* Posts by Peter2

612 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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High-level, state-sponsored Naikon hackers exposed

Peter2
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Re: an executable file with a double extension.

Very little.

But how much effort would it take to strip .exe's off of emails at the gateway? Even if your firewall doesn't support it then you can implement this via free software such as Xeams.

And how much effort would it take to put a Software Restriction Policy in place that simply prevents users from running executables outside of %program files%? (this also hinders people posting you viruses on USB etc)

The answer to both of those questions is "very little" as well. It'd also be free, since the tools for the first can be used for nothing, and the tools for the second and built into windows. It'd also annihilate an entire family of attacks.

This would however require that the responsible admins actually do more than "very little" to harden their network. Just doing an out of the box install and then installing some form of AV on your endpoints and declaring the network "secure" is not really good enough these days.

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Swedish Supreme Court keeps AssangeTM in Little Ecuador

Peter2
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If it was entirely UK law then they certainly wouldn't face any charges whatsoever, since making a citizens arrest in a situation where a police constable cannot is perfectly legal.

There are international treaties that basically restrict how a hosting nation can treat an overseas embassy.

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Peter2
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Yep, he could be arrested one step outside of the embassy as he's be on British soil.

Technically, the people "kidnapping" him would be in violation of Ecaudorian law however they can't enforce that outside of the embassy and if the embassy staff attempted to intervene one step outside of the embassy then they would be committing a criminal offense under British law, though chances are that their diplomatic staff would be covered under diplomatic immunity. If they did then they'd probably end up being arrested and then later released when it was proved that they did have diplomatic immunity, though having been arrested they'd probably be declared "persona non grata" (Latin for "An Unwelcome Person") which basically means that we would refuse to accept their diplomatic immunity after a period long enough to pack and take a flight out of the country. At this point we might either press criminal charges or forcibly kick them out of the country if they didn't leave of their own accord. Being PNG'd is embarassing and career damaging enough for a diplomat without further indignaties so they generally leave quietly.

Once outside the embassy then Ecauador couldn't request Assange be extradited. Extradition is a process that is simply used when somebody commits a crime in one jurisdiction and then flees beyond the short arm of the law. The long arm of law then comes into effect and the police in the jurisdiction the criminal has flad to arrest the suspect, check to see if there is reasonable cause to assume that the criminal is in fact a criminal and then extradite them to face justice in the country they committed the offense in.

If somebody did "kidnap" Assange and drag him outside the door to be arrested then personally were I them then i'd avoid going on holiday to Ecaudor, however I doubt they'd face charges in the UK as there are precedents going back half a millenia when people have (while abroad) dragged a wanted criminal aboard a ship and sailed back to the UK and handed them over to the police and ultimately the courts. In no case that I can think of has anybody ever faced charges in the UK for delivering a wanted fugitive evading justice to a British court. I think British courts have declined to extradite people who have dragged somebody onto a British ship in the past, but frankly I can't think of any cases of embassies being invaded to drag somebody out and there is no real way of predicting what the judge would decide if an extradition request was put before him.

Personally, I doubt they'd be extradited though. The justice seceratery has a veto IIRC which he'd probably use if it came down to it given the government efforts put into persuading the ecuadorians to hand him over in the first place.

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RAF radar station crew begs public for cash to buy gaming LAN kit

Peter2
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Re: Can't provide cash, can help provide kit...

From this:-

http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/stations.cfm?selectStation=9E1391FE-AF20-CAFC-2BB5532364919C64

and the article i'd guess this would be the correct mailing address:-

Mr S Grundy

Radar Technician

RRH Staxton Wold

Scarborough

North Yorkshire

YO12 4TJ

I'm not sure if they'd be allowed to run their own cables internally though, the defence housing agency gets pretty shitty with people doing DIY repairs on publicly owned properties IIRC, so i'd hate to think what they'd say about drilling holes for wiring the place. Wifi might be a better option for them if anybody has one of those wifi hotpoints that Misco were trying hard to give away to business customer decision makes if they'd endure an hour long sales spiel recently? I skipped this because I hate salesdroids, but if anybody has one going spare then it'd probably be more useful than cable.

