* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Paper tape was only the teleprinters and where I was, this was only for BASIC. Compiling and running Fortran was only by submitting batch jobs on the aforementioned cards."

QUB had a home-grown system* which allowed FORTRAN to be compiled and then run from teletypes. I managed to crash the whole mainframe from a teletype.

*Including their main OS which turned out to have been somewhat larger than George when they finally adopted that.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hacking for fun and profit...

The security that is there, they complain about because it's "inconvenient".

It seems that the only way things will improve is by the sort of tactics in TFA bringing it homw to people that security isn't just something that's inconvenient.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"One of my first jobs we still had a paper tape reader."

The teletypes had PTRs on them. We also had a typewriter (possibly a Friden Flexowriter) that had paper tape. It had the oddity that normal was upper case, lower case was shift.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: B&B when contracting

A few years ago I used to see two or three unsecured access points from home. Occasionally I'd wonder why network performance seemed to have gone down & then discovered the laptop had latched onto one of them. Nowadays they're all secure but mostly showing the default SSID. I'm still wondering about the brief appearance a few months ago of an SSID that seemed to belong to a farm a good mile away across the valley.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Its a fun pastime

"The best one I cam across was the wedding venue that had *everything* connected to the same LAN as the public WiFi. PoS printers, tills, HVAC controllers, back office PCs, you name it, it was on there."

I wouldn't have liked to pay by card there.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I recall the old days at uni when documents would be sent to a print server - a desktop next to the printer which you would log into and release the print job, with the appropriate payment docked from your account."

Those weren't old days. Old days were when your print came out on 14" sprocket-feed paper and placed in a pigeon hole along with the cards you submitted the job on.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: 'PUB'lic Printer

stayed with friends a while ago who lived in a village in a house next door to a gastropub etc

Always a good idea to help out a gastropub landlord.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The long arm of the Law

"Computer Misuse Act."

UK legislation. RTFA - location of printer: Dublin. Location of Dublin: not in UK.

British prime minister slams Facebook and pals for votes

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Extremist Agenda

" relegating your own MPs to a US-style electoral college whose role is merely to crown you personally as Supreme Leader."

Please learn to distinguish between the roles of head of government and head of state. The PM is head of govt. POTUS is head of state. I'm not sure of the head of govt. role there - sometimes it's difficult to see if there is one but I assume it's also supposed to be POTUS.

As ever there's much to learn from Yes (Prime) Minister - in this case Hacker's explanation of why he feared MPs more than the electorate: "They can vote against me at 10 o'clock tonight.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"t is worth noting as well that Theresa May made no mention of the efforts underway in Europe by politicians that may actually have an impact "

No surprise there. That would have been praising the enemy. Europe is her real enemy. Terrorists, tech companies, Labour; they're just part of the scenery to be used or dispatched according to circumstances. But European law is what she needs to defeat in order to get her own way.

Sainsbury's IT glitch spoils bank holiday food orders

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

So - is Sainsbury's IT outsourced to Crapita?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Round these parts ...

"Neither, we blame the weather."

And it looks as if we'll have to wait until Monday for traditional BBQ weather: rain.

'Major incident' at Capita data centre: Multiple services still knackered

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Re: No thanks!

"thanks but no thanks."

You thanked a (presumably) cold-calling salesman?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Probably got their own staff to install the back up generators

"Bets on diesel in the generators being a couple of years old?"

Or the wrong sort of diesel.

‪WannaCry‬pt ransomware note likely written by Google Translate-using Chinese speakers

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ISTR that the Shadow Brokers stuff contained a facility for disguising language in comments etc to confuse this sort of analysis.

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Re: More to the point

"a bit shakey on grammar"

And shaky on spelling.

The one with the 1955 pocket OED in the pocket.

Scientists are counting atoms to figure out when Mars last had volcanoes

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Re: please do

"Some of them even have an even shorter spoiler before the abstract called a summary."

And an even shorter one called the title.

Ouch! Latest Qualcomm sueball comes from ... its own shareholders

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Shareholders own the company. So who are they suing? Themselves or at best those shareholders who don't join the suit. Presumably if they win & profits go down further they'll sue themselves again.

If they don't like the CEO they have a simple remedy. Fire him.

