* Posts by SolidSquid

676 posts • joined 13 May 2013


BOFH: Thermo-electric funeral


Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

I hear you can get an external interface for that these days

Edward Snowden sues Norway to prevent extradition


Re: The marathon-couch-surfing champion in the Ecuadorian embassy

Megaupload had servers based in the US which hosted material illegally, giving the US juristiction over any illegal activity on the servers


Russia wasn't actually the destination he was heading for, he was going via there to somewhere else when his passport was cancelled, rendering him stuck. If they win this case that extradition for his whistleblowing would be illegal under Norweigan law, it would make things significantly more difficult for Norway to extradite him without running afoul of the European courts, who aren't on good terms right now with the US because of the whole privacy shield thing

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS arrives today complete with forbidden ZFS


Re: Priorities?

From what I saw, most of the complaints were more methodology related rather than functionality. People were annoyed that it was one massive bundled binary rather than a lot of smaller components which could be maintained independently

European Union set to release anti-competition hounds on Google


Re: Once was Microsoft, now it's Google...

Depends on the version of Cyanogemod you've got installed. If it's 7 there's still a ton of Google stuff pre-installed in the bare bones version. See https://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Barebones#GApps_Note

That said, from the reduction in Google things in version 10, I suspect Google has been working to at least somewhat decouple itself from Android and instead rely on the licencing agreements mentioned in the article to get themselves installed after the fact


Or Nokia, which is a Finnish company? They managed pretty well with their handsets before iOS and Android took over the market

Idiot millennials are saving credit card PINs on their mobile phones


Re: And pre-Millienials were tech savants?

or stuck to the back of their ID, or on a piece of paper in their wallet, or on a sticker on the back of their phone. There's a lot of dumb ways to store passwords, on a pin locked device isn't necessarily the worst of them

UK web host 123-Reg goes TITSUP, customer servers evaporate


Re: One man and a dog outfit

Given the circumstances, I think he might have finally gotten to the keyboard and now the dog has to clean up the mess

What's wrong with the Daily Mail Group buying Yahoo?


Re: So the good news is....

The good news being it cures cancer and the bad news that massive numbers of people have started doing X, which causes cancer?

Flying Spaghetti Monster is not God, rules mortal judge


Honestly I might have been tempted to pick holes in the reasoning, but the judge went to the trouble of doing the reading and actually considering it seriously, including raising the point of how close it is to an actual religion, so I'd say he's done exactly as he should have in this case in quite a professional manner (rather than simply dismissing the arguments as nonsense)

That said, I do wonder if they're now going to start questioning (apparent) Christians on the contents of the bible to see if they're "real" Christians or not before allowing religious exemptions to them

Russian boffins want to nuke asteroids


Re: Treaties schmeaties

Problem is you've then got radioactive meteor fragments covering the planet. That's why they made the point that they were doing this on asteroids which came close but didn't quite hit as they left, so that when they circle back they won't be a threat

GCHQ is having problems meeting Osborne's 2020 recruitment target


Have to wonder whether the Snowden releases have impacted their recruiting and to what extent. We know that the NSA and FBI at least ran into issues with people not wanting to take jobs with them because of some of what was revealed

Man pleads guilty for serving white hat with DoS, swearbot, sex toys


Re: The guy is a fuckwit and...

As I understand it it's very rare for the judge to actually give the maximum sentences, it's just prosecutors use them to pressure defendants into a plea bargain rather than going to court

China's Great Firewall inventor forced to use VPN live on stage to dodge his own creation


Re: Censorship sole function is political

There's the old D-Notice thing where the government makes a "request" for media companies not to cover a subject. Technically they can do it anyway, Guardian did so over the Snowden papers iirc, but they almost always tow the line on that to avoid conflict with the government

Quick check, it was the US PRISM programme part of the Snowden releases, and when the Guardian ignored it apparently Cameron brought up the possibility of judicial action to force them to stop covering it in parliament


Re: Thinks

Probably easier to make your computer's hostname "Tianamen Square"

White House flushes away court-ordered decryption like it was a stinky dead goldfish


Re: Double Bluff?

