* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Microsoft goes to bat for Dreamers: Windows giant sues Uncle Sam to block staff deportations

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Re: Optional

"I'd be hugely amused if Microsoft implemented a system whereby any customer of MS Federal Sales had to provide reams of documentation and evidence of eligibility in order to activate their software"

And also prove that neither their staff nor contractors were running cracked hookey versions at home.

Official US govt Twitter accounts caught tweeting in Russian, now mysteriously axed

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"Security? Our government has heard of it."

Are you sure?

Post-Brexit economy SAVED: Posh-nosh truffle thrives in Wales

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Re: does anybody know why people don't grow them in greenhouses?

"Or is Quercus ilex a particularly tiny sort of oak tree?"

It certainly isn't.

Fat-fingered Level 3 techie reduces internet to level zero: Glitch knocks out connections

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"Level 3 is one of the trunk roads of the internet"

A sort of Information Superhighway?

ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

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"If your a small business, having to accept card payments - especially for smaller transactions - cuts into your profit."

OTOH it means the money goes into your account without having to wait to take it to the bank which, these days, is becoming a longer hike. I wonder how the two aspects balance each other out. The fact that some shops offer cashback suggests that cards win.

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Re: Cash for me

"I do not have a contactless card, I told my bank to send me a normal card and that is what they have done"

Did you check?

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Re: Buy local.

"withdraw some cash to put in the collection on Sunday. Of course locals just put it all on the slate."

They put the collection on the slate?

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Re: Hang on a sec...

"Every fee-free ATM is unprofitable, and every business seeks to eliminate unprofitable activities."

Which was the point of my earlier post. The banks set up ATMs to save money, which they still do in comparison with the costs of counter staff (who, if they're anything like the last Lloyds' counter staff I encountered will also cost custom). It ill becomes them to then complain about the cost of saving money and it would serve them right if we went back to asking for cash at the counters.

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"if you shop in person at a real shop, you can ensure you get the best possible from what's on display and available."

Or, if you're in Yorkshire you can choose the "reduced - still fresh" options. Morrisons seem to have improved their patisserie stock control to distressing degree recently.

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"Oh and to help knock the ageist Luddism accusations on the head I'm 50."

Youngsters these days...

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Re: Surely thats phone banking?

"So, unless she was talking to her phone screen, or talking to somebody on the phone, you never overheard then, you saw"

Maybe she was one of those people who can't type or write without also saying it out loud (or at least mumble it).

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Be careful what you wish for

The banks might think they can save money by cutting back on ATMs. They could be caught out if it results in queues in banks for an RTP (Real Teller Person).

Paradise Papers were not an inside job, says leaky offshore law firm

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"the BBC makes its decisions based on what the public are interested in, rather than what is in the public interest."

The media view these days seems to be that the latter means the former.

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Re: Live by the sword, die by the sword

" If you gloat you cannot get paid."

Gloating doesn't have to be public. You can gloat all the way to the bank.

The only thing to worry about is that your part in one breach gets outed because it's documented in stuff that subsequently comes out when your own solicitors get breached.

'Lambda and serverless is one of the worst forms of proprietary lock-in we've ever seen in the history of humanity'

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It looks as if we're getting about as far as the pendulum swings on this particular cycle. Then a few people realise that the lock-in has made it difficult to get anything done without consulting the resident Kubernetes or whatever wizards or break the hold the beancounters have on the AWS account and it would be a lot easier to sneak in a PC or two...

Your future data-centre: servers immersed in box full of oil, in a field

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Re: Surprised

"installs servers that look like radiators into domiciles. The residents get free heat"

I was thinking about this one the other day. There were reports about this a year or two ago and then nothing further. I'd assumed the idea had died.

ICANN gives domain souks permission to tell it the answer to Whois privacy law debacle

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I think you will find that it is only "incomprehensible" (or more accurately "unconscionable" ) to large US corporations that want to hoover up all this information because of "money".

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

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Re: Not sure I understand

"That is the predicament ICANN are in. Their contract stipulates the registrars must provide contact details of the owner. EU law now forbids that."

They have, as I understand it, a contract with the US authorities that stipulates they impose conditions on registrars. Those conditions, when imposed on EU customers contradict the new EU law. So they can impose the terms on the registrars as per their contract but as the terms are contrary to EU law. At the point where the contract chain hits EU law the term becomes unenforceable.

I can understand that the US authorities with their concepts of global jurisdiction might not like this. However, if they want to keep the Privacy Figleaf in place they need to think very, very carefully about the wisdom of trying to enforce their own contract with ICANN. A graceful way round it would be for them to revise the ICANN contract with words to the effect of "where allowed by local law" slotted in.

