* Posts by Alister

3425 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Ted Cruz knows where you live – if you downloaded his app

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Donald Trump has been the focus of much interest, dominating all candidates with 75 per cent of presidential primary apps categorized under his name.

Yes, but doesn't that category include all the fart apps?

Europe's Earth-watching sat rides Soyuz to orbit

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"Micro-Satellite à traînée Compensée pour l'Observation du Principe d'Equivalence", aka Microscope

Nice acronym, it's a good thing it was in French or it wouldn't have worked...

Clinton's $1m troll fight

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Re: Why is Billary not in jail yet?

She's even more dangerous than loose-cannon Donald Trump, who at least has some proven talents. [citation needed]

RIP Prince: You were the soundtrack of my youth

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Re: I've

You'd think he was the messiah ffs.

Whilst I sort of agree with the sentiment - news channels and the internet have gone way overboard about this - you must acknowledge that he had a massive influence on popular music, not just the songs he performed himself, but all the work he did for other bands, and the industry as a whole.

'I hacked Facebook – and found someone had beaten me to it'

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"another researcher"

So, did he open a terminal window and type:

"Mess with the best, die like the rest."

No?, Oh, OK.

FBI's Tor pedo torpedoes torpedoed by United States judge

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Re: The Plural of Torpedo...

@Roj Blake

That wooshing sound you hear is the point, missing you completely...

What is the plural of Pedo?

NYPD anti-crypto Twitter campaign goes about as well as you'd expect

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@ Aodhhan

One of the US Government's primary jobs is the protection of its citizens. Right to privacy isn't absolute, and it loses when it comes to security of the nation or protection of the people.

You just don't get it, do you. What the Government is asking for is NOT POSSIBLE.

It is not possible to create strong encryption with an easy way in "only for government use".

The two possible choices are:

1/ Strong Encryption for everybody which cannot be easily bypassed or broken.

2/ Weak Encryption for everybody, which can be bypassed or broken by governments and criminals alike.

The drawback with #2 is that strong encryption already exists, so even if law abiding citizens and companies do as the government asks, and only use weaker encryption, there's nothing to stop criminals and terrorists from using the existing strong encryption.

Clucking hell! Farcical free-range egg standard pecked apart by app

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Re: And the information is...

Accurate? Just wait for the lawsuit when the app tells people that Brand A is clucking unhappy, when, in fact, it's clucking cheerful.

The data the App uses is taken from a report produced by Choice, a consumer protection organisation similar to Which?.

This information is freely available here:


So it won't be the App developers who get sued no matter what.

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Re: 160,000 birds per hectare.

How many birds would that be per Wales?

According to Wikepedia, Wales is 2 million hectares, so the answer is 320000000000

or 3.2 × 109

VXers pass stolen card data over DNS

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Re: Wouldnt

Wouldn't the practical solution to this be putting POS systems on an isolated network of their own with no net access?

Don't POS systems require net access to carry out card verification etc?

How Apple's early VR experiments accidentally led to RSS

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I thought he was an actor...

Aaron Swartz, on the other hand, was involved in the development of RSS.

Utah declares 'war on smut'

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War on Drink

I think they should prohibit the consumption of alchohol, it presents a far greater risk to "a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms".

They could make it an amendment of the Constitution, for greater impact, perhaps.

What do you mean "they tried that already"?

Catastrophic 123-reg VPS cockup deletes Ross County FC website

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I think you are misunderstanding.

I thought is was 67 VMs that were lost, not physical servers.

Furious customers tear into 123-reg after firm's mass deletion woes

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I mean seriously 123 customers.... you didn't have backups... AND trusted your provider..... ?????


But isn't that just what all these vendors keep telling you: no need for on-premises backups, it's all in the Cloud(TM)

This is why SMB Managers keep falling for it.

Chilling evidence emerges of Kilocat weapon

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In other news, it is understood that the Australian government has categorically denied that they have been developing a weaponised Drop Bear in the Kiloton range.

AMC sobers up, apologizes for silly cinema texting plan

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Re: Virulent disease won't be stopped by AMC!

The problem has got so bad that I'm typing this while driving the number 38 bus through Piccadilly Circus.

Unless you're eating a sandwich and drinking coffee out of a thermos mug at the same time as driving the bus and texting, you're not doing it right...

I am sending pouting selfies to a robot. Its AI is well buff

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Re: You clean up nice!!

It's an old photo. I'm much flabbier now...

As the photo at the foot of the article shows...

On, no, sorry, that's Les Dawson...

Misco: We're moving to the cloud after yesterday's bit barn meltdown

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Datacentre - or Broom closet?

The more I read about the Misco outage the more I wonder just what "Datacentre" means in their case.

Picture a standard bit-barn - usually a prefab building the size of a soccer field:

you walk in the front door , and (if it's any decent bit-barn) you have to go through various physical security checks.

