* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Brexit White Paper published: Broad strokes, light on detail

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Re: Words fail me

"The MPs are supposed to represent the people so the vote in parliament might have been mandated by a bizarre bunch of clowns but actually the vote in parliament HAD to pass in order to recognise the vote from the people."

I expect my MP to do his best for his constituency. He has not done this. He has voted with the herd.

There is no compulsion whatsoever on MPs to be bound by an advisory vote.

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Re: Words fail me

"MPs serve the people, not the other way around."

If what people need is different to what a small majority of them said they wanted then they might be best served by providing the former.

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Re: cost benefit analysis

"If the EU impose tariffs on imports from the UK, they pay those costs, not us."

Which then makes our exports less competitive so there are fewer of them. Fewer exports means less work. Less work means less jobs. Unless you still think the pink unicorns are going to come along with their pixie dust and make us all so rich we won't need anyone to work.

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"The paper is light on detail but big on statements and broad of stroke."

So the pig is still in the poke but the MPs are carrying on with the buying process on our behalf.

Hard numbers: The mathematical architectures of Artificial Intelligence

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Re: The problem with defining artificial intelligence

"...is that we don't have a good definition of intelligence in the first place."

One thing we do know: it runs on a much larger scale of parallel processing than we can achieve with any existing electronic hardware.

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"But if I also included the detail that it apparently can translate between pairs of languages that were not explained to it and that, most importantly, its minders don't know exactly how it's doing that, you'd be more inclined to think that maybe there's a budding AI in there somewhere."

Maybe someone inserted the obvious and sensible algorithm that says

if pair A to C does not exist and pair A to B exists and pair B to C exists then translate from A to B and then B to C.

and the minders forgot it was there. No need for it to have invented an internal language.

'Webroot made my PCs s*** the bed' – AV update borks biz machines hard

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At least they can't get a virus while they're BSODed so AV is protecting them.

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Re: Doesn't anyone test?

"As in: you want a test park but the beancounters in control over the budget don't deem this necessary. "

That's an easy one. Beancounters are made to feel important: they get first dibs at all upgrades.

Careless Licking gets a nasty infection: County stiffed by ransomware

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"CHEQUES, please"

Yes please, preferably big ones. Oh, I see what you mean. Given where it happened I suppose we have to allow for local customs.

It's holistic, dude: How to dodge the EU's £17m data regulation sting

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Re: Four words

The only metric these days always seems to be time

And money. Do it fast and cheap.

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Years ago the corporation I then worked for had a massive IT security review put in place owing to the fact that they'd been very publicly embarrassed (I doubt the same cause/effect relationship operates today). As I was being eased out I got lumbered our business's end of it; no problem, I knew where a few of the bodies were buried and managed to find a few more. It was a massive tick-box operation - exactly what you'd expect from an ISO-9000 driven organisation.

The results of the first stage were reviewed by someone from security. We had words on account of my refusing to tick the box to the effect that bought-in software had no undocumented functionality. I pointed out that undocumented functionality would cover bugs* and suggested that if he wasn't happy he go and have a word with procurement to see if they could get statements to that effect from Microsoft etc. A little while later the review was signed off with the box still unticked. I heard later that the reviewer had no IT background, he was from physical security.

And, as far as I know, none of the bodies were ever excavated.

*I'm pretty sure that what was meant was that there were no time-bombs or back doors built in, this having been in the news not long before. They should have been a little more explicit when writing the document.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic medals to be made from old electronics

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"8,000 kg of precious metals for 4,000kg of medals."

Some of it evaporates during processing.

Fear not, Europe's Privacy Shield is Trump-proof – ex-FTC bigwig

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Re: Yeah, it's a nice story..

"but the laws are pretty clear about this - as are the lawyers involved."

I'm sure the ECJ will be as well as soon as Schrems or whoever gets a case there.

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"The transatlantic Privacy Shield data transfer agreement is not at risk from Trump's executive actions, former FTC Commissioner Julie Brill has promised."

To quote* the sage Mandy Rice Davies, she would say that, wouldn't she?

There are a couple of issues here:

1. Once one agency has illegally extracted data the rest can share it legally.

2. The whole thing is irrelevant. There's no way to know that data has been acquired and that there is, therefore, a reason to seek redress and the redress method is in appropriate; the appropriate jurisdiction for a tribunal to obtain redress is the data subject's own, not the offender's.

