* Posts by Circadian

200 posts • joined 31 Aug 2008


Firefox 54 delivers sandboxes Mozilla's wanted since 2009

This post has been deleted by a moderator

ICANN latest: Will the internet be owned by Ted Cruz or Vladimir Putin in October?


Re: How about a disinterested NGO that all governments love about equally?

Actually I think you are on the right track - since we don't want power-crazy humans to be in charge of this, we *should* assign it to an AI in an independant organisation to handle. So... AIIANAAI.

Bomb-disposal robot violently disposes of Dallas cop-killer gunman


Re: Police State or anarchy

Wish we had Lewis Page to provide some details of what type of charge is required for bomb disposal - I would have thought quite small, and not something capable of killing a man through armoured vest. Which begs the question - how is it that a police force has ready access to an anti-personnel explosive device? Or am I wrong and the bomb-disposal charge is actually very powerful?

Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right


These days, need minimum download bandwidth just for Windows 10. Govt missed a chance to specify minimum guaranteed upload, a common weakness in many packages. This is again needed just for Windows 10...

Obama puts down his encrypted phone long enough to tell us: Knock it off with the encryption


Re: The underlying point is deeper

@ Christian Berger

I should really not comment until after I've had my coffee and come round a bit, but... you are still a fucking idiot. Yeah, shows I'm an uncouth bitch, but I don't really care. The stupidity in your posts just goes beyond what I can put up with.

The point of all this is not defence against just black-hats, but against government abuse. Servers are always-on. Get a warrant (assuming they can even bother with that anymore), wander into datacenter and grab the relevant server image and copy of the memory. Full access (relatively) trivially. Even if you host your own, an always-on server is relatively simple to get full access to.

Your uses of mobile also seem very limited - the only usage shown in your examples is to browse web-pages. Mobile phones are capable of a lot more than that, including media, games, books etc., with access to the majority independant of internet access. Your scenarios go back to a dumb device that can do nothing without a connection. There are still people who get drop-outs and end up in places with no signal, or no cheap way of connecting to the internet.

Server operating system, plus terminal host - unfortunately, any way you wish to spin that, that is another operating system - plus comms channel ALWAYS required, and to get the full security of custom keys, both server and device need to be fully in your control to get the keys shared. No, the attack surface is pretty high, even if you trust the individual components more yourself, you are talking about all three to be fully secured with no vulnerabilities. The next aspect is who maintains the patches for the two devices and how do you trust them (I assume that you are not claming that the code for both needs to be maintained by the user)? Especially for what is supposed to be a mass-market, "consumer" device.

And your last point? Sounds like you agree with what I said about trust in the vendor.

Damn it - think the coffee is starting to kick in. I don't think we are so far apart about wanting there to be better security for everyone, just that I feel your vision is much too far a step backwards and rules out too many useful scenarios for a smartphone - which is after all a very portable computer - and you overestimate servers and underestimate smartphones. So to finish, I apologize for calling you a fucking idiot.


Re: The underlying point is deeper

@ Christian Berger

you are a fucking idiot. Here's some simple maths for you - how many operating systems do you have to get right for a secure smartphone as opposed to a semi-smartphone + a server that has to do everything?

Further practical considerations involve a communication channel between them (also nice MITM opportunities there)? With infinite free bandwidth? That is always available?

From an attacker's perspective, a server that is always on will always have password active in memory - much easier to access than a smartphone that has been switched off.

Also others may have different usage scenarios from yours - having a fully portable fully functioning computer (after all, that is what a smartphone is) allows them to do things directly on the device without needing connectivity.

Go back to playing "snakes" - or have you never moved on from that?

After saying all that, your paragraph 2 is very accurate. We are in the position where we have to absolutely trust the smartphone software provider, and we are completely at their mercy regarding updates. There may be some niche players trying to provide secure smartphones using open systems, but are expensive and may still be hit with a writ they have to comply with.

So I think ultimately it ends up with "who do you trust"? Or maybe distrust least? Or do we simply have to learn to live in a panopticon and the consequences of what that will do to the sanity of the inhabitants?

I guess I'll just leave quoting the words of wisdom of a wise old man. "We're doomed I tell ye - doooooomed."

Hey, folks. Meet the economics 'genius' behind Jeremy Corbyn


MV = PQ = WTF?

Just checking - but from your description MV = PQ is not an actual equation describing a mathematical expression, but a desired target (like e.g. Moore's Law - a rule of thumb to target, not a "hard" equation)?

Crafty fingering could let Apple Watch thieves raid your bank account


Re: I think...

@ malle-herbert

You'd hope to. The reality is different. See Ted talk (less than ten minutes) on Youtube


(And @ tmTM - yes you're right :)

Smart meters are a ‘costly mistake’ that'll add BILLIONS to bills


Re: The reason they are so keen on deploying smart meteres...

