* Posts by Ben Liddicott

222 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010

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UK Home Office is creating mega database by stitching together ALL its gov records

Ben Liddicott

Re: Modus Operandi

Not any more. The puritans will leave no loophole unplugged.

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US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM 'puter waving 8-inch floppies

Ben Liddicott

Good. Simple is best.

What should they use? USB flash drives? Why not floppies?

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Microsoft sets date for SQL Server on Linux

Ben Liddicott

Re: This is actually largely irrelevant

Except.... that if you pay for large scale enterprise support it costs nigh on as much as an MSSQL licence for the same feature set. Just like if you pay for Red Hat Enterprise it costs about as much as Windows Server.

And if you don't buy support you need staff who can support it, which also costs money. If you operate at IBM/Google/Facebook scale it's a saving to support it yourself, but otherwise even for large blue-chips it doesn't make sense.

Products are priced the way they are because that's the most they can charge without making their customers switch. Ergo, at any price point, everything is usually approximately equal value for money..

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Google asks the public to name the forthcoming Android N operating system

Ben Liddicott

Nutty Nougat

Obviously.

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Magnetic memory boffins unveil six-state storage design

Ben Liddicott

Re: A bit off

Works for me on both Windows 7 and Window 10 calculator, both of which use an arbitrary precision arithmetic engine. I believe that's been the case since Vista.

What are you using? XP?

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Destroying ransomware business models is not your job, so just pay up

Ben Liddicott

Re: It is our job to uphold the law

If I'm mugged at gunpoint, that's a crime in progress, but I'll be handing over my wallet all the same. If a child is kidnapped in practice you find that often people do what the criminals want first, then go to the police only afterwards.

Comparing on the one hand, paying an extortionist to retrieve irreplaceable property, and on the other, being too idle to shout "Oi!" at a casual thief, is just silly. They are different.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: It is our job to uphold the law

I've upvoted you for the sentiment, but you asked "how is this different"?

If I saw someone breaking into a car and stealing a hard-drive or a camera, I wouldn't ignore that, of course. As you say it is our duty to intervene.

But if someone stole a hard-drive containing my family photographs, or the only copy of (encrypted) customer data, or unencrypted sensitive information, or a camera whose card contains the only copy of someone's wedding photographs, I would pay the thief to get it back.

What's the difference? One is a crime in progress, the other is mitigating the damage from a crime which has already occurred. They are different.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: Price of an education...

Snapshots - a feature provided out of the box on Windows Vista and beyond - can be programmatically deleted, because the ability to delete data is a fundamental security requirement.

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Sexism isn't getting better in Silicon Valley, it's getting worse

Ben Liddicott

Law vs. real life

If you ask women out when you know they are not interested and find it annoying, that's harassment. Continuing to ask after the second clear "no" for example would generally count. Once, you are probably legally in the clear.

But in real life, you are expected to know whether a woman is interested before you ask her.

This is a social convention to prevent women having to bat away a hundred foolish questions every day. You should be able to pick this up from body language and facial expressions. However if you are poor at body language or you are still not sure, ask mutual friends their opinion before asking her.

If you get a lot of "no" answers, you should learn from that you are poor at interpreting facial expressions and body language, and stick to asking mutual friends first.

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Yelp-for-people app Peeple is back – so we rated Julia, its cofounder

Ben Liddicott

Re: UK libel law

No, the Mosley case was breach of confidence not libel.

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Hardcoded god-mode code found in RSA 2016 badge-scanning app

Ben Liddicott

We have to stop thinking these things are accidents

Really, why does anyone think this is not on purpose?

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Science contest to get girls interested in STEM awards first prize to ... a boy

Ben Liddicott

Re: The question remains ...

This!

This!

This!

Serious, now. This!! FFS! THIS!!!!

"we'll harvest energy from people walking on floors!"

You know how walking on soft sand is harder work than walking on a hard pavement?

WHICH IS WHAT THAT WILL BE LIKE.

Because thermodynamics.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: runner up - prior art

Most modern smartphones have a planar surface as the front of the camera, so no adjustment for RI is necessary.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: Orwell said it (more or less) ...

What if women want to vote for a man? Will they be forced to vote for a woman?

Or will both men and women have both a male and female representative? What if they would rather have a transgender representative?

Why not just let them vote and let the chips fall as they may?

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Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

Ben Liddicott

Re: It's like a fish taken out of the water...

DCOM not found in current versions of windows? What?

Nonsense.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: What's all fuss is about ?

For the benefit of your friend, you do know that IE11 is installed as well? And still has compatibility mode?