*OK, I know that's how a journo rendered her evidence for the paper, not what she actually said.

Protest against Trump's US travel ban leaves ‪PasswordsCon‬ in limbo

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Re: another opportunist fake protester.

"no political statement while hundreds of thousands were being bombed, ISIL burned people to death. No political statement about the rise of violence and rape in Europe by the same immigrating culture."


I think you must have clicked on Submit before you finished your comment as you've omitted your political statement about the deaths and injuries arising out of NI terrorism which was financed by so many US citizens.

Or are you just another Johnny-come-lately fake political protester?

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Re: No.

"Having a toddler hissy fit isnt one of them."

Organising an international meeting implies that attendees need to be able to get there.

Having a country suddenly apply arbitrary* travel bans to attendees interferes with such organising activity.

Stating that isn't having a hissy fit although objecting to someone stating it might well be.

*There's no basis for the ban in that any given individual being banned has done something wrong or that there's reason to think they will do something wrong. It's just that they come from some particular country. That's arbitrary. It's also directly contrary to the presumption of innocence which, I understand, used to be a big tenet of the US constitution.

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Re: Quick to take offense?

"Per Thorsheim is allowed to boycott any conference he wants to, but his public pontification and flag-waving is telling."

Yes it is.

It's telling us that it becomes pointless to organise international meetings in a country which will arbitrarily ban attendees from other countries. ban them not because of what they've done, not because of what they might do but because they're from another country.

He's telling us that. Most of us hear that. He's telling you but you weren't listening.

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Re: Oh FFS

"Somehow i doubt the Trump gives a shit."

Not at present.

But as such actions make it more difficult to conduct intellectual endeavours such as meetings and engineering in the US then the US will start to lose economic strength to other parts of the world.

He might care then, although given that he'll be getting to the end of his term, maybe not. But it's quite likely that it'll take the US a lot longer to dig itself out of that hole than it took him to dig in in in the first place. Sadly the same thing is going to happen in the UK unless some of our own politicians have a sudden rush of brains to the head, look at the example the US is providing and realise it's something to avoid.

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Re: Alternatively...

Using it as such marks you out as a person with a different opinion who thinks their own opinion lacks virtue.


IETF 'reviewing' US event plans in the face of Trump's travel ban

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Re: Where's the outrage at "racist" Kuwait?

"The modern left is just virtue signalling"

This term "virtue signalling". Those who signal virtue must have virtue to signal. So when you use it as a derogatory term is it a signal that your PoV lacks virtue?

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Re: "City University New York has more than 100 affected. That's just one university."

"So not quite as many as got murdered and wounded by a Muslim terrorist loon in Orlando. That's just one night club."

It's nowhere near the number killed and injured by NI terrorism over the years. That was supported by many US citizens. Maybe we should ban all US citizens from travel to the UK or Ireland. It's the same "logic".

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It looks as if the likely result is going to be the gradual movement of any form of intellectual endeavour out of the US.

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Re: *facepalm*

"Jump in to express disgust at what you think will make you look moral in the eyes of the peer group"

There's a little flaw in that. Votes are anonymous - rather like your post - so they're not effective in making the voter look moral in the eyes of the peer group; the eyes can't see them. Please engage the brain before setting the keyboard in motion.

Motivational speaker in the slammer after HPE applies for court order

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Re: Judge with a sense of humour

Despite the widely held opinion to the contrary Judges are sharp individuals and usually have a good way with words, having come up through the ranks of the barristers. If you get on the wrong side of one you'll find they're well able to express their opinion.

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Nice story. Not quite in the Prenda Law league but nice.

It's amazing what a little self-confidence can achieve.

GitLab.com luckily found lost data on a staging server

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Re: Now for the good news..

"So, in a few weeks, GitHub will be the best place to be :)"

According to your reasoning, GitLab will be the best place to be.

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Re: +-

"What does that mean?"

More or less.

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Re: Ofcourse they went public...

"Maybe I'm too cynical here, I cannot rule this out, but in my opinion Gitlab didn't have a choice but to go public. For the simple reason of damage control."

Maybe you are. All too often businesses come up with a different choice in that their responses are from a standard PR playbook: "Only a few....", "your ... is important to use" etc., none of which is believed by anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

If at the end of this they end up saying that only a few users were affected there'll be plenty of detail to give it credence.