Triple bluff - They can't decrypt anything, they just seed false stories where they managed it and rely on people coming up with conspiracy theories based on these to give the impression of capabilities they don't have

PayPal freezes 400-job expansion in North Carolina over bonkers religious freedom law


Re: America

From what I've read, the militia line could be anything from "anyone because they could form a militia if possible" to "actually means the state police force because militias took that role when the country was formed", so it may well be a shonky interpretation of the word militia, but it's irrelevant because the supreme court has already ruled on it and that pretty much sets the standard in stone short of a constitutional amendment.

Similarly they've ruled that the "establishment" of a state church and the state directly linking with any particular church (ie not being kept separate) are equivalent in practice, and the only way around this is to require the state to allow the same links from any religious group which requests it. This has recently been brought up in relation to courts sending people to 12 step programs, which while they claim to be secular still require "submitting to a higher power", which isn't compatible with all religions or religious positions

Trump carded again: Hotel security aced


Re: Picture

I suspect this will lead to a lot of confusion, given that a lot of places branded Trump are actually just licencing the name from him rather than actually run by his company


Re: Sigh...

Nope, you're quite right that the president can't change the law. He can ask congressmen to submit bills for vote, but can't do it himself. That said though, Trump himself seems to *think* he can change the laws on his whims, or at least has been using the ability to do so as one of his main campaigning points, so it's not surprising that people get the wrong idea


Re: Cartoon land

The Acme Giant Catapult factory was moved to Mexico after they found a surprisingly large market for the devices with people using untraceable cash

Labour: We want the Snoopers' Charter because of Snowden


> The codes of practice, however, wouldn't be published until bill becomes an act, and as secondary legislation the codes of practice can only be voted for in their entirety.

This alone should be sufficient reason to vote this bill down. Whatever the rules controlling how this is done, they should be debated publicly and MPs should be answerable to the public for what they voted on it, pushing things into secondary legislation just makes it easier to force through unjust laws which would never have passed Parliament as part of a bill

Data-thirsty mobile owners burn through 5GB a month


Re: Poor Web Development

Really the frameworks are supposed to be for prototyping, then when you're done working out what you need you start cutting out the bits you don't. jQuery introduced subcomponents so you can load individual parts rather than the whole thing and, according to them at least, the full version will drop to 11kb when minified and gzipped during transfer if you use the minified version. jQuery UI lets you do custom builds which only include the features you want. Twitter Bootstrap you can just remove the js entirely if you aren't using it, and I'm sure other libraries like this let you pick and choose what parts you actually want

Problem is this requires people to keep it in mind when they're building it, and plan time into the project for doing clean up work. There's also the issue of third party services, like the Twitter API or ad networks (mentioned in the article), where your page load time is impacted by the response time of third party servers which you have no control over. Not to mention if you have a lot of files to download rather than a small number of combined ones the overheads from the http requests will slow things down

So yeah, all in all there are ways to improve it, but they depend on better planning of projects and getting clients to understand that more shiny doesn't necessarily mean more sales

Glasgow boiler firm in hot water for cold calls, cops £180K fine


Re: Glasgow boiler firm in hot water for cold calls, cops £180K fine

Generally they're set up as limited companies, which provides a degree of protection to the people working for the company in exchange for the owners not having full use of the funds (instead they draw a wage). Unless they can prove criminal intent on the part of the owners, it would be difficult to actually fine them personally for anything as opposed to fining the company as a separate entity

Flying Scotsman attacked by drone


Loose house can be sorted with a screwdriver generally, although sometimes you need a bit of oil for the hinges too after they've been tightened

Michigan shooter says 'mind controlling' Uber app told him to kill


A lot of psychologists have flagged this up as being partly responsible for the rapid upswing in numbers. It's not so much removing any mention of them, but rather reporting on what happens without mentioning the individual who committed the crime, instead focusing on what happened and the victims, so as to prevent them becoming a celebrity. There would still be court records etc where people could go looking, but they wouldn't immediately become a household name who's motivations were discussed, well, at this point globally really

Social media people could still find the identities, but it wouldn't be the same level of celebrity they would get from constant coverage

Staff 'fury' as penny pinching IBM offers legal minimum redundo payoffs


Re: Statutary minimum redunancy pay?

