* Posts by JimmyPage

1581 posts • joined 5 Mar 2010

SSL-busting adware: US cyber-plod open fire on Comodo's PrivDog

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

If I were a layman

I'd say the concept of a "trusted" certification authority is bust. Which means SSL is bust.

Anyone care to correct me - as a layman.

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Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer

JimmyPage
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Re:Strowger

ISTR a documentary pointing out that the original Stowger gear fitted exactly into an undertakers (tall top) hat.

And why were punchcards the same size as a dollar bill ?

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Debian on track to prove binaries' origins

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Fuck that - what about the silicon ?

You could code your first assembler (F1 ?) in raw machine code. But it would still be compromised if the actual architecture of the CPU had been nobbled.

And with daily revelations about what the NSA/GCHQ have been up to, it's not impossible (and the likeliness is certainly non-zero) that CPU instruction sets have been hacked. After all, has anyone checked what 27 NOPs in a row *really* do in the latest Intel offering ?

I have to smile when people make a big fuss about open source, while ignoring the chipsets you're running that source on.

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Want a MEEELLION-year data storage? Use DNA of course

JimmyPage
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Back in the 80s

this got discussed when I was studying at Uni - as a theoretical possibility. We were just waiting for the technology to catch up.

Of course it does raise the possibility that this has already been done elsewhere in the Universe, and *we* are the result ?

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HOLY SEA SNAILS! Their TEETH are strong enough to build a plane

JimmyPage
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Re: Back to nature

Well I was quoting from memory, and have the excuse of not being a particle physicist.

If I understood the general thrust, it was that the current theory of how smell works - that it's the *shapes* of molecules which receptors recognise and report on - is incomplete. Mainly because there are several isomorphic molecules, which smell completely different. However, molecular bonds have a quantum dimension, which is unique to that molecule.

More here.

To be honest, the thing that impressed me the most was the technique of using isotopes in compounds to produce different quantum signatures. It seemed so ... simple.

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JimmyPage
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Coat

subliminal text ...

Why did I think I saw something about "crumpet mines" ?

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JimmyPage
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Re: Back to nature

Total upvote and respect for mentioning the awesome, and sadly missed Feynman.

If anyone here wants some Kindling, then "What Do You Care What Other People Think" and "Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman" are great reads.

And the story of his involvement in the Challenger disaster enquiry is well worth a watch.

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JimmyPage
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Happy

Re: Back to nature

It was in two parts, and if you feel comfortable with the big concepts of quantum mechanics, the first is optional. It describes the history more than anything - although you hear some lesser known names.

The second was more interesting. It explained how biologists have started finding quantum effects all over nature. From memory:

1) Robins navigation systems (detecting infinitesimal magnetism)

2) How plant cells process sunlight so efficiently (using the fact a quantum particle is in all places at once)

3) How enzymes work at a molecular level, using quantum tunneling

4) How the sense of smell distinguishes between similar shaped molecules (by differentiating their quantum "signature")

5) Was an examination into an ongoing hypothesis that evolution has been driven by quantum changes.

All proof that what we knew 30 years ago was incomplete at best and wrong at worst.

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JimmyPage
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Back to nature

With the usual caveat about BBC programmes (even BBC4 programmes) being science-lite and gimmick heavy, the recent 2 part documentary about quantum physics in biology (Jim al Khalili) was quite fascinating.

Seems we could learn a lot from nature.

(I was slightly taken aback that a real scientist like JaK would be mixing imperial and metric units though. Shame on him !)

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iBank: RBS, NatWest first UK banks to allow Apple Touch ID logins

JimmyPage
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Re: Not smart.

Downvoted because

you appear to have ignored the linked articles in the story which relate to creating serviceable fingerprint prosthetics using gelatine - in the form of gummi bears.

So the proof of concept is their.

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Is cloud the answer to all your storage problems?

JimmyPage
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Stop

Re: One big problem with online storage is when you become too reliant on them and they shut down.

To be fair, there's a world of difference between an corporate oriented provider, and one that hopes to make money slinging ads.

Most of the dodgier filesharing sites worked by hosting copyright material and charging users to download it, with the promise of a cut of the action for the uploaders.

However you're still at risk of single point of failure - plus having data stolen (unless you encrypt it, and face jail time in Camerons Britain).

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Vodafone didn't have a £6bn tax bill. Sort yourselves out, Lefties

JimmyPage
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Alert

Serious question

is it cheaper for a company to spend money paying tax, or lobbying politicians,

Maybe the tax avoidance we are seeing is evidence our politicians aren't grasping enough ?

