* Posts by Brenda McViking

330 posts • joined 28 May 2012

Page:

Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

Brenda McViking

Re: This is why you want anonymous payments

Yup, I've had this too. Aged 24 I went to have a look at and purchase a (used) 400hp supercharged Jaguar, which I did buy in the end. 55 year old seller just assumed I was a tyre-kicking test-pilot, until I came back with a several grand in cash. Admittedly the bank had a procedure whereby they made me wait quite some time, and asked a lot ofl questions to allow me to withdraw such a sum, but it took less than 30 minutes in branch.

3
0

UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

Brenda McViking

Re: Confirmed endpoint breaks

At least with Whatsapp, if you backup your whatsapp messages to google drive, as is the default setting, then they're stored unencrypted.

Thus, given no-one ever bothers changing the defaults, governments with data sharing pacts with 'Murica are free to view the vast majority of the public's messages by asking Google. I'd guess with iMessage it's the same - simply demand a handover from iCloud. Use secret courts if necessary.

The only messages they can't easily read will be those between tech savvy people who have disabled backups, in which case you've probably reduced the population enough to be able to brute-force the keys with your anti-terrorism funded NSA-o-matic 2017-spec supercomputer. Or any other number of endpoint break-ins, sure.

16
0

Guess who doesn't have to pay $1.3bn in back taxes? Of course it's fscking Google

Brenda McViking

Re: In other news...

Why we would be volunteering for employees, your pension and consumers to pick up this so-called "tab" that the French think they are owed is question I believe too few are asking.

From what I can see, profit taxes like corporation tax are primarily designed to ensure the 1 or 2 man contractor outfits actually pay taxes if they decide to draw no income and have their company pay for their lifestyle (house, car, utilities, food - everything the rest of us pay out of taxed income). They fall down flat when applied to a multinational - the incidence of corporation taxes fall in some split between the employees of that company, shareholders i.e. your pension fund (who give up [taxable] income) and consumers, who are indirectly paying more for their products. A corporation cannot ever have the incidence of tax, because only flesh and blood people pay taxes.

I know it's fashionable to hurr durr blame the evil corporations, but surely anyone can follow the logic that taxing their profits only makes sense if you think that government can spend that money in a way that benefits society more than said corporation. Which we see time and time again, they don't - they just hire diversity talent manglers and give Atos another trillion pound IT contract to spaff everyone's medical records over the internet. I'd choose another Google labs product over an extra 10 government employed telephone sanitisers, or the employment of an additional tax tribunal member, any day of the week.

Happy for someone to explain to me how I have this all wrong.

10
2

Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

Brenda McViking
Trollface

Re: 40 zero-days??

Come now, 40 zero days isn't that excessive - Let's not forget that a 7 year old kid could find that many in an hour in Flash, and they've been fixing that for over 20 years!

9
0

Good luck building a VR PC: Ethereum miners are buying all the GPUs

Brenda McViking

Rejoice

This just means that a few months down the line, the 2nd hand market will be flooded by these things and knock-down prices as the Eretheum miners have all moved on to ponzi-scheme ASIC suppliers after GPUs have had their day and are too slow to compete. It's almost like this happened before with bitcoin...

And the end result is that VR capable hardware is affordable for a (graphics card) generation.

12
1

Britain's warhead-watcher to simulate Trident nukes with Atos supercomputer

Brenda McViking
Trollface

Re: What are ATOS contributing?

Atos? they're there as the government gaurantee that the nuclear weapons are fit to work.

Even if when you view them with the Mk 1 eyeball they have clearly rusted through, primers are missing, a puddle of red fuming nitric acid has burnt through the floor, the oxidiser tanks are showing 2% of fuel remaining and the bit where the warhead is supposed to be has been hacked off with a crowbar...

But Atos will simply declare that it is fit to work and that's the nuclear deterrent sorted. move along.

0
0

Brit prosecutors ask IT suppliers to fight over £3 USB cable tender

Brenda McViking

Re: Tender

"Not what you needed?", thats a cancellation fee then. Plus a change management fee right there, plus handling fees, restocking fees, admin fees, redistribution fees and naturally because this is a government project, green fees.

10
0
Brenda McViking

How hard is it, if you're a small supplier, to script an auto-generated response to such requests with a standard 99GBP cost for said item?

