* Posts by genghis_uk

81 posts • joined 3 Dec 2009


Brit spy chief: We need trust or we won't have a 'licence to operate in cyberspace'


Re: GCHQ is...

When was the last time we had a Home Secretary that was not a total sociopath? I think being an overbearing nutter is part of the job description. It certainly has been for the last 30 or so years.

(Lloyd George maybe? Way before my time)

Last week in space: Giant aircraft, asteroid impacts and exploding satellites


Re: Stratolaunch

Ahhh, Lt. Ellis....

Brit Watchkeeper drone fell in the sea because blocked sensor made algorithms flip out


Re: What was the spec? Desert Warfare by mistake?

So the problem was not manual override - it was always on Fulliautomatix?

(extra points for Cacofonix or Vitalststistix)

You were warned and you didn't do enough: UK preps Big Internet content laws


Here we go again...

With the media promoting this as a fix for kids committing suicide or being groomed and terrorist propaganda we are back in the situation where being seen to disagree makes you a kid hating (or potentially loving in the wrong way) ISIS sympathiser. The fact that the MPs still do not get the internet is still horribly apparent - how do you enforce this?

While I feel sorry for the guy whose daughter killed herself after spending too much time on the chatroom fringes I still have to ask myself why it got that far. The same with the 14year old girl who was groomed into sending explicit images of herself (BBC news last night) - What were the parents doing? Kids are not allowed to play in the park with their friends unsupervised because, paedos/traffickers/latest media scare but they are perfectly ok to let them go online unsupervised. When something bad happens it is the fault of the Internet not the responsibility of the adult who is supposed to teach and protect - more regulations required, more heads need to roll. The Internet contains the whole bell curve of human opinion and oddity. The last standard deviation (no pun intended) is probably already illegal in most places but what our masters want is to contain only the acceptable center ground and that can contract at any time.

I am not blaming the victims but I do get the feeling that we are in danger of walking into a censorship minefield because it serves the powers that be and because of the ignorance of a majority of adults. The Internet has always had this stuff - probably worse on some of the alt.<random.bizarre.act> newsgroups but it was largely the domain of students at that point. Reddit is only an extension of that and Facebook/Twitter... well they are a classic example of what happens when you let idiots reproduce - don't get me started on why that is a bad idea...

Pokemon No! Good news: You can now ban the virtual pests, er, pets to stop nerds wandering around your property


Re: No problem

Well that's the insanity defence covered...

Obviously a number of youngsters wandering around staring at their phones is so scary that shooting them under 'imminent threat of danger' is reasonable. "Thar were a gang o them kids armed wiv them newfangled I-thingies - Ah was afeared for mah life officer"

(Has Bob changed his name or are there two shouty idiots on here?)

A once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity: NASA bids emotional farewell to its cocky, hardworking RC science car on Mars


Re: Wouldn't it be ironic

No it wouldn't - Alanis is that you again?

Recording Industry Ass. says vinyl and CD sales beat digital downloads


Re: What about the artists?

At one time concerts/gigs used to be loss leaders for the album release and were affordable (the merchandise not so much!). As a teenager I regularly went to Hammersmith Odeon (remember that?) to see big bands.

Somewhere along the line the album release became secondary and now tickets are stupidly expensive. Coupled with the secondary sales racketeering, I don't think I could afford to see the same bands 30 years later...

London Mayor calls for social networks and sharing economy to stop harming society


Re: Leader of the free world

"Try watching Fox News (snip!) and get the REAL story... "

Err, what? Does not compute!

Jupiter has the craziest storms seen yet, say boffins


Re: Yeah

Also Colchester and High Wycombe... A 70's fad that thankfully died out but, unlike flares never made a come back

Brit spooks slammed over 'gentlemen's agreement' with telcos to get mass comms data


Re: How long

I was just wondering why this is not mainsream news. It affects us just as much as Brexit but not a mention on any channel, just the same old political drivel plus snow of course

Mars is red, Earth is blue. Here's a space laser story for you


Did we learn nothing from Captain Scarlet??

Yorkshire cops have begun using on-the-spot fingerprint scanners


Re: Not on IDENT1

I play guitar and have had several 'fun' moments trying to get through immigration in Malaysia (and emigration as they do it on exit too). Even pointing to the instrument on my back did not exactly convince them. They used to do index finger only - I offered thumbs as an alternative but that did not follow their process

Luckily I have not had a gig just before going to the US as I can see that would be a non starter - I also cant take my guitar there as it is old and made from the wrong kind of wood!

Australian govt promises to push Five Eyes nations to break encryption


the other problem that is never mentioned is that a code only has to be strong enough to survive for a certain length of time.

