* Posts by phuzz

4053 posts • joined 23 Feb 2010

Ticketmaster tells customer it's not at fault for site's Magecart malware pwnage

phuzz
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AKA "it's not our fault the shitty company we hired turned out to be shit"

Super Micro says audit found no trace of Chinese spy chips on its boards

phuzz
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Re: Again, why bother

Why bother adding an extra board when you can just use the built in lights-out management which is built into practically every server?

Poor people should get slower internet speeds, American ISPs tell FCC

phuzz
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Re: Rich man poor man

Well ISPs in the US already get a subsidy to pay for them rolling out broadband to less well off areas. This whole article is about how they'd like to reduce the definition of 'broadband' to make it easier (and cheaper) for themselves.

So your society has already deemed that everyone should get internet access, but the ISPs are trying to change the rules so that they don't have to spend as much money.

phuzz
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Boffin

Re: Different money for the poor

"Poor people only get to live 58/100ths of their life ???"

As per this study covering 1980-2014, there's a 25% difference in expected lifespan between the most and least well off counties.

So poor people in the US get to live a whole 75% as long as the rich, that's loads better than 58% right?

IBM is trying to throttle my age-discrimination lawsuit – axed ace cloud salesman

phuzz
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Re: Employee Handbook

"Isn't that one of those documents that HR holds close to the vest and makes sure the last people that have access to it are the employees?"

No, it's the one where they insist that you sign a bit of paper saying you've read it (in the three minutes allotted), and then make fifteen revisions to before the ink is dry on your signature.

25% of NHS trusts have zilch, zip, zero staff who are versed in security

phuzz
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Stop

It's worse than that, they were being asked by a security firm (ie this was a PR exercise) if they had any staff who'd had 'security training'.

So apart from the fact that this is only being reported on because a company's marketing department saw a good way to get attention, it also begs the question, exactly what kind of 'security training' would be useful? All the people I'd trust to secure a system have exactly zero formal training. From my own experience of IT training, although I did learn stuff, the actual certification just showed that you could complete and exam, not that you had any aptitude for the subject.

So, perhaps the NHS has no competent security staff, or perhaps it has lots who've never had the budget to be sent on an overpriced training course just so they can put a line on their CV saying "security trained". This PR piece doesn't really give us the information to decide.

Microsoft to rule the biz chat roost – survey

phuzz
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Stop

Choices

We used to just use our own Jabber server.

Now we use Hipchat (which is EOL), Stride and Mattermost, which of course means we give up trying to work out which chat app a particular person is on and just fall back to email.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

phuzz
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Pint

I do homebrew the easy way.

My dad has all the equipment and does all the work, and every year he presents me with a barrel of whatever gut-rot he's managed to brew up this year.

It's cheap, and it contains plenty of alcohol, what more could anyone wish for?

Lenovo tells Asia-Pacific staff: Work lappy with your unencrypted data on it has been nicked

phuzz
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Re: Meet our CSO, Mr. Hindsight

'Twigged', is also widely used in the UK, and I'd guess some of the ex-colonies as well, not just South Africa. Plus a South African is less likely to be worried by GDPR.

OSIRIS-REx space probe catches a whiff of water on asteroid Bennu

phuzz
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Thumb Up

Re: Awe..

"something that could in parts be older than the solar system"

If you go up to the asteroid display in the Natural History Museum in London they have a tiny bit of dust from the interstellar medium, which likely pre-dates the rest of our solar system. You can see it with your own eyes (but not touch it obviously).

In 2018, Facebook is the villain and Microsoft the shining light, according to techies

phuzz
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Re: Some what does MS do with the data?

There was telemetry collection at least as far back as XP. That's what the "Send Error Report" button on the "X has encountered a problem and needs to close" dialogue meant (eg).

Because of people occasionally hitting the send button, they realised that crappy drivers were causing a huge proportion of crashes in Windows, which is why they moved to the new driver model in Vista, and presumably also got the taste for using user telemetry to diagnose widespread problems.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

phuzz
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Extendability

What's always impressed me about DOOM is just how far the engine has been pushed.

It's been run on everything from graphing calculators to a spectrum analyser. The engine itself has been ported and expanded to the point where people are still making mods for DOOM, but they look like this.

