back to article Could you speak up a bit? I didn't catch your password

I want to be your backdoor man. Or so asserted Robert Plant at the end of Whole Lotta Love. Hey ho. Security Australia shutterstock Wow, what a lovely early Christmas present for Australians: A crypto-busting super-snoop law passes just in time READ MORE As a blissfully unaware child, I would sing along to these lyrics – …

  1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

    My favourite example of this mad approach put into real-world practice is Android's facial recognition, which eventually found its way into my smartphone handset this year.

    2012.

    This feature was in the 2012 Galaxy Note II as a part of Google's apps.

    But later, Samsung disabled it. (Guess why? Totally insecure security.)

    Most manufacturers did as well.

    But what Huawei did was to re-enable it and sell it as face-recog.

    (Though IIRC Huawei did actually imitate the Apple IR cameras? But from Alistair Dabbs' description of a 'enlarged passport photo', this seems to be the Google Apps' one.)

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Maybe it's Face Detection

      Perhaps some confusion... The Android coders mistakenly provided Face Detection. At least it will keep deciduous trees from snooping through your phone.

    2. LDS Silver badge

      He said when it reached his phone, not when it became available on Android....

      As long as he never owned a Galaxy II or whatever... sometimes you really understand how much a new technology/feature is really bad when you get it on whatever you use every day.

  2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge
    Joke

    Evidently, they are politician detectors.

    Ah, hope you patented this, because I see a Silliycon Valley startup copying this in 3, 2, ...

    1. DCFusor Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Evidently...

      Best buildup and ending line in a very long time! Thanks for the Christmas laugh!

  3. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Loopy passengers

    it's amazing how many loopy fellow passengers have forgotten what to do when it's their turn.

    I'm fairly certain you lose Intelligence and Sanity points on every viewing after the first 4 repeats.

    Given The average I.Q range between 70 and 130 represents about 95% of the population, a point 5 loss every three repeats is going to leave most not much more than drooling vegetables.

    In RPG terms, you can expect at least one team member in your party to go beserk, but at least be unable to summon Ilfrit. If you have sprogs in your travel party, guaranteed they'll break first and harder with the added infliction of casting Embarrassment on the entire party

    There's probably a sound reason for it, just like Brexit.

    1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Loopy passengers

      "...drooling vegetables."

      Old joke:

      What did you get on your IQ test?

      Drool.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Loopy passengers

        Q: What did you get on your Sex Ed. test?

        A: Drool

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Loopy passengers

      "There's probably a sound reason for it, [...]"

      This year was the 100th anniversary of King's College Cambridge doing the 9 Lessons & Carols service.

      After much practice the actual chorister for the opening solo is only picked seconds before the live broadcast starts. A recent soloist talks about how his mind went blank at that moment - until he looked at his crib sheet for the opening words and tune.

      The BBC news video doesn't provide timeline specific links. It's just after the 1 minute mark.

    3. MaltaMaggot

      Re: Loopy passengers

      "In RPG terms..."

      And a new favourite expository method is born...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Loopy passengers

        That's the first time I've heard a Rocket Propelled Grenade described as an expository method.

        1. A.P. Veening

          Re: Loopy passengers

          RPG:

          - Rocket Propelled Grenade

          - Role Playing Game

          - Report Program Generator

          And those are just the three that immediately spring to mind.

        2. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Loopy passengers

          @jake. They do however, make extremely effective suppositories when dealing with a severe blockage.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Loopy passengers

            For rather large values of effective. One might even say overkill.

          2. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: Loopy passengers

            They do however, make extremely effective suppositories when dealing with a severe blockage.

            Which RPG though?

            I don't think I'd recommend either, funny shaped dice could only make the problem worse and military grade explosive would be a tad too terminal a solution.

    4. macjules Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Loopy passengers

      I've certainly lost the plot on how to deal with those electric passport gates. Every time I go through them there is someone in front of me stuck in a glass area with flashing red lights and screaming "I put the bloody passport in the right way", followed by that unfortunate being shown the way to the endless manually-checked queue.

