* Posts by Suricou Raven

1549 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab

Suricou Raven

Re: Damaged without authorization...

Botnets, possibly? They use technological means to conceal the location of whoever controls them.

Suricou Raven

Re: When it's convenient.

And the NSA does consulting work for both of them.

Suricou Raven

Re: Tempting

It's a handy tool for some of the more aggressive areas of forums and blogs too. There are certain topics which tend to bring out a vicious streak (Politics, religion, football, boy bands) - it's not difficult to incite an internet psycho who will then go off on a holy crusade to punish you for some perceived infraction (Insulting their god/endorsing views they believe threaten the country/suggesting Bieber doesn't write his own songs). I've seen these fanatics go quite crazy - in one extreme case, a particularly partisan political blogger went so far as to impersonate a debate opponent and create a website in their name endorsing sex with children. I've heard of others pulling stunts like contacting a person's employer claiming they were dismissed from their previous position for theft.

With people like that around, taking measures to conceal your identity is only common sense.

Suricou Raven

Re: And here we go again...

I'm not convinced it would matter. The UK would be quite able to simply ignore the court, as they did with the judgement requiring voting rights for convicts - the UK response was a legally binding requirement to pass legislation to do so. That was in 2005, and no legislation has been so much as introduced yet.

Suricou Raven

Re: Re : Asperger syndrome...

There seems to be some sort of agreement in place, possibly informally: We don't try to arrest their spies, and they don't try to arrest ours. The US and Europe are still allies, and the social codes of alliances dictate that while both sides are fully expected to spy on the other, they aren't supposed to get caught doing it - and if they do catch someone spying for an ally, it wouldn't do to much a big fuss of it.

Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

Suricou Raven

Re: @Richard 12

It is on android - the internal storage actually is an SD interface, just soldered to the board. Apple may be quite different, though.

NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies

Suricou Raven

It wouldn't be hard to get an encrypted link even over a horrible NK phone line. NK is so locked down that ordinary people can't make international calls, but I'm sure embassies have some way. They couldn't function otherwise. It would be a huge inconvenience for the embassy staff though, who would be all but cut-off from the rest of the world.

PayPal goes crypto-currency with Bitcoin

Suricou Raven

Re: "Accepting" Bitcoin

They'll have to find some way to get those coins back into circulation. Maybe they can pay all their employees in bitcoin?

DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

Suricou Raven

Re: Might this be the DAP of networking?

Quite possible. Beneath the monstrosity of NDN lies an older idea, CAN - which is fundamentally brilliant, from a technological point of view. Less so from a business point of view, which is why it hasn't been deployed much - it'd inevitable become a wonderful tool of piracy, and for all the vast expense to ISPs of deploying it they wouldn't be the ones seeing the greatest benefit. Sure, it'd bring the cost of hosting large content down to a fraction of the current price - but it'd also see the ISPs shouldering that fraction, so they obviously have little incentive.

NDN seems to be an effort to address this by wrapping CAN up in a horrendously over-engineered mess orientated not at actually getting people the data they want, but at rendering the technology more palatable to the business side - giving ISPs a lot more control over the data, so they can do things like ensuring only partnered or reputable businesses can benefit while excluding DodgyFreeMovies.ru and the like.

Suricou Raven

It's worse than that. If this system allowed anyone to utilise it to speed up their network, it'd become the greatest tool of piracy since the invention of usenet binaries. Anyone who could rent a £10/m VM could happily host a few terabytes of downloads at minimal cost - every dodgy 'free movies' site in Russia would be doing it. The proposed architecture does include a means of verifying the publisher of data, probably to handle exactly this situation: ISPs can make sure their new caching network system only accepts the content of 'reputable' publishers (Those with money or influence enough to get whitelisted) while everyone else has to make do with the old, slow, inefficient and expensive methods we use today.

It also allows for geographic restrictions to be enforced by the network - eg, the BBC could tag iPlayer video content as 'UK exclusive' and routers for US ISPs would simply refuse requests for download. And Netflix could do the same to block their US-exclusive content over here. It'd be more reliable than geo-IP, which depends on a constantly changing and error-prone database.

Good luck with Project Wing, Google. This drone moonshot is NEVER going to happen

Suricou Raven

Re: Stated Goals

Defibs are a bad example - a ten minute wait is too long.

If you're looking for something that is needed to rarely to keep stocked, but may be needed urgently at any moment, you want antivenom. Or some of the exceptionally rare blood types.

Do you accept Bitcoin? That'll do nicely, says Apache

Suricou Raven

Look at the price graph.

It's starting to actually look stable now. At least compared with conventional currencies. If this continues, it might even become worth taking seriously.

