* Posts by SolidSquid

676 posts • joined 13 May 2013


Forget viruses: Evil USB drive 'fries laptops with a power surge'


Re: Meh

According to the original article it's actually able to get past the USB port and fry other components, potentially including the CPU

Bulk interception is NOT mass surveillance, says parliamentary committee


"GCHQ is not collecting or reading everyone’s emails: it does not have the legal authority, the resources, or the technical capability to do so"

Probably not, maybe not and hahahaha, yeah right. If they can intercept the email package enough to store the metadata they can store the rest of it too, and unless you're using PGP on your emails that means they can read them.

In fairness they probably *aren't* reading them all, but from what this committee says (and other similar ones have said), they don't consider automated scans in place of humans to be "reading". While still fitting to most of this, GCHQ could scan all emails, find any with red flags and then only store those ones until they get a warrant to read them. After all, it's now an investigation into the person who sent them, so they have grounds to get a warrant and to store it.

Clinton defence of personal email server fails to placate critics


Honestly I'm a little sympathetic with the idea that she might not have considered this, since understanding of this kind of thing can be a toss up outside tech fields. What I *am* wondering about though is why the hell nobody in her office told her not to pull this shit because it'll cause trouble down the line for her, and why there wasn't an official email already created for her which she was supposed to use.

Ex-cops dumped on never-hire blacklist for data misdeeds


Re: Fuzzy Logic?

Wonder how many of those quizzed realised that the police aren't required to tell the truth, and can lie with impunity as long as they're up front about it in their incident report (putting aside the issue of how accurate the incident reports are)

Lenovo: We SWEAR we're done with bloatware, adware and scumware


If they actually fulfill that promise of a completely clean install of windows on their machines then that would be a *big* selling point. If they claim that and it turns out that it's not entirely accurate though then that's pretty much going to sink the company's reputation for good

SIM hack scandal biz Gemalto: Everything's fine ... Security industry: No, it's really not


Re: Do we have admission of the attacks?

I'd agree, but technically Gemalto is a foreign company (Holland based) so the NSA targetting them is less clear cut in terms of remit (I don't agree that they should be allowed to do it, but it's only impacting voters indirectly)

NO ONE is making money from YouTube, even Google – report


Re: No mention of AdBlock in the article

AdBlock regularly gets blocked by Youtube then releases an update to get it working again

Who uses the Universal Credit system? ALMOST NOBODY, says report


Re: Nothing new here.

Either that or a magician, in which case I'd suggest Derren Brown for PM

Microsoft: You want on-prem wares, UK.gov? We'll make you pay


I could see this running afoul of EU data protection legislation depending on how it's being managed by Microsoft. If they're hosting documents (or mirroring them) on US servers then that could be a violation if private details are being stored in documents, as US servers aren't considered secure/private (there's a set list of countries, Canada's on it but the US isn't)

UK.gov shuns IT support tower model. Now what the hell do we do?


Isn't failing small part of the point of Agile? Make small mistakes early on because it's cheaper to fix a small mistake in a discrete system than fix a large one in a system that's already heavily integrated

So long, Lenovo, and no thanks for all the super-creepy Superfish


Re: Cue the ClassAction lawsuits in 3... 2... 1...

Quick check of the Wikipedia page, they were serving the coffee at 82C at the drive through, which is hot enough to cause third degree burns in 12 to 15 seconds, so that it would stay hot until people got home. The jury found that the woman was partially to blame, but the fact that McDonalds admitted they were selling coffee at a temperature which wouldn't be safe to drink meant that they held the majority of the blame (the compensation was adjusted based on the balance of blame)

Former Mrs Dotcom hooks up with Xbox 'toyboy'


Frankly I'm not surprised she left him. Even putting aside what their personal life might have been like, the amount of strain the trail would have put on her just by association would have been pretty horrendous

After Brit spies 'snoop' on families' lawyers, UK govt admits: We flouted human rights laws


If they're claiming not to have prejudiced any civil or criminal proceedings, doesn't that mean they haven't passed on the confidential emails between the defendant and the lawyer? After all, doing that would *certainly* influence the prosecution's work and so prejudice the trail.

In which case, are they claiming the lawyer was wrong about their confidential emails being eves dropped on, and that the discovery of a program which was doing exactly that was a complete coincidence?

