here goes:

"Creation myths, rules and stories which we say are from our God"

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My name is Dabbsy and I am an EMAILOHOLIC

Mark #255

QotD

"All important material is directed automatically to a Spam folder where it festers indefinitely." Thank you Mr Dabbs!

Anyway, I have Too Many™, even if you discount the unlimited aliases you get with your own domain name.

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THOUSANDS of UK.gov Win XP PCs to face April hacker storm... including boxes at TAXMAN, NHS

Mark #255

One wonders why the hackers are waiting until April. Why don't they just do their hacking now?

Well, if you were a nefarious type, with an unpatched drive-by exploit ready and waiting, do you

  • release it now, and risk MS releasing a patch for it in a few weeks' time, or
  • wait until mid April, and surf the long-tail of never-going-to-be-fixed boxes.

And how much would such an exploit be worth?

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HTC: Shipping Android updates is harder than you think – here's why

Mark #255

Re: the Moto G

My Moto G (SIM-free from phones4u) is still on 4.3.

4.4 has allegedly been promised for January, though.

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Oi, bank manager. Only you've got my email address - where're these TROJANS coming from?

Mark #255

Re: I am one of the people affected/complaining

...Their Data Protection Officer wasn't having anything to do with me (FFS, What is their purpose!)

This is Yes, Minister 101 - get the tricky bit dealt with in the title.

The purpose of any Data Protection Officer is (obviously) to minimise the blame which can be attached to the company in any Data Protection issue.

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Cheap 3D printer works with steel

Mark #255
Facepalm

Re: Why bring up guns?

Also, I thought the whole hoo-haa about 3D-printed plastic guns was the fact that they were made of plastic, and so weren't detected by metal detectors which protected "secure" areas...

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

Mark #255
Unhappy

Re: Where are the tiny [HDMI] monitors?

Well, it's not 7", but the HDMiPi project was plugged recently on El Reg.

I would have got one, but apparently we already have enough monitors.

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'Copyrighted' Java APIs deserve same protection as HARRY POTTER, Oracle tells court

Mark #255
Coat

I thought that Rosenkranz and Guildernstern were dead.

(My coat's the one with the Compleat Works of Shakespear in the pocket.)

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DON'T PANIC: No FM Death Date next month, minister confirms

Mark #255

Re: BTW am I right in thinking UK DAB <> Europe DAB?

Another point is that here in the UK we use Band III (200 to 230 MHz ish) for DAB transmissions, while over on the continent they also use Band L (1450 to 1480 MHz, Wikipedia assures me).

Very few UK DAB receivers are able to tune into Band L transmissions.

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Mark #255

Re: radio 5 live

Well, R5L's only analogue broadcasting is through AM (693 and 909 kHz). I remember having to listen to that in the car, and it was frequently dire in audio quality, with fading and other interference.

A 64 kbps DAB stream is at least as good as that.

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Moto G: Google's KitKat bruiser could knock out, bury Landfill Android

Mark #255

Re: Here is my proper review

I too have just upgraded from a SF to a Moto G (16GB version), and I'd like to echo the "it's bloody great".

IMO the camera is better than adequate - yes it lacks any real controls (image size, white balance, ISO), but it's quick and the auto-HDR feature provides very nice pictures (I was out at the weekend and got some surprisingly good landscape + skyscape shots).

The GPS gets a fix indoors, which my old SF couldn't do.

And it's built solidly too, which you couldn't say about the SF (I ended up using a case to stop the back coming loose).

As for the downsides, the lack of SD and user-removable battery may be an issue, but I had a 4GB card before and didn't run out of space (well, I did but only for apps, thanks to the ridiculous partitioning of the internal memory), and the battery got removed only when it hung. Also, I miss a couple of tweaks from the CM build I ran on it - gesture support in the SMS app, and the auto-silent-mode you could set overnight.

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VIOLENT video games make KIDS SMARTER – more violent the BETTER

Mark #255
Coat

Re: Bad Parma

What? Ham from northern Italy is bad for you?

Bugger.

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Google faces fresh privacy gripes for splashing your G+ mug over ads

Mark #255
Alert

Not yet mandatory

I'm assuming that I have a g+ account, since I had to create a google account in order to use Google Play.

It depends on when you joined and how vigilant you were. I got my Google (non-plus) account over 2 years ago, and don't have a G+ account linked to it.

However, my mum got an Android phone last month, and when she created her account, she automagically got a G+ account along with it (which she immediately deleted).

