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* Posts by Phil Endecott

381 posts • joined 29 Nov 2006

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Ha ha, fooled you! Shares tumble over G4S fake website profit warning

Phil Endecott

Guantanamo

Story in the Grauniad today reporting that G4S has been doing stuff at Guantanamo Bay - the usual chores that are too lowly for Real Soldiers like emptying the bins, but also "Custodial Services". But we're not to worry, as they have now sold off that part of the business.

Possible motive for a hacker?

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Names, ages, addresses, SSNs of US postal staff slurped in 'mega-hack'

Phil Endecott

So they've known about it since 16th August, but they've waited till Obama is in China before announcing it?

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Languages don't breed bugs, PEOPLE breed bugs, say boffins

Phil Endecott

Re: Real Programmers

> write ForTran programs in any language.

My favourite was a huge lump of C code, translated from Fortran, that looked like this:

arguement = a;

b = sqrt(arguement);

arguement = b;

c = sin(arguement);

Yes, "argument" was spelt wrong throughout. Every function call took arguement as its argument. And it was a global variable! "Thread safe? What's that?"

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Now: The REAL APPLE NEWS you need to know

Phil Endecott

Re: Not a tree in Britain?

> someplace in Hampshire.

And you want to phone your mother and say,

"Mother, I can never come home again,

'cause I seem to have left an important part of my brain somewhere,

Somewhere in a field in Hampshire."

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Routine WHAT NOW? Bank of England’s CHAPS payment system goes TITSUP

Phil Endecott

Re: Williams & Glyn?

> Williams & Glyn?

Yes, some youngster decided to type in "Williams & Glyn", to be safe...

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Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy

Phil Endecott

Newsreaders

> pron: 2 million and 60 thousand dollars

Huh? Is this Reuters adding pronunciation hints, just in case the story is picked up by some hard-of-thinking newsreader who didn't get to numbers beyond 100 at school? THERE IS NO HOPE.

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The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event

Phil Endecott

> Keep clicking refresh!

Keep clicking *on the ads*, surely?

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New Scottish Apple Store appears, then VANISHES off map app

Phil Endecott

Far from the worst error on Apple Maps.

On the screenshot in the article, you can see that they still have a displacement between the building outlines and the roads. The area around Canongate is still shown as a large park. And the bridges are shown as crossroads until you zoom in far enough.

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Meg Whitman: The lady IS for TURNING. HP to lob printers'n'PCs OVERBOARD

Phil Endecott

Does anyone else remember...

...before HP span off Agilent?

I think these are now the A, B and C arks. But which is which?

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Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’

Phil Endecott

Re: UK.gov investing in the future of IT. IT people up in arms...

> seeing our government invest in the long-term future of our industry

Nope.

"Investing in the long-term future of our industry" might be, for example, giving the money to some good universities to spend on research, or on training the next generation of smarties. This, in contrast, is just a load of people who are good at buzzword bingo.

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Phil Endecott

Re: Sign me up!

> Can I just move my company in

Yes, you can move your company in. Unfortunately you can't move your family in as you can't afford to live in London.

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ARMs head Moonshot bodies: HP pops Applied Micro, TI chips into carts

Phil Endecott

> how much would you think of spending on a 1U solution?

Well I chose not to spend $3000 on AMD's ARM64 dev board, so less than that. Preferably lots less.

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Phil Endecott

Can I please just have one of these modules in a 1U box?

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Bash bug: Shellshocked yet? You will be ... when this goes WORM

Phil Endecott

Re: Important, but easily fixed

> My router says:

> /bin/sh: bash: not found

Just to be sure, try replacing 'bash' with 'sh':

x='() { :; } ; echo shellshockable' sh -c 'echo test'

(You'll probably find that your router is still safe.)

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Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

Phil Endecott

Re: Can you hear that sound?

> the dash shell in Debian and Ubuntu is not vulnerable

I think it's important to note that a lot of Debian systems will still be using bash as their default shell, even if dash is also available or installed.

