* Posts by alain williams

974 posts • joined 29 May 2007

Page:

Microsoft promises twice-yearly Windows 10, O365 updates – with just 18 months' support

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: Twice yearly roll out of incompatabilities

Eh ? (Please explain how they're going to break Linux)

How about change details of the SMB protocol and thus mounting of SMB shares no longer works.

3
2
alain williams
Silver badge

Twice yearly roll out of incompatabilities

Now that Microsoft has got a large number of machines being upgraded when it wants it can start to roll out code that breaks other systems; be they those who are still running old versions of Microsoft Windows (ie not 10) or those who run non Microsoft operating systems or applications. Eg Linux or LibreOffice. They roll out applications that handle a new file or wire protocol in March and then make it default in September, removing use of old protocols next March, so software more than 1 year old will then not interoperate with the latest stuff.

They will claim that this is all in the name of progress or fixing security vulnerabilities; but the real reason will that they will start saying how non Microsoft software is incompatible, not good enough, ... So LibreOffice (and similar) developers will have to waste a lot of time playing catch up while Microsoft sniggers.

Other software vendors play this game, eg Autocad is continually updating file formats which makes it hard for users of old versions to read files from a user of the latest versions.

This will also help with forcing people to take out a subscription: no subscription so you don't get the latest Microsoft Word ...

7
3
alain williams
Silver badge

Re: It wouldn't be a problem

A boon to hardware vendors -- "your wifi no longer works with the latest MS Windows; we do not support drivers for hardware more than 3 years old from time of first sale of that model"

6
2
alain williams
Silver badge

Re: Dear gods...

It took us about two years to migrate from RHEL5 to 6.

And now you don't need to do it again for 10 years - which is how long RHEL 6 is supported for (or longer if you want to pay a bit). Then you jump to RHEL 8 (or whatever is new then) and get another decade of stability.

10
1

Zuckerberg's absolutely mental: Brain sensors that read YOUR MIND at 100 words a minute

alain williams
Silver badge

Words per minute ???

Surely the wrong units; if you get a direct feed into the brain the units of information are going to be something like: memes or gestalts.

A word is only one way that we communicate these internal entities to others; it is because of the limitations of our input/output hardware (ears/mouth/...). If you can interact directly with the brain then you can access the underlying units of thought.

1
0

Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers

alain williams
Silver badge

Computer misuse act ?

All that code that these ad slingers are running on my machine (in my browser). Did they ask me permission to do that ? No! I give implicit permission for Javascript to help with the page layout, form manipulation, ... but not for them to Sherlock who I am, if I want to let them do that then I agree to keep one of their cookies -- all else is without my permission.

Having said that our chocolate teapot that is the ICO would just find an excuse to not do anything.

So: should they have to ask permission to run this stuff, how many users would that turn away ?

1
0

Linux remote root bug menace: Make sure your servers, PCs, gizmos, Android kit are patched

alain williams
Silver badge

android ecosystem ...

like my Samsung smart-phone - they stopped producing updates very quickly. I asked and was told that they had determined that ''the last update provided what their customers needed'' - translation ''we have sold it and can't be bothered to maintain it, we would rather that you bought a new one''.

18
0

Hundreds of millions 'wasted' on UK court digitisation scheme

alain williams
Silver badge

Agile is OK for ...

* small projects that are easy enough for people to fit all the components into their heads at once.

* prototyping/mock-ups.

Anything seriously big needs proper design, otherwise the obvious things are done and the corner cases forgotten and the various pieces don't quite fit well with remote components.

The other thing about this project is that it will result in UK government outsourcing a lot of work to call centers, etc, India at a loss of UK jobs and skills - it might save MoJ some money but will end up costing the treasury many times more: less tax receipts and more dole money.

13
3

Your internet history on sale to highest bidder: US Congress votes to shred ISP privacy rules

alain williams
Silver badge

Start a croudsourced fund ...

how long before we raise enough $$ to buy and publish D Trump's web browsing history ?

13
1

UK digital minister Matt Hancock praises 'crucial role' of encryption

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: Can do. But shouldn't?

ALL the information you need to reverse-engineer the private key is present in the public key, but there is NO practical way to recover it.

But how do you get the public key ? You get it over the Internet. This makes you vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle (mitm) attack -- where someone sits between the 2 parties and decrypts/re-encrypts the data. This would be expensive for the spooks to do, but they could do it for individual high interest targets.

This is why we have CAs (Certificate Authorities), they allow the web browser to check the public key so that a mitm attack cannot work. This relies on the CA's own certificates being kept private.

There is no guarantee that the CA's certificates are not known by the spooks. I would be surprised if NSA/GCHQ did not have most of them.

