* Posts by The_Idiot

280 posts • joined 20 Sep 2013


Brit comms regulator Ofcom: Disabled left behind by tech


Re: What counts as 'disabled'?

You have me _every_ sympathy. Offered sincerely and genuinely - from experience.

I apologise to those for whom what follows is TMI. Feel free not to read further. But my own wife has Primary Progressive MS. She is fully wheelchair bound, has a colostomy for solid waste and an indwelling catheter for liquid waste, one _I_ have to maintain and replace as a result of cuts to care funding. She is losing the use of her hands and her voice volume is dropping. I still work full time and I'm also her sole carer. I'm in tech, and tech should be a savior for someone whose computer is her sole window on the world. Does it help? Sure. Has the available help changed much in the past ten years she's been chair bound? Not so much. And lord knows I've tried most of what's available. Head mice? Yes. Dragon? Yes. Crossed fingers and hope I don;t come home to find she's finally given up and OD-d? So yes I can't say it loud enough.

AC, whoever you are, you have my every sympathy - and my hope that, gamer though I am, the tech world takes a little of its eye off a gazillion core cpu with graphics to show the atoms in a hair on the Bad Guy's face - and opens the world to those who have no window to look through but a computer screen.

Jeep hacking lawsuit shifts into gear for trial after US Supremes refuse to hit the brakes



... don't buy network connected vehicles? Software will always have flaws, flaws will always be found, found flaws will always be used by someone at some time.

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans


Re: So...

"Are children being exposed to naughty audio on a regular basis?"

Only if they want to spend five (all numbers made up, as per Internet standards) minutes looking for it and like it when they find it. A bit like drugs, gambling, the lyrics to the latest single by some artist I'm probably far too old to ever want to know, the price of an iphone, the road to Fiddlers Green...

Er, OK. Forget that last one. I'm showing my age. Or something... (blush)

I'll go back to the beginning. Only if they want to spend five (all numbers made up, as per Intern et standards) minutes looking for it and like it when they find it. And so far, the world hasn't ended.

A Christmas classic: Cloudera founder asks staff to stay another day


A small...

... amendment:

"In cases where we must terminate positions (which, of course won't be, like, _ours_, as we're, like, _important_, not like you), we will put reasonable (from the perspective of our accountants, and, more importantly, the bonus I'm going to get after this) plans, including severance packages (because some bloody stupid laws say we sort of have to, but we're spending a really, really large amount of money on lawyers to see if we can get out of it), in place to ease the transition for those affected (which is us, not you. After all, you'll be gone, and we'll still be here)."

European fibre lobby calls for end to fake fibre broadband ads


Re: Cogito ergo sum?

I'm pretty sure (read: absolutely totally sure, 'cos I watched them run the fibre down the corridor). But then, I'm in Canada, and in a condo tower that has a provider with fibre to the apartment as an option (as well as other providers serving the tower who offer cable and other technologies). I would suggest a qualification, whether geographic or otherwise, to the hook line might be in order :-). I'll try to be nice and not mention my symetric, uncapped service - or the cost. Or, um, rather the 'lack' of significant cost :-))). Oh, alright. 250Mbps for $50 a month. I could have 1Gbps if I felt like shelling a whole $100 a month...

Gigabit? More like, you can gigabet the US will fall behind on super-fast broadband access


But... but...

... that nice, friendly Mr Pai said everything was going great!

"“Today’s report confirms that the FCC’s policies to promote broadband deployment are working, After Internet service providers reduced new investments in 2015 and 2016 under the prior Administration’s regulatory approach, broadband investment increased in 2017 by $1.5 billion over the previous year.”

Right. 2%. That'll fix it, yes? Oh - was that before or _after_ factoring in inflation, and the fact that the US was already _behind_ lots of other places? Sigh...

Windows 10 Pro goes Home as Microsoft fires up downgrade server


Re: The joke is on you!

My cat likes windows. She sits and stares out of the at the traffic twenty-five floors below and smiles ot herself. She watches the rain on them and, I'm sure, snuggles inside, remembering when she was a street cat out in the cold and rain before she was rescued - _before_ she had windows. On the other hand she was sort of unix-ed after her first litter (is a neutered female a eunixed one?), so I guess she has the best of both ways of operating... :-).

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...


