* Posts by David Roberts

1372 posts • joined 25 Jan 2007

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Samsung’s flexible phone: Expect an expensive, half-bendy clamshell

David Roberts
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Holmes

Clamshell?

I rarely make or receive phone calls on my Galaxy S5 but when I do I really struggle with the microphone. Other end can rarely hear me. I assume this is because the microphone is behind the pinhole at the bottom, not helped by the soft case, and the tiny speakers are at the back.

What would be nice would be a phone with a decent sized microphone and speakers. Clamshell so the speakers are by the ear and the microphone folds round to be near the mouth. [No I don't want to carry round a headset just for the couple of times a month I may need to make a call.] Bigger speakers and microphone don't play well with the screen side nor with the edges of ever thinner cases. How about a phone which folds backwards so you can hold the speaker and microphone on the back of the case next to your ear and mouth? Just like a real phone.

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GCHQ asks tech firms to pretty please make IoT devices secure

David Roberts
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Trollface

Cynical, moi?

"Industry 4.0, in which the vision is that traditionally profitable manufacturing industries will give their profits to a tech sector desperately scrabbling to find the Next Big Thing and hoping that industrial sensors might be the jackpot."

Possibly the author is not fully enthused by this?

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Microsoft Windows 10 October update giving HP users BSOD

David Roberts
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Unhappy

Auto updates in the broader context

My Android devices update the applications automatically on a regular basis, so in this context auto updates are probably a very good thing.

However Android usually gives you the choice when to update the OS.

Whilst you are still in scope for an OS update, of course.

Support for consumer versions of Windows is a real pain in the neck for Microsoft. A one off payment back in the mists of time and the expectation of continuous free support until the heat death of the PSU and beyond. In itself this is not a sustainable business model.

The proposed solution - force migrate everyone to the same version of the operating system and force everyone to stay up to date - probably looked good in theory. Only one version to support and the prospect of a subscription model in the misty future to offset the enormous cost of ongoing support. As far as I can see that isn't working out yet.

Eventually something has got to give; the constant expectation of free software and support amongst consumers is going to be up against the eventual realisation that ad-supported software isn't giving advertisers value for money. Who then pays for the "free" software?

IoT is the prime candidate for automatic security updates. However the security implications of giving write access to devices on your home network to some potentially fly by night cowboys are not good. This is another case where pay once and expect free support forever will not cost in.

TL;DR we're screwed.

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Microsoft: OK, we have no phones, but look how much we love Android

David Roberts
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Re: 3 Words

Removal of personal privacy seems to fit the definition of theft.

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JAXA probe's lucky MASCOT plonks down on space rock Ryugu without a hitch

David Roberts
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Alien

Is that Adolf Hitler

Looking out of the window in the left hand side of the picture?

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Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

David Roberts
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Windows

Re: Castration anxiety - Rohan shirts

I find the pockets in my Rohan shirts barely adequate for my Galaxy S5 (which I use for all sorts of things including navigation and, very occasionally, phone calls). I haven't yet found a pair of Rohan trousers (in a sale; you pay full price??) with decent side pockets. Generally need a waistcoat of many pockets, a bum bag, or a rucksack to carry stuff around.

I am currently stocking up on Paramo which have humongous trouser side pockets and quite respectable shirt pockets. Although the buggers stopped producing my favourite shirt soon after I discovered it.

However Rohan do a jacket which has so many capacious pockets I'm not sure if I have managed to use them all yet. Quite large enough for an 8" tablet (more navigation) and my largest wallet with a subset of my plastic card collection. Autumn through spring only, though, or I would melt. Looking forward to using it next time we fly as it has a similar capacity to carry on luggage.

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David Roberts
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Paris Hilton

Oh, go on then

Is that a microphone up your urethra or are you just pleased to see me?

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David Roberts
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Windows

Castration anxiety

This is why I wear practical but unfashionable trousers with side pockets on the legs, where wallet, phone and anything else bulky can be stored so that I can seat myself with reckless abandon without a high pitched scream or the sound of a glass screen cracking.

Or...ummm....the sound of a crack cracking on a glass screen perhaps?

On a related note, people of a certain age (yoof) seem to carry mobile phones (on the rare occasions that they aren't actively using them) sticking half way out of a rear pocket. This looks insecure on various levels; invitation to pickpockets, ease of losing when sitting down, whatever. I can only assume that the jeggings or whatever are so tight that it is impossible to remove the phone without the deliberate flexing of buttock muscles.

