* Posts by Xamol

69 posts • joined 16 Jan 2013

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'I AM TWEETING TRUTH TO POWER: AND YOU CAN'T STOP MY FACTS, MR PRESIDENT!'

Xamol

CO2

Can someone remind me again what that is?

"... two atoms of carbon and one atom of dioxide"

Right, thanks...

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Trumping free trade: Say 'King of Bankruptcy' Ross does end up in charge of US commerce

Xamol
Trollface

It's a Great Plan

I like it. It'll be great! Go the Donald!

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Top cop: Strap Wi-Fi jammers to teen web crims as punishment

Xamol

Stupid on so many levels

Practical: No - How do you make said teen return to base for a battery charge every few hours?

Enforceable: No - That nice ankle bracelet would look great with a tinfoil wrapper.

Unintended (and yet predicable to anyone with a brain) consequences: Yes - Pissed off, innocent people near a mobile wifi blackspot.

Actual punishment/deterrent for said teen: No - Not unless you ban 3/4G data plans and tin foil as well.

Oh, so many other reasons why this is a stupid idea...

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Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

Xamol
Holmes

Redacted Part Deux

If you copied the list of actions that Harold sent to 2IC to explain why it's going to take so long to do, then only redacted a few details before putting it into the article, 2IC will have to be pretty thick not to put 2 and 2 together.

Lets hope 2IC doesn't read El Reg or Harold is royally screwed. I'm sure 2IC will be looking through Harold's employment contract for clauses Harold has breached by sharing this story in a public forum.

...so many icons to choose from.

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Sony kills off secret backdoor in 80 internet-connected CCTV models

Xamol

Re: Looking for password laziness on CCTV cams?

Security is an industry (IoT) wide problem and for me, goes hand in hand with privacy concerns. I take issue with devices that require a server component that gives a company access to information on what I'm doing, where and how etc. All of the information in the servers should be held within my domain, under my control. That means that either it's all encrypted so that only I can access it, or it's held locally on my devices (or both).

Maybe there's a business case for a new company called elgoog. A company that charges a fair price for the services it offers and guarantees (within the bounds of its control) that your data remains your own.

I accept that the IoT servers will always be required so long as residences don't have fixed IP addresses. If elgoog is serious though, it doesn't need much more information than IP address and basic information about the device.

At least I now know of one CCTV cam that has at least some basic security available.

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Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister

Xamol

Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?

@IWVC

"So either the allocation of MPs to population is badly wrong or we have MPs putting forward their personal views rather than those of their constituents"

MPs are elected based on a broad range of policy positions. The electorate has to decide which candidate best represents their own positions. In most cases, this will not be a 100% correlation and that has to be accepted. Obviously this gets complicated by additional factors such as toeing the party line but I would argue that this is a well understood modus operandi for non-independent MPs.

That aside, when they come to vote on this in parliament they will have to decide whether to vote in line with the referendum result in their constituency or vote in line with their own preference (if different). That's when things could get interesting...

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Hell desk thought PC fire report was a first-day-on-the-job prank

Xamol
Facepalm

Re: Tossing water at electric fire

Compressed water... nice trick if they managed it and they should be making lots of money from it.

However, I think it's more likely that they compressed CO2 and used standard, uncompressed water.

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Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

Xamol
Headmaster

Re: Technical Fanboi?

Oh Deity! Apostrophe hell - in my own post...

Is there a cure for what I'm feeling right now?

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Xamol
Trollface

Technical Fanboi?

Is it proximity to a Macbook that prevents technically savvy people from doing technically savvy things? Why wouldn't checking on what's loading the system be the first thing you do rather than checking forums with a presumably quite vague fan related query? Maybe it was the shock of the thing simply not just working that caused temporary loss of savvy? Or maybe it was the indignation that prevented normal brain operation; surely this is the kind of thing that only happens with other OS's.

Well done for getting there in the end though.

Oh, and it's you're own fault anyway. You're not running the applications correctly...

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Self-driving Google car T-boned in California crash

Xamol

Re: Is there a story here?

Would a competent human in the Lexus have seen the van jumping the red and been able to take action to avoid the collision?

I've lost count of the number of times I've looked at other vehicles and thought 'he's not going to stop', or something similar and acted accordingly to prevent an accident.

You can't rely on humans to obey the rules 100% of the time, if only for the fact that we get distracted. Good luck trying to make autonomous cars deal with that. I think we're a few years away from that...

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Sysadmin gets 5 years for slurping contractor payments to employer

Xamol
Headmaster

Re: hmmm...

* hanged

Edit - AC beat me to it...

