* Posts by Loyal Commenter

2872 posts • joined 20 Jul 2010

Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

Loyal Commenter
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How deep in Apple's pockets must these politicians be to be refusing this tax being forced onto their country and the benefits it could have for their constituents?

You have to balance the effects of the immediate cash injection to the coffers of the Republic, with the "attractive to tech companies" image the country has, and its potential negative impact on inward investment if other large companies decide to relocate their European operations to, for example, Luxembourg, instead. If I remember rightly (correct me if I'm wrong), Dublin is also host to the European headquarters of HP, Microsoft and Dell, amongst others.

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We're doomed: Defra's having a cow over its Brexit IT preparations

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Facepalm

Maybe as a remoan wanker you could offer some advice

If advice had been listened to, we wouldn't be in this mess, would we?

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Does Brexit make a difference to DEFRA's IT? It's not exactly covered itself with glory before Brexit was happening. SNAFU.

Well, now Slithy Gove is in charge of it, rather than those pesky experts (what do they know, eh?), I'm sure the department will go from strength to strength.

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First it was hashtags – now Amber Rudd gives us Brits knowledge on national ID cards

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Re: Not wishing to trust Big Gov, but--

Most national ID cards are exactly that - an identity card. Not an 'entitlement' card that links to a database. No RFID chip or magnetic stripe that gets scanned when you go to pick up a parcel from the post office, or open a bank account. No big database collecting tracking information in real time from those scans and swipes.

The card isn't the problem, it is the Home Office's avowed desire to use it to collect data on your movements and activities, eroding your right to privacy. That's the reason May hates the ECHR, because it gives us those rights to privacy, enshrined in an international treaty.

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It's September 2018, and Windows VMs can pwn their host servers by launching an evil app

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Re: "see i told you so"

Only enable images on web sites where you really, really need to see images.

If you really don't want to see any images, just use lynx.

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HTTPS crypto-shame: TV Licensing website pulled offline

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hardcoded http needn't be a problem (although it is untidy, IMHO, all links internal to a web site should be relative), as long as the server is configured to redirect all http requests to https. The fact that they serve anything up at all on http is the real problem.

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Re: TV licensing agency

Anybody who disbelieves this, I highly recommend you to cancel your TV license, remove all BBC channels from your tuned TV, and then watch the highly threatening letters roll in from the BBC tv licensing gang.

And they are just that - threatening letters. To prosecute you, they need to prove that you own a TV, use it to receive broadcasts, and are not paying the licence fee. Unless you are silly enough to be watching BBC news in front of the window when their 'enforcement officers' call by, then they don't have that proof. They can't enter your property without a police warrant, so if they come calling (which is vanishingly unlikely), you can quite legally tell them to fuck off and close the door.

So, those threatening letters? Just cross out the address, write 'return to sender' on the top and pop it back in the nearest post box. At least that way, it's not cluttering up your household recycling.

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we're not aware of anyone's data being compromised.

Well, if you're not using HTTPS, you wouldn't be aware of it, almost by design. Not being aware of the man-in-the-middle doesn't mean he isn't there. All it takes is a poisoned DNS server, redirecting requests to a proxy, and someone can be listening in on all the unsecured connections for any domain that DNS server is serving up the address for.

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Archive.org's Wayback Machine is legit legal evidence, US appeals court judges rule

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Explain to me please, why you think being owned specifically by George Soros would make something more likely to be faked.

Is it possibly because you disagree with the man's political beliefs, so wish to smear him?

Personally, I've seen no evidence, or even serious suggestion, that he is involved in any fake news sites, for instance. I'm not sure I can say the same for those who oppose his political views.

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Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

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Re: Right to be forgotten

can't have people like Stephen Fry or BoJo or, <insert name here> doing time for a hearty jape now, or can we?

You do know that Stephen Fry actually did time in prison for credit card fraud don't you? He doesn't exactly make a secret of it.

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Re: Right to be forgotten

Encompassing as it may be, its completely true. To be convicted you must be caught, and to be caught you must have chosen to commit a crime; thus self selecting and stupid enough to get caught.