      In the same way that Sainsbury's has just one person to handle the 20+ "Thank you for using Sainsbury's self checkout" counters (wait till Dignitas get that one, by the way) UK Borders seem to have one person to handle several thousand angry electric passporteers all putting their passport in incorrectly. I for one always tend to to put it in the right side down, but the wrong way round, and it usually takes a teenager rolling her eyes and making "he's not really my father" signs to the other passengers for me to realise my error.

      Perhaps there should be dummy tutorial machines along the long elasticised fencing to the machines, "hey well done, you managed to put your passport in correctly".

      1. The First Dave

        Re: Loopy passengers

        Whatever happened to being lenient about input?

      2. MrXavia
        Big Brother

        Re: Loopy passengers

        I always have to go to the manual gates, I'm not even going to try and use the automated gates again.

        Thought it was my passport, but my new one also has this issue for me, so there must be something about my face that their system doesn't like. Maybe i'm immune to AI facial recognition!

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Loopy passengers

      “If you have sprogs in your travel party, guaranteed they'll break first and harder with the added infliction of casting Embarrassment on the entire party”

      No chance...

      If you have sprigs in your party, you can only look on in anger as you queue for 2 hours to go through one of the two “personed” immigration desks with the other 10,000 families while gazing in awe at the banks of 20+ facial recognition systems that we can’t use with under 18 year olds.

      Not bitter at all....

    6. Goldmember

      Re: Loopy passengers

      In Manchester, there is no video. Just the airport drones giving you a repeat spoken-word performance of "Put your passport face down on the scanner and look ahead. Take off your glasses."

      At least 50% of glasses-donned passengers fail to remove said item once they arrive. And probably more fail to look ahead.

  4. Disk0

    Soon...

    There's one and only one reason anyone would want to know everything about everyone - being a snooping perv. We'll soon enough get to "enjoy" whatever corrupt ooze comes to fall out of aussie politico's mobes, illustrating hos neccesary it really is to keep them away from the public.

  5. TimMaher

    I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

    ... It’s Christmas Day.

    So I can say...

    I’ll get my coat.

    It’s the red one with the white faux fir trim.

    Yaayyy!!!!

    1. Commswonk Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

      It’s the red one with the white faux fir trim.

      Nice typo that; very seasonal.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

        On reflection I should perhaps have commented that even if it was white faux fir it still looked very spruce.

        1. TimMaher

          Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

          Total up vote. Auto correct is not even on.

          1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

            Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

            Auto correct is not even on.

            On your keyboard:

            [ Y ] [ U ] [ I ] [ O ]

            :o)

            1. TimMaher

              Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

              Exactly. Small pad, fat fingers.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

                "Exactly. Small pad, fat fingers."

                Not necessarily the problem. I find that I verbalise in my mind as I type. Therefore the occasional homonym slips through without me noticing until I proof read.

                Writing and typing are over-learned skills that are almost autonomous in their execution by a subsystem in the brain etc.

                So the conscious mind doesn't say "press f, press u, press r" - it says "write the word that sounds like 'fur' in the current context of the sentence". Where that context has wider ambiguity the autonomous system may decide on a different context. In this case the unconscious mind may even have seen the possible pun - like a Freudian slip.

                1. Montreal Sean

                  Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

                  Freud's first one. :)

                  https://goo.gl/images/7T7o37

                2. Roj Blake Silver badge

                  Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

                  Freudian slip: when you say one thing but mean your mother.

        2. Giovani Tapini

          Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

          Nice to see the jokes branching out once you twigged the punchline. merry Christmas!

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

            Those jokes are so old they are a copse. Everybody knot participating, take a bough.

            OK, ok, I'll leaf now ... it's time forrest anyway.

            1. TimMaher

              Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

              Agh!, Agghhh!!!!

              Up vote.

            2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

              Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

              Wood you leaf it alone now. Now is knot the time fir this kind of wood based gags...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

                "Now is knot the time fir this kind of wood based gags..."

