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* Posts by Smooth Newt

49 posts • joined 6 Jul 2009

Call girl injected Google exec with heroin, drank wine, left him to die – cops claim

Smooth Newt

Re: Ah.. a scandel in the finest traditions.

Doesn't "innocent until proven guilty" apply? Some commentators here seem to assume that charged = guilty.

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Top Canadian court: Cops need warrant to get names from ISPs

Smooth Newt

Re: Paul Crawford No sympathy.

Why are they "so-called 'civil liberties' groups" and not just civil liberties groups?

What is a real civil liberty group?

Just curious on your take on this.

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MIT boffins moot tsunami-proof floating nuke power plants

Smooth Newt

MIT boffins moot tsunami-proof floating nuke power plants

Nuclear powered ships move around severe weather. I can't see floating nuclear power stations doing that without having to unplug the electricity cable to the cities.

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UK.gov chucks another £260m at MOOC-based cyber security training

Smooth Newt

What's wrong with a National Computer Security Strategy?

What's the difference between "cyber" and "computer", or is it just pointless jargon?

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CyanogenMod Android firmware gains built-in SMS encryption

Smooth Newt

Re: y bother?

I walk to work so I don't see why you need a car.

Just because you won't personally benefit from this doesn't mean that no one will.

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Reports: NSA has compromised most internet encryption

Smooth Newt

Re: Ah well...

This is surely more or less a simple substution code? English word for german soldier -> Navajo word for german soldier, plus a bit of Navajo grammar and glue. I think "decrypting" a novel language would not be that much of a challenge if it was used at all extensively since the actions that follow the message will quickly give clues to the language.

Encryption works partly because there is no correlation between the ciphertext of two messages, even if they say the same thing because different keys are used each time (there are protocols for securely agreeing new keys) and each ciphertext block is usually encrypted using the previous block as part of its input so even a repeat in the plaintext doesn't show up as a repeat in the ciphertext.

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PRISM scandal: Brit spooks operated within the law, say politicos

Smooth Newt

Re: Timing

"From the evidence we have seen, we have concluded that this is unfounded." Looks like a bit of arse covering wiggle room there too. The ISC can later say "Oops we didn't see that bit of evidence."

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UK treasury minister sticks up for HMRC in Google tax row

Smooth Newt
WTF?

Customer Relationship Managers?

They are supposed to be getting the taxes that are due, not running some golf club.

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Osbo jacks up spending on spooks to keep us safe from TERROR

Smooth Newt

Re: What terrorists?

It has to be said that the spending on combatting Hitler's wehrmacht was a vastly bigger proportion of the GDP than the security services get now. That isn't to say that they aren't over-egging the terrorism threat and its plausible consequences now of course, or that spying on everyone is the most effective way of dealing with it.

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UK sitting on top of at least 50 years of shale gas – report

Smooth Newt
Trollface

Department of Energy, and err Climate Change

This must be from the Department of Energy side of the Department of Energy & Climate Change since there is no mention of any anthropogenic climate change caused by converting all this gas to atmospheric carbon dioxide. I really wish they would split the DECC into two departments, rather than having one with such a severe split personality disorder.

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Using encryption? That means the US spooks have you on file

Smooth Newt

Re: scare tactic

Me neither. So they store it. But they can't read it, at least until quantum computers are available. So what are they going to use it for. A source of random numbers?

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NSA PRISM snoop-gate: Won't someone think of the children, wails Apple

Smooth Newt
Gimp

"we frequently reject such requests outright"

But not so often that we want to provide statistics on that?

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Now you can use your phone instead of your wallet at the ATM, too

Smooth Newt
Thumb Down

And the point is?

You use your phone instead of your card. How is this different to sellotaping a contactless smart card to the back of your phone, apart from all the new imaginitive security flaws the "imagineers" have failed to imagine?

What is it with the QR code crap anyway, why not just interrogate the phone for its SIM and IMEI. Actually why not just give people a little card they shove into the machine. They can keep it with their money. Or they can sellotape it to the back of their phone if it is contactless.

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'Special relationship': Oracle bags UK.gov contract renewal

Smooth Newt

Re: so what happened?