That way if you win, quids in! (and I think you'd be surprised - even in the private sector with a lumbering no-room-to-manoevure purchasing system which seems to require a 6 month audit just to get a new supplier of coffee coasters on board - I've certainly bought such mundane and cheap things like a 10m of hookup wire for 35 quid a reel just because they were the only supplier to quote and provide next day delivery.

Due to insurance purposes for offsite working, it was mandatory for me to hire a car for a day from Avis if I wanted to drive to Maplins - I had to provide that option to purchasing as well to get the go ahead - that option was 7 quid more expensive. Took me 45 minutes to be compliant with the process - which charged out at engineering rates of 90GBP/hr. Pork barrels and troughs? they're everywhere.)

8
0

America throws down gauntlet: Accept extra security checks or don't carry laptops on flights

Brenda McViking

Re: "having a load of Lithium batteries in the hold sounds like a bad idea to me."

The hold is pressurised - if you think about an aircraft cross section (image), the pressure bulkhead is the fuselage itself. It may get a little colder down there as it isn't actively heated, but it's not -50C like outside the fuselage at 35,000ft either. Where people "stow away" and freeze, they tend to be in wheel wells outside the pressure bulkhead.

1
0
Brenda McViking
Flame

Re: Last I read...

It's not the bomb threat that is the most dangerous thing about this. Putting more lithium batteries into the hold is asking for trouble. As with all risks, it's simply a matter of time until one catches fire, cannot be controlled and brings a plane down.

I trust that these anti-terrorist rulemaking idiots who apparently are trying to make us "more safe" are going to be tried for pre-meditated murder and gross professional negligence when this inevitably happens.

The aviation safety authorities are warning that electronic devices containing lithium batteries are classed as dangerous goods and should be carried in the cabin. to quote EASA "We must take all precautions to make sure that mitigating one risk does not lead to another risk." That's about as strongly worded as EASA ever get and should be treated extremely seriously. Politics and aviation safety should not ever mix. EVER

44
0

Blunder down under: self-driving Aussie cars still being thwarted by kangaroos

Brenda McViking
Holmes

I've had it on good authority that some development is going on in India and that women in saris are a real problem for existing tech. I think there will be plenty of unintended consequences when it comes to recognition - something that evolution has had millenia to perfect.

9
0

'No decision' on Raytheon GPS landing system aboard Brit aircraft carriers

Brenda McViking
Thumb Up

The UK already made the mistake of buying American with the pathetic excuse for a plane known as the F35, not to mention having a bunch of useless Chinooks directly due to American manufacturers marketing a solution they were incapable of delivering. Not that MoD procurement are competent either but it's fashionable nowadays not to blame the victim...

So pipe down Raytheon, if you want to go and moan, do so to Lockheed Martin and Boeing as they've already taken all of the available budget. The UK taxpayer has spent quite enough on useless American military tech for one Millenium.

16
6

TalkTalk customers complain of being unable to load Amazon website

Brenda McViking

Re: normally

AA ISP

The only UK ISP to be xkcd/806 compliant

7
0

US is Number One! In sales register hacking attacks, at least

Brenda McViking

Re: Bzzt... wrong

I remember flummoxing a store assistant in macy's in NYC when I used my UK card in the terminal and just keyed in my PIN which authorised immediately. She still tried to make me sign the box that quite clearly said "no signature required" on the receipt.

1
0

No, really. You can see through walls using drones and Wi-Fi

Brenda McViking

Wifi isn't a particularly good radar frequency for imaging houses. 2-3GHz is used in aicraft surveillance typically, 5GHz for weather mapping. Better for range (at markedly higher power than typical domestic wifi equipment, obviously), less good for resolution. You want much higher frequencies in the 20GHz+ ranges really for decent resolution at ranges like that. Your car parking radar sensors are circa 75GHz to give you an accurate idea of how close you are to that car behind you.

More on this sort of stuff at radartutorial.eu

2
0

Uber wants your top tips to mend its rotten image

Brenda McViking
Meh

Add tipping - yes, absolutely, and keep your filthy paws off any money there.

Don't you dare reduce the time riders have to cancel drivers - half the time in India it takes a few minutes just to see if the driver is trying to take the piss (e.g. not move until I have called him, or if they're incompetant - if they don't follow the satnav, then a wrong turn could very well mean I'm waiting 20 minutes for the driver to rectify the situation, due to the horrendously badly engineered road layouts here. I've also had drivers demand to know where I'm going to cancel seconds later because it's not where they want to go. Uber charges the rider by default for this behaviour which is also wrong.)