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UK's Openreach sends full fibre to Coventry

David Roberts
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Fibre does seem to be happening

There has been ongoing work this year. We already have FTTC. All the poles have been sprouting chunky fibre termination points at the top. There has been a lot of digging up of bits of pavement where the ducting between the poles and the main ducts between the green cabinets have become damaged and/or blocked so they can't pull new cables.

Given the number of poles enabled one would think that BT/OpenReach would be offering FTTP. No sign of that on the broadband checker, though.

I could be tempted back to BT from my current VM cable by symmetric high speeds if the price was right, because of the occasional contention issues at peak times. Perhaps next year.

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Fragile SMW-3 cable back in service

David Roberts
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Mushroom

Naval surplus depth charges?

Or home constructed with a pressure switch.

These cables seem to be so few and so vulnerable that you would think that someone would have worked out a way to target them by now. Not me guvnor, honest, just idle speculation,

Then again huge trawlers must be a danger, and I have vague memories of ships dragging anchors in storms picking up cables. Where is a submarine lair with real submarines when you need one?

You would also think that one strategy in the WW3 that people are speculating about in other threads would be the selective cutting of submarine cables to force data through intercept points on backup routes.

Now thoroughly depressed thinking about our planet and information addiction which is only enabled by a limited number of vital but vulnerable arteries.

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Organic stuff, radiation, unexpected methane... Yes, we're talking about Saturn's surprising rings

David Roberts
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Organic material?

Doesn’t say how complex, though.

All the speculation about how the first organic molecules were created on Earth and there are loads just floating about in space? Raining down, as well.

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'Desperate' North Korea turns to bank hacking sprees to rake in much-needed dosh

David Roberts
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Re: Who?

I think China is less worried about refugees and more worried about S. Korea uniting with the North and moving their border up to China.

Useful to have an authoritarian buffer zone on your border.

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Manchester nuisance-call biz fined £150k after ignoring opt-out list

David Roberts
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Re: overnment is planning to make directors personally liable

Can I respectfully suggest that unless the cyclist is also making unsolicited bulk marketing calls whilst cycling (not impossible given the number of cyclists who appear unable to function without holding a phone conversation) that this is slightly off topic?

On the upside it didn't mention Trump or Brexit.

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100,000 home routers recruited to spread Brazilian hacking scam

David Roberts
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MokroTik

I assume this should be MikroTik? Yes, I have told tips and corrections.

No real feel for how this affects ISP supplied routers where they retain enough access to do things like updating firmware. Apart from that web side access should be closed down by default.

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New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

David Roberts
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Re: I'm getting to the point now

Reading through reminded me of those plastic tag things you used to get to stiffen shirt collars. I don't know if they are a thing because I don't wear formal shirts any more.

Anyway, as already posted there must be many places about your person to conceal a microSDHC card if you so wish. Wonder how good the airport scanners are?

Also brings to mind the old style James Bond briefcase with knives, gold coins and all sorts of other shit in it. Airport security has certainly moved on.

There are ways that you can make data secure, such as using a utility which encrypts all the data then sends a key to a third party at your destination so you don't know what it is when you cross the border. However they have thought of that and in the UK you just remain locked up until you reveal the key that you don't know.

Despite lack of trust in communications, the cloud, and such like it seems to me that you should be able to strongly encrypt any sensitive data and VPN it to a server at your destination (or even at a 3rd location) then retrieve it later. Why would you want to carry anything sensitive on your person through border checks?

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Holy smokes! US watchdog sues Elon Musk after he makes hash of $420 Tesla tweet

David Roberts
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Trollface

The future is electric!!!

Nobody bumping up an all electric future for cars, complete with a country wide charging network, seems to have realised that the UK can't even manage to electrify the current rail network and has had to change purchases of new rolling stock from electric to diesel.

I haven't seen anything in this thread about electrifying road goods transport either. What happened to the promised all electric tractor unit for lorries? Hmmm...long distance coach services?

Unless and until there are standardised battery packs which can be swapped at fuel stations the future is at most hybrid, apart from the affluent (London probably excepted) who can afford a house with at least an off road parking space where a charging point can be installed. This still doesn't address the situation of multiple vehicle ownership. Traditional family with 2.4 kids where all are working and all need a car, for instance.

I can see a lot of sensible markets for all electric, such as the white van delivery drivers who do the last hop for Amazon and the like. This does, however, assume that these zero hour wage slaves park their vans overnight somewhere they can be charged, instead of outside their multiple occupancy rented flat.

