* Posts by Robert Helpmann??

2280 posts • joined 31 May 2011

Public disgrace: 82% of EU govt websites stalked by Google adtech cookies – report

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Joke

A Simple Solution

Rather than go through all the effort of governments setting up their own web sites and still committing gaffes of this nature, why not cut to the chase and outsource their web hosting to Facebook?

Please pay attention to the icon, just this once!

NASA: We need commercial rockets! SLS: Oh no you don't!

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Facepalm

It only takes one time

...up until the US realised that they couldn't afford Space Station Freedom**...

** Never allow Americans to name things, they're crap at it.

We make one mistake and all the Apollos, Geminis, Titans, Mercuries and so on are forgotten - one mistake that wasn't even used!

This headline is proudly brought to you by wired keyboards: Wireless Fujitsu model hacked

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Alert

Re: Nasty problem

The next thing you know, I will have to worry about securing my wi-fi so the neighbors don't get into my network!

Bandersnatch to gander snatched: Black Mirror choices can be snooped on, thanks to privacy-leaking Netflix streams

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Childcatcher

Re: Oh no!

We are taking reality here pal, not boundless paranoia.

From recent history, we have seen the paranoid among us proven right. While there may be no apparent use for this - malevolent or otherwise - at this time, we have seen that what initially seems trivial can be blown up into something major. For example, most people didn't realize how invasive Facebook and similar would become, how corrosive to privacy, but we continue to see that play out to the detriment of many. Finally, I truly enjoy the irony of someone posting anonymously arguing against privacy at any level. Well played!

PuTTY in your hands: SSH client gets patched after RSA key exchange memory vuln spotted

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Childcatcher

Re: PuTTY's days are numbered

At least you can compile and verify the PuTTY code. God know what's actually in the Windows OpenSSH code.

Code review is not the only tool in deciding if a given piece of software is secure, so it is best not to overstate the importance of open source vs closed in terms of security. Also, while the pros and cons of each are debated below, I would like to point out the consideration of increasing your attack surface by installing third party tools to do something that is already baked into the OS. In general, this should be avoided though YYMV.

Karpeles walks, Google and Microsoft board up Windows hole, and Android AV still sucks

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Headmaster

A patch by any other name

...but what is the term for a patch that gets released before any practical bug can even be found?

Due diligence? A good job? The way things should get done?

Q&A: Crypto-guru Bruce Schneier on teaching tech to lawmakers, plus privacy failures – and a call to techies to act

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Childcatcher

Re: Bruce telling it like it is!

They can force the companies they work for to abandon lucrative US military contracts... If employees start to routinely demand the companies they work for behave more morally, the change would be both swift and dramatic.

While I am aware of differing opinions on the defense industry, being a part of it is not the equivalent of immorality. @JLV makes a good point on those Googlers' ability to hold mutually opposing ideas at the same time. It's so easy to claim that you aren't doing anything wrong if it's someone else taking the action while you merely provide the support needed to enable it.

How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?

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Childcatcher

Re: Aliens

I wasn't even *born* when this PoS came out...

My kids were brought up watching at least a representative sample of different shows from when I was young. They get most of the jokes from the previous era and appreciate where entertainment has got better and know when it has got worse. I call out this twit's parents as being negligent in his upbringing. Respect the classics!

My old-timer moment was when I tried to discuss the Tiananmen Square massacre with one of my younger colleagues who had never heard of it. I was there as a tourist immediately prior to that happening. Another coworker, who was a college student in Beijing at the time, and I were talking about it and getting blank looks from our 30-something year-old neighbor.

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Childcatcher

Re: Long way around the barn!

scrum master... I actually saw this on a job description earlier this week. My first reaction was WTF?! I looked it up because I didn't think it was a real thing, but that just served to cement my first reaction as my permanent one.

Forget that rare-earth element crunch – we can now just extract them from industrial waste

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Childcatcher

Re: REEs, as the name suggests, are difficult to find and mine

From the article: "I think there's such a vast reserve there," said David Reed. The difference between a reserve and dirt being the economics of extracting something useful from it.

Yes! Pack your bags! Blossoming planetary system strikingly similar to ours found by boffins

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Childcatcher

Re: Late Heavy Bombardment...

