* Posts by John H Woods

2807 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Cyber-insurance shock: Zurich refuses to foot NotPetya ransomware clean-up bill – and claims it's 'an act of war'

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Re: Automation (digital/mechanical), 100% Predictable

No, it doesn't make enough sense

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Re: An opposing point of view

"software that you knew was faulty regardless of how much you patched it"

Surely that includes any reasonably complex software, especially operating systems?

How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

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Re: Knot

I recommend anyone who has to wear a lanyard familiarise themselves with the "alpine butterfly" a nice easy knot for putting a loop in a cord without needing access to the ends. (Use at your own risk in cables!)

Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives

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Re: "I noticed because I tried to factor it. Don't ask..."

Me too!

It liiives! Sorta. Gentle azure glow of Windows XP clocked in Tesco's self-checkouts, no less

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Re: Eh?

I go back to work next week.

Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

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Re: Low Impact - Really?

"The only way you could possibly overload the switch is if you had plugged in more things than it can handle,"

IANASparky but couldn't rapid switching of some devices also cause problems?

'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway

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Easy consumer law regulation

Just fine companies some % of turnover for using the same user/pass combination on more than one item.

Even just using digits from the serial number would be safeR than default credentials.

Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

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Re: Stuff Like This Should Be Illegal

"Just because someone might have questions about one event, it does not follow that they will swallow any and all conspiracy theory"

It doesn't follow, but it certainly has predictive value, both in how likely they are to believe other CTs and how pointless it is to talk to them.

US voting systems: Full of holes, loaded with pop music, and 'hacked' by an 11-year-old

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Re: I heard that ...


Kaspersky VPN blabbed domain names of visited websites – and gave me a $0 reward, says chap

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Re: Is this a bug at all?

Whilst I agree that the *user* of a corporate VPN might not care about DNS leakage, the corporation should.

Unnecessary information leakage is always a problem, even if it just enables social engineering attacks (eg which vendor support pages you are visiting).

As the tunnel is already there, there's really no excuse for not sending DNS queries through it.

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: "Decide what outcomes you're interested in"

As a prime reason to have a personal VPN is to hide web destinations, a DNS leak pretty much renders it worthless.

I'm very glad security researchers hold these vendors to account.

Clap, damn you, clap! Samsung's Bixby 2.0 AI reveal is met with apathy

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Re: Where's MY AI?

Google still frequently misreads my email and frightens me by popping up notifications for train journeys on the wrong dates.

Even when it has notified you of a train journey and must "know" you are on a train, and where you are getting off, it does stupid stuff like asking you if you want to check in at the Mailbox when you're sitting on the train at Birmingham New Street.

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Re: "Is that a chord keypad in your pocket"

May I commend to the commentard community, a word I only recently learned?

My brother had referred to a "sacofricotic colleague" and my subsequent enquiry taught me the definition of sacofricosis

ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator

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Re: Pillage of the Open Source projects

Erm, I can't see any criticism of open source here?

UK.gov to tech industry: Hands up who can help cut teachers' admin

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Re: Quick solution

I'm torn because I absolutely agree with you that politics should be removed from education but feel that your focus on "PC" is entirely wrong.

I would argue the problem is more to do with setting curricula centrally, micromanaging teachers and setting, and trying to achieve, fairly arbitrary targets.

Riddle me this: TypeScript's latest data type is literally unknown

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Re: Not gonna touch it.


Its not only you: I would agree that few run time bugs are type errors. It can increase tooling sophistication, as the IDEs then "understand" more of the code.

My most productive (and favourite) language remains the dynamically typed Smalltalk (even that will barf on 1+"a" unless you specifically create a method to perform it, but it will happen at runtime.

I've had those kind of type errors at runtime, sure, but you hit them and fix them in the very early stages of testing, so I'm not sure static typing is worth the effort. Other's mileage may vary, of course.

IBM Watson dishes out 'dodgy cancer advice', Google Translate isn't better than humans yet, and other AI tidbits

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Re: At least you know it's rubbish

" in Japanese the default pronoun (when omitted and not obvious from context) is the first person."

Surely this is also true in English, at least the wife says so.

FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week

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Re: Man on the sun

If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can calculate the exact value of π

What if tech moguls brewed real ale?

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Re: Suggestions from the night shift

"DHCP - Distinctly Hoppy Craft Pint"

Yeah, but there's generally only one server for that - and when they aren't available you'll end up with an Automatically Provided IPA

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Re: Pub Names

The Drink Pad

Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions

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Re: Have you used deception to solve a customer problem?

