* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Fix crap Internet of Things security, booms Internet daddy Cerf

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"You're going to need a public education campaign equivalent to the ones 40 years demonstrating that car seatbelts were worth paying for, except that this one will have to be global."

Public education reinforced by fines for not using them.

Google Spanner in the NewSQL works?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Relational DBs never went away.

"SQL does have at least one massive Achille's heel - self-referential data, like parts-of-part"

Oh dear. I wish someone had told me that before I wrote one of those. Especially with the fun complication that one part at the bottom of the assembly could have a serial number and that that serial number would apply to each part above it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I want to save data and I want to save it now. I dont want to define a new row with int or VARCHAR or define how large the table can be."

Don't we all? But the rest or us want to be able to find it again and to have it consistent when we find it, especially if multiple people are saving related data. We also have multiple people wanting to access the same data.

However there's always the much under-rated cardfile.exe which may do just what you want.

ICO scolds UK councils: GDPR is coming. Are you ready? Pop quiz says you're not

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Jobsworths rejoice

"councils have been eliminating discretionary spending as their budgets have shrivelled."

They still find money to fund events such as the Tour de France and its bastard offspring the Tour de Yorkshire. Of course those earn column inches for the senior councillors. If only the local paper had asked the council leader for a quote every time something closed and put his photo alongside it, whether he replied or not, we might have had more libraries still open.

The world's leading privacy pros talk GDPR with El Reg

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

GDPR stuff [is] mostly garbage written by the same idiots who with stunning naivety brought you such hits as 'Safe Harbour' and their follow-up smash hit 'Privacy Shield'

I think it's largely written by the group who were severely critical of that garbage. In fact, ISTM that it's the response to those that's finally worked its way through the legislative process.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"In practical terms, can I say to Vodafone that I don't want to deal with your India call centre?"

India would need to show itself to be GDPR compliant.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"the market will have already had to adapt to GDPR and will have made investments in doing so"

More likely large swathes of the market will be hoping it just goes away with Brexit.

"once Blighty departs from the EU's jurisdiction, we will need a piece of legislation that mirrors GDPR carefully"

I thought the theory was that all those EU regulations that automatically became part of UK law would remain so on Brexit unless specifically repealed. If so the default solution here is to do nothing in which case UK law not only mirrors GDPR, it will continue to be GDPR.

Home Office admits it's preparing to accept EU ruling on surveillance

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"a new communications data independent authorising body"

Looking at the tender this seems to be a very vague entity. Will it ever make it out of the still-thinking-about-it stage? Working on it will maybe keep the CJEU quiet until Brexit at which point they'll hope the problem goes away. Cynical? Moi?

Google promises policy review after several big brands pull YouTube ads

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Irony??

"Jihadist videos where members deride western culture and democracy,"

..and use the technology it created to do so.

'Sorry, I've forgotten my decryption password' is contempt of court, pal – US appeal judges

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"It is well-enough established that a person can be compelled to produce a key to a safe but not a combination."

We're getting a little off-topic here but...

I don't have the key but I know where it is. Can I be compelled to tell? Likewise if I know who has it?

There are probably precedents but from past experience I can imagine the jury being cleared out of court and much debate and flourishing of law books between counsel and judge over which precedents apply in the circumstances of the case.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The poster seemed to be suggesting that anyone over 50 is less likely to have been exposed to IT technology - not that their age made them less competent generally. That seems reasonable."

Even if we disregard earlier stuff such as the Apple II, Trash-80 etc, someone aged 50 this year would have been ~14 when the IBM PC was introduced. And I know people born in the '20s & '30s who can find their way round PCs (and have worked out how to download Open- or LibreOffice because that's what they use).

" I remember people of my parents' generation born round the start of the 20th century who had never adjusted to an understanding of electricity or radio."

That would be the same as the older members of my parents' generation. I never met any of my aunts, uncles or their friends who had the slightest unfamiliarity with either.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: the Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves

"the judge in criminal trials normally instructs the jurors that they may not infer either guilt or innocence from a defendant's failure to testify."

Juries have been known to ignore the judge's instructions.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Already incriminated by a witness.

"On the other hand, they don't care how many pictures he showed to his sister, but how many are on his drive."

It could be that they've been deleted in which case there are none although it would then be unlikely that he'd withhold the password if he did remember it.

"Even if it was considered proven that there are pictures on the drive, for _correct_ sentencing you would need to know how many exactly. And these photos come from somewhere, so they might help the police catching the distributor."

