* Posts by Cucumber C Face

225 posts • joined 29 Jul 2008


UK pins 'reckless campaign of cyber attacks' on Russian military intelligence

Cucumber C Face

Collateral damage

Russia use "deliberate and blatant attempts to scare anybody who has ever P!$$£d off the Russian government...playing the game in 2018 by 1980's rules."

Right, nerve agents and strangulations are so passe. The USA and UK use drones to kill their dissident citizens as well as foreign nationals in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Not saying either side is right. Only considering that objectively the New World Order is way ahead on civilian casualties (and $ trillions flushed into arms dealers' pockets).


NAO probing Capita's sickly £700m GP support gig

Cucumber C Face

Re: The Tories want to break the NHS

>if we all took more responsibility for ourselves, it would ease a huge burden on the NHS<

Most healthcare is a luxury not a money saver. If we recognised this we could have a sensible conversation about funding. Instead we remainl caught in the delusion at the outset of the NHS in 1948 - that it would get cheaper after a few years because everyone would be cured, fitter and economically productive.

Consider it was cheaper for the TaxPayer/Government when more people smoked like troopers, paid National Insurance and tobacco duty all their lives and then obligingly croaked with heart attacks or lung cancer before drawing their state pensions.

What's killing the NHS (other than rising expectations and more expensive treatment options) is people surviving longer with treatments for long term conditions - which (now) take a very long time to finish you off. I'd argue that's a great thing. However it's not saving money. It's a luxury - and we can choose how much of it we spend on it.

If great healthcare saved money you'd find some of the best healthcare systems in the poorest countries.

Consider we could cure or eliminate all cancers and heart disease - that would leave most everyone surviving to acquire senile dementias - which is the greatest social and economic health burden of all.

Activists launch legal challenge against NHS patient data-sharing deal

Cucumber C Face
IT Angle

Illegal immigrants still pay taxes

They will be paying indirect taxation (VAT, fuel duty etc.) which is where much of the tax paid by low income people comes from anyway.

Why Agile is like flossing and regular sex

Cucumber C Face

Re: Having never done Agile...

Having done been on Agile projects a few times - the answer is you mostly don't avoid "oh shit, the architecture/db/performance won't support that new feature without a major redesign".

The phrase is "technical debt" - the fastest and least elegant kludges tend to win out. In Agile's defence though at least this point is usually recognised, conceded and there can be a willingness to refactor when ones back is against the wall. Whereas with waterfall - when your information models, architecture etc. are s**t usually no one is given the opportunity to do anything about it as the PHB's 'output based specifications' are infallible.

How innocent people 'of no security interest' are mere keystrokes away in UK's spy databases

Cucumber C Face

Concerns about data quality

Even advocates of "nothing to hide nothing to fear" should have this concern.

Scant consolation when the door is kicked down at 4:30 AM and a Glock is held to your kid's head - that it's because some minimum wager mistyped a postcode somewhere down the line on the way to Big Brother's data warehouse.

Tor users are actively discriminated against by website operators

Cucumber C Face

Plausible deniability?

I run a website (medical educational) on which we reluctantly decided to block the entire list of Tor exit nodes. Tor publishes a list of their current exit nodes http://torstatus.blutmagie.de/ . Our site sees almost exclusively vulnerability scans, sql injection attempts, scraping, referer spam etc from >many< but not all Tor exit nodes.

The dismal status of many of these exit node IP addresses can be confirmed here http://www.projecthoneypot.org/search_ip.php

We suspect this abusive traffic is mostly not routed through the Tor network itself at all. (The bandwidth is pretty poor). Instead I guess they install and host a Tor exit node on the server, throttle it down to a trickle, and then let their bots rip [and if their ISP or LEA intervenes] they can blame all traffic emanating from their box on naughty anonymous cowards.

Want to download free AV software? Don't have a Muslim name

Cucumber C Face

Great advert for Sophos anti-virus software

Brilliant work on that terrorist detection algorithm guys. Can I take it we can expect no false positives from your heuristic detection either?

Programming Office 365: Hands On with Microsoft's new APIs

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Here's to another 21 years of VBA.

IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Cucumber C Face

Re: A Win Win solution!

Could you rather sell whoever missed making IPv6 back compatible with IPv4 please?

A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally

Cucumber C Face

But is it waterproof ...

.... to a depth of 5+ km?

Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

Cucumber C Face

>none of the scary articles seem to include any risk analysis / probabilities.<

Likewise these ATM machines are (I hope) unlikely to be sat facing the interwebs unfirewalled with a luser surfing porn using IE6 on an administrator account on them. Chances are many of these machines could remain unmolested for all eternity.

Life support turned off: NHS Direct dies silent, undignified death

Cucumber C Face

Re: Happy day

Save your breath Mr sad-loser. The NHS is a national religion and any service which expands the ranks of the worried well merely increases the intensity of worship.

Exposed: bizarre quantum sibling love triangle

Cucumber C Face
Paris Hilton

I know I'm terminally confused....

... when I find amanfromMars easier to understand than the article he comments on.

Will small biz get a bite of mega UK.gov IT pie? Yes: if it can pass the bulls**t sniff test

Cucumber C Face

Re: I get the impression Govt projects *never* plan for change

> the basic principle of taxation doesn't change <

I'm not so sure. The principles do change.

To take one possible change in the pipeline - married couples' allowances. Might the (re-)introduction of that hose your data model and code base - or could it handle that with just a soft configuration change?

(Well outside my domain - would genuinely like to know).

Switzerland to set up 'Swiss cloud' free of NSA, GCHQ snooping (it hopes)

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Thumb Up

Possibly the best country in the World

I am in favour of low taxation jurisdictions offering solutions that put pressure on high tax jurisdictions to compete. (Also applies to Switzerland - no coincidence I suggest)

Windows 8.1: A bit square, sure, but WAIT! It has a Start button

Cucumber C Face

Re: lipstick on a pig

.... only you wouldn't expect to apply the pig's own bodyweight in lipstick. You might even be able to use the same tube of lipstick to more than one porker.

BBC's Clangers returns in £5m 'New Age' remake

Cucumber C Face

Re: Why can't they write some new programmes?

Well the big budget revamp worked for Dr Who I'm told. (Never seen the post-hiatus Who.)

MS Word deserves DEATH says Brit SciFi author Charles Stross

Cucumber C Face

Word Perfect largely has itself to blame for it's demise

While I don't dispute one could do a great job with Word Perfect back in the 1980's - IMHO it made Vi and Edlin seem like user friendly text processors by comparison.

Ease of use (by the untrained majority) was where WP 5.1 lost out to Microsoft Word V2. The much belated Windows GUI version of WP stank (yes I know about the hidden api stuff) but they never caught up.

By the time MS lost the plot with the ribbon it obviously had all been over for 15 years.

Look out, world! HP's found a use for Autonomy - rescuing Win XP bods

Cucumber C Face

A bear of little brain asks...

Is difficulty 'moving data' the burning problem keeping people on XP?

So it's nothing to do with losing perfectly functional 16 bit apps; retraining lusers on crappy UI's; legacy hardware with no Vista (and later) drivers or the inability to run Office 2003 on Windoze 8 then.

I know XP arrived when PCs still (just about) came with floppy discs but.. (see icon)

Tencent offers 10TB of free cloud storage for all

Cucumber C Face

File size limit

The other hidden gotcha with these services is the maximum file size - last time I tried Microsoft's Sky Drive it was 100 MB for them.

This pretty much stuffs storage of HD movies, large database backups and large encrypted containers (i.e. pretty much the only things that would potentially soak up terabytes of space) - unless you fancy splitting them before uploading.

Billionaire Google founder splits with wife, allegedly beds Google Glass staffer

Cucumber C Face

Welcome To Marketing

... the Department which always has the hottest babes, the ugliest dudes and the ethics of an anthrax bacillus.

Bradley Manning is no more. 'Call me Chelsea,' she says

Cucumber C Face
Paris Hilton

Whistleblower == outsider?

Perhaps your average family guy / team player / good old boy is less likely to rock the boat. Whatever else, you have to admire Bradley/Chelsea's cojones.

Paris? Blowing a different kind of whistle.

Windows NT: Remember Microsoft's almost perfect 20-year-old?

Cucumber C Face

Re: A question from a young'un of 31...

>I have wondered WTF was the bloody point of Windows 95, 98 and (trigger warning) Milennium Edition?<

NT 3.5 won me over and 3.51 was a revelation. It was games which kept me (and millions of others) dual booting into DOS/95/98 well into the noughties. Doom, Duke Nukem etc. needed to hit the hardware (the ports you get now weren't available and would probably have been too CPU/RAM intensive even if they had been). Most business DOS apps could be coaxed into running on NT with various degrees of pain.

