* Posts by Richard Boyce

275 posts • joined 8 Aug 2007

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BMW complies with GPL by handing over i3 car code

Richard Boyce

Patience, grasshopper.

Alas, there are fewer people these days who are old enough to remember where this phrase was first popularised.

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Toshiba spins out new NAS disk drive with its fastest transfer rate yet

Richard Boyce

A million hours MTBF?

That's over 100 years. Curiously, only a three year warranty. Which suggests Toshiba thinks the mean time to the first (and likely final) failure is very, very different.

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Brazilians whacked: Crooks hijack bank's DNS to fleece victims

Richard Boyce

Re: "Let's Encrypt" abused. What a surprise...

Criminals use security, so maybe you're thinking that security should be banned. Are you a politician?

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NASA to fire 1Gbps laser 'Wi-Fi' ... into spaaaaace

Richard Boyce

Re: Another slight issue?

Getting info through the atmosphere is the tricky bit, hence the desire to point near vertically. A few routers hanging above ground stations using tight laser beams, can then use relatively wide beams to talk to other fast-moving spacecraft.

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Cisco reports bug disclosed in WikiLeaks' Vault 7 CIA dump

Richard Boyce

Re: How Long?

Could Cisco afford to be behaving any differently?

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Naming computers endangers privacy, say 'Net standards boffins

Richard Boyce
Joke

"My phone is currently called 'GCHQ Network Monitor'"...

Now they can link that moniker to GruntyMcPugh. And so the links build up. They're coming for you.

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This is where UK's Navy will park its 75,000-ton aircraft carriers

Richard Boyce

Re: "...a local transformer which takes it up from the standard 50Hz to the carriers’ 60Hz..."

Why is the conversion equipment not on the carrier itself to make it more independent? It isn't just Portsmouth that uses 50Hz.

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Oh my God, 911 is down. Quick, call… aaargh!

Richard Boyce

Of course, it's already designed and everything's been thought of....

"The next-generation system is designed for resiliency. It is designed for redundancy. It is designed to move. .. there is a critical need to ensure federal support for upgrading our 911 systems into a next-generation 911 environment..."

What could possibly go wrong?

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

Richard Boyce

Smart meters and dumb buyers.

Don't blame the "smarts" if the problem is the quality of the basic measurement circuitry. What's likely happening is that people are taking advantage of the replacement program to sell crap guilded with some shiny IT.

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Baby supernova spotted, just three hours old and a real cutie

Richard Boyce

Just like others?

"...because it's a Type II, the most common type of supernova, it's a reasonable bet that other Type IIs do something similar."

That seems to be uncomfortably close to circular reasoning. We need to get lucky a few more times.

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Samsung battery factory bursts into flame in touching Note 7 tribute

Richard Boyce

Re: Fake News

It's possible the 19 were required to prevent it becoming major.

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WTF is your problem, Netgear? Another hijack hole found in its routers

Richard Boyce

Default port numbers

This is a reminder to use non-default port numbers for services such as remote management. This will sometimes prevent zero-day expliots as well as provide a little protection for those who are slow to patch.

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Virgin America mid-flight panic after moron sets phone Wi-Fi hotspot to 'Samsung Galaxy Note 7'

Richard Boyce

Re: Risk Management Consideration

... or the pilot was bluffing and had his bluff called.

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Whinge on: T-Mobile US docked $48m for limiting 'unlimited' data plans

Richard Boyce
Facepalm

4GB data credit?

What use is a 4GB data credit to people who are already on "unlimited" plans?

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BT Yahoo! customers: Why! can't! we! grrr! delete! our! webmail! accounts!?

Richard Boyce

A reminder to...

Never use an email service that's tied to your broadband provider. You can't move email addresses in the way that you can move phone numbers.

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Self-driving Google car T-boned in California crash

Richard Boyce
Trollface

Re: Is there a story here?

Don't forget Volvos. People drive Volvos after learning they need protection from themselves.

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Apple kills its Stores

Richard Boyce

Not convinced. Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to rename the App Store?

Another possibility is that someone thought the word "store" was too downmarket.

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New Mars rover is GO for 2020 says NASA

Richard Boyce

Wheels

I suspect the wheels will have a new design. Curiosity's wheels have taken a beating.

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Graphene is actually self-folding origami, proclaim physicists

Richard Boyce

Tapering

The tapering suggests that the flaps will only pull back so far before breaking off.

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Huawei: Our fake phone camera pic shame

Richard Boyce

Sloppiness and dishonesty are not mutually exclusive. When people are caught, it's often because of the combination.

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'I urge everyone to fight back' – woman wins $10k from Microsoft over Windows 10 misery

Richard Boyce

No need for installation; just run it. You can then delete it. The effect is persistent because it sets registry settings that Microsoft has promised will be effective. If Microsoft reneged on this there would be legal fireworks from businesses which Microsoft still has some respect for.