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OECD nations gang up on internet retailers, tax dodgers

Peter2
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Re: And a good thing too

If I ruled the country i'd just implement a law called the "taking the piss act" which says that on conviction via jury trial for "taking the piss" by avoiding/evading tax (a prosecution for which can be bought by any citizen, or groups of citizens) the company will be taxed a largish percentage of their turnover instead of a largish percentage of profit for the next five years.

If the multinations go out of business, tough. It simply means that other businesses will take up their market share, most of which will actually pay tax.

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HORDES OF CLING-ONS menace UK.gov IT estate as special WinXP support ends

Peter2
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Re: Surely it is not beyond the wit of HMG

Are you really suggesting a massive IT Project to save money with the governments record on massive IT Projects "to save the taxpayer money"?

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New Windows 10 will STAGGER to its feet, says Microsoft OS veep

Peter2
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Re: Why "upgrade"?

Microsoft produced this in 2001. I still find it funny. The only improvement OfficeXP had over 2000 was not having clippy as I recall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI2LVI4xgvs

So, we are going to have a sucessor to Clippy now? :( Roll on Windows 11.

All I want from a corporate Microsoft desktop OS is:-

1) stability, and boringness. An OS exists for the sole purpose of Operating Systems and the less time spent fucking around with the OS the more work the users get done. If you have to stick in lots of crap in the OS that nobody wants then allow us to disable it via group policy.

2) No "exciting" feature updates. Just fix boring things like the copy feature so that if it runs into a file requiring human input it does everything else in the que and then just leaves the exceptions for human input. Otherwise, stop fiddling. Corporate IT will pay for lack of fiddling.

3) 10+ year lifetime. Recertifying every application is expensive, time consuming and gains us nothing and we don't want to do it every week just because somebody felt the need to redevelop the wheel to look more fashionable.

4) A consistent "people ready" user experiance requiring no new training from or to the next version.

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Remember SeaMicro? Red-ink-soaked AMD dumps it overboard

Peter2
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Re: Any Way Back?

Or they've been more interested in consumer because it has been proven that Intel are deliberately and anti competitively keeping them out of the server market by screwing the OEM's if they take AMD chips?

Going for the consumer space does make quite a bit of sense because it's impossible for Intel to stop, unlike in the business sector.

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Peter2
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- And I'm curious as to why all those commenters, who are salivating over the remotely possible demise of Blackberry, are not going for AMD's throat the same way.

Because being required to support a blackberry can cause an obsessive dislike of it in certain people. (though they aren't THAT bad.)

AMD on the other hand, has probably been used by virtually everybody here in the early years from the point you could buy an AMD 486 for less than an Intel 386 to the relatively recent point that it made more sense to buy an intel chip on a price/performance basis. The only reason they don't have more of the market is intel successfully managing to illegally lock them out of the market. (for which intel was found criminally guilty and fined)

Even the most diehard intel fan knows that without AMD occasionally thrashing intel's best chip designs there would be a total monopoly of the market by Intel and R&D would be greatly reduced, and with no competition on prices they would go up significantly as well. So if AMD dies then we will largely stop getting faster chips, and we'll pay a lot more for them because there is nobody to cause the prices to stay down at a reasonable level.

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Labour policy review tells EU where to stuff its geo-blocking ban

Peter2
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Meanwhile, in the real world...

You'll simply be required to sign into an account to access anything on the BBC website. Everybody in the UK with a license will be mailed a username/pass, and people without an account will be invited to buy a license to access the content.

This is of course totally compliant because it's not geo-blocking and nothing changes (apart from needing to enter a user/pass) but costs skyrocket due to the complexity of delivering such a system. The outsourcing company the project is outsourced to charges 5 billion for the job, and it is delivered 2 years late and considerably over budget due to the extreme difficulty of implementing such unknown technology. We're advised afterwards that "lessons have been learnt" as a result.

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Welcome to the FUTURE: Maine cops pay Bitcoin ransom to end office hostage drama

Peter2
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Re: GPO

Actually, it doesn't fail that at all. "msword.exe" is an EXEcutable file, "randomfile.doc" is not. Even if it was an executable file, you'd simply remove it from the list of file types the poilcy applies to. You have to do this with links anyway, since the handling of them is outright idiotic.

