* Posts by David Pollard

1253 posts • joined 29 May 2007

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Half! a! billion! Yahoo! email! accounts! raided! by! 'state! hackers!'

David Pollard
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Sad for Freegle and Freecycle

Local Freegle and Freecycle groups do a grand job of recycling a whole lot of unwanted kit, thus steering lots of items towards further use rather than landfill. Although not perfect, Yahoo Groups hosts them both and it would be a shame if this hacking were to put people off using them.

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David Pollard
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Re: Accounts != users

He/she would have very sore fingers.

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TV industry gets its own 'dieselgate' over 'leccy consumption tests

David Pollard
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Re: There is a simple solution

It might be easier to have a law requiring product labels to state clearly when embedded software is not open source. That way an additional effect might be that the general public would eventually come to know where the benefit lies.

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Zuckerberg to spend $3bn+ to rid world of all disease by 2100 (Starting with Facebook, right?)

David Pollard
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Sofosbuvir?

Over 200 million people worldwide are infected with HepC. The drug Sofosbuvir presently seems to offer the best chance of a cure. The production cost is about $1 a pill, one a day being taken for a 12-week course along with other relatively inexpensive medicines. In the UK the price that the NHS would pay for such a course of treatment is currently about £35,000.

A firm called Gilead Sciences had bought the patent for the drug, paying $11 billion to a startup company, Pharmasset when their results showed promise. Their development of the drug had in turn been based on a research breakthrough at Cardiff university which had not been patented.

Sofosbuvir came to the market in 2013. By the first quarter of 2016 Gilead had collected £35 billion in revenue from HepC medicines.

There are maybe 5 million people with HepC in the USA alone, and Gilead is asking $84,000 each for its treatment. That's a total in Zuck's own back yard of more than a hundred times his £3 billion for just a single disease. It's not money that needed, it's an ethical approach to medicine.

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-07-financial-acquisition-buybacks-threaten-access.html

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MoD confirms award of giant frikkin' laser cannon contract

David Pollard
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Re: When...

Were the various recent reports of giant sharks off the Cornish coast anything to do with this? E.g.:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-36947356

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/huge-shark-feared-british-beach-8634846

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Great British Great Bake Off gets new judge

David Pollard
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Send for the moderatrix

I'm sure she would be perfect for the job. After checking a few replays she would soon pick up details of Mary's expertise on critical issues such as soggy bottoms and so forth. I'm equally sure she is still missed by Reg readers..

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UK Science Museum will reconsider its 'sexist' brain quiz

David Pollard
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Nature or nurture?

Recent research at Indiana found that playing with building blocks activates areas of the brain involved with spacial awareness. Could some of the gender-based differences be simply down to the fact that boys generally play more with building blocks and similar toys than girls?

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160913134518.htm

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01278/full

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

David Pollard
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Location spoofing?

Has no one come up with software which will send bogus messages in response to prying, rather like the user agent switchers and maskers that are available for browsers? While this wouldn't prevent the use of triangulation, at least it would be possible to fight back a little against invasion by wi-fi, bluetooth and GPS.

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David Pollard
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Re: Do no evil

I remember my response when this came out this too, which I had (it was some while ago) on my Facebook page:

Even without semantic obfuscation, 'do no evil' is a pretty wide brief.

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Israeli Pentagon DDoSers explain their work, get busted by FBI

David Pollard
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Re: 10-50Gbps of UDP traffic

kind of like ... a major legitimate ticketed event?

Brian Krebs suggests that <i<"they were supplementing some attacks with botnets."</i>

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2016/09/alleged-vdos-proprietors-arrested-in-israel/

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David Pollard
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10-50Gbps of UDP traffic

Whose bandwidth was being used for this?

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Officials, lack of kit to blame for 'critical delays' in sex abuse inquiry

David Pollard
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Watch out for the 30-year rule

Far better than homework-eating dogs or malfunctioning archives which misplace critical records and find them too late for use in court, this rule allows the police to block access to information in case files for thirty years. And the count is from the date that any action was taken in relation to the case.

It appears that even a cursory review will suffice to have the files closed for a further 30 years and thus continue to block Freedom of Information requests. If certain information they hold about crimes which have remained unsolved for decades were to be widely available this would, they say, make solving them and bringing the perpetrators to court more difficult.

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Chubby Chinese students refused top bunk

David Pollard
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Obesity in China is seen as a substantial and expanding concern

I see what you did there.