If they were more concerned to catch the distributor - well, the USA is the land of the plea bargain.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Actual case aside

"BUT, and this is the key thing, regardless of whether that evidence is sufficient to convict the defendant or not, it doesn't somehow provide justification to remove the defendant's Fifth Amendment rights."

I'm not saying it would. Quite the contrary in effect as if there's eye-witness evidence to convict then the whole argument about passwords is irrelevant.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Court fail

"Judges are partly to blame for this -- they are typically over the age of 50, have a limited understanding of technology"

This is just ageist bollocks. I'm over the age of 70. I've been using computers for nearly 50 of those years starting with FORTRAN about 1970. I know a few 80-90 year old friends and family who use computers regularly. I wonder how old you are and what understanding you have of the law or, come to that, of those older than yourself.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: To be honest...

"which is keyed into a fingerprint"

An injury to the finger could be a problem.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Actual case aside

"So how do we know she's not making it up? There's no evidence to prove that what she's saying is true."

A sworn statement by her would be evidence. There's no indication in the article as to whether she made one.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Actual case aside

"evidence in a safe - you have no right at all to keep that evidence unknown to the police if they have a search warrant"

Opening a safe doesn't require a key (or combination if that applies). The only advantage of having it is that you're able to re-use the safe.

Combination locks raises another issue. Surely there are precedents for this. They should apply to passwords.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: so Desperation

"Eloquently put"

What was?

Samsung's Bixby totally isn't a Siri ripoff because look – it'll go in phones, TVs, fridges, air con...

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Firewall them all, god will know its own

"So they can get new firmware"

You have a TV whose manufacturer actually provides firmware updates?

MI5 man to steer GCHQ as Trump wiretapping saga continues

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Somebody has to ask..

Jeremy Fleming. Any relation to Ian?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: @AC Isn't it their job?

"Trump may be right, however you, I and everyone here will be long dead before the truth sees the light of day, if ever."

Unless someone gives it to Wikileaks.

Norfolk County Council sent filing cabinet filled with kids' info to a second-hand shop

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Norfolk County Council...

Years ago I was in a 2nd hand bookshop in Cromer & found yards and yards of bookshelves occupied by bound volumes of Nature from the County Library. After that I'd not be surprised of them disposing of almost anything.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"If that kind of thing needs to be written down for people to actually think to do it, then we're in trouble."

That's ISO9000 and friends for you. They're bureaucracy standards which are intended to replace thinking so the least skilled or intelligent people you can recruit will be able to follow them.

Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"This is clearly an article written by a newbie programmer"

Let me guess. You're new round here. Either that you're not in the habit of reading and remembering bylines.

OTOH I agree about legacy being the lifeblood of the business.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Linux and BSD has been running merrily on ARM since the last century."

And making little headway into the data centre where the hardware has remained dominated by Intel.

To save you reading the article again let me explain. The hardware has remained dominated by Intel because there was a standard configuration built around the Intel processors so that there was a generic platform for OS vendors to target. All that time ARM devices were wrapped up in a host of different platforms so the builds required customisation. That was not what DC operators wanted.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: SBSA is the real threat to Intel.

"in the consumer space Android has pretty much beaten Linux off because most consumers don't really relish the idea of customising the software on their TV. "

So how do you explain the fact that consumers really relish the idea of customising their Android (based version of Linux) software on their phones?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: SBSA is the real threat to Intel.

"Yes, it's been problematic swapping an EXISTING install to to a different vendor's ARM system"

Different vendor's ARM system? Make that [same] vendor's [allegedly slightly] different ARM system. The Raspberry Pi 2B went from v1.1 to 1.2 swapping the CPU but not the rest of the SoC from 32 bit to 64 bit with the consequence that images which will boot on the old 32-bit model 2 and images which will boot on the 64--bit model 3 fail.

As I've spent the weekend discovering.

Europe will fine Twitter, Facebook, Google etc unless they rip up T&Cs

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Totalitarianism

"Actually, we're still in it. The EU that is."

Quite a few of the hard of thinking don't seem to have realised that. They seem to think that we were out of it as soon as the referendum was counted and keep telling us that nothing bad happened.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Long overdue

"It should be can we trust Westminster politicians more than Brussels ones? I do, if only because they have more skin in the game when an election comes around."

Then how do you explain the IP Act and its predecessors such as DRIPA?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Totalitarianism

"Viral? Network effect? Fragmentation?"

Network effect.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Long overdue

"post-Brexit... can't see the UK government having either the balls or the clout of the EU to walk-the-talk as Germany is doing here..."

