* Posts by Joe Harrison

522 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007

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Not enough personality: Google Now becomes Google Not Anymore

Joe Harrison

Re: A childhood? WTF!

I can say "OK Google what's this tune" on KitKat and it will identify it most of the time. Or there is a Google "what's this song" widget. Then they offer to sell it to you for 99p.

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Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January

Joe Harrison

Might be bigger pain than looks at first

On my work machine I regularly trip up on sites which Chrome tells me has failed to prove its identity and is insecure. What it really means is that I don't have a root certificate installed from WhateverCA Inc. I then click "OK go ahead anyway". Sometimes however Chrome refuses to let you continue to that site at all, which I think is called certificate pinning.

I certainly could not cope with an increase in this kind of behaviour, which would be the logical consequence if all sites used SSL.

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L0phtCrack's back! Crack hack app whacks Windows 10 trash hashes

Joe Harrison

It said I needed to have eight characters for my password

So I chose Snow White and the seven dwarves

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Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft

Joe Harrison

why now?

When I was a kid people used to fly RC model aeroplanes all the time. They had 5cc petrol engines and I'm pretty sure they were bigger and heavier than modern drones. So why is it only a problem now?

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'NSA' hack okshun woz writ by Inglish speeker trieing to hyde

Joe Harrison

double bluff?

If this guy thinks he can detect fake grammarisms then it would logically have been equally possible for the originator to be able to generate credible fakes to put people off the trail?

When I worked for an international company with its HQ outside the UK we were quite good at mimicking other regions' use of English when responding to the many "employee surveys"

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If this headline was a security warning, 90% of you would ignore it

Joe Harrison

The clever way...

The pop-up reads "Important security information - click here to read it (NSFW)"

Everyone would click that, maybe even bookmark it for when they got home.

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'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'

Joe Harrison

Re: quality..

I wasn't sure what a Sonos was either so had a look on the internet. I am still not sure but I have learnt that its prices are in the intergalactic range. For that sort of money I would want something more than "something which can play Spotify without bluetooth" because a 15 quid Chromecast Audio can easily manage that.

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Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

Joe Harrison

Their control freakery drives you mad

Just spent part of the weekend helping a friend who had an iphone 4 with smashed screen but it still just about worked. Friend got a replacement iphone 4 from somewhere but wanted to copy 200+ phone numbers from the old one.

What a nightmare. Every normal phone from about the 1990s has allowed you to do this by copying your contacts onto the SIM then swap the SIM to the new phone. But no, this is not good enough for Apple. Instead had to do some complicated messing about with "itunes" and a laptop.

Did recover the contact records in the end but what are Apple thinking, that people will forever keep paying a substantial premium for their products "just because"?

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MPs reiterate risks of mega £10bn Aspire contract overhaul

Joe Harrison

wtf

Surely from the point of view of the government this must be one of their top five crucially intergalactically important computer systems. I mean it's where all their money comes from. Why are they even thinking of hoping to save a few quid by messing with it?

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Anti-theft kill switches in smartphones just got a little less creepy

Joe Harrison

Simple to turn off tracking

By default the total surveillance tracking mode will be on, for your security and convenience.

No privacy problem though because all end users will have the choice to turn it off via a simple method of reflash with new ROM (instructions freely available in Chinese) then sideload a tty app to open a console window and enter a few 64-hex-digit codes plus one or two simple unix commands.

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UK employers still reluctant to hire recent CompSci grads

Joe Harrison

He said the F word

Freedom of movement? Going to work in another country? I thought 52% of the population was busy trying to get that stamped out :(

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What will laws on self-driving cars look like? Think black boxes and 'minimum attention'

Joe Harrison

Not going to work because based on logic

Automated vehicle designers are aiming for a solution which will reduce driving costs, reduce journey times, improve safety, and all those other good and logical things. They assume that people with cars share their objectives.

However as we know a fair proportion of today's drivers have other priorities and their cars fulfil completely different objectives such as sustaining their self-image, defining their place in the pecking order, or merely having fun driving like a knob. Everyone knows the cocky bloke who looks down on automatic transmission because "as an above-average driver I require full control of the car" and somehow can't see him not immediately disabling a complete automatic driving system.

