* Posts by Suricou Raven

1546 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

UK cops: Keep yer golden doubloons, ad folk. Yon websites belong to pirates

Suricou Raven

Re: 'Evidenced and verified'

You're thinking of the normal police. The CoLP are a law unto themselves.

No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

Suricou Raven

The DRM bit makes sense.

So we've a situation where users have a legal right to do X, but doing X is only technologically possible by breaking DRM, which cannot be done legally - thus making their legal right impossible to exercise. Or, viewed from the other side, a provider of media cannot prevent their customers from doing certain things via contract, but can impose a DRM scheme that has the same effect via another means.

Makes perfect sense to me. The US has had a similar situation for years with their DMCA exceptions. It's legally untidy, yes. But it makes sense.

Star Wars movie to start shooting in UK this summer

Suricou Raven

Re: I can't see ...

Civil war? With the Senate effectively powerless for a generation and the emperor dead, there's no central government any more. Any number of empire underlings try to make their bid for power, while our heroes join a movement of republic loyalists searching for a famous former-senator-now-in-hiding who might still have the influence and legacy to serve as a rallying point and inspire the rest of the galaxy.

MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

Suricou Raven

Re: The politicos said that grumble flick websites should require a credit card

As an added bonus, it'd kill off the enthusiast/hobbyist sites that can't afford the cost of handling credit cards and the associated certifications.

Or they could just re-host overseas. That works too.

Toshiba baby OCZ flings open coat, bares PCIe flasher to world

Suricou Raven


If you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!

Suricou Raven

Re: Sigh

There was little bitching about XP. As I recall, it was widely regarded as about time Microsoft finally abandoned the atrocity that was 9x.

This bitching is more like that that followed Vista: A lot of people complaining about a new interface that seemed to be change for change's sake, and grumbling that the new version provided little if any benefit over the previous.

Scam emails tell people they have cancer to trick them into installing a money-stealing Trojan

Suricou Raven

Double extension?

That's very 2000s. The trick these days is to use a unicode right-to-left control character:

Actual filename: Sucker_amdiwn<RtL>exe.gpj

Windows* displays: sucker_amdiwnexe.jpg

*I don't know if this works on OSX or linux.

NZ bloke's drunken poker bet ends in 99-letter name

Suricou Raven

Re: Vanity Names !

If they were cheap, no-one would want one.

Twitter blew $36m on patents to avoid death by lethal injunction

Suricou Raven

Re: During the meanwhile ...

My preferred IM choice is Retroshare now, but not many use it.

What do you mean there are no Surface Pros? HAND 'EM OVER, yell Microsoft resellers

Suricou Raven

Could they hasten production if they disassembled the plentiful supply of Surface RTs and salvaged components?

Women! You too can be 'cool' and 'fun' if you work in tech!

Suricou Raven

Re: The kiss of death

The standard way is to remind people of the vast wealth to be made. That worked in the dot-com boom, but these days people are able to see through the lie and realise that for every Zuckerburg there are a million code monkeys slaving away and getting paid peanuts.

I can't be the only IT worker still getting annoyed by the parents demanding to know why I'm not a millionaire yet.

Your 'funny' cat pics are weighing down the web, so here's a better JPEG encoder from Mozilla

Suricou Raven

Re: Why not just replace the last-end compression?

Compatibility. If you did that, the JPEG wouldn't open in an unmodified browser or viewer, which means it'd be effectively unuseable on the internet. New formats like that are always in a chicken-and-egg situation: No-one can use them until all major browsers support them, and there's no reason for the browser developers to support a format no-one uses. See JPEG2000 - an intended successor to JPEG which has been stuck in this situation for years, complicated further by being patent-encumbered in a way which makes it legally very difficulty for open-source software to support it anyway.

Suricou Raven

Re: What about a GIF squasher too?

Animated PNG is superior in just about every way. Smaller files and, unlike GIF, it can handle more than 256 colors.

Not that it gets much use. Microsoft refuses to include support in IE. They dragged their feet for years about supporting non-animated PNG. It's company policy never to support any open standard unless it has become to popular as to leave no option. Apple is no better.

