* Posts by frank ly

6112 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Public Cloud makes it to Africa for the first time

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Re: Antarctic Bitbarn

It gets worse:


Crooks use WannaCrypt hysteria as hook for BT-branded phishing emails

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"Almost all are VPN users, ..."

If they were using the VPN at the time, how would VM know which website they'd looked at? Is the VPN thing irrelevant?

Mi casa es su casa: Ubuntu bug makes 'guests' anything but

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More work

"Ubuntu's default settings allow users to read other local users' files ..."

That's another bad thing but at least the 'administrator' can modify and lock down any inter-user access.

Windows 10: Triumphs and tragedies from Microsoft Build

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Re: Don't care

Is your W7 license transferable? You might want to buy a new W7 license key now to be ready for the future.

Self-driving car devs face 6-month backlog on vital $85,000 LIDAR kit

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Re: "I'll give you the answer: Yes, they have already considered that."

"... if you wanted to induce a self driving car to think an object was suddenly blocking the road to make it stop ..."

Just push a pram into the road, it would be easier than spoofing LIDAR returns. That would (should) work for human driven cars too.

Banking association calls for end of 'screen-scraping'

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"... along with extra features that your normal banking experience doesn't provide."

I'm busy so I'll let somebody else say it.

Leeds cops issue appeal for man-sized todger

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x12 too high on the size estimate?

"...white, six foot tall with a shaven head ..."

US judges say you can Google Google, but you can't google Google

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I used to binge at the weekend but I stopped it as I got older. Getting out of bed on a Monday was becoming a problem.

Shadow Brokers resurface, offer to sell fresh 'wine of month' club exploits

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Language analysis

Has anyone tried analysing their statements to see what their native language might be, based on the 'mangled grammar' of the English?

I realise that this can be faked of course (and probably is), but is it consistently incorrect and does it consistently match any other natural language grammar patterns?

Is it worth bothering to check?

Ireland to make revenge porn, cyberstalking criminal acts

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deeply ironic


At least he managed to explain the Dunning-Kruger effect. It explains a lot.

Beaten passenger, check. Dead giant rabbit, check. Now United loses cockpit door codes

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"The interim procedure is that the identity of an entrant onto the cockpit has to be cleared by someone inside before the door is opened."

'Who's that?'

'It's me, the senior stewardess, with your coffee (and a gun pressed into my back).'

NASA nixes Trump's moonshot plan

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Everything changes

"... changing the EM-1 mission, planned as an uncrewed jaunt into cislunar space between Earth and Luna, to instead carry human cargo around the moon."

So they wanted to change it from cislunar to translunar? I thought the Trump administration was very much against that sort of thing.

Japanese researchers spin up toilet paper gyroscopes for science

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No but it will tell you that you're being anal.

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Papering over the crack

"Then, the system identifies the user with the feature values.”

followed by:

"And the authors say it's privacy-protecting, ..."


Have they made sure it can deal with negative rotation values, for those people who pull too hard and then have to rewind it (or like Lae Ming above)? If not, then the software could have some kind of dump and an overflow problem so things could get wiped.

Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

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Here is a small extract from an article on Sunday:


"NHS Digital, which manages the health service cyber security, said fewer than 5% of devices within the health service still use the old system Windows XP."

Is that a reasonable figure or is it one of those special statements where they include things like stethoscopes, thermometers and blood pressure meters in the count of 'devices'?

74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

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Re: You are missing the point

Regarding patches and updates: The Independent has an interesting article:


I noticed the following:

"Speaking to Sky News, she said: “It is disappointing that they have been running Windows XP - I know that the Secretary of State for Health has instructed them not to and most have moved off it."

Also, get this:

"A former NHS trust chairman, Roy Lilley, told Sky News: “Over time, Microsoft has held us to ransom, and of course the NHS hasn't got the money to pay for it [...] "

Wow, just wow!

For now, GNU GPL is an enforceable contract, says US federal judge

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It's not a contract, it's a license. The legal difference is complicated.

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Technical Point

I thought there was an old legal principle that for a contract to exist, there had to be 'consideration'. This essentially means there has to have been some form of payment by one party that had been accepted or acknowledged by the other party. (The payment need not be money, it could be work done as part of the contract.)

