* Posts by Roland6

5146 posts • joined 23 Apr 2010

Big names hurl millions of pounds at scheme to hoist UK's AI knowhow

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: UK is Europe's undisputed number one tech hub [Citation needed]

I think given the rest of his statement, digital secretary Jeremy Wright. "We are determined to make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business and through our modern Industrial Strategy" he clearly is banking on the UK remaining in the EU and hence being favoured by the EU. Unfortunately, regardless of what happens on 29-Mar, the UK won't be getting the lions share of EU tech investment monies for many years....

Fancy a .dev domain? They were $12,500 a pop from Google. Now, $1,000. Soon, $17.50. And you may want one

Roland6 Silver badge

what would happen if you didn't bother with a trick-scheme domain name, and j just told everyone to use your fixed IP address?

Which IP address were you thinking of: IPv4 or IPv6 or both?

Yes, you could go back to the pre-DNS days of the Internet, but why would you want to?

U wot, m8? OMG SMS is back from dead

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Con Man's Delight

>You don't have check-cashing businesses?

No - all changed with the UKs implementation of the EU money laundering regulations.

So basically, if you don't have a bank account, life is difficult...

I suspect that in the original mobile phone erroneous charge's case, only those that complained to Ofcom actually received a postal order.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Con Man's Delight

>Eventually complaints to ofcom from thousands of users, forced the company to admit their "mistake" and refund. By POSTAL ORDER!?

The problem is that there isn't really any alternative these days - other than sending cash in the post, cheques have to be paid into a bank account; although in this case it would have been appropriate to credit the phone accounts, for which payment records would exist.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: You Can Phone Me Or SMS me; Period

Quite simply, the lack of interoperability between services means that sometimes the only guaranteed way to reach a person is via old-fashioned text.

Chat/RCS doesn't actually change this service guarantee; where either user/network doesn't have RCS/Chat the default is to drop into SMS. Given the installed base of mobile phones, the majority will only have SMS capabilities and will do so for some years yet.

I'm a little surprised that RCS/Chat isn't a mandatory service for 5G and thus 5G client devices have to support it - gets around the Apple iMessage issue...

Revealed: Numbers show extent of security fears about security biz Kaspersky Lab

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Pattern?

>Makes you wonder how an NSA agent running state secret tools was allowed to work on them at home

He wasn't allowed and had the means to circumvent workplace security...

So in some respects, the first the US knew about their security breach was from the wrong source - egg on face...

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: It's not just Kaspersky

> in many cases all the AV software would have to do is "fail" to detect an approved Trojan arriving via some method. It would be hard to "detect" that.

That's why you periodically use a different scanner eg. MBAM/HitMAnPro - ideally from a boot stick so that there is no trace of it on the HDD in normal operation, so the trojan can't apply the appropriate cloaking strategy.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Hmmmm...

What goes around comes around -

I agree it is nice to be paid, by a few (UK) customers, to install Kaspersky on their machines....

Clearly, from Kaspersky's figures, a significant number of people/businesses outside of the US have taken Trumps attack as an endorsement of Kaspersky and a declaration of what the US is, might or wants to do, via US produced AV products...

What did turbonerds do before the internet? 41 years ago, a load of BBS

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Not dead yet

>because for nontechnical people, "the web" and "the internet" are interchangeable terms.

Like the author of the article's byline; It wasn't TCP/IP that killed off the BBS but the later rise of HTML and the ability to people to host their own forum, effectively distributing the centralised BBS.

Interestingly, from an information organisation and access viewpoint, many of the HTML/web replacements for BBS's are still vastly inferior to the 1980's dial-up systems - I mean it is 2019 and El Reg have only introduced (simple) conversation threading in its forums.

Amazon triples profit to $11.2bn, pays ZERO DOLLARS in corp tax – instead we pay it $129m

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: This is really very easy

>Have you read the actual Amazon figures? I haven't: I've only read the story here.

I followed the supplied links and read the sources. Additionally, a quick google finds the actual Amazon statement....

As for El Reg use of the word 'profit', this is very common misrepresentation of company reports in the media. Hence why before posting I checked the sources...

>my tax-free dividend income roughly speaking pays the rent.

It is highly unlikely to be tax-free, however, I accept that you can structure your tax affairs so as to pay no personal tax on investment income eg. make use of the PEP/ISA wrapper.

>As for investing sufficient to avoid tax, I've done that myself for quite a few years.

