* Posts by Whitter

555 posts • joined 13 Aug 2007

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Win XP, Flash, Java... healthcare makes easy pickings for hackers

Whitter

Technical debt

The technical debt of the NHS is quite simply staggering. Even costing it would be a staggeringly expensive job. And while the FDA has nothing to do with the NHS, the companies that make medical equip must adhere to the (worst) requirements of both which are onerous indeed. As medical companies outwith phrama tend not to make much money, they aren't going to verify/validate the upgrade path for old equip they make nothing on, nor add new security features. So to be blunt: this isn't going to change, even if bad things do happen as a result.

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Irish researchers sweep smartphones clear of super bugs

Whitter
Meh

A la les chickens

In mass-market use, won't this just lead to yet more highly-resistant bacteriological strains evolving?

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Chrome add-ons just became less scary, security-wise

Whitter
Megaphone

How about a set of permissions that can allow for security?

For example: "access to files" refined into a set of permissions such as "access to files written and maintained by this application" (general app); "access to all file names and dates" (file manager app) and so on.

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'Panama papers' came from email server hack at Mossack Fonseca

Whitter
Unhappy

Re: Anyone noticed ..

Who pays the piper etc. The ICIJ belongs to the Center for Public Integrity:

https://www.publicintegrity.org/about/our-work/supporters

I'm going to guess that the leak is likely honest enough. The processing of that leak will likely be politically/economically "regulated". then again, I'm a cynic in such matters, as I already belived this to be true without the papers!

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Done making the big stuff better? The path to Apple's mid-life crisis

Whitter
Boffin

Companies are not living things

Old companies rarely create new stuff: new companies do that.

The old companies try to survive by buying the new companies, which they rarely understand well. I suggest that this is because companies typically act like living things, trying to survive come hell or high-water, when they should be no more that economic vehicles for getting stuff done - created for active purpose and allowed to dissolve once that purpose is no longer significant.

A better scenario is for the shareholders to sell their shares in the old and buy shares in the new, letting the old company dissolve when it no longer has anything to do. But that requires CEOs and employees who are not afraid of loosing position and "face" with a faster company-death cycle and shareholders who actively know about the companies they own. I don't see either of those things happening any time soon, so it is little more than idle speculation: never going to happen.

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Union warns of second round of 'massive' layoffs at IBM in Europe

Whitter
Flame

Good for the goose...

Companies that treat their staff badly deserve to be badly treated by their staff.

All of them.

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UK.gov's Major Projects Authority ain't saving us any money, say MPs

Whitter
Headmaster

... better equip ministers and senior civil servants ...

"... better equip ministers and senior civil servants responsible ... with the skills and wider awareness they need to deliver them ..."

Or maybe (a) don't employ civil servants for jobs they are not skilled to do and (b) don't let ministers get into any level of nitty gritty: policy only, then vamoosh.

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Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie

Whitter
Holmes

Auto fill etc.

Some browsers will "helpfully" auto-fill and/or pre-cache as you are typing. Not too unlikely that such data gets sent off to the ad-men (or ladies).

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NIST set to shake up temperature with quantum thermometer

Whitter
Thumb Up

Tricky

Tricky bit might be that it sounds very much like a particle measurement, while temperature is an ensemble property. But then again, tricky is what such people do!

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Your unpatchable, insecure Android mobe will feel right at home in the Internet of Stuff era

Whitter
Unhappy

Cyanogen

I'm a Nexus user so vanilla works just fine for me. Any other droid seems to be running a greater risk by risk if they keep to supplier updates rather than "jailbreak" into the world of Cyanogen. A sad state of corporate affairs really: what value a brans name when you instantly throw their stuff away?

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Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

Whitter

Re: Who's liable? El Reg tried to find out...

We are all in need of Team America: a class action vs nytimes or the like. They sold your security for their profit (profit = ease of "management" = no management 'cos that costs).

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Data protection: Don't be an emotional knee jerk. When it comes to the law, RTFM

Whitter
Unhappy

Re: Law/Theory vs Practice

And should they go bankrupt and bought in a administration fire-sale, will I trust the new owners?

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Whitter
Devil

... this will validate EU/US data transfers once more...

"... the new Privacy Shield has been negotiated and, with some additional oversights from the US and a little less snooping, this will validate EU/US data transfers once more..."

I'll admit to being entirely the target audience for this article: is this claim really leaglly true? I would not have thought so myself but, erm, haven't read the law or contracts...!

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Norman Conquest, King Edward, cyber pathogen and illegal gambling all emerge in Apple v FBI

Whitter
Boffin

Outlaw

"... society accepts that the people that break its rules and laws should not be able to rely on those same laws to prevent them from being punished..."

