* Posts by CommanderGalaxian

147 posts • joined 21 May 2013

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We need to talk about mathematical backdoors in encryption algorithms

CommanderGalaxian
FAIL

Re: Why the focus on PUBLIC and MATHEMATICAL methods?

"What if Alice and Bob have created a word substitution cipher based on some unknown dictionary? "

Effectively what you are describing is a one-time pad - or in this case a one-time dictionary.

Fine if you only ever encrypt one message with it using that dictionary just once. But once you use that same dictionary for several messages. you run into the bog standard problems you get with any substitution cipher - i.e. letter frequency and word frequency.

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CommanderGalaxian

Re: No~

"Not quite sure how it was broken, some really smart Poles and us Brits somehow figured out how."

An an Enigma machine was captured and they were able to see how the rotors worked - in essence they got hold of the source code - thus giving them a significant leg up.

German operators were also often lazy - they didn't change their station identifiers and pre-amble greetings - in essence similar to using the same seed over and over again in a pseudo random number generator.

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CommanderGalaxian
Black Helicopters

Re: Backdoors

"Even the NSA has leaks."

The likes of the NSA and GCHQ will have millions of secrets - and yet how often are there actual leaks? Next to never. People who apply for these jobs like keeping secrets - they like operating in a grey area of moral ambiguity. These organisations screen people to ensure the likelyhood of those they employ becoming a whistleblower are tiny.

And when leaks do occur - it tends to have life changing consequences for the leaker - think Manning and Snowden.

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CommanderGalaxian
Black Helicopters

Re: The resistance to end to end encryption by these entities

Exactly. That's why the likes of UK Gov greet about how unfair it is that ordinary folks use cryption like WhatsApp. Because WhatsApp is already well rogered.

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Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

CommanderGalaxian
FAIL

Re: OK, I'll bite

"The slowdown is not likely to be a problem for home computer...."

More specifically it has been stated that you won't experience slowdowns unless you are doing a lot of disk access or network access - so if you happen to be a freelance software developer working from home then expect your compile times to increase - or if you happen to be an online games player then expect to experience degraded performance - perhaps quite significantly so.

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CommanderGalaxian

Ambulance chasing lawyers have their place in the scheme of things - especially when the reason is that you've purchased premium kit - and discover some way down the line that the only way it can run safely is by turning it into crippleware, performance-wise.

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Woo-yay, Meltdown CPU fixes are here. Now, Spectre flaws will haunt tech industry for years

CommanderGalaxian
FAIL

So people pay good money...

...and then discover their systems will only run at about 70% of the advertised speed or efficiency once the patches have been applied.

Why would anybody not be wanting - at the very least - a partial refund?

Case in point - Volkswagen.

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Jocks in shock as Irn-Bru set to slash sugar and girder content

CommanderGalaxian
Happy

Re: National scandal

"Pah! --Buckfast was for sophisticated lightweights..."

You're not doing it right. You're supposed to dissolve a couple of acid tabs in a bottle of Buckie the night before - and then drink it the next day.

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CommanderGalaxian

Re: sachet of sugar... do the trick.

"Which artifical sweetener?"

AGBarr have chosen aspartame.

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CommanderGalaxian

Re: sachet of sugar... do the trick.

"What - like xylitol?"

Xylitol might not have been too bad. But in their infinite wisdom AGBarr have chosen aspartame.

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CommanderGalaxian

Re: sachet of sugar... do the trick.

"It'll be fun when the government eventually realise artificial sweeter is linked to dementia...."

Thankfully artificial sweetners have never been fingered as a cause in the increase of diabetes cases...oh wait...

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329872-600-artificial-sweeteners-linked-to-glucose-intolerance/

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CommanderGalaxian

Re: Is nothing sacred?

"I've had a couple of cans (while in the U.S.!)"

The U.S. version is different because AG Barr wouldn't disclose the recipe.

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CommanderGalaxian

Re: Is nothing sacred?

The local chippy does gluten free ones on a Monday.