And to be wrongfully convicted? Miscarriages of justice can also follow you around for a lifetime.

How about accused but not convicted? Or found 'not proven' in a Scottish court.

There are further subtleties to charges, sentences, etc. where the verdict in court, as reported in the press might not reflect things such as extenuating circumstances, mental state at the time, etc. etc., or may not distinguish between relative seriousness of the crime (especially with things like mandated minimum sentences). Without knowing all the details of a case, well, you don't know all the details.

Here is a fictitious example: How about someone, who on their 18th birthday goes for a drinks with their friends. One friend gives them (foolishly) a set of kitchen knives as a gift. On the way home from the pub, they are stopped and searched by the police, arrested, and subsequently convicted of carrying a concealed weapon. Bang, mandatory custodial sentence. How would you distinguish this unlucky individual from the gang member who is caught by the police on the way to stab a rival yob?

On the whole, this is the murkiest of grey areas. Making sweeping pronouncements on it one way or the other only indicates that you maybe haven't thought about it as hard as maybe you should have.

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Trainer regrets giving straight answer to staffer's odd question

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Re: Some police Depts in the US won't take reports for stolen phones

Many years ago (in the UK) I lost my phone. I reported it to the insurance and they needed a police reference number.

If you are insured for accidental loss, rather than theft, your insurer will not need a CRN. If you tell them it has been stolen, they will. If you are not covered for accidental loss, but lose your phone and claim theft, then this, my friend, is known as insurance fraud. If you make a false report of a crime to the police, you are probably on risky ground there as well, for wasting police time.

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Roskosmos admits that Soyuz 'meteorite' hole had more earthly origins

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Measure twice

Cut once.

Or in this case, drill?

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Excuse me, but your website's source code appears to be showing

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Re: Not the root problem

Exposing your source code shouldn't be an issue, because your code should survive inspection.

When your server-side source code is exposed to the end user, and that source code contains the business logic for how you operation runs, can you see how that might possibly be advantageous to your competitors?

A website should be nothing more than a presentation layer (with some validation to avoid having to pass too much rubbish back to the server). Business logic should live between the presentation layer and storage layer. More layers may be required (to handle things such as filtering, blacklisting, whitelisting, throttling, etc. etc.) There are many reasons for doing things this way, and even more books written about it telling you why.

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‘Very fine people’ rename New York as ‘Jewtropolis’ on Snapchat, Zillow

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Re: Hate speech

"It was clearly intended to be offensive."

True, but that doesn't make it hate speech.

Nope, the thing that makes it hate speech is that it was pretty obviously done in order to promote hatred against a group of people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_speech

Interestingly, from that Wikipedia article, I was sadly not entirely surprised to discover that hate speech is constitutionally protected in the US. Being allowed to say something, however, doesn't mean that there should be no consequences from doing so. In this case, the perp was apparently banned from contributing to OSM for 20 years.

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Re: "Working to track down the culprit"

... in this case, the facts they should have checked were the readily available list of changes that were made, that, in addition to the widely reported 'Jewtopolis', included references to Hitler, the KKK, etc. etc. and were quite definitely antisemitic.

... in the case of the latest "Corbyn is anti-semitic" furore, the facts point to Corbyn criticising a small group of hard-line pro-Israel supporters (and using the term 'Zionist' in its correct political sense, and not as a wider slur against Jewish people on the whole) who were protesting outside an event he attended, some time in the past, before he became leader of the Labour party. Hardly current, hardly ongoing, and not anti-semitic, unless you treat any criticism of the illegal expansionist policies of Israel as examples of such. Much in the same vein as claiming that criticism of the KKK for lynching black people in the '50s is anti-Christian.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not denying anti-semitism exists, and this story is about a clear example of it. People being too lazy to check the facts doesn't make it otherwise. Anti-semitism may well exist within the Labour party as well - it does have 300,000 members, but there is scant evidence that Corbyn has done anything that can be described as such, despite the frustratingly large amount of hot air being blown out by the gutter press. However, I'm prepared to bet you any amount of money that there is proportionately more of it going on in other political parties, such as the Tory party, and especially UKIP.

