* Posts by h4rm0ny

4573 posts • joined 26 Jul 2008

David Bowie: Musician, actor... tech admirer

h4rm0ny
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Re: Ground Control to Major Tomb

The entire Black Star video is online here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kszLwBaC4Sw. If anyone thinks the start isn't strange enough for them, I suggest they wait until the second half when it gets truly bizarre. And bizarre in a way that other artists that have to try to be different just don't come close to.

He must have known he had only months to live when he put this video and song together. I have complete respect for someone who at such a point can dedicate themselves to making a final artistic statement. And the lyrics in retrospect are deeply moving considering how very personal they must have been: "And on the day he died / His spirit rose a metre, stepped aside / And someone else took his place and bravely cried...". I think that's a call that that someone will take his place and a recognition of the bravery of such a person. If that is what it means, then saying someone will take on what you do and replace you, and being glad of that, shows a remarkable soul.

I watched The Man Who Fell To Earth as a child. David Bowie can only really be described as "David Bowie".

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Bloke sues dad who shot down his drone – and why it may decide who owns the skies

h4rm0ny
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Re: @h4rm0ny - What is the sky?

>>"Hang on, what? Are you saying that blowing something out of the sky with a shotgun isn't violent? And turning up to a house occupied by someone who has just done this, unarmed, is somehow the more violent action?"

I am saying that blowing something out of the sky with a shotgun isn't inherently violent, yes. It could be - i.e. it's a plane with people on it. But equally it could be a small remote control toy in which case there is no violence directed towards people which is my relevant criteria. Similarly, gathering your mates and going round the house of someone you have a beef with, is confrontational (which was my actual wording) and more likely to lead to a violent situation.

So certainly, barring some loose wording on your part, you have indeed got what I said correct.

>>"To me, being told "if you enter my property I'm going to shoot you" is the most violent action of this whole sordid tale, but that seems to pass as normal behaviour in the US."

I wasn't there. I can't comment with certainty. My point is that one certainly can't support an abstract statement that Meredith shot down the drone and then went on to threaten it's owner with a gun as not pretty misleading when the actual circumstances were four people advancing on his property and him saying that he'd defend himself if they came onto it.

>>"In short your assignation of guilt to the one party isn't backed up by the facts quoted in this story or your comments on it."

I haven't assigned absolute guilt either way. I've just pointed out the facts favour Meredith and there's been some demonstrably loaded reporting on the subject mainly, it seems, based on people's a priori politics and feelings about people with guns.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Missed it?

>>"Yes, quite how Worstall's services were no longer required while presumably still forking out for the wrong-headed bilge Potty trots out every month is beyond me."

Yeah, Worstall wrote stuff I'd disagree with very strongly sometimes, but he can at least support his arguments and has an interesting take on things. Potts has previously tried to find out the real identity of posters who's posts he didn't like and has expressed more than clearly how if he met me in real life the only thing stopping him from assaulting me would be if there was a risk of legal consequence. And he took the time to emphasize this wasn't just Internet trash talk but that he'd genuinely like to give me a kicking. Worse, I find his articles tiresome.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @h4rm0ny - What is the sky?

>>"I think what's really clear is that *both* of them are playing PR games."

Actually, I don't see the same sort of tactics from Meredith. True, he could just be amazingly convincing in playing the role of an average Kentucky townsfolk and him having his face plastered across our media in a prison photograph is just some clever double-bluff game, but he seems fairly blunt and sincere to me.

>>"but you (and your upvoters) didn't seem to have done any looking to see if there *was* an "on the other hand" version which may contradict it, hence the downvote."

You don't know what I'm familiar with. You'll find comments on me about this on El Reg's coverage going back to their first stories on it. It's something I've been following in depth for sometime. I don't suppose there's any reason to suppose upvoters of my post are ignorant either. Assuming that you know more than other people and downvoting them on the assumption that they simply don't know as much as you or their opinions would be different, is flawed, imo.

>>"As for the gun stuff, personally I don't live in a country where there are people who think that "go for your gun" is the apparent default method of resolving an issue"

Nor do I. I live in the UK and am as English as they come.

>>"(If Meredith was so concerned about the drone, why didn't *he* call the Police...?)"