So I think the legislators have got it back to front - automatic driving will ultimately only work if all vehicles are automatic rather than leaving a few randomly unpredictable ones so they should really focus on not offering human opportunity to drive.

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VPN provider claims Russia seized its servers

Joe Harrison

Re: Options

Recommendations for VPS provider?

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You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee

Joe Harrison

Don't buy a phone

These young ones tell me you don't have to rent your telephone handset from the GPO any more. Bah no, does not make sense when you can rent it for only six shillings a week.

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Idiot brings gun-shaped iPhone to airport

Joe Harrison

Re: Not THAT realistic

Astonishingly I doubt this would have been such a big incident had it been in America. The airport security people in USA routinely find quite a number of real guns that people had genuinely forgotten were in their bag.

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Behold the ROBOT RECTUM... medics' relief

Joe Harrison

Only one rectal teaching assistant in the country

Surely there should be more volunteers for this vital work. Where do people sign up? Asking for a friend.

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Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

Joe Harrison

Re: What about my EU Citizenship

Strangely enough here's the answer to my own question - it's a situation nobody ever had to deal with before and there is considerable legal uncertainty. I don't want to give up my EU citizenship and removing it could well be a violation of my human rights. Who knew.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36705580

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Joe Harrison

What about my EU Citizenship

I am a dual UK and EU citizen, I know this because it says so on the front of my passport. The EU citizenship is granted by Article 20 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The UK Home Secretary has the power to revoke UK citizenship but not EU Citizenship. I can't figure out whether or not any EU functionary has a similar power to revoke EU citizenship but I don't think so.

Article 50 is "only" about derogating from the Treaty of Lisbon. Suppose we do eventually leave EU, am I still a citizen, or not, and if not then what exact mechanism could they use to take away my EU citizenship? Discuss.

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Martha Lane Fox: Brexit is all about MEEEEeeee!

Joe Harrison

Her dad brilliant as well

Robin Lane Fox, this is the guy who had a column in the FT where one day I was astonished to read his completely serious piece about a guy named Batson D. Sealing. He apologised the following week for propagating a hoax, but really how could you not see that?

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You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

Joe Harrison

What about the dump

I've never been in the position of needing to dispose of computers which were too old for the business but still new enough to sell used. More than once however I've been faced with a roomful of old PCs which need to be thrown away in a sensible manner and it's extremely tempting to just put them in a van and take them to the dump.

Destroying the data is tedious and time-consuming - even just bashing the hard disk with a hammer requires unassembling the case and taking the disk out. Software kill is just as bad as you have to plug it into keyboard and monitor, power it up, fiddle with the BIOS to get it to boot DBAN and so on. Don't even get me started on thermite laser chainsaws from orbit.

There's no excuse for failing to secure sensitive personal data. But in practice some guy's boss is nagging him "why haven't you cleared out that old crap yet like I told you" and he's going to take the easy option, especially if it "only" means exposing a bunch of old emails nobody cares about.

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Body of evidence: Biometrics and YOU

Joe Harrison

I liked the way you slipped that one in

"getting a satisfying facial at home" haha

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'I am not a lizard' Zuckerberg proclaims in public Q&A

Joe Harrison

I'm not worried by the lizards

What I'm worried about is the guy who thinks it's fine to get up in the morning, go to the lab, and terrorize some mice with electric shocks. Then terrorize some more mice. And he lives in a country where you can buy guns in the supermarket.

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Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Joe Harrison

Ted Baker shoes are good for wide feet

as title

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Joe Harrison

Re: Do you have any tea?

My daughter also worked in (Waitrose) coffee shop and she assured me that although there was a menu of 15 "different" coffees they were all more or less the same stuff. Two of them contained literally identical ingredients but presented slightly differently.

I don't think asking for bread in a Bread Shoppe is unreasonable. I hate it when I ask for a coffee but they read out a list of Italian nouns (a language I don't speak) and ask which one I want.

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One ad-free day: Three UK to block adverts across network in June

Joe Harrison

technicalities

...having inked a deal with Israeli startup Shine, which produces the network-level blocking tech Three will be using.

They could have inked a much cheaper deal with me (say, 4 pints) and I would have shown them how to use host files

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Watch it Apple: time has come for cheaper rivals' strap-ons

Joe Harrison

Re: Too late to market...