I'm not afraid to reveal that (if you hadn't guessed already) I am a Labour Party member. If I were to publicly make a statement that was anti-semitic, or otherwise racist, sexist or any other form of hate speech, I would, correctly, be expelled from the party. I would also like to think that I can freely criticise the actions of the Israeli state, for example, in shooting unarmed civilians, and not be accused of hatred against Jews, because anyone who deliberately conflates the two things is doing nothing more than publicly showing that they have an axe to grind.

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Re: Trump bashing inaccurate here

Yeah, but only a ginger can call a ginger a ginger.

Just like only a ninja can sneak up on another ninja...

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Re: "Working to track down the culprit"

Pretty fucking simple - why are so many otherwise sensible people so quick to dismiss antisemitism.

Because they're all too busy believing what they are told to think rather than checking the facts. Which is why everyone thinks there is a 'crisis' in the Labour party because some people can't distinguish between legitimate criticism of the state of Israel, and hatred of Jewish people.

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Re: "Working to track down the culprit"

Frank Field is a Daily Mail stooge too?

As a 'lexiter' and someone who was about to have the whip withdrawn before he jumped, for voting with the government against this own party on a three-line whip, essentially against a hard brexit, I'd say that's not too far from the mark. The fact that the only person C4 News could find to support him on last night's broadcast was another of the (extremely) small coterie of hard anti-Corbyn brexit voting Labour MPs does little to lend him credibility. I'm surprised they didn't get Kate Hoey on, but she's probably too busy trying to keep her own head above water after receiving a vote of no confidence from her own constituency party, for also voting with the Tory party against her own.

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Fourth 'Fappening' celeb nude snap thief treated to 8 months in the clink

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Re: unsavoury incident?

Thanks for over-sharing there...

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No, eight characters, some capital letters and numbers is not a good password policy

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Re: "Internal cybersecurity audits..."

@JeffyPoooh

I suspect it went something like this:

1) obtain the password hashes (and salts) of say, 10,000 passwords

2) using a common passwords dictionary (easily available from previous research), hash each of those passwords, using their salts, starting with the most commonly used password in your dictionary (e.g. Password123). First pass - 10,000 hashes. If this finds, e.g. 23 matches, then the second entry in the dictionary needs only 9,977 hashes.

3) Once you have eliminated the passwords in the common passwords dictionary, you will have a smaller number of passwords left to crack, e.g. 4,576 of them. You then move onto using a larger dictionary, and making common substitutions, e.g. 1 or ! for i, etc., adding numbers and characters on the end, etc. (e.g. L3monade.1) This is slower, but will get most of the remaining passwords. Each one you crack means fewer hashes for the next dictionary entry.

4) Once you have eliminated all the passwords based on single words, move onto two words, then three, etc. separated by various punctuation, numbers, etc.

5) You will now have a small number of passwords left that are not based on dictionary words (probably in the double digits). If you are still interested in cracking these, then start with the minimum password length (e.g. 8 characters), and run through all the letter/number/character combinations that you haven't previously checked. Each of these you will only have to hash a much smaller number of times.

Eventually, you can crack all of the passwords in the file, salted or not. It is simply a matter if applying enough computing power to it. If you're a researcher, you probably have access to a decent number of processor cycles to do this. If you are a hacker, you are probably using someone else's anyway. A good way to find some for free is to go and check various git repositories for people's AWS keys...

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It's my understanding that they're stored hashed, with the same password resulting in the same hash.

If they are doing that, then I'd take their security expertise with a pinch of SALT...

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Perhaps you try a dictionary attack against them - but that's only likely to get the ones you already know to be common, like 'password'. It's not going to catch 'password<random number> for any but a handful of not-very-random numbers.

