* Posts by John H Woods

2515 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Viacom exposes crown jewels to world+dog in AWS S3 bucket blunder

John H Woods
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which is it?

"no material impact" or "rectified the issue"

The only way to really rectify the issue (from the technical perspective) is to change everything that has been exposed (keys, passwords, maybe even server names). From a management perspective, there's even more work to do to prevent even a partial repetition.

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DXC squeezes suppliers for extra margin, issues ultimatum

John H Woods
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"Where do you think British manufacturing went or hadn't you noticed?"

I wish people wouldn't say this, Britsh manufacturing has a hard enough time without the constant refrain that we don't have much. The U.K. is a pretty major global manufacturer: bottom of the top 10 in the world, perhaps, but still top 10.

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Hi Amazon, Google, Apple we might tax you on revenue rather than profit – love, Europe

John H Woods
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even simpler

Corporation tax should be 0%

Tax the employees and the owners/shareholders when they take money out.

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Oracle throws weight behind draft US law to curtail web sexploitation

John H Woods
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Re: Aren't there already enough laws?

I rarely agree with Orlowski, but his articles are usually well worth reading... Journalism should challenge one's own preconceptions. And it's hard to find fault in AO's journalism, even if you think his analysis is wrong and some of his opinions are bonkers.

And whilst I would tend to agree that more laws are usually just a noisy distraction, in this instance the article mentions a specific case that was not covered by an existing law... so I did learn something.

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Boffins hijack bootloaders for fun and games on Android

John H Woods
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Re: Is this a problem ?

Always use a USB condom

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Fruit flies' brains at work: Decision-making? They use their eyes

John H Woods
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eyes as brains ...

... makes a lot of sense to me ...there's a lot of processing in visual circuitry before you see anything ... edge detection, etc. From assign evolutionary perspective perhaps ir is most likely that light sensitive cells developed from more general neurons.

The article also reminds me that I didn't really understand what impressionist art was all about until reading Proust's account of the (fictional, I think) painter Elstir ... where he presents as the attempt to capture the raw sensation of light before any such processing has occurred. Actually, there's a lot of great stuff in "In Search of Lost Time" ... if you've got a spare year, i recommend it!

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Hurricane Irma imperils first ever SpaceX shuttle launch: US military's secret squirrel X-37B

John H Woods
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Re: Re. storms

It would be the mutant crocodiles that would worry me!

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Climate-change skeptic lined up to run NASA in this Trump timeline

John H Woods
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Re: Skepticism

"The greens have no realistic replacement for it, no matter what they may claim."

We most certainly do have a replacement, a clean power source that will probably see us through to the establishment of space based solar. That replacement is nuclear power and I can assure you that I am not only "Green" who thinks this.

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

John H Woods
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Re: Personally

Sample size requirements are hard to "intuit"

For instance, if 14 people out of a randomly selected sample of 70 are X, and the remaining 80% non-X, you've already got a 95% confidence that the true population frequency of X people is between 12% and 28%, however big the population.

This is why you can get reliable polls even if you ask fewer than 1 in 100,000 people. The randomness of the sample is vastly more important than its size.

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'Independent' gov law reviewer wants users preemptively identified before they're 'allowed' to use encryption

John H Woods
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The main requirement for being a silk...

...is being able to persuade a group of laymen of the truth or falsehood of some proposition, determined respectively entirely by who is paying you ... whilst remaining utterly regardless of the truth of the matter.

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I say, BING DONG! Microsoft's search engine literally cocks up on front page for hours

John H Woods
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fortunately...

... My wife has very good eyesight.

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What code is running on Apple's Secure Enclave security chip? Now we have a decryption key...

John H Woods
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"Isn't it a fundamental principle of encryption..."

Indeed: Kerckhoffs' principle

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London council 'failed to test' parking ticket app, exposed personal info

John H Woods
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Re: So yeat another case of "Don't re-check system generated data that's been read back in."

The content of a URL is data! Are you a PHB?

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Russia's answer to Buckminster Fuller has a buttload of CGI and he's not afraid to use it

John H Woods
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Re: Straddling bus

A shoddy prototype was constructed, but the TEB was a scam.

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Apple bag-search class action sueball moves to Cali supreme court

John H Woods
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Re: Dear Lord!

The only reason they need to ask a court is because it's the only body whose answer is authoritative. Obviousness is an irrelevance.

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Strip club selfie bloke's accidental discharge gets him 6 years in clink

John H Woods
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"He's lucky it didn't go off in his pocket then..."

IS2R some old British Army joke about a serviceman keeping a souvenir weapon he had acquired on manoeuvres which, due to his lack of familiarity with the model, went off in his pocket neatly severing the top of his manhood.