The idea behind the use of an SRP is that you prevent *.exe, *.bat, *.vbs, *.etc files from running outside of %programfiles%, and optionally any network locations required. This means that if a user receives an email with a virus then they literially cannot actually run it.

These days a single AV product catches around a third of stuff coming in. Simply saying "I have AV installed, that's secure enough" is no longer good enough. It was adequately effective in a low threat enviroment in 2005, but it simply doesn't work in 2015. I have 3 seperate AV scanners running on my network (Firewall at the gateway, the anti spam system has it's own AV and then the mailserver/desktop AV) and the three combined don't catch enough for me to be happy relying on the users as to which executable files received by email they can run. We are an office, not a programmers. They have no business need to run executables received by email, so they have no ability to.

SRP's alone aren't enough as a security measure because they don't block macro viruses sent in office documents, though these are easily eliminated with another GPO. I've largely dropped Adobe reader for a reader that doesn't understand the concept of embedded files, and the remaining installations have javascript disabled through a GPO to harden them against PDF viruses as much as is possible and I simply don't install Flash installed on my machines due to a lack of any requirement for it and the fact that exploits for it exist when it's embedded in office files. (though to be fair EMET ought to prevent such things from working)

The time required to manage this lot is *zero*, if you exclude the extra line on the New PC checklist for installing and configuring EMET. The only time the users ever notice is when they insert a CD they received in the post and then manually attempt to run the launcher. (which the business agreed that there is no business requirement for)

Otherwise, the relatively extensive set of measures emplaced to protect them goes utterly unnoticed by both the users and support, save for our annual review of security threats and our countermeasures. That, and when I feel a burning need to correct comments about how impossible it is to harden a windows network to the point of being near impervious. It is neither impossible or difficult. You can get 90% of the way there with half an hour editing GPO's to fit your enviroment, with zero impact to your users.

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Microsoft's top legal eagle: US cannot ignore foreign privacy laws

Peter2
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Do you really think it's a moral decision on Microsoft's part?

Or do you think that they know full well that if they lose this ruling then trust in the cloud is *completely* dead in foreign nations across the world?

Microsoft is a major cloud vendor with massive investments in cloudy stuff (even office 365) and they stand to lose truly massive amounts of money if the US government wins. They pretty much have no other option but to fight this and exhaust every single avenue of appeal from a commercial point of view. Given that, why not also milk it for PR to the greatest extent possible?

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El Reg offers you the chance to become a Master Investor – for free

Peter2
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Re: Fail to see the link

Sailor on a warship that got hit by a bomb which failed to go off - yet the warship still burnt to the ground and sank. Operated by an organisation which failed to plan to fight fires, failed to have adequate backup systems to fight fires, failed to have fire protection for crew of a ship which is designed to have bombs dropped on it.

Mmm. Firstly, he wasn't a sailor. The nautical term is "burnt to the waterline". They use this instead of "bunt to the ground" since ships aren't usually on land.

You missed the fact that they were strafed at the same time, and that they activated their disaster recovery plan, which worked and the ship survived. A small, but significant oversight. Likewise with the fact that it was a landing craft, not a warship.

On a separate occasion, it was hit by three separate bombs which did explode, setting about a hundred tons worth of fuel on fire. This exceeded the disaster recovery plan somewhat because there is a finite amount of damage that an unarmoured landing craft that's not designed to have bombs dropped on it can reasonably be expected to receive before it is written off.

The only thing that is broadly correct in your post is the punctuation and grammar.

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Marvell: We don't want to pay this $1.5bn patent bill because, cripes, it's way too much

Peter2
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Re: Patents: Sought by the Wright brothers while Europe built planes

Actually, the EU is now a country. It's got it's own national anthem and the EU also wants it's own army.

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Mobile 4G spectrum investors actually spent $12.4m on walkie-talkie frequencies – US SEC

Peter2
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Re: Peter2

I'll let you off then. :) I was shaking my head myself, given that voice is generally down in the 400-500MHz range and the frequencies are going to be less use as a chocolate teapot. Still, one can't expect the users to know anything everything.

