* Posts by Neoc

1528 posts • joined 13 Jun 2008

Garbage collection – in SPAAACE: Net snaffles junk in first step to clean up Earth's orbiting litter

Neoc

Great, you've caught it. Sooo.... now we have a slightly larger but wobblier item in orbit.

Note: yes, I did read the article - de-orbiting trials are for *later* experiments.

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How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Neoc

Re: Knot

Beat me to it. Although I use a simple slip-knot myself.

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New MeX-Files: The curious case of an evacuated US solar lab, the FBI – and bananas conspiracy theories

Neoc

Re: You left out a few words...

"We're"

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SAP faces further South African corruption probe

Neoc

"...three Gupta-related firms that acted as intermediaries or subcontractors in deals with Transnet and Eskom."

So why do we only hear about SAP? Why do we not hear about the intermediaries AND THE PEOPLE WHO GOT PAID? It's all nice and well bashing SAP (don't stop) but this sort of thing won't stop by only going after the ones doing the payment.

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Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

Neoc

Re: that's the point where things start to go downhill.

Seme / Uke? (not Judo terms)

12
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Register-Orbi-damned: Netgear account order irks infosec bods

Neoc

"The tech is not necessarily there to gather marketing data, contrary to the suspicions of our tipster. Some Mesh Wi-Fi competitors also require an account be set up to associate with their Wi-Fi networks, El Reg further understands"

Hmmm, no. Unless any one of these companies shows cause, as far as I am concerned they ALL are gathering marketing data and Netgear went "there's a good idea" and jumped on the bandwagon. Just because other companies were doing it doesn't make it any less creepy.

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Lawyers sued for impersonating rival firm online to steal clients

Neoc

"...SEO-optimized ..."

So they "...Search Engine Optimisation optimised..."?

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Amnesty slaps Google amid crippled censored China search claims

Neoc

Wrong target of outrage

It amuses me how people are biased. Don't get me wrong: I think China has terrible laws when it comes to censorship. But that's just the point: in China, they're LAWS. Which means if you want to have a presence there, you have to obey their laws. ALL of them, not just the ones you happen to agree with.

Case in point, there are a lot of things which are illegal in the USA which are perfectly valid outside of it - I'm thinking of laws on legalised prostitution, age of consent, drinking age, drugs, etc... what if Google started offering some of those items to the US public? How quickly would the same people then rise up against Google for not obeying the US laws?

You want to change what's happening, go after the CAUSE: China's overbearing censorship laws. Don't go after the companies that, correctly, obey them when it that country.

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The internet's very own Muslim ban continues: DNS overlord insists it can freeze dot-words

Neoc

Playing with fire

Correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I can tell ICANN has power only because the rest of the world allows them to. What is to stop engineers around the world to tell ICANN to go jump off a roof and set up a new gTLD system?

After all: "the internet re-routes around what it perceives as damage"

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UK 'fake news' inquiry calls for end to tech middleman excuses, election law overhaul

Neoc

No such animal

"...social media giants claiming to be neutral platforms..."

None of those Social Media Giants are neutral platforms anymore. They stopped being "neutral" once they implemented algorithms which would supposedly present me with the news I am interested in (how? "trade secret", so we are told. So we only have their words that it's what *we* want to see as opposed to what they've been paid for us to see).

Once *their* algorithm "chooses" what I see, they no longer are "neutral" - they've meddle with my newsfeed.

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Your 60-second guide to security stuff Google touted today at Next '18

Neoc

Question

What happens if you lose your dongle (or it stops working)? I notice there's no mention of how this is to be remedied. Or is this like the IoT: "nothing can ever go wrong so we don't need recovery"?

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Friday FYI: 9 out of 10 of website login attempts? Yeah, that'll be hackers

Neoc

"More long-terms solutions include WebAuthn, an emerging standard that would abandon traditional credentials completely in favor of physical and biometric authentication mechanisms. The advantage of that would be that there are no credentials to steal"

Because it worked so well for that German MP... Her fingerprints got outed - how is she going to change her biometric log-in?

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/dec/30/hacker-fakes-german-ministers-fingerprints-using-photos-of-her-hands

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What a flap: SIM swiped from slain stork's GPS tracker used to rack up $2,700 phone bill

Neoc

Someone explain to me why they didn't use a data-only PREPAID SIM?

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UK.gov's long-awaited, lightweight biometrics strategy fails to impress

Neoc

<quote>

For instance, on the continued retention of photos of people held in police custody who haven’t been convicted, despite this practice being ruled unlawful, the government simply reiterated the fact its computers systems do not support the automatic removal of images, and new systems should help.