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Astronauts sequence DNA in space for the first time

David Pollard
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Re: why microgravity should affect DNA

If is did, wouldn't this be because you were holding it wrong?

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Childcare app bods wipe users' data – then discover backups had been borked for a year

David Pollard
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Cover for theft/misuse?

Maybe it's a paranoid thought to wonder that the loss of data for the last 12 months might have been deliberately engineered to cover up some sort of misuse of the information, or to eradicate details of abuse. On the other hand ...

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If you haven't changed your Dropbox password for 4 years, do so now

David Pollard
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Re: Spotify resets too

... and 123-Reg. Two e-mails: the first saying they were going to force a password update by the 1st August, the second correcting this to the 1st September. After this deadline, passwords that haven't been updated and those that are insecure won't work any more.

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EU ministers look to tighten up privacy – JUST KIDDING – surveillance laws

David Pollard
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I for one argue against Jacob Ginsberg

"No one can argue with the fact that if intelligence agencies and the police were able to access and look inside all houses, they would catch more criminals."

Where you have policing by consent, the most significant part of crime control comes about through the co-operation and involvement of the general public. When the public's trust is broken this aspect of crime control is eroded. If the authorities invade people's privacy they will forfeit their co-operation and make policing less effective.

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Uber and Volvo take on Ford in race to launch self-driving vehicles

David Pollard
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Obligatory xkcd

http://xkcd.com/1720/

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UK military buys third £4m Zephyr drone for 'persistent surveillance' trials

David Pollard
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managed to stay aloft for 14 days over the Arizona desert

Get many terrorists and enemies of the state in the Arizona desert, do they?

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'Flying Bum's' first flight was a gas, gas, gas

David Pollard
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It's based on the Pinky Ponk

Clearly the designers must have studied aeronautics In the Night Garden.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW0ATNNB-i0

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£11bn later: Smart meters project delayed again for Crapita tests

David Pollard
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Electric vehicles

One of the reasons behind the introduction of these meters may be a misguided response to the problem that electric vehicles presents. Political and executive decision makers don't always get things right.

Dealing with a million kettles being turned on during the break in Coronation Street is one thing. The prospect of a million cars all turning on their chargers at midnight is another.

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IT delays helped derail UK's historic child sexual abuse inquiry

David Pollard
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It's not just cases of child sex abuse that they don't want to see reviewed. My own experience would suggest that the police and government are also reluctant to look into shortcomings in the investigation of historic cases of rape and murder. Incidental aspects involving recreational drugs are, however, given continued attention.

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Post-Silk Road, Feds bust chaps for 'dealing heroin, coke' on world's largest dark web souk

David Pollard
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Professor David Nutt

After being sacked by the UK government for publicly proposing a sensible drugs policy, David Nutt wrote an excellent book: Drugs without the hot air.

If authorities wish to help drug users rather than persecute them then they would do well to obtain a copy and read it.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Drugs-Without-Minimising-Harms-Illegal/dp/1906860165/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471258099&sr=1-1&keywords=david+nutt

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£1m military drone crashed in Wales after crew disabled anti-crash systems – report

David Pollard
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If memory serves, amateur balloonist had radar altimeters several decades ago. Indeed a quick search finds one with a weight of 350g and power consumption of 4W.

http://www.smartmicro.de/airbone-radar/micro-radar-altimeter/

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Head of UK oversight body to join GCHQ 'tech help desk'*

David Pollard
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Is that evident failure the result of a lack of smarter intelligence in leaderships?

In a word, 'yes'.

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Some benefits of digital health to NHS may be delayed by consent model consultation – expert

David Pollard
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Pint

Dr Neil Bhatia

The pint is a token of my appreciation, echoed I'm sure by many others, for Dr Bhatia's continuing efforts to hold the NHS to account.

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Brexit Britain: HP Sauce vs BBC.co.uk – choices that defined voters

David Pollard
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HP Sauce, PG Tips?

So now we know why El Reg had been conducting those extensive surveys about the perfect bacon sarnie and the optimal way to drink tea. It was part of a covert propaganda campaign; and one which was obviously effective.

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Italian MP threatens parents forcing veggie diets on kids with jail

David Pollard
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Oblig xkcd

https://xkcd.com/1338/

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'Alien megastructure' Tabby's Star: Light is definitely dimming

David Pollard
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0.341 percent less each year

This sheds a new light on cosmic inflation.

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Yahoo! is! not! killing! Messenger! today!, just! the! desktop! client!

