* Posts by Flocke Kroes

2646 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

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Words mean different things to different people

In the security services, "trusted" means "someone who can betray you".

UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms

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Re: Rupert Fiennes

Thanks for the link. If you read the report you will notice that the net contribution is calculated as (Money to the EU)-(Money back to the UK government). It misses out money back to the UK private sector (which exceeds money back to the UK government).

It also misses out EU citizens working over here and paying UK taxes. A big thank you to my Dutch NHS GP and all the Polish bus drivers (and their very welcome tobacco tax).

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Re: Tigra 07

The UK contributed to Galileo and as a result negotiated and received a share of the pork for R&D. Part of the contract we insisted on was that only EU members are allowed big lumps of Galileo pork. Until recently, Brits have done an excellent job of getting an unfair share of EU pork so most of the ~£350M/week came back.

Although I firmly believe our government lack the skills to negotiate their way out of a wet paper bag I do not blame them that much for this particular cock-up. Everyone in the UK is now is a lousy position to tender for long term EU projects and our share of the pork has already fallen.

Article 50 has always been particularly clear: any EU member that leaves gets fucked over by all the others on the way out. If any Brexit voter is any happy about this they can go to the bathroom, look in the mirror and rant at one of the people responsible.

Astroboffins may have found the first exomoon lurking beyond the Solar System

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More big moons in the solar system

The solar system has four rocky planets, one with a large moon. The moons of the four giant planets are small compared to their primaries but Ganymede, Titan, Callisto and Io are all bigger than Luna also Europa and Triton are bigger than Pluto. There are currently five dwarf planets: Pluto and Eris both have relatively large moons. So far three Trans Neptunian Objects also have large moons (Orcus, Salacia and 2007 OR10)

(The JWs try to tell me Earth is really unusual because of its large moon. I like to show them this pretty picture)

What do Zuck, Sergey, @Jack and Bezos have in common? They don't want encryption broken

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Re: Change

I can change my search engine today.

The next general election is scheduled for May 2022. Although there may be a few different faces I am not expecting any real change in the government.

The ink's not dry on California'a new net neutrality law and the US govt is already suing

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Re: comms companies can't throw you in prison ...

... yet, but when they want such power Pai will grant it to them.

Boffin: Dump hardware number generators for encryption and instead look within

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Just tested it

Version 1: The time drops rapidly for the first nine samples, then remains fairly constant with the last digits showing five or six bits of entropy. Multiple runs show the way the time drops for the first 9 samples is quite consistent. Around 70 unique samples per run.

Version 2: 3 unique samples per run with the most common turning up 75% of the time and the least common usually first.

Version 3: 2 unique samples with the most common turning up 96% of the time.

Version 4: Same as version 3.

Version 5: Only about 30 unique values per run.

Version 1 was not optimised. Version 2 used -O2. Version 3 diverted output to a file instead of pasting output from a window into a file. Version 4 moved the printf to a separate loop from the sample generator. Version 5 was like version 4 but without the -O2.

Conclusion: Use with lots of caution. Make absolutely certain your test code and production code use the same compiler options. Much of the randomness comes from "printf" and what it outputs to.

Trump's axing of cyber czar role has left gaping holes in US defence

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Re: There More than One Way to Skin a Skunk RAT and Address a Virtual Land Grab

To the best of my knowledge, amanfromMars 1 is a travesty generator. I can understand your confusion because some of the other commentards here are even more incoherent.

Amid Trump-China tariff tiff, Cisco kit prices to resellers soar up to 25%

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Re: Meh

If manufacture does return to the US (or Mexico) then a 25% tax on Chinese goods will result in a 15% mark up on local manufacture plus another 9% from reduced economies of scale.

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How about ...

We are going to pay for firewalls and the Mexicans are going to build them!

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

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Re: Why ...Press F1 to continue... was stupid

This is pre-dates USB by a long time. Hotplug hardware was somewhere between rare and fictional so plugging the keyboard back in could break the keyboard, motherboard or both. As the hardware did not support hotplug there was no reason to have the software handle it. If the hardware survived then the firmware in the keyboard controller could hang so the machine would need a power cycle anyway.

Now imagine you have got your server almost ready to install on site. You remove the keyboard and video card because no-one will be typing on that machine, switch on and the damn thing beeps at you. You read the manual for the motherboard and discover the beep code means the BIOS has not detected the video card and refuses to boot. You put the video card back in and try again: the machine hangs. Attempt three with a monitor shows the infamous "Keyboard not detected. Press F1 to continue". After summoning a horde of demons to hunt down and sandpaper the programmer responsible you dust off a coffee stained keyboard and rip the keycaps off it so the machine will boot (and the customer will not press the wrong button).

