* Posts by Suricou Raven

1524 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Ofcom: White Space. We're bloody serious this time. ONE YEAR

Suricou Raven

Re: There are just so many ways this can go wrong

Dusting off my old blackhat for a while, I have think... would it not be a very impressive achivement for someone to make a virus that can firmware-flash or otherwise hack a popular model of white-space device such that on a predetermined date (Big Brother series premiere!) they all switch to the TV spectrum and start transmitting on full power?

3
0

Boss wrong to demote man over anti-gay-marriage Facebook post

Suricou Raven

Re: The Bible also says......

The adultery part is sort-of-wrong. The biblical definition of adultery isn't the same as ours. Marriage at the time was much more about property and ownership of women - to people of that culture, 'adultery' refered only to a man having sex with a woman married or betrothed to another man, and was in essence a form of property crime. A very serious property crime. But it didn't work the other way around. No crime was permitted when a man, married or unmarried, had sex with an *unmarried* woman. See Samson for a clear example - a very holy and rightous character who still slept with a prostitute, and God had no problem with it at all. This is also the reasoning behind that law, strange to modern senses, that a woman shall marry her rapist. In our terms: 'You break it, you bought it.' A marriage with a rather generous bride price was to compensate the woman's father for devaluing his posession.

1
0
Suricou Raven

Re: Everyone should be allowed to be 'married'

The ceremonial part isn't the problem. Marriage is legally important too, and there lies the issue. It affects inheritence, child custody, taxation, shared finances and home ownership, insurance, benefits, immigration, medical proxy when incapacitated, a whole host of things like that. A civil union provides the legal benefits, but at the same time it's often percieved as the new 'seperate but equal' - an implicit insult.

2
1

Hacker sentenced to six years – WITH NO INTERNET

Suricou Raven

Re: Errmm...

But where do those professionals order their supplies? Mail-order is dead. Brick-and-morter stores are fine for the common parts, but what do you do when you need a ball-valve assembly for a specific model of dual-flush toilet manufactured four years ago? You go to the internet. It'd be a nightmare even trying to pay taxes without the ability to easily google up the appropriate laws and regulations.

0
0
Suricou Raven

I do like the idea of internet bans as an alternative sentence - sending someone to prison more-or-less assures they'll become a serious criminal, as they'll leave prison unemployable. No employer is going to hire someone with a criminal record and prison time, and people learn new criminal skills and justifications in prison. There are some minor issues in the details, yes, but the idea is sound.

Office work is just about impossible under those conditions, though - guess he'll be spending a few years after school in one of the no-internet, unskilled labor professions. Shelf-stacker, professional leech on the family, litter-picker. The pay sucks, but it's still better than spending three years in prison and then being unable to find any work at all.

4
1

UK's planned copyright landgrab will spark US litigation 'firestorm'

Suricou Raven

Popcorn?

Anyone?

1
0

Apple seeks cooling fan patent for iPhone, iPad

Suricou Raven

That's not how patents work.

You don't patent something because you plan on using it. That's just silly. No, you patent anything and everything your engineers can come up with, no matter how outlandish or impractical, because it helps to build your portfolio - and gives you a weapon to use should a competitor ever come up with a way to make it work. Even if the patent turns out to be worthless, there is no significant cost - so why not? Look at the rounded corners patent, for example - just on the face of it, the patent is ridiculous. Yet it still turned out to be key to hurting rival Samsung.

It goes the same way in biotech - the moment a company gets a gene identified as a gene, they file a patent. There is no time to figure out what the gene actually does, or what use it can be, because a delay like that might mean a rival patents it first. So there are lots of patents on 'this nucleotide sequence, whatever it does.'

3
1

Medical scan record that the NHS says will cost £2k to retrieve: Detail

Suricou Raven

Re: WTF

Medically useless. I imagine they have potential legal importance.

0
0

Classic game 'Elite' returns … on Kickstarter

Suricou Raven

Re: Multiplayer game based on Elite?

