* Posts by Pascal Monett

10530 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"The metadata is always present anyway. But without the message it's nothing more than coincidence"

Maybe, but if the metadata demonstrates that you've been calling a criminal scumbag twenty times in the past month, then the police don't need the content to tell the judge that you know the guy. From that point, it should be easy to gather proof that you're dealing with him financially, or working for him materially, and then you go down for the count.

The Moon certainly ain't made of cheese but it may be made of more metal than previously thought, sensor shows

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: Density

We know the average density. That value can vary from place to place, just as there are places on Earth that are slightly more/less dense than the average.

It’s happened again: AT&T sued for allegedly transferring victim's number to thieves in $1.9m cryptocoin heist

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Yes, well, the day I have more than £85K in my account I'll start worrying about that detail.

Actually, no I won't. I'll just open another account in another bank. Problem solved.

Pascal Monett Silver badge

It looks like the Wild West out there

If only there was a structure in place where you could put your money and be confident that it was guaranteed that you could not lose it under any circumstance.

If only there was a legal framework and charter that allowed for the creation of institutions who were responsible for the money you placed in your accounts.

If only there was a way to ensure that, even in case of robbery, your account was guaranteed and you didn't lose anything.

Instead, it's the 3rd millennium and we still have people hiding their "life savings" under the mattress. What a shame.

Oh wait . . .

I was screwed over by Cisco managers who enforced India's caste hierarchy on me in US HQ, claims engineer

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"We have robust processes"

Apparently, they are not robust enough.

It seems to me that Cisco is happy to circumvent visa issues in order to get low-pay employees, and after that it doesn't give a damn what happens.

Curious, because a company who is really attentive to its revenue should ensure that all of its employees are happy to work there.

But hey, what do I know ? I'm not at the head of a multinational behemoth. With my stupid ideas of salary tied to what the employee brings to the company, I would probably bankrupt every multi-billion international corporation in a month.

Database maestro Antirez says arrivederci to Redis: Seems he wants an unstructured life writing code, not a structured one managing software

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"the underground programming world"

Um, why is it that there has to be an underground to everything IT ?

There are programmers writing code for an open-source project. You can hardly get more above ground than that.

Hey, Boeing. Don't celebrate your first post-grounding 737 Max test flight too hard. You just lost another big contract

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Finally some real consequences

First, Boeing is facing an uphill climb to get its 737 Max re-certified and, given the amount of deaths due to beancounter cost-cutting measures, that is perfectly normal.

Second, the FAA has lost its prestige and now international bodies are setting up their own certification procedures. The buddy contract between Boeing and the FAA has backfired so spectacularly that the costs for Boeing are going to climb much higher to get itself certified on the international scene.

Good. The rot that has settled in the top layers of US government agencies has come to light and now no one will trust the FAA on its word. I feel really sorry for the good people that I am sure work there, but their negligence and laissez-faire attitude is also responsible for the unacceptable amount of deaths that are due to the simple fact that the FAA couldn't be bothered to set up an actual test for that cursed model.

The FAA is going to spend many, many years regaining its credibility - if that ever happens.

Remember when we warned in February Apple will crack down on long-life HTTPS certs? It's happening: Chrome, Firefox ready to join in, too

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: Is there any advantage left by using commercial certs?

I think they should. That way other cert sellers will have all the time they want to get with the program.

I'm sure Telia will be relieved.

Leaked benchmarks from developer kit for Apple's home-baked silicon appear to give Microsoft a run for its money

Pascal Monett Silver badge

If the laptop is sleeping then the only background activity that needs to take place is knowing when to wake up.

Let's not start confusing modes, shall we ? Sleep is sleep. If the laptop's CPU is working, then it's not sleeping.

PA Consulting catches £5.3m to develop web gateway that handles access to UK health data – including on COVID-19

Pascal Monett Silver badge

And, in next month's news

Cue the upcoming article on how 440 million records of health data was pilfered from an unsecured AWS container.

PA Consulting stresses that "Security is our number one priority" and blames a subcontractor for the mis-configuration.

And the wheel turns . . .

LibreOffice slips out another 7.0 beta: Spreadsheets close gap with Excel while macOS users treated to new icons

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Ah CSV. The magic of having addresses with commas in them. I cannot count the number of hair-pulling times I have had to export data into a CSV file and send it off, only to have the recipient call me and say MY file wasn't working.