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Peter2
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Coat

That's rare. El Reg missed the opportunity to make bad puns about Janus being two faced about their offerings. :/

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Are you sure there are servers in this cold, dark basement?

Peter2
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How do you end up with two IT Managers stealing all of your equipment within a year?

It sounds like this company has both severe systematic problems with recruitment, and also with how they are treating employees for that to happen to the same place twice within a year. I haven't encountered that sort of theft once during my career.

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Comcast: Google, we'll see your 1Gbps fiber and DOUBLE IT

Peter2
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Re: Marketing fluff?

Don't be silly. The router will be supplied with fast ethernet ports and EVERYBODY knows that's fast enough.

(so you can connect 20 devices to the 4 ports on the device)

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Peter2
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Re: Distribution architecture vulnerability

The UK network was mainly constructed by a government owned industry.

Actually, we had about 600 separate grids all running at different voltages until somebody came up with the idea of standardising a high voltage series of interconnects between power plants and to each grid so losing a power plant didn't result in a power cut. (After low takeup) the use of this was mandated by law and the government bought the main grid after WW2 when labour nationalised every industry in sight, but i'm not convinced government deserves the credit for our grid.

Also in the UK most of the low voltage lines (240v/440v) are underground not the ugly overhead line jungle that you find in third world countries and the US.

To be fair, in the UK that generally applies to houses built since electricity was discovered.

Properties that are older than that tend to have power and phone cables delivered via pole instead of via buried underground, especially in the countryside on (or near) flood plains.

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Users shun UK.gov flagship digital service

Peter2
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Re: The complete digitalisation of the process would remove safeguards...

Prices per hour? I wish. Can you provide a single example of a firm regulated by the SRA not providing an affordable fixed fee for completing an LPA? As far as i'm aware our competitors that weren't doing fixed fee work went out of business years ago, with the exception of a few London firms doing work for people who don't know (or much care) what they are being charged.

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Boris Johnson backs trade union campaign to ungag civil servants

Peter2
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You mean back when parliament used to occasionally meet once a year or so because the people elected had jobs/lives outside of parliament? (I think king Charles the first had one meeting of parliament in two decades, which is perhaps a bit too much of a gap.)

Wouldn't it be nice if we limited politicians to one day in parliament a quarter. That'd sharply reduce the number of crap laws simply by reducing the total number enacted.

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BOFH: Never mind that old brick, look at this ink-stained BEAUTY

Peter2
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Re: says:

I'm using an (old model) IBM model M keyboard at work which uses a DIN connection. You have to use one converter to change this to a PS/2 and then another to convert to USB to allow me to plug it into a modern computer.

The keyboard is older than the newer entrants to the workplace, and it does more useful work.

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El Reg uncages its truly demonic BOFH t-shirt

Peter2
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Re: Still waiting for

Actually, thinking about it a BOFH polo shirt would be quite good. I couldn't get away with wearing a T-shirt to the office, but I could (and probably would) wear a polo necked shirt.

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BT Home Hub SIP backdoor blunder blamed for VoIP fraud

Peter2
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Re: SBC?

The fact that article indicated that they were running on a telephone system called FreePBX isin't a giveaway that they wanted to do the job on the cheap? I'd never even heard of it, and I would wager that it was not installed by a professional.

That said, I do work for a law firm and rarely get a week without somebody trying to sell me a brand new IPPBX. I am assured by roughly eight of ten sales people that I have contact with (usually via email as our reception intercepts and discards most sales calls for me) that I can run an IP PBX on my internal network and on my existing internet connection without needing to worry about security, QOS or having sufficant bandwidth. This usually comes with a quoted price tag of approximately 6x the price of the equipment and installation I have from a company I know is competent.

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CIOs: What tech will be running your organisation in 2020?

Peter2
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Re: As IT manager for my company

I was just going to post the same thing, actually. Until a few months ago, my oldest desktop hardware was 13 years old, since the business didn't care enough to replace the XP boxes in good time. The stuff i'm putting in now is virtually certainly going to still be here in 5 years time, though there might (maybe) be enough money available to move off of Win7 before support ends in 2020.