"One of the compelling things about Elite was that you piloted the ship yourself in real time."

It's not obvious, but you can set a manual heading via doubleclicking on space. Very important for tactical combat manouvers. You don't get to aim the guns yourself, but that would be silly.

1
0
Suricou Raven

Re: im guessing you are far younger than my 39 years...

"“In the game, you will of course begin with a spacecraft* and a small sum of Credits*. You will be able to trade*, pirate*, bounty-hunt*, explore*, and salvage* your way to wealth and fame, building on those key elements of the previous games, and with sumptuous graphics* only now possible with the performance of today’s machines. Only this time some of the ships out there will be other players like yourself"

* Also found in EVE.

11
5

Sock-wielding movie pirates go to prison

Suricou Raven

Smuggling will get easier.

Mobile phone video quality is still poor, but it's getting better. Another year and any group wanting to do this will be able to do it with a phone hidden in their coat pocket. Much easier than the sock method, and just about impossible to detect.

I'm guessing this lot were tracked down through their internet activities, though. A few subpoenas will suffice, usually.

1
0

Fujitsu assigns team of women to design PC for women

Suricou Raven

What was that expression?

"Pink it and shrink it," if I recall correctly.

2
0

Pirate Bay moves to the cloud to confound copyright cops

Suricou Raven

Re: No change to tracking...

You over look something. It isn't required that pirates (Or any other criminal, or political dissident, or anyone wishing to hide) be impossible to track. All that they need to do is make tracking them sufficiently difficult and expensive that their capture is not worth the cost of tracking. To find TPB's servers with this setup would take a serious amount of detective work and the cooperation of multible cloud providers located around the world, all arranged in under eight hours. Other means - social engineering of the operators, flooding with fake torrents, tarpit clients to disrupt the swarm - would be much more cost-effective.

0
0

Alt root user suing ICANN over dot-Web

Suricou Raven

DNS is a bad idea.

Simple problem. The idea of DNS is for names to be human-readable and -learnable. But if they are human-readable and -learnable, they have to be meaningful to humans. Which in turn means that some domain names are going to be more valued than others - to the tune of many millions of dollars. Where money leads, lawyers follow. It also requires the use of a centralised body - ICANN - because if some domains are highly valued by virtue of their meaning than someone has to decide who gets which one.

It's a poor system. But it's the only one we've got, and (As the above concludes) any alternative that uses names meaningful to humans would inevitably end up the same way.

ICANN appears to be doing it's best to live up to the stereotype of the evil, greedy capitalist right now. First by introducing many new TLDs when there was arguably little use for them, and then just selling off new TLDs in quantity when there is no significent benefit to anyone but ICANN's coffers.

Remember that when this fiasco is done, only two things will have been achieved. A new pile of money for ICANN and a few registrars, and people being able to access the Nike website by just typing 'nike' rather than 'nike.com'. Assuming, that is, that their browser doesn't interpret it as a search query and that their network admin has not been using ancient gods as a naming scheme.

In theory it wouldn't be difficult to make a completly new, decentralised DNS replacement based on simple public key crypto - if one were willing to accept the critical difficulty of having the addresses be uuencoded public keys, and thus just meaningless gibberish to humans. That defeats one-half of the function of DNS, and even with the rise of QR codes no sane company director is going to expect that lot to attract any customers.

2
0

Boffins baffled: HUGE EYEBALL washes up on Florida beach

Suricou Raven

Re: R'lyeh

This invites the question, what would it take to one-hit-kill Cuthulu? If a regular thermonuke isn't enough. Antimatter bomb? De-orbit the moon atop him? Supernova at point-blank?

Might be better to fire up the LHC and tell the operators to configure it for 'black hole.' If we're going down, we're taking him with us.

2
0
Suricou Raven

I can tell them.

Cut, remove sample of retina, stain, place under microscope. The construction of the retina in squid is very different from that of vertebrates. Doesn't even need any advanced genetic study - any secondary school science technician has access to the equipment and training. If experts are stumped, clearly no expert has examined it in detail.