China on its way to becoming the first nation to land on the far side of the Moon

phuzz
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Re: eliptical orbit satellite...

"You can queue yours if you want. The correct word though is cue."

Can't you use both in slightly different circumstances? You'd cue up the record you wanted to play now, but queue up another record to play after that one had finished.

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

phuzz
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Sweapstake

Ok, who wants to guess what year the NHS will actually get rid of their last fax machine?

I'm going to pick 2041. Oh, and following the removal of that last fax, it turns out it was the only way to order drugs for a major hospital...

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire

phuzz
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Re: I'm not worried

"Thermal system cannot be more than 50% efficient and more like 40% whereas lithium ion systems are going towards 70%."

Relevant line from TFA:

"Lithium-ion costs run about $300 to $400 per kWh-e, he said, while a molten silicon system looks like it can operate at $30 to $40 per kWh-e"

It's (potentially) ten times cheaper, and that means it can be nine times less efficient and still be worth it.

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

phuzz
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Re: Lock em up!

I'd always assumed before today that it was a generic name rather than a trademark. It does betray a certain lack of imagination;

"We're going to sell vacuum cleaners for people to use in their workshops, what shall we name our company?"

"How about Shop-vac?"

"Brilliant! Trebles all round!"

phuzz
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Black Helicopters

Re: The War on Drugs

"So for some people in power, the War on Drugs has worked out quite well."

Exactly, the War on Drugs hasn't failed, it's succeeded in all the ways it was ever intended to.

It's made money for 'defence' contractors. It's made money for prison owners. It's got votes for hardline politicians, and not coincidentally, it's locked up a lot of black people.

phuzz
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Alert

HENRY'S DRUGS SHAME!

Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet'

phuzz
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Re: Assange is a political prisoner, in the United Kingdom, end of

"They offered him a deal where he won't face the music in the US"

To be fair, they might have made that sound like a new special deal they'd made up just for him, but that's standard UK policy. We don't have the death penalty, and so we won't extradite anyone to a country where they are likely to get the death penalty.

Nothing stopping them from either extraditing him to Sweden or Australia where they might be more willing, or asking the US to pinky swear that the worst he'll get is life imprisonment, which is all it would take to get past the "no death penalty" requirement.

Either way he's still got to serve six months in HMP for bail jumping before he goes anywhere else.

Bloodhound SSC reaches the end of the road for want of £25m

phuzz
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Re: Bu**eration!

"why don't they go for full monty and just clip the wings and affix proper wheels to an SR-71 or Saturn V or whatever is available?"

Even aircraft that are quite capable of breaking the speed of sound, don't/can't do it at an altitude of 0m. The increased air density, and the reflection of the shockwaves off the ground would basically destroy a wingless aircraft. Instead all the aerodynamics have to be designed with 1000mph at 0m as a requirement.

Wow, what a lovely early Christmas present for Australians: A crypto-busting super-snoop law passes just in time

phuzz
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Re: "Ship! Come back!"

"They can update the app, but egress traffic from each participant cannot be avoided without fundamentally changing the protocol."

AFAIK if you were traffic sniffing your phone, all you'd see is encrypted packets going to/from Whatsapp's servers, so there'd be no way to tell there.

As for "ignoring the keys", I mean that currently if someone is added to a group chat, you would normally get a notification along the lines of "J BLoggs has been added to this chat". They could add a client side update such that when GCHQ is added to a group chat, it did not notify the user.

This wouldn't be possible with an open protocol like PGP, but when the only way of using Whatsapp is a closed source program, there's no way of telling what's happening to your conversations other than trusting them.

phuzz
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Re: "Ship! Come back!"

"If they tried to push an invite out to 5eyes, then each device could notice that the administrator has pushed an invitation to a new member."

Unless they update the app to silently ignore when certain keys are added to the conversation. When they control the client as well as everything in between, they can add eavesdropping in a way that would be invisible to the end user.

Of course, once they have the capability to do that, you have to wonder what processes are in place to prevent (eg) someone bribing a Whatsapp staffer to give them access to a private conversation.

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

phuzz
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Re: The right attitude

"why the f*** would I move the mouse between the two clicks?"

