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* Posts by Will 28

93 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009

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Top Brit docs wade into GP data grab row, demand 'urgent' NHS England talks

Will 28

There are rumours that you're not fully opting out anyway

According to the following: http://medconfidential.org/how-to-opt-out/ , opting out just removes some more information from what they send, it doesn't stop them sending it.

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15,000 London coppers to receive new crime-fighting tool: an iPad

Will 28

The cost effective option?

I hope this is a joke I haven't got. Why on earth would a policeman need designer gear? Are those app devs that they're getting to write the apps all happening to be skilled in Objective C? There's a huge amount of traction in the developing countries for cheap tablets. Perhaps buy up a load of old Surface RT tablets that no-one wanted. It's just as easy to write up a report on it, and they'll be a hell of a lot cheaper.

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Google and Samsung bare teeth in battle for LANDFILL ANDROID™

Will 28

I think you underestimate MS benefits from this

As companies try to tie you to their services, it increasingly breaks consumer confidence. My last 3 purchases have gone:

iPhone 3G

Galaxy S2

Nokia Lumia (recent, so I can't be sure if it's a great improvement)

Each time I moved because I was pissed off with the constraints of the device. My iPhone would not work without pledging my undying loyalty to iTunes and binding everything to Apple. I moved to the open platform, suddenly Google Play would periodically start on my phone, and I couldn't uninstall it, it appears contract phones from 3 are not able to. Then other google services started running in the background, without any user interaction. So I move to a windows phone. Granted it doesn't tell me what's running, but so far it seems to be much easier to customise than the "open" platform that is/was Android. What I can be sure of is that those other two systems are driving people away by trying to take too much from them.

Just saying, the more Google tighten their grip...

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Ahoy, scalliwags! FBI claims another haul of Silk Road booty - $26m of it

Will 28

Innocent until proven that your defence lawyer represented someone else we don't like

Seriously guys, why the final paragraph about his representative? The man may have represented people that may have been bad people (I don't even know if those accused were guilty), but is it really fair to tar a man with that? I find it unlikely that he was able to do any substantial research into his representation, and just used a lawyer he was advised to.

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Coding: 'suitable for exceptionally dull weirdos'

Will 28

I want to meet the interesting people

I'm happy to accept I'm dull, though Willard's post here already shows that he was just using that term to provoke. However what I really don't get, is that for all the people that do genuinely look on me as a geek, or a dull wierdo, is what do they do that's so interesting?

Are these people arriving at work riding a kangaroo? Do they enter the office jumping from a plane, then parachute in through the 5th floor window? What do they do???

If you're interesting, or know anyone who is interesting, please write to me with the answer at "this post, the register forums, Vulture Central, London".

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How to spot a coders comment

Will 28

Cruel coders comment thus

This still exists in our codebase, I've checked the source control history, and it has not changed since the migration 4 years ago, I still don't know what it is talking about:

// Note: Important, when changing this remember to

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Gov IT write-off: Universal Credit system flushes £34m down toilet

Will 28

Re: Couple of corrections, massive bias

If you have enough experience of Agile (which you appear to), I think you'll know that it is a very loosely applied term. I've seen many projects that have been approached as "Agile", which actually interpretted as "We didn't want to plan or spec anything, we just wanted to start coding".

If you imagine instead that the management were incredibly poor, and had not applied *Any* methodology to the project. What do you think they would answer when asked what their methodology was? Chaos? No, they'd pick that mysterious Agile thing they've heard of, which sounds like it doesn't involve doing much management.

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Sky falling: 119,000 Brits flee O2, Be after Murdoch broadband gobble

Will 28

Lies, Damn Lies, and El Reg reporting

I see there are people on here displeased with the changeover, and you probably have cause (I don't personally care). However I don't think that's representative of the 119,000 users that appear to have left. I suspect that the much more obvious reason is that they changed their official provider from Be to Sky. As people here have reported that they were encouraged to do. Co-incidentally, sky announced 119,000 new subscribers.

I think that as much as I'd like to see Sky nobbled a bit, this is a simple bit of book keeping that has got a reg hack worked up over nothing.