I object to being fined for something that is the driver's fault. Uber also need to recognise that they aren't a monopoly, and that the consumer (the riders) are still king in this situation. You make it anything less than super-easy to use with predictable results, and I'll go elsewhere. At the moment, they really are the best of the bunch in India, but that can change overnight. Drivers will moan, but they're getting paid, and with Uber, they can quit any time they like if it's really getting that bad. If Uber need to patch it up with the drivers, then do so, but leave me, the paying customer, out of it.

5
0

It's 2017, and UPnP is helping black-hats run banking malware

Brenda McViking

Re: Who uses UPnP?

As recently as last year, Running 2x Xbox Ones with 2 players on a home wireless required UPnP to allow them to work properly with group chat running alongside mutliplayer online gaming. It also required that it was implemented properly on the router, most of the cheap ISP provided ones wouldn't work due to poor UPnP implementations, and my housemate switched ISP twice to get it working properly.

But I'd be the first to admit that sort of setup isn't applicable to 99% of users, but you wanted an example...

3
0

Amazon.com just became a 90,000-seat Azure case study

Brenda McViking

Re: Gut feeling?

I can just imagine Jeff Bezos at home doing his weekly grocery shop via his amazon echo: "Alexa, buy whole foods, confirm purchase."

Oooops!

14
1

British Airways poised to shed 1,000 jobs to Capita

Brenda McViking

I heard a recent presentation saying their costs are 500% of the likes of Ryanair and other low cost carriers(LCCs). I can believe it - they're an old (but still respected) company with too much legacy baggage and in need of an overhaul and a diet to become competitive again.

Absolutely the wrong way about it is to (as a first step) make the experience like Ryanair in order to reduce their costs - indeed, the passenger experience should be the absolute last to be cut if they're going to survive - their customer base is different to those that opt for LCCs and their current CEO Alex Cruz doesn't seem to understand that at all. If they want to be the Apple of the skies charging the premium that people will pay, they know what to do.

Reputation takes a lifetime to build and a day to destroy - and no doubt BA have enough overpaid "brand" managers to tell them that. Pity they're taking no heed of it right now.

3
0

I still haven't found what I'm malloc()ing for: U2 tops poll of music today's devs code to

Brenda McViking
Pint

We've had talk of grey-noise trials in our office - there are actually more noise complaints in the allocated desk space than the so-called "agile" area where they just removed 30% of the desks, put a lot of ad-hoc meeting spaces and invited an office-scrum for a desk. All it actually did was get people in earlier in the morning so they could take "their" spot, but I digress...

Back to my point - because the allocated desk area does tend to be quieter, just one rogue PM will disturb a lot of people because it's too easy to tune-in (and I've seen people there working with ear defenders on, my preference is the Bose QC series as their noise cancelling actually works). In the agile area though, there is a lot more background noise but you can't pick out individual conversations: people there are reporting that it's actually easier to concentrate.

Indeed, at university I liked to revise in the student pub (stop scoffing at the back), because it was easier to concentrate with a constant level of background noise, than in the library with a bunch of sociology students quietly discussing "the societal disadvantages of capitalism." Plus once I'd finished, having the bar 10ft away was never a disadvantage...

14
0

Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

Brenda McViking
Childcatcher

Captain Bodge-tastic speaking

I wouldn't overestimate the abilities of your average raspberry pi user - it's become very easy to follow a simple set of instructions in an online forum and without understanding a lot about what you're doing, and in doing so open the thing wide open to abuse. An awful lot of them are connected to the net.

I had to double check that my one of mine, which is online and will accept SSH connections, is not visible from the public IP it's on. I've changed the default password as I do for all devices, but aside from a weekly cron job to perform an automatic update, it is sat there, as a VPN server. I think that I've firewalled everything off with iptables (apart from the VPN port used), but I set this up 3 years ago and I really cannot remember. I'm currently 7000km away from it without a computer so it's difficult to check right now... (posting from a mobile)

I imagine there are a lot of such devices out there connected to the net, as some ameteur project set up by an enthusiastic hobbyist. In my experience it was hard enough getting it working as intended, let alone hardening it against attackers beyond the basics of changing a password (which I think is enough to defeat this malware if I RTFA properly)...

