# Posts by gerdesj

564 posts • joined 15 Aug 2009

### Web giants gang up to take on MPEG LA, HEVC Advance with royalty-free streaming codec

#### Ye canna break the laws of physics

"One major goal is to create something that reduces the amount of bandwidth needed for streaming 4K video, which is still out of reach for most customers but will be a biggie for the likes of Netflix."

4K is a bit of a nebulous term but in the end if you want to put 4096 x 2160 at say 24 bit colour on a screen, you are going to have to shift rather a lot of data, say 202 Mb (4096 * 2160 * 24 / (1024 * 1024) ~= 202 ). So, your 4K thing is bollocks, cos the above is per frame and there are quite a few frames per second: say 25 (202 * 25 = 5Gbs-1!) So you use funky thingies to compress the stream: Fast Fourier transforms and other fancy mathematical tricks. You also mess with the speed of frames depending on the scene etc etc.

Anyway, let's say you are in the UK on a really decent connection, say a nominal 80/20Mbs-1 FTTC. That 80 is a maximum and is rather smaller than 5000. Let's go for the median - 40, so 5000/40 = 500/4 (it's worse than that 1000 != 1024) = 125. ie 125 times more data than you can stream on that connection.

The above is a bit of a joke (and probably gains or drops a zero or two) but when you look at the raw numbers of what is claimed to be offered. it rapidly falls apart.

### Ex-Secret Service agent who siphoned Bitcoin from Silk Road takes plea deal

#### Good to see this

The former Secret Service agent is the second government agent to plead guilty to pocketing digital currency during the Silk Road investigation.

Well it's nice to see that someone guards the guards and quite quickly in this case. I wonder how many have managed to slip the net. Just like AV software alerts - it's not the one's that you receive that are important, it's the alerts you don't get that you really need to know about.

(PH, only if that is your sole idea of "security")

### Hidden password-stealing malware lurking in your GPU card? Intel Security thinks not

#### WinX

"Hidden password-stealing malware lurking in your" ...

Installed Windows 10 have we, Sir?

### Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide

#### Slow news ...

The journo's friend on a slow news day ;)

https://downdetector.co.uk/problems/dropbox

Apart from the snide remark, the above is handy when you are trying to decide if it is your end or their end that is broken. Also see http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/

"This is why we have our own company OwnCloud setup.."

I have one at home as well, behind HA Proxy which is in one of the DMZs ...

"Red sky at night, house on fire."

Red sky at night, your cows are alight.

(Possibly from Private Eye cartoon during the mad cow's disease epidemic in the UK)

### Don't go breaking my shrimp: Boffin names crustacean after Elton John's appendage

#### Re: Appeared under his microscope?

A really small barbie then. Mind you, imagine how long it would take to shell and de-vein enough of them for a decent feed.

Come to think of it, the last lot of shrimp I got from <insert multiple here> nearly needed a microscope to be individually visible.

### US trade watchdog deep-sixes patent infringement claim against Microsoft

#### Re: Lawyers: Failure is success!

"In some regions, Windows Phone is very popular, for example in Italy, so it would be interesting to know the basis for this claim."

You are right - it would be interesting to know the basis for this claim. Care to cite? Anecdotally, I don't recall seeing any at all in my, admittedly, brief forays around Italia.

However I will stick my neck out and opine that no Italian from the Napoli region (at least) is capable of owning a car without at least one dent in its body work. On reflection, I may stretch that to include most, if not all of Italia. That is a land where you use the entire car as an indicator, rather than rely on little orange flashing lights.

### Drum roll, please .... Results are in for the collective noun for security vulns

#### Re: Wait, more than one collective noun?

"So what is the collective noun for collective nouns?"

A set

#### Pwnie

I think a good collective noun has already fallen out:

A pwnie of vulns.

It riffs rather nicely with "pony" (£25) and pwn. It fits beautifully, mixing grubby lucre with l33t sp33k.

So what if it was NIH?

### Prof Hawking cracks riddle of black holes – which may be portals to other universes

#### Cite

"I claim he is now where I was 20 years ago," 't Hooft told the Wall Street Journal today. "If he announces this as a new idea, I won't be thrilled."

