* Posts by Brian Miller

969 posts • joined 3 Jul 2007

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Death to strap-ons, says Intel, yet thrusts its little AI stick into us all

Brian Miller
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AI compute stick?

who uses compute sticks for anything serious, or at all? "Here, I need an AI boost for that, I'll just plugin the Intel stick for that."

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So, FCC, how about that massive DDoS? Hello? Hello...? You still there?

Brian Miller
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Public comments are trade secrets?

Wow, first time I read that one. Who knew? El Reg needs to be classified ASAP!

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Second one this month: Another code bootcamp decamps to graveyard

Brian Miller
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Too many schools, etc

Same old thing, too many schools and not enough suckers, er, students. Impress employers with code, not paper degrees. There was some study recently claiming to link pay to Github contributions.

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An AI can replace what a world leader said in his video-taped speech. This will end well. Not

Brian Miller
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Joke

Fabulous!

This is exactly what the U.S. needs right now. And if it can rewrite late-night tweets, all the better.

I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords. We need them.

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Mac ransomware author is giving away malicious code to script kiddies

Brian Miller
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Childcatcher

Help for Script Kiddies

Aw, come on, someone's finally thinking of the children! Just because they're a bunch of malevolent miscreants doesn't mean that someone shouldn't throw them a bone.

Really, though, there's been malware kits available for some time. The next bot army should have something like Docker, so that the herder can rent time for nefarious calculations.

Come to think of it, when the robot revolution happens, how many will be infested with malware?

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Farewell, slumping 40Gbps Ethernet, we hardly knew ye

Brian Miller
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Moore's Law on Acid

At this rate, we'll be seeing 1Tbs switches soon enough. Only $20,000 for 36 ports. Gaming latency, we hardly knew ye.

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Raspberry Pi sours thanks to mining malware

Brian Miller
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I just hooked it to the DMZ, and it's fine...

How many people do this? Really? Buy something, and then just throw it open to world+dog, and think it's all just fine and dandy.

When logging into the Raspberry Pi, it nags you to change the password!! Really, every single time you log in, there's a message nagging about changing user pi's password to something other than raspberry.

If somebody's too lazy to change the password, keeps it on, exposed to world+dog, then they should pay a stupid tax for their actions.

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Microsoft Azure adds OpenBSD support. Repeat. Azure adds OpenBSD support.

Brian Miller
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But, why?

Who is the customer for this? Who would be wanting to use OpenBSD, but within the Azure cloud?

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I fought Ohm's Law and the law won: Drone crash takes out power to Silicon Valley homes

Brian Miller
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Who needs terrorism?

Usually it's just the birds and squirrels that do this. But now we have to watch out for generic white people too.

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Bogus Bitcoiners battered with US$12 million penalty

Brian Miller
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But they'd still be in jail...

No Bitcoins were mined, and thus it all falls down. Sure, looking back with what Bitcoin has leapt to, they should have just held it, but hindsight doesn't count.

Cryptocurrencies and cryptomining doesn't go well together. Something needs to be transparent and verifiable. The only "mining" you can trust is what you do yourself, and it's all massive custom ASICs from here on out.

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

Brian Miller
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"Machine learning" not new

Obligatory XKCD

Why in the world are so many jumping on the "machine learning" buzz wagon? It's called "collecting and processing data." The only difference is that now we have YUGE piles of data, and if we apply a neural network, then we have no idea how the machine came up with the answer in the first place.

Progress!

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Boffins get routers spilling secrets through their LEDs

Brian Miller
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Signalling by light? Really?

Let's see, if you have control of the "router," and it's running Linux, and you can upload new firmware or just drop a new binary on the drive, then of course you can do all sorts of things!!

In other news, water is still wet.

They could also just send the data by audio side channel by loading a text-to-speech module, and announcing all the important bits on the PA system. (Ah, hacking the PA system, that brings back memories. They never did find out who did that...)

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Cuffed: Govt contractor 'used work PC to leak' evidence of Russia's US election hacking

Brian Miller
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Re: Dear "The Intercept"

I would have thought The Intercept would have retyped the document, or scanned it in, run OCR, and then sent that back to the spooks.

But just flopping it on a scanner, and sending that back? Well, of course then the microdots survived the process. After all, they look just like "random" flecks of toner.

