* Posts by Blofeld's Cat

760 posts • joined 27 Jan 2010

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Trane thermostat is a hot spot for viruses on home networks

Blofeld's Cat
FAIL

Re: When is the IoT industry going to get smart on security?

When it impacts on profits, or somebody at board level receives a custodial sentence.

In other words - when Satan is seen buying Winter clothing.

16
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Drone-busting eagles to darken Blighty's skies?

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Er...

[Drone flutters into view]

Inspector: "Right Constable Hodgesaargh release the eagles."

[Screeching, flurry of talons, jab of beaks. Screams, blood etc. - Drone continues unmolested]

With apologies to Pterry.

9
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Lights out for Space Vehicle Number 23: UK smacked when US sat threw GPS out of whack

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Hmm...

Martyn Thomas, a fellow at the Royal Academy of Engineering, [...] said: "A more effective backup for GPS is desperately needed."

Something like Galileo, GLONASS or BeiDou perchance?

11
1

Big Ben belittled by Infosys' plans for enormous erection

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

" ... going to build a 135-metre clock tower ... "

Brings a whole new meaning to "overclocking".

3
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Danish Sith Lord fined in Galactic Republic rumpus

Blofeld's Cat
Angel

Er...

Those readers wondering just how bad disagreements over works of fiction can get are directed to the 2012 case of the Long Island man Middle East

FTFY

51
1

Did water rocket threaten Brum airport Airbus?

Blofeld's Cat
Alien

"an unidentified object, described as rocket shaped and the size of 2 x 2l fizzy drink bottles"

It's an alien invasion - deploy the "small dog" defence shield.

7
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TalkTalk CuffCuffs 'ScamScam CrimCrims'

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Er...

"The breach would end up costing TalkTalk tens of millions in losses ..."

Remind me again about the cost benefits of outsourcing ...

5
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How to build a starship - and why we should start thinking about it now

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Hmm...

Perhaps we could build three starships.

Starting with the "B" ship of course...

5
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Government in-sourcing: It was never going to be that easy

Blofeld's Cat
Flame

Hmm...

A good starting point for a lot of government IT projects should be: "Do we actually need to do this at all?" Just because a salesman consultant says something is possible, it does not follow that it is desirable.

I'm thinking in particular of the "minor" tweaks to existing projects, made by politicians with a personal axe to grind, or who just want to be seen to be doing something.

Most of these projects seem to become hopelessly locked in an endless cycle of further "requirements" until they are finally abandoned with no useful end product, or their costs far exceed any potential savings.

Perhaps what is really needed is a change to the Whitehall culture.

8
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Star Wars: Episode VIII delayed by six months

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Well since you ask ...

"The Force is … well what is The Force, exactly?"

Duck* Tape - It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the Universe together.

* Other spellings and fauna are available.

9
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The planets really will be in alignment for the next month

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

I see ...

"Jupiter's gone into Orion, and come into conjunction with Mars,

Saturn is wheeling across infinite space to its preordained place in the stars,

And I gaze at the planets in wonder, at the trouble and time they expend,

All to warn me to be careful, in dealings involving a friend"

My Horoscope - Michael Flanders

7
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Fears of fiber cable cuts, rogue drones menacing crowds at Super Bowl 50

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Hmm...

Around here most fibre cable cuts are the result of copper thieves being unable to read (or not believing) the "no scrap value" labels put on the cable. They often manage to rip long lengths out of the ground before making the discovery.

5
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Aircraft now so automated pilots have forgotten how to fly

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Shirley you can't be serious ...

May I draw your attention to the Quantas Gripe Sheets.

Problem: "Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough."

Solution: "Auto-land not installed on this aircraft."

4
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Boffins baffled by record-smashing supernova that shouldn't exist

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Hmm...

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...

"I told you we should have put a grill over that exhaust port..."

20
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BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

Blofeld's Cat
Mushroom

Re: One man and his dog

"... be careful with your search terms ..."

I made that mistake when searching for the WW2 atomic bombs using their code names...