A bunch of bad guys organising something in a few months may want a strong cypher or encryption but if that something is today (or probably even in the next couple of days) they could send it in clear text as the chances of it being intercepted and acted upon is incredibly small. Even smaller if the spooks are intercepting everything.

So if encryption is banned and they do not want to draw attention, they could effectively hide in plain sight by sending clear text messages that look innocuous... how do you deal with that? Ban all communications?


I was watching a BBC news programme a few weeks ago (after the London Bridge attack I think) and the presenter was pushing the 'terrorists using encryption so all encryption is bad' line. She had a couple of expert guests on from mathematical and technical backgrounds that explained the problem simply.

1) A backdoor in an encryption system breaks it - no more online banking or purchases. This is maths and cannot be worked around

2) The authorities already have legal ability to hack pc's and phones of known suspects which allows them to read the plain text version of the messages. Encryption only stops the spooks reading the message while it is in transit

3) Making something illegal does only prevents legitimate use. Criminals do not take much notice

It was interesting that the presenter completely changed her mind (around point 2) when she realised what the proposals meant. She suddenly understood that this brings no new power other than the ability to spy on everyone instead of targeted spying on known or suspected bad guys. She thanked the experts for educating her on something she had not understood previously...

Now if this was repeated at 6 and 10pm instead of 10:30am maybe a few more people would be educated too!

Error prone, insecure, inevitable: Say hello to today's facial recog tech


The issue is not of following up on leads but the shift of onus.

You should be innocent until proven guilty but we have already seem problems with DNA where a jury is convinced by the science. If your face is matched by a computer the responsibility will be on you to prove your innocence as the tech already says you are guilty. That is a slippery slope!

IBM has cloud access to quantum computer 400 times smaller than D-Wave system


Re: Schrödinger's coin?

Speaking of coins - if it is so good at crypto calculations could this pay for itself in currency mining over a short period? That will upset the Chinese!

(Mine's the one with the accidentally deleted wallet)

Licence-fee outsourcer Capita caught wringing BBC tax from vulnerable


Re: maths

The OP said "£5 per screen inch" so that means a lot of 10" TVs... 5*10 * 30 = 1500

Or you could make it £1 per screen inch with a more realistic screen size i.e. 1 * 50inch * 30 = 1500

That said, the idea of every household in the UK buying a new TV every year (especially highly taxed 10" ones) does seem a bit unlikely

Grumpy Trump trumped, now he's got the hump: Muslim ban beaten back by appeals court


Re: It's all a media conspiracy!

<It's also given the rest of the world a chance to both laugh at and feel superior to the United States - not something that happens very often.>

Actually we do it all the time but we have not had this level of pantomime for a long time... Ronald (the president's brain is missing) Regan and Dubya were great for the satirists but Trump...? Comedians are going to have material for years with this one.

Samsung battery factory bursts into flame in touching Note 7 tribute


Except Alanis Morissette did not get irony either. Most of the song lyrics relate to annoyances rather than ironic events

<also well and truly beaten to it - oh, well!>

God save the Queen... from Donald Trump. So say 1 million Britons


Re: Where were all these virtue signallers...

Which is why I hope Germany, France and the Netherlands will not want to screw our trade deals too badly as they have nearly 200Bn in exports to lose.

Note "I hope"... every time I think a world leader will do the obviously sane thing they seem to do the exact opposite. Maybe my idea of obviously sane is wrong?

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


Re: "all terrorists are Muslims"

By the 90s they had largely stopped bombing in England as the political process started, leading to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

You should have grown up in England during the 70's and 80's to witness the real horrors - car bomb outside Harrods just before Christmas, Victoria Station in rush hour etc. Apparently 19000 (yes, 19 thousand) devises were exploded in the UK between 1970 and 2005 - from Wikipedia so treat with caution - It felt like there was a bomb every week when I was a kid so I can believe it.

At no time during this did we feel the need to spy on the whole population (ok, some Irish were probably incorrectly targeted), nor did we feel that we needed to wall off the border. In fact the general feeling was anger against the bombers, not fear of the Irish in general and they were not persecuted as a nation.

US govt can't stop Microsoft taking its Irish email seizure fight to the Supreme Court


I don't think the USG is concerned about Ireland and their abilities. They want the ability to go to a US company and demand access to foreign data without informing the foreign powers that they are doing it.

As others have said, they could get this data easily if they used the process but by setting a precedence they can effectively spy on anyone who has data stored on servers owned by US companies.

Add Microsoft, Google, Apple and Amazon together and you get a lot of data stored outside of the US.

Trump fan Peter Thiel 'considering' CA Terminator role*


Re: Support like this

Palin endorsed Trump which gave some hope that The Donald was doomed.... Although in that case the speech was so off the wall and garbled it was probably hard to tell who or what she was endorsing.

