* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Top new IoT foundation (yeah, another one) to develop open standards

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Re: IoT - Has it's time passed?

"Care to explain why it is so vitally important that you know what your devices are doing every second of the day?"


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Oh goody. Can't have too many. For good measure, how many DevOps foundations are there?

Linux Mint hacked: Malware-infected ISOs linked from official site

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More worrying is distribution by mirror sites. The attack surface is much bigger. If one of those was compromised it could be distributing backdoored ISOs for a good while before anyone noticed - or do they all get regular sanity checks?

Yahoo! is! up! for! sale! – so! how! much! will! you! bid!?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"We'll open the bidding with three dollars and a packet of chips"

Don't be silly. Have you seen what they charge for three penn'orth of chips these days?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: External advisors

"Destruction of shareholder value on this scale over this period of time should be considered criminal incompetence."

The shareholders employ the board. If they don't rock up to the AGMs & vote the directors off the board then they must be going along with what the board's doing. Ultimately the board & management are doing what the shareholders want, even if they only want it by default as it were.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I'll pay you to take it away"

Are you sure you can afford that?

The paperless office? Don’t talk sheet

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Re: Killing paper may well happen, but not quickly

"annotating, editing and of course, proofreading."

You can't beat 14" wide listing paper with 80 character lines for listing long programs. No the rest of the width isn't wasted. And it's a lot easier to work out what's really happening compared to a piddling little screen (all screens are piddling compared to a 4" thick stack of paper).

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"started to type our own letters, which we were then obliged to send to the typing pool so they could retype them on their IBM Golfball typewriters before sending them back to us for signing."

I had the same experience writing witness statements. We called it getting typos inserted. Although given that there were four different types of stationery it would have been difficult to handle in the days of single tray lasers. The "word processor" was the USCD Pascal editor...

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Re: The removed the post it notes from our office

"don't even think of looking at my Rotring pens"

On pain of getting one stuck into the back of the hand?

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Re: As any fule kno...

That olsa happens to elReg pasts.

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"It's almost like he was being sarcastic"

As if the fact that it was Dabsy wasn't a big enough hint.

UK carrier Three in network-wide ad-block shock

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Re: Ad pricing

"If it was more expensive and there was less of it, it might improve."

OTOH if it was more expensive malvertising might be the only form to provide sufficient RoI.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Interesting story on the Reg, given the Reg is the only website I visit semi-regularly that has pop-over ads, auto-playing video ads, noisy ads, etc."

Does it really? I'd never have guessed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Basically, Three want to be paid twice for the same thing, which is nice work if you can get it. If they want to make it fair, then lets see them ignore all ads when calculating data usage for mobile customers."

A scheme whereby the customer pays for the 2Kb of content and the advertiser pays for the 2Mb of advertising seems a reasonable scheme. And if the advertiser decides that that's too much they can either stop advertising altogether or devise simpler ads.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Still slurping...

"Advertising in itself is not a bad thing, it's the clunky, abusive, and annoying way it's often done that puts people off."

A distinction without a difference.

ADpocalypse NOW: Three raises the stakes

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'Hutch explained today that it’s implementing ad blocking because “customers should not pay data charges to receive adverts. These should be costs borne by the advertiser.”'

Maybe if advertisers were to volunteer to pay their way 3 might reconsider.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Last I checked, it's still a human right to not have to provide services for others for free."

Nailed it! At present the device owners are having to provide a service (bandwidth) for others (advertisers) for free. So as you agree, users have a human right to see that ended.

If the advertisers were paying for the bandwidth they're using to piss off potential customers it might be a little different.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hahahahahahaha

"Does that taste better?"

If the advertising becomes content (and it frequently is anyway) then the site becomes solely responsible for it. If they start including malware in their content then they're going to have to face the legal consequences - such as paying the ransoms for a few thousand borked computers. So they're going to have to be a good deal more careful about where the content comes from and what it actually contains.

Can DevOps be applied to the whole company?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Do I get a hint of desperation here? Maybe the tickets aren't selling.

Feds look left and right for support – and see everyone backing Apple

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Re: NOT even cloe

Did you mean "NOT even clue" because that sums up your thinking.

You've fallen hook, line & sinker for a trick. If the FBI win this they'll have a precedent to open anybody's phone on any pretext. Maybe not on any pretext immediately because they'd have to go step by step - they may have to extend the principle to a phone whose user is still living, for instance although I'm sure if that proved difficult there would be ways round the obstacle.

