* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Half! a! billion! Yahoo! email! accounts! raided! by! 'state! hackers!'

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Re: What is this I don't even

"Hackers strongly believed to be state-sponsored

What does that even mean!"

It means "We do everything we possibly can to defend against ordinary hackers but state-sponsered - well, you can't really blame us for that." Wrings hands. Or was that washes them?

Sad reality: It's cheaper to get hacked than build strong IT defenses

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Re: What about externalised costs?

" We need to push our politicians to formulate laws and enable compensation schemes that make it too expensive to be cavalier about security."

The EU have done just this, effective May 2018. Thanks to the numpties it might well not apply here.

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"If company A doesn't need your address and bank details, then the compromise is an inconvenience to the average user."

Really? A calendar as per your example? What's on the calendar?

Uncle Fred's 60th birthday next week? Ooh look, with got Uncle Fred's DoB. Is Uncle Fred identified in any further way? Does it have his email address? A little bit of information for ID theft and material for a more convincing phishing attempt - click on this e-birthday card.

Leave on holiday in 2 weeks time, return 10 days later? House unoccupied - nice.

Lots and lots of scope from a busy calendar.

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Re: Sadly very true

"Get hacked and virtually no impact to reputation or share price."

The Yahoo hack might raise the share price. 500m addresses! Who knew?

Cosmology is safe and the Universe is one giant version of the Barbican

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"For now, cosmology is safe."

For now....

BT Openreach boss wants you to know that deep down, they care

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Re: Good day to say this.

"They seem to work on the basis of having large numbers of badly trained idiots breaking stuff randomly"

And the faster you want fibre roll-out to happen the more staff have to be brought in and the less training they'll get.

Report: NSA hushed up zero-day spyware tool losses for three years

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And when we insist on magic backdoors that only we can use they'll be perfectly safe because we can look after all that stuff.

Pull the plug! PowerPoint may kill my conference audience

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Re: Ho Hum

"Never stand in front of the audience with a computer presentation unless you've tried it out there first."

Trying out there it'll work fine. It's then that matters.

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Presentation methods in decreasing order of reliability:


Whiteboard. There's always one pen that's dried up and one which is solvent based and can't be wiped off without the special solvent that's not there.

Overhead projector. Fine until the bulb goes.

Slide projector. The remote fails or an automatic timer cuts in. Or else the bulb goes.

Powerpoint. The embodiment of Murphy's law combining not one but two electronic devices, a remote and a projector bulb.

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"Diffusing what we hoped might develop into fisticuffs"

This might work but defusing might be a better approach.

Zuckerberg to spend $3bn+ to rid world of all disease by 2100 (Starting with Facebook, right?)

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Re: surely the enviromentalist dont want all disease cured @gazthejourno

"A tad radical and fundamentalist be that solution, gazthejourno"

I think Gaz has an advantage over you. He knows about Arnaud Amalric.

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Re: And the elephant in the room...

"Yes, my plan is to check out around 70; that seems to be the point at which my parents stopped enjoying life."

OTOH both I and SWMBO are in our 70s and still functioning. When you get into your 70s you might find you stuff to do - such as looking after grandchildren.

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Re: Yet another rich asshole's vanity project

"Many diseases, such as polio and rubella, which we could have had eradicated by now, are undergoing a resurgence in the developed world because of the influence of anti-vaxxers"

At least smallpox got eradicated before the nutjobs joined in.

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Maybe this is a reaction Microsoft's statement recorded elsewhere ( https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/09/20/2111240/microsoft-will-solve-cancer-within-the-next-10-years-by-treating-it-like-a-computer-virus-says-company ) that they'll "solve" cancer.

Apparently they intend to treat cells as computers and reprogram them. Should work well unless too many BSOD at the same time.

2 in 3 Millennials block ads

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I thought it was said the millennials didn't mind because they'd been brought up with such things. Maybe there's still hope for the human race.

Windows 10 backlash: Which? demands compo for forced upgrades

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Re: if my primary school maths serves me correctly...

"but the alternative (as seen from XP) is them supporting a lot of old versions till the end of time"

They're still supporting XP? Someone didn't get the memo. Is it you or me?

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Re: Damage is done

"there is no appreciable migration to apple or Linux"

There is, however, an appreciable migration to mobile formats. Just where MS can't get traction.

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Re: Microsoft's attitude is arrogant at the very least !

"like there banking"

Dammit "their". I swear clicking Submit changes things.

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Re: Am I been too technical, in saying the 3P&3Bs: prepare, prepare, prepare + backup,backup,backup.

"My problem with Which? is the weasel words timing of this, the day after Microsoft removes Windows 10 nagware? Coincidence?"

Are you saying MS timed this to coincide with Which?'s publication date?

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Re: Am I been too technical, in saying the 3P&3Bs: prepare, prepare, prepare + backup,backup,backup.

"could of had"

The collective whoosh was deafening.

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Re: Microsoft's attitude is arrogant at the very least !

"Now I know a lot of people will have the attitude what have you got to hide ?"