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KEEP CALM and Carry On: PRISM itself is not a big deal

Will 28

Meanwhile in a deep underground bunker...

#Smudge1 - Sir, communication monitoring is in place, we're hearing everything... it's really quite disturbing, please turn it off.

#Smudge2 - No, we must monitor ALL communication!

#Smudge1 - Well we do have this bank of emails and phone calls between one of our people and a newspaper exposing our entire operation, after all we do hear EVERYTHING!!! Shall we stop it?

#Smudge2 - That's exactly what they're expecting, let's confuse them. We'll let the story leak out, and demonstrate ourselves to be unable to control our people, and totally unaware of what who our own people are talking to, despite having complete access to their communications, and those of the journalists. No-one will believe that we can hear everything then!

#Smudge1 - Brilliant Sir, lets just hope this conversation doesn't leak out onto a discussion board.

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Microsoft SQL Server 14 man: 'Nothing stops a Hekaton transaction'

Will 28

I don't get it. How is this different to the PIN functionality from SS7

I'm sure there's something more flashy going on here, but wasn't there some PIN functionality in SQL Server 7 that loaded a table into RAM? I seem to remember that it was deprecated because of potential instability and little performance gain.

The concept of shoving the table into RAM isn't new, so what's the big change? It's nearly done anyway by the clustered index cache, so there must be some game changer here I'm not understanding.

Also, how's it going to work with regards to clustering, will the pinned state of the table be shared among servers?

It all seems a bit airy to me, bit like when they announced the Filestream data type, which turned out to be a complete non event.

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Stephen Fry explains… Alan Turing's amazing computer

Will 28

At some point Andrew, you're just beating up an old man

Your criticism here is tenuous at best, as others have commented, and certainly not deserving of a whole article flaming someone. This article reflects more on you than Fry, as it just shows an irrational level of hatred, and a willingness to further degrade The Register into just being your own personal ball of hate.

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Apple updates maps to remove Australia’s ghost-city in the desert

Will 28

The end result?

It's fine to suggest a reason to why they made the mistake, but the fact is that it was innacurate. It's not really much consolation to the stranded tourist that it was a genuine mistake, they want results. Google provided, Apple didn't. If the data was so bad, why just Apple as the victims?

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Apple scrambled to hire iOS 6 maps engineers DAYS before launch

Will 28

So the map is crap, what's that got to do with job adverts?

You've already reported the map sucks, and by all accounts it does. The fact Apple are recruiting in no way implies that they believed this to be the case, that they were panicking, or that they believed that new developers would mean it would suddenly be fixed.

In fact I'd fully expect that, regardless of the state of the application, you would see job adverts go up now. This is because they have completed (arguably) the first development iteration, and are now getting ready for the next release. This often involves increasing the team as you don't start a new application with 1000 devs on board - it would be chaos.

I can't help but feel that this article is a thinly veiled excuse to continue bashing apple. I quite enjoy bashing apple, but would like some new material to do it with rather than another re-run of "the maps don't work".

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FOI request turns up Carrier IQ surprise

Will 28

hold on, this can't be right

Don't you remember that they "provided enough technical detail to convince The Register the diagnostics software doesn't represent a privacy threat to handset owners"?

A gift that keeps on giving, because it's a story you keep on sensationalising. Where are you today then? Is it bad or benign?

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Does your smartphone run Carrier IQ? Find out here

Will 28

SSL - I'll try again

"even when they're entered into webpages protected by the SSL protocol".

SSL is protecting the transport of information. It is not designed, intended, or able, to protect against a key logger. 3 articles on this have all made this sensationalist statement, as though it is in some way breaking the security that SSL provides. If I had a key logger on my PC it would also be able to read things typed into a web page 'protected by SSL', because SSL is protecting me from bad people outside of my PC, not the bad people on it.

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Lovefilm dumps Flash, BLINDS Linux fans with Silverlight

Will 28

When they axe Silverlight

It doesn't get deleted from the internet. Their 'Axing' of it involves not developing it any further. You'll still be able to download it, write apps for it, same as now. It just means there won't be a Silverlight 6. Given all Lovefilm need is something to play videos, what is the problem with that? There aren't any new features needed for their purposes. The only risk they're taking from that perspective is that it might not be supported in later versions of browsers (I don't know what the story is there).

