* Posts by Harry Stottle

154 posts • joined 2 May 2007

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Guess who's here to tell us we're all totally wrong about net neutrality? Of course, it's Comcast

Harry Stottle

Does Net Neutrality correlate with Broadband Speeds?

Honest question to which I suspect I can guess the answer but do not know.

Where are the highest broadband speeds? The answer to that might be provided by posts like this

The crucial question is whether any of those have retained or discarded net neutrality. My belief is that they've all retained it but I can't find sources to sustain that belief. If my conjecture is valid, why would anyone anywhere be arguing to discard neutrality? Why would even the greediest American capitalists not seek to emulate the success of their Asian exemplars?

Or am I missing something?

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Big question: Who gets the blame if a cyborg drops a kid on its head?

Harry Stottle

Re: Can you trust this tech?

It very definitely IS a serious question. My own attempt at a serious answer is here but in short, mind reading technology can only be prevented from being a totalitarian wet dream if we force governments to accept some of the protections it also makes possible (principally the ability to block authentication when "coercion" is detected) so that no one can be forced to disclose anything without their informed consent. Please see also my comments here

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Civil rights warriors get green light to challenge UK mass surveillance

Harry Stottle

Re: vindictive, corrupt, spiteful people in positions of authority

good example of why I've just written this in response to another Reg story

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Privacy, consent laws under 'unprecedented strain'. We need a data-watcher watcher

Harry Stottle

Accountability Theatre

Without any effort on my part, I spotted no less than 3 stories in today's Reg postings which are related to this issue and all require the same general answer*: a solution to Accountability Theatre

In short, what data they store and access is the wrong (or, at least, secondary) target. There are major issues with those criteria (how securely they are stored, by whom, where, why etc) but the issues that are not being discussed are:

1) How do we know data is accurate, complete and unmodified?

2) How do we know who accessed it, when and why?

The only rational and provable answer is that all relevant data must be protected on an immutable audit trail and that access must be made technically impossible without going through a logging procedure which captures (at least) the credentials, including biometrics (preferably photograph) of the person requesting access, together with the reason for access, every keystroke or mouse movement made during the session and their login/logout times; all of which is itself protected by an immutable audit trail.

The principle role of the Law in this context, is to mandate those technical measures and to render illegal the storage of or access to any sensitive data by any other means. It also needs to empower a body, genuinely trusted by the public and independent of government and/or those holding the data, to access, for the purpose of oversight and audit, (without constraint, other than the need to maintain confidentiality where it is in the public interest) whenever they or we have legitimate concerns, any and all relevant records as well as the immutable audit trail.

*The other relevant stories are

the Cyborg dropping Baby

and Liberty's challenge to the snooper's charter

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Europe to push new laws to access encrypted apps data

Harry Stottle

Educate the Public

I know.

That's as plausible a strategy as "Win Game"

I did give fleeting thought to starting up a petition along the lines of criminalising uninformed authoritarian comment on matters they know nothing about but that eliminates virtually all political discussion, which, while desirable, is even more unrealistic.

Public education is, in my view, the only realistic way to defeat the bastards in the long term. It does not require that every voter understands the fundamental ethics, let alone the fundamental mechanics of secure communications. All it requires is moral comprehension by a significant minority, say 20% or so, of the implications of criminalising secure communications. That's enough to ensure, when the relevant test cases come before a jury, that the case is dismissed with the same finality as we've seen (in the UK) with certain infamous attempts to use the Official Secrets Act. (eg Peter Wright)

This could work in the UK and Commonwealth countries which use the UK legal model. Not much use in those European countries which don't use juries and not much use in the USA, where jury-rigging is standard, but we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

As to how we educate the masses, I think we need to start with the lowest common denominator - the Daily Mail - and persuade an appropriate hack to write the story from the angle that those nasty civil servants are trying to curtail their liberty. Writing the more balanced and rational version for the broadsheets would be relatively trivial as half of them are already on side.

