* Posts by JohnG

1416 posts • joined 27 May 2007

Brazil's anti-NSA prez urged to SNATCH keys to the internet from America

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Headmaster

personal, personnel

*personnel

Turkish TV presenter canned for flashing too much cleavage

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Re: Cultural

"Why it isn't in the European Union..."

Israel is not in Europe, although that hasn't stopped Cyprus and is not stopping Turkey. However, Russia seems to be excluded from the EU's definition of Europe.

British support for fracking largely unmoved by knowledge of downsides

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Fear

I guess it comes down to a question of what to fear most: the potential hazards of fracking or the certainty of higher energy prices.

UK.gov's e-Borders zombie still lurks under the English Channel

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Re: Ferry

For those using the channel tunnel, the government could just ask Eurotunnel for the data. The Eurotunnel automated check-in terminals at Folkestone always greet me by name before I have provided any data. As I have never provided my car registration details to Eurotunnel, it seems that they use number plate recognition and link this data with passenger bookings when passengers enter the UK.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Just join Shengen and get over with it

For the UK to join Schengen, there would need to be internal controls i.e. a requirement to carry ID, address registration and probably some other changes to bring the UK into line with other Schnengen states. As ID cards have been thoroughly killed off in the UK, Schengen membership for the UK seems extremely unlikely for the foreseeable future.

Chaos Computer Club: iPhone 5S finger-sniffer COMPROMISED

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Re: OMG

"The fingerprint scanner is enough to keep your wife out, but if you see her with a bottle of liquid latex....."

No need to be paranoid - she might be planning something kinky.

You thought NFC tags were Not For Consumers? Well, they're in Maplin's

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My LG Android phone came with one free tag and has the same profile setting idea. The idea is to have tags for Living Room, Bedroom, Car, Office/Desk, etc. with settings for alarms, sound volume, ring or vibrate, bluetooth handsfree, etc. - but they should have supplied more than one tag!

400 million Chinese people can't speak Chinese: Official

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Re: sloppy

"they speak chinese just fine, just not the state sponsored dialect"

...except for the Tibetans, the Uyghurs and others who lands have been designated as part of China but who have their own languages, cultures, etc.

China's corruption crackdown killing off Unix

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Re: It always starts at the low end.

"Huawei started making candybar phones and less than spectacular cell/networking equipment."

Huawei's origins were somewhat grubbier than that - they started out making counterfeit Cisco kit.

Want the latest Android version? Good luck with that

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Re: google play

"Could this be the first part of Google's very own walled garden?"

Of course - but Google Play doesn't have a very high wall. It is easy to install things from outside Google Play.

However, that isn't really the problem that the article describes. Whereas Apple do provide O/S updates to users, Google does not. It is all left in the hands of the device manufacturers and cellular network carriers, who typically don't care about devices they sold last year.

Android malware spotted hitching a ride on mobile botnet

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"...the flaw that allows Obad to embed itself has been patched, but only in the Android 4.3 build – meaning that unless you have one of a very few Nexus devices, you're wide open."

This is one of the big flaws of Android: Google leaves updates entirely up to the hardware manufacturers but most hardware manufacturers aren't interested in devices which they sold a year ago, so most remain stuck on older versions of Android. Apps may get updated regularly in the market but updates to Android OS are pretty rare for most users.

Torched £30 server switch costs phone firm millions in lost sales

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Re: Planning

"Was at the conference in question. Oddly, Delran was one of the few presenters not selling anything."

Unisys CM manager Michel Delran, setting out a case for CM. It is all part of the sales pitch, even if he isn't talking prices.

Sage 50 activation blackout: Shops sent back to paper age

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Re: Crap product we know...

I guess sage are hoping their customers are unfamiliar with the concept of consequential damages.

Happy 50th birthday, Compact Cassette: How it struck a chord for millions

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Re: Just remember...

Bow Wow Wow:

C30 C60 C90 Go

off the radio I get a constant flow

hit it, pause it, record it and play

turn it, rewind, and rub it away

....and yet, music survived, contrary to the prophecies of the BPI.

US court: Dell can't hound debtor with robocalls to her mobile

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Re: PAY UP!!!

"As far as I'm aware, the only bank in the UK that lets you do international transfers online is HSBC."

NatWest allows online international payments.

Guardian teams up with New York Times for future Snowden GCHQ coverage

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Re: But.... but...

