* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

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"

Kids!

What do they teach in schools these days?

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Do we reckon revenge will be taken silently over the next few months?

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

"we haven't worked out yet which."

Sometimes I worry about AMFM1. A few weeks ago there was a post which was more or less intelligible.

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Re: Mandatory Room inspections??? - How to turn a Hotel into a Hospital...

"That said, they should still knock first..."

And ring before they knock.

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Re: Caesars have proven themselves incompetent

"Hotel staff opening your door with a keycard is fairly different from that sort of forceable entry."

DEF CON attendees probably don't assume that unlocking the door requires official sanction. If there's a next year they'll probably ensure the locks only open for their own keys.

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Re: Caesars have proven themselves incompetent

"That naked lady in the shower would have been legally able to shoot both of those guys. Might have lost her room deposit though."

And a surcharge for cleaning the blood off the carpet.

Gartner's Great Vanishing: Some of 2017's emerging techs just disappeared

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advancing nearer reality – but still "more than 10 years away"

Stuff can be 10 years away for decades.

And what happened to "serverless"? Gone TITSUP? [Tottering into total silence under pressure]

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climb the "Peak of Inflated Expectations" before falling into the Slough of Despond, or as Gartner calls it, the "Trough of Disillusionment". There, after shaking off the Mud of Mockery or the Dust of Derision

I'm sorry, I haven't a clue.

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

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Re: Best Airport information infrastructure is at...

"Mulu International airport"

The army helipad in S Armagh used to be styled Bessbrook International Airport. I'm not sure they were supposed to be international on a regular basis.

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"The only redundancy they now have is the moron who failed to QA before pressing the big green 'go' button."

No way. Have you any idea how many senior managers would insist on getting their names on the sign-off of a new big shiny? They're going nowhere.

Beam me up, PM: Digital secretary expected to give Tory conference speech as hologram

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Are you sure it was Matt Hancock? I'd have expected him to appear by app. Everyone turns on their phone and watches him on that.

UK.gov told data-sharing plans need vendor buy-in

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Re: 9 per cent

"As in all surveys, the outcome depends more on who s believed to be asking the question, the context that the question is asked in, and the precise wording."

It would help if reporters given the results of such surveys insisted on getting and publishing not only the precise wording of the question but also of the entire survey - previous questions can influence this.

"Congratulations, Bernard. You are a perfect balanced sample."

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"efforts have been hampered by a litany of ethical, legal and technical issues."

I think you'll find only one of these categories is taken seriously.

'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway

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Re: GPS location on the router home page.

Now the default password is not necessarily an issue.

Provided (after you use it) it says "For security reasons please change this password to your preferred password, and record the new one in a safe place."

Not quite enough. The default password should only get you into a screen that says "For security reasons please change this password to your preferred secure password, and record the new one in a safe place. YOUR DEVICE WILL NOT BECOME OPERATIONAL UNTIL YOU DO THIS." And enforce minimum standards on acceptable passwords.

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Re: It's almost like...

"produce the bare minimum you can get away with."

Which is why, as per a comment above, we need regulation to raise that bare minimum to something adequate.

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Re: Default passwords? In this day and age?

"Sadly, we need design and implementation standards- backed up with laws and harsh penalties applying to manufacturers, importers, suppliers and system integrators."

Worth a thousand upvotes.

"Banks and other organisations are starting to tell people to be more careful"

I'm not convinced of this. Those I've dealt with persist in training their customers to be phished by sending out emails inviting them to click on links, some of which require logins.

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Re: Default passwords? In this day and age?

" know marketing runs everything these days, but Shirley even those dumb-fucks should have put this one to bed by now!"

You seriously underestimate marketing.

SentinelOne makes YouTube delete Bsides vid 'cuz it didn't like the way bugs were reported

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I hadn't heard about this. Now I have. Thanks, SentinelOne for publicising this. If we search for SentinelOne on Google will we hear about it not liking the way bugs were reported. It would be a real shame if enough people posted about that to get it on first page in Google.

Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim

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Re: Why city planners love autonomous vehicles

"If the town planners decide to discourage me from using my car in their town, the result will be that I don't go to their town."