Pimp my lounge and pierce my ceiling: Home theatre goes OTT

Suricou Raven

Missing a point.

How many home-cinema-kit-owners actually get any benefit beyond placebo? Most people wouldn't be able to tell mono from stereo without listening carefully. Home cinema is a niche, and atmos and such are a niche within that niche. The vast majority of people use the speakers built into the telly, no matter how bad they are, and don't even notice any distortion.

BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV

Suricou Raven

Re: Goto considered harmful...

I rarely have call for goto, but they have their niches. In C, anyway. They can be handy for exiting a function while ensuring some cleanup code runs.

Suricou Raven

Re: *All* TV programs?

One of my favorite on-screen techie screens is from the low-budget scifi-horror movie Galaxy of Terror. Early in the film a damaged ship flashes up schematics on the screen while running a damage assessment. Pausing to examine the schematics closely, they can be identified as those for a chroma-key device. A piece of hardware that saw much use, including for that very shot. The most likely explanation is that someone searched the editing studio for something suitably technical they could display, and the chroma-key service manual was the first thing to come to hand.

Suricou Raven

Re: How do they plan to keep interest

Scratch is the new BASIC: It's a very quick way to get kids writing something that runs, but they'll need to learn most of it all over again as soon as they need a language that can do something less-than-trivial.

GCHQ protesters stick it to British spooks ... by drinking urine

Suricou Raven

Re: Why it could or couldn't

It could be that they know very well, but just don't care. A case of violating the law in order to protest it. "They spies are taking pictures from your webcam chats, but they made it illegal for us to take pictures of them!"

If you think 3D printing is just firing blanks, just you wait

Suricou Raven

Car engine parts, yes - and in my experience, laptop parts. All those weird little plastic bits that are never quite the same between models.

Ofcom will not probe lesbian lizard snog in new Dr Who series

Suricou Raven

Does that make Vastra a reverse-furry?

Suricou Raven

Re: Did the BBC just troll people?

I imagine it also helps that they are ectotherms. That saves a great deal of energy.

Now there's an idea for a future scene... Characters fighting against killer robots with thermal infra-red vision. Clara, Vastra and some other characters pinned down, as the killer robots stalk them looking for any sign of heat to shoot at. Then the cold-blooded one calmly steps out, walks behind one and hits the off switch.

Suricou Raven

Did the BBC just troll people?

The kiss served no purpose in the story, didn't do a whole lot in the way of character development, and was rather clumsily shoehorned into the writing with an excuse.

I almost looks like this was the BBC's plan all along: Put something a tad provocative in knowing it would be sure to stir up complains from the easily offended homophobes* thus giving them a little publicity and making said homophobes look like the prudes and idiots they are.

*They all deny it, but does anyone seriously believe there would have been complaints had one gender differed?

Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry

Suricou Raven

Re: Are you talking to me?

Spear phishing emails?

Brain v1.0.

It's been on v1.0 for a very long time, and the dev isn't responding to requests.

Finally, a practical use for 3D printing: Helping surgeons rehearse

Suricou Raven

They do have one niche: They make great anti-abortion propaganda.

Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report

Suricou Raven

Please do.

If they actually invest properly in this, it could do a lot of good to all people wanting to escape the Microsoft ecosystem. China has the sheer size and buying power to force a new entrant into the market. Probably another linux-based OS or something like Android, but that doesn't matter. Even if it flops terribly outside China, it'll still keep Microsoft under some level of pressure.

Even if it flops terribly in China, it's understandable why they would want to try just from a strategic perspective. Right now the US could cripple China by just asking Microsoft to serve up some malware to Chinese IP ranges on windows update - they wouldn't do so for anything less than open war, but China is playing the long game and needs to be ready for whatever the political situation may bring in twenty or fifty years.

Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town

Suricou Raven

Re: Hello pot, this is kettle...

Windows RT, on the ARM-chip surface tablets, only runs software from the official Microsoft store. Enforced by requiring signed code.

They are just doing the sensible thing: They see the massive success of Apple's business model of profiting from after-sale services in the consumer space. They want in. The problem here is that they are latecomers to this party, and that puts them at a serious disadvantage which they tried to address by lowering acceptance standards in order to quickly increase the selection on offer.

TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button

Suricou Raven

Why all the CAM super-security?

The content is all on the pirate bay anyway.

Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!

Suricou Raven

That explains a few things.

Now we know who buys all those obsolete bitcoin miners on eBay.

Hackers' Paradise: The rise of soft options and the demise of hard choices

Suricou Raven

Re: "with a competent operating system, these machines were essentially bomb proof."