Re: I have a code of conduct

With respect, the only issue with your one liner is it's self-breaching. By telling other people not to do something you're telling them (trying to tell them) how to behave, which the line itself forbids...

UK.gov looks to data to free people from contract lock-in doom


A cynical...

... might wonder if, at some point, the government will say 'well, we're here to make things easier for you. You give us copies of all your data, and we'll sort out the whole porting thing for you. And we _promise_ not to use the data for anything, um, naughty. Or sell it to folks you might not want us to.

Of course, that would be just an excess of cynicism, wouldn't it. Couldn't possibly ever happen. Er... right?

Developer goes rogue, shoots four colleagues at ERP code maker


Re: A gun is involved in every single mass shooting.

Then with respect, and since this is essentially a techno site, if I may I'll take your premise and apply a little logic.

1: It's fairly apparent that the US has a higher incidence of gun related violence and death than other countries (I'm sure there are those who would argue this, and they are of course entitled to. But I'm posing it as a premise).

2: Accepting your point (purely for the sake of logical review), let us assume the root cause is indeed not guns but 'evil, sick, depraved people'.

3: The logical combination of (1) and (2) would appear to suggest that the US has a significantly higher incidence of 'evil, sick, depraved people' than other countries (I'm not saying this is so, merely extending the logic).

4: Er - why? All those evil etc people in the US, I mean? What is the root cause under this logical structure?

Seagate passes gassy 14TB whopper: He He He, one for each of you


Re: Every cloud...

... of course, I meant 14TB drives (blush).


Every cloud...

... or NAS drive has a re-silver lining.

It's all very well to dream about filling a great big N-bay NAS with 4TB drives. But I'd suggest people also consider time-to-resilver, and the increasing odds of additional drive failures during re-silver operations. Or maybe I'm just being unduly cynical and pessimistic...

You won't believe this but... everyone hates their cable company: Bombshell study lands


Well, I...

... don't hate mine. Fibre to the premises, uncapped, synchronous speeds up to 1Gbps if I want it, no outages, knowledgeable, friendly and cooperative tech support (oh, you want to run your own router? Sure! We'll just put a convertor in and take ours away. No, no fee! Sure, if you change your mind we'll come put ours back!). Did I mention $50 a month for the 250Gbps I _am_ paying for (and getting - both ways, all the time?).

Oh. Right. I'm in Canada. My apologies... :-).

Oh boy: MPs prepare to probe UK.gov's digital prowess and tech savvy



... first can we have some form of 'qualification questionaire' for said probing MPs? You know, maybe things like:

You want to be on a committee looking into tech effectiveness. Answer the following multiple choice questions:

1: Is the Internet really made of tubes?

2: Do you believe in magic encryption that law officers can get into but Bad People can't?

3: Are hashtags a critical tool for identifying Bad People?

4: You are in Opposition. A huge, expensive government project just failed. Is this a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

5: You are in Government. A huge expensive government project is reported as having failed. Do you blame the previous government, blame the opposition or announce it as a major success?

Sigh - I know. I'm dreaming...

Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks


Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

With respect, the Anonymous post asked for a citation - a citation was provided. Additionally the McGrath biography from which the article quotes is by Dr Alister McGrath, not someone totally unknown for his rigour in such things:


Alister McGrath is Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion of the University of Oxford. In addition, he is Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College at Oxford and President of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.

The comments about book royalties are from an executive at Harper One, who hold current publication rights in this context and might be thought to be a reliable source. You may, of course, feel this is not the case and have every right to do so :-).


Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

And from the same article:

"“His books left him poor,” Maudlin said. “He had all of this money coming in, but he didn’t take those royalties.”

Lewis vowed to donate all the money he made from his books on Christianity, Maudlin says. He got big tax bills for his Christian books but struggled to pay them because he had given the money away.

Lewis refused to renounce his vow even though his money worries persisted throughout his life, Maudlin says."

"“American publishers worried about offending their more puritanical readers because it seemed impossible to get a dust jacket picture of Jack without a pint or a cigarette,” says Michael Tomko, a literature professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania."

"When the University of St. Andrews in Scotland awarded Lewis an honorary degree in 1945, Lewis gloomily joked that he preferred getting a “case of Scotch whiskey.”"


Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

Hmmm - Let's see:


"Lewis displayed an interest in sadomasochism during his youth. He read the writings of the Marquis de Sade; once became drunk at a party and begged people to allow him to whip them; and signed three letters to friend Arthur Greeves with the closing “lover of the whip,” according to McGrath’s biography."

