* Posts by Alan J. Wylie

323 posts • joined 12 Jul 2008

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Baywatch hero drone saves silly struggling swimmers Down Under from going down under

Alan J. Wylie
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NZ Water safety campaign

Perhaps the Aussies could take a few tips from New Zealand?

The Swim Reaper

Instagram photos

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France to lend Brexit Britain sore souvenir of Norman yoke – the Bayeux Tapestry

Alan J. Wylie
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its most famous memento of the Norman conquest of England

Napoleon put the tapestry on display in Paris in 1804, while he was planning an invasion of England.

it has not yet been decided where in the UK the tapestry will be displayed

Somewhere close to Trafalgar Square or Waterloo Station?

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Destroying the city to save the robocar

Alan J. Wylie
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Highway lanes expand and contract automatically for high-traffic times," dreams John Jones, Fjord's VP of design strategy.

Just like the A38M.

BTW, I worked on the requirements specification for the tidal flow signalling back in the early '90s

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Wait, what? The Linux Kernel Mailing List archives lived on ONE PC? One BROKEN PC?

Alan J. Wylie
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Re: alternativly

could stuff Cloudflare in front and tick the "always on" option.

LKML did, and does, have a Cloudflare front end, but since the site is so dynamic, the "always on" option wouldn't be much help.

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Alan J. Wylie
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Re: On the flip side

Would it have been as stable on a cloud provider?

It is on Cloudflare. It was just the back end that went down, but since the mailing list has very little static content, that took the whole site down.

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Cryptocurrencies to end in tears, says investor wizard Warren Buffet

Alan J. Wylie
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Astroboffins say our Solar System is a dark, violent, cosmic weirdo

Alan J. Wylie
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Titius–Bode law

Any hint in the data as to whether the planets in other solar systems obey the Titius–Bode law?

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Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it

Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Don't buy a new Intel based system for a while?

AMD is (mostly) not affected by Meltdown (userspace reading kernel memory). It is affected by Spectre (userspace reading userspace memory, either in the same process, e.g.3rd party Javascript reading cookies in a web browser or one process reading another processes memory).

There is, however a case on AMD when eBPF JIT is turned on, which allows userspace to read kernel memory.

AMD doesn't have PCID.

IBM have announced that firmware and kernel patches for their POWER architecture are will be released soon.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Alan J. Wylie
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Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Intel.

all processors, inuding amd

This post on the Linux Kernel Mailing List, from Tom Lendacky at AMD says "AMD processors are not subject to the types of attacks that the kernel page table isolation feature protects against"

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Alan J. Wylie
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kernel patch from early December

https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=c313ec66317d421fb5768d78c56abed2dc862264

Author: Dave Hansen <dave.hansen@linux.intel.com>

Date: Mon Dec 4 15:07:34 2017 +0100

x86/mm/pti: Disable global pages if PAGE_TABLE_ISOLATION=y

Global pages stay in the TLB across context switches. Since all contexts share the same kernel mapping, these mappings are marked as global pages so kernel entries in the TLB are not flushed out on a context switch.

But, even having these entries in the TLB opens up something that an attacker can use, such as the double-page-fault attack

...

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Alan J. Wylie
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Re: I finally switch from AMD to Intel, and this is what happens.

Intel's CEO Just Sold a Lot of Stock

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/12/19/intels-ceo-just-sold-a-lot-of-stock.aspx

(Via Jackie Stokes)

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Bug-finders' scheme: Tick-tock, this tech's tested by flaws.. but who the heck do you tell?

Alan J. Wylie
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first publicised back in September

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/security-txt-standard-proposed-similar-to-robots-txt/

September 15, 2017

Ed Foudil, a web developer and security researcher, has submitted a draft to the IETF — Internet Engineering Task Force — seeking the standardization of security.txt, a file that webmasters can host on their domain root and describe the site's security policies.

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First Allied submarine lost in World War One, found near New Guinea

Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Lest we forget.

Vessels sunk before 1945 are particularly valuable, since there is no fallout from nuclear bombs in their steel, so they can be used for shielding radiation detectors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-background_steel

Lead is slightly different - an ingot's natural radioactivity will have decayed to insignificant levels since Roman times.

https://www.nature.com/news/2010/100415/full/news.2010.186.html

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Alan J. Wylie
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E11

It's Christmas and work is quieting down, so for a true "Boy's Own" story of one of AE1's sister boats, on which one of my distant cousins was the navigator, read about the E11's adventures in the Sea of Marmara.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_E11

http://www.submarine-museum.co.uk/component/content/article/116-nasmith-vc

A VC for Captain Naismith, and DSCs and DSMs for the crew.