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Women account for just one fifth of the EU’s 8m IT jobs

Ben Liddicott

Also sewage worker and bin person

Only discrimination can account for the dreadful underrepresentation of women in these vital industries!

Meanwhile 70% of PR are women, and that's fine.

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Jenkins issues code of conduct to keep rowdy automation fans in line

Ben Liddicott

Re: Let's impose a political litmus test before people can do their jobs...

If that's the kind of world you want to live in, the worst I wish you is that you should do so.

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Ben Liddicott

Let's impose a political litmus test before people can do their jobs...

See "opal gate" for how this works.

If you don't mouth the SJW Catechism to the satisfaction of the Political Officer then your options for professional development are to be severely constrained. It's unlawful for employers to do this in the EU.

But Open Source has become important, therefore Open Source becomes a power base, therefore Open Source will be colonised by party apparatchiks..

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Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

Ben Liddicott

Re: Bwahahahaha

I want to vote down and up. ESR does gpsd and works on the time service, and repository conversion as well.

But well said on Linus.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: Seems sensible for anyone with a high profile.

"People will do this shit without any rational motivation beyond fame so give them a real reason and there are no limits."

This. Times 1000.

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TPP: 'Scary' US-Pacific trade deal published – you're going to freak out when you read it

Ben Liddicott

Re: Source code

No. Parties are governments. Persons of parties are individuals or companies. So this says:

No government shall require .. source code owned by an individual or government, as a condition of import, sale, use or distribution.

It just means they can't refuse to allow it to be sold, they can't refuse to allow it to be imported, distributed or used. It doesn't mean they can't make it a condition of buying it themselves. Nor does it mean that vendors can't make it a condition of selling it.

So governments can mandate open source for their own internal use. Companies and individuals can mandate open source for their own use, and enforce open source licences. But governments cannot mandate open source for companies or individuals in their country, except for critical infrastructure.

It doesn't ban open source. it prevents governments from banning non-open-source.

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KeePass looter: Password plunderer rinses pwned sysadmins

Ben Liddicott

Arrows go in quivers, bows have extra strings

Also, this requires the attacker to be already running code at the user's current level of privilege - in which case they can install a key-logger and swipe the file.

Nothing to see here.

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The only GOOD DRONE is a DEAD DRONE. Y'hear me, scumbags?!

Ben Liddicott

Re: "The only GOOD DRONE is a DEAD DRONE. Y'hear me, scumbags?!"

When every second counts, the police are only minutes away.

Or up to an hour, in rural areas. Or they may misclassify your call and not come at all.

Shotgun ownership is quite high in rural areas, and with good reason. A family man living in a rural area who owns a shotgun is probably just being a responsible parent protecting his children.

Contrary to what many believe, firearms are not banned in England. You don't need to give - or have - a reason of any kind to own a shotgun, you just need to be of good character.

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/mar/25/gun-ownership-firearms-certificates

Police rural response times: Norfolk: 20 minutes

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Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos

Ben Liddicott

Re: Wouldn't be worth it...

Most intestinal tract cancer is caused by HPV or H.Pylori, not bacon.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: Make up your minds boffins

It's the false certainty which is the problem.

"This is the best available scientific knowledge"... OK but that doesn't mean that it isn't still poor quality knowledge with weak evidence. Best does not mean good, it may just mean least bad.

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Ben Liddicott

There is also a well established link between eating lots of dietary fibre and not getting various nasty lower-colon diseases.

Sorry, that's not true any more. It's gone along with the risk from saturated fat, eggs, and salt.

Won't stop the doctor telling you to eat more fibre though. Lots of GPs still think stress causes ulcers. One told me so in about 2010, in spite of it being known to be false since the mid nineties. And I saw a poster telling me to eat less saturated fat in the hospital only yesterday.

It takes ten years for the bullshit to go mainstream, then when it's disproved, twenty for it to disappear again.

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Ben Liddicott

Intestinal tract cancers are mostly caused by viruses and bacteria

Most cancers have unknown cause. All digestive tract cancers, whose cause is known, are caused by bacteria or viruses.

Of course that doesn't give the prohibitionists the ammunition they need to ban anything fun.

Reference for "bowel probably cancer caused by viruses":

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11456365

Reference for "most digestive tract cancers". 60%-70% of of mouth, throat and anal cancer caused by HPV virus:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/infectiousagents/hpv/hpv-and-cancer-info

That's only accounting for 60%-80% of bowel cancers. What about the rest? Well some warts are caused by non-papilloma virus types... maybe they account for some of the rest. Also some digestive tract cancers are associated with Helicobacter Pylori infection. I would bet anyone £10,000 that in twenty years over 80% of bowel cancers will have been proven to be caused by infectious disease. In all likelihood many will be vaccinated against.