That might not be a hopeful time at which to visit Earth 2.0...

I think I'll call it Bob.

Never thought we'd ever utter these words, but... can anyone recommend a spin doctor for NASA?

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Boffin

It's just a big Crookes radiometer.

Not quite. Those only work in partial vacuum and rely on gas flow to cause movement. In the current situation, I think you mean to say that photon radiation pressure is causing the acceleration.

Just Android things: 150m phones, gadgets installed 'adware-ridden' mobe simulator games

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Childcatcher

Re: Snow Heavy Excavator Simulator

Having seen some of these games aps in action, I am not sure how to differentiate between them and malware. I started to say "other malware", but I guess that some individuals actually want these on their phones and download them willingly unlike the add-ons described in the article. There's no arguing with taste.

'It's like painting with atoms'... Watch how boffins form armies of simple micron-sized bots from a silicon wafer

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Facepalm

Re: No, but...

It's getting more and more deranged.

And with this, we have ventured into the surreal. The bulk of your post proves this point while this single statement, if true, should not come from someone deranged, which would in turn beg the question of what the rest of it was if not that...

People need to get sick and die - that's what's supposed to happen - the human race needs to change and evolve

Natural order be damned! There are more ways to achieve growth than through the evolutionary process and the idea that you should get sick and die only holds water as long as there are no viable alternatives. As soon as there are, what you are supposed to do is choose.

Freelance devs: Oh, you wanted the app to be secure? The job spec didn't mention that

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Thumb Up

Re: Quality

Time to let the "everybody must learn to code" meme die like the dodo.

So we should isolate the perpetuators of the idea from the rest of the world and hunt them down while siccing pigs, dogs and rats on their progeny? Seems reasonable to me.

TalkTalk kept my email account active for 8 years after I left – now it's spamming my mates

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Childcatcher

Re: You brought up an interesting point

Why would a brute force attack be effective! That's shody security on TalkTalk's part (a theme here, it would seem)? What have they done with the logs showing which IPs the illicit access took place?

From hard drive to over-heard drive: Boffins convert spinning rust into eavesdropping mic

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Thumb Up

Re: I'll file this in the ...

It's a good example of how you can use a sensor - sensors are everywhere.

This! You have summed up the utility of this research perfectly. The experiment is merely a proof of concept that points out an entirely new class of exploit. While the implementation may vary from device to device, it is likely that the same code used for signal filtering can be reused across many.

SpaceX Crew Dragon: Launched and docked. Now, about that splashdown...

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Childcatcher

"What could possibly go wrong?"

Exactly the wrong words to close out an article on space flight. Yikes!

Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?

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Childcatcher

Re: Sorry, but...

I've yet to meet any portable electronics that can't be destroyed by a sledgehammer.

I had to decomm a bunch of non-functioning equipment for my first sysadmin job. This meant hauling it from all over campus and putting it in a disposal bin after filling out the appropriate paper work. The bin was located next to a retaining wall down a flight of concrete stairs. I could either dump materials directly in from above or from a door in the front if they were already on the same level. One of the items to be disposed of was a CRT monitor. I had always wanted to chuck one down a flight of stairs and my chance had arrived. I threw it directly onto the screen. It bounced. There were some scuff marks, nothing more. I did not, however, perform the sledgehammer test, but I would place even odds on the monitor.

After last year's sexism shambles, 2019's RSA infosec bash has upped its inclusivity game

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Happy

Re: Re Monica Lewinsky

I see what you did there...

Really? If you have something to say, just spit it out.

Danger mouse! Potent rodents 'see' infrared after eyeballs injected with nanoparticles

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Childcatcher

I worked in the rat lab when I was in grad school. We destroyed animals that were used in training students and for acedemic research. The school would not give the animals away due to liability concerns. It was quite amazing the number of animals that "escaped" to the students' homes before their executions.

It is also worth noting that animals used for scientific research are typically bred specifically for the purpose and are not intended as pets or food. While this does not prevent researchers from becoming attached to them (especially the aforementioned students), it is worth understanding what ethics review boards have to consider.

Qbot malware's back, and latest strain relies on Visual Basic script to slip into target machines

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Paris Hilton

Re: VB Script

Who on earth actually use VB Script for anything useful...?