“When the Law Enforcement Data Service, which will replace the Police National Computer (PNC) and the PND, is in place it will enable more efficient review and where appropriate, automatic deletion of custody images by linking them to conviction status, more closely replicating the system for DNA and fingerprints,” it said

</unquote>

How about coming over to the Antipodeans, where we've been removing Biometrics from our IT systems for almost 20 years. No, it doesn't happen automatically and yet this is not deemed to be a burden to the Police force.

For the record, the system generates paperwork which requires departments to destroy their evidence (i.e. photographs, fingerprints, DNA samples, etc...) - note that it first checks to see if the person in question has ever been found guilty of an indictable offence; if so, bad luck buddy. These forms are barcoded for ease of reference and the people in each biometric department can simply scan the barcode to find out the individual records which need to be physically destroyed, because OF COURSE we uniquely identify each piece of evidence (duh). When the evidence is destroyed, the relevant officer signs the form and returns it to central processing.

This is all possible because the system is also the one which generates and prints the paperwork for when photographs, fingerprints or DNA are taken - and thus knows what biometrics are held against which person. So when the person is released a button is pressed, the legal status of the subject is checked, and the relevant destruction paperwork is generated (or not).

So unless the UK plods manning (peopling?) each biometric department have to handle a sh*tload more offenders than we do down here, there should be no reason the damn things can't be destroyed manually and the whole "oh, we can't do it unless it's automated" sounds like a load a manure to me.

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On Kaspersky’s 'transparency tour' the truth was clear as mud

Neoc

"The company is also promising source code reviews for customers and/or maybe also by a consortium of universities whose collective eyeballing will make it possible to get through all three million lines of code"

I don't care who you are, Kaspersky or otherwise: unless I can compile the source code on *my* machine using *my* compiler, you cannot guarantee me that the code I just inspected is what's actually in the compiled version you're offering me.

Admittedly, most of the time I don't care (I'm pretty certain MS and Google are constantly spying on what I do in various ways "for my PC's/phone's own good"), but for security software...

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Linus Torvalds tells kernel devs to fix their regressive fixing

Neoc

That was.... surprisingly tame, coming from Torvald.

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So net neutrality has officially expired. Now what do we do?

Neoc

We'd pay extra for such a service. Would you?

Admittedly I'm not American but...

This assumes that cable companies could actually be trusted to stick to that agreement and actually provide what they advertised. Would *you* trust them to actually offer Net-Neutral connections and actually stick to it? Because you already trust them not to sell your personal data, right?

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

Neoc

Wouldn't work

"(The old voice recognition gag: hover behind someone at a Unix command prompt and say "arr emm dash eff slash".)"

Wouldn't work: you're missing a couple of spaces in there ("rm-rf/") and that's assuming the voice recog recognised you were spelling something and not doing a bad pirate impersonation ("Arr 'im dash off, slash")

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Smart bulbs turn dumb: Lights out for Philips as Hue API goes dark

Neoc

Standards

I am old enough to remember the Bad Old Days(tm) of networks (both corporate and home), when you had to check and double-check that the network card you were adding to your network would work with (a) the other network cards; and (b) your switch/router/whatever.

Now, we have standards and unless you are very unlucky, WiFi and cabled PCs will quite happily interact with each other and your network equipment (security settings notwithstanding).

That's what the IoT needs: an IoT "router" that sits on your network and interacts with your IoT shit and, WHEN ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED, talks to the internet. Of course, this would mean that IoT management needs to be standardised - which no company will want to do unless someone like the IEEE steps in.

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Artificial intelligence... or advanced imitation? How DeepMind used YouTube vids to train game-beating Atari bot

Neoc

Pointless

All they are teaching the "AI" (and I will use the term in quotes) is how to replicate what someone else has done. Which makes it an Expert System at best, not an AI. Yes, humans learn by being taught how to do things - but the big difference is that we then adapt what we have learned to new situations. So (to use the ever-beloved car analogy) while, yes, I was taught to drive a car by an experienced driver while driving though a specific set of streets over-and-over again, I am able to use this knowledge to drive through just about any street network I find myself in. Except Prague. I swear I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to drive through Prague 1.

So no, this is not in any way "teaching an AI", this is "teaching a robot to repeat the same thing over and over again" which we already have in industrial systems where robot welders (for example) are manual guided through their tasks a few times and are then let loose.

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Who had ICANN suing a German registrar over GDPR and Whois? Congrats, it's happening

Neoc

The only proper response from the German court would be a swift:

(1) "No contract may force a company to break the laws of the land"; and

(2) "Since, by bringing this to us, you insist on forcing companies to break the law, let us slap you with fine".

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Google shoots Chrome 66's silencer after developer backlash

Neoc

Simply add whitelist/blacklist capabilities alongside the generic on/off switch and you no longer have a problem: users can choose which websites need to shut up and which can twitter away.