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Laid-off IT workers: You want free on-demand service for what now?

Ben Liddicott

Re: Non story

You can't make anybody work, full stop. The court won't order specific performance except under very restricted circumstances, which don't include employment.

However if you have *contracted* to work, you may have to pay actual damages if you then refuse to do so. This will certainly include repaying any additional element of severance pay you received, and may well be more.

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EU justice ministers agree on police data-sharing law

Ben Liddicott

2014: Corruption across EU 'breathtaking' - EU Commission

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26014387

Ask yourself: Do you trust European police?

Do you trust Italian, Greek or Spanish police? Or Latvian? Or Bulgarian?

I have a hard enough time trusting our own police, and they are probably the best of the lot. The Dutch probably number two, then the French and Irish and dropping off rapidly thereafter.

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Outlook.com had classic security blunder in authentication engine

Ben Liddicott

Re: Other than Devs......

Writing secure code is hard.

Someone who thinks only "dumb" developers produce security bugs is overconfident, and is not the right person for the job.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: Here's a question:

Well I'm really only talking about the EU and the UK in particular, since that's where I live and work. What are you talking about?

For example in the UK it's DPA Schedule 1, s7:

Appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data.

In other words, confidentiality and integrity must be protected, which requires protections against rogue employees stealing data.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: Here's a question:

Yes, we allow HTTP/S, but we (I hope) forbid anyone from using a personal email account or file-sharing site without a valid work reason. GMail from HTTPS should be blocked, so there is no reason to allow GMail IMAP.

It's called data protection law - we have to take measures to prevent rogue employees stealing data. That's why your work web proxy has content filtering.

Don't use work computers for personal use, people.

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Ben Liddicott

"Since fixed" => Past tense needs to be used

allows -> allowed

means -> meant

can -> could

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What is money? A rabid free marketeer puts his foot in lots of notes

Ben Liddicott

No, supply of labour is limited.

If the government confiscates wages, and spends to hire staff, this does not bid up the price of labour because the spending is offset by the confiscation (workers have less spending power). If they print money to spend, this bids up the price of labour. You can do a little of this but you cannot do a lot and certainly not nearly enough to cover the amount of spending a modern government likes to do. It will still mostly have to be financed by taxation.

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Only a CNUT would hold back the waves of the sharing economy

Ben Liddicott

Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her

Ben Liddicott

It's not real

It's a semi-fake app, and a completely fake business, put together for a documentary/publicity stunt/reality tv show.

Before you know it they'll be on documentaries talking about their experiences being "women in tech", then it will be celeb BB followed inevitably by the playboy shoot after all their earnings go up their noses.

http://forthepeeple.com/#documentary

This is not what reality looks like. Nobody is that stupid as to think this is a good idea.

Remember how Ashley Madison turned out to be all hookers - basically the replacement after Craigslist stopped allowing hookers to list? No of course men can't have an affair with an attractive married woman by joining a website. You know that really. Of course it was going to be fake.

So is this.

Heck, maybe they'll sell the domain to link-farmers and make a profit in the end, like that glitter-by-mail business, but that's about it.

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Ex-Autonomy CEO Mike Lynch sues HP for $150m+

Ben Liddicott

Risky strategy

... Oscar Wilde anyone?

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Conservation of energy

Ben Liddicott

Re: Conservation of energy

Compression and extension are electromagnetic phenomena at the atomic level. If the material is stretched, the atoms are further apart than the rest position, so the "spring energy" is electromagnetic potential energy. When the atomic bonds are released (because of the chemical reaction), this will be transferred into kinetic energy at the atomic scale (i.e. the atom will depart the surface of the material with significant additional velocity).

But recall: At the atomic scale, kinetic energy and heat are the same thing. Temperature is proportional to the mean square velocity of the atoms in the material.

Bulk material: Spring Energy => Atomic level: Electromagnetic potential energy.

Bulk material: Heat Energy => Atomic level: Kinetic energy.

and:

Bulk material: Chemical reaction => Atomic level: Electrons changing orbit

Bonus: Hooke's law.

Springs are complicated - when a spring is under compression one side of the wire is compressed but the other is extended. Neither of these are linear forces, but all smooth curves are almost straight lines if you zoom in enough. The point of a spring is that very small deflections are added up over the length of a very long wire. This gives an almost linear effect.

Springs closely obey Hooke's law not because it is a physical law, but because they are carefully manufactured to closely obey Hooke's law.

