* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Happy Thursday! 770 MEEELLLION email addresses and passwords found in yuge data breach

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Now is a good time to get a password manager app

"PW managers are the biggest risk out there."

You're probably thinking about online password managers. Big hint: there are ways of doing some computing tasks without using the internet. Managing passwords is one such task.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Gotta scare the sheeple to buy our products."

What is this word "buy" of which you speak. Just download KeePassX or whatever variation fits your OS.

Do you feel 'lucky', well, do you, punk? Google faces down magic button patent claim

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: connects a user to its top-raking search link

"that typo seems apposite"

Sceptic that I am I assumed "I feel lucky" to mean either a random link or the best paid advert which would have fitted "top-raking" exactly so never bother with it. I just decided to try it.

Anybody researching the Wordsworth family history knows the family originated in Penistone and also knows that a trawl for anything they might have overlooked by searching for those two names in combination reels in a mass of estate agent's ads. Developers are never shy on incorporating locally-linked famous names into their street names.

I wondered which would be Google's top-ranking, or -raking estate agent's add. And what happened? I got taken to the Nation Archives' page for the Wordsworth family papers in the Sheffield Archives.

$24m in fun bux stolen from crypto-mogul. Now he fires off huge fraud charge. Like, RICO, say?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: All the King's horses ...

"Security isn't easy."

Deciding not to - in effect - carry $24million in your phone is fairly easy.

Licence to chill: Shrinking data warehouse biz Teradata hires insider CEO

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Back in the 80s there was something literally* awesome about such a name. Nowadays, when the first thing I do on buying or building a new laptop, PVR or whatever, is to install a 2 Tb or more drive which can be in a laptop drive form factor, it seems rather pedestrian.

* Yes, literally.

'It's like they took a rug and covered it up': Flight booking web app used by scores of airlines still vuln to attack – claim

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Yet again you've let them get away with an anodyne statement"

"If you think the statement makes them look good"

We know it doesn't. But either (a) they think it does or (b) they know it doesn't but they don't care because they never get challenged to their faces so they and all the others will just do the same. They need to get taken to task.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"At Amadeus, we give security the highest priority and are constantly monitoring and updating all of our products and systems. We became alerted to an issue in one of our products and our technical teams took immediate action. We are working closely with our customers and we regret any disruption this situation may have caused,"

Yet again you've let them get away with an anodyne statement. Did you ask how bad it would have been if they didn't give security the highest priority?

The last sentence was puzzling until I realised their "customers" are the airlines, not those booking flights who obviously don't enter into the matter at all. Mustn't make life harder for airlines by making work (disruption) for them.

McKinsey’s blockchain warning irks crypto hipsters

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"McKinsey is confused about the reasons blockchain isn't ramping that quickly. Their main reasons are related to ALL digital transformation projects, not just blockchain."

Would that have something to do with snake-oil?

If at first, second, third... fourth time you don't succeed, you're Apple: Another appeal lost in $440m net patent war

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"his is only going to benefit lawyers and patent trolls"

Sole purpose of the change.

Germany has a problem with the entire point of Amazon's daft Dash buttons – and bans them

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Re: er... so

"You can already easily return an order to Amazon at no cost if not happy."

So you waste time waiting for the substitute you didn't want to arrive and still have to go out and get the right thing and organise the return. The trouble some people will go to for the sake of convenience...

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A 'proper' use for the buttons

"How do you watch the 'Grand Tour' ?"

I don't. It was a straight choice.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I remember using as a boy on my Grandparent outside loo."

You were lucky if that was your only exposure. Those of us older still remember it being the only choice other than squares of newspaper.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I prefer to just section out the rear legs and loins"

Back in my University days my hall of residence kitchen had a firm rule that once a year they would serve rabbit stew which consisted mostly of ribs and vertebrae. It was over 50 years ago but the memory cannot be erased. Their termly offering of alleged macaroni cheese was another thing I'd prefer to forget but can't

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: @doublelayer -- A simple idea

"he problem comes 3-5 years later when I've forgotten the password to the site"

For that there's KeePassX.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: @doublelayer -- A simple idea

"Why not stick to facts - mother's maiden name, mother or father's birthday, anniversary, number of siblings, etc. Those things don't change..."

... and can be researched.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A 'proper' use for the buttons

"Tried booking a seat at a Cineworld recently?"

Not likely to happen here but I wonder if there's a business opportunity here.

