* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

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"there is in faeces"

A lot of it is bacterial.

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I was also going to say that replicating DNA is "easy" for those that know how.

Of course it is. I've been doing it all my life.

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Re: Robert O'Tables

"an Irish family name ...I perhaps use this person's record on my dev server rather more than some others"

A certain large systems house on whom we all like to pour scorn were repeat offenders in sending badly formed XML with Irish names. After we'd explained it all to the developer doing the work they got it right. A few months later the developer we'd trained had had his visa run out and been replaced by another import, all ready to screw it up again.

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Re: "Wrong" email addresses

"some don't accept email addresses from free email services - probably they believe you've just created one to give 'em to hinder them harassing you for the next several years."

No problem. I use a paid email service and create addresses to stop them harassing me for several years. What's more, if I think I might need to use the service in the future I can keep the address in place but just set it to bounce until the occasion arises.

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Re: University

"unless you are extremely confident etc."

And the people running the site.

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Let's call out the bollox of using email addresses as login IDs. A user ID and a password taken together are a long string. Doesn't it make it easier to guess the string if you're given half of it? And an email address is one thing that you do tend to give out. It's a mitigation, but no more, if you're able to set up individual addresses for individual sites but the basic rule should be to have email address as a separate field.

Example 1. PayPal. The ID is the email address. OK, I can set up a unique address for this but I then find that hands out that address to merchants. Evidence? I had to change the PayPal ID (a pain in itself) because a merchant to whom I purposely hadn't given an email address decided it was a good idea to spam me using my PayPal ID. So PayPal, acting as a banker in that it's able to handle my money, is happy to hand out half my login credentials to a 3rd party. I'd like to think that they've stopped that crap under GDPR but I don't expect they have.

Then there's the assumption that an email address is a guaranteed to be unique and permanent ID personal. It's neither.

It doesn't necessarily have to be a unique individual address. Companies who adopt this tactic are quite happy to tell you to contact them on something like sales@numptiesrus.crap.

And it certainly doesn't have to be permanent, especially if it's an ISP provided address.

Example 2. I have a login at IBM which includes the name of my second (or last but one) ISP who, before I left them, had been taken over at least 3 times and hasn't been a valid, or at least a used, email address for at least 10 years. They won't allow it to be changed but do at least allow a separate, working, address to be provided.

Microsoft still longs to be a 'lifestyle' brand, but the cupboard looks bare

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And what's "lifestyle" anyway?

For many it will be social network and web-browsing. That's on the phone and they lost that one. Add in streaming media and gaming. After that you get into a lot of individual interests which don't fit well with a megacorp's way of doing things. What they probably mean by "lifestyle" in Redmond is "consumers watching adverts".

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"And no, some households (on the other side of the world) can't afford that subscription"

And some of us who could afford won't as a matter of principle.

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Re: if you don't succeed...try, try, try, try, try, try try try again!

"doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result"

I don't know the context of the original quote but I expect it was aimed at the uncertainty principle in particular and quantum mechanics in general which rather takes the shine off it.

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Re: It's a sad story actually...

"The last couple versions of the Microsoft C compiler for DOS were great products."

I quite liked FORTRAN for CP/M

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Re: isn’t there a risk?

"If MS surrenders desk/laptop OSs to Apple"

Or Google with Chromebooks.

Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

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Re: Look at all those wonderful alternatives insight.....Oh wait

"Android is now very popular because you know what you are getting when you buy it."

Is it popular or just the thing you buy because it's the only thing you can buy?

Brits whinging less? About ISPs, networks and TV? It's gotta be a glitch in the Matrix

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"I've given up calling Talktalk's support."

Who's to blame for them being the people you have to call for support?

Brit watchdog fines child sex abuse inquiry £200k over mass email blunder

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"Didn't give training on BCC emails? seriously? your staff need training on BCC?"

Clearly they did need training.

PayPal's pal Venmo spaffs your pals' payments – and yours

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“Our users trust us with their money and personal information"


" we take this responsibility and applicable privacy laws very seriously. Like on other social networks, Venmo users can choose what they want to share on the Venmo public feed”

Translation: We take it as seriously as other social networks, i.e. not at all.

