* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Hotheaded Brussels civil servants issued with cool warning: Leak

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Re: Start of 2 year exit negotiations?

"2 and a half months ago, most of which has been wasted by Theresa Mayhems ill-advised and ill-fated snap GE."

From her PoV certainly ill-advised. If it hastens her departure I certainly wouldn't call it wasted.

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I was with you until you got to the scotch egg.

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"You are not advised to drink alcohol, and to eat light meals"

So you're not actually advised not to drink alcohol.

And if you don't eat light meals do you go without or do you eat heavy meals?

Brit uni blabs students' confidential information to 298 undergrads

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Re: 3. Someone - with access - exports data, and emails it to 2

"Even if people are aware of what they're doing is wrong or against protocol, they will still do it, because they don't want (short term) hassle - usually from the recipient(s)."

It's a matter of attitude. My last client before retiring took security very seriously because they provided secure services to clients. Irrespective of the inconvenience staff would observe secure protocols. As yet most businesses can get away without that. Gradually, as consequences get more serious and more widely realised things will improve. It'll just take bigger fines and more class actions before it happens.

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Re: Spreadsheet != Database

"We have a student DB, but it's unwieldy, slow and crap. To get any changes made to it, you have to get the developer in to do a analysis, then the design, then the development, etc before it can be finally added and used."

I wonder why anybody does analysis and design. Could it be to try to prevent this sort of thing?

By letting - yes, there's an element of permission there, even if only be default - short-cuts to be taken your student DB is prevented from being improved. And so your management paints itself further into a corner so that, assuming you're in Europe, one day you find that you didn't really save money, all you did was postpone it until it was drained away in a big fine.

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"This sounds like a process design fault"

It sounds even more like lack of process.

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"Hope it doesn't have macros"

In this case a macro that downloaded ransomeware might have been just what you'd hope for. It might be extreme but it'd protect the data.

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Re: Spreadsheet != Database

When all you've got is Excel everything looks like a spreadsheet.

And some people just don't get anything else.

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They've less than a year to sort themselves out. Maybe they're one of these SMBs that hasn't heard about GDPR yet.

Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

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It would be a distinct improvement if it stops HGVs using satnavs intended for cars.

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My backup GPS is both a map and an AtoZ of the area that I'm travelling to.

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Re: What a load of crap

"it's much better to have centralised stations and increased response times"

Like this? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39614096

Backdoor backlash: European Parliament wants better privacy

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Re: Unintended consequences


Dammit! Things.

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Re: Big Banks

Not just banks. Any business that relies on VPNs to connect branches and/or home workers also relies on end-to-end encryption.

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Re: Excellent

" I believe it will be ignored overall."

If it gets through into EU law then it can't be ignored. That's a pretty big if, however.

I'd like to see the EU Parliament get this through in less than 2 years. Her Ladyship won't like it but then I think her tenure won't stretch anything like so far ahead.

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Re: Sorry but ElReg is wrong...

"Their approach is to introduce soft/ malware on the suspects device, being able to monitor before encryption happens."

That's a distinction without a difference. It simply means that they're granting themselves the right to break the system as a whole rather than the encrypted component of it. Same effect.

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Re: Unintended consequences

"So how do you intercept something that has encryption you can' t break legally or otherwise?"

Different thongs. You can intercept it. You'll get encrypted data. That's your problem unless, of course, you can launch a MIM attack against it.

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Re: Unintended consequences

"So in order to own a website, you have to register with a certification authority? That's a step backward for privacy, right there."

Maybe someone should invent an open certification authority. What would it be called? How about LetsEncrypt.org? I wonder when someone will get round to it.

Migrating to Microsoft's cloud: What they won't tell you, what you need to know

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"Don’t even start a cloud project until you’re happy with your internet speeds."

Speeds in the plural seems to be the operative word here. You're not going to do this without redundant connections are you?

Oh the irony: Government Digital Services can't pay staff because of tech problems

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Re: Logic

"By not paying the staff they don't have to sort the IR35 issues."

A faulty payroll system won't bother the contractors. They get paid against invoice and if that payment system fails theirs always the Small Claims Court (never let the outstanding sum exceed the SCC limit) and bailiffs.

BOFH: Halon is not a rad new vape flavour

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Re: CRTs

"he was an apprentice"

The mind boggles at the thought of the present day equivalent of Rediffusion having apprentices.

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"They get abusive if you say no. They ring back if you hang up."

Wasting their time is the one that works. Just ask them to hold the line a moment, put the phone aside and then hang up a few minutes later. I've only had one attempt to call back.

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Re: "We're one TWA tick away from an H&S refresher course with a free lunch.

"There's no such thing as a free lunch."

You're reckoning without the BOFH being the one who gets the lunch. The H&S instructor could end up being lunch metaphorically speaking.

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"As brilliant as always!"

I disagree. More brilliant.

ICO fines Morrisons for emailing customers who didn't want to be emailed

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Temporary email addresses for firms you don't expect to deal with again is the best answer. Those you do have to deal with more regularly get their own address and if they spam it gets dropped and their spam bounces. Except one business I'm saving for their next AGM....

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Re: Sainsbury's did worse

"I set an email filter to forward all Sainbury's emails back to Sainsbury's"

Extra points if you could find the chairman's email address.

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A Morrisons spokesperson told The Register: "We sent out an information message to a small percentage of our customers that aimed to provide some helpful information about our service. We did this with the best of intentions and we're disappointed that this was deemed to be 'marketing material'."

The ICO should fine them again for this response; clearly they didn't learn.

A more appropriate response would be "We shouldn't have done this. The employees responsible have decided to seek fresh opportunities elsewhere.".

