* Posts by Alister

3039 posts • joined 19 May 2010

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

Alister
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Re: Danger already present

Interesting that the two don't quite agree:

Snowden says: "The journalists I have worked with have, at my request, been judicious and careful in ensuring that the only things disclosed are what the public should know but that does not place any person in danger ..."

Greenwald says: "I'm not aware of, nor subject to, any agreement that imposes any limitations of any kind on the reporting that I am doing on these documents. I would never agree to any such limitations."

So which is it?

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Russian spyboss brands Tor a crook's paradise, demands a total ban

Alister
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Unhappy

In a post last week, (here) where there was a discussion about using Tor to evade interception of web browsing by Google, the NSA or anyone else, I made the following comment:

I notice that certain sections of the UK press have cottoned on to the use of the Tor network, and have labelled it "a tool of paedos".

It would not surprise me if we soon see calls for knee-jerk legislation to try and block anonymising services, VPNs and encryption software.

It appears I was partially correct, I just got the country wrong...

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Rasp Pi skydive: Ballsy Baumgartner best beware Brit bionic Babbage Bear

Alister
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Blimey!

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Tat bazaar eBay takes a rest for 'scheduled maintenance', goes offline

Alister
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The site, ebay.com at least, is instead, at time of writing, serving a "connection reset" message to visitors.

ebay.co.uk seems to be working now.

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Nasty BOFHses. It burns us! It burns...

Alister
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Classic BOFH, thanks Simon.

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Apple sucking triple the phone switchers as Samsung – report

Alister
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Headmaster

Re: slightly retarded flamebait article penned by Gollum after loosing his ring?

It's losing, not loosing

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Boffin blends benevolent beer

Alister
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Boffin blends benevolent beer, Hydration hack hinders hangovers...

Awesome Alliteration.

Applauds...

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WTF is... backend-as-a-service?

Alister
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Re: I realize some of you may be tempted to make a dirty joke...

I'm afraid you're way too late, sorry

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Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

Alister
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Just plug it in

I wonder what percentage of households in Britain don't have the luxury of a driveway to park their car in, and therefore could only charge an electric / hybrid by trailing an extension lead across the public pavement.

Or what about the traveling salesman who stays at a different Hotel every night, how many Trust House Fortes have 13 Amp sockets in the car park?

This is surely the biggest sticking point for many who would otherwise consider one of these vehicles.

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Just add creepiness: Google Search gets even more personal

Alister
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Re: It's not so difficult at all..

If a big enough percentage of internet users takes these security measures, the spooks will either have to change their methods or expend insane amounts of money to continue with their fishing expeditions.

...or make them illegal. That seems to be the easy route.

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Alister
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Re: It's not so difficult at all..

The problem with your list that I can see is that if you follow it, and take other similar actions to avoid interception of your internet use, you risk inviting greater scrutiny, as your behaviour could be profiled as terrorist / paedo / naughty.

Not saying it is right in any way, but it seems to me that we are rapidly heading towards a situation where any attempt to keep data private (particularly email and phone conversations, and web browsing habits) , will automatically be flagged as suspicious.

I notice that certain sections of the UK press have cottoned on to the use of the Tor network, and have labelled it "a tool of paedos".

It would not surprise me if we soon see calls for knee-jerk legislation to try and block anonymising services, VPNs and encryption software.

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Boffins claim Voyager has already left the Solar System

Alister
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Re: Didn't you see the final episode?

Nah, that was all just a dream...

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Alister
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Does nobody watch those old documentaries anymore??

If you did you'd know Voyager is in the Delta Quadrant, and has been for years!

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Tumblr! boss! bags! $81m! if! he! stomachs! FOUR! YEARS! at! Yahoo!

Alister
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Re: Don't! you! think! the! exclamation! mark! after! every! word! for! Yahoo! news! is! etc!

he only does it to annoy

because he knows it teases.

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Vulture 2 spaceplane flies to the 3D printing press

Alister
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That's looking good, nice one.

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Plods probe death threat tweets to MP - but who will rid us of terrible trolls?

Alister
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Re: Charging

I have a considerable spleen and would gladly pay all I have and a little more to vent it all over the interwebs.

Eeeeewwwww!

Messy!

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Alister
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Unfortunately phrased

Officers in Waltham Forest [northeast London] received an allegation of malicious communications from an MP.

These MPs who send malicious communications, eh! You'd think they'd know better...

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Microsoft introduces warning on child abuse image searches

Alister
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The company debuted the pop-up message on Bing

Don't know about anybody else, but I have popups blocked in every browser I use...

;-)

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Microsoft haters: You gotta lop off a lot of legs to slay Ballmer's monster

Alister
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We all like to moan about and abuse Microsoft, but until recently there really hasn't been a viable alternative to Active Directory for centralised user management which integrates with shared resources, email accounts etc.

That coupled with the fact that if you wanted to do business with other companies, you had to be able to create, edit and access Microsoft's file formats, meant that in practice, however much you may have disliked Microsoft, you had to use their products to function as a business.

