* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Emacs and Vim both release first new updates in years

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Re: An interesting game of catch-up?

" I just want a text editor so it's vi all the way."

That'll be nvi : https://sites.google.com/a/bostic.com/keithbostic/vi/

Once upon a time I remember coming across some forum post saying that the poster preferred vim because nvi hadn't had any updates for years. Clearly he didn't grok that that's why some of us prefer nvi intended, according to the man entry, as "bug-for-bug compatible replacements for the original Fourth Berkeley Software Distribution (4BSD) ex and vi programs."

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Re: So neither...

"is quite ready as a stand alone OS yet?"

I'm waiting for systemd and Emacs to come to blows as each tries to take over the other.

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Re: Not true CUA, no.

"most people use their mouse a LOT when writing/editing documents."

Other people, even with GUI editors, use keyboard shortcuts.

HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM

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"HP are surely protecting their livelhood."

Not very well.

In order to sell printer cartridges they first have to sell printers. Their reputation has suffered over recent years. If they don't do something PDQ they'll not be able to sell printers. Nor PCs. Sitting around selling not very much isn't going to give them a livelihood in the long term.

When this story broke on /. (over the weekend, elReg!) the comentards there were quick to blame Carly but she's long gone. It must be the entire corporate culture there.

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It's simply beyond belief that this is the husk of a company with a once unbeatable reputation for quality.

Fortunately when I bought a colour printer recently I made a conscious decision not to buy HP. My old-school mono-chrome HP just soldiers on, of course.

HP really needs to haul itself out of this pit if it's to survive. This lark might yield a good quarter now. It will just result in a lot of bad quarters and years ahead.

FBI overpaid $999,900 to crack San Bernardino iPhone 5c password

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Re: Not really comparable

"No, the actual risk is not strictly zero"

And in any case forensic examiners are not miracle workers whatever TV fiction might say. It's the art of the practical. In fact a test which is intended to be non-destructive is by no means the norm. e.g. "I can't show you that particular fibre. It was squashed between two diamond anvils but here's its IR spectrum."

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I think many of recognised, at least in principle, that if you could remove and read out the contents of the NAND you could implement such an attack. Kudos for this guy for implementing it. Not that it removes the suspicion of "I couldn't find anything on it. $1,000,000 please" as being an entirely satisfactory outcome for the FBI irrespective of what "couldn't find" might represent in terms of effort.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: This is - at best - a temporary solution.

"3) Some small explosive devices "

Maybe premature detonation explains Samsung's current problems. It's a security device gone wring.

The perimeterless, ever-shifting enterprise: What would a real, red-blooded IT team do?

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Re: That horse left the barn a while ago.

"how much you've grown in the last quarter"

Some really expensive sue-balls turning that growth negative might have an effect. At some point there's going to be one big enough to take a sizeable business down and raise insurance rates for those who haven't taken sufficient care. Insurance might be the key; if real security is cheaper than premiums security will be the answer. I wonder if all that user-owned IT will actually be covered in many cases.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "They have their own empires to build"

"But I'm also willing to bet that all that empire building is going to look a lot less good for the first manager responsible for getting a hundred million or so customer details leaked because he chose a cloud solution that got hacked."

Maybe the appropriate recourse for the IT dept. would be to hire a pen tester to go after the empire-builder's cloud so the data gets leaked back to IT who can then notify the manager responsible with some examples of the data.

I suppose they could tell him that it wasn't a public leak. Eventually. When he'd completely emptied his alimentary canal.

Want a Dell printer? Unlucky – they've just stopped selling them

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Re: Paperless office

"Only if you're trying to use non-HP ink"

Also on /. https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/16/09/18/0013203/hp-printers-have-a-pre-programmed-failure-date-for-non-hp-ink-cartridges

I can't believe el Reg missed this one.

HP's reputation takes another turn down the spiral.

Skype shuts down London office, hangs up on hundreds of devs

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Re: Yeah right

"If you think that any cubicle-dweller has a realistic chance of simply becoming a successful independent contractor overnight maybe you should try tackling world peace first."

A. Where do you think all the successful independent contractors came from? Not that this is what I was suggesting.

B. I've seen one branch of a business by a combination of layoffs and relocation gradually drop a huge number of staff who would have had the necessary set of skills to set up a successful business in the same industry except that they were shed over a period. Why do I think this? Because they'd already done that for their employer.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So, any suggestions for alternatives?

"Actually, as a user the only things I care about are the features I need, and the efficiency with which these features are implemented."

One very desirable feature is that features can't be taken away at the whim of a vendor. And a vendor who owns the application, server, protocol and anything else they can think of can't be relied on for that.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So, any suggestions for alternatives?