As Charlie Clark points out it is the scale of 'investment'. Additionally, whilst we can say that Amazon have avoided a $2.3bn US company tax bill, I suggest the total (taxes avoided) figure is potentially closer to $3.5bn as many transaction taxes will also have been avoided.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Tax

>And, once the dust settles, it usually turns out that the number of jobs actually created is less than initially announced.

In part that is because (certainly this applies in the UK) they include the construction jobs in the "jobs created figure" so quite often you will see it trumpeted that some warehouse development will create 250+ jobs, but reading the small print (if available) shows that only 20~30 jobs will exist post construction... As most people don't bother to read the small print (eg. Brexit) they tend to support the scheme because it is creating 'jobs', where 'jobs' is a creatively defined ambiguous unit, intended to misinform and be used as a political soundbite.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: This is really very easy

>so a reported profit of $11.2bn would be after accounting for investment.

No what is being reported is net income of $11.2bn. So this is the trading profit available for investment. What is so interesting is that Amazon are finding ways to 'invest' this amount of income and so have nothing left on which to declare as a profit for tax purposes.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Tax

>The median is heavily weighted to the warehouse workers. Not in anyway comparable to the expected HQ2 workforce.

If Amazon's HQ is anything like other companies HQ's, there will be lots of low paid clerical/admin/temp staff.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Make it attractive to pay tax

>but in practice companies don't charge other companies VAT

They do...

Company 'A', if it wants to stay in business, will add it's markup to create the sale price that company 'B' pays; VAT will be due on that markup...

Yes in pricing up work, VAT is excluded, on the basis that VAT will be added, at the rates prevailing at the time the invoice is raised. So HMRC get a slice of VAT from each member of the value-add chain.

The only time this does not happen is when dealing with certain VAT exemptions, in which case Company 'B' will present Company 'A' with an exemption certificate, Company 'A' will include such exemptions in its VAT returns.

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: correcthorsebatterystaple

>I would be interested in the entropy of, for example, correcthorsexf-r@batterystaple

Useful calculator here: http://rumkin.com/tools/password/passchk.php

But you aren't really comparing like with like, given the different lengths.

I think this is where maths and the real world diverge.

My understanding is that the entropy of "correcthorseb@tterystaple" and "correcthorsebatterystaple" is the same where the permitted charactersets and rules are the same.

However, just as Bletchley Park realised, people are human and so there are ways to reduce the entropy based on statistical analysis and assumptions ie. most people given a large characterset will constrain themselves to the alphabet and real words. Hence your outline dictionary attack could result in a password being revealed much quicker than the entropy calculations suggest. The only problem is that your reference lookup table of passphrases does, relatively quickly, become rather large and unwieldy...

However, I anticipate, given some of the comments here, that it won't be long before dictionaries exist for the more common (and shorter) passphrases.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: The Usual Response...

>As long as you know the account numbers you can approach the vendor with the death certificate and you will get the funds.

Obviously not been through the Probate process in recent years...

Remember web accounts aren't always directly connected to a living person: for example try and provide that the deceased John Smith for which you have a death certificate is the same John.Smith@gmail.com...

Also one of the last 'vendors' you actually want to approach with a death certificate is their bank - they will tend to immediately close the account instead of doing the more sensible and blocking payments out until presented with a deed of Probate. This means that various utility and insurance premium overpayments have no account to go into (most companies will simply rebate overpayments on production of the death certificate to the account from which they were taken), thus now you have to go round all these companies sending them a copy of the deed of probate etc. just so that they can write a cheque out for these small amounts.

Another back of the queue vendor is the phone company, if the person has set up their phone as part of the account recovery, loss of the phone numbers means these accounts become practically unrecoverable...

With more and more companies only effectively operating on-line this is going to become more and more of a problem.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: The Usual Response...

>What's "safe"?

Well clearly "PDL5HTZ8" isn't because it is only 8 characters, whereas "pendulum height" - 15 characters (or variants using a special character instead of the space character) is.

However, if the website is using something other than NTLM then "PDL5HTZ8" is probably still "safe".

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: The Usual Response... -- Grammatically Correct

>Note that it's possible to have nonsense phrases that are grammatically valid, which might help with memory...

Another part of my early 1980's Computing degree that is still current :)

I tend to use this style of passwords for those accounts that it is helpful (ie. less irritating) to 'remember' short-term but not long-term. For example the SysAdmin account: for the few hours I'm working on something and swapping between accounts this style of password - in part because of the imagery and humour is relatively easy to retain and thus enter, compared to the typical random password which may be shorter but always requires you to look up, even if you had only used it a couple of minutes previously, and thus distract from the main task at hand.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Too much

>Why would you ever type a password into a computer that was not your own?


