* Posts by JohnG

1316 posts • joined 27 May 2007

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Yes, Assange, we'll still nick you for skipping bail, rules court

JohnG

"I wonder if his lawyer will argue that his time in the embassy should be considered as "on remand", and therefore his client should walk free immediately?"

His lawyers already made such a suggestion and the judge ripped this idea to pieces.

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JohnG

Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

It isn't clear that Assange has broken any US law and the US authorities have not levelled any charges or submitted any request for his extradition, here or in Sweden. The previous US government showed absolutely no interest in Assange and the case in Sweden seemed fairly weak. The current US government has shown some interest in Assange but haven't actually done anything yet. He has definitely jumped bail in the UK and courts typically take a dim view of people ignoring them. He might be better off facng the music in the UK - then getting free treatment for his tooth and his shoulder whilst serving time. As he is only likely to get a couple of weeks for jumping bail, his time might be up before he has finished his treatment.

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CPU bug patch saga: Antivirus tools caught with their hands in the Windows cookie jar

JohnG

On this issue, I'm with Microsoft: it isn't Microsoft's responsibility to check if every third party AV product has not done silly things to the OS that would make systems fail when the Meltdown patch is applied. MS have simply said to the AV companies "This is what the Meltdown patch does. You know what you products do, so you are the ones to decide whether your products are compatible with the Meltdown patch". Short of not issuing any patch, I don't see what other choice MS have.

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WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction

JohnG

Re: Time for a chat ...

"they'll decide that, since charges are no longer pending, the original arrest warrant is no longer valid thus the 'jumping bail' condition is equally invalid"

No, they won't because he did actually jump bail - effectively, treating the court with contempt. It is a bit like saying, I shouldn't have to pay a parking fine because the car concerned has since been scrapped. It isn't how the law works.

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JohnG

"Have him plead guilty to bail jumping via letter from the Ecuador Embassy."

The justice system doesn't work like that. The court dictates to the accused, not the other way around.

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JohnG

Re: hang on a moment...

Well, that is the case now Donald's in charge. Had he just faced the Swedish investigators in the first place, he would most likely have had no conviction. If he had been convicted, the sentence would probably have been less than two years - in a comfy Swedish prison. He could have been out when Obama was still in charge - and that administration really wasn't interested in him.

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JohnG

Re: Whats so inhumane

He might have had better facilities and more space in a Swedish prison.

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JohnG

Re: He may regret waiting

"He's played his part, so throw him to the wolves, might well be their opinion."

...and, Assange is a ferriner, not from Murica - and therefore, fair game.

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JohnG

Re: Here's a question

"can't they remove him in a "diplomatic pouch"?"

Diplomatic bags are only for documents and "articles for diplomatic use" - not people. If the police work out that there is a person in a diplomatic bag, it ceases to be a diplomatic bag.

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JohnG

Yes - which is likely longer than any prison sentence he might have served in a relatively comfy Swedish prison - if the Swedes had ever actually charged him, gone to trial and won. He still has to answer for jumping bail in the UK though. Had he left the Ecuadorian embassy (or never entered it) when Obama was in power, he could have been long gone by now - Obama's administration never showed any interest in him. Trump's administration may be a different matter.

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Russia claims it repelled home-grown drone swarm in Syria

JohnG

Then there was the comment about a lack of landing gear. Why would such a device need to land in a controlled manner?

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JohnG

Re: The shape of things to come

"You can strap a much heavier bomb to yourself, than you can fit on a drone."

Yes, but a drone can go places where you can't. A drone could carry some nasty chemical or biological agents, that might be more devastating than a bomb.

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Google lets Android devs see nanosecond-level GNSS data

JohnG

Re: Excellent! Android DIY ICBM

Note that this involves a test app which logs GPS data on an Android device. Once the logged data is transferred to another system (Windows, Linux or Mac), it can be analysed by the software described in the article. None of this stuff provides any navigation/guidance functionality.