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Sophos U-turns on lack of .bat file blocking after El Reg intervenes

Richard Boyce

Re: Hang on a second

So if your friend gets an email that purports to be from you and has an .exe file attached, he should run it, right?

Are you sure he's your friend?

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Apple WWDC: OS X is dead, long live macOS

Richard Boyce

iDrive

Cynically, I wonder if the iDrive optimisation refers to a future optimisation of profits, i.e Apple can now provide a smaller and cheaper SSD as standard, and no socket to plug in an external drive, while charging people for the extra cloud storage they now automatically use.

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Microsoft splashes Virtual Reality-slinging 'Scorpio' Xbox

Richard Boyce

Wait and see

Never believe claimed hardware capabilities even after a product release, let alone over a year before release. Always wait to see what level of software or media support for the hardware is actually available in your country and what the price is.

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eBay boss joins Thiel critics

Richard Boyce

Winner pays?

AFAIK, in the US, unlike here in the UK, a plaintiff can damage a defendant financially, even if the defendant wins the case because a successful defendant is expected to pay his own legal costs. In the UK, the loser generally pays both sides' costs incurred before any reasonable settlement offer.

Assuming I'm correct, can someone please explain to me why the US operates in this apparently unjust way? It would seem to encourage vexatious lawsuits by the wealthy.

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Universe's shock rapidly expanding waistline may squash Einstein flat

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Planet 9 a captured alien, astroboffins suggest

Richard Boyce

Re: It could be...

They have but slept.

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TeamViewer denies hack after PCs hijacked, PayPal accounts drained

Richard Boyce

Re: Sounds like bad config to me

I suspect the same. You can protect your account with a strong password and two-factor authentication, but that doesn't protect the computers, which can be reached without knowing which account, if any, they belong to.

Getting through two-factor authentication that's protecting the account requires the private key, unless the criminals have found a weakness in TeamViewer's site that allows the need for that to be bypassed. I would hope that TeamViewer does not keep a copy of that private key.

Always make sure that no computer can be accessed without a good password, even if your account is compromised. That password should not be known by TeamViewer or anyone else, so should be different to the password protecting the account. Additionally, disallow the use of PINs.

Finally, there's always a possibility of a vulnerability in the software itself, so keep it up-to-date, and don't have it running without a good reason.

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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

Richard Boyce

Re: It's GWX Control Panel or Linux

Use Never10 from grc.com. That way you don't need to install anything.

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Boring SpaceX lobs another sat into orbit without anything blowing up ... zzzzz

Richard Boyce

Re: Musk's goal closer and closer

This is just a taster for landing three stages at once from the Falcon Heavy. I am SO looking forward to that. They'll need a big storage area soon.

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Richard Boyce

Re: Ob: Pournelle

It would not be real life if it had not first been imagined.

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Spanish Bitcoin farm raided

Richard Boyce

Seizing bitcoin

Seizing bitcoin is not like seizing other currencies. There can be backup wallets that allow the bitcoin to be spent before any seized computer is even examined. Maybe that's why only a total of £26,000 is reported from 4 locations.

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Wi-Fi network named 'mobile detonation device' grounds plane

Richard Boyce

Re: Lots of lateness

"hopefully it keeps the local terrorists worried..."

I would rely on something better than hope if I were you. Never pick a fight with violent lunatics.

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Killer Japan quake jolts Sony factories to a halt

Richard Boyce

Earthquakes vs nanoscale engineering

I imagine that having set up equpment to make chips with parts measured in nanometers, you really don't want that equipment being moved distances that might be measured in meters while in use.

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ExoMars works! 2 Mbit/s link established and camera snapping

Richard Boyce

Re: Those bits that are following it

As a test of the cameras, could they try to image the accompanying debris? The sooner, the better, as the separation distances will only increase with time and are likely already very large relative to the size of the spacecraft.

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The future of Firefox is … Chrome

Richard Boyce

Re: Choice

I use Firefox mainly because of its large range of useful extensions, and one of those is the Classic Theme Restorer because I didn't like the last appearance change.

The best way to introduce a new look and feel is with an app or option that's active by default after a new installation, and inactive by default after an update of an old installation. Allow users to easily turn big UI changes off and on.

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We're not in Kansas City anymore, Toto ... Google axes free fiber internet

Richard Boyce

Re: Classic scam model

Perhaps you're just trolling. Perhaps you're an idiot. Or both.

Do you call supermarkets pushers when they end a promotional offer? Would you accept being called a pusher when asking for a pay rise?

The existing contracts are, of couse, being honoured. Services and prices change over time. That's perfectly legitimate and normal. Only a fool expects a commercial service to be provided for nothing indefinitely and then cries "scam" when he finds that he's misunderstood reality.

