* Posts by The Ref

17 publicly visible posts • joined 25 May 2008

Australia 'should not be scared' of NBN cost

The Ref


Fiber to the Node is a great idea and i support that solution 100%

Fiber to the home - well the only business cases for that I see are

a) movies on demand

b) hosting your own server

c) running a medium sized business from home

A) is not a business case and will do nothing for the nation, (B) provides a poor solution compared to existing cloud offerings, and for (C) if you are running that size company you should be able to afford your own decent link.

ADSL is not currently as available as it should be due to the exchange connectivity issues which would be sorted by FTTN. Basically the Government is not producing a business case because the numbers dont add up. People are moving to mobile access in droves and the revenue will not be what is expected.

The Government spouts this as the age of Fibre but fails to mention that fibre is already standard for cities and large rural infrastructure (like hospitals) so the business justifications presented are seriously flawed and often deceptive. A FTTN solution including regional areas would produce most of the expected benefits with a fraction of the cost.

And finally, I dont expect any Government to bring in a project of this size on budget, and this Government has a history of notorious failures. A rumour is that the original FTTN design was abandoned because the "Fully costed" solution failed to account for paying Telstra for its fibre, so the best solution was to change the design (with a 10x price multiplier)

Absolute fail!

Feds unlock suspect's encrypted drive, avoid Constitution meltdown

The Ref


"can be compelled to turn over a key to a safe possibly containing incriminating evidence, but is not obliged to supply the combination of a safe"

Why do law makers have such an ability to create stupid inconsistencies - either they should both be in, or both out. While I dont expect politicians to be up to speed, their advisors should be and these stupid inconsistencies only cost everyone (time, money, stress, ...)

Linux bug bestows attackers with 'superuser' powers

The Ref


"If you're really worried about this, then you will know how to patch, compile and install a fixed kernel "

This attitude goes completely against the theory that Linux is ready for the non techies. With 20 yeras of IT, I could have compiled a kernal a few years ago but since I havent needed to in over 5 years, I wouldn't know where to start anymore.

Paul Allen's patent madness not worth single penny

The Ref

Software patents

Some think software patents are inherently bad. I think the idea of software patents is good, but the implementation is beyond a joke. If software patents had a three year time scale then they could help with innovation. It would allow the designer time to implement an idea and profit without having it stolen, but not grant them a monopoly for (effectivly) life.

All types of patent have the problem that broad patents on obvious and non-novel ideas get granted by anyone who pays the money to lodge the patent. A 15 year window makes sense for drugs where the regulatory approval process takes years. The intangability of software and the speed of change means software patents are a problem that can destroy true innovation


Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow today!

The Ref


for a nugget of purest green.

Researchers: Arctic cooled to pre-industrial levels from 1950-1990

The Ref


with you reference to terms.

At least they have stopped using the term sceptic, mainly as for the last few centuries scientists have been proud to be sceptical. Articles that cast scientists vs sceptics used to really p155 me off.

I am a sceptic and proud. My beliefs on climate change I prefer to keep to myself in public forums.

The scientists from East Anglia and other labs have done themselves a huge dis-service and undermined their own credeibility. Testing a hypothesis is good science - publishing findings to that hypothesis is good science - but cherry picking data can only bring discredit.

Australia unbans the internet

The Ref

Except ...

that material is banned and has just caused El Reg to appear on the list!

Prof: Carbon sequestration 'as bad as nuclear waste'

The Ref

We need a B.A. Barabas icon

the original Mr. T version for when all you need to say is "I pity the fool"

Linux IRC server leaves backdoor open

The Ref
Black Helicopters

It had to happen some time

I'm glad this has happened, not because I wish Linux harm, but to highlight that all systems are vulnerable.

I am a big fan of Linux in some areas - I believe you use the OS / tools that meet your needs but have been concerned at the attitude "I use Linux so I am safe". No systems are safe - Linux may be better than Windows in many areas but *everyone* needs to be always aware of security issues.

Social engineering is the quickest way to control a system - injecting a trojan and getting users to download and install it will always be a risk.