"Thinking otherwise takes us down the Metro way, and this road does not lead to the Temple."

No, you need the Circle Line for that.

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We see this so often; a company changes direction, either as a consequence of a take-over or on its own decision, lays off staff or relocates* an office. By now people should be building an escape route into their everyday thinking and being ready to set up their own business when the inevitable arrives. All those ideas that management turned down - could they have a life of their own? Could this team reconstitute itself outside?

*This has much the same effect if staff are unable to follow for family reasons etc.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Instead of competing, they have to buy up and destroy the competition. Maybe that's cheaper in the short term than licensing or working around the IP."

Licensing or working around the IP still doesn't achieve the same end. They now have Skype's business.

IPv4 apocalypse means we just can't measure the internet any more

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Re: I thought we were IT pros here

"You know that you can set any firewall rules you like right?"

Most net users are using whatever bit of kit their ISP posted out. If a penny can be shaved off the cost of that kit they'll do that. So now you're relying on the built-in firewall from the cheapest possible PoS bought from numpties who leave hard-coded test credentials in their S/W. And you expect an interface which will enable users to set rules and a firewall that will reliably obey them?

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Re: I don't want to be measured!

"You'll still have a firewall/router with v6. ... the IPs are constantly and randomly changing"

Which makes extra work for whoever's programming the firewall and hence increases the probability of bugs. We have enough problems with leaky router/firewalls already without adding more places to leak.

Pessimistic? Certainly - we're dealing with security here.

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Re: I don't want to be measured!

" Facebook gave me the weather for Cardiff yesterday.

Very odd as I was sitting in London at the time."

Where's your ISP based? I've certainly seen one site try to tell me where it thought I was. It thought I was at my ISP's address.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: And who told you I want to be measured?

'You may say point (1)[not allowing unsolicited inbound connections] is an antiquated way to build networks - that there is no such thing as a "secure network" behind a "perimeter" any more. I'd agree, but try convincing most business of that.'

Surely allowing such inbound connections is the antiquated way. It belongs to a time when internet users trusted each other and were largely justified in that trust. And as for there being no such thing as a secure perimeter that's a bug not a feature.

UK.gov oughta get its data-sharing house in order before Digital Economy Bill plans

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"establish a framework, with appropriate safeguards"

I doubt the government would recognise an appropriate safeguard if it came up behind them and bit them in the leg.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

'The author who wrote "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result" probably had the UK.GOV in mind.'

It was Einstein and I think he had quantum mechanics in mind.

Brave telco giants kill threat of decent internet service in rural North Carolina

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Re: Cooperate

'Sounds like a good suggestion, but "As of last November, the unemployment rate in Edgecombe County was 9 per cent, and median household income was $33,892" makes the proposition seem unlikely.'

Chicken or egg?

New ISO standard kind-of explains how to ignore standards

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Re: Are the T'wonks in Brussels involved?

No, it's ISO. Brussels are mere amateurs.

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Translation: sometimes you have to think about what you're doing.

You call it 'hacking.' I call it 'investigation'

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Re: Battery Stapler Horse Fail

"Part of the answer is for websites to not insist on complex passwords unless it is appropriate."

The website insists on complex passwords to show that it was taking things seriously if challenged. The fact that everyone has to write down their passwords is Someone Else's Problem. Not theirs.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Please keep your biometric nettles away from my arse

"Barclays give you a little keypad like a small calc that you can plug your card into."

So does my bank. I tried to use it once. It didn't work.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"you pick a phrase, and picture that they show to you each time you login"

The issue here isn't logging in online (and, BTW what you describe online wouldn't prevent a man in the middle attack) it's about banks being able to prove their ID when they call you.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Counter productive

'"... ask for the first, fifth and eighth character from that ..."

It's easier to remember the entire password than it is the nth character.'

No need to write it down. The first character is 1, the fifth is 5 and the eighth is 8....

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"When it comes to authentication with banks... they seem resolute not to let us as consumers have the same confidence in them."

I have had several phone conversations initiated, supposedly by HSBC, the then bankers for my then business which never got beyond my telling the caller I didn't believe they were from HSBC because they [cw]ouldn't prove it.

Swedish appeals court upholds arrest warrant for Julian Assange

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"Surely his biggest risk is actually being in London,"

He was in London (still is, actually). The US made no attempt to start extradition proceedings before he skipped bail.

"particularly during a period when it is leaving the EU"

Unwise but probably true"

"and all the European Conventions on Human Rights"

Untrue. And BTW Convention is singluar, not plural.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

"that could change pretty quickly once he's held in a country which could well honour such a request."

