* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Security? We haven't heard of it, says hacker magnet VTech

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"Mocking customers killed Ratner's too."

He did it a bit more openly than small print.

IANAL but I don't think this would protect them under UK consumer protection legislation. Less familiar with the rest of Europe but I doubt it would protect them there. US? Maybe someone there knows; is there consumer protection legislation to over-rule contract terms?

Inside Adwind: A DIY malware toolkit used by 1,800 crooks to spy on 443k victims

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Re: Worryingly

"I just assume, Linux is crafted to mitigate such privilege escalations."

That would depend on whether anything involved in this runs with root setuid permissions. On a quick rootle round my jvm and browser files I can't see anything but (a) it was a quick look and (b) YMMV.

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Re: Worryingly

A quick look at my .mozilla/plugins (in Debian 7) revealed a number of links placed to a Java plugin by Crossover Office. Despite Crossover Office supposedly being removed long ago there was a .cxoffice directory containing the library. In addition there was a .netscape/plugins directory containing similar links; the dates suggest that Crossover Office created that entire path. Wine doesn't seem to have set such links.

There was also a dead link to Java in a long removed LibreOffice 4.2 installation. Subsequent LibreOffice versions don't seem to have set a link.

With those links removed the relevant Java plugin disappeared from the browser. There's still an Iced Tea plugin but that's set as ask to activate. Iced Tea Java in installed from the Debian repository.

Of these I only expected Iced Tea. Clearly applications can casually install Java in the browser even if you don't expect it. Vigilance is needed.

AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade

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Suggested change of headline

One-time market leading ad-blocker commits hara-kari.

Health Secretary promises NHS £4.2bn to go 'digital'

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Re: NHS money wasted on wifi for customers

"BOFH makes you feel better!"

Reading BOFH could damage your stitches.

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Re: 4.2 billion.

"The point here is that it's 4.2 billion, once."

Indeed, but as Avatar said, clear the debt. That would release cash from the current account which now goes to pay interest into actual health care. The situation at present is that those PFI debts are so expensive to service that A&E, e.g http://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/huddersfield-royal-infirmary-shock-anger-10742794

Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

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Re: CloudReady & BunsenLabs : Net Books Resurrected


Why do these idiot companies put up websites which display nothing with NoScript running?

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Re: Unix

"I thought it was a joke operating system from the 1940s"

Citation needed for operating systems, joke or otherwise, from the 1940s.

"when I first worked on it in the late 1980s."

Hmm. Back then I'd been involved in using Unix for casework administration in a busy forensic science lab, distribution & service of mobiles, administering social housing, administering a professional society's membership list & maybe other stuff I've forgotten. And many other people were using it for many other applications. So what was your problem? PEBCAK?

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Re: Love to see netbooks again

"something approximating a netbook by buying a cheap windows tablet"

Approximating is spot on. The original netbooks were Linux only. MS stomped on that market by twisting vendors' arms to run Windows which meant the H/W spec and therefore the price had to go up. Unless those tablets allow loading of another OS they are only approximations to netbooks and certainly not replacements.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

MSI U180

Came with W7 starter but intended from the start to be a Linux machine. Left W7 there to dual boot (always a good idea to keep the original OS in case it develops a hardware problem & needs to be returned). Still has a now elderly version of Mint, running Informix database & used in libraries & archives on research visits. A tablet? Useless for this application.

Celeb gossip site TMZ was pushing malware at innocent surfers

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Re: Just another case of a common threat

"Not because I hate the Ads, but because I value my PC's integrity."

They're not mutually exclusive.

SCO slapped in latest round of eternal 'Who owns UNIX?' lawsuit

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Re: Dickens understated it

"Jarndyce and Jarndyce finally ended when the legal fees devoured the entire Jarndyce estate."

Yes, but that was real fiction, not even a legal fiction.

TalkTalk confesses: Scammers have data about our engineers' visits to your home

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Re: This does raise a point though...

It raises another point. If a business deals with end-user customers directly, rather than through retailers isn't contact with those customers part of the core business? Why outsource your core business?

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Re: Dido's lament

"I think you mean Dido's lamentable"

Google what he said.

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Re: DIdo Harding

"She is in with the politicos"


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Re: DIdo Harding

"We know she is pally with David Cameroon and loved by the establishment, but its getting ridiculous."

Irrelevant. This is not a matter of public policy unless OIC feel it appropriate to prosecute her personally, even assuming that's with her powers.

It's a matter for TT's board in the first place and ultimately for the shareholders if they think it necessary to pressure the board. The media have, to their discredit, given her a free ride on this; had they taken a more critical approach the board might have had to act.

Disney World-area University admits massive data breach

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1 year's free credit monitoring. It's getting to be so routine that the crims will equally routinely wait a year for the monitoring to end. How about paying for a lifetime's free credit monitoring? That might make paying enough to do the job right in the first place a good enough investment to do it.

Brit spies want rights to wiretap and snoop on US companies' servers

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"a mutual legal assistance treaty, but it's a lengthy process that can take months"

The US's experience with Ireland should be a reminder that trying to bypass MLAs can take years. I suspect that the reality is that using MLAs takes effort; they have to actually put together a case that will convince a foreign court.