                Now is knot the time fir this kindle of wood based gags...

                FTFY

          2. TimMaher

            Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

            Brilliant but grungy (is that a word?). Gets a vote.

      2. earl grey Silver badge

        Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

        a reply i was pining so see.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: I don’t know why I’m reading this except...

          Pining? Let's not get sappy.

  6. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Solution...

    Arrange for North Korea to extend automatic Nork citizenship to all elected Aussie politicians. A one-page memo on Nork letterhead is all that's required.

    Thus, immediately upon election, any and all Aussie politicians are disqualified from holding office, because of their ingenious anti-dual citizenship law. They'll have to resign. All of them.

    (The Norks can be motivated by offering revocation ceremonies in Pyongyang at US$1M per new Nork-Aussie citizen.)

    By this means, it would clearly show that Aussie lawmakers aren't very bright... Even they'd have to admit it, as they're dangling from their own petard.

    You're welcome.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Solution...

      Great suggestion, but wouldn't an impoverished African nation's citizenship work better in this case?

      Easier (and cheaper) to come by! ^_^

      You just need some money / politician as opposed to some magic.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Solution...

        "Great suggestion, but wouldn't an impoverished African nation's citizenship work better in this case?

        Easier (and cheaper) to come by! ^_^

        You just need some money / politician as opposed to some magic.

        I know an African Prince who has something in the region of SIXTY THREA MILLION US DOLLERSS! going spare.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

          Re: Solution...

          I know an African Prince who has something in the region of SIXTY THREA MILLION US DOLLERSS! going spare.

          By any chance an African Prince of Nigeria?

          If so, he should help out his Ghanan fellow instead if 418ing the world out xD

          https://mobile.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/I-invest-Ghc760-000-all-lock-inside-if-President-Akufo-Addo-no-speak-we-go-die-Menzgold-customer-711202?video=1

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Solution...

        Great suggestion, but wouldn't an impoverished African nation's citizenship work better in this case?

        Sounds like the start of a bidding war. All things considered, it might just work.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Solution...

          “Sounds like the start of a bidding war. All things considered, it might just work.”

          Or redundancy. Ensuring redundancy. I’d go as far as to suggest automatically granting citizenship of multiple counties to Aussie politicians that demonstrate a clear need for the honour.

          The challenge will be getting other countries to Implement this new gold standard in democracy...

    2. EVP

      Re: Solution...

      ”Thus, immediately upon election, any and all Aussie politicians are disqualified from holding office, because of their ingenious anti-dual citizenship law. They'll have to resign. All of them.”

      Absolutely ingenious, I salute you!

      Have one on me. Free as in free citizenship :p

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Solution...

      "[...] as they're dangling from their own petard."

      IIRC the correct expression is "hoisted by their own petard".

      A petard was a long pole with an explosive charge on the end. Premature detonation meant the person carrying it was blown up. Hence "hoisted" aloft by the explosion.

      1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Solution...

        IIRC the correct expression is "hoisted by their own petard".

        <pedantry>

        It would be correct if it were written today. It was "hoist with his own petard" originally.

        </pedantry>

        Not just for the sake of pointless grammatical pedantry though let us ponder how the original text may be unexpectedly relevant to the whole situation:

        -----------------

        They [politicians] bear the mandate; they must sweep my way [must serve us?]

        And marshal me to knavery [their actions will lead me to mischief]. Let it work,

        For ’tis the sport to have the enginer

        Hoist with his own petard; and ’t shall go hard

        But I will delve one yard below their mines [I'll use "unapproved" encryption they cannot break]

        And blow them at the moon [and they will not succeed]. O, ’tis most sweet

        When in one line two crafts directly meet [weakening everyone's encryption will not work against those who have their own agenda].

        --------------

        Do politicos re-read Shakespeare from time to time? It's fun...

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Solution...

          If you really want to be petulant and archaic, you could use "hoise by his own petard".