Which is a way part of the problem. OSs have long competed on features out of the box - even Windows, though it was mostly competing with the previous version of Windows. This has lead to a clean-install OS steadily doing more and more and more over the years - and with more complexity and more active services, there are more things that can go wrong or contain vulnerabilities. Look at Windows as an example, though some linux distros are just as bad: From the first install, it runs a a SMB/CIFS server. Even if you have no network shares. It's already listening, even if just for devices wanting to access your media library for DLNA purposes. That's a great big juicy target, a service running that really shouldn't be running until after the user has indicated a desire for it. It's just as bad outgoing - every time you access a network drive it starts poking the address on port 80 to see if it's for a WebDAV service and it listens for UPnP devices on the network. That's just the easily-reached network services. If you include the rest it's got all manner or sillyness. A printer service that runs even if no printer is installed, a wireless configuration service that runs even if there is no wireless interface.

Complexity breeds vulnerability. An OS that tries to do everything, all of the time is going to grow bloated and insecure.

The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

Suricou Raven

Re: IPv6 like OSI is far more complex than necessary

"The world uses IPv4 with NAT today and they can game, use VoIP, and every single other application that IPv6 end-to-end religious nutters whinge about just fine."

No. Those things work because of awkward hacks that work some of the time, and the rest of the time if you can reconfigure your router. Try running a game server some day - it can't be done without going to your router config and telling it to set up a port forward. That's an inconvenience for current home users, and will be impossible when the address shortage forces the deployment of carrier-level NAT.

Skype can communicate through double-NAT, but only because it uses a ridiculous three-party UDP mutual handshake bodge to trick both NAT routers into thinking their client spoke first. Such an approach is only possible when there's a third, port-accessible party (Skype's server) to act as a coordinator. A central point of failure.

Golden age of invention or hyped-up age of overblown marketing?

Suricou Raven

No surprise.

The low-level stuff is continuing to incrementally innovate. Has been for decades: Drives get more capacity, SSDs likewise. This is component improvements, driven by people who are educated in such esoteric fields as quantum mechanics and magnetic domain modeling.

Above that though, what is there to innovate? You can't turn X bytes of storage into >X bytes through any form of elaborate software misdirection, you can only provide the illusion. You can't recover your X bytes of data if less than X bytes remains after a drive failure, so you always need X+Y for redundancy. The mathematics is unforgiving. You can only try to make the best from the hardware with tiering and management functionality, a field which is pretty much done to death now.

Boffins brew TCP tuned to perform on lossy links like Wi-Fi networks

Suricou Raven

Re: @ Brian Scott (was: Broadcast?)

UDP can be broadcast, though. Just set a destination of all-ones and every node on the subnet gets it, thanks to the use of a similar all-ones address at the next layer down.

Password manager LastPass goes titsup: Users locked out

Suricou Raven

Re: I solved this a while ago:

That, or a truecrypt or crypto-loop device, are pretty good options. But you can't promise security because someone could still hack the laptop with something like a keylogger for the master password. That's why I went standalone. You couldn't hack that thing short of physical access, and even then you'd need to retrieve it a second time to get the data off as it has no network connection and no place to add one that wouldn't be noticed.

Suricou Raven

I solved this a while ago:


- No online store to be compromised.

- The sensitive data consists of one numerical sequence of variable length, which you need to memorise. It needs to be pretty long, but it's only the one thing.

- Unique password for every website.

- Totally unhackable: Dedicated hardware, no network connectivity.

- Device stores no data: If lost, may be replaced without loss of passwords.

- Doubles as a serial TTY line monitor. Handy.

- Mine generates eight-character passwords, but easily adapted to longer.

Chinese Bitcoin farms: From scuzzy to sci-fi

Suricou Raven

Re: I've often wondered

The two major costs in bitcoin mining are hardware and power. I'm guessing they build where power is cheap. Like next to big, dirty, Chinese coal plants.

AMD's first 64-bit ARM cores star in ... Heatless in Seattle*

Suricou Raven

Re: Finally a standard for booting

UFI is fine, in itsself. The problem is implimentation. Many manufacturers do a quick job of it - so long as it'll boot Windows, they consider it job done. This results in all manner of nasty hacks and bugs to work around.

With the old BIOS system, there was lots of really ugly bodges involved in adapting a 8086-era boot process to modern hardware - but they were familiar bodges, and everyone knew how to handle them, and every system handled them in the same way.

Suricou Raven

I hate to meme, but...

I put a processor on your processor so you can process while you process.

Dell The Man shrieks: 'We've got a Bitcoin order, we've got a Bitcoin order'

Suricou Raven

Re: Currency fluctuations

It's been gradually falling ever since the $1000 bubble period ended. What makes you think the trend will reverse?

It's possible that the price will rise as the flow of new coins from miners slows. The free money is over. I just got a new miner myself, and calculate it'll take a year to pay for itsself.

