* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Plan to kill net neutrality is the best thing/worst thing ever! EVER!!1

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"we (I'm in the UK but I'm guessing we're next to some extent) don't have traffic management"

Doesn't traffic shaping count. After TalkTalk took over my old ISP they traffic shaped Usenet more or less out of existence during a good portion of the day. So I left them and take the opportunity of informing those sales droids who try to sell it in public places why I'm not interested. In a loud enough voice for any passing sales prospects to hear, of course.

Mysterious Hajime botnet has pwned 300,000 IoT devices

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"its objective remains unknown"

Its objective seems clear enough: to keep malicious botnets from attacking vulnerable devices.

Ransomware up. Breaches up. What do hackers want? Research, prototypes... all your secrets

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Re: You mean like...

On the whole those honeypots seem to be directed at detecting and analysing attacks. What I had in mind was to provide content that could be sold on the industrial espionage market but would waste a lot of the purchasers' time by being a known dead end. Something like, say, a production process that had been looked at and abandoned because it was too costly and had too low a yield.

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There's probably scope for a nice little business setting up misinformation servers. Dump all your design failures on one then redirect any detected phishing attempts there.

FTC urged to probe easily penetrated telly-enabled teledildonic toy

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Oxymoron alert

adult Internet of Things industry

Seven in ten UK unis admit being duped by phishing attacks

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"Seven universities, including those with GCHQ-certified degree courses"

Why should having a GCHQ-certified degree course make a difference? It will only involve a tiny percentage of people in the entire university.

It must be a slow news day if undigested PR bumf like this is making its way into el Reg.

SourceForge: Let's hold hands in a post-CodePlex world

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It's that trust thing. So easy to lose, so difficult to rebuild.

UK.gov throws hissy fit after Twitter chokes off snoop firm's access

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"excluding members of Parliament, who are exempt from being profiled and / or tracked, because they added that clause in to the bill"

You think that's wrong?

Consider this. You have some issue which you wish to take up with your local MP. You regard it as confidential. How can it be confidential unless the MPs communications are confidential. That exemption protects you.

The problem isn't that MPs are exempt, it's that there's something for them to be exempt from.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Has spying actually made anyone any safer?

"If they did stop one, wouldn't they be announcing it from the roof-tops?"

Actually, no, not in any detail because that would enable opponents to understand where they were going wrong. The best they can do is make unverifiable statements about how many attacks they claim to have prevented. Because such statements are unverifiable in order to be believed the intelligence services have to be trusted and there they have a problem. Trust and its opposite, mistrust tend to be mutual. They act as if they don't trust us therefore we don't tend to trust or, in consequence, believe them.

"All the recent terror attacks have been lone-wolf affairs"

And yet, after the event, it seems that the perpetrators were previously known. It then raises the question of whether focussing attention on people they previously knew about would be more productive than trying to spy on the populace at large.

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With an election coming up getting into an argument with social media might not be the brightest idea. They have a more direct line to the electorate than any politician. But then, we don't expect the brightest ideas from Amber Rudd.

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Re: They don't want to go after terrorists, they want to go after tourists

If you live in an area that attracts tourists you come to regard the two words as interchangeable.

(OK they're not. Interchangeable is different word.)

Oh dear, Prime Minister! Nearly 100 Beeb bosses make more than you

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Re: They make their money after they leave office

"Like it or not, actually paying politicians well from the state's purse is a good way or reducing corruption, since otherwise they'll sell influence."

I doubt it. However much you pay them while they're in office there's still the same scope when they leave.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"greater personalisation of BBC content"

I helps to spell that out: "greater personalisation of British Broadcasting Corporation content".

The essence of broadcasting is that it isn't personalised. Whet they're pu to is a contradiction in terms. So they can save money there. Or are they selling the collected data that's the essence of personalisation?

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Re: PM Base Salary £150k

"£150k seems a little on the low side for the leader of a G8 country."

If they had to pay that to do the job there'd still be a queue.

Come celebrate World Hypocrisy Day

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Re: Property is theft

"One person's property always fences everyone else out of what's been enclosed."

Really? If I make or grow something by my own efforts you should be entitled to it for free because somehow I've stolen it from you?

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@ retired_in_london

"Yekutiel Sherman couldn’t believe his eyes." etc.