Fiorina and Palin... too scary to have in one sentence!

Engineers say safety features got squished out of cramped Samsung Note 7


I notice that it is a software engineering team blaming the hardware design...

It's a date: Hard-pressed Samsung prepares for shareholder love-in


Hopefully Sammy will tell them where to put their 0.6% share.

'Investors' like these only look for short term gains and care nothing for the future of the company - the Arkell response would be appropriate here.

Hey techbros, make an airplane mode but for driving for your apps – US traffic watchdog


Passenger vs Driver is fairly simple - start with the assumption that the connected phone belongs to the driver and enter driver mode but allow a manual override. A passenger can override without too much effort but if there is an accident and the driver's phone has had the override enabled, throw the book at them!

There will always be edge conditions but that is what we have courts for, to determine mitigating circumstances. The responsibility should always be with the driver was they are in 'control' of the vehicle.

AI is all trendy and fun – but it's still a long way from true intelligence, Facebook boffins admit


Re: Pulling open the curtain

For me it was early 90's Expert Systems but much the same...

We were doing this sort of thing in Prolog when I was at university. On the hardware side, the parallel gated logic looks like a PAL from the same era, not even up to FPGA complexity where at least you could get some interesting interconnects and feedback for training.

Trump's taxing problem: The end of 'affordable' iPhones


Re: Strawmanning / Nixon, Carter, Reagan

Except Harding died after 2 years in office so he limited his impact.

Pence could be worse than Trump so it is hard to say whether it would be a good thing in this case.


Re: "it's difficult..."

I would think Canada are more than happy to build a wall - and pay for it

UK spying law delayed while Lords demand Leveson amendments


Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

True MGJ, but capital punishment is usually a knee jerk response to the press demanding action against kiddie fiddlers and rapists which has a relatively short attention span. Other examples would be assisted suicide where MPs vote on moral grounds that may not be really representative or even cannabis legalisation where FUD appears to rule the day.

However, Brexit has had such a polarising effect and global awareness that if MPs now voted against it there would be a backlash that could threaten a lot of seats. If there is one thing a political will protect at all costs it is their parliamentary seat. In all of the above examples voting on moral grounds can be seen as safe in the Brexit case it is not.


Re: First the Brexit vote, now this.

Absolutely. I can't see why everyone is getting so upset about this.

The referendum allowed the people to tell MPs WHAT they wanted. Whether you agree or not, we got an answer.

The court is telling the government HOW the will of the people should be enacted to meet the law as it stands. There is no conflict as far as Brexit goes. The problem could come if MPs do not vote in the way their constituencies did but that would cause all sorts of issues so it is unlikely.

So the only real issue is that a lot of people (and a couple of newspapers) seem to think that the referendum was the vote to leave rather than an indication to parliament that they should start the process. Oberführer May and her cronies thought they had the authority to act independently from parliament but the courts have told them they can't - I think the appeal is more of a hissy fit as they have been embarrassed

Back to the Snoopers Charter though, the fact that there has been virtually no publicity or major opposition can almost be considered criminal neglect from the press and the opposition - even if they agree, their job is to argue the point to ensure fair deliberation. No attempt to include amendments or advice from a series of experts means that it will be a disaster from day one and open to all sorts of interpretation... I hate to think what the next few years will bring us!

What has 500,000 thumbs and is no longer being sued by HP? Panasonic


Has she been at the sherry again?

Brace yourself, Samsung: Activist investor Elliot's in an arm-twisting mood


Re: I'm sure they will very politely tell him to

I was just wondering what Korean for Fuck Off was... maybe I need to wait for the reply

SpaceX lands another rocket


Re: Nearly boring

Was going to point out that we have gone from whole "MUSK DID IT! \o/\o/\o/" articles to "musk did it again" news bites in a very short space of time.

Personally, I struggle to find this boring no matter how many times they land that first stage... maybe in a few years, but probably not.

Police Scotland to cough 0.001% of annual income for unlawful RIPA spying



Police abusing anti-terror laws to spy on non-terror suspects - well, who'd have though that would happen?

Nothing to see here... move along... (if you don't move along we will start to look into your affairs, after all if you have nothing to hide...)

Philando Castile death-by-cop vid mysteriously vanishes from Facebook


Re: Moderation

Beat me to it - plus if they are that young then why unsupervised access?

Chilcot's IT spend: Tighter wallet than most public sector bods


Re: 179 lives, 7 years, £30 million, culminates in...wait for it...

Not to mention the destruction of lives and infrastructure plus providing an open path for the likes of ISIS in Iraq.

How does he get away with it?