Review of UK data protection: Should fines go OVER HALF A MIL?

Suricou Raven

One of the purposes of a corporation is to do away with personal responsibility. This can be both a good and a bad thing, depending on circumstances. Where law enforcement goes, it's really just bad.

US gov claims it spent TOO MUCH on wiretaps – and blames SPRINT

Suricou Raven

Re: Sprint have missed a trick here...

This wasn't for the NSA. It was for the conventional police - the ones who (usually) get warrants first.

Child sex abuse image peddlers dodge UK smut filters and demand Bitcoin payments

Suricou Raven

Re: IWF are a bit out of date...

Run a webserver and check the logs. Most of the traffic on mine consists of vulnerability scanners hunting for something they can break into. Wordpress features often. Right now, most of them are after /cgi-bin/rtpd.cgi - trying to hack cameras.

Suricou Raven

Pirates used to use compromised servers all the time. That was many years ago though - it's got out of common use now, as the rise of p2p technologies an improved home broadband speeds rendered compromised servers much less important.

Suricou Raven

Sort of. Bitcoin transactions are public, but the identities behind the accounts are not, and it's trivial to create a new account. That means it is possible to identify people, but takes a little detective work.

eg: You buy a file from some dodgy internet guy. All anyone sees is that address A paid address B. Who are those addresses? Not obvious. But an investigator could keep tracing, and determine that address B in turn paid address C, and address C paid address D... and that address D got a lot of payments, so it's probably important. A little asking-around finds that D is the holding pool for an exchange that buys and sells bitcoins for dollars, and they can then confirm that C was one of their incoming disposeable addresses, and that the person who sent them bitcoins via C from B was doing so in exchange for dollars at a known paypal address.

There's a lot of information you can get hold of, especially if you know enough about data mining and crawling to gather up a pool or known addresses to use as reference points.

Suricou Raven

Re: What exactly is a "pseudo-photograph"?

Nice idea, but after a while someone who looks very much like a trader in child abuse images will get off with it because the jury couldn't be convinced completly about intent - and the resulting media outrage would leave any politician with hopes of reelection no choice but to close this 'loophole' and bring strict liability back.

Suricou Raven

Re: Daily Mail headlines write themselves

They can spell it fine. They just refuse to use those European diphthongs.

Suricou Raven

Re: Unintended consequences.

Which is why if I ever happen across some, I'm not going to report it. I don't want every hard drive in the household seized as part of an investigation. The witch-hunters have shot themselves in the foot here: Stories of overzealous prosecutions and trial-by-media are now well-known enough that even the innocent are afraid of them.

CarelessDotData: 'The state is not going to do dastardly things' with your privates

Suricou Raven

Conspiracy theories.

I'm expecting some people to argue that the NSA/CIA/GCHQ/Other 'got to' the writer and pressured him into helping with some character assassination. A month ago, I'd have dismissed these as paranoid ramblings. After all the recent revelations though, about the NSA's policy of manipulating online debate and deliberately spreading stories attacking those they believe hostile to US interests? I'd consider such accusations entirely plausible.

Fed chairwoman casts doubt on Bitcoin regulation in the US

Suricou Raven

Re: Not what Manchin wants to hear

Oh, we know exactly where they are. We just don't know who controls them. They'll need laundering before they can be spent by trickling them slowly through intermediate services.

New radio tech could HALVE mobe operators' bandwidth needs

Suricou Raven

Re: legal intercept ?

The best solution is encryption. Let them intercept. You'd still need the operator's server for billing and key management, but the mesh can handle the bulky traffic.

Make sure to pad the bitrate or use a CBR codec though - it's possible though tricky to reconstruct a good guess as to the words uttered just by the bitrate fluctuation after compression.

Apple, Symantec, other tech heavies challenge anti-gay legislation

Suricou Raven

Re: My thing is this...

It comes up. Two men renting a single-bed hotel room would be rather suspicious. Catering, transport and photography contractors for a same-sex wedding would quite quickly realise there may be gay involvement somewhere. Even just going to a restraunt, the staff might well notice the holding of hands and longing gazes, and ask the couple to leave.

