* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Meltdown's Linux patches alone add big load to CPUs, and that's just one of four fixes

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: For procurement...

"from the same page"

That'll be the page dealing with SPECTRE, not MELTDOWN. You're failing to distinguish between the two and to note that the OP's question was specifically about the latter. That's why you're getting downvoted.

Are you an open-sorcerer or free software warrior? Let us do battle

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Re: Well... that was vague and woolly

@ Flocke Kroes

There's another aspect to lock in. Our S/W only cost £. But the latest version is incompatible with the one you've got. You want to read the file someone just sent you? That's another £ for the latest version. In a couple of years it'll be another £ when someone else sends you a file.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: GPL is not freedom at all.

"GPL fits only Stallman vision that you have to be forced to open source your code, and relinquish any copyright on it."

The GPL depends on copyright. If you relinquish that, say by putting the code in the public domain, you can't apply the GPL.

Military techie mangled minicomputer under nose of scary sergeant

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"500MB hard drives the size of a clothes dryer, but much louder."

My only experience with Prime was at the end of a few hundred miles of telecoms cable. At that distance they were inaudible.

UK ICO, USCourts.gov... Thousands of websites hijacked by hidden crypto-mining code after popular plugin pwned

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Re: Don't load third-party scripts

"A lot of use"

Us, dammit. And dammit to the forum saying it's still in the edit window and then refusing to accept the edit.

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"Copy the code to your own server and you'll find you've not kept up with updates and you get hacked."

Why are so many updates required (it seems to be a given in a number of comments)? If it's because the code is a bundle of bugs you'd be better off not having it. If it's because of new "features" (did someone say Agile?) then those updates may be adding more vulnerabilities, not removing them.

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Re: Don't load third-party scripts

"If the 'purpose' is e.g. a website to advertise a product that will earn your company £50K p.a. you can't afford code audits of JQuery, Ruby or whatever the current flavour of the month is."

If, for want of a proper audit - or reducing the amount of flavour of the month - the consequence is that you end up damaging your would-be customers the loss of reputation, damages and maybe fines is also something you can't afford.

Security may be expensive. Lack of it can cost more.

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Re: Don't load third-party scripts

"And then we're all repeatedly taken by surprise when stuff like this happens."

Who's this "we" you're talking about. A lot of use aren't.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"True, but on the other hand, massive amount of work for you making sure your local copies are always up-to-date"

In this case it was the "latest version" that was the problem. You don't need the latest version, you need a good one.

You can resurrect any deleted GitHub account name. And this is why we have trust issues

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"but in this case I did not find any redeeming features worthy of upvote."

Likewise. He did say he didn't necessarily approve but that's not good enough.

Some of us have been around long enough to look at DevOps and realise that that's what we were doing long ago - one team developing, managing the system and supporting our users. We were also aware that what the users were doing was what brought in the money to pay our salaries so not only did we take care to provide what they needed but were also paranoid about protecting the integrity of the data. As we were running systems which weren't internet connected it was second nature to us to keep control of source ourselves. Had the opportunity been given to us to store source elsewhere that sense of responsibility would have precluded it anyway. That's how you build a business to last decades - assuming the manglement doesn't have other ideas.

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Re: Source code, source code, source code

"I've been saying for a while that GitHub (and Bitbucket, and GitLab, etc.) are doing open source a disservice, by making the primary route to accessing a project's source code be tied to a particular identity - either that of a single person, or a single organisation."

What do you suggest? A project site has the same issue: somebody has to own the registration of the domain, arrange for hosting, etc. A distributed model without its own domain has the problem of keeping all the copies in sync in the absence of an agreed master.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"As for GitHub permitting a new account to be stood up with a previously used name - terrible."

Agreed. But is there a need to allow the original owner to re-open the account?

Corpse! of! Yahoo! drags! emails! of! the! dead! case! to! US! Supreme! Court!

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Re: Another (sceptical) dinosaur

"Deleting files on most systems merely deletes the address, not the data. .... And what about backups?"

The space is likely to be written over at some point. Backups are a different matter. One hope that the media are eventually recycled.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Yahoo mail deceased account

"Unfortunately, Yahoo cannot provide passwords or allow access to the deceased's account, including account content such as email. At the time of registration, all account holders agree to the Yahoo Terms (TOS). Pursuant to the Terms, neither the Yahoo account nor any of the content therein are transferable, even when the account owner is deceased."

Account holders may agree. Their executors won't have agreed. Are the executors bound by the deceased's agreement? They'd have right of access to other restricted containers (for want of a better word) such as safe deposits; on what basis can Yahoo hold themselves above this right?

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"Could be fun and games at airport security!"

In the US they'd probably demand access to it.

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"Because its a legal requirement in many places such as the UK that email and browsing history are kept for at least one year?"

Could you point me to the UK law on that?