Those in my local town have already done this.

As an additional feature the parking vultures who have taken charge of the out-of-town centres are also discouraging people from visiting their bait the shops there. Thank goodness for Amazon.

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Re: Why city planners love autonomous vehicles

"At least at the moment commuter cars are out of the way once they are at their destination; take away the daytime parking and they will have to remain on the road, which doesn't look all that sensible."

The standard answer to that is that the commuters won't own their cars, the car that brought the commuter will go off and carry someone else. That's a solution that ignores the fact that commuting takes place at restricted times of the day. If the number of AVs is restricted to the number that are going to find post-rush hour passengers there won't be enough to carry all the commuters.

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Re: Does it include

"If you can enumerate those things then I expect so can someone paid to do so."

The essence of enumerating things like those is that there's always another one to be added to the list. Another is that they have a complexity that introduces other things to be enumerated such as the possibility that pedestrian crossing the road will suddenly decides to turn back, the cyclists travelling line astern who suddenly change configuration to line abreast.

Each item also complicates the task of the AV. It can recognise a human and allow for a set possible actions. Can it also recognise a sheep? Can it still recognise the sheep when it's not standing on the ground but on top of a wall at the side of the road? If it can recognise the sheep standing on the wall can it work out that it's about to jump and can it recognise which end is which so it can recognise whether it's going to jump into the road?

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Re: Does it include

"2 women on pavement outside the pub chatting"

On the pavement? You were lucky. The pub at the end of our road has a fairly narrow pavement. The drinkers just occupy the whole road. There's often a car parked at the stop line of the road junction. I've even come across a photographer in the middle of the road taking pictures of a wedding party.

The tables to the side of the pub? Totally ignored.

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"Stileman told us that simulator needs to include real world dangers such as kids milling around an ice-cream van and plastic bags flying across the field of view, too. But there may be others."

Cyclists. Especially cyclists travelling in groups. And even worse, cyclist in events organised by cycling clubs.

Home Office opens AWS cash firehose a little wider with police IT deal

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CLOUD Act

The US law enforcement agencies welcome the new UK-US one-way data sharing agreement.

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Re: Icon

"And in other news, the RAF will be renting its F-35 frontline fighter jets off Lockheed Martin"

Given that we don't have control over the S/W we do. The purchase price is just a large advance rental payment.

Google responds to location-stalking outcry by… tweaking words on its BS support page

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Re: 'Why does it do that? Because it is worth a lot of money to Google'

"Tech companies will likely do the maths on GDPR sanctions to see which problematic features are so profitable that they can afford to keep them running - or at least eat a one-time fine as an experiment in testing the EU"

One thing about Google is that it's diverse enough to land itself with several fines for offences in different lines of business. As more countries enact similar legislation businesses could also find themselves paying fines for the same behaviour but in relation to different groups of protected citizens.

What happens to your online accounts when you die?

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Re: My carefully curated online presence

"just how significant is it that they don't hear of your death anyway?"

A good friend of ours died a couple of years ago. We didn't find out until one of her daughters wrote to us after they received our card the following Christmas. Had we known we'd certainly have gone over to Belfast for the funeral. So, yes, it can matter.

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Re: My carefully curated online presence

... is on someone else's computer(s) that you don't control. Keep your email etc. local.

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Re: My carefully curated online presence

"Strictly, I don't think you have any possessions once you're dead."

You have an estate to be sorted out by your executor so I suppose the contents count as possessions. It's a sobering thought that a really complex estate could have a longer existence after the deceased death than it did before. Perhaps I should occupy my remaining years in trying to set that up.....

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Re: Get a Power of Attorney

"organisations like this usually have specialist bereavement teams to deal with this process"

Working there isn't likely to be a sought-after job by the organisation's brightest and best. You need to factor that into your dealings with them.

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Re: Get a Power of Attorney

"Generally this gets things moving nicely."

But only once you get past the wet hens in customer services who have neither a script for that nor an escalation procedure.

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Re: Get a Power of Attorney

"if the company doesn't want to do something - it won't!"

If you're prepared to go the full legal route they will when the bailiffs go in. Especially if the bailiffs start by seizing the receptionist's PC and phone.

