* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Fake broadband ISP support scammers accidentally cough up IP address to Deadpool in card phish gone wrong

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Re: Dirty Scammers

"makes a nice break from filling in tax return forms"

You haven't realised it was a scam being run by HMRC to delay you filling in the forms so they can issue a fine?

Straight outta Blighty: Readers, if you were a tech billionaire, what would you do?

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"where to put the jam in its scone"

Simple. Between the butter and the cream. Who are these people who don't put butter on a scone?

Now let's get to the trick bit. How do you pronounce it?

OK Google, er, Siri, um, Alexa, can you invalidate these digital assistant patents, please?

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Re: Patent trolling should be punishable by at least 10 years in an Alaskan jail

"If they put all the share holders of companies engaging in patent trolling in jail, this non-sense would end instantly."

Be careful what you wish for. If you have any investments such as a pension plan you might find that you are, indirectly, a shareholder. Or maybe your children if you invested in some saving fund on there behalf.

Nationwide UK court IT failure farce 'not the result of a cyber attack' – Justice Ministry

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Re: Why o why....

"perfectly well"

I get the impression you've not spent much time hanging about courts waiting for them to get themselves in order. Or taken along a few copies of a statement the prosecution promised to give to the defence but you knew that for whatever reason that wouldn't happen.

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Re: Judicial precedent for refusing to continue ...

"effectively overruling the judiciary."

Only in one direction. Officially. Internment without trial has been tried a few times, presumably mostly by those who didn't bother to find out what went wrong last time.

Build the wall... around your DNS settings, US govt IT staff urged by Homeland Security amid domain hijackings

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Re: This is a joke right?

"The agency is telling them they have 10 days and will be held accountable."

Business days don't include weekends and public holidays. Presumably they also don't include periods when the government is shut down. Start counting when business gets back to what passes as normal

You heard the latest Chinese CRISPRs? They are real: Renegade bio-boffin did genetically modify baby twins

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Re: It's not the biggest worry

"have poor eyesight, hearing, short-lived"

Actually we have much better colour vision than a great many other animals. Acuity doesn't necessarily match some others but there's a trade-off between more receptors for acuity and more receptors for colour discrimination. We're actually very long-lived. That's a consequence of producing very under-developed young at birth, in itself a consequence of walking upright which restricts the size of the birth passage and having large brains which means the brain has to only part grown at birth so the cranium can just make it through. As a result post-birth development is greatly extended and there's evolutionary advantage in extending life well beyond child-bearing age so that grandparents can help raise grandchildren.

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

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"It was about 10:30pm Saturday night and the goat head was just on the path outside Wetherspoon; everyone was just acting like normal."

It must have had a sobering effect if everyone outside a pub at half ten on a Saturday nigh was acting normal.

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

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Re: Go for it, Google!

"I don't block ads."

I salute your courage.

If the site hosts the ads itself then they can and should take care to keep malware out of them to avoid being sued into oblivion.

If an ad network does that they'll probably continue to get away with it because it's harder to prove a case against them.

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Re: Go for it, Google!

"Opera is Chromium. If this change gets pushed, they're dead in the water too."

Opera hasn't always been Chromium. They could be something else - they could even go back to writing their own engine or fork Chromium.

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Re: So predictable !

"It's been scrutinized by every man and his dog"

It's also been scrutinised by CNIL, the French data protection regulator. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/21/google_50m_cnil_gdpr/

Must try harder.

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Re: Why cue the lawyers?

"if you don't like it, fork it"

And very likely to happen if they go ahead.

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Re: There is a trivial solution for this

"the same underlying approach has made life on Windows so much securer in recent years hasn't it."

I couldn't possibly say as I don't use Windows but as a general approach it seems better than "We'll not let this plugin stop us from screwing your privacy and we're not giving you the choice.".

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Paging Mr Schrems.

White-listing Azure cloud connections to grease your Office 365 wheels? About that...

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Repeat after me - it's not a cloud it's somebody else's computer.

French data watchdog dishes out largest GDPR fine yet: Google ordered to hand over €50m

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Re: Large corporations such as Google simply 'interpret the law differently'

They'll still get fined under the real one.

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Re: A State Level Protection Racket?

