* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

'Tech' City hasn't got proper broadband and it's like BT doesn't CARE

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Re: We cannot spare the money to hook you up...

"although we sold the one we had"

Not even that. It was demerged as a separate company, AFAIK because BT didn't like the amount of money paid in the spectrum auction.

In fact, I wonder what it actually cost BT to do that. Staff TUPEed into O2 at the time would have been in the BT pension scheme. Presumably there would have been a pension scheme with equivalent benefits set up for O2. If the BT scheme hadn't been in deficit it would have been a straight transfer of the appropriate proportion of funds from the BT scheme to the O2 scheme. But as the BT scheme has been in deficit for years did BT have to add in extra to make up for the shortfall?

Anthem, America's second biggest health insurer, HACKED: Millions hit by breach

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On a breach such as this each affected data subject should be entitled to changes of all feasible attributes: phone numbers, social security numbers or the like*, email addresses all funded - including out of pocket costs such as sending out "here's my new contact details" letters (letters because undoubtedly some companies will insist on written confirmation) all paid for by the breached company.

The costs of that should get shareholders' attention. More likely, of course, it would be covered by insurance but insurers would set premiums based on demonstrable protection of data - or lack thereof.

*Yes, I know this would require action by the appropriate authority.

Why Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2? Upton: 'I drank the Kool-Aid'

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Re: @Salts - Hmmm...

And what boots the SD card? It's got a stage 1 boot in ROM on the SoC.

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As far as I can see from the article Windows isn't going to be a pre-load, it's going to have to be installed. When Windows RC was launched it was conditional on manufacturers installing it on ARM hardware that they wouldn't allow other OSs to be installed. Is this now a dead letter and if so will it then be possible to install other OSs on ARM-based Windows 10 kit?

O2 notifies data cops 'for courtesy' ... AFTER El Reg intervenes in email phish dustup

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"A very clear and simple rebuttal of the O2 response"

True. An even clearer one is "how would the customer's computer have the PUK on it?".

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Re: Who says it's a breach

"Maybe O2 just sold the data?"

PUKs included?

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Re: @TheTick and AC

"My opinion is that some spammers are wise to this trick, and might now spew email out to (for example) williamhill@ every domain on their lists"

If that were the case everyone who runs their own domain would see this sort of thing happening. More likely is that spammers would only do that for domains where they find that sort of address. If they buy a list that has williamhill@somedomain on it then they'll also try, say, tesco@somedomain too.

Personally I simply use a free mail address for anyone who I suspect might become a spammer. That way if NSA or GCHQ take a look at that inbox they'll get a load of Nigerian princes, urgent messages from the Outlook team and the occasional offer from Ticketmaster, all in the junk folder. Well, maybe not the urgent messages from the Outlook team as MS seem particularly adept at failing to recognise attempts to impersonate them; ISTM that it could be parleyed into evidence that they've abandoned some of their trademarks.

Who's come to fix your broadband? It may be a Fed in disguise. Without a search warrant

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Re: his raised suspicion among the staff

They were setting up an operation to relieve punters of money. Something to which casino operators would have deep moral objections.

Dixons Carphone clings to EE, Three in Phones 4U bullet dodge

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Re: Did Goliath need a capital G?

Yes, it's a proper noun.

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Re: You may laugh for all you want

"An enormous cluebat"

The cluebat will arrive when everyone with any sense says to the salesman "It wants what!!!?" and walks out. Sadly there are probably enough customers without sense to make the cluebat somewhat less than enormous.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


'things like cameras and televisions. As such devices become “smart” – by which they mean “connected” – they will need contracts.'

No. Just no!

Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

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Re: The Point

OK A/C. Pony up. No secrets.

Post here your bank account details, password, security answers etc. And your eBay, Amazon etc logins & passwords.

What's that?

You've just discovered that not only do you have something to hide, you're contractually obliged to hide it?

Target carders turn their attention to parking lots

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Re: "We already took action on this, and we are totally on it,"

For some value of "already".

Adobe and software pals haul Forever 21 to court over piracy allegations

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Re: Lol

"I could do it the easy way, but just think what happened to Forever 21 with their $500M fine!"

In that case you'd better work out the difference between fines and damages otherwise it would damage your credibility.

Google, Amazon 'n' pals fork out for AdBlock Plus 'unblock' – report

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Re: Distraction, annoyance, graphics bloat: Web 3.0

" If it isn't the big-ass fotos ...which take up the entire top half of the scroll"

You wouldn't be thinking of somewhere quite close to here would you?

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"and disturb the meeting."

I can help you there. Mute the sound until you actually want to listen to something.

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Re: Sigh

"I don't respond to adverts."

I do.


If I'm an actual or potential customer of a company it's worth that company's while NOT to shove ads in my face. I've moved my custom away from companies who annoyed me.

The ideal solution would be an ad-blocker that will download a certain amount of the ad stream and consign it to /dev/null. It would need caps on volume and time. Everybody wins. The user doesn't get annoyed. The adserver thinks it's displaying ads so both the server and site get paid.