Microsoft wants pacemaker password tattoos

The Ref

I thought the same

but then thought if you had lost your left foot, then the right foot is the left-most. If you have lost both feet then you are SOL ;-)

If that is the case, maybe you need to carry your foot in your leftmost jacket pocket.

'Severe' OpenSSL vuln busts public key crypto

The Ref

104 hours is only

4 days 8 hours - it just feels like 2 weeks without WOW!

NASA pegs Noughties as hottest decade on record

The Ref

USA surface area

9,629,091 Km2 - area of USA (1.888% of total surface)

1,717,854 Km2 - Alaska

7,911,237 Km2 - non Alaska USA (1.551% of total surface)

510,072,000 Km2 - surface area of the earth

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_outlying_territories_by_total_area (Includes only the 50 states and the District of Columbia. UN figure includes Great Lakes and coastal water areas but excludes territorial waters)



USA is 6.5% of land surface of the earth

Contiguous area of the USA is approx the same size as Australia

(assumptions are that Wikipedia is correct on these - normally a safe bet for non contentious facts)

Microsoft $358m patent violation damages tossed

The Ref

another software patent joke ...

Another ridiculous software patent that makes a mockery of the system. "Displays the month as a grid, then turns the date into an appointment form". This is a standard calendar which has been around for centuries mixed with standard drilldown characteristics - hardly novel!

I am, in principal, in favour of software patents if they are truly an invention. An implementation of an algorithm that is radically different may be patentable, but showing the date as a grid ... come on.

The number if lunatic decisions in the patent system means all software patents should be thrown out and a new system where there is some proof of innovation is required should be implemented. this new protection should allow only a few years of protection.

Student sentenced for F-ucked up grade hack

The Ref
Paris Hilton

Please don't call this a hack.

Please don't call this a hack.

Yes they used key loggers - but they were not smart enough to use an anonymous email account or to access the records from a public computer. Emailing themselves passwords using traceable accounts is inviting the police to catch them. Changing from an F to an A is also obvious. Moderate changes to only a few accounts might not have been noticed.

This should not even go under the title of script kiddies.

Paris: because even she knows about protection

Web designer sues Brat City for assaulting hyperlink

The Ref

on deep linking and copyright

Along with many others here, IANAL however it seems there is an issue that is not discussed and that is how a piece of copyrighted information appears.

Going beyond the OP, if I post a link to "www.youtube.com/somevid" that is completely different to embedding a video in my page then, while still hosted on youtube, make it *appear* to be part of my page (via an iframe for example).

The link is the same, the hosting is the same, but the end result may be completely different. Looking at the post icon, would most users know if this image was hosted on the register or on another copyrighted site?

I don't think the copyright issue is as simple as deep linking - I think some intent needs to be included.

P.S. Youtube is an example and I know they have no issue with embedding links, but it is an example which people should understand.

New York talks net giants into child pornography crackdown

The Ref

I think this is a good thing

After reading this article I went to my NNTP server and there were about 65 groups with paedophile in the title. Other groups had titles indicating they were a place for posting the sexual abuse of children. While not willing to click on any of the groups, the fact that my ISP hosts these is offensive. Any news group with a title indicating it is *likely* to include abuse of children should not be hosted.

When it comes to this type of thing, there are no free speech issues just the issue of freeing children from abuse. I am not in favour of censorship per se, but the ISP's should not forward these groups and some Interpol style police force should investigate what is being posted by whom.

I understand there is a fine line with groups like alt.binaries posting pirated content which is also illegal, and I don't want to see the ISP's becoming a defacto police force, but when it comes to the protection of children much more should be done.

After Debian's epic SSL blunder, a world of hurt for security pros

The Ref

The thing I dont get

This vulnerability was introduced in Sep 06, meaning it was in the patch for the RSA exponent 3 vulnerability. This vulnerability was a great example of how complicated cryptography is, and how many things have to be right to get a secure system. The default exponent 3 was used by most CA's for the ease of calculation it provided and this was considered safe until a mathematical vulnerability was found and an exploit published.

I think it needs to be highlighted that this defect was almost definately injected in a patch to fix a major security vulnerability, which should have highlighted the difficulty in getting these things right.

Any tinkering to a patch fixing a major security vulnerability is probably not a good thing unless you really know what you are doing.