* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

UK warships to have less firepower than 19th century equivalents as missiles withdrawn

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Re: Ancient Greek option.

"Couldn't they just put a big bronze ram on the front?"

When I saw your headline I thought you were going to suggest a really big concave mirror. It works is the sun's shining.

Analysts apply Occam's razor to Tesco Bank breach

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Re: It's a good read...

" I got halfway through and thought I was actually reading an advertising puff piece for a particular security intelligence firm."

Telepathy! So did I.

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Re: Credit where credit's due

"So, not only do law enforcement not know *who* did it, they don't even know *how* they did it."

That doesn't follow. They're just not telling outsiders what they know which is reasonable. This is some external analyst trying to work it out/guessing on the basis of what is public knowledge. Just like the rest of us.

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"I would hazard a guess that they have changed a procedure with regards to processing so they can stop payments or withdrawals."

Why would they stop payments? Maybe they had a means of making transfers from one Tesco A/C to another so they were routing payments through one they controlled to an external bank.

Post-outage King's College London orders staff to never make their own backups

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Re: My company has axed all backups...

Show them the stories about this and Lee's post.

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elReg, promote Lee to a gold badge for that post.

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Re: Enterprise Endpoint Backup

The same questions have to be answered.

Where does the data end up?

How distant is it from the system it's backing up? (A copy of the data sitting next to the server protects against a disk crash, it doesn't protect against a fire.)

How secure is it against unauthorised access?

How quickly can it be brought back to site if needed?

Above all, how often is restoration tested and with what results?

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Re: Backup on 'New Technology'

"every so often"

i.e. at least daily.

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Re: Let them use 7-Zip

"Just don't ask me to write it down, or it will be one-way encryption."

Me too. Almost my first action after getting my grant cheque is-it-really-that-many years ago was to walk down the Strand to a typewriter shop & spend a whole tenner on a >2nd hand portable. I still have it somewhere but I think it's got woodworm - it has a wooden cover.

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Re: What to do, what to do?

"read/write access to the C drive is blocked too"

Screwdriver access.

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Re: You are slightly missing the point

And do you harbour such strong feelings against [the French]?

Of course. It's a point of principle. Never heard of Brexit?

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Re: You are slightly missing the point

'The college's policy is probably due to a desire for a "one-size-fits-all" approach where esoteric chemistry files are treated the same way as payroll files.'

This is the point. One size does not fit all and trying to lay down the law on the basis that it does it just plain wrong.

Another aspect of this is that if you're going to insist on running the backups for the payroll you whould be able to demonstrate to the payroll management that your claimed backups are actually viable. As I've written in other threads the main requirement of a sysadmin or DBA is paranoia. You'd think that after such an incident the KCL team should be thoroughly paranoid now, even if they weren't before. From what's reported here there's no evidence of that.

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Re: You are slightly missing the point

"What about faculty who keep patient information for clinical research?"

Come to that, to what extent was KCH affected by this?

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Re: You are slightly missing the point

"Hackers will steal chest X-rays of healthy people to pass screening tests that they might otherwise fail."

Darwin award candidates.

Firefox hits version 50

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Re: I like GUIs to be obvious

"Stop fiddling with cosmetics and GUI."

It sounds as if what you really need is Seamonkey - browser and Thunderbird in a single package with a plain vanilla interface.

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Re: This being an IT site

"Perhaps it is worth noting that we have version 50.0 on FreeBSD as well."

And given a more normal numbering scheme it would probably be somewhere around 6.8.5 on all platforms.

IT outsourcing is soooo passé, says outsourcing giant Fujitsu

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"We don't use the word restructuring, we use the word transformation. This is not a euphemism for us."

No, it's hyperbole.

Forget razors and blades, APIs are the new gotcha

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"Your not seeing it."

And you're not spelling it properly.

Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China

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Re: I don't see espionage

"show me pictures of Percy" and see pictures of my black moggy

It doesn't do slang, then.

Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome

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a USB-A cable that only goes in its socket 50% 33% of the time


Navy STEALS? US sailors dispute piracy claim

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Re: Lawyer normal

"neither (b) nor (c) is considered in any way an admission that (a) is untrue."

That's accepted. But falling back on "We're the Gubbinment, we don't have to pay" as your (c) is tantamount to saying "Remove my credit rating for all future deals".

Dirty code? If it works, leave it says Thoughtworks CTO

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Re: What?

D) You'll have changed jobs and it'll be someone else's problem.

Back in reality - that big hairball you were hoping to replace instead of fix is still needed and you've just been sent a requirement to make a little change in it. Just a little change. Nothing to worry about...

