* Posts by gerdesj

1072 posts • joined 15 Aug 2009

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Has Git ever driven you so mad you wanted to bomb it? Well, now you can with this tiny repo

gerdesj
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Linux

Re: tricky but powerful source control tool

"https://xkcd.com/1597" - that one is inserted at the top right of an article I wrote in my company wiki. The one that documents the method I used to install the wiki in the first place and update it 8)

Apparently I'm only good enough to be a burger flipper, according to an AC, rather than a company MD with 20 staff who runs Gentoo on his personal laptop and Arch on his office desktop.

I'm a fucking sysadmin not a kool kid programmer: I don't need to know the nitty-gritty of git - I just need it to do a job now and then, which it does admirably.

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US Congress mulls first 'hack back' revenge law. And yup, you can guess what it'll let people do

gerdesj
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Windows

At least there is a discussion

This article made my minute.

On the face of it a discussion is at least happening somewhere about what happens in a "land" called the internet. It's almost as though the internet has finally become a thing.

... mmm beer ....

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Equifax: About those 400,000 UK records we lost? It's now 15.2M. Yes, M for MEELLLION

gerdesj
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@Doc Syntax:

According to Equifax, 700,000 Brits have been seriously violated. If we assume that about 75% of the population are >=18 and there are 65M Brits then 700,000/(0.75 * 65,000,000) = 1% of the working population. Or you can go with the GDPR and probably DPA infringing value of 15M instead of 700,000.

In the UK we don't have security by SSN but then, me and the wife managed (~2005) to order a birth cert for my brother in law and then a passport for him with minimal hassle.

To be honest it only really occurred to me what we'd done/got away with a bit later: but at least he got to go on holiday 8)

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How much for that Belkin cable? Margin of 1,992%?

gerdesj
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"sounds like you got solid wire, and connectors for stranded"

Precisely. Solid wire goes into back boxes ("keystone jack"). You want stranded for patch leads with plugs on the ends.

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Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

gerdesj
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Re: "They looked for the password on the CD . . ."

"Totally bog standard, and when you generate that type of certificate you MUST enter a password - admittedly the password can be a single character, but you do have to provide one......"

No you don't *have* to specify a password. Needing a password means that the certificate is encrypted and that can be removed or not even added in the first place. The -nodes in this command avoids encryption and generates a self signed certificate

$ openssl req -x509 -new -out cert.crt -keyout cert.key -nodes -days 365

I suspect that the implementation you use enforces passwords.

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SEC 'fesses to security breach, says swiped info likely used for dodgy stock-market trading

gerdesj
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Devil

"corporate filling system"

"corporate filling system" - my mind is boggling right now.

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Homeland Security drops the hammer on Kaspersky Lab with preemptive ban

gerdesj
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Re: Quite the planning process, this

"Unlike McAffee where I had to download and run a (well-hidden) executable from their website to get rid of their bloody "1 month free" install from a shop-bought laptop. :/"

Bollocks. I'm a unix sysadmin and even I know that a browse through the reg keys (from memory - my laptop runs Arch Linux) HKLM\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\uninstall will give you the uninstall string for any .msi based software. Failing that you stop services, kill processes, delete directories and plough through the registry. A few reboots might be required but it isn't rocket science.

... and McAfee has one fucking f. Oh and add/remove programs has an uninstaller link anyway, even for the free version - you've cocked up in some way if you think you need an additional "cleaner" - which they even provide.

OK I may have spent one or twenty years doing Windows sysadmining as well.

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'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

gerdesj
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Re: Surely....

"Remember also that comments in source code are a sure sign your code is not expressive enough"

Five or 10 minutes spent with this should convince you that is bollocks:

https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/commit/?id=ecda85e70277ef24e44a1f6bc00243cebd19f985

Yes, I know you are taking the piss, have a UV 8)

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Bish, bosh, Bashware: Microsoft downplays research on WSL Win 10 'hack' threat

gerdesj
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Childcatcher

BASHware

No need for funky exploits. You simply write a script that pwns the machine (download and install TeamViewer or a keystroke logger if you are real l33t) and claim that it is actually an AD or WSUS maintenance script and slap it on a blog somewhere. It'll be copied and pasted straight into the console so many times without question, you'll have a botnet in no time. Now I don't have to learn PowerShell to do this - I can use my long honed unix sysadmin script writing skills.

