* Posts by Joe Harrison

538 posts • joined 1 Jun 2007

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Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Joe Harrison

There is logic to saying that, if the animal will be killed for food, anyway, why not make the best possible use of all parts of it?

You may think you are making an original comment but in fact it's strikingly similar to the official policy of a famous European dictator of the 1930s.

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New Euro-net will let you stream Snakes on a Plane on a *!#@ plane

Joe Harrison

Re: Ryanair announces its internet charges

And absolutely NO per-megabyte charges*

<p style="font-size:1px">

*when connecting to ryanair.com. All other traffic 10 Euros/MB

</p>

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OVH's northern customers offered steamy southern summer holiday

Joe Harrison

I like em

I have one of their "kimsufi" dedicated servers, tiny thing and "only" 100Mb connection but 500GB storage, it's in France somewhere. 38 quid/year very happy with it.

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Rivals' keyword marketing activity censured by High Court

Joe Harrison

Fear the Russian airstrike

Vladimir Putin sounds confusingly similar to Victorian Plumbing. He won't mess about with no court order.

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Merkel calls for balanced approach to data protection

Joe Harrison

Translation

"Certain other agencies from certain other countries have had a quiet word with me and told me to weaken our data protection standards"

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Swedish prosecutor finally treks to London to question Julian Assange

Joe Harrison

Re: @James

The Russians think everyone is FSB.

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'Trust it': Results of Signal's first formal crypto analysis are in

Joe Harrison

Complexity is the enemy

The review implies that the app's internals with its mutating keys and so on are just too hard to understand. This doesn't sound good to me because effective crypto is already (as far as we know) a solved problem even using relatively simple algorithms and key material. Somebody understands how this app works and what's to stop them putting in their own unfindable backdoor.

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Tesco Bank limits online transactions after fraud hits thousands

Joe Harrison

Re: Tesco bank headers missing

The trouble with all this SSL mumbo-jumbo is that it just makes things more likely to break. Foillowing Globalsign's accidental revocation problems I still can't get to many sites for example wikipedia - certificate pinning won't let me click "yes I understand this certificate is technically invalid but I will take the risk".

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Joe Harrison

Re: The fraudster was interviewed and is quoted as saying:

A thread about it has been started by Tesco employees at www.verylittlehelps.com

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Fleeing Aussie burglar shot in arse with bow and arrow

Joe Harrison

Bloke was lucky

Anyone who has ever used a bow will know which is the "dangerous end" of an arrow - it's the one with a plastic notch to fit the bowstring. Eye injuries from this end are quite frequent. The other end is called the "lethal end" with good reason. It's simple to kill someone with an arrow and if this guy had shuffled off the burglar I doubt if "but he bent my car" would have kept him out of jail.

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Windows 10 market share stalls after free upgrade offer ends

Joe Harrison

It's still free

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/accessibility/windows10upgrade

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PayPal patches bone-headed two factor authentication bypass

Joe Harrison

Always been like this

I have TOTP PayPal authentication switched on but it has always been useless because the login screen has a link saying "Don't have a key handy? Try another way" and then lets you login without the TOTP. Sounds like the guy messing with the URL has just found a different way to do that.

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It's finally happened: Hackers are coming for home routers en masse

Joe Harrison

A few years ago I installed a few Windows servers and diligently changed Administrator to something else because I read on t'internet it was good practice. It drives everyone nuts and they all hate me.

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Soz, folklore fans! Negligence, not Nessie, sank WWI German sub

Joe Harrison

Re: Chlorine.

As a child I had a train set with a 12v transformer. School helpfully informed me you can create chlorine this way so I attached the transformer leads to two forks and put them in a bowl of salty water. It works spectacularly well and I almost gassed myself.

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Skin tattoo will tell your phone when you've had a skinful

Joe Harrison

Cue all the "above average drivers" who are above all this rules and regulations nonsense and are more than capable of deciding for themselves what speed to do. You'll probably spot them easily but in case you don't they will self-identify using a special series of hand signals.

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User couldn't open documents or turn on PC, still asked for reference as IT expert

Joe Harrison

Our expensive PCs

People get used to consumer grade PCs with cheapo power supplies where you just plug in the mains cable and off you go. Our expensive "enterprise grade" boxes though have a not-very-visible rocker switch that you also have to turn on. Gets 'em every time.

I have to say I have given up being snarky with un-knowledgeable users. I used to get all frustrated about them "wasting my time" but what is the point.

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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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