As and when you connect your account to a new phone or tablet, you will be cajoled (Mrs Doyle-like) into "upgrading" to a G+ account.

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We go joyriding in the Google Maps-killer's ROBO-CAR

Mark #255

Re: HERE says it's only recording the GPS locations of open Wi-Fi hotspots

Why do they record them at all? Is it for use as fixed reference points?

tl;dr: Yes.

A GPS fix takes time to acquire - maybe up to 2 minutes - and can fail altogether if the receiver can't see enough sky.

(Phone) base station info is virtually immediate, but low resolution: usually +/- a kilometre or two. With a corpus of wifi hotspots, an intermediate Location Service can triangulate the receiver's position really quite well, and gets better in the sorts of locations where GPS performance fares less well (cities with buildings blocking the sky, but full of hotspots).

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ULTIMATE ELECTRIC driving machine? Yes, it’s the BMW i3 e-car

Mark #255
Boffin

Re: 125kw motor

Indeed. You can work it out for your own car, given the energy density of the fuel (it's 32-40 MJ/litre for diesel), and your average MPG and speed.

I get ~27kW for a small family car (that claims 61mpg on the trip computer).

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Mark #255

Re: Finally an electric car I may want...

Agreed, it's just about there (as a 2nd car in our case).

But... it's ~£8k too much. By my calculations, it'd start to be cheaper than our Splash in about 14 years' time (which would probably be 4 years after we'll scrap it).

Even if you compare it to more luxurious competition, the TCO balances towards the i3 only after 6-8 years - just as the battery runs out of warranty.

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Dodgy Kaspersky update borks THOUSANDS of NHS computers

Mark #255
Facepalm

Why would you standardise on *one* AV solution?

As the news item proves, if you have an AV monoculture, everything's fine until your entire network gets b0rked by the fuck-up.

Perhaps the bloke who suggested this could talk to a health professional about analogues in the medical world (MRSA springs to mind), and see what they think about a single defence vector.

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How the W3C met its Waterloo at the Do Not Track vote showdown

Mark #255

Re: Is there actually any evidence...

That web users actually *want* adverts?

Bit of a straw man?

It seems that ads are the only current reasonable compromise, given that tip-jars and micro-payments as a whole are few and far-between. So I applaud making ads less objectionable, less invasive, and the creation of tools which can express fine-grained user desires more fully.

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Mark #255

Adblock plus and "non-intrusive" ads

"Maybe the ad-block writers could have a 'block some' option where adverts that behave don't get blocked. It could train the others to start behaving if others are getting their ads served up."

Adblock Plus does this nowadays, and by default allows what it calls "non-intrusive" ads. There was a storm about them selling out at the time, but it's arguably a reasonable option to have.

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IT'S patent WAR: Apple, Microsoft vs Google, Samsung, Huawei

Mark #255

Re: WTF?

Why the hell is it possible to buy IP and then sue people for products which the previous IP owner did not object to. Surely the lack of legal action is an implied permission?

If the patent holder waits too long, there is a defence of "laches" available. Quite how this plays out when you get a change in holder, I don't know. I guess we'll find out.

"Laches" from the venerable Wikipedia

IANAL, though I used to read Groklaw.

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BOFH: Is WHAT 'running slow'!? GOD

Mark #255
Pint

The truth

'advanced knowledge': "the LinkedIn endorsements from people they barely know"

Instant classic

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BT's mobe interference claim laughed off air by ad watchdog

Mark #255

no but yes but no

POE (power over ethernet) isn't the issue - that simply allows you to easily stick network equipment somewhere where there's no mains power.

Ethernet over mains wiring is an abomination, though, and yes, mandating wired network cables in new builds would be marvellous, but (a) that would take years to solve the problem, (b) requirements are still evolving (who wants to say "640kB 100Mb/s is enough for anyone"?, and (c) it doesn't help with existing houses, or (d) with the growing number of phones, tablets and laptops lacking a network port.

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Scottish leader splurged £20k appealing disclosure of EU membership legal bungle

Mark #255

Re: Honest politicians are rare

[...] please let's not descend to personal attacks - let's reserve those for Call-me-dave and the other evil money-grubbing, power-crazed, baby-eating, devil-worshiping scum who form the present UK government and opposition.

I see what you did there.

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Samsung touching up ROUNDED, CURVY plastic enhanced MODEL

Mark #255
Black Helicopters

could it be...