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Note to HR. Don't even look at marketroid candidates with Flybe, Honda and Morrisons on their CV.

You'll soon be buying bulgur wheat salad* from Amazon, after it swallowed Whole Foods

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Re: Have you ever or would you eat bulgur wheat?


Thanks for the link. Our Simon has a rival.

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"You'll soon be buying bulgur wheat salad"

Oh no I won't.

Oops! Facebook outed its antiterror cops whilst they banned admins

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"Peak Silicon Valley."

You think it can't get worse?

Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

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Re: I confess...

"Watford ?"

I thought for a moment you were commenting on "middle of nowhere".

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Re: Everyone missed the classic one

"synthetic underware"

Sir, the thoroughness of your investigation does you credit.

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Re: Survivors

"shorten the jackets and trouser legs of their successful customers. It was often needed."

And cleaning the trousers.

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Re: Observe the user

There's a couple at my work who met like that and are now married with kids.

Newish member of staff, thinking he'd discovered a scandal:"Have you noticed how those two always leave together"

"Yes, they're husband and wife."

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"You must also try to keep the conversation on track to avoid a potted history of everything thats ever gone wrong with the machine"

Unless the reason for the problem lies in that history.

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"Off I trot to the stationary cupboard, select a black ball point pen"

It would have been trickier if the cupboard had been moving.

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"At least until he got back to the office, where Dell asked why he hadn't replaced the motherboard.

Len reckons the moral of this story is to listen, really listen, to customers."

And for companies to really listen to their service engineers.

Samsung releases 49-inch desktop monitor with 32:9 aspect ratio

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Re: Ideal for Management Spreadsheets

Nowhere near wide enough.

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Re: Optional

"you lose the ability to snap a windowed application to a single screen, which for me is one of the most useful things about multi-monitor working."

If you can show your applications side-by-side unsnapped doesn't the need to snap go away?

Brit hacker admits he siphoned info from US military satellite network

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"why did it need the help of the FBI and DoD to get a conviction?"

Someone has to give evidence that that was the data that was copied and, govt being what it is, every dept. involved would insist on having their own bod there in case the others did it wrong.

Windows Server to get twice-yearly updates, plus stable and fast-moving branches

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"venerable unstable which, as the name suggests, might fry your GPU, burn your house down, explode into your face, or hit the fan"

I think Microsoft call these Home and Pro.

Yeah, if you could just stop writing those Y2K compliance reports, that would be great

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Re: How many?

Probably at least one a year from each reporting body. Basic rule of civil service procedures the world over: once you start something it just continues until you take positive action to stop it. It obvious thing would have been about June 2000 to do a post-implementation review and stop the reporting apart from any remaining issues.

It's 2017 and someone's probably still using WINS naming. If so, stop

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Re: MS love to create "standards."

"There was also UUCP, Xerox XNS, and something from Banyan IIRC. Despite TCP/IP being older and an independent standard (or maybe because of it), in the 1980s it wasn't widely adopted by commercial systems - and MS was just one among many, back then."

AFAICR TCP/IP was introduced after the proliferation of multiple networking technologies. I think that, at least at first it was seen as a means of connecting separate networks - remember it's the internet. So you'd have your Token Ring here and your Banyan Vines (you made me dig that out of my memory!) there and something was needed to interconnect them. Only gradually did Ethernet as the physical medium and TCP/IP as the logical one creep in to replace the others. For a long time it was supposed to be ISO/OSI that would be the long term solution - in the end the term turned out to be so long as to be never.

Even as late as the '90s I was running a Unix server with TCP/IP on the same physical network as another group running DecNET. Eventually we had to install DecNET S/W in the Unix box in order to exchange data with the VAXen. They weren't going to sully their VMS with TCP/IP - after all our Unix box was a temporary system only destined to last another 6 months and had been for several years; all things DEC were to be the strategic solution. I wonder how that worked out.

Don't touch that mail! London uni fears '0-day' used to cram network with ransomware

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Re: I'm not shocked!

"Client mattered when it came to integrating other services and maintaining support."

Possibly in more ways than you realise.

One of my clients (that's client as in customer) had a system where files were emailed for processing and I had a specific client configured to feed into the remainder of the processing pipeline. You could have had a similar situation where one of your users was receiving files from a remote telescope or particle physics experiment. Universities are apt to use computing to much more varied ends than a commercial business.

It could also, of course, have been the case that your users didn't trust you. I'm sure anyone on KCL who didn't trust their computer services to store data felt vindicated.

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Re: I'm not shocked!

"We could not dictate to them which clients they used (we had fellows who refused to upgrade from pine to alpine and this was 4 or 5 years after the final release of pine....) We also had the ridiculous situation where every system had to have a corresponding MX record because academics liked to run to their own mail servers (which we had 0% control over)"

I wonder who develops some of the clients and servers. It could even have been some of your users.

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"I tried to report it to abuse@sharepoint.com"

These days only reports on social meeja work. You can't expect millennials to use something as last century as email.

Disney mulls Mickey Mouse magic material to thwart pirates' 3D scans

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Re: Solid DRM

"The pirate version without the adulterant will end up being superior to the original."

But they'd better incorporate anti-piracy measures or else they might get pirated themselves.

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Re: Workaround

"why do you think all detective stories use carbon dust or talcum powder/magnesium carbonate powder for scanning fingerprints?"

Because they don't know real detection uses aluminium powder.

Uber sued after digging up medical records of woman raped by driver

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Asked to comment, a Uber spokesperson said: "No one should have to go through a horrific experience like this, and we're truly sorry that she's had to relive it over the last few weeks."

They then said "That's enough about us? Do you want a comment on the rape rictim?".

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