* Posts by tfewster

579 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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Now Oracle stiffs its own sales reps to pocket their overtime, allegedly

tfewster
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Re: Paid overtime...I wish

We're all one big team! So I'll give the company some of my free time if the company gives me something in return - Like money!

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DXC Tech asks staff to profile their skills

tfewster
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Dunning-Kruger

You jest, but don't forget the Dunning-Kruger effect. The clueless will put "Plant Manager" on their CV, whereas the botanists will put something like "Biomass Operative" and only get offered sewage worker jobs.

When CrapGemini went through this many years ago, I rated myself as 4/5 for HP-UX skills, as I was comparing my sysadmin & troubleshooting skills with the mission-critical support guys at HP. One of my end-users rated himself as 5/5 because he could usually manage to log in and follow written instructions.

But my favourite part of the exercise was the email from Manglement exhorting us to fill in our profile. They forgot to delete the email trail, which started with the HR director telling managers that staff "couldn't sell water in a desert".

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BT plots to slash pension benefits for 32,000 staff

tfewster
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Re: bollocks

I, too, wonder how legal this is. If $EMPLOYER and I had a contract for a Final Salary pension, surely they're obliged to honour years earned to date even if they close it to new contributions?

e.g. after 20 years I've earned 20 80ths of my final salary and investment or company contributions should have to cover that up to my actual final salary after 40 years.

It's still better than the UK government on SERPs, State Second pension etc. where you get nothing back for anything you've paid over the basic NIC level.

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Automatic for the people: Telcos forced to pay for giving you crap services

tfewster
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Re: 15 Months?

No, it will take them 15 months to push through the price increases to cover the compensation they might have to pay out. Plus a bit for bonuses for Directors for implementing this new "customer care" scheme.

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UK Home Sec thinks a Minority Report-style AI will prevent people posting bad things

tfewster
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Re: Count me unimpressed

The Amazon AI should be fine - It only needs to be smarter than Amber Rudd, after all. And, to be fair, it does have a kind of logic "You bought an expensive TV, so you must a) Really like TVs and b) Have money. Would you like to buy another TV?"

Or as Zaphod said: 'You'd just have to program it to say "What?" And "I don't understand" and "Where's the tea?"'

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Commuters' phone data could be tracked to save megabucks on census

tfewster
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Re: What on earth...

If mobile phone movements correlate with the census findings, it could be a useful fill-in between census dates. That assumes nothing else changes, but you could sample the population each year to keep the indicators calibrated.

Vastly oversimplified example - Say 10K people say they commute from Reading to London daily, and that matches ticket sales, but you find 11k phones make that trip. For Croydon it might be 20k people/22k phones. Yay, we have a correlation - 1.1 phones per head. If the total number of phones goes up from 33k to 50k next year, you can just re-survey Reading and extrapolate.

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Lord of the Rings TV show shopped around Hollywood

tfewster
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Re: Why not

"CSI: Ankh-Morpork" sounds awesome. "I'll just write a GUI for Hex to track his aura"

Though too many deus ex machinas available e.g. the Rite of AshkEnte

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tfewster
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Re: If there ever was a story perfect for television ...

Sex and violence is fine (though not at the same time, and I draw the line at naked hairy-toed hobbits).

I can't imagine how they're going to introduce cliffhangers when we already know Bilbo etc. live to sail to the Grey Kingdoms.

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Seldom used 'i' mangled by baffling autocorrect bug in Apple's iOS 11

tfewster
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Can't you just autocorrect "i" to "i"?

But a simpler workaround would seem to be to disable autocorrect for now.

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Over a million Android users fooled by fake WhatsApp app in official Google Play Store

tfewster
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Re: store fakes

I thought it was going to be this xkcd

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A draft US law to secure election computers that isn't braindead. Well, I'm stunned! I gotta lie down

tfewster
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> it helps if the acronym lies about what is in the bill.

From "Yes, Minister", as true today as it was 30 years ago: always dispose of the difficult bit in the title

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tfewster
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Re: I propose....

It seems like malice and incompetence cancelled each other out here, to produce a sensible result

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One-third of mobile users receive patchy to no indoor coverage

tfewster
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@katrinab - Sensible, but missing the point

Why should my choices be restricted by the phone companies being stingy?

I have a perfect signal from O2 at home, due to a mast ~300M away on top of an old factory building. If that gets demolished I'm stuffed, as there are no other high points nearby. At work (on a light industry estate), O2 gives the best signal but it's still rubbish indoors.

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Car insurers recoil in horror from paying auto autos' speeding fines

tfewster
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Re: Look! Fun games ahead!