Alien sun has smashing time sucking up planets


Re: "First case of solar suckage"

Well, technically I'd have thought a flare more of a spit than a suck - but I may be wrong (blush).

Labour MP pushing to slip 6-hour limit to kill illegal online content into counter-terror bill


Um, 'illegal' content? 'Illegal' _where_? This is the Internet - illegal in the place it was posted from? Illegal in the place it is observed or read? Both? Or is the expectation that content carriers will be able to create country specific filters to block content based on - er, what? The receiving device's IP address? VPNs seem to make that likely to fail. IP spoofing isn't difficult. And what about posts that are legal where the poster is, and perhaps protected by forms of local freedom of expression legislation? If someone somewhere else, for example the UK, posts a complaint, is the content carriers supposed to take down the material, possibly violating said poster-local legislation? For example, if an American citizen posts video of them using a gun to shoot at things, possibly targets with pictures of people on, and someone in the UK complains said video is a terror incitement?

Sigh. I think I'll go and sit in a corner and grump some more.

In huge privacy win, US Supreme Court rules warrant needed to slurp folks' location data


So where...

... dies this put the use of Stingrays, I wonder? Logically a Stingray can be said to intercept, record and deliver cellphone location data. Also logically, someone placing a Stingray can;t know who's location data they're going to gather in advance. So, at the risk of repetition, logically they can;t have obtained a warrant to obtain each person's cellphone location data.

OK - so the answer is probably (IANAL) - bugger all affect. After all, nobody's digging into the phone itself, so all good, right?

Right. Sigh......

FBI to World+Dog: Please, try turning it off and turning it back on


Giving in to...

... (semi) facetious conspiracy and paranoia - if I'd recently put a new form of back door malware into the wild, _I_ might think asking everyone to reboot the devices I'd infected (to trigger it) was a good idea too (Big Evil Grin).

Brit Attorney General: Nation state cyber attack is an act of war


Re: So STUXNET *was* an act of war by this standard.


"Stuxnet was a US/Israeli effort, so not really relevant to the UK's Attorney General."

Er - let's try that with some other words, shall we? How about Poland?

"The German invasion of Poland was a German/Polish issue, so not really relevant to the UK (or anyone else)."

Wow. I guess the Allies messed up - that whole WWII thing was a mistake!

For Country A to declare Action 1 by Country B against Country C an 'act of war' or other diplomatic statement is not, I would suggest, 'not really relevant', but part of the mechanism by which we can all help prevent (or in some circumstances end) conflict. But then - I'm an Idiot.

GDPR for everyone, cries Microsoft: We'll extend Europe's privacy rights worldwide


"Microsoft has said it will...

... Microsoft has said it will extend new privacy rights that become law in Europe this week to all its users worldwide"

Um, well - until a US judge tells them not to. Or an Attorney. Or, um, a secret court so they can;t tell anyone they've been told not to. Or the mailman. Or their granny's cat's playtoy...

What, cynical? _Moi_?

Date engraved onto net neutrality tombstone: June 11, 2018


Re: Senate Vote

@Bombastic bob

OK. I shouldn't - I _really_ shouldn't. But I'll bite...

""good job" Demon-Rats for going against the will of the people."

"Pai... has support of the American people."

I regret (because, of course, I must have missed it) I don;t recall any US national plebiscite or referendum, properly monitored and recorded, in which such a view was found to be that of a majority of 'the American people', or even those who voted nationally. Um, since, as far as I'm aware, there wasn't one. A vote, I mean. Second, if your standard of judgement is 'the will of the people', can I expect you to spear-head a vote to remove the current President? Since, after all, an opposing candidate in a vote that _did_ happen got more votes from 'the American people' than he did. And if you response is 'that's not how the system works - well, it's not how Congress works either.

"Pai has... support of the American people, particularly those who understand that big nanny gummint regulation isn't the way to do things."

Then, with respect, can I expect to see you spear-heading support for States when they pass their own legislation in _support_ of net neutrality? Since, as you say, 'big nanny gummint regulation isn't the way to do things'? Or, if State legislation is still, from your perspective, too close to 'big nanny gummint', when cities pass local ordinances? Or is _that_ somehow 'different' as well?


