* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Trend Micro tools tossed from Apple's Mac App Store after spewing fans' browser histories

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Re: 1 - 2 - 3 - Not it!


No longer. Remember GDPR is now active.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: 1 - 2 - 3 - Not it!

"It's in the EULA that you didn't read."

And if you try that on an EU resident with the boxes pre-ticked you're lining your company up for fines of 4% of global turnover. Could that be why it's been withdrawn?

Register-Orbi-damned: Netgear account order irks infosec bods

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: If I had to register...

I'd be back to NetGear to try to kill my account


"Sometimes it pays to be a paranoid bastard"

But are you paranoid enough?

Volkswagen faces fresh Dieselgate lawsuit in Germany – report

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A company is owned by its shareholders. So shareholders suing each other. Again.

I suppose lawyers have children who might starve.

Expanding Right To Be Forgotten slippery slope to global censorship, warn free speech fans

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"European data regulators should not be allowed to decide what Internet users around the world find when they use a search engine."

And the point is being well and truly missed. European data regulators aren't deciding what internet users around the world find. They're empowering individuals to decide what should not be found about themselves. It's a big difference. It's about individual data subject's rights.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: If CNIL wins would it mean ...

"If CNIL wins would it mean ...

that Barbra could force Wikipedia to remove this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect ?"

Not unless she's an EU resident.

A boss pinching pennies may have cost his firm many, many pounds

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Penny Pinching Budget Protectors

"Many companies where I have worked operate on the 'budget protection' mindset where each manager jealously guards their own budget so that they look as efficient as possible."

Ah, budgets. And what happens when different budgets fragment the ability to manage as a whole. I'm pretty sure it was lack of coordination between budget holders that resulted in the following sequence at Marylebone station years ago.

Station was repainted. Beautiful job. e.g. there was a bookstall handily placed between the gates to the various platform with a moulded frieze showing the sorts of things they sold, newspapers, books etc. and each individual object on that was individually painted. Must have cost a fortune. Painting budget.

The walls were sandblasted covering all the new paintwork with a coat of dust. Buildings budget.

Some of the tracks adjacent were filled in covering part of the sandblasted wall. Tracks budget.

The whole station entrance was reconfigured demolishing the carefully painted bookstall (which was replaced with a small, far less convenient cave-like space). Utter wanker's budget.

There appeared to have been no budget for running trains; every evening involved a long pause which I interpreted as being the time it took for them to find enough working DMUs to string together to form a train.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Sympathy for any employee, anywhere, since time began ...

"You'd think that somewhere in management school they'd point out that that trick never works."

Management school, like any other school, requires that the raw material be educable, otherwise it doesn't work.

PPI pushers now need consent to cold-call you

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Re: If anyone

"Number spoofing or hiding for these companies should be removed - the telcos must know who they or their agents are as they will be billing someone for the calls!"

I'm all in favour of PAYG. Get a call, dial something like 1472 and get a fee for receiving the call credited to your telephone account. If the telco can't ensure they know the originator to transfer charge they carry the bill. OK, it needs safeguards so you can't get a fee from Auntie Mabel every time she calls. But as a general mechanism I think you'll find cold calling disappears almost immediately.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Pesonal liability, long time coming but..

"What's the odds that the first iffy company director that the ICO pokes a fine at will be a poor dupe living off state benefits who didn't even realize they had a company directorship?"

It's not an aspect of company law I had reason to look into but I'd guess the penalties for setting someone up like that are pretty substantial. Apart from anything else it's probably going to be an offence under plain old fraud legislation and the trendy new money laundering stuff as well.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Pesonal liability, long time coming but..

There was a proposal a few weeks ago to make directors liable for pensions in the event of liquidating a company. That needs to be extended to fines.

Y'know what? VoIP can also be free from pesky regulation – US judges

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Re: CCIE Opinion for those who care

"Obvious disadvantage is that you cannot call emergency services if there is a power outage. So this looks like a phone service and behaves like a phone service."

Given that limitation I'd have said it doesn't behave like a phone service.

It's been 5 years already, let's gawp at Microsoft and Nokia's bloodbath

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"Exactly this"

But not exactly this: "to of pulled themselves out of it. "

Post-silly season blues leave me bereft of autonomous robot limbs

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Re: I don't get it.