Hackers, obviously.

In the cloud, things aren't always what they SIEM: Microsoft rolls out AI-driven Azure Sentinel

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Childcatcher

Just trying to understand

...nearly limitless cloud speed and scale...

It's early and I had to break this down to process because not enough caffeine:

...nearly limitless...

So it has limits. Check!

..cloud speed...

It's the new Project Tartan cloud. It moves at the speed of plaid. Check!

...and scale...

And it's a fish. Got it!

Spooky! Solar System's Planet NINE could be discovered in the next NINE years (plus one to six), say astroboffins

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Headmaster

Here's Your Sign

There is no sign of the Solar System's hypothetical “Planet Nine” yet...

I thought the issue was that all we have are signs but no direct detection.

Vodafone exec dons tartan tam-o'-shanter, clutches bottle of Irn-Bru, in snap shared with firm... just before Glasgow staff told of redundo dates

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Childcatcher

Managespeak

We are moving some people into larger centres of excellence across our consumer, digital and technology operations.

Translation: We are firing people and expect they will find better jobs with our competitors.

Bonus points for choosing IBM for cloud services.

Cops told live facial recog needs oversight, rigorous trial design, protections against bias

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Childcatcher

Re: 98% false positive rate?

To follow this up a bit, one of the reasons that facial recognition has had such miserable results has been due to the data set used in baselining. I do not know about the UK, but in the US it is typical to provide your fingerprint as part of getting a state ID. It is not a big leap to assume your next ID photo will be included in the data gathered at that time. With the data set approaching 100% of the population, the accuracy of these systems should be greatly increased. What then?

So. To the question we really wanted answering: How real is 5G?

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Childcatcher

Re: But why?

Q: Why do I need 1.8 Gb/s to my phone ?

A: So you can burn through your data faster and incur additional charges.

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?

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Trollface

Re: Big Blue ?

IBM has long rejected all forms of racial discrimination...

Are IBM employees going to show public outrage at Will Smith wearing blueface for the upcoming Aladdin movie?

Crowdfunded lawyer suing Uber told he can't swerve taxi app giant's £1m legal bill

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Childcatcher

It's stories like this that occasionally pull on my atheist strings and move me a little towards agnosticism, albeit briefly.

The very existance of lawyers ought to sober you right up, then.

This image-recognition neural net can be trained from 1.2 million pictures in the time it takes to make a cup o' tea

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Childcatcher

Re: You can't make a cup of tea in 90 seconds

The answer somehow ought to involve a shark-mounted laser, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make that work.

Japan's Hayabusa 2 probe has got the horn for space rock Ryugu – a sampling horn, that is

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Headmaster

Re: SCI?

I had a similar thought about the Sampler Mechanism (SMP): as an acronym, it fails. Either it is a shortened version of sampler, in which case there is no need to specify that it is a mechanism, or there needs to be an additional word that starts with the letter P tacked to the end.

SpaceX's Demo-1 green lit for launch as Virgin enjoys a brief ménage à trois aboard VSS Unity

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Pint

Congrats!

... to Beth Moses, Dave Mackay and Michael "Sooch" Masucci on earning their wings. May they continue to fly high and come home safely.

In a galaxy far, far away, aliens may have eight-letter DNA – like the kind NASA-backed boffins just crafted

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Childcatcher

Re: Bah!

...before we all mutate so much we have to take up residence in giant metal pepperpots with toilet plungers for hands.

This eventuality may be avoided as long as we resist the urge to nuke ourselves into this situation.

WTF PDF: If at first you don't succeed, you may be Adobe re-patching its Acrobat, Reader patches

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Childcatcher

Better and better

...Microsoft quietly reduced that list to just two Facebook domains... a Microsoft spokesperson told us: "We are nearing the point where Flash is no longer part of the default experience in Microsoft Edge..."

So at what point will they also block Facebook to further improve customer security?

Oh Snapd! Gimme-root-now security bug lets miscreants sock it to your Ubuntu boxes

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Childcatcher

FTFY

...Ubuntu users who do install the update should also take a moment to make sure they have updated removed their versions of Flash Player...