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Frustrated by reboot-happy Windows 10? Creators Update hopes to take away the pain

Harry Stottle

Don't forget the "Set Ethernet as Metered Connection"

(if you don't already know how, download WinAeroTweaker and look under the Network Options)

From then on, Windows may inform you that updates exist but that it won't download them until you're NOT on a metered connection. When you're ready (after running wushowhide.diagcab and "hiding" any updates you don't want, like I mentioned last week) you do NOT have to unset the metered connection. Just press the download button and it will proceed as normal.

And I've just checked on a W10 Home machine which stupidly allowed itself to update to the anniversary edition, and that hack still works

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EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

Harry Stottle

Re: You probably can't turn EVERYTHING off butm @Harry Stottle

unfortunately I don't have that option. My principle programming language is still Visual Foxpro and that only co-operates with windoze

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Harry Stottle

Re: You probably can't turn EVERYTHING off but

apologies. Memory failure on my part.

the real name is at the end of this link!

http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/2/2/f22d5fdb-59cd-4275-8c95-1be17bf70b21/wushowhide.diagcab

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Harry Stottle

You probably can't turn EVERYTHING off but

The privacy problem is closely related to the loss of control over Updates. The fixes for one are useful for the other. All those mentioned below are free of charge.

You can take reasonable control with a combination of Spybot Antibeacon (as well as "Immunise" on the first tab, remember to select all the optional telemetry blocks on the second tab) and Winaerotweaker, which will let you do such useful things as setting your ethernet connection to "metred" which stops Windoze updates in its tracks (because they fear class actions caused by forcing users to download GB on $/gb connections). You can also use it to disable many of the auto updates and rebooting after update.

In the Pro or Enterprise versions you can also use gpedit to force W-update into "Notify Only" mode, but that won't prevent "Security" updates.

However, be aware that MS is writing its own countermeasures to these countermeasures. For example, many of the IP addresses blocked by Spybot AntiBeacon have now been hard coded around by subsequent updates.

Finally download Wushowdiag.cab, which MS were forced to release, I believe, as a consequence of another court case resulting from an update borking one or more users systems. It is presented as a "troubleshooter" but what it really does is allow you to preview all outstanding updates and select those you don't want. Those "hidden" updates will then be ignored when you choose to permit an update.

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Roses are red, violets are blue, fake-news-detecting AI is fake news, too

Harry Stottle

Assessing Truth = HARD. Assessing Consensus=(Relatively) EASY

For reasons adequately spelt out in the article, proving the truth or falsity of a given claim is almost impossible unless its a reference to empirical data already in the public domain.

The fall back position is to assess the consensus around the issue. Even that has major issues (eg, the consensus regarding the Theory of Evolution among Creationists is somewhat adrift of the Consensus among Scientists) but it wouldn't require rocket science to narrow the searches for consensus to "widely trusted sources".

The first problem for the software to solve would be the categorisation of the claims being reviewed. Once categorised, they could limit their searches for consensus to those sources "agreed" to be relevant to the categories.

Version 1 might be a simple summary of the arguments and conclusions found in those sources which seem to be relevant to the claim under review. Version 27.1 will inform the user not just of the summary arguments and conclusions, but make them aware of "trusted" disputation (again from "reputable" sources) and also cross reference anonymous tags (pre-shared among friends and colleagues) from those who indicate they approve the review and those who disapprove it. The client would then present a Review Summary along the following lines:

The Claim that The Theory of Evolution is an adequate explanation for biological diversity and speciation (etc) achieves a wide consensus among 99.3% of sources trusted within the relevant field. It achieves 63% consensus among Socially Trusted sources.

Of your own contacts who have registered an opinion, 98% accept the consensus. 2% reject it.

The Theory is disputed by a significant minority of the population who favour a religiously based explanation widely referred to as "Creationism" or "Creation Science"

Sources: Link 1

LInk 2 etc

***************

This approach is pretty objective and doesn't confuse the issue by trying to define truth, merely summarising global opinion and leaving it up to the reader to decide where there own loyalty lies.