All this stuff has been posted by someone called Mohammed Khider - I cannot see any problem (unless his middle name is "Al").

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How to hack Wi-Fi for fun and imprisonment with crypto-mining inject

JohnG

Re: VPN use

I typically connect my VPN using port 443 to avoid this issue. I have found that some services block name resolution of popular VPN services but this can be mitigated by using IP addresses in the VPN client.

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JohnG

Re: Mmmm, JavaScript.

All true - but the snag is, a number of public WiFi services require the use of Javascript for their "collect your details for marketing" page that has to be completed, in order to get connected.

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Russia could chop vital undersea web cables, warns Brit military chief

JohnG

Re: Does sound like the perfect theme for the next Bond movie

"Submarine with massive set of bolt cutters strapped to the bow..."

Like when HMS Conqueror stole that towed array sonar from the Soviets in the Barents Sea, back in 1982?

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Ex-cop who 'kept private copies of data' fingers Cabinet Office minister in pr0nz at work claims

JohnG

Assuming the policeman concerned has not added the porn to his illegally retained copies of the data on Green's computer.... The implication is that it is possible to download and/or stream porn via parliament's network i.e. they don't filter porn/malicious/dodgy websites. No doubt, their systems are protected with security software that receives quarterly updates of security threats.

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JohnG

Re: The issue I have with this

"To be exact, the copper who kept copies insists it was all legal porn."

There is a slight problem with chain of custody of which, one would have thought, a former policeman who specialised in forensic IT should be aware. How do we know the policeman or someone else has not introduced porn to the illegally retained copies?

According to a police report into the operation, the government had been embarrassed by the information leaks and had mentioned the leaking of secret documents when they called in the police. By the time the police were conducting searches and arresting people, they knew that no classified material was involved but their search and arrest warrants stated otherwise. The police report described numerous other problems with the investigation, that was probably why the CPS decided that convictions were highly unlikely and dropped the whole thing.

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Russia threatens to set up its 'own internet' with China, India and pals – let's take a closer look

JohnG

Devil's advocate

If the situation were reversed and all the root servers were in Russia and China, how long would US and EU governments take to decide to take matters into their own hands? I suspect they would reach such a decision in minutes.

Given the somewhat toxic state of relations between USA/EU/NATO and Russia/China, almost anything seems possible now. The idea that, if the US government/military decided to interfere with the running of root servers, brave Internet warriors would then continue to run free root servers in the face of US authorities is just silly.

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Germany says NEIN to purchase incentive for Tesla Model S

JohnG

The Porsche Mission E will apparently be available in 2019, allegedly for just over €70,000 - it will be interesting to see if the €60,000 subsidy limit remains in place. Interestingly, a Porsche Mission E has recently been seen on German roads, apparently testing in the company of a Tesla Model S.

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Scotland, now is your time… to launch Brexit Britain into SPAAAACE!

JohnG

You need a launch site close to the equator for geostationary satellites or others that need to follow an equatorial orbit. For polar orbiting satellites, a launch site with a patch of sea to the north (or south) would be adequate.

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Russian rocket snafu may have just violently dismantled 19 satellites

JohnG

After one of the previous cock-ups, Putin said something along the lines that if there were any more cock-ups, the entire Russian space sector would be made part of the military (again). I wonder if the chaps at ROSCOSMOS are getting measured for uniforms.

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Elon Musk says he's not Satoshi Nakamoto and is pretty rubbish at Bitcoin

JohnG

Re: The clue is in the word 'elusive'

Yes - and it would be called something like "Elonium" instead of "Bitcoin".

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Tesla share crash amid Republican bid to kill off electric car tax break

JohnG

"Musk has been living on government welfare all along?"

Yes - but the same could be said of many defence and aerospace companies.

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Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

JohnG

Re: Lack of "cool"...

"Ten years ago, in the pre-iPhone/Android days, Windows Mobile was "the most popular smartphone software in the US"... but it was still Microsoft; it wan't cool."

