* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

UK Data Protection Bill tweaked to protect security researchers

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Re: Crucial point here, it doesn't become public knowledge. Hush, hush now.

"Does the ICO react to anything in 3 days?" It's up to you to inform within 3 days. After that it's up to them and nothing to do with you.

"Or ever?" Shall we have a check to find out? Oh, look https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/10/carphone_warehouse_slapped_with_400k_fine_after_hack_exposed_3_meeellion_customers_data/

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Re: So essentially..

"Best not do any of that sort of research just before a bank holiday weekend then!"

Write yourself a memo coming to the conclusion that re-identification is possible and date it. Include your suspicions that it might be possible plus your explanation of why you've just come to that finalconclusion. Send the ICO a message - email or letter, of the same date. If you're worried about the effects of non-working days do it on a date that gives the message sufficient time to be delivered. With documentation it becomes difficult to claim you were definitely aware earlier.

Carphone Warehouse cops £400k fine after hack exposed 3 MEEELLION folks’ data

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“very sorry for any distress or inconvenience”

Clear they can't get away with the ritual "only a few" so we get the second line of defence in weasel words: "any"(implying there may be none) and avoidance of the word "damage".

Will journalists please learn to follow up this crap with searching questions?

Mine all the data, they said. It will be worth your while, they said

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Data > Information > Knowledge > Wisdom

How far along that path does any of this stuff get?

Max Schrems: The privacy bubble needs to start 'getting sh*t done'

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"The lady behind the counter asked me for a postcode, I gave her the first 3 letters of it!

Why give that much? It wasn't needed information.

When GDPR comes into operation I wonder how long it will take for businesses to discover that their marketing departments are their biggest risk.

Example: a few days ago I received a letter addressed:


Address removed

at customers request



Marketing just behave like four year-olds who won't be told 'no'.

Indian data leak looks to have been an inside job

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The risks in a system such as this are similar to those in any other centralised system holding sensitive data. Explain to me again why it's a good idea to have a government key escrow system for encryption.

MPs sceptical of plan for IT to save the day after UK quits customs union

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Re: IT sceptical of plan for MPs to save the day after UK quits customs union

In fact, "IT sceptical of MPs" covers more or less everything to do with government..

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Re: You forgot...

"You missed Agile."

We're saved! That'll fix it with a 5-day sprint.

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Re: There are no specs because the UK's trade agreement hasn't been negotiated with the EU yet

"The northbound lanes will be delightfully clear."

Maybe not. They'll probably be solid with parked incoming HGVs waiting for customs clearance of imports.

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Re: Problem solved

"Or opening a container door to check that what's in it matches the bill of lading."

Or who's in it.

Devs see red after not seeing Big Red on Stack Overflow database poll

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Do these people take such surveys so seriously they worry about not being able to tick some box?

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"Because they are prisoners of history. Pretty much everyone uses MS SQL in enterprise greenfield sites these days"

Just an alternative prison.

SAP customers won't touch the fluffy stuff... so here's another on-prem HR data tool

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@Yank. You clearly never met my old colleague from whom I got the phrase so maybe don't quite grasp what he meant by it.

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"SAP has revealed it is working on a new on-premises human capital management system, admitting that many of its customers are still not ready for the cloud."

A more likely explanation is that the cloud isn't ready for GDPR, nor will it be. In the meantime, can whoever coined the phrase "human capital" be taken outside and quietly chloroformed?

FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

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Re: Money Talks...

The money argument is firmly on the side of "you can't have that". At least not if the US wants to keep a tech industry.

Teach citizens IoT dangers, engineering students cybersecurity, Uncle Sam suggests

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The 38-page report [PDF] titled "Enhancing the Resilience of the Internet and Communications Ecosystem Against Botnets and Other Automated, Distributed Threats" is the first of many that are heading to the president's desk following an executive order signed in May, following a number of abortive attempts.

Do they really expect him to read 38 pages?

Mystery surrounds fate of secret satellite slung by SpaceX

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Re: There is an extraterrestrial explanation for all this

That's the question. Is it still extraterrestrial or has it gone back to being terrestrial?

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Re: ... the threat of a nuclear exchange between the US and North Korea

"I'd expect the Chinese to be very upset"

But with whom? Maybe with Kim.

How are the shares, Bry? Intel chief cops to CPU fix slowdowns

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"Meltdown and Spectre have shaken the IT industry to its core"

Mostly to its Intel core.

Japanese giant NEC gobbles Brit IT firm Northgate for £475m

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Re: Getting sovereignty back

"But foreign ownership is neither hear nor there"

It depends on who's listening.

Supremes asked to mull legality of Silicon Valley privacy 'slush funds'

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A nice outcome from the supremes would be a retrospective judgement that the class member should also get a payout - hands back in the pocket to find a bit more change.

If the prospect of a reasonable payout isn't that good why join the class action instead of just going to the small claims court?

Take notebooks: About those new Thinkpads...

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Re: Battery life of two years?

"Since it is hard to replace Lenovo has learned from Apple and is hoping you buy a new laptop to replace the worn-out battery."

Slight difference. Unless you choose to jump platform you have to replace an Apple with an Apple however pissed off you might be with their tricks. If Lenovo piss you off with theirs you can go elsewhere unless everyone else goes down the same route.

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"How they gonna make a fixed battery last the 10-20 years we all expect a Thinkpad to last ?"

Maybe they're trying to tell you something.

FCA 'gold-plates' EU rule, hits BYOD across entire UK finance sector

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"does BigBank have to be able to monitor the facilities manager arguing with the catering company about sandwiches ?"