Years later, Microsoft came up with: "Mouse not detected. Click here to change."

HP Ink should cough up $1.5m for bricking printers using unofficial cartridges – lawsuit

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Re: Don't get me started

The problem was you started by making a purchase instead of doing a proper search for a device to meet your requirements. I bought an Epson printer 9 years ago because the driver was a included in Debian and there was cheap third party ink available. It still works fine - and 6 sets of ink cartridges are under £15.

Got any ecsta-sea? Boffins get octopuses high on MDMA – for science, duh

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Re: "California two-spot octopus"

Octopuses are Greek, not Roman so the plural would be octopedes (like centipus millipus :-)

30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

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Re: Alternative 2018 floppy disc put-down

Swallow the coffee and put down the cup. USB and internal 3½" floppy drives are still for sale on Amazon. You can even buy a pack of disks - you will only need 4 for the Raspberry Pi Linux kernel!

Revealed: The billionaire baron who’ll ride Elon’s thrusting erection to the Moon and back

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Re: moon landing

The next step up from a trip around the moon is to refuel the BFS-crew in orbit with the BFS-tanker. The BFS-crew could then land on the moon and return to Earth without further refuelling.

<embiggen>If</embiggen> Dearmoon and the first crewed LOP-G mission both launch on their no-earlier-than dates, Dearmoon goes first.

UK.gov isn't ready for no-deal Brexit – and 'secrecy' means businesses won't be either

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Re: No shit, Sherlock?

The problem with getting rid of politicians - no matter what method you use - is that the replacements are even worse. Executing the Westminster civil will require setting up a new working group and hiring staff to investigate the most cost intensive method. Start with a £100M budget and a two year deadline then after five years and £500M the project will be abandoned due to cost and restarted a year later.

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill

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Re: Bloody foreigners ...

... over here doing jobs Brits won't or can't do, paying taxes, supporting our pensioners. We must put a stop to that at once! Build a wall! Make the EU pay for it! Make England Grab Again!

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Re: Neverendum

Before the referendum, Brexits thought they would lose by a small amount. They set up a petition to repeat the referendum until their was a 60/40 majority in either direction. When the results were announced Bremainers jumped on the petition and took it to 4,150,262 signatures.

US govt concedes that you can indeed f**k Nazis online: Domain-name swear ban lifted

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Re: Bottom hidden by fog

Foggy Bottom is not in the zip code database. It should be in a list of US historic districts, but I could not quickly find one in plain text format to search.

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Re: No Penistone in the US

I used regular expression searches on a free ZIP code database so I should have found all the shit. I did not search for crap, but since you mention it there is Crapo in Maryland (the other Maryland, not the railway station near Stratford).

Although the US has no Rambottoms they make up for it with Ship Bottom, Beech Bottom, Hop Bottom, Walnut Bottom, Stony Bottom, Fraziers Bottom, Johnson Bottom, Clover Bottom, Dilles Bottom, Carpenter Bottom, Long Bottom, Broad Bottom, Rubottom, Beaver Bottom and Peach Bottom.

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No Scunthorpe in the US

But I did find Wishita and Toppenish and a selection of male chickens including Onancock. There are also Larsen Bay, Coarsegold, Harsens Island, Marseilles and a few Arsenals.

The grand-plus iPhone is the new normal – this is no place for paupers

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Re: Eff off Apple

Extra glue and price have worked really well for Apple. I expect more of the same next year.

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

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Watch out for PETS

People for the Ethical Treatment of Software will be after you. Stallman has been claiming for ages that software should be free. If you are not paying at least minimum wage you are part of the problem. Next you will be claiming that the copyright of photographs does not belong to the camera.

British Airways hack: Infosec experts finger third-party scripts on payment pages

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Re: That is neither here nor there.

It is precisely here and there. Disabling javascript drastically reduces the attack surface so there are a thousand fewer ways to slurp the data. The Scammers went after BA despite Amazon having ten times the revenue and far more customers.

Amazon make it abundantly clear when you are dealing with a partner. You would really have to be stoned out of you brain not to notice. I can tell you precisely what happened to me the only time I got scammed by an Amazon partner. When I tried to complain to Amazon they instantly offered a full refund or credit on my account. The entire process took under two minutes. I have never received such excellent customer server from any other internet / mail order vendor.

I would dearly love a competitor to Amazon because they are near enough a monopoly. First thing that competitor has to do is demonstrate a minimal understanding of security by having their site work without javascript.