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Re: PW keeper

" I suppose the ideal place to keep it would be on a metallic strip hidden someplace inside your body, retrievable at your autopsy, but even that one might be a bad solution."

A very bad solution if you develop dementia.

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"I'm a dinosaur, and therefore I use discrete email clients"

Thee & me alike. But getting access shouldn't be impossible for nearest & dearest providing you didn't encrypt the hard drive. Just take it out & mount it in another box. It doesn't require a trip to court. There's always a downside to "convenience". Security is one. Inconvenience when you need something out of the ordinary is another.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

This assumes that the email was left on the mail provider's servers. Why? It's just open to abuse by anyone with access, legal or otherwise to the server. Download, delete from server, delete or save locally as appropriate. Backup as appropriate.

You want it on multiple devices? Copy it to multiple devices.

Due to Oracle being Oracle, Eclipse holds poll to rename Java EE (No, it won't be Java McJava Face)

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"Why not ask James Gosling to choose a name?"

Maybe he'd suggest MeaCulpa.

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Why not ask James Gosling to choose a name?

No sh*t, Sherlock! Bloke suspected of swallowing drug stash keeps colon schtum for 22 DAYS

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@ BrownishMonstr

Your handle seems strangely appropriate for this thread.

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The Assagne option

Self-inflicted punishment. He should realise it's going to be harder in the end.

Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

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Re: I hope these were supposed to be humourous.

"I am hoping they were ALL posted with humour intended behind them because why else would one suggest a couple of $$ (or ££) of plastic and a manual water control system to protect tens of thousands of $$ (or tens of thousands ££) of delicate and mission critical electronic systems"

At the pay-grade of those who do things like that it's not delicate, mission critical electronic systems, it's just stuff. The water just needs catching and emptying it's the next shift's problem.

I've seen a delivery driver want to drop a heavy, delicate and expensive piece of electromechanical kit off the back of his van because there wasn't a tail lift and they'd not arranged for a fork-lift. To him it was just another crate. There were enough of us to insist he didn't and to slide it down a plank.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Live Steam

"I'm glad someone gets it."

It helps to have worked in a carbon dating lab. Carbon 14 is also a weak beta emitter, a bit different in energy but it meant the same counting technology would see both if the material going into the counter was a hydrocarbon.

Tritium in the hydrogen supply was a concern. On the methane counting system there was a supply of "old" hydrogen as the source of the hydrogen in the methane. The later benzene counting system was a different matter. The hydrogen came from water (carbon and lithium heated to produce lithium carbide, add large excess of water to produce acetylene which is then catalytically converted to benzene). The best that could be done was distil the water to reduce the tritium content. That just left the radon problem. When your water supply comes from a granite catchment you have radon in your tap water.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Live Steam

"a small gas bottle of tritium-protium mixture connected to it, along with a fairly basic standard welding type extract."

And the result - tritiated water.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I'm just glad the Halon system where I used to work was never triggered."

Working late in the lab one evening. I'm not sure just what gas was being used but I heard a distinct bang and hiss from downstairs, probably the vehicle inspection bay.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Live Steam

"Radioactive hydrogen.

PVC?"

Well, to be fair, tritium's a very weak beta emitter. PVC would stop it easily.

What's that? Leakage? Possibility of rupture?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Then there was the Great Melton Street Flood. A high pressure main in Melton St next to Euston Station ruptured, washing out a huge crater in the road and flooding the underground car park.

It didn't affect our computer rooms. It found something much bigger and electrical: the Tube system. We had an operator on his way in to start a shift. He told us the train stopped. The lights went out. And then the water started coming through the floor....

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: And sometimes the flood is concrete

It's just as well it only leaked into the relay room. Just think how much concrete they'd have poured in if they'd tried to fill the entire Victoria line.

As GDPR draws close, ICANN suggests 12 conflicting ways to cure domain privacy pains

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Re: Companies House, anyone?

"Is there an exemption for the functioning of government ?"

Yes, providing, as you say, it's a statutory function. HMG seem to be trying to slip in some extra exemption in the current bill. If they get it through the Commons I can see a quick trip to the ECJ while there's still time. It would be pretty daft of them to do this if it ends up by costing equivalence post-Brexit.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: On GDPR...

"Somewhere in those terms and conditions is a legalese set of terms to allow them to do whatever they want with your data."

If so they should have taken better legal advice because that is an infringement in itself. And would probably be looked on as a basis for a bigger fine.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A job application...

"2 downvotes for being rude about ICANN."

Never mind. Have an upvote despite your expressed tolerance of over-priced fizzy drinks. Just stick to the 50-year old hard stuff.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"There is a complete absence of thorough worked examples for many scenarios."

What makes you think that there should be? The ICO don't know your business or your systems. The legislation is there. You need to look at how your business is affected by it, just like any other piece of legislation. Would you, for instance, expect a thorough worked example of how to fit fire doors to your premises so you could comply with legislation on fire protection?

