* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

LocationDumb: Phone tracker foul-up exposes world+dog to tracking

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"opt-in marketing"

How novel.

Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

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Re: Had you just happened to hit the executive facility?

"Also interesting was the difference in cleanliness of various facilities towards the end of the day."

Amongst the instructions "Please leave these facilities as you would expect to find them" is a common one. The differences you note are the consequence of differing expectations.

Open justice FTW! El Reg fought the law – and El Reg won

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"Does that go as far as a full transcript of the proceedings?"

You might have to pay for a full transcription to be made. The judge and barristers will make their own notes ?in longhand but if the official reporter is using shorthand it will all have to be typed out from that. The official reporter would use the shorthand if asked to read back a reply but from one story I heard there didn't even seem to be any systematic preservation of the shorthand notes after the case had finished.

I'm not sure of the situation regarding audio recordings. They were being trialled back in one court in my day but it's a long time since then.

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Re: Wonderful

"Some outlets/papers don't do ANY journalism now, simply quoting Wikipedia, PR, adverts and wire services."

But mostly Twitter.

Blighty's super-duper F-35B fighter jets are due to arrive in a few weeks

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"even today, MoD have learned nothing, and don't have a clue what they should have in development now for deployment in 2030."

What they'll probably end up with is a catapult. No, not those. A Y-shaped piece of wood, an elastic band and a pile of stones.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: paying over the odds for early-stage machines.

"If I'm beta-testing something, I expect a big discount and a free upgrade to the finished product as compensation for my time and help"

I think your expectations are out of date. Whatever you buy you're probably a beta-tester with added data-slurpage.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"PA474 flew over Ladybower today instead, I don't know if there was anybody there to watch."

They flew one of the two surviving members of the original op. over, sitting in his usual seat. The bomb-aimer's seat. They reckoned that even if there was nobody there to watch they owed it to him.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

If they're so stealthy perhaps we could claim we have a couple of full squadrons already operational but nobody can actually see them.

There was supposed to have been a fly-over of the Derwent dams in commemoration of the anniversary but it didn't happen because of unfavourable wind conditions. However I think they must have had the Tornado flypast; one appeared close to us yesterday afternoon.

Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

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Re: Tech savvy, bleeding edge bellends!

I'm sure 100 years ago every person with a horse was laughing at those idiots with their automobiles going 10 mph and running out of fuel after 25 miles while the horse simply "refulled" by eating some grass on the side of the lane.

From time to time there are TV programmes about weird inventions. It seems that for everything that worked - such as the motor car - there were a whole stock of things that you've never heard of, largely because they were solutions to problems most people didn't need to have solved.

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Re: No, no, no!!

The Linksys EA7500 WiFi router can ONLY be configured easily if you hook it up to a Linksys server and then download the "app".

Make note to self...DO NOT BUY....

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Re: Unnecessary points of failure

There is no fundamental reason why the logic needs to be hosted in the "cloud" or that you should need to pay any kind of subscription for this.

If you're selling this stuff there's a very fundamental reason. You stumbled on it at the end of the sentence.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Everything is down. Can't watch my child fall asleep. Fix. This. Now."

"There's probably some 15 year old script kiddie watching your child sleep instead."

The child probably is a 15 year old script kiddie. They want to check he's not awake and hacking the NSA.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Did I read that right...

"Probably no worse than losing a purse that's got your house keys and driving license in."

Keys in key folder, driving license in wallet. That's two things to lose. Losing phone would make it a single point of failure.

Brit prosecutors fined £325k after losing unencrypted vids of police interviews

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"This was a copy of the version that was, presumably, properly stored with full chain of custody for the trial."

Which of these were the CPS planning to produce in court? If they were planning to produce the original why were they bouncing a copy between offices?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

If this was supposed to be court evidence they weren't taking continuity seriously. Having exposed this practice twice I'm sure defence counsel will have taken note. It should make for interesting cross-examination.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Doesn't the GDPR do this (make a nominated person - probably very senior - ultimately culpable)?"

Even better. Although a DPO has to be nominated there are provisions for directors or other senior officers to be held responsible and although the actual words aren't used that's effectively ex officio. IIRC the relevant section of the new Bill (should it ever get through Parliament) is S191.

I got 257 problems, and they're all open source: Report shines light on Wild West of software

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Citation needed

"The bogeyman of the hoarders of personal data, GDPR, also reared its head. Black Duck noted that responsibility for compliance lies not only with auditing one's own code and processes, but also ensuring that any open source in use is also compliant."