US border cops told not to search seized devices just for the hell of it


Re: But mah gunzzzz!

@Throatwarbler Mangrove

I don't think so - Americans only believe 'right to carry', concealed or otherwise, only applies when they go over the Northern border to that Big Grey Blob(tm) above them. You know, the place where all the bad weather (supposedly) comes from. At least, that's what border weapon seizure numbers seem to suggest. Their 'justification' often appears to be that said weapons are legal in the US, so it must be alright - right?

When and if the Big Grey Blob's national marijuana legalisation goes through, I'm willing to bet being found carrying any South will be, um, 'different'. Sigh...

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere



I wonder if they've considered that a hard drive is, technically, 'removable storage' - courtesy of the right toolkit, at least :-).

Those absolutes. They'l get you every time. Er, mostly, I mean... (blush) :-).

Trademark dispute by Dr Dre against Dr Drai the gynaecologist dismissed


Re: Trust me

@Chris G

"'... I'm giving you a prescription for these earphones as I am concerned about your cool.'"

Well, unless they're Sennheiser HD-600s V-Moda Crossfades (OK - Audio Technica ATH-M50s at a pinch), you can keep your damn prescription! And if it's for those Beats buggers, I see a malpractice suit in your future (Dr Dre, not Lord Chriss G (blush))! So HAH!

US cops go all Minority Report: Google told to cough up info on anyone near a crime scene


There are...

... many replies here suggesting the action is reasonable when carried out to help detect or prevent crime or a crime scene.

But i wonder - where does 'reasonable' end? This one was 20 acres. That's a little over 284 metres on a side, for a square zone. So if 284 metres square is OK, surely 300 metres is? Or 500? Or 700? Or... well, or what?

IF a possible perpetrator was believed to have tossed a phone, and then took to running, and the event took place one hour ago, do we start thinking diameters a fit human could run in that time, and making it into a radius? What if we think he might have got in a car? Should we make the 'reasonable' radius bigger, because we think he (or she) might _not_ have tossed the phone? Would there, in such discussions, even _be_ an upper limit to 'reasonable'?

Buggered if I know. But I do know scope creep - and it seems to have _no_ upper limit, including the technically impossible on occasion. Sigh...

US government privacy watchdog stumbles back to its feet with new hires


Far be it...

... from me, at least, to suggest (Ireland) that given the physical location of ICANN HQ, and given recent US legal pronouncements about government access to data held by US based (for varying definitions of 'based' (Ireland)) organisations, and given the physical location of a number of TLD and whois servers... well. Given those, far be it from me to suggest the US is quite happy with _its_ ability to get access to whois data, and more than happy not to spread that access to 'other governments'.

Riiiiiiight. I'm just unduly cynical, yes? Sigh...

US Supremes take a look at Microsoft's Irish email slurp battle, and yeah, not a great start


Re: The solution is simple.


"US should do like any other authoritarian regime did: make sure data of its citizens are only stored on servers on US soil."

But, with respect, the situation is often not that simple.

For example, the Irish case involved email. So let's say I live in Germany (I don't :-P), and you live in the US, and we have email between us. Are we not then _both_ parties to the data? So should it be stored on US soil, because you're from the US, or European soil, because I'm from Germany? The same logic can be applied to sales records - if you are the US vendor, and I am the German purchaser. The data may well contain 'personal information' on both of us. Where to store it? Well, I'd bet whichever choice you make would potentially be wrong from one of our perspectives. And duplicating it, storing it in _both_ countries, just makes matters worse - at least, so I'd suggest. Of course, I'm an Idiot... (blush).

Why aren't you being arbiters of truth? MPs scream at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter


Re: making them responsible

@Ken Hagan

May I suggest that Twitters and Facebooks of this world aren't in fact like the second case (and that's sort of their point). They're like the company that rented you the land, the billboard frame beside the freeway - like the company that provided you with the billboard backing, the inks, the paintbrushes. They didn't provide content - in my view, _you_ did. So wouldn't the 'liability' stay with you? Mind you, that road leads to a place where 'having an account' is subject to rigorous policing and verification 'so we know who you are'. Politicians tend to complain about that sort of thing when it happens in China and other regimes...

If the water company has a reservoir, and pipes, bringing water to your home, and someone drops poison or LSD or something similar in the reservoir - do you hold the water company liable, or the dumper? Just a thought, and (of course) I'm an Idiot (blush) :-).

