* Posts by Brad Ackerman

169 posts • joined 25 Aug 2008

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Have no idea WTF is going on with the Oracle-Walmart TikTok deal? Don’t sweat it, here’s our latest rundown

Brad Ackerman
Alert

Do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison.

Huawei mobile mast installed next to secret MI5 data centre in London has 7 years to do whatever it is Huawei does

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

Re: You've heard of Tempest?

Well-shielded, or just a ton of metal in the way? GPS is easy; put an antenna on the roof and done. Unless you didn't plan for needing to know what time it is and failed to contract for the appropriate roof access, in which case you are bad and should feel bad.

The general relativity necessary to use the GPS system isn't that difficult, but everyone's using the helicopter icon in this thread already so science guy it is.

Brad Ackerman
Black Helicopters

Shielding a room is straightforward and not outrageously expensive. Shielding a building is somewhat more difficult; window film is definitely a thing and helps but according to the datasheets I can find it provides 40ish dB of RF attenuation (vs. 90ish for a shielded enclosure), so it works with rather than instead of physical separation.

If the Security Service somehow didn't have a plan for mitigating such attacks, they'd be utterly screwed because anyone with a river-view room at the Doubletree next door and a telephoto lens has a great view into the back side of Thames House. (Decent hotel, but I haven't stayed there since it was the City Inn.)

Beer rating app reveals homes and identities of spies and military bods, warns Bellingcat

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Not using social media at all might be an even more blatant indicator than putting too much information on it.

US threatens to turf out four Chinese telcos amid concerns over national security... and COVID-19, doctors, schools, jobs, communists, etc

Brad Ackerman

Re: government involvement in computer intrusions and attacks

This is just doing to China what China does to everyone else; they don't allow foreign carriers to operate outside of HK.

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

Brad Ackerman

Re: The real mystery is how Paula discovered the clock work around ...

You get the strangest looks from procurement when you ask for a dozen black goats, a silver knife, and a Dho-Nha summoning grid.

Among waves, blisters and sleep deprivation, rowing duo add Microsoft's Teams to list of transatlantic ordeals

Brad Ackerman
Linux

Re: What do people do with all these photos?

Take a few thousand photos; sort them out later. A $140 external drive stores a low six-digit number of raws, or keep them in a cloud provider's archive storage tier for $1/TiB-month.

People have collected warez like Pokémon for a long time, possibly since 1969 (before that all software was either open-source or not distributed at all). Whether you're actually going to binge all 275 episodes of Cheers is irrelevant to deciding to click that magnet link.

Tux, because all my torrents are Linux ISOs. (Except the ones that are actually BSD.)

Oracle leaves its heart in San Francisco – or it would do if, you know, Oracle had a heart

Brad Ackerman

Re: "...a whole lot of great things available that have nothing to do with any of that."

There are several Cirque du Soleil productions, plenty of magic acts (Penn & Teller are a must-see), any sort of live performance you can think of, golf, restaurants, the Pinball Hall of Fame, Red Rock Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, fancy shopping, and so on. The national (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches) and state parks (Snow Canyon, Kodachrome Basin, &c &c &c) in SW Utah aren't quite in day-trip range but are a good stop before/after LV.

Fairytale for 2019: GNOME to battle a patent troll in court

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

Re: Prior art not that important

At least cold fusion could theoretically bear some vague resemblance to a method that could conceivably exist. The working-model requirement needs to be a lot broader, to encompass e.g. US6025810A, which purports to describe a superluminal communications device. It doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to realize that this is causality violation and therefore just as impossible as a PMM.

Brad Ackerman
Terminator

Even the dullest and laziest patent troll knows that Facebook has more money than some countries. The subject of this article, however, appears to have not known that a decent number of IBM employees are paid to contribute to GNOME.

The black gate of Armonk may be about to open.

Pokemon Go becomes Pokemon No as games biz Niantic agrees to curb trespassing addicts

Brad Ackerman
Facepalm

Re: They had to go and ruin it

Niantic doesn't give a dog's wet shit about portals in restricted areas. There are five on the NSA headquarters compound (seriously restricted access) and more on Ft. Meade proper (slightly easier to get in but still not an open post). There are a half-dozen at Guantánamo Bay, which they can't possibly not know is restricted. NASA facilities have portals, too. CIA headquarters may be the only closed-access USG facility that doesn't have at least one.

DoH! Secure DNS doesn't make us a villain, Mozilla tells UK broadband providers

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Re: El Reg, I love you

Don't allow direct connections to external networks—make everything go through a proxy server. Alternatively, configure your IPS to block traffic if anything tries to talk to an IP address that hasn't recently been returned in a response from your DNS server.

The only real change for malware is that it could potentially use legitimate third-party DoH services, but those can all be blacklisted; and if an actor can use their own DoH server's IP address to bypass DNS-based filtering, they can also open a connection to that IP address without using any sort of DNS.

