* Posts by Adrian 4

564 posts • joined 18 Jul 2009

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On last day as president, Obama's CIO shrouds future .gov websites in secret code

Adrian 4
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From a story in the Reg's related list :

"Additionally, Hourclé warns of the effect the policy may have on those without computers at home, as many public institutions which offer internet access are mandated to filter it by state or local laws and may block HTTPS entirely."

So will we have the situation where you can't use web access in a public library to connect to a government website ?

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Rap for crap WhatsApp trap flap: Yack yack app claptrap slapped

Adrian 4
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Re: That's carefully avoiding another few issues, though

Denying access to contacts isn't very useful for these communication apps. What's needed is bunkered contacts - seperate lists for skype, whatsapp, emil, phone etc. This is directly contradictory to what those app authors (wanting to mine networking information) want and counterintuitive to the average user, who thinks he wants all his contacts together.

But I don't want a popup that asks me if I want to contact the person through SMS or skype. Nor do I want the app owners to spam my contacts list like LinkedIn. I'm quite happy to choose the communication medium first and the contact second.

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Mozillans call for new moz://a logo to actually work in browsers

Adrian 4
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Re: Huh?

My hope is that all of that will become the past as the stark madness of the Obama years is eclipsed by a level of stupid you would not believe could exist.

FTFY.

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Chrome dev explains how modern browsers make secure UI just about impossible

Adrian 4
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Re: HTML5 can do WHAT?!

"Guess you don't like full-screen video-on-demand playback, then."

I do, sometimes. But why should it need to be under site control ? What's wrong with a full-browser window that increases to full-screen when I press a button ?

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Wintel part deux? Microsoft Azure first for Intel Clear Linux

Adrian 4
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Optimised for x86 ?

I should hope so. The ARM, MIPS, PPC, IBM360 etc. builds aren't likely to run too well on intel hardware, are they ? There again, I think you'll find most of the other distros already offer an x86 build.

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ProtonMail launches Tor hidden service to dodge totalitarian censorship

Adrian 4
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Re: CERN

Well, fine .. so do you have a better suggestion ?

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Microsoft Germany says Windows 7 already unfit for business users

Adrian 4
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Having seen far too many projects founder when they tried to use MS Access instead of a grown-up database, I'm not surprised there's nothing like it in Linux.

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Adrian 4
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Microsoft Germany says Windows already unfit for business users

FTFY

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UK's lords want more details on adult website check plans

Adrian 4
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Re: Any Ideas?

They might read books, too.

Burn all the books, to be sure they're safe from that.

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Nadella calls for AI sector to move beyond 'worshipping' a handful of companies

Adrian 4
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Re: AI? I'd settle for for an OS that just worked...

"I don't have to put up with shit I don't want, but have to have because the cunts that put it on have used secret or hidden tricks to make sure their crap never goes away, even if I say I don't want it."

I used to think that, but then there was systemd.

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Xmas software update knackered US Customs computer systems

Adrian 4
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Re: Welcome to Amerika

Won't the courier be stuck in Customs ?

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Building IoT: Forget the vision, just show us how to build it

Adrian 4
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Pilgrim and Damon are pretty good. But really - an IoT conference without Alex D-S ? What are you thinking ?

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Spotty battery life costs Apple's MacBook Pro its gold-star rating

Adrian 4
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Except they didn't remove the battery monitor. They just changed it from 'estimated time remaining' to '% used'. Apparently because their estimates of how much power you might use in the next few hours were wildly inaccurate.

A bit pathetic, but hardly the end of life as we know it.

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Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

Adrian 4
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Re: RXD Vs TXD

Perhaps if the manufacturer accurately and helpfully described exactly what the CAN bus data described, then the independent tinkerers would indeed be able to modify safely and usefully instead of making guesses. And I think that's what the EFF is trying to achieve.

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Adrian 4
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Re: IMHO, any modified vehicle should become immediately unfit for the road...

Because anything manufactured by industry is certain to be built, tested and operating according to all the rules ?

And if the implementation is kept secret, how exactly could you be sure of that ?

Didn't work for emissions. Why should it work for anything else ?

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Christmas Eve ERP migration derailed by silly spreadsheet sort

Adrian 4
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Re: consumer-focused digital candy bar phones

I think the canonical mars-bar phone was actually a Sony

http://www.tvfilmprops.co.uk/det/434/Sony-CM-H333-%5EMars-Bar%5E-Mobile-Phone/

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Did EU ruling invalidate the UK's bonkers Snoopers' Charter?

Adrian 4
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Re: Living under a permanent caution

Not limited to the internet.

If the argument that 'it's useful' carries the day, it surely works just as well for recording phone conversations, facial recognition from CCTV, ANPR, and any other data you want to think of.

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Firefox to give all extensions their own process in January

Adrian 4
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Are you serious ?