3
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Oh UK.gov. Say you're not for weakened encryption – Google and Facebook

Blofeld's Cat
Big Brother

Re: One crime one warrant

" ... In 2014, the home secretary authorised 2,345 interception warrants. ... "

Perhaps a more enlightening statistic would be how many she refused to authorise. My guess is it wouldn't be a very large number - possibly even zero.

13
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GCHQ mass spying will 'cost lives in Britain,' warns ex-NSA tech chief

Blofeld's Cat
Black Helicopters

Re: The man is absolutely right!

" ... adding hay doesn't make finding needles any easier ... "

Presumably they work on the principle that they will scoop up a few more needles with the vast extra quantity of hay. That way they can claim they are doing something when they stumble across a needle.

I suspect that the needle to hay ratio remains diminishing small, no matter how much hay you collect.

4
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Periodic table enjoys elemental engorgement

Blofeld's Cat
Mushroom

Re: Nerdium, Geekium, and uhhh...

How about Bofhium and Pfyium?

3
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Aroused Lycra-clad cyclist prompts Manchester cop dragnet

Blofeld's Cat
Childcatcher

Hmm...

Being a somewhat hirsute, fifty-something male, I can assure you that if I were to don Lycra and attempt to cycle off the Christmas food frenzy, the police would be inundated with calls...

... about an escaped, multi-coloured walrus.

"... not only that it's riding a bike, officer."

11
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DEAD MAN'S SOCKS and other delightful gifts from clients

Blofeld's Cat
Paris Hilton

Thank you, how nice ...

Late one New Year's Eve I was called out by a landlord who had been getting an ear-bashing from a z-list celeb who had no lights in his flat.

Having driven for over an hour through heavy traffic to get there, I reset the appropriate MCB and the lights came back on.

There was a party going on with food and drink flowing freely, and the celeb insisted that I should be given something as a reward for turning out.

I got a photograph of the celeb with his signature printed on it.

6
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New HTTP error code 451 to signal censorship

Blofeld's Cat

Re: IETF were not persuaded is was a good use of a limited number of status codes

I was under the impression that the 451 reply code was to allow an automated response by the browser, in the same way that the 30X redirection codes are used.

11
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Blofeld's Cat
Headmaster

Re: "451 degrees Fahrenheit being the auto-ignition temperature for paper"

It appears that the Centigrade / Fahrenheit being swapped story is not true, although most experts set the figure at around the 470 - 480 F mark, depending on the type of paper and environmental factors.

451 C is about the auto-ignition temperature for metals like magnesium.

10
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CES tech show adds new security checks after fears of violence

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Hmm...

I suspect that any manufacturer showing a device with a count-down display may have some problems this year.

9
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Cyber-terror: How real is the threat? Squirrels are more of a danger

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Nuts ...

Ah so that's why one customer keeps asking me if his website is protected against "squirrel injection attacks".

6
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Windows 8.1 exams kept alive six more months, Win 7 tests immortal

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Er...

Did anyone else read "immortal" as "immoral"?

OK, only me then - I blame a lack of caffeine.

6
0

Mostly harmless: Berlin boffins bleat post epic TrueCrypt audit feat

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Hmm...

Well that should reassure all the conspiracy theorists out there.

"... under contract from the German Government."

Tin foil - It's not just for wrapping the turkey.

2
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Cat discovers GNOME desktop bug

Blofeld's Cat
Thumb Up

Hmm...

I have always found that explaining the operation of my non-working code to one of the cats allows me to quickly find where I have cocked it up. This process is referred to as the "CAT scan".

The technique also works with dogs (the "Lab report") and random strangers ("user testing").

9
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Remember Windows 1.0? It's been 30 years (and you're officially old)

Blofeld's Cat
Devil

Ah yes ...

I remember my PHB at the time looking at Windows 1.0 and commenting that it would never catch on, and that we certainly wouldn't be bothering with it.

Our flagship software product at that date ran on DOS and used GEM, having recently moved over from CP/M.

When WFW 3.11 was getting well established the same PHB gave* another company the entire source code to produce a Windows version, on the basis that the few people who might use it didn't justify the cost of developing one in house.

* That's "gave" not "licensed", "outsourced" etc. as their lawyers pointed out when he tried to claim royalties on the Windows version.

