* Posts by Conor

15 posts • joined 20 Mar 2007

You've got two weeks to beat off Cryptolocker, GameoverZeus nasties


Robin hood?

You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing your computer sky high!!

Sysadmin job ad: 'If you don’t mind really bad work-life balance, this is for you'


Re: That ad is pretty honest

:-( Describes me. Had no choice though. Needed the job, pay was awful, took it. I think a lot of Engineers may underestimate their worth though. How much would you have to pay an accountant for the equivalent of formatting a floppy disk?

500 Brit techies at risk over NHS IT fiasco


Doesn't add up

Hang on a mo... 1.5bn. 500 IT staff. Can we assume the staff didn't pull in 3 million on average each? Or did the servers cost a billion quid? They're looking in the wrong place for cost savings. When third world dictators adscond with a billion notes, people seem horrified. It appears they're getting a better deal!!!

US Senator: 'Retest airport scanner safety'


Tourist impact

It's just as well the US dollar is so cheap at the moment. Given the amount of skipping and jumping you have to go through to be allowed enter the US and spend money - ESTA is reasonable but then you have to do APIS yourself now, often through a website that doesn't ruddy well work, and then get prodded poked intimidated and maybe irradiated - I'm surprised many tourists haven't just said No. Sod off. Going to Portugal before it goes bankrupt.

I think the radiation exposure from being at high altitude for 7 hours is about the same as an X-Ray - 30uSv. Wikipedia says the exposure from the backscatter scanner is 200 times less than that. The health impact from the psychological stress of being put through the scanner is likely worse :-)

Careless care charity loses unencrypted patient data stick


> God help anybody who carries a paper file about in the real world and leaves it on a train. Its about education not technology!

Got there before me. Why is carrying around people's data, encrypted or not, acceptable in the first place? If it was on a block of paper, someone might be talking to the police instead. Which is why that doesn't happen (anymore).

When the Irish Gas board comes to my door asking for my business I ask them why they were carrying bank details around on their laptops.

The Sons of Khan and the Pascal Spring

Big Brother

And lo...

...didst the IPO see the works of the scribe of Stob and were mighty displeased. For was not parody seen as ultimate evil in the world of the bureaucrat and did they not send a mighty lawyer to smite her thereon.

Or something.

US rocketeer thunders to 121,000ft

Thumb Up

Feet is pretty much standard for aviation, regardless of the metric system. It's not specifically American - Canada has it too. I did do a double take when I saw a French skydive altimeter - it *is* in metres.

I'd guess height measurement using air pressure is a non starter over about 40k feet. but it might be possible to gauge alttiude from the visual references available from the video camera. Enough to win the prize anyway...

Superb stuff though!

French bloke fined for failing to shag missus


History repeats

Hey, it's just like Ireland in the 1940s, 50s, 40s... Except it was the other way around. Another stupid ruling from the government who brought you the infamous "not allowed mention facebook/twitter on television" ruling.

Vive la revolution!

IPCC report: Renewables can never meet energy demand


Nukes and population

Unfortunately nuclear doesn't really scale as well as one might hope. There's a limited amount of high quality ore available. 15% of current fuel comes from decommissioned nuclear warheads. That goes for everything else of course. Interestingly enough, the Chinese seem to have noticed and are busy halting exports of "stuff they might need". Like rare earth metals that are, erm, used in wind turbines. Ooops.

The concept of reducing population failed to take into account that a significant quantity of people live off waste energy - I think it's 10% of the planet. They are all carbon negative. And which group are the Population guys targeting? You guessed it.

Evidence seems to indicate that as you bring people out of poverty and ignorance, their populations even out. The first world's population has been dropping... Course, that takes energy...


Increased efficiencies can help

Problem is, micro generation doesn't scale. It's one thing to have a few RangeRover types putting panels on their roof, they can afford the ego trip, it's quite another thing to scale that up. By definition, mass produced energy is more efficient - compare a large combined cycle gas turbine plant to Bob and his generator.

From my brother's experience, what the UK could do with is a really close look at their home efficiencies. While teaching over there (Southend) he rented a number of different flats, each with rattling single glazed windows and a howling gale roaring down the chimney. No matter how much the heat was on, the place was freezing. My sister's experience (London) was similar - uninsulated, damp, cold, expensive. Ireland is bad (and how! I have to live here!), but you will not sell a house here without insulation and double glazing - people would just roll around laughing.

USB key to 4,000 vulnerable people's front doors lost


Liability cost equal zero so why bother with security

@Simon Neill: The reason is because the cost of any security is higher than the cost of liability, which is zero. This is an abysmal breach of trust, but it will be forgotten in 6 months and adds nothing to their bottom line. So they'll do it again next year.

The funny thing is if they'd lost actual keys to actual doors (I mean physical keys), they'd be screwed. If the owners didn't sue them, the insurance companies would.

Microsoft rallies IE6 death squads


Windows 98

@david12: There are a lot of Win98 machines out there running on Pentium II 400 class hardware that seemed to be more reliable than MS would have wished for. I know someone who has such a machine and simply cannot afford to buy another. Nor does he see the point given that the primary use is POP email.

But I guess the IPhone carrying Gossip Girl classes don't understand the concept of not having 500 quid lying around to blow on irrelevancies (and yeah, the net is way down the list)..

Adobe confirms remote code-execution flaw in Reader (again)


Integer vulns are hard to spot

Sumatra is a nice PDF reader. Small and fast.

I read a document a few years ago describing integer overflow and the possible vulnerabilities it induces. I'd always been cautious in my coding with integers but to be fair to Adobe programmers, there were some subtle little things that could trip up anyone.

I mean fair's fair - hands up anyone who has never multiplied a char by something else without considering that the char, when converted to int, would sign extend to a negative number. Nobody? You're s0 gr8.

Belabouring the bleeding obvious, the answer is security in the OS such that when an app is owned, your computer is not owned too. That means not running as admin and forgoing apps that MAKE you run as admin. Bring em back to the shop. Sandboxing, such as is easily possible under Windows 7 is nice too.

Microsoft's Silverlight 4 - more than Flash envy

Thumb Down

COM interop?

...the ability to call native code via COM interop...

Oh goody.

No doubt the default associated security setting is: "Yes, I'd like to be p0wn3d at the first opportunity".

BA upgrades corpse


Other airlines do better

On the one hand it does mark the guy as quite British, hoping the situation will go away on its own without him taking action by volunteering to move.

And on the other hand this happens all the time now. BA have about 20 people a year die on planes. Mostly long haul flights to India/Singapore/Australia to which elderly people are taking (the last) trip of a lifetime. They tried putting them in the toilet - which works ok until rigor sets in. Then you can't get them out.

Singapore Airlines and several others have corpse lockers and body bags on long haul for precisely this reason. And yes, it's a health concern.


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