And to think that Ms. Winner just mailed it off to them, also without taking any steps to anonymize the document. She could have at least run it through dodgy fax machines a few times.

Ah, well, at least it wasn't info that was really hidden, it just confirms what everybody was suspecting all along. The voting machine companies have dodgy products, the employees can be easily spear-fished, the politicians can also be spear-fished, and Microsoft always has bugs/holes as features.

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Who's going to dig you out of a security hole when the time comes?

Brian Miller
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Sleeping guard dogs

You’ll also not have missed that the attackers’ capabilities are far ahead of those of us trying to defend our systems against them.

You know what I've found in a number of installations? The "guard dogs" are fast asleep, and their own computers are filled with so much malware it just isn't funny. They've been spending their days not in diligent work, but hanging around and surfing the web, wherever it may lead. Like porn.

One manufacturer of large earth moving equipment had a network so full of crap, and an IT staff so lame, that they would not allow us to send a computer to them unless it was already running a firewall and virus scanner. Anything that was unprotected in the least would be p0wned within seconds of being plugged into the network.

There's an article about the insecure Hadoop servers making 5PB of data available for all comers. WTF?? Why does noone secure their databases? Are passwords so difficult? Are good firewall rules so confusing?

The attackers are not ahead of us. Flat out, they aren't. Too many installations aren't even practicing any security. There is no training of the staff about what they should do about attachments, and verifying possible phishing information in emails. To many idiots are completely irresponsible about their actions, and they pretend to be the hapless victim. Sorry, no. If there were licenses mandated to operate computers, 90% of the punters out there wouldn't receive one.

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Sons of IoT: Bikers hack Jeeps in auto theft spree

Brian Miller
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Re: Are Jeeps that expensive?

Yes, they are that expensive. The used parts trade is huge, which is why a lot of automobiles are parted out after being stolen. A Jeep can be disassembled quite easily. Plus the parts may be sold as "new" if it's from the current model. And many of these pavement-only Jeeps are in, in fact, like new condition.

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Intel gives the world a Core i9 desktop CPU to play with

Brian Miller
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Re: At 140 Watts...

Yeah, but then every half hour you'd have to shut the computer down to put on another kettle.

Oh, wait, ... Windows ... right ...

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Internet of snitches: anyone who can sniff 'Thing' traffic knows what you're doing

Brian Miller
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Watch the windows

If someone is casing a house, they'll just watch the windows! No burglar is going to be sniffing IP traffic to see when someone is up and awake. Why go to all the trouble, even if they had the knowledge?

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ARM talks up fresh CPUs and a GPU, all tuned for AI

Brian Miller
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Re: My dad said "Ronco" used to supply dodgy products through late nigth infomercials

Rob Popeil founded Ronco, and both are still bringing you "amazing" kitchen appliances!

(I've never bought anything from either of them, so I have no idea what the actual quality is like. But I'd be worried if Mr. Popeil decided to start manufacturing tiny computer systems.)

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Brian Miller
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Terminator

AI on Raspberry/Banana/ODroid

So will this be a Terminator Pi?

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US laptops-on-planes ban may extend to flights from ALL nations

Brian Miller
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Laptop bomb, Lockerbie

Nobody "in charge" seems to remember the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, coming down on Lockerbie. If a laptop can contain enough explosives to blow up the plane, putting it in the hold won't do a thing to make the aircraft safe. I'm sure that any laptop extended battery case can hold more explosive than the cassette player used to bring down flight 103.

As for using a laptop while traveling, might as well use a tablet, a bluetooth keyboard, and something like VMware Horizons for iOS, or RDP for iOS.

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Bitcoin exchange Coinbase crashes after Asian buying frenzy

Brian Miller
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Re: "Legal tender"?

Cryptocurrencies are fiat currencies, ...

All currencies are actually fiat currencies. All value is assigned according to perception. Mercury is rarer than gold, but has a lower monetary value. The price of diamonds is artificially inflated due to a global monopoly by De Beers.

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What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course

Brian Miller
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Re: Fuzz?

I thought fuzzing started with Edsger Dijkstra and Goto Considered Harmful. Line noise resulted in the connection crashing, etc.