This would require the courier service to fund the infrastructure instead of offloading all the risk onto the allegedly self employed.

There is probably a bit too much "magical thinking" about the practicalities of the whole public and private transport system (at least in the UK) going fully electric.

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Resident evil: Inside a UEFI rootkit used to spy on govts, made by you-know-who (hi, Russia)

David Roberts
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Firmware updates

Posts here about switches and stuff, and rare updates, and not doing it if you don't know what you are doing.

Just about to upgrade a Dell laptop to SSD for a friend and the Dell Action Centre had a firmware upgrade. I checked that this was a valid thing (signing keys are needed, apparently) and ran it. The system rebooted and updated a shed load of stuff, according to the prompts, before coming back up.

So firmware updates seem to be run of the mill and require no knowledge or skill.

Not disagreeing with the security concerns but that horse bolted long ago.

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Swedish ISP spanked for sexist 'distracted boyfriend' advert for developer jobs

David Roberts
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Windows

More time outside than is healthy?

Yep - me too.

Then again it could be my memory failing or my lack of tracking Internet memes.

I think some of you are spending more time inside than is healthy. Get out in the fresh air more; it could help you get some perspective.

I agree that a series of three person adverts with the roles changed could have been interesting. Trying to deny sexual attraction exists or make it a taboo subject is like trying to push water uphill with a feather duster.

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Amazon Alexa outage: Voice-activated devices are down in UK and beyond

David Roberts
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Unhappy

Re: Yesterday someone asked Alexa...

Nine Billion Names of God.

There is always a last time for everything.

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A story of M, a failed retailer: We'll give you a clue – it rhymes with Charlie Chaplin

David Roberts
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Windows

Re: Anyone got...

My limited understanding:

Someone builds a business which sells stuff and makes a profit. This has obvious value, and should keep on going if the income from sales pays for purchasing stock, paying staff and paying for infrastructure. More money in than out and the owner can take the surplus out at the end of the year. A bit like a salary.

Let's look at the salary thing. If you have a salary, say, of 30k you can usually borrow money based on being able to repay the INTEREST each month, not necessarily the capital. See bad credit card debt.

Looks like a business is much the same. You can borrow money against future revenue and you are judged on your ability to service the debt - that is, repay the interest each month not repay the complete loan. If a loan is coming due then you just take out another loan to pay it off - see bad credit card debt (again) and sub-prime mortgages.

All fine and dandy if you are borrowing the money then taking it out of the company as dividends and salary. The company rolls on because it can service the debt. However rinse and repeat enough times and the balance sheet shows that the company has far more debts than assets and dosen't have a hope in hell of paying its debts.

At that point suppliers want cash up front, and insurers won't cover credit agreements. Cue death spiral.

The company is basically in the same position as someone with a 95% mortgage on a house (so little equity to release) and a pocket full of maxed out credit cards. At some point all the money coming in is needed just to service the debt and there is no more credit available. No money for food, heat, light, clothing, council tax etc.

Lenders try to avoid this with personal credit. $Deity alone knows why they allow this kind of thing for companies,

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How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

David Roberts
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Trollface

Re: stdin?

Mmmmm......I could be persuaded, depending on the course and the Venn diagram of course material and real life.

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David Roberts
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WTF?

Re: Unplugging the keyboard = kernel panic ?

A long, long time since I used IPX or Sparc but I can't remember that being a feature.

Perhaps some misguided "security" precaution?

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David Roberts
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Pint

Re: DevOps?

Damn, beat me to it!

Never too early for a pint; have one on me.

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Alibaba crafts AI chips, Facebook uses Bayesian magic to tweak code performance, and more

David Roberts
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FAIL

Smoke and mirrors?

Tried the "tell me everything" service.

First thing you have to do is register. I got an email back almost immediately wanting me to talk to them soon as to aid my recruitment process.

Then it starts the "analysis", you get some cutesy "working on it" messages followed by an "unable to contact our server" result.

Not selling themselves well at all.

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Oi, you. Equifax. Cough up half a million quid for fumbling 15 million Brits' personal info to hackers

David Roberts
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Facepalm

Re: Can we really be sure they are now secure? (as claimed)

The phrasing just means that they finally applied the patch.

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Fallover Friday: NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank go TITSUP*

David Roberts
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Unhappy

Another nail in the coffin

Since NatWest closed their local branch I've been looking at moving my account.