When making changes, it is genereally a good idea to take a moment to review the scope of what should be done and act accordingly, especially when it comes to making machines more secure.

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

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Childcatcher

Re: "while talking to an unnamed associate over a recorded prison telephone line"

it doesn't get called aspergers round here

It was removed from the latest version of the DSM, so it doesn't get called that by mental health professionals either, at least not in providing a diagnosis that may have bearing in court.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine not a boot stamping on a face, but keystroke logging on govt contractors' PCs

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Childcatcher

Re: Sure

Most government systems make it clear that your presence there is monitored and nothing you do on them should be considered private. The privacy issue issue is a red herring. What if I said "Let's install software that will take up plenty of system, network and storage resources; cost lots of money while providing little return and will open up plenty of opportunities for leaks and abuse"? I doubt I could offload much of my product if I were to be honest about it. However, if I bypassed anyone with a clue and went straight to those responsible for procurement, I bet I could sell a ton of this crap.

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?

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Childcatcher

Re: Doctor Who

She's annoying, her portrayal of the Doctor lacks any authority. Colin Baker had a similar problem.

While I disagree with you concerning the current portrayal of the Doctor, I also had hoped that it would be a different actor in the role. As it had been established with Capaldi that there is a reason for the faces worn by the character, I wanted to see Michelle Gomez again... because whatever you think about which Doctor was the best, Missy definitely had it going on.

Earth's noggin took quite a clockin' back in the day: Now a second meteorite crater spotted under Greenland ice

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Boffin

Re: The cratered Earth

the late heavy bombardment peppered the planet quite thoroughly but in 3-4 billion years since then most of the crust has been recycled except for a few places like Greenland.

Not so much. The world as a whole bears plenty of evidence of meteor strikes. To quote someone who knows a lot more about it than I:

"If you didn’t know better, you’d suspect meteors were targeting Australia, North America and Europe. It’s not that there are so many craters there, it’s that there are so many geologists there, plus countries affluent enough to do detailed geologic mapping."

- Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

There is also evidence there are craters under Antarctic ice, but it's not the most hospitable environment to go looking.

REF: https://malagabay.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/tektites-4-primary-and-secondary-impact-craters/

Accused hacker Lauri Love tries to retrieve Fujitsu lappie and other gear from Britain's FBI in court

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Paris Hilton

Re: "Britain's FBI"

I did a search for "Britain's FBI". All the top results were for UK sites. I am not sure who it is being aimed at though I think there is some need for compensation being implied by the phrase.

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true

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Childcatcher

Re: Indeed

The issue with the idea that a hangover is tied to learning not to overindulge, drink a particular thing or whatever is that it is too far removed from a particular behavior. In order to make the connection strong enough to matter, the hangover would have to start very soon after drinking. Obviously, this is not the case on any level. Puking is more likely to cause an individual to learn they've done a very bad thing to their body (via the Garcia effect), but they are much more likely to recall that connection when they are drunk enough that it is too late rather than at the beginning of a potential binge.

Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

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Childcatcher

Re: Nothing like having your work day extended a few more hours because 'The Cloud' is unavailable.

If you're going to install a local client and work on local files, why would you want to pay for a subscription cloud service instead of just paying once for the actual local client?

I agree with the sentiment, but my college student child got the cloud version pre-installed on her school supplied laptop, but stores everything locally because she often works from locations with no connectivity. Choice is good, even in cases that may only make sense for a small percentage of a user base.

London's Met police confess: We made just one successful collar in latest facial recog trial

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Big Brother

Re: Bodycam?

"Acting suspiciously" is a wonderfully versatile phrase that can be used to harass or detain pretty much anyone within sight as it would seem to rely entirely on the judgement of the officer assessing the situation. No-one is above suspicion although some are more worthy of it than others.

Boffin suggests Trappist monk approach for Spectre-Meltdown-grade processor flaws, other security holes: Don't say anything public – zip it

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FAIL

Re: You don't say

"The professor handwaves your point in his original post".

He addresses it, just not in a convincing manner. We already have plenty of examples of a variety of approaches, from immediate full disclosure to reporting directly to vendors with no public disclosure and we have seen plenty of responses ranging from completely inadequate to robust. We have enough data to make up our minds which approach works best in most cases and that's really what's important. More to the point, what the professor proposes simply flies in the face of real world evidence.

