* Posts by auburnman

1234 posts • joined 28 Jul 2011

Fully working U-Boat Enigma machine sells for $365,000


I wonder if it's a lot of effort to recommission a captured vessel when complex equipment is labelled in a foreign language? It's a lot more complicated than a car. Did the new crew learn a bit of German, label everything, memorise which lever did what or all of the above?

TalkTalk shares drop 10.7% despite research that breaches don't cause drops


This is the first article I've seen say that TT are going to offer free credit monitoring so at least they are improving their response a little. Although to be honest it should be free insurance against identity theft for at least a year, possibly longer.

TalkTalk: Hackers may have nicked personal, banking info on 4 million Brits


Re: Negligence

"Just cancel the DD, they won't do anything."

They will hassle you with threatening letters for a number of months from various debt collection agencies. Asking for a copy of your signed agreement usually shuts up one agency, but then they bounce you to another one down the line.

Volkswagen enlarges emissions scandal probe: 'Millions' more cars may have cheated


The capabilities of the cars were misrepresented at point of sale, possibly fraudulently so. they paid for a 'high' performance car that will now have to have its performance lowered through no fault of their own. As others have pointed out that's definite impacts on the fuel costs and resale value at least.

I reckon VW are actually lucky they are only being sued, they could have been forced to recall all the cars and compensate owners for full purchase value.

How to stop ICANN becoming FIFA of the internet – a plan forms


"That decision is a victory of sorts for the organization's staff and Board"

Sounds like a near-total victory for me. If the community's only power is the ultimate sanction people will be slow and unwilling to use it. The board can continue doing as they like until they've pissed off enough people to the stage where the sanction is seen as an option, then say they are making some token changes and/or nurture a few sockpuppets among the voters to buy more time. When that eventually collapses and the board is punted,sue for wrongful dismissal and settle out of court. should see them right for ten to fifteen years, maybe even longer.

Hackers pop grease monkeys' laptops to disable Audi airbags


Why is it even possible to switch the airbag off? I realise that at some point engineers may need to put it into testing/test cheating mode, but surely this should be some sort of time limited disable that resets after half an hour or a power cycle of the engine? For reasons of liability at least even if VW don't care that people could be driving with no airbags.

Oh, OK then: Ireland will probe Max Schrems' Facebook complaints


More ammo for Snowden

I'm just thinking - Snowden is now in a position where some of the highest courts have effectively credited him with exposing widespread lawbreaking. A lot of us have credited him with this from the start obviously, but now that it is in writing from a High court I wonder if that opens any options to him re asylum in other countries in Europe?

Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home



One word: Booze. They may need to limit making purchases after midnight so you don't wake up in the morning to find you've ordered a box set of Battlestar Galactica [classic] and the entire Rick astley back catalogue.

'Traditional' forms of thuggery decline in UK, cybercrime on the rise


Re: Smash'n'grab

And let's not forget the GTA-style Jewellery heist from London a few months back...


Re: 2,057 described as "computer virus"

I'm inclined to believe that before I'll buy the 5000+ fraud figures, which appear to indicate that of the 2000+ respondents, on average they've all been defrauded at least twice?

Dry those eyes, ad blockers are unlikely to kill the internet


Interesting viewpoint...

If we look at it it from this angle, then Google must secretly love AdBlock*. If marketing are saving some budget on not paying for ads that were unwanted anyway, that's more $ to sling into sponsored search results and Google shopper etc?

*On desktops anyways, I presume Adblocking on Android slabs would eat into their cut?

Volvo to 'accept full liability' for crashes with its driverless cars


Re: Crash for cash

Never; but that has no bearing because I am talking about a problem that could arise, not one that already exists. Perhaps a masked thug scenario is a bit too far fetched though; think instead of trying to get home through the town centre on a Saturday night when a bunch of drunks notice 'one of them new cars' and decide it'll be a laugh to see how long they can hold it up for?


Re: Crash for cash

The crime problem for driverless cars isn't insurance fraudsters, it's when thugs learn to spot them and know with a large amount of confidence they can block the road and the car WILL stop (whereas a meatbag-controlled missile seeing a masked figure in the road might just put the foot down.)