Buddy, I exported YOUR data. I you can't be arsed to not bung commas everywhere they shouldn't be, you don't get to blame ME for it.

Beijing's tightening grip on Hong Kong could put region's future as an up-and-coming tech hub in jeopardy

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"we need clarity on what the laws will involve before we can decide anything"

No you do not. It doesn't matter what the laws will involve, what matters is that Beijing is hijacking your legal system. The jackboots are coming in. Now is the time to leave.

Waiting to see what the laws will be simply validates this procedure. And even if the laws seem acceptable at this time, Beijing will change them when it suits itself.

It was never a question of if. It is now. If you value your freedom, you need to go elsewhere. Because, when China decides to "reeducate" the remaining Hong Kong population, well let's just say blood will be involved.

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"quantum compass technology"

Dear oh dear, what politicians won't do to make it look like they're doing something about something. Quantum compass technology, really. A cubic-meter sized contraption that uses lasers to super-cool atoms in order to detect movement in a single plane. That could conceivably be useful for a car, which generally only moves in one direction at a time, but I seriously doubt that a Twingo will have either the space or the power output to sustain laser-operated super-cooling just to get from place to place.

And £95 million for a report ? Sounds like the guy who typed that up can retire right now.

A UK-specific GPS system ? I honestly think you have better things to do at this time with what is left of your money. Besides, GPS units that work with the US and EU constellations will soon be available for £99.99, no subscription required. So why are you spending money you don't have on this pipe dream ?

Google Cloud partially evaporates for hours amid power supply failure: Two US East Coast zones rattled

Pascal Monett Silver badge

These "wobblies" are starting to pile up

It was IBM not long ago, now it's Google's Cloud and we can be sure that Azure is going to have its problems soon, as will AWS.

I wonder, has anyone done the math on the true uptime of these "services", and compared it to the good ol' local SAS uptime ?

Because being six hours without access to your data on Someone Else's Server is galling, especially when you bought into the fairy tale of Always On.

Apple: We're defending your privacy by nixing 16 browser APIs. Rivals: You mean defending your bottom line

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: Internet Explorer reloaded

Well it would seem that the EU is gearing up for an antitrust probe into the Apple Play Store, so it is possible that such a thing will be part of the proceedings.

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: other APIs that can be abused

Agreed. When I read that "Apple supports other APIs that can be abused, such as those related to orientation/acceleration, geolocation, camera access, GPU accelerated graphics, gamepad API, and file and directory upload " it feels kind of galling that there is all this hullabaloo about a Battery Meter API.

A website wants to know how much juice I have ? What for ? Sure, it's ridiculous, but then I can be tracked much more efficiently via my location, and apparently everybody is fine with that, including Apple.

Stinker, emailer, trawler, spy: How an engineer stole top US chip designs, smuggled them to China to set up a rival fab

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"aggressively investigating and prosecuting these crimes"

Yup, the FBI was so aggressive it even got an email from one Chinese national in China to another. Were these guys stupid enough to use Gmail or something ?

And then they were stupid enough to come back to the US after having gotten away with it ?

Goes to show that criminals are stupid, even when they have a doctorate degree.

Someone must be bricking it: UK govt website for first-time home buyers snapped up for £40,000 after left to expire

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"their list of addresses to protect"

So, UK Gov has a list of addresses that cannot be resold even when expired. They set up that list when .gov.uk came about, transferred all their .org addresses to .gov and promptly forgot everything .org.

Are there any other .org.uk addresses that are still in use by the the government that could also be snapped up like that ? Or is some busybody finally going to get the order to sort the situation out yesterday ?

That is the problem with the administrative mentality. When transferring to .gov.uk, somebody should have made it clear that the "old" .org.uk addresses needed protecting as well. Maybe somebody even did, but the order came down from On High : .gov.uk addresses are to be protected, no mention of .org.uk so, no protection for the latter.

And now this happens.

Incidentally, the fact that the guy who got it for £10 turned around to sell it for much more, that used to be called something nasty, didn't it ? And the original owner could complain about it and get it back for manifest domain name squatting or something. Yes, it had expired, but the operation was clearly not with the intention of using the domain, just selling it for (tidy) profit. Doesn't the government (as negligent previous owner) have a say about that ?

