* Posts by Steve Evans

2736 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Now you can tell someone to literally go f--k themselves over the internet: Remote-control mock-cock patent dies

Steve Evans

Re: This just underscores that patents are crap

With US patents the rubber approval stamp is pretty much automatic.

They rely on them being challenged in court to weed out the crap ones.

Which of course is completely impractical for the small inventor/innovator, and only benefits lawyers.

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Google Spectre whizz kicked out of Caesars, blocked from DEF CON over hack 'attack' tweet

Steve Evans

@dbtx

Sounds familiar...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Mohamed_clock_incident

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Steve Evans

Welcome to snowflake world...

Where it's not the context of your original statement or action that's important, but how some snowflake can misinterpret/misunderstand it and get into a total flap.

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

Steve Evans

Re: Dry Erase Results

They'd screw that up and leave it sticking out the side.

Write once, read many, removed once, swapped once.

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No big deal... Kremlin hackers 'jumped air-gapped networks' to pwn US power utilities

Steve Evans

Re: Air Gapped?

How about a nice game of chess?

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Steve Evans

Re: wtf is an Air GAP

Indeed. A true air-gapped network will have no physical or ethereal (wifi) connection other networks i.e. the outside world.

Although there have been a couple of clever proof of concept ways to breach this (acoustic for example), they always initially require physical access to the "gapped" network (or components of) to install required components (malware). You can't get roll up and access a gapped network unless it has already been compromised.

A true air-gapped network can only transfer data to and from another network via physical media transfer.

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Steve Evans

Re: Special access

In a world of off-site support, putting a complex device behind a real air-gap is not going to be popular.

So unless the bean-counters are going to splash the cash for on-site expertise (preferably not a gentleman called Ivan), security will be compromised.

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You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

Steve Evans

Shhhh!

Don't mention zee vor!

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New Android P beta is 'very close', 'near-final' but also just 'early'

Steve Evans

Or viewed another way, would you rather something that was released when it was ready, or something that was released because the calendar said so?

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WannaCry is back! (Psych. It's just phisher folk doing what they do)

Steve Evans

Only one so far

Only had the one so far, to an email address I used semi-publicly on flickr.

Had a nice little selection of email addresses in a public CC list.

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

Steve Evans

HM Govt IT project...

If HM govt had started an IT card project for the Windrush generation when they first arrived, they'd still be trying to get the system to work properly even now!

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Done and dusted? Vast storm gobbles NASA's long-lived Mars robot

Steve Evans

I'm sure the only lesson learnt by the bean counters will be all about how the rover was over engineered and how you can cut corners, and save money, in future.

They'll conveniently forget what happened when they cut corners on solid rocket boosters.

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Samsung escapes obligation to keep old phones patched

Steve Evans

Re: Phone contracts

@Oengus - In the UK carriers like Orange used to customise the Nokia smartphones with their own fork of the OS.

It was a guaranteed way to never get a single OS update.

The geekier amongst us would flash their Orange'd Symbian phone back to a Euro model number, and then apply the OS images direct from Nokia.

The N95 was actually pretty sorted once you got the Nokia updates. The Orange'd one was condemned to spend it's life as a permanent beta.

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Steve Evans

I'm sure Samsung's logic goes like this...

When a phone becomes end of line, consumer will buy a new Samsung phone.

In fact I think they rely on this as these days a high-end phone from 2-3 years ago is quite capable of pretty much anything a new one can do. The camera might not be quite as good, and it'll be a little slower, but there really has been no "must have!" feature added in the last 3 years. In fact the old phone will still have a headphone jack! (Not so applicable to Samsung as they seem to be one of the few clinging on!).

The only thing that got me to upgrade my ageing Nexus 6 was the battery giving up the ghost (and every replacement cell I found looked like a Chinesium fire risk!). Apart from that it worked perfectly.

Consumers need to get a little smarter. Look at the support track record of a company before buying a phone. Only then will OEM's like Samsung/HTC etc etc take updates and after sales support seriously.

(Yeah, I know, fat chance!).

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HTC U12+: Like a Pixel without the pratfalls, or eye-watering price tag

Steve Evans

Re: "Like a Pixel without the pratfalls"... and presumably without the updates

Exactly my reaction... "Like a Pixel without the pratfalls, or eye-watering price tag, long term support or timely updates".

