* Posts by Robert Helpmann??

1694 posts • joined 31 May 2011

ICSA Labs wants IoT industry to seek security certification

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Good Luck

Security implementation in Windows systems was an afterthought but is a big deal today. The fact that these certs are being developed would seem to point the way for security professionals who wish to get ahead a bit. For people in information security, problem areas such as exist in the field of IoT present opportunities for continued gainful employment. Don't knock it!

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Google to kill passwords on Android, replace 'em with 'trust scores'

Robert Helpmann??
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Lack of Common Sense

Says Richard Lack (I would hold this up as a case of nominative determinism and upon careful consideration of his comments, I will), “The future lies in methods of authentication without passwords, which consumers clearly favour, both in terms of convenience and enhanced security...” which really means they want technology that is sophisticated enough to be magic. consumers want to be able to have their phones, financials and abodes only open to themselves and those they allow without having to do anything or know anything. That last might make a good metric of customer acceptance. If you would trust access to your house to a given technology after being made to understand the risks, benefits and operation, then it is probably OK to use to protect access to your phone which in turn allows access to your bank, credit cards, et cetera.

Mr Lack goes on to say, “Biometric authentication is a powerful enabler, allowing businesses smart enough to deploy it to significantly increase rates of registration, gaining data and insight about their customers, while also increasing customer security. This is a win/win scenario...” No, these are arguably mutually exclusive as the idea here is to allow the businesses in question to gather consumers' biometrics rather than to have a third party provider authenticate your identity based on your biometrics. A big win for big business, but not so much for individuals.

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Want a better password? Pretend you eat kale. We won't tell anyone

Robert Helpmann??
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Stop

Re: If only you could type commands and have each output to the next...

You don't have to outrun the robot swarm, you just have to outrun the first 10,000,000 users.

Sooo... The swarm of robot bears is after the infinite number of juicy, low-hanging monkeys that are pounding their passwords on internet typewriters? Is there an equivalent to Godwin's Law for non-Nazi-inspired analogies?

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Wayne Rooney razzles in X-Men: Apocalypse plug

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: The BAFTA's

And yet, like a moth the flame, I watch the second in the newest Star Trek series and will probably watch the new X-Men movie, too. Even though I have such low expectations, I hope and in doing so have opened myself to disappointment yet again. I will keep it up until I can take no more and my soul cries out, "KHAAANNNN!"

Oh, and I think Cumberbatch makes an excellent voice actor, but is nowhere near as enjoyable onscreen.

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Tesla 3 orders fall by 12,200

Robert Helpmann??
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Sold for the very low price of...

At a $35,000 base price...

The Model S has a base price of about $60K... for the 70D. If you desire the P90D, it can easily surpass $100K. Also, you might want to add the spiffy red brake calipers ($2300) that show through the custom wheels ($2500-$7600). I know the Model 3 is supposed to be a car for the masses, but I do not think I want to be an early adopter given Tesla's current pricing scheme.

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CIA says it 'accidentally' nuked torture report hard drive

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Yeah, sure, right...

A prosaic way of dealing with this would be to apply Napoleonic justice to all intelligence agencies: they will be assumed guilty until they can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are innocent. Come to think of it, we would have quite a shift in the way things are done in government if this was applied across the board.

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Would we want to regenerate brains of patients who are clinically dead?

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: ick, ethicists

It is interesting that the first work of fiction brought up in this forum is Young Frankenstein whereas I was reminded of Doctor Who. It explores, after all, the issue of regenerating bodies with memories intact but with different personalities in control. Fiction is a useful way to explore issues of this nature, especially science fiction. Also, many of the legal, ethical and moral issues concerning this have already been worked out, or at least the foundations have been laid, through cases that involve people who have suffered a brain injury or other issue that has fundamentally changes their physical and psychological selves. This seems more an extension of that than anything else (though I do not downplay the importance of this possible advance).

I think it is important to remember that no technology operates by itself. Yes, we are talking about a fairly large jump ahead in what can be accomplished through regenerative medicine. There have also been studies done on how to read memories and also how to alter them. In short, it would seem that there will come a time that a person can be backed up and restored at need, assuming all of these things can be made to work and to work in conjunction with each other. Still in the realm of science fiction, but it would seem there is the potential for this to become a reality. If you want to talk about an ethical issue, why not discuss whether vastly extended lifespans for people would be a good thing?

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Smartmobes in spaaace: NASA deploys Android nanosats

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Spring?

Note the impressive and somewhat ACME-inspired ejection spring...

There even looks to be a flag furled on top that reads "SPROING!" ready to deploy when the cubesats are launched.