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking

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Re: Mainframe?

"I wondered if this was Microsoft's cunning plan too. Computing as a service."

Than somebody'll reinvent the PC to be disruptive.

What's in a name? For Cambridge Analytica, about a quid apparently

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This offers for the name. Maybe someone was confused and that was their quote to take it away and dispose of it.

TalkTalk shrugs off moaning customers to claim 80,000 more

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Re: Why? Just Why?

"Indeed, but there are probably still people out there who don't have friends who are either in IT or who have been previous TalkTalk victims customers."

It's the PT Barnum effect.

Capita strikes again: Bug in UK-wide school info management system risks huge data breach

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"More than 21,000 schools trust SIMS everyday"

This will have been written by marketing. You simply follow the rule of always negating the word "trust" in relation to marketing, then it makes sense.

Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no

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The joke doesn't get less funny* the longer it goes on.

* Funny peculiar.

Privacy Shield under pressure as lawyers back MEPs' call for suspension

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Re: Sources?

"How about providing a link to an authoritative source for something with such far-reaching implications?"

Isn't tweeting the official means of US govt. communication these days?

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Re: Toothless Tiger

Yet another numpty of poor reading comprehension.

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Re: A multinational is a multinational.

"If the laws of region X and region Y are incompatible, it is going to have to choose which region it wants to do business with."

There are alternatives such as a franchise arrangements which would enable business to be conducted in both regions according to the local laws with the former multinational profiting from royalties. This assumes, of course, that the business is even legal in one of these regions. Selling other people's data presents a problem in this respect.

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Re: Art of Modern Warfare Chapter 1

"Personally, I blame the EU for not wanting to continue the charade (Safe Harbour) while not having a workable solution to replace it."

A workable solution to replace it does not exist short of a complete reform of the US's attitude to other people's data. I blame the EU for even believing such nonsense even deserved to be considered.

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"there were a number of misgivings from data protection watchdogs and observers"

And outright disbelief from the rest of us. Since then the CLOUD Act has simply made things worse from the US side and GDPR must surely have broken the so-called standard clauses.

Irish fella accused of being Silk Road admin 'Libertas' hauled to US

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Re: Extraditing random people?

Technically the thing would be "not illegal" rather than "legal", since that is the way that common law works.

Sort of. But stuff can also be illegal under common law. Murder was never legal even in the absence of statute law.

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Re: And people said Julian was being paranoid

"Extradition to the US"

Remind me again, what was the date on Julian's US extradition warrant?

Submarine cables at risk from sea water, boffins warn. Wait, what?

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"Are they talking about real sea level rise or is this some pie in the sky idea they got from an unvalidated computer model?"

It doesn't matter what your view is on this. I've tried to explain this before. Climates change over time. Sea levels change over time. Irrespective of whether you think this can be stopped by reducing CO2 emissions or whether you think it doesn't happen anyway you're going to be proved wrong. Even in places where there's a medium term* geological lowering of land level some ports have silted up and found themselves inland.

Don't expect your coastlines to remain in the same place. Don't expect floodplains not to be flooded. And don't expect fossil carbons to be an endless supply. Our descendants are going to curse us for shoving them up power-station chimneys when they run out of chemical feed-stocks (and that includes coke for making steel).

* Since the first few millennia of the current interstadial.

‘Elders of the Internet’ apologise for social media, recommend Trump filters to fix it

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Re: They had me at "Trump filters"

Anyone calling themselves a "Task Force" is rarely legitimate.

The IETF fits into your rare exceptions class.

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Re: Veritaserum

"Viking custom of trying to reach agreement on an important matter by holding a drunken conclave in the evening"

With Vikings (other, similar cultures are available) that only works if weapons are checked in at the door.

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Re: There's something wrong with social media

"No, they'll just copy-and-paste until they get over the minimum."

That can be dealt with by applying the repetition rule from "Just a minute". The deviation rule could also be applied, except at el Reg, of course, where it's mandatory.