Unfortunately that can be extended by contractual agreements, you just can't have a contract which stipulates a notice period *less* than that

How a Brexit could stop UK biz and Europe swapping personal data


Re: Is there any evidence to back this up?

> which surprised me, probably due to the Good Friday agreement, everything could kick off again if they leave the EU

Might be right that this is what people are thinking, but the Good Friday Agreement doesn't refer to the EU, but rather the ECHR. That's a large part of why the Conservatives have given up on the British Bill of Rights thing, they realised they would need to re-negotiate the Scotland Act, Good Friday Agreement and the Welsh Act (ok, I don't actually know what this one's called. Has the same conditions though), because all 3 reference the ECHR as an appeals route. ECHR membership is independent of the EU though afaik


Re: Scotland not againing independence.

> because of a Scottish history of poor investments and bad treasury decisions.

Interesting bit of revisionist history there. The Act of Union was put through because of a single private venture by Scottish nobility, where they decided to invest all of their own money after England threatened any country allowing international investment with trade route blockades. When the venture failed, England offered to buy off the debts they accrued as a result of this so they could continue to live as nobility in exchange for them signing the Act. It wasn't actually anything to do with the Scottish treasury and only vaguely to do with it's government (since it's government consisted of the nobility largely, this being pre-democratic electiosn)


> Ooh, please let Scotland try for that one; I would vote for Brexit under that condition. I'd much rather be debt free and out of the EU than with £1tn of debt and in the EU.

I don't know, dare say we could make a few bob selling off Trident and Westminster, maybe the contents of the National Gallery. After all, the successor state takes ownership of all government assets as well as the debt doesn't it?

More seriously though, thee's no way Scotland could be considered the successor state by Westminster without some fairly massive caveats on who gets what and how the debt is split up. It'd be more likely the two countries would split, forming new countries, and the debt would be split evenly based on population or something


Re: @Vimes - Scotland not only gaining independence...

One of the primary arguments against Scotland going independent at the time of the referendum was losing EU membership, which has a higher support in Scotland than it does in England. It might not be enough to trigger separation, but it would certainly boost the possibility of another referendum


This was something there were a lot of questions about, but because Westminster refused to make an official query to the EU before the referendum was decided there was never an official ruling. Part of the problem for the EU is that there's no mechanism for EU citizens to lose that citizenship, so technically any residents of an independent Scotland would have the full travel rights, work rights, etc which come with the EU without any of the obligations towards other EU citizens if they visited Scotland.

Also I suspect there would be a different position on this within the EU if Scotland was going independent to remain part of it, since that's something they would want to encourage

German lodges todger in 13 steel rings


Re: I suspect a bit of both

Firemen get training, at least the specialist teams do, on how to cut people out of vehicles etc without injuring them. I suspect it's largely because it's easier to get the firemen to come in and do the job than to try and get the fancy surgeons to do so (and a hell of a lot cheaper too I suspect)

FBI says NY judge went too far in ruling the FBI went too far in forcing Apple to unlock iPhone


Re: How can a government have this right?

There's supposed to be limitations on what can be required under the All Writs Act to prevent "unreasonable" work, or some other vague word which they're arguing doesn't conflict with this. More likely they'll run afoul of a supreme court decision I heard about, that writing code is covered by the first amendment, as requiring them to write code they disagree with would be, under this ruling, roughly equivalent to ordering people to declare their opinion to be X when they actually think Y, something the government isn't able to do

GCHQ: Crypto's great, we're your mate, don't be like that and hate


Re: Goodwill?