I owned one HTC... Once... It received exactly one update from HTC a couple of months after a bought it, and within 6 months the moved onto new models and abandoned it.

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'Facebook takes data from my phone – but I don't have an account!'

Steve Evans

Re: Pages rule (again)

I'm quite shocked to see how many phones come pre-infected with this. I'm a long time Nexus and Pixel owner, so I guess I've had a sheltered and uninfected life.

It's been many years since I've allowed a FB app near my phone, I can't remember which update it was, but one of them pushed the permissions requests just a little too far and I said "nope".

So far I've managed to survive with just a mobile browser (although FB actively detect and nobble the website from the built in Android chrome browser and try to force the app - you just have top get a bit creative and install another browser, or customise the user_agent tag).

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Steve Evans

Re: host file?

It does indeed.

Although you will probably need root to get to it, and if you've gone that far you could either remove the FB app, or install a ROM that doesn't come pre-infected.

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Failbreak: Bloke gets seven years in the clink for trying to hack his friend out of jail

Steve Evans

Believing Voits' story that he was only "trying to get better reception," officers let him go.

Well why shouldn't they believe that story, it was the truth... He just didn't mention it was the building across the street he was trying to get better reception from!

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Size does matter, chaps: Oversized todgers an evolutionary handicap

Steve Evans

If you're going to feel cocky, just don't do it in public, you'll get arrested.

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Europe turns nose up at new smartphones: Beancounters predict 7% sales drop

Steve Evans

Unless you're using your mobile to provide a hotspot for your home internet connection, I really can't see the need for any more speed on a mobile device.

I can certainly see the case for them patching up the holes in the network that already exists... I see Edge on my phone daily, and in some instances where there is nothing at all.

As for upgrading of phones, I recently upgraded after 3 years. What "must-have" feature did my phone lack?

The ability to go for two hours away from a charger! The battery was screwed. Whilst I'm quite capable of replacing a battery, I couldn't find a source I trusted to supply a *real* genuine battery, and not just a low capacity fire risk.

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Car-crash television: 'Excuse me ma'am, do you speak English?' 'Yes I do,' replies AMD's CEO

Steve Evans

It doesn't sound that bad...

I didn't see the race, I gave up following F1 when BBC ducked out of their contract and half the races went to SKY, but from how you describe it, it doesn't sound that bad. Especially given Brundle's previous gaffs.

He's in a foreign country, covering an international event, surely asking if someone speaks English is far more polite than just going up to someone and then blabbering something to them and assuming they'll speak English? There are plenty of very successful Asian business people who don't speak English who are more than well-heeled enough to have been on that grid.

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It's April 2018, and we've had to sit on this Windows 10 Spring Creators Update headline for days

Steve Evans

Re: Wait wait...

If the bug is in Cortana they might as well just ship it... Nobody is going to notice.

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Total WIPOut: IT chief finds his own job advertised

Steve Evans

Re: Ironic

Indeed... They react somewhat differently when it's their whistle being blown.

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My PC makes ‘negative energy waves’, said user, then demanded fix

Steve Evans

Me too...

Although my dark side would weld them a 6 foot high pyramid frame and install that over their office chair on the pretense of blocking negative woowoos.

And then sit back and watch them defend the rusty monstrosity to their manager.

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Don't want to alarm you, but defence bods think North Korea could nuke UK 'within a few years'

Steve Evans

Hmmm...

1 - They don't have much of a track record getting things further than Japan, and even then that's just a rocket, not an warhead with a functional trigger mechanism.

2 - Why would they want to waste a nuke on us? We haven't been giving it all the mouth unlike some...

3 - We've had the capability to turn them into a molten puddle for decades.

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User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

Steve Evans

Re: sub for a riot

T9 was even worse for Vodka drinkers ... Smirnoff usually came out as poisonff

It came out as "poisoned", which amused my Polish friends no end!

(They class their Wodka as the original, and the Russian stuff just paint-stripper for alcoholics).

There is no V in Wodka ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNKiPaYwyZQ

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Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?

Steve Evans

Re: "...a [Lidar] blind spot low to the ground all around the car."

Indeed... People are taller than cars.

