* Posts by Giovani Tapini

257 posts • joined 11 May 2018

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Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source

Giovani Tapini

I had an A310 and loved it

I am now worried that things I saw as new are museum pieces, that's making me feel old.

I recall cutting my teeth on the RISC assembler and wondering naively why this simple approach wasn't common across other processors at the time. Indeed I occasionally find this thought resurfacing even now...

The BBC basic on the Archimedes had been upgraded too and included lots of extra commands. My foray in to counting degrees with COS and SIN to draw shapes was replaced with the command CIRCLE. My nerdiness wasted from that point.

And yes, the OS and GUI were very good indeed, particularly for the time. Yes there were some things we are now used to that hadn't been thought of but it has been a long time before other GUI interfaces came even close. The mindset behind it was the best asset, not the specific features (or lack of).

Yes, it may not have become an industry standard, but it was a very well designed and executed bit of kit for its time, and I still miss it.

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Morrisons supermarket: We're taking payroll leak liability fight to UK Supreme Court

Giovani Tapini

I expect to be flamed

But I don't quite get it...

The company must be responsible to some extent for the actions of an employee even if they go rogue and do something dumb.

I would suggest this may mitigate to some extent damages awarded against them as controls will never be able to eliminate this risk.

Trying to argue that a corporation has no responsibility for employee actions rogue or otherwise would create all sorts of bizarre anomalies. This would surely mean that the guys fixing LIBOR were nothing to do with their employer either.

Effectively corporates would gain almost total immunity to the law if taken to its furthest (and possibly ridiculous) extent. Every issue would simply require a scapegoat found.

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F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

Giovani Tapini

Re: You do have to watch out with those URL shorteners

You can get a similar effect with warehouse part numbers,

Copper nominal bore tube CUNT too. Context can be fairly important.

Ended up making it CUNBT to make it safer...

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Giovani Tapini

Neither are fans of

Duck Tracey, of Fanny Burney.

Filtering has a habit in my experienceof creating as many issues as it solves.

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Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

Giovani Tapini

Re: anti-crime

I think the point is that regardless of "I didn't know it was against the law" excuses, you are likely to still know what you are doing is likely to be with bad intentions regardless of your knowledge of the law.

In this case the cleaners didn't even break in, the door was open. They went in without breaking in, they cleaned. Both these actions done with only good intentions. Therefore I reason out this to be an "anti-crime" as described above.

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Can't get pranked by your team if nobody in the world can log on

Giovani Tapini
Trollface

Your monitor needs 20 mins to reboot?

Its no wonder you posted as Anon :)

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Softcat warns of Brexit cloud forming over UK tech, vows: If prices rise, we'll pass them on...

Giovani Tapini

Re: "businesses like certainty and predictability"

What you say is true if your are an arms dealer or asset stripper, not so true if you have to grow or build products...

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Giovani Tapini

Re: There's always an excuse to increase prices, but...

Having hands and feet tied by an organisation that we are on the "management" of suggests this is a bit overstated. In fact the UK has stopped or watered down some of the more, er, creative ideas floated.

Even if true, it does not answer the point you picked out which was, where is all the other bounty going to come from? Are we going to be in a better place economically? I very much doubt it. Can our manufacturers become so efficient and productive we shill ship product halfway round the globe and still be an attractive prospect? I doubt it. Services also don't necessarily transport well over great distances, nor to you have the reasonably level playing field across all the countries in Europe.

I do not believe that there will be a queue of countries all wanting to suddenly do business with us that the EU prevented. Even if there was, FTA's generally take years of negotiation for each counterparty country. We will not be doing this just once for a nice big trading bloc like Europe, but doing it on our own for every country. I'm not even sure the UK has enough expertise and personnel to deliver this even in the unlikely event there was a queue.

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Decoding the Google Titan, Titan, and Titan M – that last one is the Pixel 3's security chip

Giovani Tapini
Mushroom

And in other news

Google admitted today that there had been a Titan-ic blunder when they discovered the keys to Titan missile launch codes while pen-testing mobile products.

An anonymous, but senior source said "We take the security of the planet very seriously. I will be er, launching, an investigation into how project code names are generated as soon as possible"

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The mysterious life of Luc Esape, bug fixer extraordinaire. His big secret? He's not human

Giovani Tapini

Re: ""Who owns the intellectual property and responsibility of a bot contribution: "

I bet that didn't happen for "Windows for Warships".

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In Windows 10 Update land, nobody can hear you scream

Giovani Tapini
Facepalm

Re: Rigorously Tested

That's my view too. The issues are not obscure enough to be down to the lack of certain specific and unpredictable test scenarios that may not have been executed.

This does seem to be down to broken process, and lack of action taken on feedback. This therefore is poor to the point of genuinely as opposed to humorously unprofessional.

