* Posts by My Alter Ego

352 posts • joined 16 Sep 2009

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Hackers can turn web-connected car washes into horrible death traps

My Alter Ego

Re: ROTM

Is there an RFC for FOIP? I want to make sure I implement it properly...

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Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

My Alter Ego

Jesus - people actually did that? They'd get a dumb phone if that was observed here.

But then, "stop being a c**t" is a regularly used phrase in our office.

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Brits must now register virtually all new drones and undergo safety tests

My Alter Ego

Re: Chicken gun

Ah, Tales of the Unexpected. I've got to find a copy of them again.

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My Alter Ego

Re: I'm sure

How hard is it? Very easy - it's how I built mine. I went to hobby king, bought all the bits, put them together by following some how-tos and common sense. Almost removed a finger too (common sense was on a coffee break at the time).

I also checked out the regs because we get RAF Pumas at low level near my office, plus we're just at the edge of a MATZ.

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

My Alter Ego

Re: The end

I'm crap at art too, so this video of somebody using MS paint to draw the Mona Lisa was even more impressive...

Mona Lisa drawn in MS Paint

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UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

My Alter Ego

What about precocious children in adverts.

Where you have some 8 year-olds saying stuff that is meaningless to them.

I remember a program on advertising with Hale & Pace (or was it Smith and Jones) where they had to come up with an advert. One idea they had was getting a child to say something, but was nixed because it was unrealistic and therefore [possibly] forbidden in the 80s/90s.

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UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

My Alter Ego

Re: Conjours up the image ...

"A picture of Theresa May smiling beautifically."

We have a few of them in the office. One colleague decided to get a collection of Theresa May photos as a present for another colleague (who was overly enthusiastic about her when she became PM).

These now have large amounts of very crude graffiti all over them since the GE (even the previously enthusiastic TM supporter joined in) - how the mighty* have fallen!

* Not that she was mighty in the first place.

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User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

My Alter Ego

Re: One week at Bigger Blue.

"Costume" - you're luck he didn't tell you it was dress like a pirate day, just for shits and giggles...

When I turned up at work I got strange looks because I was wearing tidy trousers and a double cuffed shirt. It turns out they heard "a programmer is joining us" and thought pony tail and socks & sandals!

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My Alter Ego

Re: At Wolfetone, your MILTB...

Yup. I've learned that it's easier to show people how it's done and let them write down in their words what they should do. Then I get them to follow their own instructions to make sure they've got all the steps.

I tried to create a flow chart for the printer, as I got fed up of being told "the printer isn't working - it says ink low". I probably should have put the XKCD Guide to understanding flow charts beside it. All paths did end in "have a coffee" though.

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My Alter Ego

Re: the nub of the issue...

While I mainly agree with you, I disagree with your car analogy - I rarely have a user being that specific. It's more often analogous to "my car won't work" when they can't tune in Radio 2.

I often get "is the system down?", only to be told that they actually mean that they can't access online banking (while netflix plays on the other screen, and the CRM on the third). I've tried explaining that HSBC isn't keen on giving me access to their internet banking backend, but it doesn't seem to sink in.

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Trump backs off idea for joint US/Russian 'impenetrable Cyber Security unit'

My Alter Ego

Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

I use the Make Trump Tweets Eight Again plugin for Chome - it converts tweets by him into a coloured 8 year old scrawl and puts some well needed levity* into his otherwise disturbing communications.

* Sometimes you need to laugh, just so you don't cry (or at the very least hurt your head by slamming it into the desk).

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My Alter Ego

Re: WTF

"2) WTF is 'Obaka' supposed to mean anyway?"

I guess it was an honest typo, unless he's using a DVORAK keyboard. Shame he didn't got full keyboard warrior and use "Barrack HUSSEIN Obama" - it always amuses me when I see that.

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One thought equivalent to less than a single proton in mass

My Alter Ego

Damn it. You got in there before me.

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My Alter Ego

El-reg unit for Anti-matter

I don't think "The Hopkins" should be a fraction of a thought. It should be used a unit of ant-matter as her screed is liable to suck intelligent thoughts from your brain.

Also, I don't think she's ever written a positive thing in her life...

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Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

My Alter Ego

Re: Connections

Joined at hip. Apparently an orthopaedic surgeon got a tad confused...

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Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

My Alter Ego

Re: Don't give me no static ...

I hand't considered electro-static discharge for the reason for their removal. My dad keeps a pop-rivet in his Discovery for exactly this reason, it's diesel so I imagine the chance of ignition is a lot lower. Plus it means you don't have do hold any oily diesel pump.

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The 'DUP' joins El Reg’s illustrious online standards converter

My Alter Ego

Re: Good call

Floating decimal point?