That's a counter to my proposing that a better response to property destruction would be to call the police rather than gather your mates and go round there as you suggested. It doesn't take away in any manner from my point. Should he have called the police? Maybe. It likely would have been gone by the time they got their and proving ownership would be very difficult. But sure, calling the police is what I would have done. However, my point was to add some context to what was presented in this article which was Meredith following up shooting down the drone by going and threatening the drone owner. You want to argue that calling the police on the drone would be a better response than shooting it down, be my guest. But don't try and counter my point by saying 'yeah, well why didn't he call the police, then?' There's a large difference between an obviously confrontational situation of gathering your mates and going round someone's house and the immediate response of whether or not to damage a mechanical device that is on your property and you consider to be actively infringing on your life. One is potentially violent and by definition pre-meditated. The other is neither.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: "250 grams (1 pound)"

>>"Unusually, I agree with Dan Paul. Base 10 is an awful way to run a measurement system. Base 12..."

Finally! Other people who get this! The happenstance of evolution leaving most of us with ten fingers / ten toes is no basis for a system of mathematics. We were doing alright with this and then the bad at arithmetic mob ganged up and got decimalisation foisted upon us.

1,000B = 1GB is the other one that drives me nuts. People to whom it made no difference at all what a 40GB drive meant so long as they could still say it was more GB for their £'s compared to a different HD they were considering, got whipped up by marketing departments to try and change definitions that didn't confuse a single soul who actually needed to work with these numbers and meant endless conversions whenever we did. Raise it and you get dogmatic waving of SI prefixes. Consistency - a tool to smart people and a crutch to stupid ones.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Interesting....

>>"He had increased height to 278 feet when it was shot down"

Correction. He claims he had increased height to 278 feet. Whether or not he did is another matter, but it contradicts statements by neighbours and family. And whilst I'm not an expert, shooting down a drone with shot (police records show the ammo is #6 shot) at 92 yards straight upwards, seems something of a feet to me.

He did produce a map on his iPad he says is the path, but I shouldn't have to explain on a tech news site the ease of editing a text file (which is typically how drone telemetry is stored) and showing it to people a few months later.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: @h4rm0ny - What is the sky?

>>"Downvoted, not for the gun stuff (see later), but because here's the drone owner's version"

Okay, so you downvoted me because the drone owner has now produced a contradictory account. Understood. I've now watched and read your link including the Fox News interview. One thing I note, though it's an aside, is how Meredith is having photos of himself plastered everywhere and footage of him in an argument when he's being arrested. The argument seems to revolve around the fact that someone is filming him being arrested which plausibly seems to be the drone owner or friend showing up to film Meredith being arrested after he called the police on him. Meredith isn't violent in any way, but is swearing. If someone called the police on me and then filmed my arrest, I would not be happy either. I also don't like the PR angle that Boggs keeps trying to play with things like "the world famous drone-slayer" and such. Everything I've read with Boggs seems to give me the feeling he's playing some PR battle against the guy. One example is the photograph of a drone shown several times in your link of a distant blur in the sky and an enlarged inset showing it's a drone. Is there any claim that this photograph actually was taken at the time? No. It's almost certain it wasn't. But it's presented as if it was. The site you link to has multiple hallmarks of this sort of "truth-y" presentation.

Now specifically as to him coming forward with his own version, I would be stunned if the map he showed on his iPad was remotely admissible as evidence. Drones record basic telemetry which you export as a text file as I understand it. I haven't used this software but I would lay good money that I could produce you whatever flight path you wanted. Unless the iPad was seized at the time by the police (which it wasn't), there's no evidence of Boggs' is story. Whilst on the other side we have multiple eye-witness statements, the range of the shotgun itself, where the shotgun presumably fell and the sudden appearance of flight path data.

>>Now, regarding the guns, if someone starts shooting at and destroying my property, I think I'd be a little miffed, and if I wanted to have a word with them, I doubt I'd just go up to their house, knock on the door and say "excuse me, old chap, would you mind not doing that?" I'd want a few friends with me

You wouldn't call the police or something? You'd get your mates together and go round there? How is what you're saying different to what I said. I simply pointed out that a lone line saying "and then threatened the owner with a gun" is quite different to four angry people showing up and you warning them to stay off your property.

>>"When we see the guy I want to speak to is packing a side arm and threatening 'If you cross my sidewalk, there's gonna be another shooting" I think we're going to back off. "

Crossing the sidewalk means the pavement. It's a street-facing house - crossing it means you're now walking into his garden. Just to be clear.

>>"(NB nowhere can I find anything that says the drone owner or his friends are carrying firearms...)"