Subtly removing a lens cap on a projector that "wasn't working"...

You're burning £1.2bn for what? UK spending watchdog gives digital court plans a kicking

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Re: Outsourcing some of it to India

Never saves money

Wearable hybrids prove the bloated smartwatch is one of Silly Valley's biggest mistakes

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Re: Still need that "killer app" ?

"Some of us old farts also don't wear watches either. It's been almost two decades since I last wore one."

Yep... RSI put paid to wearing anything on my wrists...

Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no

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Re: Put the Barbie on Geezer!

My attention span isn't short, but life's too short to spend it listeng to woefully verbose nutters.

Sad Nav: How a cheap GPS spoofer gizmo can tell drivers to get lost

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Re: Luckily

"If I'm driving anywhere, I read a map a couple of times, memorise it and go there."

And how do you route round congestion and closures?

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

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Re: Phone reviews

You might say primary, but that isn't the case for everybody: my primary use for my smartphone is as a more portable tablet ... but that maybe because I also possess a dumbphone for calls :-)

Happy 10th birthday, Evernote: You have survived Google and Microsoft. For your next challenge...

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Re: Oh shit!

Unless I'm mistaken, the mobile version of OneNote does not allow objects to be resized or moved once placed.

At that point I uninstalled it. If I'm wrong, I'd be happy to be corrected.

Google offers to leave robocallers hanging on the telephone

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Mine is the 25 second instrumental of CAKE's magnificent "Never There" and I've changed my voicemail delay to match it... so that the ring dies with off with the rattle of the vibraslap.

Little things...

Potato, potato. Toma6to, I'm going to kill you... How a typo can turn an AI translator against us

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Re: Hmmm

tiggity: "I'll be impressed when a computer can match the capabilities of the average person"

You'll be waiting a while. I'll be impressed when they can match the capabilities of the average member of the Corvid family (crows, ravens, jays, magpies).

Cops: Autonomous Uber driver may have been streaming The Voice before death crash

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At best...

"At best, it would have hit her at 11.5 m/s or thereabouts (24mph)." - Lee D

Firstly, and decent car can brake at 1g. An XC90 has a 100km/h stopping distance of 36m. So, a=v²/2s gives us a deceleration of 10.7m/s² or 1.1g

(Surely the car deceleration increases as the velocity drops, so this is a minimum.)

A single second (1.0s) of full breaking could therefore reduce the impact speed from 40mph to 16mph. Its still gonna hurt, but it's an order of magnitude less likely to be fatal. Even if your calcs were right and you can only get down to 24mph, it must be at least 5x more likely an adult would survive such an impact than a full 40mph impact.

Note also that you only need another ~0.5 seconds to avoid the impact altogether.

No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

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Re: Dictionary anyone?

@Vimes: "It's a mistake to portray leave voters as stupid in my opinion, especially when the government itself didn't know initially what leaving would entail."

Insert the word "all" and I'd agree.

Before the referendum I engaged with over 1000 people about Brexit on social media and news media comment pages. Of those, 956 engaged with 2 or more responses to my questions. 37 of those were "it's just how I feel" type answers, and 9 had serious arguments that actually made me think.

All of the rest were absolute, utter, irredeemable morons. Now it's quite possible that 99% of remainers are also morons. But they were voting for the status quo, which is a slightly different thing.

Way back when I was a lad, people who had no real knowledge or understanding or interest in politics used to say so. Now it seems that a lot of those same people have unaccountably strong opinions. Here's a typical exchange:

Brexiteer: "Why do Remainers treat me like an idiot? Show me some respect and you'll see I have good reasons, I've done a lot of research"

Me: "Ok, give me your one best reason for voting Leave"

Brexiteer: "Well, there's so many, but probably the most important one for me is the status of the Commissioner. He's like a godlike figure: he's not elected, he can't be censured by the commission, and what he says goes"

Me: "Errm, he is elected, he can be censured, and he doesn't really have much executive power"

Brexiteer: "You see, you're just dismissing my arguments out of hand"

Me: "Not really, I'm just pointing out that, after "all that research" and the opportunity to give me your very best reason for voting Leave, you've just said three things that a few seconds of internet search would confirm to be false"

Brexiteer: "Well, I still stand by my original position"

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: Politics..