An application that hosts multiple unsynchronised data streams with a selection of external plugins and is a well-known target for malware .. and it was implemented in a single process ????

What were they thinking ?

Processes are cheap.

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China gives America its underwater drone back – with a warning

Adrian 4
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No, it's something about 'the only winning move is not to play'.

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DDoS script kiddies are also... actual kiddies, Europol arrests reveal

Adrian 4
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Re: Prevention campaign

Hit them where it hurts. Confiscate their phones.

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Bluetooth 5.0 emerges, ready to chew on the internet of things

Adrian 4
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Re: This could worry the spies

If the probability of any two BT devices communicating is the aforementioned 85%, the probability of 3 in a chain is 72%, 4 is 61% etc. And then there's the path back. I don't think any mesh is going to be big.

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Adrian 4
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Re: Old hat

I doubt it. Most current protocols have severe limits on propagation times intended to try to reduce the already over-long timeouts when it breaks. It's likely that a path like that (2-3 seconds) is too slow even if you have enough signal (you might have parabolics at both ends but the moon is the opposite of a parabola and spreads the signal out).

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Adrian 4
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Re: Reliability?

I could never get my phone to work reliably with my satnav. Handsfree kits seemed to work with some fiddling, but you had to fiddle again every time you started them up. BLE seems a little bit better - I have a few devices that often work - but still suffer from unexplained occasional inabilty to see each other. Coding for it still seems overcomplicated.

@Kevin McMurtie - although I have some sympathy with your view that Apple are doing nonstandard things, the apple keyboard and mouse are the only BT devices that work reliably (less some battery problems). Maybe they're fixing the protocol bugs ?

I think it's OK for toys, but not for things you rely on. And the industry seems determined to deny the problems - lots of exciting new devices (fsvo exciting) but no acknowledgement that it often just doesn't work.

I also hate standards that change every year or so - BT1..5, 1..5G phones .. I'd rather have slow, reliable connections than a change of hardware every couple of years.

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Russian hackers got Trump elected? Yeah, let's take a close look at that, says Obama

Adrian 4
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Re: As a leftist loon ...

In science, but not in politics. In politics, a close result 'might' be wrong. A landslide is obviously the will of the people.

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I was a robot and this is what I learned

Adrian 4
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Re: It can never succeed beyond the novelty stage

It seems odd to spend a lot of money and effort to move a videoconferencing screen around a venue when every stand will have a PC that you could already skype to. The robot doesn't provide anything more than mobility since it doesn't offer gestures or contact. It might provide some presence - to get you noticed - but apparently not enough to move other attendees out of the way.

So it seems interesting in a novelty way, but doesn't really bring any practical improvements. Did you find any advantages over a non-mobile screen, or is it just that at an event like this, the presenters are geared up for a human-shaped visitor ?

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Adrian 4
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Re: Mobility

A standing wheelchair might be more practical in an environment where everybody else is standing.

http://www.gerald-simonds.co.uk/catalog/index.php?CG_ID=13&CS_ID=44

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Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

Adrian 4
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Yes, GCHQ are famous for their ability to provide clear messages. I can totally see why anybody would go to them for advice.

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Broadcom quietly dismantles its 'Vulcan' ARM server chip project

Adrian 4
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Facepalm

No call for them, Sir

"ARM-based servers have been hyped in the market for 6-plus years, with little to show for it in terms of real customer adoption," Gina Longoria, a senior analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told The Register on Tuesday.

Maybe if someone that anybody ever heard of actually had some for sale, then customers would buy them ?

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Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze

Adrian 4
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Probably cheaper than the automatic control systems (a la DLR) to run it driverless.

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Standards body warned SMS 2FA is insecure and nobody listened

Adrian 4
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Why SMS ?

The other advantage of using SMS or voice for 2FA is that it gives the verifying company your phone number for use in the usual data collection party. Google presumably already has that if you use an Android, but possibly doesn't like to admit it.

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The UK's Investigatory Powers Act allows the State to tell lies in court

Adrian 4
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Re: As we slowly

All home secretaries do this. However honest they start out, once they're in office they quickly become corrupt. OK, some start out corrupt, but it makes no difference in the end.

I don't know why this happens. Charitably, they get so shitscared of what might happen that they cover their arses every way they can. More likely, there's a layer of civil servants who make it their business to scare them sufficiently to retain their control.

Promoting a home secretary to PM is the worst possible mistake.

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If your smart home gear hasn't updated recently, throw it in the trash

Adrian 4
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Re: Preaching to deaf numpties

I think that would be helpful to catch a single bot spraying out attacks. But a DDOS, especially using very common devices, might only need to send one attack from each of millions of devices. The originating ISP won't be able to detect it, and the target will have to send as many reports as it receives attacks, which isn't much help.