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IBM invents printer that checks for copyrights

Robert Helpmann??
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How Much Is Too Much?

...in UK schools, for example, there is a blanket licence to print limited extracts from copyrighted works...

It is that way here as well. It's called "fair use." As this is a very common exception in academic settings, I cannot imagine there would be much uptake there, even if IBM gave these printers away.

Where I can see this sort of tech might be of some actual benefit is in corporate settings as part of a document management system. If you have restricted the ability to copy files to USB drives and blocked sending them out via email, it would be pretty lame for someone to be able to simply print them out on paper and walk out the door with them in that form.

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Symantec antivirus bug allows utter exploitation of memory

Robert Helpmann??
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Coffee/keyboard

Hey! No editorializing!

I got to the description of how the exploit plays out in the Windows world and... thanks for that! Now I have to share the article with everyone in the office by way of explanation.

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It's all very well hacking ISIS, Barry, but what about your ISA?

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Curious

A lot of what chip and PIN does is to shift the risk back to the consumer as there is a stronger assumption that it is actually the consumer making fraud more difficult to accomplish. When there is actual fraud, it becomes harder for the consumer to prove as the initial assumption is more likely to be that the charge is legitimate than with older tech. As with all security measures, I expect crims to eventually defeat this challenge.

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'Knucklehead' Kansas bloke shoots self in foot

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Not sure what charges?

"The authorities are now pondering what charges the gun owner may face."

Really! Do I deduce that the USA has now reached such an extreme level of loonyness that discharging a firearm in a crowded building and injuring someone might not actually be a crime?

Hardly. This statement most likely reflects the "need" to figure out which set of charges to file against the loony in question will render the harshest of penalties in aggregate. Why stop with a single charge when you can collect the whole set?

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Banning computers makes students do better on exams – MIT

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: That needs to be retested for distraction on/off

A paper and pencil are passive. Whereas using computer is more interactive and things are happening asynchronously there, diverting your attention -- so there is likely to be a mental cost.

Basic learning theory states that the closer to the actual performance conditions the learning conditions are, the better the performance will be. If computers are used to take notes while retention is measured using only paper and pen or oral tests, it should be no surprise that students who use computers in class do worse than those who use more traditional note-taking methods.

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FBI director claims that videoing police is causing crime uptick

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Nothing to hide : Nothing to fear

Civilians don't own attack helicopters and APCs. Police forces do.

And therein lies the rub. A modern police force should not function as a military organization. I know that we here in the US have a tendency to wage war on everything, including Crime. The problem with this is that in a war, there has to be an enemy and in this case there is little to differentiate combatants from non-combatants. Our criminal justice system has created massive incentives to incarcerate people and to take their stuff on the slimmest of pretexts. In other words, we have set up a system in which there are rewards for the police to act as de facto kidnappers and thieves. None of this is the way it should be done.

As far as citizens filming police while on duty, I have not heard a reason why there should be an expectation of privacy for a public official performing their job in a public venue. There is just no way around this. I understand there are a number of issues concerning body cams that still need to be worked out - costs, chains of custody, when they should be turned on, what can be released to the public and when, training... OK, more than a few issues, but none of these things are that much different from what has been dealt with during the introduction of similar tech, especially dash cams.

Concerning the FBI director's claims concerning crime: there are lies, damn lies and statistics. He admitted to a lack of statistics.

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First successful Hyperloop test module hits 100mph in four seconds

Robert Helpmann??
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Boffin

Re: Snake Oil

While you make some good points, there are some holes in your arguments. To address one:

"But the whole point of Hyperloop is that the pods in the cruise phase have very little drive (which makes it cheap), so it would also have very little braking power. So where does that 0.25G braking come from? Does the tube also have to act as a braking surface for friction pads? Does that wear out? Can it be used again afterwards?"

Why would anyone assume a maglev vehicle would use friction as its primary method of braking? As a backup method, it might make sense, but turning all that momentum back into electricity is a better approach. It is used in electric cars and - shocker - maglev trains.

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Italians rattle little tin for smartmobe mini lenses

Robert Helpmann??
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Or, you could just throw something together...

I ran across several DIY microscope builds for smart phones; I like this one best. I forwarded them on to a number of teacher friends and got nothing but happy feedback. Having their kids help with putting the parts together and then being able to take pictures home with them really engaged them in ways that simply looking through an eyepiece did not.

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Label your cables: A cautionary tale from the server room

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Labels

Keith Glass wrote, "Each end of the cable was labeled. Cables followed a specific color-code, maintained across the data-center. And there was a database, that not only listed each specific cable, but what rack, slot, and interface it went to, plus color and length, searchable by ANY of those parameters."

