* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

UK parliamentary email compromised after 'sustained and determined cyber attack'

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Re: If it did not have 2FA or certs it was asking to be hacked

"But random sequences of characters?"

That looks like random keyboard mashing than anything computer generated. Look at the pairs of adjacent keys in there.

Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs have nasty hyper-threading bug

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Re: Linux to the rescue?

"Current Linux distros (Ubuntu from at least 15.04 on) have a "3rd party driver" feature to update the CPU microcode. Both, for AMD and Intel."

Such mechanisms have existed since the days of oops-I-can't-divide. So why are Debian saying it can't be fixed except by motherboard firmware?

Does current firmware shut the door on such mechanisms? That might be done for security reasons - block malware that attempts to rewrite microcode - but if so there needs to be a better way to fix it than depending on motherboard manufacturers getting round to distributing upgrades, always assuming they can be bothered.

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Re: This is gonna suck.

"Do Not Take Your Computer To Best Buy!"

Similar businesses are available in other countries.

WannaCrypt blamed for speed camera reboot frenzy in Australia

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Re: U 1F4A9

"If the manufacturer can mess with them at will then that nullifies the testing process."

If anyone can mess with them at will it nullifies the testing.

And I sometimes wonder if they're always installed/used in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

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Re: U 1F4A9

"And it seems the state has zero idea about what's inside their speed cameras"

If they haven't there seem to be good opportunities for challenging the ticket. If you know so little about them they'd have a problem withstanding cross-examination to prove they're working correctly.

Florida Man to be fined $1.25 per robocall... all 96 million of them

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Re: I wanted to get a 900 number

I don't make any money

You're doing it wrong: "Could you go through that again....I'll have to discuss it with wife/husband/cat, can you call back?".

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Re: @Number6

"If you made the SIP provider liable."

Why stop there? Irrespective of whether the call originates by SIP, make the telco responsible if the offender can't or won't pay the fine. They'd be a damn sight more careful about servicing call centres and robocallers.

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Re: Where do the fines go?

"They should of course go to those who were called. Automatic credit on their phone bill. NO LAWYERS involved, please!"

My thoughts exactly. Dial some code. The telecoms company charges the caller number - the real one, not the spoof, as if the recipient was a premium number. The company also adds a commission. The call comes in via a different telecoms company? No problem, just bill them and let them charge the caller, adding their own commission. It would need some policing - it would be unacceptable to let recipients flag anyone who called them - but the first claims against a number could be held until there were sufficient to ensure that it was a problem caller. The only way out for the robocaller would be to fail to pay their bill. That's just a matter for the credit control department of the telecoms company to deal with.

BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

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Pascal, it's a long time since any of them were girls.

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Re: Committees

Second law. If you find yourself drafted onto one argue strongly for something which is so blatantly impossible that even the members of a committee can see it's blatantly impossible (admittedly not an easy thing to find) so you never get invited to any more meetings. Or any other committees.

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SWMBO's ladies group have a committee meeting every month. Given that the only thing the group as a whole does is have monthly meetings and given that the entire year's meeting programme has to be drawn up and printed in advance I've no idea what they find to talk about in 11 of the meetings. But they do.

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Re: A new way to keep the number of committees down.

Did you have a committee tocome up with that rule?

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Re: It's all true...

"But my pride was dented by having it removed from me"

You mean you didn't take revenge by checking every reference and hyperlink and complaining about the errors - one complaint per week.

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Re: Websites

"every single website put up by marketing is left to die with the "NEW WEBSITE" on the front page for several years."

And news items of which the most recent ages a month per month.

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"Ah, you've met our marketing team then?"

It's reciprocal with marketing teams. They don't seem to understand you strongly I feel about being pestered.

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"Marketing still gave me a stiff talking to, and made me read the document, before I was allowed a copy of the file though."

Didn't you ask them to check your stock of paper in the store room? The store room with no door handle on the inside.

Capita flogs Asset Services division for £888m

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Re: Smart meter bill

"Perhaps the government knows something we don't?"