Even push bikes come up a good few feet, and from the footage, on that nice clear, uncluttered, and almost straight road, the entire bicycle and person were completely visible to the video camera.

To have a blind spot extend that far, the LIDAR would have to be at the rear of the roof, and as low down onto it as possible, which would be the stupidest location ever devised for a vehicle that will spend 99.99% of its time going forwards.

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Fleeing Facebook app users realise what they agreed to in apps years ago – total slurpage

Steve Evans

Luckily I heard that the messenger app was a huge battery killer before I ever installed it.

I saw its permission list once, and thought "hahahahahahaha... No way!".

On those occasions I "needed" it, I'd open m.facebook.com in my mobile browser.

Then facebook actively started blocking the android chrome browser from doing messenger things, continually trying to force their messenger app, this made me even more suspicious. After all, I could do messenger things on my desktop browser, why would I need a bloaty app to do the same on mobile?

So I tried a different mobile browser, and guess what, that works fine. Zuck and friends had obviously not put that into the blocked user_agent list.

It's a pity so much of the population have yet to develop the right kind of paranoia regarding apps - they seem great at developing the wrong kind of paranoia with regard to other, completely innocent things!

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Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser

Steve Evans

Somehow I suspect this will have more of a hit on the usage of the Mail app than on the use of Edge!

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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Steve Evans

Re: Oh, come on

What happened to common sense in courts...?

What we see here is letter of the law interpretation, instead of spirit of the law.

They prosecuted for what the law said, not what the law was trying to prevent.

I salute his efforts to reduce the landfill, I guess the restore disk will be Ubuntu next time.

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UK.gov calls on the Big Man – GOD – to boost rural broadband

Steve Evans

I thought the idea of replacing the lead with something less metalic was just to stop Mr Pikey from nicking it!

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Steve Evans

Deja vu...

Wasn't this proposed before... Long ago... And then shot down by the Church when they realised that the internet is full of pr0n?

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Helicopter crashes after manoeuvres to 'avoid... DJI Phantom drone'

Steve Evans

Re: Pink Unicorn?

There's some good footage showing how handover happens. Seems to me the instructor can be in control in a matter of seconds when/if needed.

Yes, but how many seconds do you have when your tail is near a tree and you're only a few feet from the ground practicing a hover?

1
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Oi! Verizon leaked my fiancée's nude pix to her ex-coworker, says bloke

Steve Evans

Re: What are the odds

MMS? Are we still in the 90s?

Coincidentally, one of my friends sent me an MMS of a classic car he'd spotted which he knew I'd appreciate just last weekend...

Yes, I did reply "Nice... But if you sent the pics via whatsapp/telegram/email etc, I might be able to see more than the 2 dozen pixel in an MMS Grandad!".

I can't remember the last time I received an MMS before that though... It was probably the same friend though.

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Home fibre in the UK sucks so much it doesn't even rank in Euro study

Steve Evans

Re: *Shrug*

The problem for the fibre companies is that FTTC is more than fast enough for most people, so there isn't the market there was a decade ago. Even back then fibre companies were collapsing, being bought out and slashing plans to run fibres to existing towns/estates, so you can imagine how keen they are now to try to sell into areas where BT already has FTTC up and running.

I've got FTTC and I'm quite happy with 76Mbs down and 18Mbs up (why do household fibre connections always seem so strangled on the upload?).

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Boffins crack smartphone location tracking – even if you've turned off the GPS

Steve Evans

Re: Curious...

They use the barometer. Combine air pressure with known atmospheric pressure in the region you are in and you get a pretty good estimate of altitude. Worked for the aviation industry for many years before GPS.

I did mean to mention that, how common is a barometer in smartphones these days? I realise I'm not cutting edge, still happily using a 3 year old phone, but I certainly don't have one.

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Steve Evans

Curious...

I thought elevation was only provided by the GPS... Is that available without location permissions?

Even if it is, being a non-primary function of GPS, elevation is not really very accurate, which might be OK if you're tracking someone in the foothills of the Andes which dwarf the margin of error, but those is flatter areas are likely much harder to track...

If paranoid move to the Netherlands.

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In America, tech support conmen get a mild slap. In Blighty, scammers get the book thrown at them

Steve Evans

Electronic tag and a curfew?