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EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass

Phil Endecott

Re-opened within the week???

That sounds like they had already ordered the new shop fittings!

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Joan Rivers promotes iPhone 6 from BEYOND THE GRAVE

Phil Endecott

So where is the legally required disclosure of the connection between the endorser and the marketter of the product?

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What's this 'pay as you go' cloud crap? Dunno about you, but my apps don't work that way

Phil Endecott

Bandwidth and Storage

> Anyone who says public cloud computing is "pay for what you use"

> is trying to rip you off. The public cloud is pay for what you provision,

> and that is a completely different thing.

Amazon S3. Bandwidth and storage charges really are "pay for what you use". There is nothing to "provision".

This covers most of what I do (certainly most when measured in $) and I don't think what I do is very unusual.

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Google extends app refund window to two hours

Phil Endecott

Re: Refund?

> I only ever opt for the free apps anyway. If there's a

> feature I want that's only in the paid for version

> then I usually seek out another freebie that gives

> me that feature. Guess I'm just ludicrously tight,

> or is it too many years of freetarderyness© :)

Thank you for reminding me why writing Android apps is still low on my to-do list, despite the large number of devices now in circulation.

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Warrantless phone snooping HAPPENS ALL THE TIME in Blighty

Phil Endecott

Huh?

"Terrifying abuse of power"? Uh, no. The "abuse of power" was that these police officers, who the law normally considers to be "witnesses of the truth" if they appear in court, conspired to lie with the intention of bringing down (part of) the government, and very nearly succeeded. This was about an argument between the government, who wanted to impose cuts or other changes on the police, and the police demonstrating to the government that "you can't mess with us".

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Video: Dyson unveils ROBOTIC TANK that hoovers while you're out

Phil Endecott

Re: sounds neato

I also have a Neato. It's great, but I think we're probably a couple of generations from widespread use. The neato cleans well (and the recent stories about 1600W cleaners made me laugh - if this can manage on battery power, how can anyone need 1600W?). But no it can't pick up socks, it will tanlge on wires (and pull phones off shelves), and it won't get close to walls or corners. Actually this has made me a more tidy person than I was before - it has trained me! I certainly prefer to spend a few seconds picking things up and maybe moving furniture a bit, rather than actually pushing a hoover around. As a result my house is both tidier and cleaner than it was before.

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Apple 'fesses up: Rejected from the App Store, dev? THIS is why

Phil Endecott

Re: Quality Over Quantity

> I would happily settle for an app store that contained just a few

> hundred high quality and useful

Do you mean as a consumer or as a developer?

As a developer, the danger of such an environment is that you might create something good, but not quite good enough to reach this "top 100". So you don't take the risk, and code for iOS and Android instead. As a result, consumers don't get the apps that they wanted.

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The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal

Phil Endecott

Re: Also there is apparently no law against

It's called "procurement of a woman by false pretences"

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/4-5/69

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Experimental hypersonic SUPERMISSILE destroyed 4 SECONDS after US launched it

Phil Endecott

Re: Re "which could potentially bypass missile defences"

> Not a lot of time to make your mind up :(

Read "The Dead Hand" by David E Hoffman. The Soviet military were concerned that their political leaders would be too slow to make a retaliatory decision, so they built a "dead hand" system that would automatically launch their missiles if they didn't get a command not to do so.

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Spanish struggle to control spelling of 'WhatsApp'

Phil Endecott

Re: Indeed that's a complex matter

> There are some words like "arma" (weapon) that has one gender

> in singular and another in plural ("el arma" is male, "las armas" is

> female),

Or agua. But no, it's always feminine; it is always "el agua fria", not "el agua frio". It is just el/la that changes, to avoid the awkward a-a. The equivalent in french is changing le or la to l' when the noun starts with a vowel.

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USB charger is prime suspect in death of Australian woman

Phil Endecott

"Insulation on the pins of the plug" - are they suggesting that this was an issue in this case? I thought that was required just to prevent you from electrocuting yourself by poking a knife between the plug and the socket.