It can be handy to read incoming messages on your watch; I am often in meetings where it's frowned upon to have your laptop open or doing things with your phone. You can somehow get away with looking at your watch though. Also walking through an unfamiliar town in the rain - turn-by-turn navigation is a lot more convenient using your watch.

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Is Dublin becoming as unaffordable as San Francisco?

Joe Harrison

Let's blame the Italian bloke

The head of the European Central Bank is Mario Draghi. Although not for long if he continues to infuriate the increasingly cross and increasingly getting-voted-out-because-of-him German senior politicians.

"Mario's Bazooka" was supposed to fix all the problems of the Eurozone (apart maybe from Greece) but although he's been firing it for the last five years until its barrel is white hot the Euro economy is still looking sick. Quantitative easing and Mario's decision to keep interest rates at a bonkers zero percent (ZIRP) means the money supply has never been looser consequently people with unlimited access to almost-free mortgages have bid up housing to ridiculous price levels.

Oh and Mario's Canadian mate Mark Carney (Guvnor of the Bank of England) is doing exactly the same to us in the UK.

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Getty Images flings competition sueball at Google Image Search

Joe Harrison

Watermark

Why can't Getty just heavily watermark the images visible to Google search? "Visit our site to get the one without the watermark".

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Microsoft to hike certification exam prices

Joe Harrison

The trouble is they're endless

Novell NetWare 2 certified, yep, tick. Please upgrade to Netware 3, OK, tick. Now NetWare 4, phew more exams, tick. Oh, people don't want NetWare any more it's NT4 now. OK, even more exams, MCSE. Ta-daa Windows 2000 is so cool with AD! Please can you...

No I couldn't and that was the end of that.

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El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse spared chickpea ordeal

Joe Harrison

Don't want to sound smug but

This is more or less how I eat all the time anyway. People say "chickpeas" as though they're having to eat ball bearings, what's wrong with chickpeas they're lovely.

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Why we should learn to stop worrying and love legacy – Fujitsu's UK head

Joe Harrison

Translation

If you mentally block out the word "digitalising" and replace it with "computerising" then it all works so much better.

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Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge

Joe Harrison

Surely there is a simple easy and definitive test for being a genuine official religion or not?

Has it ever attempted to kill followers of another religion because they are unbelievers? Even more definitive if it has attempted to kill followers of a splinter sect of its own religion.

Sorry pastafari guys it's a big club and you're not in it.

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Half of people plug in USB drives they find in the parking lot

Joe Harrison

Does not make sense

A new study has found that almost half the people who pick up a USB stick they happen across in a parking lot plug said drives into their PCs.

Isn't it more likely that almost half the USB sticks were picked up but the rest were eaten by magpies? Then all of the people who did pick up one of the USB sticks later plugged it into a PC (else why pick it up?)

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New UK cyber security centre to work with Bank of England

Joe Harrison

Re: Is it only governments and military

Even worse than "cyber" - I still remember the incredible cringe during presentations declaring that "the information superhighway" was the thing of the future.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Joe Harrison

Karatand

My favourite John Brunner prediction was the "karatand", a soft and flexible plastic glove made of a material which became instantly rock-hard when subjected to impact. Remember this was 1960-something but such a material now actually exists and is incorporated in body armour.

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Alice, Bob and Verity, too. Yeah, everybody's got a story, pal

Joe Harrison

Literary prize material

Reg's allegorical use of language paints an opulent image of a corroded steampunk landscape, bringing an irridescent yet simultaneously jejune perspective to the deceptively traditional denizens of stygian cryptographical mythos. Coyly concealed beneath an intentionally pellucid framework of the familiar "London Bus" we see the unfolding of a breathtaking panorama of quantum

[contd. p.94]

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BBC telly tax drops onto telly-free households. Cough up, iPlayer fans

Joe Harrison

Re: “The BBC works on the basis that all who watch it pay for it."

Does anyone who regularly watches broadcast TV not watch BBC?

Yes, me. I have a dish pointed at a satellite that the BBC isn't on. I still have to pay for a license.

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Google risks everything if it doesn’t grab Android round the throat

Joe Harrison

what you really need is two phones

One to experiment with, doing brickless (you hope) re-flash with later versions of Android and so on. The other which you do not mess with in any way, for actual daily use.

