* Posts by Mark Simon

310 posts • joined 31 Jul 2006

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Windows 10 S forces Bing, Edge on your kids. If you don't like it, get Win10 Pro – Microsoft

Mark Simon

Pretty sad really …

We’ve all know people who try to corner you at parties because nobody else will talk to them.

Eventually they stop getting invitations to parties.

This is Microsoft’s desperate attempt to increase statistics by forcing their products onto you and then pretending it’s a sign of popularity.

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Apple blocks comms-snooping malware

Mark Simon

… as well as

  • “Press Update All button”
  • “When Admin permissions dialog appears”
  • “enter password”

Unfortunately, for people who just click on a link in an unsolicited email from an unknown source, poor grammar is probably the least of their problems.

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Beware of geeks bearing gifts: Evil game guides infect 2 million Androids

Mark Simon

Re: Maximum permissions

That’s assuming they’re paying attention …

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Microsoft plans summer CRM war opener against Salesforce

Mark Simon

Do people actually use LinkedIn?

When talking to students about password security, I mention the LinkedIn Breach of a few years ago. 95% of the time, I find that they either don’t have an account, or never use it.

The students are all adults and work in the industry in some form — web development, database or some other related area.

All I ever get from LinkedIn is junk or invitations from people I don’t know.

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Hackers uncork experimental Linux-targeting malware

Mark Simon

Did you even read the article?

The issue isn’t with the OS. The malware is looking for weak credentials.

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Microsoft shrugs off report that Edge can expose user identities from JS Fetch requests

Mark Simon

It’s a feature.

I think Microsoft call this Telemetry.

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Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Mark Simon

I don't think that snakes have feet.

To begin with, they were lizards …

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Y'know CSS was to kill off HTML table layout? Well, second time's a charm: Meet CSS Grid

Mark Simon

Re: Edge

Unless it’s to say “that bleeding Edge!”

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Lloyds Banking Group to hang up on call centre staffers

Mark Simon

Re: Take your money out now - Outsourced IT support for your bank will be a disaster

Agreed. It’s hard to say the right words without sounding xenophobic, but the fact that support calls will now be sent to people with minimal training and barely passable English language skills will not do the company credit.

A typical support call to an out-sourced call centre involves repeating your questions and answers half a dozen times to people who are desperately trying to follow a script, being polite about the moronic questions which follow a misunderstanding of what you just said, and doing it all again for the next person.

I have found it is much easier to take my business elsewhere.

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If you were cuffed during Trump's inauguration, cops are trying to crack your smartphone

Mark Simon
Big Brother

All this for protesting?

Did they all look like Muslims or Democrats?

How does it end? With a bullet in the back of the head?

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1

Disney plotting 15 more years of Star Wars

Mark Simon

Did Carrie Fisher die … ?

Really, I can’t find any mention of it whatsoever on The Register.

I just thought it was everybody else’s imagination.

From those of us who did notice, RIP, Ms Fisher.

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Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...

Mark Simon

Why the Apple reference?

Because Apple were the first to make the technology a popular fixture, and that probably counts for something.

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Google Maps' Street View can now lead you into a bubbling lava lake

Mark Simon
Headmaster

Repelled?

… two chaps repelled 400 meters down into the crater …

I think that’s rapelled, or, if you prefer, abseiled.

Unless, of course, they simply pushed each other all the way down …

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Apple urged to legalize code injection: Let apps do JavaScript hot-fixes

Mark Simon

Not Necessarily

There's a lot of shitty code being released

Not necessarily the point. Minor UI enhancements or improvements in functionality may simply suggest an ongoing process and possibly responsiveness to feedback.

I think there is a case to be made for not making small changes go through the the approval process and then yet another update, which, in some cases, means re-downloading a huge application.

The problem, of course, is where to draw the line safely.

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Today's WWW is built on pillars of sand: Buggy, exploitable JavaScript libs are everywhere

Mark Simon

Too many dependencies.

So, does that mean that most web sites are not only bloated but also insecure?

Many developers are addicted to taking short cuts, even if that introduces overweight dependencies on too many third parties. Each third party is a potential weakness in the design, and if developers are not committed to maintaining the integrity of these dependencies then they should learn to do the job properly themselves.

  • You may not need CDNs
  • You may not need jQuery
  • You may not need Bootstrap

It’s more work to begin with, but much less stress worrying about someone else’s code.

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Don't worry, slowpoke Microsoft, we patched Windows bug for you, brags security biz

Mark Simon

Just wondering … ?

Will this fall afoul of DMCA?

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That big scary 1.4bn leak was 100s of millions of email, postal addresses

Mark Simon

… by why the drum roll … ?

OK, this is a sizeable breach, but, given the speculation on potential sources, it’s not quit as earth-shattering as might have been expected.

So why the dramatic wait for the announcement?

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Security slip-ups in 1Password and other password managers 'extremely worrying'

Mark Simon

Re: Little blue book

“I've always found entering passwords extremely difficult after I died.”

Really? I’ve never tried.