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Re: Get a Power of Attorney

"I guess this would be considerably more difficult if she has passed away."

It ought not to be as the power then automatically passes to the executor. There would, however, be a delay until probate's granted. The real problem lies in customer service scripts not having a section for dealing with probate or powers of attorney and their ISO9000 insistence on repeatability means that they repeatedly fail.

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Re: Get a Power of Attorney

"And it will only get worse."

Until we start getting nasty with them and start taking them to the small claims court and then send in the bailiffs when they ignore that.

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Re: America 'Fall-Of-Rome' moment:

"Americans Own Less Stuff, and That’s Reason to Be Nervous What happens when a nation built on the concept of individual property ownership starts to give that up?"

Some of the stuff the linked article lists as objects you own are ephemera - most people don't keep the newspapers or magazines they bought - today's news is tomorrow's chip wrapper. Books are more likely to be kept but personally, I'm about to send a consignment to the local charity bookshop.

Even the more solid stuff like furniture can have a finite life. Whilst the extremely solid oak bookcase we bought years ago and has been dragged after us round two countries is by now a potentially valuable antique; the Ikea bookshelves are never going to achieve that status.

The thing I really find interesting is the discussion of ultimate lack of ownership of iThings, Office 365 etc as Apple and other vendors can control the fate of them by controlling their subscription software. In contrast here I am, with my Linux kit, LibreOffice etc., all that stuff which its more extreme critics used to label communist, in undisputed private ownership of my own stuff. Does that make me a capitalist instead of a neo-feudal villein?

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Re: IMHO

"If I have paid for a product, which has supplied a physical media or downloadable copy of content (that I can store)"

The physical medium the product was supplied on you own. You own the physical medium on which you stored the download although your use of the download itself maybe defined by the terms you agreed to (possibly without reading) before the server would deign to start the download; in this case your rights to pass on the stored download might be less than you assumed. A product which is streamed is going to be subject to T&Cs which forbid you from capturing it even if DRM doesn't prevent you from physically doing so.

The T&Cs will determine whether you can legally pass any of that onto your kin or anyone else.

Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

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Back in the days of dumb terminals talking to Unix servers we had an accounts package that had to be fed a new re-licensing key at intervals and it would simply issue a reminder that that was falling due at the start of every terminal session. I'd cobbled together an arrangement (in modern parlance, written an bot) that enabled our order processing system to make account enquiries on it. That got into trouble when it first encountered the reminder. Eventually, because back then our database system, Informix, shared a C-ISAM base with the accounts package, it was possible to persuade it* that the accounting files were database tables and read them directly.

*Create a database with tables corresponding to the structure of the foreign package, delete the data and index files and replace them with links to the files you want to read.

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At least the supplier had sent out emails. I had an email supplier sit dumb for about 3 months after my card expired before sending a final demand email threatening to cut me off. It couldn't have been so unique a situation that they felt no need to develop a reminder process.

Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

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Re: Unbelievable

"Are they deliberately trying to fail as massively, and destructively as possible?"

No. It's all driven by arts graduates who have no knowledge whether what they're asking for is possible or not but have an unshakeable belief that it is. If it were otherwise we wouldn't even be in this position.

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"Nothing against Croydon, and a knighthood and complementary Aston Martin from Q wouldn't swing this one."

What's the problem? It's not going to last so no need to move there. Any freelancer is likely to have done weekly commutes to similar places.

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Re: Not Enough if you ask me

"I don't think £100k is enough to persuade anyone competent to link their name to that crap."

It's doomed anyway so the only competence required is that of not minding. Any of us retirees could take it on as a nice little addition to the pension.

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It seems to be a generous salary for a job that simply consists of writing reports that say it won't be ready in time and when it is ready it won't work.

And at the end of last year, MPs on the Public Accounts Committee said the UK border could be left exposed thanks to “weak contingency planning” – a particular problem if the UK leaves with no deal.

How can the border be left exposed by Brexit? We're doing it to take back control.

Lo and behold, Earth's special chemical cocktail for life seems to be pretty common

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Re: So, why don't we still have dinosaurs?

