* Posts by Paul Uszak

34 posts • joined 20 Jan 2009

23. 712. 3. 608. 45. 89. 11. 332. 841. 255. You want more? Cloudflare and pals are streaming 'em live from new RNG API

Paul Uszak

/dev/random ?

For those lucky enough to use Linux, there's always /dev/random for information theoretic secure random numbers. That will get you 10's of kbits/hr simply using your machine, and 20's of kbits/hr using PornHub. And there's /dev/urandom for infinite amounts of cryptographically secure numbers. We need education, not a lava lamp service...

It's nearly 2019, and your network can get pwned through an oscilloscope

Paul Uszak

The Rigol 1054 is one of the most popular scopes in the DIY space. It's brilliant for the price of ~£370. And it's wide open at the back too. No authentication at all, helped along with automatic DHCP so all one need do is to shove a network cable up it's ass and it's on line.

You get full remote control of the scope, as well as total access to the sampling data. So you can read the wave forms from my little circuits. Great! The real issue is that this is a powered and networked computer with no sign on whatsoever. It may already be the case that it can be made to execute code remotely, due to some bug in the LXI command interface. What if you then can load malware onto it via Ethernet? Could you simply brick it for a bit of fun, or use it as a clandestine staging post for further exploits? Stuxnet-LXI perchance?

My nightmare is that my oscilloscope might be taken over and connect with my on-line wine chiller...

RIP... almost: Brit high street gadget shack Maplin Electronics

Paul Uszak

Why are you all dissing Maplins?

I don't understand what everyone's on about. They're an excellent shop. Look, you can buy a drill - https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/maplin-18v-lithium-ion-cordless-drill-n29lk. Just where else could you get one of these fine electronic devices (with built in batteries)? Not Toys'R'Us eh? And it's in stock at my local store. Save me a trip to Argos that will...

SK Telecom makes light of random numbers for IoT applications

Paul Uszak

I'll be queuing to buy one if I can just prove that mine's not simply outputting SHA256[NSAKey || CPUId, time_t].

Why don't people secure their IoT gadgets? 'It's not my problem'

Paul Uszak

So In summary...

... it it better? Considering all the problems of connected devices, and all the advantages, are we better off? Consider this in the wider context. It provides jobs and entertainment. Some smart stuff is actually life saving / life enhancing for the disabled. And it helps the terrorists. Some smart stuff also kills terrorists. So...

[Personally, I don't think that we are holistically better off with the IoT but I'm getting old and grumpy.]

Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the worst

Paul Uszak

The courts will decide

Google and technology will not decide the viability of driver less vehicles. The courts will. What happens when the first child jumping out into the road is killed? Cue the lawyers. It will go to trial and the courts will have to decide who the defendant(s) are. It's likely that they will just ban that type of vehicle as surely as Segways are banned in Europe.

BMW tried a similar "advancement" when they brought out that weird motorbike with a fully surround roll cage. The idea that you wear a safety harness and have a roll cage might mean that you don't have to wear a safety helmet, thus making a motorbike more appealing. Unfortunately, the law says that on all two wheeled vehicles the driver has to wear a helmet. The project was cancelled.

NASA quandary: Should Curiosity channel Fast and Furious for Martian dune-buggy jump?

Paul Uszak

Re: So, they landed it in a hole...

"NASA is really, really good at going slow and careful."

Tell that to the relatives of the Challenger crew.

Chinese Moon rover, lander duo wake up after two-week snooze

Paul Uszak

Empty wall..?

If you want to see a wall, go see the Basra wall at the Staffordshire, UK, Arboretum. It's not empty.

Scientists discover supervolcano trigger that could herald humanity's doom

Paul Uszak


I'm booking my trip to Mars now. Anyone know the phone number for Virgin?

Battlefield Earth ruled worst film EVER

Paul Uszak

Re: Slightly out of touch el reg readers?

I like a genuine elitist with strong convictions. Norwegian?

Paul Uszak

Slightly out of touch el reg readers?

I find it slightly odd that the list contains Avatar and Titanic as bad films. Isn't it the case that those two films are the two highest grossing films ever made? That means a lot of people paid to go see them. Have all of those people been fooled? And then those people went and bought dvds. Have all of those people been fooled all of the time?

Occam's Razor... Isn't it probably the case that the majority of el reg readers are a strange crowd instead?

UK.gov holds summit to stop satnav-driven smash-ups

Paul Uszak

Re: Remember the Blackadder gag about fitting wheels to a tomato ?

Reason you pay £70 for a download is that you're (as a group) happy to pay that. It's a luxury item and thus the price is totally unrelated to the cost. Marketing 101. Sorry.

Child abuse suspect won't be forced to decrypt hard drive

Paul Uszak

Other good news...

... is that this provides confirmation of the effectiveness of TrueCrypt. Presumably a lot of money has been spent on this case, so it (kinda) proves that the civilian authorities can't break the encryption. Don't know about the spooks in Langley though...

Microsoft cranks out Internet Explorer 10 preview

Paul Uszak

"...support emerging web standards not yet finished"

Oh dear. Degi vus. So we'll be back to supporting IE's take on standards that aren't quite standard. I thought that we were trying to get away from browser specific functionality. Can't they wait a bit till the standards are written in stone...