Forget Tiger Woods – here's Cyber Woods: Robot golfer hits hole-in-one during tournament

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Re: AI Recreation

And start making private deals there? Doesn't sound good to me.

By 2019 world will spend $2.8 TREELLION on the rubbish we write about

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Re: Do they never learn?

"Take their predictions for the last 5 years"

If an analyst makes a prediction for N years hence they should accompany it by their predictions from N years ago. And even if they don't I'd like to see journos pick them out of the morgue & print them alongside the current stuff. It'd make much more interesting articles than more DevOps & software defined hypergasmscale.

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Do they never learn?

Take a few points. Draw a line through them. Extrapolate until whatever it it you're "analysing" exceeds the mass of the Earth. Then be amazed when it doesn't happen. And if you're investing in the business involved draw out all your investment as soon as reality and the projection part company.

Dragons and butterflies: The chaos of other people's clouds

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"Oh, BTW: I like the term 'cloutage'."

For some reason I read that & think "clownage".

The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

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Re: I'm glad!

"I'm delighted to see that the industry are being defrauded."

If I read the article right it's not the ad industry that think they're being defrauded, it's the industries clients, the people whose goods and services are being advertised. For them it should be a rather more complex issue. They're paying the costs of advertising but they're not suffering the downside of annoying potential customers who might otherwise buy from them. As I've said before, the one thing you can be sure the advertising industry is good at selling is their own services.

Who would code a self-destruct feature into their own web browser? Oh, hello, Apple

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"Realistically Google are the only ones with the resources to build a webbrowser"

Realistically? Google came into being because the web already existed. It existed because there were browsers that other people had built.

Arrow: Fraudsters impersonated one of our execs to steal money

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Re: No worse than the HP Executives...

".. who transferred $11 BILLION to another account (that of Autonomy) only to find that there was nothing of any value left after they'd sent them the money"

It seems they've now decided they can sell this apparently valueless product as a service: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/02/04/hpe_chases_risky_business_customers/

So. Are Europeans just a whining bunch of data protection hypocrites?

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Re: Very partial piece

"Who do you know who has never criticized another's methodology when failure has occurred? It happens all the time, in every field. Why on Earth should judges be exempt?"

Spot the hidden assumption here.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

'"“This has left the realm of law and is now in the realm of politics.” I think that happened a very long time ago, perhaps from the very beginning.'

Indeed. In fact the Schrems case dragged it back into the realm of law where it belongs. And I think it'll keep getting dragged back there. The prof seems to have it arse about face.

Who wants a quad-core 4.2GHz, 64GB, 5TB SSD RAID 10 … laptop?

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Re: at $5000

"Well, that's one way to get rid of PHB's ain't it?"

Go for it!

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Re: Luggable

I used one for quite a while, Kermit under DOS as a terminal. To this day I'm quite content running xterm in a window that size, the only difference is that these days I have to wear specs to read it.

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For a moment I read that as 9KW which seemed about right.

RSA awards 7-year infrastructure overhaul deal to Wipro

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I must review my insurance.

Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

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Re: Admin?

Julian, is that you?

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"But given that the UK-USA treaty basically guarantees that the UK will hand over anybody on request"

a) Sweden has a European arrest warrant out for him. They have precedence.

b) He was here for several months without any request from the US.

He only did a runner when he was getting close to the end of the legal proceedings to extradite him to Sweden.

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Re: A completely meaningless ruling

"Eric Snowden"

Who's he?

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Re: We make our own prisons

"The UK, however, could have done so before the EAW was issued; their agreement with the USA, with which Julie is very familiar, means the UK bends over when the US roars, and hands over the suspect almost without question."

If he was so concerned with being sent to the US you have to wonder why he came here.

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Re: We make our own prisons

"trumped up pedo charges"

I wasn't aware that there were any charges, trumped up or not, about feet.

Scottish MP calls for drone-busting eagles

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"Oz Wedge Tailed Eagles do it already...damaging the fabric of these gliders with their talons"

Nice to see the avian fauna contributing to Oz's reputation of having more varieties of wild-life that can kill you in more ways than anywhere else.

It killed Safe Harbor. Will Europe's highest court now kill off hyperlinks?

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Re: An awful lot of books - or their content - are copyright

"I think it is the potential to download, keep and/or re-use that makes it certain that the Internet case is a breach."

No, it's the actual act that's the breach, not the potential. If a book is sitting on a shelf there's the potential to make a copy that breaches copyright. But if nobody does make a copy then the copyright isn't breached, even if the book stays there until it crumbles to dust.

And to be clear, if someone takes the book off the shelf, copies it & puts it back it's breach of copyright but NOT theft.

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"it's still technically theft."

In the words of a previous poster, I don't think that phrase means what you think it means

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"So you're saying that once a thief has stolen something it becomes legally his?"

Completely different set of circumstances.