Reading between the lines in what trydk said, the user had some kind of impairment/disability that made clicking difficult, and because of that they were unable to keep the mouse stationary whilst clicking.

In that situation you could try turning down the mouse sensitivity, or possibly moving the user to a trackball (if possible).

phuzz
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Facepalm

Re: The right attitude

When somebody does not understand, then it was not explained well enough.

It depends on how 'advanced' your users are. I once very carefully explained that I wanted someone to turn a computer off, and specified that I didn't mean the screen, I meant the separate box with flashing lights on it.

Cue five minutes of me getting more confused about a lack of progress, until I realised that contrary to what I'd said, the user was pressing the power button on the monitor.

Not only do you have to explain things well enough that even the least technically-savvy can understand, they also have to f**king listen to what you say.

Still, at least he tried, I've had other calls when I've asked the user to do something simple, only to be told "sorry, I don't do computers, you'll have to wait until my manager is back in next week".

UK Supreme Court considers whether spy court should be immune to legal probes

phuzz
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Re: Any chance

"it's still cited, especially in the US"

Yes, well, in the US they attach a lot of importance to what's written down, often above what's actually right. It's not really a role model you want to follow.

Galileo's magnifico measurement: 1976 redshift test updated

phuzz
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From reading around, it seems they didn't have enough fuel to properly circularise their orbits, but they did try, and managed to reduce the eccentricity from 0.256 to 0.156

More info

Amazon robot fingered for bear spray leak that hospitalised 24 staffers

phuzz
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Alert

Re: Suuuure, blame the poor honest hard-working robots!

"If my (non-Amazon) warehouse manager had a nickle for every time some dumbass ran over a can of paint or something like that with a forklift, he'd have the money to train them and buy decent forklifts."

Perhaps your fellow workers just need to watch a film about forklift safety?

Falcon 9 gets its feet wet as SpaceX notch up two more launch successes

phuzz
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Re: An optimistic cynics take

To paraphrase lglethal: A fairing in the net is worth two in the sea.

Keen for much-hyped quantum computing to finally land? Don't expect it for a decade

phuzz
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Boffin

Re: Are they certain?

They're very certain about how much energy it will have which means they have no idea about when it will happen.

Pencil manufacturers rejoice: Oz government doesn't like e-voting

phuzz
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Trollface

Really?

"However, unlike overseas, the committee reckoned Russian trolls aren't much interested in Australia"

But what about those perfidious Kiwis?

FCC slammed for 'arbitrary and reckless' plan to change how text messages are regulated

phuzz
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Devil

Re: The reason isn't money

"The reason isn't just money "

FTFY

Waymo's revolutionary driverless robo-taxi service launches in America... with drivers

phuzz
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Re: Excessive Snark

"This is how we do technology development in the 21st century - incremental delivery."

Except when they're being "disruptive".

Awkward... Revealed Facebook emails show plans for data slurping, selling access to addicts' info, crafty PR spinning

phuzz
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Re: I'm out of here!

"Not on any Social Media platform and never have been."

elReg counts as anti-social media then I take it?

Adobe Flash zero-day exploit... leveraging ActiveX… embedded in Office Doc... BINGO!

phuzz
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At this point it's quicker to make a list of software that's not vulnerable. Full list presented below:

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.....errrm

Naked women cleaning biz smashes patriarchy by introducing naked bloke gardening service

phuzz
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Plus I guess you probably only have to clean one house a day to make the same cash as a clothed cleaner who's working 9-6.

I'd be able to make even more, because I think people would pay to put my clothes back on.

phuzz
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Re: Why is it sexist

"I would have though naked cooking rather unhygienic, no?"

Also pretty uncomfortable if you're frying something. Spitting fat stings.

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

phuzz
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Re: Truly the Best

"My advice would be to avoid them at all costs."

Apart from moving house to a completely different watershed, is that really possible?

Waiter, what's this? SpaceX delivery delayed for a day by moldy food

phuzz
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MISSION DELAYED - OUT OF CHEESE ERROR

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

phuzz
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Facepalm

Australian Government: Put backdoors in everything.

Also the Australian Government: Don't use Huawei kit, it's got backdoors.

I'm sure they'll be able to use legislation to stop bad people from using the backdoors. That's bound to work, right?

