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* Posts by Fraser

1578 posts • joined 15 May 2007

Rootkit blamed for Blue Screen patch update snafu

Fraser

@Yes but...

So, don't switch it off, just don't create any more restore points, if you want to maintain restore points but not delete the existing ones. Your inabillity to understand how a tool works doesn't mean that the tool is badly made. I daresay there would be people complaining that it didn't delete the existing restore points when you turned it off, if this were the way it behaved.

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Fraser

Err...

The user of the system who installed the rootkit, at a guess...

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CardersMarket hacking kingpin jailed for 13 years

Fraser

Yes...

Because that's how law enforcement works, they let you keep all the money that you steal and pay a fine that is less than that total...

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Chip and PIN security busted

Fraser

Err...

So what you are saying is that with magstripe/signature, if you wanted to defraud a bank all you had to do was mess up your signature and they'd just hand over the cash when you said "fraudulant activity" to them? Do you really believe that is was that simple?

It's just the same now as it was with magstripe and signature, an investigation takes place, sometimes the customer will be required to hand over evidence such as their card etc, the police will probably be involved, CCTV will be acquired if applicable etc. etc. The only change is that there are currently no known frauds that have taken place in chip and pin areas where a customer hasn't in some way handed over their PIN.

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Fraser

@Chip and PIN is not to prevent fraud people...

It seems to be said a lot here that the Chip and PIN system wasn't put in place to prevent fraud, rather that is was put in place to shift responsibillity for fraud onto the customer. I really don't buy this there are precious few, if any, reliable/serious people claiming fraud on their cards. In the only time it's gone to court that I am aware of, the person claiming fraudulant use of the card was shown to be a highly unreliable witness.

The main thing that people seem to be overlooking is that there is a banking regulator, one of the main reasons that the regulator is in place is to prevent the banks getting too much power over their customers and imposing unfair conditions. The regulator hasn't performed too well over the last couple of years, with respect to how the banks behave internally wrt trading etc, but this was because they were focusing too much on how customers are treated. If the banks were operating in a way which forced liability onto their customers the regulator would not allow it.

In this case there does seem to be a problem with chip and pin, but chip and pin is not fixed in stone, it can be modified to work around problems. One of Ross Anderson's previous papers (cited in this one) showed how to run a man in the middle/relay attack, this was made unworkable an a matter of weeks with an update to the chip and pin protocol.

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Racist content on US server 'within UK jurisdiction'

Fraser

@jake

I understand about the theory about mocking, and yes, let them talk, but don't extend rights and freedoms extra to the law to them which is what seems to be being asked for. I think that the mocking can have unintended consequences and allowing people who consider themselfs to be "oppressed others" (ironic, as they are usually working class white men) to band together against the "evil liberals" and their like and actually end up stronger.

I understand your point about hidden racism, ie racism against those not percieved to be of a different race, but I think this is a separate matter - a horrible separate matter that needs to be confronted. I've never really experienced racism, the only time I've come close is to be called a "white bastard" by a couple of asian teenaged boys who passed me in the street. They were clearly just being obnoxious teenagers rather than actually racist, I objected more that they didn't recognise the Anti Nazi League badge I was wearing than that comment itself...

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Fraser

Ich bin ein auslander

No: Freedom of expression doesn't make it alright.

I don't care what Valtaire said: I will not defend the "rights" of racists to be racist, or defend their "rights" to have their views heard or published. I will fight to stop them and all their kind.

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Fraser

@Steve

Do you think that you should be able to circumvent your local laws by publishing material that the state deems unacceptable overseas?

I understand that you may disagree with what your state deems unacceptable, but surely that should be what you have the problem with, not the fact that things which are illigal onshore are also illigal offshore?

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Where does Mozilla go when the monopoly witch is dead?

Fraser

@astroturfers

Is it becuase someone doesn't like something you do like that means they're astroturfing, or just becuase they like something made by MS? Personaly I've gone through various browsers and have sort of stagnated on Opera, but if I were running a Windows network of more than a few machines I'd probably opt for IE as well, mainly for the reasons stated above (group policy control etc). Does this make me an astro turfer as well?

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MS update gives some XP boxes the Blue Screen

Fraser

So...