It really depends on what you are trying to do with fuzzing that will get results. Trying to do fuzzing on slow embedded systems, and it becomes an exercise in patience. Google AFL gets results because it's running over 40,000 iterations per second. A device I'm testing at work goes through two to three iterations per second. Sure, that adds up over time, but I have to temper my manager's expectations for the platform.

If a DLL can be isolated, then it's a great way to get results.

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Chinese e-tailer beats Amazon to the skies with one-ton delivery drones

Brian Miller
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Amazon goes to China!

Is there some reason that Amazon can't develop its drones in China, as well? Or some country other than the U.S.? Just because stupid bureaucracy is stopping progress in this country doesn't mean that a huge tech company can't move development someplace else. What are the air regulations like south of the border? Or how about various EU countries?

Really, though, all one would have to do is beef up an open source drone, and then go for it. It's gonna be all right, with these wandering all over carrying a 2,000lb load, right?

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

Brian Miller
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Tingleize it!

This is so ready-made for Tingleization! Since the Tingler is kind of offline, I'll have to take a crack at the headline: "PayPal peevishly peed at Pandora's purple P"

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Hi! I’m Foxy! It looks like you want to run Flash. Do you need help?

Brian Miller
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NoScript: already solved

I installed NoScript years back to stop JavaScript and Flash. Really, once the browser can't run content, the web becomes a (sort of) safer place. (I wish there was a NoScript for Chrome, too.)

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Amazing new boffinry breakthrough: Robots are eating our brains

Brian Miller
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Terminator

Ned Ludd is dead

The neo-Luddites are the bot masters, and they aren't making a dent in the advance of the solid state society.

Yes, it would be nice for companies to wake up a bit to the fact that society is stable only as long as the underclass (99% of us) are fed and employed. We don't riot, we don't set fire to their houses and pull them out for a lynching. (The Rodney King - Los Angeles riots were 25 years ago, and nobody was starving. I'm guessing you'd need to be at least 30 years old to maybe have a direct memory of them.)

What would a robot tax accomplish? Would it actually result in more human employment? Usually taxes are regarded as necessary overhead, and if the taxes are too onerous, then companies move their production elsewhere. Once a factory of robots is set up in a country where the parent company won't be bothered, don't expect them to come back and hire workers in first world nations.

Imagine that a neo-Luddite writes software to brick the robots. So there's some down time, the robots and network gets hardened, and everything goes back to being productive. That means there's no effect in the long term.

It has been proven that software can write software. Just give it a business case, and libraries are cobbled together in short order. The field will widen, until one day most software will be written by other software. It will be tested by software. It will be marketed by software.

Back in the 1930s there was the Work Projects Administration, along with the Federal Project Number One for skilled people. Would something similar be a solution for this? I have no idea, but I do know it would take more money that the government has.

But to keep my brains from rotting, I'm contributing to open source projects, and doing my best to keep myself up-to-date. It's a hedge against what may come, but we don't need to have a rise-of-the-machines to being on the receiving end of discrimination.

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CIA tracked leakers with hilariously bad Web beacon trick

Brian Miller
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Re: Government Anti-Leak Tricks Can be Very Sophisticated

How?

The method is by "listening" to the RF energy generated by the electric typewriter as it operates. Each key has a unique signature, so by recording, then analyzing the signals, the document can be reconstructed. This is why TEMPEST-shielded typewriters were built.

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Brian Miller
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Re: Government Anti-Leak Tricks Can be Very Sophisticated

And if you are transmitting anything surreptitiously, use a busy InterNet café which will make tracing your activities much harder. And use a 'disposable' e-mail address!

Can you say, "logging?" Of course you can.

Seriously, these are the guys who can view what is shown on your monitor, and they knew what was being typed when electric typewriters became the norm. Old hat.

Anybody who opens a Word document is just asking for trouble. No, the way to do it is to strip the formatting out, and then view the text. And also beware embedded escape sequences, etc. Yeah, if you got through my sed-fu, you're good.

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Welsh Linux Mint terror nerd jailed for 8 years

Brian Miller
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Threat level: soft and fluffy

Every time legislation gets passed to allegedly get the masterminds and the guys making and setting the bombs, all we invariably get are these low-level non-threat motormouths. Or the police/feds/____ are running an illegal entrapment operation.