Frankly it seems like this whole thing should invalidate the trial, as the defendant(s) can no longer get a fair one with the prosecution having gotten hold of correspondence between them and their lawyer which is supposed to be confidential (and which, if the prosecution got hold of them through *other* means, would certainly mean a mistrial)

BLOOD STAR of the NEANDERTHALS passed close to our Sun


I notice El Reg has remembered the comments from the other day about a red star shining white light on a planet

Boffins baffled by the glowing 'plumes' of MARS


Since when did "amateur scientist" and "alien planet doing something impossible according to current science" result in "sensible hypotheses, if unlikely in the case of the aurora, proposed and professional scientists concur and begin investigation" rather than "THE ALIENS ARE COMING FOR US!!"

Fight back against illegal GCHQ spying with PAPERWORK!


Re: Given this quote

As I understand it, part of the deal was that GCHQ would investigate any Americans caught in the dragnet and send back records of people who seemed worth investigating (which then becomes "information received" for the NSA and can be used legally since they weren't the ones investigating American nationals). In exchange the NSA would do investigations into *British* nationals and pass that information on to GCHQ, again to bypass rules on investigating their own citizens

DARPA's 'Cortical Modem' will plug straight into your brain


"Your licence for BrainPal is invalid. Please update your details to restore access to the visual cortex"

Think you’re hard? Check out the frozen Panasonic CF-54 Toughbook


You might have a point, reminds me of the cleaning product sales folk in Scotland who do their best to ignore queries about whether it gets out Irn Bru (it doesn't. Nothing does without also removing the colour out of whatever it was spilled on)

Evolve: A shoot-em-up full of scary monsters and super creeps


Re: Screenshots

Watched a couple of lets plays of Evolve and, while the pictures above are probably posed and lit specially as publicity shots, they don't actually deviate away from the in-game graphics much. Don't think there was much in the way of photoshopping the screenshots

KUSHINIKIZA! Google Translate SAVES BABY in Irish roadside birth


Re: Do you think...

Don't be silly, the Cork man would be far you buoyant for that!

Free WiFi coming to UK trains ... in two years


Re: Already exists on Scotrail

Pretty sure Northern Ireland's rail system is devolved too, so they wouldn't have to abide by/may already have something like this

You MUST supply dying customers even if they're in administration, thunders UK.gov


Staff salaries are actually ranked as preferential creditors, with only taxes being higher ranked. I think the company can decide which of the preferential creditors to pay first though, and tend to go for the ones most likely to sue over non-payment

ANOTHER US court smacks down EFF's NSA wiretap sueball – but won't say why


In fairness to the judge, they're job isn't to do what they perceive to be right but rather to stick to the letter of the law as best as possible (with sentencing being the only real thing they can influence). Despite talk about "activist" judges, making or changing the law is something entirely outside the domain of the Justice Department, it's Congress that deals with that. He may well disagree entirely that it's right or just but feels that the law as it is prevents any other rulings. Keeping the judge's reasoning sealed is, again, something outside of his control if the government has appealed to laws about keeping documents secret

Samsung: Our TVs? Spying on you? Ha Ha! Just a joke of course


Surely this is a published feature of the device and all they're doing is adding the appropriate legalese for it? I mean, when the xbox one has the voice commands enabled it listens to everything said too, but since a TV isn't going to have the processing power of a dedicated console it isn't going to be able to (theoretically) run the speech recognition on the device itself

This optical disc will keep your gumble safe for 2,000 YEARS


Re: Cost

As far as I'm aware though, DVD-RAM disks' main advantage is the durability and the ability to read/write multiple times. These actually have a difference to blueray which the general public would make use of, 4x the storage capacity. Might not be used by general consumers, but that's certainly going to be grabbed by companies making 8K movies now those TVs are coming out, or games companies looking for more storage for the next gen consoles which will use them

Honestly, while the long life span is nice, it's really a bonus over the storage increase


This kind of thing would be more likely used for storing master disks of films or data at the British Library, Library of Congress or a similar archive of knowledge, accompanied by information on how to read the data. Having to replace hundreds of thousands of books printed on paper would make archiving for the (distant) future prohibitively expensive. Having to preserve a single book which has instructions on how to decode a disk which stores all that data is less so.

