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* Posts by Quxy

431 posts • joined 22 Oct 2009

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Cops raid man whose Wi-Fi was used to download child porn

Quxy
Black Helicopters

On the other hand...

...perhaps the best defence is to create reasonable doubt by leaving your network open. After all, if your WPA2 password gets cracked with aircrack+cuda by the neighbourhood bogeyman, even the aforementioned "security" pundits aren't going to believe that you're not guilty of downloading all that kiddy pr0n.

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Five amazing computers for under £100

Quxy
FAIL

Windows 7?

While I quite agree with your assessment of the X40, it's rather disingenuous to talk about its performance with Windows 7 -- which alone will set you back a great deal more than the £100 price that was the point of the article! Fortunately, Thinkpads have always been excellent Linux machines, so there's no reason to have to pay Microsoft to get the most out of one of these little better-than-netbook beauties.

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Feds rubberstamp Novell patent deal

Quxy
Boffin

GPLv2 contains some protections against software patents...

...namely a prohibition on adding patent royalties, and an implicit patent grant. But to make those protections explicit (for Linux, at least), the agreement also stipulates coverage by the OIN licence, e.g. http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_license_agreement.php

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Microsoft accuses Google of misleading feds over app security

Quxy
Happy

Pot, meet kettle

This is almost as much fun as watching the Adobe-vs-Apple bun fight!

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Arkansas governor spanks arse cleavage

Quxy

Yes, cleavage IS verboten

That is one of the intents of this law. But it only applies to public primary and secondary school students, and only when they're at school or school-sponsored events. (Cheerleaders' skimpy "uniforms" are specifically excluded.) Not such a big change, as most school districts already have dress codes banning cleavage and arse cracks; this just lets the schools blame someone else for the rule.

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Praying for meltdown: The media and the nukes

Quxy
FAIL

Really?

Can you cite a SINGLE objective online article on the subject from one of the big news organisations -- the Beeb, say? One that, for instance, doesn't feel obliged to mention the tsunami-caused death toll in the same breath as the situation at Fukushima? I've pretty well given up on seeing a single piece of coverage in the mainstream media that isn't egregiously mis-reported.

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Quxy
Pint

Never thought I'd say this, but...

Thanks, Andrew!

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Fukushima scaremongers becoming increasingly desperate

Quxy
Headmaster

Not at all

Nor is it true that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" (the other common misquotation). The very nature of the scientific endeavour is to make as much sense as possible out of incomplete and often apparently contradictory information.

In fact, Alexander Pope accurately noted that "A little _learning_ is a dangerous thing". This is a far different problem, and one that more accurately applies to the situation at hand.

[Interestingly, the same poem contains the better-known quotations “To err is human, to forgive divine” and “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. I leave the application of those to the scaremongering situation as an exercise to the interested reader...]

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BlackBerry bans drink-drive apps

Quxy
Boffin

Way ahead of you...

This sort of suspicionless checkpoint is illegal in 10 states, is banned for policy reasons ("the risks outweigh the benefits") in two others, and is under legal challenge in many of the remaining 38.

Although the US Supreme Court carved out a narrow 4th Amendment exception for drink-driving checkpoints, in their decision they also noted that "the findings of the trial court, based on an extensive record and affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, indicate that the net effect of sobriety checkpoints on traffic safety is infinitesimal and possibly negative."

The media attention generated by the senators is simply a volley in the ongoing legal battle to expand the power of police to conduct warrantless searches. This really has a lot more in common with the warrantless wiretapping controversy than with public safety.

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Quxy
Boffin

Drink-driving is only the justification

States that make heavy use of these checkpoints justify them on the (publicly palatable) basis of drink-driving enforcement. But law enforcement organisations like them because it gives them an opportunity to examine vehicles and their drivers and passengers for many, many other potential offences unrelated to drink-driving or public safety. In some states, for instance, these checkpoints are used more for immigration enforcement than for sobriety checks. At a checkpoint in one western state, for instance, I was ordered out of the car and cross-examined for 15 minutes for no other excuse than having a British accent. No, given the particular senators involved, I don't think that their opposition to these apps honestly has much to do with drink-driving...