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UK parliamentary email compromised after 'sustained and determined cyber attack'

My Alter Ego

Re: If it did not have 2FA or certs it was asking to be hacked

I appreciate that we're a small business, but I run a ban policy of 1day when 3 fails are caught over 1hr. For MPs and their "acolytes" you'd likely hit false positives, but I'd expect* parliament to err on the side of security, not ease of access.

For me, it's a case of making sure our IP reputation doesn't tank if somebody brute forces a user's password. Our mailboxes are mostly un-confidential data, amazon orders and bigoted jokes**.

* That is, if I weren't so bloody cynical.

** I truly wish I were joking about that - <sigh>

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'No decision' on Raytheon GPS landing system aboard Brit aircraft carriers

My Alter Ego

There's always Galileo, which our good friends the EU run. Oh wait...

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Australia to float 'not backdoors' that behave just like backdoors to Five-Eyes meeting

My Alter Ego

Re: A reminder on perspective.

Using context isn't allowed. It's unfair...

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UK PM May's response to London terror attack: Time to 'regulate' internet companies

My Alter Ego

Re: The Internet again!

Because we need $110+ billion dollars of revenue. That's good enough...

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My Alter Ego

Re: "Does the idiot woman realize how bloody stupid she sounds?"

I asked a colleague whether he worries about driving to work after a fatal accident is reported in the news, when he said there was no way he go near London after the Westminster attack. The discussion ended with me being effectively told that I shouldn't put these things into context.

I had said that it's pointless to worry about terrorism is you don't worry about all the things that are more likely to kill you, and I don't want to live my life jumping at every shadow.

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Yo, patch that because scum still wanna exploit WannaCrypt-linked vuln

My Alter Ego

Re: Overkill

At a DefCon conference Jason E Street had a really good talk on the biggest mistakes​ he made because he felt that every DefCon talk is about "how great I am". At the end he asked people to say what the biggest mistakes they made were.

One guy said "I left off the 3 in 32 when typing a firewall rule", to a massive applause and laughter. Jason's response was asking the lines of "I think we'll leave it there, I don't think that can be beaten"

For those that are unfamiliar with him, "Steal Everything, Kill Everyone, Cause Total Financial Ruin!" is a fantastic introduction.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8esU0G5zlRU

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My Alter Ego

Re: Metasploit isnt a pen-testing sofware

I find that using a hammer to drive in self tapping screws is a very effective workout...

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

My Alter Ego

Re: Risk Management

I hope that most of us appreciate that many industries are stuck with legacy OSes, that's not unexpected. However the execution appears to be horrific. Your example of the MRI, if the machine is required to run in a fixed state then air gap it. Use portable media to copy data from it. If the controller is so time dependent, then you really don't want some SysAdmin running nmap on the network to bog down the controlling PC has it handles a network scan.

It's nowhere near the same level, but I have a CNC router. The G-code controller is also pretty time dependent (nothing like MHz, but...), so that machine is air gapped so it doesn't chose a bad time to start updating itself and destroy what I'm working on. Quite often setting up the job takes longer than the cutting time?

It's a pain, but what is better - losing your MRI for days on end (or if you say bricking is possible, longer) or having to copy data to removable media.

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Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API

My Alter Ego

That's not how the API works - it's required to ask for permission (unless the user has explicitly told the browser to always allow access to Location, Camera, etc).

Easiest way to see is to click on the Info icon (or Certificate) in the address bar. It'll give you a list of all the permissions the website has. Any of the ones that have privacy issues will be Ask (default), unless you've previously given access.

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My Alter Ego

Re: It gets worse every year it seems...

"Why do you think all those sites which have accessed your camera and microphone for illegitimate reasons didn't ask you?"

I'm pretty sure they have to ask you. We use the notification and location APIs but I've never seen a browser give access to those permissions by default - it's always asked (unless the user has explicitly told the browser to "Always Allow"

Take Chrome (v.56 Debian) - Location, Camera, Microphone & Notification are all set on installation to "Ask"

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Trump decides Breitbart chair Bannon knows more about natsec than actual professionals

My Alter Ego

Re: We need a new icon

I was thinking more of this one

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BT customers hit by broadband outage ... again

My Alter Ego

Re: My fault apparently

You wouldn't believe* how often I have to explain to people in my office the HSBC, Lloyds, etc don't like giving me access to fix their online banking.

* Actually, I imagine you can...

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Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

My Alter Ego

Re: What a horrible waste of time and money

Which immediately makes me distrust Leadsom - she's making promises she can't keep. May, at least has said she can't guarantee anything. I think that's the only positive thing I've every said about Teresa May.