Also I can't be bothered to jump through the hoops that are required to get 1Password/LastPass etc. to work across all my devices: Win/OSX/iOS/Andriod/Linux.

One of the things I dislike about new phones, printers, etc. is connecting them to the WiFi for the first time - so that they can be set up properly - My WiFi uses a 32 character PSK...

Roland6 Silver badge

>"My wife's birthday is 14/14/14"

So she only gets to celebrate it every 22 years then?

Roland6 Silver badge

>Time to go through my LastPass list and change the 8 char passwords that still exist (and there aren't many left now) to 12 char passwords.

While you are about it, strongly recommend you setup the account recovery security on key accounts. For a client I was glad I had done exactly that, they were using an old (ie. pre-2007) edition of Outlook, naturally in response to a Google prod about security they clicked the "improve my security" option which immediately blocked their Outlook client, this, in turn, continued to try and log in and fail, resulting in Google deciding that too many login attempts had been made and so locked the account. Also advise setting at least two phone numbers - client had originally used their PAYG mobile numbers, but for various reasons hadn't used that phone for 6+ months, fortunately, they had also set up their house landline number which hadn't changed...

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Still used?

Okay given NTLM is the default option now on Windows Server the question has to be: what is the time taken to crack longer passwords ie. to rephrase the articles sub-text:

Password1 once again more secure and memorable than ff3sd21n

Caveat: in the context of the HashCat cracking approach demonstrated here.

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Not Unique...

The Sun 3 pedestal workstations which had the easily switched on/off switch at knee height and sufficiently proud of the front casing for a small knock to flick it to off... Funnily it took deliberate action and more force to switch the system on...

Blockchain is bullsh!t, prove me wrong meets 'chain gang fans at tech confab

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: I've yet to hear of an actual, real application of blockchain

>Unless the signature contained a checksum of the contract, which is from my perspective the same thing as encrypting the contract.

No they are very different.

A digitally signed contract can be read by third-parties, an encrypted contract cannot be read by third-parties unless they have the key and means to use the key...

Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: University

>How about maximum length 12, must contain 16 distinct letters?

You mean it is possible to get a quart into a pint pot!

Take your pick: Linux on Windows 10 hardware, or Windows 10 on Linux hardware

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Year of the Linux desktop?

> the accountancy software is SAAS

So not Sage in any form then... :)

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Year of the Linux desktop?

> How do you think administrators manage tens of thousands of Linux servers?

That is one problem, however, for Linux to be ready for prime time it needs the tools needed to manage tens of thousands of Users and client systems/devices, something MS Group Policy does out-of-the-box with lots of pre-defined (and tested) 'recipes'.

Not saying Windows good - Linux bad, just pointing out that Ansible which uses DSC and Powershell, isn't a full replacement for GP.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Ramble warning - Microsoft

>I'm sure they are currently trying to do Social Media, AI, even blockchain,


Social media: Ms ran So.cl for 5 years and closed it down 2 years back. It seems current efforts are more focused on tools to help with social media aggregation, monitoring and analytics.

AI: Not sure what they actually doing, but there is currently a tv campaign (UK) that is promoting Microsoft AI.

Blockchain: They launched a blockchain development kit late last year.

So looks like someone has learnt not to blindly copy the leader but to provide tools that enterprises will be needing.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: How about neither

Less, at least you can eat a chocolate teapot...

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Pi's could be interesting

>Could be "a great way of teaching the kids" about clusters..

Don't know about the Kids, but being able to run up a Parallel Sysplex to play around with, without the expense of having a roomDC full of big iron would at times be useful...

However, I suspect this might be rather slow on a Pi...

Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Isn't that part of what it means to be British?

>he renounced his American citizenship a couple of years ago

I was under the impression that if you were born an American you were always an American, thus Bo'jo could at some future date decide to take up his American citizenship...

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: You are doing it wrong....

> Minimum of 10GB/s fibre connection required. ... Please enjoy your improved browsing experience.

Skip Ad in 15 hours...

Airbus will shutter its A380 production line from 2021

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Looks like Boeing won.

Err no, the market for jumbo and super-jumbo jets has been disappearing for some years now, because of technological advances and cost/benefits of operating fleets of smaller aircraft. For evidence of this I suggest taking a look at Quatas, an airline practically built on long-haul and who once-upon-a-time operated a fleet of 747's.