Citation needed.

G'tH and SH have been all over the scene for decades but for one to declare that he thought of something (important enough to generate a faintly "sour grapes" quote) first there has to be some form of publishing involved. If not then tough.

If this is important enough then s/he who publishes first gets to claim willy waving rights.

### Spanking Spam King: Sanford Wallace faces jail for Facebook flood

#### Whopper

"The complaint, filed in 2011, alleges that Wallace used an army of 500,000 compromised Facebook.com accounts to make an estimated 30 million unauthorized wall posts on the friends of those commandeered accounts. The scam ran over a five-month period between 2008 and 2009."

FB is a bit of a whopper of a site with one or two subscribers but this bloke managed to wield 0.5 meeelllliiiioooon accounts to make 30 ... lots ... of posts for, hmmm a five month period over a two year period (we can work it out but it looks a bit naff in the article).

I know several people with only one account that can manage to spam on FB at a similar rate. Ironically enough they are somehow classified as "friends" - apparently by me (maybe I was drunk or something).

### BT commences trials of copper-to-the-home G.fast broadband tech

#### Re: Silly...

"In Spain Telefónica offers 300 Mb FTTH as standard. They can raise it to 600Mbps or more if needed, including, for example, 10Gbps. And can be symmetrical."

Well that's nice. Is it really available countrywide? For everyone and a reasonable price? I have just messed around with Googles Maps and with a random zoom in on Spain, discovered "Albarracín".

Will Spain Telefónica really be able to supply 10Gbs-1 to Albarracín? Even UK grade FTTC at 80/20 Mbs-1 - can they do that, for say 50-60 euro m-1?

### What's Russia smoking? Kremlin bans Wikipedia for dopey article

#### Good luck ...

... with that.

I doubt very much that any Russian, except possibly the most inept, will lack alternative sources of information relating to those drugs due to this censorship. However, this is an example of censorship and should be noted and tutted at, in the strongest possible way.

God forfend that such a thing would be allowed within our hallowed lands (I obviously extend the definition of "our" to include the US, Canada, Aus, NZ, SA, some of the more reputable bits of the EU and possibly Wales)

### Twenty years since Windows 95, and we still love our Start buttons

#### Re: while enabling ... the Windows Store

It's a shame that your initial flirtation with Linux was a bit shit but you might like to cast your mind back to what Windows or whatever you are used to looked like when you first encountered it.

Did you discover the huge number of forums that would help you out? The Ubuntu, Gentoo and Mint ones are in my experience pretty damn good. I personally spend time in the Gentoo ones (networking mostly) helping out if I can and I couldn't give a shit which distro you use.

A "tarball" is so called because an old backup program called Tape ARchive rolled lots of files into a .tar archive. That became a convenient way to distribute a tree of files and with compression gives rise to the classic .tar.gz (you ungzip first and then untar, although you can do both with tar -xzvf filename.tar.gz)

"sudo" is a play on the word pseudo, ie you impersonate someone, usually root. That seems a pretty good name for a command to me - short and descriptive.

I could go on but I suggest you ask for help before giving up also a simple Google would answer all of your questions mentioned above.

### Want security? Next-gen startups show how old practices don't cut it

#### Re: People "trained in IT security" are a lot of the problem

"I'd agree on the password changes, but frequent password changes do help mitigate damage - if your password has been hacked, whilst damage has been done and data stolen, a forced password change will mitigate further damage."

Actually the main benefit is avoiding your users re-using their "usual" password that is in Facebook, Twatter and the dodgy shopping website that they get their pet meds from.

Within 30/60/90 days an infiltrator will have managed to syphon everything out, even over a bumpkin broadband link.

Another handy tip: Create a new group and don't give it any permissions, call it something like "DUFF-GROUP". Now when you create new Service Accounts (you do use them - don't you???) make it a member of DUFF-GROUP only. Now add perms directly to the account as needed to do its job, create new groups if necessary for shared stuff but don't re use existing default groups like say Domain Users. Unix packages generally do this by default. One simple reason for this approach is that Domain Users eg are generally allowed access to RDS/Terminal Servers. Also remember that the username needs guessing as well as the password. I've recently diagnosed a nasty case of u=mail p=mail for a customer ...

