* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Tax the tech giants and ISPs until the bits squeak – Corbyn

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Re: How about the Leveson Enquiry anyone ...

"Implementing Leveson (including Leveson 2) in full is already Labour policy."

There are lots of things which are in the policy of opposition parties but cease to be as soon as that party gets into power. This applies to all parties. Most party supporters realise it. Unfortunately LibDem supporters seem to be an exception here so we've lost the ameliorating influence that that party brought to the 2010-2015 coalition.

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Re: Hmm

"what actually IS social class?"

A political construct which is essential to the functioning of the Labour party and similar institutions.

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"I don't drive a car but I still help pay for the roads"

I do drive a car and do pay for the privilege but very little of it goes to pay for the roads or anything else road-related.

You know what would happen to the Corbyn tax. HMRC would label it hypothecated and, on the basis that they don't like hypothecated taxes, would just roll it into the general taxation pot and the intended beneficiaries would get little or nothing out of it. I would just become one more of those taxes that future chancellors would keep increasing and hoping nobody would notice.

Use Debian? Want Intel's latest CPU patch? Small print sparks big problem

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Re: Take it

"Like I said I've got other things to worry about out here in the real world."

Go and read the W10 privacy clause. As you're obviously not used to reading this sort of thing I'll give you big hint. Pay attention to what's missing, what they don't exclude themselves from taking.

"The data we collect can include the following:"

Notice it says "include". It doesn't say it's the complete list.

"Credentials. Passwords, password hints and similar security information used for authentication and account access. "

"Payment data. Data to process payments, such as your payment instrument number (such as a credit card number) and the security code associated with your payment instrument."

Compare that with something a little further down the list::

"Interactions. Data about your use of Microsoft products."

Do you notice something different between the first two and the third? The third has a restriction to Microsoft products. Do you see such restrictions in the first two?

Your real world includes Windows. Does your country's laws actually prevent Microsoft's "telemetry" from seeing stuff you might not want it to see and that you weren't "bloggered" to read about?

Frankly, I doubt you have much idea about the real world.

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Re: Take it

"Most people don't care because we have actual things to worry about based outside in the real world."

As far as I'm concerned the real world includes all sorts of legal issues. Perhaps that's because a good chunk of my career was concerned with the courts. I had to be able to stand over, in the witness box, what I wrote and signed. Another substantial part was as a freelancer so again, contract terms were important to me. You might have lead a more sheltered life which has hidden these aspects of reality from you.

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Re: Weasel

"Of course, what he's specifically NOT addressing is the fact that Debian *won't* distribute the package."

And addressing why they won't is very strictly off-limits.

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"It wouldn't be Linux if it wasn't inconsistent and interminable bickering over licensing terms and conditions."

We FOSS folk take this stuff seriously because we can. It must be awful just having to put up with whatever rapacious T&Cs proprietary S/W vendors impose. But perhaps you're used to having to bend over.

There is still gold to be had in the world of Microsoft resellers

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"In figures filed at the UK’s Companies House, BSS reported turnover of £277m for the year ended 28 February 2018, up 28.4 per cent on the prior fiscal. Did someone say software reselling was dead?"

As soon as I read that I thought a likely explanation was that they'd bought in business by taking over another company.

Oh look, that's what they did: "Cash in the business dropped by £20.6m, principally to fund the new group acquisition. In 2017, BSS snapped up rival reseller Phoenix Software for £35.9m."

So how much of that 28.4% was actual growth and how much was acquired?

A third of London boroughs 'fess to running unsupported server software

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Isn't it odd that when it's suggested that they run Linux or a BSD people will come out of the woodwork and claim it can't be supported?

Redis has a license to kill: Open-source database maker takes some code proprietary

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Re: Wait and see

"it's an attempt to solve a real problem."

The real problem seems to be that Redis (and presumably others) jumped on the open source bandwagon without thinking through the pros and cons and are now trying to get off it again.

If it doesn't need to be connected, don't: Nurse prescribes meds for sickly hospital infosec

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"Manufacturers tell healthcare pros the equipment should be always connected to some backend, contrary to the advice of security clearing house ICS-CERT and others."

This is where procurement should push back. Make it clear that if equipment has to be connected to a backend without that being a functional requirement then it won't even make it to the long-list. If spurious recommendations that it be connected aren't removed from the bumph it won't make it to the short-list.

One-in-two JavaScript project audits by NPM tools sniff out at least one vulnerability...

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As good as that? I'd rate anything that depends on stuff from some arbitray third* party sites as vulnerable.

* Higher ordinal numbers are available and may also apply.

Elders of internet hash out standards to grant encrypted message security for world+dog

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Re: "Elders of the Internet" - The IT Crowd is fast becoming the 'go to' IT reference.

Who are you and what have you done with amanfromMars 1?

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"While metadata in SMTP is in the open, contents of the messages can be OpenPGP or S/MIME and thus protected."

