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* Posts by Billa Bong

92 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

Billa Bong
Pint

Groundhog day

In the last article the majority of the comments I read were to do with the frankly laughable claim that "it couldn't be done" - it was refuted time and again with novel ideas on how it could be done, yet at the same time many of the commentards would state "but of course there are much easier ways of tapping". And here we are again...

Beer, and lots of it, because if I'm going to wake up this morning again tomorrow I won't have a hangover. Nice.

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'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator

Billa Bong

Not even that...

Step 1: Pay for some bandwidth across the link of interest

Step 2: Have crew near shore on standby alert

Step 3: Miles out at sea sever the cable with an anchor or dredge net

Step 4: Open a ticket and wait for the notification (as you are a customer) that they are sending a ship to repair

Step 5: Make like the blazes with your near-shore crew to cut and splice the cable before the ship gets there

Step 6: Let them fix the fault, none the wiser that someone has tampered with the cable in the meantime

[Steps 1 and 4 are to avoid fault-finding blowing your cover]

I hardly think that's "physically impossible without them knowing". Just, as has been pointed out, very unlikely given the myriad of other ways you can tap comms without the operator knowing.

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What kind of mugs do you take us for? Malicious sites in spam scams target UK

Billa Bong

We may or may not be dumber - not enough data to support the theory

There are other aspects to this

- how good we are at keeping on top of updates, anti-virus, etc.

- how good UK companies are at securing their sites with two-factor (or better) security compared with DE/FR/US,

- or how good they are at catching and preventing fraudulent activity.

We may be targets because it's easier to break into the PC's or sites we visit, not necessarily have an increase in click-yield from these emails.

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LOHAN gets laughing gear round promotional mug

Billa Bong

Re: How about

Vince, you'd probably still have to produce two versions though for left handed/depending on which side of the globe you want to look at when drinking the morning brew...

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The Register to boldly go where no Vulture has gone before: The WEEKEND

Billa Bong

If I browse El Reg from home what will I do at work?

Is this the blurring of work life and home life again? Will my kids cope with the change in Dad's availability?

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GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

Billa Bong

Bad choice for a name too

Tenna ~= Tena... as in Tena Lady?

The part about Cambridgeshire being a mob dead spot made me smile. So often I've been somewhere in Cambridgeshire, thought "I'll just check my... no I won't...".

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NUDE SNAPS AGENCY: NSA bods love 'showing off your saucy selfies'

Billa Bong
Pint

Re: I would laugh at this if it weren't so sad

"Oh and to the NSA people reading this, can I get a copy of my latest CV I accidentally deleted last week please? It would save me a few hours updating my old copy and can you send the pictures of my sisters new dog to all our friends, saves me doing it. Thanks."

I would lmao if they actually did... keep us poseted!

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Don't put that duffel bag full of cash in the hotel room safe

Billa Bong

Simple social engineering would break both the door and the safe

I stayed in a hotel where the mag card were so poor quality I pretty much daily had to get it recoded, requiring only my name and the room number. I once forgot what code I'd used for the safe and asked reception to open it, requiring only my name and room number... I never use the safe now - what would be the point?

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Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet

Billa Bong
Coat

Tin foil theory - he's not there anymore and hasn't been for a long time

He's already fled, having had visitors to perform some plastic surgery and then left under a false passport without anyone batting an eyelid. Classic misdirection. He's now sitting on his island protected by piranha and laser cannons...

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CERN data explains how Higgs heavies other matter

Billa Bong

8TeV vs 13TeV

If at first you don't succeed.... hit it with a bigger hammer!

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Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!

Billa Bong

What goes around...

It's standard practice in America to counter sue, so this is no surprise really. Still curious to know if these two were actually living together in "company housing" (why would an exec be in a shared accomodation block??)

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Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT

Billa Bong

Confused on the motivation...

Did his space rockets get stuck in the traffic of all the other rockets that take off from there? Or is this about getting the launch site closer to where the rockets are produced?