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Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US

Xamol

Re: minimum weight

Surely it can't be a simple weight switch; what if the pilot is pulling +g?

0
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Hacker takes down CEO wire transfer scammers, sends their Win 10 creds to the cops

Xamol

Secure Email

Surely the solution for this kind of problem is a secure ID so that you know the sender is who they say they are? I would have thought this would be a simple solution to implement and a simple procedure to require it to be used for emails requesting money transfers?

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UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

Xamol

Re: A legal work around?

It wouldn't break online banking because it's not a 'zero knowledge' system. i.e. the banks already hold the encryption keys so can already provide access to the unencrypted messages.

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You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee

Xamol

Re: And so it begins

"Yes, there's holding data on someone else's computers, for all you know outside the jurisdiction and a whole lot of legal complications as that mess matures."

Have you read about Enterprise Mobility? Please point me to the bit that says you have to store data offsite let alone, in a specified jurisdiction. You do get cloud based single sign-on but it looks like even that has a choice of multiple datacentres.

It might not be popular to defend Microsoft but some of the comments on here are pure FUD.

For $7 per month, you get and OS, Office 365 (like it or not this is the de facto standard for business), device management and enterprise security. If you're in the Microsoft ecosystem (happily or otherwise), it doesn't seem like too bad a deal.

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Xamol
FAIL

Re: And so it begins

Read the article. If you're going to bash Microsoft, at least do it with a fact based argument...

"Take a step back to last week. Microsoft renamed its Enterprise Cloud Suite as Secure Productive Enterprise E3 while also announcing Secure Productive Suite E5.

The former includes Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 with Windows 10 Enterprise. Mobility + Security E3 is the old Enterprise Mobility Suite, also renamed, and includes mobile sync, security and device management."

HINT: There's more than just the OS for $7 per month.

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EU uncorks €1.8bn in cybersecurity investment. Thirsty, UK?

Xamol

Re: misleading journalism at its best

Sure... and we'll still have 349 million a week to spend on the NHS.

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Xamol

Re: (read 'dilution of national identity')

I second that. Very embarrassing.

I now live and work in Europe and the whole debate makes me cringe and slightly ashamed of a lot of the views expressed by fellow Brits. Small consolation that the Germans and Dutch I work with sympathise and tell me that there are plenty in their own countries that would express similar views. Overall I think that makes things worse...

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Xamol

Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

Didn't British lawyers draft the original European Convention on Human Rights back in the 50s?

On other points, things have to change on both sides. I'm against a move to a federal Europe and ever closer ties. I think ties are, broadly speaking, quite close enough. Why try to deny the nature of Europe which is ingrained with a deep sense of sovereinty and means that creating a federal Europe or moving towards it is simply increasing the pressure to the point of rapid unscheduled disassembly (IT angle?). The UK is merely the closest member state to that point.

Drive the EU towards what it should be which is an organisation that makes life easier for European citizens and businesses and forget about becoming some huge self serving political entity. Then, in return, the UK should promise to stop electing dickheads like Farage as MEPs. That way the UK might have some chance of being a positive force from within.

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Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Xamol

I'm not EU law expert but my (possibly flawed) understanding is that Switzerland has applied immigration quotas to the free movement agreement but those quotas aren't part of the EFTA agreement both parties signed up to. Disagreement is right because I think the EU would say that the Swiss are still part of the free momevement agreement.

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Xamol

Really?

In or out you still have to deal with the EU. Would dealing with them from the outside be better? Hard to know for sure but countries that already have a trade deal with the EU are bound by EU laws and have signed up to the EU freedom of movement agreement (Switzerland, Norway) and other treaties in negotiation are heading in the same direction (Canada, Turkey).

It may not be easy to deal with the EU but you can't avoid it if you want to do business with it.

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Xamol

Re: So why is Brexit the answer?

BarryUK nailed it.

Leaving the EU becuase you don't like the new patent laws is a childish, 'toy out of the pram' response that would massively backfire. It leaves UK companies having to patent in the UK but still having to deal with EU and US patent laws (and courts) unless they only want to do business in the UK.

What's worse though is that the above is the best case scenario where any trade deals with the EU and US don't include the UK changing its patent laws to be more in line with those larger, more powerful and influential trading partners.

The whole Brexit campaign (on both sides) is descending into farce. VoteLeave have a 'leave the EU hammer' and now all of the UK's problems have started to look like nails, while Remain is stuck with a negative campaign because they can't articulate the benefits that are already part of everyday life. I fear where this is going...