My guess is that the deliberately-higher-spec-than-it-needed-to-be server running 2012R2 is going to be the core of the network, and the 2003 boxes will have been visualised to it, hopefully as 2012 boxes rather than 2003 ones...

That's not much of a prediction though, it's going to happen next time something dies in a generation 5 Proliant and the costs for consolidating turn out to be lower than the extensive list of replacement parts required.

We'll probably be using the same equipment down to the printers, since maintenance kits for Kyocera printers every quarter million pages is still going to be a lot cheaper than replacing every network printer we have. The only thing that's likely to change is the phone system, which will certainly have been replaced on the basis that it's already coming up to legal drinking age and it deserves a dignified retirement before it finally blows a component that's not redundant.

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One BEEEEEELLION sensitive records went AWOL in 2014

Peter2
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Three in four (74.5 per cent) of these reported incidents took place in the United States.

Clearly nowhere else in the world has crime just because it's not reported as much.

And blaming poor code on apathetic developers is bullocks. Imagine the following meeting with higher management.

Manager 1. I delivered 2 projects on time and on budget.

Manager 2. I delivered 5 projects, all of which were completed early and under budget!

Higher management shower congratulations, praise and bonuses on which manager?

Was it the guy who diligently ensured that the job was done properly to the point of pedantry and delivered secure, stable, well tested and documented code while ensuring his team was kept well trained?

Or was it the guy who forced his staff to cut every corner, denied requests for training, eliminated testing and declared the program done and the project ready to deploy company wide shortly after a mostly working build was produced that should have been considered an alpha test. At which point having deployed the tangled mess it was declared to be the responsibility of the Business as Usual support staff since it was live code and not in development, to the deep joy of the support staff when they discovered the mess was not only a poorly coded disaster waiting to happen but had no documentation.

By which point like a hurricane leaving a trail of destruction he's doing the same thing to the next project and his staff can't be disturbed. Naturally. A cycle which continues until either something blows up that he can't pin on the Business as Usual staff and he's fired, or he's promoted. (either because management think he's doing a good job, or because everybody technical deploys the "failing upwards" technique of ridding themselves of somebody useless.

Once at such rarefied heights (where hopefully he'll suffocate) he has two options to explain the poor performance of the programs he's been responsible for. He can admit that all of his coding, working, supervisory and management practices are destructive and try to do something about the mess he's caused, or blame his useless and apathetic developers.

. . . so who do you think got promoted, and who do you think is at blame for the situation?

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X+Y shows teens are teens, regardless of where they are 'on the spectrum'

Peter2
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Re: Classification

It's a way to allow people to avoid thinking and avoid understanding people. If you can label somebody then it allows people to ignore their concerns (or anything else they say easily) because "they are from group/tribe x, of course they are going to say that".

Politicians love and encourage this because, well. Divide and conquer. There's lots of votes in creating arguments and discontent by promising one group that you are going to screw over their fellow citizens. The more groups that exist, the more arguments that can be stirred up and the more futile and impotent each group becomes.

In the 21st century in civilised societies comprised of people who from a historical standpoint are almost unimaginably well educated and informed it is of course unthinkable to sit down with all of the groups, address all of their concerns and come to a sensible compromise.

But why is it unthinkable? Politicians. And you. If you let them get away with it then you share responsibility for the situation.

Of course, we could end it. Easily, even. Just promote tolerance, understanding and a dislike of politicans.

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'Get your privacy policy down to one page': AVG CEO throws glove down

Peter2
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Re: “Get your privacy policy down to one page in a language that everybody understands"

American lawyers may like long documents, but Solicitors do not like long documents. (or at least, the ones I work for and correspond with don't!) emails, letters and contracts are masterpieces of brevity which are ruthlessly pruned to the minimum size possible.

A document ten times the length has on average ten times the likelyhood of containing an exploitable error. As with coding, functions ten times the required length make finding errors ten times harder.

It also takes ten times longer to explain them to a customer, which is not desirable when you offer services on a fixed fee basis instead of an hourly rate.