Will it work? Who knows, might end up there's some kind of bacteria which develops and can eat the disks, much like the one that developed that can eat plastic bags. Considering how much work goes into learning about groups like the Romans takes though it seems worth the attempt so future generations know more of their past

We'll ask GCHQ to DELETE records of 'MILLIONS' of people – Privacy International


Re: Catch-22

It's part of the whole right to silence/remain silent thing. In most circumstances you can't be required to testify or provide evidence against yourself, gathering that is supposed to be the job of the police, and which arguably providing encryption keys would fall under. Because people have that right they are entitled to exercise it in any situation where they are legally permitted to and quite often the police will ask for information (whether it's encryption keys for computers or ID at a stop and search) which you're not required to provide in the hopes that you won't realise that or will think it will go better for you if you hand it over.

Does that make RIPA heinous? No, not really, as far as I'm aware RIPA requires a court order to force you to provide the keys and at that point there are legal protections in place to prevent any kind of fishing exercise or the data being used for other purposes. I would just object to the idea you should just do what the police officer says because otherwise it suggests you've done something wrong, when in fact it might just be you object to the invasion of privacy


Re: Catch-22

There are laws in place which require decryption in specific cases, but those require court order to coerce cooperation. With these laws already in place they'd find it difficult to get ones which make it easier for them without it being purely "so we don't need a court order"

Fancybox WordPress plugin reveals zero day affecting thousands


Re: The same principle applies as to services

While this is generally true, a lightbox plugin is simple enough that most people would assume it was perfectly safe, plus many clients want a lightbox of some kind so something like this becomes a necessity

'Revenge porn' law to arrive in spring – MoJ


Re: reasonable person?

Wasn't there a guy in court not to long ago because he was selling porn he made himself but which was considered "extreme" under this standard? He was found innocent of any crime, but while the jury gives safeguards against prison, it doesn't stop someone having to go through the expense and stress of being dragged into court because a police officer took offence

Breaking news: BBC FINALLY spots millions of mugshots on cop database


Re: Double whammy black eye for the police

There were tests done a few years ago on fingerprint databases in the US. Although they only got access to a limited amount of fingerprint data (iirc it was only one state), they were still able to hit something like 2000 false positives using the standard used by police and FBI. This is the risk that comes in with having a large data set, the more data the more specific you have to be to avoid falsely tying someone to a crime

Get internet access to those POOR country bumpkins, says UK.gov


I don't get how 95% coverage would mean they could switch entirely to internet, that still leaves a pretty sizeable population who won't be able to use it

UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST


Re: Pants on fire.

Well they do! They absolutely want to undermine it as much as possible, how else can they listen in on everything and stop the terrorists from winning?

'YOUTUBE is EVIL': Somebody had a tape running, Google...


Re: @auburnman The new man

Vimeo is more geared towards people wanting to host videos on their own site and doesn't have the same account/channel/recommendation based system as Youtube does, making it more difficult to find interesting stuff on Vimeo itself

Trans-Pacific trade treaty close to signoff says USA


So since it's so close to passing, I would assume the treaty is in a suitable position to be released to the public since they don't need to worry about it being an early draft and misinterpreted? No? Oh well

ZX81 BEATEN at last as dev claims smallest Chess code crown


Not sure how this can really qualify as being a fully functional chess game if it's missing key components of the game, and I have to wonder how much code would be needed to add that in and whether it would still fall under the limit

Opera Jon weaves a brand new browser


Even if it's just a case of them adding the mail client and rss reader back into Opera then I'll be happy to give it a shot, that was one of the big selling points for the browser for me

Secret Service on alert after drone CRASHES into White House


Re: How much C4

They might not be able to carry much, but even a small bomb going off would have one hell of an impact on the US, regardless of whether it injured someone

Landlines: The tech that just won't die


Re: A Non e-mouse Line installation

Whoever it was was bullshitting your mate. I just moved into a place and TalkTalk had put a hold on the phone line because money was owed. I'd already contacted Plusnet about getting internet, and when I found out about this I called Plusnet to let them know and they got the line transferred. £150 to reconnect the line is news to me too, the only charge they mentioned was something like £50 for connecting a new line if it turned out the previous tenant had damaged the line themselves rather than it degrading (there were line problems that needed some repair work)

Why so tax-shy, big tech firms? – Bank of England governor


"We really think these companies should volunteer to pay more taxes than they need to, but we don't want to risk actually making the rules stricter so that they have to in case other companies react badly to it"

Increased gov spy powers are NOT the way to stay safe against terrorism


Are they really high consequence though? As was pointed out, there are far more people killed by cars every year than terrorists. The fact that a small proportion of murderers claim religious motivation doesn't mean they can somehow wipe out an entire civilisation in the way the Black Death did

Also home-built nukes are exceptionally unlikely due to the difficulty of enriching uranium. Dirty bomb maybe, but radioactive material which would work with this is dangerous enough and controlled enough that this is pretty unlikely too.