And nowhere in my post will you find it stated that they were. I simply observed that four angry unknown men pulling up outside your house and heading into your property is a very different mental image to "and then he threatened them with a gun". And your facts are supporting that, so I stand by it. Four men don't need a gun to make me feel threatened.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: More Drone Hysteria

>>"A crook would do a midnight check of your mail or a random knock on your door"

You're allowing your preconceptions to get the better of you. Drones are affordable and easy to use. Plenty of "criminals" have them. And yes, it's just as effective to be able to fly a drone past a house's upper windows peering in than it is to walk up to a door, knock and risk being spotted by neighbours or people who were at home after all; or to take the chance that maybe they just weren't bothering to answer the door. Possibly even more effective.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: the problem with drones...

>>""secretly or surreptitiously uses" - but drones flying close enough to viably peer in windows are (currently) loud enough to be definitively not-surreptitious, making the Peeping Tom law inapplicable"

Well when that law was written there was no way to do such things without being there in person. So you would be secret and surreptitious. Now you can be secret and surreptitious even with a noisy drone because nobody knows who owns it or who is watching through its eyes.

Surreptitious (adj): 1.kept secret, especially because it would not be approved of:

The person is still being surreptitious even if the drone can be seen. And it's the person who gets charged with a crime, not the tool they use to do it.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: What is the sky?

Yep. The drone was very low. And aside from the sheer fact it could be brought down by such a short-range weapon (physical proof), there's neighbour and family eyewitnesses and the fact that it was over his garden long enough - where it filmed his two daughters - for him to watch it, decide it was over-staying its welcome, go into the house, get his shotgun, come back out aim and shoot it.

Really this is one of the worst foundational cases you could get if you're the person who wants to intrude on people's privacy with drones because the drone owner was in all sorts of wrong. Even the part: "who then threatened him with a handgun" is very different when you know the context. After shooting down the drone, the owner showed up with three other men at his house. With four unknown and hostile guys approaching them he warned them that if they came on his property he'd shoot. Now that last part as a reaction some will disagree with (and that maybe fair), but I wasn't there and four angry men approaching me would make me defensive too. At any rate, right or wrong, it's a bit different in reality from the impression you get from "then threatened him with a handgun".

Way I read it, the drone owner is self-entitled, aggressive and thinks it's fine to hover over people's fenced in gardens filming them or their family members and I'm on Meredith's side on this. I think a large part of the reporting has been slanted by the angles that he "owns a gun" which makes him immediately a desirable target for anti-gun lobbyists who would like to paint him as a gun-happy thug. Citation to avoid defensive down-votes from people who are against gun ownership: Alistair Dabbs in this very site declared unreservedly that anyone who wanted to own a gun was "a budding psychopath". With prejudices like that, how objective is reporting actually going to be? And of course the fact that this took place in Kentucky which everyone who's never been there knows, is filled with nothing but drunken bigoted hicks. I mean just listen to that accent! How could the guy not be a crazy over-reacting nut?

Anyway however you feel about this, the various attempts to cast this has someone shooting down an innocent drone that was just flying along through the sky have been exploded. Even more so than the drone itself.

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NSA spying on US and Israeli politicians stirs Congress from Christmas slumbers

h4rm0ny
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Re: h4rm0ny Seriously, though

>>"Point is that both sides claim God on their side, which means compromise is practically impossible"

Well actually, no, it's only partly a religious conflict and the vast majority of Palestinians would be happy to share access to the religious sites they have in common. They're mainly pissed off about things like being starved of supplies by Israeli sanctions against them, about having land taken away from them, about having power stations, schools and homes bombed, about having White Phosphorous used on them, about being disenfranchised and millions of Palestinians who werer driven from their homes by the establishment of Israel and are now in their second and third generations of living in refugee camps in Jordan. It's not about two groups of people disagreeing about what God says and very unaware of anyone to think so. Don't think that's it's a religious war because of rhetoric that flies around. The geopolitical factors are obvious to anyone.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: h4rm0ny Seriously, though

>>"No. Because it's a state built on land stolen FROM them and the genocide of the 12 Tribes of Israel. They claim the land is theirs by God-given right, so their claim is absolute."

As a point of interest, modern day Jewish people have little more claim to be descended from twelve ancient Hebrew tribes than anyone else. DNA is a mishmash of everything for everyone by this point. I mean think about it - there are multiple different ethnic groups of Jews, all widely disparate for a start. Up to and including Black Jews.

There was a massive wave of proselytization - I forget exactly when, around 8th Century, I think? - under which huge numbers of people converted to Judaism. This is all provable genetic history though some contest it for obvious political reasons. But at any rate, the notion that those lands belonged to the ancestors of modern day Jewish people is no more true for those modern day Jewish people than it is for huge numbers of non-Jewish modern day people - including Arabs. And in either case, the idea of a state based around ethnic qualification for citizenship is repugnant, anyway.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Seriously, though

>>"Israel is just too small country to NOT have a bunker mentality, and a geography that really isn't defensible."