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Will 28

It is insurmountable (probably)

Microsoft's PlayReady tech (the DRM system they use) is very secure. Say what you like about MS business practices and attitude, their tech guys are not idiots. They've experience both of screwing up DRM, and then securing it again (remember that WMP DRM debacle). This DRM is their new attempt at it having learned from those mistakes. You will not be able to hack the stream to go to anything but the silverlight control.

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BUSTED TWO: Carrier IQ monitor-ware on iPhones too?

Will 28
FAIL

You really need to stop mentioning the SSL stuff

You're just embarrassing yourselves. SSL protects the data during transport. This happens way before then, this is not even part of the communication stack. This is logging key presses, nothing to do with transport.

To be honest it draws the credibility of this Eckhart chap into question given that he felt it was important to point out. He should have made it clear that SSL isn't intended to protect against this sort of situation.

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Anonymous launches OpRobinHood against banks

Will 28
Stop

I'm not sure this is so naive

If I had recently hacked a load of networks (PSN etc.) gained millions of credit card details, and then wanted to maximise my returns on that, what would be a good tactic?

1) Using about 80% of the cards create a large amount of interference in the banks automated fraud detection, causing the systems to hopefully overload, almost certainly take a longer to freeze money, and claw it back. The receipients would be innocent, making it very hard to identify other non-innocent recipients.

2) use my remaining 20%, while the systems are down to a crawl, transfer money to a load of dodgy accounts, and quickly get that money moved on through various laundering techniques, before the banks can catch up and claw it back / follow the money.

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TiVo subscriptions go up – for the first time in 4 years

Will 28

@Dan White, Not the case any more.

My friend recently moved his virgin account to a new location, and just as a reward for staying with them, they gave him one for free. They are just throwing the things at customers now.

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Boffins one step closer to Terminator vision

Will 28
Terminator

Arnie wasn't a T1000, he was a T800

We never got to see through the vision of the T1000, so we don't know what he saw.

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Bethesda promises fix for Skyrim Xbox graphics glitch

Will 28

"We can't turn it around quite that fast. It's been three days"

Three days from what exactly, oh yes - release! That's when a game has passed QA standards and been certified internally to be good enough for release. Skyrim was going to make a mint, and Bethesda knew it, still rather than a careful testing program they have stuck with their tactic of using their most enthusiastic users as unwitting beta testers.

It's why I haven't bought it yet. I'll pick it up when they iron out the issues (probably be on sale by then).

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BBC iPlayer to require TV licence

Will 28

heaps of internet-enabled set-top boxes

Surely these will be sitting atop a TV set, as the name suggests, so they'll need a license anyway for that TV set?

I think they really are actually after people like me who don't have a TV set at all, but use BBC services like the iPlayer catchup and BBC news (those 0.2%). I'd gladly pay this if it wasn't such a hassle to have to remember and actively go and pay for it. As someone else pointed out, with 97% of the population owning a license, about 2% who should own a license but don't, and now 0.2% like me, can't we just say "bad luck" to those other 0.8% and take it out of taxation?

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Mass ASP.NET attack causes websites to turn on visitors

Will 28

No Sentient, you misunderstand

Not 'attacking IIS', I'm saying that once the system has been comprimised by the SQL injection attack, I suspect it is then using the fact you can easily find IIS and configure it (now that it has permissions) by writing an automated script to do it. Thus the websites that are seen as comprimised are ASP.NET, because most websites running on IIS are ASP.NET. I'm not suggesting an IIS vulnerability.

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Will 28

Actually I would suspect it is more likely IIS

The nature of the attack doesn't appear to use anything specific to ASP or ASP.NET. So my unfounded guess as to why there's such a high proportion of sites that are ASP.NET (yet not all of them) is that the automated script that is run once the server is comprimised is targetting IIS. This makes some sense to me, as IIS is easily locatable, and easily interrogated and manipulated by a script (by design, not by mistake). This would make it an easy target for someone wanting to do a mass automated attack. I'm sure they could have targetted other web servers, but I guess they haven't.

