* Posts by Giovani Tapini

148 posts • joined 11 May 2018

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

Giovani Tapini

Just get the $89.99 gold plated multi-cable

with lots of fiddly ends. Shops already sell these, and apparently clean your electricity at the same time amongst other dubious claims.

USB cables themselves are not all entirely equal either even when visually identical. Supporting different speeds, not just the end-devices. It can be very confusing once you have a box of spare cables going. USB is not always as standard as it appears especially now they are not just cables but often have chippery embedded.

Anything that can at least reduce the level of complexity is welcome, as long as it does not simply move the complexity around...

16
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Making money mining Coinhive? Yeah, you and nine other people

Giovani Tapini

Reads like a ponzi scheme

however it is also entirely unsurprising... and it is also not economically sensible for these 9 to stay sat on a large hoard. Money only really works if its being churned around and spent after all.

6
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UK chip and PIN readers fall ill: Don't switch off that terminal!

Giovani Tapini

Re: Whaaat? Turning it off and on again is not allowed?

You forgot

Blowing on the card

Rubbing the card on your clothes

Bending the card a little back and forth

Banging it violently into the chip reader slot

Rubbing it violently through the mag-stripe reader

12
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US voting systems: Full of holes, loaded with pop music, and 'hacked' by an 11-year-old

Giovani Tapini

Re: US Elections

I don't know about that. From the closing statements of the article, I just read that war is more of a priority than democracy anyway. Therefore election fraud is just a distraction, or indeed the US can have a Zimbabwe style election when the incumbent wins but no one is certain of the fairness of the votes and counting...

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When's a backdoor not a backdoor? When the Oz government says it isn't

Giovani Tapini

Re: I don't see the problem

Potentially true, however they don't want to go to the effort and cost of doing this privately like the Americans, they want business to go through all the cost and complexity of delivering this. Any comms provider will become part of the police state by proxy...

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Giovani Tapini

Who would pay?

Disregarding the stupidity of the idea itself.

Building capabilities to break encrypted traffic is likely to be both non trivial, and involve multiple companies, some of which may not indeed have the capacity to deal with requests from hundreds of clients.

There would end up being whole chains of liability as you go through resellers, providers, technical partners, data center or cloud delivery organisations in implementing such schemes. This would not be straightforward even if all the groups agreed on what could or should be delivered...

It sounds like a recipe for corporate disaster... never mind the moral or ethical dimensions...

7
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Database ballsup: NHS under pressure over fresh patient record error

Giovani Tapini

Re: Between my wife and myself

I recognize your experience. Indeed you will get multiple reminders, all with slightly different details, 3 phone numbers that no longer exist, and one that answers but has no idea about the service detailed on your appointment. If you get past the point of finding out which hospital, outbuilding, random clinic is hosting your appointment, don't be surprised if the lights are off and all the doors are locked.

And they wonder why appointments are missed. It does not matter how good you are at recording all your contacts and instructions with accuracy and alacrity.

Its also almost inevitable that if you have two massive overlapping databases there will be discrepancies. This in itself should not be a surprise, the lack of foresight to install mitigations on data quality is, however shocking (changing to Daily Mail tone of voice momentarily). It should be obvious that this will be the case, indeed the longer it is left the larger the drift/mismatch will become.

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Criminal justice software code could send you to jail and there’s nothing you can do about it

Giovani Tapini
Mushroom

Trade secrets, pah

The precise algorithms and weightings of parameters a trade secret?

If its not patentable, then its probably only secret because its obvious(ly flawed) and anyone with access to training data could have a go.

The authorities should own the process IP to ensure it has some level of transparency, even to themselves. Leaving decisions to a corporation (recalling OCP for example) is outsourcing law enforcement to an unacceptable degree in my view.

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Australia on the cusp of showing the world how to break encryption

Giovani Tapini

Will probably stop the Aussies from some trading activities

I'm fairly sure that some global payment systems are not compatible with the direction of legislative travel. this could well prevent Australia from being a trusted counterparty...

