* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Language?

" If the criteria really did have to do with countries with a history of terrorism, then the Irish nations would be on the list too, wouldn't they?"

Nations plural? Maybe you're including the US.

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Re: Me Too please

"So if I can be proactively banned, will save me from going through the explanations time and again."

It sounds as if getting her proactively banned will be more effective.

Revealed: 'Suicide bomber Barbie' and other TSA quack science that cost $1.5 billion

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Re: just a quick question

"have the terrorists won by making our flying experience hell?"


GDPR: Do not resist! Unless you want a visit from the data police

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Re: VG article.

"Should be mandatory reading for every CEO."

CEOs reading el Reg?

Following on from my previous comment, and much as I hate powerpoint presentations, maybe the first chance anyone gets to do a presentation for upper management or marketing should start off with a slide saying in large letters:


That should get their attention.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Keeping an eye on you right pondians

"Don't envy anyone over there in IT."

The core problem is often marketing wanting to gather too much information and then handing processing of it over to some friendly spammer digital marketing agency. Alternately it's top management wanting to scrimp on IT. In either case pointing out the possibility of €20m fines should give IT a useful line in to put in any powerpoint.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Fines for companies etc... Yes!

"But I don't believe schools or NHS/Trusts should be fined, it just takes money away they desperately need."

OTOH public bodies handling personal information, especially that from people who virtually have no option but to give it, should not get a free pass if they fail. It's a difficult issue and needs a solution.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The new PPI

Please let us know how you get on.

But be warned "First their solicitor told me that she had fully answered my questions but in her defence, she argued that she did not have to answer my questions." The two are not mutually exclusive and this sort of defence in depth is normal. If the court rules they didn't answer your questions fully they'll fall back on they didn't have to and vice versa.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"After all, nobody wants to be the first to get a €20m fine."

Is anyone running a book on who it'll be?

Dublin court to decide EU's future relationship with Trump's America

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Re: Don't hold your breath Europe

"If anyone in the rest of Europe is hoping this case will set a positive precedent for privacy or data rights, be prepared to be disappointed!"

I'm not sure that the result of this case will be final. It'll be a steppingstone to the ECJ.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I don't know what the DPC will be arguing but given that the primary weakness in the system still remain it's difficult to see how the case can be defended. There seems to have been an added assurance from the US DoC which doesn't have any real ability to restrain other arms of the US Govt.

There's also a so-called provision for redress which fails on several counts. It's not in the injured party's jurisdiction and will, therefore, be very difficult to enforce; it would rely on the IP to detect than an illegal disclosure had occurred, a very unlikely event given that the data handler would be under no obligation to disclose and possibly legally obliged not to; and there are no criminal penalties for disclosure.

In order to be anything but a Privacy Figleaf the following should be required:

1. The EU-based organisation shipping the data to the US should remain responsible to the data subject in the data subject's jurisdiction in both civil and criminal law.

2. The US data handler should be legally obliged to notify their EU counterpart of any breaches including disclosures to official bodies and this requirement should override any gagging orders.

3. In the event of a breach the EU-based organisation should be obliged to act as if it were a breach on their part.

If this makes transatlantic trade in data commercially infeasible, tough. There's a perfectly workable solution: ensure proper arm's length arrangements to ensure data sovereignty in the EU.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

The DPC's office told The Register that "it is expected that the case will run for three weeks, during which time we do not anticipate making daily comment on the matter."

Will an ongoing commentary be available from anyone else?

Samsung battery factory bursts into flame in touching Note 7 tribute

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Re: Fake News

The link says a minor fire. If it needed 19 fire engines I'd hate to see their idea of a major fire.

Conviction by computer is go, confirms UK Ministry of Justice

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"We have considered the responses in full and think it is possible to prosecute low-level cases via an automatic online conviction procedure and impose an automated, standard penalty in these cases without compromising the principles of our justice system.

Translation: we've ignored the consultation & will go ahead with whatever we feel like doing.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Train fare evasion is nominally a private matter between the privatised operating company and the passenger but is enforced through archaic 19th century laws that make it a criminal offence."

Given that it's effectively a form of fraud it's not surprising that it's a criminal offence.

Australia wants to jail infosec researchers for pointing out dodgy data

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"Wow, I guess we Americans don't have the stupidest politicians after all."

The race to the bottom is one with many winners.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

"Seems like a new take on 'Shoot The Messenger'."

It might have been better if the dissenting report had simply said "don't shoot the messenger". It might be a cliché but clichés are an effective means of getting simple ideas into the heads of simple people.

There needs to be an induction process for people entering high office. Learning not to shoot the messenger would be one part. A recitation of Ozymandias would be another. The pail of water experiment* would be a third.

*Dip your hand into a pail of water. Take it out again. Examine the impression you left behind.

Eee by gum! Aye up, Microsoft, what's tha y' got? Cloud for accents?

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Re: Accents

"Mind you, the word "cunt" is easy enough to understand I suppose."

As in "They cunt understan' a word on it."?