What the author refers to is the original meaning of the term "outlaw": one who was outwith the law and the law *would not protect*. Being an outlaw was tantamount to walking around with a target on one's chest: anyone could do anything to you with no comeback.

As a result, being declared an outlaw was considered a very harsh penalty indeed. Not a default position taken before guilt has even been established!

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You're fired! No – you're acquired! Reality TV hits Silicon Valley startups

Whitter
Paris Hilton

I get to pick ... the judges, the winner,

So what exactly do the "judges" do then?

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Surprise! That blood-pressure app doesn't measure blood pressure

Whitter

Re: It's not a simple as it looks

As your doctor has had a look I'm sure all is well, but be aware that readings taken after waking are expected to be higher than normal: google "morning surge index" for more info (the index is a means to establish if a given surge is more/less than expected).

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Whitter
Boffin

You get what you pay for.

Most machines one can buy in Boot and the like say something like "not suitable for hypotensives; not suitable for hypertensives..." and the like. Making them about as useful as a sticker saying "120/80".

That the measurement itself is difficult and not very repeatable (the "gold standard" by your doctor suffers similarly), and is almost always never used in the correct way, is another set of different problems!

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Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall

Whitter
Flame

Who arrests the watchmen?

"...later seizes hold of Noble's camera tripod and refuses to let go of it..."

"...The police spokesperson continued: “No offence has been reported ..."

Well an offence certainly seems to have been committed, one that the officers were clearly aware of. Nulfeasance in public office anyone?

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HMRC clamps down on gov bodies wanting to reclaim VAT on IT kit

Whitter
Holmes

Side-effect by accident or by intent?

Is this actually intended to pressure (public) companies / bodies into paying their invoices promptly?

If so and if it works, will it roll out to all companies later?

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Reminder: How to get a grip on your files, data that Windows 10 phones home to Microsoft

Whitter
FAIL

Feels like Clippy again

MS just don't like to admit they got it wrong.

It took years to kill Clippy; likely similar for this.

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Sir Clive Sinclair in tech tin-rattle triumph

Whitter
Meh

1000 installed

The other 13000?

And what ratio hits/misses in these two groups?

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This is what it looks like when your website is hit by nasty ransomware

Whitter
Joke

Re: Quacks

They invented new letters? How do you type them: my keyboard only has the old ones.

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SCO slapped in latest round of eternal 'Who owns UNIX?' lawsuit

Whitter
Thumb Up

Re: Wasted talent

Thanks for filling in one of the many gaps in my memory!

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Whitter
Paris Hilton

Re: Wasted talent

I have some shadow of a memory that "SCO's lawyers" were related to SCO's owners and that this long, tortious legal work was a means to "legally" asset strip what remained of SCO's bank balance to another member of the family. Could be an urban myth though.

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Europe: Go on. Ask us to probe the £130m 'sweetheart' deal HMRC made with Google

Whitter

Re: Lean the Tax Process

Not sure on the last bit but simplifying the tax code is clearly a must-do.

Alas, complicating the tax-code to ensure it is riven with "the right holes" has been the lifework of a great number of people and most of those in parliament, so unlikely to occur. Sometimes even for misplaced "good cause" (to manipulate investment; public behaviour etc. via the tax code).

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In this Facebook and Google-owned world, it's time to rethink privacy

Whitter
Thumb Up

Re: Google does paid-for services

"Something like paying for a service isn't going to actually stop them."

An upvote just isn't enough for this.

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For fsck's SAKKE: GCHQ-built phone voice encryption has massive backdoor – researcher

Whitter
Joke

Impressive powers

I particularly liked "it does not allow for people to be anonymous or to verify the identity of the person they are talking to."

Is it only me that isn't allowed to be anonymous then?

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El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Whitter
Happy

Biting the hand that feeds IT

Given El Reg's tagline, some form of chomping device seems a must?

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What do we do about a problem like Uber? Tom Slee speaks his brains

Whitter
Unhappy

Too big to fail...

If your banking system has companies that are too big to fail, your economy has a big problem.

Similarly, if your transport system has companies that are too big to fail, your city has a big problem.

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Microsoft's patent tumble: A kinder, gentler IP politics? No

Whitter
Unhappy

Invention?

Assuming we are talking about utility patents (rather than design patents), a patent requires to be inventive (not just clever or cunning) in addition to being novel,

I seriously doubt 7000 things were invented last year, let alone by one company.

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BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

Whitter
Happy

Re: So the question is....

Hopefully less drone, more zeppelin.

Zepplins are cool.