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FBI: We found US MILITARY AIRCRAFT INTEL during raid on alleged Chinese hacker

Billa Bong

Re: How the...

Pointless asking why people down voted something that appears like a sane and worthwhile comment or question. You're dealing with the internet...

Hey, maybe the Chinese down voted you because they didn't appreciate being belittled in their abilities to hack?

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Today's Facebook fury: Coppertone-like baby pic ban baffles US mom

Billa Bong

The Internet of Things

In this day and age where pretty much anything could be connected to the internet and usually is without the owners needing to do anything this is a serious issue. I don't get the choice of what gets pushed through my facebook news feed, nor can easily control where stuff I publish goes via some other parties "routing".

If publishers of content have to bow to the lowest common denominator law (is that China? Someone must know) then basically we're all screwed. Sorry, I just screwed myself by using the word screwed which will upset some law. And again. Oh fu..

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El Reg nips down IKEA's 'I've Got A Screw Loose Street'

Billa Bong

That's not why I go to IKEA

It's conveniently half way between my house and my wife's parents, and sells good meatballs.

It's just a shame I can't get out of there without picking up some tat from the Market Hall.

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Victim of Tor-hidden revenge smut site sues Tor Project developers

Billa Bong
Coat

Please can I make the joke..

about handling stolen goods now?

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Dubai to get HUGE climate-controlled DOMED CITY and giga-mall

Billa Bong

Office arguments over the air-con controls

I can see it now on a very grand scale...

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Manhattan drone pair cuffed for NYPD chopper near miss

Billa Bong

Where's the side by side video?

Takin' a picture of me takin' a picture of you...

Surely that could be used as evidence?

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It's finally happened: Bloke builds BOFH-style goofing-off cattle prod

Billa Bong

Re: Dope Amine

So how long before this is hooked into the reg's upvote mechanism? Ooo yeah....

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Billa Bong

Wrong way around

Reward for good behaviour is by far more powerful at creating the habit pathways in one's brain than punishment for bad behaviour is. That's essentially why this thread has digressed onto self-gratification, and the BOFH is never able to put is prod down. A wrist band that somehow hooked into a trigger for, or supplied endorphin like rewards would potentially work, though we are a smart species - it wouldn't be long before someone was able to hack it to self-administer at will completely losing the value. Therefore the best course of action is usually measured recognition and reward from peers and (not being able to find the right word, this one will do) elders, be that parents/guardians or managers.

This guy pays someone to slap him, he wants to self-administer electric shocks (he could easily take the thing off and I would wager that most people within a few shocks would learn to do so without ever properly waking up as soon as they hear the beeping)... he's got it the wrong way around.

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

Billa Bong

Re: The queues will get horrendous

I'm already on the NSA list for reading the reg, so I'm not bothered about confessing all here, but I travel to the US regularly with a laptop, spare laptop battery (not all aircraft have in seat power), external HDD, tablet, various plugs (some aircraft do have in seat power), bluetooth headset, usb keys, micro-sd cards in my phone, etc., etc. I try not to check bags so everything has to be in hand luggage. I've never once been asked to power anything on.

The most examination I had was my electronics got swabbed for ion detection of explosives. That's by far a better way to test stuff going through than just powering it on, as the chances of you fitting explosives into your electronics without getting any on the outside is very slim. As previously noted, if everyone has to prove it by powering on, we'll all be standing in line for a very long time...

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VIDEO SELFIE DRONE: 'AirDog' UAV follows you everywhere you go

Billa Bong

Fantastic!

Now all I need to do is get out of my office once in a while - then you'll see some real quality action footage. Of my walk to the pub, probably...

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DANGER MOUSE is back ... and he isn't half a GLASSHOLE

Billa Bong

Re: Cast?