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Supreme Court punts on Microsoft email seizure decision after Cloud Act passes US Congress

Neoc
Black Helicopters

Hmmm...

IT companies have let the USA Government open a can of worms.

It has been common practice for a company (call it Amazapple) to create shell companies around the world in order to avoid paying taxes. The only reason this works is because, as a legal fiction, each company is supposedly a separate entity. So Amazapple USA can charge Amazapple UK for "using its services" which means Amazapple UK, come tax time, suddenly has little or no income to tax thanks to all those pesky fees.

But if the USA DoJ now tries to maintain that it can force Microsoft USA into handing over data held by Microsoft IE, then the whole legal fiction comes crumbling down: the DoJ has, a priory, stated that MS USA and MS IE are the same entity as far as they are concerned.

This means the Tax-evasion pass-the-buck cookie crumbles as Amazapple USA can now, de rigeur, be considered the same company as Amazapple UK and thus cannot charge itself in order to avoid paying taxes.

IAMAL, so YMMV.

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Facebook’s in real trouble now: Australia’s opened a probe

Neoc

"Look up, stay alive". We loose too many tourists to plummetus Thylarctos every year when just a little insight can keep you safe...

https://australianmuseum.net.au/drop-bear

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UK regulator bans slasher-flick parody ad for OnePlus 5 mobe

Neoc

Re: Animaniacs

@Aladdin Sane: I'd upvote you more than once if I could, just for the smile-inducing flashback you just caused me.

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Microsoft: Yes, we agree that Irish email dispute is moot... now what's this new warrant about?

Neoc

--The DoJ noted this in its motion, complaining that Microsoft had "refused to acknowledge" that the CLOUD Act applied to the existing warrant--

Well, DUH! The warrant was issued *before* the CLOUD act and thus operates under the provisions of the old set of Laws. It just makes the DoJ look like a bunch of little kids before they (eventually) did the proper thing and issued a *new* warrant under the *new* Laws.

8
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BOFH: Give me a lever long enough and a fool, I mean a fulcrum and ....

Neoc

Something's wrong... that Boss seemed unusually well suited for the position of overlooking the BOFH and PFY.

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Guns, audio and eye-tracking: VR nearly ready for prime time

Neoc

"But apparently there are already VR warehouses in Europe and more are planned soon in the US (and, apparently in San Leandro in the Bay Area)."

And a couple already exist in Australia, thank-you-very-much ( https://zerolatencyvr.com/ ). Why does everyone forget about the Antipodean Continent?

1
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Boffins find sign of water existing deep into Earth's mantle by looking at diamonds

Neoc
Boffin

"Although the diamonds show water probably exists deep below..."

Erm, no, they don't. What they show is that water probably existed AT THE TIME THE DIAMONDS WERE FORMED. So unless you can prove those diamonds were created in the last few hundred years (or less), we still don't know the CURRENT water status "deep below".

0
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Former Google X bloke's startup unveils 'self flying' electric air taxi

Neoc

Nope. Nope, nope , nope.

"unlike cars, Cora travels in a straight line"

One of the reasons I bought my house where I did was because it was AWAY FROM TRAFFIC. The last thing I want is for these bozos to suddenly decide they have the right to fly over my house day and night.

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What would Jesus sue? The FCC, it seems

Neoc
Facepalm

You *know* something's wrong when a US church is the voice of reason in an argument.

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CableLabs backhaul spec gets speed boost

Neoc

"on-off keying (OOK, as used in PON deployments)" The Librarian would be proud.

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Microsoft floats feelers for fake worlds

Neoc

Not "the claw", "the CLAW"

(with apologies to Mr. M Smart)

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Look on the bright side, Pebble fans. At least your gizmo will work long enough for you to get beach body ready

Neoc

Another good reason not to buy into anything that needs to "phone home" to work (I'm looking at you IoT).

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Pope wants journalism like the Catholic church wants child sex abuse probes: Slow, aimless...

Neoc
Thumb Up

"When it comes to journalists, Frankie says: relax"

Ooh, I see what you did there. ^_^

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Serverless: Should we be scared? Maybe. Is it a silly name? Possibly

Neoc

Oh goddess... It's COBOL all over again. And didn't *that* turn out well. By the time you actually write something complex enough to be useful to a major company (or gov department) you might as well be a programmer.

1
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You get a lawsuit! And you get a lawsuit! And you! Now Apple sued over CPU security flaws

Neoc

Well, that's going to get objected to real quick. "...since 2007"? Not likely. As much as I don't like Apple, they should only be responsible for products sold since they were aware of the problem. And that'll be a much harder date to pin down.