He was drummed out of the army, of course, not for keeping the weapon or any subsequent negligence but because "everyone knows you have to be a complete knob to be in the British Army"

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Red Hat banishes Btrfs from RHEL

John H Woods
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Re: Anyone else just use ext4?

Ext4 locally, ZFS on my fileserver.

My fileserver snapshots my few TB or RaidZ3 every minute. If I've set it up right, there's no remote admin login, so you need physical access to delete snapshots.

I cryptolockered the lot from a throwaway VM attached via NFS and it was possible to rapidly recover every single file from snapshots... I didn't even need to restore anything from backup.

ZFS is marvellous... Let's just get the licence issue resolved...

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Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

John H Woods
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995 vs 1005

Very reasonable argument but I would suggest there are two significant complications.

1st, I don't think even a quite narrow set of skills can be measured on a one dimensional index.

2nd, I don't think even Google has got hiring practices that ensure they never hire people below the 99 percentile.

But the principle problem with his manifesto is context rather than intrinsic quality. The guy is not an anthropologist publishing a paper for a research department.

I could produce some pretty good science to support the Peter Principle and the Denning Kruger Effect but I don't think I'd submit a paper on these if my company asked for my thoughts on how people were selected for promotion!

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John H Woods
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Facts and context...

It is a fact that blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime in the USA. I don't for a moment think it has anything to do with being black, but it's a fact. I would be very against the firing of, e.g., an anthropologist who published some work looking into explaining this fact.

But, if my employer were to say "our employee diversity doesn't sufficiently represent our country's diversity, let's do something about that" it would be utterly contemptible for another employee to say "I'm not a racist, but blacks commit disproportionately more crime in the USA."

On a purely technical level, it's irrelevant. As hiring policies presumably address candidates' convictions before inviting to interview, a black candidate or employee is clearly no more likely to be a criminal than a white one. But more importantly, in the *context* of a discussion on employee diversity, expression of this fact is completely unacceptable.

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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

John H Woods
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Re: Detecting Wireshark

A classic way of detecting wireshark or other network snooping is to reserve some IP addresses for that purpose; send a packet to the client from one of them and see if that is followed by a reverse DNS lookup for that IP address. Of course, you can turn off revDNS in Wireshark (anybody else wish they'd kept the old name, Ethereal?) and I should imagine most other network snooping tools but a lot of folk leave it on for convenience.

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No, Apple. A 4G Watch is a really bad idea

John H Woods
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Who needs a watch?

You checked Facebook less than 210 seconds ago.

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Send mixed messages: Mozilla wants you to try its encrypted file sharing

John H Woods
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Security through obscurity...

That is what this is, right? You're just hiding the key somewhere else. Text message, perhaps? Or is it for those edge cases where you have access to secure transmission of a key, but not of a file?

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Why do you cry when chopping onions? No, it's not crippling anxiety, it's this weird chemical

John H Woods
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Stop

Re: 9kg?

A 12 oz onion is pretty large, but ok, dealing with large onions it's half an onion per week. Out by a factor of 4 or 5? Nonsense ... now you are looking at onions weighing more than a kilo each.

6oz of onions per week is hardly any onions. I don't care if it is one decent size onion, as I said, half a large onion, as you said, or a quarter of some prize behemoth ... it's still hardly any onions.

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John H Woods
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9kg?

"The US National Onion Association estimates that the average American chows through about nine kilograms (20 pounds) of onions every year – that’s a lot of tears."

I should imagine it's the US NOA that's weeping, as this effectively means Americans don't really eat onions ... one decent sized onion per week ... really?

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Thought your divorce was ugly? Bloke sues wife for wiretapping – 'cos she read his email

John H Woods
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Surely in the UK...

... it world be an offence to read an e-mail for somebody else even if it were on a shared computer?

Sidenote ... this does not even scratch the surface in terms of how ugly divorces can get.

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Cardiff did Nazi that coming: Hackers slap Trump, swastikas, Sharia law on e-sign

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The Telegraph has killed Prince Philip

John H Woods
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surely...

Should be NN and not XX? Although it'll be 1NN in a few years.

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If you love your email standards, SMTP your feet: 35 years later

John H Woods
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Re: user-whitelisting

You don't even need a domain, just use plus-form addressing. Say you are G2@gmail.com.

Tell El Reg you are G2+elreg@gmail.com. Tell Tesco you are G2+tesco@gmail.com. Tell your bank you are G2+53CR3T@gmail.com.

All of those will find their way into G2@gmail.com and all you have to do is filter them. And if you get spam to one of them, you know which one leaked.

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Arcade Fire releases album on USB fidget spinner for £79/$105

John H Woods
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Re: Finite and Infinite

Zero is allowed in the numerator. Percentages higher than 100 are perfectly acceptable. People who live in glass houses ...

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Petition calls for Adobe Flash to survive as open source zombie

John H Woods
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Much of the Flash ...