The multiple use of quotation marks highlights the desperate need for what I call "Trust Anchors". I'm working on that. More later...

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The Mail vs Wikipedia: They're more alike than they'd ever admit

Harry Stottle

Key Differences: Sources and User Editing

Surely the key difference is the obligation Wiki places - and polices - on authors to provide sources. Anyone doing serious research might find a good or bad summary of the current state of knowledge in a Wikipedia article but that's only ever a starting point. You then go to the sources and make your own mind up about their credibility and the overall credibility of the article. If you are not impressed, and sufficiently motivated, you can then edit the article to try to correct any errors you think you've identified. And you'll be required to post your own sources (or criticised for not)

Those features alone place them in a different universe to the Daily Wail. The only time they ever publish sources is when required to by the source and if you've ever tried to correct one of their egregious errors you'll be aware of how futile that effort can be.

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Hypernormalisation: Adam Curtis on chatbots, AI and Colonel Gaddafi

Harry Stottle

Re: Should be on the box

Be interesting to see if I get a similar bunch of down-votes for supporting your criticism. I posted a detailed critique of Power of Nightmare back in 2005, before things really kicked off with ISIS etc. Almost everything I've seen since has reinforced my then opinions.

Curtis is damn good at presenting novel points of view. His problem, I think, is that he doesn't challenge his own views strongly enough before presenting them as though they were solid conclusions. Frankly, too often, he comes across as someone who formulated an opinion, then went looking for ways to justify it.

That said, he's always educational and often entertaining. I downloaded Hypernormalisation last night (6 GB ferchrissake) and so far I''ve only watched the first 10 mins, to see if I'd want to watch the rest.

I do.

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Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

Harry Stottle

Re: Matters Arising...

and, to any US based readers: If you're prepared to organise a Class Action against the bastards, I'm hereby pledging the first $100 towards the fund...

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Harry Stottle

Matters Arising...

1) for those who have already applied the tweaks, do they remain tweaked?

2) can we use wushowdiag.cab to block the upgrade infection?

(and if so, does anyone know what KB number to look out for. Sergey Tkachenko's article does tell us it's build 14393 and Martin Brinkmann refers to Build 1607 so that's a clue)

3) if all else fails, will host file ip blocking still work?

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Dutch PGP-encrypted comms network ‘abused by crooks’ is busted

Harry Stottle

Skype Encryption Keys are held by Skype

which is not quite as bad as no encryption at all but means that any skype conversation is accessible to the American TLAs. (A bit like Blackberry BIS [encrypted with their keys] v Blackberry BES [encrypted with your keys])

I went looking for Skype End to End encryption the day after Microsoft bought Skype and was told, explicitly (though I cannot now retrace the source) that it wasn't possible because of the way Skype works (routed through a central server). So unless something has dramatically changed (which would be a major step in exactly the opposite direction of where these things are going) you should not be trusting Skype encryption for anything more serious than keeping script kiddies out of your hair...

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Lock-hackers crack restricted keys used to secure data centres

Harry Stottle

Good analogy

for what happens when you insist on a crypto "back door"...

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All-American Apple challenges US gov call for iOS 'backdoor'

Harry Stottle

I beg to differ

If you'll pardon my self promotion I've expanded the argument a little here

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Harry Stottle

Authority V Liberty

Nobody would contest the desirability of knowing exactly what was in the killers' head and history. Preferably before they get to commit their crime.

And it is not just conceivable but likely that within 10-20 years, we will have technology capable of ferreting that information out of any head.

Once that is possible, it will be plausible to argue that, for example, airlines should be allowed to put every passenger through such a mind scanner, in order to ensure that no-one with evil intent against the aircraft is permitted to board.

Society is divided into two groups. The authoritarians and their followers form one group and they will argue in favour of allowing the mind-scanners and insisting that we all step through them,

Once they've conceded that for something as serious as air travel, it will be only a matter of time before they concede it for (in roughly descending order) weeding out Pedophiles, Rapists, Tax dodgers, Trolls, and Dissidents

Those who understand Liberty and the nature of threats like the above will probably have to fight the authoritarians literally to the death in what may come to be known as Humanity's Final War.