As an EU immigrant, it would be great to believe "everything'll be fine", but it's far too early to say that. I don't think I'll be frog-marched to the nearest port at gunpoint - the worst I envisage is a whole load of paperwork - but it's sheer naivity to take a political candidate at face value. Let's be honest, that's how we ended up in this mess.

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Irish electricity company threatens to cut off graveyard

My Alter Ego
Happy

Re: re "a matter for a living representative of the Catholic church"

You've got to be Irish. As far as I can tell we're pretty much the only people that can look at people, names & architecture and tell their religion!

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Top FBI lawyer: You win, we've given up on encryption backdoors

My Alter Ego

Re: Condescending git

I tried to explain that to a colleague, in an effort to explain why I wasn't shitting myself about terrorism, and why his acceptance for the authorities to completely bypass the judiciary because "it's anti-terror" is incredibly short sighted. I gave examples of how anti-terror legislation has been completely abuses, but to no avail.

The most telling comment from him was - when I mentioned civil rights - "that whole human rights things is a load of bullshit, and it should be gotten rid of".

This is why this legislation will succeed simply because of people like him - civil rights simply don't feature highly in peoples' priorities because most of us have never needed them. Personally, I want them still to be there if I ever do need them.

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Licence to snoop: Ipso facto, crypto embargo? Draft Investigatory Powers bill lands

My Alter Ego

Re: For the first time ever

You've met your MP? Mine was parachuted into a nice safe constituency, so has never seen the need to show his face.

I've written to my MP - in a different constituency - before, it was regarding BT's Phorm fiasco. He sent a very nice reply that pretty much quoted Phorm's PR rubbish, with the "opinion" that I needn't worry because they say so.

Interestingly enough, there are some parallels between the two. The difference being that was one to make money and the other is to save us from 8ft tall terrorists with laser beams under their moustaches.

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HMRC 'reluctant' to crack down on VAT fraudsters – tax ace

My Alter Ego

Re: No chance

This opens an interesting question - is herding fat cats easier or harder than herding their less plump siblings?

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UK MPs have right old whinge about ‘defunct’ Wilson Doctrine

My Alter Ego

Re: Surprise, surprise

I listened to Davis and Cameron on the radio during the leadership race - Davis came across as a much better candidate. I guess it's similar to how Kennedy "won" the debate against Nixon with the viewers, whereas Nixon "won" with the listeners.

The problem is that he's bloody boring - exactly what I want in a politician - which counts against you in this era of X-Factor style politics.

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My Alter Ego

But that's the problem with the Wilson Doctrine - it singles out a single section of society and puts them above the rest. What happens if you need to discuss your whistle-blowing with a confidante before going to your MP - shouldn't you be protected then? If you're concerned about your communications being intercepted, then you're a fool for even believing that a letter/email to your MP is safe.

I was always under the assumption that the Wilson Doctrine was a gentleman's agreement, and therefore taken with a pinch of salt. What's more likely to happen now is that MPs will want to grant themselves legislated immunity, which will leave an even more bitter taste in our mouths.

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Mozilla to boot all plugins from Firefox … except Flash

My Alter Ego

Re: Oh - my - $diety

Undefined variable: $diety in comment on line 1 - did you forget to feed your supernatural being?

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Randall Munroe: The root nerd talks to The Register

My Alter Ego

Re: Fun speaker, too

I went to his lecture at the Union Chapel, it was funny and insightful. The queue was insanely long too. People had brought posters, books, etc to get signed. I wish I'd brought my mug (with the chart of programming skill against blood alcohol content) and an indelible marker.

Not only did he sign everything, he also drew a stick figure on every one - I got cueball (I'm bald), my mate got black hat (he was wearing a beanie). I doubt it was a coincidence and it was an excellent touch.

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TalkTalk email goes titsup FOR DAYS. Cheapo telco warns: Changing password WON'T fix it

My Alter Ego

Re: More [off topic] woe

The person probably cancelled and recreated the account rather than changing the name on it, that way they could gain commission for hooking a new customer.

BT local business did this to us. Our ISDN 30 was in our director's name, not the limited company's name, so they asked us to amend the account. We'd put it off for over a year but finally acquiesced. A few days later we had no phone lines. When we called to complain they couldn't find the old account. They did however find a new account in our name. Or other director called out in their office for a day until they fixed it. Total down time was 36 hours. They even sent out an engineer to replace our NTE-2D box and pretended that that was the cause of the failure, not some pond scum boosting his payslip.

What we learned was that unless you *need* to change something on your account, don't. Three things could happen - you get charged; you get cut off; they don't fuck anything up. A 1 in 3 chance isn't worth the risk.