"Once people stop being teens, they stop paying attention to 'what's in'"

As far as I'm concerned most music worth listening to was composed and a great deal of it recorded before I was born, let alone in my teens. It's just that I've spent my time since then discovering more of it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"there are no major acts of statesmanship reported in the news"

If that were really the case why call it the silly season? Sensible season would be a better fit.

Revealed: British Airways was in talks with IBM on outsourcing security just before hack

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Re: BT was going to outsource security says leaked memo.

"nobody who wants to be taken seriously ever uses cyber in a sentence."

Lots of people who want to be taken seriously do that. It's just that they don't know any better.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"BA has a bad reputation of cost-cutting at the moment, he added."

How much cost-cutting like this can they afford?

Feel the shame: Email-scammed staffers aren't telling bosses about it

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I'm not surprised that a high proportion of bank (and probably building society) users would fall for this. IME they are the worst for spamming customers with what are indistinguishable from phishing emails so clearly believe blindly click links to be normal behaviour.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Plain text

I often hear "but I like to see the pictures"

I once got an email from the Co-op which consisted only of a picture of text. This is the touchy, feely, all-inclusive Co-op, right? I pointed out to them that not only was it a daft waste of bandwidth, that by default anyone with any internet security sense doesn't open pictures and that it would discriminate against blind recipients because text to speech wouldn't work. I think it was probably the last that did the trick; the other two would be over the heads of marketing.

People's confidence in orgs holding personal data is... on the rise?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Surely this demonstrates that the usually inept ICO is actually far more useless then we thought?"

You underestimate the population's capacity for avoiding thinking about anything that might be complicated. Add in a percentage who desperately don't want to know anything about it because it makes how they make their living illegal and hope ignorance of the law will protect them.

make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans

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Linus's plan for a quiet family holiday foiled.

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Re: Better option anyway.

"why let a few details get in the way of our opinions!"

This is certainly the TLA view.

NASA's Kepler probe rouses from its slumber, up and running again

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Re: 12 kg fuel

"it'd be 0.288 firkins"

The famous unit of volumetric error. It's either two firkin big or two firkin small.

Microsoft tells volume customers they can stay on Windows 7... for a bit longer... for a fee

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

From Microsoft's point of view they're just converting W7 from a one-off purchase to a one-off purchase and a subscription. They should be happy to continue indefinitely providing the subs provide a suitable margin over the costs.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Divorcing Microsoft

"So for my needs Libre-Office is fine (although I also have Office-2000 with the compatibility pack lying around for reading docx / xlsx). However in my home others need access to Office and the Ribbon because that's what they're comfortable with."

How old is your LO? I've not come across any docx/xslx LO can't read and the later versions also have the optional ribbon interface although it's currently labelled experimental. As I have no familiarity with the MS product I don't know how closely the LO ribbon mimics it but I really found no trouble moving between Office 95 or whatever and OO in the old days.

Cloudera and MongoDB execs: Time is running out for legacy vendors

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

At some point all pushers of latest hot technology are going to wake up to discover that they've become legacy vendors.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Strongly beholden to the millenial vibe

"Pushing arbitrary JSON into your database sounds flexible, but true flexibility is easily adding the features your business needs."

I did a job where pushing XML into the database proved flexible. But it was an RDBMS system so best of both worlds.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The SQL Empire Strikes Back

@ Matthew O'Keefe

A new handle appears. Oracle PR or Oracle DBA job hunting?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Christine Keeler moment?

"They would say that wouldn't they."

That was Mandy Rice-Davis. The Christine Keeler moment was That Chair. You remember it now I've reminded you, don't you?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Internet of Things data is arriving too fast for them to handle"

Simple. Evaluate its worth and treat it accordingly. No need for all this cloudy stuff.

Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

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Re: My best and only program.

In due course half your code contribution will be discarded in the interest of the production of new products. And I'm sure you'll be just as pleased with the results. To help you celebrate...

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Re: Voyager

"Surely Voyager 0 should be first ?"

No, Voyager 0 should be zeroth.