As for creating their own super diseases grown in weasels, that's just... not how biology works. Cross-species illnesses are exceptionally rare, and without some seriously heavy duty equipment (the kind that throws up red flags to police as potentially being for drug manufacture) the chance of self infection without hitting your target is ridiculously high. It's like suggesting NASA is a threat to civilization because they could potentially redirect a meteorite to land on your country. Yes, in theory and given the right circumstances they could, but the odds are so staggeringly long that it's almost certainly not going to happen

Most of the power these people have doesn't come from the act of killing itself, but the panic that forms around that. Their entire goal is to generate the most fear with the smallest impact, because small impact is the most they're ever likely to get. Bigging them up as some threat to all civilization just helps them with this goal by exaggerating what they're actually capable of and raising them in people's eyes beyond the simple murderers they are.


Re: Maybe the only way to prevent this

Light touch regulation of banks which hasn't been strengthened in any meaningful way since they left power (and I believe they discussed weakening them further to "boost the economy"). Labour didn't do particularly well at regulating the banks, but neither did their predecessors and neither have their successors, there's too much banking money in politics for them to be willing to go along with that (if nothing else, a significant number of politicians have immediate family working in banking)

Top US privacy bod: EU should STOP appeasing whiny consumers


Re: That's the way the UK as well as the US has worked for years

The point he's making is that the EU policy of protecting privacy is contradicted to the UK's policy of cooperation with US intelligence agencies. Pretty sure it's tongue in cheek too, since he's also joking about a Baroness being elected


Re: RE: Stalemate

Considering how large a chunk of the aviation industry is American, I dare say they'd be objecting if people weren't allowed to fly to Europe just as much

Scientific consensus that 2014 was record hottest year? No


Worth mentioning, the ocean surface temperature they found had increased enough to be considered the highest since records began. Land surface temperature wasn't the highest (it rated 4th), but that ranks close enough that margin of error becomes an issue.

Also, weirdly the margin for error from last year was significantly higher than previous years than any other in the top 10 hottest, which they don't seem to explain

Just WHY is the FBI so sure North Korea hacked Sony? NSA: *BLUSH*


Look, look, here's an example of how the NSA is fighting the bad guys! Everyone knows North Korea are the bad guys, right? That makes us the good guys!

Buggy? Angry? LET IT ALL OUT says Linus Torvalds


True, but generally either those bugs have been patched and the scripts only effect older versions, the disclosure was done on the darknet rather than publically (so the developers aren't aware of the issue) or it was disclosed to the company first then publicly and the developers have decided it was't a big enough issue to be worth patching.

Public disclosure of a bug is a pretty small proportion of automated scripts, which tend to favour detecting and exploiting known existing bugs which just might not have had the patches installed yet and using that to get access to the server, and an internal IP for the network to access other systems (like the Sony server hacks back when Geohot was sued, the boxes used for entry hadn't been patched in years despite fixes for the bugs the hackers exploited having been released for some time)

US drug squad cops: We snooped on innocent Americans' phone calls too!


Re: earl grey how many of them went to jail

Subpoena != warrant and don't even necessarily have to be issued by a court, just a government body. The National Security Letters which were issued (and arguably abused) by the FBI to force people to cooperate and keep silent about it were subpoenas issued by the FBI without going through the courts. There's nothing here suggesting the subpoenas were issued by courts as opposed to the DEA itself

Mr President, is this a war on hackers – or a war on people stopping hackers?


Re: Obama, like all politicians, is computer illiterate.

While I recognise that this terminology is used within the hacking community, it isn't used the same way outside of the community (even by people who are familiar with computers). "Hackers" has become the term used for "Crackers", with what you'd term a hacker being considered by those outside of the hacking community as "security researchers", or something along those lines anyway

DAMN YOU! Microsoft blasts Google over zero-day blabgasm


If Microsoft is telling the truth and Google decided to stick to it's 90 days even though a fix was in place and ready to release on the next patch day then Google was at least somewhat in the wrong, although I'd raise issue with the idea that you should sit on a patch for a zero day exploit for weeks just so a designated day can arrive rather than releasing when it's ready because people got so fed up with the number of patches your software needed


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