You work for a company who don't bother to test their AV releases before rolling them out, this then caused the AV software to kill the OS and you blame the OS' stabillity? Furthermore, you then decide that the easiest way to resolve this problem is to switch OS. Good luck with that.

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Mozilla becomes latest to dump Mac OS X 10.4 support

Fraser

Personally...

I'm on Tiger with a G5, I'm not paying Apple £85 to upgrade to Leopard when they charge £25 to for the Snow Leopard installs (SL is only available for Intel). The machine was bought in 2005, it still perfectly functional. I will be using Opera under Tiger when I need to use flash (not often) and Fedora otherwise, for mythtv frontend and random internet use mainly.

I won't be spending that kind of money on an Apple product again because Apple and their associated suppliers take the piss out of their customers. I don't mind that software/hardware support gets dropped, but charging more for older versions of your software takes the piss. Also if I spend a grand on a computer, I expect it to be useable five years down the line.

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Microsoft tests show no Win 7 battery flaw

Fraser

Some do...

My Acer Aspire One has three replacement battery options, 3, 6 and 9 cell.

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Mozilla overlooked malware-laced Firefox add-ons

Fraser

hmm...

It's is a fair while since I've done any packaging but the last envrionment I did this for was a heavily locked down affair. We found that the most stuff would work, maybe with a few acl tweaks here and there, having said that it's entirely possible that we were getting software that was generally better written what with being a fairly large company.

There is still the point that any old end user shouldn't be using admin accounts to run their software, if you're not in a domain it's even less of an excuse because there is no roaming profile or other users to take into account.

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Fraser

Err...

"Windows is damn near unusable from a user account."

Err, no, it is very useable as a user. Anyone with half a brain runs Windows as a user and installs software via UAC elevation of priviliges or as the administrator either by runas or logoff/logon again. It's not difficult only a very few badly written programs don't work. It may have been the case that software written for Win95 wouldn't work on all NT systems without the admin account, but that was fifteen years ago.

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Bishop Hill: Gonzo science and the Hockey Stick

Fraser

Nice graph (page 1)

Where are the error bars or the other graphs to compare it with? Without any information, other than just a wobbly line, this is utterly useless.

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City supe slaps bank for account compromise

Fraser

Err...

"Download and run this app" attacks will work just as well in Linux, OSX or Unix as they will in Windows, because all you need to do is add the relavent instruction on how to make the app executable. The people who run the apps that are downloaded are the sort of people who will do anything that their computer tells them to do. Besides - I haven't noticed that I've not been able to run apps on my linux boxes (fedora) when I've downloaded them, you just double click and answer a couple of dialogue boxes, maybe enter your root password and you've just installed an RPM. I can't remember the actual process because it's so easy I don't need to bother to remember it.

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Extreme pr0n suspect has his internet access suspended

Fraser

Ok...

1) When animals are abused it offen ends up in court. Why should bestiallity be any different?

2) Killing and eating an animal or using it for work is very different to bestiallity as there are specific laws, rules, guidelines and governance in place to ensure that the animal doesn't suffer.

3) No, I'm not a creationist, that was a cheap shot, I was using the word 'designed' as shorthand for 'compatible with'. Keeping a dog as a pet is a very different thing, or at least I think it is, from fucking it.

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Fraser

Hmm...

Ok... I don't have a problem with people sharing images of people doing whatever they want to do, providing it's with consent. I do have a problem with images of bestiallity where no consent can be given and you can't really argue that the participating parties are designed to have sex with each other.

Now as to the matter of this guy's ban from using the internet, this is nothing new, there are many conditions of bail put upon people. It's quite common for cases of asault to have a "don't go anywhere near the person you may or may not have asaulted" requirement, or for cases of shoplifting to have "don't go into the shop you nicked stuff from." Are these wrong, or is this a special case because it's the internet? I can't say that I've totally made my mind up about this ban, but it doesn't seem to be quite the 'guilty until proven innocent' that many people are suggesting. After all, the main alternative is to put the guy on remand until his trial comes up and that really would be disproportionate.

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Iran launches rat, two turtles, some worms into space

Fraser

Err...