5
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Firefighters choke on Oracle's alleged smoke-and-mirrors cloud

Giovani Tapini

Ahhh, the Oracle we all know and love

The pitch "unprecedented level of automation and cost savings," and to the company being "customer-focused" and "intimate partners with our customer."

The reality, threats of audits, exorbitant costs via impenetrable licencing rules, and the, go cloud or go away tactic Microsoft has been dancing round for a while.

What could possibly go wrong...

Also 143m seems quite a low number for the type of fund. CBA to look it up but I would have expected more like a 1.4bn. especially if they have to fund against Oracle lawyers...

19
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Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

Giovani Tapini

I thought printing systems

were designed to produce faithful representations of computer generated graphic based tat. I find it hard to believe a printer added the typos and even more hard to believe that print proceses were to blame.

admit it, the council is just S**t at drafting, proofreading, and change, managing their letter templates.

Leave the print process out of it. May as well blame your brand of petrol for getting lost while driving.

41
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Encryption doesn't stop him or her or you... from working out what Thing 1 is up to

Giovani Tapini

Upvote for the story, but why do I get the feeling the administrator still was probably right...

5
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UK taxman told: IR35 still isn't working in the public sector, and you want to take it private?

Giovani Tapini

The other way to look at this...

is that the bigger corporates in the private sector will almost certainly find ways of avoiding the hard or inconsistent rules. Use Amazon, Google, Facebook as good examples of entirely legitimate but politically unpopular tax dodging.

HMRC will turn itself inside our in the courts to attempt to demonstrate it's superiority and indeed has already failed a number of times to do so.

9
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Brain brainiacs figure out what turns folks into El Reg journos, readers

Giovani Tapini
Pint

And I always thought

it was simply an excess of alcohol and fried breakfasts that made an El reg Journo...

Who knew there were other factors at work too!

8
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Can we talk about the little backdoors in data center servers, please?

Giovani Tapini

If an attacker has freedom of movement on your management network

the vendors may be correct in assuming you are screwed already.

It is however not straightforward to detect or disinfect from such an attack though, and this could be worse than the attack itself. Potentially rendering the hardware itself a risk and a scratch restore being insufficient.

It's an interesting vector, and anyone with their management networks exposed to the internet are doing the equivalent of leaving a truck full of new trainers unlocked in the middle of the street... (and that didn't end well either)

11
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Google Project Zero boss: Blockchain won’t solve your security woes – but partying just might

Giovani Tapini

Re: 'People in the middle snoop'

DMCA probably causes more censorship due to draconian implementation.

Although the OP suggests and complains that all standards come from "big IT". Are there any standards at all that survive outside the sponsorship or direct ownership of big IT? I don't know any. that's like complaining that only Parliament makes law in the UK.

No matter who or what body is in control accusations of incompetence, hidden agenda's or corruption will always be levelled. Some of these will have a basis in fact, not just politics. What would you like to see?

2
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Revealed: El Reg blew lid off Meltdown CPU bug before Intel told US govt – and how bitter tech rivals teamed up

Giovani Tapini
Pint

Well done El Reg for the scoop and informing the US government

have a beer on me.

17
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Oracle's JEDI mine trick: IT giant sticks a bomb under Pentagon's $10bn single-vendor cloud plan

Giovani Tapini

Re: Interesting that Oracle worries about "lock-in"

Standard does not have to mean homogeneous..

0
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Bank on it: It's either legal to port-scan someone without consent or it's not, fumes researcher

Giovani Tapini
Flame

I tend to agree this is less than a good idea

If it is reasonable to do a portscan at all it should be part of the login process. The Halifax comment saying that they want to protect customers is fine, except you are not just protecting customers.

I am not a fan of this even as an idea though, financial services companies should not perform actions they would otherwise be defending against. That's just wrong.

Scanning non-customers is not against the CMA as far as I understand it. Vulnerability scanning does not require full consent in the UK (albeit that's advice, I don't believe it has been tested in court).

Are they going to tell people they are vulnerable? What if they are not a customer and identify vulnerabilities? It opens an unnecessary can of worms without any apparent benefits.