Ice cliffs found on Mars and NASA says they’re a tap for astronauts


Because I couldn't resist...

Don't flush it, don't faucet,

Just relax and let it flow

Because that's how you want it doesn't mean it's H20...

Yes. I'm showing my age - sigh.

How fast is a piece of string? Boffin shoots ADSL signal down twine


Re: Acorn Econet got there first?


Oh - if that's Sean, hi!

Anyway, fond memories. OK - not really fond. New client, has just had new building built over reasonably wide acreage site. I arrive to 'finish the networking'. Client proudly shows me the thirty-five or so CAT 5 cables in the machine room. Non-terminated CAT5. Non-terminated, identical, unmarked white cables, disappearing into a hole in the wall. Heart sinking, I ask where the cables run to. So the site manager says he'll show me. It is, of course, an open field site. Where 'field' is the operative word. It is, of course, tipping down with rain. _He_ is, of course, wearing wellies. Me? Er - no. So we walk, and we go in doors, and we look at bits of white, non-terminated, unmarked CAT 5 coming out of various holes in various walls. He giggles happily, gives me a site map and asks me if it's going to take more than half an hour because it gets dark early that time of year?

Some nights, I still wake up screaming...


Re: ADSL slow? Shurely not!


Should I mention (Canada, yes, Vancouver, no) my own supply?




$50 per month?

Ah. You're right. I probably shouldn't... (blush). Or that if I felt like spending $100 a month, I could get the same symetric uncapped at 1 Gbps...

Brit MP Dorries: I gave my staff the, um, green light to use my login


Re: Sends a terrible message.

"Essentially she's saying you can't prove someone is at the keyboard just because they've logged in."

Sadly, true.

However, it also (to me at least illustrates where biometric _identification_ can serve a purpose. NOT AS A PASSWORD. Oh - and if I didn't shout that loudly enough, NOT as a #%#$%^%^& _PASSWORD_!

A combination login using the individual's account name, the individual's password _and_a_scan_of_biometric_data_ would potentially help identify whether it was MR/ MRS/ MS MP using his/ her details or some other identifiable individual. And I say 'potentially' and 'help' because I freely accept biometric scans (in their variety of forms) are not unbreakable.

But it would help. Maybe.

'Pr0n was downloaded at 11:00, Sarge. Mr MP was logged in, but the fingerprint scan said it wasn't him, it was his PA/ intern/ tea-person.'

Incidentally, at the risk of sounding paranoid, said biometric scan should be repeated on logout, before logout takes place, and on every 'go to sleep' timeout. That way, you have a chance of knowing it was still the same individual, and not someone using the account they didn't logout of while they went to the washroom, out for a smoke break, off to lunch etc.

Biometric. Who-I-am. Of course, I'm an Idiot...

Massive US military social media spying archive left wide open in AWS S3 buckets



... 'give us back doors to, like, _everything_! I mean, we'll keep them safe and secret, we promise!'


Activists launch legal challenge against NHS patient data-sharing deal


Re: Re downvote

@'s water music

"...since we are discussing individuals breaking the law I am not sure why you are emphasising it."

Well, and with respect, from tho original Register posting:

"A civil rights group has launched a legal challenge in the UK against a deal that asks the NHS to share patient data for immigration enforcement.

The agreement allows the Home Office to ask the NHS to hand over non-clinical information on patients – like date of birth or last known address – for immigration offences, such as outstaying their time limit in the UK.


The Migrants Rights Network (MRN) has today launched a legal challenge against the government, saying that the deal "violates patient confidentiality and puts all migrants at risk".

I would therefore suggest (not, if I may, 'contend' - I don't consider this a competition), that we are not, or at least, I am not, discussing 'individuals breaking the law' but rather 'the government breaking the law' as that is the basis of the legal challenge referenced in the posting itself.

Whether others choose to debate 'individuals breaking the law' or not is, of course, their prerogative, but I would still hold the view that the reason I'm 'stressing' government breach of law and whether it is acceptable is because that was the subject of the posting (blush).


Re: Re downvote

Again, and again with respect, the original article wasn;t about 'reasonable' or about 'fairness' - it was about a legal challenge.

If the challenge is successful, if the government is found to have acted illegally, do you support or reject the view that THEY SHOULD BLOODY WELL STOP DOING IT?


