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* Posts by Andy Gates

113 posts • joined 10 May 2007

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Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed

Andy Gates

Re: Post-Death Updates

Well, the public sector just got a year of patches. A very reasonable £5.5m, too. Given the porosity of the internet, those updates will get public smartly. Getting updates from random sources of course opens the home user to the risk of fake XP updates... fun fun.

My Y2k-sense is tingling. I think more of a whimper than a bang, but I'm ever so glad for the extended support while we grunt through updating our zillion desktops.

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Drone 'hacked' to take out triathlete

Andy Gates

Re: Occam's Razor

Aye. "Just dropping out of the sky" is a thing that quadcopters *do* - they're crashing machines that sometimes fly. Having it close over the racers might have made for some thrilling shots, but you have to leave enough clearance to be safe.

The "magic jib"-ness of a camera drone is sometimes too magical for the safety considerations to be remembered.

"OMG hax" ... sounds weak to me.

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Triple-headed NHS privacy scare after hospital data reach marketers, Google

Andy Gates

Re: HES Data

Various analyses and extracts are. I bet they'd look at you funny if you said "giz the lot".

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Ill communication delays NHS England's GP data grab for six months

Andy Gates

Re: Which third parties?

If it were properly anonymised (with a route back in case of clinical need) and if it were restricted to real research organisations, I'd be gung-ho for it as a great case of Big Data doing useful things.

If it's sold to Experian or that bloody Meerkat, who jigsaw it back together to deny me a good credit rating or insurance premium because of my last peak flow or my old genetics tests -- that's incredibly sucky. That's a *gross* violation of patient-doctor confidentiality.

We expect the latter. If the intent was the former (Hanlon suggests it was), there's more than communication problems.

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Andy Gates

"What I don't understand is how can the government can avoid any Data Protection issues here? This secondary use of the data is not consistent with any (implied) consent a patient may have given a doctor."

I'm equally baffled. Here I am slaving in a hospital IT department surrounded by IT governance reminders, and the National bunch are hawking off weakly-anonymised data well in excess of its remit. How on *earth* is that legal?

The Helpline unhelpfully says "It's within the law, don't worry your pretty head". Eesh.

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Virgin Galactic's supersonic space ship in 71,000-ft record smash

Andy Gates

Re: What is the long term goal?

Ostensibly it's a rollercoaster.

It's also mostly a technology demonstrator - Scaled and Virgin have always been clear that they have an SS1 / SS2 / SS3 plan in mind, with each model proving stuff for the next step up. Sky-launched re-entering rocket rollercoaster is preamble for something with beefier engines and actual LEO capacity.

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Don't panic! Japan to send nuke fuel rod into MELTDOWN in Fukushima probe

Andy Gates
WTF?

Re: What is Renewable about Renewables?

Are you serious? What's renewable is that the giant solar atomic furnace keeps on making wind and light for free. The prime mover is continuously being renewed instead of consumed.

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Block The Pirate Bay? Arrr, me hearties, new P2P client could sink that plan

Andy Gates

Re: It's a question of trust

Ads?

I'm a bit surprised that anyone savvy enough to torrent isn't savvy enough to adblock.

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Andy Gates

Re: We need more of this.

They certainly are. I voted with my wallet and went to one of the smaller ISPs that don't censor.

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NHS carelessly slings out care.data plans to 26.5 million Brits

Andy Gates

Re: If they are anything like ATOS

It's not stopping him from working.

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Andy Gates

Re: GP's Opening Hours

Email them. Most GP's surgeries have an email address.

Technology: not just for evil.

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No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too

Andy Gates
FAIL

Re: "Web filtering is already the default on mobile phones."

It's worse than that: they KNOW it's ineffective and *they don't care* - Something Must Be Done and compliant masses are always good.

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China's answer to AIRPOCALYPSE: Fire up the supercomputer

Andy Gates

Re: They have to do something

We tackled that with the Clean Air act and its friends. Low-emmissions fuel and a big push to electrify (and gasify) domestic heating.

Should be relatively easy for a more centrally-controlled setup to reproduce. Wrap it in a 5 Year Smog Plan and Chang-e's your bunny.

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LG: You can stop hiding from your scary SPY TELLY quite soon now

Andy Gates

Re: Aren't they breaking the law?

Computer Misuse Act, anyone?

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Andy Gates

Re: And...

" I had already been thinking of updating my firewall setup to stop devices like this initiating outbound connections."

...which would have to be done with a bit of finesse, as there's content-delivery services in among the spook-drops and advertising servers. Next thing you know, the baked-in Netflix stops working.

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Is it all up for LANDFILL ANDROID? BEHOLD, the Moto G

Andy Gates

Re: not a galaxy killer at all

I would have thought no SD was a killer, but apparently I've only got 11 Gb on my 32 Gb card in this ol' stuck-at-Gingerbread Defy+, so maybe it's not such a big deal after all. The 16Gb versoin looks very tempting.

