* Posts by Paul 87

143 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009


GDPR: Four letters that put fear into firms' hearts in 2018

Paul 87

Interesting thought exercise, if, by means of automatically inferred location data, a company targets you for special offers via adverts, could you argue that the decision making process harms another person by virtue of them not meeting the criteria, and therefore the decision made automatically and with no oversight, isn't permitted under GDPR?

Could kill off the entire targeted ads business once and for all

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

Paul 87

Despite having an entirely blank location history in my downloaded data, no app installed for the past 5 years, and repeatedly detagging, removing any check ins etc. Facebook is still able to serve up "Amber Alerts" in an approximate location.

All because it has kept and retained over 10 years worth of IP address history, which apparently can't be deleted.

So yeah, they're lying assholes

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

Paul 87

Doom was what started me on learning IT skills. From hacking a monochrome screen 386 work laptop to run the shareware version, to getting my parents to buy a top of the line PC where I eventually cut my teeth learning to install and configure Windows after installing OS/2 by accident.

The level creator, especially for Doom 2, was a big influence in trying to understand just how computers worked, as much as it was having to auto-compress files to save HDD space via batch scripts or reconfigure config.sys and autoexec.bat after games like System Shock and Dark Forces with their more demanding profiles

'My entire company is without comms': Gamma's Horizon cloud PBX goes DOWN

Paul 87

Think this has highlighted a serious design flaw in their infrastructure

Not that the failure happens, I meant we all know that IT can and will fail at the worst moments, but it comes as no surprise that service was finally restored after 5pm. Strongly suspect that the system coming back up took a lot longer than expected because everyone kept trying and trying to use the network, but come 5pm, the volume of calls drops, the number of phone restart attempts stops, and the system gets breathing room to come back up.

Paul 87

Plus side, our partner company has been pretty helpful in ensuring updates on progress (or the lack thereof) are going out.

Microsoft lobs Windows 10, Server Oct 2018 update at world (minus file-nuking 'feature') after actually doing some testing

Paul 87

It's exactly this kind of reason as to why I was so resistant to the Windows 10 concept in the first place. Had no choice but to end up using it due to work, and Linux isn't really an option due to a lack of desire to fight with every Windows game I want to install

However it does concern me that there's little to know repecussion for Microsoft, they can't even lose sales because they're basically giving it away....

Big Tech turns saboteur to cripple new California privacy law in private

Paul 87

Maybe they should put less effort into fighting this and more effort into giving their platform sufficient value that we'd actually hand over money for their product?

Also, much like GDPR achieved very little other than some even more intrusive pop ups and slower site loading times, the net effect of this bill will be negligable. Very few people care about their privacy

ZX Spectrum reboot scandal biz gets £35k legal costs delayed

Paul 87

The comments in court do seem to indicate that some of the people present shouldn't have agreed to be a Director for the company as they had no idea of their legal and personal responsibilities that comes with the role!

Hi-de-Hack! Redcoats red-faced as Butlin's holiday camp admits data breach hit 34,000

Paul 87

It's easy to call people numptys and other names for clicking on malware links but it's all too easily done.

IT security should be built on the assumption that humans are dumb, and will click things without thinking.

What matters now is whether or not Bourne Leisure responds properly to this, whether they can justify the data they're holding and if they take steps to prevent the same issue occuring.

What if tech moguls brewed real ale?

Paul 87

Black Screen of Death

ABV 12% - A double brewed Imperial stout with notes of smoked oats, dispair and a smooth nutty finish. Leaves a lingering aftertaste of panic.

Best followed by a pint of Reboot, or if taste lingers, NewMachine

Nostalgic social network 'Timehop' loses data from 21 million users

Paul 87

Well someone wants to test the domino effect on GDPR early on, let's see whether Facebook, Twitter, or their cloud provider end up with liability for either not letting keys die, or for not enforcing 2fa on an account of that size

When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

Paul 87

Scenarios like this are why when you plan a business case using the cloud, you have to ask what's your backup plan, and your exit stratergy.

Serverless Computing London: Time running out on blind bird tickets

Paul 87

£600 seriously?

Is this some kind of price tag designed to further the "old boys" network approach to IT?

Sure, dedicated training sessions might top £1000, but we're looking at an event that is an opportunity to go and pay even more money, to get that dedicated training.

I think I'll spend that money on a few training sessions and exams

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Paul 87

I've had 5 pairs of Sophos socks so far, they've been sending one for each new customer we add.