"...you can't have the Americans providing information on the Brits, and the Brits providing information on the Americans!"

Ironically, this has long been the arrangement between the English-speaking intelligence services. Remember when Margaret Thatcher didn't trust some of her minsters and had the Canadians do the necessary spying (via Echelon). This was not illegal for the Canadians but might have presented some issues for the British intelligence services.

Mind you, it seems the Americans can't be bothered with this arrangement and just spy on their own people regardless.

Wait, don't ditch that IT career just yet: UK vacancies hit 5-year high

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Re: "Wait, don't ditch that IT career just yet"

"Too late."

Quite. In any case, there may be more IT jobs being advertised but they still aren't paying enough (in the UK).

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Lies, damned lies and recruitment agencies.

"...would LOVE to live/work in Cornwall, but it always comes down to the simple fact... No jobs in IT."

There must be a few jobs at Bude/Morwenstow at that GCHQ site http://goo.gl/maps/Nk56x - especially if the yanks have coughed up 15 million towards it.

Mystery of Guardian mobos and graphics cards which 'held Snowden files'

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Re: PPE

I hope that the Guardian sent their Safety Officer to check not only the PPE but that everyone had the correct certifications (a relevant ECS card?) for the actions they were performing (materials handling, power tools), that the room had adequate ventilation and that any hazardous materials were correctly recycled.

JohnG Silver badge

"I'd send guys who look after physical security, probably former policemen with shiny boots and narrowed eyes."

The snag is, it is probably trivial to fool these guys into chopping up any obsolete kit that the Guardian IT blokes could dig out of a cupboard. It seems likely that the Guardian would have established procedures to cope with a visit from the authorities once they got involved with Wikileaks.

JohnG Silver badge

"If the Guardian still has a copy on UK soil, they can then have them up for lying about the destruction..."

The Guardian folk would be in the clear if they don't have copies in the UK on the day they are asked.

They could have a bit of fun by phoning the men from the ministry to tell them every time they have had more copies in the UK for a week or so.

Green German gov battles to keep fossil powerplants running

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Re: What they want to do is make money, and they will.

"California went through this"

The snag is, it is not a simple free market in Germany - providers cannot simply pass on wholesale energy price increases to consumers as there are constraints in the maximum price increases that can be applied during a contract.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: nuclear is not an option

"All the better for France..."

and the Poles - they are building a nuclear power station which will be closer to Berlin than the closest German nuclear power station (now closed down, of course). In return for closing down the nuclear power stations and accepting the prospect of higher prices and increased likelihood of power cuts, the Green party promised that everyone could feel safer - try telling that to Berliners now.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: The answer is obvious...

Yeah - I am sure that German companies like EON, despite all their years of experience in power generation and distribution have failed to asses the profitability (with the subsidies for green projects) of the various types of power generation.

Microsoft announces execution date for failed QR code-killer

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Re: NFC does make more sense

"Even under optimum light I've struggled to get Blackberrys, iPhones and Window Phones to recognise QR."

You must be holding it wrong. I have had no problems reading QR codes with my current phone (a relatively cheap LG) or its predecessor, a Nokia E51 (Symbian and not even a smartphone).

QR codes have some significant advantages over NFC:

QR codes can be generated for free and displayed on a screen or printed. They can be photocopied. No special hardware is required to produce a QR code.

It is possible to read a QR code from some distance with almost any phone or tablet (if the QR code is suitably sized)

Happy birthday MIDI 1.0: Getting pop stars wired for 30 years

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"Having round plugs was probably the worst decision they made when coming up with MIDI..."

Although choosing a whacky baud rate of 31200 that was not supported by commonly used UARTs of the day was also open to question.

British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport

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Re: Keith Vaz?

"The legal grounds for his detention are currently being disputed by Labour MP Keith Vaz, among others, who told Radio 4 he was concerned about the apparent use of "terrorism legislation for something that does not appear to relate to terrorism"."

Keith Vaz obviously has a short memory: when his party was in power and bringing in all the draconian anti-teror legislation, there were plenty of people complaining that the laws were too vague and could be abused but the leadership of the Labour government accused them of overreacting. The subsequent rampant abuse of RIPA by councils and others is no secret but while we have such legislation in place, we can expect the authorities to use them.

Apple erects measures to stop app-happy kids splurging parents' dosh

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"...they should probably educate themselves on how to use their £400 gadget before leaving it with a child."