UK.gov's no-deal plans leave HMRC customs, VAT systems scrambling to keep up

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Re: @ Doctor Syntax

"This lot are bad but he is there to remind us it could be somehow a hell of a lot worse"

The usual description is "between a rock and a hard place".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A total waste of effort to support a transparent bluff

"It is very unlikely that this would get past any UK referendum on re-entry"

I think it would/will have no problem. The great mystery will be why, as the country proves to be so anti-Brexit, the original referendum produced such a puzzling statistical effect.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A total waste of effort to support a transparent bluff

"I cant imagine even with the ability of history to forget, rose tint and wash over things that the brexit situation could ever be looked back on fondly. "

Some of us have realised this all the time although I assume this is actually the "No true Scotsman" being rehearsed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A total waste of effort to support a transparent bluff


I hope you're right. If the backwoodsmen stage their coup first even getting them to sign the dotted line will be a problem until there's an upturn in the sales of pitch forks and a few heads appear on spikes on London Bridge.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The government are next to useless."

Next to?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: the department felt it had been acting lawfully

HMRC usually do, including on the numerous occasions when tribunals have found otherwise.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A total waste of effort to support a transparent bluff

a week year or two after crashing out, to stop the chaos.

FTFY. And that would be an optimistic timetable given how long these things normally take to negotiate.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A total waste of effort to support a transparent bluff

"It is obvious to the EU that May will never risk destroying Britain with a No Deal Brexit"

OTOH she's continually being hounded by the grass roots backwoodsmen who would. To some extent this might be an attempt to warn them which is indeed a wasted effort as they just call it Project Fear and disregard it. The worry is that it might be a much belated warning to the rest of us what to expect in the not impossible situation that they get their way. The truth is that this is the feasibility study that ought to have been completed and published well before the trigger was pulled, in fact, well before the decision was taken to actually pull the trigger.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Forget administrators, there'd be criminal proceedings."

That's how things used to be. These days they'd just be thinking about parting company with the CEO, along with a nice amount of cash upwards of £1m.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Tests to see whether it can cope with the strain are only just over halfway through."

I understand there's this bloke called Pester looking for a new job. It sounds like just the thing for him.

HTTPS crypto-shame: TV Licensing website pulled offline

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"my MP - Dennis Skinner"

He's still there? What age did he say he was going to retire and what age is he now?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I presume the BBC is responsible for the infrastructure?"

Why would they be?

'World's favorite airline' favorite among hackers: British Airways site, app hacked for two weeks

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"Didn't that go to TSB?"

Good question. Their initial problem happened well before GDPR became effective. Were there any intrusions after that date? Simply providing an inadequate service without a leakage of customer PII isn't going to fail GDPR so were there any ongoing leakages subsequently?

Archive.org's Wayback Machine is legit legal evidence, US appeals court judges rule

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: DNA and ffingerprints


Exactly. I spent a good many years as a forensic scientist. Although it wasn't a frequent occurrence we did see a few occasions where the defence called an expert. We had doubts as to the actual level of expertise, especially given the fact that they would claim expertise over much wider areas of the laboratory's work than individual staff members would, and given that we would sometimes have to show them how to operate a particular make of microscope. There were also a few, possibly apocryphal, tales of these independent experts arguing a case from a standpoint of ignorance; an industrial QA operator not aware of how to measure, say the RI of glass to a couple of orders of magnitude better than all that QA required.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Surely the mere testimony of an office manager does not meet the criteria for "beyond a reasonable doubt"?

The testimony of an office manager familiar with the operation of the system would be taken as expert evidence. The other side would need to produce counter-evidence from another expert to cast doubt on it.

UK.gov: NHS should be compensated by firms using its data goldmine

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Where data goes to pharmaceutical companies a good place to start looking for a quid pro quo would be prices of medicines.

No, no, you're all wrong. That's not a Kremlin agent. It's someone with 'inauthentic behavior'

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"Both are keen to work with the FBI to crack down on abusers because only the Feds can provide them with the tools they need to tackle problem posts."

And I think we know what the Feds expect to get out of it.

Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

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Re: we are the Cloud, you will adapt to service us. RESISTANCE IS FUTILE

"Yep, whats worse tho, an outage that microsoft spends it's time fixing or one you do?"

Microsoft's problems arising from an outage are any penalties in its SLA. End user companies' problems arising from an outage are loss of business during the outage, ongoing loss of business from those customers who went elsewhere and didn't come back, and trying to sort out any inconsistencies in data mangled by the outage or resulting from falling back to manual operations.

Who has the greater incentive to keep systems up and running and to fix them when they fall over?

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