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Bloodhound Super-Sonic-Car lacks Super-Sonic-Cashflow

Giovani Tapini

It's not just about innovation

Although there clearly is some just to make the thing work.

One of the real reasons was to get kids interested in science and engineering. The next generation have to grow into being tired, cynical, seen-it-all El Reg Commentards, not start out like that.

Most kids will only worry about the engineering in the phone long enough to open instagram which is not really a great place IMHO.

I for one will be very disappointed if the project ends up folding entirely.

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Scanning an Exchange server for a virus that spreads via email? What could go wrong?

Giovani Tapini

Re: There is a little bit of me

@LDS Fair call, but the article does not go into much detail on what was done with the restore. I assume some tool more suitable for cleaning mailboxes was deployed. Server was therefore clean albeit at the expense of deleting everything. The process did have an excess of collateral damage, but did remove the infection.

Now about those carts, they used to be filled with snacks and coffee...

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Giovani Tapini

There is a little bit of me

That thinks the actions could be close to doing the right thing?

Although a company culturally can create a great dependence on email as a business tool for variously archiving, signoff approvals, support messages, and other unwise use-cases.

At least the server was clean, and probably caught other things too.

My worry would be how the messages got to this point without being cleaned already...

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Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

Giovani Tapini
Trollface

But which alias

is the one that the world famous journalist uses. We only get to see the Dabbs one?!

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Shortages, price rises, recession: Tech industry preps for hard Brexit

Giovani Tapini

Your cold one...

You will only get your cold one if it is brewed in the UK and does not include imported ingredients. This may include, Hops, Barley or other items depending on your tipple of choice.

If you go for the bottled sweet stuff these are often bulk imported and then bottled in the UK.

I don't recall drinking from a glass made in the UK for a very long time, regardless of what was poured into it.

I suggest you cache a few crates while you can if you really want to sit back and enjoy the fun of the UK shooting itself in both feet, painting its room black, and putting up an abandon hope sign on the door...

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Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

Giovani Tapini

I still have an old-school rule to follow

Never trust an electronic lock.

Also note - lock makers are better at engineering than software and have made the most basic errors more than defeating all but the illusion of security. This may change one day, but I will not be holding my breath.

Either way, their server has locked up, their PR team has locked down communication, and people are locked out of the homes. All I need is a lock in at my pub to finish the day...

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Huge ice blades on Jupiter’s Europa will make it a right pain in the ASCII to land on

Giovani Tapini
Coat

Re: Re. Icebreaker

This method of propulsion would be called the "Astroglide" drive

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Giovani Tapini

In the UK we would just say

Its the wrong sort of snow...

Although it does make me wonder if any lander would have to be called a "blade runner"

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US may have by far the world's biggest military budget but it's not showing in security

Giovani Tapini
Joke

Don't you know?

The MMC card slot is just about right...

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Giovani Tapini

Re: I enjoy the fact that issuing policies must be the end of the matter

I have to bite...

Can we play tic-tac-toe?

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Giovani Tapini

I enjoy the fact that issuing policies must be the end of the matter

Try implementing and auditing against them, or testing them against prospective purchases etc.

This is no better than "your security is very important to us..."

My worry would be that if the systems are as leaky as the article makes it sound, then there is a reasonable probability of their own testing manifesting in the wild. That prank missile target on your mates house suddenly becomes are real possibility that it may just work...

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Oracle? On my server? I must have been hacked! *Penny drops* Oh sh-

Giovani Tapini

Re: 1200 baud down, 75 baud up

Morse code is basically 0's and 1's so you must be pre-1865. Your grey beard must be dragging on the floor behind you!

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It's over 9,000! Boffin-baffling microquasar has power that makes the LHC look like a kid's toy

Giovani Tapini

That is

the American way

...

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Giovani Tapini

Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator

is only required if earth obscures the view of Venus from Mars I believe.

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Giovani Tapini

Re: Re:nitpicking/reference

There are many pedants in the forums, the better ones explain themselves along with their downvote.

There is a great variety of expertise in far wider fields than just IT here and its always good to learn new angles on the discussions though.

So a qualified hooray to the pedants.

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Decoding the Chinese Super Micro super spy-chip super-scandal: What do we know – and who is telling the truth?

Giovani Tapini

Re: Signal conditioning chips

Would take an expert to make the design change too, I would expect tampering like this to be invisible from a visual inspection, and only potentially possible from a photographic comparison particularly if it is intentionally obscured in the layers, or using another surface mount chip as cover.

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Giovani Tapini

Only just passes the plausibility test for me...