"Or they could stop indexing French companies, or French government services."

It's EU wide legislation. As GP said, they could leave a market of 500 million people to their competitors.

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"Am I missing something?"

Yes. That the offence is tracking users without the users' permission.

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Re: Tiny mammoth

"The law allows a maximum fine proportional to the company's income (up to 4%)"

It's a little more nuanced than that.

Firstly it's 2% or 4% depending on the offence. There's also what you might call the flat rate limit - 20m or 2% whichever is greater, 40m or 40% whichever is greater.

By setting the initial fine at 50m seems to indicate that they're going straight into "or greater" numbers for a start. And it is for a start; fines are rarely set at anywhere near maximum for a first offence (this is their first offence under GDPR). If there are other Google cases working their way through the system then it seems likely that with a first offence already recorded and a fine of this magnitude issued fines are going to get bigger unless Google shows a willingness to comply.

Any business considering how to react to GDPR should be looking at this as a warning that the fines are going to be orders of magnitude bigger than in the past.

TL;DR It's a shot across the bows.

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"UK? Sorry mate, we've terminated business with those commie europe-types"

If you're running a UK-based web site and relying on that view you'd be well advised to look up the current DPA.

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Re: re: There is no Refuse option available.

"Sometimes that is the best way to refuse the terms of service -- by not using the site/company and going elsewhere."

GDPR does not allow excessive data gathering to be tied to use of site. If a cookie is required for the operation of the site, e.g. to maintain state, that's OK. If it's to gather data about behaviour it requires separate explicit permission and service can't be withheld if permission isn't given. Breaching that aspect of GDPR brings fines.

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Re: ...fast forward 5 years of legal back-and-forth appeals....

"AFAIK other complaints over that are already working their respective ways through the legal systems."

More (successful) complaints = more fines.

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Re: ...fast forward 5 years of legal back-and-forth appeals....

"I wish browser would allow such option automatically, but as long the main one is made bu google itself"

It's only the "main one" because of the numbers of people who use it. Your post suggests you're one of those so it's partially your decision to make it that. You are free to do your bit to change it any time you want.

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"The Reg asked Google to comment and will update the article when we receive a reply."

The Beeb seems to have a comment from Google. It says they're studying the decision to decide on their next step. Would that be a decision between cheque or card?

French diplomat: Spies gonna spy – there aren't any magical cyberspace laws that can prevent it

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Is it possible that a prohibition on spying could upset diplomatic job prospects?

Stage fright or Stage light? Depends how far you dare to open your MacBook Pro's lid

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At Apple prices customers should be able to take good build quality for granted.

France wants in on the No Huawei Club while Canuck infosec bloke pretty insistent on ban

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Now we seem to have outsourced all manufacturing to China irrespective of the label what's the point?

NHS England digital boss in hot water over 'puff piece' written about her future employer

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"I think he's American"

It sounds like it. I suppose we just have to put it down to limited experience and a consequent bad case of Dunning-Kruger.

Struggling with GDPR compliance? Don't waste money on legal advice: Buy a shredder

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"Further GDPR-compliant items include beauty client record cards that come with a pre-printed blurb about data retention and use"

If the pre-printed blurb on such things offers sound advice it could be a good thing. Not so much if it just says "buy stuff labelled GDPR compliant".

UK.gov plans £2,500 fines for kids flying toy drones within 3 MILES of airports

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Always the same with "urgent" legislation brought in in the wake of something that hits the news. It hits the innocent and/or is difficult to bring home against the real offenders. And that "and" is more likely than "or".

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"Some people who fly sky lanterns are idiots."


Want to spin up Ubuntu VMs from Windows 10's command line, eh? We'll need to see a Multipass

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"Windows 10 developers have been gifted yet another way of running Linux on their desktop in the form of Canonical's Multipass."

Yet another way? The old one is still the best.

EU will have agreed a tech tax by March, says French finance minister

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Re: French politicians have a history of declaring what the Eu will decide - and being wrong

"I wouldn't be surprised if things were a bit more thorny than that."

He hasn't told you how they've cracked it. The French have actually started already. It'll be done by issuing annual fines for GDPR breaches.