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Re: how they may be fixed in a satisfactory manner

Amazon works fine with javascript disabled.

(PS I would be very interested to hear about any other vendor who can sell without javascript.)

Dust off that old Pentium, Linux fans: It's Elive

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Re: GUI ?

A modern Pi is fine with a sensible GUI. XFCE is a good choice but there are plenty of other light weight GUIs to suit all but the people who need their windows semi transparent and rotating over the surface of a klein bottle.

Dear America: Want secure elections? Stick to pen and paper for ballots, experts urge

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Re: Time Machine Invented!

Michigan Link: On 2018-08-16 DNC security partner Lookout tested the DNC's email security by setting up phishing sites to collect user names and passwords. This information was then sent back in time to before the 2016 election so that DNC emails could be leaked.

Oracle link: The Internet Research Agency indictment is dated 2018-02-16. Google said they had taken steps to prevent similar trolling by the Russians. CfA tested this by setting up account using the Internet Research Agency's address and doing some trolling. Apparently this trolling travelled back in time to before the 2016 election and caused the indictment.

Cover up your privates: Linux distro Tails drops a new version

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I knew the NSA took an interest in people searching for Tails since at least 2012. Apparently they still cared in 2016. To be certain of getting onto a (really big) watch list, go to the Tails web site.

No, no, you're all wrong. That's not a Kremlin agent. It's someone with 'inauthentic behavior'

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Re: ST

Apparently declaring bankruptcy and posting dumb shit on Twitter does make one qualified to be President.

Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

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Doesn't matter what his crime was

Would you really want to lend money to a man who will try to pay it into the account of a non-existent American company by using a the wrong account number for a company with a similar name in London?

Hello 'WOS': Windows on Arm now has a price

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Re: Local video playback

Local video playback time measures how much the OEM restricted screen brightness when not plugged into the mains.

Toshiba crams 14TB into another helium drive, this time with SAS boost

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Re: Helium?

Helium is difficult to contain, which is why He drives took a lot of R&D but it worked. MTBF increased by a factor of 2 to 6 (depending on what you compared against). These are now real results from field tests, not guesses for a new product.

Air drives are not sealed. They have an air filter that can fail. They also suffer in humid environments. Air gets turbulent more easily, wobbles the heads and vibrates the platters as well as raising the temperature.

If a Helium drive leaks there will be a detectable change in pressure so there will be some warning before failure - but I would not bet on getting the 16 hours warning required to image the whole 14TB.

No do-overs! Appeals court won’t hear $8.8bn Oracle v Google rehash

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Re: *nix is toast

The SCO group never owned Unix but that did not stop the bankruptcy trustee selling TSG's (non-existent) rights to Unix to some dupe. Novell was bought by Attachmate which was bought by Micro Focus.

Micro Focus is selling SUSE to EQT Partners which will split it out into a new subsidiary Blitz 18-679 GmbH. I have no idea if Unix is moving with SUSE.

UK getting ready to go it alone on Galileo

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When a sensible person contributes towards the construction costs of a gym they make certain they are legally entitled to a share of the profits.

Now withdraw your pension plan in cash and tell me which MP you would trust invest it on your behalf.

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Re: Money tree

We should adopt the leaf as currency then everyone can have their own money tree.

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Re: UK has the resources

Setting up something like eLoran in the UK or a small constellation that only provides UK coverage is an interesting idea. Satnavs can always use the civilian signals from GPS, Glonass and Galileo but when the RAF needs to drop bombs with military precision the only place they will be able to do it would be the UK.

If the planned delivery date is going to be about five years from now I propose 2023-11-05 for the first live ammo test.

Lo and behold, Earth's special chemical cocktail for life seems to be pretty common

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Re: So, why don't we still have dinosaurs?

"So as well as having us, the result of billions of years of evolution from the first time that life appeared, there would also be forms of plants, animals and all the rest that are the product of evolution from the second time that life started on Earth. And from the third, fourth, the seventy-seventh, the 2,916'th and so on."

Modern life has enzymes that make DNA replication fast. Early life did not. Nip back in your TARDIS and bring some early life here and it will get eaten before it can reproduce. Perhaps life did start multiple times in Earth's distant past but it cannot do so again while every habitable environment on the planet is infested with organisms selected by millions of years of evolution to be efficient at exploiting their environment.

Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

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The other suspicious claim

They also claimed a sample was still super conductive at 77°C but they could not find the critical temperature because it was higher than the limit of their equipment. The equipment mentioned in the paper works up to 400K (127°C).

