* Posts by Fred Flintstone

2751 posts • joined 9 Jun 2009

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Facebook's shadow profile.

in my case of FB stalking i’ll privilege the IP cross-matching hypothesis

i created a burner FB profile for Tinder. new pix, slightly different name (same age (: ). my phone, a near death wifi-only Android never left home. FB app had never been activated on that phone before. i never surfed anywhere while logged into this FB on my browser. never friended anyone from it.

yet within days i had tons of friend suggestions for people i did know, but barely. somebody’s cousin or mother for example.

Actually, LikedIn shows the exact same behaviour. I created a new profile, pretty much blank. No CV, new contact details, different name, "joined" another company.

It took less than a day before it started to suggest, very focused, to connect to old colleagues.

Huawei exec out of jail, just as US accuses China of Marriott hack

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

I tend to mistrust these attributions

The problem I have with attributing hacks is there there is a difference between a hacker based in China/US/Ukraine/France/Russia which is who you always find in your typical website 404 log, and a government sanctioned operator/operation..

1 - I am *always* suspicious of casual tagging a whole group or country as it makes for lazy and unnuanced thinking;

2 - how can you tell the difference?

3 - how trustworthy is the claim? Making such claims is also subject to political manipulation.

4 - "bigging up" the alleged hacker may make it appear that the hack would have happened anyway, and from what I have seen so far, that really isn't a feasible excuse for Marriott. There's quite a difference between making a mistake and simply not paying attention at all.

Here's 2018 in a nutshell for you... Russian super robot turns out to be man in robot suit

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Question

It involves less blood?

Equifax how-it-was-mega-hacked damning dossier lands, in all of its infuriating glory

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: "Except it would had cost money to do so. Money not spent = profit."

The root cause?

Absolutely .

IMHO it ought to be the basis of any fine: make the fine many, many times more than the expense of doing it properly, of course retrospectively applied and aggregated. It's the only way I can see this become a concern for those taking the decision as it hits them in their pocket.

Further, make security audits mandatory as well as their publication for big organisations after, say, a 3 month period to fix the problems found, with an extra 3 month wait extension only available via a rigorous exception process to filter out the usual excuses.

Amazon robot fingered for bear spray leak that hospitalised 24 staffers

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: What are the 3 rules again?

1. A human employee may not reduce the profits of the Amazon corporation, or through inaction allow profits to be reduced.

2. A human employee must obey the orders give to it by Amazon except where such orders would conflict with the first law.

3. A human employee must protect their own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.

Ooooh, that is a *classic*.

This is one of those moment I regret that I only have one upvote, so I thus nominate this one for Comment of the Week, for sarcasm in the face of adversity.

Well done.


OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: "a lesson on the consequences of too much dependence on the cloud"

Or perhaps a bungie plummet off the roof of The Tower into a shallow pool of Yorkies televised on live PayPerView? =-D

Exactly what cordless bungee jumping was invented for, methinks.

OneDrive Skype integration goes live aaand... OneDrive falls over in Europe

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: WTF?


I even have a more advanced process in place: we work on it together on a machine. Much quicker. This tends to happen after we spend some time scribbling on paper, the machine version is more for sharing with any third parties who would consider especially my handwriting as a form of encryption :).

Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

I rather love the irony..

.. of Facebook getting zuckered by the exact same method Facebook itself has used to skirt the laws: they asked the data from someone else.

If only I could believe Parliament was capable of doing something that ironic deliberately..


Microsoft confirms: We fixed Azure by turning it off and on again. PS: Office 362 is still borked

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

>In a way, Microsoft is saying its cloud couldn't handle the weight of multi-factor login requests.

Ohh god, I'm so sorry - that was me. I enabled MFA for two test accounts on Sunday night!!

.. aaaand we have our comment of the week. Wonderful sarcasm.


Using a free VPN? Why not skip the middleman and just send your data to President Xi?

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: This will continue to happen...

"rouge apps"

I think they're photo apps. Blushes the cheeks. Any cheeks.


Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: "at least you know who the owners are"

Do you trust someone whose money come from utterly exploiting people?

You may want to pay attention to the whooshing sound over your head. It was a joke. Relax. Drink less coffee.


LastPass? More like lost pass. Or where the fsck has it gone pass. Five-hour outage drives netizens bonkers

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: This is why

People do it so password files stay synced between devices.

I think it would be a good idea to give these instances an offline cache. It's not like that is a new idea, IMAP servers have been doing that for decades with email.

Google swallows up DeepMind Health and abolishes 'independent board'

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Hmm.

Not yet, but I think that's merely due to the large number of contenders for the honour of being made an example under GDPR.

Given Trump's attitude to collaboration, my money has been on a US company for quite a while.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Future ARM laptops

"one of the kids has an MBA"

I put that sort of thing down to bad parenting.

I think we have just found our Comment Of the Week.


