* Posts by Estariel

65 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Oct 2008


COMET ISON's sun dive climax: RENDEZVOUS with DESTINY



That second video montage is fabulous.....worth every penny...however much it cost to put a camera out there.

Latest exoplanet discovery is a virtual CLONE of Earth


How far means how long....

The question of how far away it is matters not because of when the next GSV swings by to take us there, but of how soon until THEY GET HERE. We are fresh from the cave, but the probability is that they have been around rather longer.

Supposing that the above guess of 2000 lightyears is correct, and that we on Earth started producing detectable radiation 150 years ago, our signals arrive there in 3862AD? A lightspeed return signal gets back to us in 5862AD. Of course, if they have figured out FTL then we might get a visit a bit sooner than that.....

Judge: Your boss has no right to your emails held by a third party



So how does this play out for a company whose staff are all or Gmail or equivalent.....?

The company no longer has any way to recover the email of people who have left?

Facebook preps for public showtime with $100bn price tag


How do you monetise Facebook?

At last an answer to the tricky question of how to monetise Facebook.

IPO, cash out, run.....

My guess is that FB is already at around its max usage ever.

P.S. A thought for the "If you dont like FB, dont use it" brigade.....

Just because you are not on FB, doesn't prevent your "friends" posting pictures of you, or quoting you, or generally adding your personal information to the stalkerbase. And if you are not on FB, then you cannot see what others have posted about you. Insidious isnt it? You kind of have to be there, even if its just to moderate what others put there.

Colossal dead black neo-sphere approaching Earth


So are you telling me that.....

...it lights up black, on a black background......What is this, some kind of galactic.......

Exploit-wielding boffins go on free online shopping binge



I think you might find that accounting reconciliation of the kind you envisage, is another one of the things that these vendors just dont do, because its buracratic overhead, costs money, etc.

Like producing a secure system in the first place.

Praying for meltdown: The media and the nukes


Orlowski beams down to planet Lewis

Andrew "Lewis" Orlowski says : The ageing plant was never going to explode or meltdown ("like a dirty bomb" we were told); the containment vessels held firm.

Japanese government says : "that levels of radioactivity in water leaking from a reactor at the facility resulted from a partial meltdown of fuel rods, amid growing fears that radiation may also have seeped into seawater and soil. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco], said readings of plutoinium-238, 239 and 240 were similar to those recorded in other parts of Japan after nuclear tests conducted overseas."

Google for "Fukushima Explosion" and you can watch the explosion that Andrew says can never happen.

It's not funny anymore.

Fukushima's toxic legacy: Ignorance and fear


Lewis's Toxic Legacy : Ignorance

Lewis says : It remains highly unlikely that the workers themselves will suffer any measurable health consequences from radiation

Japan's nuclear safety agency said : Fukushima workers in hospital after radiation exposure

Lewis says : Radiation near the reactors rises to 2-3 millisievert/hour during planned venting operations from the damaged cores, but workers are pulled back ahead of these

Japan's nuclear safety agency said : They were exposed to radiation levels of 170-180 millisieverts

Balanced, neutral journalism is RUBBISH and that's a FACT

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Deconstructing Journalism

Nice to see the Reg reminding us that journalism is closely related to propaganda, and only becomes less like propanganda when we are reminded of that fact.

I suspect many of the readers are reassured by "Our bias is X. But feel free to comment otherwise".

Facebook sells equity: Reportedly valued same as Tesco


Goldman at the trough

We already know that Goldman are happy to punt an offering which they expect to fall in value. Goldman get their percentage regardless.

We already know that dot com companies attempt to float when their bubbles are at their largest.

This feels a lot like AOL "buying" Time Warner. Internet service with no unique IP pretends to be a real company, and then gets shown up badly when the next free fad service comes along.

Adobe Reader 0day under active attack


Is it just me....?

Or would Adobe be doing themselves a favor by producing a version of their "Reader" which just "read" the PDF rather than executed code in it?

Then the current "Reader" can be renamed to Adobe Executor ?

Why we love to hate Microsoft

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Reasons to still hate Microsoft

1) Forcing me to re-buy the software every four years, when the newer versions do nothing useful.

2) Still producing products which are impossible to code into a firewall

- Windows Update (no accurate list of MS target sites, URLs or IP ports)

- Windows Active Directory

3) MS Word thinking it knows better than me how I want my document laid out.

World+bitch flocking to expose self on Facebook



third that number of users - around 15 million

did you mean 150 million?


Lots of new users?