Re "reputable suppliers" - we don't know quite how disreputable the supplier of this product was, yet. My suspicion is that the chances of crap junk are similar in the bottom and middle of the market. We can't expect everyone to buy their battery chargers from John Lewis.

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It's a Doddle: Amazon inks train station parcel deal with Network Rail

Phil Endecott

RAILWAY STATION

It's RAILWAY STATION, not TRAIN STATION, you ignorant people.

</rant>

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People will happily run malware if paid ONE CENT – new study

Phil Endecott

Thus was done on Mechanical Turk. I think it's a bit of a jump to claim that people who use mechanical turk are representative of the rest of us.

They would also have an expectation that Amazon would not allow malware on the Turk platform.

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YouView loses YourView trademark fight, may have to pick new name

Phil Endecott

I always wondered what YouTube think of the YouView name. I.e.isn't YouView a way to view YouTube vids on your TV?

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Apple: REIGN OF FIRE coming to Europe courtesy of old iPhone chargers

Phil Endecott

Dear Apple,

Please use a FONT and COLOUR for this model number that I CAN ACTUALLY READ without needing a MICROSCOPE.

Thank you.

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IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Phil Endecott

BT

Am I right in thinking that I still can't do IPv6 over my BT home broadband connection, without using some sort of tunnel?

Come on people, sort it out already!

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AWS breaks silence over Truecrypt's role in data import/export

Phil Endecott

> I wasn't aware AWS were using TrueCrypt.

It's offered as an option when you import/export from/to physical media that you ship to them. That's all.

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'CAPTAIN CYBORG': The wild-eyed prof behind 'machines have become human' claims

Phil Endecott

Having read the transcripts of the conversations with the bot, it seems extraordinary that anyone could imagine they were human. But what I've not seen are the transcripts with the real 13 year old Ukranian with which they must have been compared. Right? Oh, hang on. Hmmm. Yeah, so i guess perhaps there wasn't a "control" human at all, making the "experiment" entirely useless.

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Fed-up bloke takes email spammers to court – and WINS PILE of CASH

Phil Endecott

Re: Its spam but ...

> 99% of my spam is not from legit companies like John Lewis

That used to be the case for me, but it has changed over the last few years. Now, after filtering, the spam that gets to my inbox is primarily from "legitimate" companies that I have done business with in the (distant) past and who have at some point "forgotten" that I didn't want to be spammed. I'm unlikely to sue them, but there is no chance that they will ever get any business from me in the future.

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128-bit crypto scheme allegedly cracked in two hours

Phil Endecott

Re: 94.6 bits

> How on earth can you have .6 of a bit?

Well, for example, one decimal digit stores log2(10) = 3.322 bits of information.

So you could say that a 10-digit decimal number is "33.22 bits".

Look up "Arithmetic Coding" for one practical application of fractional bits.

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Stock and awe: Top City biz takes £32m hit after software upgrade axed

Phil Endecott
Pint

Brewin Dolphin is one of the UK’s largest private investment companies

Sounds more like a pub chain to me.

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Traffic light vulns leave doors wide open to Italian Job-style hacks

Phil Endecott

Re: Hack away you can't do worse than Bristol City Council

> One journey a little while ago of around 2 -3 miles I passed through

> 24 sets of traffic lights and stopped at 22 of them

Was that journey on foot, by bike, or in a bus?

Or some other means of transport?

Did you notice whether the timings might have been chosen to better suit some other type of road user?

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Australian government apps access smartmobe cams but 'don't film you'

Phil Endecott

There is a lot to be said for asking the user for permission at the time when the app first wants to use the feature, rather that doing it all up-front. If you go to the (fictional) "send photo of rash to doctor" page, you'll understandwhy it now asks for permission to use the camera. A second best would be to let the user be selective about those permissions at the time of installation. As it is, the user will just click whatever they have to click in order to start using the app.

