* Posts by Pascal Monett

6093 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

New 'Beaver' web server has exactly ONE user outside China

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Citation please ?

0
0

WannaLaugh? Funsters port WannaCrypt to Commodore, Cisco, Nintendo and Tesla

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: "That is a far too juicy target to not get hacked"

I can imagine a hacker being interested in being able to do so. There is, however, a big difference between hacking some PC on the Internet and hacking into a car - namely responsibility.

Not saying that those WannaCry guys having made a virus that stopped hospitals from working is a good thing, but they risk less than if they actively took over a car and caused mayhem. If a hacker does try that, he's looking at a lot more police effort (and international cooperation) to be found and a certain - lengthy - jail sentence for manslaughter, with all the consequences that entails.

Not the same risk territory, I think.

As for sleepwalking into disaster - we've arrived there already.

0
0

EU axes geo-blocking: Upsets studios, delights consumers

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

"the removal of geo-blocking will weaken the financial value of content"

Bollocks.

The removal of geo-blocking will allow people who want to follow something to subscribe to it (and pay their dues) whatever the origin country is.

Are you trying to make me believe that you prefer the hassle of translating and localizing what people are ready to sign up for without ? Since when does that happen in a "capitalist" society ?

The Internet is here, now. Stop trying to keep us in the last millennium with your profoundly stupid "zones" that only serve to force people to buy movies from their own zone or pirate their optical readers because you willingly delay publication following arbitrary rules that have no more meaning today.

Who cares where a subscriber is as long as he is paying his subscription ?

Once again, thank God for the EU. It has its faults, but they are regularly outweighed by consumer-protecting acts like this one.

1
0

US laptops-on-planes ban may extend to flights from ALL nations

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Not to mention those prehistoric days of last millennia when we were actually free to move around unimpeded and could check in to a flight a quarter hour before take-off.

2
0
Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Yup, I remember 911. None of the planes were hijacked by laptop. It is possible to take control of a plane via laptop, but that was done by a professional security tester - somehow I doubt terrorists will bother when a simple knife is enough to give them control of a plane.

1
0

Bitcoin exchange Coinbase crashes after Asian buying frenzy

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: Cryptocurrency = control

"The inception and creation of bitcoin is a bit of a mystery, and that should raise your suspicion of it."

Bitcoin is open source. If you have suspicions concerning how it works, you can check the code.

Personally my problem with Bitcoin is not its creation or even how it works, it has much more to do with how little I trust private exchanges to manage wallets properly and professionally.

2
0

Sergey Brin building humanitarian blimp for lifesaving leisure

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Well, if it were economically feasible to replace a fair proportion of trucks with airships, why not ?

It still couldn't be point-to-point, though, it would be hub-to-hub, but still, it would work.

0
0

BA's 'global IT system failure' is due to 'power supply issue'

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Trollface

@HWwiz

It seems you are doing things properly. Your post has been noted and an officially-credentialed MBA will be dispatched on site to correct that situation forthwith.

67
1

Industrial Light & Magic: 40 years of Lucas's pioneering FX-wing

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Try this.

0
0

TRUMP SCANDAL! No, not that one. Or that one. Or that one. Or that one.

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Extraordinary anti-hacking powers in 3 . . 2 . .

Just waiting to see what nonsense proposal will be drafted in the Orange Office.

4
0

64-bit malware threat may be itty-bitty now, but it's only set to grow

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

"Linux and macOS systems are also potentially at risk"

Yes, objectively they are.

However, those being systems built on a strong foundation that includes security from the get-go, I seriously doubt that they will be submitted to the same havoc Windows systems have been in the past.

Of course, there is no defense against a user who knows the root password and blindly clicks YES on everything . . .

5
4

PAH! Four decades of Star Wars: No lightsabers, no palm-sized video calls

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

"..how long would it take to post-process her message?"

How can we possibly answer that question when we have no idea of the processing ability of R2 ? Or of any other droid, for that matter ?

C3PO is capable of recognizing a face in the same timeframe a human can, something that our sprawling computer installations are just starting to become able to do and certainly not within the confines of a humanoid robot frame for which facial recognition is but a tiny percentage of its duties.

I disapprove of these throwaway comparisons that acknowledge that some sci-fi universe has robots and other sci-fi tech, then proceeds to draw computing comparisons that assume the same amount of processing power we have.

