* Posts by John H Woods

2533 posts • joined 14 Nov 2007

Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Lightswitches...

I rememberasking a Norman farmer, in my terrible schoolboy French, whether the locals objected to the Brits buying up loads of property. "Of course not," he replied, "it keeps the Parisians out!"

16
0

UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: perhaps itself encrypted with a key known only to law enforcement

"but it's straying from the (really very simple) technical point I am trying to make"

I think it is more likely that you are being downvoted for trying to teach your grandmother to suck eggs than that anybody here doubts a form of key escrow is technologically feasible.

4
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

What if. ..

... just before the attack, he'd been spotted releasing a carrier pigeon?

3
0

Amazing new WikiLeaks CIA bombshell: Agents can install software on Apple Macs, iPhones right in front of them

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Airports

If it is indeed obvious to people that the moniker "Sonic Screwdriver" would betray a British origin, then perhaps the old double bluff might apply ...

3
0

Blinking cursor devours CPU cycles in Visual Studio Code editor

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Rule #1 for the user-facing components development

As a performance guy, I would suggest that it is rather more important that the devs use full size databases etc rather than undersized hardware.

0
0

'Sorry, I've forgotten my decryption password' is contempt of court, pal – US appeal judges

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: How does this affect TLS?

And how does it affect the Truecrypt/Veracrypt hidden volume?

I've used Truecrypt in the past to protect backup disks, simply because some correspondence may contain financial info. I didn't bother with the hidden volume functionality. But, AIUI, there is no way to prove that one doesn't exist. So if I provide the password and it turns out it's just a load of old backups; and the prosecution has a "sense" that there might be a hidden volume ... ?

1
0

Shameless crooks fling Star Trek-themed ransomware at world

John H Woods
Silver badge

Doubles every few days ...

I reckon they've missed a trick here. In my experience data becomes less valuable the more stale it is ... If a mark won't pay a grand when it happens, the chances are by the time it goes up to two grand they'll already be reconciled to the idea the data is gone forever and the increased price will merely solidify that view.

Start high and discount every few days, dutch auction style, and the deep pocketed victims will pay big for fast access to data, whilst even casual users might eventually pay 50 quid to recover some old photos they barely care about about six months after infection.

6
0

Family of technician slain by factory robot sues everyone involved

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Can only

"Bet this case goes down the cracks"

... That is exactly what joint and several liability protects victims from. You get you compensation from one party with the ability to pay and it becomes their responsibility to seek reimbursement from other parties.

This is why you will often see the highways department or equivalent cited as a co-defendant in a road traffic collision. If they have any fault at all, they pay the entire compensation, and the onus is now upon them to sue other liable parties.

8
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

As far as the law goes, the usual reason for having a large list of defendants is joint and several liability: if one of your defendants has deep pockets you can go after them for 100% of the compensation even if they are only 1% liable, the idea being that it is then their burden to seek compensation from the other parties.

9
0

Get a GRIP! Robolution ain't happening until TOUCH is cracked

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: I for one

Wasn't that Uber?

0
0

Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

John H Woods
Silver badge

in 20 years...

... You'll be getting phone calls from dodgy solicitors asking if you want to seek compensation for smart meter mis-selling.

10
0

Stop the press: Journos not happy losing jobs to journo bots, say journos

John H Woods
Silver badge

Analysis

"Whatever happened to reporting the news of the day factually and allowing the reader to form their own opinion, you know like journalists as supposed to do." --- FozzyBear

Whilst I agree, the caveat is that, without a significant change to education (in the UK at least) very many people are not equipped to form their own opinion. Most recent example I came across on FB: someone said "I don't really care what it says in scientific papers, I trust the evidence of my own eyes and ears" Now, this is a reasonably intelligent person, and plenty of other reasonably intelligent people "liked" it and typed their heartfelt agreement, despite the fact that, although it sounds good, it's absolutely stupid.

I don't think fake news is the problem: it's fake analysis ---either at the editorial level or at the level of the reader (or listener or viewer) that is really a problem: correctly spelled, grammatically sound, articulate, authoritative and persuasive text that fundamentally misrepresents either the content or, more often, the meaning, of the facts to which it refers.

