* Posts by Velv

1880 posts • joined 21 Jan 2010

Tight-wad Apple repair techs swapped our damaged iGear with used kit – lawsuit

Velv
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Merkins

Don't forget just how screwed up American Courts are. This is the country where a group of people sued Red Bull because it didn't literally "give you wings".

And what's really fucked up is that they won the case and were awarded $13million in damages.

http://www.energydrinksettlement.com/

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HMRC research finds 'resistance' to proposals to shift contractor tax compliance burden

Velv
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Boffin

HMRC should drop IR35 entirely.

If an individual is employed by their own limited company them they must already comply with all the same tax rules as every other limited company and employee. So the fault is not with the employment through an intermediary but the rules concerning operation of a limited company.

Don't like how some companies structure their operations to gain a business advantage? Then change the rules on how companies can be structured. Don't try and fudge even more complex and onerous "schemes" onto business because some people gain a business advantage by following the rules.

And this is about punishing people who follow the rules. These changes are not designed to address fraud and will make no difference to those who already commit tax fraud.

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Schrödinger's cat explained with neutrinos

Velv
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2012

Has anyone updated Dara O'Briain on his 2012 sketch?

(on a line in the movie 2012) " 'The neutrinos have mutated.' Now, for the non-nerds here: neutrinos are tiny, sub-atomic, really really almost massless particles, they're released in nuclear breakdowns, like in the sun, for example. Five hundred trillion of them pass through your bodies every second. They can't mutate. Their structure is fundamental to the structure of the universe. Right? They can't just change. He might as well have gone, 'The electrons are angry'."

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Hackers steal millions from ATMs using 'just their smartphones'

Velv
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Boffin

"ATM's with wifi?"

At what point in the article does it mention anything about ATMs with wifi?

The on site thief is probably a mule simply receiving instructions from a remote person telling them which ATM and what buttons to press. Someone remote is commanding the operation, because if you're smart enough to break into the bank you're probably smart enough not to get caught on the CCTV raiding each ATM.

At best the smartphone is being used over 3G to connect back through the thieves command and control centre into a hacked bank then over the bank network to the ATM, although this is less likely.

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UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Velv
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Big Brother

Dear People who think we should get rid of the House of Lords

If we didn't have a bicameral system with two houses then this would already have been law in its unmoderated form over a year ago.

Now I'm no particular defender of the way the upper house isn't elected, but the fact we have the upper house puts a measure of control on the shite that is passed into law.

Be very wary of an proposal to remove the Upper House. Reform it, yes. But watch for attempts to remove it.

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Velv
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Terminator

Re: Wow

They watch TV and Moves.

Let's face it there wouldn't be a good story if the hero couldn't break the unbreakable code.

10 minutes into a real world movie...

Hero: "might as as well just go home now, it's end to end encrypted with a secure cypher. Yes, I can break it, but you'll need to give me a few hundred years and access to a supercomputer"

Fin

<role credits>

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Velv
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Pirate

They can write anything they like into the law, at a practical level they haven't got a whelks chance in a supernova of enforcing it.

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Tupperware vehemently denies any link to storage containerisation

Velv
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Coat

And you think referring to "lunch boxes" isn't going to draw other unwanted attention?

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Trainline.com dumps Oracle and Microsoft, gulps AWS Kool-Aid

Velv
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Pirate

Re: Rip Off

So good point, why use the trainline website when you could use the train company website, like Virgin.

Except Virgin use their site. Or rather, Virgin use their engine. As do many other train companies. So trainline's main business is as an engine provider to the train companies, not the public, and any users of the trainline website is just bonus fleecing.

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Velv
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Headmaster

Who's concerns over reliability?

Perhaps they've done the maths?

Perhaps the lost revenue if AWS is down for a set % of the time it is still cheaper than running their own in-house IT?

You'll have to ask Kohlberg Kravis Roberts what they actually expect.

Building continuous availability systems is expensive, and just because trainline had no downtime in the past 12 months doesn't mean they actually built an high availability system - they might have been lucky and had less failure than the system was designed to expect.

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Use Brexit to save smokers' lives and plug vaping, say peers

Velv
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Childcatcher

Hmmm, lets see.

You manufacture a product to meet European regulations so you can export it to 500million people. Then this piddling little market breaks away and sets its own different regulations.

Do you:

a) invest in modifying your product to serve two different markets; or

b) fuckem, they can have what we make for Europe.