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Linux on Windows 10: Will penguin treats in Creators Update be enough to lure you?

Mark Simon

I only use Windows when I have to for teaching. I use a Mac for my own development work and Linux for my server.

Running Linux on Windows will only serve to make some small tasks easier, and will also remind me why I prefer a *nix environment wherever possible. It certainly won’t encourage me to actually like Windows, or to use it with any enthusiasm.

With complete betrayal of trust in the while Windows 10 disaster, they are slowly providing a reason to prefer Windows 10 to, say Windows 8. Better still, they are clearly helping technical users to prefer *nix.

I’m not sure that’s what Microsoft had in mind, though …

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Big three clouds, Apple, Facebook are buying all the best cloud tech

Mark Simon

Re: Big three … ?

Got it … this is where the famous Oxford Comma would have been handy:

Big three clouds, Apple, and Facebook …

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Mark Simon

Big three … ?

Could someone please explain the title:

Big three clouds, Apple, Facebook …

… get acquired by one of five companies …

As far as I can tell the Big three either refers to Apple & Facebook, or the five companies mentioned in the article. I thought we had gone past the New Math … ?

1
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Roses are reddish, exam-takers more so: Cisco's test price hike's a smack to the torso

Mark Simon

Fluctuation?

“… course prices may have increased due to currency fluctuation”.

Do they know what fluctuation means? It could go up or down. Or have Cisco invented a one-way fluctuation?

You know, it’s really hard not to squeeze in a joke I heard about Asians …

2
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Mag publisher Future stored your FileSilo passwords in plaintext. Then hackers hit

Mark Simon

It’s about time …

I know that Britain is leaving the EU fold, but isn’t about time to look at legislating a more responsible approach to storing user data?

The EU has the Cookie Law, which requires user consent for using cookies or any other form of local storage on a web site. Why can’t governments understand that insecure handling of user data is much more serious than storing cookies, and require organisations to conform to a minimal standard which includes better handling of user data?

1
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Brexploitation? Adobe gets creative with price hikes

Mark Simon

The bigger scam

Remember that Adobe subscriptions are automatically renewed, and if you attempt to cancel before the next renewal you get hit for half the remaining fees.

I had to cancel my credit card to stop them from ripping me off further.

1
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Microsoft foists fake file system for fat Git repos

Mark Simon

Good thing Git is Open Source

That Microsoft were able to adapt Git to suit their own needs is largely due to the fact that Git is not itself a Microsoft product.

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Humanity needs you... to build an AI bot that can finger rotten headlines

Mark Simon

Re: "but we can spot lies in headings"

So many of The Register’s headlines defy understand let alone verification. This poses a real problem for humans, as well as machines.

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Cassini sends back best ring-shots yet en route to self-destruct dive

Mark Simon

Getting Better

Every news item about Cassini is just better than the last. Stunning images and tremendously valuable new information.

Even the swan dive will be amazing: we’ll finally get a better look at the surface of Saturn, and maybe even work out the length of a Saturn day.

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GitLab.com luckily found lost data on a staging server

Mark Simon

Just wondering … ?

I signed up for GitLab just a few days ago, and haven’t started using it actively yet.

Would that be why I haven’t received any notification about this incident?

2
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Doomsday Clock moves to 150 seconds before midnight. Thanks, Trump

Mark Simon

Re: They've neglected Leap Seconds...

Could it be that the Dump also denies Leap Seconds … ?

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Trump signs 'no privacy for non-Americans' order – what does that mean for rest of us?

Mark Simon

Re: Trump has become more deranged

I think it might go beyond the security services. It could also mean that US based companies might promise not to share the data of US citizens with third parties, while not necessarily extending the same promise to dangerous foreign types like me.

3
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Viral Chinese selfie app Meitu phones home with personal data

Mark Simon

Say what … ?

“This app I pretty benign to what could have been done.”

Speaking of Chinese, is this something caught up in translation or is it supposed to make sense?

1
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Meet 'Moz://a', AKA Mozilla after it picked a new logo

Mark Simon

Re: Looks like

Actually, one thing about Apple that they know how spell the name.

The styling was Apple ][ at first, then Apple //e when that came out.

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Ransomware scum infect cancer non-profit

Mark Simon

Bounty Hunters

Remember the move “Ransom” (1956, remade in 1977). The twist is when the father of the kidnapped child goes on television to announce that the money won’t be paid as ransom, but as a reward to whomever turns in the kidnapper.

I think that if enough agencies get together, this might be an alternative strategy to tracking down these bastards. I can’t imagine they spend their time entirley in the company of wholesome and upright humans, and sooner or later someone will value the reward more than their association with them.

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Flight 666 lands safely in HEL on Friday the 13th

Mark Simon
Pint

Re: Hmm...

or hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia for that matter …

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NSW government drops a Catch: Bus Wi-Fi is a privacy nightmare

Mark Simon

Let’s try something similar:

Would something like this be acceptable:

The policy proposes we may drive a bulldozer through your house, not will drive one through.

It is also a trial so don’t worry about it. Just relax and enjoy being taken for a ride.