But Oracle is a smaller business as far as the Government is concerned.

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Carrier IQ VP: App on millions of phones not a privacy risk

Smooth Newt
Facepalm

Questions you should have asked

"We do also record the telephone numbers the SMSs are from and to."

Q. Do you think that the telephone numbers of the people that somone communicates with can be sensitive?

"One of the reasons for that is there's a huge amount of radio information that gets transmitted."

Q. Does this include data which could be used to track the user's location - for example the times and identities of the base stations the phone has been talking to, maybe the signal strength too?

"There are a sequence of key codes that can be typed by the user that cause the software to do things in the control center."

Q. What is the sequence of key codes that will turn the bloody thing off.

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£1m 'Nobel prize of engineering' named after the Queen

Smooth Newt
Thumb Down

Pointless

There are already loads of awards for engineering. How many people have heard of the British Engineering Excellence Awards, the MacRobert Award or the James Watt International Gold Medal?

I doubt even a million quid is enough to get a decent headline outside of the trade press.

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A tenth of Chinese farmland polluted by heavy metals

Smooth Newt
Boffin

Aqua regia...

...dissolves gold, the opposite of precipitation.

Could be worse - a common way of extracting gold is to dissolve it in a solution of sodium cyanide.

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Japan develops powered armour suit for nuke workers

Smooth Newt
Facepalm

Don't need radiation proof armour

In a hazardous environment why would you want a person inside the suit at all - better to separate the sensors and the motors, and control it remotely.

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Common brain parasite 'can affect host's actions'

Smooth Newt
Facepalm

Mess in non-public spaces

Children play in gardens too.

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Top GCHQ spook warns of 'disturbing' levels of cyber-raids

Smooth Newt
Holmes

Cyber security

Glad to hear that the government are going to spend over half a billion pounds of our money on a new IT program. What could possibly go wrong?

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Fake certificate attack targets Facebook users in Syria

Smooth Newt
Boffin

"Real" certificates next time

Surprised there isn't a Syrian Internet Network Information Center already registered by default as a CA in my browser. The Chinese are well ahead of the curve here but I think the others will soon catch up.

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Antique Nimrod subhunters scrapped – THANK GOODNESS!

Smooth Newt
WTF?

Airliner Flight 322 hit a tree on takeoff at São Paulo, Brazil.

Hang on whilst my mind boggles.

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Gov unveils plans to reduce employment tribunal claims

Smooth Newt
Flame

Great idea

They could reduce crime figures in the same way. Only people over, say 30, are allowed to report a crime and it costs them £1000 each time.

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US Navy achieves '100 mile' hypersonic railgun test shot

Smooth Newt

Interference?

I wonder whether the electromagnetic radiation produced by switching all that current would interfere with the ship's radar and telecommunications.

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MPs wake up to 21st century and internet

Smooth Newt
Thumb Down

And in another story

"I don't know of a Westminster hall debate that has ever changed anything."

says former minister Chris Mullin at a hearing a few days ago of the Commons public accounts committee. ( e.g. http://www.epolitix.com/latestnews/article-detail/newsarticle/ministers-engage-in-too-much-pointless-activity/ )

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Unofficial fix brings temporary relief for critical Adobe vuln

Smooth Newt
Pint

Adobe Reader

Three weeks for a simple fix to critical, currently exploited patch seems like taking the piss.

But maybe Adobe have worked out that this type of problem doesn't actually affect their core business or their revenues.

After all it is not going to affect Adobe Acrobat Writer sales. The reader is just a loss leader, Adobe aren't actually going to make any money out of fixing it.

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Eric Schmidt warns Berliners: 'We know where you are'

Smooth Newt
Flame

@A bit lame of the Germans...

Which particular part would that be? Oh yes, part of the generation now 80s and 90s. Just because someone's great-grandfather was a Nazi then it doesn't mean that they must be too.

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German kiddies punted porn-projecting pens

Smooth Newt
Thumb Down

So where is the pornography?

If the images are like this, then why call it pornography? It's just a girl in a bikini.

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USB stick with anti-terror training found outside police station

Smooth Newt
Thumb Down

Re: Yes and no

I think the Guildford Four or the Maguire Seven might disagree that the police did a "damn good job" during the time of the IRA.

