* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

You call THAT safe? Top EU legal bod says data sent to US is anything but

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

The EU needs to give a deadline by which the existing SH will be dead unless there is a major change in US legislation - one which will be binding on the NSA with a treaty binding the US govt.

No more NSLs.

No more rubber stamping courts.

No more DoJ fishing expeditions.

The whole lot repealed from US law.

The deadline should be just sufficient for companies to bring their data home with a modicum of panic if they get their backsides into action PDQ; sufficient panic to give them serious worries about ever getting into that situation again.

Then let's see how fast US officialdom can reform to try to meet the deadline from their side. It would help if there were increased political pressures in the US. Isn't there an election coming up soon?

If you absolutely must do a ‘private cloud’ thing, here's how

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Re: Business Critical Data out there in the cloud

" if it happened to Shoreditch no one would notice anyway apart from the slight increase in hot air rising from the area."

Don't you mean decrease?

Citrix wants a buyer, fast

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If these activist investors are so good at managing other people's companies how come they haven't set up their own businesses to actually do stuff?

Malvertisers slam Forbes, Realtor with world's worst exploit kits

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Re: In a related story, Advertising Age editor Ken Wheaton once said...

Is Basingstoke really that bad?

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Re: responsibilities

@Don Dumb

I take your point about the sites' contractual arrangements being with the advertisers not the public who visit them. However, to continue with the restaurant...No, let's just say that the sites also have a duty of care to the public, as we all have. If, by negligence, they cause public harm then they must surely be liable.

Apart from that they must surely have concerns for their reputation. Are they really content that their sites are bait to be used by criminals?

11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?

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Re: European testing

In the UK at least the test results determine the taxation class. If the upshot of this is that taxation classes get revised upwards there are going to be a lot of unhappy customers - and presumably a big prosecution under the Trades Description Act.

BTW so far the reports apply to diesel. Does anyone know if petrol-fuelled cars are also affected?

India's daft draft anti-encryption law torn up after world+dog points out its stupidity

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Encryption policies can seriously damage your wealth. Other governments please copy.

Cambridge University Hospitals rated 'inadequate' due to £200m IT fail

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Re: Bah!

" describe a rich and immutable API"

Can't do that because Agile.

Things you should know about the hard work of home working

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Re: Terminology

"Working from home is, I believe, generally understood as working from one's own home."

Agreed. From. Not at. If you don't see the confusion it may be because you're confusing the two words.

There are a number of scenarios where the worker's normal base is home but little or no work is done there. The field service tech is one example, the travelling salesman is another. There may be a certain amount of paperwork done at home but it's certainly not the same as working there more or less full time which is what the article described. It's also not the same as working daily on a single customer site which you mentioned in another post; been there & done that myself, visiting my employer's office maybe 3 or 4 times in a couple of years.

The circumstances are different. Working from home isn't likely to cut down travel but increase it. It doesn't mean isolation except, maybe, for a tech servicing unmanned installations but at the same time one isn't dealing with the same people on a daily basis and communication with one's fellow employees is restricted.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


There's confusion here. Working FROM home isn't the same as working AT home. eg A maintenance tech going from home to one customer site to another and seldom visiting base might be said to be working from home but not at home.

Cisco shocker: Some network switches may ELECTROCUTE you

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IT kit with built in cattleprod. Marvellous!

My parents don't know I'm in SEO. They think I play piano in a brothel

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Re: Spam filter

My response is to ask them which site they're referring to. They never seem to be able to quote a URL. Odd that as I have a number of sites. Well, zero's a number isn't it?

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Get all their email addresses & add them to every spam list known to man or beast. Especially beast.

India to cripple its tech sector with proposed encryption crackdown

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Re: Bureaucrats not speaking to techies

" They won't stand for it since they get hit if there's any attack and data grab."

Sadly, data grabs are getting to be business as usual these days.

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This could be interesting

If they go ahead and the Indian service sector's overseas customers start to drop them maybe a few other governments might get the message.

Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

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Re: Documents on desktop

'sensitive documents shouldn't appear on desktops in case a minion notices the file "Everybody to be sacked.xlsx".'

Sensitive documents shouldn't leak information in their filenames.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Not curious

"STILL they haven't yet given users back the start menu that they've been asking for since 2011."

I suspect that the reason for that is that they're still stuck on the idea of having something that will sort of work on a small screen for phones as well as on a desktop. It might take a lot more iterations before they realise that "sort of work" will inevitably be crap one one or other and probably both.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: MS seems to be staning on the Poop Deck

Why the downvotes for the OP? Are these MS shills? If so the most useful thing they could do is report this is user feedback of what they've got wrong, otherwise they're reinforcing the truth of Steve's comment.