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Sysadmins forced to CLEAN UP after bosses WATCH SMUT at work

Andy Gates

Re: not entirely fair

I've certainly seen "so what? you can't sack me" from some of my bigwigs in more than one job.

One rule for the plebs, another for the hoi polloi...

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Indestructible, badass rootkit BadBIOS: Is this tech world's Loch Ness Monster? VOTE NOW

Andy Gates

Say you have two infected computers, one on the network and one air-gapped. This allows them to communicate across the gap.

If the payload is stuxy-specific then it could be, say, "dude, have you found the file [checksum]?" "yep" "I'll phone home then". Not much communication is needed to be useful.

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Andy Gates

Re: I voted entirely plausible

My Polar F6 HRM communicates by sound: it chirps like a cricket and is very finicky. But most of the finick is with having to retry, and that doesn't annoy scripted processes. Making it chirp outside human hearing is a whole other matter.

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Leaping SpaceX GRASSHOPPER ROCKET jumps 2,500ft, lands safely

Andy Gates

Re: extra flame

It's the pump exhaust - new on the 1D. The previous engine incorporated it into the main burn, for a tad more power and a lots more engineering. The 1D is geared to mass production, so the complexity was dropped and you get that wiffly flame at low speeds as a result.

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Scottish NHS bosses say soz after 2-day IT ballsup scrubs 700 appointments

Andy Gates

I'd be impressed if all their systems are AD-integrated that tightly. There's commonly lots of legacy stuff around (and lots of pixie dust).

If our experience with single-sign-on applications is anything to go by, I'd lay odds on that layer failing over AD. AD is pretty stable; SSO is pixie-dust, and after the first password change cycle, only it knows the passwords to linked systems. If it were to barf spectacularly, they'd be up a well-known creek.

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Snowden's email provider gave crypto keys to FBI – on paper printouts

Andy Gates

Re: Rand Paul

Obongocare? None of that racist crap here, please.

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500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Andy Gates

Re: But slowly – over time @Kunari

I'm pretty sure Microsoft are in a cycle like Star Trek movies, with a good one followed by a horrible one followed by a good one.

We're replacing XP with 7 (about 1/4 done, eek) as PCs get replaced in tech refresh; cataloguing apps is herding cats ,the alternative is a pain but reconnaissance-by-fire is usually accurate.

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Sysadmins fail to fix NHS IT snafu, HUNDREDS of appointments cancelled

Andy Gates

Probably not, that would lock everyone out. My guess is the PAS (Patient Admin System - backbone of the whole dealio) interfaces are buggered in a not-easily-fixed way.

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Andy Gates

Re: So...

Atos? Atos would say the system was perfectly healthy even if it was dead.

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Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

Andy Gates

Re: How about using your nose?

Even better... there's photos going round of a lady who set it up to use her nipple.

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For PITY'S SAKE, DON'T BUY an iPHONE 5S, begs FSF

Andy Gates

Re: Good point

The point is not that spuds like you and me can audit it.

The point is that boffins we trust can audit it.

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Andy Gates

Re: an instant, convenient large database of fingerprints

Well, you *shouldn't* store the fingerprint. That doesn't mean they don't - think of all the stories of supposedly professional services keeping plaintext passwords. And it doesn't mean the code is well-written - it could easily have a recent_scans cache that is more vulnerable than the identity data proper.

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Andy Gates

Re: Blah blah blah -@AC 14:24

This! So very this. What people say about security and what actually happens aren't the same thing. Imagine:

1: They're plain lying and handing fingerprints to the NSA.

2: They hand a hash to their cloud (and thus the NSA) but it's a really weak one.

3: Their device security is weak and it's easy to get the fingerprints and/or their hashes off the device.

Plain-lying used to be the tinfoil brigade, but as we've seen, the weirdy beardies are kinda turning out to be correct.

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It's the software, stupid: Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch bags big apps

Andy Gates

Re: I must be too old

Tethered = sadness and fail. Remember the early Nokia 700 web tablet thingy? Had to be thethered for connectivity outside wifi, which was a deliberate design choice, and as soon as the iphone came out it shriveled and died. Or the hilarity with Blackberry's tablet mail that had to be tethered to the phone at first?

Tethering might increase functionality. It definitely increases hassle and things to fail.

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NSA: NOBODY could stop Snowden – he was A SYSADMIN

Andy Gates

Re: In response

But then how could they enter their Password1 ?

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Nissan promises to sell self-driving cars by 2020

Andy Gates
FAIL

Re: @ Paul J Turner (was: The sanity test will begin-)

Dunning-Kruger strikes in the assumption that these sorts of emergency avoidance maneuvers haven't been gamed out and tested.

