* Posts by Kevin Johnston

1067 posts • joined 6 May 2007

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

Kevin Johnston
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Actually no....The tax and duties on fuel are around 200% of the fuel value. They way it is talked about is a ruse to understate that since the 61% you mention is the proportion of the pump price. That means when it was £1 per litre, the raw fuel cost was 39p and the tax and duties were 61p. All the companies in the delivery chain from the original refinery got the VAT back from the next in the line but the poor (and rapidly poorer) motorist paid for everyone.

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Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Memory Issues

A couple of medical ones from round our way were

Acopia - Inability to cope

TBC - Total Body Crumble

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Kevin Johnston
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Re: SatNad is really skimping on software testing, isn't he?

Oh, I thought AR was Alternative Reality

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Crap London broadband gets the sewer treatment

Kevin Johnston
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Hopefuly

they will be able to handle an increasing number of data dumps

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EU court advised: Schrems is a consumer in Facebook case, but can't file class-action

Kevin Johnston
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Re: So it seems like the ECJ just outlawed class action

They seem to have contradicted themselves as they first imply that you cannot take advantage of an existing lawsuit (I may not have expressed that well) but then go on to talk about concentration of of claims in one jurisdiction. My reading of that would be that other people in Austria could join yet there were some in the group looking to join the class-action.

Clearly, I am not a lawyer, they would respond to you by saying something like 'that will need some consideration, €500 per hour please'

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BlackBerry Motion: The Phone That Won't Die

Kevin Johnston
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So...

Could 'Blackberry' have found it's new niche?

Good enough phones which can take on the Duracell Bunny? This could actually be a smart move as it will fit a sizable group of people that are fed-up with needing to charge the phone every night to avoid it running out on the afternoon of day 2 and is still able to do everything they need and some more beyond?

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Shiver me timbers! 67cm Playmobil pirate ship sets sail for Caribbean

Kevin Johnston
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Wow

Awesome community project and

"another one for Curtis"

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Alexa, please cause the cops to raid my home

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Having been at the ex's this morning

Waaaay back in the stone age when there were only 3 TV channels an ex-colleague was a TV repairman and he attended an old dear whose TV kept changing channel at 4pm.

He sat there with her waiting and she asked if he wanted a cup of tea as she usually had a cup when watching TV. In she came with the trolley and the TV duly changed channel....Drop of oil on the wheels and no more channel hopping.

Have to love the old ultrasonic remotes

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NASA tells The Reg: For crying out loud. We're not building flying taxi software for Uber

Kevin Johnston
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Ah, that style of media bumph

Clearly they are using the same PR house as Easyjet where complete non-stories are published on a regular basis to keep the name in public view regardless of the 'Crying Wolf' effect when they actually have a genuine announcement.

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Vodafone signs deal with CityFibre to connect 5 million homes with full fibre

Kevin Johnston
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Re: What will they call it?

FTTC2*

*Fibre To The County (not to be confused with Fibre To The Cabinet)

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Dumb autonomous cars can save more lives than brilliant ones

Kevin Johnston
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Re: @John Smith 19

Hey

We Moonrakers in Swindon were there first...and ours has 5 mini-roundabouts

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Kevin Johnston
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Must read the sub-head more carefully

I was sure they were suggesting that the self-drive cars should be tanks. This was reinforced when I saw they were a military-industrialist mob.

It would keep the people in the self-drive tanks safer...at the expense of everyone else though

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Paradise Papers reveal Apple moved bits of biz offshore

Kevin Johnston
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Tax dollars meant for Uncle Sam

and has that kindly Uncle seen any of them yet?

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OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

Kevin Johnston
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yes, it's very nice but...

at what point is this advancement for the sake of it?

I know there are some devices where you can (or could) get a dock unit to use them as a PC but how much of this development work is for bragging rights. I see parallels with Formula 1 where there is a theoretical trickle down to road cars but it only seems to show on the >£1million supercars and for phones the advances are very niche since other applications of the tech would not be so space constrained.

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El Reg assesses crypto of UK banks: Who gets to wear the dunce cap?

Kevin Johnston
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Santander

They may get good marks from this mob but from a user login viewpoint I would give them a F or lower.