From article: Smart Energy GB responded to the IoD report, claiming the IoD "does not understand what’s needed to secure Britain’s energy infrastructure for the future."

From the point made by John 48 - this is because successive governments have failed to plan for the future, and so we are likely to not have enough power to go around shortly. So the plan is simply to force-switch-off ordinary punters power when supplies get a bit limited. I'm certain that there will be certain addresses that will be exempt from this, but I'll leave it to others to guess which ones that the powers-that-be decide to grace.

SCRAP the TELLY TAX? Ancient BBC Time Lords mull Beeb's future


Re: Leave it out

Re: "Why not meddle in the stuff that needs fixing, ie. tax evasion/avoidance". As far as the politicians are concerned, it's already working perfectly. You and I are paying all the taxes while they and their paymasters get to avoid them.

Almost everyone read the Verizon v FCC net neutrality verdict WRONG


Nice straw man

"...what lingers is the image of the American consumer who doesn't even realize his or her Netflix stream has been blocked, and simply (presumably) stares at the screen".

The way it would really be done would just be via degradation. Dropped packets, occasional freezes, stuttering. Stuff that would be hard to track down and prove responsibility for. I'm reasonable technical, but I certainly don't have the networking knowledge or tools to be able to track and prove that type of degradation. So instead of a completely failed service, there would be a perception that (say) Netflx doesn't give as good a service as (ISP company X)'s own competing service. Or at least wouldn't unless Netflix ponies up some readies ("nice streaming service you have there. Would be a pity if some packets got... dropped").

However, in spite of that, I enjoyed the article. Nice to make it clear that the judges were basing their decision on how the law was framed (such that the FCC were overreaching their remit) and that it is the responsibility of the law-makers to resolve this if they wish FCC or some agency to have those powers.

Europe MPs: Time to change our data-sharing policy with US firms


Re: Ban dragnet surveillance data for use in domestic law enforcement

<sigh>Stop falling for the lies. The "use against terrorists" is only an excuse to get the powers, and not the real reason. Once the data is gathered, regardless of the reason deployed (or, as it seems for NSA and GCHQ, without any reason given - they just did it because they could) it can and will be used for any other reason that someone in power (or even access) can get away with.

Think on this - look at the information Snowden has given us. Now consider what a bad actor could have done with the data that he had access to. If the data is there it will be used and abused.

Never mind bungled Universal Credit rollout, Maude wants UK to be 'most digital' gov by 2015


Re: After the General Election

Ah, more people hoping for a hung parliament. There's also an opportunity to bring significant income to the country as well - sell lottery tickets for the role of hangman....

NHS carelessly slings out care.data plans to 26.5 million Brits


Re: ANOTHER opt-out?

You will have to continue opting out until you give the "correct" answer.

Parents can hide abortion, contraception advice from kids, thanks to BT's SEX-ED web block



If the children are so young that the parents do not want them to have access to sex-education sites, then why are they being allowed onto the internet unsupervised?

I don't know what to say. And before long, I may not be allowed to say what I want.

Those Xbox One first-day glitches: GREEN screens of DEATH, disc crunching

Big Brother

Re: Mine's fine

@ Confuciousmobil

Dare you say anything else as it is listening to everything you utter Muahahahahaha<cough, cough> Sorry, where was I?

Xbox One site belly-up in global Microsoft cloud catastrophe


Re: Working here


Please name your company so that I have an idea of the "quality" of service I may expect. Oh, Microsoft you say?

Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world


takes a long time

But you are all forgetting the time it takes for the thumbnail to be uploaded for NSA approval!

(Wonder how long it'll be before this meme gets stale? <sniff, sniff> Ah. Too late.)

MPs to review laws on UK spy-snoopery after GCHQ Tempora leaks

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(From article) "Although we have concluded that GCHQ has not circumvented or attempted to circumvent UK law, it is proper to consider further whether the current statutory framework governing access to private communications remains adequate," a statement by the Committee issued on Thursday explains.

Translated: "We thought we had everyone sewn up tighter than a kipper's arse, but somehow that guy Snowden got through. We need to be able to snoop more to ensure that no further leaks embarrassing to us get out."

MI5 boss: Snowden leaks of GCHQ methods HELPED TERRORISTS


Mandy Rice Davies...

..."He would, wouldn't he?"

Rev. Spooner (unattributed) - "Cucking Funt."

Surface Mini on shelves NEXT YEAR – and it will run Windows RT


Re: Smaller device

NEW! Smaller, more convenient, arse-wipe size!

Ex-BT boss bags £9 MILLION bye-bye bundle, moves to key gov post


Impartial minister...?

