* Posts by big_D

3575 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

Salesforce has named a chief ethics officer and yes, the job description is appropriately woolly

big_D
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Re: "Chief Ethical and Humane Use Officer"

It is "funny", it is inhumane to let an animal suffer, yet it is illegal in most countries to not let a human suffer under the same conditions and put them out of their misery, even if they are begging to be freed from the agony.

Microsoft to rule the biz chat roost – survey

big_D
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Re: None of the above.

@AMBxx we are talking about internal communications for the most part.

Although we do receive guest logons for Skype for Business telcos on occassion (login over website).

big_D
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Re: None of the above.

My previous employer ran its own Jabber servers for internal and external chat (open source software developer).

That is the only company I've worked at that has used chat tools.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

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Re: Ban a system that works and is malware free*...

@Kernel agreed. And the big newspapers used derivatives for decades to transfer photos (and text?) from all over the world back to HQ for inclusion in the papers.

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As I point out elsehwere, over here faxes are accepted as legally binding documents by courts, emails aren't. I don't know if that is the case in the UK.

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Re: Ban a system that works and is malware free*...

I worked at an IT company and many customers insited on sending faxes of report layouts they wanted.

Also, for legal reasons, most sent faxes of signed off orders, because a PDF in an email was not a legally binding document in Germany, whereas a fax is - or rather the PDF needed to be digitally signed with a valid certificate, which is expensive and, for most non-IT people, complicated.

big_D
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The first rule...

The first rule of implementing an IT system is to have a backup if the IT system goes down. How do you send that document, if the email or electronic messaging system is offline for a few hours?

Not really an issue in some sectors, but in the health sector, it can be literally a life or death issue.

Having a paper based / manual backup was always priority number one on implementing a new system, when I was working as an analyst. But it seems good practices are being thrown out the window in the face of Cloud and DevOps...

big_D
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Legal Document?

For instance, she said, they will require signed directions or prescriptions – something easily achieved "in the real world" by taking a photo on your phone and sending it via SMS.

I don't know what UK law is, but in Germany, for example, a prescription sent by fax (or anything sent by fax) is a legally recognized document. A document sent as a scan in an email or, worse by insecure SMS (surely MMS?) is not recognized as legal document - therefore the pharmacy could issue drugs based on the fax, but not the SMS/MMS.

A digitally signed email and a digitally signed PDF attachment would be, as long as the senders certificate is valid.

Also, emails are very unsecure, unless you invest heavily in training users to create digital signatures and install them in the email client etc. which is still a complicated task for most IT professionals. I've done it a few times, but it isn't something most GPs or receptionists would be able to do, for example.

Have a gander at this: Amazon agrees not to act as Silicon Valley's foie gras dealer

big_D
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Re: Serves them right

@FuzzyWuzzyys but just think of the scale and the profit you could make by using the cloud.

Sort of like Mechanical Turk.

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Paris Hilton

That was my first thought. Animal welfare? Yes. Consumer protection? How? The geese aren't consumers, they are the consumed, at the end of the day.

US Homeland Security installs AI cameras at the White House, Google tries to make translation less sexist

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The source data isn't necessarily biased or wrong, when it is information, for example, talking about Dr. John Smit the Surgeon and refers to him as he, it isn't biased.

It is the selection of data that Google uses, its dataset that has the bias.

That said, given the apocalytic errors it can make with translations, I would think that this gender bias is a very minor point.

A few years back, Google Translate would ignore the word "not" when translating from English to German! So "do not open the case" would be translated to "das Gehäuse öffnen" (open the case). For example:

"Do not open the case, high voltage inside" ´= "Gehäuse öffnen, Starkstrom drinnen" (Open the case, high voltage inside)

"Do not open the case, no user servicable parts inside" = "Gehäuse öffnen, nichts drinnen" (Open the case, nothing inside)

I actually put the correct translations into the feedback and it has improved since, but I would think such errors should have priority, as they can be downright dangerous.

'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit

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It was a good idea...

But now that El Reg has reported it, they have cancelled the order and have gone back to the drawing board...

Microsoft says it's time to get serious about facial recognition rules: 'Laws and regulations are indispensable'

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Re: Invest in hoodie production now

@AC and London, Bejing, New York, Chicago and Houston are not in Germany.

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Re: Invest in hoodie production now

You aren't allowed to wear hoodies in public, or rather you can, but you can't cover your face.

On the other hand, CCTVs are also pretty rare, because it infringes on constitutional and privacy rights.

big_D
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Black Helicopters

Even normal CCTV

is very rare over here. The police have been fighting for years to get more CCTV installed, but they generally can't get clearance to install it, because of data protection and constitutional rights.

Unfortunately, the banned black helicopters icon isn't available.

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

big_D
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Re: This sh*t again?

In Germany a lot of companies I've worked with/for use either IE or Firefox and don't use Chrome or, at worst, the standard browser is Firefox and users can use Chrome if they want.

But tracking and personal data leakage are generally very big themes over here.