He's pretty much mirroring Clinton's comments that "the government is not your enemy" to companies like Google who had their inter-datacentre links tapped by the NSA. That kind of comment is intended to frame the argument for the general public as a "these people are being unreasonable too, and even though we're making an effort now they're still refusing to budge!". It's a PR stunt, nothing more, which is probably why he did it in another country where people are less familiar with what's going on with GCHQ

UK.gov will scrutinise all its Atos contracts following IT cock-up


Having only recently had the pleasure of watching that series, I was both amused and somewhat disturbed at how accurate the depiction seemed to still be. Which I suspect is more or less the same response it got when it first came out

Converged PC and smartphone is the future, says Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth


The Asus PadPhone (I think?) had a feature where you could dock the phone in a screen for a tablet and the screen in a keyboard for a laptop, and came with a stylus which doubled as a bluetooth speaker/microphone. Seems like something along those lines could resolve the issue of how to take calls while it's plugged in, and honestly I think the tablet/laptop form factor would be more useful than plugging it into a TV anyway.

Only real advantage I can think of is being able to go to a hotel room and plug it into a tv there, but how many hotel TVs have USB ports? Hell, how many have HDMI as opposed to SCART?

edit: Almost there, but it's PadPhone rather than TabPhone. Still, I think that could have seen a lot more success if it had been powered by Ubuntu than Android, given that Ubuntu can provide a full desktop environment as well as mobile


Main thing that occurs to me is that Synology's stuff has their Synology cloud app, which lets you sync data between devices and NAS automatically. Seems like that would reduce the effects of different storage at least, and streaming directly from the NAS is possible on the phone/tablet

Ad-blockers are a Mafia-style 'protection racket' – UK's Minister of Fun


I'll be honest, I don't know what it is that AdBlock Plus provides which they charge the ad networks for. If they're doing screening of the ads which go up though then that makes it perfectly sensible to have a gatekeeper who charges a small fee to cover costs and make a small profit. If it's literally just a whitelist though then that's a kinda shitty business model

Hillary Clinton private email server probe winding up – reports


Re: Do not understand the issue

There's three parts to it. First there's the fact she was running her own email server, which may or may not have been secure, which almost certainly handled correspondence which was classified. This isn't a major issue as previous Secretaries of State have done the same.

Second is that she, or people in her employ, seem to have used that email server to bypass the Freedom of Information Act by pretending it didn't exist and so the emails couldn't be produced. This is pretty questionable, and if it's the case and was discovered earlier would likely have resulted in serious fines for her department

Last part is that she apparently sent on documents which were classified to people without clearance and stored them on the server which may or may not have been secured. Really this is what the Department of Justice is interested in, because if it turns out the documents were classified before she got them then she may be facing criminal charges. It's all kind of complicated though because they may not have been classified yet when she got them and she may not have been notified of them being classified after the fact, so there's the question of whether she should have been able to anticipate whether the documents would have been classified or not and whether she can be held liable for publishing documents which she knew *would* be classified but haven't been rated as classified *yet*

Basically it's a clusterfuck of bad document management but is unlikely to result in criminal charges, whether because there was no crime committed or because it would be so difficult to prove, but might impact her as a presidential candidate if she gets the nomination for the Democrats regardless because it's a pretty easy bit of mud to sling

New York judge blocks FBI demand for Apple help to unlock iPhone


Re: Beware of Pyrrhic victories...

> It looks Apple has nothing to say if someone else accesses its phones. Thus it's not a matter of rights, just convenience.

Someone else accessing a phone has nothing to do with Apples rights though, forcing them to build software to bypass security features against their will though runs into issues with first amendment rights (since writing software was apparently ruled to be covered by the first amendment by the supreme court).

Donald Trump promises 'such trouble' for Jeff Bezos and Amazon


Re: Inherited Wealth

> Trump had been thinking about this for years. He finally saw the opportunity was right.