Brad Ackerman

An organization that cares about DoH usage inside its network probably also has either HBSS or break-and-inspect; even without such measures, both Firefox and Chrome should use whatever DoH server the GPOs tell them to use.

Brad Ackerman

Re: Mozilla are only partly right

Cleanfeed is an acceptable trade-off between your right to have unfettered access to information and children's rights not to have pictures of their being raped handed around the Internet. Society, through the standard method of voting for things, agrees.

And yet multiple governments have totally failed to get Cleanfeed through Parliament. It's not even mandatory for ISPs to implement, let alone for customers to use; and the lack of transparency from its provider is the clearest indication one could possibly ask for that it doesn't do what you seem to think it does.

Protip: No, the CIA will not call off a pedophilia probe into your life in exchange for Bitcoin

Brad Ackerman
Thumb Up

Funnily enough, I seem to have been blacklisted since then......

So mission accomplished.

We reveal what's inside Microsoft's Azure Govt Secret regions... wait, is that a black helico–

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

John Deutch wasn't involved in this program, so they're not on the internet.

UK code breakers drop Bombe, Enigma and Typex simulators onto the web for all to try

Brad Ackerman

Re: Explain like I'm five ..

Designing the Enigma to never encrypt a letter as itself is a boneheaded move that shows up in large organizations' password policies. (Can't have more than x lowercase letters/uppercase letters/numbers in a row, for example.) Reducing your system's work factor is rarely a good idea.

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

Brad Ackerman

Re: Proves that Cheltenham

Burger Burger was quite good but IIRC it closed unexpectedly with a four-figure unpaid gas bill. (And, one would assume, an even larger VAT bill.)

Brad Ackerman
Pint

Re: Proves that Cheltenham

As far as the high-street chain pubs go I'm partial to Copa. For non-chain, The Gloucester Old Spot is in town, Seven Tuns is worth a drive, and plenty more.

On the gripping hand, Wagamama stays in business despite 288 being roughly eleventy million times better, so there's no accounting for taste.

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

Brad Ackerman

Re: The US: a first world country...

If the US actually had third-world infrastructure, we'd have better phone coverage at a tenth of the price.

The solid state of storage in 2018: Latencies, they are dwindling. On-premises, the kit is glistening...

Brad Ackerman
Stop

Great stuff, were it not for Amazon announcement in November of its Glacier Deep Archive cloud storage, priced at $0.01/TB/month.

$1.01/TB/month, which isn't quite as magical but still inexpensive.

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Re: I actually did the reverse once..

If it's really necessary, the storage funds will get approved, but usually it's not necessary at all.

The closer you get to the end of the fiscal year, the more important spending money becomes.

Brad Ackerman

Re: Access Denied

That one's bogus, but presumably too funny to fact-check.

Brad Ackerman

Re: And that's why...

Proxies can also be set to only permit categorized pages, in addition to blacklisting pr0n or whatever.

Boffins build blazing battery bonfire

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

I was expecting a Galaxy Death Note 7 joke somewhere in this article.

Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention

Brad Ackerman
Pint

Jimmy's Farm makes sausage with bacon in it. There's no question that Britannia rules the waves when it comes to pork products.

IBM's Ginni Rometty snipes, er, someone for being irresponsible with data, haven't a clue who

Brad Ackerman
Black Helicopters

Her helicopter should be an excellent platform for sniping, assuming some sort of stabilized mount.

The great and powerful Oz (broadband network): Revs rise, but nbn™'s exec bonuses don't

Brad Ackerman
Facepalm

Buried lede

The monthly ARPU for NBN, which is a wholesale network, is about what Bahnof will charge (retail) for real gigabit FTTP (or 10G for MDUs in Stockholm). I don't think Bahnhof will even sell a service as slow as NBN's fastest FTTP.

NBNCo's shareholders should be fucking ecstatic that they can take such high rents. Or is it they're annoyed the rents aren't as high as in Canada?

Texas ISP slams music biz for trying to turn it into a 'copyright cop'

Brad Ackerman
Pirate

This story makes me want to download a car.

Damn right I would download a car.

Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

Brad Ackerman
Devil

Re: "Seems there's a trend with cooling not being taken as seriously as it should."

The fire department can open that door faster anyhow.

Look how modern we are! UK network Three to kill off 3G-only phones

Brad Ackerman
Black Helicopters

Re: As long as they run a 3G service ...

I'd bloody well hope they're killing off 2G; setting phones to disable 2G entirely by default (which won't happen while 2G is in use) makes it more difficult for any rando to run an IMSI catcher. They haven't yet taken it out behind the barn because of all the fielded devices that have a 2G-only modem and need to be upgraded. (ATMs, soda machines, whatever—not all being so easily accessible, of course.)

Zookeepers charged after Kodiak bear rides shotgun to Dairy Queen

Brad Ackerman
Coat

Re: Sense of humor

At least in Canada people don't have the right to bear arms.