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In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning

Xamol
Thumb Up

Tax it

I'm all for taxing sugary soda drinks. It can only encourage people to drink less which can't be a bad thing for the collective health of the UK. As an additional benefit (or main depending on your perspective) , there's a large boost to the government coffers. They're going to get the tax money one way or another so it might as well be from something I don't consume much of anyway.

As for those who do drink a lot of soda, they just have to decide if it's worth paying more.

Edit: But I do implore Fever-Tree to look at knocking 0.05g/100ml of sugar from their recipe! (Fever-Tree Indian tonic water: 8g)

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Apple's iOS updates brick iPads

Xamol

Re: @ Xamol If it were Microsoft

@Youngdog - There's the built in goodwill coming out.

I never said anything about numbers of bricked devices and your construction of an inequitable comparison in favour of Apple just proves my point. Why do you create a scenario where MS bricks a higher percentage of devices?

I would expect the level of vitriol levelled at MS to be higher even if MS bricked a smaller percentage of of devices than Apple. That's just my opinion, others will make up their own minds.

If Apple keeps on behaving as they are, surely they can't expect the good will to last forever. Bricked devices is just one example... Can you imagine if MS came out and simply stated that their devices are only expected to have a life of 3-4 years? There was almost no reaction when Apple did just that.

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Xamol

If it were Microsoft

There's some reasonable criticism of Apple for releasing a patch that bricks some of it's devices but I can't help thinking that if it had been an MS patch bricking a Surface, the reaction here would be orders of magnitude more outraged.

This isn't the first time Apple patches have caused this kind of problem. Surely there's only so long that users good will towards them can insulate them from the kind of backlash that MS would be receiving...

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Boffins' 5D laser-based storage tech could keep terabytes forever

Xamol

Re: Glass is a super cooled liquid...

Is it?

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fact-fiction-glass-liquid/

Edit - Damn, beaten to it...

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Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

Xamol

No Quick Fix

It seems there's concensus that there's no quick fix. Ban guns = bad, Status Quo = bad (unless you're at either end of the spectrum).

Is some of what Obama proposes so bad (maybe with some tweaks)?

- Legislate that new guns must have a device to prevent unauthorised use. If I were a gun owner, I would want this - it can't be fired by my kids and it can't be used against me by someone else. The features of the safety device would need to be agreed e.g. no override. I wouldn't want an override, (concerns about government abuse aside, what's to stop the bad guys from getting an override 'device') but I would want the additional safety.

- Legislate to prevent those with certain mental illnesses, violent criminals etc from owning guns legally. This can't be a bad idea, can it?

- Wait (a few years) for these "safer" guns to be accepted and widely adopted, then legislate that all legally held guns must have the safety device.

- Now you can start taking the illegal guns from the 'bad' guys.

No quick fix but better than doing nothing...

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Are you the keymaster? Alternatives in a LogMeIn/LastPass universe

Xamol

Why cloud based?

I've tried Keepass, 1Password and some others in the past but settled on LastPass because of the convenience and peace of mind from the zero knowledge setup. In my case, the clincher is that the corporate security policies where I work block access to personal cloud storage providers so using something like Dropbox for sync isn't an option.

I'm a premium subscriber to LastPass so I'll be looking at Dashlane again...

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'I posted winning race ticket in Facebook selfie ... and someone stole it!'

Xamol
Headmaster

Re: Obviously intelligence is not involved in either betting or boasting.

Yep - she should think of it as school fees

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Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?

Xamol

Re: Mandatory

I'm not sure that rising insurance premiums will be allowed to reach a point where people can't afford them. That doesn't really play out very well for the insurance industry...

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I could spoof Globalstar satellite messages, boasts infosec bod

Xamol

Not even MACing

..and MACing most certainly was around in 2000. Security clearly wasn't a concern - at least not enough of a concern to add an encryption module to their kit.

0
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SpaceX's blast shock delays world's MOST POWERFUL ROCKET

Xamol

Re: Falcon XX

> So it should be more trustworthy than a shiny brand new one.

...Until it isn't.

I fear that there'll be more than one real world failure before they put a number on how many re-uses are safe before you get unpredictable and undetectable failure scenarios.

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Xamol

Re-Use

It also remains to be seen how re-uesable the SpaceX first stages are. How many re-uses can you get out of them? How costly are they to re-furbish? How reliable are they? etc

There's going to be some reticence around loading up your multi-million dollar satellite on a slightly used rocket.

I hope it works out the way SpaceX intends it to...

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Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

Xamol

move fast and break things

..sounds like hacking code to me.

@dogged good points, totally agree - especially about Unit testing. Who said that unit testing should be the only testing done before the software goes out the door?