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Elon Musk lowers his mighty erection for test firing: Falcon Heavy preps for maiden voyage

Neoc

"This will boost the first payload – Elon Musk's personal cherry-red Tesla Roadster, no kidding – up into orbit, and on a nominal course to Mars"

I thought one of NASA's major prep before sending anything to Mars was making sure it was clean-room compliant. Has SpaceX's Tesla gone through the same rigorous decontamination?

4
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Google's answer to the Pixel 2 XL CRT-style screen burn in: Lower the brightness

Neoc

Meh

Old news. I have a Galaxy S7 and it suffers from burn-in.

4
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Comet 67-P farted just as Rosetta probe flew through the gas plume

Neoc
Coat

"So now we have to go back, and to other comets"

Of course we can, we just have to comet to it.

Mine's the one with the snowballs in the pockets.

0
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Hewlett-Packard history lost to Santa Rosa fires

Neoc

Brings to mind...

"This file contains the complete set of papers, except for a number of secret documents, a few others which are part of still active files, a few others lost in the flood of 1967- Was 1967 a particularly bad winter?"

"No, a marvellous winter, we lost no end of embarrassing files."

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Australia Bureau of Statistics may wind back internet usage data collection

Neoc
Black Helicopters

Let me get this straight...

Days after the NBN comes under attack for poor performance and crappy service, the ABS announces it will cut its reports about Internet usage.

Hmmm...

6
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Red (Planet) alert: Future astro-heroes face shocking adventures on Martian moon Phobos

Neoc
Pint

Wonder if the effect could be used to recharge the base's batteries...

8
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Apple Cook roasted for Chinese app takeaway

Neoc
Facepalm

Wow..

Double standards, much? The US Government hits the roof when Apple refuses to do something they ask, but gets incensed when Apple complies with another Government's *local* demands (these apps were only pulled in China).

Not that I agree with ChiGov's dick move, but hey: if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to... Oh, never mind.

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Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

Neoc

And people wonder why I'm against the concept of flying cars: because the same idiot who can't be trusted to properly and lawfully fly 1Kg drone would be operating 1000Kg cars over my head.

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Facebook, Google, Twitter are the shady bouncers of the web. They should be fired

Neoc

Double-talk

All these companies plead innocence, but it's all double-talk.

"It's not us, it's the algorithms": You wrote the suckers to make your life easier. Guess what: your algorithm = your problem.

"We don't curate the contents, therefore we're not liable for what people post": Actually, see the first quote. You wrote algorithms to boost (or reduce) the standing of posts in your media. Therefore you (the company) *are* curating your contents, deciding which ads I'll see and which news gets posted first. And so you should be held liable.

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Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

Neoc

Apart from the fact that I personally think the new TLDs are a bad idea - I would personally side with Brazil on this one. "Amazon" as been a part of the lexicon describing the geographical area long before Amazon LTD even existed.

Tell you what: if ICANN is so keen on offering .amazonia to Brazil as a replacement for .amazon, why not offer .amazonltd (or .amazonco) to Bezo? See how keen he is on compromises then.

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Driverless cars will make more traffic, say transport boffins

Neoc

Not quite, AS2003: 28% of Australians said they'd buy an AV, 7% (about 1/4 of the 28%) said they'd let someone else rent it.

And if no-one owns a car, then they would not be "renting" it to someone else, would they? Mind you, with no-one driving the buggers, you could never be sure of the state of the car you'd be getting into.

1
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Australia commits to establish space agency with no budget, plan, name, deadline …

Neoc

"The fact that its future existence was first revealed to media in the city of Adelaide ..."

*Adelaide*? Let me get this straight - the best place for a spaceport would be as close to the equator as possible, so NT or North QLD are prime candidates... but they announce the agency in Adelaide?

(NB for our non-Aussie friends: Adelaide is on the SOUTH side of the continent, well away from the equator).

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Virginia scraps poke-to-vote machines hackers destroyed at DefCon

Neoc

Funny

This sort of problem seems to be very USA-centric.

Here in Oz, we have the AEC (Australian Electoral Commission) whose sole purpose in life is to run elections (local, state or federal). And while a lot a mud has been slung at various politicians and parties for trying to rig the election (generally the old "cemetery vote" scheme), not one of them has ever been proven and NO-ONE HAS COMPLAINED ABOUT THE AEC (*). The average Australian's trust over the AEC's impartiality is rock-solid.

Which is one of the reason why there's such a brouhaha over the fact that the "Marriage Equality" question is being handled by the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics, which lost all public credibility recently) rather than the AEC.

(*) The exception is the odd political party complaining they are not on the ballot even though they never supplied the requisite number of signature. C'mon people, if the "Party party party Party" can get on the ballot, do you *really* think your inability to get on it is because the AEC "hates you"?

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