* Posts by Brewster's Angle Grinder

1551 posts • joined 23 May 2011

You know what, maybe Tabby's star ate a planet, ponder space eggheads

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: reading this late on a friday afternoon.

"any force sufficient to push a planet out of a stable orbit into something that approachs its primary close enough to pull it to bits - is probably enough to shatter said planet anyway."

There's a M dwarf companion which could disrupt planetary orbits and send them on a slow inspiral.

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Now for a really cool micro-drum solo: Boffins chill gizmo below quantum limit

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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I expect they're using microwaves because the wavelength is tuned to the diameter of the cavity.

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Crumbs. Exceedingly good cakes, meat dressing price hike in wake of the Brexit

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Re: Oh dear, Lars

@Ledswinger Greece aside, I don't think either of your options need happen. If there are no massive external shocks or internal revolts, then internal devaluation will produce a continent where every country is as efficient as Germany, with a commensurate rise in the euro. For Germany, it would be a slow and painfree slide into mediocrity; I mean, imagine if the Italians could produce cars every bit as well engineered as German ones.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Oh dear

I'm a remainer. But the euro is a whole different kettle of piranha.

When your currency can't go down, wages end up cut to the bedrock, unemployment increases and companies (and individuals) incur massive debt (which probably end up bailed out by the government leading to cuts in public services). Such "internal devaluation" is far, far worse than the 5% inflation we might get.

With a name like Lars, you're probably from a country whose currency should have risen. So I'm sure its very nice for you; the UK would have been in the same position, if we'd joined. It's too soon to know whether joining would have been a stroke of Machiavellian genius or whether we've avoided an almighty day of reckoning. Given what the Greek's have accepted so far it may be joing would have been cost free. But part of the reason Brexit is happening is because people have blamed the EU for the crisis in the eurozone periphery.

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You have the right to be informed: Write to UK.gov, save El Reg

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"I'm not sure quite what the answer is - just that the current proposal isn't quite it."

We could have had an independent regulator. Ofcom doesn't get every situation right or make decisions that accord with everybody's taste. But it stays in the vicinity of the tightrope.

However the tabloids wouldn't have it---not with a "business model" built on defamation---so they squealed about censorship so much the government took fright and said, "Okay, you sort it out." They didn't. Mosely has.

I feel sorry for El Reg being caught up in this, but if big media had taken a reasonable position, we'd have a reasonable solution. Instead they took an extreme position and we've ended up with an extreme solution -- one that has the potential to be extremely punitive on the press.

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Microsoft goes retro with Vista, Zune-style Windows Neon makeover

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Pirate

Re: retro?

"I was here when Atlantis was a thing."

Atlantis isn't a thing anymore?! When did that happen???

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British military laser death ray cannon contract still awarded, MoD confirms

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Say what? Speak louder; I can't hear you!

I suspect, like F1 cars, they'll end up artificially ramping up the noise to make the fans squaddies happy.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Most appropriate headline picture of 2017?

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Fatal genetic conditions could return in some 'three-parent' babies

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Prediction...

"Got anything to back that up ?"

To add to what John says: genes turn on and off in response to environmental cues; mitochondria have a large influence on the immediate environment. There's work on animal models (fruit flies and cephalopods ) mentioned in one of the linked articles, and talk about mitochondria forming a co-evolved system with nuclear DNA. I'm slightly sceptical about the latter, though; sexual reproduction introduces genes from the father that didn't evolve in step the the mitochondria.

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Barcodes stamped on breast implants and medical equipment

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Re: But how to know if someone has an implant?

>>"But I imagine that, say, titanium wire bound round a femur to hold it together could just conceivably form a multi-turn coil, in which case it might be dangerous due to circulating current in a rather high resistance metal."

>Only if you have some magical overriding law of physics that surrounds you and turns titanium into a ferromagnetic metal.

The "magical overriding law of physics" is known as Lenz's law. You'll get eddy currents in a titanium loop. (Titanium's resistance is on a par with the iron used in transformer cores.)

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How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Grunts

I'm a Mary Gentle fan. But Grunts ain't great.