I have the misfortune to use Santander for one account and they have 7 different validation fields/flags plus unless you use a Linux PC they try to push Trusteer at you every time (unless you are willing to allow them to fill your browser with cookies, great choice there).

I get they want to look like they care about security but it doesn't work.

Why does logging in need more that an ID and password plus a validation code of some sort which could be a OTP sent to the registered mobile, an RSA fob or similar?

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SCO vs. IBM case over who owns Linux comes back to life. Again

Kevin Johnston
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So, timing on this is interesting....awoken just in time for Halloween

Are the legal beagles horror film fans?

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Kevin Johnston
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Re: You ended up with a Nissan Puke? Unlucky!

I have to say though that the 2CV inspired one of the best ever Ads for a car I can recall seeing...

They compared the 2CV with a number of higher priced cars (OK, don't think there were any lower-priced)

'As many wheels as a Rolls Royce'

'Faster than a speeding Ferrari (a Ferrari travelling at 45mph in a 30mph limit can be overtaked by a 2CV flat-out at 56mph)'

and so on

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Kevin Johnston
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A Peugeot...something or other

Only had it for a couple of days but in that time I failed to travel more than 100 yards without something cropping up to really P me off.

From the lights/wipers where one was on - off - auto and the other was on - auto - off to the radio where I could change the volume with three different controls but the other radio controls were four menus deep on the central screen which meant either having a passenger or stopping to change station.

As for this fascination with Auto Wipers...just give me back intermittent,. I have yet to drive a car with auto wipers where it and I agreed on when there was too much spray for me to see out safely.

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Which reseller pleased fatcats today and rhymes with let's mute a centaur?

Kevin Johnston
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So..

profits are up, return to major shareholders is up and operating costs are too high...

Thanks for turning things around serfs but take a pay cut or get out. Did I get that right?

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Credit insurance tightens for geek shack Maplin Electronics

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Maplin are an odd store

I still have my old Weller TCP with a varied selection of bits (both size and temperature). Only thing I need more oomph for I used a RS Butane soldering iron which even works well in windy outdoor situations.

Was quite an expense when I bought them but over the years any regret has been well and truly beaten down.

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Please activate the anti-ransomware protection in your Windows 10 Fall Creators Update PC. Ta

Kevin Johnston
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Colour me stupid but...

Intended as a serious question so please be gentle with me.

I was under the impression that it was common for the attack to use the user's credentials so I don't understand how this could be as secure as you suggest. Does this simply act as an internal firewall based on connecting application?

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Vodafone, EE and Three overcharging customers after contracts expire

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Moral of the story

I did this for my most recent phone change. I had been mobile inclusive before but sat down and did the numbers which showed that for the two year cost of inclusive I could buy the phone outright and get better GB/minutes/Texts as a SIM only option. Over the two years I expect to save at least £40 which may not seem a lot but I have now paid for the phone so my costs are £9/month

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Microsoft Azure ████ secret ██ █████ ██ US govt's ███ ███ centers

Kevin Johnston
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Ah but there will no announcements of any breaches as the secrecy rules do not permit discussions of data transactions.

Ergo...no breach.....simples

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Full-fibre ISP Hyperoptic clocked over mock doc schlock shock

Kevin Johnston
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Very specific challenge

I note that BT didn't challenge on the basis that the details were not correct about the continual price rises, just that it was too honest to be an advert

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Dear America, best not share that password with your pals. Lots of love, the US Supremes

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Sadly, a decision which needs more clarity

I think people are missing some of the details in my original post here...

The manager may have given his permission to his PA but under the COMPANY regulations he had no authority to do that. A lot of the documents/emails the manager is sent will be private and encrypted and the sender is under the impression that only the manager is reading them.

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Kevin Johnston
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Sadly, a decision which needs more clarity

In common with many of the dear readers of this website I have worked at many a company where senior managers and the like have given their logins and passwords to their PA to enable them to handle all the stuff which is encrypted to save them the effort. Since each of those companies very clearly stated that such activity was forbidden and a disciplinary offence, I presume those managers/Execs in the US offices will now go to jail?

This is why such decisions need to be carefully phrased (rather than the Facebook style examples) since these PAs could be accessing data which is regulated under various laws while using another person's identity.