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MYSTERY Russian satellite: ORBITAL WEAPON? Sat GOBBLER? What?

My Alter Ego

Re: sattelite spying sattelite?

Who throws a shoe? Honestly. And a clipboard, it's got some sharp edges, you could take somebody's eye out with that.

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Fasthosts goes titsup, blames DNS blunder

My Alter Ego

Re: Useless

Personally, I'd stay away from ZoneEdit (I used them for a few years) but their support is horrific. They had an issue where updates were only being pushed to one (out of two) of the DNS servers. This meant you got a different response depending on which server you queries. After two days I gave up and moved to DNSMadeEasy, whose service is way better (they provide failover and backup MX)

By the time they'd managed to fix the issue (5 days later) I didn't really give a shit.

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You've got two weeks to beat off Cryptolocker, GameoverZeus nasties

My Alter Ego

Re: Think of the children!!!!!

Quite frankly, I'm disappointed that El-Reg didn't end the headline with

!!!!!!!!!!111111onehundredandeleven

That's the reaction all the mainstream news seemed to be going for.

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RSA comes out swinging at claims it took NSA's $10m to backdoor crypto

My Alter Ego

Re: Remember When...

Those v were the days - when you had boot floppy (if others used the PC) which had ended up having a menu for each game. If I recall, it was also possible to group config.sys settings for specific games too.

Now I just curse surgeon simulator for not having shadows on Linux - you have no idea how difficult it is to do a brain transplant in an ambulance going over speed bumps when you have no sense of depth!

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BIG, CURVY Apple models: Just right for SLAP AND TICKLE

My Alter Ego

Re: coming soon to a phone near you

No reason for it wobble, the back doesn't have to be curved for it to have a curved screen. My Galaxy Nexus has a curved screen which is great because I can place it face down on a flat surface and it won't get damaged.

I've seen a lot of people suggesting that it's so you get more pixels for a given size - not sure what curvature they think will be used!

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NASA, start your torrents: 622 Mbps broadband link FOUND ON MOON

My Alter Ego

Re: Avoiding long distance charges?

Nope, but Randal's done the sums on it:

xkcd what-if - Voyager

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Apple ban win: Now you can't buy Samsung gear no one was buying

My Alter Ego

Re: "Samsung ... realised they had no patents they could reply with"

Admittedly I've lost track what the component was, but using percentage of phone mass or volume is a pretty poor metric. If, for example it was related to 3g processing, then you can expect it to be pretty small and light, however you won't have a phone without it.

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Cisco email accidentally sent to 1000s of employees causes message list MAYHEM

My Alter Ego
Devil

Did this to a guy in an previous company

He was a very sleazy towards a friend of mine. There was also a bug with the Lotus Mail client which wouldn't lock if you used the Super+M combination, so when we left his desk we sent an email to everyone in Dublin, London, Toronto & Tokyo which requested a receipt (which wasn't optional). His inbox didn't last two minutes!

Ah, good days.

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Oracle Team USA sailors admit breaking America's Cup rules

My Alter Ego

Re: Yeah, little technical things

There's a hell of a lot more to sailing than pulling some ropes to adjust sails (Ok, the mainsail I trim has 8 different controls for setting the shape of, 11 if I include where it can be controlled from either tack). However, we only have 3 sail trimmers out of 8 crew.

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My Alter Ego

Re: Yeah, little technical things

"like not having sails, for example" - not sure I agree with that, I see wing sails as just another advancement in the technology - I've always described sails as zero-thickness wings. They just given them some thickness now. Unless you're racing a one-design class, it'll always be a case of people throwing money at the design to get the most out of the rule. That's one of the reasons that the AC45s were more interesting to watch.

Oh, and as much as I love sailing, it's got to be one of the most boring sports on earth to watch, even if you understand exactly what's going on. Most of the people I sail with completely agree.

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My Alter Ego

Re: Any word on exactly what the illegal modifications were?

From what I've read, it was an extra 4.5lb of ballast on their AC45s - something that Coutts said would cause a minuscule difference in trim (and apparently would reduce performance*)

To be fair, the new cup format is ridiculous - moving from the IACC 20m rule was supposed to reduce costs, but they've had to hand a whole load of money back (3M USD) to Loius Vuitton as they didn't have enough competitors as challengers are struggling to run their AC45 and a pair of AC72s.

* On the boat I race on, we're supposed to race with the cushions in their normal place, which the boss doesn't like doing as they can get wet during spinnaker drops and sail changes. Instead we keep them in the aft cabin which is against the rules, but actually reduces our performance as it'd be better to keep them forward for a trim point of view.

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