* Posts by Brent Longborough

151 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jun 2008


Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms

Brent Longborough

No, but here's an answer anyway

Leader / Follower

Please, now can we STFU and get back to debugging?

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

Brent Longborough

Re: Secure communications

Saying "If I have nothing to hide, I have nothing to fear" is on the same level of crass stupidity as "I don't need free speech as I have nothing to say"

Oh, and guess who said it first? Doktor Goebbels.

WannaCry kill-switch hero Marcus Hutchins collared by FBI on way home from DEF CON

Brent Longborough


When's the Foreign Office going to issue a Travel Advisory for the USA?

Now UK bans carry-on lappies, phones, slabs on flights from six nations amid bomb fears

Brent Longborough

Re: non-public?

Agree completely, except for one thing: better alternatives for "security theatre" are "security circus" or "security masturbation".

Brent Longborough

Denial of Service Attack

A thought experiment.

Imagine you're an intelligent terrist (Yep, I think they exist) who wants to sow alarm and despondency in heathen lands.

So, you get some friends together and start chatting about a theoretical bomb-cum-laptop that doesn't actually exist. This gets the "intelligence" community all up-tight and nervous, and they put stupid restrictions like this in place.

Result: everyone gets pissed off, the intelligence community loses credibility, and the community in general lose more freedoms.

Mission accomplished!

GCHQ's Twitter move: Wants to be 'accessible', people to 'understand'

Brent Longborough

Who pays?

Why the F are they wasting my money on this, as well as the large haystack?

We need: (1) A decent framework of laws stringently restricting what they can and can't do (Including not building a bigger haystack) and (2) then they just quietly do their job as efficiently as possible, within those laws.

Brits who live in 'smart cities' don't really know or care

Brent Longborough

A couple of laws:

Brent's Law of New Ideas:

If it sounds like BS, people will ignore it.

Brent's Law of Cities:

Cities must never be more intelligent that their managers.

IBM's quantum 'puter news proves Big Blue still doesn't get 'cloud'

Brent Longborough

Minor edit

Just replace all mention of "cloud" with "clown" and you've got it about right.

(BTW, I don't claim originality for the idea; I think it was first proposed by BoingBoing)

Microsoft announces Windows 10 Anniversary Update coming this summer

Brent Longborough

Re: Just Say No

Sure, it's just a registry hack, but it's lots of work to trawl through the gobbledygook.

Never10 doesn't even install itself; it just fixes the registry for you, rather than making you start a fire by rubbing twigs together.

And I don't think Steve Gibson is a crackpot at the moment - he has some weird ideas, but this isn't one of them.

Brent Longborough

Just Say No

Never10 is your friend:


Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)

Brent Longborough
Black Helicopters

His (her) Master's Voice

This is the movie and recording industry pulling the strings.

Treating torts as criminal cases is no better than having debtors' prisons.

Welcome to the Britain of Dickensian Dave

Zuck gets a Brazilian whack: Top Facebook VP cuffed in WhatsApp privacy kerfuffle

Brent Longborough

Is it even possible?

If, as we're led to believe, WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, how does the judge think anyone can decrypt it?

The judge better arrest every mathematician since Al-Quarismi.

(Note to the reader: the Brazilian Judiciary is probably best described as "not the cream of Harvard Law School".)

Patient monitors altered, drug dispensary popped in colossal hospital hack

Brent Longborough

Re: "collosal hospital hack"

Only one of them can spell, and he's on holiday again.

UK taxpayers should foot £2bn or more to adopt Snoopers' Charter, says Inquiry

Brent Longborough

A better suggestion

Two alternative suggestions. The language has been self-censored:

1. Buy an island and lock Teresa May up there. (Elba?)

2. Spend £2G on the NHS

It took only two minutes to think these up. What are we paying our politicians for?

China names the date for dark side moon landing

Brent Longborough

Just one question

I assume that "dark side of the Moon" means "the side that faces away from Earth", since no side of the Moon is permanently in the dark.

How are they going to communicate with it when it lands?

UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim

Brent Longborough
Big Brother

I asked my supplier how the data was encrypted...

and they said:

"We can't discuss that for security reasons"

Bodes well!

China wants encryption cracked on demand because ... er, terrorism

Brent Longborough
Big Brother

Well, that didn't take long

As any fool could have foreseen, the Chinese government have pinched a leaf out of the book of the fools who didn't foresee -- NSA, GCHQ, and Tragic Tess May -- and are happily quoting UK legislation.