This is more encouragement.

Test driving the Nationwide to see if they are any good before deciding if I should switch.

As you get older, though banks that you have...errr....loved and lost get to be the majority.

Barclays, Halifax, Santander, all screwed me over to a greater or lesser extent in the past.

Not sure how long to hold a grudge, but I haven't run out of banks yet. Probably best to have funds in at least two banks if you can afford it. I have more than one credit card via different suppliers (and a mix of Visa and Mastercard) so in theory the only choke point is when they are paid off at the end of the month.

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Why waste away in a cubicle when you could be a goddamn infosec neuromancer on £50k*?

David Roberts
Silver badge
Trollface

Re: neurodiverse ?

My (faulty) translation routine immediately came up with "scatterbrained".

Scatterbrained people are usually happy, cheerful, gay, excited, bouncy....

Yes, my glossary was populated before some words were intentionally repurposed. Which leads me to wonder if the average school year classes are neurodiverse, with some bright and some less so? Is Parliament neurodiverse (it is certainly eurodiverse) for similar reasons?

Why this insane urge to use enormously generic terms to fit your own specific area of interest? For example "differently abled" could equally apply to those who can run marathons at a sub 5 minute mile pace and those who can't. Or failed dancers with two (metaphorical) left feet.

And breathe.

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30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

David Roberts
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Windows

Re: 1988 too early? - OOP

Reminds me of the time when, as an occasional programmer with some C experience, I was first introduced to C++.

"Isn't this just a fancy way of describing reuseable modules of code?" I wondered.

Thankfully all that is behind me now.

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David Roberts
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Windows

Re: 'Twas in the year of '88

WIMP and GEM?

Am I the only one brought up on character terminals and DOS PCs to have been given an early MAC and spent an hour looking for the command prompt, and on being told there wasn't one spending another few hours wondering "but how do you make it do anything useful?"?

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David Roberts
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Thumb Up

Re: "you were seriously stuck up a gum tree"

News server?

news.individual.net from the University of Berlin.

Been using it for years.

The ratio of troll to useful content is not always good (see Twitter).

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New MeX-Files: The curious case of an evacuated US solar lab, the FBI – and bananas conspiracy theories

David Roberts
Silver badge
Trollface

Security incident

(1) Biosecurity - anything from mercury poisoning to a TexMex chilli aftermath.

(2) IT security - anything from crypto currency mining to a virus infection

(3) Physical security - still trying to work out why they accredited the credentials of a Sun reporter

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We're doomed: Defra's having a cow over its Brexit IT preparations

David Roberts
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Windows

With the cynics here

Including Dr. Syntax.

DEFRA couldn't even manage to build an IT system to distribute EU subsidies to farmers and kept incurring fines for incompetence.

Designs were not optimal - for instance assuming that all rural farmers had the same kind of fast Internet access available to the developers.

If your current systems are red flagged, what are the chances of using the same resources to produce a speculative blue sky system against unknown rules? You are more likely to ease off on the current systems because they are unlikely to be fit for purpose post Brexit anyway.

I am pretty sure that DEFRA are not alone here. Standard project management to keep quiet about your problems and hope some other part of the project is going to force a slippage and get blamed. Then agree to align your project with the new longer timescales.

Personally, I suspect that the "hard" in hard Brexit reflects the times most IT systems will find themselves in. Will this be a licence to print money like Y2K? Or just an opportunity to build trade deals with non-EU service suppliers which include free movement in and out of the UK?

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Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

David Roberts
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Trollface

Just reminds me of the great nitty gritty scandal

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1988776.stm

For this one the SJWs (was that even a term in 2002?) got it wrong.

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Law firm seeking leak victims to launch £500m suit at British Airways

David Roberts
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IT Angle

Re: A better way of effecting change

I assume that you, using this site, work in IT?

Therefore I assume that you are prepared to accept similar punishment should one of your mistakes or oversights contribute to a data breach.

80% of your assets including your house and pension pot should concentrate your mind wonderfully.

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UK.gov went ahead with under-planned, under-funded IT upgrade? Sounds about right

David Roberts
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Trollface

Know why they were constantly under staffed?

They couldn't get the job applicants vetted.

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Take a pinch of autofill, mix in HTTP, and bake on a Wi-Fi admin page: Quirky way to swipe a victim's router password

David Roberts
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Paris Hilton

Does this apply to home networks?

