* Posts by Steve Knox

1806 posts • joined 16 Jul 2011

US Homeland Sec boss has snazzy new laptop bomb scanning tech – but admits he doesn't know what it's called

Steve Knox
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Mushroom

...terrorists had developed a method of packing explosives into notebooks...

On a completely unrelated note, whatever happened to all the batteries from those Note 7s, anyway?

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Bloke takes over every .io domain by snapping up crucial name servers

Steve Knox
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Pirate

Double-edge

Also, it's doubly worth pointing out that DNS lookups are often cached, so the chances that a lookup will go all the way to the authoritative servers, and hit one of the hijacked ones, is low.

On the other hand, for exactly the same reason, any lookup which did hit a hijacked server might remain cached by non-authoritative name servers and be served up to all of their clients until either the operator of the caching servers finds out and clears the suspicious records or the TTL (which a malicious actor might set quite high*) expires...

* The TTL field in the DNS specification was originally a 32-bit signed integer, allowing values over 2 billion seconds (~68 years). Later clarification required that negative values be treated as 0, but still permits a 68-year positive TTL.

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Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

Steve Knox
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Re: I don't see a problem.

You can't have an open source implementation of a DRM'ed browser without it leaking the content.

Actually it is possible, just very difficult.

Which is why the standard is recommending putting the DRM piece in the CDM, not the browser.

The CDM is the Flash-equivalent binary, except way simpler. The idea is to reduce the scope of the proprietary bits to the minimum needed to support DRM. It's a compromise that is actually very open source friendly.

And whether W3C approves it or not, it's already been here for years. Have you watched HTML5 video from Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, PornHub, et al. In any browser? Then you've been using a CDM.

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FREE wildcard HTTPS certs from Let's Encrypt for every Reg reader*

Steve Knox
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Re: An admirable effort.

I believe this is what you meant to say:

This is true: "HTTPS = safer than HTTP"

This is NOT true: "HTTPS = safe"

Adding encryption is just one piece of a complex security framework.

PS. Damn you, El Reg! Complaining that you hadn't adopted HTTPS on every article in which you tell people to adopt HTTPS was one of the few pleasures I had left in this world!

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New work: Algorithms to give self-driving cars 'impulsive' human 'ethics'

Steve Knox
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Re: Save the women and children first!

Firstly, having a choice does not equate to being in a position to make a choice, especially when that choice has to be made immediately and without time for analysis.

The parameters of the problem state that you are in a position to act, and most forms state that you do have time to make a choice, but not to analyze that choice. It's a snap decision, yes, but it is a decision.

Secondly, you seem to assume that everyone can make decisions easily and instantly when in reality many people find it difficult to make any decisions, let alone stressful ones; you can't simply claim that an inability to decide is a decision in itself.

This is the entire point of the Trolley Problem. It's an edge case exemplifying the line between thinking things through and snap decision making.

Perhaps you personally find it easy to make decisions - that's fair enough for you, but if you start projecting your decisiveness, or indeed any of your personal qualities, upon everyone else you're going to end up criticising everyone else for not being you.

I believe you misunderstand my point. My point is that if you are in the situation described by the Trolley Problem, then, whether you throw the switch or not, you are the only one with the capability to do so. Hence you have a burden of responsibility to do one or the other, and will personally have to live with the consequences of whatever you do.

I am not ascribing judgement on either choice, nor am I suggesting legal culpability would be a good thing in this case (as others have mentioned, the Good Samaritan laws exist specifically to prevent heaping legal trouble on top of the moral conundrum this type of problem poses.)

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Steve Knox
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Re: Save the women and children first!

"if you do nothing then you can't be held responsible for the deaths of the several people because their fate would be the same as if you were not present and unable to influence the outcome."

No, because doing nothing when you have the capability to do something is a choice in and of itself. Hypothesizing about being removed from the situation is simply wishful thinking in an attempt to abdicate responsibility, not a valid logical argument.

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Steve Knox
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Joke

Re: Save the women and children first!

The assumption is that this is a good thing but now you may be deliberately mowing down A to preserve B which will be making lawyers salivate.

Or run, depending on where they are with respect to the road...

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Search results suddenly missing from Google? Well, BLAME CANADA!

Steve Knox
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Holmes

Re: JohnnyS777

Oh yeah, and if you don't want to be associated with animal care products, especially by a site known to take tech companies less than seriously, you may want to rethink your company's name -- it's amazing how many people know just enough Latin...

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Steve Knox
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Happy

Re: JohnnyS777

Looks like somebody joined just to plug their company's point of view! Welcome, JohnnyS777!

That Title box above the comment area is for putting a relevant title to your post, not for repeating your handle.

