* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Boffin suggests Trappist monk approach for Spectre-Meltdown-grade processor flaws, other security holes: Don't say anything public – zip it

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"Should this guy be teaching?"

I was wondering what branch of engineering he was teaching in and how to avoid any products his students might have had a hand in.

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"they're more likely to turn the updates back on and get the fix"

And have other upgrades break stuff. Sometimes you can't win.

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Re: Know thy enemy (bugs in this case)

"sometimes, camouflage is your only hope because your adversary has access to superior technology"

The superior technology may well be rendering your camouflage useless anyway in which case all it contributes is a false sense of security.

RIP, RDP... nearly: Security house Check Point punches holes in remote desktop tools

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"So the Microsoft client doesn't have any serious ... vulnerabilities but the Linux clients do?"

Either that or it doesn't have the code open-sourced for examination.

Not cool, man: Dixons spanked over discount on luxury 'smart' fridge with wildly fluctuating price

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If you're spending that much on a fridge are you going to worry about a grand here or there on the price?

In fact, it probably gives you bragging rights:. You only spent how much? Mine cost a grand more than that.

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Re: DFS

"Also, when are ASA going to grow a pair and actually punish retailers for misleading consumers?"

They're essentially a trade body. AFAICS they have no statutory powers. Unless the industry itself agrees to fine itself (the money presumably to go on trade junkets) they can't issue fines.

The real question is then is a govt going to grow a pair and replace the ASA with a statutory body that does have such powers?

Fujitsu pitched stalker-y AI that can read your social media posts as solution to Irish border, apparently

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What do the propose to do about the situations where the border runs through farms, even through houses?

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Re: I've got the perfect solution

You'll never get anywhere. It doesn't leverage a single thing.

I won't bother hunting and reporting more Sony zero-days, because all I'd get is a lousy t-shirt

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will actively attempt to have those reporting such vulnerabilities portrayed and/or prosecuted as "hackers".

Years ago, when open FTP was still a thing (don't tell me it still is) I went onto a download site - a Norwegian Universtiy IIRC - and realised that I'd just cd ..ed past my original access directory. And then realised I could keep going. Maybe to / if I'd tried.

Maybe I should let them know. Maybe not. I decided "not" would be easier.

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"see my mail sent to you at 18:37 on 15 Sep 2017"

Or in my case 11:57 11 Oct 2018.

Crypto exchange in court: It owes $190m to netizens after founder 'dies without telling anyone vault passwords'

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Re: Crypto-busting test case

"any decent encryption is unbreakable in useful timescales"

And at any appropriate cost. There's be no point if it could be decrypted by use of resources that might cost 5 times the value of what's on there.

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Re: As we get older...

"there is/was a widespread superstition that making a will brings forward your demise."

Or the simple fact that thinking about one's demise is not a pleasant thing to do and hence gets put off...and off ...and off.

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Re: Bullshit

"the company would put all the cold storage cryptocurrency in one wallet"

The article puts wallets in the plural. But it still makes no sense to have a sole password holder. If there are multiple wallets then the passwords can be shared out between multiple trusted employees. A business such as this does have multiple trusted employees doesn't it? For extra security the passwords themselves could be split and handed to different employees.

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Re: Bullshit

"If ...only one person held the passwords, then they deserve to be sued into oblivion."

If only one person held the passwords they don't need to be sued.

Civil liberties groups take another swing at Brit snooping regime in Euro human rights court

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Don't panic. The HO will already have the next bill with some variation on Investigatory Powers in its title already to go to the printers bu the time a verdict is given. They probably have it ready now, just waiting for the dates to be added. Then we start all over again.

Thanks for all those data-flow warnings, UK.gov. Now let's talk about your own Brexit prep. Yep, just as we thought

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Re: So, at what time on Friday 29th March 2019...

Probably April 1st after a weekend's panic buying has cleared the supermarket shelves.

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Re: Brexit updates ...

"In all this time Theresa May and her collaborators spent a lot of time making nice speeches and appearing on the media and very little time at the negotiating table."

To be fair to May she did send one of her True Believers to negotiate. Then another. How many is it now?

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Re: Brexit updates ...

Or his no true Scotsman story.

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Re: Time to have another public Brexit vote?

"an unelected head of state"

Still preferable to a combined head of state and head of government - even if that combo were elected on a straight majority of votes.

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Re: a second *binding* referendum and cancel the madness that is Brexit.

"How is it a dictatorship to implement a democratic vote?"

How democratic s it to implement an advisory vote as if it were binding?

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Re: Time to have another public Brexit vote?

it's way overdue for you chaps to hold a second *binding* referendum

An excellent idea. Boris could launch the pro-Brexit campaign with a rousing speech in Sunderland.