ZTE's $80 Firefox OS mobe sells out on eBay

Cucumber C Face

256 MB RAM? Luxury!

Microsoft - scarcely known for their lean creations - in 1995 shipped Windows NT 3.51 which ran very well with 32 MB RAM on less beefy CPUs than smartphones have today. 256 MB was still a fair size for a desktop hard disc. Win NT 3.51 was perfectly capable of running background services and multi-tasking.

I know it's chalk and cheese but I suggest some perspective is needed.

They don't recognise us as HUMAN: Disability groups want CAPTCHAs killed

Cucumber C Face

Form radio buttons - I am a spammer=default

If one is looking to reduce post spam - a radio/options array on the HTML form with 'I am a human being' not the default option foxes 99.9% of the script kiddies.

If the bot can get through that and/or there's anything more precious you're protecting - captcha's probably aren't going to buy you much more.

WikiLeaker Bradley Manning found not guilty of 'aiding the enemy'

Cucumber C Face

accidental killing ... by a US helicopter gunship

There's accidents , there's reckless homicide and there's murder for 'fun'.

Clip (with crucial audio)


Why aren't these guys facing a Military tribunal?

Five bods wrongly cuffed thanks to bungled comms snooping in UK

Cucumber C Face

Fishing expeditions

Prevention is NOT always better than cure - but to appreciate that you have to apply more sophisticated reasoning than an amoeba.

The same dilemma exists for screening healthy people for diseases in medicine.

'Screening' starts with the default assumption that the patient has heart disease, breast cancer whatever - and you then set out to prove the negative.

There is always a false positive error rate in whatever test you apply.

Therefore one should accept

1. normal people are going to be misdiagnosed

2. if the damage (and/or number) of misdiagnoses exceeds the benefits (and/or numbers) of correct diagnoses you abandon the screening program

Harvest (say) a million internet transactions to catch the one in a million by a p@edo/terrorist/tax dodger. Say your test has the unbelievably impressive false positive rate of 0.01 percent (1:10000) and 100 percent true positive rate.

You will 'detect' one terrorist whilst falsely accusing 100 innocent people.

Not looking so good for the snoopers - even with highly optimistic assumptions of prevalence of bad guys and performance of the screening instrument.

PM writes ISPs' web filter ads for them - and it must say 'default on'

Cucumber C Face

Re: Jobs bonanza!

>the job adverts for thousands upon thousands of people to check the content of billions upon billions of URIs to categorise them<

Nah... cheaper to issue a whitelist : .gov.uk .bbc.co.uk Job's done.

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch 2013: Windows struggles in Boot Camp

Cucumber C Face
Thumb Up

Re: Attention grabbing title ?!?

Running Mountain Lion and Windows 8 on Bootcamp on a Mac Book Pro (8 GB RAM / i5 2.5 GHz / 250 GB SSD). Windows 8 runs like a rocket on this admittedly silly money kit - imagine the Air in this review might be a bit underpowered.

Install (via USB NOT DVD) flawless and perfect hardware support. Do not be an berk like me and try to partition the Windows disc from inside Windows.. (I totally bricked both OS.. needed to reinstall from scratch) .. otherwise totally recommended.

I do Windows based development but need Mac for testing cross-platform stuff. I would buy a top of range Windows laptop anyway and would otherwise need a separate Mac. So stll quids in.. just.

Brit fantasy artist sues James Cameron over Avatar world

Cucumber C Face

Why no stills from the movie?

I have never seen Avatar (yes - I'm the one) - whereas I am familiar with Roger Dean's work.

Everywhere these news stories are replete with pictures of Roger Dean's LP sleeve art. None of them have stills from the movie. It's almost like Cameron doesn't want his work copied.

SURPRISE! BT bags more gov broadband cash - this time in Bucks & Herts

Cucumber C Face

Re: but...

Hmm... we're firmly in London's upmarket commuter belt here but with some Conservative marginals in Herts. And then of course Bucks is being skewered by HS2 - if you're having half a million squid knocked off the value of your property this might make you feel a tiny bit better.

BT were ever the wh*re to the incumbent government.

Tor users locked out of Facebook after wave of dodgy traffic

Cucumber C Face

Re: Users of the Tor traffic anonymizing service are currently locked out of Facebook

Hmm.. we routinely block traffic from all Tor exit nodes on our (non-registration and wholly uncontroversial) web site.

I am sorry we have to do this.