I should imagine most people scanned would not provide a sensible result anyway if they are behind any kind of commercial firewall or NAT based router at the end of their broadband.

3
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The Register's 2018 homepage redesign: What's going on now?

Giovani Tapini
Stop

Informal test results

Takes longer to load new page on mobile due to top line ad. Little difference on desktop.

Don't like the new page selecting the different topics for me, I just read what's interesting. I really don't see the point in trying to push me towards the topic areas of storage, security etc on landing.

If I ignore the content, it looks OK visually. but latest news should just be latest, not latest for each topic. Often there are several decent "latest" articles in security for example.

I'll probably carry on with RSS feed as my primary, then I can see what really is latest.

I cant bring myself to add to the application of PIGmented paraffin wax to a porcine (double pun) though. El reg is just a bit better than that, at least for now!

1
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Oi, clickbait cop bot, jam this in your neural net: Hot new AI threatens to DESTROY web journos

Giovani Tapini

I think I can define ClickBait as

Taboola.

Their whole business is based on farming clicks to ad-loaded pages with multiple click through to access limited and often made up content.

Usually the headlines are accompanied by unlikely looking photoshopped images to trap the unwary.

I am sure there are similar publishers but this one stands out as providing nothing but adds and naff content. AI should train on them...

16
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'Can you just pop in to the office and hit the power button?' 'Not really... the G8 is on'

Giovani Tapini

Re: Does a running gun battle to the airport count?

Yes, people think IT is safe and boring, I have one colleague shot at in central America, and one held at gunpoint by a security guard not properly briefed for out of hours working.

I was asked nicely if I was carrying a gun in one country I visited, when all my colleagues were questioned and frisked and sent through the metal detector. I said no, and just got waived through... although I was the only one of us in a suit.

A few near-misses in Eastern Europe in the early 90's when people nearby were subjected to the rough arm of the local police.

I was safer doing IT in a factory where I only got showered by metal sparks a few times...

12
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Giovani Tapini

Re: Instinct

I worked with a colleague in Southern Europe who would enjoy showing off his speed of typing when entering systems commands and responding to system queries.

I was diagnosing some issues they had and identified that the colleague in question had very little idea of what he was actually typing. In a similar slow-motion "noooo" to the above story I watched as a command kicked back and his buffered keystrokes started cancelling processes and all sorts of carnage ensued...

15
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Click this link and you can get The Register banned in China

Giovani Tapini

Re: Not the entirity of China...

Sail? At least one will probably need to be towed...

5
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Giovani Tapini

Re: Communist leaders and their sensitivities

Which one of those was the Trump that Nellie the elephant did when she said goodbye to the circus? It doesn't seem to fit either.,.

3
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Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

Giovani Tapini

Portal sentries

Aperture science has already solved this problem.

2
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Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

Giovani Tapini
Trollface

Re: Foul Language?

you your bleeping missed one on the when describing sailors. up until that point I had no idea what word you were trying to use

4
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Giovani Tapini

In my first job they had about 20 printers

Almost all of them were unique, different manufacturers, media, networking and printing technology.

Each one needed a different way of fixing or maintaining, and I am sure all the controls resembled more of a Hasbro Bop-it than an enterprise device. Bloody push, pull, turn, open, shut, lift, click, lock and all different. I don't know how I managed to learn all the different printer skills and not confuse them.

11
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Giovani Tapini

Re: what the fuck does PC LOAD LETTER mean?

It's an obscure configuration conflict between your publishing application of choice, and the printer setup that only manifests itself when something urgent needs to be done.

The fun can be amplified when attempting to figure our how to manually feed envelopes or some other stationary into a laser printer often just above the air vents at the back in a dusty cupboard with only 6 inches of length on the power so you can't pull it forward etc...

15
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Giovani Tapini
Holmes

Maybe lots

but in like likely event he could not have seen where, or how hard, to create this effect the likelihood of a repeat performance is significantly reduced...