Sadly, I'm only half joking ... probably

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Hi Amazon, Google, Apple we might tax you on revenue rather than profit – love, Europe

gerdesj
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"In the UK for example, over 205 bn pounds a year go on the state debts."

It is your state as well: *you* spend it, then you get to pay it back plus interest - that's how debt works in simple terms 8)

However that isn't really how country debt works. Countries/states are able to mint their their own money which you and I can't (without a spell at 'er Maj's pleasure). They can also fiddle with the ways they "earn" money/value and can even fiddle with how to measure and declare those. Entire economies really don't work in the same way as your personal finances and it is way more complicated than the simplistic presentations in the media. Have you ever wondered where that £205B actually goes or what happens to other countries debts to "us"?

Every day a gigantic game of brinkmanship, gambling and bullshitting goes on called economics.

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gerdesj
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"As a consultant, I have minimal outgoings to offset against my VATable earnings, so it certainly feels like a tax to me when I write out my cheque to HMRC every quarter."

(I used to be a consultant, just like you) You get the (dubious) benefit of holding an extra 20% for three months for pretty much zero bank interest in return for filling out the quarterly greeny. It can be useful to tide over cashflow as well if you are careful. You also get to offset expenses although not much. I doubt many F/T employees will weep for us. I am not a fan of IR35 though although I got out just before it kicked in.

Nowadays as a business owner with 20 odd employees I get to watch as Google and co. pay a pitiful amount of corporation tax whilst my lot get to pay rather more as a proportion of turnover.

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Red panic: Best Buy yanks Kaspersky antivirus from shelves

gerdesj
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Childcatcher

The War Against Terror (TWAT)

+1 insightful

Wish I'd noticed that earlier, in fact I think that rather obvious acronym has been missed by a lot of people for very long time (*). A lot of Brits from this parish (at least) should be hanging heads in shame

(*)I don't recall the memo, if one was sent

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Mexican tax refund site left 400GB of sensitive customer info wide open

gerdesj
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The bloody news for data breaches is practically writing itself for el Reg these days.

... and yet fuck all seems to happen.

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Surprising nobody, lawyers line up to sue the crap out of Equifax

gerdesj
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Re: Insider trading?

"I presume you lot on your side of the pond are familiar with what a secured credit card is."

Nope but I would guess that you have to lodge the equivalent of the credit limit beforehand or something similar.

Please don't knock the Mk 1 Fester - my first car. To be honest I doubt it is possible to get 300k miles on one. Mine fell to pieces way before that. The second engine blew two cylinders eventually and there were too many rust holes to count. They don't last long on the A38 racetrack between Plymouth and Exeter 8)

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Climate-change skeptic lined up to run NASA in this Trump timeline

gerdesj
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Re: I don't mine a skeptic. I prefer a skeptic in this position

"He's not a skeptic if he's already decided that the climate scientists are wrong and warming has stopped."

"already decided" is surely a pre-requisite for the condition described as scepticism. There's nothing wrong about critical thinking and I personally think that should be encouraged but he comes up with this gem to explain his position:

"In other words, our planet's temperature changes are linked to the Sun and the seas"

There's no arguing with that. It really does warm up during the day and cool at night time and the seas do have a massive effect on the climate, as Texans int al and rather large parts of Asia will currently testify. Unfortunately there are a few other factors at work, that those people are bearing the brunt of at the moment.

Closer to home (for me - UK/SW) I'm not looking forward to finding out that the Gulf Stream has decided to bugger off and that I will be able to ski at home. Mind you I am a keen skier (40 years), but the rest of the country is pretty unprepared for that 8)

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Microsoft sets the date for Fall Creators Update

gerdesj
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Re: Everything, except what we really want

You don't have to use Windows, there is choice.

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gerdesj
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Linux

Re: Promises, promises

Could I tempt you to another land that involves penguins? It isn't flawless by any means but rather easier to deal with in many ways. For example, how many times have you had to spend quite a lot of time looking for updates to non MS packages? On a Linux based system all packages are in the repositories and get updated alongside the OS.

You may feel that you might be left out in some way due to lack of support or your fav apps are not available.