For what it's worth they're pretty comfy, with weird designs and made from 75% Sweat wicking acrylic, 15% nylon 10% pokyester and 1% unicorn hair

The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Paul 87

It's pretty clear from the evidence that the guy is guilty of counterfitting, even though what he copied was a product freely given away. If he hadn't copied the logo's onto the disc and made it much clearer what it was, there wouldn't even be a case

Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush

Paul 87

Won't lie, I spent 3 days with my Windows 10 laptop at work learning powershell commands to strip out all the unnecessary bloatware that came with it. Utterly ridiculous that a work machine has no option or choices on what to install

Uber: Ah yeah, we pay women drivers less than men. We can explain!

Paul 87

This is where there's a huge difference between equality and equity, on paper Uber pays men and women the same hourly rate, for the same journey. Great.

However, as their analysis shows, there's factors that cause a gender pay gap to be present, which include time spent driving (likely due to domestic demands), trips picked up (men doing more to game the system) and it wouldn't surprise me if mem worked more unsocialable hours than women too.

All of this combines to factors which if you want true equity between the genders, meaning women need to get paid more per trip.

You publish 20,000 clean patches, but one goes wrong and you're a PC-crippler forever

Paul 87

Communication is the real issue

Every software vendor is going to have these cockups, where Malwarebytes let me down was there was no obvious place to get information, and no communication via the account email or the patching mechanism to acknowledge the problem or that it'd been fixed

So yeah, fuck ups happen, but lack of proactive communication is what costs you customers

Google Chrome ad-blocking to begin in February – but what is it going to block?

Paul 87

There's no way this feature will survive, it's an entire anti-trust lawsuit waiting to happen for an abuse of monopoly, linking their pre-installed browser product with ad-blocking when they also sell adverts.

New Capita system has left British Army recruits unable to register online

Paul 87

For all the people wondering what went wrong, they've probably never implemented a core process piece of business software using an "off the shelf" product. It gets even more complicated when dealing with large organisations because often the points of contact tend to be the lighrer process users rather than the day to day people, and even if you do talk to the right people, humans tend to miss details out like Active / Reservist distinctions

Google sued by Gab over Play Store booting

Paul 87

Legally, it's an intresting lawsuit, whether a company offering a platform which they totally control, and effectively dominates their market, has to consider "public interest" and offer out rights to their platform to any non-illegal use.

Stand up who HASN'T been hit in the Equifax mega-hack – whoa, whoa, sit down everyone

Paul 87

Stock sell off

Surely the stock sell off is the very definition of insider trading? Dumping a load of it right before you release a public report which any idiot knows would negatively affect the share price

UK.gov job ads entice IT bods with promise they will be OUTSIDE IR35

Paul 87

Here's a related question, why on earth are people employed under the gig economy not subject to IR-35 rules when 90% or more of the criteria matches how their self employed contracts work?

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Paul 87

Re: If you are forced into Windows 10

Jeez, how many different fecking ways have they built into this OS to sell your info

In any case, it looks like it's time to buy up a stock of 6th gen chips and Win 7 and 8 discs.

Security slip-ups in 1Password and other password managers 'extremely worrying'

Paul 87

Always argued that all a password manager does is shift the risks of a single account being breached into the risk that *all* of your accounts being breached.

The root and branch password methodology is still the best option to memorising longer passwords, and failing that, write them down on a piece of paper that's not kept near your PC and doesn't reference the services the passwords link to.

AWS's S3 outage was so bad Amazon couldn't get into its own dashboard to warn the world

Paul 87

It's terrifying that we've gone from a network designed to survive nuclear attack without loss of communication, to a situation whereby a single company's IT failures affects tens of millions of people.

Whilst you can argue that the majority of the disruption is, in the scheme of things, minor, the IoT is pointing towards a lot more serious issues further down the line. Imagine what could happen if say, self driving trucks relied on AWS for back end updates of road closures, and due to a crash, couldn't be notified of temporary road closures, nor updated to signal that they should park up.

One ad-free day: Three UK to block adverts across network in June

Paul 87

As much as I loathe adverts on the internet, any network level blocking is a bad thing, it's censorship plain and simple, whether it's blocking advertising, or blocking access to the news, no network provider should be making this kind of decision.

Just because they can, doesn't mean they should.

Also, why do they have the right to experiment on us as customers, we pay for a service, and suddenly they're removing a portion of it, without our consent. What's to stop them doing this again in the future with say, Netflix?