Re-skin annoying sites with a no muss, no fuss, no up-sell interface adding a small commission for the convenience. We annoyed old gits might be prepared to pay a little extra. It might fail in the long run if the main sites realised their antics could be costing them sales. OTOH they'd be getting the sales anyway and as the marketing twerps that run them would still be convinced their annoying tactics make them money they might well carry on as before.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Drawer full of buttons

"how is this subscribe and save feature OK?"

It doesn't seem to be but it would need to be a different case. Maybe TPTB in Germany think it best to tackle each one separately to avoid Amazon miring the whole case with complicating one aspect of it. Or maybe they'll be able to use one as a precedent for the rest.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"but they mostly seem to sell rabbit food."

Too many little bones.

Oh, I see what you mean.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Who needs a delivery driver?

"To get the cargo from the aircraft to the fleet of drones that aren't allowed anywhere near an airport."

Cut out the drones. Parachute drop.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A 'proper' use for the buttons

From that link: "Now we’ve got a smart button that we can stick to any wall, table, desk or bookcase to turn on our smart lights."

Oddly enough I've already got a switch stuck to the wall to turn on my dumb lights.

Also, having read the explanation there it turns out that you have to be a Prime subscriber.

One of my dislikes about Amazon is their persistent efforts to push Prime in my face. I don't want it. I will never want it. And yet each time I order something before I get through to complete the order I'm presented with a page full of Prime guff with a conspicuous button to click to sign up with Prime and an inconspicuous link to continue without. Along with their crap search engine and habit of failing to deliver to lockers - followed up by a complete lack of idea what to do next when that happens - it's one of the things which makes me less likely to use them if there are alternatives.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A simple idea

"find the milk is out,... wait a couple of days for delivery."

Out of milk? Wait a couple of days? I'd go be sent to the shop to get it today.

FCC's answer to scandal of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US selling people's location data: Burying its head in the ground

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I take it the US has nothing equivalent to the Select Committee system of the HoC. If it had he'd be summoned to appear in front of them to explain why he was ignoring such letters.

While Windows 7 wobbled, AI continued its relentless march at Microsoft

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Azure not Linux

"adding support for Python as a scripting language for Office"

Yet another way to screw a victim with a malicious email attachment.

This must be some kind of mistake. IT managers axed, CEO and others' wallets lightened in patient hack aftermath

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Seems legit

"The western world would do well to use this approach for similar incidents."

It might have as much to do with who was affected as with local culture.

Goddamn the Pusher man: Nominet kicks out domain name hijack bid

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: How about some grace time after expiry?

"And you get multiple, regular emails telling you that your domain is coming up for expiry, has expired and is in the grace period, is now in the redemption period, will be released, gone."

None of which helps if the email address is someone who has left the company, gone sick or for whatever other reason, isn't reading emails.

Come mobile users, gather round and learn how to add up

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Test/Error messages.

If you think this might be a problem just add some code at the beginning which says "See you when I get back from hols." and then exits.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Patronised a customer?

Nice one. I prefer it to mine.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Patronised a customer?

I wrote an idiots guide for my then

Dunce level manager, Ken.

It wasn't too subtle;

Oh no, but I'll

Take liberties whenever I can.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Patronised a customer?

Must stop myself spending the rest of the day tweaking this into a limerick.

What a cheep shot: Bird sorry after legal eagles fire DMCA takedown at scooter unlock blog

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

They really should be teaching the Streisand effect in law schools these days.

Both Google & Bing have this all over their news clusters as 3rd hit if you search for bird scooter. A lot more people will have heard of this now than those who only read it in Boing Boing. If Bird were depending on buying impounded scooters cheap from auctions (cheaper than paying storage fees and maybe also cheaper than running their own recovery operation) they'll find they're facing more competitive bids now.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Natwest fling new bank cards at folks after Ticketmaster hack

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Six months. It gives a whole new meaning to "proactive".

Computing boffins strip the fun out of satirical headlines

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Their examples remind me of the saying that a German joke is a very serious affair.

Brit hacker hired by Liberian telco to nobble rival now behind bars

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Re: He was hiring the attack net OUT

The two are not incompatible. This article says that he rented infected devices from others to bulk out his net. That's a detail not in the Beeb's report (which, BTW, isn't even by one of the their tech reporters). It wouldn't be the first time that a report by el Reg has more information on technical matters than the BBC.

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: RE: Doctor Syntax

"The difference is in this case that the wall is actually a deliverable policy."

So far it isn't.

And remember the policy was not only to build it but also have Mexico pay. That makes the whole a lot less deliverable.