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Solution...

        A petard is just a small breaching charge. It doesn't necessarily have to be on a stick. Most were placed by hand, but some were fired from morters. Still are, actually, but they aren't usually called petards anymore ... the name has changed into many forms to describe the intended action of the charge.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Solution...

          "It doesn't necessarily have to be on a stick."

          Thanks for that - setting the charge by hand was much more hazardous. The long stick was presumably the practical version of the unrelated proverbial 10 foot barge pole.

        2. Stevie Silver badge

          Re: Solution...

          "Fired from mortars" would be the correct modern form.

          "Fyred fromme ye mortarres" woulde bee ye correcte forme yn antyquitee.

          1. hmv

            Re: Solution...

            "ye"

            No, sorry. I tried to ignore it but my OCD won't let me. It's "Þe" - the "y" used in such places is an attempt to replicate the pre-printing thorn which wasn't available in German printing sets.

        3. Swarthy Silver badge

          Re: Solution...

          A petard is a small breaching charge-named after the French word for flatulence.

          One could be hoist by their own petard by getting blown up by their own bomb (see "Scoring an Own-Goal") or by having such an intense discharge of gases that they are raised on a malodorous cloud of their own making.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Politicians are fully aware of the implications and once one five eyes country enforces back doors all the others can use them as well.

    The only back door I'm currently worried about is my own from all the turkey. Happy Holidays.

  8. Rol Silver badge

    Australia day

    Observed around the world by people wishing to mark the passing of a great nation, which during its time brought us Kylie Minogue, Neighbours, Cell block H, barbies and faux lager.

    Sadly, as the entire nation's secrets became public knowledge, 2019 didn't go too well for them. It seems an encrypted message from Scott Morrison to his chief of staff was intercepted, backdoored open, rewritten and redirected. The result of this hack, which is still to be proved, was Australia got listed on Ebay with bidding starting at one bit coin with only 5 minutes left to the close of bidding.

    Australia was eventually bought by a vegan pharmaceutical company, which began testing lipstick and all manner of noxious potions on the masses. By November of that year it was clear the 50% protocol was having a heavy toll, as each product was tested, as it is done in animal research labs, until 50% of the group had died.

    Death by cosmetics is now regarded by many as more gruesome than crucifixion.

    The last Australian expired while testing a new deodorant, which seemingly was so benign in its chemical make-up, they had to shoot the cannister from a makeshift cannon to fully complete the testing.

    Looking on the bright side though, we can all now enjoy safer cosmetics, drink proper lager and pat ourselves on the back for the rise in the planet's average IQ.

    Ho Ho Ho!

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Australia day

      Australia got listed on Ebay with bidding starting at one bit coin

      Unexpected twist:

      The Independent - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi 'put on sale' on eBay after claiming he would sell himself to help economy

      Ho Ho Ho!

      More like:

      <evillaugh>

      MWHAHAHAHAHA!

      </evillaugh>

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: Australia day

      Death by cosmetics is now regarded by many as more gruesome than crucifixion.

      Come on. Can't be any more gruesome than the Australian wildlife.....

      .....or the soap operas.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Australia day

      "on the masses"? Eh?

      Does Oz have enough of a population to even qualify as one mass, much less plural?

      1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

        Re: Australia day

        @jake the correct plural of aussies is cunts. I have found that Australia does indeed contain masses of cunts. Thus I would suggest that there are indeed masses of aussies.

    4. EVP

      Re: Australia day

      ”Australia was eventually bought by a vegan pharmaceutical company, which began testing lipstick and all manner of noxious potions on the masses. By November of that year it was clear the 50% protocol was having a heavy toll, as each product was tested, as it is done in animal research labs, until 50% of the group had died.”

      You missed to expose the whole truth. I feel obliged to share it, as cruel as it is.

      50% death toll limit was not reached because of exposure to toxic vegan chemicals. Oh boy, it wasn’t.

      Ruby lipstick. Death from laughter. Crocodile Dundee’s turn to apply.

