* Posts by Billa Bong

121 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009

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Beyond the genome: YOU'VE BEEN DECODED, again

Billa Bong

Re: @Trevor

By 'eck Trev, if this is how you take to mosquitos I dread to think of your opinion on other "parasites of humanity" (I could name you a few). On average a mosi bite is just an annoyance, with an unfortunate end to a very small minority, an average that could be moved further towards benign by assisting developing countries with known defense and treatment for some of the diseases. I say just go buy Jungle Formula and sleep under a net. I personally could live without them, but I don't want to live in a world where we can make the decision to wipe out a species just like that...

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BT Infinity ‘working to fix problem’ after three days of outages

Billa Bong

Re: Change DNS

Unless you want to use parental controls provided by BT, when doing this will cause the router to intercept all traffic to web sites that it didn't provide the IP for and show a "naughty naughty" page.

Clarification: by naughty naughty I didn't mean ooh matron - instead a big blue error message saying "use me for DNS or else no access for you"

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Google App Engine has THIRTY flaws, says researcher

Billa Bong
Coat

Found a burgler in my house...

I asked him wtf he was doing, he responded:

Taking into account the educational nature of the security issues found in your home, and what seems to be an appreciation you have for arbitrary security research, we hope you will make it possible for us to complete our work.

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Orion BELTS UP: Space shuttle wannabe preps again for test flight

Billa Bong

Comms? Go. Nav? Go. Control? ...

Control? ... Dammit, Abort. Control are at the pub.

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Gangnam Style BREAKS YouTube

Billa Bong

Re: Better Parody

Don't forget:

Penketh High School style: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntkjTbUG_QE (skip first 45 seconds)

(Not really a parody, but pretty cool how close they got)

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London police chief: City bankers, prepare for a terrorist cyber attack. Again

Billa Bong

Re: "Be seen to be doing something regularly..."

I'm happy to report that the backlash from my email was astronomical! Maybe sending it round a team of developers was a bad idea...

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Billa Bong
Facepalm

"Be seen to be doing something regularly..."

"... it doesn't matter what.".

One of the <opposite>best</opposite> management strategies, right?

I'm just going to send an email round my office telling them to be on their guard for viruses when using the internet or reading email...

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Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION

Billa Bong

Ahh, to assume that support are competent

I dealt with a support team once that before anything could ever be looked into they changed the login password back to it's default so they themselves could log in.

Me: "Wait, you did what now?"

Them: "We reset the password back to default. You can change it back once we've finished our investigation"

Me: "... and you have a mechanism that allows you to do that?"

Them: "Yes. We find it's the fastest way to resolve customer issues"

Me: "... Goodbye. *click* *unplug*"

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Blackpool hotel 'fines' couple £100 for crap TripAdvisor review

Billa Bong

Re: Boohoo @ Ragarath

I up-vote because I can, and because you deserve it for that observation.

I think the reason is simply that we as a culture are so poor at rational, thoughtful complaint (not slander) direct to the appropriate party. We, as a nation, somehow feel "protected" by the anonymity of the internet, not having to deal direct with the person that has perceptively disadvantaged us.

I wish that it was possible to prevent anyone posting a review online before at least trying to speak direct to the owner/manager about the issues. It might not stop you wanting to post a bad review, but will at least give them the opportunity to put things right or express their side of the tale, thus giving you more of an objective view (or confirming that the reason the establishment is so poor is bad management). Of course practically it's impossible to do this, so I guess keep calm and carry on...

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

Billa Bong

Re: Panic!

Who's have thought that an article about Russian space activities would end up in a topical discussion about the proper way to cook a bird (and which bird too). Thanks to all for a good chuckle and some fresh ideas, which I'll pass on to the head chef of this years glutton-fest.

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Billa Bong

Re: Panic!

I was thinking this: http://jamesbond.wikia.com/wiki/GoldenEye_Satellite - though I'd forgotten about the Spectre capture rocket which in my mind is a blown up version of a Red Dwarf scutter.