I imagine someone more knowledgeable about comparative ocular anatomy could identify a mollusc eye without needing to cut it, just by shining a light in and looking around.

9
0

Lancashire man JAILED over April Jones Facebook posts

Suricou Raven

Nothing like incarceration to turn an annoying but harmless troll into a career criminal. He'll get out unemployed, almost unemployable, and with some new lessons in the profession of burglery from his fellow prisoners.

4
1

DDR4 memory: Twice the speed, less power

Suricou Raven

Re: Sort of...

Making upgrades impossible, then? Well, now we know what future Apple computers will be using.

0
0

Cops cuff Google exec over YouTube Brazilian whack vid

Suricou Raven

Re: Err?

I'm guessing that libel/slander laws are of limited use against political smear campaigns, as they can only provide some level of compensation after the election - and plenty of people would be perfectly willing to hand over a pile of money in fair compensation, if the libel wins them a term in power.

1
0

Windows 8 and you – So, what's next?

Suricou Raven

I rather like C#

Windows really needed a decent scripting language.

1
0

Tech budgets in schools heading north again

Suricou Raven

Re: New plan

Because if you don't spend everything you're given, you won't get as much next year.

0
0

Tesla drops veil on top secret solar Superchargers

Suricou Raven

Re: If the solar panels capture more energy than they need

Opportunity cost. The payback time is very long. You could make a profit just generating solar power, but you could make a lot more profit by just investing the money in something else.

2
0

iPhone 5 Lightning cables sticking in USB ports

Suricou Raven

Re: Usual Apple bashing

You mean... a *MARK!* Something to horrible to corrupt the clean Apple white? Blasphemous!

My mac pro (Which I only got for dual-xeon goodness) doesn't even have an eject button on the outside. I once got a disc stuck in the 'superdrive' and had to open the computer up to extract it.

Incidentially, as I imagine we all knew, the 'superdrive' is actually your plain sata-interfaced DVD-writer. Even has an eject button on, there's just no way to reach it while the computer is assembled.

2
0

Berkeley Lab proposes 4D clock

Suricou Raven

Interesting mathmatics, but not a practical clock.

Heisenburg says no.

0
2

Google acts against prostitution app after complaints from Congress

Suricou Raven

The 'tell-tale signs' of trafficked victims?' What exactly might those be, that they can be spotted just from advertising?

Surely it couldn't be National Association of Attorneys General, an organisation composed entirely of polticians, might be shouting 'trafficking!' at the slightest excuse in order to give its members a political boost? Their full letter provides no more of an explanation.

3
0

iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software

Suricou Raven

Lightning?

The one advantage that the dock connector had over the standard-for-every-other-phone micro-USB was the analog audio and control channels for accessories. And now no analog audio. So they might as well have just gone to micro-USB.

So why didn't they?

Start the conspiracy theories here. Mine is very simple: They like all those iphone-exclusive accessories, even the third-party ones, and would hate to see them turn into accessories that will take any manufacturer's phone.

12
0

Australian tabloid decides to fight trolls ... with trolls

Suricou Raven

It's just like everything else in society then.

It's only a crime when the little people do it.

15
0

UK kids' charity lobbies hard for 'opt-in' web smut access

Suricou Raven

Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

If a kid can figure out how to do that, they can handle the porn.

0
0
Suricou Raven

Re: Im so sick and tired of the word twisting...

When politicians call it 'opt-in' now, I can't even tell if they mean 'opt in to the filtering' or 'opt in to the porn.'

0
0
Suricou Raven

Re: How hard is this really

Followed by The Parents coming round to visit, curiously checking if the connection is pron-enabled and commencing a huge row with the offspring they now regard as a deviant pervert.

0
0
Suricou Raven

Re: Title should've been

The test to see if the censorware works is obvious: You go to sex.com, and see if it works.