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Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall

Joe Harrison

Re: Both sides didnt help

If a random stranger films outside your house (assuming they are not in the front garden) then what makes you think it's OK to get angry with them? You are a random stranger to me and I'm sure you probably do something occasionally that I don't agree with, but doesn't mean you have to ask my permission in advance or risk my wrath.

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Global crypto survey proves govt backdoors completely pointless

Joe Harrison

Sorted!

I knew it must be possible to get unbackdoored crypto. No way they can defeat me now unless they put the backdoors in the chips before they even leave the factory! Which obviously couldn't hap...Oh wait...

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Disney World-area University admits massive data breach

Joe Harrison

Obviously unable to resist that lovely sub-headline. Damn it I can't get that tune out of my head now...

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Microsoft buys SwiftKey, Britain's 'stealthiest software startup'

Joe Harrison

Don't like predictive keyboards

They keep making me say things I didn't Nintendo

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El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Joe Harrison

Shredder rotors

I'm impressed by metal shredders. A large funnel into which you chuck metal scrap and at the bottom there are two slowly contra-rotating cylinders with sparse teeth. Just about anything goes in (old cars etc.) and metal shreds come out.

How about a wedge-shaped open-mouthed robot that did nothing but get close to any type of opponent and try to suck it into the mincer.

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Evil OpenSSH servers can steal your private login keys to other systems – patch now

Joe Harrison

Re: Good advert for HSMs and smart cards ?

If any hot chicks are reading this... I have a smart card. Several in fact. Just sayin.

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How long is your password? HTTPS Bicycle attack reveals that and more

Joe Harrison

Re: Down with 2FA

2FA is great and I'm not against it. What I AM against is every single 2FA site wanting me to install its own app with their own TOTP implementation. So far I have Google Authenticator, Symantec VIP, Steam's one, and one from my bank. There is another site on which I would like to enable 2FA but that would need yet another app. Where do you draw the line? And yes I know that with some work I might be able to hack them together a bit closer but life's too short.

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Reverser laments crypto game protection, says wares dead after 2018

Joe Harrison

Re: Demos

On which planet? I bought CS-GO on Steam two days before they cut the price by half in their sale. I asked for a refund so I could re-buy it and they told me to get lost.

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

Joe Harrison

My (grumpy) prediction for 2016

I will reaffirm my belief in the principle of Free Software and get all excited about the new GIMP tech preview. Unfortunately I won't initially get a clean compile but after a few hours work I will find out where the bugs are or what I did wrong in the compilation and build process. There may or may not also be some Dependency Hell. Finally GIMP will run in a very impressive manner.

Except for the bit I actually want to use, which will fail with an unintuitive error message when I try and do it. I will search the internet for a solution but the only hits will be other users saying "me too how do I fix this". I will mutter under my breath and go back to whatever I was using on Windows.

Sad but true, been there before on many other products.

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IT security is a safe job? Tell that to Norse staff laid off this week

Joe Harrison

Re: They provided me a very interesting security tool

It shows me a blank map of the world, so either it doesn't work or there are no attacks happening anywhere.

Maybe that's their business problem? That screen would look super-impressive in your defcon-6 control room but otherwise I can't see why customers would be interested. Surely your average PLC just wants to keep intruders out of their systems rather than feeling they have a handle on what's happening worldwide from minute to minute.

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Half of UK financial institutions vulnerable to well-known crypto flaws

Joe Harrison

Intent doesn't always mean very much. I was shocked several years ago when a bloke got found guilty purely for editing a URL in his browser address bar because he suspected there was a security problem and then reporting it to the site owner.

And surely by definition anyone capable of taking part in an SSL or security-related thread on El Reg is almost certainly qualified by experience? Not having a CISSP badge doesn't mean not qualified.

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The Register's entirely serious New Year's resolutions for 2016

Joe Harrison

Don't listen to them

This thread seems to be full of idiots begging you to lower the editorial tone to a predictably dire schoolboy humour level.

However we're all business people here and I'm disappointed in any such move to incentivize your value add. Let's please see you roll out your effort to launch a new community-killer site which will taper the playing field vertically. Moving forward, it's time to act with game-changing ideation and close the loop with a robust and sustainable reporting of industry transformation and recontextualization. OK?

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