10
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GCHQ director blasts free market, says UK must be 'sovereign cryptographic nation'

Blofeld's Cat
Black Helicopters

Re: What?

"So how does that work then?"

It's complicated, and often sub-contracted out, but it essentially involves an orange jump-suit, a plank, some buckets of water and, occasionally, a short rubber hose.

32
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Post-pub nosh neckfiller special: The WHO bacon sarnie of death

Blofeld's Cat
Childcatcher

Sir...

May I complement you on your excellent and timely recipe.

Earlier this evening I discovered the memsahib at the front door being beset by a gaggle of "trick-or-treat" demanding hooligans,

This practice appears to be a repulsive transatlantic import, indistinguishable from our own "demanding money with menaces", but I digress.

Having decided to provide these ruffians with a "treat", rather than have the wing-mirror kicked off my Bentley, I instructed my man Harbinger to knock up a couple of platefuls of sarnies following the recipe described in your august journal.

Harbinger tells me that this proved highly successful and he will get Lecter, the under-gardener, to tidy up the flower beds in the morning.

I remain, sir, your obedient servant,

Colonel Buckfast-Guzzler (retired)

13
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Safe Harbor 2.0: Judges to keep NSA spying in check – EU justice boss

Blofeld's Cat
Black Helicopters

Hmm...

Meanwhile in a parallel universe...

"Thank you Judge for your detailed and interesting review of our surveillance activities. Maybe you would care to also review this other dossier before we pass it to the press ... Why yes it does appear to have your name on it, isn't that a coincidence."

16
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'Govt will not pass laws to ban encryption' – Baroness Shields

Blofeld's Cat

Re: So how do you distinguish REALLY good encryption from noise?

My great-grandfather used to tell the local Tory candidate that he would like to vote for him, but was unfortunately too frail to go the the polling station.

The Tory candidate would then arrange transport for him, enabling him to get to the polling station - where he would invariably vote for the Liberal candidate,

10
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Blofeld's Cat

Re: law enforcement "in extremis" ?

"... Innocent Brazilian Plumbers ..."

Not quite. Jean Charles de Menezes was an innocent Brazilian Electrician.

His death might have been a terrible mistake by the officers concerned, but the cover-up and misinformation afterwards was absolutely inexcusable.

17
1

Job alert: Is this the toughest sysadmin role on Earth? And are you badass enough to do it?

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Hmm...

"... which are the summer months in the Southern Hemisphere ... "

The downside to this contract is that you will be paid by the day...

37
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LOHAN chews the fat with US TV station over Spaceport's FAA-ilure

Blofeld's Cat

"Couldn't you just launch from international waters?"

Perhaps Elon Musk would lend you one of his Autonomous spaceport drone ships, while the Falcon is being reworked.

2
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US military personnel investigated for splashing $96,576 on strippers

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Re: £30 for a whole weekend - brilliant!

What about the man who hired an eighteen year old escort for the evening and was disappointed when a rusty Ford car turned up.

11
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Heigh ho, oh no! Politically correct panto dumps Snow White’s dwarfs

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Oh no it isn't ...

"... feature Benidorm and Loose Women’s Sherrie Hewson in the lead role ..."

I'd always thought Snow White was a young girl, not somebody on the verge of retirement. Mind you I suppose that's sexist, ageist or something like that now...

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted" - Mae West

2
0

Borg blacklist assimilates Cryptolocker domain name generators

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

So...

Does this mean that anyone who makes domains from two or more words, such as "theregister", are likely to suddenly find their domains being blocked?

I suspect the false positive rate will turn out to be rather more that 2%.

6
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All hail Ikabai-Sital! Destroyer of worlds and mender of toilets

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Two fundamental principles...

I think that as Mr Dabbs has disclosed the existence of Ikabai-Sital, it is time to reveal two of their fundamental principles...

If it doesn't move and it should - use WD40. If it moves and it shouldn't - use Duck Tape*.

Duck Tape is like the Force - it has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the Universe together.

* Other fauna are available.

5
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Blofeld's Cat
Happy

Re: waterproofing tape (whatever that thin white stuff is called)

"PTFE - Plastic Tape For Engineers."