Given the amount of public service contracts shoved in that direction over the years I'd have thought it was the other way around. Maybe HMG is just catching up with the rest of us.

PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

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" Turns out an HW engineer who had not been properly trained would turn up to apply some minor fix to a running server, and simply press the big yellow"

What sort of DBA would allow anyone, H/W engineer or other, anywhere near a running server without escorting them? Some people just don't have the requisite levels of paranoia.

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Re: Solution (was: You want toast!)

New server delivered and installed on site. This was back in the days of 1/2" tape drives & Torx screws being new and almost unknown. The tape drive had a transit lock secured by Torx. A couple of days later the vendors engineers (plural - where do you get service like that these days?) rolled up to remove the lock and were a bit miffed to discover that I had a screwdriver set with Torx bits in it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


I've had the lift problem - someone took the decision to install the server next door to the lift. And the igniter for a stabilised Xenon illuminator was as effective as the X-ray machine.

Heaps of Windows 10 internal builds, private source code leak online

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Re: Perhaps someone can use it no make the windows 10 we want

It's the logical extension. The Home and Professional versions turn the user community into beta testers. It's only natural to let them bug-fix it as well.

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"If this gets installed on your computer it will save all of your important data in an impenetrable format, making it almost impossible to get it out."

It also opens up your computer to being spied on, advertised to and updated & rebooted at inconvenient times.

Russian hackers selling login credentials of UK politicians, diplomats – report

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Re: What Is The Policy For MP's E-Mail ?

"My previous MP had surname suffixed by initials @parliament.uk."

Mine had $FirstName.$Surname.mp@parliament.uk so the format isn't fixed.

"Apart from confidentiality, I'd have hoped that parliament required MPs to use @parliament.uk both to reassure people they weren't mailing a spoof address"

With you so far.

"and so that all official communications could be recorded"

Nope. Let's say you have a woman suffering from an abusive husband not getting sufficient help from Social Services or the Police who contacts her MP. It's a privileged communication so should not become a matter of official record. That's why the intelligence services are not supposed to tap MPs' communications; a point which is widely misunderstood.

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Let's hope it helps them understand what we keep telling them about encryption?

Ex-NASA bod on Gwyneth Paltrow site's 'healing' stickers: 'Wow. What a load of BS'

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"when they start to project those beliefs onto kids it becomes beyond harmful"

As in http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40274493

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Re: High level spirit

"I had a bottle of Indian Whisky recently and it was rather drinkable. Can't remember the name though."

Are the drinkability and failure to remember connected in any way?

Doormat junk: Takeaway menus, Farmfoods flyer, NHS data-sharing letter... wait, what?

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Re: "exciting long-term project"

"The BBC understands that in the new deal there will be no opt-out for patients who do not wish to share their data."

There will be. It's called GPDR.

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Alex Price-Forbes, chief disinformation officer for Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group.

That seems to fit a little better.

UK and Ecuador working on Assange escape mechanism

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Re: The worst thing in the world for Assange...

"discredit Assange as a paranoid nutjob. But given who's running the place at the moment"

Takes one to know one.

Lordy! Trump admits there are no tapes of his chats with Comey

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Re: Bah!

Vote Republican. "We Got Nothin".

But do they have plenty of it?

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Re: It only gets worse

"You must have enjoyed yesterday's Queen's Speech, which St Theresa used to make it clear she was not going to go ahead with everything she'd promised in her election manifesto."

Remember that the Queen's Speech only covers 2 years of a 5 year Parliament (or so May hopes) so on that basis you wouldn't expect all the manifest to be in it. Whether the Parliament will last for 5 years and how long May will remain PM are matters that remain to be seen.

Remember also that without an overall majority what a government actually achieves is going to be a compromise between the parties which form the consequent government and there's always going to eb something that gets dropped; just ask the Lib-Dems.

And last but not least "Events, dear boy, events".

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Why do I see that and read "I just played back the tapes and discovered Comey was right."?