I've run out of tin foil now. The turkey will be a tad dry this year...

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Billa Bong
Alert

Panic!

"Naturally, the tendency is for everyone to start panicking about the Cold War and assuming that the craft is some sort of war satellite or an anti-satellite weapon that’s going to start shooting all of the other sats out of the sky."

I'm interested - is this the first time that a satalite has gone up without anyone knowing what it's for (or rather not being told what it's for, because let's face it, who really knows what hidden functions relatively benign "communications" satalites have)? Or is just just because it's Russian?

I must admit though, I saw the title and thought "Goldeneye"...

Extra wide tinfoil at the ready, captain!

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DEATH fails to end mobile contract: Widow forced to take HUBBY's ASHES into shop

Billa Bong

Arrears

My wife started paying back a loan (student loan to be precise) and was surprised several months later to be sent an arrears letter, given that she had paid several months by that point. On phoning the company they said "no, don't worry, you're not in arrears". This continued for several more months until she finally spoke to someone who knew that their system would show "arrears" to the telephone operators *only* if it was the *last* payment that was missed. We're still at a loss, having not received any kind of notification from the bank on a refused payment, as to how the first month was missed. My money is on their system not setting up the DD with the bank before trying to take the initial payment.

And what do you think that did to her credit rating?

Halfwits. *fume*

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Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG

Billa Bong
Coat

Re: Their Description is Right too..

I wouldn't put it past their target audience... so probably, yes.

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Billa Bong
Facepalm

Product placement aside

Who's going to want to attach one half of the brick holder on to the back of their nice stylishly designed phone permanently anyway? And having the rotation of the steering wheel while driving is going to make navigation a real... joy...

I wonder how long before smartfem ask to have their name withdrawn...

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Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'

Billa Bong

Speedy comms

"They were also thrilled that the comms link with Rosetta and Philae was working so well, pushing scientific data back to Earth at around 26Kbps."

So about the same speed as my super-fast broadband then. #fuming-at-rural-adsl

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Shove over, 2FA: Authentication upstart pushes quirky login tech

Billa Bong

Re: Great... until you go away on a trip

On my last trip I was about to inform my credit card company (you know, the one who I booked the flights and hotel through and therefore knows I'm taking a trip) when I read this on their website:

"There is no need to inform us that you are going abroad as normal authorisation rules will continue to apply regardless."

Thank goodness for sanity.

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Billa Bong

Re: Great... until you go away on a trip

No, no, they take that into account. Like when I go to the states and try to log in at the equivalent of 2am when they'll call my friends to make sure I'm in the states!

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Billa Bong

Plus...

The mention of wearables is made several times - so we're replacing a password that I have in my head plus a mobile phone that I have in my pocket with a password that I have in my head (typed in my own unique way... you know, wrong, wrong with caps on, wrong typed slowly and then right when I remember I changed it last week) while wearing a device (which of course will never get lost unlike a mobile phone, right?) at a particular location (unless I happen to be somewhere else).

Failing to see the benefit so far.

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Amazon: Put our ALWAYS ON MICROPHONE in your house, please. WHAT?

Billa Bong

Was that *really* the response time of the thing?

I'd love to see a realistic remake of the video including the time taken to process the voice, send it to the cloud, download the response - something like:

- Alexa, what time is it?

... ... ... ...

- The time is 2 minutes after you asked that question.

Edit: Ok, I'm tainted by circumstance. My broadband speed this week thanks to a combination of guys digging up the road and BT's inability to run a reliable service has hit 120kbps.

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Crypto collision used to hijack Windows Update goes mainstream

Billa Bong

Something is broken... the method

Yes, the finding is significant, but:

"What McHugh was able to do was to add binary data to the end of two different JPEG images such that the two modified files gave the same hash value"

Surely the point is to take two different files, a target like a security update file, and a payload like a malware package, and only modify the payload until the MD5 is the same as the target - if you have access to the original on the source server to make changes to it, you could completely bypass the need of MD5 breaking in the first place.