He's not cracked RSA-1024 encryption, he's a very naughty Belarusian ransomware middleman

phuzz
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"I do not see why this service would be considered 'unethical'"

For me, it's not that he's acting as a middleman, that's something I can see me having to do if a friend came to me with a ransomware problem. It's that he's pretending that he's cracking the encryption himself, and then he's putting a massive price hike on top. If he was being up front with his customers then I personally wouldn't have a problem with it.

Three become six as new 'nauts arrive for a visit to the ISS

phuzz
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Re: Still find it amazing

The trouble is, those flat Earth types will just tell you that your picture is a fake, or possibly it's spherical aberration caused by the camera lens, or {insert pseudo-scientific bullshit here}. There's nothing you could show them that would change their mind.

Twenty years ago the majority of flat Earthers were just trolls (and there's definitely crossover with elReg comentards there), but these days there seems to be more people who actually believe that nonsense.

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

phuzz
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Childcatcher

"You have to wonder how a child would know what it is meant to represent."

Well about half of them only have to look in their own pants, and given how little the average toddler hates wearing clothes, I'd guess most kids have seen a penis.

European fibre lobby calls for end to fake fibre broadband ads

phuzz
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Re: "I suggest there also needs to be a distinction between FTTC and FTTM"

But if you mention the word "wireless" most people will just think of how they 'get the internet on their laptop'.

I've had people tell me "I have wireless internet", meaning ADSL+802.11. The precise and technical language that we might use is nothing more than words to the average person.

£10k offer to leave firm ASAP is not blackmail, Capita told by judge

phuzz
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WTF?

Terminology

When someone blackmails you, doesn't that usually involve you giving them money, not the other way around?

If they were (as she alleged) 'paying her off', wouldn't that be bribery rather than blackmail?

Space policy boffin: Blighty can't just ctrl-C, ctrl-V plans for Galileo into its Brexit satellite

phuzz
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"with the final system likely over budget and behind schedule."

Not that these aren't possibilities, but I'd be expecting something technically audacious, which ends up being wildly over-ambitious and ends up being cancelled, with any leftover hardware ending up in a museum somewhere.

See also: Black Arrow, TSR-2, Rotodyne, HOTOL etc. etc.

Still, at least Britain's aerospace museums will be great.

Sysadmin’s plan to manage system config changes backfires spectacularly

phuzz
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Re: Why use a revision control system?

"I'm not going to commend (sic) every single config change on the config file itself."

I work with people like you, and from bitter experience, I hate you.

Giraffe hacks printers worldwide to promote God-awful YouTuber. Did we read that one right?

phuzz
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Re: Get me a babysitter

"he got wealthy being a MORON on Youtube, huh? Well, when THAT dies off,"

...he'll probably go into whatever the next thing is, or at least he'll be replaced by someone you (and I) will probably find just as obnoxious, on some platform that we find equally as baffling.

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

phuzz
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Re: I thought they could crack most encryption.

"They can't crack high-quality encryption. Well, they can"

If anyone has even a theoretical attack on, say, PGP, I'd be interested to hear about it.

Certainly there are still systems that use out-dated and cracked encryption (eg A5/1 used in GSM phones), but your average SSH session is so close to being unbreakable that hacking into one of the endpoints is the easy/only option.

phuzz
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Facepalm

"because the tapping would be at the vendor level, it would be hard for hackers and other malicious actors to exploit the same approach."

Ok, sure. Even if we believe the above, there's still two parties that have just been granted access to our communications:

There's the vendor itself, and if you think (eg) Facebook wouldn't try to use it's access in order to make money then you're pretty naive.

Then there's all the low level workers, both at the vendor and at GCHQ, who now have access to everyone's chats. So now they can check up on their possibly cheating spouse/their ex/that hotty from down the road/some random celebrity/our Kevin's gran's aunt's cousin Sherryl etc.

I'm not sure how keen the security services would be on (eg) some contractor at Snapchat selling details of the Queen's messages to the tabloids, or a blogger getting hold of the texts the PM sends to her husband either.

Dog with 'psychotic tendencies' escapes home to poop on his neighbours' pillows

phuzz
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Re: Bah!

Just want to check, is the brat in this case the owner who can't control their dog?

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