0
0
Suricou Raven

Re: accidentally find smut

I've never seen any real evidence that the 'awful, awful stuff' is really damaging. Distressing for a while, yes. It can send the kids running to Mummy and give them nightmares for a while. But lasting psychological trauma? No. I don't think children are that delicate that a few images are going to ruin them, and I shall continue to think so until I get to see some credible (ie, not-from-a-pressure-group) child psychologists show that this happens in more than a tiny minority of cases.

2
0
Suricou Raven

Re: OK if they want to protect children then make it simple.

'I presume you actually mean "all OSs..."'

Politicians. I doubt they know the difference.

0
0

Lawyers: We'll pillory porn pirates who don't pay up

Suricou Raven

Re: Arkell v Pressdram 1971

You want to start a lawyering fight with a law firm? I think they might have a slight advantage there. Even if your arguments are infinitely better, they can still make the case drag on for a decade and cost you several times your lifetime earnings.

1
0

Windows 7 hotspot hacker turns to software bonding

Suricou Raven

You could do it if you used a computer somewhere on the internet as a relay. It's let you pool bandwidth effectively, but at the cost of latency.

0
1

Disney sitcom says open source is insecure

Suricou Raven

Re: Guys, I think you're missing the point...

Disney does know this. They made an episode of The Proud Family dedicated to telling children that if you download music illegally you ruin artists, collapse the economy and will end up with a SWAT team smashing your door down and arresting you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eP_i2ZBqYo <-- Here's the proof, if you can stand to watch the horror that is Disney's idea of children's programming.

5
0
Suricou Raven

Re: the best bollox i ever saw was:

I've seen similar stunts pulled in an anime, Battle Programmer Shirase. Except they knew it was utterly ridiculous, and played all their hacking as comedy.

My personal favorate is from Sliders, because it shows the writers actually admit that they know how silly this is. In the episode, a political scandal is broken by taking an image from a TV broadcast. The hacker character then does the 'enhance' thing by zooming in on a wine glass and attempting to process the hidden reflection into a view of the room behind the camera. So far, so standard. But then another character points out that they 'are limited by the resolution of the image.' Our hacker responds: "Only if it's a bitmap. If it's a JPEG, we're only limited by how lossy the compression is." A few seconds later up pops the behind-camera image, crystal clear. Even the writers felt they need to offer some excuse as to how that would be possible. A poor excuse, but an excuse.

1
0
Suricou Raven

Attributable to incompetance.

Disney is certainly not above using it's childrens' programs for political or social campaigning - there is a somewhat infamous episode of The Proud Family which starts with a character being lured into a pirate music site called 'E Z Jackster' (this was back during the Napster days) by a shady dealer and ends with a SWAT team smashing the house door down to arrest her for copyright infringement.

However, in this case, any attempt at attacking open source was so ineptly done that I can only conclude it was unintentional. Lazy writer with no idea what he was talking about. It's also a mixed message, because aside from the Pixar release the begining of Tron Legacy contains some elements of open-source idealism, with our noble protagonist breaking into a transparent Microsoft substitute to steal the code to their latest OS and release it free onto the internet (With the required action movie breaking-and-entering and absailing off a building involved).

0
0

eBay invites mystic wrath over ban on spells, potions and lotions

Suricou Raven

Re: Can anyone tell me

Where were all those psychics on 9/11? You might think that a major event like that would cause *some* disturbance in the force.

Maybe any who saw it coming were sensible enough not to come forward, knowing they would likely be declared a suspect and be disappeared to an overseas prison camp for some extralegal interrogation.

A sensible psychic would just happily win the lottery and then confine their ability to predicting the questions at the next pub quiz.

2
0

AntiLeaks group claim responsibility for WikiLeaks attacks

Suricou Raven

Re: Who really cares how allegedly secret documents are leaked ...

Anyone knowledgeable enough to launch the attack will know that they cannot hope to keep any leaked information locked away forever. This can only lead to two obvious conclusions.

- Either they are just trying to buy time on some particular leak, slowing the release long enough to perform their damage control and find the source of the leak.