Just like that other source of endless political conflict and assassination of foreign citizens, Luxembourg.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Surveillance Pyramid

You're both wrong. There is nobody in control. It's a self-perpetuating system built out of people, not run by people. Nobody spies on anybody else, the system spies on all. People are interchangeable components, that is all.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Try substituting Putin for Bibi

>>"This is allegedly because some powerful members of the Jewish community feel that their first loyalty is to Israel not the USA"

Let's properly deal with the anti-semiticism accusations whenever you criticize the Zionist lobby in the USA. There is a Zionist lobby, it does exert a disproportionate influence (as seen by US policy). However, it's not the "Jewish lobby". There are many Christian Zionists in the USA. In fact, there's a very common alignment and fairly popular Christian sects in the USA that teach that Jerusalem must Jewish for God's plan for the world to come to pass. Members of such churches included people like John Ashcroft, Attorney General for the USA. Zionism certainly is distinct from being Jewish even in the USA. Outside of the USA it's even less of an overlap. A recent survey showed that 70% of British Jewish people were significantly at odds with Israeli foreign policy. I think a pretty large number even believed it shouldn't be a Jewish state, but I don't have the survey to hand so can't cite numbers.

Why dwell on this? Because one of the mainstays of Israeli PR and lobbying is to pretend that Israel speaks for "the Jewish people". It's a deliberate aim to conflate criticism of Israel with criticism of Jewish people. Despite it being demonstrably distinct. I'll certainly condemn quite violently actual anti-semitism, along with any other form of racism. But using false accusations of that to shoot down your detractors I despise because that actually increases racism. When someone says "don't criticise Israel because Israel == Jews", the effect is also to say "criticise Jews for Israeli foreign policy". Given people have zero desire to be held responsible for the actions of a foreign government they have no power over just because of their religion or ancestry, I find that pretty appalling. There is no shortage of Jewish people who are not Zionist and plenty of Zionists who are not Jewish (usually Right-wing Christians).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Re; YAAC Colour me cynical

>>"So funny that all the Obambi supporters are trying to turn this thread into a rant against the Republicans when it is their Holy Leader that has been caught out! "

I'm not an Obama supporter in any way at all. His economic policies I regard as misguided and the rest of his politics (including the fake socialized healthcare plan), I consider to be mostly downright dishonest. He's a politician and not a good one, imo. The groundless adulation he got before his election and continues to do so, is testament only to his Internet-savvy PR team and nothing to his worth.

Why do I post this mini opinion-rant about Obama? To make clear that your little ad hominem accusation of bias is NOT the grounds for the rather unusual support for the NSA's actions here; or for the condemnation of the Republican members involved (which I would imagine are few in number - hardly a party action). I mean it's not often that you see big numbers of people on El Reg. being tolerant of NSA spying, is it? That alone tells you something. The fact of the matter is that this is what the NSA are supposed to be doing for once - not spying on their own citizens but investigating foreign threats. In this case, Netanyahu's cheerful lust for starting wars with neighbouring countries (i.e. by initiating first-strike bombing runs on Iran).

As another post says, spying on your citizens is not normally a good thing. But spying on a foreign power and some of your own citizens getting caught up in that because they were colluding with that foreign power? That's a bit more justifiable. So if you're going round accusing people of bias, you might want to check yourself as first in the list.

Or are you about to tell me that Matt Bryant is apolitical when it comes to the subject of Israel? ;)

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The sloth is coming! Quick, get MD5 out of our internet protocols

h4rm0ny
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Re: face the real problem

Uh, no. Whilst that's a legitimate area of concern, there are plenty of security issues that take place atop the layer of the OS and don't compromise it, yet are still serious issues. For example in this case it talks about compromising the security between the client browser and server allowing session hijacking. That has little to nothing to do with securing the OS against the application (browser) and certainly isn't a compromising of the OS.

Application-layer security is just as valid and important as OS security.

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'Wipe everything clean ... Join us ...' Creepy poem turns up in logs of 30 million-ish servers

h4rm0ny
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Haiku

Frosty Server Room

Logs like river, constant, cold.

Without warning - warmth.

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Apple had more CVEs than any single MS product in 2015, but it doesn't really matter

h4rm0ny
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Re: People?