What better way to re-introduce a techno-savy mouse than to give him the voice of someone who gets confused over IP addresses and domain names...

http://metro.co.uk/2014/06/17/stephen-fry-is-bookies-favourite-to-replace-david-jason-in-the-new-danger-mouse-animated-series-4765291/

Glad to see the Reg willing to re-open the whole "Penfold the hamster is a mole" debate (whether you believe I'm talking about which species or where his loyalty lies depends on how much tin foil you possess). Wasn't that also a question on QI one time?

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Supermodel Lily Cole: 'I got a little bit upset by that Register article'

Billa Bong

Has anyone pen tested the site yet?

Just curious - for 200k I'd expect it to be impenetrable...

And is no one reviewing this stuff?? Scientologists must be really stuck for advertising ideas if they're now using Impossible as a religious platform, but what's worse is that they're being allowed to...

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POND SCUM shine a path to more efficient solar cells

Billa Bong

So what you're saying is....

We're throwing an awful lot of brain power into a problem that micro-organisms are able to achieve without any apparent effort? That kinda puts my job in perspective. *sob*

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Student promises Java key to unlock Simplocker ransomware

Billa Bong

Re: Next step?

I had the same problem with Norton, so stopped using it. A friend had Norton and within a couple of weeks their HDD ran out of space - turned out Norton had got into some sort of cycle of writing so some weird temp file consuming 90% of the drive (all that which wasn't OS).

Let's not stop there though... I've had problems with McAfee consuming 100% CPU and a lot of disk after a sleep-cycle (not to mention after a year they automatically tried to renew me on a 3-seat license when I'd only bought a 1 seat license, and when I called and said "I only have 1 PC" they continued to push 3-seats "just in case").

I've had to remove Kapersky completely because I can't VPN when it's installed (VPN will connect but none of the company subnet routing works - no traffic goes over the vpn link).

In the end, uninstalling the Windows Virus-Ready Edition and moving to Linux desktop seemed the best bet.

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Ohio man cuffed AGAIN for shagging inflatable pool raft

Billa Bong

Had to be a Lester article...

I knew this was an article by good-ol' Lester as soon as I saw the title. However, in an interesting development you've given up trying to turn an IT angle on them... Come on commentards, someone needs to find a dubious link between a pink lilo and the IT world...

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Windows 8 leaker gets three months, booted back to Russia

Billa Bong

Re: harsh

An analogy, maybe - if you have a contract with someone to not beat you up, then they beat you up, you're not going to sue them for breach of contract but for beating you up...

So it's not for breach of contract, but for damages, surely? Employee or not, he apparently damaged Microsoft's business (*stifles a chuckle*) by sending out pre-release code.

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NASA beams vid from space via laser

Billa Bong
Coat

Hang on...

Can I dob them into the feds for lazing a space station following their recent campaign?

Or even better, can we employ similar technology to return-laze the nutters who do it to aircraft?

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'Fan docks' are about to become a thing

Billa Bong

Performance is great... until you want to go mobile (aka without external power for a fan)?

Come on, ARM - show us your wares.

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How I poured a client's emails straight into the spam bin – with one Friday evening change

Billa Bong

What's with the Google fascination?

> My personal preference would be to punt the entire kit and caboodle into Google Apps and be done with it

While I think that Google's provision of "everything" (provided you acknowledge that they own everything, including the content it seems) is a good thing in some circumstances it's always sad to read a comment like the above without the necessary "For this customers use case and requirements it would be ...". What's worse is that you then go on to explain why you don't use Google Apps... which means you have considered it and Google Apps is not your preference... It's confusing.

A throw away comment like the above leads PFY's to say "hey, Google can be used irrespective of requirements" and push their clients down the GA route without considering the implications on the company or their work-flow.