Do you notice how hardly any of those who keep saying that never bother to unhide stuff like there banking details. In fact the only one I can think of was Jeremy Clarkson and he quickly discovered that he had stuff he should have hidden.

The truth is, of course, that not only do we all have stuff to hide, we're contractually bound to hide it.

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Re: Am I been too technical, in saying the 3P&3Bs: prepare, prepare, prepare + backup,backup,backup.

"'Am I been'

Broad, runner, kidney, baked"

The irony!

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Re: <gets popcorn>

"But too many apps are Windows ONLY, to say nothing of games..."

There's the normal range of fall-back options of Wine an virtual machines although, of course, the latter requires a licence and install medium of some Windows flavour.

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Re: It it just me

"is this 15 months too late ?"

Maybe not 15 months because it's dealing with customer experience which wouldn't start to accumulate until victimsusers were running it. But the sort of early and ongoing feedback that el Reg provides might have been helpful to their readers.

I want to remotely disable Londoners' cars, says Met's top cop

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Re: Because Criminals will follow the rules?

"Volvos -- ones with real bumpers for shoving the oppostion out of the way."

So not like the one I saw getting its bumper yanked off by getting it entangled with the rear wheel arch of a bus.

Virgin Media costs balloon by MEEELLIONS in wake of Brexit

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Re: I call bullshit on this

"Until article 50 is invoked there is no change to Britain's position in the EU"

I call bullshit on your bullshit. The pound was affected straight-away and that's what raises costs.

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"I get about 4-5 very large bits of junk mail from Virgin. Every month!"

We seem to be off their list now. I think they've finally realised that they have no cable or fibre near here not any likelihood of installing any (last time some work was done on the gas mains the team doing it were horrified when they discovered how tough the rock was just below the road surface). It seems that our neighbours who had Virgin boradband were encouraged to leave.

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Re: Another Illustration of the Fact...

"Any business can be affected by outside events, whether they are earthquakes, tsunamis, military coups, rampant inflation, massive currency fluctuations etc. and one could argue that the EU referendum and its potential vote for Brexit was one of those external events that could have a major impact on the company."

Spot the one which the employees could influence by their vote.

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Re: Another Illustration of the Fact...

"News flash: Brexit has not yet started, shit, has not even been DEFINED."

True, but tell that to the foreign exchange markets, not us.

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Re: Another Illustration of the Fact...

"If Brexit means that the UK goes to the back of the queue to have TTIP imposed on it then so much the better"

Assuming TTIP doesn't get imposed before Brexit I'd guess we'd be in front of the queue. All this thrashing about to negotiate new trade treaties is going to leave us vulnerable to being screwed like this. It wouldn't surprise me if we were lumbered with TTP as well, just in case there are bits in TTIP which are less disadvantageous to us.

New Gnome emerges blinking into the sunlight

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Re: @Doctor Syntax Old dog

"I did think that KDE 'Activities' would be useful but it didn't seem to work in the way I thought it would."

I just ignore them. I think they're a product of the madness that overtook so many UI designers, the notion that desktop and mobile interfaces could be converged combined with the fact that mobile interfaces are app-based and many desktop users work on documents, and often more documents than a Recent documents menu item can easily support. Unity was a product of the same thinking. In the Unix/Linux world, of course, we have choices; pity the poor, stuck between W8.x & 10.

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Isn't Gnome 3 still tied to systemd? Surely that makes it Linux only.

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Re: Old dog

"I've made an honest effort to use the KDE desktop so I could learn about all this modern bling. However, I just don't 'get it'.

What is the point? Can anybody explain it to me"

Simple. KDE doesn't attempt to double guess what you what you want to do, where you want to put things on your desktop or what init you're using. It just lets you set things as you want and get on with it.

For myself, I set Folder view with a Desktop folder, icons aligned to grid but not locked in place*, kill the annoying bouncing cursor, turn off the magic top left to stop any window located there maximising and select classic menu. Depending on the size of the screen I might autohide the panel (task bar). And of course, I have multiple workspaces set up - who doesn't?

*This gives me the freedom to arrange icons how I want them. I keep a lot of stuff on the desktop** but this allows me to organise it; a number of desktops I tried don't seem to support this.

**I subscribe to the view that an empty desk is a sign of an empty head. And yes, I've always treated physical desktops the same way although with them stuff seems to wander about of its own accord. On KDE I can make it stay put.

Microsoft deletes Windows 10 nagware from Windows 7 and 8

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Re: so difficult in fact that Debian have been doing it

"I think the MS install base is a little larger than the Debian one, and also has less consumer users."

The scale effect might come into play with download speeds and to some extent the speed of checking for updates. But as Stuart said, the installed base is very diverse: from the Raspberry Pi upwards to larger server installations. I think we can reasonably conclude that scale wouldn't shake out many if any hidden quality problems. And having installed updates on both Windows and Linux I know from experience that the latter are still faster even if you disregard the download speeds.

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Re: Windows 10 Software condemed by Which

You just posted this without bothering to read the previous comments, didn't you?