Suricou Raven

Re: No need to sign up with coinbase

For now, yes. But when when Dell's suppliers start accepting bitcoin too? Someone at Dell will realise that sending the coins straight on means no need to give coinbase a cut. After all, one of the points often cited in Bitcoin's favor is eliminating the need for financial service providers and their fees.

Anonymous wifi the latest casualty of Russia net neurosis

Suricou Raven

I vaguely recall we came close to doing this in the UK a few years ago. To stop the kiddie porn traders, of course.

Crypto Daddy Phil Zimmerman says surveillance society is DOOMED

Suricou Raven

Re: basic premise faulty?

You are not a representative user. Few people even know what EXIF, and most wouldn't care if they did.

London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

Suricou Raven

Re: What law has been broken. @veti

I nearly got expelled from school for that confusion. I did something-or-other on the computers - I forget just what it was, but it scared the teacher who then accused me of hacking. I admitted to hacking and commenced trying to explain to her the confusion over definitions. This failed miserably - due to both my inexperience in communication and the well-established meaning of the word in her experience, my attempted debate over the word was taken instead as a confession of guilt.

I did hack the school computers in the media sense, too - but not on that occasion.

Suricou Raven

Re: What law has been broken.

I did just that - posted lots of music. All pre-1963 and thus public domain in the UK, but I'm still expecting to hear something from a US company that fails to realize this - a lot of it is still covered there.

What I did notice was bots. Lots of bots, for various 'mp3 search' sites indexing my collection and often downloading the whole thing*. Sites that they return links to the files in their search results, resulting in me paying the hosting costs and them pocketing any advertising money.

This stopped when I made progress on replacing most of the mp3 files with ogg files.Seems the bots don't care about those. Not does anyone else: Traffic plumeted. I was hoping to make enough off the advertising to cover at least a fraction of the hosting (It's not expensive), but that's not happening. I'm in pennies-per-month.

*As does Yandex, curiously enough.

Network hijacker steals $83,000 in Bitcoin ... and enough Dogecoin for a cup of coffee

Suricou Raven

Not just bitcoin has value.

Litecoin has enough to be traded too, and you can buy stuff with it at bitroad. Mostly overpriced computer accessories. It's not as established as bitcoin though, and anything less established than litecoin is really just a novelty, or a laughing stock.

IBM boffins stuff 16 million-neuron chips into binary 'frog' brain

Suricou Raven

Re: Not Neurons

It also doesn't look trainable. I'm guessing it's the type of architecture you'd see used to do hardware acceleration of things like machine vision and classification. The chip can be simulated for training purposes by a conventional supercomputer, sucking up a few megawatts for a couple of months to train the thing - but once it's trained, you can mass-produce the little power-sippers and stick them in smartphones and appliances. In twenty years, you might see one in your car deciding if the thing that just stepped onto the road is a plastic bag, a fox or a child.

Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?

Suricou Raven


So if I use a top-of-the-line 3x3 router with a super-expensive 3x3-capable laptop, on good day with clear signal and no contention and interference, I can get performance almost half that of a gigabit ethernet line.

Russia, China could ban western tech if they want to live in the PAST

Suricou Raven

Sounds good to me.

Their technologies may be inferior in many ways, but they will surely find niches where they have some advantage, and the competition will continue to drive technological advance. Having access to more alternatives also helps prevent any one player growing to the point where they can pose a serious threat of abusing their power to lock in customers or dictate terms.

Gmail gains support for non-ASCII email addresses

Suricou Raven

Hello, novelty names.

I think it'll start with a church deciding they want "OntheϮ@gmail.com" and get more ridiculous from there.

Who will kill power companies? TESLA, says Morgan Stanley

Suricou Raven

Re: Depends...

Rewiring trouble. Adapting a home for a central inverter needs some modification at the CU board. Adapting for DC distribution means knocking holes in walls and pulling the floorboards apart, and once you're done no electrician is going to go near the thing because there is no standardised design and set of procedures.

Suricou Raven

Re: One problem

Those particular stories appear true, but the site itsself isn't entirely trustworthy. It's got a few 'free energy' scams - inventions that defy the known laws of physics, and would surely have destroyed the oil industry if The Man wasn't working to oppress them.


Google pulls Gaza games from Play store

Suricou Raven

Re: Religion... and the rest

Easily. Nationalism, tribalism... and given a little more time and some propaganda against the opponent, a sense of moral superiority.

You can still see some very early propaganda in the old testament. The tribe of Israel was in a state of on-and-off war with the Caananites (Actually a term for a whole collection of other, loosely-affiliated tribes). There are quite a few places where the moral character of these tribes is viciously insulted, no doubt to make it easier for the leaders to then justify a bit of slaughtering.

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