The problem with this is that we're far from a tipping point being reached. Most people don't use PGP in email because they don't know anyone who uses it. The people they know who don't use it don't use it because they don't know anyone who uses it. It's nothing more than an optional addon that rarely gets added on. with the effect that anyone sending encrypted emails stands out as being of possible interest to the TLAs even if they're only saying "Don't forget aunt Emma's birthday" and actually meaning "Don't forget aunt Emma's birthday".

This will remain the situation until encryption is built into the protocols used by mail as the default mode of operation.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Cue firestorm

"It's still a problem because it means they'll be able to retroactively decrypt today's messages."

The essence of encryption is that it needs to take longer to crack than the information remains significant. If it can be cracked in 20 seconds it doesn't matter provided the message is an instruction to do something in 10 seconds time. If retroactive decryption at some point in the future is a worry you need to concentrate on avoiding interception, not avoiding decryption.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I have to agree, Lee. Perhaps this protocol could be generalised to fit mail as well as group messaging.

Ex-UK comms minister's constituents plagued by wonky broadband over ... wireless radio link?

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""We're sorry to hear about..." is another of those phrases like "we take.....very seriously". It's just rolled out without thinking and almost certainly without intending it to mean anything.

Nevertheless it strikes the ear as indicating that the query was the first they'd heard about the problem but this belies the present tense in "we're doing all we can" which implies ongoing action. If they've only just heard the only thing they can be doing at the time is looking at what action they can take.

It would make more sense if they said they were aware of it and were doing all they could or if they said they were sorry to hear about it and will examine the problem (preferably urgently). As it is this bit of boilerplate is about as unreassuring as they could be short of simply coming out and saying what they really mean which is probably along the lines of "So what do you expect us to do about it?".

You want how much?! Israel opts not to renew its Office 365 vows

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Re: Opening Remarks

"For any organization to say "no" to MS subscription would essentially mean having to be ready, in short order, to remove their dependency on MS, something that would likely cost a lot more than whatever the licensing costs are."

Hmmm. At any one time, maybe. Over a longer period of time those subs add up as a comment a little way up the thread points out. The real problem that prevents a proper consideration is short-termism. For once Trump seems to have the right idea.

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Re: We've definitely hit 'Peak Bullshit'. - Have we hit 'Peak Subscription' yet?

"We've definitely hit 'Peak Bullshit'."

If only.

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Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

It boiled down to "our buzzword scanner only understands .doc"

That may be the case with HR. With pimps agencies there's a suspicion that they want to be able to edit the CV and don't know how to do that with PDF.

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Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

"And PDF is supposed to be a standard format."

I'v been taking a few PDFs prepared for printers and reformating them for putting on a web site, with a bit of editing of the copy in one case. I'm starting to realise that while PDF is a standard container format what's hidden inside can be as mad as a box of frogs.

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Re: £££££££££££

"I can see the advantages for smaller org's that don't have the muscle to sort out the infrastructure for themselves"

OTOH a small org might not have the cash flow to pay the subs reliably. If a bad month means you can't pay the sub and get cut off from an essential service the next month is going to be a whole lot worse.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I wish the UK goverment had this capibility."

The only capability needed seems to be common sense. I see what you mean.

Texas ISP slams music biz for trying to turn it into a 'copyright cop'

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Grande should offer the publishers a cheap takedown service - one that only costs pennies. The first of the day costs a cent. The next doubles up to two cents, the next to four cents etc. Only pocket change. They should have no problem accepting it.

Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires

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Re: What do you expect?

"This is a state emergency. We are now comandeering your premises for the duration of the emergency. We will return it to you when the emergency is over."

In the interim we will be conducting firefighter training exercises in it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A contract means what it says it means, not what you wish it means.

"A good salesman gives the punter the best product for their requirements not the best product for the salesman's commission."

Sadly, these days a good salesman is one who sells the best product for the his commission.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: What do you expect?

"users get an unlimited amount of data but speeds are reduced when they exceed their allotment "

What sort of contorted language can equate having an allotment of data with "unlimited". Apart from anything else, depending on the speed with which the allotment was exceeded the total amount of data that could be transmitted would approach a limit, that of the amount transmittable at the throttled rate over the period of a billing cycle.

We hear endless complaints about "up to" data rates; limited "unlimited" deals are far more reprehensibly misleading - the first involves the laws of physics, the second a deliberate action by the vendor.

Et tu, Brute? Then fail, Caesars: When it's hotel staff, not the hackers, invading folks' privacy

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Re: "Et tu Bruté"

"Are you sure? I think OP was going for "assured"."

Whatever it was, much hilarity ensured.

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Re: Infamy! Infamy!

"Rank stupidity!"

I thought that involved a gong.

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Re: "Et tu Bruté"

"If you're going to make comments like that, make sure you're not making a fool of yourself while doing so."

Given the gist of the comment a little confusion between near homonyms doesn't add much to the folly.

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Re: NEUKlearer HyperRadioProACTive IT Weapons Systems ... Not a Foe for Fights ...

"Troll, troll, troll, troll."

You must be new here. Are you the same A/C who didn't know French (and other languages) have a capital initial?

Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

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No problem. Those are two of the many devices I wouldn't have been buying anyway.