      Need I say more?

  9. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Welcome back Dabbsy! =-D

    This place just isn't the same without you. Please join me at the bar so I can buy you a pint.

    *Happy Viking bear hug to prove it*

    Sorry about those ribs. It's just a flesh wound. You'll get better soon & go for walkies. =-)p

  10. thomas k

    Craig has nothing on you, Dabs

    Except maybe the pout.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Craig has nothing on you, Dabs

      Let's see...

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Craig has nothing on you, Dabs

        I knew a techie like that... we called 'im "double oh shit"

    2. Woodnag

      Re: Craig has nothing on you, Dabs

      ...and the very lovely wife.

  11. Giovani Tapini

    If this is how things are going to be

    I'll start working on ciphers again if I can't rely on encryption.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: If this is how things are going to be

      EGREN SOMELN STATE MILEY

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: If this is how things are going to be

        My UniversalDecoderRing[tm] suggests that you typoed "SOMEL".

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: If this is how things are going to be

          Then my encoder ring must be broken, still looks good to me :)

          1. Giovani Tapini

            Re: If this is how things are going to be

            I'll just wait with some gin while it's worked on

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: If this is how things are going to be

            Yours wasn't b0rken, SirSpoon ... The problem was on my end. I should know better than to buy anything from ebay ...

        2. Robert Forsyth

          Re: If this is how things are going to be

          If not LEMONS?

  12. JosephEngels

    Don't look at the man behind the curtain ...

    "It makes you wonder how the facial recognition works at international arrivals for certain UK airports since there's no Face ID-like depth analysis data on file with which to compare your real-life mug."

    I hate to burst your Christmas bubble, but if you thought there as anything clever about the system, you are sadly mistaken. As you pass the gates you will observe a border force chap in a small elevated booth ... if you glance through the window you will notic he has a couple of monitors, where each persons camera is presented alongside the photo from their passport, if he like the look of you, a click of the mouse is all that is needed to let you through.

    I really wish it was more sophisticated than that, but truly, it isn't.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: Don't look at the man behind the curtain ...

      if he like the look of you, a click of the mouse is all that is needed to let you through.

      So they're finding jobs for unemployed mice, as opposed to 'unemploying' border patrol folks

    2. Steevee

      Re: Don't look at the man behind the curtain ...

      I recently treated the missus to a trip to Dublin, but in order to get out of the airport and enjoy the craic, we first we had to pass through their "eGates". For those unfamiliar with the particular model used in Dublin airport, they are booths with glass doors front and rear, have one small photocopier like scanner that sucks in your face-down passport to take a memory of that, before a post mounted camera jigs up and down to match your eye-level and take a shot of your baffled and travel-weary fizzog.

      As we were queuing up, we could could hear lots of mumbling about "these bloody gates", and how they never work, but I went through without any palaver. However, when my wife tried, using a passport that is a few years younger and ratrher less dog-eared than mine, it wouldn't let her past, nor would it let her go back. The screen simply kept telling her to try again, repeatedly. We were less than six feet from an elevated booth containing bored border guards, but non seemed to have noticed that movement through this supposedly high-speed, self-op facility had ground to a halt. In the end I had to go up to this booth, bang on the glass (I've seen The Fifth Element, I know how this could end), and politely ask the nice man if I could possibly get my wife back, as it was her birthday.

      It's been said before, but travel security is nothing but theatre, implemented to try and make you feel safer, while simultaneously creating a market for expensive security hardware.

  13. jake Silver badge

    The thing about politicians and backdoors ...

    ... seems they tried it just for once, found it all right for kicks, but now we've found out they have a habit that sticks.

    (Apologies to Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley ... although I suspect they'd approve.)

  14. navidier

    "Hurrah for the western forces of good, globally renowned for its honest politicians, restrained security services and incorruptible police!"

    Indeed. Even the Premier once commented that NSW had the best police force money could buy.