In what way does GDPR say anything about code? It's all about data, specifically personal data, and what you do with it. It makes no difference whatsoever as to the technical details of how it's processed; even your salesman's little black address book is subject to it.

I'm building raised beds in the garden. I could do with some of their top-quality BS as a soil improver.

Git push origin undo-my-last-disaster

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Everything old is new again.

But seriously, just how much did he wipe out at the start? Just code by the sound of it. He's not going to have got gigs upon gigs of data back from Git in that time. Don't these people need data in their systems or is looking after it SEP?

Capita cost-cutting on NHS England contract 'put patients at risk' – spending watchdog

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"It decided to outsource the service as it lacked the necessary skills to transform services through better use of IT, the NAO said."

This is the central problem. Those are also the skills needed to supervise an outsourcing contract. A successful IT operation must start with a core team in-house with adequate knowledge to understand what the business or organisation needs and what's available to meet those needs. With that in place they can then make a sensible decision about whether to outsource or to develop in-house, bringing in external help on an as-needed basis.

Trump’s new ZTE tweets trump old ZTE tweets

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"Just what is being done about ZTE therefore remains unknown."

Including by Trump.

Zuck to meet Euro MPs for ‘please explain’ session

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Could we arrange for his flight to be diverted into LHR and met by a party lead by the Sergeant at Arms?

Software development slow because 'Most of our ideas suck'

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"So what does that say about developers that are proponents of this idea?"

They're paid peanuts.

I'm finally starting to see the reasoning behind it.

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Re: Mud on a wall

Mud would probably be an improvement on what might be thrown at the wall.

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Re: What's missing in this commentary

"The difference between good and bad ideas is whether or not they bring benefit to the customer."

Good = New, Bad = Old (the stuff we deployed a couple of hours ago). Customer? Benefit? What's that all about?

Lawyers for Marcus Hutchins: His 'I made malware' jail phone call isn't proper evidence

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"so what's the motive now?"

General embarrassment of the NSA due to the damage done by their malware which they failed to control.

Whois privacy shambles becomes last-minute mad data scramble

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Re: really, fear should be unnecessary

"I, at least, won't be expecting complete adherence on the date from registries that got no guidance."

The registries have had as much guidance as everyone handling PII in other lines of business. GDPR mandates various behaviours which affect registries. That mandate overrules any clause in the ICANN contract which is in conflict.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Typical ICANN

"This puts the European registries in a tight spot."

It shouldn't. Like everyone else they've had plenty of warning. As you say, statute law overrules contractual terms so ICANN's contract terms will shortly become invalid with respect to any data subject resident in the EU irrespective of where the registrar is or the TLD of the registration. The registries should have realised this and made their preparations in good time. The only question remaining is what do the contracts say about terms being made illegal - does the contract remain in force with only the affected terms struck out or is the entire contract invalidated?

Privacy group asks UK politicos to pinky swear not to use personal data for electioneering

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an exemption that allows registered parties to process personal data "revealing political opinions" for the purposes of their political activities.

Coming up soon: the registration of the Cambridge Analytica Party and others.

Agile development exposed as techie superstition

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Re: Agile is b*llocks. Any non-idiot knows this.

" you think that going to a conference like this is actually making you a better person, then you're simply not very good and should be in another industry. "

To be fair, discovering the pointlessness of this is a rite of passage. If you don't grok what's wrong after the second conference that convincingly contradicts everything that was so convincing in the first then you really should be in another industry; probably management consultancy.

Void Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta – life is hard for small distros

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That list at the beginning: you missed Debian. That's one of the most important distros. However it doesn't, AFAIK, have a multi-million dollar company behind it.

Julian Assange said to have racked up $5m security bill for Ecuador

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Re: Stupid Question Time

Plus, the UK can deem the embassy "not an embassy" any time they like, totally legally.

But not without causing an international incident.

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Re: It would have cost them something

"or #UK"

A hashtag? Are you Amber Rudd?

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Re: Suing would backfire, badly

"Courts use video links for witnesses who cannot make it to the courtroom for whatever reason."

It depends on whether they accept the reason. Being a fugitive from an arrest warrant for skipping bail might not be a good enough reason.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Under the Computer Misuse Act, such an action would be illegal without authorisation."