The current Apple battle is an early skirmish in that war.

Pick your sides now and be sure of a good seat...

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UK Home Sec wants Minority Report-style policing – using your slurped data

Harry Stottle

Proposed Constitutional Amendment

...to make it illegal for politicians (or anyone else in a potential policy making position) to make proposals regarding Security unless they can first demonstrate a clear understanding of the deep interdependence between Privacy and Security.

I'll leave the finer details as an exercise for the class...

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Brit censors endure 10-hour Paint Drying movie epic

Harry Stottle

Spoiler Alert

in the end, the paint dries...

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Obama calls out encryption in terror strategy speech

Harry Stottle

Comrades, we need to be united against the common enemy!

and that ain't the Judean People's front, or any religion, or any non-religion.

The common enemy is Authoritarianism; which is NOT the same as "Authority".

Authoritarianism is the dangerous psychological condition which afflicts many, but not all, of those who acquire Authority.

Authoritarianism is the belief that you are "right" or "have rights" BECAUSE you have authority. It is easily the most dangerous and destructive belief common amongst human beings.

Be all of which as it may, and, at the risk of what may look like self-promotion, can I implore those of you who have shown genuine passion about this issue to take a gander at my fictional "History of Digital Telepathy" which is a "review" written about half a century in our current future, looking back on what I obviously would love to see happen.

It touches on most the major issues raised in this discussion and I would welcome feedback from what constitutes a more informed audience than I usually get.

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GCHQ can hack your systems at will – thanks to 'soft touch' oversight

Harry Stottle

Re: @Matt Bryant - "Show me the Harm"

Bernard, I'm obviously on your side, against the schill/troll/authoritarian follower or whatever MB may be. But your example is illustrative of the problem we have in spelling out the harm. In short, that story is an example of abuse of process but, in the end, the actual harm will probably be limited to a bit of intimidation which, in this instance, will fail. One or two cops will be disciplined (but almost certainly keep their jobs). No great threat to the man in the street (as they see it).

As a privacy fundamentalist, I have tried, for years, to construct an argument that makes the "if you've nothing to hide" brigade wake up and smell the coffee. The reason it's almost impossible is that all the potential harms remain exactly that - "potential" - for the vast majority of the herd. How many Wildebeest refuse to cross the river, on the annual migration, despite the fact that, last year, about 2 dozen of their number were eaten by crocodiles?

Very few citizens get to see their neighbours and friends victimised by the bully state. And in the tiny communities where the victimisation reaches more visible levels, a relatively small amount of targeting is enough to intimidate the rest of them back into toeing the line.

The real and lasting harm is to the Social Psyche, which learns to internalise the new restrictions and repressions and when to kowtow to authority. This is particularly obvious in the USA, where the level of real harm caused to citizens by the State is vastly greater than any other "first world" nation but still hasn't created the kind of backlash which is required to make the bastards back down.

That "successful" model of naked authoritarianism is encouraging all the other "civilised" nations to tread, more or less warily, down that same path. But until we start seeing more of our own innocent citizens gunned down in the street by steroid pumped uniformed bullies, (which I genuinely do not think will happen in most of Europe) the average Joe is going to remain content with the "soft authoritarianism" we have adopted and consider it a fair price to pay for our perceived security in the street.

And if we had a couple of Paris style attacks in the UK, my guess is that the populace would bend over and allow themselves to be further butt-fucked for the sake of "keeping us safe"

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Identifying terrorists: Let's find a value for needle in haystack

Harry Stottle

I'm now, officially, an Enemy of the State

they have forced me into that position by becoming my enemy. Naturally, the arrangement is reciprocal. I suspect this conclusion will be shared by most other UK based Reg readers. Others have their own reasons for opposing their own states.