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Adrian 4
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No chance

I'm quite surprised the Kitemark still exists - I thought it had been superceded by CE marking.

In any case, I can't see any government wanting to run acceptance testing of internet appliances. What would it need ? Sealed packet filters on PCs ? A ban on building any internet-connected device even in your own home ? Months of approval testing as for wireless products ?

So the best we're likely to get is self-certification. I guess that could be coupled with a big stick if you self-certify and your product is then broken into and used for an attack, but can you see the big OS vendors opening themselves to this ?

For all the recent horror stories about IoT-based attacks, they only exist because they're currently low-hanging fruit, easier to find and hack than the former targets, PCs. Regulation will cost too much and software quality will only ever be 'just good enough' - as it always has been in any other arena.

If you want to protect the net against this sort of abuse, the net has to defend itself. You're never going to be in control of the endpoints, so it needs to be able to manage uncooperative endpoints. Perhaps by source address verification, probably by some other means that can also handle rogue ISPs.

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Microsoft, IBM, Intel refuse to hand over family jewels to China

Adrian 4
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Angel

Seems reasonable.

I assume China is happy to extend the same courtesy for their exports ?

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Sysadmin figures out dating agency worker lied in his profile

Adrian 4
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Coffee/keyboard

ooh, nice

Where can I get one of those spherical keyboards please ?

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Adrian 4
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Re: Password?

I despise these password-hiding systems. The number of times someone is looking over my shoulder is tiny. The number of times I make a typing mistake is comparably huge. Please write for the common scenario, rather than assuming the worst case.

Anyone looking over my shoulder to discover my password is just going to watch my fingers instead, which will be moving especially slowly if I'm having to work SHIFT too, or searching for keys which aren't always in the same place.

I just wish people would think these things through instead of trying to copy or outdo what's gone before.

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Hackers waste Xbox One, PS4, MacBook, Pixel, with USB zapper

Adrian 4
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Re: why

It might fry the systems that spooks installed to read everything off a phone that was plugged in to charge it.

Wouldn't that be a shame ?

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Google turns on free public NTP servers that SMEAR TIME

Adrian 4
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Re: Instead of another work-around we need to fix the underlying problem.

You may need a larger number of joggers than you expect.

https://what-if.xkcd.com/26/

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UK Parliament waves through 'porn-blocking' Digital Economy Bill

Adrian 4
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Re: Stazi

Just wanted to point out that nobody but MPs (who have a vested interest) voted for May.

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Google declares victory for its Wifi router before it's even shipped

Adrian 4
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Re: sigh

Router's already a confusing mess between woodworking power tools and network infrastructure.

In any case - this is apparently a mesh router, not an AP. Do they all have to be wired up or do they do the routing themselves ?

Is 'WiFi' supposed to be a trademarkable name ? Does anyone still hyphenate it ?

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Kids' Hour of Code turns into a giant corporate infomercial for kids

Adrian 4
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Re: Minecraft as a way to force Win 10 in education

Surely every school has a bunch of underused Raspberry Pis that will run Minecraft perfectly?

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Surveillance camera compromised in 98 seconds

Adrian 4
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Re: Perhaps I'm missing the point...

But that wouldn't make an interesting headline.

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LinkedIn competitor offers to drop Russians into same legal trap that caught LinkedIn

Adrian 4
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" “Opportunity” got in touch with news of its lifeline for those whose business networks have just been sent to digital Siberia."

Are you suggesting there are businesses - other that LinkedIn itself - that actually have a use for LinkedIn ? That there are people who touch it with a bargepole ?

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What went wrong at Tesco Bank?

Adrian 4
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Re: Santander must also not be hashing passwords

I have a cahoot account - also a Santander company. It requests 4 characters from my password and 3 of the (fixed) 5 digits of a numeric code (my choice of code).

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Trump's torture support could mean the end of GCHQ-NSA relationship

Adrian 4
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Re: Torture works?

Of course it works.

It results in statements that confirm the assertions of the torturers.

What else would you want or need ?

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Adrian 4
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Re: This is based on unwarranted assumptions

Our government was quite happy to help with 'extraordinary renditions'. What makes you think they've suddenly acquired some morals ?

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Japanese cops arrest serial 'foot licker'

Adrian 4
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Re: "When she sat down, however, Nishiyama sprung at her right ankle"

For small values of accessible. Presumably he dived his head into the footwell. Difficult to see how that trapped her for half an hour.

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Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

Adrian 4
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Re: First of all, sorry

5eyes shortly to be renamed 6eyes.

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Add it to the tab: ICO fines another spammer as unpaid bills mount

Adrian 4
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Re: The law is there for a reason, it’s to stop companies inundating people with unwanted messages

Then put pressure on the NHS. They have no reason to behave like spammers.

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