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'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

Alan J. Wylie
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Re: That farmer...

The original quote is by Tanenbaum: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway".

+1 any way for beating me to it.

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Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Torch Triple X

Were they the ones with two bars that formed a touch switch to turn them on? With a rechargeable battery to power that circuit?

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Liberating SSH from Logjam leftovers

Alan J. Wylie
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Better still, use Elliptic Curve

Some useful advice on hardening ssh, from 2 and a half years ago:

https://stribika.github.io/2015/01/04/secure-secure-shell.html

And a program to test an ssh server:

https://github.com/arthepsy/ssh-audit

djb rules, OK

# key exchange algorithms

(kex) curve25519-sha256@libssh.org -- [info] available since OpenSSH 6.5, Dropbear SSH 2013.62

# host-key algorithms

(key) ssh-ed25519 -- [info] available since OpenSSH 6.5

# encryption algorithms (ciphers)

(enc) chacha20-poly1305@openssh.com -- [info] available since OpenSSH 6.5

`- [info] default cipher since OpenSSH 6.9.

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UK's map maker Ordnance Survey plays with robo roof detector

Alan J. Wylie
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In about 1980

when I was in Southampton installing a very early automatic line following map digitising system, I remember being told that aerial photos weren't sufficiently accurate - it's the house walls that go on the map, not any overhanging eaves.

For more info on the Laser-Scan Fastrak (which had a display resolution of 14000 by 10000)

http://www.laser-scan.com/demo/laser-scan-history/

http://www.pghardy.net/lsl/lsl_history.html

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One per cent of all websites probably p0wned each year, say boffins

Alan J. Wylie
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Not to be confused

with Tripwire the company or their file integrity monitoring product.

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Netflix silent about ridicule as it discusses punters' viewing habits

Alan J. Wylie
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Doctor Fun, almost 22 years ago

In an adversarial situation – a court hearing, a job interview ...

In the quiet of the late shift last night, having a long chat with one of the apprentices, starting with the difference between section 1, 2 and 3 man pages, we eventually wandered on to to exactly this, and I showed him Doctor Fun's still relevant cartoon from all those years ago.

The Ghost of Usenet Postings Past

Mind you, I had to explain what Usenet is too, also the history of the ARM processor (Tim and I were porting GST's 1st Word+ onto Arthur for the launch of the Archimedes exactly 30 years ago).

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Hitchcock cameo steals opening of Oracle v Google Java spat

Alan J. Wylie
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Rosenkranz works for Orrick? Alas, no Guildenstern though.

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Someone tell Thorpe Lane in Suffolk their internet sucks – they're still loading the page

Alan J. Wylie
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Only 8 miles

from Martlesham Heath

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Facebook Messenger ... for who now? Zuck points his digital crack at ever younger kids

Alan J. Wylie
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Tom Lehrer

He gives the kids free samples / Because he knows full well / That today's young innocent faces / Will be tomorrow's clientele

The Old Dope Peddler

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Turns out Leakbase can keep a secret: It has shut down with zero info

Alan J. Wylie
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Is it just coincidence that a 41GB multiple breach dump has appeared?

https://www.reddit.com/r/pwned/comments/7hhqfo/combination_of_many_breaches/

Includes passwords.

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BT lab domain grab – 17 years after cheeky chap swiped 'em

Alan J. Wylie
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Martlesham Heath

In the 80's I used to get confused between Martlesham and the then New Scientist / Bill Tidy comic strip "Grimbledon Down". My friend who then worked there researching surface physics would get quite upset if I referred to it as "Martlesham Down"

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Russia threatens to set up its 'own internet' with China, India and pals – let's take a closer look

Alan J. Wylie
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Obligatory xkcd

Devotion to Duty

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Bulletproof Coffee lacks bulletproof security: Nerd brain juice biz hacked, cards gulped

Alan J. Wylie
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Previously?

So is this a different breach to the one they disclosed on September 15th?

https://justice.oregon.gov/consumer/DataBreach/Home/GetBreach/905485622

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Military test centre for frikkin' laser cannon opens in Hampshire

Alan J. Wylie
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black paint

several hundred gallons of black paint or alternatively several thousand Spın̈al Tap album covers.

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Container ship loading plans are 'easily hackable'

Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Would it be possible to destabilize a ship by reducing the cargo during transit?

ISTR part of the plot of a Neal Stephenson novel - one in the "System of the World" series, involved partially filled flasks of mercury on a galleon causing it to resonate, roll and sink.

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What do Vegas hookers, Colombian government, and 30,000 other sites have in common? Crypto-jacking miners

Alan J. Wylie
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WebAssembly

WebAssembly will be more efficient than plain JavaScript

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NASA shoots for 200Mbps networks on swarming satellites

Alan J. Wylie
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Trackers and Relative Distance in Space

Now why does that sound familiar?