Microsoft has a cure for data nuked by fat fingers if you're not afraid of the command line

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: no chance that the $#@&$ Registry will be replaced

Of course not. That abomination of an excuse for a systems configuration database was made to control DRM and take your PC away from you. There's not a snowball's chance in Hell for that to be removed.

And this command-line-only undelete thingy can't even work without Windows 1 0 ? What a joke. I would really like to know what part of the Windows 1 0 system is sooo indispensable to a tool that works on NTFS partitions.

Come on, Borkzilla, the NTFS on your latest OS-as-a-service (hurk!) is the same as what it was on Windows 7. Your tool could perfectly well run on 7 if you didn't put code in to forbid that.

Poetry in lockdown: hiQ to Supremes / Please leave LinkedIn scrape ruling / well enough alone

Pascal Monett Silver badge

What a load of bull

"Users do not expect, or consent to, the exploitation of their personal information in perpetuity by third parties that the users and the website owner did not authorize and whose interests are not aligned with the interests of the owners of that personal information."

Indeed. That's why I closed my LinkedIn account. Getting bought by Borkzilla was the drop that overfloweth the cup.

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"the staff got my password to the desktop machine I had been assigned"

The first thing I do when I get to a newly assigned machine is change my Windows password.

Because I have 25 years of experience in jackasses thinking it's funny to use my account to do stuff they wouldn't dare do on theirs.

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: not shown on their drawings

I'm guessing the amount of stuff not shown on drawings is properly terrifying when you think about it.

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"We ran out of available outlets."

That is a sure sign of insufficient planning.

I'm not an admin, but I'm pretty sure that these days, when you're planning to install/move several servers, the checklist includes enough power for each and UPS for all and you don't go through with the install/move until you have those boxes checked.

On the other hand, as always, things like that have had to happen in order for today's admins to have that complete checklist to sign off on. Because there are very few humans who are capable of thinking everything through and envisioning all possible issues. We learn to plan because we've hit a snag, or witnessed a UPS go bang.

University of California San Francisco pays ransomware gang $1.14m as BBC publishes 'dark web negotiations'

Pascal Monett Silver badge

So, nothing important was encrypted

Yet the CalU paid over a million bucks to get whatever unimportant stuff back.

I may be mistaken, but a million bucks should get you a pretty good backup system. HELLO ? It's time to WAKE UP. You ARE going to be targeted, so you might want to think of spending a few hundred thousand on proper backup procedures before you have to spend a million on the good will of a fucking criminal scumbag.

Just a thought.

UKCloud latest to sign Memorandum of Understanding with UK.gov ahead of cloud mega framework

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"canned statements"

I wonder if they have a template for that.

Fintech biz Wirecard folds into insolvency like two pair against a flush. Good luck accessing your chip stack

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Yup. Looks like sticking it to the man can come with some risk, even in Europe.

That said, the scum is headquartered in Germany. Not a good place to be scum. They are going to feel the heat.

Let's roll the 3d6 dice on today's security drama: Ah, 15, that's LG allegedly hacked, source code stolen by Maze ransomware gang

Pascal Monett Silver badge

They are not untraceable. They are, however, not in the same country as LG HQ, therefor law enforcement cannot do anything locally and international cooperation on that front is nearly non-existant.

So being a criminal on the Internet is basically without consequence, as long as you don't attack anything in the country where you reside.

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"may outperform native macOS builds of titles due to DirectX support"

Okay, I think it is time that Borkzilla swallows the pill and licenses its DirectX technology to all and sundry. DirectX is clearly the best tech for rendering games, and Redmond has profited from it enough now. Windows is a service, right ? So license it off to Cupertino and the world of Linux and stop vainly and uselessly trying to get everyone to Windows.

Everyone is already using Windows apparently - even the well-heeled shiny ones who take care to show to everyone that they have a Mac. Apparently, they still boot into Windows, the irony.

I won't suggest open-sourcing DirectX, I know that that will never happen, ever. So just sell the license already.

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: Downvotes

Obvious : they cannot accept that someone else's experience go contrary to their biased opinion of what should actually happen.

Then you have the mention of the Idiot Tax, which sends some Apple fanatics into conniptions.

So, basically, it's a post that shows Apple users in a rather poor light, and there are Apple users who just simply cannot let that slide.