Surprised not much has been made of "...unpaid job in the House of Lords as Prime Minister David Cameron's Minister of State for Trade and Investment" along with "(payoff of) 2.6 million shares (in BT)".

I'm sure that the advice he gives government regarding the Communications Infrastructure within Britain will be completely impartial given those facts.

iPhone 5S: Apple, you're BORING us to DEATH (And you too, Samsung)


Re: Same old same old.....

Supported. What about supported with updates? Anyone? Bueller?

Data broker Acxiom lifts skirt, reveals your private bits


Re: Tell you what, mister

@Mystic Megabyte

you're missing the bit where this company is seeling broken details about you - whether you personally see adverts on web-pages or not.

If this stuff spills over into credit checking or insurance databases (or, for UK, CRB or whatever that rumour mill is called this week)...

The bank that likes to say... crash: TSB's online banking goes titsup on launch day


Re: What's the point?

Not actually Lloyd's choice. Pretty much imposed on them - can't remember if it's by the UK government or by European rules - but definitely an externally-imposed requirement.

However, re "What's the point?"... Feels strange to feel sorry for a banker, but first they were pretty much forced to buy a failing bank "for the good of the country", and then got told "you're too big now - sell some stuff off".

Hunt's 'paperless', data-pimping NHS plan gets another £240m

IT Angle

Re: I am in support of this idea.


The problem is "as long as it is done properly and securely". Do you seriously believe that there is any chance of that happening?

The set-up is already proposing handing your data over for "research purposes". I wonder how many safeguards are in place to make sure that it's not insurance companies doing actuarial research (even if not actual de-anonymisation research)?

Fandroids blow $200,000 on secret PANIC BUTTON for their smartmobes


Re: Very clever


"Maybe, but no real world use in a mobile phone that cannot be done in another way. This has solved a problem that doesn't exist.

"That is the reality, dispute and downvote if you wish."

What this really means is that you are unable to think of a problem that this will not be a solution for. It goes along the same lines as "anyone can design an encryption system that they are unable to break".

Obama proposes four-point plan to investigate US data spooks


Re: See what you did?

I need coffee. I initially skimmed the article, and missed a few words, so "the US was 'out there willy-nilly sucking in information on everybody,'" was read as "the US was 'out there willy-sucking on everybody,'" Not sure re-reading improved it.

Also, how can BO expect people to believe the rubbish he is speaking. President you say? Of America. Oh. Carry on.

New in Android 4.3: At last we get a grip on privacy-invading crApps


...and that's a problem because... ...?

Maybe it would encourage better programming techniques - learn how to fail gracefully.

It would also serve as a notice of an application that requires far too many permissions to do the job that it said it was going to do, but is instead doing other "stuff" that wasn't menioned in the puff-piece trying to attract users.

Universal Credit: ONLY 6 job centres to get new dole system in October


Re: Sympathy for the devil

It's just a shame that it hasn't been planned or phased as an Agile development process. It's just turned into an "Oh F... this is all that we have that even sort of works at the moment" rollout. For something this complex, with so much impact for everyone involved, it's not something that can be dropped in place and then upgraded as and when new features are added. It's definitely something that needs to be designed and piloted in parallel with existing working* systems, especially to see that complex cases can be handled.

It actually appears that this is the way it is being delivered - but from the way it's being presented, only because it got so screwed up it could not be launched in any other way.

*Ok, maybe calling the existing system "working" is pushing it a bit, but at least it is there

Cosmic blast mystery solved in neutron star's intense death throes

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Re: Magnetic field

@Destroy All Monsters

Thank you for trying to explain this. (It's just a pity that my brain whimpered and gave up. I think it's time for more caffeine. Or, considering that QFT was mentioned, maybe stronger drugs are needed?)

Apple dodged all UK corporation tax in 2012


Re: Justification

Let's see - I get taxed at income, I get taxed when I spend money (and when I buy fuel, I get taxed on the tax I pay - yes, to add insult to injury the government charge VAT on fuel duty...)

So to say that companies should not be taxed twice, when citizens are taxed every which way possible...

UK sitting on top of at least 50 years of shale gas – report


Re: Down the tubes we go (again)

Not only that, G.O. has already announced he will give tax breaks to those companies exploiting this resource. So whatever revenue will be brought in from this, the UK will see very little of it. And you just know that somehow this will be spun as "green energy" and find a way to attract extra tax from the average person.

Also, 100k incentive to communities - that's half a house. Wow, his generosity knows no start.

US DoJ: Happy b-day, Ed Snowden! You're (not?) charged with capital crimes


Re: As ye sow...



BT boss QUITS telecoms giant for front-bench gov job


Re: "I am immensely proud to have led this co"

"co" - It'a just an abbreviation for "Crap Offering"

NSA PRISM-gate: Relax, GCHQ spooks 'keep us safe', says Cameron

Big Brother

It's legal so...