Our brave El Reg vulture sat through four days of Oracle OpenWorld to write this cracking summary just for you

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Oracle will lose

Their aggressive lock-in tactics helped them milk billions out of unwitting clients, but they won’t be able to fool enough people a second time

*cough* Microsoft *cough*

Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Reading comprehension

I think that's where the Psycho The Rapist joke comes from.


Microsoft Azure looks to make cloud-native payments SWIFTer

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: I'm wondering...

No need to wonder, it is a given. Just what we need, interbank financial messaging getting the Zune treatment..

Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Is Julian's cat leaving little "presents" on the carpet in the Ecuadorian embassy?

Perhaps both need neutering.

Now THAT needs a lot more upvotes than I can give, grin. Have mine as a starter :).

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: easy

Throw the machine at the window.. you'll have a window as everyone who uses windows needs a window to dream of what could have been.

Yup. True defenestration™ :)

Put your tin-foil hats on! Wi-Fi can be used to guesstimate number of people hidden in a room

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

I'm just going to up my water consumption as WiFi struggles to go through water.

Most sysadmins are waaaay ahead of you. Guess what contains a lot of water?


Princely five years in US big house for Nigerian biz email scammer

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: And in Australia

.. whilst being locked up..

Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Well, that means I have to change the (c) statement

Given that I am OK with education to use my material as long as it is non-profit (read: no reselling later either), I guess I'll have to make that statement explicit to avoid mistakes. Although I understand the issue and agree with the principle, I don't want to sue a school, nor would I want a kid to be in legal crosshairs for doing a school project: all that teaches them is uncertainty.

I genuinely have to think of the children here :)

Going off on a slight tangent, some people stated that they would expect the relevant data to be available in EXIF, but setups like Facebook explicitly filter out this data. Ostensibly they do that for "privacy" reasons (yes, yes, stop laughing), but as far as I can tell they do it to make tracking back copyright difficult - you could say they act in collusion with copyright violators because it would otherwise substantially harm their business as they go through literally millions of images per day.

AFAIK, under US Copyright law it is an offence (not sure criminal or civil) to mess with a copyright notice, so FB could potentially be on the hook for a LOT of money if it weren't for the escape clause that it has to be "with intent" - they'll probably get away with it once claiming it was a "programming error" because identifying copyright information in EXIF is really hard .. no, wait, there is actually an explicit "copyright" tag..

IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Desks should be clear anyway,...

I've always maintained that my desk remained perfectly clean underneath precisely because of the stuff on top.


Help, I'm being held prisoner in a security camera testing factory. So please read this...

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: At ThatOne...

I've got an insane, psychotic, homicidal, DevilCat

Ah, now I know which cat features in cat bathing as a martial art :)

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Unintended consequences

One question which rarely gets asked is; will this make me safer or put me more at risk of what I seek to protect myself from?

In the area where I live; having any identifiable security measures would be like putting a "rob this one" sign on the front of my house. It might be some deterrent to opportunists but an advert professionals would be very grateful for.

You must be new here. All you have to do to be safer is to give one to your neighbour :)

International Maritime Organisation turns salty gaze on regulating robotic shipping

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Tortuga bound

Whilst there’s no crew to take hostage, there’s a big ship to loot (i.e. cargo!) with no-one getting in your way.

Not quite. The disadvantage of humans is that they are easily recognised, need a lot of armour to remain safe and may accidentally run into any anti-pirate booby traps themselves. Robots can take any shape, form and position, so with no humans around you could get quite creative with countermeasures.

Until someone invents robot pirates.

Every major OS maker misread Intel's docs. Now their kernels can be hijacked or crashed

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: "From which it follows that the docs were unclear. "

is this simply a case where Fred was the first to read the manuals, he wrote about it and didn't get it quite right then others have simply thought, "Sod reading the manuals, this looks OK.", tested it and it works.

Hang on, I'm not involved :)

(a) The number of years since I was that close to a CPU in programming is measured in decades and (b) it then involved a mere 8 bit chip.

I plead the Shaggy defense :)

Escape from the Zuckerborg: WhatsApp founder legs it

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Business model

If it's intended to be a profit-making venture, then it will, sooner or later, betray you.

Nope. Some companies are still led by ethics. The simplest example of that was Lavasoft.

It's not you, it's Big G: Sneaky spammers slip strangers spoofed spam, swamp Gmail sent files

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: To be or not to be - let Google decide?

If you report obvious spam that claims to be from HMRC, you don’t expect Her Maj to get onto the naughty list, do you?

.. except that Googly email CAN indeed come from HMRC in one of the most astonishingly stupid decisions ever (admittedly amongst many, but let's stay on topic for once):

$ dig +short mx digital.hmrc.gov.uk






Sadly, this is really not a joke - feel free to try yourself. It appears UK government "innovation" equals "let's hand uncontrolled entities very personal data on our citizens and see if they can do something we can then brag about". After all, it sort of worked for the NHS..