UK's super-cyber-snoop shopping list: Internet data, bulk spying, covert equipment tapping

Brent Longborough
IT Angle

Who pays for all this?

Leaving aside the merits (or, yes, otherwise, indeed) of Tragic Tess wanting to hoover up lots of IP addresses and other material to build her haystacks, who is going to pay for all the extra bits to collect and store it?

Three guesses.

Cyber cop: Snoopers' Charter tag is offensive. Maybe we need a 'yes to snooping' tickbox?

Brent Longborough

"a right to privacy drowns out the right to life"

Where do they recruit these people?

Without privacy, who's got a life?

Bacon can kill: Official

Brent Longborough

My doctor told me...

... not to worry too much about what I eat, as worrying could give me ulcers.

TalkTalk attackers stole 'incomplete' customer bank data, ISP confirms

Brent Longborough

That's OK, then...

Nothing to see here, move on please...

Pimp your TV: Goggle box gadgets and gizmos

Brent Longborough

Rant: Why so slow, and why such a rubbish UX?

I recently got myself a 65" SONY. The picture is lovely, and the sound is reasonable (I didn't buy all the add-ons for sound and stuff).

But why does it it have to be so slooow? Slow to turn on, slow to change function, slow do do almost anything.

Then there's the UI. ( warned you not to get me started...)

The "Return button" is too close to the Down arrow, so when you're picking photos to show your Gran, you're just as likely to back up to the parent folder.

The file navigator doesn't wrap round from right to left, nor left to right.

There's a nasty little "New Age" fingerpad as an alternative to the conventional remote control. Of course, as the display doesn't have a mouse pointer, it's completely useless.

So, maybe I chose the wrong brand. Or maybe they all give the UI design to the tea-lady.

Google's .bro file format changed to .br after gender bother

Brent Longborough

Ahh, nostalgia for three-letter file extensions

Leaving aside the question of hypersensitivity to delusional sexism, why do they limit themselves to three-character file extensions?

FFS, it's 2015, not 1985! Who runs MSDOS any more? Why didn't they use ".brotli"?

White House 'deeply disappointed' by Europe outlawing Silicon Valley

Brent Longborough

Deeply disappointed

Yeah, deeply disappointed they were found out.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Brent Longborough

Wood? What wood? All I can see is trees!

VW’s case of NOxious emissions: a tale of SMOKE and MIRRORS?

Brent Longborough
Black Helicopters

Who wrote the code?

I'm genuinely curious about the people who actually wrote the code

* Must be a small team, maybe one person and a reviewer.

* Must have known precisely what they were doing.

So, either:

* They didn't give a toss about ethics

* They were handsomely paid (off)

* They were too frightened to blow the whistle

Where are they?

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Brent Longborough

« On teh Internets, nobody knows you're a Messiah »

Symantec fires staff caught up in rogue Google SSL cert snafu

Brent Longborough

It's easy ...

... just to fire the little guys.

DMCA takedown bots must respect 'fair use' of copyright – US appeals court

Brent Longborough

All it needs

is to start enforcing the bit that says "under penalty of perjury".

3D printer blueprints for TSA luggage-unlocking master keys leak online

Brent Longborough

Re: Sorry, got the first sentence wrong

Yeah, I had a very good lunch, so I was feeling magnanimous. But I promise, as I was writing, words like "brainfart" and "Mrs. Mimsy" were flowing liberally through my mind.

Brent Longborough

Sorry, got the first sentence wrong

"The integrity of more than 300 million travel locks has been compromised after 3D printing files for a range of master keys were posted online."

Should be:

"The integrity of more than 300 million pieces of luggage has been compromised after some stupid American numpty came up with the idea of backdoor keys, and some even more stupid American management numpty approved his idea instead of firing him, thereby granting access to luggage handlers worldwide."

Cell division: The engine of life – and of CANCER. Now some of its secrets are revealed

Brent Longborough

At the risk of sounding frivolous ...

Don't let David Cameron (or his opposition equivalents, whoever they may be) know about this.

By analogy to cryptography: "cell division causes cancer, so we ought to prohibit it".

Crap crypto crackdown coming as FBI boss testifies to US Congress

Brent Longborough

Re: Anybody believe him?

Because we need 2+2 to equal 4 *and* 5 at the same time, and if you're a technology company, your patriotic duty is to make that happen, not to say "it's impossible".