Maybe I missed it in the article, but has *that* been done yet?

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Coughing for 4G, getting 2G... Networks' penny-pinching SECRETS REVEALED

Billa Bong
Facepalm

"We continue to invest £1.5m every day in our network"

I wondered why O2 charge £6/MB roaming in the US.

Wishing for end of contract so I can move to 3...

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Mobile coverage on trains really is pants

Billa Bong

Re: I call BS

Interesting - on O2 I can tether and get reasonable service (i.e. I can work) all the way to the tunnels - after that it's dicey.

However, that's the best experience I've had with O2. Even major hubs of community, such as inside Addenbrookes hospital itself, or one of the many large villages around Cambridge has next to no signal and no chance of data at all.

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POISON PI sniffs WiFi from your mail room, goes on rampage

Billa Bong

Re: Not likely to succeed

It would be far easier to pretend to be a courier delivering a "brand new laptop" to the IT dept. (which has been stuffed full of sniff software). Even if they're not stupid enough to plug into the corp network, some bright spark in IT will think "we didn't order this and there's no way to RMA it - I'll use it myself", load up vpn and all his software and is owned.

I've never done this, by the way...

EDIT: The new laptop is stuffed full of sniff software, not the target IT Dept. though if done right, shortly...

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DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire

Billa Bong

Re: Hardly rocket science

Nooo, I think not. The partial months kept will only be a single month of the duty (1/12th) in profit for each car sale (from the start to the sale date for the buyer, and from the sale date to the end for the seller), so if total yearly was 6bn and a quarter of cars were traded that's about £125m in this "double take" duty.

Plus they have to pay the people to process the transfer for ownership, etc. Since it costs nothing to change ownership of the vehicle itself, the admin costs in processing V5's (or whatever they're called) has to be taken from somewhere... You could call the extra month that they take a "stamp duty" on car sales to pay for that admin.

But despite this I still think the whole duty calculation and collection isn't right. I'd rather see an increase on fuel and road tolls than have a set price to pay irrespective of actual use.

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SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches

Billa Bong

Re: Because the flaws were very different

"Personally, I would much prefer to get a patch ASAP than wait until a Tuesday."

Do you imagine the developers sitting there are deciding to release a patch next week just because they couldn't be bothered to produce one today? I personally thought that their arguments were well reasoned given the circumstances. They have to trade off getting a complete patch out on Tuesday vs. missing Tuesday because of the coordination in getting out a patch on Saturday, Sunday and Monday as well.

On at 100+ deployment I would personally put in place mitigation factors immediately while I wait for a complete patch to be provided, then roll out the patch. I'm not particularly enthusiastic about extending a 2 touch approach that is 100% effective to 5 touch because a new patch has been issued on each successive day.

I appreciate that for some mitigation factors won't be appropriate or implementable, but those people would presumably be shutting *everything* down until the all clear has been sounded rather than running a system that may or may not have an effective patch.

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NSFW: Click here, watch iPhone 6 being TORTURED

Billa Bong

common sense for making more money

There is "common sense" here - "what can I do to this phone to have people watch it and give me a load of ad revenue, more than enough to buy another one for keeps". At the end of the day, it's all about the money.

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4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM

Billa Bong

Just for my own piece of mind...

I assume that someone checked Rantic (autocorrect wants me to put Rancid...) didn't actually seize the domain in question, i.e. that they were always the host of the original site? If they didn't, that's a pretty poor effort to raise publicity and I expect them to have the sort of publicity that they really don't want in the near future...

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US team claims PARIS paper plane launch crown

Billa Bong

Have any contacts at SpaceX?

Rebuild, send Lester up with it, open a window on the ISS and lob it out. Job done...

Oh, you want to recover it too.... never mind.

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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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