If nothing else, parents ought to take an interest at the point where their child tells them that their credit card details are required to proceed with some game.

Possessed baby monitor shouts obscenities at Texas tot

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Re: Huh?

"He set the camera up and opened a port in the firewall as the install software asked for it, and didn't change the default password on the camera itself"

He set the camera up, left UPNP enabled on the camera (as it was previously left enabled on his broadband router) and failed to set his own username and password, so it is still the default: admin/(blank). A free dynamic DNS service probably helped advertise the camera's online presence, assisted by Google search.

The camera manufacturers don't want their support people spending every day talking people through opening ports on an assortment of different routers, so they are likely to take the easy route.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Huh?

Just Google:

site:myfoscam.org

Brits: We can stop trolling if we know where they live - poll

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Re: It wouldn't make any difference

"They might ask for a mobile phone number ...."

Authenticating users via a working mobile phone number may be a reasonable compromise. It doesn't necessarily give the website/social network companies concerned users' real identities but it is a good way to prevent trolls or spammers from opening multiple accounts (unless they are prepared to get a new SIM for each new user account). It might be easier for law enforcement to identify a user via a mobile number than an IP address though.

WoW gold farmer throws sueball over real world gold theft

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Re: spoken like a lawyer

"... the insurances companies job to look for an excuse not to pay...."

Contents policies invariably have a clauses indicating that the insurance company must be informed of any items whose individual values exceed some specified limit and of any amounts of cash or similar over some arbitrary limit. They may also be unwilling to pay out for what they see as an inside job, because of the (ex)boyfriend's involvement.

AOL boss: Soz about that 'Abel, you're fired!' Patch showdown

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Management style

The sackings will continue until employee morale improves.

Mobe-slurping Wi-Fi SPY BINS banned from London's streets

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Re: "these can be disabled. Unlike the tracking in the bins."

"*turns off wifi* *walks away*"

....or, if you have a rooted Android phone, you could set a new MAC address every day.

Deutsche Telekom launches 'NSA-busting' encrypted email service

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Re: I dont know how long this service is going to last

@Marketing Hack Guess who owns about a third of Deutsche Telekom AG? The German federal government.

2 in 5 top Brit biz bosses expect IT dept to drive 'technical innovation'

JohnG Silver badge

"...management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture..."

"...attracting more people into studying subjects rooted in science, technology, engineering or maths would "help drive UK innovation"...."

Who in their right mind would choose a career in IT when statistics show this field has has the highest graduate unemployment rate in the UK? Companies like Accenture like to outsource jobs, preferably to places with low salaries and lax employment laws. An alternative is to employ someone in India, bring them to the UK under an ICT visa and have them replace a more expensive British worker. If the guy from India is swapped out within the year, the company can save the employer's NI contributions. A decade of this has help keep IT salaries down (If I returned to work the UK now, I would likely earn no more than I earned in the mid-1990s).

Small companies have some chance of innovating, probably because they are typically run by people who understand their field and are uninterested and too small to fall in with the outsourcers.

Bill Gates's barbed comments pop Google's broadband balloons

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Re: Intelligence!

"0) You could learn about Malaria and how to avoid catching it from the internet.

1) You could use the internet to ask for medical assistance.

2) You could use the internet to help you find the nearest clinic.

3) You could use the internet to discover how to treat malaria and acquire appropriate treatments."

Roo, your comment suggests that you haven't been to any of the third world countries where, for most people, day to day survival is a bit of a challenge. Where children have any schooling, you can be sure that they and their parents are informed about how to avoid catching malaria and numerous other diseases. However, whilst the cost of a mosquito net may seem trivial to us, it may be prohibitively expensive for village folk. Anti-malarial drugs are also expensive and are often counterfeit i.e. useless and even harmful. They all know where the nearest clinic is but it may take the best part of a day to walk there and they probably won't have the money to pay for drugs or treatment.

'Hand of Thief' banking Trojan reaches for Linux – for only $2K

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Re: I for one welcome our new Desktop Underlords.

"The Linux Desktop now has all the classes of applications that the Windows & OS/X refusenix require for their daily desktop experience."

Yes - but this has been true for years. The snag is, users don't require "classes of applications", they require specific applications. Whilst Libre Office is great (I use it every day), it is not an exact replacement for MS Office. While you can open Office documents in LO, the more complicated stuff doesn't work properly e.g. Excel macros - and you can bet that Microsoft will make sure that compatibility with MS Office remains a moving target.