Big Tech turns saboteur to cripple new California privacy law in private

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The obvious strike back here is for a new ballot with the original measures to be put forward - and for it to be made clear to the corporations that it will not be withdrawn this time under any circumstances and that if they don't like it they have only themselves to blame.

Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers

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"If you jump into the world of electric cars ...and let's face it, they are coming for all of you"

Maybe not for this guy and his neighbours: https://www.examiner.co.uk/news/west-yorkshire-news/health-safety-row-electric-car-14552658

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: let's go back to the good old days... oh wait!

you can make a copy of the key before you sell your car (or house for that matter...)

Car is driven off very unlikely never to be seen again. Unless you have access to a tracker in it (which, in part, is what this is about) your key does nothing for you.

With a house you can, and should, change the locks when you move in. You never know who the previous owner might have given a key to - and even that owner might have forgotten. A few years ago my daughter bought a house. The owner said she'd handed over all the keys. The day daughter moved in, or maybe the next day, one of the neighbours turned up to hand over their copy of the key the previous owner's forgotten about.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


"So why hasn't the labeling been challenged on exhaustion grounds?"

Has a manufacturer of fizzy sugar solutions actually tried to enforce that term? In absence of that it's probably not worth anyone's while to launch their own challenge.

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"we consider the previous owner to be responsible for the removal of the vehicle from the account, this is also agreed upon in our terms of use"

So a Merc is subject to terms of use. In that case, who actually owns the vehicle, the person who thinks they bought it or the manufacturer?

Microsoft: We busted Russian Fancy Bear disinfo websites

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Re: Why

that is too complex a distinction for the news PR dept.

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Re: How things have changed

"Russia is the new Evil Empire rather than Microsoft."

It's OK, you can have more than one and arrange them as appropriate. Axis of Evil & all that.

Bloke hurls sueball over Google's 'is it off yet?' location data slurping

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Re: Android user here

"... sorry."

So you should be. This is an almost new laptop.

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Re: Bots on el-reg

"Every post that criticises Microsoft gets at least one downvote even if it was a clear FootGun moment."

I suppose it's a living.

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Re: Bots on el-reg

"I noticed a couple of times that there seems to be a series on downvotes on commentards, just the odd one or two on *all* the posts. Which suggests that someone who takes a weird dislike to a particular set of articles or a bot that attempts to alter the appearence of consensus."

I think it works like this:

A posts something egregiously wrong.

B points it out.

A is upset at being caught out. As it was clearly wrong he can't really contradict B.

At this point most people would say the equivalent of "fair cop, guv", either publicly or, more usualy, to themselves and move on. A can't do this.

A now shifts the blame for the damage to self-image to B and goes through B's posts, sometimes systematically, sometimes not, and downvotes them irrespective of what they said.

Wear your stalker's downvotes with pride. It means that you were right and somebody hasn't forgotten.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Googles choice is going to be

"If it's not they'll pay the fine and find a way to keep on slurping up the info."

It's not just going to be a question of one fine (actually this is a civil suit so it's going to be damages); this is going to come up across multiple lines of business and multiple legislations. ISTR that this is already under attack in the EU in addition to a previous Schrems suit. India (India!!) is getting in on the act as well. You may think any of these are small in relation to the size of Google but cumulatively they're going to cut into profits unless advertising prices are raised. If advertising prices are raised maybe some advertisers are going to start looking more carefully at what they get for their money.

US tech circles wagons as India reviews data protection proposals

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Chickens coming home to roost.

The US is gradually having to accept that t doesn't actually legislate for the rest of the world - and, in some cases, that there actually is a rest of the world.

Internet overseer continues wall-punching legal campaign

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What's German lawyer-speak for "We've got a right mug here."?

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Re: Doesn't bode well for a UK out of the EU then ?

"Looks like we'll be following EU law for quite a while,"

Yes, because, apart from the fact that GDPR, like all EU law, becomes part of UK law unil Parliament says otherwises, the current DPA is based on it more or less - that more or less bit is the wriggle room HMG has given itself. Because, unlike ICANN, we have a vested interest in doing business with the EU (not that some people realise that) the wriggle room is going to give us problems because I doubt the EU is going to be so daft as to give us a Privacy Figleaf as they did with the US.

London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

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"design review, network 3rd party assurance (their design and review processes)"

The management view: These reviewers, they're so negative about things. If we ever took notice of them we'd never get anything done.

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Re: Cost

"when travel insurers start turning up wanting their pound of flesh for payouts caused by this kind of cockup."

Travel insurers, payout. Does that sort of thing happen?

Prenda lawyer pleads guilty to moneyshot honeypot scheme

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Re: "criminal fines of up to $750,000 when he is sentenced later this year."

"Too bad the victims of his scheme aren't going to see a single dime of that money"

Not according to the report on the Beeb: "It also includes clauses that will see cash gathered by Prenda, and potentially more in damages, returned to the people who paid up."

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Re: One of the 98% that give the 2% a bad name

"As in the UK, if the court decides that the bankruptcy was to avoid a court judgement, then it merely exacerbates the penalties."

And judges really don't like people trying to take the piss out them.

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