10
1

Pop-up Android adware uses social engineering to resist deletion

Brenda McViking
Headmaster

Re: No other options but to press "OK"

Lots of the present continuous being used with a lack of pronouns and a style that I find quite familiar. My guess (living here right now and reading English like this all the time) is that it is Indian in origin.

1
0

Hotel guest goes broke after booking software gremlin makes her pay for strangers' rooms

Brenda McViking

Re: never use a debit card for credit ?

For the UK at least, here is the breakdown of payments in 2016: Card association report (pdf)

An average cardholder made 10 debit card transactions and 5 credit card transactions per month. Just 60% of the adult population in the UK had a credit card. Debit card spending was 486bn GBP, compared to Credit card spending of 174bn GBP.

So all in all, it's less surprising that a debit card was used, as it remains by far the most popular card payment mechanism.

7
0

UK PM Theresa May's response to terror attacks 'shortsighted'

Brenda McViking
Meh

Re: FFS!

I'm undecided also.

It's only ever going to be between blue and red where I live. Whilst I fundamentally disagree with the tech, surveillance and terrorism inspired policies of May, I also fundamentally disagree with the economics policies of Corbyn. I also see a lot of people telling me to "look at the policies" when indeed looking at policies of both Labour and Conservative in previous elections has led to said policies not ever being implemented because we all know that politicians will say anything to get elected, then backtrack when it involves doing actual work and decision making.

Think I might spoil my ballot this time. Neither option is palatable to me in the slightest.

0
0

Class clowns literally classless: Harvard axes meme-flinging morons

Brenda McViking

Re: It's called "drawing the line"

What, because sharing a bad taste image on facebook is in any way equatable to death by drink-driving?

Privilege might the reason some undergrads will be accepted. The others are probably rather clever, and many will be present on some part of the autistic spectrum as well - and there is a higher chance such people may well see nothing wrong with and actively seek out "darker" humour.

However, there is an enormous difference between finding a bad-taste image funny and acting in a way which actually causes others harm. Undergrads are still very young adults and they will still be testing boundaries to find levels of societal acceptability. Extricating them from their academic lives before they've even started the course is extreme, particularly given that this is purely about sharing images (on a private group no less), something virtually every teen does on a daily basis.

In my opinion this is a collosal overreaction based on theoretical offensiveness. Deserving of a reprimand? absolutely, but not more. This is from the same chain of thought that videogames cause killing sprees and books are corrupting the morals of the edwardian youth.

10
3

Every time Apple said 'machine learning', we had a drink andsgd oh*][

Brenda McViking
WTF?

iDonbilivit

El Reg actually got an invite to an Apple event? Pull the other one!

Ow, no, not that one, it's cybernetic and it's supposed to be learning...

5
0

IBM: ALL travel must be approved now, and shut up about the copter

Brenda McViking

I'm thinking that despite the historic mantra, and given all of the things we've seen, buying IBM now carries a very significant risk of getting you fired.

Particularly when the brown stuff hits the fan and your customer support doesn't show because they're still waiting for personal travel approval from Tesco Coagulante, or whatever the name of that big cheese was...

81
0

Edinburgh Uni email snafu tells students they won't be graduating

Brenda McViking

Re: three or four years of sex, booze and drugs...

Very noble of you for paying off 30k of your grandsons debt.

Also rather foolish - it could well be you don't understand the system properly. If you did, you likely wouldn't have done so - the student "loan" is not a conventional loan by a long shot. The government backing of such loans expects full well that the MAJORITY will not be repaid in full. It's actually a temporary graduate tax on successful graduates, but to actually pay off the balance in the time alloted, you have to be a very high earner indeed. Most professional engineers like myself for example will not pay off the balance before it is wiped, because we don't and wont ever earn enough. Lawyers, doctors, bankers - perhaps. But marginal, and it assumes they never have a career break.

Far more details on why paying off a post 1998 student loan is usually a bad idea at moneysavingexpert

0
2

Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

Brenda McViking

Re: Has there been anything beyond some marketing graphics yet?

You mean aside from the fact that the article states that SMRs have been operational on the UKs nuclear deterrent submarine fleet for the past 60 years?

How proven a technology do you want?

8
0

PayPal peed off about Pandora's 'P' being mistaken for its 'PP'

Brenda McViking
FAIL

I despair for the human race...

I went to pay for my pet rock on ebay and I accidently ended up listening to Kanye West because I was confused, and the music was so dreadful that I was forced to sue.