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Re: Windows Update is unbelievably shit

"Fixing it is a dark art."

When I had to do this some week ago it seemed to consist of finding various interweb postings saying apply KB$Number and then finding a chain of MS support pages saying KB$Number-you-were-looking-for has been replaced by KBAnother-number-to-look-for.

If it wasn't a dark art it was certainly an Adventure.

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"On the BBC News website, they're reporting that Which? have condemned Windows 10: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37431343"

I liked the quote at the end: "On the whole, Windows 10 has been received well, and was a notable step up from the previous Windows 8, which did not go down well with many users." I'd call that damning with faint praise.

Zombie Moore's Law shows hardware is eating software

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Re: Nothing wrong with the chips.

"The reason for this is that development tools have become unbelievably productive."

Which enables features to be added easily. Making decisions as to which features should be included is extra work. If it's easier to just put them in anyway you get bloat and its associated performance costs.

"Besides, although it's widely said it's not completely true. Modern high FPS animated UIs are intrinsically compute intensive, as are many cloud based data workloads. Web browsers, too, are surprisingly compute heavy - layout and render of modern HTML is non-trivial, and that's even without taking Javascript into consideration."

In other words it's Shiny that's the problem.

TV industry gets its own 'dieselgate' over 'leccy consumption tests

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"One of these two is a constructive statement."

With dieselgate fresh in the memory I'd have expected the CTA to have taken the moral high ground - which in this case would probably be the fence on which it could sit. Otherwise, if NRDC is proven right when the shit hits the fan they'll be standing right in line to get their share.

Anti-ICANN Cruzade continues: Senator Ted still desperately trying to defund US govt

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Routing round breakage

AFAICS under the IANA contract ICANN does two main things.

It maintains the register of protocol numbers but the authority for that comes from the IETF and IRTF with the IAB as final arbiter ( https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc2860 ). According to that RFC the agreement can be ended at not less than 6 months notice from either side.

It maintains the root DNS server.

The servers are mirrored by other servers.

It would appear feasible for the mirror operators to come together and decide that the governance of IANA is in such a parlous state as to justify their selecting one of their number to be the primary copy, at least until the situation is resolved, and for the rest of the mirrors to mirror that. In practical terms there would be no effect until either ICANN or the new primary made changes not tracked by the other. At that point it would be up to lower lever servers to choose which to follow and it wouldn't be a difficult choice - go with the mirror set. In effect it would be the internet de facto taking control of itself in order to route around breakage.

The US government can then continue to squabble amongst itself as long as it wants.

Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag

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Re: Folds or Gussets?

Were they a comedy group? Follow-up to Hinge and Bracket?

Lenovo denies claims it plotted with Microsoft to block Linux installs

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"So basically you are saying the same thing as the judges: monopoly (by M$) is good!"

No. I'm saying these are two completely different cases with different facts.

I read the previous report. It turned on reimbursement of the cost of the licence for an unwanted piece of software which had been removed.

This, should it come to court, turns on the locking of the device to prevent the removal of the unwanted software. In the report here there's no mention of wanting reimbursement for the licence and if that continues to be the case then the complaints are quite different.

I doubt, however, that you'll want to prevent facts getting in the way of a good rant so please continue.

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"EU Judges are already on M$'s payroll, and have ruled that, see here:


That is a somewhat different situation dealing with a refund of the cost of the licence when the installed Windows was blown away to install something better. Locking the thing in place is a different matter. Cases are determined on facts and the facts in this situation are very different.

Lethal 4-hour-erection-causing spiders spill out of bunch of ASDA bananas

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Re: insect pedantry

"Crustaceans aren't insects either and there are plenty of those that I wouldn't want to find in my nosh either"

There are several that are quite good nosh, however.

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"So even if they only spent 1 second for each banana that would equate to roughly 277,778 man hours."

And that's only the bananas. Then there are all the apples, oranges, pears... And don't forget to check each grape.

Apple guilty in iPhone ringtone patent rip-off battle with Sony, Nokia

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15 out of 16 patents despatched. Not a bad ratio.

Wow, RIP hackers ... It's Cyber-Lord Blunkett to the rescue for UK big biz

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"I'm not a Brit, so I have to ask: does that mean he's like the Meta Baron or something?"

He's an ex-local government politician, ex-MP with form, particularly when he was Home Secretary. I don't know how it fits with your admin but back then it included, police, prisons, forensic science and spying on the populace. He seemed particularly keen on the last. He is also blind which explains some of the previous comments.

Greybeards beware: Hair dye for blokes outfit Just For Men served trojan

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Just For Men parent company Combe

Corporate nominative determinism?

Victoria Police warn of malware-laden USB sticks in letterboxes

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Re: Live Linux?

"You'd need a very custom live system to prevent the possibility of something on the dodgy stick attacking and backdooring the hardware firmware in a subtle way and then taking it from there."

Raspberry Pi running from write-protected SD-card.

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Re: What size?

"Linux, I believe, is vulnerable."

Linux can be run from a live CD. Good luck with infecting that.

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