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Hurry shipmates - the black hats have hacked our fire control system

Peter2
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Re: they all lost....

I think it probably would work rather well. I somehow suspect that Belfast is not generating her own power.

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IDC downgrades sales outlook for PCs AND tablets

Peter2
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/me predicts further falls in brand new PC sales because most barely solvent businesses are buying refurbs to stretch their budgets.

My budget is essentially "what we can afford when we can't afford not to spend it" at the moment. I'm getting shot of Pentium IV's running XP and replacing them with C2D's with Win7. My back of the envelope equipment plan is to replace the HDD's in the refurbs with SSD's (it's the only degrading component) to extend their life out to 2020 and then start putting the business back on a normal replacement cycle with new equipment (the replacement cycle stopped in 2007 when the economy went down like the titanic) if the company's cashflow continues improving in line with the economy.

I know at least a couple of other businesses have broadly similar plans, so I would imagine that an awful lot of hard up against it businesses are doing similar.

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Scotland to get National ID system 'by the backdoor', campaigners mull challenge

Peter2
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Re: Why the fuss?

That's exactly the point, we don't want ID Cards. A national ID Register will through scope creep eventually lead to ID cards, which will then lead to a requirement to carry them, which will lead to our police being distorted even further to the point they end up demanding "Papers!", which as a protest nobody will carry. Which in turn will lead to not carrying ID papers being a crime, and then criminal punishments for not carrying them. At which point you'll be required to produce papers all the time and we will be well along the way to becoming an authoritarian state and ending up like George Orwells 1984.

In short it would hugely change the relationship between the individual and the state. At the moment our system of law functions on a very different principle than yours, namely that you are free to do anything you want, unless restrictions are placed on those freedoms via law. We like this, wish it to remain so and fight any attempt to introduce creeping change.

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Oi. APPLE fanboi! You with the $10k and pocket on fire! Fancy a WATCH?

Peter2
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Re: Really?

It was aced by an Anon commenter above in a truly excellent post.

Summarising what he said there are two reasons for wearing a watch. As a timepeice (for which a Casio is perfectly adequate, I wear once myself) or as the only socially acceptable piece of jewellery a man can show off as a status symbol without looking like a total knob.

So he's saying that we should give up our perfectly adequate Casio combination timepiece/stopwatch/alarm clock/etc for a single purpose timepiece which has the virtue of being an expensive status symbol you can flash at people to impress them.

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Peter2
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Re: Hmm...$10,000...

I've been wearing a Casio watch since before the newest entrants to the workplace were born, and I am just idly wondering which Casio watch other people are wearing? (daily, as a working timepiece and not as a fashion statement)

W-93H for me.

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Is there a cure for cancer sitting at the back of the medicine cabinet already?

Peter2
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Re: I sincerely hope

And also for labelling a significant percentage of the population as "right wing" and then proceeding to construct a pantomime evil straw man that you can demolish. Who do you think your persuading with logical fallacies?

Politicans love groups and labels because it allows them to stir up arguments between groups, which allows them to divide and conquer. By promising to address one groups concerns they get support from that group, usually by promising to screw another group over. Never mind the damage this does to our society with the constant encouraged infighting between groups.

If you find this objectionable, then don't take part.

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Peter2
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Re: You want a bigger picture?

It really comes down to how many pixels per inch you want.

At 1920x a 24" would be 80ppi and 152" would be 12ppi. Even a 4k resolution would only give you 26ppi so it might be a little pixelated.

So you wouldn't want one. You'd want 3 for a multi monitor setup so large that in a FPS you'd see things in your peripheral vision.

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TrueCrypt + Norton AV = BSOD, wail disgruntled users

Peter2
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Re: "Who uses Norton?"

And 7zip's LZMA format blows RAR out of the water in compression sizes, absurdly so when you get to very large numbers of slightly similar files since it deduplicates.

More usefully, it's supported by NSIS, so you can wrap an installshield like GUI around it so that people don't need to care about the format your using.

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For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

Peter2
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Re: Accented characters in windows

Or just press the alt button and type the code of the accented thing, such as ALT-136 for e with an accent (îê.)