I mean seriously, can we not just invite these plaintiffs and all the lawyers to court (actually a 400ft deep molten-tar pit with the word "court" above it - trust me, it'll fool them) so that they can perform their legal flatulence without actually dragging down the general intelligence of the world's population any further? BTW, I'd also have no qualms if Kanye also joined them...

30
0

Huawei Honor 8 Pro: Makes iPhone 7 Plus look a bit crap

Brenda McViking
Thumb Up

Appreciate the inclusion of more specs and links from the author. I didn't need to waste another 85 seconds of my life googling for whether it had things like a micro-SD card slot like I did with the HTC U11 article. Thanks AO.

15
0

Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Brenda McViking

Re: Hipsters

I still have mine from that era.

Actually I re-encoded a load to 84kbps so that I could fit a few more songs onto my 128MB MP3 player back in the day that cost me over 100 quid - that was 10 weeks worth of paper-rounds at age 14.

Besides, Avril Lavigne sounds just as terrible at 84kpbs as at 320kpbs so I don't kid myself that I was missing out... Indeed, some songs I hear again on the radio still jar me as they don't have the specific audiable artefacts as the bad pirated napster downloads that I listened to a hundred times as a teenager.

24
0

Police anti-ransomware warning is hotlinked to 'ransomware.pdf'

Brenda McViking
Go

Re: We chose not to open the PDF file

Kerning (and yes I saw what you did there) - there's an obligatory xkcd for that!

0
0

Robot lands a 737 by hand, on a dare from DARPA

Brenda McViking
Terminator

I'm sure we'll see it as a retrofit option. The road to autonomy as we know it involves robotic assistance for the meatbag first, followed by lots of supervised machine learning, and then a gradual phase out of meatbags who are sat there with a hand on the big red override switch. We'll see it with land vehicles first, then marine, then aviation.

Airlines know full well that they have to pay two very expensive pilots salaries when their effective professional utilisation is probably around the 3-5% mark. Most of the time they are staring at instruments of an aircraft that requires no intervention. Even if there is a mandate for human intervention, this could be done in the same way that military drone operations are done now - high reliability datalinks with a professional pilot at the other end, potentially controlling multiple aircraft if the required utilisation rate of the pilot is low. I'm not saying your passenger planes are going to be affected for decades yet, but semi-autonomous cargo? Probably could be done by 2025.

2
2

HTC's 2017 flagship U11 woos audiophiles and bundles Alexa

Brenda McViking
Meh

Re: another 85 seconds of my life googling

Nope, not really worth a thousand words, hence why I asked for it to be spelled out, for me the pictures just raised more questions than they answered for me.

For example - my first thought was that it's possible that HTC sell a separate USB-C to 3.5mm adaptor with built in DAC. like the LG G5 for example - that had a dedicated 3.5mm jack already, and you could purchase (for over a hundred quid) the additional DAC-and-3.5mm-jack as an add-on. Is the U11 like this, do you need to pay-to-play or is it included in the box? One cannot tell from the picture alone. It also seems odd that plugging in an adaptor would produce such a noticable (and presumably passive) power drain that the user needs to be informed that they should remove it when not in use. Why would this be? Can HTC not control power over peripherals, or is the battery life that dire that they need to make excuses?

My LG V20 supports USB-C audio, but also comes with a dedicated 3.5mm socket. It's also marketed at audiophiles with a quad-DAC onboard, no adaptors needed. It also doesn't power the DACs when no sound equipment is connected.

I also can't see an obvious microSD card slot anywhere on the images, and naturally if you're an audiophile you're going to need a few hundred GB for your .flac collection. If Samsung removed it then bought it back, a second tier manufacturer like HTC might just think removal is a sensible idea. Article not clear.

As a constructive suggestion - virtually every other site doing a phone review lists a big old list of specifications at the end. Heck, you can put it on a second page and serve up double the adverts to your readers too (for the 2% of reg readers that can't use adblockers). Time for El Reg to follow suit, in my humble opinion, for those of us who prefer the detail.

2
0
Brenda McViking
Holmes

Orlowski - fancy mentioning whether there is any micro sd card slot? I assume the battery is non-removable? Spelling out whether the usb-c earphones means they've done an apple and removed the headphone jack, on a phone supposedly marketed at audiophiles?

I had to spend another 85 seconds of my life googling it for myself.

(answers - can thankfully take uSD, non-removable batt, no 3.5mm headphone jack - i assume it instead comes with an easy-to-lose usb-c to 3.5mm adaptor... EDIT: oh yeah, i see that was mentioned in a picture caption in the article.)