#### Honey pot

Honey pots are a great tool for anyone to use. Create a new VLAN and put this on it: https://bruteforce.gr/honeydrive Lock down egress on that VLAN obviously. Use port spanning to watch what happens if you like.

Get the fake SSH daemon running and then watch the logs and get the nice reports. In a week you will have a huge list of usernames and passwords that you will immediately ban on your network on pain of <whatever> That's one use and one tool, there are loads more.

If your budget is a bit limited or you want to take security a it more seriously than throwing £s at someone to do it for you then look into these: Security Onion, Snort/Securicata, HA Proxy, Squid and friends, Logstash/Kibana/ElasticSearch, Kali and many more. Spend at least 3 months full time or 12+ part time on implementing that lot along with your ISO 27001 8) ..... and a lifetime of tweaking it all and improving it. It's never a done job.

### China using cyberspies in border disputes with India and neighbours

#### Optional ("typing by letters" - cool!)

I quickly read through the article, tutted to myself and was about to move on. Then something sunk in and I re-read it. Good Lord - 100 odd people get a trojan or two by email over the course of nearly four years. Thank goodness the rest of their spa .... email feed was whiter than white.

It's a mad, bad world out there. Stay safe and don't have nightmares.

### Microsoft kicks off 'Windows as a service' with new Insider build

#### Re: Compressing and decompressing pages

"They've no doubt been working on this, but something makes me feel squicky just thinking about all the possibilities here."

Other OSs have been doing this for a while. It can work well but when you've got vast amount of RAM on tap it might not be quite as useful as all that. Trying to explain how Exchange and MSSQL do memory management is going to be a doddle compared to explaining how WiNzRAM and WiNzSwap have "stolen" memory.

I look forward to seeing their Out Of Memory Killer daem, sorry service, innovation next. Perhaps to be followed by the WinPF firewall innovation.

But let's face it: Who cares about that? They've innovated colour schemes again or something.

### VMware flings out preview of new web management interface

CloudFlare Ray ID: 217c77ff086f137d Oh well lost my post. Basically: use the hosts file.

#### There are other options

You could use a VPN on your phone to back home and gateway via that. This assumes your home ISP doesn't do something similar, in which case you will need to add some other digital trickery.

It's a lot of extra faff and almost no one will bother. Invariably, convenience trumps security *sigh*

### Microsoft pushes us closer to the Edge: Test new web browser now in free Windows 10 VMs

#### Re: Stepped back

Have a UV for bothering to describe why you do or don't like something - discussion forums are supposed to be about reasoned opinion. The DV that it offsets was probably kneejerk.

### US Air Force: 'Loose tweets destroy fleets'

#### Sign of the times

The age old message of "loose lips etc" does need re-iterating. A bunch of lads in the mob on a run ashore who are taking selfies with geo tagging enabled and posting them is not such a good idea if they want to avoid baddies.

Funnily enough a recent airstrike was called in in some ISIS noddies based on similar intelligence if the reports are to be believed.

### Still safe as houses: More CCTV for the masses

"Given a few hundred quid, it's probably better spent on good locks and door/window frames first, before splashing out on connected cameras."

Now that is good advice. I'm a nerd of the first order and love a good technical toy errr solution but for home security, make your home difficult to get into in the first place. Then ensure that valuable stuff is hard to remove.

Telly? Most wall mountings have holes all over the place so put a bolt through them with a castle nut or something to make it hard to remove without a toolkit. Other things with a case - put a bolt or two with a really wide washer (it's probably a plastic shell so spread the load) through it to the unit that it is in or on.

Where possible, put IT related gear in the attic. Things like NASs and camera watchers can be homed up there nicely and you then have a relatively easy drop via the external walls and conduit (generally wife friendly when confronting her aesthetics mode). Get a UPS (forty odd quid off of say APC) and connect it to a nearby lighting circuit (nearly always available in the attic) if a ring isn't handy and you don't fancy putting in a dedicated circuit off your consumer unit. Do follow wiring regs though - be safe or get someone in ...