Blighty's EU science funding will remain unchanged until new PM triggers Article 50


Re: Leave already will you

Good luck with that one. It has been vetoed by France on a number of occasions.

Champagne supernova in the sky: Shockwaves seen breaking star


Supernova Fusion

(good name for a band?)

<quote>It's an important part of our understanding of how heavy elements form, because supernovae provide the energy that assembles hydrogen and helium into heavier atoms</quote>

Not quite true - the sun produces a large number of heavier atoms in its normal operation (depending o the size of the sun). Supernovae provide the energy to produce the really heavy atoms.

Watch: SpaceX Dragon capsule breathes fire during crucial hover test


Re: 0-100mph in just 1.2 seconds

Top fuel drag cars do 0-100mph in less than a second... also without the aid of a rocket (still a lot of horsepower though!)

Pretty much any large sports motorcycle will do 0-60 in 3 seconds

The last time Earth was this hot hippos lived in Britain (that’s 130,000 years ago)

Thumb Up

Re: Bring on the warming!!!

There are a number of vineyards in Hampshire too. I also have (albeit small) olive bushes in my garden.

As I live on the South Downs I look forward to having a seaside property - If the A3 and M3 flood it could even be an island for extra cool points :)

Always an upside!

Eclipse staggers to feet, gets smacked by second DDoS


I was also an Eclipse domestic customer for close to 13 years - I recently moved due to excessive caps exacerbated by treating weekend daytime as peak time (really?).

Ironically I have been logging DDoS attacks for a couple of days with the new ISP but nothing that is actually causing issues...

Samsung Gear VR is good. So good 2016 could be year virtual reality finally makes it


Re: It will be a failure just like fake 3D glasses...

@Joerg I think you missed the point - the 3D TV fad requires you to watch a TV while wearing glasses and it gives a sort of 3D effect similar to cinema.

With VR headsets you wear the TV - it appears to be huge and it moves with your head. They may not look overly cool but the headset attached to a games console will give you a very immersive experience that you simply cannot achieve with 3D glasses.

It's moved on a lot since I was playing with VPL Eyephones in the 90's...

Another root hole in OS X. We know it, you know it, the bad people know it – and no patch exists


Re: OS X security?

I am not sure that profit is really the issue.

According to stats on El Reg in June, OSX market share is roughly equivalent to Windows XP - way behind Win7 and even the well loved Win8.

If you are going to target an exploit which would you aim for?

Apple, Google mobe encryption good news... for TERRORISTS – EU top cop


Human Rights - the media war

I see the UK press is pushing the government agenda today

Daily Express: (I don't read it but saw this on the news stand!)

Human rights madness to end: Europe's judges to be stopped from meddling in our affairs

Human Rights is getting in the way of the draconian legislation UKGov wants to pass but being sold as those pesky Europeans meddling…

The problem is I don't see Labour doing anything different. They wanted to scrap the Human Rights Act in the early 2000's when incarceration without trial was being used on terrorist suspects. We really need a "None of the Above" entry on the next election ballot papers! They are all as bad as each other and seem to be competing to see who can get the police state installed first

Robot cars to hit Blighty in 2015


Re: A few Things that will happen

7) More accidents involving head on crashes of meat driven vehicles overtaking the driver less cars that will all be obeying the speed limit everywhere, at all times…

Climate: 'An excuse for tax hikes', scientists 'don't know what they're talking about'


Re: @Cipher - In the 1970s...

I remember the next ice age talk in the 70's.

The paper you reference may say there was no evidence but that didn't stop the media reporting it at the time.

Make cyberwar a no-no equal to nukes, bio, and chemical attacks, says RSA headman


Give PCs a chance man!

Ok, sorry, I'm going...

India's spooks prepare to peer through their own PRISM


Searching Forums?

Just go to one of the Call of Duty forums and hide in plain sight - way too many false positives on Bomb, Kill, Attack etc…

(Oh dammit - ***flagged***)

High-end Samsung slabs, cheapie Androids take healthy BITE out of Apple's market share


Re: Laughable

Meanwhile in the real world.... Yes Apple sales were stagnant - for the last quarter!

All figures for public companies are presented quarterly, sales and profit/loss are measured quarter on quarter and against the same quarter as last year. It is not micro-nitpicking it is business statistics!

Just because something new is coming next quarter does not mean that this quarter is meaningless. The figures are still the same. Saying "I'm sorry Mr Shareholder, this quarter's sales figures are crap but just wait until you see next quarter" is the Board's job and they have to adjust forecasts accordingly.

So the next figures will be fourth quarter and year end - maybe then you will be happy with the annual numbers. No-one is interested in day on day or even month on month (generally) but quarter figures are the backbone of company stats.


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