2
0

BT splurges £1.2bn on securing Champions League rights, Sky heads for an early bath

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Ban exclusive rights

"it wouldn't be good for the game"

Who cares? The FA are trying to raise money through charities to pay for all-weather pitches for kids to play on ... why? The vast prices for tickets and subscriptions are just more 'trickle-up' economics where ordinary people find themselves having to pay for some of the most extravagant lifestyles on the planet.

6
0

IBM UK: Oh, remote workers. We want to be colocated with you again

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: This is just a way to get rid of people

"Asking someone to be in the office each day isn't constructive dismissal by any stretch of the imagination" -AC

Your imagination might need stretching. One example... you work at a local office which is closed; your employers tell you you now work from home; several years later they insist you attend a much more distant office everyday.

0
0

Germany, France lobby hard for terror-busting encryption backdoors – Europe seems to agree

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: openpgp

"But they can make it illegal." --- Ledswinger

Not really, they can't. It's pretty trivial to embed a message of a few kB into a picture of a few MB. It's even easier to prearrange code words in idiot code and send messages with innocuous looking public posts.

To prevent people communicating steganographically, you pretty much need to prevent people communicating at all. It's time for the authorities to dispense with the pre-crime fantasy that you'd be able to stop all manner of atrocities if only you had total knowledge of your citizens.

We keep hearing the "if it saves one life ..." mantra. This should be slapped down immediately; it is no more practical to spy on everyone to reduce a few terrorist deaths than it is to enforce a national 20mph speed limit to reduce the vastly greater number of road deaths.

8
0

More brilliant Internet of Things gadgetry: A £1,300 mousetrap

John H Woods
Silver badge

Someone added a zero?

Ridiculous. Humane traps are a tenner each, add a wifi cam with movement detection and you're up to 50 quid. Depending on build quality, etc, I can see this being 130, but 1300?

BTW, be careful about thinking cats are necessarily effective. Some cats increase the rodent problem by bringing them in from outside, where they were minding their own business, and releasing them in your house.

14
0

UPS & drones: Delivery company launches UAV from truck

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: How's this stuff signed for then?

"Your receipt includes a QR code you have to print out and place in your desired LZ" --- Necronomnomnomicon

I hope that's quite finely geofenced ... otherwise someone flies their drone over, spots your big LZ QR, photographs it, drops black ink / soot etc on it and then prints out the original somewhere else, like the flatbed of a pickup parked outside your house and then waits for your stuff.

1
0

Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

John H Woods
Silver badge

"Some "ceremonial county" equivalent for list of traditional solar system planets solves the problem for everyone," -- tiggity

this is the solution ... there are 8 planets but Pluto is sometimes accorded the title due to historical considerations.

1
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Large Satellites?

"Or isn't the Earth a body that orbits the Moon? Just like two masses of whatever size have equal gravitational attraction, so two bodies in close proximity equally orbit each other." --- smartermind

They're rotating around their 'barycentre' or mutual centre of mass. However for Earth/Moon that point is below the surface of the Earth and for Pluto/Charon that point is well outside Pluto.

0
0

Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: sidetopic

"billybob+tescoshopping@yahoo.co.uk

that will work?"

It's supposed* to work but some webforms incorrectly filter out + as an unacceptable character. It works fairly widely though. And I'm pleased to say the only time I have ever received email to myname+elreg@mymail.com is from El Reg themselves.

* RFC 5233

3
0

Oh happy day! Linus Torvalds has given the world Linux 4.10

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: -0.8

"oh , so 4.10 is bigger than 4.9" --- Prst. V.Jeltz

I do hope your job includes assigning IP addresses!

6
1

Connected car in the second-hand lot? Don't buy it if you're not hack-savvy

John H Woods
Silver badge

Doesn't have to be smart ...

... I've had numerous hire cars where the phone book still has other people contacts in, and the GPS still has "home" in it.

4
0

Google agrees to break pirates' domination over music searches

John H Woods
Silver badge

Will they have to demote ...

... results for "alternative search engines" perhaps?

6
0

Huge if true: iPhone 8 will feature 3D selfies, rodent defibrillator

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: The Unbelievable Truth

I love that programme, especially when Herr Wehn is on it. I think he's got to hold the record for the boldest unspotted truth, starting a spiel on the Ancient Greeks by starting "The Ancient Greeks were mostly idiots ..."