Even Star Trek's ship computer has far greater processing power than we have today, because it can understand when its crew is not actually giving it orders. Siri still has a ways to go on that front.

7
0
Pascal Monett
Silver badge

I would pay money to see any of those

1
0

Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

It's a bit of an irony, actually

Here we were, idly postulating about how evil our governments could become, when it was actually private companies that were working on perfecting the most invasive day-to-day violation of our privacy.

Sure, the NSA has the ability to look into me, but I will never be greeted at a shop by someone I don't know who will ask me specific questions on how my family is going. Google, on the other hand, will one day have the means to prompt the sales clerk to ask if I like whatever it was that I bought yesterday, or if I'm still using whatever it is I bought last month.

That is a whole new level of surveillance and I am certain that I will like that even less.

15
2

IoT standards? We've got 'em. And if you don't like those, we got more

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Coat

To me it sounds remarkably like something Sir Humphrey could have said.

8
0

Three-quarters of IoT projects are failing, says Cisco

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Stop

"We have to acknowledge threats will get in."

That is no reason to leave the front door open.

Who am I kidding ? Where IoT is concerned, the front door is not only open, it is absent. The back door has no lock, the garage door is blocked open and the windows have no panes. The roof might be missing as well.

Now is not the time to find excuses for how threats might get in.

6
0

Euro Patent Office staff warns board of internal rule changes

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
WTF?

"seize private property" ?

Woah there ! I get that Mr. B thinks he is above national laws, but there is no international law or framework that allows him to authorize seizure of personal property. The EPO is an administration, not a police force.

Someone needs to take this guy down soon.

6
0

Go ahead, stage a hackathon. But pray it doesn't work too well

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: Uhm...

When Uber started up, it was not immediately clear what laws Uber was not respecting.

If Uber had been respectful and paid its taxes, it just might have gotten away with it, but the condescending, then insulting attitude of its management just incensed the wrong people (along with the seemingly endless list of in-house shenanigans), and now the law is very much being enforced.

On the other hand, there does need to be a bit of breathing space for innovations to appear and prove their usefulness. If the law cracked immediately down on everything that wasn't crystal clear, many things we have today would not exist (i.e. aspartame - which may or may not have been a good thing).

1
0

EU security think tank ENISA looks for IoT security, can't find any

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: "many [..] cannot be bothered with password changing, and mandating stuff will not change that"

Um, programming the bloody IoT thingamabob to not connect until the default password has been changed will change that.

3
0

Has AI gone too far? DeepTingle turns El Reg news into terrible erotica

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Coat

A bit on the fence on this one

On the one hand, I can imagine that it may be good to educate an AI about egregiously violating neutral text conventions, as far as intellectual exercises go, but on the other hand I'm not sure I'm comfortable with an AI that knows about egregiously violating anything.

4
0

Huawei spied, US federal jury finds

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

"Huawei said it strongly defends the principle of intellectual property"

But of course it does, as long as we're talking about it's intellectual property.

Just like Hollywood is hell-bent on having its copyrights respected even though it built itself on stealing ideas when it started up, back in the days before the USA existed.

Business as usual.

1
0

Comodo database glitch causes billing problems

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Well at least they have working backups

"We have mirroring capability, which means things are backed up instantly. We also have daily backup on top of mirroring. The issue was that the bug affected the mirroring system as well. Hence, we had to go back to daily backups. These types of database bugs are not like computer crashes. They build up over time. So we had to go back to a time where the database was free of this bug."

Translation : We thought we had ALL the safeguards, but it's complicated.

And it very likely is complicated. Hopefully, this experience will have taught them to root out that bug for the future. If no data was lost and nothing was breached, then there's no real harm done, right ? We can chalk it up to a learning experience and go from there.

0
0

Wow, someone managed to make money on Fitbit stock – oh, 'fraudulently'

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Ah, but Wells Fargo is Too Big To Fail and has many high-placed friends, whereas this loser is a nobody so he can be safely crushed by the system because no high flyer is going to miss him.

Justice ? Yeah, we've got that somewhere. Send the intern to find it.

3
0

Cook fights for life after Google summit blaze

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

The kitchen : still one of the most dangerous places on Earth

And, it seems, even for professionals.

I hope they all recover, and without too many scars (either physical or mental).