Given the subject of this article, Canada's laws on arming bears are the relevant ones.

Maplin Electronics CEO ups stakes for steak house

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

Maplin isn't anywhere near as pants as Greggs, but a German invasion would still be welcome. Conrad would totally destroy them—if Maplin weren't already destroying themselves, that is.

How's this for a stocking filler next year? El Reg catches up with Gemini

Brad Ackerman
Trollface

Re: Dvorak keyboard (@ Handleoclast)

The Linotype in that story was displaying GIGO, which I'm not sure counts as intelligence. Artificial 4chan?

What weighs 800kg and runs Windows XP? How to buy an ATM for fun and profit

Brad Ackerman

Feh. Cat are too lazy to write code.

They prefer to acquire humans to do it for them.

Strip club selfie bloke's accidental discharge gets him 6 years in clink

Brad Ackerman

Re: He confused a Selfie Stick & a gun?

The crime is life; the sentence is death.

US military spies: We'll capture enemy malware, tweak it, lob it right back at our adversaries

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

I'd have gone with the Threatbutt map; it also comes with pew-pew noises.

Systemd wins top gong for 'lamest vendor' in Pwnie security awards

Brad Ackerman
Devil

Re: Devuan smugness

FreeBSD. Don't just come for the DTrace and ZFS; come for the tequila.

Lexmark patent racket busted by Supremes

Brad Ackerman

Re: What about other measures?

Bypassing such a device is allowed—that question has been settled law for decades in the US. See e.g. Sega Enterprises Ltd. v. Accolade, Inc., 977 F.2d 1510 (9th Cir. 1992).

Cisco patches switch hijacking hole – the one exploited by the CIA

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

There are idiots still using Windows XP; unencrypted HTTP for login (hence the Firefox changes); ridiculously out-of-date web browsers; Silverlight; and for all I know SSHv1 and LM authentication. Cisco used to charge extra for SSH support.

Think of this as the Rule 34 of infosec: if it's possible to configure a system that way, no matter how dumb, some asshole will do it.

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0

Brad Ackerman
Childcatcher

Re: It is not that clearcut

You do realise that the VT52 keyboard was part of the main unit? (see pic at top RHS)

Yes, and that's what screwdrivers are for.

Spock, because there's no Doctor in the house.

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

Re: It is not that clearcut

Let me guess: your version of vi does not support noob things like arrow keys?

Bonus points for implementing a device that sits between your VT102 keyboard (VT52 acceptable; VT220 is right out) and NOPs the arrow keys using 7400-series ICs and nothing else. Some people have an iron will, but if not it's okay to reinforce your determination with TTL logic and wire-wrap.

Ex-IBMer sues Google for $10bn – after his web ad for 'divine honey cancer cure' was pulled

Brad Ackerman
Childcatcher

Re: Expensive Laughter I wonder

Depends who the judge is. If Mentok the Mind-Taker's court is in session, nothing would surprise me.

Printer blown to bits by compressed air

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

Re: Dangerous

Anyway, I highly recommend a real compressor for cleaning out dust bunnies in old desktops and for regular keyboard maintenance.

Did that once with a 10 kW compressor... outside, with eye protection. Learned why ear protection is advisable when bleeding it afterwards.

Spy satellite scientist sent down for a year for stowing secrets at home

Brad Ackerman
Pirate

The rules are stricter for military [personnel].

On paper, yes. In practice, that's where the phrase "different spanks for different ranks" comes from.

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

Petraeus received probation and a $100,000 fine for bringing home classified information. (Which would be a fairly severe fine for a GS-11, but Petraeus probably earned that back fairly quickly from his corporate board memberships; also, a GS-11 would have gotten a full-on jail sentence.)

The only political appointee or SES member to receive a serious punishment for mishandling classified information AFAIK was Sandy Berger, whom the DC Court of Appeals disbarred in 2007 for removing classified materials from the National Archives, destroying some, and setting up a dead-drop with others. (The NARA OIG did not identify the intended recipient of the dead-dropped documents.)

Scottish court issues damages to couple over distress caused by neighbour's use of CCTV

Brad Ackerman
Trollface

Re: CCTV coverage, where is the line drawn?

Standard EN 1317 guardrail rated for very high containment; they're designed to "redirect" 30 t HGVs.

Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

Brad Ackerman

Susannah Harker, Judi Dench, Marina Sirtis, Lena Headey would be my additions to the list.

Brad Ackerman
Alien

Re: Next Timelord

But all the other time lords are dead, which makes it a bit hard without major reboots.

So were the Daleks, and we all know how well the Doctor genocided them.

Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

Re: the eff is way out of line here

there's no right to the source code of deere's software (aside from any bits covered by license requiring disclosure)

Who is demanding that JD provide their source code? The EFF certainly isn't. This is all about whether JD should be allowed to send government employees with guns to stop people from repairing their own property.

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