5
1

What could go wrong? Delta to use facial recog to automate bag drop-off

Brenda McViking
Holmes

Re: RFID

They effectively do. It's just said chip is in your passport, not subdermal.

Having used facial recognition a lot at UK airports, I can confirm it is woeful in terms of reliability.

Heck, I had a photo taken a mere 3 days prior to using one (brand new passport, fast-tracked) and it still wasn't capable of recognising me 2 times in 3. (I know what I'm doing, I'm not a clueless first timer who can't understand that they need to keep still for more than 3 seconds to let the system process what it is seeing)

I'm not really sure why there is a specific need to verify a passenger against their passport though for a baggage check. The authentication of the passport should be enough - as the passenger will be verified against the passport prior to boarding, and if they aren't, the bag doesn't fly anyway. So why even bother wasting time with an 18% unreliable system when you can do away with it completely? Match passport (or PNR, or e-ticket number) to bag and be done with it. (Like we do all over Europe.)

Oh yeah, but of course I'm forgetting that if that were the case, the NSA wouldn't get an update of your particulars and several new photographic angles of you every time you fly...

4
0

MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

Brenda McViking
Megaphone

Re: As one would expect..

Obligatory xkcd

3
0

Android O-mg. Google won't kill screen hijack nasties on Android 6, 7 until the summer

Brenda McViking
Trollface

Re: Most users...

Having an android is just like owning a swiss army knife. If you're dumb, you'll end up slicing your fingers off. If you're a normal user, there are a tonne of features that you'll never use, and if you're a power user, then it's the only option.

iOS on the otherhand is like owning a safety cutter. It's brightly coloured, can be safely operated by a child, is unlikely to hurt you but is fairly useless for anything other than what the designers envisioned it to be used for.

And then there is Windows phone which is just the brain-damaged love-child of the above.

1
0

RBS is to lay off 92 UK techies and outsource jobs to India – reports

Brenda McViking

Re: Indian skills? What skills?

I'm in India managing a team that has been offshored here from Europe.

Staff churn is indeed an issue - I regularly see someone being offered 50 pounds/euros/dollars more PER YEAR to work for a competitor and they'll take it. Our own HR are stupid too though, we'll offer an engineer with 5 years of relevant experience, (and speaking 2 european languages) 15 grand equivalent a year (European counterpart getting 50k), having spent a load on a 3 month secondment to Europe, and then come pay review (when finally they're in a position to actually contribute useful work), they'll try to fob off the Indian with a 5% raise, even when wage inflation here is 10%+, as the "HR global maximum raise is 5%." We also "don't entertain requests for pay-rises outside annual pay-review." So we can't counter a 50 quid job offer with a 100 quid retention payment (which whilst would be taken as a huge insult in Europe, would be well recieved here).

I can't blame them, really. Simple, avoidable PHB management failure of cutting off your nose because corporate policy tells you to - one that RBS will undoubtably make too, given their track record.

2
0

Today's bonkers bug report: Microsoft Edge can't print numbers

Brenda McViking
Thumb Up

Re: PDF in a Browser?

Yeah, foxit got booted by me after it started the slippery slope of including ads and installing other crap.

I now use Sumatra PDF as my ultra-lightweight reader.

0
0

Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

Brenda McViking

Mathematically, encryption can be unbreakable, but in the same way that physics has theoretically ideal constructs.

In the real world though, you use engineering to break encryption - and indeed all the high profile encryption flaws uncovered have not been discovered as mathematical flaws but generally, breaking in by using flaws in which the encryption is implemented. It was true for enigma, it was true for heartbleed, and it's true today.

After all, it's theoretically possible to have a perfect key and a perfect lock. Add in humans and they can be lost, stolen, cloned, misdirected and intercepted during transit, replicas of similar looking locks and keys made to fool users, or rubber-hoses used to acquire said items. These are not mathematical attacks but engineering ones. The public want engineering attacks outlawed, and gummints want to be able to do them, so the easiest way is for gummint to try to outlaw mathematics, "prove" that encryption promotes terrorism and peadophilia and "compromise" on allowing engineering attacks for themselves only when the public have an outcry about it.