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Will 28

Very poor reporting

From evidence given, nothing to do with ASP.NET. By the sound of it, it's about crap programmers from any database back end. Can you just clarify the ASP.NET vuln?

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Smut oglers told to opt in to keep web filth flowing

Will 28

How it will be classified

A massive quango trawling all the smut they can find and building up a blacklist!

Actually given the spirit in which this appears to be being approached, that would be intolerable as it would expose those workers to porn. Instead there'll be a whitelist of what we can access, and sites will have to pay to be on vetted in order to be allowed to be on it.

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Oracle settles with Feds over price gouging

Will 28

Is there some legal or accounting significance in not hitting $200m

Or did someone just sneakily pocket half a mil? It seems a strange number to settle on.

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Final insult for Full Tilt as Channel Islands kill its licence

Will 28

I really need to get in on this criminal thing

They seem to make loads of money, get caught rarely, and keep the cash. I mean, how much of this hundreds of millions will actually be reclaimed? I'd settle for a cool 10 mil (easily going to fall through the gaps here), no-one's getting caught, it's seems crime really does pay!

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Pandemonium as Microsoft AV nukes Chrome browser

Will 28

Wait for it... Oh no, we won't have to

Let commence the conspiracy theories regarding deliberate mis-classification.

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Murdoch organ intrudes into readers' private places

Will 28

Oher information could include:

Your (approximate) current location at time of login, the time of day you tend to browse the site, your prefered browser, the articles you read, the length of time you spend reading an article, etc.

I suspect they want to collect habits to link to identity data, rather than identity data itself.

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Trust me, I'm a computer: Watson takes on health care challenge

Will 28

It's the inverse of that that worries me

"I thought the 80% recommendation was wrong, but I followed it because otherwise I'd be liable"

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Windows 8 secure boot would 'exclude' Linux

Will 28

Something not right there

The prof says:

"I hear that Microsoft (and others) are pushing for this to be mandatory, so that it cannot be disabled by the user"

He then links to a blog post which says:

"There's no indication that Microsoft will prevent vendors from providing firmware support for disabling this feature and running unsigned code."

Perhaps they should talk to each other and compare notes?

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Google shamed by Apple in race to HTML5

Will 28

No idea who GSSGLE is. Perhaps it should be GOOGL€ given they are based in Ireland.

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Smut domain scores big bucks for not handling smut

Will 28

Would it really be so bad?

If I were some big name like Ferrari for example, why would I really be so worried about people going to Ferrari.xxx, it's not like you type it by accident. If people want to do a load of porn based in Ferraris, so what?

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Murdoch to reappear before MPs in phone-hack case

Will 28

What a waste of time

I'll write out the summary of the "grilling" in advance.

MP: Did you lie to us before?

JM: No.

MP: These other people say you did.

JM: Well I didn't.

MP: Okay, that pretty much cuts off all my questions then.

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Man City boss quits over cancer email

Will 28

I don't understand

What does that email even mean? It just seems to be 3 totally unrelated sentences. Who "used to be such a nice man"? The person complaining is a woman. I'm obviously missing something because everyone is making such a fuss. Could someone take a second to explain what he's saying?

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Court bans man called Peter from calling himself Peter

Will 28

Prevention

You can prevent something without the assumption that the person is guilty of it. For example you can wear a condom to prevent contracting an STD, that doesn't mean you're accusing the person you're sleeping with of having one, just that you don't know for sure.

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Microsoft: Our clouds are cheaper than VMware clouds

Will 28

Have you asked VMWare for comment on the comparison?

Given this is essentially MS providing the data, it would seem fair to ask VMWare for their views on the comparison. Perhaps they can provide a set of circumstances where the prices aren't so different.

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WikiLeaks releases full searchable US secret cable files

Will 28

If the password wasn't described as temporary - show us!

Ironically, there seems to be a culture of secrecy in wikileaks. There must have been an email or some form of logged electronic communication in which that password was conveyed to the journalist. It's not like they could speak it out over the phone while someone on the other end jotted it down (well they could, but it would be impractical and too error prone). So why don't they simply put this argument to rest by leaking that email. It should show exactly how the password was described.