There are probably niche players who only manufacture for the UK, but the majority aren't going to bother their arse when they're still selling to 440million+ Europeans.

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Bloke 'lobbed molotov cocktails' at Street View car because Google was 'watching him'

Velv
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Pirate

Re: Looks like...

"All of those are described in a good History (and Chemistry) books. The uncensored ones (rather difficult to find them in the UK due to thought crime restrictions)."

Didn't take me long to find them and I'm in the UK. Google is your friend

I say that, I didn't actually open them, just kind of remembered what to search for (see icon) and the results list looked promising.

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Theft of twenty-somethings' IDs surges

Velv
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Terminator

Re: Millennials

I once heard it described thus:

From age zero to 15ish everything new in the world is just the normal stuff in the world

From 15ish to 30ish everything new is hip groovy exciting new stuff

From 30s onwards everything new is voodoo magic

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Global 'terror database' World-Check leaked

Velv
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Coat

Re: uhh

I thought Who was on First

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Florida man sues Apple for $10bn, claims iPod, iPhone was his idea

Velv
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Boffin

"Here's the report you requested Captain Pickard"

1987

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Chatbot lawyer shreds $2.5m in parking tickets

Velv
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Unhappy

"Do you wish to register a complaint?"

"Yes" > /dev/NULL

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Kremlin wants to shoot the Messenger, and WhatsApp to boot

Velv
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Boffin

This is a good thing!

No, wait, let me explain that statement.

If governments are forcing the hand of the big multinational companies then those companies will have little choice to remove the end to end encryption since one product will not work in all countries.

We tend to use the biggies through laziness. It comes bundled and our friends us it. Without the proprietary biggies, the public will then turn to open communication platforms following open communication standards that no country can control. There will be dozens of different clients available from authors around the world and no country will have the ability to shutdown all the individuals who wrote those clients.

A country may be able to threaten a user, but then the (innocent) user has the option of handing the government their previous conversations (but you'll know they have them!).

OK, I'm not really saying the Russian law would be a good thing (or the Merkin, UK, or any other government back door). But maybe if someone points out how simple it is to circumvent then perhaps common sense will prevail (facepalm).

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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Velv
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Headmaster

"Vaping is harmless"

They claimed smoking cigarettes was good for you. Until they found out it wasn't.

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Bloke flogs $40 B&W printer on Craigslist, gets $12,000 legal bill

Velv
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Coat

Ironically, isn't this the very type of "Service" that made CraigsList infamous???

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Engine warning light appears on Uber's $100m driver settlement

Velv
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Terminator

American lawyer unfairly profits from legal settlement. Surely not. That would never happen.

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Capitalize 'Internet'? AP says no – Vint Cerf says yes

Velv
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Headmaster

So what about The Cloud, which is of course both The Cloud as a concept of some kind of service in, ear, well The Cloud, and The Cloud which is a company that provides wifi access.

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Unicode serves up bacon emoji

Velv
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Go

Gorilla

Harambe

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Flytenow's other wing clipped: second appeal fails

Velv
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FAIL

Re: Hypocrisy

In the UK, uber drivers still need to be licensed minicab drivers with full commercial insurance on the vehicle as a minicab. So no hypocracy over complying with the regulations.

Globally Uber has been the subject of 200+ plus lawsuits for not complying with local legislation. So no hypocracy about allowing multi-million dollar owners to make money from spare car seats.

The fact the multi-million dollar owners continue to break the law and haven't gone to jail yet is a different issue.

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Get outta here, officer, you don't need a warrant to track people by their phones – appeals court

Velv
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Big Brother

Now let's turn the ruling over metadata on its head and see where we get to...

"Dear Mr Phone Company.

Please give us the details of all phones that were within 50m of nn.nn.nnn, ww.ww.www on mm/did/yy* between hh:mm and hh:mm.

Regards

The Authorities"

*its an article about Merkin authorities. We all know the real way to express a date is dd/mm/yy

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Velv
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Re: You've all missed the best part

ApplePay (which uses Apple Wallet) can be activated without unlocking the phone. So no reason the driving license couldn't be made viewable while protecting privacy. In fact, you've probably just proven this should be mandatory

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Velv
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Boffin

Re: It Bodes

"...and a certificate of your identity. The latter use only works at all if this is a physical card with security features which make it difficult to reproduce."

The latter use only works at all if this is a physical card item with security features which make it difficult to reproduce.