7
0

America's drone owner database grounded: FAA rules blown out of sky

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Justice grinds ever more finely

One cannot complain that the letter of the law is being respected and that is a good thing.

It is nonetheless quite useful to have some legal framework around the usage of drones in order to not have them wreak havoc when it comes to flight hazards, respect of privacy and so on.

So, although this is not the solution, a solution still has to be found.

Back to the grindstone, people.

3
0

Why Uber threw top engineer Levandowski under self-driving bus

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Thief being betrayed by thieves

From what I read here, a scumbag working for scumbags gets cornered and is now in trouble.

I'm not sorry for any of these guys - they're getting their just desserts.

13
0

LastPass now supports 2FA auth, completely undermines 2FA auth

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

I have standard responses for those kind of questions, and the answers have obviously nothing to do with historical fact.

My first pet's name is something like "chicken", my first school could be Cygnus 1B and so on.

It helps that I have a password database to keep all that stuff in.

7
0

Windows 10: Triumphs and tragedies from Microsoft Build

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: "we pressure the computer makers to ship LINUX versions"

That has already been tried and it failed. The only good thing about that experience is that now most on-line shops give you an OS option when you hunt for a new PC - but that option is most often Windows, Mac or No OS - you'll have to put Linux on there yourself.

There are a few online vendors that actually offer laptops and desktops with Linux, but then you generally don't get to choose the distro you want.

So the pressure is not really really on the vendors - you can get a PC without Windows if you really want one. The pressure is on the buyers and they're not buying Linux. Even for free.

4
0
Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: What Is Microsofts End Game ?

To become Google. And Apple. Goopple ?

MS always has been late to the party, and has only ever caught up because of its oodles of moolah that it throws around in mostly doomed endeavors. Of late, MS has noticed that its entrenched money makers, Office and Windows, are at risk of being swept aside by the combined threat of Google Docs and mobile phones.

Because Google is making money every second just by people searching for stuff, MS has frantically put together Bing, at ginormous cost, hoping to cash in on that particular kind of cow. It's not working very well because Google has years more experience which no amount of money can catch up to.

Then MS tried attacking the mobile phone sector in its usual ham-fisted way by trying to buy into the market, but as usual again it made bad choices from day 1 and that effort is now stillborn.

MS simultaneously lobbed tankerloads of money to get into the tablet arena that Apple had opened, but are far from recovering the costs on that front as well, although I've heard that the Surface 3 ain't that shabby. For that, of course, MS had to have a touch-enabled interface. Fair enough, but then, in true MS fashion, it decided that ALL Windows should be touch-enabled. Cue the fiasco that is the Windows 1 0 interface, because if there is one thing that MS will never truly understand, it is that different machines need different interfaces.

Finally, the Store is the last thing that MS will let go of because it sees how much money Apple makes on doing next to nothing and it wants its share of that sweet pie as well. Legacy Windows mean that MS is a while away from having a perfectly walled garden, but that is their end game : that every click, every interaction, every purchase bring in the money that MS fears Google and Apple are taking away with their better ideas implemented way before MS woke up to smell the coffee.

14
1

No laptop ban on Euro flights to US... yet

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Then again

I think I found a bit more information on that remark thanks to Stephen Colbert. I should have guessed that this goes deeper than I thought when I read that line.

2
0
Pascal Monett
Silver badge

"I wanted to share with Russia [..] which I have the absolute right to do"

I note with great interest that The Donald has taken to preemptively justify his actions. Here he is warning everyone that he has the right to share data with Russia in an open conference.

A far cry from his behavior a month ago, where he would have just gone and done it, then when being called out for it, treated everyone like shit and ignored them.

Might The Donald be able to learn, or is there a dangerously exhausted intern in there with the sole job of continuously warning one carrot-topped nitwit that he "might want to word that differently" ? If the latter, I hope that that poor person has excellent medical coverage, 'cause it'll be needed !

4
0

Bloke charged under UK terror law for refusing to cough up passwords

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Flame

"used only in extreme terrorism cases"

Bollocks to that. Give me one example where this rule was properly applied - just one.

I know the guy has a terrist beard and I can imagine that he is a lot more suspicious-looking to paranoid racists because, gasp he's not Caucasian, but those elements on their own do not legally constitute proof of terrist intent - yet.

So good on him for standing up for his rights because this circus has been going on for long enough already. I hope that he gets that law struck from the books.

