* Posts by The_Idiot

260 posts • joined 20 Sep 2013

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

The_Idiot

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).

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

The_Idiot

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

@Ledswinger

"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.

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

The_Idiot

"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_?

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Date engraved onto net neutrality tombstone: June 11, 2018

The_Idiot

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?

Sigh...

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

The_Idiot

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...

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IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere

The_Idiot

'All'?

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) :-).

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Trademark dispute by Dr Dre against Dr Drai the gynaecologist dismissed

The_Idiot

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!

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

The_Idiot

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...

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

The_Idiot

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...

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

The_Idiot

Re: The solution is simple.

@LDS

"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).

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

The_Idiot

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) :-).

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

The_Idiot

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.

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

The_Idiot

Re: Acorn Econet got there first?

@skswales

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...

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The_Idiot

Re: ADSL slow? Shurely not!

@StargateSG7

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

256Mbps

Symetric

Uncapped

$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...

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

The_Idiot

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...

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

The_Idiot

Meanwhile...

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

Sigh.

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Activists launch legal challenge against NHS patient data-sharing deal

The_Idiot

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).

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The_Idiot

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?

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The_Idiot

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)?

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The_Idiot

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)

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The_Idiot

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?

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

The_Idiot

Hmmm...

"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...

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

The_Idiot

Since...

... 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 :-).

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

The_Idiot

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... :-)

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The_Idiot

@streaky

"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?

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

The_Idiot

Hmmmm....

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... :-( ).

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

The_Idiot

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?

[pause]

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.

**********

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WannaCry-killer Marcus Hutchins denies Feds' malware claims

The_Idiot

Re: Oh dear... maybe

@Commswonk

"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).

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Creepy tech tycoons Zuck and Musk clash over AI doomsday

The_Idiot

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... :-(.

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

The_Idiot

Hey!

@boltar

"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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Australian govt promises to push Five Eyes nations to break encryption

The_Idiot

Re: Farenheit 451

"You can't use a book code if you don't know how to READ."

Well, technically I'd suggest you _can_. A 'book code' could be based on collection of characters, 'readable' or not. You just have to know how to count, point and copy. Id suggest the concept of a 'book code' based on a 'readable' book is more directly relevant to not having to carry big volumes full of random characters across border, but rather being able to walk into a nearby book store or library for your 'master sheet'.

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Microsoft court victory prompts call for data-grabbing regime

The_Idiot

...and

@William3

... your saying 'NYT is a propaganda shit rag' doesn't make it so - or not so - either. At least, in this Idiot's view. While the words 'in my opinion' may have (apparently) lost their popularity, in my opinion they still have value.

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Republicans go all Braveheart again with anti-net neutrality bill

The_Idiot

Re: Self-aggrandizement Central

@Someone Else

Ah, yes. The Filibuster. From @realDonaldTrump:

"The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We...."

"either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good "shutdown" in September to fix mess!"

Sigh.... I wonder if he's even considered that if he did change the rules that way, he'd be changing them for every future Senate as well - including ones he might not want to have that sort of power.

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Plan to kill net neutrality is the best thing/worst thing ever! EVER!!1

The_Idiot

Re: Well...

@Charles 9

And I'm not saying I disagree. But (to my eyes at least) Vanguard's post seemed to suggest it was the large land area that somehow meant overlap and competition couldn't grow (for the foreseeable future) in the US.

Well, Canada has a large (depending on how you measure, even larger) land area. And I wasn't suggesting all of it was equally well served, but rather saying that in some of the more densely populated areas there is, in fact, competition even with that large land area. So why doesn't the same hold true for, for example, in New York, San Francisco, Jersey City or Boston? And it might - but all I read/ hear about is how in the US folks don't _get_ a choice. Because while I freely admit I do indeed live in the denser south, I do have choice.

And further, the original thread was about net neutrality. A subject on which Canada has (currently at least) taken a very different view from the US, despite US urging to the contrary. So (again), if the response from Vanguard was meant to imply this was somehow a result of land area (and my genuine and sincere apologies if it wasn't), then I have to offer Canada as an environment in which land area has _not_ led to the US view of neutrality, despite it's size.

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The_Idiot

Well...

@VanguardG

... according to most references I can find, the US is actually 3,537,438 sq miles. Canada, which recently adopted a rather different view of net neutrality, is 3,855,100 sq miles. OK - so that includes the wet bits :-). But it does lead me to wonder what the point of the land area comment was in terms of net neutrality - might I ask for enlightenment?

Oh - and I'll avoid mentioning my 250Mb, symetric, uncapped fiber-to-the-apartment ISP provision. For, um, less than US$40 (or UKP30) a month.

Oh. Rats. I already did. mention it, I mean...

4
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Internet Society tells G20 nations: The web must be fully encrypted

The_Idiot

Cure...