TalkTalk teen hacker pleads guilty as firm reveals £22m profit jump

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Re: What info was given about the hack itself

""I didn't think of the consequences at the time."

Lets hope he gets time to think about them now. Probably won't happen, though.

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"They think, in adversity, we tried our damnedest to look after them."

As so often I'm reminded of "Yes, Minister". In this case Hacker challenging him to say which side he'd be on when the chips were down. "It's my job to make sure the chips stay up."

Bong: Let me talk to Trump

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Re: only the odd few million dollars from our wealthy and successful fathers

"he made good in business"

Are you saying it's untrue that he made a small fortune by starting out with a large one (fortune, that is)?

UK NHS 850k Reply-all email fail: State health service blames Accenture

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Re: WHY does an "ALL NHS STAFF" list even exist?

"There's not much everyone in my lab needed to know that all HR also needed to know or psychiatry or community midwifery."

If you were in HR you'd be convinced that whatever brain-farts you were dropping would be essential reading for everyone.

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"Difficult to see how that happened without deliberate tampering"

Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity.

Virgin Media users report ongoing problems delivering legit emails. Again

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"commercial senders have been unable to deliver large quantities of legitimate emails"

Commercial senders' ideas of legitimate emails often seem to differ from my own especially when large quantities are involved.. It's almost enough to prompt me to move to VM. Almost.

Stolen passwords integrated into the ultimate dictionary attack

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Re: Sites also a problem

"There are many Chrome and Firefox extensions available to override these double dumbass website wankers."

There's an even better way - take your business elsewhere.

'Pavement power' - The bad idea that never seems to die

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"Sorry, seeing such bullshit and no correction in sight I just stop reading."

Unfortunately it didn't stop you commenting.

Quantum traffic jam of atoms could unlock origin of dark energy, physicists claim

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"a tiny ring-like structure about 10 to 20 micrometers in diameter"

On the atomic scale 10 to 20 microns is far from tiny. You're dealing with things this sort of size: http://www.psmicrographs.co.uk/_assets/uploads/hazel-pollen--corylus-avellana--80015210-l.jpg which are about 25 microns across and showing much finer structures on the surface. They're easily observable with the light microscope with the fine structure being just about at the limit of resolution.

Fake election news meltdown vortex sucks in Google

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It's not helped by "genuine" news sites, e.g. Beeb, partially relying on additional reports from the public any random person who submits a report instead of sending a journalist and camera team to some incident.

Swedish prosecutor finally treks to London to question Julian Assange

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Re: "I don't know what the standard term for rape in sweden is "

The biggest punishment the US can give him is to ignore him.

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Re: And?

" Or shut the Swedish issue down so they can kick him out to the Brits who'll then get him on jumping bail"

There may be a few others besides TPTB wanting to jump on him about bail.

Married man arrives at A&E with wedding ring stuck on todger

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"it turned out to be appendicitis in case you were wondering"

AIUI it's an accepted diagnostic technique for appendicitis.

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Re: Doctor stories

"Bart's have an eyebrow raising selection of objects that have been inserted or otherwise ingested but the most worrisome one is a live anti aircraft munition."

If they still have it and it's still live that really is worrisome.

UK.gov has 18,000 IT contractors on its books due to dearth of skills

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Maybe there's an upside to this. It could actually spell the end of IR35. Not that that would be enough to make me unretire.

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Re: Gordon Brown started it

The thinking at the time was that it was something the IR had been trying to get through for years. They finally found a Chancellor and/or Paymaster General* daft enough to fall for it. The sad thing is their successors are still falling for it.

*Don't deny Red Dawn her share of blame.

NHS IT bod sends test email to 850k users – and then responses are sent 'reply all'

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Re: Not quite the same, or the same scale, but...

"during one of the <very senior person's> Royal Progresses round his empire."

I've been through a number of those event. The disruption they caused. All work stopped. Clear the benches so we could stand the information boards on them. Thank goodness we lost them in the fire - the boards that is; we lost the benches as well but those were replaced.

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Re: OMFG, usage of the 'singular "they"' - ew

Bollocks. It's a perfectly acceptable and long established usage. It was nuppits who tried to rewrite English grammatical rules based on those of a different language who introduced the idea that it isn't. If thou thinkest it wrong then please explain why the plural version of second person pronoun and verb is now almost invariably used for the singular.

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Re: Hmmm

"and they are still coming in but not as quickly now..."

That's probably just the system bogging down and the servers melt and go offline.

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Re: Disable Reply to All

It's the sort of situation that requires ritual humiliation.