At first it seems that the advertiser is being ripped off by paying for something that doesn't get through but the actual pay-off is in the previous statement: the user doesn't get annoyed so if the user is an existing customer the advertiser doesn't drive them away otherwise they aren't going to be excluded if the user is subsequently looking for what they're going to sell.

Snapchat jihadist-fearing peers return with LAST GASP Snoopers' Charter demand

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Re: It's all fine

"flatten creases on shirts"

Flatten creases? Nobody told me.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Who's the puppeteer?

"I do wonder who exactly has their hand their Lordships collective backsides and making them jump on demand."

Nothing so complicated. They're party hacks. Tom King as a minister under Margaret Thatcher wafted through a number of departments. Lord West is an ex-admiral but a Labour peer. Labour wanted this when they were in office. The shameful thing is that the Conservatives were against this when they were in opposition & have done a clear volte face, maybe the result of selecting a Blairalike as leader instead of David Davies.

Drunk on Friday night? Then YOU probably DIDN'T spot Facebook's privacy tweak

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Thumb Up

"Hamburg's privacy regulator "

Not Germany's, Hamburg's. A privacy regulator per city! That's more like it!

BYOD is NOT the Next Biggest Thing™: Bring me Ye Olde Lappetoppe

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"In other words, eat Widows you proles! "

ElReg promoting cannibalism?

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Re: Laptops, Tablets, Phones

"the lowly IT person attempting to scrub the cruft off some VP's company laptop yet again"

It department offers a 1 week turnaround service to clean laptops which are returned with a helpful leaflet explaining how to avoid this in future. After a few months of being without laptop for a week each month the penny starts to drop.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: One down, one to go

"Also spelled death of lets not consult IT when implementing new systems."

Unlikely. Memories are short.

Microsoft tells big biz: No free Windows 10 for you, crack wallets open

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'So Microsoft's strategy seems to be pushing out new features to consumers as soon as they are tested. Enterprises can then wait and see what borks what, then add in features as they like once stability has been proven.


"We're trying to figure out how consumers get a one-size-fits-all OS and features as fast as possible at a quality bar that businesses wouldn't tolerate. Business wants to get features when they are ready for them, and will pay for it."'

What does "they" refer to in the last sentence, businesses or features?

All this reads to me as if consumers are, in fact, the testers and only once a feature has had enough releases to stabilize it will it be offered to the paying customers. Or am I reading it wrong?

UK official LOSES Mark Duggan shooting discs IN THE POST

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Re: Hmmmm

"Don't have enough information from the story, but posting a disk encrypted with very strong encryption may be appropriate"

We've not been told the data was encrypted. I'd have thought that if it was they'd have been falling all over themselves to reassure us. So...

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Re: And still using DISCS IN THE POST

"Royal Mail Special Delivery is specifically mentioned as a permissible transmission channel for everything up to Top Secret"

In this case we don't know the marking nor whether it was Special Delivery. For all we know they were sent 2nd class in which case they might be delivered tomorrow.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: FFS...

"ICO should issue the maximum fine for a data breach"

It would make no difference in this case as fines just go to HMG. Now a fine to be paid personally and not reimbursable by the depts. Perm Sec or minister. That might have some effect. For one thing it would be made clear all the way down the chain that this would be a sacking offence.

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Re: Follow proper procedure

"Joke - but the clock is ticking until it happens."

What made you say "until"?

Smartphones merge into homogeneous mass as 'flagship fatigue' bites

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Re: Obvious

Have an upvote for flashpig.

Privacy alert: Outlook for iOS does security STUPIDLY, says dev

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"A list of topics we don't want to see in this thread, because they've been done to death and totally discredited:"

So why did you introduce them?

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Re: Fate Acompli…?

From the previous article at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/29/microsoft_outlook_comes_to_ios_and_android/

"former Acompli CEO Javier Soltero is now Outlook general manager at Microsoft."

Alibaba's magic cave empties as it misses revenue target

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"knowingly hosting sellers of counterfeit kit."

That's the problem. Take care not to know & you're OK.

UK watchdog grills big biz: So HOW do you use their 'consumer data'?

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"This has a positive side, in that it helps us ... to receive more targeted advertising"

Don't these muppets realise that some of us just don't want to receive any advertising, let alone more targeted?

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Re: enforcement action

"an excuse to avoid/procrastinate...to take action against the unfair use"

Far from it. One of the objectives seems to be "how the CMA may promote competition in this area". It looks like they're out to make things worse.

A docket, tweet and selfie can reveal your identity, boffins find

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90 percent accuracy

Translate that into 10% errors.

If someone's making enough attempts then there's a good chance that one of those is going to land on me. Or you. Or one of our families.

OH HAPPY DAY! Lawyers replaced by AI

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Re: I was more interested

"I wonder if we'll see more of these specialised search engines appearing."