In short, I'd much rather face the miniscule risks of a terrorist attack against me and mine, than the colossal risks they're about to impose on us, without any realistic opportunity for us to opt out.

17
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El Reg lecture shows the merely human how to live forever

Harry Stottle

The wrong question

why do all those hostile to or ignorant of the terms of the Transhumanist debate always ask the wrong question: "If you could live forever, would you want to?"

Transhumanism isn't about immortality, it's about Omortality (optional mortality) i.e. living for as long as you still think it's a good idea.

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Indie review of UK surveillance laws: As you were, GCHQ

Harry Stottle

Re: A Step in the Right Direction

I share your pessimism but I sense we have an opportunity to get the right arguments a fair hearing for the next few months at least. I've just got my campaign started. I look forward to yours...

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Harry Stottle

A Step in the Right Direction

With David Anderson's report, we finally look like we may be moving in the right direction.

However, prior authorisation by his proposed new judicial body, while useful and often necessary, is certainly not sufficient and occasionally impractical.

What is absolutely vital is complete and routine data-capture (to an immutable audit trail) of the entire surveillance decision-making process and subsequent implementation. This will allow us to rewind whatever they did, after the event, to see whether what they did was necessary and proportionate. Personally I would prefer that data to be available on demand to what we might call a Public Auditing Jury. This would render the process democratic, but I would accept his new judicial body as an interim compromise.

The most important point is that it's usually not what they do or who authorises an operation which matters. There will always be occasions in the field where actions are necessary prior to the possibility of consultation and authorisation. What matters is that everything they do is recorded, so we can review what was done in our name. Any material activity not found to be recorded on the Audit Trail would be an automatic criminal offence, as would any attempt to prevent access to the audit trail by the oversight body (be that Jury or Judges)

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'American soldiers, we are coming...' US CENTCOM military in Twitter hijack shame

Harry Stottle

ROFL

Hilarious. If we didn't have 10/10 cloud cover I bet we'd see the red glow of humiliated embarrassment from this side of the atlantic.

Remind me. Why would CENTCOM have a Twitter feed? Would there be any connection with PR motives?

Beautiful. Makes 2015 already a good year...

Well, good, if we can pretend, for a while, that we haven't already lost over 2,500 souls to the sociopathic kilers who sponsored this attack...

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UK.gov rushes out broken 'Orphan Works' system as EU Directive comes in

Harry Stottle

Abuse of Process

assuming the facts are as reported, any half decent prosecutor could make a strong case in the European Courts (probably also the UK Courts) that what the government has done amounts to "abuse of process" and would thus nullify their attempt at bypassing the EU legislation. If there are any concerned copyright holders with sufficiently deep pockets, you might want to consider funding such a prosecution...

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Windows 10 feedback: 'Microsoft, please do a deal with Google to use its browser'

Harry Stottle

Re: Stop. Just Stop.

Thanks David, I'll give it a try...

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Harry Stottle

Re: Stop. Just Stop.

Fully agree. And your justifiable rant reminds me of the question I've been meaning to put to anyone more experienced with the windoze environment than I am.

Is it not possible to create either a registry setting or registry checker or firewall setting (etc etc) which simply and automatically blocks any attempt at installing not just Chrome but ANYTHING which we don't explicitly (and consciously - for example by being required to enter a randomly generated PIN rather than just clicking a button or pressing Enter) permit? AND, having said NO, will never permit any future attempt to ask us about the same app again unless we go in and re-enable the question for that particular application.

I'm very familiar with many of the registry change blocking shields (on my systems, ZoneAlarm blocks them, Avast blocks them and I've got Regwatcher alerting me to any changes) and even with those aids and few decades of windoze experience, some still get through. So I've acquired considerable expertise in removing the bastards, but prevention would be so much better than cure and protecting my clients, friends and family from such intrusions is virtually impossible.

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Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?

Harry Stottle

Re: At first they came for the Paedophiles

Your post is extremely apposite and well re-engineered.