If you put something on a web-server accessible from the net then it can be accessed by anyone. They don't need to have been provided with a direct link if they can navigate to it. That's how the web works and if someone puts something on the web and weren't aware of that it really should be their problem. That's especially the case if it's a media company that put the file there because having such knowledge should be part of their business. It might be a different matter if it was only accessible via some trickery such as SQL injection.

There is, however, a question of whether there's a copyright in the URL. But if there was this would make the whole use of the web more or less impossible.

The file wasn't stolen so comparison with theft is meaningless.

Bill for half a billion quid lands on Apple's desk in Facetime patent scrap

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Maybe Apple will move to Virginia.

Autodesk vapourises ten per cent of jobs to go completely cloudy

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"For me to recurrently pay you each month, you have to actually DO something for me each month, not just allow me to keep doing the same thing I did last month."

Millions of people rent accommodation by the month. However they have a choice. If they can get together the capital to purchase, or at least put down a deposit, they have the option of buying a different property. The question here is whether there is an effective choice. Adobe's users, on the whole, seem to think there isn't. Is this true of Autodesk?

Whilst the rental model may be fine for occasional users (the comparison would be with staying in an hotel for a few days) it does seem to me to be a possible abuse of monopoly for regular users if there isn't an effective non-rental alternative. I'm surprised the various competition regulators haven't looked at this. If they do, expect to see the landlords contributing to Gimp, etc.

Assange will 'accept arrest' on Friday if found guilty

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Re: WTF?

What exactly is the "arbitrary detention" that the UN's ruling on?

It can scarcely be questioning in Sweden and any possible imprisonment after due process of law. There's nothing arbitrary about than.

Nor can it be arrest and possible imprisonment in the UK as there's nothing arbitrary about that.

Nor can it be about being holed up in the embassy because he's there entirely voluntarily and could have walked out through the front door on any day since he entered the place.

I don't even see that it could be extradition to the US through legal channels as that would also require due process of law in Sweden or the UK so that too wouldn't be arbitrary.

The UK, if they don't extradite him to Sweden, or Sweden, at the end of the legal process there could deport him but presumably that would be back to his place of origin, Australia. I don't see that being repatriated is arbitrary. Would Australia send him to the US without going through a legal extradition process?

So AFAICS the only thing he can appeal about is the possibility that he could be taken to the US without going through an extradition process. How does the UN rule about something which hasn't happened and seems to exist primarily if not entirely as a possibility in his own mind?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"If Assange is indeed willing to give himself up to Police he risks the fate he's long declared intolerable and unjust."

He risks a worse fate than that. Being ignored.

Universal Credit slammed by MPs: Late programme branded 'unacceptable'

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Re: Not surprised

"They aren't even the sharpest spoons in the box."

My view was formed nearly 50 years ago when the company I'd joined a few months earlier went bust (I don't think there was a causal connection) and I was out of work. One of the staff in the local employment exchange tried to argue that because I was unable to sign on on the appropriate day I wasn't entitled to that week's dole as I was unavailable for work.

The reason I couldn't sign on in his office was because I had a job interview at the other end of the country.

It took a little explaining before he realised that he couldn't sustain an argument that being interviewed for a job was inconsistent with being unavailable for work.

I didn't get that job which was just as well; I ended up with a research assistantship in the field I'd always wanted which in turn lead to meeting the research student who became SWMBO and also learning about these big boxes which ate punched cards.

When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

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Re: Three glasses of whisky

"Many times in my career I have given up on a problem and left the office. Then 100 metres down the road had to turn back as the answer had just occurred to me."

I think the explanation is that we have a fairly full mental model of whatever it is we're working on but what's on the screen focuses us on a tiny part of it. Leaving the screen removes that focus but the model only decays slowly so that the brain is able to keep working on it unconsciously for some time.

I found the solution might pop up as I walked across the car park. Or just having joined the motorway - concentrating on driving must have been particularly effective at removing the last elements of the screen focus.

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Re: The comment about the one and zero sounds apocryphal

"The comment is just too perfect and makes no explanation at all as to the mechanism or what the minor glitch is."

It sounds to me like the result of some PHB dictating a kludge RIGHT NOW instead of re-writing a section of code to do a proper job.

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Re: customized codebases

"But I've seen too many project start as a custom project for customer X and its peculiar needs, then trying to sell it to Y and Z, of course trying to customize for their peculiar needs also."

I nearly got sucked into one of those. It was also a case of "If that's where you want to go I wouldn't start from here", largely in consequence of the peculiar needs of X. It was monolithic so every user had access to every function in the system. It needed a re-write just to remove the spaghetti tying the multiple functions together.

Then the salesman persuaded Z that it would be a drop-in replacement for their existing system despite a misfit of data architectures...

I managed to escape PDQ.

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"So that's why my boss keeps an inflatable Mandy doll in his stationary cupboard."

What does he keep in his mobile cupboard?

Lights out for Space Vehicle Number 23: UK smacked when US sat threw GPS out of whack

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Re: Dependency exposed

"The 'precision clock' that can be derived from GPS (and similar sources) is as precise as its system controllers want it to be"

s/as precise as/no more precise than/

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