3
0

Paper factory fired its sysadmin. He returned via VPN and caused $1m in damage. Now jailed

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Procedures matter

Whilst I agree it appears in this case they had not terminated his corporate VPN access.

4
0

You know IoT security is bad when libertarians call for strict regulation

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns

"The rules that should be in place are simple things." --Brian Miller

Agreed. In order, I think I'd like the following:

1. No default unauthenticated access

2. All devices of the same type to have different credentials

3. Devices must become open to user modification (i.e. rooting, re-flashing) when support ceases.

There's a few others ... I'd like companies that repeat the same old lazy mistakes to be punished, but I can't think of an objective measure that could be used.

6
0

Republicans send anti-Signal signal to US EPA

John H Woods
Silver badge

Are they also ...

... asking for recording or transcript of any conversations any of these people have with each other?

4
0

Remote unauthenticated OS re-install is a feature, not a bug, says Cisco

John H Woods
Silver badge

FTFY

Unauthenticated access or hard coded, default, credentials should be barred by default from all enterprise class kit

4
1
John H Woods
Silver badge

"And when they come up with a compromise they are hammered for that. Everyone wants it the way they want it."

If the only way to prevent a convenience being a security nightmare is to turn it off completely you haven't compromised: you are presenting choices as a dilemma when there is no sensible reason to do so.

There are so many ways of avoiding this: physical switch on the device, unique password derived from the serial number, etc. etc. Shipping as insecure by default is not acceptable.

3
0

Cheer up, pal: UK mobe networks are now 8% less crap, tests show

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: All I want is a fucking reliable signal O2

and because mobile signal on A roads and motorways also saves lives

3
1

Two words, Mozilla: SPEED! NOW! Quit fiddling and get serious

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: The long term plan

"Mangling commands from the user is unforgiveable." Tannin

+1 There is very little excuse these days for unresponsive UI

8
0

Magic Leap sued for sex discrimination … by woman it hired to stamp out sex discrimination

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: "Wizards Wanted"

"If so, then someone should let Hermione know before she wastes any more of her time..."

I'm sure women are allowed to be "Wizards" in the real world but they are not in Harry Potter. At least I'm pretty sure the only difference between Wizard and Witch in potterworld is gender.

9
0

This string is only temporary. If you see this in prod this is bad!

John H Woods
Silver badge

This string is only temporary. If you see this in prod this is bad!

I'm getting this on all my Facebook posts at the moment (others can't see it on them).

What's the worst debug message you've seen in prod?

1
0

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

"I'm technically adept. I've been using Unixes since SunOS and Xenix. But I still struggle with configuring X, persuading network interfaces to stay on the network and whatever Voodoo is necessary to authenticate over LDAP because I'm not a full-time sysadmin." --- Adam 52

Sounds more like either you're choosing oddball distros or oddball hardware to me.

14
1
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: The company I work for went through this

"Then being able to get staff in and have them hit the ground running because they use windows on the home desktop, they used it in their last job, they used it in school." --- werdsmith

To me it's almost the opposite: I wouldn't want users doing 95% of the stuff they use their home PCs for. I don't want them installing software, devices, clicking any damn link they see --- and mostly I don't think you want clerical types even interacting directly with the file system. By the time a Windows system is locked down sufficiently for customer service agents and back office clerks to use safely, it's nothing like the system they used at home or school.

17
3
John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

"Given that most people are familiar with Windows" --- big_D

Which version of Windows would that be? IMHO, with the exception of the Gnome->Unity change in Ubuntu, Windows changes just as much from the user perspective as Linux.

And, I know it's harsh, but many of the people I have spoken to who consider themselves "familiar with Windows" are really nothing of the sort --- they tend to be the people who are confused with being given a new browser or, quite pertinently, a different Office program.

I'd love to know how they're actually training their users at the moment because I just can't see why the training costs would be so high.

48
4

Chap scripts remote Linux takeover for sysadmins

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: I'll try it this week

"It's easier with LVM or btrfs" --- Chewi

I've been sticking with ZFS for my own non-experimental work. Which (unless I'm missing something makes LVM superfluous). Once your O/S is on ZFS you can just replace a distro by receiving a ZFS snapshot of the new distro.