As a manager, I can tell you that those metrics are important. If I'm to convince the directors to give me £60,000p/a for a new full time Q&A person in my business unit, the first thing they're going to want is to see why I need that person. Saying "it will really help" or "please" unsurprisingly doesn't cut the mustard. The second thing they're going to want to see is the results. Again, saying "thanks, please keep giving that money every year" doesn't work. I need to be able to show something - a reduction in bugs in production, an increase in user satisfaction, a decrease in support tickets... something.

Sure, nothing is a perfect metric unless you're a Volkswagon emissions tester or something, but they are not "meaningless reports". Businesses are not built on trust. Money is not allocated on a whim. If you're running a team, you need to be able to communicate to the upper management in a language they can understand, what is happening and why.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"Note also there is a lot of overlap between iOS and OS X, so now we have a vuln that might also affect iOS 9.0, 9.0.1, 9.0.2, 9.1 so we should add another four to that list, so is that nine exploits for Apple?"

The site doesn't differentiate between micro-versions, so iOS 9.0, 9.0.1, 9.0.2, etc. aren't going to rack up multiple counts for a vendor for the same issue. Though a vulnerability that was present in both iOS and OSX would of course count double so yes, there is a penalty for providing a broad range of software. Actually that's a count in MS's favour as they have 405 products listed on the database to Apple's 105. So if anything, the issue you highlight benefits Apple much more.

But the useful way to do comparisons, is by product. So for example you can compare Windows 8.1 with OSX:

http://www.cvedetails.com/product/26434/Microsoft-Windows-8.1.html?vendor_id=26

http://www.cvedetails.com/product/156/Apple-Mac-Os-X.html?vendor_id=49

You can see that 8.1 had 151 vulnerabilities in 2015 and OSX had 384 in the same period. That's why I called this article FUD. There's a very significant difference and the article makes no attempt to actually examine it, it just lists a lot of attacking questions in an attempt to dismiss the entire comparison - how do we know MS don't hide vulnerabilities? how do we know their vulnerabilities aren't more severe? what if Apple is being penalized for having the same vulnerability in multiple products? That's the essence of the article. There's no attempt to assess, only to discredit. As you can see from my response to your own post, it's actually not that hard to look into these questions and get a feel for whether or not the attack is justified. Instead the article simply does a pre-emptive attack trying to cast uncertainty and doubt on the findings.

No fear though, more trying to reassure if anything. So lets call it Reassurance Uncertainty Doubt (RUD) rather than FUD. These findings might not be what they look like (despite the fact that they probably are), so let's dismiss them.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Analysis

>>It came out on July the 24th and Windows 10 came out on the 29th so I'm just trying to understand your logic in excluding Windows 10.

You said "And how long has Yosemite been out?". That came out in October 2014. I'm excluding Windows 10 because it came out mid-2015 which would make it very bad for a benchmark of most CVEs in 2015.

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h4rm0ny
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>>"PHP is included in OS X but the same bug was present on all platforms. Should that count as an Apple CVE?"

A CVE shows vulnerabilities anywhere that they are included. The CVE is therefore a CVE for both PHP and Mac OSX that includes that PHP code. (I'm guessing that you're talking about this, btw).

CVEs are focused towards the practical rather than the "fair". If your product has a vulnerability it doesn't matter if you can say it's not your fault or not, CVEs don't care - their for the customer's benefit. If I built a GNU/Linux distro that had lots of unmaintained packages included, my CVE count would be high, even though they were all other people's code. The same is true for everybody, btw. If something common to two vendors has an exploit in it, then that's +1 exploits to the count of both (and thus okay for comparison).

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Analysis

>>"And how long has Yosemite been out?"

Don't know but so long as it came out before 1st January 2015 and wasn't discontinued before the end of December, we're good for a comparison of the number of CVEs in the year 2015.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Analysis

>>Some brief samples showing level 10s / total:

>>MacOS - 46 / 384

If you want to limit it strictly to 10's, then Windows 8.1 has 3 / 196. So lower both in total and in number of maximum rated severities.

N.b. I picked Windows 8.1 rather than Windows 10 because the latter doesn't have a full proper year, yet so is not a fair comparison. I could have picked Windows 7 but that's an older version of their software. I think it is fairest to compare current version to current version, rather than old version to current version.

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>>"So, iTwats have gloated for years about how bug-ridden Microsoft was but now they top the chaart, the chart is meaningless."