Vivaldi and me: Just browsing? Nah, I'm sold

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Re: Developer Tools

"It uses the Chromium engine, so the dev tools are pretty much identical to Chrome's."

Does it also have the Bluetooth snooping?

Intel Atom chips have been dying for at least 18 months – only now is truth coming to light

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Re: EU Customers don't need warranty

"2)Where the seller sells goods in the course of a business"

The problem here is that the seller is the retail outlet. Not the vendor of the kit it was in. Not even the vendor of the motherboard that went into the kit. And certainly not a component vendor. That's a whole chain of businesses that can get screwed when a component maker supplies a duff batch of components. And a whole chain of businesses who might then wonder whether to buy from the competition in future if the component maker doesn't see them right.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Insider's View

"Very difficult to get down to brass tacks with a supplier when you have an incestuous Board of Directors relationship like that"

it would depend. A board member in that position should be able to short circuit a lot of internal obstacles on the vendor side in the short term and persuade them that quality issues matter in the long term. The long term benefits would be mutual.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Is it just this particular Intel line that has a problem? Are their others that haven't come to light yet? This one might have stayed under the radar if it hadn't been for the Cisco announcement.

Last Concorde completes last journey, at maybe Mach 0.02

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Re: Saw in Action Twice

"Once while in a departure lounge at Heathrow waiting for a flight to Belfast or somewhere equally exciting."

I can beat that: queued up waiting for take-off - to Belfast - and Concorde was just a few places in front so we saw it on the runway from close quarters. The captain pointed it out. I don't think other flight crews ever tired of seeing it. Whilst it was in development we'd hear the occasional sonic boom in Belfast when they went supersonic over the Irish sea.

I also saw it a couple of times from Kew Gardens. I think it had its own approach path different to most planes; it never seemed to come in over High Wycombe like so many others.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Can do" species

"plus cheaper and better antibiotic"

Let's pick out one of those. We've abused the cheaper antibiotics by careless use and bred populations of resistant bacteria. That in turn means that "better" are effectively no better than the last and we're in danger of the best becoming not good enough.

We haven't got smarter in the last few decades. In fact we've not been anywhere near smart enough.

Another of the things we've done: taken one of our most versatile raw materials, fossil fuels, and wasted in in static power plants when for decades we could have used nuclear in place of it, leaving fossil fuels to be used as chemical substrates, a role for which there are no adequate substitutes available in similar quantities. Again, because we lacked ambition.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Once upon a time men flew to the moon.

Once upon a time civilians cold fly supersonically.

Somehow it seems we've stopped being a "can do" species and become "can't do" instead. Whatever happened to our sense of ambition?

Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

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Re: I'm worried they'll outlaw Kodi in some unenforceable way...

"I have like 9 raspberry pi's"

What's like 9? 8? 10? 8 Raspberry and a Banana? Or just plain 9?

At least the greengrocer's apostrophe seems at home.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"a conspiracy needs two people."

So does a sale: a seller and a buyer. So if a sale is made it shouldn't be too difficult to argue that two people were involved.

IBM's Marissa Mayer moment: Staff ordered to work in one of 6 main offices – or face the axe

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Re: Creative way to get many US employees to voluntarily quit

One of the flaws with this approach is that the people who will leave voluntarily are those most able to get a job elsewhere. Those who you end up keeping will be those you should have got rid of in the first place, including, of course, whoever came up with the dumb idea in the first place. And so the average IQ of the business gradually drifts downwards due to Niwradian (reverse Darwinian) selection.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So IBM wants to make its money in the Cloud now

"Not free to actually run the DB... or migrate back out again."

The first one is free...

Intel's Atom C2000 chips are bricking products – and it's not just Cisco hit

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Re: So just swap the whole processor board.

"Just askin' (apologies if it's a daft question)."

Not a daft question. I'm not familiar with the product.

If the drives are nothing but data and the whole thing is driven by firmware on the processor board then it would be a tad difficult. It would depend on being able to find an alternate device with sufficiently similar firmware which would be entirely down to the software being generic. Without going off & researching that I've no idea whether it is or whether it's proprietary.

If the drives have an OS on them then it would depend on the OS including the right drivers. There's always a problem, even with general purpose OS's, of having support for newer or even older hardware.

Short answer, "similar-enough" might not exist.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Been there done that.

"A BGA resolder properly done can go to 400$ a piece.. so it makes no sense to do it on synologys...and yet hey, there is your data."

So just swap the whole processor board.

Cut off: Big government IT wallets snap shut on BT's fingers

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Re: "bankrupt"

"BT is an object lesson in everything wrong with privatisation."

And the black telephone rationing organisation was an object lesson in everything wrong with nationalisation.

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Re: "bankrupt"

"the sale of mmo2"

Touch of the alt news here. BT split. If you had n shares of BT you woke up next morning wiht n shares of BT, now worth something less, and n shares of MMO2.

Repeat after me: "BT did not sell MMO2"

After some time as an independent company MMO2 was taken over by Telefonica.