Your arguments about Boeing and Jaguar are speculative and without merit, but to answer them anyway, I'd expect Boeing or Jaguar to pursue the case in all relevant jurisdictions, not to presume a single nation can dictate global activity with impunity.

The question at hand is whether a local judge has jurisdiction beyond their nation's sovereign borders. Do you believe that to be the case?

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Not Apr 1: Google stops scanning your Gmail to sling targeted ads at you

Steve Knox
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Re: Cost

Scanning for spam detection and scanning for personal info for targeted ads are two different things.

Not as different as you apparently think. They're both essentially contextual key phrase scans. To be effective, they both require the same type of processing, and if you're doing one, the incremental cost of doing the other is very close to zero.

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Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: Cost

Wait until the AI algorithms can filter out the spam...?

Without scanning it?

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Intel to Qualcomm and Microsoft: Nice x86 emulation you've got there, shame if it got sued into oblivion

Steve Knox
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Re: Tough Times at Santa Clara

Your linked article is not evidence. It's hypothesis.

Specifically, it's a calculation based on published ratings and some tests (not linked or adequately documented) which is assumed to give a good estimate of performance per watt: "We are not pretending that our calculations are 100% accurate, but they should be close enough."

There are also a lot of "probably"s and "assume"s elsewhere in that article.

Evidence would be actually running specific loads on specific systems and comparing those results.

The whole idea of "x is more efficient then y" is incomplete, lacking the vital qualifier "at z."

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Steve Knox
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Happy

Of course they welcome lawful competition

They've spent billions of dollars over the years writing those laws, they'd love it if their competitors followed them...

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We're not saying we're living in a simulation but someone's simulated the universe in a computer

Steve Knox
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Alien

Re: Are we a simulation?

No. That's preposterous. Of course you're we're not in a simulation. Now just go back to your day, subject 3E1AC75B34FF21 yank_lurker...

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Steve Knox
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Trollface

Re: That is not science..just a waste of time and resources!

Safe commenting tip: Don't forget the appropriate icon:

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The Big Blue Chopper video that IBM might want to keep quiet

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: I don't understand the outrage...

Do people REALLY think that CEOs, C-level people and Board Members travel economy/coach?

No. That's not the point.

At the top there are a LOT of jealously-guarded perks, and the use of chauffeur-driven cars, helicopters and corporate jets are amongst these perks. Different industry but remember the near-bankrupt US auto makers in 2010 heading to Washington to ask for Government money - they went by corporate jet.

Thanks for stating the blatantly obvious.

Is it right? No, it isn't, but it is a rare CEO or Board Member who will share the pain in fiscally-pressured times. Perhaps they should, but it is unlikely to ever happen.

If you can say that it is unlikely for a human being to do what should be done, and not understand why that fact should cause outrage, you are beyond numb.

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Gay Dutch vultures become dads

Steve Knox
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"Gay Teutonic Vultures"

aaand someone's got a new band name...

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Microsoft Master File Table bug exploited to BSOD Windows 7, 8.1

Steve Knox
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Re: "by Dave Cutler, who Microsoft hired as the NT team leader."

However aren't most of the desktop Windows from a later, not NT code base?

No. Windows 1.x, 2.x, 3.x, 95, 98, and ME are the non-NT desktop Windows versions.

Windows NT 3.x, 4.x, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 10 are all based on the NT kernel (with various pieces added/removed/rewritten over time.) 2000 was the last NT version which used the same name/number for server and desktop versions, but Server 2003 is based on the same major kernel as XP, 2008 is based on the Vista kernel, 2008R2 on 7, 2012 on 8, and 2016 is based on the 10 kernel.

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Steve Knox
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Re: More like from the 1970s

The fundamental problem here is that a container for internal state for NTFS appears as a file in the file name space.

No, the problem is not exposing internals as files (that's a convenience found in many systems [/dev , /proc anyone?]), but in not properly securing said internals.

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Vegemite tries to hijack Qantas name-our-planes competition

Steve Knox
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Honor Australia's Greatest Hero.

Name one of them "A Knife" and the other seven "Not A Knife"

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Don't gripe if you hand your PC to Geek Squad and they rat you out to the Feds – judge

Steve Knox
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Re: I can understand offering bounties...

Which is why the FBI didn't use the image to charge the "good" doctor, but instead used it to obtain a search warrant. Evidence requirements for obtaining a search warrant are lighter than for prosecutions -- otherwise you'd have to prove a crime was committed before you could search for evidence of crime.

Bit of a cart, horse problem there.

