* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Father of Android II: A Hardware Comeback

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Re: The USP...

"How about a phone ecosystem that doesn't involve Google or Apple?"

Or Microsoft. In short, any phone ecosystem that doesn't take the piss.

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Re: connector

"but any photo I take on my phone is already on my Mac by the time I get home. In my DropBox"

No, it's on somebody else's computer (DropBox's). It isn't on your Mac until you transfer it there - which you could do from your phone when you got home.

Tech moguls dominate Oxfam's rich people Hateful 8

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Re: Intentions over words

"If they did reduce their salaries to that of the common man/woman, there would be no one at work in their swanky offices in Oxford."

Then move out of Oxford.

BT installs phone 'spam filter', says it'll strain out mass cold-callers

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Re: Numbers that put out a lot of calls?

"I don't see how stopping spam in phone calls is all that much easier than stopping it in email, and we all see evidence in our inboxes that email spam is still very much a thing."

The solution in both cases would be to revise the protocols so that the alleged source (From: line in email headers) can be verified by the system before the connection is accepted.

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Re: But...

"Can OFCOM make this mandatiory for all providers at no charge?"

Maybe they will. After all, it's not their money providing it.

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Re: It must be becoming a problem for genuine companies.

"So it would be nearly impossible for a genuine company with an Indian call centre to contact me by phone."

What? Not even the agents with a heavy Indian accent and called Kevin?

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Re: The same thing happens with IP address allocations

Any attempts to ask to talk to the technical support over the phone proved futile as the call centre operators will direct us to the e-mail address.

"Please provide your company's registered address so our lawyers can write to you."

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Re: Interesting development

"the gas had been disconnected long ago, but the meter was still there"

Did I ever post the one about the time my Dad helped a friend with some renovations? In the course of that they moved the meter but reconnected it the wrong way round. Gas meters will run backwards. After they discovered it there was a slight panic. The friend's family used as much gas as possible to try to get the meter at least back to the previous reading and a little beyond. They succeeded but the meter reader commented on how little gas they'd used.

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Re: Interesting development

"the water board replaced the main outside and the lads doing the job spotted that there was one more connection to it than their plans admitted to."

We had problems on our electricity a few years ago. When the crew turned up to investigate the dodgy connection they found it wasn't connected to the supply at the bottom of a different pole than was shown on the plans. Both problems solved by replacing the corroded joint with a new one where it was shown on the plans.

Then the gas dug a hole just down the road to disconnect a pipe which they'd discovered (I'm not sure how) ran under someone's conservatory. They then discovered that (a) there were two lots of gas pipes just under the road surface where they only expected one, (b) one of them was flooded with water, (c) the pipes were steel & the working pipe had to be replaced and (d) the pipe running under the conservatory which they were about to disconnect wasn't a branch, it was actually the feed into the mains under our road.

A year or so later whilst I was working in the garden someone came wandering up the road asking questions about the gas supply. His company had taken over the maintenance but didn't have current drawings. Fortunately he probably know more about the system as he used to work on the system years ago.

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Re: A Typical Scam Call I Get

"Amongst my canned Spam call answers."

Almost anything: "Sorry, it's company policy to not discuss that over the phone."

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Re: 1572

"Say, £1 per spam call, collected by BT/phoneco as in normal billing and going to Good Causes (in the manner of a Lottery)."

Or credited to the callee's account as a fee for handling the call. But not a flat rate but, say, a pound per minute so there's more to be gained by keeping them on the line.

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Re: How much to review your spam call messages?

"Well that's not going to work when an overseas call centre uses a fake number."

Requiring Indian TelCo calls to be whitelisted would be an excellent start. Or even announcing that they'll be doing that in a few months might prompt some of them to get their houses in order.

"Of course if the caller withholds their number you can use BT's Anonymous Call Rejection service that won't let numberless call through."

It would also block any calls from organisations without DDI - our GP for starters.

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Re: 100% success record

"It's worth a shot - honestly, try it."

OTOH £10 on a PAYG SIM lasts a long time if you have a fixed line.

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Re: Free as part of Line Rental? Thought not.

"This sounds like complaining about BT doing nothing about the problem, and now complaining that it is doing something about it."

It does indeed. However a little voice in my head keeps saying "It's free now but for how long?".

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Re: answer machine

"can't they just employ a guy to go through whocallsme and block the numbers people flag up as spam?"

What do you think this "huge computing power" is doing?

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Re: A Typical Scam Call I Get

"Most of them give up after five minutes, lightweights!"

I just leave the phone for a good while & then hang up; usually they've done that themselves. But I did have a very persistent/dumb company (double glazing, of course) where the sales manager rung back to say the line went dead.

