* Posts by Twanky

54 posts • joined 17 May 2017

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Judge: Georgia's e-vote machines are awful – but go ahead and use them

Twanky
Coat

Re: "Not Enough Time"

Dangerous precedent^Wpresident...

FTFY

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Twanky
Happy

Voter of the Year

2008 has been and gone but we're still not quite ready to select the voter who will represent the rest of the people at an election?

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£1 in every fiver that UK biz, public sector spent on software in 2017 went to *drumroll* Microsoft

Twanky
Facepalm

Re: Don't hold your breath...

Oh Crap!

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/open-document-format-odf-guidance-for-uk-government/updates

'30 March 2017 published amendments

Introduction to Open Document Format (ODF)

This has a new intro as it was unclear software needs to be downloaded before using ODF.'

We're doomed.

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Twanky

Don't hold your breath...

...but: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/open-document-format-odf-guidance-for-uk-government

Maybe one day.

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You want how much?! Israel opts not to renew its Office 365 vows

Twanky

I wish the UK goverment had this capability.

See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/open-document-format-odf-guidance-for-uk-government

I particularly like the bit where it says 'The UK government has selected ODF 1.2 as the standard for editable office documents to be used across government.'.

Across government. At all levels. Cash-strapped local government authorities please take note. Yes, that means use LO or similar in the schools - not just in the classrooms but for admin too.

What's that noise? Damn, I must have been dreaming.

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The Death of the Gods: Not scared of tech yet? You haven't been paying attention

Twanky

Dooomed

Johannes Gutenberg: It's all downhill from here.

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Google Spectre whizz kicked out of Caesars, blocked from DEF CON over hack 'attack' tweet

Twanky

Re: "If I had... ...the motive..."

'"I've not yet figured out how to reliably communicate with this subspecies. Leads to issues..."

Short and shouty is the most reliable way. Ignore facts, they're just inconvenient. Raise up boogiemen to attack.'

What? You mean like in no more than 140 or 280 characters?

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Supermicro breathes in, shimmies a PB of Intel flash into one rack unit

Twanky
Thumb Up

I'd buy that for a dollar!

"El Reg has yet to receive pricing and availability information for Supermicro's latest 1PB 1U box, but anticipate the $/U rating will be on a par with the PB/U value."

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Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman

Twanky
FAIL

Re: Just remember

"For every pound successfully avoided by Amazon et al, YOUR tax rate has to go up to cover the loss in income."

No. That's only true if the treasury insist on balancing the books at the end of each tax period. If they're willing to run a deficit for multi-year periods then it won't be YOUR tax that has to cover the shortfall - it'll be a future generation's.

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Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

Twanky

Toughbook? pah!

We issued lightweight notebooks (Dell D420 I think in this instance). Then there was a guy who brought his back having checked it into hold luggage and watched his bag fall off the luggage carriage and get run over by it at Caracas airport. The screen was crazed and the chassis/body was bent but the damn thing still worked if you could pry it open. We kept it in the office as a display item.

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First low-frequency fast radio burst to grace our skies detected at last

Twanky
Mushroom

People of Earth...

...your attention, please. This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system. And regrettably, your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.

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Facebook deletes 17 accounts, dusts off hands, beams: We've saved the 2018 elections

Twanky

I really don't understand

An organised bunch of people post divisive political opinions. Then some other people say the first lot shouldn't be allowed to comment on the politics because they are not of 'our' country... Does that mean we should not allow people to comment on the politics in Iran, North Korea, Nicaragua (etc ad nauseam) unless they can demonstrate that they live there? If so, Mr Trump should rein his neck in.

Yes, propaganda on social media is a problem. More effort should be put into completely destroying trust in it as a source of news - instead we get 'don't trust them, trust us'.

Why does anyone expect *any* news reporting to be unbiased? It costs money to do. Reporters, editors and the delivery medium (printing press, paper, web server, whatever) must be paid for. There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Whoever is organising the lunch gets to choose the menu.

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Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

Twanky
Meh

Re: Logic bombs are unprofessional

'The surest way to get a boss and possibly the whole company into trouble is do exactly what he requests. Nothing more, nothing less. No need for logic bombs, or fiddling with expiration dates.'

I became surplus to requirements shortly after the IT team I was in was expanded with additional capacity/members elsewhere in the world. I was a long-term employee (lifer) and was *very* interested in making sure that my absence would not get the company into trouble - I owned some of its shares. As for the 'manager' who decided that I was redundant - meh.

I ended up fielding a few calls from former colleagues asking 'how does this work?' despite my genuine efforts to transfer as much institutional knowledge as possible during the 'consultation' period. The trouble was that the 'manager' managed to achieve rather low loyalty and retention rates with the rest of the team.