Facebook's dabblings in TV suggest Zuck isn't actually a genius after all

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"the collision of telcos and media companies is propelled by the optimistic idea that people prefer billing simplicity over choice."

Surely it's the companies that prefer this. The people's preference comes down to take it or leave it.

GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail

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"If they're floundering like that, they probably wouldn't be able to grasp your solution"

Flounder in terms of not having been able to answer the hard questions.

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Re: At least it's git

"And a REAL pain in the butt when you have an organisation like GDS with hundreds of git forks"

I think it's GDS that's the real pain.

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"It's not enough to be able to ask the hard questions if you can't come with some of the answers for it too."

You need to let them flounder a bit first, otherwise they won't be ready to grasp your solution.

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"But maybe a blessing in disguise?"


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"In all the test system was down for about 4 days instead of 1"

You could even look on it as an unplanned 4 day test because, as you described it, that's what it was.

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Re: Super! Great

"Many times, people only have ONE live system (all they can afford) which MUST remain up 24/7"

If you have only one system which must remain up 24/7 you only have two choices, a huge budget or eventual failure.

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"realistically, breaking even is the first hurdle"

And not breaking is the zeroth hurdle.

Human memory, or the lack of it, is the biggest security bug on the 'net

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Re: Passwords; Diceware

"But if you CAN'T use a password manager, say because you don't own the computers you use everyday?"

The problem then passes to the owners of the computer. If they require you to use sites that require passwords then it's in their own interests to provide a manager. If they don't, then don't use those computers for your private business.

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Re: "the only available computer is communal"

"As soon as someone can sneak a key logger on to it, all your password are belong to them."

In that case you have a problem irrespective of how you store your passwords.

Let's replace Ethernet with infrared light bouncing off mirrors!

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Do the actuators flip the mirrors about to reconfigure the network for maximum throughput? Do it fast enough and the centre could be swamped with ultrasonics.

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Re: Problem diagnosis simplified

"It's also a nice practical demonstration of why images taken using these cameras don't match what our eyes see."

An older one was photographing some blue flowers with Kodachrome and Ektachrome (which I'm glad to see they're bringing back). Kodachrome would render them pink, having detected the reflected IR.

Dido queen of carnage steps down from TalkTalk

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Re: Surely just a coincidence but...

"i wasn't stupid enough to use them"

You didn't have to be stupid to use them. You could have been with an originally excellent ISP that they bought.

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Re: Hmm.

"£40m and they'd start taking information security very seriously indeed."

Oh but they do. They tell us so. Every time they get pwned.

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"Share price up 8% at lunchtime today"

It would be a good idea if the terms attached to bonuses included having to give them back if leaving makes the share price go up. After all it signifies their effect on company value was negative.

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Re: Good Riddance

"But whats next in store? ... I doubt the pathetic & negative culture they have fostered past few years will be able to be changed anytime sooner."

Given that it's the existing MD who's stepping up I'd say your doubts are well founded.

What's the difference between you and a sea slug? When it comes to IT security, nothing

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Re: "you are telling me people in corporate marketing departments are biological?"

"marketing and sales people tend to reproduce more than engineers."

And so many of them seem to have unknown fathers.

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Re: Really

"The classic demonstration of attention and observation"

That's not the same as habituation.

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"Google pushed out messages on their search page warning infected users that they needed to clean up their systems."

If you get a warning about Windows malware and you're running Linux you do tend to dismiss it with contempt.

We need to talk about Granny: She's way more likely to fall for phishing

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Re: Trust? Who, me?

"we didn't need to see an ID card when someone came to the front door"

It does tend to confuse the card waving chuggers when I point out how unimpressed I am because I could quite easily knock one up in a few minutes with my camera, printer and a laminated holder I can get from ebay at £2 per hundred.

Google mistakes the entire NHS for massive cyber-attacking botnet

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Re: re: Unless it's the patients using google translate to understand the foreign staff?

"I have known people who've had to translate between Glaswegian and Cockney"

Where did you find such a polyglot?

Cyber-spying, leaking to meddle in foreign politics is the New Normal

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a non-cyber aggression agreement

Or maybe a cyber non-aggression agreement?

In any case, good luck with that!

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