* Posts by Number6

2163 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Facebook bug spills name and pic for all 500 million users


What email address?

I use a unique-to-Facebook email address so I don't think anyone would manage to guess it. Even if they do, the picture isn't of me.

Nothing succeeds like XSS


Seeing what goes on

If nothing else, NoScript is good at showing what a page would like to do. The one on which I'm typing now would like to run scripts from quantserv, google-analytics and googleadservices, for example.

It highlights some good security holes - if you run it with Verified by Visa, it jumps up and down and gets all excited, and I bumped into my first (fairly harmless but annoying) clickjacking attempt earlier this week. I tend to use Google to look up domain names, and most of the ones I don't know are related to tracking services so they hit the block list fairly quickly. It is a pain to set up, but as the list of permanent inclusions and exclusions builds up, it's less of an issue. However, Joe Public would most likely allow everything through because he doesn't know how to tell what's good or bad, which defeats the purpose.

Attack reads smudges to retrieve Android password patterns


This is a title

Smudges are the reason I dislike touch screens. The old resistive one with a stylus (a la P800) was OK, but had the inconvenience of a stylus (although I never actually lost one), but had the advantage of reading handwriting. I remember an early touch-screen HP oscilloscope where any time someone attempted to point to some feature of the trace, a menu would pop up to obscure it.

I have an E71 phone, keyboard safely separate from the screen, although wear and tear on the keys would probably give away passwords on that.

Tory MP's email fail stirs up bloggo-fury


I did...

Just before the last election I emailed my MP to thank him for his assistance in a matter and expressing regret that I wasn't able to vote for him this time around (not quite that bad, we had a boundary change...)

How an ancient printer can spill your most intimate secrets


Who needs sound?

You don't need sound to monitor a dot matrix printer remotely - plenty of electromagnetic radiation from the print head drivers and it probably goes through windows and walls better as well. Even inkjet and laser printers, especially those in plastic cases, will probably radiate well enough to reveal their output to a suitably-equipped remote listener.

UK.gov finally kills ContactPoint


The End

Goodbye, ContactPoint, you will not be missed.

Want to use WD diagnostics? Buy Windows


Another one down

I guess I've bought my last WD drive then if they can't provide support if you're not running Windows. They can join Fujitsu on my list of hard disk suppliers to avoid.

UK.gov smiles and nods at commentards


Non-reciprocal law of consultations

If they agree with the government point of view then all well and good and the government gets a pat on the back for being in tune with the people. If the consultation opposes the government view it's all the work of an orchestrated campaign by a minority pressure group whose opinion is unrepresentative of the majority.


Politicians are there to give us the illusion of choice

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=159216125164 is worth watching. A bit sweary in places if you're at work or near children, but all seasoned conspiracy theorists will nod knowingly.

Satnav leaves family stranded in Outback for three days


Wrong part of the country

Now if they'd been travelling to Darwin then AC might have a point.

Data.gov.uk chief admits transparency concerns



It doesn't matter too much if most people don't understand the data, there will be enough people around who are prepared to interpret it who are not seen as government lackeys. The important thing is that it is freely available.

Churchill's dentures go under the hammer


Little bits

If they're under the hammer, won't that risk breaking them?

Smart meters pose hacker kill-switch risk, warn boffins


In Case of Emergency...

A pair of very insulated and thick jump leads to bypass the hacked component. If the Safety Elf turns up, hand him one end of each lead while you go to remove the other ends...

Police force more suspects to give up crypto keys



Take your file, XOR it with the contents of War and Peace, hand the output to the police as a key. When they XOR it with your original file they'll get something intelligible.

The one-time pad using a truly random key is still unbreakable without the key, given that other apparent keys can be generated in the trivial manner above. Of course, your key is the same size as the original file so you'll need to hide it somewhere they can't find it.

Perhaps we need a random data club - every day, everyone in the club sends a file of random data to another club member - I believe there is someone in the US who does this already.


Not Quite

I'm sure Phil would agree with me when I point out that it is quite possible that 'they' have cracked PGP, but haven't bothered telling us about it.

Brigitte Bardot demands flying donkey action



Do we get to nominate the donkey? Does it have to have four legs?

Serpent imprisons rattled Yorkshire family


Oh dear

I saw a snake in my garden the other day with '7483' marked on its back. I knew immediately that it was an adder.