Facebook want us to believe banning Putin's troll army safeguards Russian democracy

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: He's keeping on playing the "Good Boy with a Big Dream who makes little mistakes on the way"

I'm going to upvote you for sheer sarcasm alone :)

Apple 'wellness' unit launched for staff: The genius will see you now

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

But isn't it "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" ?

Apparently it depends on your aim ..

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

NASA, no concept of archiving. Should we be worried?

It's in the name, really. Not A Software Archive :)

Microsoft's memory randomization security defense is a little busted in Windows 8, 10

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: yet ANOTHER reason

to stick with windows 7!!!

Way ahead of you. I'm keeping my boss on Windows ME "for security reasons"


National Cyber Security Centre boss: For the love of $DEITY, use 2FA on your emails, peeps

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Lets hope the 2FA isn't a question because next year it will be 3FA then 4FA until you have to recite your entire life story just to log on.

It appears Monsters vs Aliens was WAY ahead of us.


Q: Why are you running in the office? A: This is my password for El Reg

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Already solved problem

Clearly, Fry and Laurie were well ahead of their time with their approach to identification.


BOFH: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Oh dear

The BOFH, the PFY and the Boss working together. This can only end in tragedy. I wonder who for?

Yes, it's a shame that all desktops have cameras now, and that the ironic accident just happened to be in sight of at least 3 separate ones.

Why else do you think they want those USB sticks?


Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Not so fast. As I said earlier elsewhere:

1 - the fact that he had the rights to delete accounts suggests he was in the enforcement team

2 - there is nobody on the planet other than the utterly deluded who can consider Trump's account to have been operated within the bounds of the rules Twitter set themselves, so the guy was actually still doing his job.

I wish them luck in court with that one. If they try that, you will be looking at the faster crowdsourced defence fund ever established - and worse, it could dump their share price..

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Fake news

If a single Twitter employee, just one, can delete the account of a public figure with 41M followers with no checks and balances...

Someone like Trump has the visibility to get his account restored. What about a Twitter employee that deletes your account because he doesn't like your position on Star Trek vs. Star Wars?

1 - if he has those rights, he was probably part of the policy enforcement team

2 - I don't even think they can do something to that employee in court, because all he did was his job - Trump's account has been WAY over the bar they have set themselves from even before he became President..

Seems like something at Twitter is clearly broken and needs to be fixed.

The very concept of Twitter is broken as it allows broadcasting of all sorts of trash to a mass audience. That's why the Senate started talking about broadcast licenses for Twitter, Google and Facebook..

Fresh bit o' Linux to spruce up that ancient Windows Vista box? Why not, we say...

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: nice to see...

It seems that there might be a bit too much NIH going on in Ubuntuland.

YES! Now I finally know what they're shouting!

Anyone got a shrubbery?


Knock, knock? Oh, no one there? No problem, Amazon will let itself in via your IoT smart lock

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Chicken/egg

LOL. I wish I had more upvotes..

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: And let us not forget...

Be different and confuse both. Use a side door.


Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: What could possibly go wrong?

A kind of DMZ for your home if you like

I think that's presently called "a nearby Amazon delivery point", which works quite well..

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: What could possibly go RIGHT?

I think listing what could go wrong would fill a book of its own (probably never to be sold through Amazon), so let's see what is right with this idea.


No, can't think of anything. Anyone?


Stealth web crypto-cash miner Coinhive back to the drawing board as blockers move in

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: El Reg should install this tool

I block ads because safety, but I would gladly give you processing time.

Actually, that a good point. It's better than ads because users are not sucked dry for personal information and (and I guess this is the major objections from the big boys) there's no middle man to rip off a large percentage of your earnings. Even better, it's basically a click-through from everyone because it works when you're there without the need to lure eyeballs into clicking anything with any sort of deception.

You would still need to make it's the user's decision with a "do not bitcoin" sort of cookie approach, but it strikes me as a far more honest and straightforward approach. Provided, of course, we can trust the code - I see that as the main challenge.

If El Reg would do this I'd be happy to make sure that would be left unblocked.

Microsoft faces Dutch crunch over Windows 10 private data slurp

Fred Flintstone Gold badge

Re: Much a do

Nope those are not the rules. The rules simply say you have to have specific permission up front

It's a tad more sophisticated than that, but unfortunately vague enough to leave some margin for "errors" in interpretation.

You will always have to seek explicit permission (i.e. not buried in associated terms), but you may pre-tick the box if what you are gathering is not deemed "sensitive" such as contact details, i.e. a default opt-in posture is allowed.

However, when you go into details classed as "sensitive" such as health, you are no longer allowed to default to opt-in, the opt-in must be explicit too. The vagueness lies in "sensitive" because that depends on who you are, and your definition of where the "sensitive" boundary lies is likely to differ from any "gimme all your data so I can lose it" commercial recipient..

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019