* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

HMRC breaches job applicants' privacy in mass email spaff

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"If you would like to discuss your application further, please do not hesitate to contact me."

After all, the previous attempt to do so had such an encouraging outcome.

Websites aimed at kids are slurping too much info, finds report

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Re: Shared personal information

"Why is this not considered as theft ?"

Because it isn't. Theft is taking something away in such a way as to permanently deprive the owner. For instance taking a car & then dumping it elsewhere isn't theft because the owner can recover it - the offence is taking and driving away. Acquiring data doesn't deprive the owner of it. And giving something away, even if misguidedly, isn't theft so it would be difficult to argue that although privacy cannot be restored it hasn't been stolen. Even if a court would consider something as intangible as something that could be stolen.

It's a situation which is novel in terms of the traditional legal framework of theft & maybe also of fraud & needs its own legislation. Possibly the DPA (or equivalent in other jurisdictions) will cover it; maybe there might be something under legislation relating to children. If not something new might be needed.

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If sites do this to ourselves we know to invent stuff. It seems now we actually have to teach kids to lie as a matter of course.

At LAST: RC4 gets the stake through the heart

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Re: Good luck, with some devices embedded management servers...

"start complaining to manufacturers that their firmware is shit"

Manufacturers aren't going to be interested if the product is EOLed. And the manufacturers themselves may have been EOLed. Meanwhile, in the real world, the bean-counters aren't going to be impressed with arguments that a million quid piece of kit has to be replaced because Google, Mozilla & Microsoft stopped supporting RC4.

Xiaomi aims to knock Apple off its branch with move into computers

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Re: oooooooh!

"something 'Completely Different'"

Not Metro & Not Slurping. Will those do for a start?

Microsoft backports data slurp to Windows 7 and 8 via patches

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Re: I was just musing the other day that M$ might do this and low and behold!

"You're going to milk this for all it's worth, aren't you?"

Enough with the cheesy jokes!

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Re: Hackintosh?

"Apple ... resale/residual values tend to be very high."

And about to get higher still I suspect.

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Re: bend over...

" I wish Adobe CC worked on linux"

Have you checked whether it will run under Wine.

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Re: Hard-coded?

"the mechanism for pushing security updates."

I think you meant insecurity updates.

Ecuador and Sweden in 'constructive talks' – just don't mention Assange™ by name

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Re: @swineherd ...

"ut the interesting thing... it could explain why there are new talks between Sweden and Ecuador.

Seems they want to get rid of him too. ;-)"

Time for a fire drill at the Ecuadoran embassy.

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Re: @AC ...

"IF he has to go to Sweden,THEN he goes to Sweden.

After that... back to the UK"

Not sure it'll work that way. The minute he shows outside the door he'll be arrested for bail offences and I can't see him being sent to Sweden until he's served any sentence for that. Of course he could argue that time spent in the Embassy counts towards any term of imprisonment in the same way that time on remand does.

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According to that report the US want Norway to “effectuate the return of Mr Snowden". Perhaps they should tell the US they can't help as they don't understand what effectuate means.

Ex top judge admits he's incapable of reading email, doesn't own a PC

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Re: Parties and judges

"The MAN is a frigging judge, he should have some semblance of intellect"

I assume that because you're hanging around here you work in IT & therefore should have some semblance of intellect. Would you care to give us your summary of the law of tort?

The Honor's a defo gamechanger, but good luck buying one

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"making a phone today is much easier than making a car. Anyone can make one....For Sony and HTC and others, there are big manufacturing costs and high marketing and corporate overheads, for products that are harder and harder to differentiate."

If anyone can make one then it's difficult to see how Sony, HTC etc can have higher manufacturing costs. It must come down to marketing and corporate.

So, was it really the Commies that caused the early 20th Century inequality collapse?

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Re: Not so much public ownership but public wealth creation

Antibiotics not significant to general medicine? You learn something everyday.

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Re: Money has to go somewhere

"Broadband stuff is more complicated than that:"

And you can see how that would have gone. High density areas would have got done. But would there have been a big incentive to connect at that time? The whole thing would have stalled when the cost of passing premises and the preparedness of potential customers to pay for a new connection meant that there wasn't payback. BT would then have had to abandon roll-out or go asking for public money to finance free connections and as Warm Braw says, the Treasury wouldn't have forked out.

Yes, BT should have been allowed to compete with the cable TV companies but no, it wouldn't have resulted in a wider network than cable TV achieved, maybe less because competition would have lowered the return for any given network so the cherry picking would have been even more intense.

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Re: where's the second part

You've just got to love the nostalgia for black phones with dials, three-day weeks, uncollected rubbish and unburied dead.

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Re: Not so much public ownership but public wealth creation

NHS is more than hospital construction. The war brought on new treatments of all sorts. It would be interesting to see what the expenditure on pharmaceuticals was pre/post NHS.