I would guess your downvotes result from ignorance and failure to recognise your parody of the famous translation of Martin Niemoller's 1946 poem which, for the benefit of those who've obviously never encountered it, I include here:

First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left

to speak out for me.

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Racing Post escapes ICO fine after leaking info of 677K punters

Harry Stottle

@BigYin

tried to upvote your comment but my upvote seems to have disappeared.

In any case, I fully support your proposed approach (we can haggle over amounts but the principle is sound). In 2008, I created an authentication system for a security firm who were obliged to check the paperwork for any casual labour they hired to ensure they had employment rights in the UK. The only thing that forced the firm to take the matter seriously was the prospect of a fine for failure to demonstrate their checks had been carried out, as prescribed in law (we'll gloss over the Security Theatre involved). That fine was a non negotiable £10k PER INDIVIDUAL failure. That made them sit up and take notice...

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Securobods claim Middle East govts' fingerprints all over malware flung at journos

Harry Stottle

Vindication

Back in the 20th century, in a few comments I haven't been able to retrace, I made the point that there was a major upside to the activities of the then malware (mostly irritants produced by script kiddies et al). Viz, that it was forcing us to repair the gaping holes left in our online and offline security arising from the innocent design framework created by the architects of the intaweb who, initially at least, believed that it would be restricted to communications between respectable university folk and no one in their right mind would deliberately use the open doors to insert malicious software.

Now it is widely acknowledged that States have become malware producers and major security attackers, I'm feeling somewhat vindicated. The situation is bad, but consider what things would be like if we hadn't spent the last 20 years developing firewalls and malware protection...

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Russian law will force citizens' personal data to be stored locally

Harry Stottle

Re: And Edward Snowden looked down...

Bluenose?

Shouldn't that be Brownnose?

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Report: UK.gov wants to legislate on comms data BEFORE next election

Harry Stottle

Re: "Calm Down"

Ah, so this is what a Home Office Troll looks like

"We have no privacy concerns (etc"

Noone who understands data collection and data mining would make that statement.

If you need to ask why it's a privacy threat, you're probably not going to understand the answer, although, if you stick around these parts long enough, you will begin to absorb the painful truth

The wider social problem is that you are more representative of the "common herd" than the average Reg reader...

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If you want an IT job you'll need more than a degree, say top techies

Harry Stottle

Wildcard Replacement

re: "Wildcard rename as in *.xxx to *.yyy is unique to DOS, so anyone who cut their teeth in another environment would not know about it."

I rarely plug commercial software but I'll make an exception for Explorer 2 (pronounced Explorer Squared) which I've been using (as a replacement for Windoze Explorer) without a glitch for about 10 years now. (http://www.zabkat.com/)

Wildcard replacement is one of their more trivial features and it's done within their GUI.

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NSA spied on 'radicalisers' porn surfing so as to discredit them, reveals Snowden

Harry Stottle

Succour to the Real Enemy

@vladimir

Your comment is so incredibly naive, it hurts.

Let's imagine that we conclude that such tactics constitute a legitimate and useful weapon.

The first consequence is that it justifies laws permitting the gathering of the relevant data on all potential targets. Which means mandating the infrastructure necessary to achieve the required monitoring.

The second consequence is that authoritarians everywhere will start using the attack against not just the "evil-doers" (terrorists, paedophiles etc) but against all dissenters and dangerously effective political campaigners.

The third consequence is that the authoritarians will recognise that they cannot predict where and when dangerous dissent will arise and observe that, if they wait till it has emerged, it may be too late to gather the embarrassing porn-crawling (or similar) data, so they will give themselves the permission to gather that data on ALL citizens "just in case".

The fourth consequence will be that any dissent and political campaigning will be restricted to those lily-white weirdos who have never ventured into the world of murky and mucky web based information.

We are, of course, a long way down that road, and the Americans already routinely use covert character assassination techniques against their dissenters and whistleblowers, but even they - currently - dare not use individuals private web history against them. But if they sniff public approval of such totalitarian tactics, they won't hang back from passing yet more constitution-proof legislation.