Because PGP allows you to check a remote user's key by other means [remember key signing parties ?] its keys are not so easily compromised.

Summary: public key exchange encryption can already be broken. PGP looks still safe.

0
0

Microsoft delivers secure China-only cut of Windows 10

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: So...

Do they actually get a non-spying version of windows 10 or just one where the chinese government is spying on them ?

That is one of the advantages of closed source software: the users do not know.

17
2

DNS lookups can reveal every web page you visit, says German boffin

alain williams
Silver badge

www.theregister.co.uk

I got different from the one in the article, but they use cloudflare - a CDN.

More importantly: the addresses are IPv4 ones, when is El-Reg going to go IPv6? Even Virgin Media say they will support IPv6 - so why not El Reg ? I have had it at home for 6-7 years.

0
0

'Sorry, I've forgotten my decryption password' is contempt of court, pal – US appeal judges

alain williams
Silver badge

How long do you want to eat porrige for ?

The sentence for 'forgetting' a password, or the sentence for having files that contain: kiddie-porn/bomb-making-instructions/... ?

Work out which is the shorter before you decide if you can remember the password.

2
0

Dormant Linux kernel vulnerability finally slayed

alain williams
Silver badge

Should have used Windows...

Where, because it is closed source, you don't have a clue what bugs have been fixed let alone how long they have been there.

6
1

Do you use .home and .mail on your network? ICANN mulls .corp, .mail, .home dot-word domains

alain williams
Silver badge

.local

Well, at least they have not proposed a TLD of .local -- yet.

6
0

'Password rules are bullsh*t!' Stackoverflow Jeff's rage overflows

alain williams
Silver badge

Sometimes I can't use a long password

There are some systems that: impose a maximum length on passwords, fold upper to lower case, complain if I use anything other than alpha numerics, ...

Let's start complaining about the systems that prevent the use of good passwords.

61
0

Cold callers illegally sold Aussie farmers 1,700 years worth of printer ink

alain williams
Silver badge

Who paid the fine ?

Should have been paid by the cold calling individuals - not the company. Penalise the individuals and they might change their behaviour. Penalise the company and they will see it as just another business cost - this time they got caught, plenty of other ones they did not.

This is what is needed in the banking system - but will not happen, politicians get too many lucrative consultancies once they have left office.

1
5

URGH – bitter taste! Sage hikes One SaaS price 50 per cent

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: Locked and loaded

The big bonus is that when you go bust ...

the receivers don't sell my confidential data to the highest bidder; might not be allowed in the UK but it does happen in the USA.

1
0

YouTube TV will be huge. Apple must respond

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: Once you have accustomed people to watch things for free...

Watching Youtube was never for free. Granted you did not fork out cash but you paid by watching adverts and helping google build its profile of you (what you like to watch) so as to better push adverts at you.

Free is one of the most abused words on the Internet.

5
6

Linus Torvalds lashes devs who 'screw all the rules and processes' and send him 'crap'

alain williams
Silver badge

Which bridge is being repaired today ?

Something must have caused the Redmond loving trolls to come out into the sunshine.

16
3

Awkward. Investigatory Powers Act could prove hurdle to UK-EU Privacy Shield following Brexit

alain williams
Silver badge

It will be fudged

as ever with this sort of thing. Our Pry Minister (T May) will never give up on the ability to stick her nose into everyone's business.

If really pushed hard, they will change the law and just do it anyway under some obscure ministerial power.

4
1

Smart meter firm EDMI asked UK for £7m to change a single component

alain williams
Silver badge

You forgot to mention: sell your energy use profile to ... someone will want to buy that; even if only ''private'' deals between energy staff and their burglar mates who want to know when you are away on holiday.

4
0

Gov wants to make the UK the 'safest place in the world to go online'

alain williams
Silver badge

Trying hard to give the appearance of being useful

Government just chasing the wrong target - again; they seem to think that the only people who matter are tut-tutting Daily Mail readers. This is the lot who have come out with the mind boggleinglly stupid guidance that Streets should not be named after local heroes ‘in case they are paedophiles'.

Do we know what is current government guidance at tilting at windmills ?

8
0

How to nuke websites you don't like: Slam Google with millions of bogus DMCA takedowns

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: Not accidental

Maybe make a complaint about the lawyers doing a DDOS. I suspect that if we thought hard enough about it we could find a way of making them guilty under a computer misuse act or similar.

7
0

Elon Musk promises Tesla investors Trump won't send him to Mars

alain williams
Silver badge

Of course they would say that ...

they want to catch him unawares when they bundle him into that rocket ...

