* Posts by Mr C

149 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Nov 2007


Hacker's Icarus machine steals drones midflight

Mr C

Hey dad, why is our drone flying the other way?

>The attack can likely only be fixed by updating receivers' firmware protocols, which is a feat not possible on most devices.

So they went to the trouble of locking down their kit using a 3rd party protocol (someone else thought it up/everyone else is using it so it must be good) and are now lulling themselves into a false sense of security and not bothering to offer firmware upgrade capabilities.

Them telling us its a matter of cost is not going to fly (see what i did there) considering we're talking about machines that start off at a few hundred back and go up waaay higher (pun)

Curious to see how (if ever) the first lawsuit about a hijacked drone will play out.

In the meanwhile i will feel good knowing what happened to my drone as i see it fly away to a new owner

Accountant falls for sexy Nigerian email scammer, gives her £150k he cheated out of pal

Mr C

nigeria & money

i don't get how anyone in this day and age still trusts any deal coming out of Nigeria involving massive amounts of cash set almost exclusively in a 'too good to be true' scenario.

A story about someone unjustly having trouble with the law (or with crime) while at the same time expecting sums of money exceeding 4 or 5 trailing zeroes out of legit-looking deals and you getting a portion if you help out, it doesn't set of alarm bells?

Worst part is that these scammers make it hard to trust decent and honest businesses in Nigeria.

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Mr C

am i the only one resisting this

After having Microsoft trying to force Win10 onto me with all of its considerable might, am I the only one that has developed an aversion for it?

I just don't want it, i know it's available, we got the message.

The constant bombardment of small windows popping up unasked for, telling you that time is running out.. i just don't want that anymore..

Can i decide when i want Win10? Please?

idunno.. am i the only one that feels this way?

World religions stake out positions on Pokemon Go

Mr C

My tongue is dry from explaining to elderly what Pokemon Go is

I live in a part of the world where the older generation is not tech-savvy, but youngsters are.

They have noticed something weird is going on because there's now kids in the park where none used to be. And none of them is paying attention to park-stuff either, all are fixated on their mobile phone.

I digress. I can explain what the game is, but i am having trouble explaining to these folks why its so popular for kids. Hence hearing them come up with various conspiracy theories is hugely entertaining (i recommend it).

I digress again.

To the point then: the devil makes them do it! I suspect all religions will have this view in common if you just know who to talk to :P

Tesla whacks guardrail in Montana, driver blames autopilot

Mr C

Re: No cell phone reception??

I seem to recall Tesla receiving real-time "autopilot" engagement reports (so when someone turns on their autopilot Tesla knows about it straight away).

So, to me, this sounds suspiciously like the guy is blaming it on the autopilot, but pre-emptively telling us that (due to lack of signal) Tesla can't deny its autopilot was *not* engaged.

Maybe it was his fault and he's looking for something else to blame?

Lester Haines: RIP

Mr C

Rip Lester

Go get some rest. Your stories will be missed

HTTP/2 is now utterly officially official

Mr C

Only took them 18 years for a new version

The first version of HTTP (http 1.1) was standardized in 1997 and today is.. well nevermind

Ironically, those involved in setting this up were complaining that "the standard was being prepared on an unrealistically short schedule" causing some new tech to not be included, some missed opportunities, and in generally lots of complaints and grumbling from various parties.

To be fair, work on HTTP/2 started in 2012, so that's only 15 years after HTTP/1.1 was released.

I can't believe how, after so many years, and for something as important as HTTP, they still can't get it right.

Poul-Henning Kamp has written a nice article on the politics involved and why some stuff is as it is today -- http://queue.acm.org/detail.cfm?id=2716278

Tough admin forces hacker to STRIP to PANTS, LEAP to his DEATH

Mr C

The naming and shaming they did only works if

A) a cheater has a friend-base that follows (and admires) them, giving a feeling of pride

B) he gives a shit

Without either of the above cheaters will not be impressed or deterred by this.

I hope they can pin down the underlying vulnerabilities which will have a much bigger impact on actual gameplay.

Having said that, it was very amusing. The wave at the end before the jump is just awesome :)

Oxford chaps solve problem in 1982 Sinclair Spectrum manual

Mr C

Good times, those

As one of the kids in that generation, and actually having pursued a direction in computers and IT which has shaped my life to what it is today, I thoroughly enjoyed watching that video.