Stan Nicholls has a trilogy Body Guard of Lightning, Legion of Thunder, and Warriors of the Tempest (anthologised as Orcs) which also makes orcs the protagonists, but without sending things up. I found it amiable but predictable; not adding anything beyond the choice of protagonists.

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Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns

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I thought it was Three Stigmata you were probably thinking of. I read them the wrong way round and I don't recall The Days Of Perky Pat clarifying much. They're the same concept used to different ends.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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The Days of Perky Pat. With a reprise in The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.

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View from a Reg reader: My take on the Basic Income

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Re: Two things about UBI

"It would mean that taxes will be higher and higher on people creating value, while transferring money to people who don't."

But this is coming, one way or another. Machines are going to diminish the need for low skilled jobs. So the people who can create value will have to be pay for those who can't. Perhaps we hand the money over to them without strings attached. Perhaps we insist government create jobs -- e.g. by paying for social care. But the people who earn are going to have to shoulder a bigger share of the burden.

"There's a reason Germany is where it is, and other countries struggle."

And that reason is the Eurozone periphery is holding down the prices of German products, making them cheaper than they would be if they were priced in Deutsche Marks.

In a sense, the Eurozone is the same problem run with nations instead of people. Germany needs to pay for the rest of the Eurozone but the Germans insist they haven't inherited some structural boon and it's really the worth-ethic of the Mediterraneans that is at fault.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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"...since the taxes of the people who work will be paying for your relaxed lifestyle."

But you, too, could put up your feet and make do on UBI. Why wouldn't you? And why are you annoyed that other people are prepared to make the compromises you won't make? Because it's thinking like that which has turned social security into regime more punishing and more impoverishing than an open prison.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Two things about UBI

House prices are localised. Much of life's other necessities are globalised. So you'd be able to get buy, provided you lived in a tent.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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I'm a fan of UBI, but...

There's a good chance that if we had it, the level would be too low for disabled people and they would need additional top ups. (Tim Worstall was in favour of it---although the price of accepting it was abolishing the minimum wage---but he set the level much lower than the current disabilities benefits.)

We already have an age-based guaranteed basic income. The qualifying age is moving up because the rich won't pay for it we can't afford it. The level is pretty close to poverty, too.

Much of what you outline is problems with the benefits system. We could simply fix these problems.

Scroungers are vastly overestimated. And so what? Do we really care if people want to lounge around all day getting drunk? Because a system that can prevent free riders is a system so intrusive and authoritarian that no-one would want to live under it. And much of the problem with the benefit system is we are halfway down that road.

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WINNER! Crush your loved ones at Connect Four this Christmas

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Joke

Re: It depends on what the 'point' of the game is

"Well, maybe not in your house...."

Exactly. The only reason to bring life into this world is to have someone whom you're guaranteed to be superior to, thereby boosting one's self esteem.

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Security! experts! slam! Yahoo! management! for! using! old! crypto!

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Re: Teach, train, don't complain only...

I'm sure it can be done better or worse. (Didn't /etc/passwd used to use the first two letters of the user's username?) And I'm not sure I know the difference. But any form of salt is a massive improvement over none.

AIUI a per user random string stored in the DB would be best. (You can store it at the start of the hash.) If that's not possible, add user specific component (the username) and a global, site-specific component, that's the same for all users on the site, in case the user uses the same username and password elsewhere.

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If you bought a dildo in Denver, the government must legally be told

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Re: Behaviour of a Stereo typical communist state

"....knowing that your bank was DDOS'd by several million dildos..."

That's the first positive case for the internet of things, I've heard.

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Trump's 140 characters on F-35 wipes $2bn off Lockheed Martin

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"(2) who do you think owns all those US T-bills that financed the F-35 and all the rest of it?"

Trump might conceivably default. If you've started a trade war with China, why bother honouring your debts to them?

"A trade war with China would nuke the Chinese economy;"

And I think China know this. Which makes it interesting -- in the Chinese sense of the word "interesting". The question is who's the bigger bully and who's got the most to lose? So far, in this game of top Trump, it's one-nil to the orange one. But we might end up finding out how effective those F-35's are. *shivers*

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Only Nixon could go to China. But only Trump could go to Taiwan.