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Re: Manufacturing became less relevant

"This was massively helped by revolutions in communication. Suddenly the world moved into colour as colour printing became economic and colour TV started to gain traction - both leading to a massive explosion in marketing success.


This led to a 50s boom for cheaper UK regions, then a boom for lower wage regions of Europe and eventually, as transport improved, the growth moved away to lower cost regions of the world. End of boom."

I think you've got your chronology wrong.

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"Maybe we should deliberately lower inequality with very high tax rates and all the rest in order to get us some of that lovely growth of the 1950s and '60s?"

And rationing. Don't forget the rationing.

Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide

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"Hang on, that's not the right metaphor..."

Any storm in a teacup? No...

Who's next?

Google makes it official: Chrome will freeze Flash ads on sight from Sept 1

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"bypassing the opaque/distorted layers some sites use to force collection of personal info/permission before granting access"

But that means you miss out on the opportunity to lie to them.

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"non-important Flash files will be click-to-play in the browser by default"

Wrong way to do it. Make ALL Flash files click to play. And I don't mind Flash in ads because I don't get to see them anyway.

Company in shambles, marriages ruined. My work here is done, says Ashley Madison CEO

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"proprietary member and business information"

No, the member stuff was their personal data, not your proprietary information. You might not think it but there is a difference.

Malvertising maniac messes MSN, serves corrupted creative

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Re: And they are

" Whereas a Civil trial, the burden is on the defendant to prove that they are innocent beyond a reasonable doubt "

Actually, no. Civil cases are found on balance of probabilities. And I think even on that basis the plaintiff would have problems in proving that his loss stemmed from a particular site given that he would have visited many.

OTOH if the offence is to serve up - or participate in serving - malware then that would be provable by the sort of analysis in the article but without the need to prove which particular user was infected by which particular server. Several of the participants at the head of the chain could become liable to prosecution or, to put it another way, they would have good reason to put in place a vetting procedure. The chains which failed to apply vetting might have lower costs immediately but they might find themselves out of business a lttle later.

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Re: And they are

Initially I thought in terms of civil liability but with the problem becoming so widespread it might be difficult to prove which site delivered the fatal blow. So we have to think in terms of criminal offences.

The article gives an example of an analysis which, if presented in court by a suitably qualified expert, should be acceptable evidence against any of the actors who can be identified provided. That would be one aspect of proving guilt. The other would be to have participation in such a chain, either deliberately or negligently, found to be an offence. What I'm wondering is whether there is a basis for this in existing law (Computer Misuse Act and equivalents in other jurisdictions or criminal negligence) to be a criminal offence.

BACS Bank Holiday BALLS UP borks 275,000 payments

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"Surely they should have anticipated problems (such as BACS f*cking up) and paid us earlier??"

Earlier than what? Last day of the month is Monday & they're paying you on the previous Friday. That's earlier. Or did you mean they should have paid a day earlier than that? And what happens if there'd been a problem on Thursday? Pay a day earlier?

Recursion: see recursion.

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Re: Website Down Too

" I can login but I can't do anything useful before I get thrown out again."

Is this something new?

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Re: The bank could close for a month and I'd be OK.

@Loyal Commenter

You seem to be taking a lot for granted there.

I don't know about Ole Juul's situation but I do know what mine was. And that the "reasonably well paid" & all that meant as far as I was concerned, that for years I arranged bank statements to be sent in the middle of the month so I could see how bad things were & what was left for the rest of the month. And very often the amount was negative by the end; maybe the only thing different back then was you seemed to be able to get away with that without penalty payments. I know it contributed a good deal to the stress I suffered at that time & from which I still suffer.

There seems to be an assumption by one generation that things were much easier for the previous one. I don't think it was.

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Re: I feel sorry for

"HSBC have the paid agreement with the employer not the employee."

From the report it doesn't seem clear whether this is the case or not. If it's employees banking with HSBC then it's the other way around.

NCA arrests six Lizard Squad users after gaming firms, retailers targeted

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I wonder if this is related to http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/28/irate_security_posse_intel_spooks_in_ddos_hushed_hacker_hunt/

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Re: Engage with them?

A good talking to probably works the same as an ASBO - it's a badge of honour.

New low for humanity: ONE BEELLION lost souls log on to Facebook in one day

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Re: Not on Facebook and proud

"Think of it as a place where like minded people can discuss things of common interest."

Sort of like newsgroups but with being monetized as an added extra?

Administrator tries to squeeze blood out of Stone Computers' parent

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Why on earth should the existing senior management be allowed such a purchase unless they make themselves personally responsible for the original debts?

BOFH: An architect and his own entirely avoidable downfall

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"the boss is getting a little suspicious."

No problem about suspicion until he gives signs of intending to act on it.

Spaniard claims WWII WAR HERO pigeon code crack. Explain please

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Have I read this right? He's decoded the message and is now going to sell the system used as secure because nobody had been able to decode it?