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

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Re: Silly NIC games ...

'The manufacturer gets alloted his "prefix", which is the first 24-bits of the address, then every card they make is then given a unique address using the prefix + a serial number from the manufacturer for the second 24-bits of the address'

It might also be possible to change the MAC in S/W.

I discovered that DECNET assumes the prefix will be DEC's own. We had installed DECNET emulator S/W for HP-UX. When we first fired it up it reset the HP server MAC to make it look like a DEC. There could have been a problem if it reset to another VAX on the network but you'd have to be very unlucky to have that happen. No we weren't unlucky like that. What did happen was that the change of MAC invalidated all the connected users' ARP caches. I can't remember how long it took but they did repopulate fairly quickly.

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Re: Silly NIC games ...

"The manufacturer of the cards wasn't lazy. The manufacturer of the cards was crooked."

It can be a fine dividing line.

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"developers were struggling on old kit, and the managers got all the high tech new stuff"

Distributed build using the manglement boxes as build servers?

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Re: Minimum specs PCs for testing

"written as a 'client-server' style application, .. entire database tables were being transmitted from server to client"

I'm not sure that deserves to be called client-server. There are a few things it does deserve to be called.

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

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Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

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Re: Just plain embarrassing

"Try systems like the Zerox Star"

Coincidentally a link to this arrived in my news feed today: https://engblg.livingcomputers.org/index.php/2019/01/19/introducing-darkstar-a-xerox-star-emulator/

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Unless the supplier is Lenovo just about antbody these days

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Re: Workstations

"and then go away and copy it."

To be followed by one of them claiming the other copied him! (CBA looking it up but I think it was Billy G.)

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Re: Limped after Apple II

"The only other brand I can think of with such a turnaround is Audi."

What about BMW? Remember the Isetta.

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Re: As a dev system?

"Motorola workstation....the soldering on the original was terrible with dry joints all over the place"

Motorola H/W problems. That rings a bell.

I had a gig which involved adding some reports to a factory control system that ran on a Motorola server and then involved going to Italy to install them on site. Reports, no problem. Installation, no problem. But then the server kept crashing and what looked like leaving bits of memory dump in files in lost+found after running fsck. The client's client didn't want to let me go until it was all working & I was rapidly running out of Lira. I eventually escaped & heard later it was a hardware memory failure that was responsible.

Dear humans, We thought it was time we looked through YOUR source code. We found a mystery ancestor. Signed, the computers

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Re: So, have I got this straight?

"Of course this was quite a few years ago"

The Incredible Human Journey? I don't think it was that long ago and it's being repeated on BBC 4. There was a more recent series called "Origins of us". All worth watching, up to the standards of Horizon of long ago instead of the usual Beeb science programme of 15 minutes padded out to 50mins or an hour.

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Re: Many mysteries

"Never been to Norfolk and seen the Norfolkers then?"

Having heard this so many times I was interested in Leslie et al, 2015, the Nature paper on fine structure of Britain They produced a map in which lowland England came out as homogeneous. The distinct populations were in upland Britain. Norfolk was just part of the amorphous blob. Not distinct from the rest at all.

Just forget what Gartner said about AI in June 'cos CIOs are all over it now apparently

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Re: Snake oil

"BS meter explodes"

Reading Gartner articles without first disengaging the BS meter invalidates its insurance.

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Re: The Chief Guffmongerer has spoken

Charlie, you're going to have to work harder to get in front of the game.

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Re: Currently, there's no such thing as "AI"

"Chatbots are a trite example but they're being used because they can improve customer service quite a bit if expectations are correct."

Do you mean if customer expectations are low?

After TT had bought out my old ISP I had the misfortune to have to use their customer "services" (the two events might well be connected) and still have no idea if there was a bot or a human at the other end. All I can say for sure is that if it was a human they'd failed their Turing test.

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"CIOs are all over it now"

And next time round it'll probably be "CIOs have all got over it now". I'm sure a I read something here recently that said more or less that about blockchain so AI has to be next.

The lighter side of HMRC: We want your money, but we also want to make you laugh

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Re: Ha

"Its purpose being to take the correct amount of money from people"

Hi indeed. It's the "correct" bit that's tricky.

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