Andy, it is the current crop of Brexiteers that drew the red lines. It isn't the fault of Remainers that these have been drawn in the places they have been.

Da rude sand storm seizes the Opportunity, threatens to KO rover

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Re: Upvote Tor The Headline Writer

Yep, nothing we like more than to pick up an earworm from our first Reg check of the morning!

UK.gov online dating tips: Do get consent, don't make false claims or fake profiles

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Luckily for me I met the out-of-my-league Mrs Woods in a nightclub where she made the first move, God knows why.

But we have a single friend, younger than us (i.e. 40s) who is nice, witty and in fabulous shape (possibly because she is an HGV driver delivering heating oil!). She's tried a couple of dating sites but just ended up with one-date utter bellends.

I'm hoping to find her a nice nerd who will appreciate her. Let's have a commentard photo/profile gallery...

(You won't need my photo as a) happily married and b) have the great misfortune to look almost exactly like Anders Brevik).

Dixons Carphone 'fesses to mega-breach: Probes 'attempt to compromise' 5.9m payment cards

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Re: Perhaps I need a forwarding email address for every shop

A lot of web forms incorrectly reject it but a "plus form" address (RFC2822) is what you are looking for.

yourname+anythingyoulike@yourdomain.com will be delivered to yourname@yourdomain; but you can still see the originally used recipient name, so when you get spam/phishing to, for instance, yourname+CW@yourdomain you know who leaked it.

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: Timing is interesting for me

Them: "Can I get some security information before we proceed?"

Me: "Can I ask you a question first?"

Them: "Well ..."

Me: "If I did have an account with you, what would be your advice about sharing security information with unknown people?"

They: "Oh, you should never do that"

Me: "Thought so. Goodbye"

Tesla undecimates its workforce but Elon insists everything's absolutely fine

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Re: Undecimate?

"But that immediately causes the problem that there is now no verb for reversing a decimation" --- Smooth Newt

How about 'cimate' --- I'm pretty sure the tithesis society would be gruntled with that.

John H Woods Silver badge

Re: Undecimate?

decimate - remove one in ten (decem)

undecimate - remove one in eleven (undecem)

Which? calls for compensation for users hit by Windows 10 woes

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Re: Good luck with that.

"UK tort law starts with having to show a "loss", and your time is worth .... nothing." --- JimmyPage

But, if you can't fix it yourself, and you pay someone to fix it for you, I think* their time is worth something, and you might well be able to claim that having to pay them is a 'loss' you might expect to be at least partially reimbursed.

Perhaps, by making the updates compulsory, MS have increased their exposure to such claims?


Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

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Hi Vis...

... especially effective if a suit and tie is visible underneath

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I like the military moniker NFG for equipment that is no good.

GNOMEs beat Microsoft: Git Virtual File System to get a new name

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Why V?

It's not really virtual at all, is it? It's a sort of lazy initialization / deferred loading / caching system. Let's call it ... Block Storage On Demand.

1,300 customers of Brit bank TSB defrauded due to botched IT migration

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Another false claim...

... prepared to bet my life that there's quite a few people who feel more for those customers than he does. Quite a few of us here, for starters.

Five actually useful real-world things that came out at Apple's WWDC

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Re: Scripting

On Android you can do all that with Tasker

Did you test that? No, I thought you tested it. Now customers have it and it doesn't work

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Re: Indeed on the pork ...

I'd have worn a bow tie... Medics wear them for similar reasons.

Boffins quietly cheering possible discovery of new fundamental particle: Sterile neutrino

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Re: I presume that public money is spent on this.

Money doesn't just disappear from an economy.

If you give researchers, or any normal citizens, money to do stuff, you'll get some back immediately in tax. The rest will be spent on goods and services, and more tax will come back, ad infinitum.

The only way to "disappear" money is to give it to the people who are equipped to move it out of the country where it escapes national taxation. And where, even if it is used, none of that money comes back because even if it is subjected to taxation, it now benefits other national economies.

Stingray phone stalker tech used near White House, SS7 abused to steal US citizens' data – just Friday things

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Re: I am still surprised

On the other had I wouldn't be surprised if they are still sending and carrying unencrypted material by post or handler... How long is it since the last load of sensitive documents was accidentally left on a train or in a taxi?

Experts build AI joke machine that's about as funny as an Adam Sandler movie (that bad)

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Re: A career in television?

Episodes was pretty funny

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