Maybe the current govt might well take an anti-regulation stance. Past UK govts, however have had the reputation of gold-plating some EU regulation - although not in the field of data protection.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Long overdue

I'm sure Facebook et al will have a whole raft of "technical" reasons why it can't be done in 24 hours, but will probably claim they can do it 7 days.

And if the German govt called their bluff and tell them it's 24 hours or fines I'm sure Facebook would find a whole raft of technical reasons that enabled them to do in in 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"In particular, the requirement for any user of the services worldwide to sue the company in the state of California – where most of the companies are based and which has a tech-friendly legal system – is top of the list, with the EC saying it needs to be changed so users can sue the company in their home country."

In this case why was redress in the US considered acceptable for the Privacy Figleaf?

Gov.UK pulls plug on its YouTube ads amid extremism concerns

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: At last, someone wakes up

Not just the Grauniad, it seems. Ad agencies are starting to wake up to this as well.

It's possible that Google might be pushed into looking at the whole area of why ads are considered offensive and the long-overdue clean-up might actually happen.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I haven't seen any govt advertising anywhere online. Should I turn my adblocker off?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"In fact any entity that uses tax avoidance should be banned from supplying any government department right down to councils."

You mean they shouldn't award contracts to companies that have pension schemes because pension schemes avoid tax that would otherwise be paid on the contributions?

Please go away and learn the difference between avoidance and evasion.

Bloke cuffed after 'You deserve a seizure' GIF tweet gave epileptic a fit

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Only an idiot would do such a thing without covering his tracks."

The world has a copious oversupply of idiots.

GCHQ dismisses Trump wiretap rumours as tosh

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"You can never trust a Govt than operates in secret, its as simple as that."

Of course if your Govt appears not to operate in secret it may indeed not be operating in secret. OTOH it might just be very good at operating in secret.

Barrister fined after idiot husband slings unencrypted client data onto the internet

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: appropriate and reasonable

"Why yes I do work in security. See these grey hairs?"

You've not torn them out?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Idiot Husband?

"He took the precaution of making a temporary, off-site backup to prevent data loss. Not a bad thing to do, I use free tools do do similar."

If I were making a backup whilst doing an upgrade I'd plug in a USB disk. I like to keep my data where I can see it. If there was a need for keeping the backup off-site I could simple unplug said disk and take it offside.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Even more than meets the eye

"BTW, how *does* one properly quote in these forums?"

Simple way. See what I did above.

Fancier way. Look at what you did. Replace the word "quote" by the word "em".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Even more than meets the eye

"Was this because of lax IT security awareness in the chambers she was a member of, or other reasons."

I wonder how many jobbing barristers outside London are based in chambers. Maybe, like a lot of other professionals these days, they work from home. In that case a home PC (or maybe a home NAS) and a laptop carrying today's cases wouldn't be an unreasonable combination. But, as others have said, how on Earth did the husband find a backup service that was open to the net?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Husband

It seems to have passed notice that the barrister's spouse IT support had access to the confidential work information. That's not a accident, but gross incompetence.

Imagine if a GP's spouse IT support had full access to the GP's medical records.

Does that put it in terms which might be more familiar to el Reg's readership? Unless we expect everyone dealing with confidential material to be able to provide their own IT support it's a problem that doesn't go away.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Top Tips For Barristers...

"I also find myself wondering if barristers - being largely if not wholly self - employed - are also required to be Data Controllers as defined in the DPA."

Read the ICO's PDF linked from TFA.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Online backup?

"I wonder how they caught her? Did some client's names appear in a Google search?"

Reading the linked PDF that appears to have been the case.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Online backup?

In the case of data like this UnShed storage would be better. Got to keep it separate from everything else.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Why store them on a shared computer in the first place?

"More interesting than the barrister's name would be the backup system's name."

Definitely.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Why store them on a shared computer in the first place?

"I don't see why she would store those files on a shared machine in the first place, was she not issued a laptop from her organization? Or if they are completely independent, do they not have the money to buy a cheap laptop?"

Hmmm. Let's look at it differently. Let's think what might happen if she'd used only a laptop and had files of >700 people on it. Let's say that laptop was reported stolen. My guess is that we'd then have a Crazy Operations Guy saying "Why did she have them all on the laptop? Couldn't she have used a separate computer to keep the files on and just kept the ones she needed at the time on the laptop?".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: £1,000 fine

"even senior barristers can struggle to push through £100k a year"

Back in the '70s & '80s the senior criminal barristers in NI were reputed to be making £250k a year. I'm not sure of the evidence for this, however.

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