If it helps, Libreoffice is capable of editing nearly all .doc, .xls etc files. Email: Evolution with evolution-aws) will happily connect to Exchange.

If you do go the way of the penguin then you will also have access to a lot more stuff than you could possibly imagine on a stock MS build.

Go on, have a play.

Cheers

Jon

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gerdesj
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Linux

Re: Will this turn out to be

Piss off noddy.

If you are a local and you can't be arsed to login or worse, you worry about karma, then please go away.

Of course MS do testing, well, we do their testing 8) I don't personally, what with me running Arch on my personal systems but I feel your pain. I just happen to have access to quite a few (hundred) MS based systems.

They do QA big style and I'm happy with that.

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That virtually impossible classic compsci P vs NP problem is virtually impossible, say boffins

gerdesj
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Paris Hilton

What the hell is #P-Complete?

"which shows the problem is both “NP‑Complete” and “#P‑Complete”"

A problem can't be both a bit tricky and proper fucking nutter bastard impossible. If you find yourself in that position then perhaps you have *two* problems. They may look related ...

Don't confuse "concisely defined" with "rigorously defined" - that way lies madness.

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VMworld security asked to probe theft of anti-Nutanix schwag

gerdesj
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Re: Par for the course

"Innocent until proven guilty but behavior like this is right in Nutanix' wheelhouse."

Piss off AC unless you have something useful to say.

Where the hell is the bloke puffing furiously on a pipe with smoke coming out of his ears icon when you need it?

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Oh, ambassador! You literally are spoiling us: Super-stealthy spyware hits Euro embassy PCs

gerdesj
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Linux

System requirements

"Why does everything seem to state 'Microsoft Windows' on the system requirements recently?"

Stop whining, I for one would like to know if my system is compatible with the latest stuff doing the rounds.

Besides, you must be new here, you cool anon numpty you, MS bashing (and supporting) is par for the course and we are sometimes generous to those with high handicaps provided they have something useful to say or at least try to but you don't.

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gerdesj
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Childcatcher

Re: "Only single player is allowed"

"Video game?"

My thought exactly but for a different reason to yours. Unless there are more gaming related strings then my *dar would be going berserk. That phrase is missing the indefinite article which isn't a smoking gun as such - some proportion of programmers of a game may have a tenuous grasp of English even when it is their first language. However the error is unlikely to be repeated for all occurrences.

So, you start with the subset of speakers who might routinely drop an "a" when describing single players in English as a second language and correlate with other clues. Obviously you might want to consider that as a deliberately dropped clue to put you off the real scent.

*crackle* *crackle* (tin foil cloak to go with the hat)

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KVM plans big boosts to storage and nested virtualization

gerdesj
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RLY?

“KVM, like other major hypervisors, supports Hyper-V's paravirtualization features,” he wrote.

I have no idea what a hyper-v looks like but it sounds a bit pervy and hence a bit wrong.

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US focuses eyes in the sky as Hurricane Harvey starts to slam into Texas

gerdesj
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Re: A couple models are showing the potential for 60" of rain in localized areas

I know they make things big in Texas but a rain fall gauge that can even measure 5' of rain would be an impressive beast. I'm not sure how big an area would count as localized there or what time scale is indicated but that's basically a swimming pool depth of water but over an entire <localized_area>.

It get's a bit damp over here sometimes and twice in 10 years the stream at the bottom of my garden has decided to get about 4-5' deeper for a few hours which was a bit unpleasant but nothing like that. I'm quite glad I decided to live on the side of a stable hill rather than say the "levels" a few miles away (Somerset, UK.)

I sincerely hope those models are wrong.

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US DoD, Brit ISP BT reverse proxies can be abused to frisk internal systems – researcher

gerdesj
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Childcatcher

Re: Think of the children

"Have a look at the SSL Visibilty [sic] Appliances for those who think https is inviolate."

Blow that - they are just one MitM method. If you want to really get to grips with what you can do to SSL, using software that you *can* get access to, then get hold of Squid and investigate "SSL bump".

At home I have a THINGS VLAN (and another one called SEWER for things that I trust even less than an IP camera). I really must get around to putting things like my Samsung telly through SSL bump to see what is going on. It may verify its other end's CA but given the quality of the rest of its programming - I doubt it. I do watch its connectivity when I'm bored. It port scans its LAN occasionally and chats a lot to AWS, no doubt for my benefit.