David Pollard
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Joke

... not used an IM for years!

You should stay in more.

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Protect your staff from Toronto's terrible Twitter trolls, bosses told

David Pollard
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Send for the moderatrix

A brief consultancy with Ms Bee would soon set them on the right track.

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California to put all your power-hungry PCs on a low carb(on) diet

David Pollard
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Re: Many coders live in California...

Linux would appear to provide an equivalent user experience in a great many cases with considerably reduced requirements for both memory and CPU capacity when compared with Windows. It would be interesting to know how the power savings would work out for the use of lower-spec PCs with equivalent perceived speed of operation.

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David Pollard
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Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners next?

If the manufacturer's cost increases by $18 then the cost to the user will be somewhat more. I couldn't see, at first glance, how "costs ... will be more than recouped". My guess at typical power savings for a PC was 20W for 10 hours a day, or roughly 1 kWh per week. With 50 kWh costing maybe $5 or so the payback time looks likely to be 3 to 4 years or longer..

It would be interesting to know how the CEC did their sums.

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Cray profits literally go up in smoke after electrical incident

David Pollard
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Re: Electrical Smoke Event?

At first glance I'd imagined a new sort of communal vaping device, or maybe an overloaded bong at the directors' meeting.

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Norks hacks 90 Southern officials, journalists

David Pollard
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Re: Intelligent species

Don't apologise.

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Kaminsky: The internet is germ-ridden and it's time to sterilize it

David Pollard
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"[T]his is something government should be devoted to fixing long term"

I wish.

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Swede suffers shrinking penis after dentist fits mouthguard

David Pollard
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Re: Maybe it was in the wrong place

Or maybe he wasn't holding it right.

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UK.gov digi peeps hunt open source chief

David Pollard
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Pint

Cheers to the Lawyer from Lima

It almost looks as though one could be cautiously optimistic about the future of government computing. Pint+ for whoever managed to bring this about, and for David Villanueva Nuñez whose outstanding work in Peru must have helped.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2002/05/19/ms_in_peruvian_opensource_nightmare/

There's something fundamentally democratic about sharing code, which is similar to sharing research results and understanding in science: everyone ends up better off. I hope that the trend towards open source will continue into the education sector.

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Maxthon web browser blabs about your PC all the way back to Beijing

David Pollard
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Has anyone witten a guard ring?

Presumably it's possible to have adjunct software to plug the leaks, a bit like the utilities that are available to stop Windows 10 'phoning home or Adblock Plus.

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UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

David Pollard
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Re: 5 MW?

"Didcot B can produce 1,360MW, enough power to meet the needs of 1 million households."

http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/320906/rwe-npower/about-us/our-businesses/power-generation/didcot/didcot-b/

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Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

David Pollard
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Joke

Wexit?

Apparently there's chap by the name of Nigel Farage who's said to be rather good at explaining to people the disadvantages of hegemony; and he's recently decided that it's time to tackle new targets. I wonder if he might be encouraged to lend a hand.

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Thermostat biz Nest warms to home security, touts cam with cloud storage subscription

David Pollard
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Face recognition?

Does it do face recognition and does Google have access to the police picture galleries?

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Shocker: Computer science graduate wins a top UK political job

David Pollard
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He may well turn out be a good man for the job. His opposition to increased state surveillance convinced me that he was better than many in Westmister. And you don't have to be right wing to appreciate reasonable privacy.

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Science non-fiction: Newly spotted alien world bathes in glow of three stars

David Pollard
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Dr Kildare!

Can't get the theme song out of my head now.

Link for those who missed this enthralling series:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PvuJZCCljo

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Medicos could be world's best security bypassers, study finds

David Pollard
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Now you know ...

... why doctors' writing is almost impossible to decipher.

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Brexit government pledge sought to keep EU-backed UK science alive

David Pollard
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Gen IV

This would be an appropriate time to upgrade the UK's nuclear research commitment to full membership of the Generation IV International Forum.

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T-Mobile Czech ad man steals, sells, 1.5 million customer records

David Pollard
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Re: forgive me correcting your correction

I can't help but wonder where the moderatrix is now.

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Telco bosses' salaries must take heat for cyber attacks, says MPs' TalkTalk enquiry

David Pollard
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"... compensation should be linked ..."

Does this recommendation extend to include such luminaries as the Secretary of Stare for Health, and would it be retroactive, for example in the case of a head of the DWP?

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