* Posts by Synonymous Howard

324 posts • joined 7 Apr 2011

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Top digital Eurocrat issues non-denial about hyperlink non-tax

Synonymous Howard

Re: Democracy

Switzerland's Direct Democracy seems the closest to true democracy ... However any form of true democracy would surely implinged on everyone's rights due to the implicit suppression of minorities .. For are we all not in some form of minority at some point in life?

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Funny story, this. UK.gov's 'open banking app revolution'. Security experts not a fan of it

Synonymous Howard

Re: I'm all for online banking...

You can make EASY MONEY by switching and taking advantage of savings offers (bank tarting).

[http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/compare-best-bank-accounts]

First Direct pay £100 to switch (and they are very chatty in the customer service department and their mobile app on iOS can use TouchID).

Co-op pay £150 to switch (I've had an account with them for 20+ years)

Halifax pay £100 to switch

M&S pay '£100 M&S gift card' to switch (if you need a new suit, shirts, ties, ladies underwear)

If you don't want to switch then why not open a new account somewhere put a couple of direct debits on it and then after a month or so switch that account to one of the above and make some money .. rinse and repeat.

Also works for credit cards .. cash back on purchases and 0% interest for over a year (hint: put the money you would have used to pay off the credit card each month in to a regular savings account and earn up to 6% [firstdirect], 5% [nationwide])

TSB pay 5% on up to £100/month in transactions using contactless or apple pay .. money for old rope ... you even get 5% on up to £2000 when in balance .. just pay in £500 per month (standing order it around from another bank and then back again).

Remember money makes money but only if you make it work for you and not for the Banks.

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Guilt by ASN: Compiler's bad memory bug could sting mobes, cell towers

Synonymous Howard

Re: That DER is not good

I CER what you did there.

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Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

Synonymous Howard

Re: Cheeky bastards.

Try changing the headlight bulbs on a previous generation smart car .. unless you have very skinny and long arms you have to take the whole plastic front off.

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Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

Synonymous Howard

Re: The day I'll delete my account...

Better still .. don't delete it, instead change ALL your details to something weird to help poison their well.

And change your email address to a specially created yahoo or hotmail one of course. It won't stop linkedin spam to your original signup address but you can redirect that to /dev/null

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Smartwatches: I hate to say ‘I told you so’. But I told you so.

Synonymous Howard

Re: Tiz the future!

You really want to look at the upcoming Pebble Time 2 which is on kickstarter at the moment (nearly $10m so far).

I have an original Pebble (B&W but a bit ugly/utilitarian) and a Pebble Time (colour, nice styling and a comfortable fit) and I've ordered a PT2 because of the bigger display and pulse-meter (as its nice to know if you are zombie)

I also have an Apple Watch 'look-a-like' which is, umm, just a red LED digital watch inside but definitely looks and feels like an AW .. fun for hipster baiting 8-)

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One million patients have opted out of Care.data

Synonymous Howard

Re: NHS Digital

What? Your MP is a digital proctologist? At least we would know he has his finger on the problem.

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Woz says wearables – even Apple Watch – aren't 'compelling'

Synonymous Howard

or even Trams

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Synonymous Howard

Re: It'll all end in tears

Have you seen the latest Sodastream adverts? They are now being marketed as a way of making 'sparkling water' without the need to 'lug heavy bottles from the supermarket' .. hmm

Agree that specific kitchen gadgets are useless compared to a good set of knives and pans.

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Symantec cloud portal goes titsup after database crash

Synonymous Howard

MPKI

Their Managed PKI Service seems to have been alright though? .. however that is the tried and tested Verisign infrastructure.

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This year's H-1B visa lottery jammed full in just six days

Synonymous Howard

I must be a category 41

4 as I have a CS PhD and 25+ years of techie experience but at times I feel like a 1 after being asked to 'fill in' when there are gaps in Sales, Helpdesk, Incident Management, Procurement etc.

I am, of course, of the age when Level 42 was the Chinese way.

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Amazon ports Alexa voice assistant to Raspberry Pi

Synonymous Howard

Re: Amazon Echo

Just give it a feed from BBC Parliament

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You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

Synonymous Howard

Re: real dinosaurs remember acoustic couplers and 300 baud.

I still have the 300/75 acoustic coupler that I used with my Cambridge Z88 in the early nineties. I remember having to use it to connect back to some Unix systems I was managing whilst away and hanging around in BT phone boxes.

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Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

Synonymous Howard

Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

By 'swastika' I think you mean the Nazi 'Hakenkreuz' version and hopefully not the Mesopotamian / Indian versions?

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'Hobbit' heads aren't human says bone boffin

Synonymous Howard

Re: Just to clarify...

So is 'island-dwarfing' due to lack of nutritional food on the island and 'island gigantism' due to a surfeit of good food and/or lack of predators?

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Synonymous Howard

Re: so whats human?

I'd say anything under the Homo genus is 'human' ... we don't know enough about the social relationships between members of each sub-species to say which one could be viewed as a more 'modern human' than another and so why introduce additional factionalism when it is not necessary.