The case was well selected. The user is dead, the phone is actually public property. Although there isn't a criminal trial to prove the user's guilt the coroner's verdict will suffice. And they're arguing "Just this once. Just this little once.". But just once is enough to establish a precedent to allow an extension to anybody's phone on any pretext in a few easy steps.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Conspiracy theory?

"I do recall that shortly after the shooting it was reported that the suspects had a huge store of weapons and ammunition in addition to those that they had on them"

In that case if the FBI don't have knowledge of such a store they should be concentrating on whoever made the reports. Or maybe it's just some reported making stuff up to fill a news slot and hoping to get lucky by being proved right if such a stash is found.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Apple aims to be the Switzerland of data...

"Probably Cooks[sic] believe[sic] iPhone will see a sale boost in a market segment with deep pockets buyers - criminals."

Sigh. Could you try to exercise a little intelligent thought? One would hope that the criminal market is minuscule compared to the mass market and it's the mass market that's likely to suffer due to lack of confidence. If Apple gave in to the FBI I think there are very few people who'd think "Good for them, I'll buy an iThing." and in the meantime the free society you want to defend from terrorists crumbles a little more.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Trust


Ever heard the term "fool's paradise"?

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Re: Optional

@John Sanders

Firstly we need to consider what the terrorists are attempting to achieve. In as far as they have a coherent purpose - which isn't guaranteed for all of them - they're trying to destroy or overthrow the society in which you live. So at first sight it would seem that Apple's approach is wrong.

But what's the nature of the society in which you live? Is it a free society? If so then a tool to intrude into citizen's live which can be wielded at will by a government agency makes that society a little less free. And by such erosions, step-by-step the society which the terrorists are attacking comes to attack itself; rather like an auto-immune disease, in fact. It might be in the public's short-term interest to dismantle any supporting network but doing so in the wrong way would be contrary to their long-term interest.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Optional

"I can see it now, sales of idevices to terrorists goes through the roof"

I don't think terrorists are a large market in Apple's view. What they're more interested in is the loss of sales to everybody else.

And the terrorists? They'll get their own cryptography apps. There are plenty criminal coders who are getting pretty good at cryptography after a few iterations of ransomware who could be commissioned to put something together. They'll not be unduly bothered in the long run. It's just everybody else who gets their kit compromised.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"But nobody would claim that this establishes a precedent for the FBI walking into everyone's home and opening their file cabinets willy nilly."

"Would" is a big word. Can you really guarantee that neither the FBI nor some other agency of any state where Apple does business wouldn't claim a precedent? Really?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Let's help you out then :) @ukgnome

"scoff law"

Until this goes to the highest possible court we don't know what the law is so it's impossible to know who is scoffing at it. "We" includes the FBI. "Who" could also turn out to be the FBI.

SAP’s Byzantine licensing leaves its customers feeling exposed

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Re: Don't forget Oracle!

"Mind you, he was applying lipstick at the time."

To whom? Or what?

Azure lost some virtual machine backups for eleven hours

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Re: What did people expect.

"However, if you put it in the cloud or anywhere other than with you, liability rests with someone else."

No, you made the decision to do that. The liability still rests with you.

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Re: 99.99% Availibility.

"an infinite number of monkeys bashing away at laptops for an infinite amount of time, will one day inevitably develop a 100% reliable cloud service?"

s/reliable cloud service/downtime/

Brits unveil 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

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"Is there actually a vehicle fuel that is a worse combination of expensive to produce, dangerous to store, and difficult to supply than hydrogen?"


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Re: Hydrogen filling

"What good is it if after two weeks in the garage your fuel tank is empty?"

It's not the empty fuel tank that's the problem. It's finding the tank and the garage after leaking the hydrogen from the one to the other.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"hydrogen stations ... near where our customers live"

I hope none of their customers lives near me then. Nasty inflammable stuff, more so than any other fuel and harder to keep where it's supposed to be.

Yahoo! axes! websites! you've! never! heard! of! and! lays! off! staff!

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Re: In early February Yahoo shared a plan for the future

"given that we haven't found another "forum supplier" that provides the same functionality."

I've no idea what functionality Yahoo provides but why not try setting up Usenet groups?

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Re: Merging Yahoo! and AOL...