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Today's bugs have BRANDS? Be still my bleeding heart [logo]

Phil Endecott

Re: @ AndrueC

> Good old K&R C is still doing the grunt-work

Blimey, no. I haven't seen K&R C for decades. I suspect most C programmers don't even know the syntax. Where are you seeing it?

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WD unborks MYSTERY My Cloud borkage

Phil Endecott

> And This Is why I like my hard-drives physical.

This product IS a physical hard drive.

It's a physical hard drive that you keep at home, that comes with some sort of remote access feature so that you can also access it over the 'net. This remote access relies on WD servers to function.

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VAT's all folks: Telecoms and services tax to be set at consumer's homeland rate

Phil Endecott

Re: Please extend this

> physical goods delivered to the consumer

VAT has been applied at the rate in the customer's country for physical products for many years now.

The stupidity you refer to is related to corporation tax, not VAT.

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Phil Endecott

Re: What has the EU been smoking?

> As a proportion of income, the poor pay many times in VAT what the rich do

"Many times" is a bit of an exaggeration; try "twice as much". See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15519727 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12111507 . The latter article makes the interesting observation that defining the poor as those with low incomes includes wealthy people loving off their savings, which skews this particular analysis.

For examples of really regressive taxes, look at national insurance and the council tax.

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'Bank couriers' who stole money from OAP cancer sufferer jailed

Phil Endecott

Re: vs the 'Microsoft' tech support guy...

> Out of curiosity do you have a link to anything about this "Microsoft" tech guy?

http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2014/03/31/phone_scam_operator_fined/

(Curious about the thumbs-down. Does someone really think it's worse to phone people up and tell them to give their cards and PINs to a "courier" than it is to run a call center that phones people up to tell them that that have a virus and to charge them money to remove it?)

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Phil Endecott

vs the 'Microsoft' tech support guy...

...who got a fine. And he was operating a whole bloody call centre full of people conducting his scam.

(Interesting about the staying-on-the-line aspect though. I wonder if they attempted to hum a dialing tone.)

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Boffins make noise about D-Wave chip: it seems quantum

Phil Endecott

Re: I don't get it.

On average, it clearly solves problems faster than a "brute force" search would.

But there are better non-quantum methods than brute force, e.g. simulated annealing. It is not clear whether this machine is faster than non-quantum annealing. This is hard to measure because both classical annealing and the quantum mechanism have randomness.

Another complicating factor is that the device is small, so everything is fast. The differences would be much more obvious in a machine that could handle larger problems.

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Boss at 'Microsoft' scam support biz told to cough £000s in comp

Phil Endecott

Cost of doing business

He's been doing this since (at least) 2010. He has to pay a total of about £24,000, which works out at about £15 per day over 4 those years.

I'd say that he will write this off as a "cost of doing business", and continue to put aside a modest percentage of his income to cover any future fines.

But he'll keep his head down for the next year, to avoid any chance of that suspended sentence getting activated.

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Google slashes cloud storage to $0.026 per GB. Your move, Amazon

Phil Endecott

Mobility

How easily can users move between e.g. Amazon and Google services?

Unless that "friction" is low, people will tend to stick with what they have despite the lower prices elsewhere.

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Takeaway order spewer Just Eat plans to raise £100 MEEELLION in IPO

Phil Endecott

Re: No British food

What could be more British than Indian food?

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Academic blames US for tech titans' tax dodge

Phil Endecott

> Is the distinguished academic saying that the US government waterboards the

> Australian and Irish legislative bodies (and the Chinese Communist Party?!?!?)

> to provide convenient tax structure to American multinationals

No. What the US government did was change the law in 1997, prior to which this revenue would have been subject to tax in the US.

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Top UK e-commerce sites fail to protect 'password' password-havers from selves

Phil Endecott

Re: Locking out does not "deny" service

> locking someone out for 60 seconds is not a serious denial of service

But you can extend it indefinitely by repeating the attack. So the genuine user might get a 1-second window when they can log in each minute.

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