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Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

CommanderGalaxian

Re: Tax increase?

"Given a UBI, do we still need a 'tax free' earnings band?"

No you don't. The Personal Allowance goes. The author and his source seem to be ignorant of the mechanics of UBI.

https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-missing-half-of-the-equation/#more-98905

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CommanderGalaxian
Mushroom

The author needs to do some decent fact checking of his sources.

'Based on Scotland’s demographics, Young reckons that a £50/£100/£150 UBI would cost £28bn annually. “That’s almost the entire devolved budget..."

Complete and utter bollocks. That sort of nonsense cost has already been well debunked. Once the savings of not having to pay benefits and increased tax take are netted off - the additional cost comes in at more like £3bn.

https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-missing-half-of-the-equation/#more-98905

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Spanish govt slammed over bizarre Catalan .cat internet registry cop raid

CommanderGalaxian

Re: Curious Spanish attitude

"The difference is that Westminster has said yes, twice..." [innacurate on several counts]

As with previous referenda in Scotland and Catalonia - the governments of the UK and Spain only granted them at a time when they knew the opinion polls showed that the Central Government was almost certain to win.

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CommanderGalaxian

Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

"Hmm. The "English" haven't got Scotland, the United Kingdom has."

The United Kingdom is a Union, so it doesn't have Scotland. Either party is free to leave at any time. Funny how every possible obstacle is put in Scotland's way to leaving by, errr, England.

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Labour says it will vote against DUP's proposed TV Licence reforms

CommanderGalaxian
Headmaster

Re: @Pen-y-gors

"After all Ulster is indivisible from Britain..."

I think you'll find three of its nine counties are located in the Republic of Ireland.

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CommanderGalaxian
Joke

Brexit negotiating team

And then they'll head over to Strasbourg for Brexit talks as part of the Conservative and Unionist Negotiating Team.

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Decapitating Rockall: How a 1970s Navy expedition blasted the top off the Atlantic islet

CommanderGalaxian
Boffin

"Extending the UK territorial claims to (possibly exclusive) fishing and mineral rights further into the Atlantic Ocean than previous limits?"

It would need to be permanently sustainably habitable - which it is not. Therefore the Territorial Sea gets extended around Rockall for 12 nautical miles - but not the EEZ.

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Is it the beginning of the end for Visual Basic? Microsoft to focus on 'core scenarios'

CommanderGalaxian
Thumb Down

Oh FFS, just when I'd finally warmed to it...

...they decide to go and scrap it. Wnakers.

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Army social media psyops bods struggling to attract fresh blood

CommanderGalaxian
Black Helicopters

BBC Pravda

Ah, the good old Aunty Beeb - the place where the truth goes to die.

Even if Scottish Indy isn't the sort of thing that floats your boat, the one hour documentary is a handy guide to how the BBC does UK Gov propaganda.

LONDON CALLING: How the BBC stole the Referendum

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXQYuLUAbyw

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Higher tech prices ARE here to stay. It's Mr Farage's new Britain

CommanderGalaxian
Joke

Re: Brexit means brexit.

You idiot. Brexit does not mean Brexit - it means Red, White and Blue. Get with the program son.

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Microsoft, IBM, Intel refuse to hand over family jewels to China

CommanderGalaxian
Unhappy

Re: How about domestic software?

"An example? Sure..."

Jeez oh. That sounds like some sort of dystopian nightmare from an episode of Black Mirror.

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Three certainties in life: Death, taxes and the speed of light – wait no, maybe not that last one

CommanderGalaxian
Flame

Maxwell not Einstein

"Einstein was incorrect about the speed of light being a fixed constant in our universe..."

Umm - it was Maxwell not Einstein who proved the speed of light was a constant (for any given medium), predicted its value and stated the reason why. Kindly RTFM.

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Smart meter benefits even crappier than originally thought

CommanderGalaxian
Stop

He just wants the wi-fi password so him and his mates can come back later, sit outside and think they are kool l33t haxors, all while surfing dodgey pr0n.