I doubt it'd be a big problem, but I can guarantee someone will try it and the car manufacturers will have to consider it when building cars (possibly automatically locking the doors under certain conditions or somesuch.)

Want to self-certify for Safe Harbor? Never mind EU, yes we can


Re: Cloud CRM providers

A ton of clauses in contracts are so no-no that they are automatically null and void; they're not there to stand up in court, they are there to make the contract signee think 'Shit, they've got it signed in writing that I agreed to this, suing won't work.'

How much do UK cops pay for Microsoft licences? £30 a head or £137? Both


I'm not saying centralising couldn't possibly have savings on the IT & general organisation side of things, but I worry 'rationalising' HQ's is just a cover for downsizing until the nearest bobby is at times 50 miles away from smaller population areas.


Perhaps that's because you haven't seen the Scottish news. There have been a few issues at least, the head honcho of Police Scotland has actually taken early retirement 'completely unrelated' to the state of the force.

Noughty by nature: Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Rock Band 4


Uncharted multiplayer

The multiplayer for Uncharted was a highly entertaining Co-op or competitive blast absolutely ruined by the near-impossibility of successfully connecting to your friends. I'm gutted they just ditched it instead of taking the opportunity to fix her up.

Assange™ offered 'plans for escape by flying fox to Harrods'


No court in the land would allow time on the lam to count as time served, regardless of the restrictive conditions. If anything they'll go heavier on him the longer he tries to evade justice.


If he'd touched a letter from the CIA we'd have him by now - it'd be so laced with LSD he'd have jumped out the window screaming about the lizardmen in his teeth.

Unless he's already that crazy and has had plenty of practice keeping it under control.


On the plus side, 3 and a quarter years of self imprisonment and counting. Plus he's reduced to only getting attention from a breakfast radio show, not exactly first headline on News at Ten.

On the subject of bottom-of-the-pile news hacks, has El Reg tried to get an interview with him? [/Trollface]

Join Uber in a tale of rent seeking and employment law


Re: One network?

You have the option of paying the cab direct though, and the cabbie is unlikely to only receive payment from one source for the day's trade. The argument is whether Uber drivers can call themselves contractors if they only get money from Uber - your company paying for your cab has no bearing on that.


Re: One network?

It is sneaky but it seems like it's accurate if you think it through; Uber get payment from the customer and pay the driver, ergo the customers relationship is with Uber and the driver is merely an agent (contractor or employee, however that shakes out) tasked with completing the service sold by Uber. This will almost certainly have big implications on Uber's liability for crashes and other service issues.

Maybe they could duck the issue if they spun out or partnered with a payment handler so that the customer's cash (less their cut) went directly to the driver when a booking is taken? then they could position themselves as simply a marketplace for driving services. Or would they have to give drivers greater say in pricing?

Top telematics: Black box helps driver swerve speeding fine


Re: Having evidence seems to be enough

I think it's more a case of challenging the Police's evidence seems to be enough in radar gun cases. Anectodally* it seems that when the radar gun is challenged plod routinely find they can't prove it's been tested or calibrated in years. And since showing the gun is duff (or at least not up to scratch as incontrovertible evidence) has the potential to unravel hundreds of fines they'll bail out as soon as they can.

*I read it on the internet so it must be true


The big question is, why is it not classed as harassment to drag the case all the way to court and then offer no evidence? Did the Judge not give the Prosecution a bollocking at least?

GCHQ's SMURF ARMY can hack smartphones, says Snowden. Again.


Re: "...he says can turn a phone on or off"

By definition the remote on could only be done to a phone that's already compromised so some sort of standby mode masquerading as true off sounds about right.

What is money? A rabid free marketeer puts his foot in lots of notes


Re: ...the right to call upon the resources...

Pretty much what squander two said. Land, food (possibly only high quality delicacies), Labour, experiences etc. would still all be scarce resources that someone somewhere will chase.

Unlimited Free Energy would open up tons of opportunities that people would throw money at - e.g. California could build desalination plants like there's no tomorrow and run them at full tilt. That's construction, design and plant maintenance jobs (and associated economic stuff) right there.