You already posted that here a couple of weeks ago. A quick google shows it being posted in quite a few places round the web back in October/November.

Is it your own IP?

TalkTalk HackHack DuoDuo PleadPlead GuiltyGuiltyGuiltyGuilty

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Re: admitted stealing

"They removed (a copy of) data from Talk Talk without permission or any intention of returning it."

The problem is not in removing the copy. It's with making the copy.

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Re: admitted stealing

"However, you omitted the obligatory <pedant> </pedant> tags."

This deals with a court case. It helps if the law is required to be exact about such things. If you were caught speeding in a hired car you wouldn't think it pedantic to argue that there was a mistake when you found you'd been charged with stealing the car.

iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

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"Part of this is also the need to actually defend your trademarks."

As I wrote in another comment, defending is one thing, setting out to fight all comers is another.

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Re: Dear Apple.

"shouldn't we be reserving our ire for the EUIPO"

No, let's not be parsimonious about this.

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Re: Dear Apple.

"Apple fans are just plain nuts for life!"

Nice one. Pretend you've got two upvotes, one for the sentiment and one for the turn of phrase.

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Re: Dear Apple.

"With trademarks, companies have to defend them, as that is the law."

Defending is one thing, looking for fights is something entirely different. Not only do the eponymous fruits look different, they're not even members of the same botanical genus. Apple do seem to have chosen the appropriate genus, however; botanically apples are Malus and Apple's behaviour certainly seems malicious.

TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

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"You STILL would miss, as most video decoding these days is done on the graphics unit rather than the central unit."

Quite. Which is why all the work is done on a separate box sitting on a shelf under the TV.

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Re: I upgraded my "dumb" TV...


A curse shall be upon those whose websites require Javascript to display anything meaningful at all and the name of the curse shall be NoScipt and their websites shall go unread for ever.

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Re: Oh you optimist

"there's nothing to stop you treating your smart TV as dumb"

Providing it stays dumb and doesn't try to hang onto any unsecured wifi it manages to find.

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Re: Needs broadband is ridiculous in this day and age.

"But for the frugal or the very income-limited, there is a huge role for over the air reception."

And for those who simply don't see the point in sending their money to large, mostly US, corporations.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"This is what most people I know with Rasberry Pi's bought them for"

Just checked. RS have a VESA adapter which will take a Pi mounting box and an HDD.

Hmm. Interesting... Nice project to work on with grandson-apprentice.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"It's a hard problem of technology: they can only build for what they can see, and trying to future proof is like trying to predict the weather: fair chance of missing."

Building in a faster processor and more memory than currently needed would be a good start but it would cut out a new sale a few years down the line.

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Re: I upgraded my "dumb" TV...

"Surely by now there is a maintained Linux Media Center distribution?"


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"designing for backward compatibility was a basic goal of analog television broadcasters, one that has clearly been abandoned in the transition to digital."

I don't suppose the set manufacturers were happy about that. The new business model is much better. Sell a smart set that can report back whatever they want to the mother ships with vague offers of updates. Forget about the updates; save money and speed up the replacement cycle at the same time.

A dumb TV and a cheap and/or updateable smart box feeding it is much better - for viewers..

Netgear says sorry four weeks after losing customer backups

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Re: "the outage lost all of his photographs"

"at that point and it can only be considered a backup device"

Worse. It's a local replica.

After blitzing FlexiSpy, hackers declare war on all stalkerware makers: 'We're coming for you'

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Re: ICO enforcement action? Or police?

"It'd be hard (well, impossible) for the ICO to go after them if they're not actively trading in the UK"

The first three words of TFA: "A Brit biz"

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Has el Reg reached out or even just plain contacted the ICO for a comment? It should be doubly interesting to them: once because of what these guys are up to and once because of the presumably unreported breach.

Victory! The smell of skunkworks in your office in the morning

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Just easier to concentrate on one small point and let the rest flow down the sewer. I don't think "flaunt" was the word you were looking for.

Microsoft cracks open patch mega-bundles for biz admins, will separate security, stability fixes

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Re: Correction!

Never heard of either. Your "everyone" might be territorially limited.