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Re: Great article - *completely* missed the point.

to be fair AC said "seemed to be".

quod Caesaris coniugium non suspectis

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Big Brother in SPAACE: Mars One picks first 100 morons to suffocate, er, settle on Red Planet

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Nigel Kneale would be proud ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Year_of_the_Sex_Olympics

In the future, society is divided between 'low-drives' that equate with the labouring classes and 'hi-drives' who control the government and media. The low-drives are controlled by a constant broadcast of pornography that the hi-drives are convinced will pacify them, though one hi-drive, Nat Mender (Tony Vogel), believes that the media should be used to educate the low-drives. After the accidental death of a protester during the Sex Olympics gets a massive audience response, the Co-ordinator Ugo Priest (Leonard Rossiter) decides to commission a new programme. In The Live Life Show, Nat Mender, his partner Deanie (Suzanne Neve) and their daughter Keten (Lesley Roach) are stranded on a remote Scottish island while the low-drive audience watches. Mender's former colleague, Lasar Opie (Brian Cox), realising that “something got to happen”, decides to spice up the show by introducing a psychopath, Grels (George Murcell) to the island. When Grels goes on a murderous rampage, Ugo Priest is horrified when the audience reacts with laughter to the slaughter and The Live Life Show is deemed a triumph.

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BBC: SOD the scientific consensus! Look OUT! MEGA TSUNAMI is coming

JimmyPage
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Unhappy

Horizon - 1970s stylee

I was aged 9 or 10, and learned enough about quarks and particle physics to scare the bejesus out of my science teacher at school (who just about knew about photons).

I knew about strangness and charm, and the weird up and down nature of spin.

Where did I learn so much.

The Saturday afternoon repeat of Horizon.

The next week, I learned about the role Lucy played in redefining our ideas of the timescale of human evolution - being much older than we previously thought. By then I learned not to discuss this at school.

Nowadays, it's hard to tell if "Moments of Wonder" is parodying BBC science, or actually just a summary.

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Game of Moans: Sky coughs to BORKED set top box BALLS-UP

JimmyPage
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SOP. Never consider rolling back the previous version.

The problem is any non-trivial upgrade will probably do something to the data structures used. Adding a field, or changing a data type. All actions which are pretty much irreversible, unless you create a backup immediately prior to upgrade.

And that's just for a system in isolation. What happens when the servers at the other end rely on the new data formats ?

The real issue is pisspoor testing of releases - probably ignoring the spread of hardware they've dumped over the years that somebody is still using.

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JimmyPage
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Facepalm

Another advert for "off plan" downloading

it's like Sky want people to torrent ?

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First HSBC, now the ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR dodges tax

JimmyPage
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Mushroom

Anyone remember the bid for the Olympics ?

Where they "forgot" to add VAT ?

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Samsung, LG wash dirty laundry in two separate court cases

JimmyPage
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Happy

sounds like the basis

for a re-imagining of "Whacky Races". 21st century stylee

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Amazon's delivery drones SHOT DOWN by new FAA rules

JimmyPage
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Stop

Except the cars have to have an operator in the vehicle, who can take control in an emergency..

Isn't there a saying about why bark when you have a dog ?

Elsewhere on El Reg, readers were looking forward to autonomous cars getting them home after a bender. Staying sober in case your ride home malfunctions doesn't really make up for it.

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Hacker catches Apple's Lightning in a jailbroken bottle

JimmyPage
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WTF?

"If the cables *eventuate* - ffs !

eventuate !!!!!

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W3C turns BROWSERS into VIBRATORS

JimmyPage
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Let's hope it gets used

(we can all think of abuses)

for making websites more accessible for partially sighted people, who might just benefit from tactile feedback.

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Gov.UK begs Google 'n' U.S. tech pals: Forget Ireland, come to Blighty

JimmyPage
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Unhappy

So, so so pathetic

Instead of tempting other countries to come here, why not get this country to innovate and expand.

To me this is chickens coming home to roost, and an acid comment on the past 15 years.

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Unsurprising report: UK local govt sites remain totally crap

JimmyPage
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Flame

Have to mention Birmingham

who spunked £2,000,000 (yes, million) on writing a custom website which is in effect, a CMS system.

Apparently "there's nothing quite like it on the market" was the justification for not using FOSS.

If you goto Birmingham city councils website I'm sure you'll agree. There really is nothing like it on earth.

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Now Samsung's spying smart TVs insert ADS in YOUR OWN movies

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Slightly misleading title

(not that it diminishes the arrogance of Samsung)

I doubt the ad was "inserted" into the video stream. More like the users picture (i.e. film) was minimised, and the TVs picture (the ad(s)) was maximised. Although I would be curious to know if the TV managed to pause the film. I know HDMI is full duplex, so in theory a TV could tell a media player to pause.

I know my LG TV can switch my TiVo on.

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CAR? Check. DRIVER? Nope. OK, let's go, says British govt

JimmyPage
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Upvoting just wasn't enough

to show appreciation of mention of a comic I have only heard of through Stewart Lees Alternative Comedy Experience [first series].