Microsoft wants to lock everyone into its store via universal Windows apps, says game kingpin

Paul 87

It's an absolutely horrific thought, that may well be the death of PC gaming if it comes to pass. Either developers will be making games for UWP, or they won't be selling enough copies to justify the development of the top rated titles.

We can only hope that this gets crushed in it's infancy, either by an anti-trust lawsuit for an abuse of monopoly, or by the game studios themselves chosing to support the PS4 and normal PC instead.

The Register reveals SAP’s very own version of Black Friday

Paul 87

Work for a company selling ERP solutions to the SME market, whilst we only run into SAP on our occasional larger deals, we hear stories about the way having our quote gets SAP to drop their prices by substantial amounts, and asking us, despite being a cheaper product initally by the same %

White House to Feds: Stop buying new PCs, laptops right now

Paul 87

Bets that the standardisation doesn't save any money long term and instead makes everyone have slower machines than previously available?

Sprint sprints away from no-throttle policy – punishes 'unlimited' network hoggers

Paul 87

Users don't necessarily want unlimited because it's unlimited, they want unlimited because they want a standard bill each month that doesn't vary, thus making it easier to budget for.

For example, as a home user who doesn't torrent, but does make use of both Steam and Netflix, it's not impossible for our monthly home usage, over 5 devices, to hit 300G/bit a month. If we had to pay per G/bit downloaded, it'd be impossible to track our household budget, especially at the rate most providers consider reasonable.

Three mobile data network GOES TITSUP across Blighty

Paul 87

Been down here near Hemel Hempstead since 9am. Have seen some comments where peolle have been told it'll be at least 4 hours to restore so bets on it being bad DNS / ipv6 deployment?

Windows 10: Buy cheap, buy twice, right? Buy FREE ... buy FOREVER

Paul 87

Microsoft is already making money from Windows 10 thanks to the sheer volume of data that they're able to harvest from users machines, and the direct tie-in to Bing as an advertising platform. You're an idiot to believe that you'll ever be able to fully prevent Windows 10 from phoning home unless you use the machine totally offline or cripple the functionality by blocking the network access.

British banks consider emoji as password replacement

Paul 87

The maths isn't too hard to verify, your combinations of pin numbers should be 10 x 9 x 9 x 9 (since you can start with 10 digits but then cannot pick the same number as the one before it) giving 7290

For more characters then, you do increase your number of permutations to be 44 x 43 x 43 x 43 = 3498308

So they claim that their method increases the numberofpermutations by a factor of 480 (not 480 more as that implies 7770 permutations)

Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht to spend LIFE in PRISON without parole

Paul 87

Life without the possibilry of parole is a cruel punishment and undermines the entire concept of a liberal justice system centred on reforming criminals into useful members of society. It's also a complete waste of taxpayers money, you're spending a few hundred thousand dollars a year for 40+ years on someone who will never be able to repay their debt to society.

New Windows 10 will STAGGER to its feet, says Microsoft OS veep

Paul 87

I'm going to bet that within 1 year of Win10 release to PC's, they'll be an attack technique or virus which exploits the personal assistant code to act as a keylogger. After all they've already built that feature into the software for MS's use during testing and they'd never just strip it out.

Facebook serves up shaved, pierced, tattooed 'butterfly' as CAPTCHA

Paul 87

Chances are as well the photo live(d) on someone's Facebook account without proper security settings and thus got grabbed up when FB searched for images close to being a butterfly

UK.gov can't get farmers onto its Verify service – even to claim subsidies

Paul 87

They made a mistake in the press statement. It should have read

"GOV.Verify is an exciting new way to get you to voluntarily input all your personal details into a central database, which replacements the ID card scheme that got rejected out of hand. We're keen to ensure that every member of the British public is registered so that when we lose the data through Ministerial cock-ups, everyone will be equally disadvantaged

We hope that you embrace the exciting future where soon, your entire digital lives will be collated in a central location at our secure facility in Cheltenham"

Basic minimum income is a BRILLIANT idea. Small problem: it doesn't work as planned

Paul 87

This is why we're better off with the current approach, increase the tax free allowance for everyone, so that instead of being given money for nothing, you instead get to keep more of the money that you earn in the first place. It also greatly reduces any associated administration costs with redistributing the money.

The flip side is that social security should be just that, a safety net for when your life goes to hell in all sorts of unexpected ways, of course there's corruption, people who play the system for their own benefit (pun intended!) but despite media reports they're a minority.