Cool or otherwise, in it's day, Windows Mobile/PPC was the only game in town and the likes of TomTom grew on that platform. Microsoft managed to go from 100% dominance to effectively nothing, in a relatively short period of time. Their acquisition and destruction of Nokia (the world leader in terms of handset numbers supplied) came several years later.

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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

JohnG

Re: Good old days

"BBC website does not advertise"

It does when you visit it from outside the UK - hence the presence of all the active crap you mentioned.

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JohnG

Re: Hey Instart

Presumably, simply routinely running these tools or having a developer console open (or just flagging that it is open) will disable Instart's crap.

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70% of Windows 10 users are totally happy with our big telemetry slurp, beams Microsoft

JohnG

Re: 29% Windows users

My experience with atechnical Windows 10 users is that they are typically blissfully unaware of Microsoft's data grabbing. A few will have chosen to turn off some options such that stop certain data being sent and will assume (wrongy) that their data is then secure. IMO, the majority of Microsoft's 70% are oblivious to the whole issue.

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WannaCry-slayer Marcus Hutchins 'built Kronos banking trojan' – FBI

JohnG

Re: Also Wannacry?

"There is a real chance that years of this guy's life could be wasted in the US."

I predict he will be offered a plea bargain and threatened with years on remand, away from his homeland, his home and his family, if he doesnt comply. (As I understand it, he has not yet had access to a lawyer or contact with his family, so I guess the bullying is in progress). If they win, the FBI can then claim to have solved a major international crime by pinning it on johnny foreigner.

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Russian search engine Yandex's Ukraine offices raided for 'treason'

JohnG

"Putin seems to quite like neonazis...."

Oh look! A squirrel!

Regardless of Putin's many faults, the fact remains that, instead of earning money to pay off the IMF loans or honouring their part of the Minsk agreement, Ukraine has been changing the law to make it a crime to call WWII Nazis "Nazis" or in any way, bad. Normal democratic countries and even Putin's Russia don't allow Nazis/far right nuts to form private militias and run around the country armed and in uniform. It is madness.

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JohnG

Re: Ukraine

Ukraine's east/west divide can be seen in the voting maps of free elections in the 2000s. The "pro-Russian" bit more or less mirrors the parts of Russia that were placed into the Ukrainian SSR by Lenin in the 1920s.

Russian is/was widely spoken across Ukraine (even nationalists like Julia Tymoshenko routinely spoke in Russian) but there is now considerable pressure to use Ukrainian. A parliamentary deputy of the Svoboda party has recently suggested that schoolchildren who speak Russian instead of Ukrainian at school should receive corporal punishment.

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JohnG

There was similar irony in attacks on and closures of Ukrainian branches of Russian banks in Ukraine: it stopped Ukrainian customers of these banks getting at their money and put a bunch of Ukrainians out of work.

How the hell Ukraine will ever pay back that $18 billion IMF loan is anyone's guess.

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'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

JohnG

There are quite a few situations where software is declared "done". Anything on a satellite or similar spacecraft will be declared finished some time before it is put on top of a rocket and sent to space. Nobody is going to be allowed to update anything remotely, in case something is broken in the update.

Similar examples are to be found where lives are at stake. Any Safety of Life system may not be upgraded or otherwise tinkered with, other than through a highy controlled process - typically, a new procurement. Systems involved in the production of pharmaceuticals are similar - once a company has spent several years and several million getting approvals from regulatiry bodies, they are going to let someone tinker with anything.

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UK and Ecuador working on Assange escape mechanism

JohnG

Re: so well resourced

"There was a European Arrest Warrant on him, which we were obliged to honour. Now that warrant has been dropped, it is purely a local matter, so perhaps it can be resolved."

The original reason for him being given bail (the EAW) has disappeared, so his lawyers could probably get the breach of bail issue resolved fairly easily (e.g. he surrenders to the court, the government keeps the bail money from his friends, he walks free). He could then vanish to Ecuador or wherever, before the Yanks have a chance to dream up some charges and submit an extradition request.