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Friday FYI: 9 out of 10 of website login attempts? Yeah, that'll be hackers

Twanky

the "thats too much of a bother" mentality

For historical reasons I have an account with a bank that uses an additional factor (after username and password) of three characters from my 'memorable information'. The system prompts for a different set of three characters each time I login and requires me to select the correct responses from a drop down list... How much more bother could it be to just type in a six digit code which changes every 30sec?

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Twanky

Re: An honest question.

As a DoS attack vector this would be awesome.

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PC shipments just rose, thanks to Windows 10

Twanky

All your data is belong to NSA

They would have no data on me if they hadn't got it from Experian/MS/Doubleclick whatever.

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IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

Twanky

I get the impression that Mr Parko is very concerned about the hierarchy within the company.

So why did he reach down through multiple layers of management to micro-manage the 'team' at Austin? In strongly hierarchical organisations the obvious approach is to say the the next layer down 'see to it that <whatever you want> is done.'. They then hand on the instruction in their own way to their minions. By committing the instruction to a semi-permanent medium like e-mail he can't even repudiate it later.

Prat.

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Twanky

Parko: 'No ...elevator pitches...'

Drone: 'I'm sorry to say sir that despite your warning a number of staff have been trying to talk to Ms Rometty in the elevator'.

Parko: 'How dare they? I want their names and badge numbers. I'll fire the bastards.'

Drone: 'Er. There's rather a lot of them...'

Parko: 'OK. Gimme a list of who didn't defy the order. I'll give them an extra bonus.'

Drone: 'That probably won't cost a lot sir'

Parko: 'Ah... OK. Gimme a list of everyone who didn't try to pitch to her in the elevator. They're fired.'

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Um, excuse me. Do you have clearance to patch that MRI scanner?

Twanky

...putting something like a raspberry pi in

This. You've got a multi-meeelion eurodollar device which you dare not patch for various (some good) reasons. Stick a 1,000 eurodollar firewall/ips system between the network and the device. Allow what needs to be allowed but nothing else. Nail down the config. You can patch the firewall/IPS.

Yes, I know a Raspberry Pi does not cost 1,000 eurodollars but it must be in a case with a fancy logo, right?

Edit: Should have read more of the comments before jumping in - the point's been made further down but earlier.

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National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

Twanky

They've destroyed Capita!?

The article caused me to choose to visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/identity-cards-and-new-identity-and-passport-service-suppliers#cancellation-of-the-national-identity-register where I found this:

---

Cancellation of the national identity register

The national identity register was destroyed on 10 February 2011. The personal details of everyone issued with an identity card which were recorded on the National Identity Register were securely destroyed. This included photograph and fingerprint biometrics. The register was destroyed by IPS along with the relevant contractors to approved security standards. The completion of the decommissioning will be reported to Parliament.

---

I got all excited. That'll learn 'em.

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Universal Credit has never delivered bang for buck, but now there's no turning back – watchdog

Twanky

NI Hypothecation...

...can not work. Unless you're prepared to take the line of cutting welfare to never exceed the NI tax take.

If the economy is going well and employment is high the required welfare expenditure is reduced and the NI (and other taxes) paid into the Treasury are increased.

If the economy is not going well and UNemployment is high then the required welfare expenditure is increased just at the time when NI (and other taxes) paid into the Treasury are reduced.

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Every bloody gadget in the house is ringing. Thanks, EE

Twanky

"a cold caller, telemarketer or spammer"

There's a difference?

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Aussie bloke wins right to sue Google over 'underworld' images

Twanky

Re: But

*If* he was it's probably not a good idea to annoy him...

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Boffins quietly cheering possible discovery of new fundamental particle: Sterile neutrino

Twanky

Re: This is not making physics any easier

Niels Bohr was more eloquent: 'If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you haven't understood it yet.'

But 'batshit crazy' is probably what he meant.

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Max Schrems is back: Facebook, Google hit with GDPR complaint

Twanky
Happy

I sincerely hope...

that Facebook attempts bully-boy tactics by threatening to withdraw their 'service' from EU countries.

It probably won't happen but I can dream.

I wonder if the eventual outcome will be a paid-for (with money) service?

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IPv6 growth is slowing and no one knows why. Let's see if El Reg can address what's going on

Twanky

How to make the move?

My ISP (Plusnet) is IPv4 only.

I run a number of different IPv4 RFC 1918 subnets at home on different vLANs and/or WiFi SSIDs (as I used to for my work). I have a 'services' subnet for things like e-mail, LDAP (VM) servers, I have a 'Home Entertainments' subnet, a 'Guest' subnet (for visitors' phones etc) and a 'DMZ' for world accessible services like web, XMPP and IMAP. Part of the security of the set up is that servers in the DMZ can only reach the 'services' network through my pfsense firewall ruleset.