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Europe to launch legal action against countries over diesel emissions cheating

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Re: Oh, here we go again!

Exactly!!11!! The EU's demonstrating its part of the globalist neoliberal whatsamajig!1111!!!!1! And its determined to keep car prices high for the common petrolhead!!!!11!!!!!1! What a bunch of communists!!!!111!"!!

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Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP

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Re: What is going on exactly?

The ISPs generally issue the router. So if some routers contain a non-conforming server, it could be the ISP's problem.

That said, it looks like Microsoft have screwed up. But even if Redmond are in the right, they'll have to implement the fix.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Trollface

Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

> Would that be the box thats from a 3rd party site, about the windows Technical Preview, about upgrades written "MARCH 18, 2015 6:50 AM"

So we don't need fake news. Out of date information is sufficient to flaw El Reg's readers Microsoft haters.

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HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

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Re: Arseholes

Trump is working on that.

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NASA spunks $127m on SSL-powered robot to refuel satellites in space

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Re: "should be capable of refueling satellites that haven't been designed for the job."

"...you first have to grab hold of the satellite..."

A big lasso. Because: "space cowboys".

A clue, ape: astronauts only have two, rather small hands. A robot can have "hands" that are as big (or as small ) as are necessary, and it can have as many as are needed.

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The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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"...its unlikely she will find a way to tear up the Human Rights act anytime soon, you should read this and it tells you how hard it will be..."

These hurdles are exactly the hurdles Brexit has to jump. So the Human Rights Acts could tag along like a legislative remora. Whether it would be swept aside or last the distance to get royal ascent from William V is another matter.

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Jeremy Hunt: Telcos must block teens from sexting each other

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Coat

Re: "Because there is technology that can identify sexually explicit pictures "

"No there isn't"

Oh there is. The false positives are through the roof. The false negatives, likewise. But it does occasionally permit a legitimate image or block an explicit one.

Mine's the one with the pocket full of training images for my smut filter, thanks.

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A Rowhammer ban-hammer for all, and it's all in software

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Holmes

Re: Solution

"...good luck figuring out when your money pays for an actual difference in quality.."

If only there was some way a reviewer or end user could test it. Hmmm.

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Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

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@mage

"Not just Einstein, but Maxwell and others."

I didn't understand half the letter. But it's argument was that gravity and "light" (massless particles) dodn't propagate at the same speed. That's undoubtedly weird, but not necessarily fatal.

And while the author argued it was light that was faster, I saw nothing to say it couldn't be gravity that was slower (it's all relative...). Slower gravity is plausible if gravitons self interact -- they would naturally find the earlier universe stickier than the present day one.

So I read this as yet more evidence we don't understand gravity. Which, yes, means more problems for Einstein (cf dark matters vs MOND). But Maxwell, in as much he survived being mugged by Dirac and Feynman, is fine.

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Here's the thing: We've pressed pause on my startup

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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I take it your definition of suboptimal that is "anything less than 100%". We've all come to expect perfection as standard.

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CERT tells Microsoft to keep EMET alive because it's better than Win 10's own security

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Re: Great point he's making

I've got 32 bit tools I compiled under Win95 that still run fine on Win10.

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Not fake news: Facebook reinvents SVG

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Re: Only if you don't need to view it..

Web Animations are supported on Android >= 5. And there are polyfills, although I don't know how good they are.

Although, given Google's track record, it might not be supported on SVG. (Yes Chrome teams: why don't you remove dataset on SVGElement and then, when everybody found the last of the bugs that caused, add it back. FFS.)

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LAKE OF frozen WATER THE SIZE OF NEW MEXICO FOUND ON MARS – NASA

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Less thatn 200m down

I'm thinking dig a hole, let it sublime, and condense the evaporate.

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Irish eyes are crying: Tens of thousands of broadband modems wide open to hijacking

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Frontier disables the firewall on all there DSL routers

The trouble is, when they break into your router you probably need an ICBM.

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UK PM Theresa May's £2bn in R&D still a drop in the ocean

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Joke

All I'm saying is that R&D will account for 6% of GDP by 2020, without the Government having to announce any new spending.