How the mighty have fallen: Anglian Water knocks Google off perch as UK's best workplace

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Coat

At least you know where they are splashing your cash.

Former headteacher fined £700 after dumping old pupil data on server at new school

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Personal data covers a lot of sins. It could be anything from contact details, through attendance records and grades, school reports or simply example texts the pupils wrote or example tests, which still had the pupils names on them. Or non-anonymised test data for an application.

Without context, it sounds bad. But the context would let us know how bad it was. As it is, the news is incomplete and leaves us playing guessing games.

Windows 10 or Cisco Advanced Malware Protection: Pick one

big_D
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Re: Advanced Malware Protection ?

But, would you trust camp software?

Intel eggheads put bits in a spin to try to revive Moore's law

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So this explains...

Why they are now 4 years behind on their tick-tock improvements to their processors and haven't released anything "new" since Skylake, just tock improvements to the existing architecture.

Mine's the one in quantum flux.

European fibre lobby calls for end to fake fibre broadband ads

big_D
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Meat

I had a "laugh" last week, I bought Lidl vegetable nuggets for lunch, 41% vegetable, 41% poultry! Got job I'm not a vegetarian!

The dingo... er, Google stole my patent! Biz boss tells how Choc Factory staff tried to rip off idea from interview

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Re: Hang on!

And in the last 15 to 20 years, it was very popular to take existing patents and slap the words "in a mobile device" and it was automatically a new paten.

Here are another 45,000 reasons to patch Windows systems against old NSA exploits

big_D
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Re: Is anyone using UPnP anyway?

@MrBoring UPnP isn't the problem. The problem is, it is a protocol designed for the internal network and the manufacturers of the devices are setting the routers up with the protocol active on the WAN device. That is verging on criminal negligence.

big_D
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Re: Is anyone using UPnP anyway?

People should also have a similar understanding of networking if they're running a LAN.

I agree to a point. But the problem here is that the technicians that designed the hardware have made an elementary cock-up in the basic configuration of the devices they are selling. If they can't get it right, what hope to non-technical home users have?

The problem isn't the users, per se, in this case, the problem is the manufacturers putting out a device in a dangerous condition. This is like a car manufacturer selling a car, where they know the brakes won't work in an emergency.

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Re: It's WPS, not WEP...

@LDS thanks. I knew WEP was wrong when I answered Jack earlier, but I couldn't think of the correct term.

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Re: Is anyone using UPnP anyway?

@Jack of Shadows and WEP has its own security problems and should be taken out behind the shed and put out of its misery as well.

As I say above, the problem with UPnP is that it is designed for the internal network and idiot manufacturers are putting it on the WAN port as well and leaving it on by default... Punching a hole from the inside to the outside can be useful and there are legitimate reasons for this. Puncing a hole from the outside to the inside is never a good idea.

big_D
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Re: Is anyone using UPnP anyway?

UPnP is for devices on the internal network to request a dynamically assigned port to be forwarded to them - XBox and PS4 use it for multi player and online games, for example (without it, you would only be able to have 1 device on the network and you would have to manually do the port forwarding), Skype and many other services and protocols also rely on it, but always from inside the network to outside resources.

The problem is, UPnP can be turned on on any physical network port (as opposed to TCP port), LAN, WAN, Wi-Fi etc. The problem is the second one, many router manufacturers have turned it on by default on the WAN port, meaning that anybody outside the network can ask for port forwarding into the network!

This is security 101 and the engineers that came out with the bright idea of turning it on on the WAN port will be the first against the wall, when the revolution comes.

It might be interesting, if there is a case for the engineers and the router manufacturers to be charged with aiding and abetting these attacks.

That is why the routers should have this turned off by default, or better don't offer the option at all on home routers. If you really want to use routing and port forwarding within segmented networks, then you should be looking at professional devices.

GCHQ pushes for 'virtual crocodile clips' on chat apps – the ability to silently slip into private encrypted comms

big_D
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Re: Unanswered questions..

o How do I test the GCHQ interface?

That is for you to decide. You write the interface. You have to give them access on demand.

o How will I prevent the users detecting a third data connection out of their device (cos it's peer-to-peer)?

That is your problem, but it is your app, so you are in full control.

big_D
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It is the most reasonable attempt yet, but I still see too many unanswered questions about security of the connection - again, if the government can get access with a warrant, what is to stop a hacker with access to the network from also listening in? There is too little information about how this should be implemented, without breaking things or allowing unauthorized parties (rogue admins, hackers) access.

The solution itself is almost reasonable, but the checks-and-balances need to be in place first and auditable, before such a solution can even be thought of.

They need to prove that they are trustworthy and, until now, they have only shown that they can't be trusted as far as you can throw GCHQ.

Support whizz 'fixes' screeching laptop with a single click... by closing 'malware-y' browser tab

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Backup? Company policy says no data to be stored locally, everything must be on the servers, so there is no data to lose. /BOFH

'Massage parlour' location looks like Amazon stealth-testing secret new wireless network

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Re: "Total Body Stretch"

I think that Tomás de Torquemada perfected the technique in the 15th Century.