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WhatsApp straps on full end-to-end crypto for 1bn peeps

Richard Boyce

Look up Diffie–Hellman Key Exchange. I don't know if Signal is using this protocol or something else that achieves the same thing. The point is, secure ephemeral key exchange between strangers is a solved problem.

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Cosmic bonks, breakups led to birth of Saturn's moons as dinos died out

Richard Boyce

Re: Saturn's gravitational pull

It's not the strength of the pull per se that heats things up, it's variation in the strength of the pull as the moon varies its distance from the planet while following a non-circular obit. The stronger the pull the more the moon is stretched. As the pull alternately strengthens and relaxes, the moon is alternately pulled more and less out of shape from spherical, causing frictional heating.

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Google human-like robot brushes off beating by puny human – this is how Skynet starts

Richard Boyce
Happy

Re: Did anyone notice

Did you notice how the fan noise increased in pitch as it was teased? Of couse, it needed extra cooling as it heated up, but it's fun to imagine that as an emotional signal.

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Prison butt dialler finally off-hold after 12-day anal retention marathon

Richard Boyce

I suspect the volume of 12 days of backed up shit would far exceed the volume and pain of any phone. The final relief must've been quite considerable.

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Virgin Atlantic co-pilot dazzled by laser

Richard Boyce

Re: Technological solution

"Also I like my pilots *with* depth perception on take off and landing."

Two eyes a few inches apart don't add much depth perception when looking at the runway. At that distance, you're relying on other cues.

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Virgin Media spoof email mystery: Customers take to Facebook

Richard Boyce
Facepalm

Reliance on broadband provider for email

Why would someone who is IT-savvy remain reliant on a Virgin email address for 20+ years? He should've bitten the bullet and migrated email away from his broadband provider a long time ago, either to a Google address (or similar) or, better still, a domain of his own which can be hosted anywhere. Better late than never.

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German Chancellor fires hydrogen plasma with the push of a button

Richard Boyce
Joke

Be afraid

I have noted that this discussion involving very long german words has attracted some posters with very long user names without even the occassional upper case letter to assist the reader.

This appears to be strong evidence that disgustedoftunbridgewells and allthecoolshortnamesweretaken are sleeper agents among us just waiting for the day when this ubertechnology will make germans proud again.

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Linode: Back at last after ten days of hell

Richard Boyce

How much does it cost an attacker these days to launch a large-scale attack? What's the going rate per Gbit of DDoS?

I'm guessing that the majority of major ISPs still allow outgoing traffic with spoofed IP addresses. If only politicians worked less to undermine security, and started mandating that ISPs install filters to block spoofed traffic instead of mandating that they spend money on filters to direct traffic to politicians.

All a bit depressing, really.

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Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

Richard Boyce
Facepalm

Idiocracy

Seeing these politicians so out of their technology depth reminds me of a film called Idiocracy where two ordinary people hibernate for 500 years and then find themselves the smartest people alive. One ends up as president.

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Tor wars: CMU says FBI came not with cash, but a subpoena

Richard Boyce

The thoughtless leading the learned

So the researchers acknowledge doing government-funded reseach. Nothing wrong with that on its own. However, the concern is that the US government may have employed people to engage in a fishing expedition that unreasonably threatened the innocent as well as the guilty, without probable cause. Issuing a subpoena to get the results of the research you've paid for could be a cover-your-ass legality.

I wish there were as much concern about this here in the UK, as our non-computer literate leaders plan to legislate how things must work. I wonder if our government will one day be as much of a laughing stock as the US politicians who once legislated that the value if Pi is exactly 3....

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Virgin Media hikes broadband, phone prices by five per cent

Richard Boyce

USO, PSTN and SIP.

I'm with Virgin and have been trying to reduce my costs by ditching the PSTN landline for a couple of years. I've been happily using a SIP adapter on my ordinary desktop phone for many years, so I really don't need Virgin's phone service. The trouble is, Virgin charge more if you ditch the phone. That's both for new customers and for existing customers negotiating a discount. This reflects the absence of competition.

The major telecom players just make too much money from the charges they've persuaded Ofcom to mandate, and with the call charges for initial connection, distance and time, as if they weren't using the global IP networks to distribute calls. Heaven forbid that too many customers could do that for themselves as easily and cheaply as they visit a web site on the other side of the planet.

The government's been tallking about a USO for broadband. What about also making it mandatory to offer SIP VoIP services too, while also removing the USO on providing the old PSTN service.

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Patent and trademark troll stung for £500k after fake renewal blitz

Richard Boyce

Have an upvote. I see no deterrence in this judgement.

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7 million Apple Watches just buried the competition – Canalys

Richard Boyce

How many will buy a second Watch?

The iPhone is a success because a lot of customers replace iPhones with iPhones. We've yet to see how many people will buy a second Watch.

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