  15. Yes Me Silver badge
    Happy

    I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

    π = 3

    Because if an Australian service provider can decrypt traffic encrypted with keys that it doesn't possess, it can only mean that pseudorandom numbers don't really exist, and since the continuing digits of π appear to be pseudo-random, they therefore don't really exist, so π must be an integer.

    So Australian legislators are right up there with - in fact, considerably stupider than - the Indiana legislature in 1897.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

      > it can only mean that pseudorandom numbers don't really exist,

      > and since the continuing digits of π appear to be pseudo-random

      If the first sentence is true, then the continuing digits of π are true random as opposed to pseudorandom, right?

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

        Well now you're getting deep into the metaphysics of randomness. Normally I wouldn't say this in public, but yes, IMNSHO there's a strong case for arguing that all apparent randomness including quantum randomness is just an extract from the digits of π. Why? Because when did you ever see an important equation in physics that didn't include π somewhere? Not that this will help anybody had up in an Oz court, of course.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

          E=mc^2

          Energy in a pie is equal to the mass of the pie when thrown at your face, twice.

          1. Yes Me Silver badge

            Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

            I think you meant the mess of the pie.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

              I'm fairly sure that today would be a good day to eat a whole mess of pie, should one be so inclined.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

                "I'm fairly sure that today would be a good day to eat a whole mess of pie, should one be so inclined.

                In the case of Brexit that will be an Eton Mess.

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

                  Careful, now ... They'll be calling for a Mess Committee if we carry this to it's illogical conclusion, and we wouldn't want that, now would we?

          2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

            Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

            @Sir Runcible Spoon

            Tell that to this friend of ours. Quite clearly stu-pi-fied by the pie.

          3. Mark 85 Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

            Energy in a pie is equal to the mass of the pie when thrown at your face, twice.

            Apple, cream, or mince???? The differences are important in this calculation.

            1. Giovani Tapini

              Re: I'm pretty sure I can prove that...

              Ah yes, density will affect energy transfer and heat generated....not to mention if it's a thin wide pie or tall an thin... sod it I'm just going to eat it, someone else can work it out.

  16. Woza
    Mushroom

    Speaking as an Aussie

    who works for a company in the encryption space, sometimes all you can do is quote Spaceballs:

    "Oh shit, there goes the planet."

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "entering the poetic equivalent of password1234."

    IIRC The password was not guessable - Aladdin overheard it being used. Unfortunately once inside - and the door had closed - he forgot what it was. He sort of remembered a context but couldn't name the right grain.

    His lucky find of the lamp allowed the genie to release him from the cave. The genie was the "backdoor" in both directions.

  18. chivo243 Silver badge

    Thank you, Alistair

    Thanks Alistair, I don't feel so alone in this technological wasteland. You brilliantly cut through the BS, and then add your own layer, nicely done! Thanks for 2018, looking forward to 2019!

  19. David Roberts Silver badge
    Trollface

    Doorways and walls?

    In earthquake country you are recommended to stand in a doorway because it can be safer.

    Not sure if this is protection against ceiling collapse only, but if you look at aftermath photos, quite often the door frame is still standing when all the walls have fallen down.

    In which case your back door may provide additional security. In certain extreme cases, obviously.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Doorways and walls?

      It's because the additional framing around a door makes it stronger than the rest of the walls. Also, door frames won't have weakened points where wire & plumbing are run.

      Standing in your back door is contraindicated in an earthquake ... if you can get to it, get outside. The advice for standing in a doorway during an earthquake is if you are caught in the house. Note that depending on what's outside might make the "get outside" a bad idea ... hanging out under overhead wires, a carport, an old hollow oak tree or what have you might not be the best place to take shelter during a temblor. Best to make your exit plans in advance if you live in earthquake country.

      As I type, I'm a couple hundred yards from the Rogers Creek fault, probable location of California's next big one ... When, not if! is the mantra around here :-)

      1. A.P. Veening

        Re: Doorways and walls?