Sure I could turn on IPv6 for all this kit and I could use my Hurricane Electric IPv6 address block and assign routeable addresses to everything I need to - but unless I subnet my IPv6 block to mimic my internal IPv4 setup I effectively 'flatten' my carefully built multi-vLAN configuration. If I have to mimic the subnetting to achieve the same control over routing and packet filtering then there is little advantage to enabling IPv6 - apart from self-education and being ready to turn off IPv4 eventually...

As far as I can see, there are two ways way for a business network to move to IPv6:

1) subnet their address space to mimic IPv4 which seems like a lot of effort to achieve the status quo.

2) rip and replace.

There would have to be a major benefit to risk option 2 IMO.

Whatever you want (sorry - if you've now got an ear-worm).

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Biometrics: Better than your mother's maiden name. Good luck changing your body if your info is stolen

Twanky

Re: Biometrics

"Biometrics are your USERNAME, *NOT* your PASSWORD!!"

Hmm. I have more than a dozen different e-mail addresses which are used as Usernames to log into different sites. I have many more made-up Usernames for other sites which then link back to some of those e-mail addresses.

I only have the usual eight fingers and two thumbs and one face (no digital accidents so far).

I don't want to assert the same Identity at multiple sites. ZoOm seems a backward step to me.

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Flamin' Nora! Brit firefighters tackle blazing fly-tipped boat

Twanky

This is real fly tipping?

A shipping container? Nah. This is REAL fly tipping: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-36033602/fly-tipper-dumps-three-tonnes-of-waste-in-south-croydon-road

Scumbags.

Edit: Argh! I can't believe I linked to a Flash Only version of this vid... Sorry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOKLXrXI9Ig

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US Congress finally emits all 3,000 Russian 'troll' Facebook ads. Let's take a look at some

Twanky
Stop

Re: I fail to understand

Not assassinated. Just murdered.

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UK government's cloud spending hits saturation: Love of Microsoft endures

Twanky

Love of Microsoft endures

I seem to recall that UK Gov recommended or mandated (or something) that national and local government offices should adopt ODF standards for 'electronic' documents. I've been failing to find evidence of this (either a report in the media or a statement from my local government bods) - or did I just dream it?

Just caught the edit window: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/open-document-format-odf-guidance-for-uk-government

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Twanky

UK government's cloud spending hits saturation

Once all Gov IT is in the cloud then it will run at maintenance level costs. However, given that HMRC (the Customs bit in particular) have no idea what to plan to deliver in 3 years time (and really should not be blamed for that) I suspect that the plateau in spending is due to uncertainty not saturation.

What would be more useful would be an historical analysis of how overall Gov IT spending has been increasing and whether the cloud components were taking a share of the usual spend or appearing as additional spending or even contributing to a slower increase (I very much doubt this last idea).

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It's World (Terrible) Password (Advice) Day!

Twanky
Coat

"think of an obscure song..."

My favourite is that bit in Hey Jude. 'Na na na na-na-na na'

Mines one of the ones with a little blue book in the pocket.

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Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update downs Chrome, Cortana

Twanky

Re: It it ain't broke, you're not trying

Ubuntu != Linux

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Who will fix our Internal Banking Mess? TSB hires IBM amid online banking woes

Twanky

Re: not a customer

"sounds like a complex undertaking done for good reasons. Customers should just be patient and not get agitated."

Don't feed the trolls :)

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Google accidentally reveals new swipe-happy Android UI

Twanky

Re: To be honest

With gesture control it's very important to do things in the right order. Licking then biting THEN flinging poo at it...

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Are you able to read this headline? Then you're not Julian Assange. His broadband is unplugged

Twanky

Balance

Pte Manning copied very sensitive government communications and released them to 3rd part(y|ies). The individual was tried by Court Martial and found guilty on a number of charges and sentenced to 35 years imprisonment - a sentence which was later commuted to 7 years time-served.

Mr Assange is the front man for an organisation which published the information that Pte Manning supplied. He claims he fears extradition to the US where he might face the death penalty. To avoid this he has confined himself in a building in London (technically Ecuadorian territory) for more than 5 years so far.

If the person who stole the information while supposedly under military discipline got a custodial sentence then the person who published it is *not* likely to get a harsher sentence (death penalty).

Some of the *other* stuff that Mr Assange's organisation has published has certainly annoyed many more people around the world and some might see political/media advantage in hastening his death and possibly casting the blame on others. I think him going to the US would probably extend his life rather than shorten it.

Mr Assange will die - eventually. Maybe from old-age (having witnessed that recently I would not wish it on anyone) or from some form of ill-health or even by being killed. He seems to be increasing his risk of the last option.

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SpaceX blasted massive plasma hole in Earth's ionosphere

Twanky

Re: I don't understand!