- Or they are, as they claim, politically motivated - they don't want to stop any specific leak, just to harm wikileaks by forcing them to spend as much money as is possible on counter-DDoS measures and hosting.

1
0
Suricou Raven

Re: Depressing

Not the first one by any means. People feel very strongly about political matters, and easily form like-minded groups. It's a common occurance for activists to get together online and go on a campaign to further their rightous (as they see it) cause. Sometimes via DDoS or hacking, sometimes via coordinated trolling, sometimes by social media manipulation (The DiggPatriots, who worked out how to game the Digg algorithm). It's just an extension of offline protesting: Sometimes it involves a peaceful picketing, sometimes a disruption of a business by blockadeing the enterance, and sometimes those logging machines just look like they could use a few cups of sand in the oil tank.

0
0

Deadly pussies kill more often than owners think

Suricou Raven

Makes no difference,

Every cat owner will insist that *their* cat is different, and would never hurt a fly. People get very attached to pets, both individual pets and just pets in more general concept. It's an irrational type of attachment that defies all attempt at argument.

7
9

Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

Suricou Raven

Re: Linux on a stick

Quite possible. Also, Apple is one of the few companies around that likes Lots and Lots of Pixels. Performance is very much of importance when you're trying to draw frames at high resolutions.

2
0
Suricou Raven

Re: M$

Vista destroyed the search functionality, and MS never even admitted it.

11
0
Suricou Raven

Of course they don't like MS right now. Valve has Steam: A successful, popular infrastructure for application marketing, distribution, updating and DRM. Now Microsoft is going to bring in their own marketplace: An infrastructure for application marketing, distribution, updating and DRM. Which will instantly be a huge hit, because it comes bundled with the operating system. That puts Valve in the position once occupied by Netscape, or Winamp: They have a decent product, but Microsoft is about to become their competitor, and no matter how good your product you can't compete with Microsoft and their bundling advantage. For the Steam division, it's a bet-the-company moment: Either try to survive as a niche market beside the incoming Microsoft giant, or try to move into a niche where Microsoft has no interest or advantage. Like linux.

17
0

Microsoft 'didn't notice' it had removed Browser Choice for 17 months

Suricou Raven

Re: Mac's seem to dodge this - antitrust?

Antitrust only applies when a company holds and abuses a dominant market share in specific ways, such as using it to unfairly gain advantage in another market. In this case, Microsoft dominated (still does) the desktop operating system market, and unfairly used that dominance to give themselves a massive advantage in the browser market (Still a market, even if they are all free!) by bundling IE with Windows and thus ensuring it would be installed on almost all PCs. Apple do not hold sufficient market share in the desktop sector to have power to abuse. They can't even make it to 50% on smartphones, where they are the big success story.

2
1
Suricou Raven

The EC finally sorted the brower wars, after microsoft had won.

Now maybe they can do something about Microsoft's attempts to block linux with secure boot, refusal to support any video codecs they don't own patents for, their likewise policy on filesystems to promote their patent-covered and restrictively-licensed ExFAT, the ASF format license that only permits saving in ASF format, and all of the hundred other things they do to make life harder for their competitors. Shouldn't take more than twenty years or so to get through the legal system.

7
3

Olympus MEG4.0 smart glasses will photoshop the REAL WORLD

Suricou Raven

App ideas:

- Facial recognition cue: Now you don't need to remember the names of your coworkers and clients, as they appear in your HUD every time you look at them.

- Nudievision: The illusion that all women are naked.

- Anti-nudievision: The illusion that all ugly women are wearing burqas.

- Family finder: Shows direction indicators to those in your group, for locating lost children in crowds.

- Web browser: For reading The Register at work.

- Adblocker: All billboards and advertising flyers removed from vision.

0
0

Metro, that ribbon, shared mailboxes: Has Microsoft lost the plot?

Suricou Raven

Re: As always,

I think he shouldn't have been fired. But then, I *want* Microsoft to fail. It is not good for one company to define an industry.

20
1

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018