Also, having the public's anxieties ratchet up is necessary in as much as if there is no anxiety about security flaws, there will be no patches deployed or fixes made. Complacency is the enemy of security!

Mobile network Three UK's customer details exposed in homepage blunder

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Just to spell it out – if anyone from Three with any influence is reading these comments – there are broadly two ways to respond to incidents like this:

(1) 'Oh this is all a silly load of fuss about nothing really...

The vast majority of people are going to accept this and move on.

(2) 'We experienced a problem with a software upgrade...

That same group of people, if you hit them with this will have their eyes roll up in their heads and start frothing if it goes on for too long.I try to educate friends and family concerning these issues, but it is truly an uphill battle.

Musk shows off the latest power plant for Starship, replaces Tesla CFO with a millennial

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Boffin

Re: Pedantry: thrust units.

I think you mean 19619 Norris.

That's right on a number of levels. I hear Musk's next project will be cloning Chuck Norris and then having the clones all stand in a carefully calculated formation from which they can simultaneously punch an enormous rocket into space. That could definitely work!

I'm a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks' DNA data to FBI

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Childcatcher

Re: "who wish to locate birth parents but are prevented from being given by the information by law"

Right now, the information may be used by law enforcement for identifying suspects based on DNA evidence. That's now. What about when this information slips out into the wild because of some hack or sloppiness on the part of the government? Is it possible that it might, even if still controlled by the company and accessed by law enforcement, be used for other purposes (political, for example) or to enforce laws that we do not have yet and may not be to the benefit of the customers of this service?

There are certain areas where medical professionals are legally bound to work with law enforcement. This is not one of them. Until it is and everyone is aware of it, then FamilyTreeDNA is violating what most would consider ethical behavior and should be sanctioned.

Want a bit of privacy? Got a USB stick? Welcome to TAILS 3.12

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Childcatcher

Re: frozen-RAM attacks

How often does that get used in practice?

Keeping the machine powered on is Computer Forensics 101. If there is an opportunity to do this, it will typically be done. I find myself yelling at TV crime shows that depict law enforcement turning machines off after having just caught their suspect in the act because that is just how basic a step that is.

Ca-caw-caw: Pigeon poops on tot's face as tempers fray at siege of Lincoln flats

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Childcatcher

All the usual ooptions

Shoot them, trap them, scare them, block their perches and nesting areas, release raptors to snack on them, use drones to harass them - all of these have been done with varying degrees of success for similar problems elsewhere. What is called for here is something a bit different... something unique. To that end, please vote on the following or suggest your own solution that may in some way have a connection to the issue (or not).

1) Microwave blasts to fry the flying beasts while in the air. Not as far-fetched as you might think. Radar will accomplish this if used (in)correctly.

2) Declare war on the bastards! I know declaring war on things is more of an American thing, but it has worked fairly well for us. Stage a WWII re-enactment themed fumigation the entire area. There must be some vintage aircraft that could be used to drop gas canisters onto the benighted area.

3) Open the town as a cat sanctuary while running a simultaneous campaign to encourage cat ladies from all over the world to bring their pussies to have a good time. If only one or two decide to do this, the problem of roaming cats will quickly displace that of dive-bombing pigeons. Dogs next, followed by goats, cows and horses.

Q. What do you call an IT admin for 20-plus young children? A. A teacher

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Childcatcher

Re: "Young students, for example, cannot be expected to remember and enter a password. "

The problem with school IT is usually more with the teachers than the students....

My wife is an early years teacher. She has a passion for it. She does not have a passion for IT security, and neither has she been taught how to deal with it. And neither have her bosses.

I humbly submit the problem as you describe it is not with the teachers, either. IT security is not a requirement for teachers to do their primary job. Same as for school admins. There are people who can be brought in to set this up, explain it to the various customers (teachers, children, school administrators, parents) and keep it going. The issue is with the public not seeing this as a need to be addressed and then providing the resources with which to do it. The people who should be taking this to the public to explain the need, request funds and whatever else it takes are the local school boards and state and federal departments of education, at least in the US. This is a matter of policy and budget, not something local school administrators should be expected to deal with.

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