* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work

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"Deluxe Paint."

Doesn't it make a mess of the DVD?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The truly delusional ones might even actually believe it's all the other guy's fault."

The original article involved marketing. Truly delusional fits the bill.

Brit ISP TalkTalk blocks control tool TeamViewer

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"I think one can understand TT wanted to be secure"

I think you've put your finger on the problem. They're wanting to do something they've no previous experience with. Maybe we should put up with a few tottering steps from them.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Typical ISP response to a security issue - block it and screw the rest of ya!

"As a result, unless TalkTalk reverses this decision I will suggest to my customers that this is a further example of bad decision making on TalkTalk's part and that they should consider changing ISP's when their current contract expires."

Seriously? You haven't suggested that already?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"And no, you can't just block all Indian netblocks, for reasons I trust are obvious."

It would block TT's own support centres?

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Re: Which way?

"paying for Internet access and then found I was getting Internet access minus one particular TCP port"

I discovered this years ago when TT took over Tiscali who'd taken over ...etc. and they decided to traffic shape Usenet to an extent which amounted to a block. I took appropriate action then. I really don't see why so many decide to stick with this serial abuser.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: VPN?

Look at everyone else's posts.

Look at your own.

Do you see anything different about them?


Look at Bombastic Bob's posts?

Got a clue yet?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Sledgehammer meet nut

"thumb down...please explain..."

Not me but let me guess. Your inability/refusal to use your shift key?

Once upon a time we had teletypes which were single case. We got rid of that years ago which made it much easier to read stuff. Now we seem to be drifting back to that situation albeit with lower case rather than upper case.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Teamviewer can be a business-critical application to many people, especially if you work from home."

If people are doing business-critical work from home why are they using TalkTalk?

BT agrees to legal separation of Openreach

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"Excuse me but BT became bigger and more market dominant by swallowing EE."

That was just the current management undoing their predecessor's idiocy of losing their original place in the mobile market.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Cautious optimism

"Now they can easily sell Openreach to the highest bidder and get rid of the headache."

Presumably by headache you mean the pension liability.

Or do you mean the necessity to find the money for those infrastructure investments?

In either case the headache would remain, it would just have been moved elsewhere and all the existing moaners would also just move their moaning elsewhere.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: legally separated. means F**K all as ......

"I'm probably going to sound like a communist here, but it would probably be the best for the country as a whole for Openreach to go into 100% public ownership, owned by the government but operated as a separate commercial entity"

Some of us remember the mess that was from the first time round.

DeepMind. Blockchain. Medical records. Google. AI – wow, we just won machine learning bingo!

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"For example, if results from a blood test were uploaded, it’ll show they were used in an algorithm to check for possible acute kidney injury."

But does it then show whether the results of that algorithm were then passed to your insurance company or Google's ad-slingers?

FBI boss: 'Memories are not absolutely private in America'

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Re: Anyone can be compelled

"in the final analysis, the law is just ink on a page"

No. In the final analysis the law is not just ink on a page. In fact it's not always ink on a page at all. It's our collective decision about how society should be run.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Er ...

"Remember the oath you must take before you testify: the truth, the WHOLE truth, and NOTHING BUT the truth. "

I always found this a little odd. In practice one can only respond to counsels' questions. One of the tricks of a cross-examiner is to ask a question which framed to call for a yes/no answer but which, for the whole truth, requires a more discursive answer - which the cross-examiner then tries to suppress. I've also been in the odd situation of being, in effect, cross-examined by the side that called me in an attempt to make me put a stronger construction on my evidence than I considered reasonable.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: This is the same Comey

"And who is now having to deal with an unpredictable boss"

They probably deserve each other although I'd have expected his boss to have sacked him as untrustworthy by now. Maybe the only thing stopping him is the thought that finely tuned machines can't lose major components at quite that rate.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: argh.

"Most of us don't encounter the worst of nasties that the criminal classes throw at the world, the cops do."

Maybe not most but I can claim to be one of the ones that did, and that in the middle of a terror campaign (and partly funded by US citizens unchallenged, AFAIK, by their government).

My main take-away from that? The importance of the presumption of innocence and due process of law. Why? Because they're some of the main things that distinguish between terrorism and a free, lawful society.

Untrammelled surveillance, especially mass surveillance, is the antithesis of these.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: failing at your job

"If you are a chief security officer and don't know your local FBI officer then you're failing at your job"

"No, I don't believe so."