Re: Re downvote

Again, and with genuine and sincere respect, the original article wasn't about 'fairness'.

It was about a legal challenge.

So, putting 'fairness' aside (as, some may feel, the law may do or have to do), are you (the AC who asked for reasoned responses to his or her view) willing to concede that if the government is found to have acted unlawfully, then they should cease to do so? Whether or not that results in actions or costs said AC finds 'unfair'?

Or is it said AC's view that the government should in fact be permitted to break the law where they (or indeed the AC in question) feel that acting _within_ the law is somehow 'unfair'?

Or (and I'll wait for the clamor of 'yes' responses (blush)) should I just shut the heck up because the discussion has wandered way past the original point and is in some other place I've clearly missed (blushes again)?


Re: Re downvote

With respect, and in the context of my reply, 'where do you draw the line' is simple (at least for me).

You draw the line the same place for the government as you draw it for anyone else. At the point they are found to have broken the law.

Whether or not the law as established is 'to expensive to maintain', or leads to actions 'to expensive to tolerate' is not a consideration once it is on the statute books. It's the law, and breaking it should not, in my view, be permitted for the government just as it is not permitted for anyone else. In fact, I'd suggest it is even _more_ important for the government not to break the law.

If a properly found court finds the government is in breach of legislation, then the government should stop. It should also (as a principle) be punished in some way - sadly most if not all financial remedies actually cost the taxpayer and the government can not, in practice, be sent to serve some manner of custody.

At least, that's my view. But then, I'm an Idiot... (blush)


As requested

"if you are illegally in the country and using resources you are not entitled to then the government has the right to know about you and deal with you accordingly"

The point, however, would appear to be whether they have the right to breach UK law (Data Protection legislation). Or, and I do not suggest this is in fact your position, is it your view that anyone in the country illegally is outside the protection of law? To raise an (I hope) obviously exaggerated example, would it be OK for a government officer to shoot such a person and not be prosecuted for murder?

To my understanding, the case has not yet been heard. But if (and I stress, IF) a properly found court of law found the action to be unlawful, would you still say it is the government's right to carry out the action?

Take off, ya hosers! Silicon Valley court says Google can safely ignore Canadian search ban



"Imagine if Saudi Arabia was allowed to order Google to remove ads for products which would be illegal in Saudi from Google results in the rest of the world ?"

Well, yes. Or imagine if US courts decided companies had to give up data held on servers in other countries, where giving up the data was illegal. Or if US courts sequestered domain names no matter where they'd been registered. Never mind the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

No. We can;t have countries assuming their laws apply wherever they feel like it, now can we? Sigh...

'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google



... we're wandering the Plains of Pedantry (and at the welcome risk of being burned in olive oil with a touch of garlic and rosemary), the devil is ever in the detail:

"...and we learn that Google follows the usage of all civilised persons: it instructs devs not to capitalise the first word after the colon."

Hmmm. So they would require a lower case version of the word I (referring to the personal pronoun, and yes - I is a word in this context)? Or a lower case R for Richard if Richard were the first of a list of names? I sincerely hope not, and hope further that no 'civilised person', never mind 'all' of them would either.

And now, just for fun, we can perhaps proceed to the question of whether it is grammatically correct to begin a sentence with a conjunction. And before the flames begin, just let me go grab my Fowler, Chicago and Garner so I can quote page numbers :-).

British snoops at GCHQ knew FBI was going to arrest Marcus Hutchins


Re: @The idiot... you really don't get it...

@Ian Michael Gumby

"you really don't get it"

Sir, there are indeed many things in life I 'don't get'. And some I hope never to 'get' (medical science permitting (blush)). However, the point I was attempting to make, no doubt badly, was that a presumption of innocence, as opposed to a presumption of guilt, may be worth considering as a personal tenet as much as it is a legal one (in some jurisdictions). However, it was and is only a suggestion, as any decision regarding such a tenet is, of course, purely personal. Though I would rather live in a society where others hold that tenet than one in which nobody else does. Of course, I'm an Idiot... :-)



"I'd like to believe that they have the wrong guy..."

And a small principle generally referred to as 'innocent until proven guilty' would suggest, to me at least, that that belief should be a starting point - but what do I know.

"... but all the best white hats learn their craft by having been black hats..."