I was one of those that spend hours and hours, deep into the night, night after night, fiddling with the hardware, making my own circuit-boards and writing uncountable programs, almost all of them uncompleted. Our supply of ideas was just inexhaustible, our fantasy reaching far.

Never will i forget those times, and my friends who spend the same hours next to me, many of them still my friends to this day.

Will also never forget our parents which kept bringing us snacks and food, like a precursor to the modern-day pizza delivery guy :P

I suspect very few of the kids today will ever appreciate what it was like then, with the beeps and the monochrome screens, the datarecorders and matrix printers rattling out mountains of chain-paper. But the best of all was the community and the banding together of like minded people, all having the same passion.

Good times, those

Google Ads go NUCLEAR, foist exploit kit

Mr C

matter of trust

I wonder if peeps at Google are screening all elements involved in its prime business model (which is selling adds) to try and avoid disasters like this.

I kinda trust Google (and its startpage) to be safe from nasties like this, i unblocked it from noscript so it can run javascript.

Maybe i should think it over :/

HP blasts $5.1bn sueball at ex-Autonomy execs, Lynch preps return fire

Mr C

Re: I never...

> but even I could tell that company was BS

No. just NO.

As an engineer and hands-on guy that implemented over a dozen big projects over a dozen or so years with Autonomy software at its heart i can tell you this was certainly not a BS company, nor did they have BS software.

Long before HP walked in and smeared Autonomy's name by the simple act of overhyping it then subsequently writing it off, it was a decent company and their software was nothing short of revolutionary, provided it was implemented correctly and the job they were using it for made sense (which was not always the case).

Over the years the software was good, the support was good, the people working at Autonomy were good.

That very fact made HP overestimate howmuch they could squeeze them for.

The one thing i can say though is that their marketing always was too full of buzzwords, i can see why someone who reads their whitepapers and website would think as you do.

Lastly, i should note than I am not (nor ever was) an Autonomy employee so i have no reason for jumping to the defense of this statement, i just thought it should be corrected by someone who actually has had hands-on dealings with them long before they became associated with bad money

Just WALK IN and buy an Apple Watch. Are you mad?

Mr C

One does not simply walk into an Apple store..

There's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, the Apple store is located in Mordor. Duh.

'Virtual nose' makes VR less dizzying, say boffins

Mr C

they need something to make the sickness go away

Well i did some testing around with Oculus (v1) developers edition some time ago.

They are very nice and great to show off to your friends and all, but this is how far i got to using them, the v1 version was only good for demos and such.

Trying to use them for extended periods of time, "real use", without getting sick proved very hard, for me at least.

And some demos where better at making you puke your guts out than others.

Few demos have ever managed to make me get cold sweat all over and make me pull off the glasses last moment while trying to find a spot somewhere in the distance to focus on and breath in cold air to avoid using the bucket under my desk.

Now, i hear that the v2 version alleviated the sickness inducing movement by improving head tracking and using external IR sensors and such, but apparently it still caused problems (haven't tried v2)

Personally for me, i fear that the only way for these to become 'usable' is to find a way of taking motion sickness away.

I should mention i don't usually have problems with motion sickness, being able to do roller-coaster rides, reading a book while traveling, watching 3D movies, etc. But the glasses managed to get me sick just fine.

Euro ministers ditch plan to ban roaming charges

Mr C

shame on you

“EU member states should hang their heads in shame,”

this. so, so, SOOOO much this

NERDGASM as Apple announces 'special event'

Mr C

el-reg is invited to my nerdgasm event

* Apple doesn't do PR in El Reg's direction, on the basis of ancient grudges about our predilection for colourful language and not being gushy about everything it does.

Once i get Apple-status (planning it right now), i will reserve a front-line seat for El-Reg to all my nerdgasm events!! Word!!

Zeus scumbag infects itself, buddies, with rival Trojan

Mr C

talk about awkward

I can only imagine that awkward knuckle-biting moment when this hacker walks into Friday nights hacker-get-together hobby-club, knowing that everyone else knows, and other hackers just stop talking for a moment, when the room goes dead-silent and the famous 'he's the one'-nod going round while other hackers just size him up and he just *knows* things will never be the same again...