AFAICT the reason for the split was that BT thought that the licence bidding was too rich. It was a typical piece of BT management's thinking. It ended, of course, with them having to pay out a huge chunk of cash to buy themselves back into the market and still ended up being 12% owned by Deutsch Telekom.

Got an OpenBSD Web server? Better patch it

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Re: Got a computer Web server? Better patch it

"Shouldn't that be computer Web server?"

No. It's specifically OpenBSD's implementation.

Trump's cybersecurity strategy kinda makes sense, so why delay?

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Re: Bah!

It's also teaching us that the blame can eventually come bouncing back. When it does it gets amplified. Cover-ups never look good when found out.

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Re: Reason why Trump didn't sign cybersecurity executive order

"The Pro-Linux brigade hijacking a thread"

Good try. Unfortunately for your comment, it didn't happen. One post does not a hijack make.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Probably objections from the NSA & FBI. They don't want anybody going round bolting back doors, they wouldn't be able to keep an eye on the rest of govt. & worse still, the habit might spread to the proles.

NASA's Curiosity puts cat among the climate pigeons: Lack of CO2 sinks water theory

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" Maybe it is just sediment from past wind blown dust that has been buried and under huge pressures for millions of years and then exposed and eroded by wind and extreme temperature changes to form a feature that looks like a lake bed."

I'm not sure if it's possible for a wind-blown deposit to look like a lake bed. Dunes lead to cross-bedding which is pretty distinctive, see the pictures in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-bedding . I'm not familiar with loess but the same source suggests it's not stratified: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loess . Possibly wind-blown deposition effects could happen on Mars but I'd expect that these two would be readily recognisable to geologists.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "which was supposedly a lot thicker"

"They assume there had been liquid water because theyinterpret surface features through a model based on the geological processes that take place on earth."

OK, there are surface features which suggest the presence of a liquid. What liquid?

Virtual monopoly on UK cell towers and TV masts up for sale

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Re: Actual broadcast has a lot of advantages.

"probably 5 or 6 that are unliklely to have any internet connection because the residents are elderly."

IME you'd have to count rather more than 5 or 6 elderly households to find a single one that doesn't have an internet connection.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Anyone else think merger with a BT free Openreach to Make UK Comms Grid?"

Here's an alternative thought. BT float off Retail and the various odd non-comms bits that they're crap at under some vacuous names such as P2, O3 (Ozone?) etc so that the BT is now just the old OpenReach business. Then they buy Arqiva.

UK uni KCL spunks IT budget on 'reputation management' after IT disaster headlines

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Re: Mountain out of a mole hill

"Do you tell your boss every little wrinkle that would just worry him? I don't"

1. Backups not working is more than a little wrinkle.

2. Managers need to be told significant stuff, especially if it's bad news. Managers who discourage being told bad news are very bad managers and wide open to any passing disaster looking for a place to happen.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Point of information

"departments across the university"

Although in at least one place on its website Kings calls itself a University it is, in fact, still a college of the University of London.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Mountain out of a mole hill

"That's why you have Managers."

Managers might disagree. The reason you have managers is ... pay?...bonuses?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Mountain out of a mole hill


"Lets also make no mistake, the borking that happened at KCL was down to KCL operations technicians. You could argue there was a lack of management oversight, but fundamentally someone wasn't testing the backups."

Are you by any chance in management?

Streetmap loses appeal against Google Maps dominance judgement

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"f you want a specialised A-to-Z style road map then Streetmap is definitely the one to go for. For general purpose mapping, including satellite overlays, then Google Maps is better."

Specialised A-Z mapping doesn't have contour mapping. Streetmap has the OS maps. Maybe you were just looking at the name.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

For maps of Great Britain Streetmap is what I always recommend. Google may have satellite imagery but for anyone able to read maps Streetmap gives a much better view of the lie of the land. I usually prefer its placename search although it does have a few quirks. It's a great pity it doesn't extend into Ireland, not even N Ireland.

Why don't you all just f-f-f-fade away, Kaspersky asks generation SocMed

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So you're backing up from one on-line service to another, not to somewhere under your own control. Why? Oh, I see - cloudz.

Sage Business School founder imprisoned – but you wouldn't know it

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I'm still wondering how he managed to transfer >£100k out of the country whilst the raid was being carried out. Did nobody think it might have been a good idea to keep an eye on what he was doing?

Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API

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"As a middle aged, balding, pot bellied man, I don't want to see adverts for Barbie dolls or frilly dresses, I want to see adverts for powertools, beer and gadgets."

Frankly, unless I'm specifically looking for something I don't want to see adverts for any of them. If I need something I'll conduct a search. When I've done that I'll try to avoid any vendor who's managed to piss me off by slinging ads at me in the past.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Shopping

"My biggest worry is one day stores will just cease providing direct purchase options via CC, and you will have no choice but to go through Google or PayPal."

OTOH, if you pay through PayPal you have to trust just one business. With CC you have to trust every single place you shop to keep your CC details safe; good luck with that.

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