* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Bruce Schneier: The US government is coming for YOUR code, techies

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Re: Well, maybe we should not put software in everything

"Real time software is engineering that just happens to have a logic component implemented in software. ...Contrary to popular belief it is really easy to make reliable real-time code and its also easy to prevent it from being corrupted."

Why not implement it in hardware with an ASIC? Presumably in order to be able to make maintenance changes later. And that way lies a risk. The initial design might be well written reliable code but all too often maintenance is seen as a not very interesting job that gets given to juniors and gradually your original well written reliable code becomes badly structured not very reliable code.

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Re: Well, maybe we should not put software in everything

'And sure, it's possible that the "diode" will be badly designed '

That would take some effort. All that would be needed would be an API with a read function and no write.

Explain! yourself! US! senators! yell! at! Yahoo!

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"Can take turns taking penalty kicks at them? Or did you mean gaol?"

Whatever.

It's a long time since I used to get summonses to courts of oyer, terminer and general gaol delivery.

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Do the Senate have powers of subpoena? A night spent in goal by senior management to think over their answers might spur recollection.

'We need a new Geneva Convention to protect all citizens from snoops'

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"They only started caring when they were given no other choice but to do so."

AFAICS Microsoft policy will swing in whatever direction seems best to Microsoft at the time. Currently it's good to see that Brad Smith is standing up for non-users of W10.

The Register's guide to protecting your data when visiting the US

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Re: Not right, but not that strange either

"Profiling is a huge part of border detection. USA, among others, have mastered this to an art form."

Citation required.

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Re: Don't accept it, act on it

"If your employer has a legally mandated requirement to confidentiality or customer privacy they will get hit by the violation you have just created"

Is it so hard to work out that if the employer is sending an employee to a rogue state such as the US with company provided electronics then they'll provide suitably clean kit?

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Re: I strongly believe it's time to strengthen the Schengen border...

"Christ LDS. You do a lot of postings!"

So does Anonymous Coward. Are you sure you're not actually several working as a team?

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Re: @AC: "Special Relationship"- Cringe-inducing delusions of grandeur

"The PM didn't exactly campaign for Brexit"

Nor did she campaign for it to any noticeable extent. She was a gone-native Home Sec who was induced to see saw the EU as an impediment to what her department she wanted to do. As everyone expected Remain to win sticking her head over the parapet wouldn't have been consistent with wanting to keep her job post-referendum. It paid off for her, for us not so much.

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Take a Chromebook rather than a laptop? The password you provide can be to a clean account.

Take a plain old dumb phone with a PAYG SIM. Alternatively have a few files that arrived by spam labelled Invoice on your phone and hope they try to open them on their own machine.

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Re: Silver lining

"But for the more entrepreneurial in the USA, I'd think there might be money to be made at the airport shops, car-rental or major hotels in renting out laptops/tablets/phones for visitors with a genuine-wipe on return."

I don't think I'd trust one, nor the genuine-wipe on return.

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Re: Urgent push towards fingerprints as login of choice now explained

Yes, I read that in the original article.

Infosec pros aren't too bothered by Trump – it's his cabinet sidekicks you need to worry about

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Re: Right here is how Trump wins or looses the next election.

"USians will forgive a President damm near anything if they see actual wage growth in their salaries and pay cheques."

Would that depend on whether the wage growth exceeds inflation of cost of living or is the electorate not able to work that out?

IT bosses: Get budgets for better security by rating threats on a scale of zero to Yahoo!

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"He recounted the time he asked a vendor if a particular threat was covered as per the regulations, so he could pass on the reassurance to auditors."

Shouldn't that have been an ex-vendor?

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Re: Compliance and secure safe network frameworks

"Compliance is the verification and documentation that you have done things right."

All too often only the documentation matters. For people who design bureaucratic systems paperwork is the only reality.

University DDoS'd by its own seafood-curious malware-infected vending machines

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Re: I'm guessing the slightly tough part.

"Do you a) change them all to new standard password (get one device, get them all) or b) Create and give them all unique passwords and keep them in an encrypted field in a database."

Because you want to act quickly, go for a) on the first pass. This gives you breathing space to implement b) when you've worked out a suitable strategy.

As this installation seems to have been intended to apply down to the level of every light-bulb in the place for easy of maintenance (yup, sure made life easy!) there might need to be a lot of people who needed access to the list so implementing b) might not be straightforward. It might even include a review of whether all the devices needed to be "smart".

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As far as I can see this network was specifically set up for the purpose, presumably by the University's own network team. Did it never occur to them to change the passwords?

Roses are red, you're over the moon, 'cos you work in infosec, and you're retiring soon

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Those headlines...