Google offers 'INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS' for bugs in Chrome

Mr C

incentive & fame&glory vs. keeping exploits secret

These hacking contest go back many many years,

It's a good idea to offer money (=incentive) to get other people to find holes they themselves could not find.

Having said that, the least prolific hackers (or government agencies, <insert favorite here>) are usually the most successful ones, they shy away from publicity and do not seek fame and glory, instead, choosing to keep any discovered holes and exploits closely guarded for these are worth much, much more than what companies are willing to offer.

Hello Barbie: Hang on, this Wi-Fi doll records your child's voice?

Mr C

the nsa will love this

the sooner they can profile 'em, the better

i applaud the efforts to keep up with the times, but really, what could *possibly* go wrong?

Amazon's delivery drones shot down by new FAA rules

Mr C

common sense vs profit (1-0)

So, basically they want to enforce some common sense rules like 1 guy per drone (as oppose to 1 guy in a c&c center monitoring a fleet of them), visual line of sight (as oppose to 'i can't see where it flew off to') and only allowing flying at day (as oppose to making a lot of noise at night)

This is all very confusing, on the one hand common sense rules, on the other profit.

I wonder which will win

RadioShack lists 1,800 stores facing the axe across America

Mr C


Being a dad who visited these stores back when they were hip and trendy i'm saddened to see them go.

Up to this day i like taking my son visit these types of hardware shops and drooling over various gadgets and silly things that may or may not be useful. My son has a million questions, dare i say he learns more in that shop just by looking at stuff which piques his interest than he does from the tablet he spends so much time on.

RiP Shack

PS thoroughly enjoyed the video :)

By the Rivers of Babylon, where the Antikythera Mechanism laid down

Mr C

Been in the museum where they have this object

and i have to say, it is very, VERY impressive if you think of how old it is, and how it was made using the tools and knowledge from 2200 years ago.

Some brain that was that came up with this wonderful piece of technology.

You can't help but wonder what mental capacity the people back then possessed without their minds being dulled by the everyday conveniences we have at our disposal today.

Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...

Mr C

sleep tight

I wonder if the persons who wrote this (and presumably know what its for) sleep well at night.

It might not be an actual weapon with a trigger firing metal slugs, but it's still pretty damn close.

But of course we know its there to protect the general public against terrorists, so now at least we get to sleep better at night

Net neutrality, Verizon, open internet ... How can we solve this mess?

Mr C

nice article

Easy to read, and it had some information in there that i was not aware of.

It would've been better if there was a bit more info on vested interests at stake here and the economics and hall-way politics that come with it, but i guess that's for another story.

Chinese coder's got 99 problems and getting hitched is one: Huge iPhone woo plot FAILS

Mr C

Re: Significance of 99

thank you - that actually makes sense ;)


Mr C

he just had to gimp on the last one, didnt he

1 short of 100 -- that was his mistake!

Maybe this lady was attracted to nice round numbers, we will never know, will we

Italian appeal court clears seismologists of manslaughter

Mr C

They told us to get out at 11:53 am

Back in '99 we had a big earthquake here (in Greece)

Seismologists where all over the news predicting the next big killer aftershock.

I remember that being on a thursday, at 11:53 am.

Which means that our building (and others as well) was -unofficially- evacuated a bit before that ('better-safe-than-sorry') and we gathered in the street to wait for 11:53... tension rose and people were nervous and afraid

Guess what.. 11:53 came and went and nothing happened. .DUH

This ticked off the general populace slightly. After that my wife at some point started beating on me in the middle of the night in her sleep because she had this nightmare of a seismologist on TV telling us the next time a earthquake would strike. (she claims she didn't remember but i think she enjoyed it :P)

Morale of the story is that earthquakes cannot really be predicted.. no really

Apple patents autographs. Checkmate, eBay

Mr C

Re: What...

Well, as i see it Apple doesn't really care if the electronic autograph will become popular or not, but *if* it does they have first dibs on it.

This looks like a "grab what you can" because if you don't then someone else will eventually.

Not so much to do with what they patent, more to do with having a decent sized patent portfolio.

Agree that this one is pretty dumb

Brighten your November morning: 900 in-browser arcade classics added to the Internet Archive

Mr C

this is cool and also legal, i think?

i spend fortunes on arcade machines back when i was young (and still had hopes, but thats another story)

Today i play MAME from time to time (excellent job those guys do!)