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Children's rights group threatens ICO with judicial review

Smooth Newt
Thumb Down

ICO Enforcement

The phrase "Like being savaged by a dead sheep" comes to mind

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UK.gov to scrap new staff training rights

Smooth Newt
Thumb Up

Won't miss these pretend rights

This one was new to me but I remember Nu Labour banging on about how people now had the right to request flexible working as if they were giving us something.

I always thought I could ask for anything I wanted and my employer could refuse it on the grounds that it would cost them money. But apparently I now had the "right" to do something I could always do before.

I was always waiting for them to give me the right to breath, ask my employer for a pay rise, or vote for someone else.

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Fragrant tech thief stalks Whitehall

Smooth Newt

Business grade...

That will be for looking at Excel spreadsheets then. Need an ultra fast processor and all the trimmings for that, obviously.

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Mozilla snuffs password pilfering Firefox add-on

Smooth Newt

Script kiddie?

The quality of the description might have given a clue:

"View and modify HTTP/HTTPS headers it's base on tamper data but many problems have been solved in this version .

in tamper data u may get empty page and don't get any informations in the addon

this problem have been solved

if you have any advices please tell me,

John"

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Life on Earth gets wiped out every 27 million years, say boffins

Smooth Newt

Graph pretty meaningless

without error bars.

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UK.gov scraps stop'n'search terror power

Smooth Newt

Yes you can thank the Tories

I am not normally a Tory supporter, but they have not dragged their feet for more than a year over this ruling, as they could have done. Compare and contrast the handling of the December 2008 ruling by the same court over the retention of DNA of innocent people, particularly by NuLabour.

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Home Office promises spycam review

Smooth Newt
FAIL

@why the fuss?

It is a strange argument that it could save one life in a particular and unusual set of hypothetical circumstances.

On the other hand the millions squandered on this could be spent on healthcare and definitely save many lives.

How about child found dead because you preferred the money to be wasted on an ANPR system...

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Smooth Newt
WTF?

Why do the DLVA need SORN declarations?

When there is such a big ANPR network? I am sure all that money that the DVLA receives from fining people has nothing to do with it.

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'Huge airships to carry freight starting 10 years from now'

Smooth Newt
FAIL

When huge freight-carrying airships become a reality

They will have to be covered in strong wire mesh to stop pigs roosting on them.

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US $250m superbomber 'almost as good' as $8m robot

Smooth Newt

It's vastly better than a UAV

at airshows

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BCS votes to keep spending secret

Smooth Newt
Stop

Stop whinging

And join the ACM.

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Hoodies swipe bus for YouTube joyride

Smooth Newt
Thumb Down

Yes I was 16 once...

But I was never that stupid. I never risked people's lives or did tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage (although it was such a long time ago that it would have been "tens of pounds").

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Europe approves US mass data grab

Smooth Newt
Thumb Down

European Parlliament will probably approve it

Sadly the Parliament's three largest political blocks are all for it. There is a copy of the agreement at at http://www.statewatch.org/news/2010/jun/eu-usa-draft-swift-agreement-com-final-3.pdf It seems to be full of the useless "safeguards" you might expect with no actual teeth, like expensive penalties for breaches.

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Does business really care about security?

Smooth Newt
Stop

Nothing special about IT security

IT security doesn't belong on its own special pedestal. It is no different from any other type of risk management. The first example quote is completely wrong - the business needs to realise that typical rules about return on investment *really do* apply.

Balance probabilities and impacts with the costs of mitigation just like any other risk. Just like health and safety, fire and flood insurance, your biggest customer going bust or shopping somewhere else etc.

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BT boss brands Britain illiterate

Smooth Newt
Megaphone

So what?

Half the population have below-average intelligence, some way below. You can't teach a dog to read either, no matter how good the teacher is.

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Tory Lady tries to give bodice-rippers the snip

Smooth Newt
Troll

Don't panic quite yet

Instead note the comment in the article that "this amendment has little chance of progressing through parliament".

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Smooth Newt
Troll

Further amendments needed

The bill defines "extreme writing", but fails to even mention extreme ironing or extreme croquet.

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