...has no-one in the el Reg office heard of scansion?

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

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Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

"As for FreeDesktop website it says a lot about the current progress that the website hasn't been updated since 8th May 2013."

Who wants to chase ever-moving standards? Stability is good.

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Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

" when I found I couldn't get Wacom working with it"

Dammit - loss of context. "It" in this case was FreeBSD.

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Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

"Updating [FreeBSD] it is easy compared to Linux."

I've done both. Not really a problem with either.

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Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

If you've used any version of windows since 95, it won't take you long to work out win10 KDE, it's not THAT different, it's only a bloody UI.

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Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

"look at Open Office if you doubt me. "

Not Open Office but I look at LibreOfffice pretty well every day. And it's just as I like it. As is KDE. Why? Because the UX design crowd hasn't got at it and that's a good thing. Look at W10 if you doubt me.

Maybe you're not aware of this but the whole idea of an interface, programming or user, is that it remains stable even if the implementation behind it changes so that whoever uses it, either in code or at the desktop, doesn't have to change their use. The principle of interface/implementation separation was established decades ago.

Command line? Yes Linux has that when it's needed. So has Windows. In neither case will most users ever have to go near it. You had some point about this.

Varying user interfaces? People who live in houses with Windows shouldn't throw stones.

Look, we can see you Windows marketing shills a mile off. It's so sad you don't realise that. You do your cause no good at all, just the opposite. Put away that ancient script and go and do something useful like play in the traffic.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

"Besides, how many full time positions do you reckon the licensing of Windows will cost?"

And how many full-time positions will be needed checking they've got the right licensing? Actually, in their case probably none - that would be a boat MS wouldn't want to risk rocking. But for anyone else.

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Re: I guess the support team got fed up hearing...

"I think these issues are just in the mind of some politicians....Are the Munich employees total idiots?"

It's politics.

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Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

"For instance with KDE they still haven't figured out a way to install program icons properly into the menu due a lack of standard way to do so. Not all programs that exist in Linux support KDE and so on. Making this a rather big problem."

Who's "they"? In general if the application exists in the distro it will have menu entries complete with icons installed. In addition 3rd party packages available as .debs will also install in the menu. Something you download as a tarball, maybe not. In any event I end up shuffling things around in the menu to suit myself, something that Windows seems to move away from with every successive release.

BTW there is a standard way to do it: https://www.freedesktop.org/

Gnome, like KDE, comes with a set of default applications. These are usually tied to the Gnome libraries. If they're deeply integrated into Gnome, Evolution for example, it's likely that you won't install them without bringing in the whole of Gnome with it even if it's not your default desktop. In general this isn't necessary although some extra libraries might be needed, I even run galculator as my preferred calculator.

I'm with you on systemd - when I found I couldn't get Wacom working with it I went to Devuan although I have concerns about their chances in the long run as systemd insinuates itself further into the Linux ecosystem.

As I said in another post, FreeBSD seem to see themselves as primarily a server OS which is why they might not be quite the ideal desktop. Nevertheless I'd have gone with it as desktop OS if Wacom had been better implemented.

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Re: The thing about Linux Desktop

"We're in the process of setting up a new company, but we too have this Linux vs FreeBSD debate"

I get the impression that the FreeBSD folks see themselves as primarily a server OS and the desktop stuff as a bolted-on extra they're not quite sure about.

FreeBSD on the server and Linux on the desktop might be the way to go. The one point I'd make about the server choice is whether you need commercial support; I haven't looked at what's available on the BSD side whilst the commercially supported Linux distros are well known.

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Re: @ Korev

"Outlook and Exchange are what keeps businesses dependent on Windows - only when you break that can you truly expect Linux to have a chance."

Munich use Kolab as a back end. I'm not sure how it compares point to point with Exchange but the relevant issue would be how well it suits their workflow. AIUI they worked pretty closely with the Kolab developers and for all I know still do so that's not likely to be an issue.

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Re: @ Korev

"make sure that for once they actually get a designer to design the UI"

UIs have been going downhill for years, thanks to UX designers. Have you seen Windows recently?

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Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

"Standard Windows 10 + WSUS would probably save a lot of time and money. They just need to test the patches, before they roll them out."

AIUI big Windows shops maintain their own standard image and re-image any new PCs based on this. It's probably not as much work as rolling their own distro.

These days there are also tools such as Puppet to help with maintaining standard Linux configurations in a large shop. It would be the sort of approach to adopt if starting from scratch now.

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Re: Replacing Linux with Windows, based on *cost*?

There is a cost to being different. Everyone who joins has to have "some" training.

Probably because these days they've been used to Android.