With the (deliberately) overbroad laws on the statute, it could well be legal. Still does not make it right.

Obama weighs in on NSA surveillance imbroglio



(long list of words)...

you missed Tom Bombadil

Does that mean that every Tolkien fan is now on a watchlist?


Re: Then...

"A man with nothing left to lose is a man without fear"

BBC boffins ponder abstruse Ikea-style way of transmitting telly


Re: Interesting

Looks like the obvious is missing (even though it's coming under the BBC banner) - adverts. Adverts customised and inserted into the "product" targeted at who the system thinks is viewing, and at what location. (Anyone want to take bets that that is the part of the system that is not user-configurable?)

Microsoft waves white flag: We'll put Outlook on Windows RT slabs


Re: Windows RT

New marketing effort required?

"Windows RT - now 7% less shit!"

UK.gov blows a fuse at smart meter stall, sets new 2020 deadline



"You can do it already and it works great."

(rant continued...)

No it doesn't - not from the point of view of those making the decisions. How on earth can you expect decent kickbacks/excellent board prospects off the back of a cheap device that is optional? To really secure the gravy train it needs to be mandatory and overpriced/underspecced/require replacement in a much shorter timeframe than existing devices ("Oh, that security vulnerability? Just have to get all the old models replaced. Just put it on the consumers' bills. Trebles all round?").




Yes there is - the present "pay as you go" does not have an easy way to switch you off remotely at the behest of commerical forces/governement of the day/some jumped up oik in local government you gve the bird to (you just *know* that the rules are going to be so over-broad on this that even dog-wardens will have the authority to switch off your power).


Mobes' pay-by-bonk just isn't cool enough, sniffs Tesco bod


Re: Revolutionary small payment method

@Bill B

you, sir, are a cunt.

Hopefully you will survive long enough to "enjoy" the effects of old age described above and maybe realise a bit of patience is required at times.

Health pros: Alcohol is EVIL – raise its price, ban its ads


"evidence based" my arse

Let's see - where is the evidence that people addicted to alcohol are "price sensitive" in that they will drink less if price is increased? From other addictions it seems that more healthy items like food or shelter are sacrificed to feed the problem - are they saying that alcohol addiction will turn out different? Mucking fuppets.

Only real reason I can see this being pushed so hard right now is that increased prices will mean increased taxes (government don't just take a duty on it, but a percentage as well). Follow the money, not just the moralists.



Re: Let me be the first to say


Next thing you will say you know nothing of the moderatrix of El Reg, the marvellous Sarah Bee (ah, she is sorely missed. Even with using the cream).

Still, her influence remains, for I find myself channelling her most common response to commentards: ODFO. And in case you are unaware of the meaning - "Oh, do fuck off" Eadon.

'UK DNA database by stealth' proposed in £100m NHS project


Re: "100 IQ would change over time"


nice of you to volunteer to be "data-cleansed". You seem to think that you would make the cut, but from the very shaky knowledge you have about genetics and how IQ works, I have serious doubts on that front.

BT to rent cheaper FTTP lines to ISPs - if they stump up £1k a go


Re: may be worth it

Shame that they will most likely keep "fair usage" policies in place that limit monthly downloads to 2Gbytes (or something ridiculously low). Seems like the speed of the network keeps increasing, but all it really means is that you hit allowed limits in minutes instead of hours...

Home Sec: Let us have Snoop Charter or PEOPLE WILL DIE


Who watches...

...the corrupt scum making these laws?

If she is absolutely devoted to this, then we should at least have a pilot to see if it is of any worth. I propose 24/7/365.25 (ish) monitoring of MPs and senior civil servants with full openness so that we may see how many "meetings with interested parties" go through on a nod and a wink.

After (say) approximately 25% of our elected representatives are jailed, let the rest vote on whether this is a good idea.

Why 'slow light' might just save the Internet


Re: Servers


way to completely miss the point of the article. Your optimistic "...will continue to increase exponentially" is about to run into a brick wall called "physical limits of the current technological process". Which is the whole point of this article - scientists and engineers trying to find new technologies to replace those that are about to hit their limits.

YARR! Library Wi-Fi PIRATES can't be touched by Queen's men!


Don't worry, the library problem is already in hand

The government is busy closing them. (Please note that I intend no slur against any particular party - I think they are all in this together...)

Sheesh - a place where people could get education and entertainment for free is being chopped to the bone, and you are worried about a few downloads? How many sessions could be in use at any one time - a few thousand even if every possible session os being used for infringement? A trivial number in the scheme of things, especially compared to the costs associated if libraries had to maintain legal services to protect themselves. Also, you did not mention any software protection libraries may have or put in place to place roadblocks to casual downloading.


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