He was held in a country which could well honour such a request. The UK. Where was the arrest warrant?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

"USGov is perfectly happy to let someone accused of leaking so many secrets wander around scot-free"

Where is he doing this wandering around of which you write?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

"He's embarrassed the USA so many times they need to get their revenge in one way or another."

Which they're doing very successfully. He's imprisoned himself, at the expense of the Ecuadorians and ourselves. And his ego is being injured by not being taken seriously by them.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ah, yes, the famous "afraid of the US" bogeyman.

" the lack of any concrete steps by the US to show even the slightest bit or interest in Assange"

That's what's really bugging him: being treated as unimportant.

ICANN latest: Will the internet be owned by Ted Cruz or Vladimir Putin in October?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Just a "clerical function"

"I think you'll find it hasn't been handed to some other body because nobody else wants it."

Given the shenanigans that have been chronicled in el Reg it seems that the present incumbents definitely want it.

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The mystery to me is that given that there has been so much dissatisfaction with ICANN for so long and that it's essentially just a "clerical function" that the contract hasn't been handed over to some other body years ago.

National Cyber Security Centre to shift UK to 'active' defence

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Re: "large-scale, non-sophisticated attacks"

"If a business is too short sited to realize it's vulnerable, or too short sighted to realize it needs to protect itself why, exactly, should anyone else do it for them?"

If you went into a few small business you'd probably find they had all sorts of domain-specific skills that you not only lack but are completely unaware existed. It doesn't make you short-sighted. Just as you're not omniscient, neither are they. Small businesses are, by definition, small. That means they're not big enough to be certain of having the range of knowledge and skill to realize the things you realize.

Pramworld admits mailing list breach

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Kudos to them for not trotting out the usual "small number of customers" line.

BOFH: The case of the suspicious red icon

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Suspicious red icon.

You know you've really got problems when the user comes in and says the icon is suspicious of him.

....tries to avoid user getting between self and door....

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Re: Reminds me of a goon sketch

"Stand on my shoulders, Eccles and pull me up."

"I'd like to see them do this on television."

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Re: So, that's the secret!

"Defenestration seems to figure heavily in these BOFHs. But my building is a single floor."

Get a four story deep hole dug outside your window. Get the pile of upcast left there. You can shovel it back in, a little at a time, as required.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ahh the horrible days of desktop support

"persistent non-sense callers would be sent to IT training"

Given sufficient training budget they can be sent on end-to-end courses so they never come back to work.

Brexit will happen. The EU GDPR will happen. You can't avoid either

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: GDRP despite Brexit

Oh yes? Who's going to make them? It'll be the EU courts that enforce it and they can only do so on entities within their jurisdiction.

If the non-EU company is going to process such data for an EU customer then it will be incumbent on that customer to require compliance as part of the contract. If the company fails to comply it will be a breach of contract and a civil matter for the customer to take up in whatever court has jurisdiction over the contract.

It's not the same thing.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: GDPR will apply if you have EU customers

"The article is good but a little misleading. No matter when (if?) Brexit happens, any UK company that holds data on an EU citizen anywhere will have to comply with GDPR."

Hmmm. Not quite. If the company already holds that data that alone won't make them have to comply because post-Brexit they'll be outside the jurisdiction of the EU. There may be contractual issues with an EU customer if they have one but in that case it would be the customer at risk of non-compliance.

OTOH any UK company that wants to acquire such data from an EU customer will have to comply.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Compliance

" I am sure that any UK company found to be non-compliant would be have their cases rushed through the EU courts"

"Rush" and "courts" in the same sentence. Does not compute.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Compliance

"Additionally, it would be crazy not to be GDPR compliant after Brexit."

I agree with you but there are a lot of crazy people out there. And some of them will be looking at the issue and thinking "that's a lot of work" and then "if we don't do it there's only a few months when someone could catch us out and even if they catch us out they won't have time to do anything about it".

There's the additional complication that whatever businesses do about compliance the effect of investigative powers legislation might be to undermine any chance to be seen as compliant from the EU perspective.

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"Those firms that fail to meet GDPR standards may simply find they their ability to work with EU clients profoundly challenged."


Fanbois iVaporate: Smallest Apple iPhone queues ever

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Re: To paraphrase Futurama 603

Come, friendly Samsungs, and fall on Slough

That's better. Gotta make it scan.

'Google tax' already being avoided, says Australian Tax Office

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Re: But, But they are lawyers...

"If I had any say in the matter, I'd limit the number of people with a law degree who could sit in Parliament."

The sad reality of this is that you'd still end up with loopholes and laws that did damage you didn't intend to innocent people.

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