I think NSW commuters have definitely been misled.

3
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Ransomware scum: 'I believe I'm a good fit. See attachments'

Mark Simon

Re: Macros

The real problem with Microsoft Security is that it’s just shifting the blame. If you disable macros, it won’t work. If you enable them, it’s your fault when things fall apart.

I haven’t worked with Microsoft products for some years now, which is why my sanity is slowly returning to me.

When Microsoft first released VBA for their applications, they enabled the first cross-platform viruses (Mac & Windows running the same evil code). Their solution was not to fix the problem, but simply to ask your permission to run the code.

One thing Microsoft has never understood is the concept of sandboxing macros. The majority of VBA I have developed is solely to enhance functionality within the document, and has no need to gain access outside of it. With Microsoft security, if you write a macro to automate adding a new worksheet, you need to grant permissions to interact with the whole operating system.

I mean, what were these guys snorting when they implemented this and called it Security? The correct solution is to enable two levels of enabling macros: sandboxed and superuser.

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Prez Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election meddling

Mark Simon

Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

“It is not however wrong for someone to become a president despite winning less votes than the losing candidate?”

It’s happened a few times in Australia, when the party with the smaller popular vote got the majority of seats. It’s a fundamental flaw with a system laughingly called “democratic”: you don’t actually vote for the policies or the leader, you vote for a party who has voted for a candidate who has voted for a leader who has bolted together some policies to make the whole thing look as if they’re doing something to justify your vote. And this only every 3 or 4 years.

A majority of a majority isn’t always a majority (70% of 70% is only 49%).

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Mark Simon

The Facts?

“Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated about the facts of this situation.”

Note the sequencing: first Trump declares an option, THEN he says he will try to be updated about the facts.

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Apple sues Nokia's pet patent trolls

Mark Simon

Re: How is Nokia a patent troll?

“Can you patent the "courage" required to remove the headphone jack?”

That’s the same courage it took to remove floppy disks, CD ROMs, modems and RS232 ports from desktop computers as well as the buttons from phones. The same courage to make USB, WiFi and BlueTooth standard on all of its devices.

Not all of Apple’s innovations have been stellar successes, some of them have indeed been trail blazers …

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Raspberry Pi Foundation releases operating system for PCs, Macs

Mark Simon

Here’s an idea …

If they could port PIXEL to tablets & phones, there might be some extra life in my old iPads & iPhones.

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NASA – get this – just launched 8 satellites from a rocket dropped from a plane at 40,000ft

Mark Simon

Metric Translation

That works out at 12192 metres (close enough to 12Km); similar to a domestic flight.

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Printer security is so bad HP Inc will sell you services to fix it

Mark Simon

Just checking

This is the company lied about palming off a DRM fix as a security update with a view to vendor lock-in.

Can we pay HP to protect us from their own hacks?

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Melbourne man arrested for broadcasting fake messages to pilots

Mark Simon

… no hacking is required … ?

“no hacking is required to make transmissions”

I may have missed something here, but there is no mention whatsoever of any measures to prevent this sort of thing happening. Now that the incident has been publicised, isn’t it more likely that it will happen again, with potentially disastrous consequences.

Saying that laws are “robust” doesn’t mean that they’re not useless.

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Hack the Army: US military begs white hats to sweep it for bugs

Mark Simon

Could this backfire?

Will this be subject to DMCA laws?

In any case, I hope the military is offering a HUGE amount of cash for this. How much is a vulnerability worth to other parties?

0
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Twitter bans own CEO Jack Dorsey from Twitter

Mark Simon

The real irony …

The three tweets - or is that twits? - cited don’t appear to appreciate they are active users of the social media - or is that social engineering? - service which they are bagging.

The real question is how would you know that Jack Dorsey was suspended without actually going there?

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Adobe fined a whole million dollars for 2013 mega-breach

Mark Simon

Hidden Costs

Adobe have completely lost my trust. I was a customer, but no more. I know my money’s not worth much to them, judging from their service, but at least it’s worth more than my share of the fine (just under 3c).

4
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Adobe Australia drops SaaS tax dodge

Mark Simon

Another reason to look elsewhere for software

I’m lucky, because I don’t need Adobe (or Microsoft, for that matter).

I have tried to cancel my cancel a membership I took out over a year ago, because I don’t want to pay for PhotoShop in order to get Lightroom. I found out that my membership was automatically renewed without so much as an email, and that cancellation will incur a penalty of 50% of the remainder of the year. Customer support as as helpful as ever, which is to say not at all.

I now have to cancel my credit card to stop Adobe from stealing more of my money, but it’s worth it to tell them that I will not be part of their con game.

There. That feels better.

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Judge throws out Trump lawyer's demand for poll worker info – because it'll feed Twitter trolls

Mark Simon

Never confuse the Law with Politics

The US has the potential of electing a xenophobic bully as commander-in-chief and thus becoming both a global laughing stock and threat to to world peace.

So far, one of the things that separates the US from other countries in a similar position is that the Law is independent of the (potential) law makers.

Well done.

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