Ok, for a start I wasn't suggesting regime change, war for regime change is illigal, as is constantly repeated by the Anti war in Iraq people and we seem to be going to great lengths not to end up at war, the kidnapped British sailors etc. The point that I was sort of trying to make is that these days a lot of people equate "America thinks this is a bad regime" with "I don't like America, therefore they must be bang up chaps." I have even heard people who should know a lot better defending the holochoust denial of the Iranian president because they are so blinded by blaming all of the world's woes on America.

It is also worth noting that the war in Cosovo was for regime change but no-one really objected in anything like the same way. Even Claire Short who has been rather shouty, to say the least, about the Iraq war.

So, is war for regime change always bad? Think of it like this: How long do you stand around while a neighbour beats up his wife or kids without steping in? Do you call the Police, do you go round yourself and sort it out. What if the Police can't or won't sort it out? I'm not pretending to have any answers, but a fairly aggressive regime that kill their own for religeous or political reasons should probably be treated with a large degree of caution.

And yes, letting other countries get away with the same thing because they are "our friends" is not acceptable but it doesn't make it right for everyone to behave in the same way.

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Fraser

Yeah...

I'm sure that all the executed homosexuals and political protestors find it reassuring that you can be Christian or Jewish in Iran. You may want to ask some of the people who've converted from Islam to another religion what their opinion is, oh, you can't, they get executed too.

Oh also, if you're a female lawyer in Iran, there has to be two of you to sign a document that one man can sign, because women aren't as good as men, apparently.

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Researchers penetrate last bastion of Windows security

Fraser

Bang on...

I've thought for a long time that the reason apple are so hard-assed about what can be installed on the iPhone and now iPad is to prevent the installation of any apps that could break their security. This then leaves them with a problem - what would the more conservative investors say if they started distributing smut, or other "unsuitable" material? It does raise questions about how confident Apple are with their security, or if they are just very very protective of their "no viruses" image, which has seeped into their general corporate image.

Anyways back to the article - I wonder if the code is executed in the system context or the users' context?

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Extreme Pr0n - One Year On

Fraser

Thankyou

Thankyou for bothering to think and post something that is contrary to the knee-jerk reactionary comments above...

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Sky 3D soccer fails to score

Fraser

More numbers

I wonder what the odds are... If you could supply some numbers, population of Ireland, number of Murdoch columnists, number of towns and number of pubs etc, I'm sure we could work out...

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Stranded Hartlepool pair refuse coastguard rescue

Fraser

Bloody good point...

I was going to post the same myself. Any boyscout would know the symptoms of hypothermia include not knowing that anything is wrong with you, irrational behaviour etc.

@Some of the other commentors, please try to see other sides of stories before making a reactionary comment like "they should have been left there to die" especially as this is the sort of comment that would be condemed by most here if it appeared in a certain daily right wing newpaper.

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Steve Jobs dubs Google's 'don't be evil' motto 'bulls**t'

Fraser

Or...

While I pretty much agree with what you have said about Apple; "Don't be evil" probably wouldn't cover having a senior employee of your company sit on the board of another company, watching them develop a product (the iPhone) and then developing a competing product while still sitting on the now competitor's board. I would be pretty pissed off if I was Steve Jobbs.

If I may be permitted to very badly paraphrase Armando Ianucci: When was it that Google changed their motto from "don't be evil" to "we control every aspect of your lives."

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Fraser

@All the competition people

I posted this as a reply further up the thread, but think it's probably worth it's own thread:

Competition is good, but it has to be fair competition:

While Apple were developing the iPhone, they had a senior member of Google sitting on their board of directors. Google then went out and, while still having someone on Apple's board of directors, made themselfs into a direct competitor of Apple producing a staggeringly similar product. It is highly unlikely that Apple's board of directors didn't have a large amount of focus on the iPhone project and then in turn that Google didn't have fairly good understandings of the problems and pitfalls Apple had to deal with along the way.

As I understand it, Apple no longer have anyone from Google on their board of directors, but this is a very serious matter, it casts Google in a bad light and while it may be perfectly legal, it does call into question their "don't be evil" and I can see reason for Steve Jobs to be mighty annoyed.

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Google (finally) pays bounties for Chrome bug reports

Fraser

hmm...

I see your point, but I was actually thinking along the lines of if a company pay people external to their organisation to fix problems with software, what is the incentive for them to get their software correct first time.