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BlackBerry's new Motion will move you neither to tears of joy nor sadness

Kevin Johnston
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USP

Have to agree about the lack of USP since the (albeit brief) review to suggest the author struggled to find enough to write an article. I have made use of BB devices for quite some time as I struggle with a virtual keyboard on phones and I currently have a KeyONE which has a physical keyboard.

This may be a niche but it is one which BB/RIM have good background in filling so why fight the full glass slab battle with umpty seven other companies?

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Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

Kevin Johnston
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Wonder ads

Trying to remember the game but it had adverts for dnL which were white writing on a green background...It was almost subtly ob vious if that isn't too much of an oxymoron.

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Legacy clearout? Not all at once, surely. Keeping tech up to snuff in an SMB

Kevin Johnston
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Ah, the drip-feed of new kit

A contract I was on some time ago (OS/2 Warp had just come out) was to move from dumb terminals to PCs. Finance department went first and got IBM PS/2 Model 56 (55?) with Intel 486 CPUs and we could only buy kit for two weeks of installs at a time. By the time we got everyone done, all the new staff were getting Pentium machines so you have the Finance Director trying to steal the PC from his new office Junior because he demanded he was in the first group to get 'new PCs'

So, a single roll-out project had one brand of PC but 4 radically different models...the supplier loved us as each batch was bought with no discount as there were no guarantees we would be buying any more.

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White House plan to nuke social security numbers is backed by Equifax's ex-top boss

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Obscure number

Really? Really?

Dial your sense of humour back to early schooldays and maybe it will be a little more obvious...as a clue it is also a large (Southern Hemisphere?) bird which tend to crash land rather than float gracefully down.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Leave your password everywhere, or just tattoo it on your face

Once it is tattooed on your face it doesn't matter how bad your memory is as long as you can find a mirror (and you got it done in mirror writing).

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80% of IT projects in public sector delayed due to IR35 – report

Kevin Johnston
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Re: complete hypocrisy on this comments page

Not instead of, as well as.

Just because they decide to tax your company earnings as your salary, doesn't remove the need to pay Employer's NI or to pay your accountant or to pay VAT etc etc etc.

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Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

Kevin Johnston
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Re: When there's no more magic left it's time to stop.

I suspect the extra time to read is because they are so different. It was easy to settle into the previous discworld books because they had a simple rhythm to them but Raising Steam went out on it's own rails scattering previous assumptions like confetti while Dodger was differently different as it was not Discworld. Even Carpet People and the Bromiliad at least had Gnomish characters and so were in a similar vein.

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India's Aadhaar national biometric ID scheme at risk after Supreme Court rules privacy is a right

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Is there any kind of valid comparison that has been done to other schemes?

I think the issue is not so much the creation of the ID and how it is secured but the aggregation of the data from the different locations in which it is used.

To be a valid form of ID it just needs to be possible to do a lookup to check against the master record and this is very simple to secure and set up audit trails for. What every Governments tries to do as soon as a digital ID is discussed is try to link every element of government, plus open doors to large corporations, for data sharing to 'improve the quality of the data'. This is where it all goes wrong amazingly enough

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Calm down, internet. Elon's Musk-see SpaceX spacesuit is a bit generic

Kevin Johnston
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Complaints

Not that the people wearing it will complain – as long as it keeps 'em alive, right?

Ummm, how many people will be in a state to complain if it fails?

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UK.gov to treat online abuse as seriously as IRL hate crime

Kevin Johnston
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Re: TLA?

No no no...surely everyone knows that the next step up from a TLA is a FLEA

Four Letter Extended Acronym

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British snoops at GCHQ knew FBI was going to arrest Marcus Hutchins

Kevin Johnston
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Re: It looks like they were quite desparate to pin something on him, judging by the last paragraph:

I think that if you are trying to get in they refuse you but perversely if you are already in then you go directly to jail, do not pass go and never get back out

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75 years ago, one Allied radar techie changed the course of WW2

Kevin Johnston
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Another good read

I have now worn out my copy of 'Pipeline to Battle' which tells the tale of getting water to the troops in North Africa. One of those books you truly can't put down and as an engineer you get an appreciation of just how bad it must have been by some of the struggles to achieve what should be simple things.