I have to admit to not actually owning any pcb's of games myself, which makes it illegal for me to own those files.

So, this gives a legal alternative i think, does it?

Greeks best in the world – at, er, breaking their mobile phones

Mr C

footsoldier reporting in

As a daily subway traveler in Athens I can confirm i daily see phones with cracked screens, people dropping their phone (only to sometimes sub-sequentially see it getting stepped on by passers-by) and other such fun stuff.

Best i saw was this guy who stopped the metro-doors from closing by putting his iPhone between the doors. Sure enough, the doors opened again :)

One hard ghoulie: 1985's Ghosts 'n Goblins

Mr C

i would be rich today..

if i did as my dad told me and not spend it all in one place :P

Today this game gives me endless pleasure each time i see my son struggle and curse at it after getting spoiled by easy tablet-games

Facebook says vendor secrets forced it to homebrew switches

Mr C

FB is in a position to build a homebrew switch

throw enough resources at it and you can do things outside of your usual field of expertise (which for FB is social stuff)

Good for them that they stepped away from big vendors who think they need secret codes to hold on to their position. Needing months to fix bugs is sometimes also an eternity.

I've long seen such deplorable behavior and some vendors can get away with it in 99% of the cases since the little guy (little company) doesn't have the resources to take them on.

How ironic would it be if FB ever released these switches with their own secret code build in

George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests

Mr C

sign of the times

Is it just me that's nostalgic for the old days where we had 1 telephone and it was sitting at home connected to the wall through a cable.

The only way to share your pictures was to lug a album to the neighbors and show them. A "like" consisted of having a good time over a glass of coffee or beer.

aaaagh those were the times

TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'

Mr C

i said "dont press the red button"

well guess what? my son pressed it.

Similarly, saying it "can't" be bend will only provoke people into trying to bend it.

The statement alone is a challenge in itself, and having some boneheads rising to the occasion is not a real big shocker is it? (i'm just glad it wasn't my son)

Actually, Apple got around to admitting it can be bend ("7 rare cases discovered") but the Apple employee in the store can not tell to anyone that they "can't be bend" or that its "just a rumour" because both obviously are false statements.

Now, if they manage to find a stash of vibranium, who knows what they will come up with..

Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS

Mr C

while it may look cheesy

this is actually no small feat to pull off.

It took some good brainpower to make these moves happen (yes, arguably better spend elsewhere)

They don't say much about the tech beneath it, but it would be even more impressive if these bots could sense, communicate, coordinate and execute autonomously (as oppose to simply doing pre-programmed paths and rotations) - because what you then get is something thats actually useful in daily life.

still creepy to see

Hot wet alien world discovered in constellation Cygnus

Mr C

blue aliens

Why do various images of blue indigenous aliens with long tails that they use to fornicate on mysteriously floating rocks in the sky come into my mind?

This is disturbing. Might have to do with that beer you mentioned just now

80 PER CENT of app devs SUCK at securing your data, study finds

Mr C

Re: Another view...

some security analyst that must've been then :P

Mr C

If you can't see it..

and this is surprising.. how?

playing devils advocate here (aka my boss)

"You listen here son, build the damn app, nevermind about security and all that (nevermind about documentation either but thats another story) -- if we ever get to the point where we need security it actually means the app has become successful, so we will do security *then* with the revenues generated from it"

My point, since security isn't a immediate money-generating-mechanism compared to, say, shiny buttons and flashy animations the money in the development process goes to the guy that draws stuff and much less to the extra time that a dev needs to be trained for (or to program) security features

This is a deeper rooted problem, namely money being a driving force and the ROI in security only becomes evident after a product has become viable.

Or, as the home-depot-security-tech-guy said to his friends "never-mind your credit-card, you better pay in cash"

Drones CAN'T deliver goods ... oh. Air traffic control system backed by NASA, you say?

Mr C

bit skeptical

I've been skeptical for a while now on the viability of drone delivery platforms, but lets *assume* they become viable in the near future (at least technically speaking) then the question becomes *what next*

There is no way multiple providers of such platforms (be it commercial companies, organizations or anything else) can have drones flying around simultaneously - not without them either crashing into each other or (if they are smart enough not to bump into other drones) hover around competing for airspace to get to their destination. Queue chaos for the former and congestion for the latter.