Lot of downvotes for your post, but you're not entirely wrong. The article never actually says any of the things it suggests are true, it just throws a lot of doubt at it. Apple might not be worse because CVE numbers don't include severity and MS's CVEs could be more dangerous. Yes, but are they? Was any comparison between CVSS (severity) average on the two OSs done? Many CVEs are cross-platform. Sure, but wouldn't something like the PNG bug affect both? What is the reason for supposing that Apple is going to have more cross-platform bugs than Microsoft (would have thought it to be the other way round if anything). It pounces on the fact that CVEs are only recording reported vulnerabilities. Well of course they are. But is there any reason to suggest that MS is hoarding away vulnerabilities that they know are out there in the wild but never disclose? Probably not.

So it's really a FUD attack on CVEs. And I know some will reflexively downvote me for that, but it is -- there's no content actually showing that Apple aren't worse, but multiple arguments why they might not be. It does read a little like a pre-emptive attack on the numbers to show they don't matter. But for all their vagueness, it does show the number of vulnerabilities we know of occurring in the software in 2015 and Apple did score higher. And given MS produce a significantly wider breadth of software than Apple as well, that's worth paying attention to.

Apple users have long suffered from an illusion that their software is somehow inherently more secure. A wake-up call is well overdue, not a list of why you can go back to sleep.

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AMD to nibble the ankles of Nvidia this summer with 14nm FinFET GPUs

h4rm0ny
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Re: power consumption

>>"Probably isn't the cost of electricity, but the reduced noise from running cooler, or increased power from cramming more in, for a desktop system."

Agreed. Noise is an issue. But that's not what I'm counter-arguing. It's when people start talking about the cost savings, like the person I replied to.

>>"I'd hazard a guess that the desktop is also the proving ground for mobile, where power consumption is important."

Yes, in mobile it matters.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: power consumption

>>"It's more selecting a card that's (for example) £40 cheaper, because it's cheaper, but over its life will be more expensive when you factor in increased power usage."

Lets run the numbers. And lets use current technology. Here is power consumption at idle and at load and I'm going to use the Fury which retails for around £455 and the GTX 980 which retails around £410, so there's your "£40 cheaper". At idle there's almost nothing in it (about 2W). At full load, the difference is about 100W. Source:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/9421/the-amd-radeon-r9-fury-review-feat-sapphire-asus/17

Let's assume about 12p per KWh. So 100W at 8hours per day is going to cost you around £2.88. A whole year? £35.04.

So there you have it. Run your card at load for 8hrs every day, Mon-Sun all year round, and you still wont make back your £40. And quite frankly, in that scenario you have bigger problems with your life than a small bump on your annual electricity bill.

That's why I call bullshit on this "Power savings" lark. As I said, it only became the Big Talking Point when Nvidia suddenly found themselves able to beat AMD in it. If we're talking laptops, that's fine. But we're not - people keep using this to argue about desktop GPUs. I don't know anyone who would buy a high-end GPU and then freakout because it cost them £20 extra at the end of two years (a more realistic scenario). In fact, by that point such a person is probably itching to buy the latest new GPU.

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h4rm0ny
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The Features...

As it gets harder and harder to push the boundaries of silicon, I think we're going to see a lot more emphasis and interest in being clever with what we have. Nvidia and AMD both got blindsided by the failure to decrease node size to 20nm. They both had plans they had to put on ice. Nvidia seems to have handled the crisis better.

But now we're moving again, there are a lot of interesting little details in this new architecture. They've improved the compression further that they introduced in the last architecture - which eases the pressure on memory bandwidth a lot. They've improved the ability to calculate what doesn't need to be rendered significantly, apparently. That's a big deal because the problem AMD have had is the inability to keep their SPs working flat out - this helps feed them faster by needing to pass down only what they actually need for the end result. They've improved the hardware scheduler (same benefit - lets the card get more for the same amount of work) and updated the video encoding and decoding (important to some) with h.265 in hardware.

I'm honestly pretty enthusiastic about this and looking forward to seeing it.

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h4rm0ny
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AMD

The sub-title to this article seems a little unfair. AMD produce good cards and usually are an excellent choice on the price-performance scale. Their high-end cards are also actually better for 4K. They got held back by the hold-up to 14nm which messed up their release schedule badly. I'll be really glad to see them start hitting their stride again.

I'm particularly interested in their new architecture to see if they have modified it much for HBM. Memory bandwidth is THE key thing you build a graphics architecture around. If you have a much higher memory bandwidth then you would want to do a considerably different design. So the two questions I'm most interested in are whether the new line-up will be focused on HBM with lower cards just being rebrands of older models and if so, how much the architecture is really changed to make use of the new technology.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: power consumption

I've never understood why someone who spends £300+ on a graphics card cares about it using an extra £10/15 per annum in electricity. I mean if you extrapolate it for a decade, maybe it starts to accumulate to the point you notice it, but you're probably going to upgrade the card after a couple of years anyway, if you're part of that market.