You should look at it as a case of "know thine enemy".

Self-employed bear the brunt of Spring Budget with additional National Insurance contributions

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Re: Fairness

And, as an entirely unrelated point, I wonder if the Treasury has worked out why we have this persistent problem of not getting improvements in productivity.

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Re: Here's a thought

"Even PSC avoidance is being closed off: first with public-sector contractors prevented from avoiding IR35 (you can be certain they'll get private-sector contractors next); and the new dividend tax clobbers the rest."

Good move. Drive independents out of the UK contract market. Capita's share price could use some help these days. I don't suppose a directorship for a retired MP there will need as much work as doing real IT and probably pays much better.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Here's a thought

On the whole I agree with your comment but:

"in public services this is even more important because every penny they take costs our economy and ability to earn more."

It depends. Money spent in the NHS can result in returning to work someone who, in earlier times, might have died or remained disabled.

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Re: something doesn't add up ...

those who are hit by IR35 "rules" ... are now to be hit by NIC changes as well.

I'm not sure what happened to the reply I tried to post about this earlier. If it re-emerges sorry for the dual comment.

AFAICS this isn't relevant to IR35. It affects the self-employed. IR35 victims aren't self-employed, they're employed by their own companies as well as being deemed to be employed by the client. They get to pay employee's class 1 NICs and their company - not the deemed employer - gets to pay employer's class 1 NICs as well, all out of the "salary" which is what the fees are deemed to be.

They're not being screwed by this - they're screwed already.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Here's a thought

"At least the banks are paying back (or have paid back) the bailouts with interest"

We seem a long way away from getting our money back out of RBS.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Here's a thought

"The point is those who earn more have more avenues available to them to pay less tax."

Another way to look at it: if the marginal rate of taxation is high enough it becomes more profitable to spend effort on taking existing income out of tax than on earning more income.

The real unfairness is that HMRC will contrive to arrange the affairs of the lower paid to maximise tax because they know it's unlikely that the victims will be able to afford an accountant to help challenge it. About 3 years after I'd gone freelance they decided to run a tax investigation to make sure I was paying "the right amount of tax". By this time I had an accountant who could look after it for me. He charged a fee of course but it was well spent. An investigation goes back 6 years, i.e. it included the last 3 years of my being an employee. Surprise, surprise! The right amount of tax for those 3 years was a good deal less than the amount they'd taken off me and the rebate was a considerably more than the accountant's fee.

Video intercom firm Doorbird wants $80 for device password resets

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Re: Idiots Of The...

"when it dies, I'll repeat the cycle"

Tip. When it dies just check it isn't the bell push that's corroded. You could save yourself most of that £12.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Because this process is attended to us with considerable effort,

"I've not seen the device and may be making an unwarranted assumption, but sure a $350 device will be on the inside of the house with the just the bell push/camera on the outside?"

That's what I thought. But a little investigation shows that it is entirely external. All it does is replace the bell-push with a combined internet-connected bell-push/camera/entry-phone box.

I like the instructions: remove the bell-push. You will see at least two wires. Connect it to these two wires. [My emphasis]

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Lesson teaching perhaps

"it isn't as unreasonable as it sounds"

My first reaction to the headline was that this adds a new meaning to lock-in. But overall I think you're right: they're doing as much as they can to ensure the user's security and that must incur costs. It will also encourage the user to take better care in the future.

OTOH would I wish to qualify for their customer service? No. A hardware lock and the doorbell that's been there for most of the last 50 years does the job fine. The only extra expenditure was a new bell-push.

Fancy that – the sharing economy lobby doesn't speak for the sharers

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Re: "Labour arbitrage"

Other terms are available. Pimping?

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A previous boss of mine once told me quite honestly (when I asked for a raise) that the company "pays the employees one pound over the threshold where people would just resign".

My threshold's just gone up by a pound.

And again.

And again.


Smut-scamming copyright chaser 'fesses up, will do hard time

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Re: No sympathy for this guy

"What kind of conviction includes stripping people of their rights of due process?"

What part of "waive" didn't you understand?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: God I love America:

"You've just made my point for me."

And you've missed the point. If he feels entitled to call duly appointed judges "so-called" then he's equally entitled to get the same appellation applied to himself. What goes around comes around.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I'm almost sorry to see this drawing to a close. Ken White's writing on the subject has been massively entertaining although, of course, the victims won't agree.