I agree it is completely feasible that a board maker could have it's design compromised. However if you look at a motherboard it is not straightforward to add any components at all. There is not a lot of room, chip embedded in the fiberglass is likely to overheat running at CPU speeds and burn itself away, getting access to the right tracks will be non trivial. It would probably also upset the fine balance of power management that modern motherboards don't have much tolerance for.

Overall if I am to believe the theory I would expect this to have been achieved by the motherboard designers, not just bodged in at the factory. This idea that its factory changed I find completely implausible.

If you are doing this in the highly managed environment of an AWS (for example) datacentre, the network traffic is so highly managed it seems unlikely that even if data is capable of being siphoned, your ability to trigger the siphon and retrieve anything is highly unlikely to be successful. It almost certainly would be unable to be contacted directly even with insider help. This leaves the possibility that it is trained to "look" for certain data streams to activate. Again how to exfiltrate, particularly if done in bulk across a whole datacentre, I can only imagine it would have to insert the data into what appears to be legitimate traffic, a sort of steganography. Trying to get anything coherent out a a vast number of servers operating in parallel seems both impossibly hard, and highly likely to be detected.

Overall my assessment is that this is likely to have been rasied as a potential attack vector, has been validated by the various anonymous sources, but likely has never been attempted at scales as described.

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Organic stuff, radiation, unexpected methane... Yes, we're talking about Saturn's surprising rings

Giovani Tapini

Re: unexpected methane?

No touching your Kuiper belt until you have washed your hands then...

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AI-powered IT security seems cool – until you clock miscreants wielding it too

Giovani Tapini

AI's pitting themselves against each other

Usually goes quite wrong...

It is possible to imagine scenarios where successful defence ramps up attack to epic proportions. Just like automated trading systems can cause insane and unbalanced share price changes.

Closer to the real world...

The challenge I fear is that finding these AI's is likely to require more cooperation between providers in sharing some level of traffic data between themselves to identify and thwart the miscreants. Trying to defend at your own endpoint will become more like throwing a rock into a pond.

AI for the low and slow probing is probably more effective at looking like "real" traffic too, also making it harder to detect and mitigate against. Security at application level potentially becomes a far more important level of defence (i.e. not assuming the "techies" can mitigate for me). I don't know many shops that look at application behaviour as an insight into trouble brewing...

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Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

Giovani Tapini

While minding my own business driving in Wiltshire

My car suddenly transported its perceived lication to somewhere in Brussels.

And that's without the messing about with buildings reflecting or blocking signals.

I'm still a fan of taking a quick look at a map and just remembering some waypoints...

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Your specialist subject? The bleedin' obvious... Feds warn of RDP woe

Giovani Tapini
Windows

Re: Useful advice that won't help

Do you know anyone using server 2012 R2 as their home desktop?

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Giovani Tapini
Stop

Re: Useful advice that won't help

You don't want to break the "features" that allow "Microsoft" call centre agents to "optimise" your PC either.

Agreed, there are many people using their PC as a consumer device with no reason in their mind to understand all the complex moving parts inside.

This is why operating systems are getting more schizophrenic trying to be consumer, hobbyist and enterprise all at the same time compromising everyone.

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Oslo clever clogs craft code to scan di mavens and snare dodgy staff

Giovani Tapini
Big Brother

Big Brother will be watching you...

HR becomes the ministry of love I assume....

10
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IT bosses worried about network security reckon AI Jesus can save them, says Oracle survey

Giovani Tapini

Re: Biometrics

Biometric is just a password.

Depending on the metric can be forged, duplicated, or sliced off/out of its owner with varying degrees of difficulty.

I thought the 2FA was the element that was bringing demonstrable benefits in threat reduction anyway.

0
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Eat my shorts, watchdog tells every city mayor in the US – FCC approves $2bn 5G telco windfall

Giovani Tapini

The FCC has turned into the EPO

and we haven't had any rants about them for a while either!

Run by a monster personality with a personal agenda rather than being a servant to society or objective policy maker.

8
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Brexit campaigner AggregateIQ challenges UK's first GDPR notice

Giovani Tapini

Re: Labour Party breach

Can't claim to be working for the working classes while spaffing cash at local authorities for updated datasets can they? Sounds a bit middle class and profligate.

You may assume they look at the mailing preference service data too, although I keep getting told what assumptions make me :)

I admit to being ignorant of most political party mechanics but I would suggest this is a local group operating with "volunteers" who really have no idea and are just doing as they are told from higher up.

2
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Linux kernel's 'seat warmer' drops 4.19-rc5 with – wow – little drama

Giovani Tapini

Seat Warmer?

Better than being a "seat moistener from sector 7g"

As above I would have thought the corporate "values" would leak through somehow.

Formal or not, the "meritocracy" can call themselves what they like, but if they squabble in public it wont really matter if they have a formal code or not. The impression given will still be the same.