I had a similar setup at a place I worked a few years back. The problem there was more direct, though: our boss would come in and attack the switches like a howler monkey on amphetamines that had just seen its young threatened by the wiring closet. Every label now documented the way it used to be; we had no idea of the actual state of affairs as our boss updating documentation would have been too much like right. I left soon after I observed him pulling a clock down onto some fiber, breaking a handful off at the switch, and then walking away without letting anyone know things were about to go south.

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Android's security patch quagmire probed by US watchdogs

Robert Helpmann??
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Alien

Let the probing begin!

FTC and FCC stand over the supine body of ISP, strapped to the Good Ship Stagefright's probing table.

ISP: What..? What's going on?

FTC: We wanted to calibrate the equipment.

FCC: Yes, there seems to be a lot of variation between the models assigned to you and it is important to find out why.

ISP: But what does that have to do with me?

FTC: Well, it is you equipment, isn't it?

ISP: It is, but not as such. You see... <PROBE> ARRGH!

FCC: What do you think?

FTC: It doesn't look so good for tablets and I'm not getting a reading for phones. Probe again!

ISP: No! Wait! <PROBE> AHHHH!

FTC: Still nothing. Give it a few more jolts and maybe something will show up.

ISP: <PROBE> OHHHH! <PROBE> Please! No! No more! <PROBE> Don't touch me there!Only my girlfriend touches me there!<PROBE><PROBE> <PROBE><PROBE><PROBE>whimper....

FCC: Sigh. Really, this could have all been avoided if you would have kept your house in order to begin with. Have you learned your lesson?

ISP: sniff sniff sniffle *hic* yes.

FCC: Good. What do you think?

FTC: Dunno. Maybe a couple more just to be sure.

<PROBE>

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Docker lets security bug sniffer dogs off the leash at container images

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Security for Developers

The developer gets an alert that there is a security flaw in the code that needs to be rectified. The developer then checks a few boxes and deploys as is, regardless of the warning. There will be scant uptake by devs as this will be perceived as an annoying additional step in the development process.

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Russia poised to unleash 'Son of Satan' ICBM

Robert Helpmann??
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Mushroom

Two steps forward...

... 10,000km back. It's a good thing everyone agrees that nuclear weapons are a bad thing and are working toward drawing down their provisioning. The former USSR bankrupted itself in part because of the arms race. The relative size of the various players' economies have not changed in Russia's favor. What has changed to make the outcome different?

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Brit polar vessel christened RRS Sir David Attenborough

Robert Helpmann??
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Headmaster

My Friday Faux Pas

"...with this new polar research ship they will be able to go further and discover more than ever before."

Wouldn't any discovery at all be more than ever before? Perhaps a few more hours and a dose of weekend will improve my outlook. I look forward to seeing whatever wonders the crew of the Boaty McBoatface RRS Sir David Attenborough share with the world. Good luck to them all!

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Ex-HP boss Carly Fiorina sacked one week into new job

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Trump? Who's he?

Ok, at the risk of invoking Godwin's law, I'm pretty sure that is what they said when they elected Chancellor Schicklgruber in the 1930's

As a reminder, Godwin's Law only ends the argument if the comparison is unjustified.

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UK govt admits it pulled 10-year file-sharing jail sentence out of its arse

Robert Helpmann??
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Big Brother

Man Behind the Curtain

You guys don't need any American help in coming up with retarded laws.

However, if legislation is introduced to privatize your prison system this may bear closer scrutiny.

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The Lonely Pirate MEP's Holocaust copyright stunt backfires

Robert Helpmann??
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Pirate

Yo, ho, ho!

Authoritarian regimes hate copyright... For state socialist and fascist regimes [copyright] is an anathema: the state should decide... Pirates owe more to fascism than they are prepared to admit.

Saying pirates owe anything to anyone misses the point of piracy and implies they would feel inclined to give something back in exchange for their plundered booty. They are equally at home looting the state's galleons as those of a private company. Arrr!

What? Not those kind of pirates?

Oh, never mind.

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UK.gov wasted £20m telling you to 'be safe online, mmkay'

Robert Helpmann??
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Not Clear on the Concept

A lot of cash was invested in an online site devoted to educating the public concerning the dangers of being online. Isn't that a bit like having to call the phone company to let them know you are unable to make a call? It should be obvious that at-risk individuals in this case are going to be unlikely to go to a web site to improve themselves in this regard. How would they even know they are at risk or that there was anything they could do about it after those risks came home to roost?

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3-in-4 Android phones, slabs, gizmos menaced by fresh hijack flaws

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Eternal Optomist

Nexus users will get all of these patches installed automatically over-the-air shortly. If you don't have a Nexus device, you'll have to wait for your carrier and gadget manufacturer to approve the updates and push them out over the air – which make take a while, or not happen at all.