Is btrfs considered ready for prime time yet?

1
0

Oracle refuses to let Java copyright battle die – another appeal filed in war against Google

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Y'know, Einstein said ...

"I didn't realize that Confucius spoke English. Are you sure it wasn't Einstein that said or wrote that?" --- JeffyPooh

You got me, the quote's from GI Joe. But I should have remembered Napoleon's dictum: "Utilisez toujours l'icon de blague"

2
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Y'know, Einstein said ...

Nope. Firstly it's "making the same MISTAKES over and over again" otherwise anything that involved practice would be insanity. Secondly, it's a (mis)quote from an anonymously-written pamphlet for Narcotics anonymous.

Just helping out because, as Confucius said, "knowledge is power and knowing is half the battle"

7
0

Welcome to my world of The Unexplained – yes, you're welcome to it

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Batteries

My battery is going, so rather than replace it before it is absolutely dead, I bought a RAVPower "car starter" from Amazon. It's a tiny little box, barely bigger than, I dunno, 3 iPads stacked together, in a neat little case. No way is that going to start a 2.0l diesel, I thought, so I charged it up, threw it in the boot and forgot about it. Maybe it'll help my sister in law out when her little 1.0 won't start, and at least I can use it as weekend USB power when away from the mains ...

Then a friend, who has an older 3.5 V8 Diesel Range Rover, asked me to help her start her car. Left for months, it was totally dead, not even enough juice for the central locking. It was also parked in a corner making it hard to get another vehicle there for a jump start. So, in a talismanic gesture, I whipped out said little box, connected the puny croc clips to the massive battery and did my best to weather the withering storm of contempt, spanning the spectrum from polite skepticism to unrestrained mockery, from the assembled mechanic / farming / military types who inevitably, in a busy rural yard, gather thoughtfully around a very attractive young woman with a non functioning car.

Honestly, if that little box never works again it was worth the fifty quid just for the reaction from the assembled crowd when the engine roared into life on the first turn of the key.

13
0

Grumpy Trump trumped, now he's got the hump: Muslim ban beaten back by appeals court

John H Woods
Silver badge

"What has this reporting got to do with an IT related issue" --- WibbleMe

It's about a Tweet.

9
0
John H Woods
Silver badge

Definition

Presidential (adj.) have a bearing befitting a president, i.e. confident, dignified and statesmanlike.

Honestly I don't have any friends I could forgive for posting, drunk or not, an all caps tweet that said "SEE YOU IN COURT" --- my flabber is truly gasted.

40
1

Prepare your popcorn: Wikipedia deems the Daily Mail unreliable

John H Woods
Silver badge

"But Wikipedia itself is actually unreliable and biased on most of the historical or political articles." --AC

Anyone expecting to find a single reliable source for contentious issues such as history or politics, especially the nearer they are in time, is incredibly naive. One of the best lessons from W is "do not rely on a single source"

Remember Alexander Pope's words (Essay on Criticism, I think)

A little learning is a dangerous thing;

drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

there, shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,

and drinking largely sobers us again.

9
0

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

John H Woods
Silver badge

Re: Such a truly stupid and lazy plan perfectly setup to fail horribly

"It reeks of lazy ignorant fools who want to be seen to do something rather than actually do something that works." --- Jim234

The Politician's Syllogism so excellently lampooned in Yes, Prime Minister.

We must do something

This is something

Therefore, we must do this.

29
0

Vivaldi and me: Just browsing? Nah, I'm sold

John H Woods
Silver badge

"Why is it that every piece of software I like is eventually sabotaged from within by its own devs?" -- Updraft102

FTFY

5
0

IBM's Marissa Mayer moment: Staff ordered to work in one of 6 main offices – or face the axe

John H Woods
Silver badge

So, if physical presence is so vital ...

... offshored work will be brought back?

28
0

A non-Standards Soviet approved measure of weight? Sod off, BBC!

John H Woods
Silver badge

Aviation ...

at least those are all measures of "amount" ... shipping, being somewhat more historic, has things like a ton that's a volume (a shipping ton is 40 or 42 cubic feet depending which side of the Atlantic you're on, and a register ton is 100).

0
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017