Police Scotland fingered for breaching RIPA code 'multiple' times

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"Careful consideration has also had to be given to the fact that criminal investigations and legal proceedings are invariably active and we are not yet in a position to consider the impact or potential wider consequences of naming."

One of the consequences of naming might be that improperly obtained evidence might be disallowed. Another, wider, consequence might be that there would be a strong disincentive to bypass due process in the future.

MoJ admits to splashing out on 2.3 MILLION Oracle licences

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"Why would Oracle offer a discount, UK publilc sector business is <1% of revenues"

And if the stuff gets moved to a cheaper platform why should the taxpayer care whether it's Oracle or something else? Go back & read Richard 12's comment again.

Techie finds 1.5 million US medical records exposed on Amazon's AWS

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Re: Remember, this is REQUIRED.

So you're valuing your data more highly than your health. Good luck with that.

'I may be winning this ad-blocker game, but I hate it. I'm outta here (with $100k). Buh-bye'

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Re: We do hope you've enjoyed this week of botched Apple updates

"The Register is supposed to be a tech web site, sadly its lost its way."

So why are you still reading it?

You want the poor to have more money? Well, doh! Splash the cash

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Tax and spend!

"this is a big ask if you're trying to justify adding a kitchen extension"

That depends on why you want the kitchen extension. Are you wanting it because to satisfy your desire to live in a house with a bigger kitchen or as an investment?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Tax and spend!

"From which the lesson I take is that whatever we decide to spend the tax money on had better be worth more than the activity we've just destroyed by taxing in the first place."

Which puts us right back with the problem of computing utility, which is what you need to determine the "worth more" bit.

RFID wants to TRACK my TODGER, so I am going to CUT it OFF

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Scope for harmless fun

Cut off the RFID tags, put in an envelope and post to the manager of the store you bought the stuff from, another branch, a rival store or whatever. It should screw up their tracking quite nicely.

Microsoft has developed its own Linux. Repeat. Microsoft has developed its own Linux

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Re: Tools for the Job @Peter Gathercole

I prefer the alternative version that it was developed so Ken Thompson could continue to run his space travel game after work on Multics was canned,

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Re: Any comment from Steve Balmer?

"I remember that getting hold of Windows 2000 distros is difficult these days because of that.

(Mind you, why would you want to?)"

Because it won't try to update itself to 10?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Windows 11

The systemd folk have been working on that one for some time.

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"You don't use linux on the desktop unless you're a masochist"

I came to that conclusion about Windows a long time ago. There's something ironic about Windows being so opaque.

BBC Micro:bit delayed by power supply SNAFU

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Re: Codebug works, shipped, in stock

"Small batteries and small children"

Target age range is 11ish so the kids can't be that small. It doesn't preclude being stupid but natural selection is a wonderful thing.

Ad-blocking super-weapon axed by maker for being TOO effective

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Re: nuance

"The Register is showing me a couple of ads, the banner and a static side ad, along with the jobs listing.

The page is 'quiet'."

Lucky you.

I normally read el Reg on the laptop with sound off & blocker on. Occasionally I read it on the MythTV box with no blocker & sound on. Earlier today I dropped one page and hastily abandoned it when instantly a loud voice started lecturing me about something or other. On the laptop I will continue to make no exceptions. The ad industry simply can't get itself in order to stop pissing off those on whom it seeks to impose its brain farts. It doesn't deserve to exist.

Microsoft to splurge $75m on computer training for kids

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Re: $75 M? Not so much a donation...

"there are not actually as many complete bastards on the opposing side as people believe"

There don't need to be. The few that are there are more than adequate for the job.

UK.gov mobile not-spot coverage project set to be completed in the year 2155AD

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"there had been problems with site providers' willingness to allow a mast to be erected, local planning application"

"I want a signal but NIMBY"


EU spaffs €131m on making gov digi services 'talk' to each other

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Bid from Capita...

...arriving in 3..2..1..

Scotsman cools PC with IRN-BRU, dubs it the 'Aye Mac'

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Britain's FBI wants 'Five Eyes' cosy hookups with infosec outfits

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Re: So what would you do to improve matters?

"HUMINT is a lot more valuable than SIGINT, but you need them both."

But whilst SIGINT spending increases the Met are cutting back on PCSOs who ought to be a major source of that HUMINT.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So what would you do to improve matters?