It was a bit of a flippant comment, but I do have conflicting thoughts on this issue, yes do everything you can to fix software, but paying no doubt less to external people than to internal seems a bit cheap.

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Fraser

Or...

Or, they could employ people to do this work, rather than (pretty much) freeloading of other people's effort.

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Windows 8 possible July 2011 release?

Fraser

Oops

I thought I'd said Windows CE but clearly not, my mistake. I will point out though, that Windows is currently available in i386, x86/64 and Itanium. It is fully compatible with BIOS or EFI and has always been designed to be ported between differnet architectures. It would not take too long for MS to port it to a new, suddenly popular, architecture.

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Fraser

Oops...

I thought I'd put Windows CE, but clearly not, my mistake.

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Fraser

Err...

The only ARM netbooks that I'm aware of at the moment are actually supplied with Windows... Now, if I didn't already have an AA1, I'd love an ARM netbook running linux or even better RISCOS, but don't doubt that Windows is a very portable OS and would appear at the launch or quickly after any ARM netbook with linux pre-installed.

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Fraser

@gerryg

I'm not aware that MS force you to chuck out older versions of windows to interoperate, in fact it is one of Windows greatest strengths, there are many places still running large NT4 estates with no integration problems to their W2k8 servers.

The problem that you do get is, and this is exactly the same with linux, that you can't get support beyond a certain version. You may say something along the lines of "you can fix your own code" with linux, but this doesn't really matter, the vast majority of companies can't. Generally companies don't have the expertise or the political will to accept a "we can probably fix it", management (rightly so in my opinion) like to have contracts for support.

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Verified by Visa bitchslapped by Cambridge researchers

Fraser

Ross Anderson, surely not...

Ross Anderson has come up with some research that suggests that banks security is crap? Really? It's not as if he has a track record of making claims of this nature, while not being able to show any real world explots. Oh, hang on...

I've read the paper and while he makes a couple of good points (use of iframes in particular), he doesn't point to a single real world explot of the system, or anyone who claims to have been made liable for fraud on their account, because of 3DS. He makes various throw away comments, without refrences, such as "this paper has shown that systems such as infocard and openid, had good engineering..." when they've done nothing of the kind. He also makes asserts that RBS have made poor security choices, without backing up this claim in any way. He also mentions the economics of security, again without making any further refrence to why this may be important.

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IBM's monster tape will take three days to fill

Fraser

Err...

What sort of disk array are you using? I have never come across bandwidth as a problem, or re-creation time for a raid set as a problem.

Need more bandwidth? Slap in another fibrechannel or two.

Need your RAID sets to re-create faster? Make multiple smaller RAID sets rather than single monolithic sests.

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Fraser

Err...

As pointed out above, tapes are actually less expensive than disks and will typically last for 20-25 years.

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Fraser

Err...

Slow, unreliable tapes are faster than disks (when streaming), cheaper than disks, more portable than disks, the drives have built in encryption (at least IBM's do) and they don't require anything like the same amount of power or cooling as disks - a very big concern when you're backing up large amounts of data. Oh, and they're probably as reliable if not more so than crappy SATA disks, especially after they've been left on a shelf for 20 years. Other than that, bang on.

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Fraser

Err...

LTO 4 is actually 800GB native.

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Adultery website boosted by Christian publicity campaign

Fraser

WWJD?

WWJD? I suspect something more constructive than setup a facebook group. This is slacktivism rather than activism, if you ask me.

(No, I didn't make up Slacktivism, but I think it sounds good, so I'm going to use it as much as possible.)

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Loud sex ASBO breach woman spared jail

Fraser

@Just Thinking

You'd think that breach of the peace laws would have sufficed, wouldn't you?

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NASA pegs Noughties as hottest decade on record

Fraser

Ahem...

Reduced the number of monitoring groundstations, maybe, seriously increased the amount of satellites though.

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IFPI wants another stab at OiNK

Fraser

@AC 22:02

You manage to show up the basic selfish attitude of the anti copyright crowd. Your post reads as: "I'm not doing as well as I want, so screw everyone else, they aren't getting any money if I have anything to do with it."

Nice, really nice.

