* Posts by mildy bemused

41 posts • joined 29 Aug 2015

It's the end of 2018, and this is your year in security

mildy bemused

The election wasn't hacked, oooh no it wasn't, honest.

"Fortunately for the voters, and in spite of the best efforts of Congress, the elections went off with very little fanfare and only one instance of outright voter fraud."

The words 'was detected' are missing from the end of the sentence.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

mildy bemused

So anything that's not 100% effective fails?

Here are some other things that are not 100% effective, please mark the ones you would like to abandon:

_ Gun control.

_ Drink driving.

_ Speeding on urban streets.

_ Antivirus.

_ Spam blockers.

_Fences around school playgrounds.

_APT protection.

_Locking the front door on your home

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

mildy bemused

The prisoner

The Village brought about a safe recovery of number 6 without endangering anyone.

mildy bemused

Crazy Russian and his armed drone

You have all clearly missed this guy's video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNPJMk2fgJU

iPhone XS: Just another £300 for a better cam- Wait, come back!

mildy bemused

Re: Confused

"is it just me?"

No, and the problem is that you can't go by price. For some features, the cheaper ones are better than the more expensive ones.

mildy bemused

And the best mobile phone camera...

Is still the Nokia 1020.

It's not just the resolution (41 megapixels), it has tremendous dynamic range, very low noise which also had a nice quality to it and produced RAW files something other phones didn't catch up with until years later.

(Go ahead, mock Windows Phone as I am sure every iPhone fanboi and Android droid will but it still the best user interface. The only thing wrong with it is that Microsoft is working very hard to degrade the user experience to the point where people just give up in frustration.)

France: Let's make the internet safer. America, Russia, China: Let's go with 'no' on that

mildy bemused

Re: Strange bedfellows here...

Professional courtesy.

Trump - Election hacked.

Ivanka - 30 trade marks in China since the election.

BTW, in what has to be epic irony, one of Ivanka's trademarks if for a voting machine. Although, in China, I can see it selling.


Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

mildy bemused

Re: Please, someone set up a GoFundMe

The spelling of the middle word is incorrect.

mildy bemused


How many people really buy his claim that the UK won't send him to the US but the Swedish would? Anyone???

It seems so very unlikely that the real reason he didn't want to be sent to Sweden is that he might have been found guilty of sexual assault.


Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

mildy bemused

Me, paranoid?

No, just well informed.

Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax

mildy bemused

Turn regulatory compliance into a profit centre


Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

mildy bemused

Was it a black hole?

(Yeah, yeah, I know, but someone had to ask and I didn't see that anyone had.)

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

mildy bemused

USB-C Endoscopy

The problem with USB C on a cell phone comes when pocket lint gets wedged into the crevice in the socket around the contacts. The cable won't go in far enough and starts falling out.

The only way to fix, other than replacing the socket (good luck with that one), it is a very delicate operation with a fine needle complicated by the difficulty in seeing what you are doing since you need light and magnification. Much like keyhole surgery.

(If you plan to try this at home, remove the battery from the cell phone beforehand. If you can't remove the battery....)

Wondering what to do with that $2,300 burning a hole in your pocket?

mildy bemused

They've weaponized the Osborne Effect

Even before v1 has shipped, tell everyone that v2 will be much better. Show how close v2 is because there it is on that table covered by a sheet. So nobody buys v1 or develops anything for it, and nobody complains about it...



Politicians fume after Amazon's face-recog AI fingers dozens of them as suspected crooks

mildy bemused

Accessorize to a Crime: Real and Stealthy Attacks on State-of-the-Art Face Recognition

A couple of years old but interesting research on misdirecting facial recognition software https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~sbhagava/papers/face-rec-ccs16.pdf.

I would think that it works, at least in part, because the software designers did not anticipate any attempt to defeat recognition other than by wearing a disguise.

mildy bemused


Where did the ACLU find "28 innocent members of Congress"?

UK's first transatlantic F-35 delivery flight delayed by weather

mildy bemused


I'd like to correct one error in the article, ETOPS stands for Engines Turn or Passengers Swim.

Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help

mildy bemused

If voting systems are hacked and the count altered, what does a democracy do?