I only recall Perf. per watt becoming the big talking point after NVIDIA suddenly stole a march and got ahead of AMD in this area. Suddenly it became the big differentiator of graphics cards in any online discussion. I mean if the advance was used to reduce heat so you could ramp up the frequency, that would be more of an argument but it's mainly used to reduce power consumption.

If we were talking laptops, I'd get it. But when the same thing is applied to desktops, I just don't see why it's such a big deal.

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Microsoft to begin alerting users about suspected government snooping

h4rm0ny
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Re: Is this exciting new PR move to include warnings of spying perpetrated by the US government?

I don't care (much) about the Chinese government spying on me. The Chinese government doesn't give a shit what I think about David Cameron or Islamic State or if I write criticisms of UK policy. They'll never send a Beijing police officer round to my door and I'll never be thrown in a Chinese prison for having been at a protest in Trafalgar Square or leaking evidence of government corruption or British war crimes.

It's the UK and USA intelligence apparatus that, logically speaking, are a threat to me, no?

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Debian Linux founder Ian Murdock dead at 42

h4rm0ny
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Re: The last tweets of Ian

From the context I'm fairly certain what he was saying was that black people in the USA get treated like this all the time and maybe people will start to take action against police brutality when the see it happening to a rich, white male.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Some human decency needed here...

Whilst I respect his right to privacy, I don't think it's disrespectful to him to consider that the police were a factor in his death given that his last communications were a very public shout-out to his followers that the police had abused him and that he wanted the rest of his life to be about ending police brutality. If anything, from what he wrote, condemnation of the police is what he would have wanted.

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h4rm0ny
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Linux

Re: Gah.

Debian has always been my distro of choice. I have stated using Mint lately just because the interface is so nice and everything is set up so well by default, but that's built on Debian and would be nothing without it.

I am deeply sorry that Ian has passed away and in such difficult circumstances. I never knew him but I feel I can almost recognize the experience of someone with a real engineer mind - one that not only wants but needs things to be right and to for things to be worked out rationally. For such a person, coming head on into police brutality and those that, if his words are genuine, "are only interested in power for power's sake", must have been deeply traumatic.

I'm sorry for his passing and thank him for what he contributed to the software world which was exceptional.

I hope justice will be served.

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Researcher criticises 'weak' crypto in Internet of Things alarm system

h4rm0ny
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Re: sim card in alarm system

>>"Which raises the question "if the home owner gets an automated alarm call what are they going to do about it?"

Log into my IoT home security cameras and see if it's a false alarm or not. If I can see a stranger in my home or a forced open door, then I can call the police and tell them that it's not a false alarm myself. That's what we're going to do about it.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: Bah!

>>"It serves to prove that you really can fool most of the people most of the time."

Things I can do with an Internet connected security system that I can't do with an old-fashioned one:

* Check that I set it after I've left home.

* Enable it if I find I need to later on (e.g. if I did forget).

* Disable it if I need to (e.g. my partner returns when I'm not around / I want my neighbour to check on something for me / I have a delivery or service person I want to enter my home whilst I'm at work)

* Be notified immediately on my phone that it has been triggered and take appropriate actions such as calling the police / turning the alarm off if it's a false alarm or it's done it's job and I want to stop driving the neighbours crazy / logging into cameras in the home to see what's happened)

* Have more than a rudimentary All or Nothing approach to my home security. (E.g. different access levels for different people / ability to amend these on the fly as needed).

Of course, feel free to mock it as an example of how you can fool most of the people most of the time (you've mangled the quote, btw).

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BBC News website takes New Year's Eve break

h4rm0ny
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>>>Have they upset Theresa May recently?

>>>Just I post that, the site comes back up.

She heard you.

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h4rm0ny
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Pint

Re: Erratic

>>"hold on, sysadmins are needed to make New Year happen. Is there anything they cannot do?"

Not if they have root access. ;)

(beer icon for our friends working on New Year's Eve to fix this).

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Patch now! Flash-exploitin' PC-hijackin' attack spotted in the wild by Huawei bods

h4rm0ny
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Paris Hilton

Re: Firefox is just as bad

>>"Note that Edge was written by the SAME NUMPTIES who designed/developed flash ... ;-)"

Say what????