Suricou Raven

Re: Too much energy wasted

The religious lobby in the US has been pushing what they call 'covenant marriage' - a voluntary agreement couples can enter into on marriage which makes divorce legally near-impossible, and always very expensive, baring exceptional circumstances like domestic abuse or abandonment. They are currently a little disapointed that few couples are aware they have this option, and even fewer are taking it. It's the 'burning bridges' form of romance.

Suricou Raven

Re: As I read it.

The hippocratic oath has a few variations. Actually, a couple of Christian medical schools do ask graduates to swear obedience to God above all else.

Muslim clerics issue fatwa banning the devout from Mars One 'suicide' mission

Suricou Raven

Re: Well... So do some christians, hindus and even buddists (on a bad day)

Christianity and Islam inheritated the same. But 'shalt not kill' is a mistranslation. It actually says 'you should not murder' or 'you shall not kill unlawfully.' It still allows for exceptions where the killing is authorised by appropriate law, and later sections of the texts describe many of those exceptions.

Harvard student thrown off 14,000-core super ... for mining Dogecoin

Suricou Raven

Re: A++?

A somewhat poor quote, as other non-TV but still official novels establish that others had done so too. Scotty in particular, by realising that the computer used a simplified almost-realistic model for disrupter/shield interaction and calculating an attack that would cause this model to glitch - though he admitted it couldn't have worked outside of a simulation. After that stunt, he was strongly urged to switch career track from command to engineering. Other tricks included invoking an obscure Romulan custom to challenge their captain to a 1-on-1 duel, thus buying enough time to achieve the primary rescue and escape objectives, even if at the likely cost of the commanding officer's life.

Fandroids get their very own PERVY SMUT browser

Suricou Raven

Opt out?

Opt out is fine, if you wish to declare your porn viewership to everyone who shares your house. Children, spouse, visiting girlfriend. Not to mention the many over-eighteens who still live with parents - with the cost of living what it is, many people are doing that well into their twenties.

Intel's new Xeon: Easy to switch between dual memory modes? Uh, no

Suricou Raven

Re: what is new, exactly?

The obvious next step is hotswap: If a module fails the server can illuminate a light on the mainboard to indicate it. Press a button, channel is taken out of service. Swap memory, press the button again, channel comes back up. Zero downtime, if your server case allows you to access the RAM without having to get the whole thing disconnected and out of the rack.

Google, Apple pop a cap in that Flappy Birds crapp app flapp

Suricou Raven

I have a theory that people love games featuring ballistic trajectories, or things that provide the illusion of same.

Apple Mac Pro: It's a death star, not a nappy bin, OK?

Suricou Raven

Re: Really?

Or plays Willy Wonka in engineering.

Facebook adds 50+ gender options: Stalking your 'Friends' just got more LGBT-friendly

Suricou Raven

To make sure that you see advertising featuring characters matching your race. The industry doesn't like to admit it, but it's known to work. It's common in radio advertising to segregate by region just so you can always use a local accent.

Suricou Raven

Looking forward to the backlash.

By the weekend, conservative and religious blogs and news sites will be carrying articles about facebook's "liberal indoctrination" and how their actions endanger children. That should be entertaining to read.

Investors throw cash at affordable 3D scanner

Suricou Raven

I've seen this before.

Isn't that the 'holo-imager' from Star Trek?

Gamers in a flap as Vietnamese dev pulls Flappy Bird

Suricou Raven

Re: So many great iPhone games

Recormendations engine. The popular games get promoted and become more popular. It's an unstable positive feedback system that can produce unpredictable results.

Snowden leak: GCHQ DDoSed Anonymous & LulzSec's chatrooms

Suricou Raven

Re: Why?

Anonymous uses DDoS as a form of protest. There's no lasting damage, it's just disruptive. A common comparison is the sit-in protest in the real world: Get in the way and refuse to move. At worst, it can disrupt business operations and cause serious lost profits, which is why it's rather illegal just about everywhere. Just like DDoSing.

GCHQ's actions could be compared to figuring out where the protestors are going to rally before the event and arranging a 'coincidential' road closure.