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UK.gov has 18,000 IT contractors on its books due to dearth of skills

CommanderGalaxian

"IR35 was intended to stop companies taking employees off payroll and re-hiring them as contractors to avoid tax..."

IR35 was never intended to do that - rather it was the excuse they used - clamping down on (a relatively small) abuse of the system. The intention was a always a tax grab on a group of well-paid workers they viewed as easy prey because they weren't unionised.

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Adult FriendFinder users get their privates exposed... again – reports

CommanderGalaxian
Devil

Re: Sheesh

It's alright. It's back up now. Just checked.

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Don't panic, but a 'computer error' cut the brakes on a San Francisco bus this week

CommanderGalaxian
Boffin

Re: Shouldn't they have a 'safe' failure mode?

"If the connection is lost it should be seen as the brakes being applied".

Indeed.

Presumably the basics of fail safe design was beyond them. Yet, it's standard stuff - if the breaking unit is not continuously receiving a signal via the link that says "do not brake", then the brakes should be applied automatically.

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Complaints against cops down 93% thanks to bodycams – study

CommanderGalaxian
Holmes

Re: Studying police officers improves their behaviour

"It shows that the act of studying has an effect."

Please prove that quantum mechanical observer participation has an effect!

Seriously though, I rather think it's a no brainer - when people - cops and perps alike - know their every action is being recorded [a recording that in both cases is being made outwith both their control] - it has the fascinating effect of improving their behaviour.

Funny that.

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Newest Royal Navy warship weighs as much as 120 London buses

CommanderGalaxian
FAIL

Beware BritNat Yoons.

Nice to see some BritNat misprepresent things with a classic bit of Yoon propaganda.

The problem in the UK is that there are currently too many MOD yards and too few orders. So the money paid to BAE keeps English and Northern Irish Yards going just as much as Scottish yards. Still, why let facts get in the way of some bit of Little Englander bigotry.

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HMRC's IR35 tweaks have 90% of UK's IT contractors up in arms

CommanderGalaxian
Headmaster

Weird Kafkaesque stuff.

"...self-employed workers not paying the correct employment taxes..." - surely this is an oxymoron? Why would somebody who is not an employee be paying "employment taxes"?

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Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

CommanderGalaxian

Re: I can see where this is going.

That's not what gets asked - rather "do you believe your contractor is under your direct supervision and control.."

No, seriously, if you RTFM you'll find out that it is the engager (not the engaged contractor) who is asked to decide on things like supervision, the right of substitution and mutuality of obligation.

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Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

CommanderGalaxian
Boffin

Re: The Govt filter for stuff we shouldn't see.

I think you will find they have left it to China Telecom and Huawei (those responsible for the Great Firewall of China) to do the filtering. http://www.kitguru.net/channel/jon-martindale/huawei-to-open-125-million-research-facility-in-uk/

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CommanderGalaxian
Headmaster

Re: 10Mbps is easy

For the avoidance of confusion, please note ADSL2+ and FTTC are different mechanisms.

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Visiting America? US border agents want your Twitter, Facebook URLs

CommanderGalaxian
Facepalm

Well that's gonna slow everything up...

That's ISIS screwed then, it'll take the average operative several hours to run through their lists of sock puppet accounts.

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What Brexit means for you as a motorist

CommanderGalaxian

Re: Passport, driving licence validity

"Our old friend Mr Worstall has already covered the French and the language issue. Not likely to happen, how do Germans and Spaniards currently converse at the EU? Not in French....".

English will not be an official EU language after #Brexit:

http://www.politico.eu/article/english-will-not-be-an-official-eu-language-after-brexit-senior-mep/

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CommanderGalaxian
Facepalm

Re: Speculation

Yup Jaguar. That iconic symbol of Indian motoring technolgy.

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CommanderGalaxian
FAIL

Re: Passport, driving licence validity

France has tabled a motion to have English removed as an official language in the EU. So if you want to have your UK driving licence recgnised as valid in the EU, once the UK has completed #Brexit, it will have to be printed in French.