When I download some GPL software, there has been no 'consideration' between myself and the rights-holder so I'm wondering how there can be a legally binding contract between us. There is of course my implied acceptance of the licensing terms of the GPL.

Is American law different as regards 'consideration'?

UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

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"... it also meant that the Trust’s telephone system is not able to accept incoming calls."

Is that because they use VoIP?

"My wife is a GP and their systems were just shut down ..."

Is there not local storage and caching for local patient data? Either it's not very resilient or this is a massive attack.

Sweaty fitness bands fall behind as Apple Watch outpaces sales

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Re: Quick question

Perhaps if you were less cynical and less negative and less judgemental, you might make and keep friends who were modern and truly cool who could help you to get with the zeitgeist and understand the new fitness paradigm.

Space upstart plans public cloud in low Earth orbit

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A computing Network ....

.... in the sky. In the sky, there will be a network. What shall we call it?

Secure email service builds newsletter bomb defences after attack pummels their inbox

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"... and other things that people have signed up to and don't just want blocked and binned, but also don't want flooding their inbox and making it hard to find regular emails."

That's what your 'crapmail' account is for. Don't people know they can have more than one email account (and more than one crapmail account)?

UK General Election 2017: How EU law will hit British politicians' Facebook fight

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A question

"The Data Protection Act clearly requires processing of data to take place in countries and using data processors that comply with EU Data Protection principles."

Is that one of those tyranical foreign impositions that will be swept away by the glorious Brexit? (That's a genuine question. The cynicism is just my natural state.)

Android O-mg. Google won't kill screen hijack nasties on Android 6, 7 until the summer

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I'm an Android user

"The first time the app tries to pop open an overlay, and SYSTEM_ALERT_WINDOW permission isn't granted, you'll be asked if you're OK with the intrusion. .....

.....Users wouldn't or didn't know how to enable access so the application wouldn't work properly."

Am I really that stupid?

Fake ruse: USA Today calls the FBI after half of its 15m Facebook Likes turn out to be bogus

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"Maribel Wadsworth, USA Today's SVP and chief transformation officer ...."

I imagine her making sure that staff members know how to properly turn into vampires and werewolves, etc.

Realistic Brits want at least 3 security steps on bank accounts

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Re: Like Razors ...

You are so behind the times.


What augmented reality was created for: An ugly drink with a balloon

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practical consideration

"... preferred to send their own children downstairs ..."

They can move fast and low. With a short, sharpened iron bar they're ideally placed to break shins or stab delicate areas. If they get carried away and use lethal force then they can't be prosecuted (if they're young enough).

Linux homes for Ubuntu Unity orphans: Minty Cinnamon, GNOME or Ubuntu, mate?

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Re: Why?

Another characteristic of a distro that might influence the choice, especially for a newcomer, would be software install/update managers and driver managers. Mint tends to be very supportive and hand holding in this area whereas Debian is a bit barebones.

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I wonder what '.deb' means. Does anyone know?

Industrial plant robots frequently connected to the 'net without authentication

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"Five years ago all this would have come as a nasty shock ..."

Ten years ago, I was asking why a very large site HVAC system was connected to the internet and I was told that it made it easier for the supplier to monitor it and issue corrective commands if anything went wrong. One of the supplier enginners told me that, "just for curiosity", he'd checked if he could still access a pumping station in Spain that he'd worked on a few years previously. He said that he could, from his own home, but that he'd logged out before testing if he could change its operating parameters.

The situation seemed to be normal then and is probably still regarded as normal among many 'cultures' now.

Fortran greybeards: Get your walking frames and shuffle over to NASA

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Re: A portion of US$55,000?

"... improved CFD will flow on to the rest of the aerospace industry, helping design more fuel-efficient, lower-emission aircraft."

And a percentage of the cost savings?

Windows 10 S forces Bing, Edge on your kids. If you don't like it, get Win10 Pro – Microsoft

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Re: Windows 7

"... eleventy million varieties ..."

It's a bit like coffee. The basics are the same and you can make it as complicated and fancy as you want, or not.

Can you spout digital bollocks? London is hiring a Chief Digital Officer

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"interest-free bicycle loan"

Is that the loan of a bicycle that nobody else is interested in?

Rejoice, for Linux 4.11 has been delivered!

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"Wacom tablets are now supported ..."