It doesn't apply within the Ecuadoran embassy although they may have their own legislation about that. If they were to charge him they'd probably have to take him to Ecuador to stand trial. The trip might go via a British court and possibly jail here. Sweden might get involved as well.

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Eventually "Operation Saga"

Heat death of the Universe?

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The scheme was first named "Operation Guest" before changing to Hotel, which may reflect the length of Assange's stay at the embassy.

Shortly to be renamed "Long Lease" and eventually "Here's the deeds".

Hey cool, you went serverless. Now you just have to worry about all those stale functions

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Re: Who'll thnk of the data?

"You put the code the developers write on the same system as your data"

You put the code on some 3rd party "serverless" server. Now where do you put the data? In some other location? Then you expose the data directly to the internet so the serverless server can access it. Let's think of all the ways that could go wrong.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: BaaS

"There will always be vulnerabilities, just make sure they're somebody else's fault."

Scapegoat as a Service.

Oh Capita! Thirsty outsourcing titan finds small oasis in contract desert

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Re: Oh God!

Conflict of interest?

You've been Zucked: Facebook boss refuses to face-off with Brit MPs

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Re: It's the politics, stupid

"Send a subpoena or STFU"

Under what authority would they be able to serve a subpoena in the US? That stamping of feet you heard - have you looked down at the end of your legs?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"We were disappointed after providing a very significant amount of information to the committee at the last hearing that the committee declared our response insufficient,"

Not half as disappointed as the committee were with the response.

US judge to Facebook: Nope, facial recognition lawsuit has to go to jury

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"I love seeing big data slurpers on the hook"

And meanwhile all the lawyers' children avoid starvation for a few more weeks.

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"Should the UK police ask Facebook for help since their own face recognition software sucks?"

I was thinking the opposite. FB could try claiming its facial recognition doesn't work because it has 98% false positives.

Zero arrests, 2 correct matches, no criminals: London cops' facial recog tech slammed

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Re: Surely though

"This system would might identify 50 people, one of which would be me."

It depends on the rate of false negatives but given your figures, what happens to the other 49? How many of them get picked up, held for a few hours, searched, miss trains, get locked up because they refuse to give anyone the password to their phone?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Surely though

"It's a prefilter."

That was my reaction. If it was doing a good job at that it would be worthwhile. But even for a prefilter that rate of false positives is very high and raises the question of how many false negatives there are. Is there adequate reason to suppose it's doing a better job than picking faces out at random?

Openreach consults on shift of 16 MEEELLION phone lines to VoIP by 2025

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

" If the phone service were not provided that maintenance costs that are currently chaged to your phone line will simply be added to your broadband charges."

Let me amend that. In the fibre future you'll still be charged for the upkeep of the line and it may indeed at some point be less than it costs OR to maintain the current structure. However you'll also have to contribute your share to pay off OR's loans for the cost of rolling out the new system plus the interest charges on those loans.

So will the rest of us, irrespective of whether or not we wanted anything more than FTTC. The chorus of "FTTC is not enough" have done their work. Now OR have got a means of getting a price increase past OFCOM.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

So we decide to do something and then try to find out how to do it. Have I heard of that somewhere else?

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"If OFCOM drop the need for BT to maintain the copper OR may finally be able to replace copper with fibre and have a happy ending?"

Does this replacement happen automagically without any cost?

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"I've no use for a voice line in the house but I've got to bloody have one to get broadband."

You may not have noticed that the broadband arrives in your house via the same set of wires as your phone. If the phone service were not provided that maintenance costs that are currently chaged to your phone line will simply be added to your broadband charges.

Get over yourselves: Life in the multiverse could be commonplace

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Re: And I always thought it was Dark 'cos we can't see it

"It is attracted by ordinary matter - its gravity - but goes straight through it and out the other side. Why? because it is the electrostatic forces that present surfaces, that repel things when they get close."

On a cosmological scale it's gravity that counts. It's gravity that holds galaxies together, not electrostatic forces. Electrostatic forces come into play at smaller scales. Electrostatic forces stop your hands passing through each other but when we see galaxies interacting it's gravitational forces that determine the outcome.

We're also told that dark matter, like ordinary matter, forms its own structures on cosmological scales. What's not clear is why ordinary and dark matter cosmological structures don't coincide given that they have a mutual attraction. I'd expect to see a single set of structures with dark and ordinary matter being similarly distributed.

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