Ewe, get a womb! Docs grow baby lambs in shrink-wrap plastic bags

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Re: good idea

I'll join you in that. We lost what would have been our third child to a premature birth. Many years later and the regret still doesn't go away.

Expedia IT bod gets all-expenses-paid trip to prison after hacking execs' emails for profit

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"a passwords file in an account belonging to an IT department boss, which opened every corporate email inbox"

Some people really should know better. And did the IT boss cover his tracks better than Ly?

Dark times for OmniOS – an Oracle-free open-source Solaris project

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Re: getting old I suppose.

"not that they really even know what that means seeing as you drop them into /bin/ksh and they panic"

For real panic try dropping them into csh.

High Court hands Lauri Love permission to appeal extradition to US

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I think you need a chip on both shoulders. That would allow you to have a balanced opinion.

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Re: If all else fails...

One thing the puzzles me about Assagne complaining he's being detained by the UK: why hasn't he tried tunnelling out of the embassy?

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Re: A fool, but our fool

"There is no social benefit in the innocent pleading guilty just because the alternative is too horrible to contemplate."

The alternatives include the real culprit going free.

Hackers uncork experimental Linux-targeting malware

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Re: This should read as "embedded Linux targeting" malware

"Since there are no Linux distros that ship with default credentials."

Embedded distros (including those for the Raspberry Pi) often do. The nature of these devices is that the device ships with a pre-built image rather than as an installation disk that requires a password to be entered at install time. In these situation of best practice should be to require the user to enter a password at first boot and again after a factory reset.

Webroot antivirus goes bananas, starts trashing Windows system files

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Nominative determinism?

Thie name makes Webroot sound like the sort of malware Lenovo might plant on your PC before they sell it to you.

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Re: But what if we invented the internet all over again

"You'd complete a preferences questionnaire about which private data about yourself you are willing to share"

That's nothing to do with the internet per se, it's to do with all the wide boys setting up businesses and taking advantage of the stupidity of the numpties who use it. The only way of preventing that by re-inventing the internet is to make it too difficult for the numpties to use.

Not auf wiedersehen – yet! The Berlin scene tempting Brexit tech

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Re: The Berlin scene tempting Brexit tech...

"Althouth it would take somebody pretty brave to check"

Maybe the original was an each way bet.

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Re: Meh

"And if tomorrow becomes today and it hasnt happened then I will say the same then too. Because its coming... tomorrow."

I guess you've never been involved in a company move.

At former employer - I'm not quite sure how long the management decided to move out of central London to just outside. Then they announced the move and that they'd found a site. A few weeks later the property deal fell through. After a few more months looking round they found premises in the north. The office started to "move" which meant offering relocation or redundancy. They also started recruiting new staff in temporary offices. A few of the London staff who relocated might have moved at this point. After a good few months the new premises were ready and the already recruited new staff moved in and the relocations started over the spring and summer.

I was one of the later tranche to move; I had a daughter at GCSE stage. I'd noted that particular summer as one that would be suitable for a move years ago - it was only the second suitable moving window in several years due to schooling. I think the office move was completed about a year after the first new recruiting, about 18 months after the initial site fell through and there were still other parts of the business to move. It must have taken well over 2 years for the relocation to complete, probably more like 3 from the initial planning. And that was within the same country.

Bootnote. About a fortnight after I moved I got called by a head-hunter about a job about 10 miles from where I used to live.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Meh

" But the lack of exodus is not a shock."

Of course it isn't. Moving a business across a city is one thing. Moving it from city to city within a country isn't always straightforward. Moving to a different country with a different language, sorting out schooling for key employees' children, working out how many employees will move and how many will dig their heels in - it's all going to take time. What you see now isn't necessarily going to be what you see in another year or eighteen months.

Lyrebird steals your voice to make you say things you didn't – and we hate this future

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"Lyrebird's simulated politicians already sound fairly convincing"

That's OK, then. We shouldn't have too much trouble spotting them.

Give 'bots a chance: Driverless cars to be trialled between London and Oxford

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Well, I'm really glad I live "Up North".

That was my thought until I started wondering how far one of them could get if it did a runner.

We're 'heartbroken' we got caught selling your email records to Uber, says Unroll.me boss

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"A couple of old truisms apply:"

And "If it seems too good to be true it is".

And read the contract a few more times to be sure.

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