... that is worth keeping can simply be converted to video. I rather liked the "Decline of Video Gaming" series ...

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Amazing new algorithm makes fusion power slightly less incredibly inefficient

John H Woods
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Re: Optometrist Algorithm

" Which is better for actual vision?" Doug's

I've a feeling your optometrist is asking you which you prefer

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Adobe will kill Flash by 2020: No more updates, support, tears, pain...

John H Woods
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Re: Webmasters, get your act together!

Ookla does actually have an insufficiently publicised nonflash version

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But how does our ransomware make you feel?

John H Woods
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Re: This isn't RESEARCH its validating known work.

I'm no psychology expert, but is that a huge chip on your shoulder?

Even if the "PhD on the team" as you call him (actually a senior lecturer) had published this in a journal, collating, reviewing, assessing and validating other research is in itself a bread and butter research activity. But he's not even doing that, he's producing a report he has been commissioned to write.

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Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

John H Woods
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Re: Free gift

Paninis...

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John H Woods
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Re: Testiculate

I doubt it. Military slang for long enough from me to remember it from childhood in JHQ Rheindahlen...another useful Mil. portmanteau is the term for someone who is a bit of a dick and gets in the way... Knobstacle.

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John H Woods
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Re: Testiculate

It's waving your hands about and talking bollocks.

Did they only get half the joke?

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Why you'll never make really big money as an AI dev

John H Woods
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Really big money ...

... cannot be made on salary.

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Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C

John H Woods
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Re: In over 40 years of programming ...

(Languages sort: [:x :y | x excellence > y excellence]) first name = 'Smalltalk'

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US laptops-on-planes ban now applies to just one airport, ends soon

John H Woods
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Re: Guns

"What does this mean? Potentially-dangerous objects being carried on to planes *is* the context." -- bloodbeastterror

That's exactly what I meant ... one of the great things about El Reg is that it's one of the few publications that bothers with context whilst others sensationalise terrorist threats, Tesla crashes, SpaceX failures, vaping "risks" etc.

Perhaps I should have used a <sarc> tag...

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John H Woods
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Re: Guns

"It's kind of weird that the gun stats were thrown into this article"

Indeed, increasingly few news publications understand the importance of context.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

John H Woods
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Re: Not my opinion!

I told that riddle to a female med student (and serious feminist) and she couldn't solve it. Shows how ingrained it is.

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User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

John H Woods
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Re: the nub of the issue...

Ah, I may not have been clear, that's exactly the point I was trying to make. Almost nobody would consider it reasonable to phone the Mechanic with nothing more than "my car doesn't work," so it's not unreasonable for us techies to require more than " it doesn't work"

We're not asking for technical knowledge, just basic observation!

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John H Woods
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the nub of the issue...

Whilst it is perfectly acceptable for a user to refer to an inability to access the Internet as "the Internet is down [let's have a tea break]" it's not really an appropriate thing to say to a person from whom you seek technical assistance. The blue E has gone from my desktop; I get a dialog box when I click it; it always says Page not Found... I'd have no problem with any of these, just as I'd expect any half decent mechanic to be perfectly satisfied with a client who says the vehicle pulls to the right; vibrates over 50mph; clanks when you change gear.

Nobody expects users to do their own diagnosis... just please be a little less unhelpful!

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Man facing $17.5m HPE fraud case has contempt sentence cut by Court of Appeal

John H Woods
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Re: Automatic halving of sentence - the joys of a stupid system

"He'll be in the slammer forever..."

No, after 30 rounds of that a 50 year sentence would be down to a couple of seconds.

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€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine

John H Woods
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Swimbo

chucked out 3 pristine Model M keyboards whist I was working away from home. Almost divorce.

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Adult toy retailer slapped down for 'RES-ERECTI*N' ad over Easter

John H Woods
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Re: Its offensive that I must treat people who claim to believe in a sky fairy...

Many of the famous names in science believeD in God, yes.

Of course science and religion wouldn't cross over if the latter didn't make claims the former could prove false.

Fundamentalist scientist? What's that? Someone who refuses to entertain proposition for which there is no compelling evidence whatsoever?

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FREE wildcard HTTPS certs from Let's Encrypt for every Reg reader*

John H Woods
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Re: There is a dark evil danger to the big uptake of HTTPS

I agree... any but your own WiFi is the wild west... The only thing I'll do after login is go to the appropriate (corporate, client or personal) VPN.

Unless you want a huge download or have poor signal, I agree that mobile is the usually the best bet.

Decent mobile data speeds and allowances are widespread (my 12GB/£13/mo is just about perfect for me) and gets at least a few Mb/s in most places, more than enough for most work purposes.

Plus... No need to register a temporary email address; no need to keep signing back in (not to mention the difficulty loading the signsign-in page when your browser wants to HTTPS) and no having to randomize your MAC to limit tracking.

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