The extra users are the sockpuppets, pseudonyms, and the ones that russian lad was selling?

Voting chaos in not-fit-for-purpose electoral system


Election Irregularity

The paper manual process may be clunky, but apart from the proxy/postal part, its also hard to abuse. Unlike the computerised US equivalent......Diebold anyone?

You want a website for voting? So if you can hack that website, you get to run your own nuclear-armed country to play with?

Tory minority government isnt nearly as good as a third of the >>electorate<<. More like a third of those who voted. Once we note that 30%+ of people didnt vote, then Cameron hope to rule on the basis of less than a quarter of the electorate having actually voted for his team. Hardly a mandate.....

Study shows gaming can hinder reading, writing progress

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Counter Example

My nephew learned to read in order to be able to play Final Fantasy 7 (an RPG with a lot of text to guide the plot development and player choices). Completed FF7 at five years old.

Microsoft slams nails in Windows Vista, XP SP2, 2000


If software was like a car....

Toyota would like to announce that any Toyota car made before 2004 is now "out of support".

Toyota garages will refuse to repair such cars.

Older Toyota cars may exhibit unpredictable behavior at traffic lights and roundabouts, if those road features were built after 2009.

Any safety defects on older Toyotas cars will not be notified, or subject to recall.

Toyota disclaim any liability for crashes caused by older Toyotas.

If you are worried about your seven year old Toyota crashing, then Toyota recommend that you buy a new Toyota.

MPs, Lords ask if Mandybill is human rights friendly


Like a car? Still full of fail.

This situation is a bit like the one with car owners not necessarily being the driver of the car when an offence is committed.

So the ISP sends a letter to the payer of the internet connection which says "Who visited site X on day X using your internet connection? Unless you fess up someone else, we will assume it was you"

Might be interesting when the internet belongs to a company who may or may not have sufficient logging in place to work out who it was. Hospital porter on nightshift downloads some tracks....using a PC which the night shift nursing staff left logged on. ISP says no internet for your hospital unless you give us a name to prosecute. Doesnt really work does it?

Illegal activity moves onto encrypted connections. Skype have demonstrated an encrypted peer to peer global network already. A hybrid of Skype and TOR would be the next step. A Darknet client, if you like.....

If you are the security team for a company, you might be able to retain control by only allowing whitelisted programs onto company PCs.

If you work for the surveillance state, then your options are more limited. If you let people run PCs they built themselves (Linux, etc) then there's little you can do to control how they access the darknet. Conclusion: governments will make private ownership of PCs illegal - you will only be able to rent a government approved internet access device. See 1984.

Tell me why this isnt where we will end up.....

MS update gives some XP boxes the Blue Screen



The SANS thread is now suggesting that the problem is caused by a virus infected atapi.sys which cannot tolerate a change introduced by this patch

Google banned 30,000 advertisers post Economic Resurrection


Yes, but...


The purpose of the article isn't to criticise the fact that google is a clever way to make money.

The point is to share with the rest of us, just how it is done.

Mini-asteroid sneaks up on Earth


2010 ?

As its 2010, wouldnt this object be more likely to be a large black rectangular block?

Symantec Y2.01K bug still stymies customers


SEPM was rebadged from....

As I recall, the product labelled SEPM v11 was actually bought from a competitor rather than developed inhouse.

So any comments on the date coding would be more properly addressed towards acquisitions due diligence than towards an endemic coding issue within Symantec...?

Pants bombs vs America: The infernal conflict


Media Hype

@Wonko - how come Dubya got elected if all americans are too clever to be taken in by hysterical media?

@Steve X - you hit it on the nail. Our hysterical overreaction is what the bad guys want.

We should be more worried that hysterical overreaction seems to be what our own leaders want to.....

Kingston coughs to security flaw in 'Secure' flash drive


Product Recall....?

So we are told that the crypto isn't secure to a person with physical access and the right tools and knowledge (eg the device manufacturer)......and we know that flash storage is easy to recover even if the files have been deleted....

And now Kingston want their customers to send them back all the flash drives containing data so private that it warranted a super (in)secure flash drive to hold it originally.....?

LHC pulverises previous record: 2.36 TeV surprise collision!



I liked the idea that the LHC boffins are trying to steal a march on the TimeCops by scheduling the opening of the dimensional portal for Friday, and then sneaking it in on Wednesday.

Question is, do the TimeCops read El Reg ? Or whatever quantum computing archive still exists in their future.....