134
9

HP Inc wireless mouse can be spoofed

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

"They note that the attack isn't operating-system specific"

So that means that all operating systems have a "virtual on-screen keyboard" ?

I just checked and it is indicated that Linux has a few that are downloadable, but it does not state that there is any installed by default. I did find that Ubuntu has one by default, so there may well be other distros that have one as well, but apparently it is not certain.

Windows, of course, is the golden goose for this attack since the virtual keyboard is integrated into the kernel and there are very few ways outside of editing the Registry which will not disable it - and you won't go doing that without intent.

4
0

Chelsea Manning leaves prison, heads straight for booze and pizza

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

All of his promises are irrelevant. He is irrelevant. For some reason, the media keeps listening to his noises though.

23
3

Backup crack-up: Fasthosts locks people out of data storage for days amid WCry panic

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Trollface

Brilliant attack

Not only did WannaCrypt compromise outdated servers, it also knocked offline outdated servers that it didn't even touch.

Now that is called success !

10
0

Ransomware fear-flinger Uiwix fails to light

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Just one question . . . well, a few questions

How do you "run an exploit manually" ? Does that mean remote command of an infected computer ? How do you do that without getting traced ?

In any case, it seems that the Uiwix crew let the creature out of the barn a bit too soon. Yet, it's hopefully already too late because, if it uses the same attack vectors as WannaCrypt, well those are getting patched up right now, so it would've been a damp squib anyway. Right ?

0
0

Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

@ledswinger

Um, sorry there, but I think you might want to re-read steamnut's post, then re-read mine while paying attention to the troll icon. Also, please pay attention to the first part of the phrase that you outlined, not the last part.

I am not saying that Microsoft has an excuse, I'm saying that there are no perfect programmers and to think that the ones working for the military are any better than the ones working for the NHS is ridiculous - mainly because of some of the points you outlined yourself : changing goalposts.

As for Microsoft, I am incensed that they had the patch available in February, but waited for hospitals to go down before releasing it. Way to go there, guys, pretending to be all nice and releasing for everyone now that there are lives at risk. You'd have released it when the Shadow group published the flaws then it would have been acceptable, but to know that you had the patch, knew the vulns were in the wild and still waited for the crash is, in my book, worthy of jail time at the least.

5
0
Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: "Those of us that have ever written serious code (eg medical, nuclear, military).."

So, what you're saying is that there are serious programmers who do the top-of-the-line stuff for the military and such and who's code is flawless, fit to withstand the test of time, and there are the doodlers that do the enterprise-grade stuff for the rest of us, code which falls over itself as soon as the wind blows.

I take it that the guys working on the F-35 are among the doodlers then ? I get it now - the government should have insisted on serious programmers.

6
0

Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: Its like the Millennium Bug all over again

I think we should call it the Era of Insecurity.

Somebody check with Nostradamus to find out if it ever stops . . .

0
0

Dell EMC's Azure Stack: Get thee behind me, Microsoft subscriptions

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Thumb Up

"public clouds are a means, not an end"

Amen to that ! Thank God there is still at least one person capable of speaking with the voice of sanity in this cloud-boggled world.

Now, if only manglement could realize . . .

6
0

Ransomware scum have already unleashed kill-switch-free WannaCry‬pt‪ variant

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Inevitable

And, of course, there isn't a single politician that will derive any parallel with backdoored encryption. Can't be, it's backdoored for The Good Guys (TM) !

52
0

Samsung was just Tizen – homegrown Linux again pitched at n00bs

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

That is terrifying

3
0

Never mind custody decisions, let's AI up our police cars

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: "those that have nothing to hide so nothing to fear"

This technology is going to make those with nothing to hide have something to fear : false positives.

This being the US, imagine a black person walking down the street. This person has no criminal record, but a passing patrol car gets a false positive that he is a criminal wanted by the FBI. Do you really think it will end well for the black guy ?

The car could stop, the officers get out and question the guy and clear the issue by simply controlling his papers or checking the picture of the wanted guy, but somehow I doubt that it will always happen in such a fashion. Some form of brutality is more than likely, and a fatal issue is unfortunately not at all impossible.

A dead innocent because of a false positive - that's not what I call nothing to fear.

10
0

NASA nixes Trump's moonshot plan

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: "copy the technology used in the apollo missions"

We don't have that technology any more.