Perhaps it's curved so that when you put it face down on the desk (Touchwiz has an option that this action mutes the phone - ideal for meetings), it's not going to get scratched and there's less muffling of the microphone for the covert tapping app installed by the security services.

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Samsung Ativ Book 9 Lite: 13.3-inch slimline notebook with a secret

Mark #255

no "context-menu button"

Disappointing that Samsung couldn't fit a context-menu button into the keyboard (on full-size keyboards it's just to the right of the right Windows key).

On laptops I often find that, working without a mouse, it's far easier to bring up the context menu with a dedicated button, rather than [find cursor], [drag cursor to correct part of screen], [click right trackpad button].

But other than that, meh. Wrong OS, too pricey, unwanted touchiness, two weird ports too many.

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Microsoft: Surface is DEAD. Long live the Surface 2!

Mark #255

Android Network file browser

still looking for a network smb file browser for andriod

The ES File Explorer does exactly what you're looking for. I've used it to browse on WinXP, Win7 and Samba (Ubuntu 10.04) servers.

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Nintendo is FLATLY UNHINGED: New 2DS is a handful of game

Mark #255
Thumb Up

Re: Nintendo - Done for,.

I got that for my son (£80 from Ebuyer after casback) last month. When some friends came over recently, we were rewarded with the sight of three of them, sat side-by-side on the sofa, playing in a shared Minecraft world together, a tablet apiece. The previous DSs are completely forgotten about now.

The Iconia is a bargain. It's also only £80 now at Argos.

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BILLION-TONNE BELCH emitted from Sun to hit Earth this weekend

Mark #255
Boffin

Re: EM radiation?

The EM radiation which is emitted by the sun at the same time as the CME takes 8 minutes to reach us - this is why there can be a warning.

The (charged) particles then (eventually) hit the Earth's atmosphere, and twang about (technical term[TM]) in our magnetosphere. It's this twanging about which causes EM disturbances, which can interfere with ground-based systems.

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Brazilians tear strip off NSA in wake of Snowden, mull anti-US-spook law

Mark #255
Happy

Re: a largish river

Just think, you could name your data centre after the river that cools it.

I can't think of a single problem with that.

Not one.

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What did the Romans ever do for us? Packet switching...

Mark #255
Coat

Re: Horrible inefficient? - Freeview vs cable

Inefficient in what way?

Well, in the whole "losing more than 99.9% of the energy between source and sink". It's one of those situations:

RF transmission is one of the worst methods of broadcasting, apart from all the other methods ever tried.

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Mark #255

Freeview vs cable

<blockquote>It is legitimate to question whether fixed devices warrant the use of terrestrial radio transmission when a cable or fibre can be used.</blockquote>

True, but you also need to compare the power requirements between, say, Crystal Palace (1.2 MW ERP over the 6 multiplexes), and the multitude of cable broadnarrow-cast boxes required to match the coverage of CP. Hint: terrestrial broadcasting is horribly inefficient, but still miles better than pushing the signal down copper.

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Spotify: If musicians don't give us their stuff they get pirated more

Mark #255

Re: An idea...

Presumably because they'd rather be making more music (which, you know, they've got a track record for doing well enough to be paid for) rather than starting up Yet Another Fair-trade Music Site.

'Cos we all know how stonkingly well eg Magnatune are doing, for all their good intentions.

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Firefox OS mobilises HTML5, without the added Steve Jobs

Mark #255

Re: I don't see this as an advantage.

Am I now supposed to write serious games in HTML5/Javascript?

A subset of Javascript. asm.js, can be compiled down from C++ (with a hit of ~50%). So no, you don't have to.

They wrote a surprising amount of Firefox OS in Javascript.

And I wouldn't class Javascript as limited or unsophisticated. Different, yes: personally I hate the way classes are done (I much prefer the C++/Java/PHP way).

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Ofcom set to release interesting spectrum chunk for unlicenced use

Mark #255

"Right now Smart Meters, which have been mandated by the UK government, have to use cellular networks which is both expensive and inefficient, so alternatives are eagerly sought."

Of course they don't have to use the cellular network. They could use low data-rate PLT (it's only the high bandwidth type that has the radio hams up in arms), or something else which already exists. (What's that you say, Skippy? Lots of people have broadband connections that could be used to transfer a few kB a month?)

The thing is, if the utilities have to develop an alternative, they can probably get government funding for it. Using existing solutions (GSM or PLT, or...) won't attract that cash.

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