Hooker in Dudley man's car 'just helping to buy tomatoes'

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Prostitution is not a crime in England and Wales - this allows HMRC to extract income tax from the (estimated) earnings of prostitutes, something they could not do if it were illegal. Solicitation for prostitution is a crime, on the part of prostitutes and their clients. This legislation is stupid and cynical.

UK discovers Huawei UK staff auditing Huawei kit: Govt orders probe

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Re: Does every piece of kit get the same treatment?

"Is Cisco vetted for foreign government backdoors..."

Cisco kit is mostly manufactured in China these days. Even the chips used are also manufactured there, so there is ample opportunity to introduce "additional features" which are invisible to Cisco and their customers. Huawei started out making counterfeit Cisco modules, so their history is already tainted.

We hardly ordered any stock! Yet here we are again with ANOTHER PC MOUNTAIN

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"I am struggling to find laptops for my clients... Full HD..."

Full HD is quite rare now. Notebook resolutions have gone backwards.

Snowden: US and Israel did create Stuxnet attack code

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"Other European countries also work closely with the NSA, he said, describing the organization as "in bed together with the Germans." Other countries don't ask where the NSA's data comes from, and the US returns that favor, to give politicians plausible deniability in the event of source disclosure, he explained."

We knew this 25 years ago when it was revealed that the Canadians (under Echelon) spied on cabinet ministers who were thought to be disloyal to Margaret Thatcher. This avoided the potential legal issues of using British intelligence services to spy on members of their own government.

German cooperation with US spying is made fairly obvious by the numerous Echelon stations dotted around Germany.

Vulns 'like a hacker camped in the server room' all across the net

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"iLOs and iDRACs should be on a management VLAN, vulnerable or not."

Yes but the snag is all the other things that get connected to management VLANs by people who should know better and who have been repeatedly warned of the risks.

Retired 4-star general probed over Stuxnet details leak - report

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Re: Ask yourself this...

"If Iran had deliberately released a virus targetted at US nuclear power plants...."

I don't dispute that a US reaction to something similar from Iran would probably be significant and possibly disproportionate but....

Stuxnet wasn't released towards any nuclear power plants. It specifically targeted centrifuges used by Iran to refine nuclear materials - centrifuges which Iran was not supposed to possess. This was achieved via a Siemens industrial control system which had never been sold in Iran. It's a bit like using pre-activated anti-virus software bought for a few bucks in a Russian street market.

Play the Snowden flights boardgame: Avoid going directly to Jail

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Mr Putin didn't actually say that Snowden was at Sheremetyevo airport - he said that Snowden had not crossed the Russian border and that he is a transit passenger.

Passengers on the flight from Hong Kong reported that the flight was met airside by a limousine, which some believed to have been a diplomatic car from the Ecuadorian embassy. If this is the case, Snowden may well be at the Ecuadorian embassy, having not officially crossed the Russian border or set foot on Russian soil - and he may stay there until they can figure out the logistics and paperwork.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Fly east?

"Why didn't he fly East from HK to Guayaquil, Ecuador?"

Probably because he had been told that "he would be arrested within hours" and there were no flights to Guayaquil at the weekend.

EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan

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Re: you'll be fine in heather country or wooly wales

"no GPS in amongst the mountains, rocks and glens, no mobile signals..."

I'd agree about the "no mobile signals" but GPS works just fine in mountains and glens.

Windows NT grandaddy OpenVMS taken out back, single gunshot heard

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Nearly made it

About VMS Clustering - I haven't seen anything quite as flexible since. Clustering via disk or network interfaces. You could share any resource that could be given a name.

There were many other nice features, such as automatic file versioning and a very comprehensive and easy to use help system.

Pathworks had versions for both MS-DOS and MAC - to my knowledge, the first to allow DOS and MAC systems to share the same folders and printers.

BSkyB-owned BE slams into traffic pile-up over 'unlimited' broadband lie

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Re: Come on 150GB a month

"... valid business reasons for the ISP to want you to not use all of it all of the time..."

That's fair enough but ISPs should just be honest about their traffic management policies and quotas. Like any other business, they should not make misleading or false claims when snagging customers.

iPHONES and 'Pads BANNED in US for violating Samsung patent

JohnG Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: bzzzzzzzzzt.

"...Apple being hoisted by their own petard..."

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