Assuming your home network is reasonably secured, then the attacker can't directly get on.

The attacker can boot you off onto their spoof network using deauth.

They then get their web page (with dodgy code) into your browser and flip you back onto your own network.

At this point their dodgy code is inside your secure network and is phishing for your admin credentials, intending to open up external access via remote admin, or to get credentials to join your secure network.

This seems similar to (spear?) phishing. Getting the user to enter credentials into a dodgy web page.

The point at which this seems unlikely is the same as with a phishing attack from an external web site. If you were browsing the Internet and suddenly you got a web page asking you to log onto your router as admin, would you?

Or is this saying that if you have autofill enabled then a hidden web page could perform the login without anything being visible? For the specific example of being flipped onto a spoof network and back is any user interraction required?

Totally confused now. If no user interraction is required then this is far easier to do with an infected web page or advert than through attacking the wireless network from somewhere nearby.

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UK.gov: NHS should be compensated by firms using its data goldmine

David Roberts
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Pirate

NHS as one body again?

Sadly, the NHS was never a single entity, but a forced amalgamation of many private health suppliers.

Possibly comparable to nationalising the railways but still having the individual railway companies infighting and settling old grudges.

Which is a depressing thought, as that could be a model for the NHS in the future. Constantly changing commercial franchises with some underlying architecture (IT for example) still provided by the state. Just hope you don't get sick in Southern Region when they are in dispute with the hospital porters.

Icon for your new selfie if this happens.

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David Roberts
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Mushroom

Re: care.data all over again

You will, of course, note that the conversation has moved on from "We want to sell your data." "Fuck off!"

The conversation is now "We think the NHS is being ripped off when we sell your data. Join us in demanding more money."

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Hundred-million Kiwi Oracle project on hold after Deloitte review

David Roberts
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Windows

Ageing and unsupported

I wonder how much it would have cost to train a new team to support the ageing systems?

Then run them for, say, 3 years whilst the new teams collaborated on documenting functions and requirements?

Possibly less than paying someone to replace the systems when apparently nobody had a clear idea of what they were replacing and so couldn't cost the time and effort.

I assume that the old systems are still running anyway, and likely to be doing so for some considerable time yet.

Then again the supplier (not clear if Oracle is just the platform or is also the developer) may have just bid a figure it knew would be acceptable with no idea of the actual cost.

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Black holes can briefly bring dead white dwarf stars back to life

David Roberts
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End of the world as we know it?

Over a very long timescale super massive black holes are consuming everything.

What happens next?

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Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

David Roberts
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Big Brother

Crypto schmypto

So much commentary on encryption when everyone knows that you can't effectively backdoor encryption.

The narrative has moved on.

At some point, to be intelligible, the information has to be in clear. Pre/post encryption. 5 Eyes are mandating that the data has to be accessible in clear to themselves.

There are already major concerns that router encryption chips can be told to divulge clear text. China won't use US routers and vice versa. This just extends reach so that all commercial hardware platforms have to have embedded capability to reveal clear text pre/post encryption.

There is a lot of suspicious stuff embeded deep below the OS on computer mother boards. Mobile SOCs get more complex every iteration so almost anything could be buried in there.

Going on about encryption is just the magician waving one hand in the air to distract whilst the other hand does the real work.

Regardless, someone has to design and manufacture any intrusion system and then employees have to use it. There may be a brief gain early on, but information invariably leaks over time. Down the line we will find out what they really did.

Think about how you can securely encrypt off platform. Not using computing hardware made by someone else. This includes USB devices because they have a SOC in them.

Recommendation; learn to hand encode important messages using One Time Pads, obscure book references, code words, other traditional methods. Give up all naive hope that your everyday online brain farts and cat pictures will ever be secure from official and officious snoopers. Oh, and make sure you include a lot of garbage text in your daily communications to mask the important stuff.

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HTC U12 Life: Notchless, reasonably priced and proper buttons? Oh joy

David Roberts
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FAIL

Eat your own dog food, El Reg

Home page should be an opt in 4 columns wide!

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Can a script kiddie pwn your SD-WAN? Better check the config, friend

David Roberts
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Trollface

Re: Please, sir!

SD-WAN is an updated verdion of the traditional OB-WAN.

Which sometimes is your only hope.

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If you have to simulate a phishing attack on your org, at least try to get something useful from it

David Roberts
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Facepalm

Is the real problem...