Back in the days of character terminals we had MOTD set to remind users to log out. Inevitably there were those who didn't so the message got amended with "This includes you, xxxxxx", edited each time we caught an un-logged out user's name. It was effective in a remarkably short space of time although we were eventually asked to remove the last offender's name.

Maybe this is a case for an article in a newsletter explaining how it went wrong initially and then was made many times worse by the following people sending a reply to all....

And no, they can't complain about data protection. They outed themselves themselves.

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Re: It's really not rocket science

"As an ex-IT professional I worked on the principle that there are no stupid users, only poor computer systems that don't protect users from their own stupidity."

This is the theory that systems should be made idotproof. Nature abhors an idiotproof system and responds by producing a new, improved idiot.

The sharks of AI will attack expensive and scarce workers faster than they eat drivers

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"Obviously, court cases will continue to exist, but there's a chance that they will be less frequent when the population uses a rather reliable tool to do the gruntwork for them."

Maybe in the US with plea bargaining even the innocent will continue to plead guilty. Over here I doubt those who insist on pleading not guilty even when bang to rights will take any more notice of a WebLawyer than they currently do of their barrister.

Britain must send its F-35s to Italy for heavy overhauls, decrees US

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Re: So where are we

"seems many politicians are starting to realise that leaving the EU will drop us right in the cacky"

I think most always did. There was the numpty fringe that didn't. The referendum was expected to silence them. I think there were a few closet believers on both sides who were counting on the referendum going remain. AFAICS we now have a closet leaver as PM who can't believe her luck and a closet remainer as Foreign Sec who can't believe his bad luck.

Russian banks floored by withering DDoS attacks

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Re: Mandatory password

"That's an OS install, though, and consumers aren't used to doing that when setting up most IoT tat."

That's only because they're not required to. If they can't use the equipment without they'd become used to it PDQ. They do more complicated things than that every day.

"Until regulation requires it. Which makes the manufacturers bark with dismay, because to them regulation = evil socialist totalitarianism."

They're based in China!!!

In fact regulation as evils is no argument at all. Anything you buy to plug into mains is subject to regulation as is the wiring back from the plug to the point where electricity enters your house. The vehicle you drive to the shops to buy the article or the van that delivered it is subject to regulation. The materials the article's made from are regulated. Safety regulation is everywhere but security regulation would be totalitariansim? Bollox!

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Re: Leaving security to the end user = no security

"Good luck getting that change approved though!"

Given the increasing levels of damaged being caused I think the pressure for "something must be done" is growing fast. We just need that something to be sufficiently effective. Vendors' stock confiscated. Whole containers of goods held up at the docks or sent back to China because customs discovered a shipment of non-compliant product inside. Complaisant ISPs* not getting routed onto the net. It could all be over in a very short time.

*And countries if necessary.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Leaving security to the end user = no security

"This is difficult and you can't really leave security to the manufacturer either, especially the hundreds of small Chinese outfits that work on thin margins and don't give a toss."

But you can enforce it in the marketplace, UL in the US and CE in Europe, whatever applies elsewhere.

You need to understand that thin margins apply because they're trying to undercut each other because price is a factor in what gets sold. But if they can't get to sell the product without complying with the appropriate regulations then it doesn't matter how cheap they are. If it does cost more to build in some level of security then it's still a level playing field between them - they just compete on thin margins at a slightly higher price.

Facebook agrees to dial back 'racial affinity' ads

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Re: Yeah right.

"And by people, I mean the lawmakers who should have sued Facebook into non-existance years ago."


If you make laws that's all you do. You don't enforce them.

If the laws you make provide for civil damages then it's up to those injured to sue.

If the laws you make create criminal offences then it's a matter for the appropriate criminal enforcement agency to prosecute and the options for punishment are fines or imprisonment which are not the same as suing for damages.

In either case it's up to the court to find for the plaintiff/prosecution, whichever applies, and to decide on the damages/punishment.

There are good reasons why we have these different approaches for civil and criminal matters* and different roles for legislators, prosecutors and courts.

*And it's not a good thing that IP issues have been allowed to blur this distinction.

Trumped? Nope. Ireland to retain corporate tax advantage over the US

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Re: Seems to me ...

"Tax is paid for the purchase of services or supplies. Tax is paid for the sale of services of supplies."

I don't know what tax regime you're in but this sounds very odd. Surely there's a single tax on the transaction whether it's called a sales tax, a purchase tax (UK old style) or VAT?

As to the rest, maybe you should have a word with your accountant. Or a new accountant.

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