1
0

Intel scales Atom to 16 cores, updates Xeon SoCs

alain williams
Silver badge

Get into cars !!!

I do not want the VM that is controlling my car brakes to be on the same piece of silicon that was running the kids' shoot-em-up game (or grand theft auto). Even with best effort today some future exploit could slow down the brake VM. In fact I would be even happier if non-core car driving functions were isolated onto a separate network within the car.

Sorry Intel: I'll just say ''no''.

7
0

EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: What information does Win 10 slurp?

OK: that is what they say. How can an owner of a MS Windows 10 machine actually see (read) what is being sent to Redmond ? Until the owner can see (in plain text - with good documentation that fully describes the XML or whatever) then it is not transparent.

7
0

'I'm innocent!' says IT contractor on trial after Office 365 bill row spiraled out of control

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: Depressingly familiar

No need to put it in the contract, just something at the bottom of invoices reminding them of the 'Late Payments of Commercial Debts Regulations'.

I wrote a calculator for the statutory interest that you can claim: Statutory Interest Calculator

8
0

Corpse of US anti-spying law unearthed, reanimated, pushed blinking into the sunlight

alain williams
Silver badge

When has that ever stopped them ?

How many years before they are given retrospective permission ?

3
0

GRAPHENE: £120m down, UK.gov finds it's still a long way from commercial potential

alain williams
Silver badge

Only £120 million & a few years ???

and the muppets expect a huge return! They don't have a clue as to how real new science and innovation works. It is not like a bank/stock-market where you give them some money and they rip others off to give you a return; for a start £120 million would not be enough to get bankers interested.

We are looking at something completely new.

Some organisations will be taking paths that lead somewhere useful, others down blind alleys. The only way to tell the difference is to walk the paths.

With innovation: there is no timetable and no guarantee of anything!

15
1

Brave VMs to destroy themselves, any malware they find on HP's new laptop

alain williams
Silver badge

When is this activated ?

It seems to me that this will depend on the user doing something. That depends on:

* the user being aware that something untowards has happened

* the user knowing that they can or should do something - and what that is

* the user caring: ''it is an IT problem''.

4
0

Oracle settles court spat with fired cloud 'sales inflation whistleblower'

alain williams
Silver badge

Where should the buck stop ?

Surely anywhere other than the very top would be wrong. It is Larry who sets the culture and is the one who could change it.

However: it seems accepted that those working in corporations can lie and get away with it. It is not just politicians who lie, although maybe that is the reason why nothing is done about it.

3
0

Thought your data was safe outside America after the Microsoft ruling? Think again

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: America's increasing isolation

Once US law compels multinationals to violate other nations' laws, I think it's pretty much inevitable that America will become ostracised (both digitally and in many other ways too) from the rest of the world,

I would love to agree with you. However who cares ? :

* corporations: don't give two hoots about (their customers') privacy. If using infrastructure in the USA saves them 0.5% costs they will do so. They will give lip service to privacy, just another corporate lie.

* governments: most of them want access to all your data and will strike private deals with the USA. A few push back, England is not one of those.

* individuals: most look at me puzzled or think "there goes Alain again" when I talk about privacy and turn to look at their facebook page.

* el-reg (& similar) readers: but we are in a minority.

Sigh :-(

24
3

Hard numbers: The mathematical architectures of Artificial Intelligence

alain williams
Silver badge

We won't pay because the computer says so

Dealing with bureaucracies is hard enough as it is; indolent droids in call centres who follow a script, partly so they don't have to use their brain (so cheaper people can be hired) and partly to ensure that the company gets the advantage.

With an AI (or whatever) system that the droids do not understand a customer/... will find it even harder to challenge a bad decision or get an explanation of why they are being screwed.

8
0

Trump hits control-Z on cybersecurity order: No reason given for delay

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: hold the heads of federal agencies accountable for managing their cyber risk

Holding the heads of organisations responsible is the right thing to do; this will ensure that enough attention is paid to cyber security. Currently if something goes wrong the blame is placed either on some minion (who did not have the budgeting power do to a proper job) or, preferably, the person who showed that their security was weak (eg Gary Mkinnon or others who have noticed and reported problems).

1
1

Avaya's bankruptcy protection is a 'good thing,' says Europe North veep

alain williams
Silver badge

Translation

Although we have lots of money and good prospects in our new products we don't want to pay our bills to our old suppliers. So we will shaft our old suppliers by getting out of paying them by using Chapter 11 financial magic. The following was not said: and management will be able to award itself bumper bonuses next year as a result.