Don't get me wrong, I like Google Apps, but I'm conscious that it's one solution of many and it's the requirements that dictate the solution, and my preference is always the solution that meets those requirements (with some compromise on cost, time of delivery, etc.), though I'm always willing to tell a company that their requirements are wrong and therefore so will the solution be ;o)

All in all you erred (right intention, wrong outcome) and some people were inconvenienced in a rather minor way - this solution, though rather complex, seems to tick the boxes in this case, and you learned a lesson about how ambiguity (or rather assumed meaning) can easily cause the client issues. All in all I'd say this wasn't a "fail", just a hiccup. It's still good work.

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About to make a big bet? Don't crash out, cash in with the power of maths

Billa Bong

Nice work

I'm going to have to research some more here. I'm forever making changes that I'm never quite sure will give a good return on effort.

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100% driverless Wonka-wagon toy cars? Oh Google, you're having a laugh

Billa Bong

*Sigh* another rant about technology safety

The problem is *not* the technology, but the fact that you're trying to incorporate an autonomous vehicle in the same places as those driven by <strikethough>nutters who won't follow the same rules</strikethrough> people who operate outside the common rules; therefore the autonomous vehicles have to be defensive (and even then it probably wouldn't be enough). You put a google car in any of these places the worst that would happen is that the damn thing wouldn't move for fear of crashing.

To keep things uber-simple the solution is to separate the autonomous from the regular. I've often thought that a great way to save a bucket load of fuel is to make a new class of highway where only autonomous cars would be allowed to drive and they would be allowed to drive within inches of each other because they would always be talking to each other down the line making full use of slipstreams. There are a few holes in the argument, incl bridge jumpers, and the exit slip roads would have to be about a mile long (or more closer to cities) to ensure that backed up traffic trying to get off didn't interrupt the flow, but a car that only has the authority to drive on such a road is easier to produce and ultimately provides what we want - rest on a long journey rather than automation for a trip to the shops which actually provides very little value.

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Watch: Kids slam Apple as 'BORING, the whole thing is BORING'

Billa Bong

Re: Who taught these children ??

@ Khaptain

I value your comments, and reassess my own. Pencils, like empty cardboard boxes, can form the basis of a whole range of games without any effort or prerequisite knowledge, and therefore will never be "boring" in the way you suggest. Imagination plays a big part with these items. This computer requires a lot of effort to start it doing even the most simple task and doesn't leave the imagination much room. Different situation.

I've taken my children to a fair few places where there are some classic or vintage cars. They appreciate the aesthetics of them ("it looks different" and is interesting for about 2 minutes) but the principle of the car being "old" doesn't factor in because they have no knowledge or experience of the difference (there's not in reality that much difference in how the thing operates, and they're not allowed to drive it), so again this is an incomparably different situation.

Imagine an experiment where I take adults and sit them down in their current job but only provide items from the 70's. How long before fascination turns to frustration, particularly if their job function hasn't changed to suit the environment - this is more akin to a child's perception in these experiments.

Your feelings and arguments are legitimate for an adult and I'm not disputing that, but we're shaped by our own experiences and children don't have as much and are therefore much more shallow.

Confession: I have absolutely no child psychological background other than what I picked up in my own experience from having kids and my own observations of how children react to things.

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Billa Bong

Re: Who taught these children ??

Ok, firstly this is hardly a clean-room experiment designed to show a child's desire to learn as you suppose - it's a pure shortened time frame reaction test of "here's something called a computer, but not as you know it". They're comparing what they know to something they've not experienced before with the same label, and as such after some confusion (natural) quickly come to the conclusion that it's not what they expect it to be, and there the experiment ends by design.

Being thrilled by older technology yourself is fine, but kids just don't have the capability to understand that: They have yet to have a real ongoing experience of innovation and product improvement which is usually a prerequisite to taking an interest in how things were *before* they were born. That's why 7 year olds seldom watch the antiques road show.