Calls for UK.gov's tax digitisation plans to be put on the back burner

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"Tax-payers do not fit that mould at all well IMO."

I think HMRC's view is that your opinion doesn't count, only theirs. It explains a lot, of course.

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"Their co-operation and trust are both hard won and easily dissipated."

I haven't trusted HMRC or its IR predecessor for decades - does any business?. And I believe the correct word is "coercion".

Just give up: 123456 is still the world's most popular password

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Re: 123456....

"serious look guys, I finally see the forum is classed as secure."

And has been for about a week. What's more there's a secure version of the front page but the little vulture icon to take you back to it takes you back to the http address. Still, things are looking up.

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Re: Any site just relying on passwords should be blamed instead

"That's why banks still hand out those calculator style gadgets."

Mine handed out one and I still have no second factor.

The only time I had to use the useless piece of crap their site refused to accept the result so I had to go into a branch.

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Re: Just get a password manager..

(how do you do italics?)

Like that.

It's < em >stuff< / em > without the spaces.

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Re: Just get a password manager..

"There are some who will let you buy things without creating an account, and since retailer accounts seem to be used mainly so that a: they can remember your credit card number and b: they can send you marketing emails, frankly if such an option is offered, I'll take it."

I use frequently changed email addresses to kill the marketing emails if I have to create an account.

Like you I prefer accountless transactions and using PayPal is one way of ensuring they don't keep the credit card number but the downside is that PayPal provide your PayPal email - which is also the PayPal login ID - to the vendor. I've had to change my PayPal address twice because of this. I took this up with PayPal; from what I was told they have T&Cs to forbid this but can't be arsed to enforce them. Bastards - twice over!

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Re: Just get a password manager..

"Devil's advocate here, but don't these systems actually store all your data online so that you can share passwords between devices?"

Certainly not the password manager I use. If you have multiple devices then share the safe directly, device to device. That may be less convenient than you wish but increasing convenience will almost certainly involve a trade-off with the security you're looking for.

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Re: Obvious action, non-obvious why not?

if they emailed users with "we don't want you to lose your hard-earned money/house/job, and we noticed an insecure password and would you please change that to a better password (and here's how)."

And being the bankers they are, they'd embed a "helpful" link in the email, further training their users to click on any link in any random email purporting to be from them.

Why do banks etc persist in training their customers to be phished?

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Re: Don't Just Blame Users

The "data dumps" that were perused for these popular passwords; how did they extract plaintext passwords from properly encrypted

In a lot of cases the passwords may have been encrypted but not salted. In that case rainbow tables, lists of common passwords encrypted by popular algorithms, can break them. A strong password is one that's not going to make its way into such tables.

Not only do sites apply odd rules without disclosing them, they also don't disclose whether they encrypt information, whether they salt it etc. The safest bet is to assume that they store it in plain text and that they're easily hacked. Use a password safe and allocate strong passwords everywhere.

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Re: Don't Just Blame Users

"Which means that either they're ignoring you, or they're writing their passwords down on paper."

Teach them to use a password safe. That will allocate high entropy passwords and store them. You need never even have to read and type the password.

It means you always have to use your own PC? Even better.

Brilliant phishing attack probes sent mail, sends fake attachments

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Re: Hide extensions for known file types

That option should have been removed the moment it became clear what the dangers were.

Outage-hit Lloyds Bank in talks to outsource data centres to IBM

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Re: Amazing that this still happens

"The play today is to automate all of that infrastructure at hyper scale through a Google or Amazon cloud service vs just firing relatively expensive people, hiring relatively inexpensive people"

Same thing, different tech.

Eventually the survivors will be those few business with the wit to realise that to do things well, from both the financial and customer service points of view, requires recruiting and retaining good people and that that requires good pay. A lot of businesses will go to the wall in the meantime.

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Re: Outsourcing...

"Unfortunately it'll be too late to even contemplate insourcing when Lloyds looks like its circling the drain due to inability to keep up with the market and various scandals caused by poorly cobbled together IT provided by a giant who cares not about the its customers customers & general lack of IT integration with the core business."

The sad thing is that it won't matter because you've also described the competition.

US Marines seek more than a few good men (3,000 men and women, actually) for cyber-war

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Civilian managements who don't want to pay the going rate also have problems recruiting staff. Maybe he should do what they do: outsource to India. What could possibly go wrong?

Microsoft swallows up AI language biz Maluuba

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Being bought by Microsoft isn't always the route to success. Even if EEE wasn't the intent there's also the Nokia fate.

Promising compsci student sold key-logger, infects 16,000 machines, pleads guilty, faces jail

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I suppose it depends on how the product is marketed. If I sold sodium hypochlorite solution as household bleach I wouldn't expect trouble. If I sold it as something suitable for finishing off someone you didn't like in an unpleasant manner I might reasonably expect a knock on the door PDQ. Same product, different purposes.