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Fraser

A few points:

Some charity workers are paid, others aren't I don't really see what you're getting at here, unless you suggest that a musician should think of themself as a charity worker?

I love my job, in IT design, are you suggesting that I shouldn't get paid for it because of that? I happen to have skills in an area and love the work, should this mean that my employer shouldn't pay me?

Noone would ever be able to get a bank loan for instruments if they couldn't show that they could pay back the money to the bank. I'm guessing that your bank leant you the moeny for your web servers because you could show that you could get the money back, maybe?

How do you suggest creating a business plan for a band if there is no payment for their work? (Hint: Don't say gigs will pay, they just won't, gigs are advertisments for recordings, unless you are a very, very big band.)

There are indipendant recording studios, but studio time still costs, the better the studio, the more the cost. You then have to factor in all the other people you need to get on board in order to make a recording, producers, engineers etc. These all cost, the money has to be found or no recording can be made.

Record labels supply the technical know-how to a musician or band, the sort of business acumen that is lacking in many (but not all) creative types, this is one of their primary purposes. They may well be the people operating the sites which allow download or other distribution, this is very hard to do as an individual.

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Fraser

Please...

The million dollar recording artist is a very very rare creature, it's like the muic world's equivilant of the Art world's Damian Hurst - there are thousands of artists, most will never make a large amount of money. Just because some people coin it in, doesn't mean to say that those who are much smaller should be made to suffer loss of income.

As for you claim that packaging is what sells, do you think that a re-release of an LP would sell if there was no music inside? Really? Packaging is nice, but noone is going to buy a package without a product inside.

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Fraser

So...

So a musician shuold expect nothing, but the crumbs from under our tables and think themselfs lucky that they get that. Is that really what you want for society, creative people get no money for their work while everyone else gets to take what they want?

Could you explain how anything more complex than a guitar band could possilby afford to make music? The sort of band who need multiple synthesisers, or the sort of performers who need obscure or expensive instruments, where would they get those from? some sort of benefactor, I presume?

As for why do we need record labels, who do you think own the recroding studios or fund bands' time in them?

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Emergency IE patch goes live as exploits proliferate

Fraser

Fair enough...

Fair enough, I just tend to be a bit suspicious about claims where I've never seen or heard of the problem. I stand corrected.

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Fraser

@Duncan

I've been using Windows update since it came out and I have never seen my settings changed (they aren't on default) I have also never heard of anyone else who has had their settings change. Are you sure about your statement?

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Lords mull Hail Mary penance for file sharers

Fraser

Err...

"...the, never contested, fact is that most musicians in fact make most of their monies from touring

from actually performing...."

They really, really don't, touring is very hard work, very expensive and keeps you away from home for months at a time. Small bands make sod all money, if any, out of a tour. Mostly touring is to promote the current CD.

Oh, and your statement is fairly regularly questioned.

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Ofcom opens debate on Freeview HD DRM to punters

Fraser

Mythtv

This wouldn't be very good for mythtv, at the moment you can legally get any freeview. If it's encoded you wouldn't be able to play back the data, assuming the decryption algorythms aren't made public, which I can hardly see happening.

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1984 film classification law gets reboot

Fraser

Maybe

Maybe censorship gives people a good idea what they are going to see in a particular film. I know that I wouldn't want to take a kid to see a film I just made up called Sinderella, r18, when I actually thought it was going to be Cinerella, U. Likewise, I wouldn't want to go to what I thought was going to be some sort of action or horror film cert U, it's just not going to be that good.

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Cardiff tops UK plastic fraud list

Fraser

Here we go...

Chip and pin is only designed to prevent card present fraud, it prevents cards being cloned which was trivially easy with the magstripe, hence why pretty much all card present fraud goes on in countries who don't use chip and pin. The amount of card present fraud was slashed with the adoption of chip and pin. The only card present fraud in this country occurs where magstripe is used.

It's not a banking conspiracy to make the customer pay, it's to stop the bank's (and by which read: The bank's customers) having to shell out to cover the fraud in the first place.

Case in point: I know two people who've had their cards cloned - One had his account wiped out and actually told the bank that he'd written his pin down, he got no compensation. The other hadn't written down his pin and the same bank had the money back in his account within a couple of hours.

Just because it doesn't do everything doesn't mean it's a failure.

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