* Posts by Old Man - Grey Fleece

34 posts • joined 25 Oct 2007

So what's the internet community doing about the NSA cracking VPN, HTTPS encryption?

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Re: Questions

A rainbow list would be impractically large and a nightmare to build in terms of cpu cycles. If you look up distribution of primes you can get a reasonable approximation to the number of primes in any range and we are talking 10^100 ish. (Yes, I haven't checked my number theory book for a few years). The bigger the prime the more it costs per prime to find it - see other Vulture articles. Unless we get serious quantum computing.

Why use primes? - because they are what give unique decription, hairy group and number theory from what little I remember and you probably have to check the specific algorithm to see why.

BT: Let us scrap ordinary phone lines. You've all got great internet, right?

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Re: One big problem

Mobiles - yes in 20 years time everyone will have one and know how to use them.

There is still a generation that prefer the land line and may have bought a mobile for emergencies but then fail to use it once a month and so when they need it most their mobile phone is no longer registered.

Oh and guess what, it's the elderly who are most likely to need emergency medical help.

Tax Systems: The good, the bad and the completely toot toot ding-dong loopy

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Other Taxes

Any discussion on Equity in taxation needs to consider what is a tax. If we take an employed person and consider direct cost to the company and compare it with net benefit to the employee we have at different pay levels to include loss of state benefits, employer and employee national insurance and income tax - probably simplistic to only consider income tax in any equity or taxation level discussion. (I haven't listed the state benefits because my list we would be incomplete, out of date and otherwise the subject of mockery).

If BT gets EE, it will trigger EU treasure hunt for fixed lines

Old Man - Grey Fleece


OK so everybody uses jargon but CapEx and OpEx? Actually it was worse no capitalisation: "capex mitigation". When the beancounters start reading El Reg then maybe but for now spell it out in full at least once in the article. Capital Expenditure (CapEx), Operational Expenditure (OpEx) - you have my permission to cut and paste this into your next article.

Office MACROS PERIL! Age-old VBScript tactic is BACK in biz attack

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Excel and VBA - a great combination - should be more widely used. I would expect all firewalls to quarantine office documents with attached VBA. I would expect all group policies to set the security level so macros aren't allowed automatically. I would expect the risks of macros to be included in security training. Sad that this isn't the case.

UN to debate killer drone ethics

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Remote warfare - who loses

With LAWS and drones we are heading for a conflict where the only casualties are the civilians who can't get out of the area.

Anonymous means NO identifying element left behind – EU handbook

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Always tricky

This is a difficult balance. Some compliance departments insist on testing on anonymised data - guaranteed to either fail proper validates or fail in live when real data hits the validates (or both). The better the anonymisation the worse both problems get. If you match anonymised data to big data sets then it becomes hard to leave any value in anonymised data without it being breakable. You want Post Code for geografic analysis? then what other data won't sometimes identify individuals. Still, better have one of my favourites:


Hosting outfit goes PERMANENTLY TITSUP after 'lifetime' plans kill biz

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Lifetime plans

Nothing wrong with lifetime plans - you just have to charge enough up front and then hold adequate reserves to cover future costs. You mean they didn't? Then it becomes a Ponzi scheme and very close to fraud.

Of course if it does look to good to be true then it probably isn't true.

Fujitsu assigns team of women to design PC for women

Old Man - Grey Fleece

The "Pink Market"

Bought a pink laptop for my daughter when she was at school - they have survived surprisngly well. Does my daughter still choose pink? Only to upset the lads.

Boeing zaps PCs using CHAMP missile microwave attacks

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Selective crowd control

This must be really encouraging if you have a pacemaker

Facebook digs in over Jill Meagher page

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Re: One asumption too many?

So to continue the logic, being a facebook user means you can avoid jury service.

That is the first reasonable argument in favour of joining facebook that I have seen.

Remember - you saw it first on El Reg.

German KIT v Fighting Seawolves in student cluster deathmatch

Old Man - Grey Fleece


A power limit of 13 Amps? Just up the input voltage get as much power as you want.

Privacy watchdog: Some things just aren't personal

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Surely I am wrong

Does this mean that if you deliberately store information so you can't disentagle one individual then you can't be forced to disclose it? No, I can't believe any organisation would stoop so low.

So to summarise you have the right to see any information about you except when a company hides behind an expanding set of exemptions.

Must upvote the comment from Thesheep

Furious HP staff stage protest over job cuts

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Common sense

If people would refer back to the earlier El Reg article they would realise just how fortunate these people were with their payoffs and stock options and the cover for the losses on selling their houses and

Oh sorry, you mean, those aren't the standard redundency terms but surely? You can't mean that only applies to the CEO

Can you handle LOHAN's substantial globes?

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Solve 2 problems at once

Suspend LOHAN horizontally below baloon, have the rocket jet aimed at the string. (That's just a question of having the rocket forward and above the suspension point). Ignite rocket, as LOHAN starts it swings on the end of the string till it is pointing upwardsish at which point with a bit of luck the string burns through.

Does require using just one rocket but two will be a disaster - different ignition times, different burn rates and different out of fuel times almost guarantees an erratic flight path.

I think this solution bundles an unreliable release mechanism with dodgy orientation at launch but it is cheap.

Flames icon for that powerful rocket effect.

Back to gaslight, coal and steam power - it's the future

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Half baked - no it could make sense

If you have various power sources providing power not when you want (nuclear - always on, solar, wind, wave at any time) then you use the fuel cells to meet peak power demands and any offpeak surplus gets plowed (inefficently I agree) into a useful fuel.