#### Re: Phoneline Weakpoint

"So if the burglar starts by cutting the phone cable"

In my case it is underground from BT's green box but I have a PAYG mobile, a UPS wired up to my hand crafted alarm and camera system and a really bad attitude (*) towards people who might want to invade my home.

Cheers

Jon

(*) My attitude might include a fencing maul, which is like a really big sledgehammer with a wider head. Anything hit by it .... stays hit.

#### Re: Phoneline Weakpoint

Spiders:

* Silicone grease is an enviro unfriendly last resort - cover the lense then spray around the cam and about 1 foot of nearby wall. Repeat say 2 monthly.

* Fill all nearby holes in wood/brickwork.

* Get one of those "ticklestick" style dusters and mount on the end of a suitably long stick and use it to clear the webs and insects.

Spiders are a fact of life and I personally quite like them. If all else fails then sprayable silicone grease (Maplin do one in the UK - a WD40 branded one I think - not the usual WD40 BTW, its in a green and gold on white can) should be an absolute last resort. You may find that changing the cam location might help as well.

### Typewriters suck. Yet we're infinitely richer for those irritating machines

#### Re: <pendantry>

"You need to visit Tim Worstall's own blog "

My eyes are still bleeding from trying. You could have warned us about the lime green on grey and I could have dug out the sunnies first.

### CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

#### Fanbois can stop smirking

... and the same for anyone with a smartphone, although you'll need to wipe the stock ROM and put in something else.

One day I'll see a directory called /usr/System32 on my fs and think "well they could at least follow the LSB and put it in /opt (or /var/opt or /usr/local/opt or something), and what's with the 32 anyway - this is a fully 64 bit system, including me wine prefix"

#### Re: Windows only though

"Well it'll understand it's not NTFS and not do anything or it'll corrupt the drive. Same for BitLocker partitions too I would have thought."

Are you sure? Anyway I get enough weird shit happening on my Gentoo powered lappy without holes being punched in /usr/bin by the BIOS.

Funnily enough Lenovo laptops used to the darling of the Linux dev brigade due to the way they had a habit of just working. No more and I'm sure Lenovo's S&M dept are crying into their <whatever_they_drink_there>

### Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

#### Re: a ha ha ha ha ha :(

" .... To a general air of "when has a chip ever had a bug ?". ... "

You may not be aware of the CPU errata driver that loads new microcode into the CPU at boot on many OSs. So to those espousing the above - get off my lawn and back to school with you! You may be too young to remember such classics as the FDIV bug.

All levels of a computing device, from case to application (and not stopping at the keyboard, for that matter), have bugs and design flaws in them.

To el reg: thanks for a great article.

### LibreOffice 5.0 debuts, complete with fewer German code comments

"p.s. My \$deity! It's full of megabytes! Two-thirds of a gigabyte, in fact. That's some digital paper-weight."

@MT: It's ~150MB of source code in a .tar.xz! My compilers will shortly be screaming at me again 8)

### Cause of Parliamentary downtime on Microsoft Office 364½ revealed

#### Change Management

It's not rocket science to have an automated notification system that informs all relevant parties when changes are made. You could also have a simple web page on a screen that scrapes a table in a db, to inform the email blinded.

### Lights out for Ada Initiative – women's group closing shop

"the group said that the decision to close up shop came following a failed effort to bring in a new executive director"

You reported the facts but no commentary. Are we to conclude that:

"Started in 2011, the Ada Initiative advocated for women working in the open source software fields. The group took on issues such as discrimination against female developers and the harassment of women at technology conferences."

...is no longer an issue?

### The Register WHEELY needs YOU to help raise charity funds

#### Just a thought

You have a CnC link above which leads to a page lacking the shirt. Put it on there with a say 5-10GBP (or equivalent) markup for the charity on it and see if it sells (it will). Make sure the donation part is spelt out and job's a good 'un.

There's no reason why a nifty design created for a bunch of Southerners doesn't sell up North as well and benefit all of humanity. Let's not get parochial here: MS is a dreadful disease wherever you are from and any well conceived initiative to raise funds for combatting it, regardless of where they are spent (hopefully collaboratively), is a good thing.

