* Posts by JassMan

684 posts • joined 26 Mar 2008


It's 2021 and a printf format string in a wireless network's name can break iPhone Wi-Fi

JassMan Silver badge

Re: So what happens if...

So using a bit of phishing psychology such as a hotspot called %secret Discount Voucher %storage %server would educate a load of fanbois in 2 facts of life at the same time.

JassMan Silver badge

So what happens if...

You set up a wifi hotspot on your non iPhone and walk into an apple store?

Just asking - not that I would EVER dream of doing such a thing.

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

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Re: What is an OS for?

I used to think XP was mostly bloat because I could not imagine what an ultra-mega-overbloated monster the current Win10 would become. Once it exceeded 32Gb without any apps I just gave up and wiped the Win10 partition never to be seen again.

The only justification for inventing Win11 would be if they made a usefull OS which would run in an 8GB partion with full office suite so that the rest of your disk could be used for user data.

Excuse me, what just happened? Resilience is tough when your failure is due to a 'sequence of events that was almost impossible to foresee'

JassMan Silver badge

Black swan event

Having emigrated to the land of kangaroos before I was old enough to even know the name of a swan, I grew up believing all swans were black. On returning to my birthplace once I was old enough to earn my airfare, I discovered they also come in white. For a while, I just thought it was peculiar to see so many albino birds together, until I realised that all European swans are white. Of the two varieties, I would say the white are the slighly more unpredictable so what is this black swan event thing?

Stack Overflow acquired for $1.8bn by Prosus (no, me neither)

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Hopefully they learnt from Freenode

... but it is unlikely.

Rather worryingly, anyone spending that much moolah on a site is not doing it as a philanthropic exercise. This usually ends up with the new ownets trying to recover their costs plus an even larger RoI. Luckily stackoverflow is all about freedom so presumably everyone is just going to move somewhere else. Shame though if that wealth of information is lost behind a paywall or some other means of monetisation.

Patch me if you can: Microsoft, Samsung, and Google win appeal over patent on remote updating

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Regardless of prior art

No patch is ever decided by the server to be sent to a remote unit. The remote unit may not be connected to a network or even switched on. Patching is always performed be the remote unit checking to see if the server has a newer version available and if so it requests a pull of the patch.

Apart from it being inconvenient for a server to randomly update your software when it is vital that you get that last report done before the deadline, it would be illegal under various computer misuse acts around the world.

Much as I hate lawyers, I really hope the big 3 have racked up enough legal costs to make this troll bankrupt.

Firefly Aerospace's Blue Ghost lunar lander set to ride a SpaceX Falcon 9 to the Moon

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Re: Good value @John Doe 12

I think you'll find all payloads are specified as mass for which the international unit is Kg. The gravity may change but the mass remains the same. If an engineer wants to talk about weight it will be as Newtons.

AMD promises to spend $1.6bn on 12nm, 14nm chips from GlobalFoundries

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Re: Explanation

Sizing was covered a few weeks ago in another chip story. It seems that for the last couple of years the sizes have only been notional. Eg. 14 nm could be the equivalent of 2 layers of transistors fabbed at 30nm but has the number of transistors it would have if they had squeezed them down. 7nm might be 4 layers of 30nm fab or 2 layers of 16nm. Note these are all layers of transistors, not doping layers which may be 5 or more per transistor layer. I cant remember how many transistors they had per mm2 but the point was they had achieved 15 times more than a legacy 30nm chip so they called it 2nm even though it was still using 12nm lithography which i think is about the limit even for hard UV

Oops, says Manchester City Council after thousands of number plates exposed in parking ticket spreadsheet

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Re: Will Manchester United Council be doing the same?

You obviousky have insider information. As far as the rest of the world knows, the stadium is in the Borough of Trafford and its legal entity is based in the Cayman Islands.