At some point the US does need to get off its high horse. Ultimately ICANN's only power is that it runs the root DNS. Would it really be impossible for the ROTW to get together, clone that root and regard the clone as authoritative? And if they did so the US would simply have to follow.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: @Doctor

"Secondly, you can't refuse the service if the checkbox isn't ticked."

Why not? There's plenty of businesses where if you don't sign their contract they won't do business with you, what's different in this case?

From the ICO's site:

Consent under the GDPR must be a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the individual’s wishes. There must be some form of clear affirmative action – or in other words, a positive opt-in – consent cannot be inferred from silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity. Consent must also be separate from other terms and conditions, and you will need to provide simple ways for people to withdraw consent.

I doubt refusing to provide the service if consent isn't given constitutes "freely". Also not "separate from other T&Cs" - again you can sign the contract but refuse consent. I think anyone trying to make consent a condition for providing a service will find themselves answering to the ICO or equivalent in other jurisdictions.

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"Not generally speaking - always (I can't think of a single situation where it doesn't)"

If I'd said "always" some smartarse would come up with an exception. But, like you, I can't think of one.

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It seems to be a characteristic of the the difference between European and US cultures. In EU terms it's quite obvious that the ICANN terms are unenforceable and in US terms it's incomprehensible.

Estonia government locks down ID smartcards: Refresh or else

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Re: Is there any chance

"What we don't like"

Perhaps I should qualify "we" as GB. During the troubles in we got used in NI to having to provide ID at checkpoints. It came as a major culture shock to my parents when they visited and we got stopped at a VCP on a back road from Aldergove to Listburn.

I'm curious as to what's the attitude there now. Anybody?

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"What worries me though is the potential single point of failure issues and also the possible function creep, if it's not tightly regulated. That's already happened with PPS numbers (equivalent or Social Security / National Insurance) where all of a sudden they're needed for everything from school registration to applying to University etc etc"

That seems to be a problem with the US SSN which is regularly part of the PII lost in data breaches.

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"In the UK Sir Humphry would spend six months obscuring the problem."

It would, however, be Sir Humphrey, and not Jim Hacker, who'd be in favour of the ID card in the first place. Hacker would realise it could lose him an election. Sir H would, of course, not have to carry such a demeaning object himself; he'd excuse graduates of both Universities.

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Re: Is there any chance

"You do have to identify yourself at times, soon so much easier with that passport of the right and only colour. driving perhaps with some identification too."

What we don't like is the idea of some jobs-worth coming up to us and demanding our identification. It doesn't sit well with our ideas of the assumption of innocence etc. The easiest way to stop that is to ensure that there is no such item that the jobs-worth could demand.

Equifax execs sold shares before mega-hack reveal. All above board – Equifax probe

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Re: Different story now

"So now that these dishonest and libellous accusations have been shown to be false"

I think I'd wait for an SEC investigation to get a definitive answer on that.

And have a down vote for answering your own question - such a tiresomely childish meme.

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A review like this carries all the conviction of, say, the EU Justice Commissioner and the US Sec of Commerce reviewing the Privacy Figleaf. Did I just write conviction? How odd.

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

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Re: Hmmm

"This is in addition to the local ones being liable for a contempt of court."

More likely they'd fine the local Google office for contempt.

OpenSSL patches, Apple bug fixes, Hilton's $700k hack bill, Kim Dotcom raid settlement, Signal desktop app, and more

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Re: Hacking the home

"Works for all the usual people I get to do work for me, plumbers, electricians."

What, no cash in hand?

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Re: The Azure Edge of Chrome

Rule 3 : there is no Rule 3. Also bring your presentation on OHP acetates and have an OHP projector and spare bulb in the boot of your car. 35mm slides and projector as additional backup for the seriously paranoid and/or experienced.

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And here's one you may have missed


'Qualcomm, we will buy you... for... one HUNDRED... BILLION DOLLARS' – Broadcom

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"embedded engineering – an industry rebranded to the much more trendy-sounding Internet of Things"

Are you sure IoT and engineering belong in the same sentence unless there's a negative in it?

Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

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Re: Fake news

"Look how many people are *IRRITATED* by it"

I think the word you're looking for is "alarmed" because we feel it gives an insight into the mind of one of our great national leaders.

It's worth repeating something that comes very shortly after the previous quotation:

"One of the reasons for trying to maintain impenetrable secrecy around Government Ministers is that without it many would make themselves laughing stocks within days or -- at most -- weeks."

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Re: Chirp

"The PM might have something to say about that."

She's an expert on leadership now?