"If there's a fatal flaw in the software likely to make it veer off the road,..."

...Then that flaw was already there, (we) just didn't know about it.

So the vehicle should permanently immobilise itself, just in case a flaw may be discovered in the future.

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Fake tech support 'scam' husband and wife banned FOR LIFE from computer repair world

tfewster
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Re: Outrageous sums of money?

Yeah, what's missing here? They scammed people, but the FTC couldn't prove it was fraud, hence a warning off rather than a prison sentence?

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Fine, OK, no backdoors, says Deputy AG. Just keep PLAINTEXT copies of everyone's messages

tfewster
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Re: Ahem

Rosenstein seems ambivalent (or clueless) about encryption:

ransomware - enycyption with no government backdoor

botnets – taking advantage of poor security and encryption -

hackers - could launch devastating attacks against autonomous cars, if they're poorly secured

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BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

tfewster
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Re: !!!!!!

I lost control at "I could pretty much guarantee it"

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UK.gov joins Microsoft in fingering North Korea for WannaCry

tfewster
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Re: Am I understanding this right?

> Wallace went on to say that North Korea had linked to other attacks aimed at raising foreign currency...

In which case they would have had no fears about emptying the accounts of the money raised - IIRC correctly, those accounts were abandoned as too hot to touch?

> Redmond's president went on to that Microsoft was not to blame for the infection of systems using older operating systems, such as Windows XP...

Did he just accept responsibility for the Windows 7 machines that DID get infected? Sure, they released a patch AFTER the NSA exploit got leaked, but how long had they known about it?

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NHS could have 'fended off' WannaCry by taking 'simple steps' – report

tfewster
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Re: It's all so simple..

Sure, but if you're spending money on triaging, queue management systems, backlog reporting etc. you're addressing the wrong problem - put that money into healthcare instead!

Oh, and using the cases of specialised clinical systems and scheduling server patching as excuses for not patching desktops doesn't wash. ("NHS Digital told us that the majority of NHS devices infected were unpatched but on supported Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems.")

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Whois? No, Whowas: Incoming Euro privacy rules torpedo domain registration system

tfewster
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Genuine question to the experts - How about (a) the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific* purposes: You supply valid contact info, or you don't get a domain?

I'm all for Registrars vetting the info and restricting public access to "sensitive" stuff, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

When I was registering a hospital under the original Data Protection Act, it seemed to me that the hospital was free to sell patient info IF the registration entry stated that intention.

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Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!

tfewster
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Re: "it would be unsafe to use the vehicle in question without the updates being installed"

"Modding": e.g. to improve fuel economy?

"Unsafe": If the car is unsafe now, it was unsafe before. Unless a change to the Highway Code made in "unsafe"

BOHICA: "The intention behind the proposed Bill is to emphasise that if there is an accident the compensation route for the individual remains within the motor insurance settlement framework, rather than through a product liability framework against a manufacturer."

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Survey: Tech workers are terrified they will be sacked for being too old

tfewster
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Re: Translation

Cheap != Low wages

Cheap = Good value for money...Relevant knowledge, experience, efficiency, reliability, loyalty...

I make the same argument about outsourcing/offshoring. If you don't know what service you need, how can you assess its cost?

I'm not a Grumpy Old Man, I'm a Disruptive VFM Resource

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Supreme Court to rule on whether US has right to data stored overseas

tfewster
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Re: @d3vy ... WTF?

Yep, it's an EU citizen

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/14/microsoft_wins_landmark_irish_warrant_case_against_usa/

And the DOJ have had 3 years to get an Irish warrant, but continued this fight - Which, of course would have put and en to MS & Google cloud services in the EU if the DOJ had won.

IIRC, in another case Google migrated a US citizens data to Ireland but gave it up to the DOJ as that move was for their convenience rather than to move the data out of US jurisdiction

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Malware again checks into Hyatt's hotels, again checks out months later with victims' credit cards

tfewster
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internal verification code

...cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code...

The "internal verification code" wouldn't be the CVV/CV2 that must never, ever, on pain of immediate revocation of card handling facilities, be stored, would it?

Payment Card Industry - Time to make an example of a serial offender, by revoking their privileges as per the contract they have with you. Or is the % they pay you worth more than the cost to you and cardholders?

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'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

tfewster
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1 Take control of a small country recognised by the UN

2 Demand equal rights to decryption backdoors to protect your country

3 ???