"because I'm fairly sure that the bad guys (who do exist) are continuing to develop *their* networks?"

I'm sure they will be if they've any sense. So why take it out on the innocent who want to do things like use internet banking and buy stuff online?

SCREW YOU, FEDS! Dozen or more US libraries line up to run Tor exit nodes

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"The C++ programming language."

So that puts Linus firmly in the anti-terror camp.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

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"Normally we say please try to keep it SFW, but given the content.." Further comment superfluous.

Asus ZenBook UX305: With Windows 10, it suddenly makes perfect sense

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Re: @Pompous Git - ?

"they are calling an emergency board meeting to devise a back out strategy, so concerned are they now about one retired bloke."

I doubt it. They're probably far too busy worrying about how to make 2016 the year of Windows on the phone.

Email reply-all cat-nado drenches Cisco inboxes with pics, memes

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"Just because people work for a tech company doesn't mean they have any real understanding of how the IT systems work"

You're saying that as if you think it's to be expected.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I was still getting replies when I left two years later."

Presumably from people whose secretaries had just printed it out for them to read.

Ahmed's clock wasn't a bomb, but it blew up the 'net and Zuckerberg, Obama want to meet him

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@Neil Barnes

I'd guess that 40 years ago it would already have been difficult to get hold of sodium chlorate so you'd have missed out on that as a source of fun.

Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole

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Re: Satisficers rather than Maximisers

@Alan Brown

"Why would you want to do that?"

Because the original generation of mills occupied most of the flat ground in the valley bottoms. Those sites are now occupied by housing, Anybody's clean sheet of paper is going to assume flat and level.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Insurance

"You're assuming that you will continue to own the car. You won't. Why would you? If you pay a simple subscription service of $5 a month, you get an app that can summon a self-driving car to shuttle you around wherever you want to go."

You'd want it to get to work. Do you really think some beneficent organisation is going to invest in a vast fleet that gets used a few times a day at rush hour & then stays idle? For $5/month? The private motorist has to fill the gaps beyond the investment public transport makes at present. Why would this change, other than not having any work to go to?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Our scrap dealing future

"You could (for instance) introduce a national minimum wage, and watch a number of companies move manufacturing to China to reduce costs."

OTOH robots in manufacturing could reduce the costs so that it becomes cheaper to move the manufacturing closer to the market & bring manufacturing back from China. There'll be some associated employment even with robotic manufacturing and everyone else can make a precarious living selling each other stuff on ebay.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Fun game to play.

Steps 3 & 4: the robot replacement is likely a vending machine that asks "do you want fries with that?" and the customers have to do their own negotiation of the room.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Satisficers rather than Maximisers

"Which will prevail, more concentration or less is going to depend upon the minutiae of the technology."

And not only that. Transport infrastructure matters. In the C18th being a clothier meant, for most, a weekly trip to market to sell cloth & buy wool. By the mid C20th when I was growing up a 4 times per hour bus service doubled at peak times served and 8 or 9 mile route along the valley. Most mill employees would walk or cycle short distances to work; for some the nearest mill would be closer to home than the nearest bus stop. Not only have most of the mills gone but their sites are now occupied by housing with more being built. So local employment has gone down and the local population has gone up. And the bus service is now negligible. The consequence is that the area is now a dormitory for more distant urban centres with commuting by car. There is no real opportunity to improve the road network. It is an unsustainable situation in the longer term. It's also difficult to see how large scale employment could be reintroduced - the mill sites have largely been converted from single ownership to multiple ownership so that anyone wanting to build on the scale of a mill would have to buy out an entire housing estate house by house.

The same thing happens elsewhere; employment is being concentrated in urban centres which require hundreds of square miles of surrounding countryside to house employees. At some point this trend will need to be reversed by reverting to small scale distributed employment or self-employment. Could the adoption of robots facilitate such a reorganisation?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Satisficers rather than Maximisers

"Today a great deal of it can be done on a £1,000 machine and an internet connection."

A thousand quid machine? You're being ripped off.

In EU-US data sharing we trust – but can we have that in writing, say MEPs

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Not good enough

If someone in the EU sends personal data of a EU citizen to the US any redress for misuse must be in EU courts and the safeguards must be to EU standards, not the US (I'm dismissing any likelihood that US data protection standards will ever be better than those of the EU). The easiest way to do this would be to hold whoever sends the data from the EU to continue to be responsible in law for its handling in the US. That should concentrate minds.

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