AKA Plastic Tape Fixes Everything

5
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It’s DEJA VU: Customer forgets to tell us about essential feature AGAIN

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Flying monkeys...

"... a perky girl with ruby slippers skipping along with a dog and three freaks who look like they work in the advertising department."

Not quite. The perky girl and her dog are from Security - who are putting on their bi-weekly charm-offensive. The tin man with the axe is from HR looking to reduce headcount in his own heartless way. The straw man is a consultant brought in by the CEO, to boost his own views and position. The cowardly lion is from the legal department, ready to roar loudly at any member of the public he believes is infringing the company's IP, while playing the victim when a court tells him to stop being silly.

The important thing is to pay close attention to the man behind the curtain...

50
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Disaster-gawping cam drones to be blasted out of the sky in California

Blofeld's Cat
Go

Er...

While I agree that private drones are "fair game" in these circumstances, it appears that some emergency services are using similar drones in trials to get a better overall view of the incident.

Presumably there will need to be some way of differentiating between these "legitimate" drones and the private ones, so that some trigger happy bozo well meaning individual does not target them.

2
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Jeep drivers can be HACKED to DEATH: All you need is the car's IP address

Blofeld's Cat
Black Helicopters

I find your lack of faith disturbing...

"Never mind air-gapped internally, why are any incoming connections accepted at all?"

But, citizen, you forget that it is essential that the agents of security can remotely neutralise the threat from paedoterrorists and rogue ninjas who might otherwise escape them.

You should not question these design decisions, citizen - they are for your safety..

46
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Evil computers sense you’re in a hurry and mess with your head

Blofeld's Cat
Angel

Leaded glass

"Can you imagine what it must be like to earn a decent living1 being paid to conserve art2, by the honest toil of your own hands, using your unique craft and completed at your own pace3, for clients who will always, without exception, be overjoyed with the results4 every time?"

Speaking as someone who repairs stained glass (amongst other things) may I politely point out that you have a somewhat rosy impression of what is involved, Alistair.

It's just like fixing other things, with the added delights of using materials that will cut, burn or poison you, given the slightest opportunity.

1 "I didn't realise there would be a charge, we are a charity you know..."

2 Plus a lot of mass produced Victorian tat.

3 "Could you just move the scaffolding, I have a wedding in a couple of hours..."

4 I've heard of this...

33
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Farmer mooved after reunion with two-year fugitive cow

Blofeld's Cat
Coat

Re: Classic

Some of those puns are veal-ly bad...

10
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Ireland loses entire airport amid new postcode chaos

Blofeld's Cat
Facepalm

Re: Encoding

"The UK system works quite well when someone's garden is used to build new houses. The street's house numbers may be interpolated or extended - but the post code is already in place."

Occasionally this breaks down when the developer builds flats where a commercial building used to be.

I used to live in a flat with the same postcode as the rest of the street. This was absolutely fine provided senders put "9, Whatever Buildings, Whatever Street..." as the address.

Unfortunately some firms only store the postcode and house number which they later used to recreate my postal address - as "9, Whatever Street".

The Post Office knew about this anomaly and took the appropriate action, but it lead to some interesting discussions with courier companies...

3
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Hacked Hacking Team team – like everyone in security – read The Register

Blofeld's Cat
Holmes

Reading...

... is one thing.

Understanding what you read is something else.

Icon: "You have seen, but you have not observed".

5
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US govt now says 21.5 million people exposed by OPM hack – here's what you need to know

Blofeld's Cat
FAIL

Hmm...

I can't help wondering if there have been more of these "hacking" incidents where the intruder has quietly taken the data and not left any traces. Surely serious players (such as a nation state), would want to retain their access to the data for further mining when necessary.

Maybe somebody simply got careless, or some amateur blundered in and gave the game away. On the other hand, somebody may be making a very embarrassing, and public, point.

3
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Ex-Goldman Sachs programmer's code theft conviction overturned AGAIN

Blofeld's Cat
WTF?

Careening?

"... It's punishable by hanging or at least by careening. ..."

Is that not the process where they are dragged over on one side and then have their barnacles scraped off?

Sounds a little harsh, even by government standards...

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