Oh my Tosh, it's only a 100TB small form-factor SSD, SK?

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Re: How many electrons per bit?

For 20nm planer flash the number of electrons per level dropped to under 10. 3D nand uses a larger geometry (40nm?) so there are more electrons per level. It looks like about 20 on the graph near then end of this. As far as I know the geometry is not shrinking any more and the extra capacity comes from more layers per die, more dies in a stack and putting the control circuits on a separate die instead of around the edge so the whole area of the die can contain layers of cells.

Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

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Re: what exactly is the need for a new department

The traditional reason for having separate armed services is to ensure they bicker among themselves instead of deposing the King/government. If the army is looking a bit rebellious you can have the air force drop bombs on them. If the air force is a problem you can send in the army to capture air bases.

A space force that controls reconnaissance, communications and GPS satellites could wreak havoc by sending fake news from these sources. In this case I think it is just a distraction to keep other self inflicted embarrassments out of the news and comes with a big pork bonus.

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Re: why they need it

This is not about Mars Attacks! The US has plenty of military assets is space already for reconnaissance, communications and GPS. The plan is to separate these functions from existing armed services and create an extra chain of command, payroll and admin that spends an additional $8 billion on bureaucracy. The bonus feature is to let certain voters think they are getting a copy of / replacement for NASA that is not infested with libtards.

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Which is worse ...

... dumping $8x10⁹ down the toilet or the proposed logos?

How evil JavaScript helps attackers tag possible victims – and gives away their intent

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Re: What if you don't allow JS at all?

Although there are many attack surfaces the vast majority of browser malware depends (depended?) on javascript at some point even if the flaw being exploited was not in javascript itself. If you are a little fish disabling javascript makes you considerably safer (unless lots of other little fish find the off switch). If you are a whale then it could be worth someone's time to create some software just for your unusual configuration.

Bank on it: It's either legal to port-scan someone without consent or it's not, fumes researcher

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Another reason do disable javascript

I do not usually put much thought into javascript because I have kept it disabled since it was first dumped on the internet. Now that I know javascript can connect to arbitrary ports on localhost I spent a few seconds thinking of a way to abuse the capability. The glaringly obvious attack is to connect to the X server because there will be a valid authentication record in ~/.Xauthority

[Frothing at the mouth snarling rant aimed at programmers who created this advertisers' wet dream without spending even a few seconds considering the collateral damage any time they add a "cool new feature".]

X protocol is a pain to implement. So awful that the server and client code is mechanically generated from the definition. A reasonably clever programmer could use the same technique to create a javascript X client for malware. Too late, already happened.

NAND we'll send foreign tech packing, says China of Xtacking: DRAM-speed... but light on layer-stacking

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Bandwidth / Latency

Speed is a bit vague. 3Gb/s measures bandwidth. DRAM's valuable feature over flash is low latency. If they want to claim a similar "speed" to DRAM they should demonstrate comparable latency.

Dear alt-right morons and other miscreants: Disrupt DEF CON, and the goons will 'ave you

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Re: What's in it for them?

Is anybody nervous about people finding out elctions can be hacked?

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Re: Excellent

There are plenty of stories about Trump having a copy of Hitler's speeches. That never worried me before but I just found evidence he can read.

Basic bigot bait: Build big black broad bots – non-white, female 'droids get all the abuse

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Re: Last time I checked Spain was in Europe...

US racists can be really strange. A friend of mine is black in the UK but in the US he is English.

This hot Summer has turned me a bit brown. If I dyed my hair black how would I be treated in the US? Last time I was in Florida some of the locals understood my few (European) Portuguese phrases better than my English accent.

Cheap NAND nasty: Flooding market with chips threatens prices

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ASP is an Egyptian snake or Average Selling Price. NAND is a first name in India or logic element that only outputs false when all the inputs are true: x nand y equals not (x and y). Flash can be made out of NAND or NOR gates. NOR flash has better endurance but NAND flash has a much lower price/bit. 10% drop QoQ means something will be 0.9 times what it was three months ago - misinterpreting that is a bit of a stretch. 3Q18: third quarter of 2018.

So Mr Nand Flash from India has a pet Egyptain snake that will slowly climb down a tree in the second half of this year.

Make Facebook, Twitter, Google et al liable for daft garbage netizens post online – US Senator

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Re: I wonder...

Imagine some children entering a school through a metal detector which bleebs for each of them. There are three bored security guards paying no attention as children with bigger and bigger guns pass. Finally a child passes without setting off the metal detector. Two guards rush in and rugby tackle the child. The third grabs the child's backpack and pulls out ... a video game.

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