As for ZeroNet, their motto is: "We believe in open, free, and uncensored network and communication." So how is "open, free" hidden and encrypted? Bit of a stretch, there.

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What's driving people out of tech biz? Unfair treatment, harassment, funnily enough – study

Brian Miller
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Obligatory XKCD

Settling: "I'm really not happy here, but maybe this is the best I can expect and I'll regret giving it up."

If in doubt, go. If you really are miserable where you are, then go.

I recently left my job because the company owner decided that the team product owner should be a goofball from the sales team. Much misery ensued.

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Big mistake by Big Blue: Storwize initialisation USBs had malware

Brian Miller
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The USB sticks are loaded on a duplicator. But it should be normal procedure to scan the master before it's put into the duplicator. Always scan masters for infection. I have seen it time and time again where this was not done, and oops, guess who's sent something bad to their customers?

I also knew developers who kept turning off the virus scanner on their systems, instead of configuring it to ignore the source tree directory.

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What is this bullsh*t, Google? Nexus phones starved of security fixes after just three years

Brian Miller
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Expensive trash

I bought a Nexus phone because I knew that Google would be rolling out the updates for it. Unfortunately, they don't do it for very long. And oddly enough, my phone and my tablet asked me to verify my Gmail account to continue receiving security updates for them. Go figure.

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It's paydaygeddon! NatWest account transfers 'disappearing' (not really)

Brian Miller
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Re: Cobol

Most of my younger colleagues with still-shiny CS degrees get the shakes if asked to look at anything that doesn't look like C to the point that their shell scripting skills are appalling.

HAHAHAHA!! As if I could have the problem that they could understand C! And shell scripting skills? Oh, as if. College degrees are toilet paper. Never mind what's on the paper, look at what they've put out into the community. If they haven't done that, they're not worth the bother.

And the last time I had a bank that couldn't run as a bank, I withdrew all my money, and switched. People need to look at their bank's ratings, and move when need be.

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A sensible Internet of Things investment house? Breed Reply looks like it

Brian Miller
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Flying drones and wind

Out in eastern Washington state, the wind blows a lot. There's been an awful lot of focus on flying drones, but I can't see them navigating a 30mph+ wind very well. I know that some of the agricultural drones photograph the soil and plants, and then software analyzes the colors to determine composition and health. But it's all rather shot to hell when the drone can't fly in the wind. Maybe a kite system could be useful, but I keep thinking a drone that navigates rough crop land would be good.

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Super-secure Pi-stuffed nomx email server box given a good probing

Brian Miller
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Re: Raspberry PI and storage +/- crypto

The built in SD card interface in Razzie is not fit for purpose for any reliable storage (as expected for email). It does the job for hobby stuff, but it is not something I would trust data 24x7x365. It will simply barf after a point. Either the controller or the electrical interface or both.

It depends on the SD card. A few cheap cards have died on me, but the SanDisk Ultra has been reliable. However, I'm not running disk encryption, and that would drag down performance by itself anyways. I would never consider anything in a small box to be the equivalent of a real enterprise server.

If Debian can be called "secure" then so can Raspbian. How the integrator configured the system, that's another story.

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Cloudflare's incredible solution for IoT security: Use our services

Brian Miller
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It's a solution when you don't pay attention to the problem...

Problem: doofus hooks insecure IDIoT device to public network. Solution: Not Cloudflare. The doofus has no idea that Cloudflare exists, or would upgrade their network hardware so traffic could be routed through Cloudflare services.

The real problem is that many doofuses (doofi?) plug something into a jack, and just leave it at that. Yes, they make sure that the device is accessible from wherever it is that their other computer is located, and that's it. Put it in a SOHO firewall/router's DMZ? No problem. Quick easy, sorted, and totally vulnerable. Just like the SOHO device itself. And possibly the cable modem it plugs into, as well.

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Mysterious Hajime botnet has pwned 300,000 IoT devices

Brian Miller
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Re: Hajime discovers devices on TCP port 23

It doesn't matter if it's Telnet or SSH, the device is still exposed with default passwords!

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Brian Miller
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Somebody redefined malware...

"Hi, I'm a white hat, and I'm securing your system, whether you like it or not." So is it malware if it doesn't do anything malicious?