Init freedom declared as systemd-free Devuan hits stable 1.0.0 status

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Re: firewall-cmd (firewalld) is more of the same, an effort to standardize configuration

"Tea at 5 o'clock is also part of standard routine, why don't you include it in systemd too?"

Are you telling me it isn't?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: ARM, pretty please!

"I know it's a lot to ask for, but one can wish."

Didn't you even look? It's there for a whole series of SBCs and has been for some time.

Windows 10 love to see PC market grow again. Future iPhone to be clear. Elvis to re-appear

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

The penguin's egg problem

"if you have 20 MS support staff on permanent contracts, you're never, ever going to switch your shop to Linux"

If you never switch your shop to Linux you're always going to have 20 MS support staff on permanent contracts.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Amazing, Grace.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Still no Linux on the desktop this year?"

Get someone to help you install it. It's obviously too difficult for you to put a Cd or DVD in the drive.

Hereabouts it's been Linux on the desktop since they days of Dapper, deep in the mists of time.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: re: "some of them type faster with 2 thumbs than I do with ten."

You know the rules: pictures or it never happened.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Please take mine

"Does your device get used for viewing movies more than 10% of the time?"

No, but my laptop, if you're including that in devices, is often displaying a document I'm working on and one of the documents I'm working from side by side.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The firm doesn't say why 2019 will see a return to growth"

It'll be all those caps on the motherboards of old computers reaching EoL.

Info commish: One year to go and businesses still not ready for GDPR

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"Senior staff, heads of companies and the C-suite have to walk the talk. You can't put pressure on frontline staff to do training, without realising you may need to do training yourself."

But - but - surely rules like that only apply to the little people, not to us.

Capita payments service Pay360 goes TITSUP

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Major payment system that has a single datacenter dependency?

"For those small retailers who are being screwed, one can only hope they or crapita are insured against the lost revenue."

Being insured doesn't help much it your business has gone down the tubes by the time the claim goes through.

Microsoft court victory prompts call for data-grabbing regime

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The fact they didn't suggests to me that it might not have been fully legal in the first place."

It sounds as if either they didn't have a prima facie case or that they were worried about showing their hand. Or maybe they just weren't aware of what the proper route was and now don't want to lose face by backing down.

There's certainly no need to start thinking of new procedures if you can't take the trouble to use the existing ones.

Three Nigerians sentenced to 235 years in prison for online scamming

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The international police force said the reason the area is such a hive of online criminality is because of low employment prospects in the region for computer specialists."

It's possible that cause and effect might be t'other way about.

Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"A brand that has invested in advertising is more likely to care about quality and more likely to fix problems, out of brand protection."

A brand that invests heavily in advertising may assume that that's all it needs to do. In fact it may not be able to invest in quality because all the money's gone on the adverts.

How do your data mining algorithms obtain figures on people who've gone elsewhere because of the ads? Occasionally there may be strong negative feedback - e.g. my complaint to the MD of the car sales firm - but mostly people will go quietly elsewhere. It will be an enormously difficult thing to measure.

NHS Digital stopped short of advising against paying off WannaCrypt

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Re: Virtualisation Of OS

The problem isn't so much restoring a known good image as restoring data. In any case there'd be no point in restoring an OS image while a worm was working it's way round the network as it would promptly get reinfected.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"you will need to make a risk-based decision of whether to pay or not."

As a matter of interest do we know if any of those who did pay actually got their data back?

UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

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Re: Clueless govt...

"I *SERIOUSLY* doubt the current Labour group want this invasion of privacy and communications."

Presumably you were in Scandinavia at the time but they have past form on this.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Obviously "wannacry" is not connected directly to the use of encryption or otherwise"

What it is directly connected to is the inability of TPTB to keep things secret and things they'd need to keep secret include the backdoor key.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"UNLESS you can demonstrate an effective ZERO-KNOWLEDGE code?"

A twice solved problem. Diffie-Helman. Public key encryption.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Bloody Vikings

"Can you tell I like history?"

Yes but I think you mean he proceeded up the west side of England and also I think Norfolk was also part of the Danelaw - at least as originally constituted. Didn't Alfred cede more or less everything NE of Watling St?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: thoughts on future regulation of encryption

" No rolling your own."