UCL ransomware attack traced to malvertising campaign

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Re: Footnote

unless those PCs are running ... some decent up-to-date anti-malware software adblocker

Two Brits nabbed amid probe into global plot to hack Microsoft network

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Maybe their defence will be based on "they started it, so there.".

Waymo: We've got a hot smoking gun in Uber 'tech theft' brouhaha

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Re: How cute...

Did nobody ever tell them: "when you're in a hole, stop digging."?

Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

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"t's gonna be going very slowly at the end."

IIRC someone was killed in S Belfast by a stray from N Belfast which must be a comparable distance.

However I did for a while, have some sort of handgun round* on my desk with a nice fibre impression on it; it was said to have been stopped by an ordinary nylon jacket.

*Don't ask. I wasn't a ballistics expert. Someone just passed it to me do a fabric comparison.

Cheeky IT rival parks 'we're hiring' van outside 'vote Tory' firm Storm Technologies

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Re: How would Storm know?

"the hung parliament doesn't look like it's going to get much done any time soon"

Given the alternatives I find this the best I could have hoped for it it weren't for having the DUP along for the ride - and anything they can get out of it.

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Re: How would Storm know?

"Neither the Tories or labour (or any other party for that matter) have a monopoly on dickheads in their ranks"

Unfortunately none of them seem to have an absence of dickheads either.

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Re: How would Storm know?

"We have a secret ballot"

Exactly. From this distance it looks rather like an attempt at humour. Either that or the bloke has never voted so didn't know how it works.

Lenovo re-launches data centre range with two new ThinkThing lines

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Are these intended for the Internet of Thinks?

I'll just hang my coat up, it's too warm here.

Gov digitisation plans happening too slowly, say IfG policy wonks. Hear that, GDS?

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"GDS has done more good for them than anything previously."

You forgot the joke icon.

Microsoft admits to disabling third-party antivirus code if Win 10 doesn't like it

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Re: Nothing new under the sun

" I know the feedback will be ignored. "

Not necessarily. Next time round it'll be looking for renamed CCleaner.

IBM's contractor crackdown continues: Survivors refusing pay cut have hours reduced

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Re: team leaders are offered a new tool

"I'm sure they and their subordinates already know where to find the tools."

Don't be too sure. They may be unable to find their arses with both hands and a map.

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Re: $100+/hour Multi-Client Contracting + Continuity Income Guide

"2) Network big time - Attend Meetups. Speak at Meetups/Conferences. Participate in forums."

Let me add another to that. Work on jobs for one client that involve collaboration with other businesses future clients.

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Re: The 'Hours Plan'

"Or the Process Management Process."

Or the Process Management Report Process Report.

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Re: It is a compensation problem, not a capitalism problem

"If senior management is being compensated in a way that encourages short term thinking - quarterly results"

This is an area where governments could actually make a difference: ban reporting at less than annual intervals. Yup, I know the arguments. But consider the possibility that the benefits might outweigh the disadvantages.

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Re: Abuse, plain and simple.

"my contract has always included language preventing me from working, directly or indirectly, for that customer for a couple years or so"

It sounds like you have a badly written an IR35 caught contract, at least in UK terms.

The contract should be between ClientCo or AgencyCo and YourCo not you. As someone said in a previous comment, start YourCo2 which never had such a contract.

Oxford profs tell Twitter, Facebook to take action against political bots

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Re: Nope, the truth is not relative

"Did anyone claim a statement of fact? All he said is that they are true statements."

That's the point. They were statements but meaningless because they were incomplete. You have to be prepared to examine statements critically in order to understand what they actually mean - which might not be the same as what they appear to say.

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Let's just call them Anti-social Media and have done with it. As they deteriorate to white noise maybe we should ask if their time has passed.

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Re: Nope, the truth is not relative

"Water contains 66.6% hydrogen

Water contains 11.8% hydrogen"

Neither is a statement of fact. A statement of fact would include whether by weight or by number of atoms.

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