### Drone delivery sparks Ohio prison brawl

#### Not hard to beat

It would be pretty easy to detect an incoming drone and connect that to - automated - turret mounted water cannon. Enough to nobble a drone and not hurt someone.

Sadly by the time this was developed and implemented by the usual channels it would cost \$50m a pop, despite the fact that it could be done for say ... *waves hands* ... 10 turrets (and plumbing + compressors etc) plus 10 sensors and integration of said, plus RnD, say 10 x 5000 + 10 x 2000 + 100000 + 100000 = £270,000 = say USD 400,000. Now that's value for money ....

... or you could just look for who picks up the thing dropped from the flying thing that just flew over and beat the crap out of them until they remove it from their ....

### Wait, what? TrueCrypt 'decrypted' by FBI to nail doc-stealing sysadmin

"In the case of the Silk Roads arrest, the FBI agents went to fairly elaborate lengths to distract Ulbricht and to ensure that his laptop remained running and did not go into sleep mode or require screen unlock," White told us. "This would make forensic analysis much easier, both for memory and disk imaging and data recovery."

When using power tools, please be careful not to cut yourself.

### Mac fans! Don't run any old guff from the web: Malware spotted exploiting OS X root bug

"... and using an environment variable that can be set by an unprivileged user. What were they thinking of?"

Kittens, fluffy kittens, lots of fluffy kittens. Cool, fluffy kittens. Lots of cool, fluffy kittens. "I'm a cool, fluffy kitten and the day job gets in the way of my cool, fluffiness ... damn I'm hip"

Come on ACs: hit the down arrow .... with your cool, fluffy kitten paw. The one with a mouse in it. Go on, stroke it .... mmmm crappy, white plastic thing but soooo reassuringly expensive. *purr* *purr*

Cheers

Jon

PS The toxoplasmosis might be kicking in ...

### If you read anything today about ICANN taking over the internet, make sure it's this

#### ROOT n branch

"A small file contains information about where, for example, the '.com' extension can be found. So if you are .... And it gives you the network address (this is of course a greatly simplified version of reality). It is the internet root however that tells you where the '.com' server can be found."

That's not a simplified version - it is a very concise description of what happens without delving into the mechanism. It's pretty much how I explain it but I use .co.uk, what with me being British (with a quick diversion into why we use .uk and not .gb - .UKoGBnNI would be a bit of a mouthful but .gb could be seen to exclude Northern Ireland)

It is an interesting point but many people might see 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 as the root *sigh*. Anyway an easy way out would be to allocate a fixed and immutable /24 (IPv4) and say 24 * consecutive /64 (IPv6) for the root servers with their own ASs as needed and job done - no need for a committee. There may be a flaw in my plan but it seems neater than a text file that we download periodically.

### Windows 10 collects colossal 0.375 per cent market share in July

#### Re: Note to self

Unfortunately AD is "good enough" and will almost certainly pass the PHB's knee jerk selection process. However, once you are sucked in, then that's it - there will be no way back or out without a major amount of work. You could install a Samba 4 based AD and show how it works exactly the same 8) You even have to use ADUC and the MS DNS management mmcs for that.

Another alternative is Novell's AD and eDir combo (Domain Services for Windows) which creates a Samba 4 based AD from a DNS federated eDirectory. This gives you one heck of a powerful setup because you get the benefits of eDir (proper bi-directional replication, massively scalable and flexible replica deployment). eDir can be split at any point in the tree and replicas can be placed wherever you want. You are not constrained by domains.

Anyway, the wider issue of licensing will raises its head: Oh we want MS Office as well and its dirt cheap, oooh and Sharepoint and Exchange. You are screwed at this point onwards in any discussion.

#### S missing in action

If you really want to be penetrated by Windows 10 it is probably doable. Do you get an error? Have you phoned support? The juxtaposition of "penetration", "USB stick", "Windows 10" and "disappointing" seem strangely appropriate.

I almost want to help you with this: Do you have an error message of some sort and a few clues as to how it happened?

Cheers

Jon

#### Note to self

Note to self: Disable the WinX update thingie on all my corp clients who don't appear to be "corporates". If you run Windows as a workgroup member ie non domain joined(1) then you get that bloody taskbar thingie.