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All WikiLeaks' secret US cables are on BitTorrent in full

Will 28
FAIL

Everybody just totally failed here

The Grauniad shouldn't have published the passphrase, wikileaks shouldn't have given them it in the first place, and even if they did, they should have separately encrypted it to the "insurance" encrypted file that was published (I assume that's the one that was on the torrent sites). Then finally people dealing with encrypted files should have been aware that you can't "change the password" on an encrypted file.

Just a total balls up from everyone.

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That UK.gov Firefox cookie leakage snafu explained

Will 28

No mention of XSS attacks

Does this 'snafu' also mean that cross site scripting attacks are also opened up from within any .gov.uk site to another?

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99% of UK gov websites are breaking the law

Will 28

Could someone clarify this for me

Is this new law banning use of any cookies without consent, or just tracking cookies. The testing they've reported suggests to me that it's all cookies, but that's just stupid. They are a perfectly reasonable way of storing state (and this is coming from someone who whitelists cookies). It may be persisting a session id for authentication, the on screen location of a widget, or the page you're on in a survey. That's not tracking you, it's simply working around the stateless nature of http.

I can see the reasoning behind the law, but please tell me it's only applying to cookies that uniquely identify you, and persist for a significant period of time.

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Can you handle LOHAN's substantial globes?

Will 28
Mushroom

Coat the balloon in something highly flammable...

Then the rocket firing will ignite and destroy the balloon... and possibly the plane as well. You could even fill the balloon with Hydrogen rather than Helium to really go off with a bang! LOHAN launches like a pheonix from the flames.

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Google gobbles Big Blue IP stash

Will 28

ummm, what's patentable about object oriented programming

I need to know what I can and can't program. Has someone patented the GoF patterns?

Seriously WTF?

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Rupert Murdoch was never Keyser Soze

Will 28

You are so wrong here

You said yourself, 5 million people watch it. This may seem insignificant in a country of approx 300 million, but remember that not that so many people there watch the news. Furthermore, those that do watch the other news channels tend to do so because they're free thinkers. Most of those that watch Fox News obey Fox News. So in light of that, 5 million obedient viewers is quite an army to be able to lobby with.

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Does a flash motor act as a fanny magnet or not?

Will 28

We carried out a survey of 1000 women

The survey was conducted by a male underwear model in tight fitting jeans and no shirt. He arrived in a porsche. The survey concluded they were interested in casual sex with men who drive a porsche, but definitely weren't trying to marry him.

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Who's nicked Vaz's fondleslab?

Will 28

Kensington Locks - of little use

Kensington must have a few of their marketting dudes posting in these comments. The things are nigh on useless. It is well known that you can open them with a piece of cardboard in a few seconds. I know this to be true because I had to do it when I lost the key to one.

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Mummy, mummy, there's a nuclear monster!

Will 28

You're not excused, I told you I don't know what I'm talking about

You can't be bothered to read the post you're replying to, so I don't know why you expect me to be able to research a nuclear leak. The most obvious number that has changed is the one that has gone 4, 5, 6, 7. Going from a 4 to a 7 is more than a fudge factor, and the scale isn't just linear. Now you will probably say that the scale is only applicable once the material has leaked, and it can't be a 7 till it's leaked enough. Maybe, but reports have suggested that this is more of a subjective assessment of the state of the leak. The steady raising of the level indicates to a layman that it is getting worse, perhps not, I really don't know. That's why I asked the question.

What do I understand about damage assessment? About the same as you seem to understand of English - very little.

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Will 28

So why do the numbers keep on changing?

I'm not saying you're right or wrong, I just don't know enough about it. However I think Tepco and the various bodies regulating this could have done a little better in actually predicting these numbers. It's bound to be unsettling when every week the numbers are getting bigger, even if the biggyness doesn't directly equate to nastyness. Could they at least put a ceiling on it? The worst it could get to is... ... and for that reason you don't need to worry.

Also, there is clearly a large difference in opinion; I'm glad that Auntie is printing them all, rather than just yours. They may be wrong, but so may you be (as I said, I don't know).

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