Wanted – DRAM or alive: US Feds bag arrest warrants for three Taiwanese accused of stealing Micron's mem secrets

Pascal Monett Silver badge

That would eventually be acceptable if the spies were acting on behalf of and by order of the government of that country. That is not the case.

The nuclear option is never the first response - unless it's aliens with acid for blood.

NASA mulls going all steam-punk with a fleet of jumping robots to explore Saturn and Jupiter's mysterious moons

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"so that whenever they run short of ice for propulsion"

I hope that the bouncy guys have a very good notion of how much ice they have left, and how much it will take to get them back to the lander.

Otherwise, if they run out and are a few miles away from said lander, well, they'll be stuck and that would be too bad. I like the idea of bouncing balls for Science.

GitHub redesign goes mobile-friendly – to chagrin of devs who shockingly do a lot of work on proper computers

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Why do PC users have to be subject to an "improved mobile web experience" ?

You want to improve the mobile web experience ? Great idea, as long as you do it for people using a phone.

I do believe it is possible to make the distinction between a phone user and a PC user, and orient the browser to the proper site. Given that the guys coding the UI are very likely not doing so on their phones, I would have thought that they would see an interest in keeping those things separate.

One year ago, Apple promised breakthrough features to help iPhone, iPad, Mac owners with disabilities. It failed them

Pascal Monett Silver badge

If that is true, then how can one get the impression that Apple doesn't know how disabled people work with a computer ?

Because that's what the author of the article wrote.

Former UK Labour deputy leader wants to know how the NHS's contact-tracing app will ensure user privacy

Pascal Monett Silver badge

So, not "world beating" then ?

"Last week, the department finally admitted that it was scrapping those initial plans because the software developed didn't work as they'd hoped. "

Wrong, the software worked exactly as it had been specced. It was the specs that did not conform to the masturbatory declarations of the idiots in charge, but that is hardly surprising when said idiots had no idea of what they were approving vs what the tech would actually do.

I'm pretty sure someone tried to explain, but two minutes into the training course and the non-techies were all glazy-eyed drooling corpses that only got revived when they were sat at a dinner table in a restaurant with a glass of wine in hand.

Maze ransomware gang threatens to publish sensitive stolen data after US aerospace biz sensibly refuses to pay

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Another key consulting firm gets hacked

Look, I appreciate that they told these miscreants to get stuffed, but how's about having proper security in the first place ?

Why is it that all these consulting firms with critical data seem to find the way to install "advanced tools" to magically solve their incompetence after the fact ?

How about installing those damn "advanced tools" before you get hacked ?

And what exactly are those "advanced tools" ? A firewall ?

CSI: Xiaomi. Snappy Redmi Note 9 Pro shows every fingerprint, but at least you get bang for your buck

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"can it play Call of Duty"

I fear not. CoD takes up around 200GB of disc. Unless that mobe has a 512GB sim card, it won't have the space for it.

China's internet watchdog freezes 10 too-trashy online video services before they undermine socialism

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: Vulgar content

Absolutely agreed. Check it out here.

Truly, the very fabric of civilization is tearing apart. You can see her naked arms ! And her midriff is bare as well !

We are doomed. Doomed, I tell you.

Three words you do not want to hear regarding a 'secure browser' called SafePay... Remote. Code. Execution

Pascal Monett Silver badge

And that's how Marketing gets bitten

Bitdefender Total Security 2020 is not totally secure. Ironic.

Of course, from a marketing point of view, you couldn't call it Bitdefender Best Security Effort 2020. You are either Total, or you don't even exist.

Well, at least they corrected the problem when notified, not like some others on the market, eh, IBM ?

Ex-CEO of fintech biz Wirecard arrested over missing money: Vanished €1.9bn may not have existed in the first place

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Wow. €26bn lost in two years

Now that is impressive mismanagement.

I wonder how it got to that point, and why the existing board hadn't been sacked last year (or the point at which 50%, or €13bn, had been erased from stock value).

When you have stock, you have investors and, if I was an investor in that company, I would be screaming bloody murder after having half of my investment vanish in thin air.

Windows fails to reach the Finnish line as Helsinki signage pleads for help

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Windows "is a service"

No it is not. It is supposed to be a tool that allows me to run the programs I need, when I need to.