... response from Ministers:

"Yes, of course! We agree _entirely_! Well, and we know _you_ agree you'll only use that special encryption only _we_ can backdoor into. So we have a deal, yes? Oh, I suppose the other Ministers too. And our police. Well, and _their_ police. And our security services. Yes, and theirs. Unless it's an even numbered week - we don't like them on even numbered weeks. So you have to be able to turn _their_ backdoors off on even numbered weeks. So - we have a deal? What do you mean it's impossible? I thought we were having an adult conversation here!"

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Democrats draft laws in futile attempt to protect US internet privacy

The_Idiot

So...

... as a genuine question, but one from a non-USA-ian, how does this work under US law? Especially if it's t'internet? For example, assuming (say) New York passes its law:

1: I'm an internet user living in New York. My ISP is also based in New York. It sells my information to a buyer in New York. Illegal? (I'm assuming that's the easy one)

2: I'm in New York. My ISP is based in, say, Texas. They sell my information to a buyer in New York. Illegal?

3: I'm in New York, my ISP is in Texas, the buyer is in Minnesota. Illegal?

4: I'm _not_ in New York. My ISP isn't in New York, and neither is the buyer. But my internet traffic can be shown to relate to sites that _are_ in New York. Illegal?

I'm not trying to be a smart-a$$. I'd genuinely like to understand. Or is it like most things under law? It depends on who has the best lawyers, and who gets to pick the judge?

7
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China-based hacking crew pokes holes in UK firms and drains data

The_Idiot

So tell me again...

... Ms Rudd, about how weakened encryption with 'secret' (at least, according to some government definition of 'secret') backdoors is a really, really good idea.

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D'oh! Amber Rudd meant 'understand hashing', not 'hashtags'

The_Idiot

""Last week's attack has highlighted the need for a proper public debate on this issue."

Ben Wallace - for Amber Rudd, I assume.

"Because what we want to do is collect information this year so that next year we can have an adult conversation in this country."

James Comey

I would be fine with said 'public debate' - or even Mr Comey's 'adult conversation' - if either had the right subject. But, for me, that subject is _not_ 'should we be allowed to insist that technology providers give us some magic back door only we will be able to use, like, _evah_, and Bad Folks won't ever be able to find out.'. Mathematics, in the context of _that_ question, has already spoken, and a debate has no purpose.

No - for me, the subject of that 'debate', that 'conversation' should be something like 'are you, the people, both willing and happy to accept that you should not be permitted any privacy, any discreet communication (because anything we do Bad Folks will find out how to do) to try to reduce the risks of terrorism/ other threats. By the way - your chance of being impacted by those threats has been independently and verifiably assessed as (insert number here).'

Somehow I don't see them asking the second question though - they'll carry on with the first one. Sigh...

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Ex-military and security firms oppose Home Sec in WhatsApp crypto row

The_Idiot

I remember reading somrthing...

... once. Something Oppenheimer (or it might have been someone else) said after the atom bomb was tested, or after it was publicly used. Whoever it was, they said it wasn't the 'spies', the Fuchs et al, that gave the atom bomb to other nations. I mean, yes, those folk maybe speeded things up a little - but they didn't 'give the secret away'.

The Americans did.

Because, whoever it was said, it wasn't 'how' to build an atom bomb that was hard - any halfway decent physicist could do that. But they could only do it <u>once they knew it could be done</u>. Or rather, it was much easier to start, to get funding, to put a project together, when the people paying you knew you weren;t just going blue-sky - you were just going to repeat something pretty obviously able to succeed.

Backdoor encryption? It could be just like that.

If you're a nation state, or a criminal, or script kiddie in your mom's basement, yes. You can go looking for possible security holes in all kinds of things. But if you're a _real_ black hat? Well, if you know Guv'mint X insists on backdoors, and Guv'mint X allows Product Y to be used? Well, you know the only reason you don;t know the backdoor into Product Y is because you haven't found it yet. Because whether they admit it or not, whether they publish it or not, just by allowing Product Y to be used, Guv'mint X is telling you the door is there to be found.

And, just like the atomic bomb, knowing the door is there will likely make it a damn sight easier to get the resources, or project approval, or just sheer bloody mindedness that will _let_ you find it.

Because you know it's there.

And it won't just be one - one hypothetical black hat, I mean. When folk _knew_ there was gold in the Klondike, they didn't say 'hey, let's not go there! Let's go look at some other damn river, it'll be quieter!'

No.

They Rushed.

They Rushed, and even if not everybody found gold, a lot did. But the Klondike? It was never the same again, and after a while - it was dead.

So, yeah. Guv'mint approved apps. With Top Secret Guv'mint backdoors. Because sometimes, all you need to know is where the gold exists - finding it's the easy part.

Sigh...

17
0

Lloyds Banking Group axing hundreds of jobs again

The_Idiot

So...