Win10 Insider build 10532: Avoid if you run Chrome 64-bit

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Re: Data

"Seriously stop making excuses pretending that what Microsoft is doing is OK because it isn't much worse than what other shits are doing."

I didn't read the article as making excuses by such comparisons, just pointing out that they're all in the same sewer.

The really worrying thing about the privacy statement is what it doesn't say. For instance under credentials section if you're not reading critically you might think that it's obvious it needs to retain these, otherwise you wouldn't be able to log on to Microsoft services if it didn't have your ID and password for them. But look again, what it doesn't say is that this only applies to Microsoft services; it doesn't say, for instance, that it doesn't retain your bank logon details. Similar comments could be applied to other sections. Are we to believe that this whole statement was sloppily written or are we to believe that it was very carefully crafted?

What Ashley Madison did and did NOT delete if you paid $19 – and why it may cost it $5m+

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Re: @AC long weight

"Storemen were also in on the joke when asked for left-handed screwdrivers, or replacement bubbles for a spirit level."

Don't forget the striped paint.

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Re: "... then complaining when telesales phone them up. Idiots."

Old practical joke on apprentices - allegedly. You send them to another department for a long weight (it depends on how you pronounce it) or a long stand. If you were the apprentice I think you'd have been caught.

Malware menaces poison ads as Google, Yahoo! look away

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Re: Shooting the messenger feels good but does not help

"Perhaps Yahoo and Google should not be blamed for the problems with mainly fraudulent Flash ads to the extent as worked out in this excellent article."

Nope. They're part of the pipe-line. The whole foetid system, end to end, is the problem. Every part of it needs to do their bit, in fact needs to be made to do their bit.

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Re: Looking at the problem backwards

An alternative - or maybe complementary - approach. The websites hosting the ads become liable. It's only fair after all, they want the income so they must accept responsibility. It would then be up to them to push the responsibility back onto the networks they allow to place the ads which then gives them an incentive to revise the whole technology involved so that either a kit approach, a trust system or whatever gets put into place. At present NOBODY has any incentive to do anything except the users who are actually aware of the problem. This needs to change and the only way to do that is to target the most easily accessible point.

Maybe it could be handled by civil liability, maybe by criminal liability but somebody has got to be held responsible or no changes will be made until ad-blockers kill the entire advertising industry. Actually I wouldn't shed any tears were that to happen.

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"And that becomes the proverbial foot in the door"

Run it from its own VM that you fire up for the purpose and hose down when you've finished with it. Of course you still have to trust whatever you downloaded from it but you had that problem any way.

French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

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Re: Double-blind testing


At first I thought that was remarkably good reporting for the Grauniad. I should have withheld judgement until I got to the last paragraph.

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Re: Despite dispute over the very existence of the syndrome

"large spiders... the sort of terrifying, SAS-scaring man-eaters that appear from under the sofa on an October night"

They're males running round looking for a female to mate with. Don't you have even a twinge of fellow feeling for them?

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Re: Despite dispute over the very existence of the syndrome

"Mental health is a serious issue"

Indeed. So the folk who go about peddling garbage that persuades people to accept ideas like this have a heavy responsibility to bear.

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Re: There's a special place for people like that...

"my wife detected it as a very low frequency"

That makes more sense than high frequency given that the source is presumed to be a mains transformer. Maybe it had a resonance at 50/n Hz for some integer value of n.

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Re: Poor choice of words?

"Something being intangible or irrational really isn't grounds to deny study or treatment."

But what about legal liability? Surely that should rest with those who implanted such an irrational idea in her head.

Facebook profiles? They're not 'personal data' Mr Putin

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"Technically, I, the site operator, would be breaking the law"

But are you under Russian jurisdiction? Assuming your business isn't in Russia and you don't have a branch office or subsidiary there then presumably not. So can you break a law that applies outside the jurisdiction you're in? (Other, of course, than USian laws where the default assumption of USian politicians and prosecutors is that they apply everywhere.) Where the parties to a contract may be in more than one country it's normal to specify as one of the terms of the contract whose laws should apply; presumably Fb's contract (T&Cs) specify the US.

Although at first sight it appears that this is the sort of thing we European users want to replace safe harbour it isn't. In the safe harbour situation we have someone giving data to a site in their own country, or at least in a country where broadly similar data protection laws apply and having exported to a country where they don't under an unenforceable undertaking to apply similar standards. In the Russian case we have someone voluntarily giving data to a site in another country under whatever DP laws apply in that country.

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Putin's problem

He's not part of 5-eyes so he can't just ask the US to spy on his population when they use US servers; he has to do it all locally. This is his solution.

C For Hell – Day Two: Outage misery continues for furious C4L customers

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Since I posted that I realised that this TITSUP will have gained the visibility of senior management at client companies and the emergency workshop statement will be just what's needed to be reassuring at that level. Sad, really.

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