I don't think forcing an internet fraudster to spend moire time *inside* his house is such a good idea.

Maybe a reverse one, that forces him to leave the house and stay away from computers would be a better idea!

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Tsk-tsk, fat cat Softcat: Milk-slurping reseller taken to court

Steve Evans

Yoghurt that right.

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F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

Steve Evans

Re: It takes very little to be better than tha Harrier...

but it could never be a great fighter or attack plane in a difficult environment

The Argentinian airforce would beg to differ.

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'No evidence' UK.gov has done much to break up IT outsourcing

Steve Evans

Re: Endless

Nearly every big government contract I've ever worked on had endless problems with the client not knowing what they want, coming up with a spec (over the top), then changing it, then changing it some more and repeat repeat repeat.

And that in a nutshell is it. The people asking for the system and specifying the system have never done an honest days work in that department operating the existing system (be it an IT based one or paper).

They don't know the day-to-day issues, and couldn't even provide a basic flow-chart of the tasks that need to be performed.

The only way to properly understand the system you are trying to design is to sit with the users of the existing system and watch (and question) them.

But no... Multiple layers of management/bureaucracy mean the person writing the spec has no idea how things are done. When a delivery is finally made, the users all go "WTF?!" and the feedback then filters back up the management ladder in some kind of golf-club hosted Chinese whispers, and then the change request (as heard by the last link in the chain) is passed onto the supplier. It will of course have next to nothing in common with the original feedback from the end users to their line manager.

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Drone crashes after operator failed to spot extra building site crane

Steve Evans

Claims expertise...

Immediately proves he has none.

50m was about it for Joe public original GPS with the locked down military encrypted packet and only a lock on a 3 or 4 satellites. These days you get a lock on close to a dozen with a clear sky like that, and you're down to a couple of meters.

3
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Hawaiian fake nukes alert caused by fat-fingered fumble of garbage GUI

Steve Evans

A drop down menu?!!

What idiot designed that interface? I must mis-select from those at least a dozen times a day!

For something as important as that you need a big red shiny button, a long distance from any other buttons, and as other have suggested, a confirmation box which looks absolutely nothing like any of the others, with hot keys disabled and the OK button not focused so an errant "enter" won't click it.

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France may protect citizens' liberté with ban on foreigners buying local big data firms

Steve Evans

Re: How it will unfortunately actually work....

You missed out a step...

French govt will make it policy that all government departments must use a French supplier of services, keeping the company afloat for some time before the inevitable happens.

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Why did top Home Office civil servant lobby Ofcom for obscure kit ban?

Steve Evans

Copy and paste...

Be careful El Reg... Copy and pasting to reveal the content of a badly redacted document is probably enough to have you grabbed by the fuzz, you circumvented a protection mechanism after all!

12
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Heart of darkness: Inside the Osówka underground city

Steve Evans

Re: I don't suppose this is Himmler's project to awake some giant from Norse mythology

is Cheyenne Mountain a project to wake a mythical giant?

Nah, just a the Stargate which leads to aliens who inspired Egyptian mythology.

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FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

Steve Evans

Re: Face Palm

It not just you in America, we have the same in the UK.

HM Govt continually want backdoors in encryption.

Neither realise that:

a) You can't just do that and keep its integrity.

b) HTTPS to Amazon and your bank's website is also encryption, so cybercrime will explode if that's broken.

c) The general public don't trust the Govt's ability to keep anything secret.

d) The general public don't trust the Govt not to abuse such access.

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Parliamentary 'puters made 30k tries to procure pr0nz last year

Steve Evans

Re: SexyMP

I read your warning too late...

They need a 3rd option.

"I'd rather tie my d*ck to the next space-X launch rocket with piano wire!"

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UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration

Steve Evans

That is quite impressive, although I'm curious to know the physics involved, especially for those birds that hit high up the windscreen.

It does however highlight an issue... Namely that drones aren't exactly the biggest problem the helicopter pilot had, birds were... That helicopter screen wouldn't have passed the bird strike test used on airlines let alone having a 3kg DLSR fired at it, so a little unfair to be levelling all the responsibility on the DSLR thrower/carrier.

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UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

Steve Evans

Re: Just checked

Quiet please, I'm trying to see how the "What the butler saw" story ends.

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