Lothian Buses do M-Tickets on your SmartPhone - you activate a pre-paid ticket and show the screen to the driver. Sounds easy to "fake". But it's an image with moving elements making it impossible to screenshot. An active security feature is harder to fake, so there's no reason any digital document couldn't have similar features.

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HSBC swinging axe on UK IT department, 840 heads to roll

Velv
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FAIL

I don't know HSBCs average for years employed, but I do know the industry average is a little over 10 years.

So HSBC is getting rid of ~8,000 man years of site knowledge.

You can train new people about what's in the book (documentation), but you can't teach that "ah, we saw this fault a couple of years ago, dig out that email". But to an accountant, a techie is just a techie. I wonder when the board is going to notice that the same is true of accountants...

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Sysadmin paid a month's salary for one day of nothing

Velv
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Go

My boss caused chaos in the January sales :)

The office was across the road from a large shopping centre. There were around 50 IT staff in the office on the 1st and no catering staff. So for lunch, the boss went over to the shopping centre and joined the queue at Burger King.

On reaching the front, he started:

"Can I have 20 Whoppers, 20 Angus, 20 chicken sandwiches, 20 hamburgers, 20 cheeseburgers and 100 large fries please"

The rest of the queue were not impressed.

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Old, complex code could cause another UK banking TITSUP – study

Velv
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Boffin

"... its the quality of the code not the length..."

Quality is a subjective measure. Heavily documented code that's clear and easy to maintain could be quality to one situation where tight efficient complex code is quality in a different situation.

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Colander-wearing Irishman denied driver's licence in Pastafarian slapdown

Velv
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"Surely the thing that defines a religion is sincere belief, nothing else.

If you sincerely believe in something/anything then who are "they" to say it is or isn't legitimately a religion?"

And there in lies the problem - what if your sincere "belief" is that some element of society is wrong and that it's your duty to execute them. Does that grant you the freedom to follow your religion?

There needs to be a consensus of acceptable behaviour, and Pastafarianism is a political tool to show a mirror to religion and religious beliefs. If there is anyone on the planet who truly believes in the FSM then they've missed the point completely.

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FBI ends second iPhone fight after someone, um, 'remembers' the PIN

Velv
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Headmaster

Re: Some thoughts

If they're your disks and you refuse to comply then you're first person involvement.

If Seagate* were compelled to provide access to the content of your disks then they'd be a third party involvement similar to Apple.

*or your manufacturer of choice.

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Velv
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Big Brother

Re: Q: How is the government ever going to convict bad guys without access to encryption?

Never lose sight of why the FBI really wanted access to his phone. Hint, it wasn't to convict him.

It was to find his contacts - to find the other drug dealers and users he was interacting with so they know who to conduct the above searches against.

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Amazon attempts rule fudge to take exclusive control of new dot-words

Velv
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FAIL

Re: Bass-ackward.

But do you own .jake

Didn't think so.

So you don't control *.jake

One wonders if Jake actually understand how TehIntraWebTubes (sic) work

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One million patients have opted out of Care.data

Velv
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Boffin

I'm in no way defending HOW this has been done (government is shit), or some of the WHYs, but the statistical analysis and big data elements are actually groundbreaking. You find correlations in seeming unrelated data through proper analysis, and things like prescription rates and referrals are related data so they don't count as big data analysis.

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Velv
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Gimp

Re: NHS Digital

Just wait until the digital proctologist comes along...

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Utah declares 'war on smut'

Velv
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Joke

Self Removal

Surely all the state has to do is pass a law require transgender people to use their birth bathroom and the porn industry will remove its services from the people of the state ( see North Carolina)?

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Brexit would pinch UK tech spend but the EU wouldn't care – survey

Velv
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FAIL

Isn't there a blogger somewhere who specialises in publish pay-walled articles for everyone?

On second thoughts sounds like this ones not worth reading.

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'GPS 2.0' outline calls for open, hackable, interfaces

Velv
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Devil

And just how do Google (still) know where the wi-fi base stations are located...

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Drive for Lyft or Uber in SF? Your wallet is about to get lighter

Velv
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Re: But I thought...

Uber maintains the stance that drivers are "independent contractors" despite having lost a couple of cases over a few named "employees".

So while SF "can't have it both ways", neither can Uber, Lyft, or any other business

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Met cops shop for £150m IT system. Must have: Data centre ops

Velv
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Perhaps its because its not my area of expertise, but are there really COTS options available for operating a Police force?