On the one hand, he rubbished the most basic level of testing and on the other presumably advocates no pre-release testing at all in his 'move fast and break it' approach... Moron.

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

Xamol

Re: Size

@Candy - Thanks.

7x13 is a big truck but it's still small enough to have as many mobile or fixed installations as you need placed around a town/city so long as you have the required water source available.

Should help reduce electicity generation and transmission costs.

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Xamol
WTF?

Size

Did I read it wrong because 7x13 meters doesn't sound business-jet engine size. More like business-jet size.

One day, one of these announcements will prove true despite the negative, sceptical reaction it gets. Whether it's this time or not, if it's business-jet or business-jet engine size; it will still be an amazing acheivement.

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Monster banking Trojan botnet claims 500,000 victims

Xamol

Re: Hmm

Because compromise of Macs is still relatively uncommon thus more worthy of comment.

Not hard to understand.

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EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages

Xamol
Unhappy

One as bad as another

I had a 3 Sim Zero that I used in a tablet for data only. I had it for nearly 3 years and was pretty happy with it until one day it just stopped working. Tech support said that it won't work because it's a phone sim, not a tablet sim. Turns out they updated their system and decided that it shouldn't work any more. They're still trying to charge me for the service even though I told them to terminate it when they broke it. Can't wait for my next call with them to explain that I won't pay for a service thay they're not providing.

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Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8

Xamol

Re: Strong password to protect pictures of kittens.... WHY??!

...because in the real world not all websites will fit nicely into your categories and some will move from one to another depending on how they and/or your use of them changes over time.

Rather than manage this change, it's easier and more secure to have unique and strong passwords for everything. There are lots of ways to manage them now - KeePass, LastPass etc...

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UK's CASH POINTS to MISS Windows XP withdrawal date

Xamol

Re: Are they running on XP Embedded ?

They run XP Pro but under an "embedded" licence.

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Home lab operators: Ditch your servers ... now!

Xamol

Re: seems like old news...

I run a number of VMs on a PCSpecialist.co.uk laptop (core-i7, SSD, 16GB although 32 is possible with other models). It's a company laptop and they normally buy Dell but as they couldn't get one with the right config (decent screen res and portability required) I got to go bespoke...

Worth a quick look when you're doing the rounds of the websites.

I couldn't find a portable (in my mind ~2kg) laptop with the right config and 32Gb RAM. They all seem to come in around 3kg.

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Snowden speaks: NSA spies create 'databases of ruin' on innocent folks

Xamol

Re: Mass Surveillance

That tangent being that they produced oil from which the aviation fuel was derived that powered the planes...

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Xamol

Re: Mass Surveillance

@Billy Catringer

Sounds very simple and an interesting comparison drawn with Pearl Harbor. However, that was an overt act of war from a nation state so identifying those responsible was simple. I doubt it's so simple to identify the current terrorist cells in the UK and US.

Bureaucratic opportunism may have been at work but my point still holds that the elected representatives of the people should be held responsible for protecting the privacy of the people. How, is the difficult bit...

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Xamol
Big Brother

Mass Surveillance

Firstly before I get instantly flamed; it'll happen anyway but let me start with this: Mass, indiscriminate, secret surveillance is bad. In my opinion (a fairly commonly held opinion) this is because of the potential for what the data collected could be used for in future. Very few people would agree that a state with such power is a good thing if they have any understanding at all of history or some current, less than benevolent regimes. I see that stance pretty much as a principle worthy of vigorous defence.

With that in mind, try putting yourself in the position of the NSA, GCHQ etc imagine there's a tool you could have that has the potential to help you identify threats to security - on some level you are going to want to have it. It's human nature to believe that you'll use that tool responsibly and for the good of your community. The best of us believe that we can be trusted but even so, you may resist that desire based on your principles. Add to that the pressure that these organisations are under to produce results and it must become very hard to defend a principle that potentially hampers your duty and is probably at odds with other principles you hold regarding protection of life. I guess the point is that I don't think it's realistic to expect these organisations to have behaved much differently. It's also very possible that they have to date, largely been using their power responsibly and for the good of the community etc. (I can feel the down votes coming but please read on...)

In my opinion, it's the responsibility of the elected government to defend such principles. Unfortunately, at this point politics is introduced so how the hell do you get a clear, sensible position on such an important issue? Imagine yourself in that situation: GCHQ etc tell you it could implement a mass surveillance program and potentially improve security. Great, but you're a good person blah blah blah and mass surveillance is against a strongly held principle blah blah blah. On the other hand, the people who elected you aren't going to be happy about being blown up. What do you do? Well you could put the responsibility onto the people and hold a referendum. Thing is, you were elected to represent the people and to make decisions for them... and besides most people don't have the information or understanding required to make a balanced decision anyway. What do you do?