However, as more and more of the day-to-day functionality is transferred to the "cloud", the less is the need for the old centralised philosophy and therefore the less is the need for reliance on Microsoft products.

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'Wandering Dago' tuck truck ejected from NY race track

Alister
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Re: Smoke my faggot?

A faggot is also (in parts of Britain) a ball of minced pork and pig offal served in gravy.

I suppose you could have them smoked, same as you do kippers...

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Alister
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Deemed offensive to Italian Americans, oddly, not Hispanics

I'm not in any way trying to be racist or derogatory, but my understanding of American culture (being a Limey) was that the common epithet for Hispanics was "spic" .

I don't think that, if two African-Americans had set up a fast food joint called Wandering N***er, they would be surprised if people were offended by that, so why should this be any different?

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Kids LIE about age on Facebook, gasps Brit ad watchdog

Alister
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Just curious...

...but how would you get a 13 year old to offer proof of age online, anyway? An emailed photocopy of their birth certificate?

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Been hacked? Don't dial 999: The plods are too dense, sniffs sec bigwig

Alister
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This is all very well but as a company we have a legal requirement to report any attacks on our network. Our local plod just went "Meh" last time we had a problem with a major DDoS on one of our client's systems, and wouldn't even log it and give us a crime number, which we needed.

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BOFH: Don't be afraid - we won't hurt your delicate, flimsy inkjet printer

Alister
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RE: Don't forget the Bell

Of course, can't believe I'd forgotten that bit:

chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga... CRASH! ... Ting!

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Alister
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Pah!

Lasers, Inkjets, Dot-Matrix; modern claptrap.

When I first started playing with computers, I had a GPO type 7 Teleprinter which I used for RTTY and packet BBS.

It took two people to lift it, and every time it did a carriage return it used to jump about a foot to the right

You could hear it for miles around - chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga... CRASH!

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Wow! British Gas bungs a million remote-controlled sales-droids in UK homes

Alister
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Re: The smart meters offer a running commentary on how much power a home is consuming.

I have visions of this disembodied voice from the cupboard under the stairs:

Oh, you keep your wife there too?

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Hotshots' hotchpotch hotspots: Office Wi-Fi is a great big botch

Alister
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Really big companies hire consultancies to create a radio map their sites, while small businesses just plug in a domestic-grade hotspot or two.

Bit of a sweeping statement, that.

We are a small business (@50 staff) but when we moved offices a couple of years ago, we spent as much time planning our WiFi provision in the new building (three floors) as we did our wired infrastructure. We did extensive testing using a variety of different access points and end user devices before deciding on a final configuration.

As a result we have a robust secure office WiFi network, and an accessible guest WiFi which is on a separate broadband connection.

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London Mayor shows off GIANT BLUE COCK in busy square

Alister
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It's good to know that London now has a massive cock in the middle of our great capital city. Oh wait. Doesn't someone fill that role already ... ?

And being a Tory, he is a massive Blue cock....

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Indian military pondered attack on Venus and Jupiter

Alister
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@ jake

Reported in 2009: F16s scrambled against UFO

The object was spotted by the pilot of Olympic Airways flight 266 from Athens, and the sighting was corroborated by staff at Athens Airport and a nearby Greek air force base. Pilots of two other passenger jets also reported seeing the body.

The eyewitnesses described it as looking like a large star, although it was moving erratically and constantly changing shape.

Two fighter jets were sent to investigate the sighting over the Greek capital in November 2007 but the object shot up into the sky and vanished before they could get a clear view.

Greek officials say that the object, which was not detected on any radar, was probably a mistaken sighting of the planet Venus in the Autumn night sky.

Okay, Greek Air Force, I grant you, but not the sixties either...

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Alister
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It's easy to go "hur, hur, stoopid Indians" but there are a number of documented cases of both US and UK fighter jets being scrambled to intercept UFOs which turned out to be Venus.

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What did the Romans ever do for us? Packet switching...

Alister
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Interesting article.

However, this bit I disagree with:

But then the whole of IT has its roots in military requirements, just as aviation does.

Aviation, as far as I'm aware, was very much a product of civilian trial and error, and individual entrepreneurship, whether you're talking about early lighter-than-air craft, through heavier-than-air craft to powered flight. I cannot think how you can justify saying that it has it's roots in military requirements.

However, there is no disputing that military requirements lead to a very rapid development of powered flight once the principal was accepted.

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Senator: Surveillance state based on secret law 'has no place in America'

Alister
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Re: seriously?

"[The Senators and Representatives] shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place." (US Constitution, Article I, Section VI)

I'm not a lawyer, but that would seem on its face to immunize a Senator or Representative who cared to make a speech about perceived government misdeeds, which I presume was the original intent.

I'm not so sure, it could be they'd get him under "Treason".

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Troll loses 'we own the Web' patent appeal

Alister
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I bet Oracle and Texas Instruments are feeling a bit pissed off now - I take it they won't get their money back?

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Steve Jobs' death clears way for '13-inch' JUMBO iPAD HYPEGASM

Alister
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Re: 13 inches

Down, not Across.