Re: Moral dimension

"There is always profit to be had in a mortgage"

This is the kind of wishful thinking that caused the economic crash in the first place.

Hand-cranked ‘DDoS’ floors Thai government website amid protests


If IT in your country is at the state where a hand-cranked DDOS (allegedly) can be successful, no wonder they are horrified at the possibility of sliding further back.

Microsoft and Google ink SECRET TREATY to end all their patent wars


This is just Microsoft's endgame play in the Android section of the 'Linux uses our patents' scam. They have already shat all over the smaller players, forcing them to fold and accept licencing agreements under secret terms (some players may have called Microsoft's bluff on court action but agreed to token payments in lieu of fighting a huge court battle).

Now that that's sewn up they come to (secret again) terms with Google; MS can't push them around, but other than rhetoric they haven't directly attacked Google yet - so Google currently has no incentive to fight MS. My money is on this agreement simply establishing that MS won't go after Google, so long as Google keeps it's nose out of the licencing racket.

Adblock farms out acceptable ad policy to independent reviewer


I don't think the returns documents have to be made public unless the company is traded on a stock exchange, which I don't think it is.


This could be the advertisers strategy...

...fragment the Ad-blocking sector so it's just too complicated to gain much traction outside of the tech-savvy demographic. Theoretically we could have blocked ads with blacklists in the pre-plugin days, but I doubt many bothered.

Now the barrier to entry for the ad free club has fallen a fair bit, and the focus for the advertisers is to prevent it from falling further.

Is Windows 10 slurping too much data? No, says Microsoft. Nuh-uh. Nope


Has anyone checked yet if it's easy to block the snooping with the firewall* and still let OS updates occur?

*Might as well assume you've missed at least one of the obfuscated settings to turn it off and have a better line of defence.

SONY HACK WAS WAR says FBI, and 'we're still struggling to hire talent'


If the West has warrants/bounties out for the arrest of Foreign Hackers, I wonder if Russia or China have shit-lists for our 'good-guy' hackers?

Apple VICTORY: Old Samsung phones not sold any more can't be sold any more



The S3 was good enough for most uses, I was hoping that when my old folks need new phones or I need a budget spare I could pick new S3's up super cheap from clearance stock, bit of a bugger that Apple have got their way and they can't be sold. Hopefully they can still flog them in Blighty.

Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole


Re: Satisficers rather than Maximisers

Give everyone a robot that they can contract out to companies? And tax/licence robots in a way that it gives companies economic incentive to rent from Joe Public instead of owning their own?

The 'vampire squid' wants a bankers' blockchain


Re: Questions?

I believe the blockchain data is being (ab)used as a method of storing data not related to BitCoin, which is what they could (although in my opinion probably won't) do to co-op BitCoin. e.g. I could transfer 0.01 Bitcoins to you and attach data to the transfer that has no relation to BC like IOU 100USD. Then you have a public, distributed and unfakeable* record of a matter unrelated to BitCoin that piggybacks on the BC infrastructure.

*Well, probably technically fakeable, but becomes exponentially harder to fake over time.

'Walter Mitty' IT manager admits to buying gun on dark web


Re: Entrapment?

"Entrapment" is poorly named; it's generally OK for plod to set a trap, provided they are not actively encouraging people to take the bait. So it's okay to set up a fake gun store, where Walter comes looking of his own volition, but not okay to say "you should buy a gun."

The undercover "store" operators would have had to tread lightly though; they'd have to make sure nothing they said could be taken as encouraging the purchase. For example if they 'upsold' ammunition or tried to get Walter to take a different model to what he had asked for.

Anti-peeping-tom drone law nixed in California


"There may have already been an existing law which covered this situation"

Agreed, although I'm not sure of the specifics, I'm pretty sure a 'ceiling' for your property rights was worked out way back when passenger flight became a thing. Anyone flying over your property but under whatever height the ceiling is in your jurisdiction should be covered by trespass laws.