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JohnG

Re: Shown the Ecuadoor

"At least he avoided ending up in the territory of that famously sycophantic, US-lapdog, Sweden.

Instead he stayed in the UK knowing that they never kowtow to the yanks, or bow down to their imperialistic demands."

And he did this thoughout a period in which the US government showed absolutely no interest in him - no charges, no extradition requests, nothing. Now, there is some suggestion that the new administration sees things differently.

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Trident nuke subs are hackable, thunders Wikipedia-based report

JohnG

Re: Boom

"The Russians sensibly refuse to comment but given their known defence budget and known spending their figure is almost certainly closer to 16 than 1600."

The Russians have about 7300 nuclear warheads - like us, they can't test them, due to treaty constraints. However, they do test one of the possible delivery systems every time they send people to the ISS. They have recently tested new delivery systems and newer systems are in development e.g. RS-28 Sarmat AKA SS-X-30 SATAN 2.

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JohnG

Re: Boom

The last time I had anything to do with submarines and the RN, it involved the use of paper tape. [Actually, we used paper tape, the matelots used mylar tape, because it was so resistant to damage]. The MoD and RN had an intense distrust of any magnetic media. I wouldn't be surprised if their current systems were incompatible with USB sticks and similar media.

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JohnG

Re: Single Point of Failure

"OK subs do float in a buoyancy kind of way."

Subs that don't float are unpopular with crew members.

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Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice

JohnG

"Cards?"

Hollerith cards.

One card per line of code.

The program to be compiled, the data and job control all had to be on cards with different colours and submitted in the correct sequence.

You would submit your job and come back the next day to find that there was an error in a JCL card and the program was never compiled or run.

Paper tape was only the teleprinters and where I was, this was only for BASIC. Compiling and running Fortran was only by submitting batch jobs on the aforementioned cards.

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Robot lands a 737 by hand, on a dare from DARPA

JohnG

Re: Huh?

"It will still need to be customised for every type of plane [...]"

"So? You need to "customise" pilots too. I.e. train and re-train them for every type they are going to fly in."

Yes. You don't have to start from scratch but there are some steps involved in switching between different aircraft types. You can't pass your PPL in a Cessna and fly a 747 the next day.

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JohnG

Re: Huh?

"Customised, yes, but independently of fiddling with the fly-by-wire flight control systems themselves. Its not a free job, but far simpler than changing fundamental software components of the aircraft."

I don't think so. Fly by wire systems already have all the sensor inputs and control outputs necessary to fly the aircraft. All that is needed is some software to use those inputs and outputs, whilst observing flying rules (Try to land on a runway, ideally, the correct one. Don't land inverted. You need wheels to land.) A robot has to use a camera with optical recognition and mechanical manipulators - which will inevitably introduce lag and inaccuracies/errors - and then it has to have the same software to actually use inputs and flying rules to make outputs. Any system would have to be passed for use on each aircraft type.

P.S. In the video, the robot accidentally pushed the control yoke forward, whilst looking at instruments.

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Google DeepMind's use of 1.6m Brits' medical records to test app was 'legally inappropriate'

JohnG

Re: Streams is showing real patient benefits.

It isn't just a contractual issue between Google and the trust concerned. It is a question of whether data protection laws was broken. If patients' data was used without their consent or for purposes for which Google and the trust did not have their consent, then it is likely that both Google and the trust have acted illegally.

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Do we need Windows patch legislation?

JohnG

"I'm trying to sort a Windows 7 machine out, I can't even install the relevant patches manually because when you run them they search for the currently installed patches and then it just sits there for hours."

There are some fixes for this issue and a specific standalone update from MS. The latter worked for me.

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JohnG

Re: All products have a support life

"WinXP is still widely deployed - and security fixes (NOT increased functionality, new drivers etc) should be maintained for a *very* long time."