I believe that the other shoe is yest to fall and we will find out that computers used in the voting system - the voting machines and the computers used to collate the votes - were compromised.

Kieren McCarthy's October 2017 article "US voting server in election security probe is mysteriously wiped" https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/10/26/voting_server_georgia_wiped/ talks about an incident with one voting system.

Bruce Schneier's blog post "Hacking and the 2016 Presidential Election" https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/11/hacking_and_the.html adds the perspective that evidence might indicate that by targeting systems in key states the electoral college vote was tipped in favour of Trump (potentially explaining why Clinton won the popular vote by a huge margin),

And there is Matt Blaze's testimony to Congress https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Blaze-UPenn-Statement-Voting-Machines-11-29.pdf. In his wrap-up he says:

"In summary, the architecture of current electronic voting systems, especially those based on DRE voting machines, makes disruption attacks especially attractive to adversaries and difficult to effectively prevent. These systems can give hostile state actor s inter est ed in disruption an even easier task than that facing corrupt candi date s seeking to steal even a small local office. And the consequences of election disruption strike at the very heart of our national democracy."

I'd further argue that it is particularly difficult to detect especially if the practice of wiping systems as described in Kieren's article is common.

But the real issue is this: if the voting systems are hacked and the results altered, what does a democracy do? This is a question not just for the US, but perhaps for other countries. Brexit?

Internet luminaries urge EU to kill off automated copyright filter proposal

mildy bemused

Try watching UGC for a month.

Entertainment is the only industry where the competition has exactly the same product with zero cost of goods and often gets to market sooner.

Try this at home: don't watch anything except user generated content for a month.

And if you think the Hollywood studios earn far too much and are rolling in money, consider this: Google's revenue for the first quarter of 2018 was $31 billion as compared to annual worldwide box office revenue (everything, not just Hollywood movies) for 2017 of $40 billion.

Which would you rather be without? Google or Hollywood movies?

Studios get, at most, 50% of the box office in the US and 20% in China. Since most movies worldwide aren't Hollywood movies, it's likely that not much more than $20 billion is for Hollywood movies which would mean the box office revenue for all 5 Hollywood studios is probably at most $20 billion.

mildy bemused

Re: You just need a fingerprint algorithm

This technique is already used in a couple of ways. The simplest is the Cinavia watermark used to stop camcorder recordings made in cinemas from playing on Blu-ray players. Little processing power needed to detect it.

Fingerprinting either of the video or the audio is generally effective but isn't perfect and is skewed toward false negatives. There are ways to defeat it in video. Fingerprinting audio can cause false positives if, for example, a song in a sound track uses a recording that was released elsewhere.

Cinavia is an example of invisible/inaudible watermarking and like the other systems has an astronomical odds against a false positive. Cinavia is either there or it's not, so it would work in this application but other watermarking technologies carry a payload that can be used to trace the point of theft. For them, the watermark detector needs a content provider specific key which is a closely guarded secret so there is perfect valid security reason to not hand them out.

Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

mildy bemused

Alternative TLD

Is .fu available?

America's broadband speed map is back! And it doesn't totally suck!

mildy bemused

Utter bollocks

I live in Los Angeles, the FCC website shows 6 providers. But who are they? Spectrum - the one I have - at 300Mbps, but the next three providers are satellite at 25, 10 and 2Mbps. And the other two providers? ATT & ATT, No really, two of them are the same company. And the bandwidth? A stunning 768kbps. When was the last time you saw a 'k' in front of 'bps'?

Reaper IoT botnet ain't so scary, contains fewer than 20,000 drones

mildy bemused


I'm a bit sceptical.

I just searched shodan.io for devices with the device name 'hacked-router-help-sos' and got 37,000 results. Shodan shows them as Ubiquiti devices of different models but I didn't scroll down very far, well, you wouldn't with 37,000 hits would you? This is consistent with 35,000 of them having responded to port 10001, which Wikipedia shows as Ubiquiti UniFi access points broadcast.

If Reaper has only infected 20,000 devices then it's far less effective than this 'vigilante' worm is with just one make of router.

mildy bemused

Re: I thought you meant a botnet of flying drones...

This week they are all in Seoul.

Wheels are literally falling off the MoD thanks to lack of cash

mildy bemused

Re: As a Defender owner...