The Apollo program used the Saturn V lifter which had a cargo capability of 120 tons. That rocket is not available any more.

As you can see here, nothing currently available has that capacity. One or two lifters are slated to have comparable or better abilities, but they are in the planning stages and not available before 2020 in any case.

6
3

If you printed out this week's storage news and laid it end to end, it would stretch to the end of, er, your desk

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
WTF?

"I think for sure, we have grown at a higher rate if we spent more money."

You think ?

You're the CEO and you don't have the figures that measure growth ? You have to think ?

And your measure is how much you've spent ?

No wonder this economy is going straight to the sewers. With that kind of attitude, I understand why Facebook, Microsoft et al spend billions on (failed) acquisitions - they think they prove growth that way.

1
0

Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: "Every single element is designed before any developer comes near it"

And it would seem that those designing the elements have totally failed List Maintenance 101. If you give the user the ability to access a list, the option to delete or modify an element of said list is part of the basic requirements since before I went to Uni in 1991.

Of course, respecting said basic requirements takes time and money - which are two things that were obviously not important enough to squander next to the ability of touting yet another chat interface. I would say "Congrats, Amazon, you're now on my blacklist" - except that they've been on my blacklist ever since they demonstrated their willingness to go and erase customer purchases on their Kindle without customer approval.

7
0

Comey was loathed by the left, reviled by the right – must have been doing something right

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Interesting idea

Let's imagine one moment that such a scheme is indeed implemented. You say yourself that a key is to be created "at manufacture" - ie in a private company.

Private companies are hacked all the time - sometimes from the inside. If this scheme was implemented, the incentive to hack them would be multiplied a hundred-fold. They already have trouble coping now, so add 100x the pressure and it won't be good.

You go on to say that the file system holding the records would "hardly be kept in one place anyway". I read that to mean "there will be multiple points to gain access to it", and we know about how solid a chain is. Sorry, but you're not reassuring me there. In addition, let's just imagine that this "file system" existed ; do you really think that countries like Russia or China would not have a copy ? Given the current blackhat climate, add the corruption that exists in those countries and I think we're headed straight for publication of that list on the dark web with regular updates.

And that's how such a system would virtually allow blackhat egress into everything.

Beside that, there's the fact that blackhats are hardly the only threat, in today's security landscape. The NSA is one humongous effing threat on its own, has been for decades apparently, and I'm not okay with the idea that one NSA goon can tap into my phone calls at will today without a warrant and without my being notified (you see, I don't live in the US and I'm not of US nationality).

This key scheme would multiply that by every single country that had access to such files - whether official or not (you know what spies do for a living, right ?).

I do not subscribe to your optimism, and that is the understatement of the week at least.

12
0

74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

Pascal Monett
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Dear Donald & Theresa

I'm sorry, you're asking The Donald to get a clue ?

Talk about doomed to fail . . .

2
1
Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: "how does it drop it and execute it without a by-your-leave"

I never would have known until one day I was surfing with Firefox as I usually do, save that this was way back in last millennium. I followed some URL to a web page and was greeted with a dialog box that stated something that made me do a double-take. I don't remember the wording exactly, but Firefox was warning me that this web site was trying to force a download to my machine and did I want to accept that.

Note that I had not yet clicked any link on the page I had reached.

I refused the file, obviously, and then an idea struck me. I started IE and went to the same page and, sure enough, found the file on my hard disk as soon as I looked. So IE blindly accepted whatever HTML instruction there was to download a file to my disk. Add some Javascript to that page that would try launching said file and you have a perfect malware portal. Obviously I scoured the computer afterwards with a full AV scan (found nothing).

That was the day I vowed to never, ever use IE again if I did not absolutely have to. Of course, that was IE 6, back in the day, but excuse me if I am not entirely trusting of MS to not pull that kind of trick again today.

8
2

Space upstart plans public cloud in low Earth orbit

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: Call me skeptical but...

I'm just wondering what's the use of a VM that is only active for the minute or two it is circling above you. I don't think there's any communication between satellites, so it's all sat-to-ground and back. I can imagine they'll have several ground stations (and I doubt individuals will be setting up dishes to communicate directly - that does not sound like a good commercial pitch) and they'll be able to manage it all and monitor the fleet continuously, but I still can't find a use case for computing power that regularly disappears.

Anyone care to enlighten me on that ?

0
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017