My first efforts on disabling it involved a quick regedit but I think a regular cronjob err scheduled task with a script will be required. MS are pretty persistent with this thing. Looks a bit desperate to me.

Cheers

Jon

(1): Domain Joined == connected to a really shit, half arsed, part thought out and minimally implemented LDAP database with Kerberos auth slapped on top. It's just good enough but no more. See eDirectory for how to do it right - should you find that inflamatory, you are welcome to discuss it with me: I will almost certainly win any argument apart from one based on market share *sigh*.

### You must remember: An archive isn't a thing, it's a strategy

#### "Well, I'm a bit old fashioned and I start with requirements"

Me too ("Well, I'm a bit old fashioned and I start with requirements")

Many moons ago the Roman army had a policy of "decimation" for major failures. This meant that 1 in 10 soldiers were chosen by ballot and killed. Nowadays the term decimation is generally misused, especially as "decimated".

In my company I decimate documentation areas when I see them getting bloated and inappropriately used. I don't know what the correct term for 100% is (unimate??) but that has been applied as well.

I'm old fashioned as well but I apply fixes to problems and not sticky plasters.

Cheers

Jon

### Samsung emits mobe charging monitor. For your 'active lifestyle'

#### Nicely put

"This presumably refers to the kind of active lifestyle where you sit at your desk"

### Ubuntu defibrillates 14.10 for one LAST patch

#### Why on earth?

I think that beast in the photo is a Weta. We don't get those 'round 'ere (in the UKoGB&NI), boy.

It's a big bug but I doubt anyone is going to be adding Weta to Heartbleed, Melissa, Lovebug and pals.

### MEGABOFFIN Stephen Hawking to rattle off answers online for MORE THAN A WEEK

#### Re: I've always wondered....

"if the Graviton is the particle that carries gravitational energy, how does it escape the event horizon of a black hole"

As it is *the* particle that "carries gravitational energy" then by definition it is unlikely to *be* affected by the effect it causes. Otherwise it gets a bit complicated, where "it" is pretty much everything 8)

IOW, uninformed use of technical terms that neither of us really understands, can lead to spurious contradictions that an expert would consider a bit silly.

### Jeep breach: Scared? You should be, it could be you next

#### Re: My new car does something odd

You could be right but there are loads of other ways of matching up you to your mobile number.

For example, if you use Facebook or Google+, both of those are really, really keen for you to lodge your mobile number for "security reasons" - prove yourself to them, recovery codes etc. Nothing to do with linking you up. Chrome to Phone offers a similar hook up between your browser (and hence your PC and you) to your devices.

Even your home phone number provides a link to you, that after jumping an index or two via joined up big data will get your mobile number.

Combine that lot with GPS on your mobe plus bookmarks etc synching, bluetooth and wifi AP watching and you, along with the rest of us are pretty well pwned in a marketing sense.

#### Sigh

I still find these sorts of stories a bit odd. An organisation manages to flog an absolute shit load of stuff - mostly electrons, and be lightly vilified for it. If my little company managed to do half as well, I'd be pretty happy about it. Then again, I get to sleep at night without having to worry about shareholders baying for blood.

I only feel a slight pang (no I don't) in my quest to make MS's fortunes increasingly irrelevant to me and my firm.

### Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

#### Re: Wot?

I've just tried: "medical term for foreign objects left inside patient" and got the same WP page as you 8)

I'm sure I remember a more snappy industrial euphemism that was mentioned in an article (probably New Scientist) I read a few years back.

I quite like URF: it emphasises "stupid mistake" in an onomatopoeic (blimey, five pints and two glasses of plonk and no wiggly red line) way.

In the aerospace (at least) world FOD or Foreign Object Debris is the equivalent term. What about extending it to this? No maybe not, that would be silly and deprive another cant* of an exclusive word.

Cheers

Jon

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cant_(language)

#### Wot?

How on earth can bits fall off a surgical standard robot? Hmmm, what standards?

I can't remember the term for leaving bits of equipment inside a patient but I'd imagine that bits of surgeon are unlikely to be included. I've certainly never heard of a surgeon's syrup or falsies being found later amongst the scissors, scalpels, swabs and whatever else is lying around that drops into the poor patient.