3
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Boffins build a NAZI AI – wait, let's check that... OK, it's a grammar nazi

Giovani Tapini

@CT Becausewhenyouarewritingforfacebookandonlywanttosay

whatyouhadforbreakfastwhatpyjamasyouwerewearingyoudontwriteassuminganyoneisactuallygoingtoreadyyourwalloftextyouareminlesslyfidgetingwithyourphoneinsteadofinteractingwiththosearoundyouwhichleadstoyouhavingnofriendsapartfromyourphoneandtellitallaboutyourlifebecuasethereisnootherrealityaroundyou.

4
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Giovani Tapini

It will be the end of puns as we know them

Any kind of playful use of language will be translated into AI generated "Newspeak" and turgid prose will come of the computer controlled word sausage machine.

Why not simply develop an AI to write the text in the first place? its probably easier than trying to fix language it cannot really appreciate.

I look forward to the AI art critic suggesting "It's just a pile of bricks..."

21
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New Zealand school on naughty step after ransomware failure

Giovani Tapini

Surely...

It can encrypt files stored on the cloud just as easily as files on local servers? What sort of magic prevents the attack extending to the cloud hosted file systems?

5
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Sitting pretty in IPv4 land? Look, you're gonna have to talk to IPv6 at some stage

Giovani Tapini
Mushroom

Well configured edge firewall

How many shops now have firewall rules for IPV4 lots of rules and equivalent of no rules for IPV6 by pretending its not really there. Also likely to lead to little monitoring or traffic etc. Hack via IPV6 for unlimited access and no alarms in the near future for the masses then...

3
2

You lead the all-flash array market. And you, you, you, you, you and you...

Giovani Tapini

Re: What's the value anymore?

@Androgynous Cow Herd

What sort of PHB are you wanting all that in a single line answer?

2
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Hot US deal! IBM wins $83m from Groupon in e-commerce patent spat

Giovani Tapini

Re: Didn't Amazon contest this?

Corps often licence because it's less effort or cost than fighting even if the Patent is terrible / flawed / incomprehensible.

This also contributes to the dishonour and lack of credibility in the Patent system...

6
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Tech Shutdown Blows: IT chaos cost Brit bank TSB almost £200m

Giovani Tapini

Re: It's gonna cost more than that...

Indeed current accounts open the door to other services e.g. Insurance, personal loans etc. So the margins are made elsewhere. The indirect losses could be even more significant.

0
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Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

Giovani Tapini

Bit late now

but all these stories have a theme, that employees can be ASSETS to the company. Albeit most places also employ a chocolate teapot... The value of these assets is infrequently and ineffectively measured, only the headline cost...

9
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Giovani Tapini

Re: Management Fail

The documentation is a lie... like the cake,

7
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Giovani Tapini

Re: Pictures or....

Well I for one think many of the stories pass the plausibility test.

In my experience you don't have to make up stories, you just need the motivation to tell them.

Anyway farming donvotes isuch easier and you can doing that just by mentioning Linux...

12
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Giovani Tapini

Re: One move and we shoot

They can get you with the role is moving more that (IIRC) 10 miles away and you can relocate or be voluntarily redundant.

Generally they will find a way to change the job names to make the sufficiently different to try to dodge the bullet.

And of course its handover not training. Its all about toying with the words to keep it legal, not necessarily the reality you see around you...

I'm not sure if there are any other provisions (or get out of jail cards) for employers simply wishing to outsource stuff

13
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Giovani Tapini
Mushroom

Re: Logic bombs are unprofessional

Some companies create their own logic bombs by following procedure.

I seem to recall a large beverage company going offline after discovering that their DNS name was being paid on an individuals expenses credit card. Person leaves or is "downsized" then no one pays the bill then watch the entire organisation go dark until someone can work out how to deal with it.

I don't advocate non-process initiated logic bombs though. As said elsewhere, that can indeed get you into a lot of trouble.

55
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Giovani Tapini

Re: Not in IT...

Call it what you like, Corporate knowledge, institutional experience it is invaluable when wrangling multiple services to work together.