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Pluto has massive underground oceans, say astro-boffins

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"Qualitively" (aka I can't be bothered to dig out any fomulae)

The most important point is that Pluto is phase locked to Charon; i.e. Pluto always presents the same face to Charon. For that to happen, there must be body tides in Pluto. How much heating they cause is another matter.

I'd be tempted to say the heating would be greater if the barycentre was inside Pluto, and Charon's orbit was more eccentric and less coplanar. But maybe Charon's mass (12% of Pluto's) more than makes up for that.

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Facebook 'fesses up to fudged ad metrics … again

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Re: Overestimating imaginary numbers

Put an advert in a paper. A person buys the paper but never opens the page. That's a "view" too. (I was going to say something similar about TV. But IIUC the way they measure it means that isn't the case.)

Note Facebook have a play to completion count of videos. That's one ways of coping with the problem of videos not being watched. (And they underestimated it.)

And increasingly ads measures whether or not they are visible. (We're getting new features to do this in HTML5/javascript because advertisers are clogging up web pages with crud to detect it.)

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Forget razors and blades, APIs are the new gotcha

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Re: Double edge blades

How hairy are your legs??!

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Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China

Brewster's Angle Grinder
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"suggest you check your $PATH for /usr/bin or /sbin because whois is part of the standard unix/linux networking command set and has been for decades."

The program 'whois' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing:

sudo apt-get install whois

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Trollface

Re: Here you go, girly will help you

>Go to the command line (know what that is?) and type whois 118.193.254.27

It says: 'whois' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

What do I do now?

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Microsoft just got its Linux Foundation platinum card, becomes top level member

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Coat

Re: Great news!

>I'd be more concerned about poisoning the well.

Systemd got there first.

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NASA discovers mysterious super-fast electrons whizzing above Earth

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"And the answer turns out to be 9000m/s."

There are some really good answers on that stack exchange page. But they're mostly talking about "outer space". You want the relevant speed in the interplanetary medium close to earth.

The paper seems to be talking about the thermal speed of electrons, and sets the upper limit at 100eV which is ~6000km/s. (I've ignored relativistic effects.) That's more or less consistent with honeste_vivere's stackexchange answer which sets the upper limit at "5170 km/s". So I'd go with ~5000km/s.

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Fake election news meltdown vortex sucks in Google

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"The Internet provides a mechanism for the Truth to route around the Censorship,"

It also provides a mechanism for lies to route around censorship. It turns out there are more lies than truth.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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Re: Google vs Wikipedia

Google's aim is to provide accurate information. (Or people might be forced to use Bing.) Facebook's aim is to keep you entertained. (And there isn't an alternative, however improbable, in sight.) So Google are more likely to fix it. (And, according to Tim O Reilly, they took a financial hit when they walled off content farms. So they have form in forgoing short term gain,)

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NHS IT bod sends test email to 850k users – and then responses are sent 'reply all'

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Headmaster

"Can any one of you thumbs down people explain WHY you voted me down?"

The question mark at the end of the second paragraph; El Reg grammar pedantry is legendary.

Honestly, you didn't get the joke and provided an incoherent response in a whiny tone. I didn't down vote you but you deserved them all. Be informative, be funny, or advance the conversation.

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What went wrong at Tesco Bank?

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Re: @jfdidave

I've just realised how trivial cracking a password stored as hashed pairs would be:

Cracking any pair by brute force is a search for a two character password.(64*64 iterations?)

Once you have at least one letter, cracking every other pair is reduced to a brute force search for a single missing character.

And if you didn't salt each pair separately, and the password contains a duplicated character, then cracking is reduced to a brute force search for a single character.

Storing hashed pairs of characters offers NO security.

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Brewster's Angle Grinder
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@jfdidave

The number of combinations can be halved, if the pair are sorted by index (i.e. if you always ask for the second and fourth characters, and never for fourth and second).

But what's the maximum allowed length of password? You have to provision for that.

And what about Natwest, who ask for four characters?

Edit: And, as some points out below, the net protection from all these hashes is far less than decent encryption.

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IPv4 is OVER. Really. So quit relying on it in new protocols, sheesh

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Joke

Re: Meanwhile

"What you possibly want is IPv8."

Google have trademarked V8. So it will have to be V10.

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