From Wikipedia :

The metropolitan boroughs of the City of Salford and the City of Manchester border Trafford to the north and east respectively; the Cheshire East area of Cheshire lies to the south.

Trafford is not subsidiary to Salford. Not now, and not when I was born just down the road from Old Trafford.

NHS Digital booking website had unexpected side effect: It leaked people's jab status

JassMan Silver badge

Re: "people should not be using it fraudulently"

OTOH this is a great opportunity to do a vaccine passport on the cheap without spending millions on yet another useless app which can only run on 2 specific OSes. They just need a bit more security on the site such as NI number and NHS number and it could then be used to show you don't need to quarantine for 14 days when you come back from a green list country.

Sorry I forgot, the government isn't interested in making life easier for Joe Public, just looking for new ways to spaff millions of quid on their chums.

Telcos crammed 8.5m fake comments against net neutrality into FCC's inbox

JassMan Silver badge


$ 4.2 million for 8.5 million bogus comments versus one college student with 7.5 million.

They should demand their money back. They could have got the student and one of his mates to be on their side for just the cost of a years worth of pizzas.

IBM says it's built the world's first 2nm semiconductor chips

JassMan Silver badge

Sounds like it is time for a new standard

I (and I am sure many others) hadn't realised the quoted size no longer had any direct relationship to any physical characteristic of the chips. I was going to propose that since this is the case and they will shortly run out of integers, that they need to have a new measure. My suggrstion is the number of transistors which can be shoved up a flea's arse. That way as packing density gets higher so does the number. Thusly you might have say 100TPFA. (txsistors/fleas arse), or 1kTPFA if you increase the density 10 fold.

NYPD puts down $94k robot canine contract after outcry

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Re: Take a look at the damn thing

"Nah, the problem is that it can't leap up at you, put its paws on your shoulders, and try to lick your face.

Not without crushing you to the ground under its weight... the lack of a licking device is a mere oversight."

I've known some Great Danes like that. Ok they had a licking device but that only made it worse. There is nothing more objectionable about an overfriendly canine than being pushed over AND slobbered on. Unless maybe they had been rolling in a field of cowshit first.

JassMan Silver badge

Until they give it a better audio transducer

Its bark will always be worse than its byte.

Mines the one with a pocket full of kitty treats.

Bill to protect UK against harmful foreign investment becomes law

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You missed GKN off your list. What they don't know about steel alloying and heat treatment probably isn't worth knowing. All now in the hands of a non-Brit hedge fund.

Palantir co-founder, CEO Alexander Karp gets $1.1bn bumper payday in IPO year

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"Palantir largely carries out information analysis and processing work for the defence and intelligence communities..."

Maybe they get lots of goverment contracts, because otherwise the public would learn which ministers have cupboards full of skeletons.

Even so they must be getting an incredible number of £multimillion contracts to justify giving such an obscene sum to just 1 man.

Intel laid me off for being too old, engineer claims in lawsuit

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Re: So he waited

As another old fart with some younger friends, it never ceases to amaze me how little the youngsters know in spite of their MSc degrees. Just last weekend I was chatting with one about various mechanisms and he had never heard of collets, didn't know what a scroll compressor was and wouldn't believe gears could mate unless they were circular. He was surprised I knew anything about mechanics since I had spent a lifetime in broadcasting.

Home office setup with built-in boiling water tap for tea and coffee without getting up is a monument to deskcess

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Re: Get a b'desk! @JetSetJim

Maybe the other 4K is for the robot arm which pops up from the back - they just forgot to mention it. How else are you going to play solo ping-pong?

Mobile app security standard for IoT, VPNs proposed by group backed by Big Tech

JassMan Silver badge

Can't help but think they have missed the point

The biggest risk with IoT, is not whether someone steals your addressbook though a security hole in an app but that the IoT devices themselves have massive secirity holes which allow your entire private network to be exposed. Most devices really shouldn't even be visible on the other side of your router but beause the OEM wants to know everything about you, the device won't even operate unless it can see the OEM's server.