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Quxy
Boffin

Well, sorta...

Fundamentally they're social apps for sharing information about traffic congestion with other users. You can spot the checkpoints on Google Maps too, but Trapster and PhantomALERT provide a more convenient and reliable interface for organising and displaying that information.

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Quxy
Thumb Down

"Drink-driving app"?

What a load of BS. The whole "drink driving" angle appears to be a publicity stunt thought up by annoyed LEOs and a few senators with too much free time on their hands. Folks who have done any recent driving in California (where, I kid you not, 2010 was officially designated as the "Year of the Checkpoint") are fully aware that the primary use of these apps is simply avoiding the annoying 30-minute queues at CHP checkpoints -- NOT enabling drink driving.

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RSA won't talk? Assume SecurID is broken

Quxy
Happy

Yep!

At various times I've received SecurID tokens from four different Fortune 500 firms, and every one of them has used the last four digits of the serial number as the PIN.

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Quxy
Boffin

Screwed, basically

SecurID tokens effectively have only 5-digit serial numbers (the first 4 digits are the expiry year), and tokens are apparently issued to end customers in consecutive blocks. Since SOP at most of the companies I've worked with is to assign the last 4 digits of the serial number as the PIN, the safest thing is to assume that the SecurID system no longer provides ANY protection against the unknown parties that hacked into RSA's insecure network.

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Out of shape? Not had sex for years? Watch out

Quxy
Coat

Comparative risk analysis?

"Among 10,000 people all suddenly cranking up their activity levels by an hour a week, only two or three would suffer heart attacks."

But... that's HUGE -- compared to the other risks Lewis has been discussing for the past week. I think that we ought to expect the objective journos at the Daily Fail to get at least two weeks of front-page headlines out of this newly quantified risk!

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Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear

Quxy
Black Helicopters

And why not?

Monbiot is hardly the only "green power" proponent to weigh in in favour of nuclear energy. Methinks the "natural" enemies of modern nuclear power sources are those entities with a vested interest in fossil fuels, not people looking for clean energy.

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Quxy
Boffin

Risk exaggeration

By and large, what we've witnessed in the media is the same phenomenon we see in any discussion of uncommon risks, most notably post-11/9 terrorism. In _Beyond Fear_, Bruce Schneier makes some points about thinking sensibly about security in an uncertain world that are equally applicable to the Fukushima situation:

* People exaggerate spectacular but rare risks and downplay common risks.

* People have trouble estimating risks for anything not exactly like their normal situation.

* Personified risks are perceived to be greater than anonymous risks.

* People underestimate risks they willingly take and overestimate risks in situations they can't control.

* People overestimate risks that are being talked about and remain an object of public scrutiny.

Unfortunately for everyone, most of the media takes advantage of this skewed perception of risk to grab attention for themselves.

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Microsoft sues trio over Androidian book reader

Quxy
Alert

Florian Müller is a lobbyist

And as such he is being PAID to advocate particular opinions. It's less important to discover WHO is paying him (he refuses to disclose that) than to simply STOP treating him as a news source! Regardless of whether you agree with his opinions or not, by definition he is NOT objective.

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When dinosaurs mate: AT&T and Deutsche Telekom

Quxy
Boffin

"launched in 2002"?

2002 was when T-Mobile acquired VoiceStream -- which itself acquired Omnipoint in 1999 -- which had been in the prepaid GSM business since 1996. I used the same prepaid GSM phone number from 1997 on, even though the company didn't call itself "T-Mobile" until five years later.

Gotta agree about the perceived horror of the Death Star, though!

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Fukushima one week on: Situation 'stable', says IAEA

Quxy
WTF?

WHO is downvoting these thumbs-up to Lewis?

Are there that many El Reg readers with personal grudges against Lewis? It's hard to believe that so many IT "professionals" really feel that rational thought is a Bad Thing...