That, of course, would be illegal. And people already hell-bent on breaking old laws will shy away from breaking new ones. I can't quite put my finger on it but I get a sneaking suspicion that there might be something wrong with that line of thinking.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So the person had been reported to the authorities....

"Until a crime is committed there is still the presumption of innocence, otherwise you're simply advocating that we have lifelong monitoring of every person who has ever been reported to the authorities"

The Home Office attitude, as exemplified by the recent Home Sec and Prime Minister pro tem, is that (a) there is no presumption of innocence and (b) they want life long monitoring of every person irrespective of having been reported. As this results in their spreading resources too thinly they've failed all too often to pay sufficient attention to those who should have been monitored..

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Perhaps finally putting the fear of the people back into the government."

Why do you think the government wants to spy on the people?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: As if the government had done so much...

"Well, the next obvious question is whether they choose to ignore the information, or do not have the resources to handle it?


OK, let's discuss. Maybe they don't have the resources to handle it and undertake mass-surveillance of everyone else as well. I which case, wouldn't it be better to focus on those they're aware of?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The first question I would ask is how they justify that MP's comms data is exempt from ICR collections."

That is justifiable. Not well thought out but justifiable. The justification is that you should be able to discuss matters confidentially with your MP. The not well thought out bit is that it's only actually exempt if your communication is also exempt.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"This means that the encryption won't be as secure, but not all removed."

It won't be secure at all once it's leaked.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Liberty for temporary safety

"Seriously? Taking away your encryption is worse then massacring children?"

What do terrorists want to do? They want to remove our freedom under the law. So when a government decides to remove some of that freedom anyway then the terrorists have won a substantial victory. Is that what you want?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The encryption horse is free

"Of mainstream apps, only WhatsApp would be completely banned"

Did you join up today to astro-turf on behalf of the Home Office?

Lets look at what you forgot:

Online banking.

Placing orders online with Amazon, eBay, Tesco etc etc.

Paying for anything via PayPal

Securely sending your password to your email provider to get your mail

Logging into pretty well any other service.

All these things require end-to-end encryption between one user (the customer) and another (the service provider) in order to work securely. If you don't thing this security is important then I challenge you to post all the IDs and passwords that you use for such services here in public.

But first, have a look at the T&Cs of these services. You'll find every one requires you to keep this information confidential. Your government wants to make it impossible for you to abide by those.

And for what? For nothing as far as the stated purpose is concerned. Because any organisation that wants to use encryption to facilitate law breaking is concerned will source encrypted communications from outside the government's remit. The only ones to suffer will be law-abiding citizens.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Clueless govt...

"A hung parliament would be a good thing, but it won't happen."

You clearly have a very weak grasp of recent history.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Clueless govt...

"If they had a chance, I'd vote for them in a heartbeat."

Then do so for two reasons.

Firstly in pretty well every election the number of people who don't bother voting is greater than the majority and if those not voting do so because their choice "hasn't a chance" that attitude becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Give them that chance. Vote.

Secondly, although they don't stand a chance of forming a government they do, in the event of a hung Parliament, stand a chance of exerting a degree of control. They would have influence. All it takes is people like you to vote for them.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Clueless govt...

"Given the way the FPTP system operates then a hung Parliament is not unthinkable."

A hung Parliament is eminently thinkable. Farron, unfortunately, has been stupid enough to rule out a coalition in advance. A LibDem participation in a coalition is about the only thing that would stop this nonsense as Labour would do the same. I suppose just possibly a very slim majority might result in a change in PM - if May finds herself weakened Hammond would probably move next door.

8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: When is a car not a car?

As Magritte would tell you, it's not a car, it's a picture of a car.

And I wonder what the self-driving car would make of this: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.571895,-1.6610001,3a,15y,14.84h,76.54t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1shgFY-Sgpy7aPBcFLra-3Tw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

It's not a sheep. It's not even a picture of a sheep.

Intel pitches a Thunderbolt 3-for-all

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"We envision a future where high-performance single-cable docks, stunning photos and 4K video, lifelike VR, and faster-than-ever storage are commonplace,"

In other words bigger and better selfies and kitten videos. Oh to be living in such times.

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