Was the time right in 2000 when he ran and then pulled out? Even US commentators initially thought he was doing this for publicity again and would be reluctant to go the whole way because of the pressures to release tax paperwork, which might undermine his claims on how much money he's worth (he tried to sue Forbes for libel when they tried to calculate it after the property market crashed and got a number significantly less than the one he claimed)

It's also interesting the hypocrisy of Trump criticising someone for trying to buy political influence after countering claims he had supported Democrat candidates by saying he gave money to *all* parties in New York elections in an effort to buy influence and make things easier for his company

Official: Toshiba pulls out of European consumer PC market


Re: Ah, well

> Apparently windows VM's run pretty well under OSX.

If this is for a business though then that VM would require a separate licence for Windows, adding a not insignificant chunk of change onto the change of what's already an expensive machine

FBI v Apple spat latest: Bill Gates is really upset that you all thought he was on the Feds' side


During the discussions on the UK security bill, it was also pointed out by a former NSA director (I believe) that the amount of data they're getting is so much it's actually making their jobs *harder*, not easier, because there's no way for them to parse through all of it. So even if they can't access some phones directly, doesn't mean they're not getting an absolute ton of information, and even if they *could* access that data, doesn't mean they'd be able to use it

'I bet Russian hackers weren't expecting their target to suck so epically hard as this'


Re: OmegaIsNull

I'd agree that the omega == null example wouldn't work, but given that the boolean value is already false, is it really necessary to include the alpha == null condition? I'm pretty sure it could be simplified a lot, even if it's not in the way they suggested in the article

'Leave' or 'Stay' in the referendum? UK has to implement GDPR either way


Re: LEAVE EU would actually STAY in the EEA

As I understand, staying in the EEA would require negotiating something similar to what the Scandinavian countries have, but wouldn't be automatic and what we got out of such an agreement would depend on how the negotiations with the EU went after we left

US DoJ files motion to compel Apple to obey FBI iPhone crack order


Re: Chain of evidence

Actually, even if Apple were to agree to this, the chain of evidence issue still applies. Are the FBI going to fully audit the software Apple provides before running it? *Can* they fully audit it with the device still locked, since they won't know for sure what it'll be interacting with? If no to either, can anything on the phone be considered evidence any more, given they ran software which could potentially have modified data on it?


Re: Something doesn't compute

> Er, mixed messages. In their domestic legal systems may be, but that was not the only 'jurisdiction' in play.

> Hitler, had he been captured alive, would have ended up at the Nuremberg Trials like all the other senior Nazis did.

Being charged under laws which were written post-WW2 specifically for the punishment of the crimes committed by the Nazis and their allies and to prevent anyone else committing the same atrocities. While I'm not saying I agree with what they said, at the time they committed the crimes their domestic legal system *was* the only juristiction in play, it's just another one was created post-war so they could be charged.

And asserting Apple could technically do this isn't the same as them actually being able to, and certainly not the same as them being able to do it in as narrow a context as the FBI claims they can. They may well be fighting this to prevent a precedent being set rather than because, in this specific case, they don't want to cooperate


Re: I am surprised ..

They can, but it's time consuming and they don't want to spend the money necessary to do so, so they offload that cost on to a third party


Re: Here's what you do tim...

- what if Apple can't/is unable to, successfully*,--whether subject to un-appealable compulsion or after considered capitulation--re-arrange the phone into the desired configuration to satisfy their enslaving TLA?

Given this work is supposed to be specifically for a single device, they'd need to be doing any testing against the phone itself which could potentially run afoul of a software bug. The alternative is developing it with other phones for testing in a way that can then be safely moved to the iPhone which is part of this case, which would undermine the claims it would only work for one device


Re: No, not really

> You think that, because you're Neu Tek and Oh, So Special!, that the laws don't apply to you...nor, to this case. But they DO.

It's not a question of whether the laws apply to new technology or not, it's whether the courts can compel a company to do a significant amount of work (in this case writing up a work around for their security systems) which will have a clear detrimental effect on the company itself, despite the company having done nothing illegal

Even under the same rules which would allow the FBI to get a warrant to search a safe, which is the closest parallel I can think of, they wouldn't be able to get one in this case, as that would require the FBI to provide evidence of *what* they know is on the phone, whereas they've just asserted that they think there's more data there than in the iCloud


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