Walking With Dinosaurs star goes walkabout

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Remote Controlled Dinosaur

Some mexican child is getting a really special Xmas pressie this year.....

Why probe Google for antitrust? It 'does no evil'


What is the product, and who is the customer?

Googles product is not search.

The thing Google sell is advertising, so that is their product.

You are not the customer. The advertiser is the customer.

Are Google abusing their market dominance of their product area (online advertising/brokering/affliliate sales)?

Any regular Reg reader knows the answer and it looks a lot like evil.

Virgin Media to trial filesharing monitoring system



And so the filesharing tools migrate to encrypted as default and this technology becomes worthless.....

When algorithms attack, does Google hear you scream?



Reason for prevalence of comparison sites = commission to Google for sales

Reason for whitelisting of certain comparision sites = bigger commission to Google for sales

Reason for blacklisting of certain comparision sites = lack of commisssion to Google = competition

Remember, you are NOT the customer for Google.....you are the product.

The advertisers are the customer.

Microsoft ordered to halt Win XP sales in China

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Legalised Piracy?

Let me get this right.....

MS cannot sell Windows in China anymore, but we know the chinese [people are still going to use it.

So the chinese government has just legitimised 100% piracy of Windows in their country.

All the benefit but at zero cost.

Maybe this will catch on in other places....

Robert Crumb begets Book of Genesis

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Kissing and fighting

The Old Testament is full of kissing and fighting, shagging and killing, just like life. Which seems to make it more credible to me rather than less....

The cautious reviewers are saying "if Crumb misrepresented or abused the text for gratuitous sex and violence, then that is bad"

The welcoming reviewers are saying "if Crumb has accurately illuminated the text and retold it faithfully, then that is good"

Trojan plunders $480k from online bank account



Anyone looked at using a dedicated VM guest for online banking, and doing all email, web surfing, risky activity in a different guest?

Tories told: Don't scrap NHS IT



"Just how hard is it to create a database to hold 60 million records?"

Yes, thats the easy part. Getting the access controls right is rather more tricky.....and subject to competing and mutually exclusive requirements...

CCTV website recruits video vigilantes

Big Brother

Just like the movies

Which movie was it, which had banks and banks of people watching cameras of normal people going about their lives.....it wasnt a nice movie....

Yank slams El Reg 'zio-fruitcake' Playmobil 'crap'


Welcome to heaven

Thus the Register achieves journalistic nirvana, being anathematised by both (all?) sides of the debate.

But wait......

Perhaps we have been too hasty.

Perhaps this mysterious injunction is actually a cipher of some kind.....perhaps....

"GOP tycoon proliferates zealous taboo aura?! "

MS opens up Security Essentials downloads from today

Gates Horns

User Error?

Richard Plinston tells us several of the reasons why "user error" is not the main problem here.

You wouldnt give a loaded gun to a four year old and then blame the child if she shot someone.

My biggest beef with MS is their continued obstruction of internet hygiene by cavalier disregard for the needs of firewalls.

The worst is Windows Update - cant enumerate IPs to allow it to load from, cant even enumerate domain names it will load from - all by themselves, MS make outbound firewall filters almost impossible to implement. Opening http/https to anywhere gives free rein to bots to speak to their control channels.

The SMBv2 issue shows us all over again what an disaster port 445 is.

LAN-based debugging tools which require inbound access from the live webserver.

This stuff is all eminently fixable. And far more valuable then Aero.

Ammo rationing at Wal-Mart as panic buying sweeps US


Do we approve the use of force?

Interesting debate here, and I dont mean the one about the virtues of different kinds of bullet.

The gun owners think the euro liberals are fools for giving away the ability to protect themselves by force of arms.

The euro liberals think the wide ownership of guns encourages the very problems it is supposed to prevent.

The US Right preach to the world about peace and democracy, but spend their personal and corporate energies on up-cannoning. Once you own the worlds largest hammer, every problem begins to look like a nail.

The euro liberals are determined to find a better way to get along with everyone else, even at some considerable personal and international risk.

Google Apps sics crawlers on public docs and sheets


@ sick AC

Sic is the usual spelling, as attested by the dictionarys I consulted.

This UK girl has never seen it spelt any other way, when used in this sense.

Mozilla catches half of Firefox users running insecure Flash


Too hard

I see the squeals of pain from trying to update just one machine with these updates.....

What are we supposed to do when "our machines" are thousands in a corporate environment, and the users of those machines have no clue what all this is even about.....