Our government(s) went ahead and implemented the surveillance programs with a level of oversight. What would you have done? I think I would have done the same thing, but differently (please read on before you flame me...)

Firstly, I wouldn't have done it secretly. I would have tried to get broad, cross party agreement on how to proceed - including what oversight, checks and balances should be in place. Then I would have had all parties communicate that agreement with a common message. I recognise that in achieving this I would have to have attained god like power but part of my point is that none of this is easy for the people actually dealing with it for real.

Anyway, to continue with my plan... The oversight and control of collected data would be from an openly elected body (separate from the users of the data) who would have to publicly report every requested use of that data as well as other details such as when individuals have been identified/associated with the data (i.e. anonymity has been lost) and how many identified individuals are being routinely tracked via this data etc. Add as many measures here as needed to identify if/when the program is being used to monitor the masses rather than select individuals. I'd also have measures to identify when the data had actually done something useful like leading to conviction (none of that and it gets shut down). Naturally, on an IT level, all data that could be used to identify an individual would be encrypted and procedures would be in place to enforce the publicly communicated processes for accessing that data. There would also need to be regular IT reviews from different external companies to ensure that those procedures are properly in place and that data is secure end to end.

I would also pass a bill that automatically shuts the program down after x years unless that bill is re-ratified in parliament/congress before it expires. This gives the opportunity for it to be amended or ended on a regular basis. Also, the people elected to that body wouldn't be able to hold the position for more than a defined period of time. Hopefully this would help create an environment where whistle blowing is encouraged.

The elected officials running the body would also have responsibility for reviewing why data has been requested i.e. they would have access to the operationally sensitive information that led to the security services requesting the data. They would also have access to the names of those being investigated (ummm - why are we tracking a Mr Iain Thomson???).

I'm sure there are lots of other ideas out there that could build on or replace mine but it would be a step in the right direction. I recognise that we would still have mass surveillance but at least it wouldn't be secret, it wouldn't be indiscriminate, it would be demonstrably anonymous (for the masses at least) and it would be easier for the people to influence when it is stopped.

I know I've proposed that the principle is compromised (which I dislike too) and that's enough for a few down votes at least but would you still be so inflexible if you had just walked out of a tube station that had been blown up? If you would then I very much respect your stance - down vote away...

I can think of lots of other reasons for down voting this as well; after all, this is a comment on el Reg not a comprehensive political manifesto but I defy anyone to come up with something that isn't objectionable in some way. So before you down vote me or flame me, try coming up with an alternative and post that as well...

We're all IT professionals and hopefully quite intelligent... so what would you do?

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Sabu wasn't the only FBI mole in LulzSec, suggest leaked docs

Xamol
Coat

Conspiracy nuts

Was there a second informant? It would be good dis-information for the Feds to plant.

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Two white dwarfs and superdense star. Yup, IDEAL for gravity lab in the sky - boffins

Xamol

Equivalence Principle

Just a thought/question...

Since Galileo we've been limited to releasing relatively small objects (balls, feathers and hammers etc) close to large objects (earth and moon) in order to observe the effects of gravity. That these observations reveal no difference in behaviour due to the smaller objects size or mass may be a limitation of the experiment. Couldn't size or mass be a factor weighted by the relative size or mass compared to the other object(s)?

Is this one reason why they're trying to find solar system sized experiments to observe?

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Mosquitoes, Comets and Vampires: The de Havilland Museum

Xamol

Re: Chipmunk

The Chipmunk was notable for flying backwards in higher winds. Particularly on final approach when they contacted ATC reporting a position further away than their last contact.

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Ohh! The PRECIOUS! Give it to uss. We WANTS it: Shiny iThings coming in 2014

Xamol
Joke

Re: Does the Adult pleasure category have to start to worry?

It'll never work...

This is one range where even Apple wouldn't be able to change the standard interface port to a new i-port.

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Easily picked CD-ROM drive locks let Mexican banditos nick ATM cash

Xamol
FAIL

BIOS Password

I wonder if these ATMs were configured to only boot from HDD and had a BIOS password set up? If they did, then they can start looking for service engineers with extra CDs in their bags - I'd probably start there anyway...

There are better defences against this kind of attack (white listing type software) and they're already available from the ATM manufacturers. Maybe more banks will start using them but I doubt it.

At least what they steal this way comes directly from the banks and not from a customer's account.

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