Super Bowl's SUPER BALLSUP: CBS broadcasts Wi-Fi password

Suricou Raven

Huge font for easy camera viewing, never-before-seen interface... I'd wonder if this is just one of the staff playing a practical joke, knowing that the news camera is going to look around.

Troll-hunting cases spike in 2012...but remain high

Suricou Raven

"or represented unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious trivial matters"

Serious trivial matters?

Either a shocking abuse of english, or they know the internet very well.

UK internet filtering shouldn't rely on knee tappers, says Tory MP

Suricou Raven

Re: Ahem!

I've heard MPs use both terms to mean both things. I'm not sure if the confusion is deliberate, or if they are just as mixed-up as we are.

Radio boffins remember the future-ture-ture: From the Cold War to (White) SPAAAAACE

Suricou Raven

Spectrum allocations seem awkward.

By far the spectrum that has given the greatest public good is the low-power unlicensed bands. There's a good argument to be made for expanding those to ease congestion. But it's not going to happen, because there is less money to be made there.

Is Google building SKYNET? Ad kingpin buys AI firm DeepMind

Suricou Raven

Re: We can build you: ROBOBLAIR SOON!

The final section of I, Robot has a similar theme.

Shortened version: A group of scientists discover a conspiracy. A group of advanced AIs - fixed computers, rather than robots - acting together to subvert government and effectively take over the world. The scientists debate how best to act on this knowledge, until they realise that these AIs are superhumanly intelligent, near-infallable, have no personal desire for wealth or power, are incapable of harming a human being except to prevent harm to another, and are by nature of their design incapable of acting in any manner that is not in the best interests of mankind collectively. The scientists decide that the best action is inaction: Let the robots win.

Altcoins will DESTROY the IT industry and spawn an infosec NIGHTMARE

Suricou Raven

Re: And ...

There's a lot of interest from political enthusiasts. The libertarians view it as a way to escape the tyranny of government control and usher in a new economic utopia, while the usual anti-corporate types see the potential to escape from the corrupt clutches of the financial industry.

Plusnet is working on a network-level filter to block pirate sites

Suricou Raven

Why would they want IPv6? Deploying CNAT instead allows them to not only render near-useless all forms of p2p file sharing and home server (and thus get rid of a lot of users who place disproportionate demand on their network) but to do so in a deniable manner. De-facto filtering made to look like an unintended side-effect.

UK smut filter may have sent game patch to sin-bin

Suricou Raven

Different part.

The court-ordered blocks for copyright infringement require blocking access to specific domain names.

The no-porn blocks are semi-official government requests*. There is no official standard as to what needs to be blocked, or how, so it's up to each ISP to decide what they want to do.

* "Please block all porn. We ask in a non-legally-binding manner and you do not have to comply. But if you don't, we're coming back with a law to compel you. Probably a really badly-written one, with harsh penalties for failing to meet impossible goals."

Sweet work, fellas: Boffins build high-density battery powered by sugar

Suricou Raven

Re: Help me out here

Except that calculates the cells as having 0.13V per cell, lead-acids are 2V - more than ten times as much. Should be comparing J/KG, not Ah/KG

Pregnant? Celebrate your proudest moment ... by 3D-printing a copy of the foetus

Suricou Raven

Re: Smile?

They move. Not with much coordination, but they do move. I expect they pull expressions too. That'll be the 4D part: I expect they take voxel-video over a reasonable period then go through each frame and pick out the most photogenic. Throw away all the ones where it looks like something by H R Giger, and pick the one where it looks like a smiling happy baby.

Suricou Raven


If they want sales, they should sent flyers to the anti-abortion campaigners in the US. Little figures like that? They'd buy by the hundreds to send as 'gifts' to their opponents.

MANIC MINERS: Ten Bitcoin generating machines

Suricou Raven

Re: Re. bitcoin

They brute-force SHA256. That's all they do. That's all they can do. It's how they are wired. Useless for anything else. With some software hackery you might be able to make them brute-force SHA256 in a slightly different manner and use them for password cracking, in the unlikely event you get hold of some unsalted or known-salt SHA256 password hashes, but that's the most you an possibly hope for.

ASICs are designed and built to do one thing only, and do it well.

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