Boeing will survive because the US government is more protectionist than the EU.

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

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: All good things come to an end

>The mission was a great success

What do you mean?

The panels have merely been covered in sand by a storm, thus it is not beyond the realms of possible for another storm to uncover the panels - so the Mars rover isn't dead it is just resting.

Sci-tech committee: UK.gov's 27-page biometrics strategy is great... as toilet paper

Roland6 Silver badge

>keeping images of presumed innocent people was unlawful.

Given who we are talking about, I think the database is of people potentially guilty of a yet to be reported crime.

Thanks for all those data-flow warnings, UK.gov. Now let's talk about your own Brexit prep. Yep, just as we thought

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Why would anyone be driving *any* lorries through them...

You might want to look at it logically. The UK having control of its own borders. That means it has control to choose what to do to its borders.

But unless the UK controls it's own borders there is really no border, which means the UK is still within the EU...

@Codejunky - So assuming democracy we leave the EU (voted for 2-0). So after that point would you be advocating joining the EU? I ask this question because it would be joining with no opt outs. Accept the EU in all its glory, no opt outs, the Euro currency, all of it.

Well, the problem I have with this question is that I expect (and have a tenner on it) the UK to rejoin the EU - in all its glory within my lifetime. Now which is worse: leave and rejoin or remain and benefit from the opt outs and influencing both the direction and pace of change?

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Why would anyone be driving *any* lorries through them...

Actually you appear to be wrong. Its the EU in the way. The EU demanding a border. The EU insisting one must be there. The EU accepting they will be the ones putting a border there. So that would be the EU in the way.

Love the logic, Leavers want to leave, but actually without the border and goods from Ireland crossing UK territory want to continue being in the single market ie. remain...

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: "There isnt? So you wouldnt advocate rejoining the EU?"

a) A very big, closely located market for goods and services (especially financial, which are 3x what the UK mfgs)

We had that with the EEC, no need for a political union.

Well the EEC had the right intention, just that it wasn't particularly successful in creating an open market, hence one of the reasons M.Thatcher pushed the Single Market, which I suggest over nearly 30 years has been more successful in delivering the intended objective.

The fly in the ointment has been who defines the rules of the SM? For whatever reason the political union project got to keep these. Hence why T.May's deal is the way it is: want to stay in the SM, you have to accept the rules EU/Brussels decides.

Interestingly, in the years before the Referendum, Farage was wanting to leave the EU but stay in the SM... The other aspect of this is that when the SM was set up, there was some conversation about WTO and basically, one of the purposes of the SM was, because its small membership, it could fast track trade liberalisation, that the WTO, due to its structure. was incapable of doing in any reasonable time frame.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: "There isnt? So you wouldnt advocate rejoining the EU?"

@codejunky - up voted because of your calm and reasoned presentation.

>Absolutely nothing at all even hinted such democracy.

Well, the referendum requirement was in the European Union Act 2011. If you remember the Cons, Labour and LibDems all committed to holding a referendum in the event of any further transfer of sovereignty, this got incorporated into the Act. Because of the way the EU works, the summit this autumn was known about back in 2010. Thus the stage was set for the UK to walk into the summit with everyone knowing that whatever was agreed would have to satisfy the UK electorate or not get ratified additionally, it put a rod to the backs of the UK politicians doing the negotiating.

Yes, assuming everything went pear-shaped and having failed to ratify the treaty and come up with an acceptable alternative, Westminster would have to consider whether the time had come for an in/out referendum. However, the key difference between this scenario and today would be the understanding and mood of the UK electorate, ie. people would have their eyes open.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: "There isnt? So you wouldnt advocate rejoining the EU?"

So you dont advocate joining the EU. That wonderful project is so good you dont want to join it, you want to 'remain' to be opted out of various parts of the project.

Be careful here codejunky! :) This is just another way of putting what the Brexiteers wanted, namely all the benefits of 'remaining' in the Single Market, just opting out of the political union and freedom of movement requirement and with the freedom to pen our own trade deals...

>Your the one wanting to remain so the UK doesn't join the EU proper.

The way the referendum was framed, what 'Remain' actually meant wasn't really examined or fleshed out. Although given the European Union Act 2011, the broad consensus was that Remain did mean maintaining the then-current status quo (along with D.Cameron's rather interesting deal that would have shifted the EU's centre of power), participating in the 2019 summit on the future direction of the EU, then holding a referendum if the treaty changes arising from the summit required a change to the balance of power/'sovereignty'.

>another question is if the EU will address its crises and survive.