Army Land Rovers have left handed threads on the wheel nuts.

Another day, another British Airways systems screwup causes chaos

mildy bemused

EU rules will thwat Qatar ownership

If IAG is to continue offering routes within the EU they have to have a majority of ownership by an EU entity. Which raises the question of what happens post-Brexit.

An equivalent rule in the US was why Branson never had a majority stack in Virgin America.

mildy bemused

Re: "If you know why BA's shonky IT keeps going to sleep in the mornings...."

To be fair, it doesn't take that long to fly from India to London. BA has plenty of direct flights.

Connectivity's value is almost erased by the costs it can impose

mildy bemused

It all started in the 80's

I spent the 80's writing code for the first generation of routers and I look at where our good intentions ended up and I think "what the f did we do"?

At that time there we two main candidates for network protocols: TCP/IP which grew up organically as systems communicated beyond a length of yellow cable, and there was the OSI stack which was a spec created by a standards group.

TCP/IP could be coded efficiently. OSI was impossible.

You know which won, but what was in OSI that isn't in the TCP/IP was an authentication layer at the network level.

Back to the future: Honda's new electric car can go an incredible 80 miles!

mildy bemused

I think the i3 has to be the ugliest. The two-tone ones look like a kiddies BMW pedal car being eaten by a Nissan Juke.

mildy bemused

Not all that silly

I live in LA and drive 14-20 miles to work depending on route. So the range wouldn't be a limitation and if it got a me the white sticker that allowed me to use the HOV lane...

So, the range per se isn't a problem, it's how much time does it take to refuel.

Also, how much energy is used to make hydrogen?

Uber wasn't to blame for robo-ride crash – or was it? Witness said car tried to 'beat the lights'

mildy bemused

Remarkably advanced AI

The car gets into an accident and blames the other driver. I think it passed the Turing test.

Microsoft’s Continuum: Game changer or novelty?

mildy bemused

Re: This has been done with Android by many manufacturers

That's an odd comment about a laptop vs. the docking station. The docking station is small and very light, it only needs two cables, one to monitor and the other to the phone although I'll concede that's three with a wired keyboard. And the power supply? Well, turns out I need that to charge the phone anyway and when I use a laptop, a bigger one for that.

Web ads are reading my keystrokes and I can’t even spel propperlie

mildy bemused

Netflix recommendations engine

I got fed up with the Netflix recommendation engine suggesting movies based on our sons viewing - he's got very different taste and watches a lot more. So, I started marking everything he watched as "I hate it".

The recommendations were still based on his viewing but every one had the predicted star rating at one star - meaning it was recommending movies it knew I wouldn't like.

Q: How many guns to arm nine coachloads of terrorists?

mildy bemused

How much is 463 terrorists in freedom fighters?

The designer of the IBM ThinkPad has died

mildy bemused

Re: Lenovo have lost the plot

My first ThinkPad was the monochrome 700C. I've had about 12 of them since then. After the 700 series, the classics were the X100, T42, T400 and the X1 (pre-carbon). My biggest disappointment is my current Helix. The tactile sensation of the click pad is awful and its top heavy because all of the weight except the second battery is in the detachable display. You can't tilt the display back far enough because it falls over backwards. It's Lenovo trying to do too much.

Assange inquisition closer after Sweden, Ecuador sign pact

mildy bemused

Probability of deportation to US

Am I the only one that finds ludicrous his claim that he is in danger of being extradited to the US by Sweden but not by the British Government? The UK has allowed the extradition of its own nationals to the US so it's not clear why he thinks he is safe here.

Volkswagen blames emissions cheating on 'chain of errors'

mildy bemused

Simple requirements problem

Every engineer will see that this is the fault of the marketing departments. Their requirements were expressed as:

1. Give the car good performance out on the highway

2. Make sure the car passes the emissions test

But they didn't say "at the same time".

Japan unveils net-wielding police drones for air patrol

mildy bemused

Does it need to be that hi tech?

Japan has a long history of kite fighting.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

mildy bemused

Bug found in Windows 10 auto screen rotation.

mildy bemused

User testing the new Lenovo Yoga.

Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive

mildy bemused

The first 3D tattoo printer fails UAT.

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