... Lloyds are announcing staff cuts, and sending their IT work to IBM. Who, um, are announcing staff cuts...

Sigh.

4
0

Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six nations amid bomb fears

The_Idiot

Text search challenge...

... for government and corporate announcements.

"The safety of the travelling public is our highest priority"

I wonder what would happen if someone searched all available material for the phrase 'is our highest priority'? I'm willing to bet there'd be rather more than one 'thing' apparently 'highest' on the priority list.

Sigh...

13
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Force employees to take DNA tests for bosses? We've got a new law to make that happen, beam House Republicans

The_Idiot

During the process, Democratic Party members tried to introduce a number of amendments to the legislation, including:

Employees' health information could not be sold.

Family members should not be asked for their genetic information.

Employers should be prohibited from discriminating based on the results.

So. Based on the voting pattern demonstrated, the Republican members appear to want to preserve options for employers and health insurance providers to sell health information, demand family member genetic information and discriminate based on genetic testing results. Because, of course, all of those points 'deliver more choice for working families.'

Yes - and I suppose offering your next mugging victim a choice between a bullet in the head or a blade in his back 'delivers more choice.' Whether that makes it a Good Thing(tm) is a rather different question.

Sigh...

67
2

FBI boss: 'Memories are not absolutely private in America'

The_Idiot

OK - let's try....

... a small modification:

"Comey said that America's founding fathers had set down that there is a right to (bear arms) but that the government has a right to intrude in the name of security. It was part of a 200-year old "bargain of ordered liberty," he opined ..."

Now who thinks _that_ bird would fly very far in the US of A? And if it wouldn't, then why should his comment on 'privacy'?

Oh, bugger it. If (or rather, when) the howling masses let this sort of stuff happen, we really are our own worst enemies. Sigh...

1
0

Spies do spying, part 97: Shock horror as CIA turn phones, TVs, computers into surveillance bugs

The_Idiot

So the secret people...

... who can't keep their own 'secrets', um, secret, want 'backdoors' into everything so they can make sure they don't keep _our_ secrets?

Because, obviously, those backdoors will _never_ be leaked, right? Er... right?

Sigh...

36
0

Ex penetrated us almost 700 times through secret backdoor, biz alleges

The_Idiot

And this...

... should be a salutory lesson for 'authorities' who want 'secret, impenetrable to unauthorised users' backdoors into security protocols and the like. Because 'secret' doesn't stay that way, and 'impenetrable' isn't - especially when 'authorised' users can become or act as 'unauthorised' any time they choose.

Sigh...

12
0

Deutsche Telekom hack suspect arrested at London airport

The_Idiot

Re: It's like rattling on a door to break in...

@Anonymous Coward

My reading of Mr (my assumption) Berger's original post does not reveal, to my limited wit, any view that the perpetrator, if the suspect did indeed perpetrate the penetration, should not suffer consequences.

What I did read was a prediction/ opinion that the company penetrated will suffer _non_ consequences (legally or financially at least) for not bolting the stable door properly in the first place.

While no infrastructure or application can ever be declared 'impenetrable', bean counters and people who's bonuses depend on short term cost cuts and shorter term apparent profits will never decide to spend money on stable door bolts until and unless there is a penalty (and a painful one) for not doing so.

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

3
0

OK, it's time to talk mass spying again: America's Section 702 powers are up for renewal

The_Idiot

Scope creep...

... it's a right bugger :-(.

And I don't think any jurisdiction has a great deal to be pleased about in this context. Or, more likely, they all feel very pleased indeed and are chortling into their double scotches (or bourbons, or alternative of choice in locale of relevance).

To use the example here - FISA being 'only, absolutely, definitely about nasty foreign folk, and even then only about Big Bad Threats', morphing into a way to track car thieves and, for all I know, people who forget to take library books back. To use another - from the UK - RIPA being passed for much the same justifications as FISA, but turning into a way for town councils to get nasty about folk who don't put their garbage out on the right day. Or try to send their children to the 'wrong' schools.

Sigh. Or grump. One of those. Probably both... :-(.

4
0

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

The_Idiot

If I may...

"But the desktop is arguably the only market in which Linux has not done exceedingly well."

While I understand the 'market' and 'desktop' under discussion in Munich is a more corporate one, taking the words as quoted above at their face value I'd suggest the mid to high end gaming one, a market inhabited by creatures who often have money to spend and spend it (whether on hardware or software) is _not_ in fact one in which Linux has done 'exceedingly well'. at least, not so far. I would therefore contest the view stated. Of course, I'm an Idiot... (blush).

1
2

Sage Business School founder imprisoned – but you wouldn't know it

The_Idiot

Re: You say "term of imprisonment..."

Hmmm. 'Peaked' or 'piqued'? I'm pretty sure this is a context where either/ both could apply, grammatically or practically :-).

4
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