Give me a system with better reflexes than me, every day.

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Snowden's secure email provider Lavabit shuts down under gag order

Andy Gates

Re: Maybe not exodus but.....

It's an effort to move provider - so the first impact will for sure be in a fall of new contracts.

Moving when the contract next comes up for renewal - when the Board are asking "do we want to keep our stuff here?" - that's when the existing customers will start to go.

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Andy Gates
Thumb Up

Re: It's ironic that this happens in the land of the free.

Stoneybridge!

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Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

Andy Gates

Re: 'this is simply unacceptable'

These workcentres ARE scanners and printers. They have a copy function which is really "scan to temp and print out" and if you remove that, there will be riots.

..and now I have to grumble around checking we don't have any affected models.

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Climate change EVEN WORSE than you thought: It causes WAR and MURDER

Andy Gates

Simple: There is a lot of ACC coming up, so it's interesting now. Other climate change events are going to happen too, but they're much harder to predict.

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EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan

Andy Gates
Thumb Up

Re: Guaranteed not to track you

The deaths rate is pretty low just because modern cars are very survivable in crashes. There's a lot more serious injuries, and again, time is important to ensure best outcome for the victim(s).

It's a neat idea, but the paranoia will have to be worked around.

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Forget phones, PRISM plan shows internet firms give NSA everything

Andy Gates
WTF?

Welp, if Dropbox is joining, I guess I'd better check out Mega again...

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The UK's copyright landgrab: The FAQ

Andy Gates
Happy

Don't see the problem.

Things effectively in the public domain become legally in the public domain. Where's the evil?

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Cat ladies turned brand-squatters poke fun at religious right

Andy Gates

Re: Just how many do you need to register?

Which suggests you're not selling. Idiots have money too.

Foo.com, .org, .net and .local.thing is usually enough, IME.

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787 battery fix approved

Andy Gates

" The FAA will require airlines that operate the 787 to install containment and venting systems for the main and auxiliary system batteries, and to replace the batteries and their chargers with modified components."

... I guess nobody read the "replace the batteries and their chargers with modified components" bit, huh?

That's fix the problem *and* box the subsystem in case it's a tricksy little blighter than has other problems.

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Squillionaire space tourist offers oldsters a holiday to Mars

Andy Gates
Happy

Re: The reason for an older couple....

They'll need to send up a thermos of tea and a nice tartan blanket.

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Spanish boffins increase GPS accuracy by 90%

Andy Gates
Facepalm

Re: So

As the author ought to know, close stuff is done by computer vision and lidar and such goodies.

Even if the maps were perfect and the GPS nanometer-good, you need to check the groundtruth before driving over it. Silly Bill Ray.

This accuracy is great for lanes, mind.

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Anons hack Asteroids into US DoJ website in Swartz death protest

Andy Gates
Happy

Except that they say they'll offer heavily-redacted material from the file to the press, as proof of seriousness.

Sly. Nobody will know if they've got more or not. Panic and lulz will ensue.

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Dotcom's Mega smacks back: Our crypto's not crap

Andy Gates

So you trust Dropbox not to read your stuff because... they're just not an obnoxious wide-boy?

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Chinese student fails job interview because of iPhone

Andy Gates

Lucky Escape

Working there is pain and suffering? Wow, way to sell the company. I think he got away lightly!

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Staples to offer in-store full color 3D printing service

Andy Gates
Thumb Up

Re: I'm not sure...

If they give you a block, that's like a plain brown wrapper... no need to censor or comment on the content. But I think the de-blocking will be done by minimum-wage monkeys in the print shop, just like the stapling and cutting used to be.

Paper makes it good for tchotchkes and presentations, less useful for stuff with material properties, but most 3dp larger than jewelery (which Shapeways has nailed) *is* tchotchkes.

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Toyota motors ahead with radar crash avoidance tech

Andy Gates
Mushroom

Dunning, yea, Kruger thereand

These threads are an endless mine of the exact same "zomg deth" comments every. single. time.

They *have* thought of it. Whatever it was. Betcha. Citation needed, especially from any Captain Uber von Driverhoffen van der Stig types. You're still fleshy meatsacks.

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Andy Gates

Re: The car...

Much as I'd love that, you'll never get everyone attentive and skillful at all times. The fleshy meatsack is more prone to blunder than kit is.

Bring on the day human-driven cars are a rarity, says I.

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Swedish boffins: An ICE AGE is coming, only CO2 can save us

Andy Gates
FAIL

Re: Authoritative is as authoritative does....

I'm sure it's absolutely boffo on the subjects of mires and peat. Global climate? Less so. Doesn't even fit the interglacial timings.

No surprise to see it waved around on El Reg, mind.

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