Car manufacturers don't continue to produce spares or provide other support for models sold over 10 years ago. Nor do manufacturers of phones, PCs, fridges, washing machines or pretty much anything you care to mention. The military often demand long service lives for their equipment - but this is for bespoke equipment and the longevity doesn't come cheap. MS and other their ilk are quite open about the life cycle of their products - users cannot expect to ignore this, just because they feel their work is important.

Back in the 80s and 90s, if one phoned for software support on mini computers, the first question would be about your support contract and the second would be to ask the patch level of the system in question. If the system was not up to a recent level of critical patches, the support folk would suggest that the system was updated to a supported level and to call back if the problem remained. Software support was always contingent on keeping systems up to date. This seems even more worthwhile with the Internet and rapidly changing security threats.

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Someone is sending propaganda texts to Ukrainian soldiers

JohnG

Re: Biased much?

"I also take the view that "civilian populations" did not rise up, but that Russia paid or persuaded some bods...."

So, in your world, these folk at Kramatorsk, meeting Ukrainian army tanks and personnel carriers aren't unarmed civilian residents but highly trained Russian agents in disguise....

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=971_1397679010

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2b5_1399121026

"I don't know what the civilian population really feel,..."

I have family in Donbas. The majority of the people in Donbas didn't like seeing the elected government replaced by hardline nationalists, aided and allied with far right parties and their private militias. The latter openly talk of cleansing Donbas and have largely been given free rein since Maidan.

"...but in my view accusations of attempted genocide and nazism by Ukraine are not accurate here, whereas accusations of manipulative power-play by Russia are."

Here's some video of this year's Victory Day memorial procession in Kiev - sure, no nazis in Ukraine:

https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=375_1494335335

Then there's the Austrian who was arrested in Poland as he tried to re-enter Ukraine - he is wanted in Austria for war crimes committed in Donetsk, whilst fighting for one of the far right volunteer units.

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Unpaid tech contractor: 'I have to support my family. I have no money for medicines'

JohnG

Re: Cash in reserve

"It's the world of contracting and business in general... Especially for freelancers and privateers."

For some years, I have been sub-contracting from large companies, on frame contracts with European intra-governmental organisations - they regularly pay from three to six months late. On the other hand, these are lucrative and long term contracts.

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Homes raided in North West over data thefts from car body repair shops

JohnG

Re: oh great.

"I have had a couple of calls from a London (02) number about accidents that I never had, and once accidentally pressed the redial option and found it was a non-existent number."

Spoofed caller id.

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Evil ISPs could disrupt Bitcoin's blockchain

JohnG

"I mean, what country is going to charge someone for stealing BC anyways lol Bitlanders and the Bitpolice, in their bitmobile, and put me in bitcell hahahaha"

For starters, the USA:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34114483

Whilst HMRC acknowledges that VAT is not due on bitcoin mining and similar activities, they have pointed out that capital gain, income and corporation tax rules do apply. This would suggest that a bitcoin thief could not assume that the UK authorities would be uninterested.

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IT contractors behind IR35 calculator to leave HMRC... because of IR35

JohnG

Re: "Departments have been told to arbitrarily rule that far more are inside IR35."

If HMRC thinks IR35 applies, are they implying that they are, to all intents and purposes, the employer?

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Euro Patent Office puts itself on Interpol's level, demands access to staff phones and laptops

JohnG

Re: I voted to Remain, but...

"Are you aware of how many times it has been pointed out that the EPO is not an organ of the EU?"

Yes

"That this has absolutely nothing to do with the EU?"

Yes

"That if it was an EU body the issue would have likely been resolved long ago?"

No. EU institutions and their staff enjoy similar privileges and immunities as at intra-governmental organisation like the EPO. Whilst only Director Generals enjoy full diplomatic immunity, staff members have immunity from national law in member states during the performance of their duties.

An example of this in action was what happened when Han-Martin Tillack exposed corruption in the EU and notably, by those supposed to stop it, at OLAF.

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