Amazingly it was first published in 1943

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Sorry, but those huge walls of terms and conditions you never read are legally binding

Kevin Johnston
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I was working on a contract when the agency wanted to change the contract details. I read the new one carefully and challenged several clauses. The agency repeatedly failed to amend it as I requested and eventually they sent me a copy in Word for me to edit instead. It included the scanned signature for their senior manager so I completely re-wrote it making all the terms in my favour, printed it and signed it then sent it through to them. They made no comment so since there was only one copy with both parties had 'signed' then clearly that was the contract in force :)

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UK govt steams ahead with £5m facial recog system amid furore over innocents' mugshots

Kevin Johnston
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Re: And at the Spring 2021 London Fashion Week shows...

No no no, you have missed the preferred option. Wear a mask of your 'favourite' politician or celebrity to cause maximum confusion.

There will be a small number of people who can go one better if they are part of a set of identical twins/triplets etc....Just think how much fun they could be having with this

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Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Possible or easy?

Oh I so agree with this. What is the point in contacting a Support line if you will not allow them to support you by explaining how to achieve what you are trying to do?

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Brits look at Google and Facebook every 210 seconds, says survey

Kevin Johnston
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Another outlier here...

My relatives are very grumpy about me not using Facebook to keep in touch and doubly grumpy when they wish me Happy Birthday when they should know full well it is not my birthday. When I set up my Facebook account I accidentally put a lot of incorrect data in there which causes confusion to everyone except me.

Really sad thing is I can't get back in to fix it as I have forgotten what DoB I entered which it wants to validate that I am me...so sad, never mind, must stop laughing

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Meet VRfox: Mozilla's latest attempt at regaining browser share

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Priorities!

My preference would be a web browser that doesn't get updates pushed at it daily needing it to spend an age downloading/deploying the update and then checking add-ons etc when all I wanted to do was quickly check when low tide was to walk the dogs on the beach.

How about a lightweight browser aimed at desktops rather than mobiles, too much to ask?

Please feel free to list all the ones I have managed to not discover :)

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Google diversity memo: Web giant repudiates staffer's screed for 'incorrect assumptions about gender'

Kevin Johnston
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Re: The token conservative spoke out!

"51% of the people thought he was the better candidate."

If I recall correctly, he actually had less of the raw votes but more of the constituencies (apologies, right-pondian here and I don't recall the label the left-pondians use for that),

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Brit uni builds its own supercomputer from secondhand parts

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Ghetto but good

Not sure why the downvote but the only PC/Server I ever kept current in my stack was the gaming PC. The others ran very happily on older hardware/OS and as they were never going to be stressed I was still running my email on a Compaq Proliant 530G1 until a year or so ago...Was sad to see it go but the replacement stepped it up a couple of generations.

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CMD.EXE gets first makeover in 20 years in new Windows 10 build

Kevin Johnston
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Re: Fucking Heresy

Now me, I always preferred the Amber displays to the Green ones. Nice thing was it only seemed to be me so I could always find extras if I needed them

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'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary

Kevin Johnston
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Re: The idiocy of this runs even deeper.

Sadly this is the norm for almost all legislation. It is is response to a situation which is not well understood in a changing landscape and even well-meaning laws never achieve the desired effect because they are mis-used or poorly worded or just too late to fix a problem which is no longer there.

My custard never set but I needed sugar

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Microsoft won't patch SMB flaw that only an idiot would expose

Kevin Johnston
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Re: the problem is Microshaft's design

He may be Bombastic but there is a perfectly valid point here. The default state for ports should be disabled with the minimum possible exceptions in order to get the box up and running. This may include core network ports but why would HTTP be enabled by default? That should get enabled as part of configuring the HTTP security rather than as soon as the server starts.

I am not going to claim I know which should or shouldn't be in that minimal set but wide-open is a poor choice for a starting point

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Australia's .au internet registry chair quits amid no-confidence vote

Kevin Johnston
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Deja vu

Now where have I seen behaviour like that before....

Something about a European Patent Office or something lie that?

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Strong and stable, my arse. UK wobbles when coping with ransomware

Kevin Johnston
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Mon crayon est jaune

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