It's a patch bonanza as Microsoft showers its OS platforms with update love

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1809 patch

came through on my normal machines this morning.

Microsoft readies the swatter as more bugs wriggle out of the Windows 10 woodwork

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Re: Paint.

Given that there is no manufacturing really involved any more, it goes direct to users, RTM now stands for Release to Muggles.

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Re: Codecs?

Nothing. I actually had to go through the initial setup for wmp in order to test it.

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Re: Paint.

It is already depricated. You should be painting in 3D already!

Mine's the one with the Windows 3.1 floppies in the pocket.

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Codecs?

The WMP problem only affects certain file types.

On my rig MP3 and Audible books work fine. I didn't have any other media to test this morning.

Some people are saying it is certain codecs that are causing problems, which makes some sense as it is only specific file types that lose the "seek bar".

Huawei MateBook Pro X: PC makers look out, the phone guys are here

big_D
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Re: I rather like it, but for one detail

The form factor is too small for a num pad. You would need a 15" version, or the keyboard would be so small and squashed, that it would be all but unusable.

Euro consumer groups: We think Android tracking is illegal

big_D
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Re: The user has no freedom but to consent

But it doesn't have to be targeted. To be honest, I've disabled all tracking on my devices - to the extent that I have around 45,000 tracking domains set to 0.0.0.0 (unroutable) in my hosts file and the quality of the ads hasn't suffered, in fact it has improved, I get random ads instead of ads for products I've already bought.

big_D
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Re: There is no real option to turn off Location History once it has been enabled;

No, location history cannot be turned off on the device.

It is a setting of the user's account under Web and only available through the online account management through the web browser. And you can only pause it, you cannot turn it off.

If you turn off tracking on the phone, it does not affect location history.

Domain name 'admin' role eyed up as latest victim of Whois system's GDPRmeggdon

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Pint

@LeeD very well put and a great solution. I can see that you have never worked on a quango committee...

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The DPA is the UK implementation of GDPR.

Apple heading for Supreme Court showdown over iOS App Store 'monopoly' gripe

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Monopoly probe...

Apple may soon find itself at the center of a monopoly probe before the United States Supreme Court, based on opening arguments heard on Monday.

Don't you have to be a monopoly first? With 13% smartphone market share and <6% desktop, they don't seem to be a monopoly anywhere.

LG: Fsck everything, we're doing 16 lenses in smartphones (probably)

big_D
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Re: Small room, large AI.

My problem with smartphone camera systems is the fairly short focal length. With most of the photography I do, my Sony Alpha with a 300mm lens struggles to make the subject of the photo to be more than a pin prick - I was out a few weeks ago and managed to get some photos of a bird of prey on a field, but the cropped image was only around 300x200 pixels. I didn't have a bigger lens with me, enough to identify the bird, but not really a photo to keep.

But for such photography a smartphone is a non-starter. If the lenses were progressively stronger or could be used to make a decent 400mm - 500mm telephoto image at high resolution, then it is a nice step forward - i.e. each lens concentrates on a small piece of the overall image, in high resolution. If they just make offests and 3D, I am not really interested.

So, I'll withold judgement, until we actually see what the whole contraption brings to finished images.

Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

big_D
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Re: Why?

You disable all javascripts so they can't spy on you from their Facebook Like buttons plastered on other sites?

I have around 1500 Facebook domains set to 0.0.0.0 (unroutable) in my hosts file.

big_D
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Why?

"However, I am also mindful that this matter is sub judice before a court in California. It may be helpful for us to discuss this matter again after we have further guidance from the court."

A US court in California has no jurisdiction over the UK Government or UK courts or the UK in general...

Office 365 Exchange enjoys a less than manic Monday. Users? Not so much

big_D
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Pint

Re: At last! I can get some work done...

Yep.

Or, "I chose the wrong day to give up drinking."

Groundhog Day comes early as Intel Display Drivers give Windows 10 the silent treatment

big_D
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Re: Drivers?

On the machines I have, they work.

I'm guessing that they worked on the test machines as well.

That is the problem, it depends on the configurations - and you would expect that Intel would have at least tested them on a NUC, before releasing them to Microsoft.

Pasta-covered cat leads to kid night operator taking apart the mainframe

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Re: Burroughs/Unisys...

CTOS was from Convergent, they licensed it to Burroughs, and I believe Bull.

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Re: Burroughs/Unisys...

The machine I had was still running BTOS at the time.

BTOS - Burroughs Technology Operating System (it was the Burroughs name for CTOS and it was also marketed under the name Starsys).

I also went on a training course in Milton Keynes at the Unisys campus in Fox Milne.

That was fun. Middle of the course The Blues Brothers was shown on TV. Just about everybody on campus had watched it. Just one boring old fart, who complained about the racket coming from all the neighbouring rooms.

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