1/100 c.

However I can't find why a sheep's speed in vacuum is limited. Also, what sort of vacuum? Dyson, Miele or Hoover?

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Twanky

Re: Fountains

Charles Sheffield's The Web Between the Worlds is fun too. Mind you, I would not like to fly in a fully built space tower - can't see the HSE liking that at all.

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Facebook confirms Cambridge Analytica stole its data; it’s a plot, claims former director

Twanky

270,000 people downloaded the app... 50 million profiles leaked...

184 other people's profiles per self-selected volunteer - excluding overlaps? Genuine question: would that be a usual number of 'friends'?

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Fermi famously asked: 'Where is everybody?' Probably dead, says renewed Drake equation

Twanky

Re: Just a thought

I feel an experiment is necessary to determine whether our 'civilization' is currently detectable. We'd need to launch a couple of craft with a decent angle of separation such that they can communicate with each other but ground control will only directly communicate with one which acts as a relay for the other. The other then needs to scan for evidence of intelligent life on earth and report back via the relay.

So remember when you're feeling very small and insecure

How amazingly unlikely it is your birth

And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,

Because there's bugger all down here on Earth

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/e/ericidlelyrics/galaxysonglyrics.html

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Fear the wrath of robots, for their judgement is final and irrevocable

Twanky

Re: The real error

Just tried finding and reading these comments using curl... :(

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Microsoft says 'majority' of Windows 10 use will be 'streamlined S mode'

Twanky

Re: Mess

Be aware that Windows Feature Updates can cause other FUs on a dual/multi boot PC. If Windows does not understand the partitioning it seems quite happy to stamp all over it to get the update done. Fortunately for me, re-installing the various Linux partitions only cost me time - my data syncs to/from my servers.

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NRA gives FCC boss Ajit Pai a gun as reward for killing net neutrality. Yeah, an actual gun

Twanky

Re: those cowardly cops in Parkland

Yes. Which is why people should know the RoE before calling them cowards. If they failed to follow the RoE by not going in then that's a different matter. However, I expect their RoE required them to 'consult superiors' or some such before going in. Too many constraints can stop people potentially doing what turns out with 20/20 hindsight to be the right thing.

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Twanky

those cowardly cops in Parkland

Cowardly? I really would like to know what their rules of engagement were. I would not be at all surprised to find they followed those rules.

Of course, the RoE might have been too cautious - but if they'd broken the rules they'd probably be toast... Which they are now anyway.

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The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Twanky

In summary...

Most comments seem to agree that Microsoft licence terms are too restrictive - who'd have thought?

Don't mess with Microsoft. They can afford better lawyers than you... and judges.

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Iran: We have defeated evil nuclear-sensing Western lizards!

Twanky
Happy

Yobba Rays On!

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Former ICE top lawyer raided US govt database to steal aliens' identities

Twanky

Re: For poetic justice

I like the idea. Only problem is: to where? Perhaps establishing a penal colony somewhere (say, Cuba) might be in order?

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Web searching died the day they invented SEO

Twanky
Coat

Re: SEO = Sell Everything Online

Er. Yes.

We're not Google's customers and most of us didn't pay for the SEO gurus to do their thing. It should not surprise us that it's not aligned with our interests.

Mine's the one with the extra tin foil.

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All your base are belong to us: Strava exercise app maps military sites, reveals where spies jog

Twanky
FAIL

Great news!

In May 2015 many news sites carried a story that the silly Chinese army had banned it's forces wearing smartwatches and other 'wearable tech' - on security grounds. <sarcasm>Paranoia. It's clearly foolish to ban such useful kit.</sarcasm>

2 1/2 years later and a company that tracks people through their kit publishes clear maps of where these people can be found and how frequently. Not only that but we can see where the people who are apparently most concerned about their physical fitness exercise around military and security facilities. Clearly the Chinese were not over-reacting.

It would not surprise me if various state agencies had already issued regulations restricting the use of this kit - but as they didn't explain why, or enforce the regulation, it got ignored along with all the other apparently unnecessary cruft.

I really hope that this becomes a much bigger news item. The world needs to understand that sharing any personal data without a damn good reason is an utterly foolish thing to do.

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Brit MP Dorries: I gave my staff the, um, green light to use my login

Twanky

Executive/PA working

Much has already been said about the foolishness of MP's sharing passwords and the criminality of retaining data from a possibly illegal search by a plod leaving the service. Can't add anything to that.

The IT 'problems' associated with Executive/PA working are not new and there are many methods available to address them. These clearly are not being applied in Ms Dorries' and other MP's offices.

So why not? Almost certainly because it is easier for the MP to just get on with the job (as they see it) by giving people they trust their password.

It seems to me that the Palace of Westminster IT function has not made it easy enough for their Users to do things the right way.

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