University of Hertfordshire pulls the plug on, well, everything after cyber attack

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Brave words from the powers that be

The attack started at 22:00 BST on 14 April and the university has been quick to reassure worried students "that no one will be disadvantaged as a consequence of this."

How do they know that none of the last backup had already been encrypted? If they don't pay the ransom, any students who don't have their own copy of submitted work will be disadvantaged, especially if they had a cloudy laptop and relied on the Uni supplied cloud rather than their own.

Pigeon fanciers in a flap over Brexit quarantine flock-up, seek exemption from EU laws

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Hyper Text Transfer by Pigeon System

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Re: Seriously?

They don't have a leg to stand on. After all, as the government insisted on telling us, brexit was what the people voted for. By voting the conmenservatives in again at at the last election, the country gave Boris a mandate to screw us over as much as he desired.

Cracked copies of Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop steal your session cookies, browser history, crypto-coins

JassMan Silver badge

Great advert for LibreOffice and Gimp

Best part is you don't even need to install Linux first.

We have never given census data to anyone – not even the spy agencies, says the UK's Office for National Statistics

JassMan Silver badge

They may not voluntarily give any information to the Intelligence services but they have probably given it all freely to Google. There was no option to opt out of analytics yet I believe all pages were running scripts supplied by google.com. Who knows how much actual data Google hoovered up (accidentally of course.)

State of Iowa approves $17m in budget for Workday project after bid to use coronavirus relief funds was denied

JassMan Silver badge

So, if they have only approved 17 million but need to spend 52million for the entire project, someone in Iowa will be writing a big IOU?

Satellite collision anticipated by EU space agency fails to materialize... for now at least

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When clickbait goes wrong

Satellite collision anticipated by EU space agency fails to materialize

Surely in a collision things get dematerialised (or at least a close approximation) at orbital velocities, and since there was no collision....

Satellite collision anticipated by EU space agency fails to dematerialize <-- FTFY

How to ensure your tech predictions catch on in a flash? Do the mash

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This is so true

Brains' videocall smartwatch makes a great case in point. In the real world, we don't like to integrate our tech, we prefer to carry it around even if doing so is clunky and inconvenient.

I have read several scifi novels where the characters have embedded tech. The only 2 plausible ones were:

1) an ID chip in hand or arm which acted as payment RFid and the good guys surgically removed, then put on the outside under fake skin so they could change it at will because the bad guys had subverted the government systems which mandated same;

2) a standardised thought transmitter which could control any local device such as a phone, or desktop (alias SOCs in wall screens in the story)

There is a simple reason that nothing else would be embedded and that is that technology changes so fast that no one would want or could afford the surgery every year. In the first of the above, the story itself was really about why we shouldn't go down that route in the future.

NASA's Mars helicopter spins up its blades ahead of hoped-for 12 April hover

JassMan Silver badge

Re: What's to stop...

The force of a storm is not in the local air pressure but in the wind speed times the mass of whatever it has picked up on the way. A kilogram of dust travelling at 100 Km/h will do as much damage on Mars as it will on Earth. Not all the erosion on Mars happened before it lost most of its atmosphere.

Imagine your data center backup generator kicks in during power outage ... and catches fire. Well, it happened

JassMan Silver badge

This would never have happened at a certain broadcaster I used to work for.

The generator was in its own separate building, and tested twice a year. Unfortunately, after 20 odd years of testing, the test failed. There was a book with all engineers responsibilities, their deputies, their managers, all the phone numbers etc. The book contained every procedure, every workaround, every aspect of how to get back to broadcasting within 3 minutes in the event of a supply failure. Except there was one little omission - there was no schedule nor person responsible to ensure that the diesel tank was checked and refilled. The test failed not because of a fire but because of the lack of fire inside each of its cylinders, because there was no fuel.

Still, that is what tests are for - to find that one thing that no one had thought of before.