That must be an improvement to Wacom tablet support because my Wacom Intuos tablet has been supported, out of the box with no setup needed, for a long time.

40,000 Tinder pics scraped into big data service

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Side issue

"(that is, if you find a suitcase stuffed with banknotes, you're don't get to keep it, you have to try and find the owner)."

Do you _have to_ try to find the owner or can you just walk on by because you have better things to do with your time?

Secure Boot booted from Debian 9 'Stretch'

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I've been running Stretch for a month now and I'm very happy with it. I recommend you try the RC netinstall installation. I do a manual update every week and that will merge me seamlessly into the official release when it happens. After running Mint for four years, the transition was painless. It doesn't have the hand-holding Software Manager but I don't need that anymore.

Just delete the internet – pr0n-blocking legislation receives Royal Assent

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Re: The Ruling Class

Thank you for that. I'll fire up my VPN and go looking for it.

Another career suicide as reporter leaves The Register for broadcaster

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You get to write your own sub-headings for your final article?

Good luck and please try to bring some knowledge and intellectual rigour to your new environment.

Flatpak and Snaps aren't destined for graveyard of failed Linux tech yet

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Re: Distro value-add

For about a year now, the GIMP 2.8 application in Debian and dependent distros, such as Ubuntu and Mint, has had a fault that causes it to freeze and lock up if you try to perform a cage transform. This is because the Debian people used the wrong version of the cegl library when they compiled the GIMP source code. This has been pointed out in various bug reports for some time.

I got around the problem by using the PPA of a main GIMP developer to install the 2.9 development version. A less easy way would have been for me to compile it myself using the correct library version. So, having a well known and respected distro is no guarentee that things will be looked after properly.

In case you're wondering, Debian 9 (Stretch RC) still has this problem with GIMP 2.8.

Also, for about a year, the Mint distro has had a faulty version of IDJC and I did have to compile a later version from source code so that I could have a working version. Debian 9 has the later correctly working version and this should eventually work its way into Ubuntu and Mint.

RSS-Owl simply will not normally work because the standard libraries have advanced while it has stood still. I know how to 'fake it' using symbolic links so I'm ok for now, until the standard libraries become totally unsuitable. A standalone version would be a nice thing to have.

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Re: You could of course have the same advantages _much_ simpler...

It does bring security advantages due to the sandboxing - provided this is done well of course.

At the moment, I have a few applications that are stand-alone, either as executables in a directory of their own library resources or as an Appimage file. For whatever reason, I trust the providers and they haven't borked my computer yet or stolen my personal data (as far as I'm aware).

Australian Federal Police accessed metadata without warrant, broke law

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Smoke and mirrors

“If anything the public should have confidence we have found this breach, ..."

I wonder if they did this deliberately to show how honest they are.

NATO secures adoption of submerged drone data comms standard

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Joint Alliance Nautical Underwater Signals?

Getting all 28 countries to agree on the details is quite an achievement.

iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

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Does anyone remember ...

Apricot Computers?

For the won: Korean DRAMmer llamas SK Hynix earning buckets

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That's a ding-dong of a title

(Leaving quickly but quietly.)

Jimbo announces Team Wikipedia: 'Global News Police'

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“who stole the custard?”

Surely it's "who's looking after the custard?"

Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

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Re: How times change..

It's Foss so fork it, strip out the Gimp branding and artwork, put your own in and have your own application to impress your friends with. You could call it Paint Imagination My Program or something.

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Nemo ... Files ... pah!

Caja is the only one worth using. It carries the (old) Nautilus torch and carries it well.

What's that? ... You disagree with me? .. Then it will be pistols at dawn!

Have we got a new, hip compound IT phrase for you! Enter... UserDev

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"Turned out that some invoice adjustments were done using a PDF editor on the invoice itself rather than by changing the finance system and generating a new bill..."

That one showed you a potentially serious security problem.

Ambient light sensors can steal data, says security researcher

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Light Show

Reading the first link......

It works by converting the display to a black and white image and then filling the screen with one pixel at a time so it can monitor the state of the pixel from the light that leaks onto it from the display. This works, as noted, but in practice it would be very obvious that something strange was happening.

PACK YOUR BAGS! Boffins spot Earth-size planet most likeliest yet to harbor alien life

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Known to El Reg readers as ...

... the Deja Vu Planet. (You had to have been there, earlier today.)

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