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Fukushima on Thursday: Prospects starting to look good

Quxy
Pint

Thanks, Lewis

I'm not particularly pro-nuke, but I'm constantly amazed by the way that even raising the subject of nuclear power risk analysis evokes such irrational responses from otherwise sane people. (Despite its historically good safety record compared to, say, the coal mining industry.)

In the case of the Fukushima incident, however, even Auntie Beeb seems to unable to be unduly alarmist, despite their best efforts to do so:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12762608

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Intel: 'We ate McAfee to slip security into silicon'

Quxy
Thumb Down

Crapware baked into every chip...

Sounds like a good reason for Intel's embedded competitors to start sticking "ARM inside" stickers on every piece of kit they sell. I honestly can't see how the McAfee that every Windows admin has learned to hate has anything to teach Intel about embedded security.

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MS smartphone share falls despite WinPho 7

Quxy

"like being locked all alone in a biodome with a cactus"

Best quote of the day!

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Obama to overhaul heinous US patent system

Quxy
Thumb Down

"Draining the swamp"?

It hardly sounds as if draining the swamp is the objective of this effort: more like providing airboats to their best (corporate) buddies to allow them to navigate the swamp more quickly.

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Legally binding e-documents: Germany pushes secure email option

Quxy
Unhappy

Wrong icon

De-mail's failure to provide end-to-end encryption calls for either the FAIL icon or the Black Helicopter, take your pick...

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Apple: If you're under 17, you can't use Opera

Quxy
FAIL

But Opera has proxy servers too!

And when Opera Turbo is enabled, the browser sends the request to the Opera servers, thus effectively bypassing the OSX local proxy used for parental controls. (Trust me, Opera Turbo has come in handy when working at certain customer sites!)

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IDC: Everything but Unix on the rise

Quxy
Boffin

Splitting hairs

But "servers with Linux ... saw a 29.3 per cent jump in revenues"?

So for all practical purposes, *nix actually grew _faster_ than all other platforms except for mainframes, right?

To those of us who aren't marketeers or bean-counters, there's more difference between different flavours of "UNIX" than between UNIX and Linux. Just think BSD vs. SysV...

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Nokia DC-14 bike charger

Quxy
Boffin

Just use your existing dynamo

I'm sure that the Nokia power conversion module will happily work with the output from your conventional high-efficiency hub dynamo. I'm more concerned about weatherproofing the phone!

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Microsoft bricking lesson bodes badly for Elop's Brave New Nokia

Quxy
FAIL

What part of "biting the hand" don't you understand?

By your logic, most of the El Reg commentards are being paid by Microsoft competitors too...

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Steve Jobs clarifies 'Subscription Gate' confusion with more confusion

Quxy
Coat

Never ascribe to malice...

...that which is adequately explained by incompetence.

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Intel boss searches planet for post-Nokia MeeGo spouse

Quxy
Thumb Down

I don't agree with Andrew about everything...

...but since he's proven to have pretty good contacts within Nokia, in this case I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/07/nokia_elop_definnistration/

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Quxy
Unhappy

tai dui!

And not only manufactured in China, but designed there from start to finish. Too bad that Elop wants to move Nokia HQ to the US -- it's looking as if Shanghai would be a more appropriate location.

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Quxy
Troll

A Trojan horse is a GIFT...

...why would anyone expect Microsoft to PAY Nokia?

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Anonymous security firm hack used every trick in book

Quxy
FAIL

"Highly sophisticated"?

As ars technica points out, Anonymous used nothing but standard, well known techniques. HBGary left the door wide open by making all the stupid security errors in the book:

A Web application with SQL injection flaws and insecure passwords. Passwords that were badly chosen. Passwords that were reused. Servers that allowed password-based authentication. Systems that weren't patched. And an astonishing willingness to hand out credentials over e-mail, even when the person being asked for them should have realized something was up.

Don't give the clowns at HBGary the satisfaction of thinking that the enemy that brought them down was the least bit sophisticated in their attack.

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Microsoft polishes Windows Phone 7

Quxy
WTF?

"Despite already being great"?

...he said, with his tongue firmly in his cheek...

Erm, right?

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Fort Wayne officials refuse to slap Harry Baals on public building

Quxy
Boffin

But there *is* a Paris, Indiana...