If you have the (encrypted) password database (which you would, if you're doing an official security audit), you'd be surprised at how little time it takes to brute-force a dictionary attack, along with all variants (replacing 1 with !, s with $, vAriAtiON in case, etc. etc.), especially if the passwords aren't salted, and you can do a rainbow attack (hash all the variations up front, and just compare to the hashes in the password database). Once you've got all the passwords that are based on words in the dictionary, you can then start working on the remainder by checking all 8 character passwords, then all 9 character ones, etc. etc. No password is uncrackable, given enough time and computing power, which is why you have policies to regularly change them.

The thing that protects you from a dictionary attack in a production environment is the increasing delay and lockout after 'n' wrong guesses that is built into the login system. These are moot if you can just access the database with the password hashes in (or, in this case, an old copy of it in an easily accessible location), and side-step the authentication gateway.

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A decade on, Apple and Google's 30% app store cut looks pretty cheesy

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...just to add to that, there have actually been several high-quality studies that show that, far from turning players into 'drooling retards', video games can improve coordination, reaction times, and stave off dementia.

For instance, https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758%2Fs13423-015-0912-6, and https://www.alzheimers.net/9-28-15-video-games-for-brain-health/

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Re: Bigger oixture

As much as anything, that 30% pays for OS development.

At around £1k a pop, I would have thought that the mile-wide margins on the latest iShiny cover the development costs of the incremental OS updates, and more.

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Perhaps fewer people would be turning themselves into drooling retards by playing video games

Do you also consider those who listen to music to be gibbering loons? Those who watch TV knuckle-dragging cro-magnons? Maybe those who go to the cinema are slavering zombies?

Or perhaps, your arrogant disdain for the ways in which others choose to entertain themselves in their own time just frames you as a small-minded idiot.

FWIW, the global games market is worth well over $100bn annually, compared to the movie industry, worth somewhere shy of £40bn p/a. That's a lot of "drooling retards", isn't it?

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Myself? As a consumer I still just grab mobile software from the Pirate Bay. A much more user friendly experience.

And you wonder why your phone runs really hot and the battery life is close to zero? That would be the bitcoin mining malware owning your £500 phone. Or did you download the phone from TPB as well?

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Re: say again, how are they dodging 30% apple tax?

However, this exact same level of lockdown makes it a lot harder for me to do something like creating a malware app, making it look suitably close to the official Fortnite branding, and floating it on the store.

It strikes me that if apks are properly signed, and certificates properly checked by the OS on install, then your 'foortnight' app purporting to be from Epic Games would not have the appropriate certificate to identify it. True, there isn't much of a barrier to obtaining a signing certificate legitimately, but I can't see how some simple checks in the store could stop the more rampant abuses (certificate registration, checks, and a human eye on each to make sure it tallies with what it says it is). These needn't be costly - a one-off fee for each certificate submitted to the store's registry and a fee for each app submitted, both of which should reflect the amount of work required to check them - say £10.

The certifying authority (which could be the app store itself) would do some basic checking when a new certificate is issued (e.g. rejecting that certificate for the Russian start-up calling itself 'Epick Games')

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Don't let Google dox me on Lumen Database, nameless man begs

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Re: The guy might have a point

I know someone where if you google his name, you get a mixture of results about a radio DJ well known for broadcasting in the afternoon, and a serial killer from Suffolk.

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Re: Is ABC...?

Are you sure it's not Phil and Meg McQueen of Sulky Abbot in Bumsex?

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Scot.gov wins pals with pledge not to keep hold of innocents' mugshots and biometric data

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On the other hand, all those different forces get more funding in total, largely from council tax, which covers more people than that single force, so is a proportionately higher amount. So they might need 47 times as many staff, but they almost certainly have 47 times the budget to deal with it. If not, then blame austerity!

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But the Home Office has countered that it isn't technically possible to automatically link or delete records because national and local databases don't talk to each other, and that doing it manually would be too costly to justify.

If you can't do something right, on the basis of it being too costly, that doesn't preclude you from not doing it wrong in the first place. In other words, it doesn't stop the government saying to the police that they should not be permanently recording people's images in the first place, unless they have a good reason for doing so.