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Re: "when webmail is fine for what most people need their mail to do? "

"We are talking about *offices* here...Mozilla too - they're removing older cypher suites"

And you think that might be a bad thing for office users?

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Re: Linux desktops are pretty piss poor

It would appear that you're referring to the UI. Unlike Windows you have a choice. If you don't like the standard Ubuntu interface (they got to W8-style before MS) then you have KDE, Gnome, XFCE or whatever a few clicks away. I don't know what the default Fedora is these days but again you have a choice. With W10 you have W10.

Bloke, 27, arrested, tech gear seized by cops over UK Sports Direct hack

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Re: Grr.

"You mean, just like TalkTalk ??"

Maybe not. Sports Direct doesn't have the Establishment connections that TT has. Quite the opposite as they've already annoyed an HoC committee.

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"a phone number had been left on the site"

Just a phone number? No name and address? However did they trace him?

Ex-FBI man spills on why hackers are winning the security game

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Re: Comfortable illusions about computer security

"But people want things as simple as possible."

But no simpler. Once it goes titsup it suddenly isn't simple any more.

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Re: Nice to Hear Some Truth

"One problem: end users who don't want to learn, meaning you have to make the whole mess as simple and turnkey as possible."

So?

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Re: Oh god...

"That new fridge should be secure and need skill to open it."

I find giving the door a gentle pull is sufficient.

2009 IBM: Teleworking will save the WORLD! 2017 IBM: Get back to the office or else

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Bringing people together into larger and larger conurbations is not a good idea. It means longer commutes on average. It's unsustainable. Governments should be giving tax concessions or other encouragement to forms of distributed working, be it working from home, smaller local offices or whatever. They probably will but years later than they should.

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Projected move: Central London to King's Langley. Questionnaire sent round to see who would stay with the company. 80% said they would. Oops, King's Langley suddenly turned out ot be too expensive.

Actual move: Central London to Leeds. Hardly anyone stayed. Those who didn't included most of the top team whose idea it was and rumour had it that one of them still got a relocation package.

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Re: It's Like The Tide...

Step 9 - optional, after as long as long interval as it takes to discover 8 wasn't working, bring it back in house.

Step 10 - GOTO 1.

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Re: You answered your own question

"Would have been better to turn the Watson engine to analysing the performance of the staff and contractors and cutting accordingly."

Maybe they did and the answers were too embarrassing to reveal.

Kids these days will never understand the value of money

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Re: Exception proves the rule?

"My 11 year old has a debit card but spurns it in favour of cold hard cash."

and keeps what they spend it on hidden from you.

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Re: Don't agree

"I buy 9 toilet rolls from Ebay"

Make sure you tick the "New" box.

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Re: Do you want your receipt?...

"Is it just me that finds the question strange?"

No. At one time the issuing of a receipt ensured that the transaction had been rung into the cash register and was a check against staff pocketing the cash. Now with most transactions not involving cash I suppose the accountants are looking at the fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a penny that the paper costs them.

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Re: I don't agree with the premise.

"they won't have the luxury of living within their means until they're well into their late twenties or early thirties, by which time being in debt will be a fixed part of their existence."

I'm afraid that was my experience into well into my 40s.

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Re: Cashless society

"There are some real pitfalls to not having cash:

- if the Gov't decides to 'bail in' some of your money (as happened in Cyprus) then you have no way to avoid it."

And the pitfall to having cash: the government decides to demonetize it as happened in India. Whatever you do the government will find a way to screw you.

"those who can't cope with technology such as the elderly"

Ageism. The Politically Mandatory ism.

Co-op Bank up for sale while customers still feel effects of its creaking IT

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Re: Jumped ship last November

"I admire those of you still loyal to Co-op Bank"

Loyalty has nothing to do with it. It's just the wasteland that the rest of the banking industry offers that makes the options look no better.

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Re: Not available?

"Probably better to take the £125 switching cash from TSB now, given that's who they are likely to merge with."

No way! It was the attitude of a now TSB branch that made me quit Lloyds; I'm not going back to either of the current manifestations of that lot.

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Re: Not available?

"Perhaps it is time to move your accounts to somewhere else but where?"

But where indeed.

In my preferred location HSBC closed their branch. I moved (after 40 years or so with Midland, Northern, HSBC) to Lloyds. They closed their branch. I moved to the Co-op, not because they had a branch there but because they had a branch with more convenient opening hours inside a store. They closed that. YBS, who are the only financial business still open there, took over a building society that had a current account so I expected them to roll out that to the whole network; now they're closing the current accounts instead.

We hear about the so-called challenger banks. If they want to do some serious challenging they really should look at where the existing banks are wide open to challenge: customer service in places where customers live.

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