You sir are guilty of providing succour to the real enemy...

25
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Google, Microsoft to drop child sex abuse from basic web search

Harry Stottle

The "Cure" for Paedophilia will be VR

First off, major kudos to the AC who shared his own judicial nightmare with us.

this is actually a prediction I made before the turn of the century. (http://www.fullmoon.nu/articles/art.php?id=god)

Once VR is genuinely full immersive (a la "Matrix" rather than the cheesy VR helmets which we will sneer at in years to come) and operating at so called "gestalt" speeds (so we genuinely have no sensory means of identifying fact from fiction other than the ability to step back out of the fiction), human sexual desires of all kinds will be much more deeply fulfilled by the VR world than the real world could ever manage.

This will be equally true for paedophiles. They'll be able to whistle up whatever they need to satisfy their lust to a much greater level, in much greater safety and, importantly, with zero impact on any other human beings. A major consequence of this will be the end of the recruitment cycle which research tells us is responsible for the perpetuation of paedophilia. If "real" humans stop being abused in their formative years, they'll stop becoming paedophiles themselves and the problem will gradually fade away.

The only obstacle I see to technical progress to such a solution are the Authoritarians continuing down their road towards "thought crime" where they have begun to criminalise such things as creating your own images (even drawings or paintings based on your own imagination) if such images are of subjects which, in the real world, would involve child porn (http://tinyurl.com/npxvvh5). Taking such an extreme legislative position crossed the rubicon and defined the first legally recognised "thought crimes". We should have had riots in the street but, of course, we didn't because it was only those nasty peedos, so who gives a shit? The next steps will be the criminalisation of thoughts about blowing up Parliament and the like. Just the sort of thing which will make a lot of us want to blow up Parliament...

In any case, even if I'm right and VR eventually eliminates Paedophilia, other problems, of course, will arise in its place. Like: how is the human race going to procreate if everyone is getting their rocks off in VR? And, before you reject that option as wild speculation (also part of the same essay) check out what's happening in Japan right now even before we get the serious technology...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/20/young-people-japan-stopped-having-sex

0
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MI5 boss: Snowden leaks of GCHQ methods HELPED TERRORISTS

Harry Stottle

SOME is Plausibly Deniable. But that's not the point...

SOME of his stuff is Plausibly Deniable but quite a lot is sourced "on the record".

But that's not the point. If the Parker (et al) complaint is based on revelations of tradecraft, they're either lying (about that) or ignorant - of the existence of Bamford's exposures; which we know is untrue because for many years it was actually illegal to sell Puzzle Palace in the UK. So they definitely know what he's putting in the public domain and it's always been a lot more detailed (and potentially useful to the evil ones) than anything we've seen in the Grauniad.

Of course, Bamford isn't in the best seller lists, so I suppose they could have been counting on the old reliable: "security through obscurity"

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Harry Stottle

James Bamford told us almost everything Snowden has "exposed"

apart from some of the program names (like PRISM), can someone please provide an example of any functionality or practice revealed by Snowden which we could not have picked up from James Bamford's "trilogy" (Puzzle Palace - 1983 , Body of Secrets - 2002 and Shadow Factory - 2009)

I ask out of genuine interest, I was 2/3rds of the way through Shadow Factory when Snowden outed himself and, so far, nothing he revealed has come as a surprise.

That being so, why aren't the authoritarians up in arms about Bamford's revelations? He's been at it long enough. Do they kid themselves that the "evildoers" wouldn't discover such sources?

5
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KEEP CALM and Carry On: PRISM itself is not a big deal

Harry Stottle

NSA Skype Backdoor predates Microsoft Acquisition

Duncan appears to have made the same mistake I did.

I high fived anyone within range when I saw the slide confirming PRISM's skype access date as 2/6/11 because I'd blogged, when the news of Microsoft's acquisition went public, that I suspected that at least one of the reasons for their interest was in providing a back door for their US Government clients.