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Sophos waters down 'NHS is totally protected' by us boast

Steve Knox
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Joke

Homeopathy for Computers

Here. -> 1010 <- Install these bits on your computer. They're a memory dump from an infected PC distilled to 5C, so they should provide adequate immunity.

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Warm, wet, mysterious... sound familiar? Ah, yes, you've heard of this second Neptune, too

Steve Knox
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Re: " it may be telling us that there’s more to planet formation than we expect."

Based on what I understand of current theory (and I understand that I do not understand enough),

I believe it says "we don't know what parameters could produce a planet like this."

So not so much that it's wrong but that it's incomplete. Not surprising since until recently our sample size for planetary observations was less than 10 entities in a single environment.

This finding exemplifies why I fully support searching for and investigating exoplanets. I bear no illusions that we will visit any of these planets in the foreseeable future, but understanding the possibilities and how they come to be helps understand both the overall physics of the universe and the specific physics of our locality.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 ARM-twist comes closer with first demonstration

Steve Knox
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Holmes

Never looked into what the acronym WINE means, huh?

I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say that what WINE is is much tougher to get right than a simple CPU emulator.

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Go, GoDaddy! Domain-slinger decapitates email patent troll in court

Steve Knox
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Seriously!?

"GoDaddy's attorney and legal fees in the case, around $14,000."

So did they just use an unpaid intern, or did it take just about 10 billable hours for their attorney to prove how useless those patents were?

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How to remote hijack computers using Intel's insecure chips: Just use an empty login string

Steve Knox
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Holmes

Re: AMD

When it comes to bugs, I'll take probably over definitely any day.

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Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Sad...

...when the better function to use is also easier to use, and in fact on the same man page.

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Gamers red hot with fury over Intel Core i7-7700 temperature spikes

Steve Knox
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Trollface

By Design

"For the i7-7700K, momentary temperature changes from the idle temperature are normal while completing certain tasks like opening a browser or an application," a spokesperson said.

"It's normal for the temperature to rise while the CPU is logging the task completion for later transmission to the proper authorities."

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Big mistake by Big Blue: Storwize initialisation USBs had malware

Steve Knox
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Trollface

Re: Malicious malware copies itself to /tmp/initTool

How do you get trojan.win32.reconyc to load and execute from the /tmp directory on Linux or Mac systems?

Well, first you need to install and configure Wine...

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Republicans want IT bloke to take fall for Clinton email brouhaha

Steve Knox
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Re: I'm ignorant! But I'm commenting anyway!

@Big John,

If you're going to lie, at least pick some that aren't so easily falsifiable. For example:

https://www.charitywatch.org/ratings-and-metrics/clinton-foundation/478

See that? That's what we call evidence.

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Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

Steve Knox
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Childcatcher

"The startup suggests there is a wide range of applications for the technology..."

...up to three of which may even be ethical!

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FCC greenlights small cell free-for-all in the US

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Re: Reasonable

The problem is that it has to be defined by case law. For those playing along, case law is law that has been tried in front of a judge. Hence the expensive lawsuits we both want to avoid.

The best way to do that is to define "reasonable" in this context before a judge ever has to listen to any arguments. That's all I'm asking for.

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Steve Knox
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Holmes

Re: Reasonable

Thanks, Richard, for twigging off of my joke rather than answering my legitimate concern.

In doing so, you've extended use of the very term which needs definition. How do you define a reasonable amount of time or reasonable grounds? Without a fairly comprehensive definition, this proposed rule would only have the effect of wasting local governments' time and resources with those expensive lawsuits you hate so much any time they don't give telcos whatever they want.

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Steve Knox
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Reasonable

It all hinges on the definition of "a reasonable period of time" -- should that be measured in weeks, days, or minutes?

If I were a city administrator, I'd be tempted to create a specific e-mail address required to be used for notification, with an auto-responder that simply stated "application denied." This is why it's probably good that I'm not in politics.

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'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Steve Knox
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Re: EFF Lawyers are EFF'n Stupid

2. C'mon people -- stop kidding yourselves. If you had the knowledge, ability and resources to obtain and assert patents and make money from doing so, you would do the same. Instead, you throw insults at a company that is legally enforcing a property right it owns.

No, hrearden, we would not. Many of us have a uniquely unpatentable invention called a moral compass. You should look into getting one sometime.

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Malware 'disguised as Siemens software drills into 10 industrial plants'

Steve Knox
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Coat

Siemens? Trojans?

There's a joke in there somewhere...

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US military's latest toy set: Record-breaking laser death star, er, truck

Steve Knox
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Easy to Destroy

Just shove a torpedo potato down that thermal exhaust port muffler...