Modern humans could just be the lucky survivors of a particularly bad winter, that does not make them any 'better' than hobbits.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: So ...

I recently wondered why they just didn't stick the hobbits on the backs of the eagles and flew straight to Mt Doom? Would have saved a lot of fannying about and (digital) 'celluloid'.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: Not Hobbits!?!?!

Well, yes, that has a certain Ring to it.

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Bluetooth direct to the internet: What could possibly go wrong?

Synonymous Howard

Re: Bluetooth to Internet...

It is not though is it .. it is bluetooth to a local 'hub' and then onwards to the internet. The 'hub' /should/ have the access and encryption controls for both the internal and external use.

The biggest issue with IoT (aside from 'why') is not the comms/protocols .. it is the secure updating/patching of code/firmware. An IoT device needs a secure boot, program code and comms stack with appropriate 'over the air' joining/synchronizing with local hubs and patching.

My view is to use the unix approach of small inter-connectable tools .. i.e. the 'hub' has all the 'smart' elements and the IoT devices are extremely 'dumb' and perform simple functions (turn on/off, measure temp etc) as directed by the hub.

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Synonymous Howard

My heating system control uses Bluetooth

My 'diy' arduino based heating system controller currently uses bluetooth (non-LE) to connect to my raspberry pi 'hub' as a serial device 'coz it was simplest to setup at the time. If I was redoing it I would use an ESP8266 and therefore move to a dedicated wifi vlan with additional layers of encryption and strong authentication (WPA2 + SSL + client certs) but /only/ if I could /not/ use a wired connection using structured cabling.

Bluetooth v4 LE is clearly an option for battery powered IoT end-points and also has the 'advantage' of a typically limited range to help with physical security ... so it seems reasonable to have a mix of comms technologies available.

Bluetooth appears more secure, by default, than 433/868Mhz RF comms and so I would certainly prefer to use that given how much easier these days it is to integrate in devices.

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Global crypto survey proves govt backdoors completely pointless

Synonymous Howard

I will let you, Mr Gov, to put a backdoor on my kit ...

when you let me personally audit its use and see a lambda proof of how it can be used with 'perfect security'.

Click Burr ... Hello? Mr Gov? Hello?

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Lights out for Space Vehicle Number 23: UK smacked when US sat threw GPS out of whack

Synonymous Howard

'precision docking of oil tankers, as well as navigation'

A 13 microsecond slew stops the prevision docking of oil tankers??? I would hope they used something more accurate than /just/ GPS for docking procedures, e.g. ship borne proximity sensors ... or even harbour 'pilots' and lots of eyes!

All systems can fail .. if you rely solely on /one/ system for anything important then you will get burned at some point.

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

Synonymous Howard

I hate predictive keyboards!

As I prefer the extra typing, because, apart from toilet breaks, it is the only exercise I get 8-)

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Home Office lost its workers' completed security vetting forms

Synonymous Howard

That would be the typical ... AUTHORIZED PERSONS ONLY

Oh, excuse me whilst I try to find my security badge and tailgate behind you .. I am authorized honest.

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US rapper slams Earth is Round conspiracy in Twitter marathon

Synonymous Howard

Re: Space ???

Yes there is space, it can be found as a void between a significant number of people's ears.

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It's replicant Roy Batty's birthday – but hey, where's my killer robot?

Synonymous Howard

Re: Never mind the replicants

Ask Hephaestus nicely and he'll make you one.

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Lettuce-nibbling veggies menace Mother Earth

Synonymous Howard

Re: Turnips

I still dream of my own large Turnip in the country.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: Reduce people

Or at least a reasonable number of sensible people.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: This particular study is getting splashed all over.

So what is greener .. Burial or Cremation?

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Synonymous Howard

Re: But what about the one true root vegetable....?

Yeah whatever, now just pass me that bowl of crisps.

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Synonymous Howard

But what about the one true root vegetable....?

POTATOES! Whilst I'm not bothered about bearing my arms (short sleeve shirts are the norm) I draw the line at having the right to all and any(*) potato based foods available.

(*) but NOT 'piped', 'croquette' or 'gnocchi' which are abominations against the humble 'mashed' potato receipt.

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I have you now! Star Wars stocking fillers from another age

Synonymous Howard

Re: I can state with some confidence

The Atari Star Wars arcade game is still the only computer game I would play again and again.

If I had a spare few grand I would buy an original and relive my Uni years.

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Rebels defeat the Empire (again) by giving BB-8 an API

Synonymous Howard

Re: An API is OK, but ...

You mean the ~£50 infra-red remote control BB-8? I got that one as well (Argos keep discounting them) and it is great fun.

I have a plan to capture the IR codes and play them back via a Raspberry Pi equipped with a camera to monitor where the 'droid is in a room and get it to move around etc.

There is enough room within the shell to put in an ESP8266 + accelerometer + LEDs to pimp it up a bit and get more feedback for the RPi to work with.

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What the world needs now is Pi, sweet $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

Synonymous Howard

Re: The PSU is just a phone charger

"I doubt this is an Arduino killer, unless the power consumption of it is significantly lower than the original 256 meg Pi model B."