I would feel smug about this as a Nexus owner, but I know in my heart Google will eventually provide an update that will brick all Nexus devices.

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US intercepts Bermuda Triangle bubble podule

Robert Helpmann??
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And the answer is...

I wonder how the US Coast Guards describe him. Presumably in terms that are not part of the official vocabulary.

Not to speak for the USCG as a whole, but I put your question to a blue-suiter. He said, "Wow! What a dummy! What a f*****g idiot!"

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US congresscritter's iPhone hacked (with, er, the cell networks' help)

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: within the grasp of powerful crime gangs and government agents

The only difference between a criminal gang and the government in the US is ...

The Government's doing it to "protect" you

Yeah, that's why it's called protection money... no, er... taxes! That's what I meant. I can see how an IRS audit might go: "That's a really nice 401K you have there. It would be a real shame if something were to happen to it. Capisce?"

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Google's 'fair use' mass slurping of books can continue – US Supremes snub writers' pleas

Robert Helpmann??
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So in theory...

...the same can be done for music and movies? Didn't think so.. Maybe the book authors need a MIPAA type organization?

That's the capacity in which Google is forcing itself upon authors. Organizations such as the MIPAA exist to reap profits from the work of others and only protect that work in as much as it benefits them. Google is new, innovative and much more efficient in this regard, seemingly protecting works from being used to profit those who originally produced them.

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Are bearded blokes more sexist?

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: My beard

The prof's response involved a lot of sputtering, a stumbled claim of anecdotal evidence, and a red face over my particularly smug smile.

That was my last psych class.

Why stop when you were having fun? You could have had many hours of entertainment at that particular professor's expense. If you had played it right, you could have gotten a study funded to completely undermine the professor's stated theory, just like the researchers in the article did (at least the funding part).

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US anti-encryption law is so 'braindead' it will outlaw file compression

Robert Helpmann??
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Coat

Re: Just a point of clarification...

"Disfuction" - Doing to this proposal what you cannot do to a pregnant woman... Yep, I'm leaving now.

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Uninstall QuickTime for Windows: Apple will not patch its security bugs

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: WTF!

Apple drops support for one of their products on a rival platform? Next you will be telling me that they discontinued support for Safari on Windows systems.

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Admin fishes dirty office chat from mistyped-email bin and then ...?

Robert Helpmann??
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Sweet, Cold Revenge

If revenge is a dish best served very cold, and revenge is also sweet....is revenge ice cream?

Only if you milk it for all it is worth, otherwise it is sorbet.

I ran into a similar situation at a previous job. I was asked to transfer archived emails archived on a machine for a coworker who had transferred out of state. The application and method I was given to do this displayed one of the emails in whichever folder was being processed. It happened to pull up one that made it very clear that my coworker was having an affair, that both parties were married, and that she would be working with her new love interest. All in two lines. I finished the transfer and said nothing about it to anyone at work.

As far as I am concerned, the whole thing was an onion ("None ya business" for those not familiar with the term) despite the way Big Brother and Big Business would want us to buy into.

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FOUR Avatar sequels

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Dances With Smurfs

The sequel will be Little Big Smurf followed by The Return of Little Big Smurf.

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BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

Robert Helpmann??
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Parts Sourcing

Since the original stipulation was that "the battery system would be a little hefty to start with", they should be sourced from used hoverboards. I am sure they will work as intended.

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Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Fundamental differences/Alien DNA

Unless MS ditches the registry and goes back to a config-file-based environment, I can't see a true integration occurring between the two.

FTFY. Once upon a time, that's how Microsoft rolled. Now, not so much. I would be much happier if all apps were self contained instead of being tied in to the registry, but that wish is based on sheer laziness on my part. This new ability, if it amounts to anything, would actually feed into that too as I recently have been given scripts to write in both Windows and Linux environments. Being able to do at least the initial draft of both on a single system would speed things up a bit for me.

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SANS man lists five security things you're not doing but should

Robert Helpmann??
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top 5 my arse

3) dont give all your users admin level on admin systems

Better stated by expanding to "Only give admin rights to those who have a specific need and then only give them what is absolutely called for and not a jot more. Give them admin accounts separate from their regular accounts. Audit user rights and group rights and memberships regularly and often, recursively if necessary, both for domains and individual machines."

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Google reveals own security regime policy trusts no network, anywhere, ever

Robert Helpmann??
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Meh

Re: Trust...