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Harry Potter to get the Pokémon GO treatment

Alan J. Wylie
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Ingress

Hmm. Should I go and submit an Ingress portal for the top of Malham Cove?

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Official Secrets Act alert went off after embassy hired local tech support

Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Many Years Ago

In 1987

Opps - sorry - typo - should have been 1977.

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Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Many Years Ago

The early 1900 series computers had (possibly germanium) transistor memory and nil cores, and they were obsolete by the mid to late 70s (despite the ravings of people who used them).

In 1987 Computer Weekly ran a "Win-A-Computer" competition for schools. The entry I was involved in didn't come first, but as a "consolation" prize, an (IIRC) bakery company who was disposing of their ICT 1902T offered it to our school. It was the time of my "A" levels (the award ceremony was the day of my Physics exam), so I never saw it arrive at the start of the next term, but my brother did. It was never got to work properly, and when my brother left he took the core store box with him. It's now with The National Museum of Computing.

https://planet.davewylie.uk/castlerigg/

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Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Many Years Ago

Did they reallyl have ferrite core stores?

Some of them did. I can't remember which model they had - the one back at our office was an 11/45. WIkipedia confirms that the '45 could have core.

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Alan J. Wylie
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Many Years Ago

I was visiting a government establishment that had problems with its PDP-11 (yes, that long ago).

It was the sort of place where they had two different colours of line printer paper - one for secure state, and one for when they had visitors, and all the secure printout had to be locked away before we were allowed in.

We read in the memory diagnostics paper tape and ran it. It was unclear whether it was a memory board problem or the backplane, so we turned the computer off, unplugged the memory board, moved it to a different slot, turned the computer back on, toggled in the load address on the front panel and ran the diagnostics again. At this point one of the locals asked why we hadn't re-loaded the paper tape. "It's core store" we answered "non volatile". At which point panic took hold. "You mean that the top secret contents of memory don't get lost when we power off?"

We went away with after giving them the instruction that could be toggled in to wipe memory ("MOV -(PC) -(PC)" IIRC) and leaving them to re-write their procedures without making it too obvious that they had previously had a gaping hole in them.

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Make America late again: US 'lags' China in IT security bug reporting

Alan J. Wylie
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Alan J. Wylie
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I don't need more CVEs

209 CVEs have appeared in the RSS feed overnight. Oh well. Back to work.

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Survey: Tech workers are terrified they will be sacked for being too old

Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Old enough to have worked with the Virtual Machine Environment before VMware was founded

Exactly. Heck, I still remember George

Maximop too?

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Alan J. Wylie
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"experience and wisdom to share"

Yesterday one of my cow-orkers was running vimdiff inside screen over ssh when it "hung". I went over, first tried ^L (as you do), but that didn't help. ^Q did, however. I then had to explain XON / XOFF. Coincidentally I'm just reading ESR's Things Every Hacker Once Knew.

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Outage at EE wrecks voice calls across the UK

Alan J. Wylie
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BT Mobile are having problems, too.

https://twitter.com/btbusinesscare/status/917743049299677184

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He's no good for you! Ofcom wants to give folk powers to dump subpar broadband contracts

Alan J. Wylie
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It's not quite as simple as that. At one place from which I connect to my VPN, packet loss on the VPN at peak times is far greater than packet loss going directly. Seems to be some sort of deep packet inspection attempting to throttle torrents / Tor / streaming, but it makes trying to read my e-mail when I can't get into work because of the recent train strikes almost impossible.

It would be easy for an ISP to whitelist bandwidth measurement services and claim that everything is fine, whilst still providing a very poor service.

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Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

Alan J. Wylie
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Kessler syndrome

The Chinese blew apart a satellite back in 2007, but creating a greater number of objects runs the risk of the runaway Kessler syndrome

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Forget the 'simulated universe', say boffins, no simulator could hit the required scale

Alan J. Wylie
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Hidden Variables?

Hidden variable theory

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Hubble catches a glimpse WASP-12b, an almost pitch-black exoplanet

Alan J. Wylie
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Re: Evidence?

But Vangelis got there first: Albedo 0.39

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Users shop cold-calling telco to ICO: 'She said she was from Openreach'

Alan J. Wylie
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Years ago the ICO were absolutely useless - reports of abuse disappeared into a black hole.

These days, they want to give the impression that they are trying harder. They are at Glasgow Central Station today giving advice on Nuisance Calls.

https://twitter.com/ICOnews/status/907210589684019200

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Alan J. Wylie
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