Scottish National Party members found among list of names signed up to rival Alba Party after website whoopsie

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If they look hard enough

they'll probably find Dido queen of carnage was employed as a security consultant.

Please stop leaking your own personal data online, Indonesia's COVID-19 taskforce tells citizens

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Re: Why make it that easy?

Alternatively, they could spread the fake news that special code readers can read the phrase ”i am a kn*bhead” from the hamming code. Nobody would want to flash that about on social media.

Defence Industrial Strategy suggests the UK is ready to start taking its homegrown infosec industry seriously

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Taking homegrown infosec seriously?

More likely it will go to an accredited security contractor like the bunch who told ONS that the census data will be secure after using Google Tag Manager.

Long on jargon and technobbable, short on security problems and mitigation strategies.

JassMan Silver badge

Re: This is the page I got when I just searched for TechUK

Maybe it's a honeytrap and even now they are pursuing the blackhats who stole the page.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson reluctant to reveal his involvement in the OneWeb deal

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Re: Clueless @(original) AC

with only grudging reference to experts in a field when they are backed into a corner

The problem is that have made such a wonderful success of Brexit by deliberately ignoring experts, it would now be embarrassing to admit that experts can be useful.

Oh, I forgot, Boris has had his sense of embarrassment surgically removed.

JassMan Silver badge

Re: When is he going to build a bridge

Don't know about a bridge to Mars but I have a nice Space Elevator project I can sell him for cheap. Getting out of the gravity well is the expensive part of all these spacey thingies.

Backblaze on the back foot after 'inadvertently' beaming customer data to Facebook

JassMan Silver badge

Re: No customer dashboard should ever fire off a connection to Facebook, Google, or any 3rd party

Gov.uk pages including Sunday's census which used Google Tag Manager. The ONS had an independant security audit done by Bridewell who claim that all our data and privacy are totally secure. Yeah, right!

Can we start up a class action to get our data back?

Prince Harry, the Count of Montecito, turns Silicon Valley startup exec with first job based in 21st Century

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Re: Name?

Could we please agree to call him by his proper name? Harry Windsor I believe.

I thought is was really Battenberg (aka Mountbatten) or Saxe-Coburg. Windsor is just where the royals have one of their many palaces.

Staff and students at Victoria University of Wellington learn the most important lesson of all: Keep your files backed up

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Re: The only things

The original story on "Critic" repeatedly says desktop computer, so I don't think the students were storing their work in the desktop folder. Even the story here on the vulture sort of implies that it is the local harddrive by saying that network and cloud drives were unaffected.

Tata says hello to £14.5m 1-year contract extension for UK child support system, while DWP figures out how to procure a new one

JassMan Silver badge


Which disaster is that? The disaster that is CMS or the hundreds more disasters that this government is creating every week by awarding contracts without competition.

By signing Public inquiry into Covid-19 pandemic immediately with the aim of saving lives https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/331877 maybe we can get them to learn at least 1 fact about actions without plans.

Apple's Steve Jobs: Visionary, dreamweaver... and the kind of fellow who might tell a porky or two on his job application

JassMan Silver badge

A4 and Letter

Yep, it was almost certainly Letter (other non-A series sizes also exist).

Although A4 has been used in Europe for a couple of centuries before being named as A4 by DIN (Deutsches Institut für Normung) 100 years ago, it didn't become an ISO standard till 1975 - 2 years after Jobs wrote the application. It is unlikely that many merkins had even heard of A4.

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp pause usual data collection with an outage

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According to Downdetector.com, outage reports jumped from a typical baseline of around a dozen or two to over 3,500 for Facebook, over 26,000 for WhatsApp, and over 124,000 for Instagram around this time period

I read that as outrage reports and wondered how only a dozen or two could be outraged at those three sites. Given how much all Facepalm products are in the news for online bullying that must be a baseline of 100s of thousands a day. When I read a bit more of the story I realised they had a server problem, and wondered how I could generate a gladness report.