4 PROFIT!

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

tfewster
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SOX

Hang on - Equifax are a publicly traded US company, so they come under the Sarbanes-Oxley act. Yes, SOX is primarily intended to prevent CxO fraud, but it has other elements to protect the integrity of financial reporting and shareholder value, such as securing critical systems and regular audits.

Failure to meet the required standards means CxOs can be personally fined or imprisoned. So are the SEC pursuing a prosecution?

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Zuck shows Virtual Empathy by visiting Puerto Rico in VR

tfewster
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Fuckerbergs avatar smiles as he exploits human tragedy for his own profit. No change there then.

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Blade Runner 2049: Back to the Future – the movies that showed us what's to come

tfewster
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Re: Video Conferencing

And Universal Translators. And voice recognition (so why would you need a helmsman etc?).

And logic solving feuds that have lasted generations. But that part's just make-believe.

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BT fined £25,000 over second unsafe London roadworks this year

tfewster
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Stop

They should take the Motorway maintenance approach

Cone off 14 miles of busy motorway for 3+ years, even though you're only working* on one section. Ensure your contractors have their own fast lanes. Put up patronising posters of kids saying "Slow down - my mummy works here".

* 1 worker, 4 supervisors, if there's actually anyone there.

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Is that a bulge in your pocket or... do you have an iPhone 8+? Apple's batteries look swell

tfewster
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Was "battery must not swell" in the requirements?

If you sue one arm of a company and twist the other arm over prices, don't be surprised if they kick you in the 'nads.

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

tfewster
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Actually,you're right, and I've been wrong all these years...

"Profit margin is calculated with selling price (or revenue) taken as base times 100. It is the percentage of selling price that is turned into profit, whereas "profit percentage" or "markup" is the percentage of cost price that one gets as profit on top of cost price."

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Oracle wants you to drop a log into its cloud, so it can talk security

tfewster
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Go

Larry makes some interesting points

.. but nothing particularly new to the world, and he glosses over the hard parts - e.g. is an activity spike an attack or the result of a sales promotion?

"Machine learning technologies will be used to detect normal patterns in the data, and take programmed actions when an anomaly is identified"

Yeah, the hard part is working out the rules and responses. But if Oracle Corp can pre-populate many of those from their Sun & DB teams experiences, that knowledge is a saleable product (A bit like Splunk Apps)

I wish them luck!

P.S. What _is_ the "general ledger"? The servers? The database? The front end app? Crack the problem of describing that (a CMDB?) and you're a long way towards using natural language.

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UK lotto players quids in: Website knocked offline by DDoS attack

tfewster
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Re: "It's an idiot tax"

@handleoclast re: "Remember when Branson offered to run the lottery as a non-profit? He was turned down but no real reasons were ever given."

ISTR Branson's proposal to take over the Lottery was trumped by Camelots contract renewal bid to generate much more revenue and, after their cut, still hand over more (than Branson would have managed) to the Lottery Fund.

But I upvoted the rest of your post.

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From the Dept of the Bleedin' Obvious... yes, drones hurt when they hit you in the head

tfewster
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Do modern drones plummet?

Genuine question, and not explained in the research (as far as I can see) - is dropping an unpowered drone a realistic test? I would have thought the larger, "smarter" drones would try to auto-land to avoid damage to themselves and the owners wallet, and that total power failure in operation was unlikely.

"Ouch - my head" rather than the helicopter icon --->

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BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled

tfewster
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Re: EU must be joking

@PatientOne Thank you, yes, £148M is a more sensible figure to discuss in the context of "£350M available for the NHS".

Though you don't touch on what we get for the £148M (CERN, standards etc. as others have stated), it makes the EU look like an even better bargain

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

tfewster
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Contacting someone implies you were successful; "reaching out" and "pinging" can be useful in context, especially if you don't really care about the result: "Yeah, I reached out to (difficult person with a notoriously short attention span) [with a PGP encrypted linguine-long technical proposal] and s/he didn't have any objections"

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

tfewster
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Only

... the names, Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses

Isn't that all fraudsters need?

> 3 execs sold stock

Excellent, data loss might just get them a slap on the wrist, but the SEC hands out prison sentences for insider trading.

Loved the tweet from ElReg, by the way!

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

tfewster
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Re: A serious question.

Shadow Systems, imagine some trendy designer thought it would be "cleaner" or "cheaper" to just draw Braille dots rather than make them 3D. A "flat" UI isn't even in the same ballpark, but it's annoying and stupid regression. The ongoing increase in processing power makes it unnecessary.