......that people were just too keen to be the first on Social Media to blame Rusiia and Republicans and other usual suspects?

Perhaps the correct approach should have been to notify in-house security and give them time to investigate rather than go public immediately and warn the attacker that they have been rumbled.

As far as I can tell, there was no clear evidence of the source of the attack so the knee jerk blaming was counter productive. No doubt they are now ganging up on the security testers to try and conceal what idiots they are. A knee jerk reaction based on no firm evidence puts them in the "boy who cried wolf" category and confirms them as a source of fake news.

A meatware email virus, quite common, involves sending out an email such as "Local Police are warning that Iranian spies are operating in your area disguised as window cleaners. Please warn ALL your friends IMMEDIATELY!" which has loads of people flooding email with this bogus information.

People are so keen to demonstrate how they are privy to important information that they don't stop to think that it might be bogus.

The people who cried Wolf are the ones who should be getting the roasting,

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AI image recognition systems can be tricked by copying and pasting random objects

David Roberts
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Boffin

Not just AI

The invisible gorilla experiment shows that humans are also easily confused and don't always identify objects in a field of view.

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Linux 4.19 lets you declare your trust in AMD, IBM and Intel

David Roberts
Silver badge

Request to disable the flag?

You have a Yes/No decision at kernel build time. Why would you want to disable it?

Unless this is envisaged as a user switch, and Daddy wants to say "slow and secure is the only option".

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UK getting ready to go it alone on Galileo

David Roberts
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WTF?

I say chaps, where are we going?

New formal start of any NATO joint exercise.

This will also, presumably, have already been translated into Turkish.

Given that the public features will be in all phones in a few years, I presume that this spat is all about future manufacturing contracts and not about civilian or military end users. Unless the UK version of the F35 has the satnav taken out? GPS it is, then.

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IBM slaps patent on coffee-delivering drones that can read your MIND

David Roberts
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Black Helicopters

This paints an engaging picture

Of someone half way between Starbucks and Costa with an identifiable need for coffee.

Let the Robot Wars commence!

Most heavily armed drone wins the sale. Collateral damage covered under Ts and Cs.

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US Democrats call in Feds: There's something phishy going on with our voter database

David Roberts
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Black Helicopters

How do you effectively test security?

(1) Send a memo to all departments nationally well in advance so that they can brief all their staff that there is a test scheduled, when and what the test will be, and how to identify and pass it. Noting that a secret is safe if only two people know it and one of them is dead.

(2) Run the test like a real attacker with no prior warning.

Perhaps a bit like the difference between a scheduled and unscheduled quality audit. Noting of course that in quality audits the aim of both auditors and auditees is to pass the test so the company can pay for the fancy accreditation.

I would be interested to know how many people they caught before they were shut down. It did test their national security team who managed to identify the phishing attempts. So one positive benefit.

Noting also that a variant of option (1) could be to notify everyone that there was going to be a major phishing attempt in the next 3 months and instant dismissal including line management if anyone was caught. Then close the office and go fishing secure in the knowledge of a job well done.

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The Register's 2018 homepage redesign: What's going on now?

David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: Place holder before I check it out.

Well, curate's egg.

First annoyance; the opt in has a link next to it to this comments page so you can come and comment. Once you are in, the opt out has no such link. I opted out again so I could find the comments page. WTF??

Kudos for recognising a high resolution device and giving me the desktop version not the mobile one. Must go and check this out on my phone.

Kudos for the four wide layout which makes the home page more compact on my device and requires less vertical scrolling.

Demerit for what seems to be a pointless "Latest News" heading. As far as I can see this just tells me that the articles at the top of the page (which is in date/time order) are the most recent. Uh, duh?

Top Stories is intrusive but is right at the top so I can ignore it.

Most Read is a pain. It was much better to one side where I could ignore it by resizing the screen. Oh, and what makes something a Top Story if it isn't the most read? Personally I don't care which is most read because I read what interests me. On newspaper sites such as the Guardian (Oops, outed!) where there is a mass of content which never makes the front page then the Most Read at the bottom of the page (BBC does this as well) gives an alternative route to what news is hot at the moment. El Reg, as far as I can tell, has all the news in one place and the last few days can be easily viewed by vertical scrolling.

Summary. I would go with the new format just because the 4 columns suits my device of choice, and ignore the irritating bits which disrupt the generally smooth layout.

Oh, and are you going to tinker with the forum page layout? Currently it matches the old front page style and this suits me just fine.

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