Lord joins campaign urging UK government to reform ye olde Computer Misuse Act

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@Zippy´s Sausage Factory

CyberUp is the name of a campaign led by NCC Group,..... It aims to rewrite the CMA to remove the threat of criminal prosecution from threat intelligence researchers.

Given that this is effectively an NGO there is a small chance that our superlazy government will cut and paste lots of their ideas into any forthcoming white-paper and we may end up with something useful. This is totally the opposite of where gov ministers let big business write their own laws in return for a promised job post parliamenatry career.

Something fishy is going on in Taiwan as folk change name to include 'salmon' for free sushi

JassMan Silver badge

"Something about dolphins can't think of a pun."

Since us unintelligent humans haven't learnt how to translate from dolphin (which aren't fish anyway), how would you know that dolphins can't think of a pun?

JassMan Silver badge

I'm surprised that the story didn't also contain a few red herrings

[body must not contain fishy bits]

What's in Fedora 34? GNOME 40, accelerated Wayland, PipeWire Audio, improved Flatpak support, and more

JassMan Silver badge

Re: 'scuse me? @Jim Mitchell

The problem is that flapjacks cause wetware bloat while flatpacks cause software bloat. Both can be dangerous to your health.

Ex-asylum seeker with infosec degree loses discrimination claim against UK cyber range provider after storming out

JassMan Silver badge

Re: winding up @Andy Non

At least they have improved from the days of my youth when all hotels used to close for 'congé' (the annual holidays). I never understood why they would do that, since the time everyone needs a hotel is when they are on holiday. Thankfully current hotelliers seem slightly more intetersted in serving the public.

UK draft legislation enshrines the right to repair in law – but don't expect your mobile to suddenly be any easier to fix

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Repairability at reasonable standards and costs

This washing m/c bearing failure seems to be the new Covid. My 24year old Bosch also recently started making the barrel full of bricks sound on spin. The hard to answer question is: should I get the bearing replaced and hope for another 24years out of it or replace it and maybe save a bit of leccy - it says it is an eco model and has fuzzy logic, so I am guessing it was one of the first energy saving models. I vaguely remember it having A+ on the old style labelling so I am guessing the energy saving of a new one will be a lot less than the government says.

[edit] Just noticed further down someone saying they had brush problems. So did my Bosch - it went through 2 sets of brushes in 10 months. On the second visit, the repair man replaced the whole motor. It is now running on 23 year old brushes. Hmmm. Maybe time to replace it after all.

Twitter sues Texas AG to halt 'retaliatory' demand for internal content-moderation rulebook in wake of Trump ban

JassMan Silver badge

Much as hate all the bigtech listed in the article, IANAL but it certainly looks like the AG is exceeding his powers. Since Trump never paid to use any of the servicrs, he has no contract, and without a contract he has no expectation of service.

US newspaper's 'Biden will hack Russia' claim: A good way to reassure Putin you'll leave him alone

JassMan Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Its all a cunning plan

Yet the effect of those words is to warn Russia that an attack of some sort is on its way, and it'll be soon, thus putting Vlad and chums on high alert.

The russians know that that the western world celebrates April Fools day, so telling them that there will be a cyberattack in 3 weeks, means they will ignore it 'cos they will think it is just yet another spaghetti tree story. Once they realise their mistake it will be too late because their entire infrastructure will be pwned.

Or maybe not.

But at least trying to discover the truth will keep them distracted for a while.

So it appears some of you really don't want us to use the word 'hacker' when we really mean 'criminal'

JassMan Silver badge

Re: Hacking is honourable

I guess it's too late for "quantum leap" to have its original meaning restored. Especially when journalists think that the massive supercooling plumbing surrounding a qubit is actually the computer. They'll think "That computer is enormous, compared to my phone" so they'll reassure themselves that a quantum leap is must be a big jump.



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