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Relax Schrems, EU-US Safe Harbour ruling coming soon

Ben Liddicott

Re: The US mission refutes many of Bot’s comments

No, sorry. Collins English dictionary, second entry:

http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/refute

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Smuggle mischievous JavaScript into WinRAR archives? Sure, why not

Ben Liddicott

Re: WARNING: Executable code may execute code

"press release" by security researcher mindlessly regurgitated by supposedly reputable sources:

MalwareBytes: Here the very first comment points out who daft it is.

PacketStorm

And yet twitter is going wild with people mindlessly retweeting this as if they discovered it.

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Ben Liddicott

WARNING: Executable code may execute code

These are executables. Clue is in the acronym: SFX = Self Extracting Executable

So this amounts to: If you can persuade a user to execute an executable, then that executable can execute code embedded in the executable. Like all executables. So this buys you nothing you don't already have.

Not every bug is a security bug. #notavulnerability

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Diskicide – the death of disk

Ben Liddicott

The boy with his finger in the dyke succeeded.

That's the point of the story: The hole got larger and he put in his arm then his whole body. Eventually they sent out a search party, found him, and patched up the dyke.

Moral: the little we are able to do may be enough.

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Ben Liddicott

Helium: It's not about friction, it's about reducing turbulence and head vibration.

Helium is more viscous than air not less. It's also lighter. These two reasons mean laminar flow is possible at higher velocities, andturbulence is reduced, and the mass of the gas is reduced, all factors reducing head vibration. Turbulence != friction.

(While I am a physicist by training this is not my area of expertise, but the first thing I did was look it up).

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PETA monkey selfie lawsuit threatens wildlife photography, warns snapper at heart of row

Ben Liddicott

Re: when will this madness stop?

That's not correct. http://www.djsphotography.co.uk/original_story.html

The camera was on a tripod, he didn't drop it. He set up the whole situation so that the monkeys would trigger the photograph.

I now wanted to get right in their faces with a wide angle lens, but that was proving too difficult as they were nervous of something - I couldn't tell what. So I put my camera on a tripod with a very wide angle lens, settings configured such as predictive autofocus, motorwind, even a flashgun, to give me a chance of a facial close up if they were to approach again for a play. I duly moved away and bingo, they moved in, fingering the toy, pressing the buttons and fingering the lens.

He intended to get those photos. He set it up to make it happen. His skill and effort went into it. It's his creative effort. It's his copyright.

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Ben Liddicott

Re: Utter Stupidity. Utterly Pissing Me Off.

The problem is that in civil cases in the USA, you pay your own legal fees, win or lose. PETA have an ocean of money and can happily do this for the publicity or just the LOLs. But he can't.

This is less likely to happen in the UK because PETA would end up paying for his lawyer when they inevitably lose the case.

Large organisations fight because they know it's not going to be a one-off so they need to develop a reputation as someone who doesn't cave, or be buried in lawsuits. But for a small business or individual with a one-off claim it's often much more sensible to settle than to fight. (difference between iterated prisoner's dilemma and single game)

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Google's new squeeze: Brotli compression open-sourced

Ben Liddicott

Robber loses heist case after 'evil twin' defence, gets 60 years

Ben Liddicott

Re: Any compassion?

"I think the point is not the sentencing regime but that fact that he is clearly delusional, mentally unstable and in need of medical help."

And therefore a dangerous person the public needs protection from.

When "lack of self control", "lack of empathy" and "delusions of grandiosity" are mental illnesses, it's clear that "mentally ill" cannot mean "not to be held responsible for his actions".

The legal standard for insanity is: Are you incapable of understanding that what you did was a crime, or are you incapable of controlling yourself. If yes to either question, it's life in a mental institution, so it's not a defence to be chosen lightly.

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LTO-7 has it taped, but when will 'bigger/faster' thinking hit the buffers?

Ben Liddicott

Re: Tape is on it's way out.

Fair enough. HDD prices didn't drop at that rate between 2010 and 2015. Excl. VAT I can find about £20/TB. Perhaps they've reached some sort of limit. That makes tape about six times cheaper per TB.

http://www.jcmit.com/disk2015.htm

Disk has much lower fixed costs though.

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Ben Liddicott

Tape is on it's way out.

* Tape storage halves in price per GB every 30 months

* HDD storage halves in price per GB every 18 months.

So at what point will HDD take over from tape?

It already has in most SMEs - convenience is superior. Use a USB3.0 SATA dock (£50), and cheapo HDDs as "cartridges" - £30 per TB.

At these prices snapshotting is a fine solution for SMEs with no de-duping needed, and full random-access capability.

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