As with these new rules the Scottish Government is proposing, you can easily draw a distinction between designing the capability into new systems to remove data once it is no longer needed, and the inability to do so in legacy systems, and thus make sure it is done properly when those systems are replaced or upgraded.

The fact that UK.gov has avoided doing so tells you all you need to know about the data fetishism of both the Home Office and various police forces (I suspect the likes of the Met and North Yorkshire are particularly bad, given their respective track records on respecting Human Rights). I'd like to point out, also, that there is a world of difference between the policies of Police management, and the actions of individual officers, who are bound by those policies. The archetypal bad cop aside, I think a lot of the rot within forces like the aforementioned is in the senior ranks, not the rank-and-file officers, who on the whole do a difficult, underpaid, and stressful job with little recognition in the face of an often hostile public.

Oh, and for those who like to go on about 'unaccountable bureaucrats' it is worth remembering that there are over 300,000 civil servants in the UK (compared to the 46,000 odd employed by the EU), and this sort of fetishism almost certainly originates with the senior ranks of civil servant within the Home Office, and not with Ministers.

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Microsoft Visual Studio C++ Runtime installers were built to fail

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Sounds like a simple fix to WiX and a slip-up from MS

Firstly, it sounds like a bug where the installer is trusting its environment (the downloads folder, or wherever it is run from), and using the (standard and well documents) Windows way of searching for libraries - current folder, system folder, %PATH%. Presumably the fix (which according to the article was done in a subsequent version) would be to only load the DLLs the installer uses from only the system path instead. Of course, you have to trust that what is in the system folders is legit, but if it isn't, you have bigger problems.

MS slipped up by not updating the version of the tools it uses to build the installer. That's a mistake on their part, but not exactly a mistake that nobody else would ever make.

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Use Debian? Want Intel's latest CPU patch? Small print sparks big problem

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This being said, both the EULA and Debian's lack of action is not against GDPR or anyone's constitutional rights in any country in Europe.

How can you say that with any certainty? It may well be that something in that EULA does contravene someone's constitutional rights in a European country (or elsewhere for that matter), but since no test case has been brought (that you or I know of), there has been no legal precedent to make that section of the EULA invalid. That's very different from the whole thing being legally watertight.

IANAL, and you are clearly not one either.

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Re: There should be limits on the limitations of software licenses...

I mean it's not like some other company is going to build a microcode compatible CPU without Intel suing them into the ground.

...and if they did, one would be hopeful that they wouldn't build the same flaws into it that this microcode update explicitly addresses, rendering the copyright on the microcode moot.

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You’re not a geography person either. The Netherlands is in the EU :-)

There is, however, a distinction between the remit of the court of the ECHR (not strictly and EU institution) over matters of human rights (freedom of expression under Article 10), the ECJ (as the highest court of arbitration in the EU) over matters of EU regulations, and the courts of the Netherlands, over national law in that country (for example there may be national laws that govern freedom of the press).

As noted by another poster above, not all territories of the Netherlands are necessarily within the EU, such as the Netherlands Antilles. One would presume that they are still subject to the laws of the Netherlands, as a sovereign nation (note to europhobes - the EU doesn't remove a country's sovereignty despite what various shouty gammon-faced men on BBC Question Time would have you believe).

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It liiives! Sorta. Gentle azure glow of Windows XP clocked in Tesco's self-checkouts, no less

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Re: Eh?

That's present continuous, 'they hit', rather than past simple, 'they hit'.

Pesky irregular verbs, eh?

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TLS developers should ditch 'pseudo constant time' crypto processing

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Re: Obviously, their code 'Review and Approval' processes need some work...

Down votes do not excuse inept management

Meanwhile, in the real world, the people managing those who implement complex code are, almost by definition, going to be less technically minded than those whose code they will be checking. This means not only being less technically adept at writing code (because they spend at least some of their time managing, rather than honing their coding muscles), but also being less familiar with the technical reasoning behind the code. Because otherwise, they'd be doing their job AND the developer's job. This concept is known as Division of Labour and dates back to the industrial revolution.