Digital version of Universal Credit still pricey, wobbly, failing to deliver – MPs

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Re: UBI

"n seems to me that the Universal Credit cock-ups all serve to add weight to the argument in favour of Universal Basic Income."

Really? Who'd be responsible for it? The same people who are responsible for UC. That alone should guarantee it would never get off the ground.

TalkTalk to splash £1.5bn laying full fibre on 3 million doorsteps

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"Would it not be better to force providers to upgrade or install in areas where the others are not operating first?"

Then it wouldn't happen. If they can't pick the areas where they reckon they have best RoI they won't do it.

Austrian privacy chief handed leash to EU's data protection beast

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Re: It's a regulation

"However that does not stop states creating legislation that goes further than an EU regulation"

There was an article here a week or so ago about the EU getting at upset that countries hadn't adopted it yet: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/25/eu_gdpr_infringement_procedure/

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"if after brexit we are no longer under the ECJ then who is going to issue fines in the UK under the GDPR and if it's an EU related issue how will they collect from a UK company without any legal options?"

The GDPR has to be implemented in local legislation in each country. That's why there's a new Data Protection Bill going through Parliament now. When it received Royal Assent it will become the new Data Protection Act. Like the others, the ICO will be the body in day-to-day charge. The ECJ doesn't come into it. This will be the situation from this May and unless a subsequent govt. tinkers with it it'll remain. Any govt would be mad to tinker with it except in one specific circumstance because it would greatly harm all manner of trade with the EU, or at least such as survives Brexit.

The one circumstance is that the EU changes or replaces GDPR in which case we'll have to make parallel changes without having had any input into the EU process. It's called "taking back control".

MPs: Lack of technical skills for Brexit could create 'damaging, unmanageable muddle'

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Re: Hmm

@kdh007

You need to add two more:

C The Irish border will not be moved to the middle of the Irish sea.

D The DUP will continue to prop up HMG.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hmm

"Them spineless bastards wouldnt dare build one themselves and it is better for the Irish not to have a border."

So how is this issue going to be handled? Any hint that the border moves to the Irish Sea and the Home Sec of Downing St will be visiting HM to ask for a dissolution of Parliament.

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Re: Hmm

"So the EU's opening- you will pay X Euro (X being a moving number often calculated by laughter), EU courts over EU citizens remaining in the UK (more laughter) and the EU want a wall and the UK will pay for it (think of trump as you say it and so even more laughter). And that is before they are willing to negotiate."

Beggars can't be choosers. Did you think any different. That doesn't just apply to negotiating with the EU, BTW. It applies to negotiating all these supposedly wonderful trade deals with the rest of the world.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hmm

"it doesn't matter how small and agile government is if you don't have a clear driection on where to go you won't get there."

Nor does it help if where you want to go isn't accessible.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hmm

"We voted out"

Slightly more than half of those who voted did. That means less than half didn't. In an advisory referendum. So instead of doing the sensible thing and starting a feasibility study the govt rushed head first (a few months is a head first rush in govt terms) into triggering Article 50 without even thinking about what the due process was until their arm was twisted. Then they discovered that as supplicants negotiating is a lot harder than they thought even though that should have been obvious.

In a couple of years time your going to be hard pressed to find anyone who'll claim admit to having voted Leave.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Well Duh!

"Not changing the spec every week/day/hour."

For anything Brexit related the real spec isn't going to exist until well into next year. What, if anything, is presented as a spec is going to vary wildly depending on which wing of the party (and anyone else) ministers are trying to placate this week - or just today.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Anti-competitive?

"Well, anything we can source more cheaply elsewhere, we will - there's mostly no chance of us simply producing it ourselves - we'll simply change where in the world our money goes."

"Simply" is probably an exaggeration. If the only existing component is for some product is sourced in the EU then going elsewhere might involve a redesign. And that's not including the more convoluted supply chains where stuff goes backward & forward.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Clueless on everything

"Yep can negotiate, they just cant come into force until we leave the EU."

You're probably right on this one. Negotiate, yes. Succeed when everyone knows we're over a barrel?* It depends on the definition of succeed.

*The same applies to negotiating leave terms. Apparently nobody told HMG that beggars can't be choosers.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Clueless on everything

"Same as always. Staying in power."

And, same as always, failing.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Do they think they can finish doing that the week before B-Day and then flick a switch to put the new programs in place?"

Yes.

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"we just don't follow them"

We can't. We don't have the IT in place.

CLOUD Act hits Senate to lube up US access to data stored abroad

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These include a motion to quash or modify the legal process if it believes the customer isn't a US citizen and that disclosure "creates a material risk" that the firm would violate the laws of another government.

Who's going to be responsible for this? If it's the data subject they're not going to be told until after the event if at all. Even then it means having to defend themselves in the US when they live elsewhere.

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