US legalizes jailbroken iPhones


Battery Charging

I see they claim that unsafe battery charging is possible, which implies that they aren't using a dedicated hardware chip for the job but handling it in software. Does anyone with a detailed tear-down of an iPhone to hand know whether it's got a proper charger chip?

Cutbacks strip speed cameras from Blighty's roads


Reversion to the mean

There are probably a small number of places that might really justify a camera, but most of the 'accident black spots' are just statistical blips and would have improved their accident rate over the following year or so regardless of whether a camera was installed or not. It's all part of the nanny state that wants to monitor us as much as possible and make sure we never, ever transgress from the approved line.

Fortunately, the new government appears to be a breath of fresh air, blowing the nanny state out of all sorts of areas, either directly or, as in this case, indirectly. I wonder if they'll clobber the ANPR system as well?

Mozilla tames Firefox tab monster with Candy


Lateral Thinking

Having though about it, with modern displays, there's plenty of width and not much height (especially on netbooks), so having tabs in a panel to the left (or right) of the main window, with a scroll bar, would probably be good enough. You could get a significant number of them there without impacting much, and then rearrange them into groups if you so desire.

The Wrath of Jobs' latest victim: Motorola


More power needed

The Reality Distortion Field is struggling and needs more power to overcome the facts.

London bike hire scheme suffers pre-launch wobbles



It's marginally more accountable than the old Cambridge attempt, but I wonder how many of the bikes will still be there and in good working order by Christmas?

The Sun saves parasailing donkey's ass


Job Offer

No doubt the Sun will offer the donkey a job as a journalist or even a sub-editor, given that it's a proven high-flier.

Country plods still not carrying mobile data devices



Copper networking is so yesterday. The future is in fibre networking.

C&W issues profit warning on public sector cuts


Pining for the F-Gords

It's not dead, just sleeping. It could be back in five years.

HTC Wildfire Android smartphone



Resistive screens are often not as sharp as a capacitive screen, it's all in the optical properties of the screen itself. However, it's possible to screw up a capacitive screen if you get your ITO patterns wrong.

I did like the old P800 (and indeed, I've still got one that works) and the interface on that - must have been one of the earlier examples of the touch-screen, including the little plastic keyboard that fitted over part of the screen and activated it when the buttons were pressed, for those who weren't quite with the concept.


But what about RF Power Control?

Does it have fingertip RF power control like the iPhone4?

Mine's the one with the missing bars.

Treasury pulls plug on Wiki-cutback site


Look in the box

Preferably a blue one, with a flashing light on top and the word "Police" on in. There's your alien of superior intelligence.

French website surrenders on Bastille Day


Authentic French Experience

"major promotional tool of France's image abroad"

Well, you have to admit it's managing an accurate portrayal of the stereotype so far then.

Government's sh*tty-Wiki sh*ts bed


What do you expect?

It is a government IT project, after all.

Job sites slam domain name land grab


I'm surprised...

That Apple haven't yet demanded control of the TLD.

So long then, Windows 2000


XP Theme

I don't know if it dates me, but I always associated the XP default theme with the final sequence of Doom. Just don't turn around...


Change the Theme

My solution on every Windows XP machine I've used is to change the desktop theme to Windows Classic with a cyan-ish uniform background colour. Same look and feel all the way.

My father is still running Win2K on his home machine and I've just about persuaded him that next time I'm there, I'll upgrade him to Linux because it'll do just about everything he wants (email, web and a bit of word processing) and that'll save him having to pay for Win7 and new hardware on which to run it (his machine is old, but not worth upgrading for the amount of time he uses it).

Cable lays plan for graduate tax


The icon sums it up

A tax is a bad idea, it has no limits and can be abused by future governments who think that graduates are cash cows. At least with a loan you know you've paid it off and the government isn't going to screw you for even more.

Get your degree and emigrate, avoid the tax altogether.

NHS loses massive Microsoft licensing rebate


Not just Internet Explorer...

But most likely the wonderful, much loved IE6. Sounds like an ideal time and an ideal excuse to finally ditch it and have the apps written properly.

Oh wait, I forgot. We're broke.


Ending in Tears

Isn't this what we were saying at the time, that it was just a means to draw the NHS in to make it ever harder for them to move to an alternative solution? Time to bite the bullet, Mr Lansley, and ditch MS for a cheaper alternative. Yes, it will hurt short-term, but the savings will come over the following years.