If I may, a citation? Or were all the best police officers once criminals, by the same logic? Were all the best bodyguards once international hit-people?

"... - it's entirely plausible that he is their guy."

If you say so. It's not for me to comment, positively or negatively, on where you set your bar for 'plausibility'. But the fact that something is 'entirely possible' is hardly grounds for arrest, at least, so I would suggest. Or if it is, then the next time there is an apparent impulse burglary in your neighborhood, you should not be surprised if everyone within a given radius, including yourself, is arrested. After all, it's 'entirely possible' _anyone_ did it... no?

Schoolboy bags $10,000 reward from Google with easy HTTP Host bypass



Hacking US of A commercial web pages?

Obtaining monetary gain from the activity?

He should probably stay away from DEF-CON... (Yes, I know. I'm joking. Well, probably... :-( ).

Our day with Larry Page: Embedded with one of the world's richest men


At the beginning...

... I found myself remembering 'Jack Reacher - Never go back'. Jack is in Colonel Morgan's office:


Col. Morgan: You're under no obligation to say anything, Major.

Jack Reacher: Ex-Major

Col. Morgan: Upon leaving yesterday, did you attempt to contact Major Turner?


Col. Morgan: Did you confront her attorney, Colonel Moorcroft, at Fort Dyer at 1100?

Jack Reacher: [long pause] You told me not to say anything.

Col. Morgan: I said you didn't have to say anything.

Jack Reacher: Yes.

Col. Morgan: Yes, you confronted him?

Jack Reacher: Yes, I understand I don't have to say anything.

Col. Morgan: For the record, you did confront Colonel Moorcroft yesterday. Can you state your whereabouts last night between 0130 and 0500?

Jack Reacher: Yes.

Col. Morgan: Yes, what?

Jack Reacher: Yes, I understand I don't have to say anything.


WannaCry-killer Marcus Hutchins denies Feds' malware claims


Re: Oh dear... maybe


"He may well have "witten and shared malware code for research purposes" but it is perfectly fair to argue that he has to accept some responsibility if some of that code is subsequently used for malicious purposes."

OK - while I do not necessarily agree or disagree with your view, and of course fully support your right to hold it, let's run with that argument a little.

"Recently there have been a large number of road deaths associated with driving motor vehicles. While, of course, motor vehicle manufacturers do not intend for the vehicles they make and sell to be used to cause death, it is perfectly fair to argue that they have to accept some responsibility if some of those vehicles are subsequently used for malicious purposes."

Hmmm. OK (er, again (blush)). So you say the vehicle thing is a bit of a stretch? Well, let's try again. "Recently there have been a large number of road deaths associated with gun possession (legal and otherwise) in the US. While, of course, gun manufacturers and suppliers do not intend for the guns they make and sell to be used to cause death, it is perfectly fair to argue that they have to accept some responsibility if some of those guns are subsequently used for malicious purposes."

Would prefer a world where researchers do not research, and where research results are not shared because those results may be misused? Do you believe your world would be safer as a result of that lack of research, that lack of sharing, because people who could do the research don't, and even if they do then never tell anyone of their findings? I confess I do not - and wouldn't even try to think of the list of things we wouldn't have if researchers in many fields hadn't in fact researched and shared their findings. Of course - I'm an Idiot (blush).

Creepy tech tycoons Zuck and Musk clash over AI doomsday


I regret to say...

... I sort of agree with Mr Musk.

Not because of AI - but because of AS. Artificial Stupidity.

So far (at least, as far as I am aware), systems aren't self-coding. So they're coded by humans. Generally they're coded by humans to take action without human intervention. Thing is, they're coded _by_ humans to do what the humans think should be done in a situation that hasn't happened yet, in circumstances that are not yet known. And lord knows, we humans don;t exactly have a perfect track record of making those decisions when events _do_ happen and the circumstances _are_ to some degree known.

So humans code, and they code in line with their own prejudices and assumptions. Hence, AS. And results more potentially Musk-y than Zuck-y - though Sucky might well be the case... :-(.

HMS Windows XP: Britain's newest warship running Swiss Cheese OS




"A far more likely attack vector is The Idiot."

No fair! I was nowhere near that cable when it, um, fell off in my hand! And it wasn't a USB key! It was, um, er, a licorice all-sort! So it was all that Bertie's fault really... (blush)


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