Having passed them, you go through the security gate / airlock into the data-floor, which may be divided into separate halls, or for our purposes is just a single massive area.

Off in the distance, in the middle of an otherwise bare floor, stands a single 42U rack, and as we get closer, we can see that it's partially populated.

Close up, we see a firewall, a switch, a few ethernet cables and a 2U server with "Web1" written across the lid in marker pen, under the dust. On the floor of the rack is a box of floppies, marked "backup".

That's it ladies and gents, there's Misco's robust e-commerce front-end...


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“Moving forward we’ll be moving our infrastructure to a cloud platform so we have continuity of service and are not relying on a back-up fail over failing”.

Typical management knee-jerk reaction. What they should do is look at what they spent on DR (clearly very little) and then work out a revised plan which actually works.

If they want to transfer it all to public cloud offerings, fair enough, but it won't magically give them "continuity of service" unless they put the work in.

They still need the same sort of planning - "cloud" is not magically robust, if you lose a server, and don't have any form of DR, then you're stuffed, no matter where it's hosted.

Oracle whistles happy tune as shadow of AWS bus parks on database lawn

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Thumb Up

Love the pic accompanying the article:

"Infamy, Infamy, they've all got it in for me!"

Cyber-security pro? Forget GCHQ, BT wants to hire 900 of you

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Re: Here's a crazy thought

Train them in-house! Just like big companies used to do.

Umm, TFA says:

"To meet the growing global demand for cybersecurity services and address the skills shortage in the sector, BT expects to take-on and train 170 graduates and apprentices, as part of its 900 recruitment intake in the next 12 months," said the company.

There's oil in that thar … Chinese space probe?

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Re: With diesel engines

compressing 0.0017 milliJub of oil in a vessel capable of withstanding 103.95 kiloNorris per nanoWales,

I wish I had more than one of these to give you...

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Interesting, Diesel engines compress air until the fuel oil explodes...

TFA didn't say whether the containers were vacuum flasks or not, could be fun...

What exactly is it that infosec miscreants get up to? A quick overview

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A high degree of specialization leads to a constant cycle of reinvention and innovation.

This is another DevOps story, then?

Symantec.cloud portal limps back online after day-long TITSUP

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This is not a security issue, all customers remain protected.

In fact, it's more secure than ever, 'cos no-one can hack into your account and change the settings!

Okay, so you can't log in and do that either, but It's really secure...

Prof Hawking to mail postage-stamp space craft to Alpha Centauri using frickin' lasers

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Re: IKEAShot 1

Never seen Stimulation spelt with a Z before...


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Laser powered spaceflight has been mooted, and even demonstrated experimentally, but the idea that they can aim the laser accurately enough through the atmosphere to propel something the size of a postage stamp is surely piling on more complexity than they needed to?

It would of course also be quite useful as a ground based weapon...

US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

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Johnson County eh?

You couldn't make it up...

Johnson: [Noticing Dr. Evil's spaceship on radar] Colonel, you better have a look at this radar.

Colonel: What is it, son?

Johnson: I don't know, sir, but it looks like a giant--

Jet Pilot: Dick.

Dick: Yeah?

Jet Pilot: Take a look out of starboard.

Dick: Oh my God, it looks like a huge--

Bird-Watching Woman: Pecker.

Bird-Watching Man: [raising binoculars] Ooh, Where?

Bird-Watching Woman: Wait, that's not a woodpecker, it looks like someone's--

Army Sergeant: Privates! We have reports of an unidentified flying object. It has a long, smooth shaft, complete with--

Baseball Umpire: Two balls.

[looking up from game]

Baseball Umpire: What is that. It looks just like an enormous--

Chinese Teacher: Wang, pay attention!

Wang: I was distracted by that giant flying--

Musician: Willie.

Willie Nelson: Yeah?

Musician: What's that?

Willie Nelson: [squints] Well, that looks like a giant--

Colonel: Johnson?!

Johnson: Yes, sir?

Colonel: Get on the horn to British Intelligence and let them know about this.

Graphene solar panels harvest energy from rain

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lightbulb moment...

OK, so here's an idea that's just come to me...

Would it be possible to use piezo-electric devices to generate electricity from the actual force of the rain drops falling on a surface?

Citrix asks you, yes you, to write its certification exams and courseware

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Re: When using the ICA protocol, What...

When using the ICA protocol, what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

African or European swallow?

'Fart detector' wins Chinese Physics prize

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A study into why flies and other insects ... work on maglev trains in an evacuated tube.

Interesting. They must be well trained...

Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

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Deep Disposal

"We're sending 700kg of nuclear waste across the Atlantic by ship..."

(2 months later)

"We're very sorry to announce the ship carrying 700kg of nuclear waste to the US has unexpectedly sunk in the deepest bit of the Atlantic..."