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That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?

Giovani Tapini

6 point plan?

The very first thing you are given is a budget.

The thinking comes later on...

34
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Facebook sued for exposing content moderators to Facebook

Giovani Tapini

Re: I'm sorry, but snowflakes....

If they took a job they knew they were not really suitable for (it happens) just to complain that's bad and should be dealt with appropriately.

OTOH I don't consider myself a snowflake but being forced to read/watch that sort of content as a full time job would certainly not do me good. I don't believe it is suitable for a full time role if the content is that horrific all the time. Even soldiers in battle (yes there are exceptions) are not exposed continuously to that sort of thing for prolonged periods. And the exceptions were certainly not unaffected...

This activity is almost always likely to require human help, even if software can take some of the volume away there will be a balance or appeals that require review.

Notwithstanding the fact this specific claim may or may not be spurious, I do suspect there is an issue of approach that needs looking at.

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Some credential-stuffing botnets don't care about being noticed any more

Giovani Tapini

Maybe just

forcing password changes once in a while...

Inconvenient, possibly, but at least it puts a shelf life against stolen credentials. It does not even need all the thinking that a second factor needs, or other passwordless authentication. Not advocating it as a security baseline, but very few places would even need to change their code to achieve this.

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UK.gov won't Airwave bye for another 3 years, plans to phase in ESN services

Giovani Tapini

Are you really expecting Nationwide 5g coverage at all?

Don't forget these devices are supposed to work in rural areas too.

National coverage in most cases means along the main roads and in the biggest towns...and is generally measured as a percentage of population covered, not landmass which is a substantial drop.

10
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How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

Giovani Tapini

Re: Unplugging the keyboard = kernel panic ?

@Korev

We need an icon for greybeards -->

I don't feel like grey beard yet..

I am also fairly sure if I did grow a beard it would be of all colours and look like a pile of lightly rotted grass...

14
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Scottish brewery recovers from ransomware attack

Giovani Tapini

disagree with the economics statement

Value of data/recovery over extorted amount is not the entire equation.

There is also a judgement call relating to the likelihood of getting your data back at all even if you do pay. This is certainly not guaranteed at all even if you do pay.

1
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iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

Giovani Tapini

Re: Never heard of a 'spludger'

No, its just a tool to use instead of a kitchen knife to open small things...

It probably sounds better than a little Jeremy, er jemmy, or prying tool. I only heard this word a few years ago though, I don't know if there was a "spudger" before small electronic devices were a "thing".

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Giovani Tapini

THey are probably trying to be clever

and take the call over a local café wifi connection to save cash instead of actually using it as a phone... Do people with iPhones do that any more?

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Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm

Giovani Tapini

Anything with duty added

Is not going to be part of the shrinkage game. The results were inevitable.

2
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I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Giovani Tapini

Re: No sympathy

Have you seen inside one of these machines? I have and I'll never use one again.

There are a row of plastic bags full of dark unhealthy looking urine colour liquid.

They hang inside like operating theatre catheter bags. Just waiting to have their content warmed to body temperature and squirted into the unwary customer's cup.

All the graphics are to distract you from the reality of the cyclopian horrors inside...

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Giovani Tapini

Re: Top notch

Interesting it wanted the keys to your wife I must say. These young Batista clearly have no limits at all!

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Giovani Tapini

Top notch

[vomit-inducing photos of drinks that look like someone sneezed on the ice cream at a children's birthday party before taking a shit on the custard]

laughed so loud my colleagues turned round wondering what I was working on (oops).

I guess the apps could be deliberately be that bad, but that assumes a level of quality control and consistency beyond the capability of most mobile development shops. Much like government conspiracies its more likely to be circumstances and chance than deliberate.

I also wonder why I want to wander around with a gazillion poorly written data reaming apps when all I need is a debit card or cash. My experience has frequently been beset with assistants running after people leaving the shop crying "your phone payment didn't go through, I need you to try it again!"

Even real time (ish) NFC payments take so long to fail people have already left. Paying by cash is actually often both faster and more reliable.

Its no wonder people suffer major psychological disorders when their battery runs down. That's your ticket home lost, your coffee while waiting for it to charge lost, your games, social media, news indeed your total sandal wearing, beard sporting, tree hugging, vegan life is over unless you can find someone with a compatible charger and a free socket.

A recent example of said millennial with head enveloped with fancy baseball hat walks into pub, asking if he can charge his phone. Landlord considers and consents. The aforesaid goes outside to chat to his mate and does not even buy a pack of crisps for the trouble.

Maybe someone will write an app that will call for a motorbike mounted charging station when battery goes less than 15% for a small fee.

I'm old school and will always carry enough cash to get home in the event of the e-pocalypse of app failures or bank upgrades...

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