I put it to you that if you put a 1970's computer in a room with a child of this age from a society with modern experiences of PC's, with no interactive instruction but all they needed to get it working (including manuals, disks, etc.) they would *still* quickly become bored and file this object under "uninteresting". They would quickly recognize it as an object like a computer and start making comparisons to what they know about them... (a) doesn't seem to want to work (if they were children with programming or shell experience they may get it to do something, but most children don't fall into that category), (b) it's missing vital parts (a mouse or touch screen is standard and they have no experience of other forms of control-input, which a modern keyboard on Windows/KDE/etc isn't).

They can't even use their imagination with this thing, though I bet if you left it 15 minutes you might get some ascii pictures being typed...

However, if you put this in a room with someone who'd never seen a computer before I would fully expect a different result...

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Billa Bong

I'm showing this to my kids...

They'll never complain about our 3 year old laptop with the broken hinge again...

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Authorities swoop on illicit Wolverhampton SPAM FARM

Billa Bong

Re: castration (you have to admit it'd be a good deterrent).

Yep, true. I tend to assume it's only men that commit this sort of thing but it's totally unfounded and I admit it... My point is that wrist slaps get us no where and this country is, IMO which is not so humble, very soft on crime and especially on nuisance.

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Billa Bong

Re: sizeable fine?

Or if you can't pay, castration (you have to admit it'd be a good deterrent).

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Billa Bong

Re: Perhaps more publicity needed?

I agree, though I knew about it through O2 themselves. When I was getting fed up with the messages I searched to see if there was a "TPS" style thing for spam text and I believe the O2 web site told me to forward the spam to this number. My only complain is that it's still easier to delete than forward the spam and then the number - I'd love an Android SMS app that allows you to "submit as spam" with one action.

I wonder whether they are able to actually check your claim or just run statistical analysis of submissions, and whether there are penalties for false claims...

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Orange France hacked AGAIN, 1.3 million victims seeing red

Billa Bong
FAIL

Re: err @ ip and LAMP holes lol

> so for the statement made to be true doesnt [sic] also require PHP or MySQL to be used.

OMG, you're killing me here. "LAMP has holes" != "Apache/Linux has holes". You specified issues with a LAMP stack, so it does require MySQL and PHP in your argument. Otherwise it's not a LAMP stack, is it?

And you suppose that because they advertise for a job on PHP/MySQL (no L or A mentioned in your post at least) that this means all of their internet facing machines run LAMP, and that's how the hackers got in? That's already been dis-proven.

Great detection skills...

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Potato in SPAAAAACE: LOHAN chap cooks up stratospud with Heston Blumenthal

Billa Bong

For those searching 4od...

25 minutes in, just after the 2nd advert break. The rest of it is about pies which I'm trying to avoid due to waist line problem...

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The quid-a-day nosh challenge: Anyone fancy this fungus I found?

Billa Bong

Eat what you find...

Someone near where I live is a forager... He's regularly seen walking round the village with a bag and determined expression. I'm not kidding when I say his kids begged him to stop serving rabbit for dinner (which are regularly found on the roads around). Be warned, Lester... that could be you...

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Boffins build billion-synapse, three-watt 'brain'

Billa Bong

Re: A brain is not the answer.

As previously posted, the point isn't to replace digital computation, but to hook into the aspects of the brain that can beat computers hands down. Good Enough is the key here.

Besides that, the human brain is inefficient until the particular functions make their way into the subconscious (S of the Rassmusen's SRK model). For example, if I ask you what day of the week a particular date was, any date past or future you will have to work it out with R or K (using rules or knowledge of *how* to do it for calculation) and may get it wrong, but there is at least one person alive today who will be able to just tell you, just like that, 100% accurately, with no conscious calculation. He's using the S part. (Point of interest is the person to whom I'm referring has autism, a largely black hole in our knowledge of the brain). If we can combine what Stamford have done with the subconscious abilities of our brain for bigger problems... wow. I'm excited by this as my final year at uni was looking at neural nets for application in disabilities. It was the most engaging EE and CS project I ever worked on.