4
0

UK.gov job ads entice IT bods with promise they will be OUTSIDE IR35

Brenda McViking
Holmes

Re: low pay

Doing a quick calculation, an employer offering 600 quid a day to a contractor is around the equivalent cost of hiring a permie on about 60k a year.

i.e. Permie would see about 29 quid an hour, the rest going on employers NICs (additional 9k), sick pay (2k), holiday pay (7k), training (4k) pension & bonuses (12k), licencing & support (12k), and overheads (4k). Total of 110k per annum cost of hiring, 183 productive working days a year = 600 quid a day.

So a peasants wage it isn't, I think a fair few of us would get out of bed for 60 grand a year.

As for a car wash - my local has 6 hardworking eastern Europeans charging 6 quid a car, managing about 16 cars an hour, before their costs of rent and consumables. Theoretically, if they could squeeze 37.5 hours into a day then they could make the same 600 quid a day as that contract is offering, but that probably requires them to be washing cars on a train approaching the speed of light in a relativistic frame to their paying customers.

3
0

Former RCL director: It was me who cancelled their domain names

Brenda McViking
Trollface

Re: Coming Soon in 2019

I hear it's relatively easy to crowdfund half a million for an idea like that

5
0

Gang-briefed by IBM bosses in Hawaii? Nah, I'll take redundancy

Brenda McViking

Statutory minimum redundancy payouts

...and they still have the cash to fly 1000 people for a jolly to Hawaii? I thought these sort of corporate shenanigans had all gone the way of the dodo post 2001, with the last of the breed dying in 2008.

Geesh, in my current company if this happened HR would be there on arrival informing us that we'd lost our jobs because we are clearly all irresponsible with company funds... with a US style redunancy package (jurisdiction fnarr fnarr) of zero notice, zero fucks given and on your own for the return flight as the cancellation cheque had already been cashed.

If I hadn't written off IBM as a potential employer after the redundancy outrage, then this would have been the final nail in the coffin. Who could possibly consider an employment offer from them with such a schizophrenic approach to their staff?

13
1

Another AI assistant... It's getting crowded in here, isn't it, Siri?

Brenda McViking

Re: I'm still lost.

I have an amazon echo dot. Yes, it listens all the time, but it's sat in my media room and it works brilliantly, and I use it every day, from dimming the lights by voice, looking up snippets of quick info "Alexa, what's the freezing point of mercury" was the last one, through to "play me some chillout music." some of the features - like the BBC flash briefing - are great, and I wouldn't have even considered them before owning it.

I use it far more than my smartphone voice assistants as it's at home and doesn't suffer the same social awkwardness that speaking to your mobile in public does. For me, it's no more awkward than a star-trek style "computer; lights" would be.

Though i'm still waiting for one of my friends to come over and do a https://xkcd.com/1807/

2
1

How would you pronounce 'Cyxtera'?

Brenda McViking
Headmaster

I'd have said Sex-tra.

That logo reminds me of the sort of 90s wordart I put on my junior school IT homework.

1
0

Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

Brenda McViking
Holmes

Re: The Government didn't do any risk assessment

I recieved the answer to that FOI request (by fax). I can reveal that the standard government risk assessment for aviation security is as follows:

Iz risk uf terrirism? Yes = over 9000

-----EOF-----

0
0

D'oh! Amber Rudd meant 'understand hashing', not 'hashtags'

Brenda McViking
Joke

PPE!

You mentioned PPE. Had a good laugh at the twitter feed of Politics Philosophy and Economics graduates wearing Personal Protective Equipment

https://twitter.com/ppeinppe?lang=en

2
0

BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'

Brenda McViking

Re: Being on a placement myself...

If they're in for work experience (and still in school), there is every chance this will be the first time they're introduced to these bitter tasting adult drinks called tea and coffee. You'll be lucky if they've ever made one before.

Then again, when you're still a PFY straight out of university at 22, it's not always clear if "making the tea" is just a office prankster on a power trip trying to show the new PFY who is boss by taking the piss, or whether it's actually an important contribution to the team's daily ritual and it's your turn.

The way I dealt with it was to deliberately make the absolute worst cup of tea/coffee I could manage the very first time around (either use a heaped tablespoon of coffee per cup or break open the teabag so that it had bits swirling around in it and let it brew for a whole 2 seconds). This drink of course would be rejected within half a second of the first sip. The "power trip" types call you useless (but will never ask you again), whereas the "team contribution" types roll their eyes and show you how to do it properly, then they all have some minor ammunition to tease you with going forward which breaks the ice.

1
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017