O2 notifies data cops 'for courtesy' ... AFTER El Reg intervenes in email phish dustup

Paul 87

Judging from the number of texts and calls you get from different companies around contract renewal time, it wouldn't surprise me if all mobile opperators sell the commercial data to "trusted" third parties. Said "trusted" third parties then sell it on to other companies and eventually it reaches the hands of someone willing to sell it to scammers.

Unfortunately there's fuck all you can do about it other than refuse to use the services and not provide the information in the first place. Companies are required by law in most places to maximise profits, and thus are compelled to sell your data if the opportunity arises.

Makes me wonder if we shouldn't start organising a campaign to poison these data pools with false information and drive the value down. Register loads of changes of name, address details etc.


Paul 87

I don't understand thw rush to put this technology in a phone. Do people really want to hold their £100+ device, and risk it being knocked or snatched from their hand as they do so, or dropped and being damaged.

At least with a card it's not the end of the world if it gets stolen, a phone represents infinitely more hassle to replace.

That said, don't trust NFC personally, the lack of contact means you cannot control which card is used and the range can easily be boosted to a couple of metres or more.

Plusnet customers SWAMPED by spam but BT-owned ISP dismisses data breach claims

Paul 87

Doesn't have to be a hack per-se (as in data stolen), could be that their billing server's email routing software was tricked into sending the spam.

Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’

Paul 87

So, £4m, to service 10,000 over 5 years.

That's on average 7.9 people per working day, at a cost of £3200 ish a day, or £400 per person served.

Seems a load of bollocks really.

Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER

Paul 87

Macbook Air: So thin you can use it as a razor!

Coming soon, Macbook Air Duo for twice the closeness

IT blokes: would you say that lewd comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

Paul 87

Don't know what's worse, that you had to put up with people acting like jerks, or that none of their colleagues slapped them down for acting that way. There's a world of difference between crude jokes and innuendo to shoving a picture of your anatomy in someone's face.

Working in a gender balanced IT team, sure, we all have a laugh and at times, there's sexual humour, but on the rare occasions where someone makes another person feel uncomfortable, the rest of the team makes sure that it's put a stop to.

To me, that's where you draw the line, if you make someone else feel uncomfortable, upset or hurt their feelings, then it's stopped being a joke.

Shame more people don't know that really...

VC who wants to split California REVEALED as Silk Road Bitcoin slurper

Paul 87

Still amazes me that US citizens accept a law in place which allows the seizure and sale of goods based on someone accused of commiting a crime, before that person is even convicted.

Remaining Snowden docs will be released to avert 'unspecified US war' – ‪Cryptome‬

Paul 87

Do we need to know every little thing that the "government" choses to do in our name? I don't think that's the case, there are things which happen which quite frankly, I don't want to know the details about because I don't want to worry about the things which are stopped from happening.

Do I think that we also need more transparency on the subject, yes, but also bearing in mind that only a fool believes that the Internet, a tool designed to share, gather and collate information is private. If I want to keep something a secret, I don't publish it online, and heck, if I can avoid it, I don't put it on a computer at all, because that's just basic uncommon sense.

In fact, I'd go as far to say as that we have more to fear from what is undertaken by private companies than government agencies, precisely because they do have a greater level of oversight and morals which are stronger than "Well can we get sued for this and if we do get sued, do we make more money than we're likely to lose"

D-Wave disputes benchmark study showing sluggish quantum computer

Paul 87

So basically, bad code causes slowdowns?

Who'd have thought it!

The cute things they say

Paul 87

Qualifying this as an IT story because it took place on a software package (hey, it's a less tenuous link than some of the articles on here!)

Client: Ok, so we've invoiced the same shipment three times and given them to the customer

Support: Since you've given them to the customer, they're a legal document, you'll need to issue a credit note for two of the invoices

Client: I can't do that, only one's been paid, I can't issue a credit note if the invoices are unpaid

Support: No, you'll be issuing the credit note's to pay off the two invoices

Client: No, I'm telling you, I can't issue a credit note if the invoice isn't paid.

Support: Why not?

Client: Well every time I issue a credit note, it asks if I want to generate a refund, I can't refund him if he hasn't paid.

Support: Sir, why don't you click no when asked if you want to refund him?

Client: I can do that?

Support: Yes, why do you think it asks Yes or No

Client: oh... bye!

Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

Paul 87

Wonder what the percentage of malware on a per capita basis is instead, rather than a nebulous "99% of malware in the mobile sector is for Android"

However one telling statistic there is the number of users which get an upgraded OS, Android manufacturers are lagging behind on getting updates deployed, a fact I'm sure not assisted by the sheer number of different devices on the market.


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