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Brit IT workers are so stressed that 'TWO-THIRDS' want to quit

Billa Bong
Unhappy

Re: Biased from the start - That moment of realization

"Note 1: I suspect some CIO's do. But like a useless manager reading a Dilbert cartoon, they laugh without realising that they are the butt of the joke."

Wait... that's me... *sobs quietly until home-time*

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Selfies are so 2013. Get ready for DRONIES – the next hipster-cam-gasm

Billa Bong

Re: Belfie?

I feel I've missed this boat already. Can't understand a word my daughter says.

Mind you she is only 1. The 9 year old is just as hard to understand.

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Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

Billa Bong

Re: Wrong comparison

Ahh, so are you suggesting that they're charging a fiver just for using a different build disk image or install process and that no human intervention is required? That certainly adds weight to the charge. No... wait...

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Billa Bong

Re: So...

Sorry, couldn't resist. It does bring to my mind all the useless stuff Dell tried to sell me in the past by making stuff that was of little help default selected and chargeable.

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Billa Bong
Coat

Re: So...

You now have 3 vote options:

- No vote [£0.00]

- Downvote [recommended, currently selected, £2.99]

- Upvote [£4.99]

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BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*

Billa Bong

Re: Laptop! Lucky bastards

VM as in you have an empty desk? I think Simon could really make something of upgrading the whole company to virtual (non-existent as opposed to the other kind) machines and cloud (perhaps by filling the building with smoke through the aircon). Man, this material just writes itself, doesn't it?

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Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?

Billa Bong
Alert

Re: Fantastic... this is going to be such a FAIL!!!

I don't think you've understood how trading futures work (CME doesn't trade equities, only options and futures - the article title doesn't make that clear). Futures are all about predictable service and price. Futures only requires 2 things:

1. A provider willing to guarantee that for a particular period of time in the future he will provide a specific service for a specific sum of money

2. A consumer willing to take that service at that cost

Everything else that happens in the middle is fluff.

If I was running a cloud service, and was able to sell a contract for £10 to provide a service to whoever held that contract from 1st Jan 2015-1st Jan 2016 at a price of £5/month then assuming I'm reasonably confident that I can indeed provide that service for that price and still make a profit it's guaranteed income in the future for me (plus gets me a bit of cash in the drawer right now).

If I'm a commodity broker who sees that the cloud provider is selling a contract at that price, and believes that the going market rate for that service during 2015 will be, let's say, £10/month then I'd happily buy it, because just before 2015 I sell the contract for £50 to someone who *actually* wants the service (i.e. is in the right location or whatever), at a profit to me (£40) and an overall saving for them (£110 instead of £120).

To address your points:

1. At the point that an individual actually wants to make use of that service they will buy that either from a broker with the right contract for the contracts value (unless they had the forethought to purchase such a contract early on) or from the cloud provider themselves for the market rate; the overall prices will be comparable, the only thing that changes is who makes the profit.

2. The contract value is somewhat divorced from the actual service cost. Wheat futures are traded well in advance of farmers growing and the price of the actual item varies wildly depending on the weather, etc., etc. - but the contract is to buy at a set price no matter what, so the value of that contract will increase/decrease over time as conditions change (i.e. my contract that I bought for £5 for a tonne of wheat at £5 when the real cost of the wheat is closer to £50 can be sold on for anything up to £45).

3. Please do build a data center. Would you consider accepting some money now to sell a contract of service at a set price that you won't need to deliver on until you have built it, thereby allowing you to build it? If so, you've just traded your first cloud derivative on CME. :o)

PS. I'm not 100% convinced it will work just because a pig is a pig - you don't have lots of choices, how many legs it'll have, how many ribs, etc. Cloud contracts can be very variable. If there's a market for such futures contracts then maybe it'll bring providers into conformity, but that in itself is unhelpful to those people who want to tailor their cloud solution for their specific requirements - like buying an off the shelf web hosting package with a lot of crap you don't want just because you wanted ssh access.

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