Most of them are in the extended ASCII set. You could then either print out a list (or more usefully) stick the common ones in macros tied to something she can use easily like the F1-F12 keys which are usually unused.

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Your hard drives were RIDDLED with NSA SPYWARE for YEARS

Peter2
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Re: Grzegorz Brzeczyszczykiewicz

"Since this name seems to be fake, I find myself wondering about the veracity of the whole story.".

Maybe the people responsible for doing the work didn't want to give their names to the NSA in case they suffered a traffic accident along the same lines as Iranian nuclear scientists do? (generally caused by a bullet rather than other road users)

If I was releasing something like this then I can see why I might get quite paranoid.

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Apple LIGHTSABERS to feature in The Force Awakens

Peter2
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Re: Retrogression of the "Force".

I've only ever read a few star wards books, but I seem to recall "I, Jedi" had them charging their lightsabers.

German and Japanese technology actually improved after the war, courtesy of us bombing everything flat. Then the Americans made very generous loans and donations to allow them to rebuild with the latest technology. Sadly, as this same courtesy wasn't extended to their own citizens (or allies) this meant that after a decade our former enemies had a better tech base than the allies who won the war.

Still, better than what happened after WW1...

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El Reg's plucky Playmonaut eyes suborbital rocket shot

Peter2
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Re: Great, but....

Getting to the minimum practical height for a circular orbit requires an input speed of 7.9KPS. You get to an elliptical orbit at 8.3KPS, and can break out of orbit with an imparted velocity of >11.3KPS

However, all of these speeds are based on high burn rate chemical rocketry that rely on you throwing a huge amount of thrust in at the start and then coasting the rest of the way on the imparted momentum. Future made at home devices will probably be multistage rockets with chemical stages to get you high enough up for an ion thruster to run.

Improbable and impracticable at the moment, yes. However, if you'd have told somebody 30 years ago that you were going to build a rocket that was going to get to 100KM out of your pay packet from commercially available materials then you'd probably have been thought insane.

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Over 50? Out of work? Watch out because IT is about to EAT ITSELF

Peter2
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Re: The Answer

"we can sabotage it en masse from home submitting sensible questions and getting everyone to submit totally stupid answers"

Have you ever googled a moderately serious problem? Answers given are utterly hillarious. A lot of people posting replies do it for the "status/reputation/ego boost" they get answering questions and often have absolutely no frigging idea whatsoever to a degree it's hillarious.

My favourites are questions on networking. I'm not a network engineer, just one of those little SME admins who has to deal with all of these other things, but I got quite ratty with a chap on a support forum who was adament that his word was gospel, yet didn't understand networking basics like subnetting(!) let alone that there were different types of NAT to full cone. While trying to debug a network problem, naturally.

As one might imagine, the advice provided was not hugely useful.

I eventually came to the conclusion that the problem was that the program had been programmed as if full cone NAT was the only type in existance, and didn't work on restricted cone NAT. As soon as this made it's way through the support team to a programmer the program got a patch and the unfixable problem went away entirely in the next version.

The chaps response on the forum? "Your pointlessly overeducating yourself in a niche area that nobody ever needs to know".

I love customer support forums.

I look forward to seeing how well an AI deals with processing that sort of Garbage input. At some point you need a person who is actually able to sit down and diagnose problems step by step and come up with a solution. Search engines can't do that, and aren't hugely likely to endanger (many of) us that much since generally we are the people who come up with the solutions.

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Plane crash blamed on in-flight SELFIES

Peter2
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Re: And for non-aviators

Personally, I tend to identify a camel by the dihedral (and shape) of the lower wing, but I guess identifying the tailplane works. :)

It is a lovely picture though. Props to whomever found it. Hands up who knew that when Sopwith Aviation was forced out of business Tommy Sopwith sold the remaining assets to his test pilot, Mr Hawker who then went on to build aircraft such as the Hawker Hurricane, of WW2 fame?

"If I recall correctly, Sopwith Camel's also helped sink the Bismark as they flew too slow"

That was the swordfish, and it's a largely true story. The Germans expected that we'd be using high speed monoplanes instead of low speed biplanes and had their sights calibrated and crews trained to shoot at high performance aircraft. When obsolete biplanes came crawling by with an attack speed around a quarter of what was expected they were using way too much deflection to hit the aircraft and tended to miss quite badly.