SourceForge accused of shackling GIMP in kinky adware

Brent Longborough

Seen it all before

Sourceforge is to Code as Geocities is to WebPresence.

Thank you for your attention.

Windows 10 Device Guard: Microsoft's effort to keep malware off PCs

Brent Longborough
Black Helicopters

What could possibly go wrong?

"When enabled/disabled by an administrator".

Isn't that (or something similar) what the UEFI lobby said? And now M$ is changing the emphasis there, so that you may not be able to turn of secure boot.

This thing is going to go the same way, as part of the War on General Purpose Computing and free software.

EU says dominant Google illegally alters search results

Brent Longborough
Big Brother

Abusing their market position in search?

Well, if and once they've managed to sort out Google, how about sorting out more important targets: NSA and GCHQ?

NSA: 'Back doors are a bad idea, give us a FRONT door key'

Brent Longborough

We need a new version of Moore's Law:

The amount of Government Stupidity (TM) created, anent security and cryptography, approximately doubles every x months.

Pi(e) Day of the Century is upon us! Time to celebrate 3/14/15 in style, surely?

Brent Longborough

Every year, the same B*ll*x

Thank you so much for irritating me this Saturday.

Everyone with an IQ over 75 already knows this is the stupidest meme-that-doesn't-work ever invented; as to the remainder, can we try to convince our North American colleagues that 31st April would be a better date for this nonsense?

Kaspersky claims to have found NSA's 'space station malware'

Brent Longborough
Big Brother

Re: I don't care about the morality of it

"Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

Snapchat jihadist-fearing peers return with LAST GASP Snoopers' Charter demand

Brent Longborough

I'm very sorry, words fail me

It's about time we all told these peers where to place their charter.

As Cory Doctorow says, "Fuck Right Off", my Lord.

'People ACTUALLY CONFUSE Facebook and the internet in some places'

Brent Longborough
Thumb Up

Another Illusion Shattered

Oh! I always thought that AOL was the Internets! You live and learn.

Why so tax-shy, big tech firms? – Bank of England governor

Brent Longborough

Minor point of law

It's "evading" taxes that makes you an "offender", not "avoiding".

What turns "tax evaders" into "tax avoiders" is inadequate legislation by incompetent, lazy, undecided, or corrupt legislators. Westminster etc please take note.

Saudi Arabia to flog man 1,000 times for insulting religion on Facebook

Brent Longborough

Yo, Prophet Mohammed...

... peace be upon you, you really ought to do something to improve the quality of these followers of yours. Shame on you for leaving your holy places in the hands of these loathsome people.

Evil US web giants shield terrorists? Evil spies in net freedom crush plot?

Brent Longborough
Big Brother

After all, we're only human


"Well, we made a number of mistakes, but not making them couldn't have prevented anything. On the other hand, Facebook is a Terrist Communication Platform"

Yeah, sure.

'Tech giants who encrypt comms are unwittingly aiding terrorists', claims ex-Home Sec Blunkett

Brent Longborough

I fear the Terrists...

A whole lot less than I fear gov.uk, the Servants who want to be Masters.

UK superfast broadband? Not in my backyard – MP

Brent Longborough

Internet bad in Cheltenham?

Must be because GCHQ is draining all the bandwidth.

Piketty-Poketty-Poo: Some people are just itching to up tax to capital ...

Brent Longborough

Of course it's political

It took me almost three months to read (I am not an economist, and needed some rest days).

The message that came over clearly (to me, at any rate) is that (a) the r > g thing will cause greater and greater inequality; (b) that Piketty offers a possible solution that seems to him the most effective; and (c) that his great fear is that if nothing is done, it will end in violent social upheaval, which is no-one's interest.

What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!

Brent Longborough

Talking of 1-2-3

One of the funniest occasions of my whole IT career was when IBM launched a mainframe version of 1-2-3.

So you type something into a cell on your terminal, then you hit enter and *wait for the response* before you can type in the next cell.

What really astounded me was just how many (non-tech) IBMers just couldn't see that it was a non-starter.

Apple, Google mobe encryption good news... for TERRORISTS – EU top cop

Brent Longborough

Re: It would save time if ...

I think the words you're looking for are these:

"The crows to peck at eagles"

Brent Longborough

It ought to be banned!

Just to give Troels Oerting a helping hand, here are a few more things that terrorists and paedophiles might occasionally use, and should, therefore, be banned:

* Cars and petrol

* Refrigerators

* Police uniforms

and, last but not least,

* Common sense