Actually it is said to be lower that the original Model A and Model A+ at around 0.8 watt / 160mA.

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Synonymous Howard

Re: "you can get composite video from the 3.5mm jack"

There are two unpopulated pins, next to the GPIO and Raspberry leaf, labelled TV and these are the composite video and ground output.

I will get probably get some of these Pi0s to put in my maker shed as I'm sure they will compliment Arduino Micro, STM and ESP8266 boards for some embedded solutions I'm working on.

Just waiting for my free one when this months MagPi turns up!

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Star Wars Battlefront: Is this the shooter you’re looking for?

Synonymous Howard

Re: I was tempted to buy this game

I was tempted to not only buy this game but also a console to go with it (having been a SW fan since '77 but never a gamer apart from '83 Atari Star Wars vector graphics arcade game which took a lot my uni grant 8-)

Battlefront graphics look great but the subsequent reviews (wonky AI?) and ongoing costs have killed it for me, which is a shame.

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Faux Disk Encryption: Mobile phone crypto not a magic bullet

Synonymous Howard

Re: One Apple issue

So are you saying that the issue is with iOS or that Microsoft Domain accounts are not synchronising in a timely manner?

You can't blame a client for caching authentication tokens if the server side does not expire/invalidate their use immediately everywhere when requested to.

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Thin Client Devices Revisited

Synonymous Howard

Re: The browser IS the modern thin client

And the 'cloud' is the new mainframe. Tablets and phones are the new PCs. The wheel turns yet stays the same.

PCs, whilst lowering hardware and software prices did a lot of harm to businesses with increased complexity and ongoing support nightmares. Centralized control helps with costs, security and, as perversely it may seem, user flexibility.

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Brits rattle tin for custom LCD Raspberry Pi funbox

Synonymous Howard

Re: Couldn't I get something similar...

Or Alibaba ...

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/NEW-3-5-TFT-LCD-Touch-Screen-Module-320-480-RGB-Display-Board-For-Raspberry-Pi/32412904555.html

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Royal Mail mulls drones for rural deliveries

Synonymous Howard

To be fair posties do suffer more than most when it comes to dog bites ...

"Over 2,960 postmen and women were attacked across the UK by dogs from April 2014 to April 2015 some leading to a permanent disabling injury. While the number of attacks has fallen by 10 per cent nationally from the previous year after the change in legislation and greater understanding through our dog awareness campaigns, it still remains unacceptably high and we are committed to driving this down further."

[ http://www.royalmailgroup.com/customers/customer-commitment/preventing-dog-attacks ]

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NASA photo gallery: How to blow $200m of rocket in seconds

Synonymous Howard

Re: Ultimate goal

I await our V'Ger overlord.

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'T-shaped' developers are the new normal

Synonymous Howard

Re: I rarely agreed with Tim Worstall

I rarely read past the headlines these days as they have a tendency to tell you all you need to know. Make them as cryptic and weird as they used to be (can't remember exactly when I saw a change but I think it was not long after the moderatrix left in 2011) and you will get more eyeballs, probably.

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Fuming Google tears Symantec a new one over rogue SSL certs

Synonymous Howard

Re: Internal testing?

No, the real point is that you NEVER use real/production data for testing/development because you never know when it can leak.

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Further confusion at TalkTalk claims it was hit by 'sequential attack'

Synonymous Howard

Re: Maybe they were going for Sequel

Nope, it's Squeal Server ... as opposed to Larry's 'Orrible

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Online pharmacy slapped with £130,000 fine for flogging customer data

Synonymous Howard

Re: £130k fine, err £104k

Processing of an appeal by ICO probably costs a lot more than £26k I guess ... Hence the offer as it saves the tax payer in a roundabout way(ish)?

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Facebook's UK wing paid just £4k in corporation tax last year

Synonymous Howard

Re: RTFA (@Bernard M. Orwell)

Badly worded article.

To quote the BBC ...

"Its most recent Companies House filing shows the company as making a pre-tax loss of £28.5m last year, but the firm also paid its 362 UK staff a total of £35.4m in share bonuses.

The share bonuses amount to £96,000 on average per UK Facebook employee."

And the Gruniaad ...

"Facebook made an accounting loss of £28.5m in Britain in 2014, after paying out more than £35m to its 362 staff in a share bonus scheme, according to the unit’s latest published accounts. Operating at a loss meant that Facebook was able to pay less than £5,000 in corporation tax to HM Revenue for the year.

The share scheme was worth an average of more than £96,000 for each member of staff. Once salaries were taken into account, a British employee of Facebook received more than £210,000 on average."

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Search engine can find the VPN that NUCLEAR PLANT boss DIDN'T KNOW was there - report

Synonymous Howard

Having Trident will keep us safe from attack

All the politicos (bar Jezzer) and military types (inc ex-RN LP) keep telling us, so it must be true.

So when ISIS blow-up a nuclear power station by remote control we can drop a nuke or two on them? Nah, thought not.

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