Well, what d'you know: Raising e-book prices doesn't raise sales


" It's also instructive that the average price of an e-book from the big publishers is $10.81, while the average price of all non-big publisher e-books is $4.95"

Hypothesis - perhaps a 'big' publisher just can't survive and still be a big publisher on the rational economics of eBooks? When it's all ones and zeroes and a startup publisher could theoretically compete with you from a garden shed with minimal costs, how do you support all your bureaucracy and cruft? This might explain (as others have posted) why they are keeping prices higher than appear to make sense to increase the appeal of physical books.

Laminate this: Inside Argos' ongoing online (r)evolution


Re: collect the physical item

I've always said Argos should be a pick up point for Amazon - storing stock in the warehouse until the customer comes for it is 90% of their business anyway, getting a slice of Amazon's action and getting a customer into their store where they may see adverts or make impulse buys seems like a no-brainer.And amazon could have some of the benfits of a High Street presence without picking up the tab for it.


"The idea is that rather than tell a customer their Argos store is out of stock, Argos can tell them instead when they can expect the product will be ready for collection."

They went downhill with this one recently in my opinion. Not sure if they've reversed the policy now but last time I was looking for something I could pick up *that day* and was checking the stores in reasonable travel distance they had really obfuscated whether they were actually carrying what I needed or not.

Feeling sweary? Don't tell Google Docs


Re: heh...

Way back when the PS3 chat starred out bits of 'punching' and 'engine'. I think we worked out 'unchi' was something pretty rude in Japanese.

NCA targeted by Lizard Squad in apparent DDoS revenge attack


Re: Hmmmmm - Lets paint a target on our own backs

"while someone is banged up its a bit difficult for them to re-offend."

But a piece of piss for them to learn a lifetime's worth of criminal behaviours and skills - which they'll need for a life of crime when they do get out given that prospects of making an honest wage are pretty fucked.

Groin-melting Fujitsu LifeBook batteries recalled in conflag alert


Re: LifeBook

Would be pretty harsh to give someone a Darwin just for using a faulty laptop. IIRC correctly you have to die* doing something dangerous and moronic to qualify, like taunting a wild lion or somesuch.

*or otherwise render yourself unable to contribute to the gene pool.

Google's Chrome to gag noisy tabs until you click on them


Re: Finally!

" Find some way to identify the tiny 30 pixel player located halfway down the page I'm reading that is making noise"

According to the intertron you can do the below, which allows you to mute on a tab by tab basis.

"To try Chrome’s Tab Mute feature out for yourself, bearing in mind that it’s still experimental, you need simply to do the following:

Go to chrome://flags in a new tab

Search for the ‘Enable tab audio muting UI control’ flag

Hit the ‘Enable’ link

Relaunch Chrome when prompted (on Chrome OS a full restart is required¹)"

FORKING BitcoinXT: Is it really a coup or just more crypto-FUD?


Re: What's always puzzled me is, where are the fraudsters?

Perhaps they are put off by the BlockChain being a very 'public' place to run a scam, and/or the people with the prerequisite knowledge of bitcoin to scam it have a vested interest in keeping it running - why walk off with £20M and leave the system in ashes behind you, when you could skim e.g. £1M/month for as long as the system runs?

Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide


Re: So a BOFH screwed up?

If a BOFH did it it was probably to teach someone a lesson/get someone fired. Perhaps a well-loved on-call bonus was at risk because some PHB said "we never have out of hours emergencies?"

New low for humanity: ONE BEELLION lost souls log on to Facebook in one day


Re: Internet of Transactions?

If you're on a night out and you leave your phone unattended the SOP is for your mates to post "I AM GAY FOR DOGS" or something equally hilarious in your name. Will this be superceded by ordering a box of dildos to be delivered to your house?

Legal eagles accuse Labour of data law breach over party purge


Re: Galloway

He gave one of the finest speeches I've ever seen back in the days of the Independence debate - it went a little something like:


*Paraphrasing, but honestly not by much. Yes, he really did bring up Hitler for some unfathomable reason.

Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate


Re: Except that....

I can't find the link but I could swear there was an El Reg article about Google reversing their Net Neutrality stance once they started laying fibre cables. Anyone remember it?

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