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2015: The year storage was rocked to its foundations

h4rm0ny
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"XPoint should be less costly than DRAM"

Maybe to manufacture, but the sale cost will be whatever the market will bear. With no rivals ready with equivalent technology, I look forward to seeing what Intel/Micron will charge for XPoint.

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Who would win a fight between Cortana and Android?

h4rm0ny
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>>"Turnabout is fair play"

Well, if you think there are only two parties - Google and Microsoft - involved. But there's a third: us the customers.

It was wrong when MS used to do it. It's wrong when Google do it. Speaking as a customer I want to make my purchasing decisions based on carrot, not stick.

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Microsoft Trusted Root Certificate program getting a lot less trusting

h4rm0ny
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Re: @h4rm0ny - thanks for that...

Paranoia is a mental disorder where you experience spurious feelings of persecution or hostility from others. Not wanting Wells Fargo to be able to declare any website they choose as trustworthy is not paranoia.

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h4rm0ny
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Re: What, if anything, does this mean for those of us outside the loving arms of Microsoft?

For those who aren't using Windows, then it's a case of "if you have to ask, you don't need to worry". MS aren't changing sites or services owned by these CAs in any way, they're altering Windows machines so that they no longer give these CAs the same level of trust.

You can continue to trust or not trust them as you were all along.

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Rupert Murdoch wants Google and chums to be g-men's backdoor men

h4rm0ny
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Nope.

Sorry - still more afraid of the government than I am of terrorists.

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IT salary not enough? Want to make £10,000 a DAY?

h4rm0ny
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Re: Names?

Would you prefer companies like TalkTalk that don't appear to spend anything on IT security? Sure - throwing money at something in a panic doesn't fix everything, but it can sure help. There are highly skilled security consultants out there - I have worked with them. And at least if a company is paying that level of money the upper management are at least likely to be listening to the results. The problem I most often see is not a lack of security knowledge in the lower and mid-levels (though I have seen that too), but that senior management don't listen to those below them on the subject. I've seen more than once an engineering team having to sneak in security fixes and upgrades as part of a non-security focused project in the sense that management approve some new service or feature and the engineers all use it as an opportunity to try and clean up out of date libraries, fix flaws, etc., knowing that rolling it into something else on the quiet is the only way it will get done.

Of course that's not the way things should be done, but the engineers know they'll take the blame if there's a problem. At least with the highly-paid consultant (and like I say - some of them really are very good), it shows upper management are theoretically listening to them.

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NHS IT projects worth £5bn at 'high risk' of failure, warns HSCIC

h4rm0ny
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Re: Legacy, legacy

True, but having worked in the NHS during the Blair reign, I can confirm that this really is when a huge massacre of basic NHS principles occurred and the scam of giant NHS IT projects ramped up to unprecedented levels. Corruption is endemic in the DoH. But nothing compares to what Blair and his team did.

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h4rm0ny
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And again...

Everybody involved in this below the level of upper management said that this would happen. It's not as if this is some shocking surprise to anyone at all.

What gets me is that vast waste like this occurs at the same time the actual day to day running of the NHS is starving for cash.

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Alleged Silk Road architect arrested in Thailand

h4rm0ny
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54 years old.

I hope that when I'm 54 years old I still have what it takes to be a famous international criminal. I'm old enough now to worry about what'll happen to me when I start approaching middle age - whether my IT skills will become out of date, whether I'll still have the energy to begin new ventures, etc. It's kind of heartening to see that people in their fifties can still be relevant and innovative.

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

h4rm0ny
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Re: James is a dick...

>>"No matter how badly you are treated, you are a professional person and should do what an honourable and decent professional person would do, which is to take responsibility"

I mostly agree and have worked to the best of my abilities for employers even whilst being unhappy with their attitude to me and until I find replacement work. However, I have also been in this situation - terminated without warning and escorted from the building immediately without even a chance to say goodbye to people. It is a deeply unpleasant experience to be treated like that and their reason was that they decided to cut costs by hiring new cheaper people to replace myself and two colleagues. They didn't understand that programmers are not like fuses which can just be swapped in and out as needed.

James was probably more concerned with how the Hell they were going to pay their rent and it does sound very much like they simply kept secret from him that he was going to be kicked out the moment they got what they wanted (along with his manager).

I try to avoid revenge for reasons of professionalism but when someone stabs you in the back like that, and especially cuts you off from your chance to reply by summarily throwing you out and closing off preventing you from having a chance to talk with the people you've worked with, I think it's pretty understandable to let them drive off a cliff when they've actively stopped you trying to save them.

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