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Re: Brexit updates ...

"the remainer PM"

I never believed that. She's a brain washed Home Sec who'd like to get out from under the ECHR let alone the ECJ.

"the remainer civil service"

That'll be the folks who actually have to try to advise governments on what's practical in the real world. I wonder why they'd be remainers (except for the HO thinking about those pesky European courts).

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Re: There is a solution!

"Who needs data transfer and fancy IT?"

Data transfer and fancy IT are two different things. I hope you're not running a business on the assumption they're not. Your data can exist in any form including hand-written. Your data transfer can be anything from handing someone that hand written not upwards. Your data processing can be shuffling through that pile of paper on your desk.

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"However having fully implemented GDPR then the European Commission could very quickly agree adequacy of data protection whether there is a deal or not"

How quick is quickly? And your argument suggests that GDPR is implemented. The current DPA contains various weasel clauses to allow HMG a good bit of wrggle room. If the examiners don't like them then a new DPA is needed.

"I don't think anyone stopped using US servers when it was found that Safe Harbour was not adequate"

They went to relying on contractual clauses which are again under attack in the courts. In the case of HMG's data there probably isn't a contract in place. How do they get round that?

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Re: a second *binding* referendum and cancel the madness that is Brexit.

In other words your bright idea has brought us the worst of all worlds.

Yup, there's a lot that's wrong with it but some of us contrive to avoid bringing sharp knives near our faces if we don't like what we see in the mirror.

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Re: a second *binding* referendum and cancel the madness that is Brexit.

"The really old ones, who are old enough to remember WW2, are solidly remain. The baby boomers are leave"

Some of us are in between. Too young to actually remember WW2 but too old to be boomers. Damn categorisers!

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Re: a second *binding* referendum and cancel the madness that is Brexit.

a write in option, with prizes for the most creative entry anything that looks as if it stands a chance of working.

FTFY

European Commission orders mass recall of creepy, leaky child-tracking smartwatch

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Unhappy

"Sort of like what parents did in the olden days."

That might be an assumption too far for some parents.

Grumble Pai: FCC boss told by House Dems to try the novel concept of putting US folks first, big biz second

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"He is not a politician but a civil servant and as such is obliged to explain his actions to Congress."

I can't help thinking that a useful weapon to have in dealing with refractory public servants would be the ability to put them under a degree of financial micromanagement if their relevant oversight committee becomes displeased with them. Each month they are required to report back to the committee on what they've done in regard to their key objectives and their monthly pay is only signed off if the committee is satisfied with what they're reported. Obvious precautions could be taken to verify the reports from time to time.

OK, it's early 2019. Has Leeds Hospital finally managed to 'axe the fax'? Um, yes and no

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"can we cull the people who write a Word document and email it as an attachment when plain text would have been entirely adequate"

Yup, just as soon as we've finished culling all those who write emails in HTML without embedded links to graphics (we cull those after we've culled those who include links).

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Re: paper records

"Photocopiers are your friend."

If you don't have one handy you can always fax yourself a copy.

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Re: Problem ?

"Don't you remember the days that when you wanted to piss off your mate you just sent him a 100 page empty fax?"

No; at least I don't remember mates like you. I trust you're not making any decisions that affect the NHS.

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Re: What about scan to email?

"But as always they blame goes back onto the staff for using this method"

And as always the blame would go back onto staff for not using the now withdrawn method when an alternative was unavailable for any reason.

I'd like to think that front-line NHS staff had a strong preference for any working method that came to hand rather than the recommendations of a Whitehall committee.

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Are you saying the use cases of the NHS are those of primary schools?

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Re: paper records

"Almost all prescriptions require signed paper documents. Most pharmacies expect to get these faxed to them by doctors for confirmation."

It's over a decade since I had anything to do with prescription systems so I've no idea what the back-end of the current ePrescriptions is but I'd be surprised if it was fax.

However the current system seems to depend on the patient having a specific pharmacy registered to the prescriber, the latter being a GP practice. This means that other prescribers such as dentists will still rely on paper. Also, at least in our case, the registered pharmacy is not the one next to the surgery so if a doctor wishes to write out a new or one-off prescription they will write or print off a paper script as this is a lot more convenient than chasing off to our registered pharmacy.

Slightly OT: Years ago our then GP's receptionist had a printer next to the PC. They obviously couldn't be bothered going to buy regular printer paper so they loaded it with FP10C, the fan-fold prescription forms, face-down. All prescription forms were produced as secure stationery, ordered by a secure process and consequently much more expensive than regular fan-fold. Even when it had print-out on the back the paper coming out of that printer would still have been valid prescription forms; the waste should have been securely disposed off if they weren't going to turn it over and print scripts on it.