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Spammy Google Home spouts audio ads without warning – now throw yours in the trash

Steve Knox
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Facepalm

Wow.

I never thought I'd say this, but Donald Trump is an honest, intelligent, compassionate individual -- compared to Google's spokesthings.

They clearly do not give a shit about reality at all. All they had to say was "Yep -- we took the marketing thing a bit too far -- backing off already." But instead, they're still trying to spin an obvious ad as not an ad. That shows such incredible contempt for their own customers -- it puts them square in the class of cable companies.

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Linus Torvalds explains how to Pull without jerking his chain

Steve Knox
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Linus being ... too nice?

“If you cannot explain a reason for a merge or be bothered to try to write a commit message, you shouldn't be doing that merge. It really is that simple.”

That seems uncharacteristically polite. I'd say it more like “If you cannot explain a reason for a merge or be bothered to try to write a commit message, you shouldn't be touching anything in source control at all."

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I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Steve Knox
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Easy fix

*gropes own genitals*

Check.

He didn't say "don't have a twat."

Or are you equating the ego with the equipment, and hence admitting that you're a dick?

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Privacy concerns over gaps in eBay crypto

Steve Knox
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Understands?

Complaints have raised alleging that eBay fails to meet current data protection regulations. El Reg understands these complaints are still under consideration and should therefore be treated as unconfirmed.

El Reg is losing its edge. Since when has it been understanding w/r/t companies like eBay?

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Gulp! Drones dodge spray from California's gaping moist glory hole

Steve Knox
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Re: Overflow

Yes, but you don't film it with a drone or invite people to come see your "glory hole" -- do you?

On second thought, don't answer that question. Please.

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How Google Spanner's easing our distributed SQL database woes

Steve Knox
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So...

Is Spanner PA or PC? EL or EC? Why did you bring up the relevant theorem if not to apply it to the subject of the article?

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Paper factory fired its sysadmin. He returned via VPN and caused $1m in damage. Now jailed

Steve Knox
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Mushroom

Re: Procedures matter

Anyone with half a brain would do this ...

Anyone with a functioning brain wouldn't do this.

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HPE blames solid state drive failure for outages at Australian Tax Office

Steve Knox
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Coat

"a set of circumstances that have never previously been encountered.”

Clearly they didn't realize that SSDs spin the opposite direction Down Under.

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Rasputin whips out large intimidating tool, penetrates uni, city, govt databases – new claim

Steve Knox
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Re: Stored Procedures

Can you allow only functions/stored procedures the only access for the web application account to prevent this or is it much more complicated than this?

Depending on the database engine, yes, you can limit access to functions/stored procedures.

But if those functions/stored procedures simply repeat the mistake of concatenating user input into commands without sanitizing, then you still have the same injection vulnerability.

You have to either sanitize the inputs completely (which can be quite hard) or completely isolate them from the code, never concatenating them into a string with the actual code. You can do that in any acceptable application stack, yet SQL Injection remains incredibly common. It's almost as if web app developers are incentivized to develop code quickly and security is the last thing on anyone's mind...

But never fear. I hear those web app developers have moved on to IoT....

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Oracle refuses to let Java copyright battle die – another appeal filed in war against Google

Steve Knox
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Re: Sco away Oracle

Oracle can't become the new SCO until SCO/TSG dies which will be never.

Wait -- that's it! We need to get SCO to sue Oracle!

A lawsuit between these two should create an attractive force for IP lawyers so strong that they can't resist -- a legal black hole of sorts. Then they can sink into their own singularity, spending all of their time and resources on lawsuits and counter-suits.

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Vapists rejoice! E-cigs lower cancer risk (if you stop smoking, duh)

Steve Knox
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"a chemical cocktail with unknown long term health concerns."

You do realize that that phrase includes every consumable not yet regularly consumed by a significant proportion of the populace, right?

Here is a short list of things which at one point were "a chemical cocktail with unknown long term health concerns."

Apples

Oranges

Milk

Cheese

Beer

Cider

Steaks

Chicken Vindaloo

People

The real irony, of course, is your posting this knee-jerk reaction to an article about a study intended to identify potential health concerns of these "chemical cocktails."

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Did you know? The FBI investigated Gamergate. Now you can read the agents' thrilling dossier

Steve Knox
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FAIL

Re: Lies

So your "evidence" is a link to an openly misogynist website. Well done.

At least you had the honesty to label your post with the title, there.

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Kylie withdraws from Kylie trademark fight, leaving Kylie to profit from… existing?

Steve Knox
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Re: Kardashians?

No, those are the Cardassians.

You can tell the difference because the one group look and act somewhat like human beings, whereas the other is a group of evil megalomaniacs living in the USA.

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