"Alternatively (more or less like the much later merger of proto-eukaryote cells with prokaryote, in which case the latter turned into organelles such as mitochondriae and chloroplasts within eukaryote cells), the new forms might have been assimilated within the older ones."

There's a shared biochemistry in terms of genetic coding between the eukarytotic and prokaryotic components to suggest a common origin followed by a period of parallel evolution before one assimilated the other.

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Re: So, why don't we still have dinosaurs?

"we have no way of telling whether any of what we know of the fossil record and current species are from a first or subsequent attempt at life."

There's quite a lot about life that could be different but isn't. The set of amino acids in proteins is one and the coding between nucleic acids and amino acids is another. Given 4 types of nucleotide one base pair is worth 2 bits of information so the 3 base pair codon represents 6 bits which is one one hand the minimum but on the other contains many redundancies. A smaller set of amino acids could result in a much more efficient 2 base pair codon and we might expect to see that if there were parallel life chains. Our genetic code is highly conserved, even between such different organisms as animals and plants; we don't see other, equally well conserved, genetic codes amongst the rest of nature. It's possible, of course, that any alternative starts could have been out-competed or simply eaten but, knowing the way life forms survive by interdependence, it seems likely that, had they existed, at least some of them would have been readily recognisable parts of the Earth's ecosystem.

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Getting life started is the original chicken and egg problem even if you take the simple monomer molecules, nucleotides, amino acids etc as a given.

Assuming you have a random string of RNA, to get to an equivalent random string of amino-acids as a protein you need a set of transfer RNA molecules, a set of enzymes to attach the t-RNA molecules to the correct amino acids and an enzyme that works its way along the RNA string, grabbing an appropriate t-RNA/amino acid complex for the next codon of RNA, linking the amino acid to the amino acid from the previous codon and chucking the t-RNA molecule back into the milieu.

That requires a number of distinctly non-random proteins to do that in addition to the distinctly non-random t-RNAs even before we start to consider how natural selection might fashion the random RNA into a functional gene producing a functional protein. And it also ignores the trick of reproducing the RNA chain and eventually moving to the DNA > m-RNA stage. That's an impressively substantial boot-strapping requirement.

We've also got to consider the energetics. We also need to assume chlorophyll or some other suitable pigment is available and that this can somehow be coupled with adenosine phosphorylation (I'm assuming adenosine is also available as one of those simple compounds). That's needed to power the protein synthesis.

It all needs to take place in a benign environment as heat and pH outside a narrowish range around 6 - 7 will denature the protein and heavy metal ions will inhibit their function as enzymes.

The set of circumstances needed to get from a random collection of simple organic molecules into a set of self-organising structures is less likely, and less likely still that they're going to survive random bombardments of extra-planetary objects, be in the habitable zone and be on a planet where the gravity isn't too strong to permit the growth of larger structures.

Who was it that hacked Apple? Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie, boy boy boy!

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"It was noted that Apple was particularly eager to avoid generating any publicity in the matter. They didn't get their wish."

Two law enforcement agencies looking for PR. A court case tailor-made to catch editors' attention. No wonder they didn't get their wish.

Great headline, BTW.

Distro inferno: Debian's still rocking at 25

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Re: Fond of Debian

"It remains possible to have a systemd-free Debian, but it's pretty clear that this won't remain true forever without having to rebuild stuff"

Let the Devuan folks rebuild it. I do have reservations about the systemd crowd making that impossible but should that happen Slackware would be in the same hole as Devuan. If that happens BSD would be the answer.

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Re: Devuan +1

"Three boxes down, two to go."

In the Debian/Devuan context it's not often you find "boxes" and "down" in the same sentence.

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Re: Stable for servers

"unless devuan, can gain full support"

I think that needs a bit of explanation. Full support of what or from whom? Do you mean support of H/W? If so it supports whatever the equivalent Debian supports although availability of a new Devuan might lag the release of the equivalent Debian a little. But then the whole approach of the Debian world is release it when it's ready and not before.

Google risks mega-fine in EU over location 'stalking'

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Re: RAAAAAAAAAAGE!

"Yeah, and Grimsby, while you're there."

Nuking a place while you're there isn't usually a good idea.

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