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Forget robo-butlers – ROBO-MAIDS! New hotel staffed by slave-droids

Peter2
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"We will make the most efficient hotel in the world," the park's president Hideo Sawada told a news conference, Japan Times reports. "In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots."

I'd bet he'd love to. Less humans to pay and machines can simply be run 24/7 until they break at which point they can be ditched sans pension or redundancy costs.

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O2 notifies data cops 'for courtesy' ... AFTER El Reg intervenes in email phish dustup

Peter2
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Re: " Companies are required by law in most places to maximise profits."

s.172 CA 2006, "to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole". It sets out six factors to which a director must have regards in fulfilling the duty to promote success. These are:

-the likely consequences of any decision in the long term

-the interests of the company’s employees

-the need to foster the company’s business relationships with suppliers, customers and others

-the impact of the company’s operations on the community and the environment

-the desirability of the company maintaining a reputation for high standards of business conduct

-the need to act fairly as between members of a company

Conspicuously missing is a bit that says "you must produce the maximum financial profit". Or a bit where it says "you should act as a sociopathic knob persuing these objectives."

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Veritas is home. Symantec’s storage split-off adopts old name

Peter2
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Veritas.

Well, it's good of them to rename it back to Veritas.

I, and everybody else I have worked with in the intervening years has still been calling backup exec "Veritas" out of force of habit, so it's good that new entrants will now know what we are talking about...

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Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

Peter2
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Re: Experts?

The problem in the house of lords is the people that the political parties have stuffed in there.

The chap covered in the article was a perfect example, and was identified as representing a political party, rather than being an independent. If we are doing anything with the lords then it should include the utter exclusion of political parties, voting factions and ensure that debates are held to inform and persuade, rather than provide sound bytes to the media.

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Migration skills shortage looms as Server 2003 DEATH DATE approaches

Peter2
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Re: Really?

The real "skills shortage" if you could call it that is with the users. I'd be interested to know how many of those physical boxes are acting as terminal servers.

The upgrade from 2003 TS is sensibly 2012 RDS. Sadly, this uses TIFKAM which may be the biggest barrier to an upgrade ever devised.

The only remaining 2003 box we have is our terminal server, which is almost certainly going to be in use long past the EOL date simply because of user rejection of the fucking awful touch screen interface.

Now try selling (expensive!) RDS licenses to upgrade to that, which will lower the productivity of anybody using it.

One can't help but think that a "Plus pack" for RDS on 2012 containing a Win7 like interface would dramatically improve the adoption of 2012.

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US and UK declare red-team CYBER WAR – on EACH OTHER

Peter2
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Re: 150 years ago private citizens in the UK formed local rifle clubs

There has always been a Territorial Army, all be it not by the same name. It may have been called Militia or Yeomanry depending on the times.

It would be fairer to point out that the militia was a backup supply of basically trained personnel to the military. Milita could more easily reach the (higher) professional standards of the military virtue of having been partially trained in the first place.

Likewise, Rifle Clubs never became the TA per se, but merely acted as pools of available personnel who could be absorbed into the TA and trained to standard more easily than starting from scratch as they at least knew how to shoot strait.

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Office MACROS PERIL! Age-old VBScript tactic is BACK in biz attack

Peter2
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Re: "newly discovered attack" ??????

Microsoft office has the same feature, and the same problem with the users.

Hence why we are discussing removal at source, rather than education efforts.

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Peter2
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Re: "newly discovered attack" ??????

Likewise.

This seems to be the only solution to macros and PDF exploits that exists, but it's a good one.

http://www.decalage.info/exefilter

Basically, it detects if there is any embedded active content in pretty much any format (including extracting and scanning files embedded in zip files!), and it has options to remove any said active content.

The standalone version is excellent and in tests of the stuff that makes it through to the quarentine mailbox it has proven excellent, but I can't see a hugely easy way of implementing it in an exchange environment given it's a python script. The only way I can think of to implement it is via other third party programs such as XWall.

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