Be in no doubt, the EU will address its crisis, as to 'survive' that depends on the meaning and viewpoint you wish to put on it. For example, it could be said that the ECSC did (or didn't) survive, it being transformed firstly into the EEC and then into the EU. Thus I expect the EU will survive, but in a changed form.

Treaty of Roam: No-deal Brexit mobile bill shock

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

>Interesting, I'm with Voda in New Zealand.....but I'm sure the EU can't take credit for my plan in NZ.

To a large extent, the EU just ensured that what was happening elsewhere in the world also happened in the EU, one of the more profitable mobile marketplaces.

However, what the EU hasn't done is to impose EU wide member-to-member tariffs. Thus whilst I can take my UK mobile to various countries (eg. EU, US, Oz and New Zealand) and make calls to UK numbers - as if I were at home and thus have these calls included in my unlimited minutes, if I make a call to a non-UK number eg. I'm in NZ and call a NZ number, it will be charged as an international (UK-to-NZ) call. I expect your contract is similar. The next logical step in the EU would be to start treating any call within the EU that states in one member and terminates in another (eg. UK-Fr) as an inclusive minutes call.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: So predictable !

I'm Australian. ... in my 20yrs in the EU & UK, I was unable to find ANY material benefit to the UK from the EU (as opposed to the EEC, which IS useful), but I DID find many many profound negatives.

Enjoying catching up on Australian politic's then? From the crash course I had in January (on Australian political situation), it seems a lot has changed, for the worse, in 20 years. Seems Australia could benefit from some of the social directives that came out of Brussels.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: My money's on Vodafone being the first to start charging

I suggest you take a close look at your existing contract.

EE for example already includes EU roaming calls (ie. when you take your phone abroad and make calls) in your call allowance, however calls to the EU27 (eg. UK to Ireland) are charged at "the standard rate" ie. they are treated as international calls.

Obviously, you have the option of buying an international call add-on that gives you a call allowance for selected countries.

Personally, I expect many operators will in the first instance amend their fair use policy, before offering contracts without EU roaming as standard.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Um, guys, only 1 month left

>King Bojo and Chancellor Farage perhaps?

Don't you mean Court Jester Farage, given his performances in the EU Parliament...

This would leave the Chancellor role to Mogg, who will most likely relocate No 11 and the Treasury to Ireland...

Almost £5k for a deskslab: Microsoft's Surface Studio 2 hits UK

Roland6 Silver badge

Bets on when MS bricks it with a Win10 update...

My money is on the October 2019 Update...

Sure, you can keep Grandpa Windows 7 snug in the old code home – for a price

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Not funny caption

>As someone who is currently moving an elderly relative to care

That reminds me [ie. I'm going off on a tangent.] there is a real issue with the elderly and IT here.

I know several elderly people (ie. in their 90's) who continue to use computers but are increasingly adverse to or challenged by change, in part because their short-term recent memory is failing. So maintaining or upgrading these systems becomes problematic. Currently, I'm keeping my elderly relatives on Win7, as based on my experience with XP, it is likely the system will still be able to send and receive email after they lose the ability to use the computer.

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: "Prevaricating" means "lying"

">Why is it so hard for Brits to understand that as well?

General lashing out at Johnny Foreigner

Not at all, just the proud angry self-righteous (English)man speaking:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_KmYefZRZo&list=PLlALiSDHoqe8O6e3-5uHgEYaQfwnLJzjc&index=40 Enjoy!

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: "Prevaricating" means "lying"

>some sources would beg to differ.

When in doubt reach for the authoritative dictionaries:




These agree with the paper (pre-1980) UK Engllish dictionaries on my shelf. I suspect some of the newer online dictionaries probably employed HH2G editors.

Given the context in the article, it would seem the implication is that businesses with Win7 systems are not giving direct and honest answers to those with a vested interest in Mircosoft products. I suspect some are avoiding giving answers until they have decided which variant of Office they will go with.

Hey, UK.gov: If you truly spunked £45k on 1,300 Brexit deal print-outs, you're absolute mugs

Roland6 Silver badge

But he was a real consultant as he used the ambiguous word "printers" - was he referring to people or machines? also he omitted binding.

Senior slippery sex stimulator sales exec sacked for shafting .org-asmic cyber-space place, a tribunal hears

Roland6 Silver badge

Re: Linkedin says....

>That was copied and pasted straight off resumebuzzword.com

I think if you look further down his resume, you will see he worked for resumebuzzword.com as a copywriter....

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