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WAR ON PORN: UK flicks switch on 'I am a pervert' web filters

Alister
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Re: Some form of Child Monitoring Adult Required?

Nah, what a ridiculous idea, it'll never catch on.

Actual Adults, having to take responsibility for Children??

Don't be silly..

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Alister
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Re: fight back

Be careful, or you will be deemed an unfit parent, and lose your rights to see your children.

I wish I was joking, but I quite see this happening.

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Android MasterKey found buried in kiddie cake game on Google Play - report

Alister
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Facepalm

@I ain't Spartacus

I see you got a downvote for that, for some peculiar reason, so have an upvote to redress the balance.

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US Marine Corps misses target, finds and bombs Nemo

Alister
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Facepalm

and it should be lose, not loose...

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Put the 3 Rs back in British Education: Infographics, Nextification, Chemicals

Alister
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Only the Bongster finds these kinds of synergies - sb

Given the context of the quote (Chemicals!) I misread that as syringes...

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Websites stagger to feet, Network Solutions wears off DDoS hangover

Alister
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Re: dream on

The vast majority of web servers are not managed by anyone at all. Many will simply be wordpress or similar sites which once set up by their point and click owners are rarely if every upgraded and thus open to every expoloit going. The underlying systems on such services are probably never upgraded either as that would break too many of their customers sites. So sadly in the real world there are plenty of web servers to exploit.

You're confusing websites, and web servers. Yes there are thousands of "fire and forget" web sites out there, but they nearly all sit on managed servers provided by a hosting company. It is the hosting company's responsibility to manage and monitor the server, not the site owners. And it is the hosting company that should be penalised, if one of their servers is part of a DDoS attack and they don't do anything about it.

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Alister
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Re: word press admin

so as an admin of a small wordpress site, how would I know if my site has been compromised?

You shouldn't - your site sits on a server provided by and administered by a hosting company, and they should have the necessary monitoring in place, and it is their responsibility, not yours.

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Alister
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Re: Perfect weapon

It is easy to blame the few guys plugging the many holes but there are a lot of ways to be compromised. And once compromised you may not know about it, you may be part of a DDOS and know nothing about it. Because your server is owned!

If your server is being used as part of a DDoS attack and you don't know about it, then you're doing it wrong.

The most rudimentary traffic and resources monitoring should highlight that the server is doing something it shouldn't.

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Alister
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Unlike compromised home PCs, there really is no excuse for compromised web servers.

The vast majority of web servers are managed by someone who is paid to do it, and therefore should be responsible and competent enough to either stop the compromise in the first place, or be able to detect and remove any malicious software if an infection occurs.

If a server is identified as one of the sources of a DDoS attack then it's owner / operator should be notified, and sanctions applied if it's not fixed.

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Why data storage technology is pretty much PERFECT

Alister
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A fascinating and informative article, thank you!

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Worldwide smartwatch shipments predicted to top 5 million next year

Alister
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I wear a watch, it cost me Fifty quid about 20 years ago., I change the battery maybe once every two years.

I can't understand people who say that they use their mobile to tel the time, 'cos it's easier.

By the time I've remembered which pocket my phone is in, removed it from the pocket, turned it the right way up, and pressed the button to turn the screen on, I've wasted a good 30 seconds, compared to just glancing at my wrist.

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Psssst: If you wanna be rich, make the next privacy Robocop app

Alister
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The security expert was astonished by the reaction to the scandal of the web-snooping NSA PRISM project, which left consumers feeling "violated".

Apart from a few Daily Mail types, the average consumer's reaction appears to have been resounding apathy, either because they don't understand, or they don't think it applies to them.

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We'll stop Johnny Foreigner gobbling our biznovation - UK gov

Alister
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Re: Can someone help me... I think I've slipped into an alternate reality...

I wouldn't celebrate too much, just yet. To quote from the article:

The government has now responded to the warning that British start-ups were being snapped up by foreign companies, promising to hold a round table discussion in the Autumn to discuss how best to support the UK's start-up scene.

"Hold a round table discussion in the Autumn" is about as much as you're going to get, and they will feel they have met their responsibilities by having done so.

No practical application of any outcomes from that discussion will ever be implemented, I guarantee.

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Yahoo!: We! tried! to! protect! your! info! ... secret! court! case! will! prove! it!

Alister
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Facebook, Microsoft and Google all want to reassure customers around the world that they didn't simply allows spooks to have unfettered access to their servers, but only responded to specific requests.

If Snowden's latest revelations regarding Hotmail are true, then Microsoft not only allowed spooks to have unfettered access to their servers, but they actually wrote the code to facilitate that.

I'm quite sure that the other companies will have done the same.

This is not a dig at Microsoft, or Google or Facebook, btw, if the government of their country leans on them, there's very little that they can do but comply.

However, it just shows that the government's protestations about oversight and due process are complete bollocks.

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Up yours, Google! Iran to launch OWN state email service

Alister
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Maybe other countries might want to think about doing this, providing a national email service for their citizens which is not so likely to be snooped by America...

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