...about 100km east of Gobblers Knob and French Lick (which, of course, are next to each other...)

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Murdoch & Co unveil iPad news rag The Daily

Quxy
Pint

If they can't be bothered with a mobile website...

...why should I bother to read their magazine on my mobile device? Periodicals from El Reg to The Grauniad to the Beeb to the NY Times demonstrate that mobile websites can be clean, professional, and fast. Why on earth would I want to download a device-specific app just to view a single website's articles and advertising?

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Apple clips publishers' wings

Quxy
Thumb Down

Corroborate? I think not...

...since you omit the fact that the NYT article ALSO says "[Apple] has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer ... let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store."

The NYT is hardly an infallible source, but what inside information do you have that gives you the confidence to contradict them? Nothing in their story is inconsistent with Apple's past behaviour w/r/t apps.

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Apple tightens screws on hardware hackers

Quxy
FAIL

What's the big deal?

If you've got the skills needed to safely replace these sorts of "non-user-replaceable" parts, you likely already own the Torx TS drivers needed to remove the screws. After all, these 5-point Torx screws are hardly restricted to Apple, and your usual industrial tool distributors are happy to sell you the correct drivers for them.

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More privacy for the Queen, less for everyone else

Quxy
Alert

"Serve and protect"?

Wow! Do the police forces in the UK still believe that? Across the States, the "To Serve and Protect" mottos got painted out decades ago; and the police now identify themselves as "Law Enforcement", rather than a "Public Service" organisation like the Fire Department.

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Bot attacks Linux and Mac but can't lock down its booty

Quxy
FAIL

Bullshit?

Nothing suspicious about the reported results. The Windows/OSX breakdown seems to roughly match the installed base of those machines; and I think that everybody would be surprised if Jnanabot was able to permanently install itself on a Linux machine via an ordinary user account.

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Third party developers blamed for Windows security woes

Quxy
FAIL

Any non-FOSS repo?

Erm, adobe-linux-i386 is just a random example. And there are plenty of others, used to manage proprietary (e.g. video drivers) and non-free (e.g. CAE) software. I take it that you don't use Linux in an engineering or enterprise environment...

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Oracle's Sword of Damocles forces open source fork rename

Quxy
Pint

At least he'll have chicken

(Larry, that is.)

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Apple 4 Verizon. True

Quxy
Boffin

"Built-in SIM"?

Verizon's CDMA phones don't use SIM cards (or the equivalent R-UIM card used in CDMA phones in China), as the service is tied to a unique identifiers (ESN and MEID) permanently programmed into the handset.

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Samsung shows off tablet-cum-netbook convertible

Quxy
Happy

It's gonna need that keyboard...

...If it ships with W7. Windows still has a long way to go before it'll be usable as a tablet OS.

Nice looking package, though!

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Google suit halts Microsoft fed contract

Quxy
Thumb Up

Good on Google

I'm no big fan of the Chocolate Factory (I neither trust Google Docs nor regard Gmail as being more than a notch above throwaway Hotmail accounts), but I'm delighted that someone is pushing back on the bloated, inconsistent mess of Microsoft lock-in that's accreted within the USG.

Any industry contractor dreads having to work with a new Agency, as they know they'll be required to install and become competent at yet another incompatible version of Microsoft software just to be able bid on contracts. (In some cases, even specific versions of Outlook are required... Ugh!)

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Microsoft opens playpen for 'unstable' web standards

Quxy
Thumb Down

Wrong end of the stick...

...I don't have a problem with "Microsoft doing their own thing (in front of everyone)". But if your new browser technology is really so great, release it to the rest of the world for honest comparison instead of keeping it locked into your own OS. Otherwise it's just Silverlight all over again -- who cares?

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Quxy
FAIL

OK, that's nice...

Sure, Microsoft has some sharp folks working for them. But if they want the rest of the world to take IE seriously again, they're going to have to turn it into something more than just a utility application restricted to their own operating system. The rest of us are understandably more interested in Firefox, Gecko, and WebKit.

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