From TFA:

A firm must take all reasonable steps to prevent an employee or contractor from making, sending, or receiving relevant telephone conversations and electronic communications on privately owned equipment which the firm is unable to record or copy.

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Re: Self employed and BYOD

"Set up a ltd so that YouTheCompany and YouThePerson are legally separate entities."

Always a good idea. Case in point: a local bookshop owner died suddenly back in October. The shop is still closed and looks likely to be so for some time. He was a sole trader so all the stock was his personal property (unless on sale or return if that applied to any of it) and he died intestate. Nothing can be done until probate is sorted out and that's complicated.

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Re: Rights conflict?

"Having said that, we all managed to function perfectly well in the days before mobile phones."

By using the employer's phone which might be being recorded.

WD My Cloud NAS devices have hard-wired backdoor

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Re: it's the 21st century and they're still...

"The only way it can be fixed is if the seller (the one who stuck the brand sticker on it) will be made responsible at a FTC/Eu level to supply fixes for a reasonable amount of time."

It can be fixed PDQ. Security checking becomes a part of UL and CE (and the equivalent for other quality regimes) checking. That goes a long way to keeping unchecked products out of major markets, sufficient to make doing it right the more profitable option.

Smartphones' security enhancements just make them more dangerous

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"Over the holidays I bought Apple’s newest, shiniest face scanner."

Boasting, confessing or complaining? My usual reaction to "Posted from my iPhone".

£185k in fines rain down on dodgy PIs and claims firm for illegal data slurp

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Re: I dunno

"It's difficult to work out how the end-user client could have requested private information"

It's not stated that they (assuming you mean the insurance company) did. More likely they handed a case to a claims adjuster and the claims adjuster decided to take a short cut.

You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux

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"I don't think the author really understands why people choose not to use linux, it's not because of the window managers."

It's because they don't know any better?

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"lack of good tools for GUI development. VI and EMACS are not exactly wonderful tools for that."

That's why they're not used for GUI development - there are much more suitable options for that. For text file wrangling, however, if you really have to use Windows you'd be well advised to install vi.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"While having nothing much against Microsoft's operating system per se, in terms of sheer usability it strikes me as a throwback to the 90s"

A throwback to the 90s to early 2000s would be fine. That's when they got it right give or take a few things such as multiple workspaces.

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Re: So, 2018 will be the year of the Linux desktop because of Gnome?

With you until you got to Android. Android? Seriously?

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"I look at gnome every few months, but it still looks like a poor win 8.1 shell clone to me."

I thought that was Unity.

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Re: Discuss

"I don't suppose that many people running Mint are using anything other than Cinnamon or Mate"


Amazon coughs up record amount of info to subpoena-happy US government

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Probably the half they didn't respond to they didn't respond to anyway because the subject had left their data wide open.

Your connection is not Brexit... we mean private: UK Tory party lets security cert expire

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Re: Another autoplay video!

You think it's just another autoplay video but what's being installed on your PC while it's playing?

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"Funnily enough, Rudd is one of the Cabinet members rumoured to be safe in her role."

Nothing funny about it in either sense. The HO would fight tooth and nail to keep her. She doesn't understand when she's talking bollocks so she sounds convinced and convincing if you don't know better. Plus she's following the exact line that the main Home Sec in Downing St wants her to follow.

It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

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"Don't confuse ignorance with apathy."

Don't confuse apathy with intention.

This is why we need home users beta testers.

US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

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"reasonable suspicion" can be translated as not white or foreign breathing


Qualcomm joins Intel, Apple, Arm, AMD in confirming its CPUs suffer hack bugs, too

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"So where is IBM statement about and Power8 and Power9 in this?"

Writing it's been ousourced as there's nobody left in-house to deal with it. Then it goes goes to the lawyers to be reviewed.

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Re: The same bug.

You might find this helpful: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/why-raspberry-pi-isnt-vulnerable-to-spectre-or-meltdown/

Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

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Re: @SkippyBing

"But (of course) safety-critical systems are (or, at least, are capable of being) developed to higher standards than 'normal' software."

And what's the point if the H/Wit runs on isn't?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Should Intel (and other chip makers) be held responsible for hardware flaws?

"It's an interesting one, but I don't personally think that Intel should be held liable for this, as it's not an intentional bug."

So if you catch a nasty dose of food poisoning the restaurant with the poor hygiene shouldn't be held responsible because it wasn't an intentional bug?

Yahooooo! says! its! email! is! scrahoooo-ed!

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Re: Coincidently...

"World spam seems to be down 10%. Interesting."

Now we need gmail and outlook to be down to take out the other 90%.

Woo-yay, Meltdown CPU fixes are here. Now, Spectre flaws will haunt tech industry for years

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Re: Opportunity to sell more CPUs?

"I'm not sure why the Intel share price has dropped, at the moment they seem to have a prime opportunity to sell more of their faulty tat and then sell us supposedly fixed tat."

It's because they have competition, AMD, and this is making that competition look good. Why else would the Intel PR response be trying to make it look as if all CPUs are equally affected?

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"waiting for Oracle to have anything authoritative to say on this matter."

We know what they'll say. "You're using more cores to run the same workload. Pay up."

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Re: Error?

"using CAPITALIZATION for emphasis"

You have alternatives such as bold and italics which are socially acceptable.

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Re: Itanic, S/Z

"S/z because there are simply better things for a mainframe to do than speculatively execute code"

There's a post above, a couple of hours older then yours, pointing to a Red Hat note saying System Z is vulnerable.

Meltdown, Spectre: The password theft bugs at the heart of Intel CPUs

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"Nothing posted on the BSD sites."

Since I posted that FreeBSD announced they're working on it but they didn't get the notification until December.

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