I wonder if the author is someone who got bit by the other botnets, and decided that they'd simply go and make life easy for themselves, by taking away all those lovely toys others have left lying about. Hajime seems careful about what it infects, so the author is trying to avoid extremely serious shit storms if someone successfully traces out the source.

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Stanford Uni's intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

Brian Miller
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Re: Education

And training is not education.

Recently, I worked with a developer who didn't know the difference between a C precompiler macro and a function. I had to write sample code to show him the difference. He had been writing C in the same job for 18 years.

I have worked with mathematicians who did not know programming data structures. They were somewhat competent, but did have a ways to go.

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Seagate launches non-flying disk drive for drones

Brian Miller
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Joke

Where's my flying NAS?

Hey, Seagate, where's my flying NAS? If the Navy can launch the USS Akron (ZRS-4), then we can have real storage in the clouds! So where is it? A disk on the ground is exactly that, and we need fully cloudy storage.

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

Brian Miller
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Re: Bah!

Kodak developed the digital camera, but Kodak was not a technology company, and really still isn't a technology company. So they did a lousy job of bringing the tech to market. Yes, Kodak sensors were in a lot of other cameras. But then Kodak kept selling off important pieces to support the company, and finally all of the profitable pieces were gone, and then Kodak went through bankruptcy.

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Microsoft touts SQL Server 2017 as 'first RDBMS with built-in AI'

Brian Miller
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Linux

Pre-trained neural network

"The company claims SQL Server includes "built-in AI" as it introduces pre-trained neural network models for sentiment analysis..."

How much analysis is need for what people think about Vista and Windows 8? (Yes, I switched over to Linux as my main OS when my new laptop came with Windows 8. Yes, I upgraded it to Windows 10, the nine that is not nine, but I'm sticking with Linux.)

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H-1B applications down after Trump's 'American techies first' rhetoric

Brian Miller
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IT jobs may move to Canada

IIRC, Obama tried something similar, and the IT giants said they'd shift the positions up to Canada, where they won't get hassled. Now, the decline in H1B applications may be due to people choosing to not come to the U.S., or else it could be that the jobs have already shifted to Canada, or other countries where it is more convenient to employ the labor.

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'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

Brian Miller
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Related to RFC 1149 - IP over punch cards?

Maybe Sensenbrenner's last real exposure to computers came during the days of punch cards. Sure, nobody had to use them, but they sure did. Want to make a phone call outside of your house? Better have a cell phone, because pay phones are very few and far between.

I bet Sensenbrenner really doesn't have to use the Internet, because he has his staff do it for him.

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Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

Brian Miller
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Article title should be: "Subjecting our laws to algorithms"

From the text of the article, the laws and sentences are being subjected to algorithms. The problem is that the humans who should be giving the results a second thought and using them as a guideline are instead rubber stamping the results.

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Alert: Using a web ad blocker may identify you – to advertisers

Brian Miller
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Re: Noscript...

That's what happened to me, too! And I have Exploding Cookies, too. So: no cookies, no JavaScript, and thus certainly not much of a trackable foot print. If a website that I don't need to use doesn't work, I don't care.

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'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Brian Miller
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"you can't sue us because we're Americans" instead of fighting the ruling in Australia.

Actually, that is the valid legal point. Here, we have it enshrined in our country's constitution that we can say things that someone may deem as being unpopular. If that speech causes people to take note and someone's dubious business model grinds to a halt, so be it. This is what happens when someone "calls a spade a spade," and stands up to legal bullying over the statement.

If the trolls don't like California sunshine, too bad.

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Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

Brian Miller
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Use a clock timer

The only secure way for this to work is simply to use a clock timer. Set the clock time, and then set the time for when you'd like the Aga to start heating. Done.

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Troll it your way: Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home gadgets

Brian Miller
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Re: Makes you wonder

There was a vulnerability in Windows voice recognition like this. Applications could be started via voice recognition, and then all hell meanders aimlessly about.

Of course, I suppose an ad could target Amazon Alexis. At least it's a search, and not instructing the device to place an order.

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TCP/IP headers leak info about what you're watching on Netflix

Brian Miller
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Silence on the Wire

A good book I read a while back was Silence on the Wire, about all of the data you could glean from a network just by listening. If someone wants to analyze your traffic, there's actually a lot that inadvertently leaks out.

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