So then, i can think of 3 solutions for this problem:

1. either these companies start to develop some sort algorithm to allow drones from different manufacturers to talk to each other mid-flight to sort out mentioned problems (is anyone developing this now?)

2. there is some sort of airport-control-centre like setup in cities (too expensive)

3. or, more logically, a single company takes up control of all drones from all manufacturers through some sort of unified interface or communications protocol.

Any one of these solutions would take some good and hefty development to achieve, i'm glad NASA is enlisting here.

Still skeptical on how achievable a fleet of drones is, at least for the near future


Chinese city creates footpath for smartphone addicts

Mr C

if i had a dog

i would let it crap on that lane and ... ooh nevermind

*shoves box of chocolate chips away*

Boffins: Behold the SILICON CHEAPNESS of our tiny, radio-signal-munching IoT sensor

Mr C

Is Standfords site carrying malware?

Related, yet unrelated, going to Stanford's link they put in the article prompts my AV to show me a "infection blocked" message.

Details tell me its a png image on that site that is the culprit.

Anyone else got this, or is it a false positive ?

Using Avast.

NASA clears zero-G 3D printer for mission to SPAAAAACE

Mr C

They should make one BIG printer..

to print alot of baby 3D printers :P

Seriously, this is good stuff, and while some are moaning about its usefulness people should realize that its only a first step, the first of many i'm sure.

Once this thing works as expected NASA will be clever enough to make it so it can print using several materials, or even find a way to recycle what it builds so once the object becomes garbage it could be re-used in some way.

Move along!

Women-only town seeks men

Mr C
Paris Hilton

this sounds like a "you won a $1M dollar, just sign here" deal

if its too good to be true it probably is.

Agree with the "start of a b movie" comment above :P

but no loss from getting a bucket with ice to cool down some

Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue

Mr C

..paved with good intentions..

Hindsight is always so bloody 20/20 isn't it?

I mean, its nice to learn to control organisms, starting with moths, for *good* lifesaving intentions, but how long before someone uses it in a bad way? In a way we cannot conceive of now? Say controlling something other than moths?

This "we can save lifes" pretext is like a get-out-of-jail-free card gone bad

ICANN can't hand over Iran's internet, bomb victims told

Mr C

Re: Americans

That's funny that you should mention that

We just had a good hard laugh about the exact same thing here at the office.

Trying to hold a country accountable is one thing, but then going after old statues (with historical relevance) or a entire countries' domain name - seriously? Who do they think they are?

If they would win this case the implication of the kind of precedence that this would set would be staggering.

Imagine being able to hold an entire country ransom because in some way or another it has caused you harm (and i can think of many types of harm, sky's the limit)

There's already talk about creating a "2nd internet" from countries that don't want to be held hostage to the whims of the US or any other country that currently has the power over top-level domains, and if anything gets the blood pumping it would be a case like this.

In the end this will benefit no-one except those 9 individuals and a army of lawyers.

Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8

Mr C

keys to my castle(s)

am i the only one feeling uneasy about handing the key to various apps/websites to 1 single company?

i haven't decided if its a good or bad idea, something akin to having all my cash in 1 place (where i can keep an eye on it) or spread out all over the place (where a loss doesn't have such a big impact)

Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

Mr C

" were perfectly comfortable with the televisions they currently use"

pretty much this

HD is already in a very good spot, so much so that it becomes hard to justify the price between a good 'regular' HD set and the cheapest 4K one.

Unless they come down in price 4K isn't going to go anywhere

Sony tries to make PlayStation Network hack row go away with $15m in cash and games

Mr C

not our fault but here's some cash anyway??

So its not their fault but they're willing to shell out for it anyway?

Surely this company deserves a reward!

I wish my boss would give me money each time he "didn't screw up" - i could really use that nice car i saw the other day

KA-BOOOM! Boffins blow up mountain to make way for telescope

Mr C

damn hollywood

i was bracing myself for a earthshattering explosion, even turned down the speakers and subwoofer in case i'd wake up the dog.

After all, in the movies (which is almost a perfect reflection of reality) they have bigg-ass explosions.

..poof.. realitycheck

DON'T PANIC: Facebook returns after 30-minute outage terror

Mr C

people running in the streets

Thats why people were running in streets, with tears in their eyes holding up pictures pushing them into random pedestrians' faces yelling DO YOU LIKE IT, DO YOU, WELL DO YOU??!