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Comp sci world shock: Bonn boffin proposes P≠NP proof, preps for prestige, plump prize

gerdesj
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Re: FredBed

"And your numbers are off"

Yes: read up on nPr and nCr and note that n! thing.

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gerdesj
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Boffin

I saw this on HN

I saw this on Hacker News and waited a while then sent a tip to el Reg when nothing appeared. I doubt I'm the only one but nearly all my links are in the article but the article demonstrates what a proper journo can do with a tip!

This is a seriously big deal and has caused a bit of a flap. The clever blokes "...but not an expert in this field..." types (eg Aaronson and Trevison) have already got the handbags out, postulated at least one flaw and retracted.

The paper is short and has a seriously aggressive approach - it describes what it is about from the start without messing about and from what little I understand the approach is quite straightforward. The real experts are keeping quiet for now and are probably going beyond simply kicking the tyres. The paper has survived a few days so far but unless a flaw is found it will still be months before anyone even tentatively supports this paper.

I really want this one to succeed: the author has got massive bollocks!

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Creepy backdoor found in NetSarang server management software

gerdesj
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"Regretfully, the Build release of our full line of products on July 18, 2017 was unknowingly shipped with a backdoor, which had the potential to be exploited by its creator," NetSarang said in a statement.

A somewhat ambiguous statement that could, should one be uncharitable, not rule out the vendor as the creator. At best their QA is shit. At worst their practices are perhaps patriotic (just not your patriot).

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Outage outed: Bing dinged, Microsoft portal mortal, DuckDuckGo becomes DuckDuckNo

gerdesj
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Devil

If only ...

If only Bing (**) realized (*) that an image infested homepage is anathema to IT nerds who spend a lot of time on the end of an RDP session. Now, who do you think sets the home page policies for a huge number of people?

Bing: if you are serious in becoming a contender then realize that less is more. Google got it years ago. When you want to search for something, you want absolutely no distractions. To piss off someone who influences a lot of people, do not design your page to take ages to load across a wanky (***) link.

Cheers

Jon

(*) meh - I'm happy to use z in realized, despite speaking en_GB - piss off Google spell checker

(**) Bing is also OK - piss off Google

(***) wanky - do I really have to spell it out?

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Taken a while but finally here's the first proper smart-home gizmo

gerdesj
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Childcatcher

Re: Double-edged sword?

"Does that mean that a security hole in any one of those systems other can now be leveraged to compromise Tradfri as well?"

Yes but just like all other home users you will be deploying a separate VLAN for these with internets only via a transparent, SSL MitM proxy.

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Kremlin's hackers 'wield stolen NSA exploit to spy on hotel guests in Europe, Mid East'

gerdesj
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Re: This is getting really tiresome

"North Korea has one of the best offensive cyberwarfare groups in the world"

Citation needed.

Your assertion is possible but this is a country that is parked off an internet backwater where virtually no one has access to their weird country wide intranet let alone the internet itself. That is not an environment that is conducive to home grown expertise. They will have some really bright people who are pushed in the direction required but that is not how "best in the world" is done. Their really bright folk live in an intellectual vacuum.

I'm pretty sure that their crackers will be off the scale bright but they will not have access to the rest of the world's intelligentsia except via subterfuge - which may not work too well. Hence they will have to re-invent many, many wheels.

Then again our NHS was brought low though a lack of a decent patching regime.

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Brits look at Google and Facebook every 210 seconds, says survey

gerdesj
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Childcatcher

Re: not all of us do it...

Why AC?

Social Media is very addictive. Possibly a worse epidemic that drugs. Just say no to it all and live a healthier and less stressfull life.

The world turns and things change. An inability to change is a bit crap but on the other hand one should not blindly descend into the dark.

Reason beats bollocks any day.

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For fork's sake! Bitcoin Core braces for another cryptocurrency split

gerdesj
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Childcatcher

Re: Where does the money come from?

"Serious question, where does the actual money come from?"

"A has a value of £1,000"

To start to answer your question I think you need to really think about what your example really means. Fiat is not just an Italian motor firm. Translated from Latin, "fiat" means "let it be" or similar, if another word is added (plus gender fiddling etc) x, then it becomes similar to "let x be" eg "fiat lux" - "let there be light".