I wish. I sometimes put enquiries into Google about placenames. What I'm looking for are historical references. Inevitably the results are headed by piles of estate agents' adverts.

Reddit: Don't worry, we didn't tell that foreign government about your /r/brony addiction

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El Reg?

No comparable stats from El Reg? Please don't say we're not important enough.

We take bots down, but they get up again – you're never going to keep them down

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Re: When will the NSA do their damn jobs?

'I even saw a "honeypot" advert on tv here in the UK the other day'

You watch adverts?

What do China, FBI and UK have in common? All three want backdoors in Western technology

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So what if...

...Apple and others decide this is unacceptable and move manufacturing out of Chine?

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Re: Communication equipment

Not saying you're wrong, but citation needed.

Amazon's new WorkMail for enterprise: Another Fire dud – or a Kindle?

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Re: Once again - US cloud service. Two words from Europe.

'You don't get it. The can be no "air-gap" with the PATRIOT Act. It applies to any US owned company - and any companies they own - US or not.'

I think it's you who didn't get it.

Contract with a friendly non-US owned company to provide the service in a non-US country on that company's non-US-owned servers as a franchise with carefully chosen T&Cs under that non-US country's law. Note that: a company not owned by a US company; such things actually exist.

Any court in the US can bleat as much as it wants but the US-owned company has no access to the service provider's servers and can't have any court-mandated request fulfilled as the T&Cs prevent the service provider from doing so and the US court's jurisdiction doesn't cover those.

For Amazon, who presumably would be thinking in terms of running it on their own cloud, it might be a bitter pill to swallow, and it would mean sharing the profits with a franchise partner. But it would be doable.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Once again - US cloud service. Two words from Europe.

Possibly Amazon have learnt from others' mistakes and set up a legal arrangement with a proper air-gap in it. It's not as if their lawyers are unfamiliar with complex international corporate structures.

Your gran and her cronies are 'embracing online banking' – study

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"What doesn't work on the HSBC site?"

Working & being officially supported are two different things. I used to bank with HSBC for both business & personal. I don't know if it's changed but their credit-card settling process used to look a bit Heath Robinsonish. AFAICT it was handed over from one system to another mid-process & not hiding the join 100% successfully. One night this hand-over consistently failed. I thought I'd give them a friendly heads-up that they might have a problem, maybe some overnight job getting in the way. Of course they want to know what S/W you're using & their instant response was "we don't support that". This was later confirmed in writing by them. So for that and other incivilities such as closing my most convenient local branch I sacked them.

As of a few weeks ago HSBC group - including FD - still had the same restriction listed on their web-site. Even Barclays list Linux as supported. So although First Direct may work OK with Linux as soon as there's a problem, even at their end, you''ll find they don't want to know.

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You'd think that by now HSBC would have added Linux as a desktop platform that they recognise.

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I'll see your 20 & raise you 30...

How's this for customer service: Comcast calls bloke an A**HOLE – and even puts it in print

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"he court would quite literally tear them to pieces"

I think the word you were looking for was "metaphorically".

Man trousers $15,000 domain name for $10.99 amid registry cockup

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Re: So How's Pets.com Doing?

"Back when owning a generic dot com domain was supposed to be the ticket to success, there was the famous crash and burn Pets.com. I've never visited that site before, but I did just now to check on it before making this post. There's no site at pets.com, it's just a re-direct to another domain that I've never heard of that sells pet supplies."

A few minutes with whois shows that pets.com was last modified late last year. The other domain was registered a few years ago. So it's possible that the pets.com domain was acquired fairly recently by the owners of other site who elected to keep their existing site - and existing customer recognition - and do the redirect as a quick fix. Not saying that that's what happened but you can't draw too many conclusions from a redirected name.

US looks at plan to hand over world's DNS – and screams blue murder

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Re: The simplest and best solution

With a republic you can vote for the head of state but you always end up with a politician.

BOO! Grave remote-code exec flaw in GNU C Library TERRIFIES Linux

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Re: Not Again

"This one is going to be particularly hard to fix"

Really? I paused reading when I got to the sentence that said fixes were available, installed them which took less than a minute, carried on reading and then went to the comments section where, of course, I found exactly the sort of comment I expected.

Switch it off and on again: How peers failed to sneak Snoopers' Charter into terror bill

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Re: Organising the Techies

Write to your local MP. Suggest they get together with various members of their friends & family of a reasonably wide range of age groups. Get each one to check his smartphone for apps which use encryption. Ask them what their reaction would be if those apps were made illegal. Point out that the likely results would make the Cameron policy the shortest political suicide note in history (your MP should get the reference).

Also point out that criminals, including terrorists, disregard laws. Although the MP's constituents would be affected by such legislation and considerably angered by it the terrorists wouldn't. They'd have sufficient resources to roll their own apps; the strong encryption genie has been out of the bottle for a couple of decades now and it isn't going back, ever. So all that will have been achieved is a large bunch of unhappy voters and a smaller bunch of uninconvenienced terrorists.

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