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Re: There's something wrong with social media

"Maybe there could be something like a minimum 500-character length"

The opposite tack could also be taken. Reduce the maximum length to the point where serious effort is required to condense a thought to anything meaningful. The two could be combined - nothing allowed between 5 words and 500 words.

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I'm surprised they didn't include RFCs 1149 & 2549 as mitigations. Increasing latency has a dampening effect.

Gov.UK to make its lovely HTML exportable as parlous PDFs

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Re: Not reinventing the wheel

"That is, unless and until such a sensible goal gets lost under a weight of empire-builders and PHBs."

This is GDS. Of course that will happen.

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Re: The way government works is this....

SPADs and other assorted climber-upers only believe in something if it's in Excel Powerpoint.


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Re: Stand alone, reliable documents

"A PDF is out of date the minute it is made."

A fact which is extremely problematic for those in govt. who might have a shifting relationship with what they said a minute ago and very handy for those who want ot hold them to account.

TL;DR? Permanence has value.

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Re: Print to PDF

"Oh! Look its still on the fucking internet I can find it there."

Except when it isn't, not even on archive.org and assuming I only need to be able to see it when I have an internet connection.

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Re: “This work is downstream of some higher priorities, but is on the long-term roadmap.”

"Aren't these people meant to use plain English?"

Whatever gave you that idea? This is GDS. Whatever they're doing it has to be buried under the most opaque mounds of gibberish to stop anyone finding out.

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Re: Been there, done that

"take some XML structured data"

If only HTML were XML structured data.

Crooks swipe plutonium, cesium from US govt nuke wranglers' car. And yes, it's still missing

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Re: Bin (Dumpster) Diving

"leaving anything of value ... in a car in a hotel car-park is perhaps a bit foolhardy."

Or even the car itself.

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Re: Plutonium left in SUV in Marriot Hotel

"Kinda like a stone, only more radioactive."

Even that depends on the stone.

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Re: "It registers slight radioactivty in my kitchen due to the granite countertop"...

"Radon dontchakno"

Or tapwater if it comes from a reservoir in a granite area, e.g. S Belfast getting its water from the Mournes.

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Re: That dirty yard in the neighbourhood

"The few grams of Caesium 137 MIGHT be a tad dangerous if someone swallowed the lot."

If the caesium is in the form of a metal "dangerous" probably isn't the right word. "Spectacular" would be better.

Kremlin hacking crew went on a 'Roman Holiday' – researchers

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Re: Alleged Kremlin-linked hacking waffle

"What is this neocon propaganda doing on a technology website?"

What is this waffle about neocons, whatever they might be, doing on a technology website?

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Re: Numbered days?

"Something like a Virtual Private Network (1996):"

Your link goes to LinkedIn. Like any other site that requires an account to read it that isn't particularly useful.

'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

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What were the actual questions? All of them.

This was sponsored by Cityfibre. Any competent survey company can get the results their sponsor wants by choosing the questions and reporting the answers for the last one. Without seeing what was done to prime the respondents we've no idea as to whether this was done or not.

Tech team trapped in data centre as hypoxic gas flooded in. Again

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Re: New version of Cluedo

"the Beancounter who is found dead in the cellar."

Isn't the point of a demise in the cellar that the body's never found, it just disappears in a roll of carpet to a landfill north of Leeds?

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Re: Hasn't halon been banned or something in the '90s?

"Aren't they the BOFH's former colleagues "lying" around?"

And is there still enough Halon about to replenish after the BOFH's accidental (every single one of them) discharges?

PC shipments just rose, thanks to Windows 10

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Re: Kubuntu 18.04 - FOR THE WIN!

"Welcome to 2018, the year of Linux on the desktop."

Just like more years than I can remember before it.

You do, however, seem to lack the notion of multiple users or purposes. SWMBO & self are both using our Linux laptops at present. Then there's a smaller Linux laptop for when I need something really portable to take into libraries etc. There are also the Linux Pis, one on each TV to make them into non-slurping smart TVs. And the Linux desktop that's actually a desktop not a laptop for stuff that needs a Wacom tablet....

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