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Hear that sound? It's the Windows XP PC bubble popping

JimmyPage
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So does this mean

there might be some bargains to be had ?

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Keyless vehicle theft suspects cuffed after key Met Police, er, 'lockdown'

JimmyPage
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Microdots ?

Didn't Tommorows World (so must be 25 years old) show a system of spraying thousands of microdots with the VIN (look em up kids) all over a car. The idea being you could never remove them all, and only one would be needed to link a gearbox/engine/ECU (think about the last) to a stolen car.

The problem being the second a car is in pieces (where it's worth more than as a car) then the police are on the back foot having to prove where the piece came from.

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Ubuntu smartphone to go on sale: It'll be harder to get than a new iPhone

JimmyPage
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Coat

"Flash sales"

the 'net equivalent of a pop-up shop ?

Something traders in the East End have been doing for years - with suitcases and genuine Rolex watches ...

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Big Data, empty bellies: How supermarkets tweak prices just for the sake of YOUR LOVE

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Bags ? BAGS ?

For about 3 years now, MrsJP and I have used 2 folding crates we keep in the car. Usually one is enough. Unfold, put in trolley, and fill with goods. Get to checkout. Remove delicate items manually, then unend the crate onto the belt.

Total loading time <30s.

Then put crate back in trolley, and fill as operator scans. Be prepared to wait while you do this - you can pack faster than they can scan.

Job done.

Occasionally 2 crates are used for a big shop. Or, if you want to use the self service tills, it's 2nd crate on packing area, and transfer from trolley to crate (scanning as you go).

Still weirdly minority behaviour, from what I see, despite the fact my Mum was doing it 25 years ago.

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Toshiba packs NUMERIC KEYPAD onto self-bricking USB drive

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

Plausible deniability ?

I hope the next product under development allows for *two* unlock codes. One for you, and one for the security services - like a TrueCrypt hidden volume.

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Hey kids! If you vote Facebook will give you EXTRA LIKES*

JimmyPage
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Meh

Irony ...

It would be nice to imagine both Labour and Conservative high command roundly taking it in turns to kick each other .... it seems to me with the proliferation of Green/UKIP sentiments, STV might have actually helped the big two - particularly the conservatives. But, stuck with the system we have - and an electorate who knows exactly how it works, I suspect they will suffer. UKIP supporter know they have to vote UKIP to get UKIP, and their second choice doesn't count.

Boo fucking hoo.

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JimmyPage
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Re: None of the above

Coupled with a requirement that a winning candidate polls >50% of the available vote.

If no candidate meets that criteria, the constituency doesn't return an MP (saving money on the salary).

People could still get elected. But they'd have to be worth it.

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JimmyPage
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Mushroom

Re: Don't moan - Take it a step further

The problem is to stand in a general election required access to funds of £1,000 that you need to be prepared to wave goodbye to.

So it's "democracy" for those that have.

And of all the demographics, I suspect the one least likely to be able to spaff a grand will be 18-25 year olds.

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JimmyPage
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Stop

Given this some thought ..

and am more intrigued by how on earth it is supposed to work.

First off, where did the data set "facebook users" and "UK unregistered voters" come from ? Surely an unregistered voter is - by definition - unregistered.

I wonder if this scheme wasn't actually proposed by Facebook as a free way to acquire lots of lovely data on their fading "target" demographic.

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JimmyPage
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Unhappy

Our son is 18

and like most of his peers has absolutely no intention of voting. Because there's no one to vote for.

And really, despite it breaking my heart, his response to my urging is just this

"Voting, huh. What's that ever done for you ?"

and since he knows that I have never ever voted for a winning candidate in 20 years of voting, he really has a point. I voted against the Tories (well Tory candidate) in the 80s - we got Tories. I voted against nuLabour in 1997/2001/2005 - we got nuLab. I voted against Labour in 2010 and got a Labour MP.

He has a point :(

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Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

JimmyPage
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@kraut

the thing is, getting encryption keys via RIPA is a drag. And annoyingly can involve one of those idiot judges who actually insists on doing things legally. It also generates unhelpful press coverage.

Banning encryption would bypass RIPA for people who obey the law, and give "probable cause" for those that don't. Particularly if their skin is off white.

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JimmyPage
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FAIL

Re: re: Steganography

But properly done steganography is impossible to detect in a fresh image. As long as no "before" image is kept anywhere, the spooks can have from now to eternity to try to decrypt them.

Besides steganography may not necessarily involve fiddling with the binary data in a file. Information in a picture may actually be contained in the subject of the picture.

Post a picture of "me and the posse" and you're signalling "go ahead with operation Pablo".