NHS England's chief digital officer goes full digital, ditches health service for GP app biz

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"many appointments are ... prescription renewal that can be done over Skype, clearly not all."

Skype just to renew a prescription? Why?

This is a prime example of the "must use an app" mentality. These have been done by old-fashioned phone to a receptionist for years or, if you really want to go digital, by filling in a request on the web-site. It's possible, however, that periodically the doctor might wish to review by seeing and examining the patient rather than blindly renewing a dosage for years.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"has overseen work on the NHS 111 online service"

I tried that last week.

It was along the lines of "Do you have symptom A, symptom B or symptom C.

OK, A and B.

Oh, it works on radio buttons and can only accept one option.

Have they never heard of check boxes or haven't they got rules (or maybe a rules engine) that works on two?

It finally dropped through to "Gall your GP" which is what I'd have done without its "help".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Bauer said in a canned statement that she was "delighted to be joining Livi at such an exciting time for digital health because it pays better"

Having moved from a Civil Service job into commercial IT for that reason $GODDNESS_IS_IT_THAT_MANY years ago I can't say I blame her.

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Pesky microwaves

"The sea is as flat as the flat earth we live on!"

The distance between Scotland and the Antrim coast is ideal for seeing that the Earth isn't flat. Looking from either one to the other you can see the other side but from near sea level you can't see the other coastline, just the tops of the hills. The big bump of sea gets in the way. In fact anyone living near the sea will be familiar with vessels disappearing hull down as they sail away.

A belief in a flat Earth is only sustainable by someone who's never seen the sea or even a sufficiently large inland body of water.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Pesky microwaves

"50 years"

Sir, you underestimate.

"We are about to land at Belfast Airport. Please set your watches to 1690."

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Pesky microwaves

"We used to have that problem getting TV across a sea path between NI and Scotland"

ISTR that back in the '60s Divis was relaying a signal from the IoM which was relaying a signal from Holme Moss. Presumably you were in a location where you couldn't get Divis direct.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Pesky microwaves

"Why doesn't the high-tide dish work at all states of the tide?"

Multipath interference effect of some sort. Probably.

*taps on glass* Hellooo, IRS? Anyone in? Anyone guarding taxpayers' data from crooks? Hellooo?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

How did this guy get into Congress? He seems too sane to be a politician.

What's the fate of our Solar System? Boffins peer into giant crystal ball – ah, no, wait, that's our Sun in 10bn years

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Boom!

"is it diamond or Buckyballs?"

If it's diamond de Beers are going to be very upset. They depend on controlling supply.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Duh!

Twinkle, twinkle little LED

How I wonder if you're dead.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: And another old name is discarded...

"PlusNet is owned by BT by the way, but runs as a separate division."

I here reports of poor customer support but I've never needed to use that very much as they haven't contrived to do anything to piss me off. Unlike TT when they bought Tiscali who'd bought....

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: And another old name is discarded...

"Nildram - ditto"

Yup bought up by Pipex and then followed that route downlhill. Went to Be (who faffed around but never quite got round to supporting FTTC) until that was bought by Sky.

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: About this new wall

"And that's also why the Democrats are opposing it so much, even though when you come to it, it's a relatively small amount of money."

It's probably to their long term advantage to cave in. They can then call it the Trump Folly and point and laugh at it, rinse and repeat for every successive Republican candidates' wilder promises.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Comparison

"the government would just keep on going, using the same budget from last year."

Not unless things have changed since the '80s. One of the principles then was that if you don't spend your budget this year you don't get it keep it till next year and when you put in next year's estimates they're likely to be chopped back because clearly you didn't spend this year's money. So as the end of the financial year approaches you spend up on stuff you'll need for next year (microscope slides and cover-slips were two of my stand-bys along with methylumbelliferyl phosphate).

One variable factor was the over-winter spending on road clearance so if there was a mild winter there was a lot left over to spend. In the Northern Ireland Office this was known as the Spring Sales.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Comparison

"Our budgets are not about parliament authorising spending by government"

Actually the authority of Parliament stems from its having wrung from one of the medieval kings (CBA to look it up) the right to block expenditure by blocking taxation. The two are directly connected. I'm fascinated by the fact that Parliament is finally facing up to its responsibilities and one way it's just demonstrated that is by an amendment to the Finance Bill.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Another wall?

"by tradition named after Emperors - and there aren't many of those left"

There are a few wannabes. Let them sort it out between them.

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