When you start to use phrases like "has a value" then you have to question what that actually means.

Does A really have a value of £1,000?

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Marcus Hutchins free for now as infosec world rallies around suspected banking malware dev

gerdesj
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Legal costs

Given that he saved a lot of people from a major rogering I'm sure that his legal fees are covered.

Perhaps the NHS could find a few 100K down the back of the sofa given he probably saved them several million or rather more.

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So who exactly was to blame for Marketo losing its dotcom?

gerdesj
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Monitoring

Some things need to rely on a recurring thingie in the financials or an appointment in the calendar. Really important stuff is monitored by say Icinga (OpenNMS, Zabbix and Nagios also exist)

https://exchange.nagios.org/directory/Plugins/Internet-Domains-and-WHOIS/check_domain/details is a simple plugin for Icinga and Nagios or write your own. Whilst you are at it why not monitor your SSL certs as well (the stock Monitoring Plugins SSL check will do that)?

If you are really cash strapped and can't afford an open source monitoring system then why not use some sort of calendar or a cron job (Scheduled task for the weird)

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Microsoft: Get in, IT nerds, you're now using Insider builds and twice-annual Windows rollouts

gerdesj
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Re: Bollocks to that

"So it runs Office 2016? Impressive..."

I don't do regressions

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gerdesj
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Bollocks to that

I have a fully documented build of Arch Linux for my workstation. It is AD joined and is finally, fully feature complete compared to all Windows workstations in my company. I have taken all requirements and met them via a VM running on my PC and then moved the config over to the parent PC and tested, tested, tweaked etc. When I say my company, it is actually mine - I'm the MD. It will take me something like another five years to transition everyone over, away from Windows but I am very, very patient.

Why Arch? - simple: it is clean and as close to the source as you can get and a rolling distro so never has that nasty major upgrade thing. I'm a fan of Gentoo but that takes nearly as long as Windows updates, so not good for general office use. My laptop runs Gentoo and keeps my lap warm.

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Amazing new algorithm makes fusion power slightly less incredibly inefficient

gerdesj
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Back in the day

When I was a lad at a school in Oxfordshire (*) in the eighties we went on a field trip to the local fusion reactor experiment. I seem to recall that they talked about orders of magnitude out from sustainable fusion rather than a factor of two. I remember seeing a graph of progress with a logarithmic Y axis and a fair way to go on the X axis.

They talked about "50 years away" (or was it 25 - that X axis was hard to interpret!) and I note that reasonably current articles in New Scientist still mention similar timescales. It will happen one day but it is rather expensive and rather hard to get politicians to sign off the vast sums needed for a very, very long slog.

(*) WTF Google - that's how its spelt - what's with the squiggly underscore?

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Moneysupermarket fined £80,000 for spamming seven million customers

gerdesj
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Childcatcher

Re: So why do BT still call?

"BT have been doing this for years..."

My landline has a PSTN<->SIP gateway on it that drops incoming calls. It is for emergency use only. The IAX trunks, when rung by a non whitelisted number, respond with:

"Press 1 if you think we'd like to speak with you or 2 to leave a voicemail. If you are making an unsolicited sales call then hang up."

Haven't had a sales call in years. A full PBX is a bit over the top for most people but you can buy reasonably cheap devices that will filter incoming calls with a simple setup.

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Amazon may still get .amazon despite govt opposition – thanks to a classic ICANN cockup

gerdesj
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What about

Create the amazon domain and put into a third party's hands to administer. Now the stuff flogger can have shop.amazon, Brazil can have br.amazon etc etc as subdomains.

Everyone happy - hooray.

Err not sure who gets www.amazon m.amazon or the inevitable amazon. A record. The last one will probably play merry hell with modern browser autocomplete/search things.

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Crashed RadioShack flogs off its IPv4 stash

gerdesj
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Re: 8 addresses, or 6?

"Plus trying to convince your upstream to route such a small slice"

I didn't realise it was even possible to get a /29 PI and expect it to be routed. Obviously it isn't impossible but if the routing tables fragment down to /29 then we will need some bigger routers!

It is much harder to aggregate lumps of IPv4 address space than it is to fragment it ever further. Think of the entropy. It will continue to fragment and each lump will become more and more "valuable" but IPv6 will take up some slack and eventually we will hit peak IPv4 value (I'm going to guess around 2020).