But now, Borkzilla has taken control. Borkzilla decides, and you can just meekly click Accept and bend over to Borkzilla's wishes.

Yes, updates are indeed important, but the day's work is no less important and, until the day Borkzilla can guarantee that an update is not going to brick the "service", Borkzilla should wait for the user to have time to start updating. Like, for example, at 5:30 P.M., just before leaving. So stop bothering us at 10 in the morning with an impending update when we don't have the time for that shit at that time of day.

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

Pascal Monett Silver badge

This looks interesting

It seems like a very good compromise, but I have no idea of the tech stuff behind it or how it could be subverted. On the face of it, it does seem good.

I guess I'll wait for UK Gov's reaction. If they don't like it, it's likely that it is because they can't use it to further the surveillance state they are desperately trying to push forth - which would mean that it is indeed a good solution.

Step on it, I've got the police on my hack: Anon swipes, leaks online 269GB of crime intel docs from cops, Feds

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: What happened to encryption at rest?

When the NSA got hacked the malware stuff wasn't encrypted either. This is a government project, encryption is in the Nice To Have list, it's not in the budget.

What did it take for stubborn IBM to fix flaws in its Data Risk Manager security software? Someone dropping zero-days

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"Why did IBM refuse to accept a free detailed vulnerability report?"

Because the guy who received the report looked at his procedure lists and didn't have anything on that situation, so he classed it in the circular shelf.

Samsung combines 5G, AI, drones and cloud in conspiracy ... to ease network maintenance costs

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"a smartphone-controlled craft"

No way that could go wrong. Nobody will be able to take control of the phone with malware and have some fun, like by flying the drone into the mast.

I do hope that the communications between the phone and the drone are encrypted. They are, right ? Right ?

Oh who am I kidding, the guy who wrote that app hasn't even looked at an encryption framework, let alone implemented it.

Features vs compatibility: Google Chrome team promises more 'rigour', but what does that mean?

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"This is the real news: that Microsoft and Google are collaborating"

Satan and Beelzebub are going hand in hand. I'm not quite sure I'm reassured by this turn of events.

Meanwhile, Borkzilla's latest update installs Edge as default browser even if you had Chrome before. I wonder how long it's going to take Google to tap Borkzilla on the shoulder and say "knock it off" ?

Big Tech on the hook for billions in back taxes after US Supreme Court rejects Altera stock options case hearing

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"the amount of money at stake is enormous"

Officer, you can't ticket me, the cost of that ticket compared to my paltry revenue is enormous.

Inspector, you can't arrest me, the cost of losing my freedom is enormous.

Your Honor, you can't put me in jail, the cost of losing my illegal drug cartel is enormous.

. . .

Man, the ways that argument could be used is dizzying.

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Your understanding of our Universe is quite obviously much higher than that of the thousands of PhD-level experts in the field.

Would you mind sharing your universal theory of physics with us ? You know, the one that binds quantum physics and the Standard Model that all the experts you are better than have been looking for since Einstein revealed that little problem ?

With your vastly superior knowledge and understanding I'm sure you have already solved that on a napkin somewhere. Please share.


With intelligent life in scant supply on Earth, boffins search for technosignatures of civilizations in the galaxy

Pascal Monett Silver badge

'this wavelength band' is where you would see sunlight reflected off solar panels

It seems curious to me that our best minds are desperately trying to detect our level of technology on other planets.

That wavelength is where you would see sunlight reflected off of our solar panels. What right do you have to decide that an alien civilization is using the same solar panel tech ? They might have room-temperature superconducting solar panels that don't reflect anything at all and are 100% efficient.

You won't detect that.

Folk sure like to stick electric toothbrush heads in their ears: True wireless stereo sales buck coronavirus trends

Pascal Monett Silver badge

"Canalys reckons the wireless earbuds sector will deliver over 200 million units this year"

And what forecast does Canalys has as to how many will end up in landfills, polluting our water aquifers ?

Any idea on that ?

The entire wireless earbud sector is just electronic waste, especially if the batteries are not replaceable and, if I'm not mistaken, they generally aren't.

This entire market is an affront to everything that ecology stands for.

What does London's number 65 bus have to hide? OS caught on camera setting fire to '22,000 illegal file(s)!!'

Pascal Monett Silver badge

Re: I'm more interested in the source

It's Hodor, but with a T


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