Once you have outsourced your knowledge you are both unable to hold the supplier to account (because you have no idea what they should be doing), and unable to replace suppliers as the existing supplier then has to hand over, to a competitor(which they will either refuse or make extraordinarily expensive. Outsource capacity not capability!

Many firms rely on at least some home-brewed IT services to be competitive or some unique capability to stand out. Any more than none, will require some embedded wrangler experience and is outsourced at the peril of the corporate boss that thinks its a good idea.

In my experience outsourcing has generally not been a net cost saving once you tot it up. It only provides buffers against volatile demand or fills in hard-to-find specific skills.

90
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Shock Land Rover Discovery: Sellers could meddle with connected cars if not unbound

Giovani Tapini

So now a car is not really a car any more

The sale and transfer of a car is now likely to involve the manufacturer regardless of private or dealer transaction.

It's not really like any other tech, as I don't need to engage a third party I may have had no relationship with to clear and sell my phone.

Your personal data, along with the car's data is now spread out across your phone, internally within the car, and with the manufacturer. Just deleting your app (unlikely) or, resetting your car (even less likely) is not sufficient. The car does not change it's credentials on transfer either, VIN number stays the same for the life of the car. Where does this lead? Confusion over data being mine and personal, data that is car specific for the manufacturer and a vast, Ill considered gulf of grey between as current discussion shows. Overall modern cars are not "yours alone" like cars used to be before they gained SMART (oxymoron alert).

Relying on the seller to de-register is pointless and may be unfeasible if they are not alive, abroad, incapacitated, phone stolen or account closed etc. This is simply unworkable.

There needs to be some new broader thinking about how we now effectively borrow cars from the manufacturer regardless of the process we went through to get the keys...

3
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Spectre rises from the dead to bite Intel in the return stack buffer

Giovani Tapini

Asking (possibly) dumb question

Why is normal software even able to access the buffers in question, let alone write to them. I would have thought this would effectively be internal to the CPU or possibly OS kernel level software only.

As a "not an expert in this area" IT person, are there any legitimate use cases for this sort of capability?

3
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UK spies broke law for 15 years, but what can you do? shrugs judge

Giovani Tapini

I would hardly expect precise targetting

even in the private sector things are deliberately obfuscated.

Imagine your corp sending out an email saying, no more private share dealing on stock for YGRT. You would immediately infer that a takeover was in progress or some other sort of "secret" action. Therefore these lists contain a fair bit of fluff over the top so you can't use the blocked lists to work our who our clients are.

Same goes for spy slurping, you need to hide your targets in some noise operationally, even if not expressly legally.

They would be better off saying that almost anyone could have their comms captured and assessed on this basis, however the lack of any useful oversight of how data is used and harvested is the real concern here. The oversight body having only the power to say its a bid disappointed means it is a waste of expense accounts.

Fortunately I don't believe GCHQ could genuinely monitor everything regardless of the tin foil hat brigades comments.

4
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If Brussels wants Android forks, phone makers aren't helping

Giovani Tapini

Agreed, there are enough platforms

Given the relatively thin margins the manufacturers play with why on earth would they fork Android? There is significant cost and effort behind this, and nobody makes any more cash.

The logical course is limited to allowing the consumer to install something else and lose manufacturer support. The ecosystem behind the OS is equally important, the app store etc.No mention of this as a priority.

Its not like you are prevented from installing other browsers etc. indeed I am more upset by being forced by the carrier to install Farcebook, their own tat store app, feeble premium games etc that I can't uninstall (and use up lots of memory) and are not even related to the platform.

What next, perhaps we'll try to tell Apple to allow shouts to google or alexa instead of Siri?

9
1

Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks

Giovani Tapini

I assume

They don't teach biology, art, medicine, etc.

4
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What if tech moguls brewed real ale?

Giovani Tapini

Moore's Pour

A really good pint that somehow leaves you wanting to double your capacity every time you drink it

3
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Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

Giovani Tapini
Black Helicopters

use any one you like but dont be surprised if the NSA discover all your credentials soon after...

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