In this case we're not told how he marketed it. However, there's no mention of this little sideline on his CV page and he registered a different domain for the job so that might be indicative, as is the fact that he took steps to conceal it from anti-virus S/W. He just didn't do a good job at covering his tracks.

Trump's cyber-guru Giuliani runs ancient 'easily hackable website'

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Re: A great slogan for the next election ...

"How exactly do you intend to get back to the times of Calvin Coolidge?"

Well, there are plenty of voters here in the UK who think it's possible to get back to....when was that exactly?

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Re: "Do the Ruskies have footage of Giuliani also paying prostitutes to piddle on each other?"

"But is it real, or is it just written just to sound real?"

Does it make a difference?

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Re: Awhhhhhh, how sweet

"It simply matters who you know, what you have done for them in the past and most importantly what you can do for them in the future."

It's the American Way.

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Re: Big Brother Security to the rescue

"another person who clearly knows nothing about his remit."

Given those reports about his own website I think he's about to learn something PDQ, even if only how little he knows. The skiddies won't be able to resist. The downside is that once he's paid someone to sort it out he'll think he's an expert.

EE brings 1,000 call centre jobs to UK and Ireland

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Re: Its cyclical

"Every big firm has done it."

Why do they always appoint CXOs with learning difficulties?

Oh, for F...acebook: WhatsApp, critics spar over alleged 'backdoor'

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Re: Have you tried Threema for end to end encryption?

"They are a Swiss outfit and take privacy very seriously."

OTOH http://www.silicon.co.uk/security/swiss-us-privacy-shield-eu-202995?PageSpeed=noscript

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"an explanation that has failed to mollify critics."

It's not surprising when you preface your explanation with a paragraph of self-serving dribble.

Strike day struck off as Fujitsu and Unite negotiate job cuts

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It's good to talk... with Acas

Providing you know your ACAS from your NALGO.

Mr Angry pays taxman with five wheelbarrows worth of loose change

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"5Whbs shall equal $3,000"

You can do better than that. The obvious unit, from the article, is a mature cow. As the article states that it was actually more than a mature cow rounding has to be taken into account so it's a spherical cow.

EU policy makers consider FRAND licensing of machine-generated data

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Fair's fair.

It seems reasonable to me. If my data has been anonymised (allegedly) and is then part of what's being licensed I should be entitled to my share of the license fee.

MongoDB hackers now sacking ElasticSearch

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"Send to this email your service IP after sending the bitcoins"

So they don't have any way of connecting the ransom payment with the service? The obvious first step for an admin would be to send the email and hope to profit from someone else's payment.

Now that's a Blue Screen of Death: Windows 10 told me to jump off a cliff

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Re: Am I the only one

"If you click on the location it will then open a Bing search in Edge when you log in."

Very useful for someone trying to find out where to jump from.

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Re: Methinks MSFT (and some here) are taking this too seriously.

"It's an inspiring quote."

It's the sort of quote that lots of employers put on posters around the building thinking it'll inspire their employees. The employees simply regard them as insults to their intelligence.

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Re: If you're running Windows 10...

Why would the above be a problem in an operating system that is a "viable alternative to Windows"?

Because there's always some smartarse H/W maker that decides to do things their own way, needs a special driver and only provides a Windows version.

Everything wrong with IoT (and how to fix it) – according to Uncle Sam

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It sounds like an exceptionally bad committee document. Everybody wanted to say something different, they couldn't agree so everybody gets what they wanted to say in there, even if they contradict each other. e.g. get your act together vs multistakeholder let everyone stick their oar in.

The top doc, the FBI, the Geek Squad informant – and the child porn pic that technically wasn't

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Re: For the sake of argument...

"but isn't it also possible the pictures were in fact of a legitimate medical nature and the feds, perhaps colored by that one deleted image are looking at it all wrong?"

This is a point which seems to have escaped a few commentards who seem so sure of his guilt.

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" If I had to send a laptop for repair now I would remove the hdd, I have nothing to hide but it's my data and ONLY I control it."

The problem in this case was that the laptop wouldn't start. The problem may well have been on the drive so removing it wouldn't help. And whilst you and I might be happy to remove a drive before sending it in for repair the average punter wouldn't. So the point is that although the tech can see what's on the disk they've no business looking at anything that isn't strictly appropriate to the task so in practice they shouldn't see other stuff.

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"The term you're looking for is a strict liability offence. They were adored by the pre-2010 Labour government, because they are so cheap to enforce and look so good on the crime clearance statistics - no need to worry about mitigating circumstances, if it's there, you've got a conviction."

Let's hope someone takes one of these to the ECHR whilst there's still a chance.

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