Love the idea - fingers crossed about practicality, long term reliability, manufacturing cost etc.

'You don't even know what change management is'

Old Man - Grey Fleece
Thumb Up

re: it's no joke - new keyboard needed

Superb - best one liner for a long time


AMD CEO Dirk Meyer resigns

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Mental image

"while a search committee led by Claflin trolls for a new". Is that a sort of pressgang? Does it dig deeper than trawling?

I like the new management style - we need a new CEO, send out the trolls.

NASA trumpets rocky exoplanet find

Old Man - Grey Fleece


How different is the density of dumbbell iron from ordinary iron? or is the dumb in the wrong place.

Gov.uk to grant £5k to e-car buyers

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Physics v Marketing

What chance does the education system have when we get:

"The Ampera and the Volt are essentially one and the same too"

I suppose the marketing deartments turned down the Watt car as a name?

HP pays to end kickback probe

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Games Theory v Justice

The cost of cooperating with the investigation and defending against a court case has to be set against the cost of settling early. It is not a question of guilty or innocent, it is a balance of costs and probabilities. If we are acquited (insert probability) what do we get, if found guilty (1 minus previous probability) what would the punative fine be? Now stack up against the cost of the payoff. Take least cost option.

Of course the probabilities would be affected by what they know of the evidence available. that just affects the size of the swing between the choice of settling and going to court.

IMHO the gap between the punishment if found guilty and the cost of settling out of court distorts any conclusions about guilt or innocence.

Probably better to settle early as it keeps the money from going to the lawyers (on both sides).

Microsoft pulls plug on Intel's Itanic

Old Man - Grey Fleece


Surely with the 'itanic under discussion they should be abandoning ship (women and children first) before they hit the iceberg?

Come on, where has the Register's style got to?

Rail companies roll out barcode ticket standard

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Paragraph 2

"Following successful trails with various train companies" I thought trains used rails not trails.

Coat ready for the next station.


Don't delay: Delete your DNA today

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Delusions of accuracy

What sort of sense does it make to quote the end points of an approximate range of nearly 300,000 to an accuracy of 1.

"the estimated 573,639 to 857,366 innocents whose DNA profile is on the National DNA Database (NDNAD)"

Lies, damned lies and journalistic nonsense.


Black hats attack gaping DNS hole

Old Man - Grey Fleece


Appears to be patched

The war on photographers - you're all al Qaeda suspects now

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace

This needs stamping on - in due course (following the American pattern as we seem destined to do) somebody will film the police acting outside the law and post it on the web. Next step is a riot (think "Rodney King") so a determined police crackdown on photographers will prevent a riot. Nothing like preventive policing </end sarcasm>

Veteran climate scientist says 'lock up the oil men'

Old Man - Grey Fleece
Thumb Up

RE:Missing the point - Len Goddard

Spot on - science works through scepticism - to knowingly exploit that for personal gain against global damage - that is exactly the crime that has been commited

Stray left foot washes up on Vancouver beach

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Podiatric opinion

I am glad that these feet were wearing trainers as these are well known to provide excellent support and to enhance the biomechanical function of the foot - good choice. Professional opinion provided by my wife.

Windows XP SP3 blame game begins

Old Man - Grey Fleece
Black Helicopters

SP3 - mine now works - 4th attempt

I have a HP Pavillion with AMD chip. It went through the reboot process. I did the research (after the mandatory swearing and row with wife) and there is existing info about intelppm on the MS website - they describe it as an unsupported configuration.

Eventually I used the Recovery Console to disable Intelppm and all is now well.

So HP sold me a machine with a crap installation - they deserve all the grief they get.

Microsoft didn't bother to test on an HP machine with an AMD CPU or to put in code to check for unsupported configurations - what sort of test plan is that?

I don't think that AMD deserve any of the grief - shame that they are getting it. I bet Intel are loving every minute of it.

NO - NO stop I take it all back - Intel paid HP and Microsoft and it is all a cunning plan to increase market share - we need either proof or counter example but it is a great theory. The arrival of the black helicopters is all the proof I need.



Is Europe's war on Islamist terror running out of terrorists?

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Re:A little off topic but...


The 2 fingers are those a bowman would use to draw the string back. Hence around the time of Agincore the French would amputate those fingers from any English bowman they caught. So this particularly English gesture was used towards the French to indicate "You haven't caught me and you are likely to get an arrow through you shortly as a result".

Not that the English like a good grudge or anything.

Caution - FBI fit-ups of Muslim patsies in progress

Old Man - Grey Fleece

Ray Bradbury

Switching the attack from the man you are chasing to the man you can catch still strikes me as unacceptable. I first came across the concept in Fahrenheit 451 so what has it taken, 53 years for SF to become standard behaviour.

US dairyman inaugurates bovine biogas plant

Old Man - Grey Fleece

7 plus 1

I think we should be very worried about this technology - it is obviously essential that the effluent goes through a tank with 7 plus 1 sides. Terry P should be told.

Secret printer ID codes may breach EU privacy laws

Old Man - Grey Fleece


They really expect to pick out the yellow dots?

The way my colour print head gets clogged up the date would probably be 3 centurys ago and some other printer would get fingered.

Websites steamed after their Google PageRanks fall

Old Man - Grey Fleece

re: Couldn't they be demoted?

Nice thought, but how long before botherders started selling denunciations "we can lower your competitors page rank".


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