I support and occassionally use the Tor service. However the bad traffic emanating from >a relative few< exit node IP addresses is staggering i.e. vulnerability scanning, post-spamming, scraping, high speed rule breaking bots etc. I don't think much of this traffic is actually routed via Tor - people just put a Tor exit node on their box to give them plausible deniability.

Lonely G-Cloud wanders in search of crowd o'er UK.gov vales and hills

Cucumber C Face

G-Cloud - a solution in search of a problem

The problem being - how does the Government get a press release which make them look hip with the cutting edge of technology?

We must be grateful I suppose that the Coalation only p*ss*s hundreds of millions up the wall on this kind of BS rather than the billions New Labour used to,

Intel: Haswell is biggest 'generational leap' we have EVER DONE

Cucumber C Face

Re: 2-in-1 WTF?

OK I think it goes like this..

The Spice Girls had a song 'Two become one'.

Ginger Spice aka Geri Halliwell - sounds like Haswell.

Microsoft touts business features of Windows 8.1

Cucumber C Face

re: We want a new OS just not this one.

Actually UI wise - I want Windows 2000 / Office 2003.

My bleak tech reality: You can't trust anyone or anything, anymore

Cucumber C Face

>how we got into the position whereby our leaders, or moreover, the people behind our leaders care so little about the privacy and rights upon which most of our nations were founded.<

Because the media and Lumpenprole demand the sacrifice of freedom for security from pedo-drug dealer-turrorist-tax avoiders.

Moss reanimates after 400 years in DEEP FREEZE

Cucumber C Face

Glaciers flow...

.. just because the (otherwise) advancing edge is melting doesn't mean the glacier is retreating.

Internet2 superfast-boffinry network peers with Azure cloud

Cucumber C Face

Through Internet2 we can support a small number of very large flows

Hmm.. does this look a little like Internet1 circa 1990?

i.e. it's high time they allocate 99.9% of the address space to US govt institutions, universities, megacorps, bagel stores, kindergartens etc. before the rest of the World gets a look in.

UK MPs tell Google: Get back here and bring your auditors with you

Cucumber C Face
Thumb Up


Pity you posted anonymously - I want to have your babies

Queen's Speech: 'Problem of matching IP addresses' to be probed

Cucumber C Face

Re: If more proof were needed...

True - but there are people out there dumber than the politicians.

The average child murderer or terrorist bomber does seem incapable of emptying (much less wiping) their Internet browsing history and cache - let alone fathom VPNs, anonymous proxies, MAC obfuscation etc.

This does give the illusion that a mega-log of everything an ISP sees could be trawled for suspicious activity.

Google 'will be pulled back in front of MPs' on its UK tax affairs

Cucumber C Face

Re: Another PR stunt by MPs

change the law OR change the tax rate to compete with Ireland.

Why should UK based businesses pay more than any business based (nominally or actually) in Ireland?

Are biofuels Europe's sh*ttiest idea ever?

Cucumber C Face

Re: the efficiency of plants converting sunlight to fuel is abysmally low

Hmm... efficiency not the whole story.

When solar panels have renewably sustained 99.9999999% of life on Earth (excluding hydrothermal vents) for a billion or so years AND while doing so laid down as much fossil fuel - get back to us.

Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

Cucumber C Face

Re: In a mental institution..

No actually you're wrong there.

"Care in The Community" (National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990) a.k.a. all but eliminate inpatient mental health - neglect or underfund community care - came in right around the end of her administration.

Publishing ANYTHING on .uk? From now, Big Library gets copies

Cucumber C Face

Research is no defence...

One assumes they'll catalogue any terrorist manuals (and worse) out there on .uk

I assume the legal framework must give them specific immunity from the default assumption that copying to local storage='making'

Review: Intel Next Unit of Computing barebones desktop PC

Cucumber C Face

zOMG - you can only learn to program on a Pi

>Running Ubuntu means there’s no reason why the NUC can’t be used to learn programming the way the Pi can<

Is there any reason that one can't learn most second or later generation languages on just about any mainstream OS running on any piece of hardware?

Business intelligence startup tarts up Hadoop for managers

Cucumber C Face

Triple whammy

Brilliant marketing concept -

1. managers can get hard ons playing directly with 'Big Data' until the next buzzword comes along

2. they never understood RDBMS and SQL anyway

3. they never figured how to create a table in Microsoft Word

So as long as the graphical user interface looks like Excel these BI guys have a license to print money



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