I remember that when Unisys was formed by merging Sperry & Burroughs someone said it was on the principle that two rocks tied together would float.

Privacy Shield: Data Protection Commissioners break out a six-pack

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"Now MS is in contempt of court in the USA."

According to what I read at the time this was a technical step to clear the way for escalating it up to a higher court. This one will probably go right up to the supreme court at some distant point in the future. In the meantime MS is working on the contingency plan - host in the EU with a trustee looking after the data to put a proper firebreak in the way. Others will need to wake up and follow in due course when the Privacy Fig Leaf gets torn down.

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From the Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker press statement link

"I want to specifically thank Commissioner Jourová and her team for their incredible, persistent work over the last two and a half years."

Incredible = not believable.

'Nuff said.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Also, be aware also that some serious contingency planning might be needed if Europe’s Data Protection Commissioners judge that the Privacy Shield does not provide an adequate level of protection."

Not contingency planning, just planning.

Schrems should have been a wakeup call. Until the US totally changes its prying ways and overall approach to personal data no fig leaf arrangement is going to get past the ECJ again. I suppose the US industry could buy itself a better government but it will be a lot cheaper and quicker to shift processing of data to non-US data centres protected from the US govt by an adequate legal firebreak.

This is not an issue that's going to go away.

And the UK govt. should consider the effect of continuing along its merry way in the event of a Brexit. It's going to make doing business with the EU a whole lot more difficult because they'll have put us in the same sin-bin as the US.

Remember WordPress' Pingbacks? The W3C wants us to use them across the whole web

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Re: "all in one place ..."

"The web in whatever guise is completely ephemeral."

Far from complete - and usually the missing bit is the bit you want - but there's archive.org as a last resort.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Pingbacks were only ever an ego boosting tool used to make you feel good that somebody referenced you. They never really got used for anything important because they didn't do the very thing you describe Twitter and Facebook as being good at - aggregating things."

Usenet & IRC are the non-corporate way of aggregation. All pingback achieved was disrupting discussion threads on blogs.

Bitcoin burrower biz Butterfly Labs billed $38m for 'bilking' buyers

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I think it's time to reintroduce a Victorian institution: the debtors' prison.

How tech firms can drive growth without making inequality worse

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Re: So let's see if I can paraphrase

"People quite like working in places where you can walk to work and at least some basic shops without getting a car every five minutes."

And the town planners over the last 6 decades or so have done more than anyone to prevent that. The brownfield site they've allocated to housing previously provided employment to those living in the housing around it. Now those living in both lots of housing are going to have to travel some distance to work because we've got to have houses and employment in different zones, preferably as far apart as possible. They shouldn't publish a report, they should publish an apology.

Trade union threatens work-to-rule action over HPE Lancashire job cuts

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Industrial action is such a good way to make yourself indispensable.

Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

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It sounds like she's gone off message. Doesn't she know that their online presence helps GCHQ to monitor them?

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Re: She,

"like most of the fossils "running" the country"

What fossils? They're all kiddies these days.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Bring back Fidonet.

'Burner phones and poor social graphs (tight contact lists) make you stand out from "normal people."'

It depends what you mean by tight contact lists. I'm retired so I don't make business calls any more. A P&G SIM is sufficient. My mobile just has a few friends & family numbers & I no longer give its number out to businesses as that just invites SMS spam.

And running my own domain I use a number of burner email addresses so spammers can be cut off.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

"Have I not been paying attention or did they just invent it?"

You've not been paying attention.

Why Tim Cook is wrong: A privacy advocate's view

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"the overall goal here wihch is protect the NATIONAL INTEREST OF THE USA"

And what, exactly is that? Is it the same today as it was yesterday? Will it be the same tomorrow? Or after a change of government?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Since when has any 'judge' been enpowered to make the law,"

No, they do that regularly. It's the basis of Common Law in England and all other countries which follow that principle. It's statute law they don't make.

"when it's their job to judge 'only',whether or not the case may be,if someone has broken the law."

Again, only partially correct. At the magistrate's court level (or whatever the equivalent may be in other jurisdictions) yes. And, as we're dealing with terrorism, in the "Diplock" courts in N Ireland*. But in jury trials it's the jury's job; the judge's job is to explain the law to the jury.

*In those courts the judge had to do something no jury is called on to do: explain the reasoning by which they arrived at the verdict.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Not even wrong...

"It comes down to phycology"

What does phycology have to do with it?

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