Virgin Media 'overwhelmed' by broadband customers fleeing BT

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I left BT for NTL>Virgin six years ago. It's been fine. Way better than what we had from BT.

I have read the hell stories like everyone else, but never seen any of that. Maybe it just depends on which bit of their network you are on.....

Blazing laptop of death claims one


Lap Top?

So the one thing you must not do with a Laptop....

...is to have it on top of your lap?

Webcams, printers, gizmos - the untold net threats


Firewall isnt silver....

Clearly a firewall is going to protect from direct internet attack.

However, if the attacker can subvert a PC on the LAN (via nasty email or browsing to a trojanised site) then that PC can be programmed to make the attack on LAN printer.

PC antivirus update might later clean the PC, but who has AV running on their printers?

Google's vanity OS is Microsoft's dream

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Netbook + ??? = Win

Does it run Warcraft? No? Thats (what?) 20 million people who wont buy it then....

But most of the people around me - the Facebook + YouTube + Hotmail + CameraPhone crowd - would be more than happy with this. Throw in a £5 memory stick for offline copies of those "must not lose" pix and docs, and its all there. What percentage of the computer buying population is this? 80% of a billion people?

If the Netbook+Chrome is cheap enough (including hardware) then the gamer crowd can just buy (whisper it softly) TWO machines. Or just re-use the (now obsolete) 2005 vintage gamer PC.

Girls Aloud net obscenity case falls at first hurdle


Stranger than Fiction

@AC and mmiied

Its not quite "fiction" when it's about real people.

Try this.....edit the story text to use the real names of your mother, daughter, lover or wife, instead of the Girls Aloud.

Now re-read it. Still feel the same way?

Circulate the new version to your family and friends......it's not illegal, so that should be ok, right?


Sort your lives out!

Some of you make me sick....

Code Monkey : this wasn't "smut", it was "rape, mutilation and murder"

Paul Hates Handlers : likewise, this wasnt "titilating fodder", it was "rape, mutilation and murder"

AC4 : if you thought this was "particularly enjoyable" then please consult your psychiatrist or just hand yourself and your PC over to the police, and do us all a favour

Get your categories sorted:

a) innocent

b) evil, but not illegal

c) illegal but unprovably so

d) guilty as charge

Just because the guy isnt doing time for it, doesnt automatically make it ok

And those of you who think this guy is still a suitable person to be employed by the state, remind yourselves that there's plenty of activities which are contractually grounds for dismissal, but which are not illegal.

NASA reacquires original Moon landing footage


History Unmade

Funny isnt it....

The Dead Sea Scrolls are still readable after 2000 years, but the records of 40 years ago are already nearing end of life.

What are the historians of the future going to look at?

Is anyone archiving models of the 8track, cd, dvd, bluray, etc readers? Or is that a waste of time as the media will have decayed?

Wikipedia kills legendary journalist


Spontaneous Generation

Let me get this right....

The difference between being not worthy of a wikipedia page, and becoming worthy, is to be mentioned on El Reg.

As I am now mentioned (by virtue of this comment) can I have my own Wikipedia page now please?

Or shall I just go an make my own?

Could Sadville break the internet with nakedness?


For a given value of real

IANISL (I am not in Second Life)

However, the key difference between Real Life (tm) and Second Life is that in the game of real life you have to play the exact hand you are dealt with. One chance. Even if your hand sucks.

In Second Life (or any other online world) you can pick most of the cards you want, and play with those. And if you dont like how it turns out, you can go around again as someone else.

Its not quite as real as getting dumped by your boyfriend or mugged in an alleyway, but its a more authentic experience than Eastenders or 24

Google name 'worth $100 billion,' says Strategy Boutique

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Brand Value

I may be too good at maths to have an acceptable opinion on brand values, however.....

The value of the brand is surely the difference between the (now+future) value of the products and the (now+future) value of the company.

So rubbish product which sells for lots, is might be assisted by the value of the brand label (some clothes, sports shoes, modern art, etc). Thus the brand name is worth something.

Do people buy Microsoft products because they are made specifically by Microsoft? Or rather because of abuse of monopoly power and having exhausted any possible alternative? Given two apparently equal products at equal price, would you buy the one made by Microsoft? Seems to me, the number for that brand ought to be a negative figure.

Oh, and I get all my toy plastic cars from China Mobile.

UK agent leaves secret drugs info on bus

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An inspiration to us all

At last, an organisation that takes data loss prevention seriously.

It would appear that the UK government has been inspired by the cartel: interception of communications leading to suppression of dissenting voices.