Illegal drugs and dodgy pics? Nah. Half the dark web is perfectly legal

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specialist software and expertise

I love this bit:

A spokesman from Intelliagg explained: “The dark web is renowned for illicit and illegal trade, unmonitored and anonymous. Not any more. We have successfully penetrated into the darkest parts using specialist software and our expertise.

Yeah, so they know how to use a TOR browser and a port scanner... whoop-de-doo...

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It depends what you call the "dark web".

Do they just mean .onion sites, or do they include sites that don't have a DNS lookup, or which serve on non-standard ports?

There must be thousands, if not millions of the latter.

Lots of companies, ours included, have web sites and services accessible on the internet which are for company use, and don't appear in DNS or use standard ports, or only accept connections from certain IP ranges. Are these all counted as the dark web?

EDIT: JimC got in before me :)

Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

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Deja Vu

Can you tell me what the difference is between this article, and this one.

Apart from some slight changes to the wording, it doesn't really offer anything new?

Click bait?

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Re: Super capacitors are a good touch


I think you need to understand the difference between breaks and brakes - although transposing the one for the other does lead to some interesting sentences :)

Eat your greens, FCC tells ISPs with new broadband "nutrition label"

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And just what are you supposed to stick the label onto?

The modem, the cable, or each packet??

Space archeologist discovers new evidence of Vikings invading America

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Re: Greenland etc

The Celts came from what is now the Basque country

No, I don't think they did, they came from Central / Eastern Europe.

China enacts 'real name policy' for internet addresses

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What's new?

Not sure why you are making such a big thing about this, various countries already require proof from companies before allowing them to register a domain.

Note that this is FOR COMPANIES, not for individuals.

I recently had reason to have to register a .fr domain for a company. The requirements for this were very strict indeed.

I don't recall there being a big story about France's domain registration policies?

Hi! Up here! I'm your Amazon drone. Do you mind if I land now?

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Amazon seem to be going to great lengths with this drone delivery idea - but do they really not recognise what a stupid idea it is?

Apart from the lack of range of the drones, they are going to be shot at, or hijacked, or otherwise interfered with.

And if that isn't the case, how do they deliver to anyone who doesn't live in an idealised American home with a white picket fence and front yard?

Let's see a drone delivering to an apartment block in the middle of a city!

Microsoft's Brad Smith on encryption: Let the politicians decide

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"decisions are best made by people that are elected by people."


Does anybody really think that our elected representatives are safe to be allowed to make decisions on any level greater than what to have for breakfast?

Is Brad thinking of running for office soon?

Microsoft's bigoted teen bot flirts with illegali-Tay in brief comeback

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Passes the Turing test?

Compare and contrast, here's a real US teenager on Twitter:


French scream sacré bleu! as US govt gives up the internet to ICANN

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Re: Obliged

obligated is a perfectly valid word (cromulent, even!), not made up as you claim.

Its use in the sentence you fail to quote is correct.

The board is also obligated to explain its reasoning if it does reject that advice

Obligated and obliged both mean "to be morally required to do something", however in normal use obligated is used where the subject has no choice in the matter, whereas obliged is more like being indebted to someone.

EU ministers to demand more data access after Brussels attacks

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Re: Priorities...

Brussels, with its airport now becoming famous for not doing even basic security checks.

What? Which security checks would you expect to see, and where?

At check-in? At the front door? At the unloading point? In the car park?

It doesn't matter where you start the security, you will always have a point before it which is vulnerable.

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Not more data, better analysis

They should be concentrating on dealing more effectively with the data they already have, not trying to add to it.

The haystack is big enough already, they need more people with magnets to sift through and find the needles.

And then, they need to use that information appropriately, not keep it secret. Once again, it appears, the security services were aware of at least one of the Brussels attackers, but they didn't release that information to the people that mattered.

Met police commissioner: Fraud victims should not be refunded by banks

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"disincentivised "

What a horrible word that is.

What's wrong with discouraged?

Water treatment plant hacked, chemical mix changed for tap supplies

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A couple of weeks ago South Derbyshire and North Leicestershire residents were warned not to use their tap water for any reason because the chlorine concentration was at dangerous levels.

Curious coincidence.

Israeli biz fingered as the FBI's iPhone cracker

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I wonder whether (whatever the actual outcome) the FBI will triumphantly announce their finding of (unspecified) incriminating data on the phone, just to justify their law suit.

I really can't see them going "ah, well actually there wasn't anything worth having on there, sorry to have bothered you..."

Tracy Emin dons funeral shroud, marries stone

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I hope he'll mica great husband, and doesn't turn out to be a bit of a schist

Oh, sugar! Sysadmin accidently deletes production database while fixing a fault

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What we need is production databases that require 2FA or 2 user auth to run DELETE and DROP commands :p

Or possibly Sysadmins who stop and check, and then check again, before deleting anything, ever.

My thought is that he restored a duff backup over the top of the live database, instead of creating a copy.

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