There are some Operational Management tools out there for managing workloads and mobile workforces, but do they really meet the privacy, security, integrity and audit requirements of law enforcement and justice?

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FBI, Apple continue cat-and-mouse game over iPhones in New York

Velv
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Headmaster

Re: Pretty weak position for the FBI here

"...by shutting down DFU updates "

I think we should be careful about what we prescribe as the "fix" for the challenge. There are many good reasons why it might be necessary for Apple to assist a person to access the hardware and content using a particular technical method, e.g. a failed update, a company owned phone, the owner being deceased and the family rightfully requiring access.

The issue is not technical. The issue is the government demanding access to private information, and their right or not to make such demands. Technical workarounds will fail - if the government has the power, they will use it, and they will penalise anyone who obstructs them irrespective of reality. We need to make sure they never get the power.

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Read America's insane draft crypto-borking law that no one's willing to admit they wrote

Velv
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Headmaster

"no one is above the law"

But that doesn't mean you author utterly stupid and dangerous laws that no one should be above!!!

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PayPal freezes 400-job expansion in North Carolina over bonkers religious freedom law

Velv
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Mushroom

Re: Freedom

@Intractable Potshead

So you don't buy into that philosophy, that's cool.

Perhaps you think it's OK not to serve a disabled person, or an old person. Perhaps you think we should take the vote off the Blacks and the Women, because let's face it, they're not worth.

We've had this debate. Not treating people equally is discrimination. The Suffragets fought for equality and the sane people knew it was right. Martin Luther King fought and died for equality, and the sane people knew it was right. Discrimination and prejudice are wrong, and I stand by my statement - if you're not prepared to serve the public equally don't serve the public. I'm not asking you to like them, not liking your customers is a whole different issue.

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Panama Papers hack: Unpatched WordPress, Drupal bugs to blame?

Velv
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FAIL

Re: Simpler yet - Just Encryt

D'oh!

Encryption is useless if an authorised and authenticated "user" accesses the data, and this is actually the more common route for data loss.

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Velv
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Headmaster

Drupal 7.23 had major issues and Drupal 7.32 was the fix.

OK, it's utter pedantry, but I do wish software authors would look carefully at the version numbers they release, and if the numbers are close (e.g. easily transposed like the above) then increment to another number to avoid potential confusion. This is not the only example I've seen recently where similar version numbers caused much head scratching.

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Managing infrastructure, a newbie's guide: Simple stuff you need to know

Velv
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4. Centralised Authentication

If you're in the UNIX world then learn this now - it's a skill that's missing in so many companies. Some places do this integration very well, but many others haven't got a clue, and as time moves on the requirement to use a Directory Service for authentication not just at OS but at application level is going to become much more fundamental.

Don't reinvent the wheel. Integrate with a proven directory service, and if your company already has Windows AD then leverage Windows AD as that directory - the Windows world has been doing this for 16 years now, and while it's far from perfect, it's extremely pervasive.

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White House flushes away court-ordered decryption like it was a stinky dead goldfish

Velv
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Holmes

Re: How far ?

I'm in no way suggesting this is anywhere near a reasonable justification for such legislation, but you've got to remember that most criminals are a bit thick, they'll use the standard features on their device, and law enforcement gaining access to the information will secure more convictions. I can therefore understand why some people think it's justified, however like you, I'd suggest any such legislation will just push the really dangerous criminals further underground.

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We bet your firm doesn't stick to half of these 10 top IT admin tips

Velv
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Headmaster

Re: 1) is a tad unrealistic

Agreed there are issues that can only be diagnosed under the users credentials.

But the policy will handle that. The user must remain present during the support service. They cannot be permitted to "just bugger off for coffee". Now I know it's difficult for the PFY in his second week to tell the senior manager they can't just leave their password behind or even just leave the computer logged on, but if the senior manager has signed up to the policy in the first place the company should be behind it and the PFY. It doesn't take long for the right culture to be the norm.

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Velv
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Facepalm

Re: encourage staff to challenge anyone who's not displaying their badge

Congratulations you've proven you're part of the problem and not part of the solution.

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Security bods disclose lock bypass bug in iOS

Velv
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Headmaster

"If there's a bypass that will grant access to data without entering the passcode, then the encryption isn't as strong as it's claimed to be, is it?"

Nothing wrong with the encryption. It's the authentication that is weak.

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