Plus we'd see less headlines about various bits of the NHS being brought down by a virus or leaking data via a compromised machine (can't do much about the CD on the train though).

Loons speak brains on gov Treasury crowdsource site


Laws and Freedom

I think there are only two laws worth adding - the first limits the number of laws allowed, so that once it's reached they have to scrap an old one to add a new one, the second is to put a best-before-date on all legislation, so that after 5/10/20 years it expires unless debated and approved for an extension by both Houses of Parliament. This would eventually achieve the first aim, when they're spending all their time renewing old laws and don't have time to create new ones.

Double whammy: The music tax based on deep packet inspection


Page is Correct

If I end up paying towards an ISP levy to cover filesharing then you can bet I'll join the party and benefit from some of what I'm paying for.

It's a bit like the threat to tax people on work-provided car park spaces in a misguided attempt to discourage people from driving to work - if I'm paying for it then I'm going to get the maximum benefit from the space and drive to work every day, rather than use the bike if it's a nice day.

Mobile broadband: not up to the job?


You've got mobile broadband

I'm lucky to get a decent 2G signal at home, no sign of 3G. One has to drive some distance before a decent 3G signal appears.

I did have a telco sales droid call and try to sell me a 3G dongle, which I turned down because (a) I have a smart phone that does most of what I want and (b) their data coverage is crap and not worthy of spending money. Hopefully the feedback was passed up the line but I doubt it, he probably just moved on to the next call and forgot about me.

Apple iPhone forums gripped by deleted thread paranoia


Answer the Question

Looking at the missive from Apple Central, the obvious work-around is for one person to ask a question about the antenna and for another to post all the information as an answer to it. Ts&Cs complied with...

Ambulance radios don't like the rain


The Nature of Radio

Lots of radio kit doesn't work too well in buildings, and generally the higher the frequency, the worse it gets. It shouldn't be too surprising that a UHF radio suffers a bit with a few walls between it and the base station, especially if there are also other buildings in the vicinity to add their walls to the attentuating circumstances.

Hillier appeals to transgender community to save ID cards


Wrong way round

Labour did it the other way, policy-based evidence making.

Consumer Reports: 'We were wrong about the iPhone 4'


Not just any tape...

No doubt there will be a piece of Apple Approved tape in a suitable colour scheme that will blend in with the overall look-and-feel user experience.

Cotswold police stage panty ID parade


Identity Failure

I idly clicked on the "Bras" tag at the bottom of the article and found 25 articles, including at least one that had nothing to do with airbag restraint (I didn't look at all of them).

I'm not even sure this article is directly relevant, otherwise the title would have made mention of an iden-titty parade. It would have been appropriate, given that it occurred in Bustage.

'Holland wins World Cup' declares CBSNews



Perhaps the reported confused yellow cards and goals? If so, the Dutch won by a mile.

Child protection campaigners claim hollow victory over Facebook


Nanny State - so last year

Perhaps we need a bit of parental responsibility and education instead of silly buttons that just go to boost the egos of vested interests and add no practical value.

The state has demonstrated that it puts its own interests above yours, so learn to care for yourself and your family and don't expect them to do it for you.

Mother faked ID to 'disappear' child from school waiting list



Was the child put back on the list once the fraud came to light?

Blizzard exposes real names on WoW forums


Consistent ID

I have two or three on-line identities, but they are kept apart and in a particular forum I'll always use the same one. Some date back over fifteen years and so in some ways are better known than if I did post with my full name. There are too many nutters out there to necessarily trust my full details to the wilder parts of the net although they're available for those who look hard enough

I am not a number, etc.

BBC chief acknowledges DAB flop & internet radio


Internet Radio == Good

Only last night I was up in the loft space running a CAT5 cable to the bedroom for an internet radio. This morning I was woken by the clear sound of voices from my local BBC radio station, instead of the crackly hiss that my previous bedside alarm radio could manage (and which got worse when the CFL bedside light was on).

As for DAB, no chance.

Brighton NIMBYs complain over BT broadband upgrades



Yes please, BT, come and install one in our village. Your current box blends in well with the bushes and trees behind it and I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd welcome a decent broadband speed. Why waste your time and money on the whingers when rural communities would benefit far more?

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