Post a picture of "me and Aunt Mabel and Uncle Terence" and you're signalling "Operation abort. Agent compromised".

Ever seen "Mississippi Burning" ? There's a scene where one FBI agent shows how Ku Klux Klan members were able to signal in photos their allegiance. You'd only know it was there if you were told.

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JimmyPage
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Big Brother

No

but it means that the media trope of anyone using encryption is complete.

FWIW I suspect this is the governments real agenda. They know there's no practical way of banning encryption. However, if they demonise it enough, then it's another tool in their armoury of policing by prejudice, rather than policing by statute. Mention "encryption" when they arrest a "bad" guy, and he's as good as guilty.

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Wanted: Brit Facebook and Twitter trolls for counter-jihad psyops

JimmyPage
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Big Brother

Begs the question ..

How much of this stuff is already going on. Maybe not in a military context, but a political one.

Those Daily Mail comments. Are they genuine, or Tory party shills. Or Labour party activists ?

Those BBC HYS posters. Are they really what they say they are. Or plants to give the appearance of public dissent/support (delete as applicable) ?

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UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

JimmyPage
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Coat

Re: Hmmmm

Downvoted because it's irrelevant what private companies get up to. At the end of the day they are just that. Private companies. You can choose to do business with them or not.

Data held by the state is obtained under duress. Don't provide it - go to jail. Which is why it's imperative the state demonstrates it takes great care of this data.

Your tax money is the same. Obtained from you under duress. And look how carefully the government look after that. They would never lose that in the Royal Mail. (Although they may lose it in a Royal Mail sale).

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JimmyPage
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Re: Puzzled

We don't have capital punishment in the UK. The police can't go around executing people they suspect of anything.

The Duggan case raised enough serious doubts about the police conduct to be *very* wary of believing their truth of the matter. Something these disks might actually demonstrate - especially if it has *all* the police testimony there. Before it was "adjusted".

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JimmyPage
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Stop

What happens to things that are "lost in the post" ?

Since matter can't just vanish into thin air, they must be *somewhere*.

1) damaged in transit - presumably the royal mail have procedures for items like this

2) stolen by employee[1] - although unless it looked like it had money in it, not likely

3) wrongly delivered - worrying if there was no tracking

4) somehow in the wrong part of "the system" - a thorough search should locate them

5) stolen by employee [2] - deliberately targeted. Raises more questions than it answers

6) we are of course assuming they made it to the postbox ....

However, there is a certain life-affirming feeling knowing that Royal Mail can cock it up for the great and glorious as well as for the little guy.

I wonder how long the MoJ had to spend on the phone ?

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JimmyPage
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WTF?

They CANNOT be the only copies

and they were encrypted to GCHQ approved standards

the mind boggles.

Just WTF are we paying for with all these government IT contracts.

In a way I *do* hope something bad happens as a result. It might just wake someone somewhere up.

By the way, my choice of icon is deliberate. This is in no way a "fail". It's sheer WTF all the way.

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Story priority ?

JimmyPage
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FAIL

Story priority ?

Slightly surprised that El Reg hasn't had a byline on this story about missing data

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31037879

over 18 hours after I first saw it on the Beeb.

Was hoping for a more forensic analysis, particularly around whether the data was encrypted. That is encrypted as El Reg readers understand it, not just an Excel spreadsheet with a password

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Uber isn't limited by the taxi market: It's limited by the Electronic Thumb market

JimmyPage
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Boffin

Pot noodle ...

in Ben Eltons "Gasping" (which I saw with Hugh Laurie and Bernard Hill :) ) there's a piece of dialogue where the Ad agency boss (Hill) explains to the misbred young executive (Laurie) the concept of a Pot Noodle in marketing ...

"When it was first released, the market share of other snacks did not decrease .... the Pot Noodle made money where there was none before."

It may or may not be true, but it does stray into the Apple/Smartphone question upthread.

So what other products have been "pot noodles" ?

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Welcome to Spartan, Microsoft's persuasive argument for... Chrome

JimmyPage
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Stop

With UK.gov still wedded to IE6

what was the point of this article ?

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Planning to upgrade your Lumia to Windows 10? NOT SO FAST

JimmyPage
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FAIL

So the developers ..

Who will see their Windows 8.0/8.1 apps binned can join the developers that saw their 7.5/7.8 apps binned, who had joined those developers that saw their 6.5 apps binned.

No wonder no one writes apps for Windows Phone.

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Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

JimmyPage
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Stop

Does no one remember Heavens Gate ?

ISTR it being a Bazza running gag in Film79, Film80, Film81 ....

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Oz father and son team plan suborbital spaceplane

JimmyPage
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All modern cars look the same ...

interesting the design is strongly reminiscent of the space shuttle. Is that because that's what they started with, or that's what they ended up with ?

Either way, big thumbs up on this one.

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