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Re: paper records

somebody still relies on "paper records" ?

When your email system went down and you didn't have a backup and the patient died the coroner might want to see them.

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Re: What about scan to email?

"why are you holding that bit of paper you want to scan-to-email in the first place?"

Because it contains important hand-written notes. They were hand-written because all the computers were down because of the latest virus infection.

And you don't actually want to scan-to-email. You just want to transfer it to someone else quickly and reliably. Start from the requirement, not the solution. "Quickly" probably leads to some electronic means of transmission. "Reliably" strongly suggests having a fall-back. "Quickly and reliably" means that sending a courier to the consultant 50 miles away isn't the best backup.

It's just as well to remember that when it all goes wrong you'll probably need the hard copy for the coroner's court.

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"never underestimated the enormity of the task"

enormity

noun

1. the great or extreme scale, seriousness, or extent of something perceived as bad or morally wrong.

2. a grave crime or sin.

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eFax had to be "part of our digital transformation journey"

That little word* "had". Whatever happened to "could"? Did anybody ever decide whether removing fax was feasible or do they wait until their network goes down to discover that?

* The bigger word "journey", of course reveals the entire statement to be wanker-speak.

Techies tinker with toilet-topper to turn it into ticker-tracker

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Re: a representative sample

"before you move on to all the tricky cases you hope to work with eventually"

Such working out who it is that's sitting there.

Tedious Service Bulletin: No prizes for guessing which UK bank's services are DOWN for business users

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"it was primarily meant to be set up as a challenger bank on its own merits"

Management misread that as "challenged".

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Re: Why do they still have customers?

"Lloyds were obliged to shed a bunch of customers because of government ownership. They could simply have offered incentives"

They actually used an alternative - being so bad some of us went elsewhere of our own volition.

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Re: Why do they still have customers?

"But anyone who still maintains an account with them despite plentiful alternatives"

It was the behaviour of the former TSB that led to me abandoning Lloyds but as to the "plentiful alternates" they're only plentiful in terms of approximately matching awfulness. Awfulness includes all of them closing branches where I'd prefer to bank. Do actual branches matter? Yes, especially when you get online banking falling over and then telling customers to go to the local branch which doesn't exist for any acceptable value of local.

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"Twitter-handlers suggested users head into a local branch"

What's a local branch?

Our vulture listened to four hours of obtuse net neutrality legal blah-blah so you don't have to: Here's what's happening

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Re: "Appointed people shouldn't be in the business of making rules. "

"You can't really expect Congress, or any Parliament, to bear the full burden to create each and every specific and detailed rule, often in fields elected people have really no clue about, and rules that may need to change faster than the legislative process allows."

As far as Parliament is concerned it passes legislation that empowers the relevant minister (in practice, of course, the minister's department) to make the rules. The minister is answerable in Parliament, directly and via the relevant Select Committee, and the rules can be challenged in court if the legislated powers have been exceeded. See the discussion above.

To what extent, if any, are the Federal Commissioners answerable to Congress?

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Re: So where is Congress in all this?

"super bright headlights"

Headlights? These days even the sidelights are a problem.

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Re: So where is Congress in all this?

"Actually the UK also has regulations made by government departments."

Yes. Statutory Instruments. The word "statutory" is key. The statute lays down what the minister can do and if the minister oversteps the mark the regulation can be challenged in court by anyone who gets bitten by it. The minister is also answerable to Parliament.

To whom are these Federal Commissions answerable?

Oh cool, the Bluetooth 5.1 specification is out. Nice. *control-F* master-slave... 2,000 results

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Re: It's not cultural cluelessness

"Genuine offense is not something one needs to search for."

Samuel Johnson had this one nailed: “What! my dears! then you have been looking for them?”

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Re: It's not cultural cluelessness

"all pronouns I use to address the group or describe students in general are meaningless"

If I were in that position I'd probably take the line that as a male I personally find it offensive that "my" pronoun has been hijacked for the general usage.

The "I'm a bigger snowflake than you" approach is likely to be one they haven't anticipated.

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"it could be traced back tot he Normans"

You can probably go further back still, at least to the hegemony of Wessex. They started a tax collection system to pay Danegeld. Beware the usual saying about Danegeld. The reality was that you could get rid of the Dane but you couldn't get rid of the geld. Domesday records the valuation for geld of each property TRE, ie. at the death of Edward the Confessor a few months before Hastings. England was already a feudal country, not necessarily along the exact lines of Norman England but feudal enough.

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