The slide appeared to confirm that sequence of events. My self congratulations were cut short, however, when my (American) wife pointed out that the date on the slide would be in American date format and thus meant 6 Feb, not 2 June. Microsoft's acquisition date was 11 May.

I'd also take issue with Duncan's assessment that because the PRISM numbers are "too small" they can't be connected with the "peering points" (which, incidentally, although owned by the likes of AT&T, are shared with all the other major US Telecom providers). I suspect the PRISM numbers reflect only the "interesting" fruit harvested from the petabytes of data which the Narus STA 640s are more than capable of "reassembling".

I recommend James Bamford's "Shadow Factory" (2008) for anyone nerdy enough to want the gritty detail but Wired were the first to publish Klein's exposure and they cover this detail here:

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006/05/70914

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India joins list of nations vetting Huawei, ZTE

Harry Stottle

Consider the implications...

..of the ban on Chinese telecoms contributing to the infrastructure of the Western World. Does it not amount to an admission that they believe the Chinese could use their access to our communications systems to implant undectable surveillance even while under the kind of surveillance we could mount against them?

If they sincerely believe that this is even possible, I suggest that such confidence can only reasonably be based on experience...

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INSATIABLE black hole in Milky Way's heart crams hot gas into cavity

Harry Stottle

Re: Much greater discovery masked by headline

ah, they've cheated!

the first sentence did read (until a couple of minutes ago)

"Space boffins have suggested the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Universe..."

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Harry Stottle

Much greater discovery masked by headline

apparently, according to the article, astronomers have identified the Milky Way as the centre of our universe. That's MUCH bigger news than a black hole sucking in a gas cloud...

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Open source app can detect text's authors

Harry Stottle

Preserving Anonymity

the technique which will preserve your anonymity and allow you to preserve all your sock puppets (at least for the time being) is to create your draft in your native language, mince it through one or more translators and then back into your native language. Correct the errors. Post. That's how I did the other posts on this page without anyone spotting me. Oops.

On a more semi serious note, has anyone got around to running Shakespeare's texts through this software to see if Christopher Marlow (or any other contenders) show up as suspects?

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Hong Kong plods turn RoboCop with strap-on vid cams

Harry Stottle

Untrusted Surveillance

The problem with so caledl "liberty" campaigners is that they lack imagination. The existence of these cameras is a major opportunity to begin taking control BACK from the Police. All we need is a a Law which makes any interaction between them and the public illegal UNLESS it IS recorded by such cameras. Citizen Innocent Until Proved Guilty; Authority Guilty Until Proved Innocent.

In addition, we need to introduce immutable audit trails and robust laws mandating the storage of and access to the data. With these measures in place, body cameras will begin to be seen as protection rather than oppression. This is a major example of how and why Trusted Surveillance needs to be implemented...

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O2's titsup network struggles to find its feet

Harry Stottle

Emergency Services

It's a horrible thought and nobody's mentioned it, so I thought I'd better at least ask the question.

As I understand it, O2 have no idea what caused the outage. And I believe they are the network provider (via their "Airwave" service) for the UK Emergency Services.

Could this have been a trial run by someone who wanted to see what the effects on the Emergency Services communications would be? And do we know if they were affected at all?

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Official: Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5bn

Harry Stottle
Big Brother

Encryption - Stooge for the NSA?

given the complete absence of any business case for the scale of this acquisition, I am minded to cynicism.

One of earlier (Anon Coward) commenters on this story suggests they might want it for access to their encryption "or perhaps the NSA do".

That may not be that far fetched. We know that the various security services have expressed concerns at their inability to eavesdrop Skype calls. Perhaps they figure if a friendly co-operative new owner can let them look under the hood..

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Lost ancient civilisation's ruins lie beneath Gulf, says boffin

Harry Stottle

Graham Hancock's been preaching this for years...

now go to http://www.grahamhancock.com/archive/underworld/ where you will find Graham Hancock's been promoting this idea since 2002 or earlier and has been trying to get archaeologists to look under the water. Major vindication of his ideas...

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