        "As I type, I'm a couple hundred yards from the Rogers Creek fault, probable location of California's next big one ... When, not if! is the mantra around here :-)"

        Don't worry, everything east of San Andreas will eventually slide into the Atlantic ;)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Doorways and walls?

          "everything east of San Andreas will eventually slide into the Atlantic"

          Common misconception. Actually, everything East of the New Madrid / Wabash Valley seismic zones will fall into the Atlantic. The rest of us will party.

  20. Mage Silver badge

    Evidently, they are politician detectors.

    Brilliant.

    I wonder too about the UK Parliament Petition site. What is it intended to detect?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Evidently, they are politician detectors.

      It detects people who are daft enough to think that online petitions mean anything to politicians.

  21. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Backdoor man - pedantry alert

    The blues culture that Robert Plant was quoting from (or ripping off wholesale, if you prefer) used the term 'backdoor man' to describe a man who would slip out the back door of the house as his lover's husband came home. No entry implied. Fortunately the idiom that was used to get song lyrics past prudish mid-20th century American censors has much more amusing interpretations and you have to marvel at the lack of imagination of those censors 70 years ago -- but maybe that was an unavoidable result of the job spec.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Backdoor man - pedantry alert

      We know.

      TINW

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Backdoor man - pedantry alert

      Explained in Since I've Been Lovin' You.

  22. FuzzyWuzzys Silver badge
    Coat

    Hmmmm

    Anyone else have trouble getting over the phrase "backdoor man"? Just me, Kenneth Connor and the cast of Allo Allo then, I'll get me....

  23. tiggity Silver badge

    Why no mention of

    Jim Morrison (Doors) backdoor man vocals?

    The delivery drips licentiousness

  24. SNAFUology
    Mushroom

    Up There Cazaly

    Well getting up the their arses is easy in Australia because they're such a bunch of slack arseholes. I can say this as I'm an Aussie.

    Take Australia's laws of 'fit for purpose', you might think this would scuttle Microsoft's operating system, Adobe products and just about all software but {yawn} Aussies couldn't be bothered pushing for proper regulation or hammering these companies in court.

    So when it comes to getting up the arse of any device to peek at the shit going on there - {yawn] Australia grumbles something half asleep and rolls over.

    Doo, doo, doo, lookin' out my back door - normally this viewpoint would be for arsehats, persons who have their head firmly wedged in that location.

    But No it's the #SNAFU of Cyber everywhere.

  25. Uncompromiser

    Backdoor Man

    Sorry to disappoint you and your dirty mind, but 'back-door man' is a West Indian (especially Jamaican) expression describing someone who is having an affair with an already married lady. He therefore has to sneak out of the back door when hubby comes home after the 'back-door man' has had a bit of afternoon delight...so he is referred to as her 'back-door man'.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Backdoor Man

      Really‽‽‽ Is that what it means? We had no idea! I must get on the horn and let Willie Dixon know. I'm sure he'll be fascinated!

      Tunage: Howlin' Wolf, The Red Rooster

  26. Dabbb Bronze badge

    How airport face id works

    Not sure about UK airports but in Australian ones there's a counter right past smart gates where a dedicated customs officer compares whether picture taken by camera matches picture in passport and presses a button to let you through.

  27. bpfh Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    Ahhh Biometric Gates

    Make passport control easier. And Faster. And is the reason why i "by mistake" take the non-EU channel for the Eurostar both in Paris and London as invariably the manual from one passport control agent go faster than the forest of bloody "automatic" gates...

  28. Beerengine

    Airport facial recognition

    Last time I was filtered through this channel I got sent back to the human checks. Apparently being 6ft 3in (190cm) means I am too tall for the camera to get to, and I have a beard which restricts the ability to do the facial recognitions. Men with beards break the UK border facial recognition s/w; how can that be a problem?

    1. DJSpuddyLizard

      Re: Airport facial recognition

      Men with beards break the UK border facial recognition s/w; how can that be a problem?

      It was a problem for the Victorians, and is still a problem.

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