Next Generation Security: No, Dorothy, there is no magic wand

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Do you really want a single ID around the internet? Should your bank ID be the same as your Amazon ID or your Register handle?

Do you trust a provider to never leak your credentials?

An online provider may well analyse your behaviour for security purposes. Fair enough, it might be able to detect attempts at impersonation that way, but would you trust it to not also use the analysis for its own commercial ends such as ad-slinging?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


"You dare contradict the talking heads of Gartner?"

Are you sure you've got the right part of the anatomy?

Fraud detection system with 93% failure rate gets IT companies sued

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Justice by computer is a very long way away. Unfortunately attempts at at aren't.

That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

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Re: Hmm, wikileaks

"Even if the Trump angle is wrong, (why would Wikileaks support him?)"


US Senator snaps on glove, probes insecure IoT toymaker CloudPets

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Re: Risk vs. Reward

"they have little or no liability for the digital bits"

Are there any precedents either way on this?

Salford and Liverpool City Councils plan IT trading venture

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Given that so many councils don't seem to do a particularly good job of running their existing services I suspect their taxpayers could be in for a few losses.

Iconic Land Rover Defender may make a comeback by 2019

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Re: Why did people like the defender?

"They weren't bullet proof"

Now you tell me. I had the occasional ride through Belfast in Army LRs. They did have some internal cladding AFAICR. It was held on by nut & bolt and the bolts hadn't been cut to length. The sticky-out ends were lethal.

Scammers hired hundreds of 'staff' to defraud TalkTalk customers

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A TalkTalk spokeswoman said... “We take our responsibility to protect our customers very seriously."

And did she keep a straight face whilst saying it?

A mooving tail of cows, calves and the Internet of Things

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Re: Coverage - and not in the nice way

"Has anyone done any analysis about birth rate defects due to the calf growing up on a microwave transmitter"

According to this the monitor is only fitted when calving's due in a few days.


Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Now that is a useful IoT application

"In this case it wouldn't be Bullsh*t it would be CowSh*t..."

You're milking it for all it's worth.

Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

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Re: Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery

"Household loads are becoming increasingly non-linear with really awful harmonics."

OK, but properly enforced EMC regulations would significantly reduce that, surely?

The devices which Richard described are those which we're being encouraged to use - LED lamps, more efficient washing machines etc. If they're inherently non-linear TPTB are going to have to make some tough choices about conflicting policies.

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Re: pah....

"How much of a premium are you prepared to pay to not have one?"

It depends. The premium might be less than the overcharging.

You can also try playing one supplier off against another. Unless it's made compulsory someone might have the wit not to charge a premium and make it a USP.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Errrmmm....

"Or am I being naive?"

Of course you are. They're digital devices. They must be right - it's all there in numbers on the display and we always trust measuring devices with numbers.

Shamoon malware spawns even nastier 'StoneDrill'

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Re: StoneDrill malware sits in a victim's browser

"How does the StoneDrill malware get into the victim's browser in the first place?"

Phishing or malvertising.

That big scary 1.4bn leak was 100s of millions of email, postal addresses

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I'm suprised Spamhaus ... haven't already flagged RCM as a major spammer"

They have but that doesn't help as much as they'd like because spammers switch addresses and domains.

If you read the details they got a lot more than the address lists. They got internal communications which show how, for instance, they acquire a domain, send mail from it to addresses they control so the domain builds a reputation of sending non-spam (they don't complain about their own emails ;) and then switch it to spamming. They also found scripts which were used to overload targets so large spam loads could be forced through before the target could react. This information will help defend against their tactics. If it provides evidence for criminal investigation so much the better.

Microsoft wants you to plan a new generation of legacy systems

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Re: Meaning?

A downvote from someone who's clearly not sufficiently paranoid to be a system administrator.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The worst part (IMO)

"the UK's nuclear subs still using (a customised version of) XP."

Windows for Warships again?

I doubt they're on the net.

Linus Torvalds lashes devs who 'screw all the rules and processes' and send him 'crap'

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Re: Linus Torvalds or Donald Trump?

"Both are idiots who can't control their mouths."

And yet another numpty who hasn't read the article before commenting.

Pro-tip - sometimes you can't rely on el Reg headlines. You really have to read the article.

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