Of course, on-screen 3D isn't really 3D but it does make buttons stand out better visually. I guess a temptation then is to make the button smaller and hence harder for people with shaky hands and weak vision to hit :-(

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Why is it that geeks' favourite enemies are... other geeks?

tfewster
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Re: Same with [members of] simlar religions ...

Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912? Splitter!

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Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

tfewster
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Joke

Re: re. Heelight

And of the 16M colours, one will be black so you don't need light switches - the bulb can be on all the time, emitting 16KW of black light during the day (according to your preferences).

Welcome back, Dabbsy!

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Terry Pratchett's unfinished works flattened by steamroller

tfewster
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Re: I wonder

L-space: "one can read any book ever written, any book that will be written at some point and books that were planned for writing that were not, as well as any book that could possibly be written"

I don't want to see a second-rate takeover. But I hope someone like Neil Gaiman looked though Pterrys notes and memorised some of the unpublished genius puns, pastiches and plots for a completely different world

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Despite being totally Megless, HP Inc stands on its own two feet

tfewster
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Megless

Are you implying that HPE would be better off without Meg (Or that the old HP would have been better off without her)? I couldn't possibly comment.

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Kill animals and destroy property before hurting humans, Germany tells future self-driving cars

tfewster
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Terminator

Re: Who

> But does it prioritize its passengers?

One could argue that that would be unethical - They chose to ride in the killing machine, the other party is deemed to be innocent.

Car comes round a blind bend to find a human standing in the road - crash into the wall or kill?

Car comes round a blind bend to find another auto-car coming the other way (with passengers) - crash into the wall or kill?

Traffic lights broken, both cars think they have right of way - crash into the wall or kill?

Add black ice, oil on the road, "invisible" trucks and other undetectable hazards, and even the best driver or computer will get caught out eventually. So Asimovs Third law applies - the car should sacrifice itself (its airbag-protected contents are at lower risk anyway)

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Disbanding your security team may not be an entirely dumb idea

tfewster
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Interesting hypothesis

After all, security is everyones problem. But we're not all trained or available to tackle armed robbers, so we have a specialised group of "police" for that.

InfoSec get the ear of the board, and hence funding, in a way that IT don't. Remarkable for a group of blockers playing on peoples fears - telling CxOs that that could lose their jobs or go to prison if things go wrong.

InfoSec must then use that power responsibly - to enable the IT team to make improvements. E.g. login management/SSO tools, which have security and productivity benefits. Patching policies and tools, which have security and productivity benefits. Malware blocking, which....You get the idea. Community policing as well as SWAT teams.

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Forget sexy zero-days. Siemens medical scanners can be pwned by two-year-old-days

tfewster
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Re: It's not the scanner's fault

> "They are also going to have to pay for the weeks/months of testing necessary everytime Windows releases an update..."

That's fair. Say Siemens spend £1M a year on that testing (10-20 FTEs). Divide it amongst their customers (Say 1000), and add it to the maintenance costs of the scanner. £1000 p.a. each isn't going to make a blip on the costs of running a scanner.

(Part 2 of the plan is to make security a selling point and block competitors from winning sales on those grounds. Win-win)

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Look out Silicon Valley, here comes Brit bruiser Amber Rudd to lay down the (cyber) law

tfewster
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Re: Not Very Bright...

Amber Rudd and others are conflating two very different uses of the internet by the "bad guys":

1. External communications: Propaganda, recruitment etc. - YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter. Has to be widely visible, can't be encrypted, easily taken down, and sources blocked, though the individuals behind it may be harder to find.

2. Internal communications: Planning attacks, logistics, etc. - Burner phones, WhatsApp for encryption, all of the above for innocuous coded messages - all using burner accounts.

Internet companies are cooperating on any "offensive" material, which covers the first type. For the second type, breaking encryption wouldn't gather anything meaningful - What does "The grey goose flys at dawn" mean, unless you have the codebook?

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The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

tfewster
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Re: Sorry for the thread subversion...

@ Hollerithevo - You used "food" and " Nando's" in the same sentence - shome mishtake, shurley?

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tfewster
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Pint

Re: Get it right

One of the best "Full English's" I've ever had was a pub in Amsterdam. With a pint of Guinness, at 10am. Before heading off to the Heineken brewery tour. So I can't remember the details of the contents, but the whole stag party of Brits-abroad was well impressed.

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Pre-order your early-bird pre-sale product today! (Oh did we mention the shipping date has slipped AGAIN?)

tfewster
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Black Helicopters

Re: Bah!

Nice product concept. Send me £100 now, and I'll ship you one of the first production models* -->

* In 2030**

** May be delayed due to our dodgy uranium suppliers letting us down

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