Unless a manager (or more likely a peer in a code review situation) was explicitly briefed to look for this type of vulnerability in the code they are reviewing, why would you expect them to find it? It is, after all, a side-channel attack. Laying the blame at the feet of the manager is not exactly reasonable. A lot of things in life can be blamed on bad management, but this is not one of them. It's very easy with hindsight to say, "someone should have thought of that" - but would you have?

It is worth remember two important adages of security (paraphrasing from Bruce Schneier); security is hard, and just because you can't find a way to break it, doesn't mean it can't be broken.

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That's the way the cookies crumble: Consent banners up 16% since GDPR

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I had one this morning that wouldn't load at all

It just put up a big banner telling me that since I was using ad-blocking software, it wasn't able to ask for my consent to being tracked.

I'm not sure how not allowing myself to be spammed with adverts prevents their ability to place a cookie in my browser's cache, or indeed how it prevents them from asking for my consent to do so.

FWIW, it was the landing page of a well-known supplier of CRM software. This sort of mixed-up pseudo-logical marketing-led drivel doesn't exactly inspire me to confidence in their product. I went elsewhere...

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Beam me up, PM: Digital secretary expected to give Tory conference speech as hologram

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Then we can all refer to him as 'that smeghead Wright'?

He's a smeeeee

He's a smeeeeeeee

He's a smeeeeee heeeeeeee

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How's that encryption coming, buddy? DNS requests routinely spied on, boffins claim

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Re: Lets get real

Joking aside, it's entirely plausible that DNS servers in the UK, particularly those operated by major ISPs would be relaying the DNS requests of at least some people-of-interest to GCHQ (by court order, one would hope, making it entirely legitimate). Outside the UK, in the wider EU, I can't see this being the case without the explicit consent of foreign governments. I can't imagine any EU nations would allow this. After all, the UK wouldn't consent to its own citizens being monitored by the French or German security services, much less those of ex-Soviet Eastern European nations with whom diplomatic ties are looser.

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Presumably...

...at least some of the slow uptake of encrypted DNS queries is down to governments wishing to snoop on people's "metadata". If DNS lookups where end-to-end encrypted, they would only be able to know when a DNS lookup was being made, and not the DNS name being sought.

If nothing else, encryption would prevent them from being able to order ISPs to block or redirect DNS queries to 'forbidden' sites (e.g. the Pirate Bay). Arguably, ISPs could still block access to such sites after a DNS lookup has been made to resolve them, but this could be a bit of a whack-a-mole game if IP addresses change.

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Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

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Re: What's going on with these comments?

Looks like my troll bait worked.

Having seen this one though, I think I'll throw it back. It's clearly still a juvenile.

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Re: Tempting, in a funny kind of way

and then the stress sets in, and once again you are burning out in the face of staggering public sector incompetence and the utter uselessness of politicians.

It's only stressful if you are trying to actually achieve something in the face of those odds. Any sane person would just go with the flow. What does it matter if the people you work with are all incompetent if you have no intention of doing the (impossible anyway) work?

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Re: What's going on with these comments?

Maybe the contract with his Russian handlers has expired?

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What's going on with these comments?

Not one single, "don't you dare criticise our glorious brexit, you traitorous unbelieving remoaners" type post.

@CodeJunky, where are you?

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Re: They had hiyigh hopes......

Blue passports, but a French company is sorting that out.

And if (when) we don't get a deal, they'll be in a lorry parked up in Calais.

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Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

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Re: It was a dark and stormy morning...

You wouldn't shoot a policeman... and then steal his helmet!

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EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

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HTC were an early adopter

...with the HTC 10 two years ago.

Still a fairly solid phone, although the battery life is a bit shitty.

The problem with adopting a new standard before others is, of course, that you couldn't get USB A-C cables anywhere except online at the time. Two years later, and you can quite easily find them in the supermarkets / newsagents, etc.

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You: 'Alexa, open Cortana.' Alexa: 'Who?'

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In reality, MS and Amazon are in direct competition in their main emerging market (cloud services).

AWS vs Azure.

Seconds away. Round 1...

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