If you want a laugh, have a look at the huge numbers of address ranges on this and note how many bloody stupid little IPv6 ranges are also allocated: https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Office-365-URLs-and-IP-address-ranges-8548a211-3fe7-47cb-abb1-355ea5aa88a2 I stupidly tried to use one of those lists to tighten up a firewall rule set and giggled hysterically as another address was accessed instead by a DC syncing to Azure Connect that was close but not one of the documented ones. MS are shit.

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Create a user called '0day', get bonus root privs – thanks, Systemd!

This post has been deleted by a moderator

gerdesj
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"To exploit the issue, an attacker would have to convince an administrator – someone who already has root access – to install a unit file with an invalid user name. There may also be some risk in configurations where unit files are generated automatically."

I've already patched this one: I've asked all staff to refuse to engage with anyone on the blower asking them to create a systemd unit file line by line, character by character. I've also asked them not to click on anything thats looks like a systemd unit file in an email in Outlook or Evolution (for balance).

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America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

gerdesj
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Re: How about if we stop making more terrorists in the first place?

Well you can fuck off pontificating and de-cloak, matey. The only reason for posting anon on here is to possibly preserve your karma. It certainly isn't going to avoid someone putting you into a certain table along with a lot of data.

Please be more tolerant of others. Please don't accuse all those people who follow a religion of being the same in thought, word and deed as those who do very wrong by their religion's scriptures/teachings or a very narrow interpretation of same.

Given your spelling, turns of phrase, the time etc I'm going to put you into the American box. Is that fair? Should I consider all Yanks as nob ends?

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gerdesj
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Childcatcher

"Or just don't go to America"

My thoughts exactly, except my daughter-in-law is a Yank (British now). I'll live without my lappy whilst visiting the in laws.

C'est la guerre.

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Microsoft PatchGuard flaw could let hackers plant rootkits on x64 Windows 10 boxen

gerdesj
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Re: ticking time bomb... tick tick tick tick BOOM!

"Sure, because the best way to have a user install your rootkit is to have them open a shell and type exact characters, after they have typed in the root password."

As you say, that would be one hell of a spear phishing job! You get someone to download a kernel module or save the attachment, find the console thingie, login as root on it and then run a pretty arcane command. Few Linux boxes have root passwords - OK: "sudo -i" will work on many if not most. The .ko will also need to actually work on the target system and avoid a few other mechanisms, eg module signing.

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WikiLeaks doc dump reveals CIA tools for infecting air-gapped PCs

gerdesj
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Gimp

Air gap with Windows gateways, you say (imply)

A real air gapped network has another device in between with no network access, doesn't run anything mainstream but is capable of scanning files and copying them from one media to another. Tripwire etc is involved and most of it is mounted read only.

The data on the secure side is converted to plaintext and is retransmitted, again, via two semaphore operators in a tunnel with the doors closed at each end during transmission. The final bridge is the recipient semaphorist typing into a TTY.

Wifey has started using something called "wifi" to get her docs and photos on our home LAN - apparently security is fine but inconvenient. The pigeons serving the offsite backups are starting to show signs of flagging under the sudden onslaught of data. I may have to upgrade to albatrosses to carry the new high capacity coded message canisters.

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Numbers war: How Bayesian vs frequentist statistics influence AI

gerdesj
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"In the real world t is better to rely on actual facts"

The real world doesn't work like that. Note that you missed out a letter which is almost certainly "i" to make "it". All readers of your missive will have had to apply some form of deductive (probability based) reasoning to fill in the gap. Those with a shaky grasp of English may have even got it wrong. That was easy to correct but this error is nearly parse-able without correction to get a different result than that which you intended:

"based on assumptions that mat not be provable"

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Internet boffins take aim at BGP route leaks

gerdesj
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Re: I guess a key question is how many of these things there are so how many to update

I don't know but I *can* use Google 8)

http://www.cidr-report.org/as2.0/ - answer: lots.

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When we said don't link to the article, Google, we meant DON'T LINK TO THE ARTICLE!

gerdesj
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Re: Not so easy...

"Who would be right?"

Due dill?

I get your point but I would suggest you include a few searches on your new name before using it.

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