I read through their white paper and it raised some interesting points. Most importantly, in my view, is their emphasis on incorporating mobile devices into their security model. On the other hand, two of the three references in their paper were Wikipedia pages. Too, their model depends on the use of a certificate authority, which might point to a possible way for someone to compromise their system.

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Inflatable space podule set for orbital trial

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Huh?

Yes, the way the specs are presented is a bit misleading, but it very much looks like the external dimensions are given for length and diameter while the volume given is for the internal capacity. This is nothing new, though as the IT industry has been doing that for years in describing drive capacities in terms of unformatted vs usable space.

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George Bush naked selfie hacker Guccifer gets his day in US court

Robert Helpmann??
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WTF?

Naked and Frightening

Guccifer is accused of is broadcasting a painted self-portrait by former President George W Bush while naked in a shower and bath

That alone should warrant the death penalty.

It's wrong! Just wrong... *sob*

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Flying Finns arm octocopter with chainsaw

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Optional Uses

Sure, it's rated for snowman disposal, but how does it fare against zombies? Or zombie snowmen? Can it come with an flamethrower attachment, also proven effective against snowmen and zombies?

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IT freely, a true tale: One night a project saved my life

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Priorities and empowerment

Work on the priority items and fuck the rest. If something more urgent comes along, make sure management are aware of it.

This applies even more to project management. Multiply the impact by the number of people on a given contract. Truly good advice.

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Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

Robert Helpmann??
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Terminator

Re: Urrmm...yeah, but....

So the solution to the whole problem would be for everyone to carry a phone that looked like a gun!

Yes! I mean... no. A much better solution is to carry around a whole bunch of robot parts that look just like cell phones and can self-assemble into a giant battle droid. For self protection, of course, because robots don't kill people. Yet.

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Cunning scam: Mobe app stalks victims then emails booby-trapped bogus speeding tickets

Robert Helpmann??
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Re: Ingenius scam.

And could you please point where exactly are they lobbying for autonomous vehicles to be operated on public roads without a qualified driver on board?

Since you asked nicely, here is the first example that Google (how apropos!) returned:

http://www.iii.org/issue-update/self-driving-cars-and-insurance

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Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Ingenius scam.

First you complain about the myth of future cars and later end by stipulating the current situation? Nice.

Planes are not cars and licensing requirements are quite different between the two. The push by self-driving car makers is exactly as you would dispute: they want governments in various jurisdictions to work out the various liability issues so that autonomous vehicles can be turned loose on the roadways of the world. They are reportedly willing to accept liability for their cars' actions if that means they will be able to manufacture and sell them. As long as the risk is a known factor, they will be able to work it into their respective business models. This is not the world as we know it today, but it is conceivably the world of the very near future.

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Wait! Where did you get that USB? Super-stealthy trojan only drives stick

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Ingress and Egress

So how does a secure system do data ingress or egress of a nature too complex for human memory,like industrial control programs?

Two ways to deal with this issue come to mind. First, allow only a certain accounts (think in terms of service accounts) access to USB devices on the protected systems and only use known-good USB drives (registered devices) to be used by those accounts. This would apply to both the protected network and the network with internet access.

Second, there are these things called DVDs and CDs....

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Symantec warns of serious security holes – in Symantec security kit

Robert Helpmann??
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Childcatcher

Re: Idiots

For being idiots or for being with Symantec?

Yes!

The XSS flaw is not surprising as it is a common issue for web sites and not Symantec's area of expertise. The question I would raise is why they would want their security management console to run in a browser (the most commonly targeted attack surface on workstations). Points off for saying all the other kids are doing it.

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Brits seek rousing name for polar research vessel

Robert Helpmann??
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Linux

Re: ideas

Tux

Indestructible III

Frigidissimis

Gu Math Fuar

Dylan

Oswald Cobblepot

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Brits shun nightclubs and CD-ROMs for lemons, coffee and woman’s leggings

Robert Helpmann??
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Thumb Down

Re: Negative Stereotyping

Santa from Exeter, I think you are right in your implication that the other things on the list have dire implications. I would argue that rice is one of the simplest things to make and has been for millennia. Turning it into a microwavable product indicates that people are willing to pay extra for an inferior product that gains them little in the way of time. It pretty much says they are too stupid or lazy or whatever to boil water.

I give you a thumbs up for being engaged on the subject. To the consumers who fuel these metrics, see icon.

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Boffins build laser that can twist its own light

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Boffin

Re: Shark-safe laser deployment

You simply mix some old analog tech with new quantum-ish tech.

It is not "quantum-ish" as lasers depend on quantum effects to generate light. And water? What you meant to say was "propelled by rockets into a volcano." And yes, two lasers are better than one. Keep going with that plan.

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