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Re: Twitter should stick to the T&C and ban the orange twerp.

"They will ban you for small idiotic things."

Large idiotic things are OK. Size matters.

Subsidy-guzzling Tesla's Model 3 volumes a huge problem – Wall St man

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Re: Guzzling?

"All the major car companies hate the idea of electric cars."

I doubt it. They just like anything that sells well. Stronger emotions, positive or negative, won't be worth bothering about.

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Re: Musk, the new Jobs?

"Certainly but it does what it says on the tin."

A voice from way back in the depths of time - a Leitz salesman commenting on a rival's microscopes. "Tin. Good quality but tin.".

Official Secrets Act alert went off after embassy hired local tech support

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Re: Too many stories like that one.

"The thing is, I've had that happen to me on Windows."

Much the same on Linux. If the battery's on its way out it doesn't fail gracefully. 90% to 12% to off can take seconds. It's one reason why I decided to replace SWMBO's ancient laptop rather than throw good money after bad on a new battery.

El Reg assesses crypto of UK banks: Who gets to wear the dunce cap?

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Re: Good article. Maybe this will help them?

"El Reg, maybe forward them all this article from the reknown Troy Hunt?"

How many of them will even have heard of Troy Hunt?

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Re: Dunce Cap tip

" I'd suggest that it doesn't fill a cynical customer with joy to get a call from a random 07... number stating it's my bank and asking for security information."

The really worrying thing is that they'd only persist with this if the majority of customers responded positively.

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Re: Dunce Cap tip

"So, better rip the bottom half inch off your cheques every time you write one then... and NEVER ask people to pay you by bank transfer."

No, I think he has a point.

It's one thing to have that information on a cheque, it's another to combine it with a lot of other personal information such as DoB & employers. Someone intercepting the letter without that might be able to fill in the blanks from other sources but why present the whole lot on a plate?

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Re: Dunce Cap tip

HSBC used to do something similar when I had a business account with them. They wanted the amount of a recent transaction for me to prove who I was!

I always told them I didn't believe they were who they said they were because I'd made it clear to my bank that I wouldn't accept such calls without a secure means of identifying themselves. If they were calling without such identification then they couldn't be my bank and I wouldn't even confirm if they'd guessed right. It was always followed up by a letter from them essentially saying how miffed they were that they hadn't been able to talk to me to sell me something.

I suppose I could have replied by giving them some random incorrect amount. Their recognition that it was incorrect would serve to identify them but I didn't particular want to take sales calls from them so why bother?

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Re: It's not a problem, it's an opportunity

"Do you mean ExpertSexchange?"

Don't sign me up.

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Re: Dunce Cap tip

"How come then does the NatWest server know individual letters of my password when it prompts me for a random selection of them at each login?"

Possibly it created hashes for each of the combinations it might ask you and stored those.

Those IT gadget freebies you picked up this year? They make AWFUL Christmas presents

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Re: chilli sambuca

"just what's needed on a cold day"

So was the nip of poteen. Having bought a bottle we discovered that that was the only circumstance in which it was drinkable. It lasted a long, long time.

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Re: freebie USB sticks

"Yes I do carry that thing in my pocket, thanks for asking, although now that you mention it maybe I should consider an alpinist-rated belt clip (and a properly sturdy utility belt to match)."

It all gets out of hand so quickly...

My alternative is https://www.integralmemory.com/product/courier-usb-flash-drive but its an old & slow one. I see they're doing a USB 3 version now so maybe it's time for a change.

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Re: freebie USB sticks

"It boggles my mind that it has taken 20 years to design a hole for the usage of putting string , chain , or keyring through that dosent immediately snap off, losing your memory stick."

It's still wrong. It leaves your keyring dangling from the plugged in memory stick. I don't think supporting a heavy keyring was one of the design requirements for USB.

Landlubber northern council shores up against boat-tipping

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Re: At least their Social media team has a sense of humour about it.

"Like most Councils, they should use it as a form of planter for flowers on a roundabout."

They'll only do that if someone sponsors the roundabout.

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Re: One of these days...

"In other words: you're a lazy fucker who wants other people to pay so you don't have to deal with your own waste."

Because you're too lazy to quote properly it's impossible to be clear to whom you're replying but let's be clear about this:

We pay council taxes for local councils to provide services. One of the services is collection and disposal of waste. (Others include running local libraries and other such facilities.) Increasingly local councils are abnegating the provision of such services.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: One of these days...

"It probably costs you more than £2.50 to drive to the council dumping facility."

At which point you'll be turned away because you fail on one of the numerous terms they've come up with to prevent you using the facility for which you've already paid council tax.

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