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Boffins switch on pinchfist incandescent bulb

Whitter
Boffin

Previous "make old stuff better" from back in 2009 (from work started in 2006 or so):

http://phys.org/news/2009-05-regular-bulbs-super-efficient-ultra-fast-laser.html

Might even be related: can't tell it its colour or structure from the old report.

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Forget anonymity, we can remember you wholesale with machine intel, hackers warned

Whitter
Joke

Bug count

No bugs? My code.

What do you mean there's no bugless code?

Must have got lost in the process loop... erm...

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Help! What does 'personal conduct unrelated to operations or financials' mean?

Whitter
WTF?

???

Are you allowed to sack somebody for something that seems to have had no relevance to the company?

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Motorola’s X Force awakens a seemingly ‘shatterproof’ future

Whitter

Smashed screens

With the old Nexus, it was smashed back-plates that was the biggest gripe.

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Boffins teach cars to listen for the sound of a wet road

Whitter
Alert

93.2 % accuracy

Initially sounds a nice high number but just think of the error rate!

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Linksys routers vulnerable through CGI scripts

Whitter
Unhappy

A great example of "the security debate"

The consumer public don't much care about security: they assume "that just happens" and buy the cheapest.

The same ideology seems to be working at CEO level re. their IT security.

Every example of the fallacy of this thinking is seemingly followed by "somebody else's problem" or "an unlucky hit - won't happen again" and is discounted.

Market forces won't help here: they require "knowledge on both sides" and it is clear the (dominant) buyers are thick as a brick.

So now what?

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Most businesses collecting data they never use, survey finds

Whitter
Boffin

Data protection act

"... data shall be obtained only for one or more specified and lawful purposes ... data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose or purposes for which they are processed ... shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes..."

Tsk tsk tsk.

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Doctor Who: Oh, look! There's a restaurant at the end of the universe in Hell Bent

Whitter

Re: Was worried he'd do an RTD

In fairness, I think Moffat was a tad clever there: all hypothesis were correct. The hybrid was the Doctor; Me; Clara and/or any combination thereof.

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Whitter

Re: I was worried about the return of the tedium...

Methinks that was a cover for the Doctor lying again. No reversing the phase; no "unsure what this will do". He takes the knock again, just like the last 4.5 billion times. Or one can easily postulate: does he just turn it off and pretend?

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Big names settle out of court with CryptoPeak in HTTPS patent spat

Whitter
Meh

If a court has a reputaion for bias...

... surely it is time for a revue of due process in such a court?

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Google fends off EFF's claims kids probed by Chromebook software

Whitter
Unhappy

Private data == bolted horse

What the data is currently used for does not guarantee what it may be used for later.

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PHP 7.0 arrives, so go forth and upgrade if you dare

Whitter
Pint

Re: Not backwards compatible...

Thanks all!

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Whitter
Boffin

Not backwards compatible...

Honest question: is PHP really the best option if one is prepared recode?

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

Whitter
Mushroom

Who's calling

You fired me.

You have no right what-so-ever to be calling me, or indeed, to have retained my phone number.

Goodbye.

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Patent litigation in Europe will look very different in 5 years' time – expert

Whitter
Meh

...new wave of technology relevant to wearables ...

Hopefully such new inventions will be more than process X with prior-art "but this time on a textile!".

The "inventive step" requirement seems to have gone AWOL for the last decade or two.

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Malvertising: How the ad model makes crime pay

Whitter
Flame

The business model is knowingly at risk

"They may simply have resold to a third-party that abused their trust. For this reason, it would be unfair to terminate the top level advertiser because they did not 'knowingly' participate in the malvertising"

There is no "Simply" about it, There is no unexpected about it. This is a risk in their business model that they choose not to account for, knowing they themselves are not at risk. Indeed; they get paid for delivery regardless.

Time to stop it where it stands and require all such third-party injection to be pre-edited.

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Rdio's collapse another nail in the coffin of the 'digital economy'

Whitter
Thumb Down

Re: Value

The economically sensible thing is to leave all artistic endeavour to the offspring of the wealthy and to knuckle down to drudgery, be that employed or not. As it once was, so it shall be again. No more lower middle-class or working class art; make of that as you will.

Hooray for free stuff (even if it wasn't meant to be free).

To quote the old glam band Cinderella, "You don't know what you got 'till its gone".

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Whitter
Unhappy

In the modern age of negligible replication cost, getting people to pay for art is a question still begging an answer. Technological means will never work. Moral means do not (currently) work (see the last two paras of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pay_what_you_want#Research). So what is left?

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How TV ads silently ping commands to phones: Sneaky SilverPush code reverse-engineered

Whitter

Re: Android 6 Permissions

What the app says the permission is for is not everything the app can do with that permission.

e.g. Shopping list with vocal shopping list / reminders (either as sound or as sound-to-text).

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