0
1

Windows code-signing tweaks sure to irritate software developers

alain williams
Silver badge

and what will that hardware contain ?

but a bit of software. So: how long before someone reverse engineers it or pulls one to bits and puts it under a microscope to extract the keys ?

0
3

Google harvests school kids' web histories for ads, claims its Mississippi nemesis

alain williams
Silver badge

Exchange of staff with Microsoft

Can anyone tell us how many staff have moved between Microsoft and Google ? Both seem to becoming increasingly sneaky on slurping up what should be private information about you and serving up targeted adverts.

What else they do with that information no one knows, they won't say - which is just as worrying.

2
0

Ex-Autonomy CFO pleads not guilty to charges he inflated the company's value

alain williams
Silver badge

What is fraud ?

So it seems that HP bought something without looking at it with a microscope, then found that it was not quite what it thought and so sues claiming fraud.

I know plenty of people who have bought HP kit, eg printers, that HP does worse by sabotaging post sale, but that is, somehow, not fraud.

Please tell me why one is fraud and the other is not ?

PS: HP is not unique in trying to con their customers.

16
0

Terry Pratchett's self-written documentary to be broadcast in 2017

alain williams
Silver badge

I hope that Death welcomed him with the words:

GREETINGS FRIEND.

14
0

Oi, Mint 18.1! KEEP UP! Ubuntu LTS love breeds a laggard

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: There is nothing wrong with kernel 4.4

I sit typing this at a CentOS 6.8 machine. This is running Kernel 2.6.32. It works fine; that is what Long Term Stability means - not breaking things by updating too often.

6
0
alain williams
Silver badge

Re: Why the negative title?

A few months ago I selected 'Always update everything', things broke big time on my Mate desktop. I poked for a few minutes, could not see anything obvious, so just reinstalled as the quickest way back to something working.

So: since then I stick with the, default, middle option 'stability and security'.

Most naive users will not notice these preference menus. This is why I think that they ought to default set the two 'select and trust' kernel & security updates.

7
0

Peace-sign selfie fools menaced by fingerprint-harvesting tech

alain williams
Silver badge

Iris scan

So, likewise, a good, open eyed, mug shot might be enough to be able to get an iris scan ?

10
0

Former car rental biz staff gave customers' details to phone pests

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: What about the ambulance chasers ?

It is not the directors of Enterprise RentACar that I am talking about, but those of the solicitors (== ambulance chasers) who bought the records from the three data thieves.

0
0
alain williams
Silver badge

What about the ambulance chasers ?

Did ICO/Plod go after these criminals ? These are the very same who provide a market for the calls that we all get ''concerning the accident that you had recently''. Hit them hard with a big stick please, make the directors personally responsible for every penny of fines and do us all a big favour.

34
1

Fedora 25: You've got that Wayland feelin', oh, that Wayland feelin'

alain williams
Silver badge

Try MATE if you can't stand GNOME 3

There is always the MATE Compiz spin for those of us who find that GNOME 3 is unusable. I'll try GNOME 3 again later today to see if it has improved, but the last time that I did it was too dumbed down and lacked things like multiple desktops - that I just cannot do without.

0
0

MacBook killer? New Lenovo offering sexed up with XPoint booster

alain williams
Silver badge

Yet another myopic article on laptops

Chris Mellor seems to believe that the only laptops that people want are super fast with lots of memory and disk/... Maybe some people do, not everyone. For me I want something light to carry round and with good battery life. Something that will let me run a web browser, run a presentation, occasional word processing, maybe edit & compile programs - but most important ssh into a server back at the ranch.

For that I find a machine costing £150-£200 from Tesco is entirely adequate. Running Linux of course. A machine that I won't cry much if/when I lose it or drop it under a bus.

8
2

Barcodes stamped on breast implants and medical equipment

alain williams
Silver badge

It will stop boobs ...

resulting from all sorts of errors - I suppose.

3
0

How Google.org stole the Christmas Spirit

alain williams
Silver badge

It was ever thus ...

Eg: Microsoft 'giving' schools free or very cheap s/ware: ensures that schools teach kids to use their software.

Or: Facebook's free networking efforts, designed to bring more people to its platform.

Plenty more if you think a bit.

Merry Christmas everyone!

1
0

Twas the week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Microsoft admitting its Windows 10 upgrade pop-up went 'too far'

alain williams
Silver badge

Re: 'We want people to be running Windows 10 from a security perspective'

Why ? For the earlier versions that are still supported I would expect security patches. He seems to be saying that they can't be bothered to fix security problems in older versions. Other operating system distributors offer 10 years and 13 years support, these are smaller companies than Microsoft - but they can manage it; why don't they ?

15
2

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017