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CommanderGalaxian
Happy

Re: So essentially

Here we see Scotland being told to eff off by the EU:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-summit-idUSKCN0ZF0LM

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CommanderGalaxian
FAIL

Re: On the plus side...

Yeah but, to qualify for the visa waiver, you've got to go on line, pay a fee and supply exactly the sort of information that you'd have to supply for, errr, a visa.

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Air-gapping SCADA systems won't help you, says man who knows

CommanderGalaxian
FAIL

Never seen a SCADA system compromised yet...

...without some random technician plugging in a "sheep dipped" USB stick or "clean" laptop absolutely hoaching with malware.

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French say 'Non, merci' to encryption backdoors

CommanderGalaxian
Black Helicopters

"So, the watered down alternative proposal is for everyone to provide a set of spare keys to the police, who may use them to enter when they please, in the name of national security of course."

Why exactly do you think insurance companies insist that you have British Standard compliant locks?

Hello?

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Ross Ulbricht lodges (another) appeal of Silk Road verdict and sentence

CommanderGalaxian
Thumb Down

Of course, confession evidence has never been coerced and never been shown years later to have been falsified. We shouldn't worry though on this one, as the main prosecution investigators are now convicted fraudsters. What could possibly go wrong when the state employs people of such high integrity?

Remember - "beyond all reasonable doubt".

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Brit 'naut Tim Peake preps for Space Station launch

CommanderGalaxian
Happy

Not the 1st Brit in Space or on the ISS

At last. Finally. Finally, Finally. An article that doesn't repeat the utterly incorrect: "Tim Peake will be the first British Astronaut in [Space|ISS]".

Well done El Reg for accurate reporting in the face of Establishment and Mainstream Media hooraying propaganda.

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No root for you! Google slams door on Symantec certs

CommanderGalaxian

Re: What's the problem?

So why are Symantec so bothered when they say they are removing these certs...sometime...soonish..anyway...?

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US government pushing again on encryption bypass

CommanderGalaxian
Flame

Post proof or STFU

"...public concern over both has led for calls to limit the degree of privacy afforded all users of mobile phones."

No. Seriously. WTF? Please post proof of this. Who's really behind your pay cheque?

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Goldman Sachs to patent Bitcoin

CommanderGalaxian
Flame

Goldman Sachs to patent Bitcoin

Seriously.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/b0d8f614-997c-11e5-9228-87e603d47bdc.html

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The Edward Snowden guide to practical privacy

CommanderGalaxian
Black Helicopters

Re: The word is out - TOR is compromised!

TOR has never claimed to be immune to types of traffic flow analysis (i.e. the "intercept all traffic" thing). The problem is balancing usuability in real time with anonymity. If you want to play with those that are designed to deal with that kind of attack, you need to look at using CypherPunk remailers and FreeNet.

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IT contractors raise alarm over HMRC mulling 'one-month' nudge onto payrolls

CommanderGalaxian
Flame

Re: This does not compute

No. That's not the case. You could be on the payroll after one month.

Believe it not, this is actually a concession by the taxman/George Osborne.

In the previous recent statement on redefing the defintion of self-employment, freelance work and IR35 status, HMRC had proposed, from day one, to ignore contracts, ignore existing case law and ignore existing status tests (mutuality of obligation, substitution, direction and control (that's the how, rather than what and when)) [pass anyone and you are *not* an employee].

What HMRC proposed (and may still be proposing) was contacting the client and asking them whether or not they thought the contractor was under the employer's direction and control - knowing full well that somebody in the personnel department is not in a position to make this judgment - but would almost invariably reply "Yes" - and would instruct them to add the contractor to the payroll and begin deducting tax and NI as though they were an employee - unless the contractor agreed to have their own PSC payroll supervised by the engaging client - and make tax and NI deductions as though they were an employee of the client.

The contractor would be free to appeal the decision and if HMRC agree that he/she should be treated as self-employed, then they will refund what's due once he/she has done their annual tax return.

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