Google 'personalizes' one in five searches

Paul Uszak

Does it matter?

Exactly how effective can google be? Loads of people use automatic cookie deletion apps, so all that leaves is ip addresses and they change for most users...

NHS hurls iPhone into booze abuse fray

Paul Uszak

Drinking is just one of the options

If we live in a (quasi)democracy isn't it my choice how to go? I've chosen to drink myself to death rather than die of bowel cancer on a hospital trolley, be shot by the police as a (we didn't really check)suspected terrorist or spend my last five years being beaten by some prevert council care home worker, but too daffy to realise it...

Filesharing laws to hit websites and newsgroups too

Paul Uszak

It's not all doom and gloom...

Whilst it looks like you're guilty until proven innocent, and you'll be fighting large media companies, this will probably blow over when a "significant" disconnection tries to happen.

I occasionally use wifi hotspots, and they're run by large corporations like airports and pub chains. At some point one of these is then going to get disconnected (or threatened with it). I look forward the the fall out when some ISP cuts off HSBC. Or Weatherspoons. Or Parliament itself. Things will then clear up.

El Reg's LHC visit - Deleted Scenes

Paul Uszak

Relativity 101 for dumbos

"Thought they were colliding at more like twice light speed (from our reference frame of course)"

Err, no. Two objects heading towards each other at the speed of light are still approaching at the speed of light relative to each other. You're kind of missing the whole idea of relativity...

US woman to drop sprog live on internet

Paul Uszak

Just nerds reading this?

Pretty biased commenting here eh? I'm just as frightened of the birth thing as the next geeknerd, but in the interests of fairness perhaps we should allow them(!) to express themselves.

Just as a matter of interest, has a female of the opposite sex ever posted on this site..?

Microsoft adds higher price to SQL Server's new features

Paul Uszak


You're joking, right? Are you really comparing Oracle Enterprise Edition with a MySQL knock-off? Name three international banks running Postgres...

ID Card scheme banking on 28 million volunteers

Paul Uszak

Luvly Goobly...

It makes me pleased to hear stuff like this. Crackpot public IT projects are just licences to print money for the IT suppliers. I can just imagine all the cancellation and loss of profits clauses being written into the current contracts.

I just wish I was still supplying the public sector - I need a holiday somewhere warm...

Sun's MySQL fork survival theory ripped

Paul Uszak

Mueller's got it wrong

I suspect that Mueller said what he said for other reasons. I think that Oracle are not out of the woods, although they may have thinned them out slightly.

A products 'brand' is not just it's name. You can easily change the name of the product and the product's reputation, performance, cost, placement remain. Witness Marathon > Snicker and Cloudscape > Derby. Both are well developed products that have not suffered simply because names have changed.

Also, remember who would drive the fight back. If the forked db were to be called DATABASE_637$, and maintained the current feature set, the techies who use it would not be fooled that the name had changed. They would see through the marketing. They saw through Vista's marketing to destroy that product, and everyone likes GIMP no matter how it sounds eh?

Oracle fails to convince MySQL doubters

Paul Uszak

@Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 22nd October 2009 16:39 GMT

"I have never seen an enterprise product (BMC Remedy, HP OpenView, SAP, etc.) which uses MySQL or Oracle as it's underlying database"

Hmm, posted anonymously perhaps as you're from the flat text file school of databases? Some more experience (or reading) might help with this world view. I believe that there are one or two enterprise systems that run on Oracle. Also not sure if youtube, wikipedia and the weather channel count as enterprises but I think they run on MySQL.

Paul Uszak

It's not as bad as it could be...

One saving grace is that the source code is 'out there'. If Larry does lock down development, all the code showing how to do database things is available, and a forked public project becomes possible.

UK Border Agency suspends 'flawed' asylum DNA testing

Paul Uszak

Where does this lead?

Why not just measure the spacing of their eyes and the size of their heads? Oh hang on, that went pretty wrong...

Google backs EU's Microsoft antitrust battle

Paul Uszak

Won't matter...

...unless any potential fine is a significant percentage of Microsoft's underlying asset value. If not, they'll just grin and bear it to maintain their (near) monopoly. Consider; if they get fined a billion Euros every three years as a result of successive actions they can easily cope.

Also the litigation process is so slow with appeal after appeal that they can do what they want to because any retribution will be years away.

The European Parliament is the highest authority in Europe. I think that if they're sufficiently pissed off and want decisive immediate action, then order the break up of Microsoft in Europe.

Break them and let the heavens fall.

'No Office 14 this year,' says Ballmer

Paul Uszak

Praise the Lord!

Do people want yet a more integrated, complicated, bloated piece of officeware? I'm willing to go out on a limb and suggest that more than 90% of users use less than 10% of Word, never mind the other products.

Look around your offices and tell me (honestly) how many people even use things like Table of Contents..? Other than the nerdiest of the nerdy, who's ever used Show Changes in a meaningful way?

Better off without it.

Microsoft plans to issue non-update update for Win 7

Paul Uszak

Good for Microsoft, bad for users?

Does this mean that they intend to push out a release ASAP which they can then 'fix' later..? Seems that they can do as little as possible to get it into the marketplace, then bolt on stuff later like DRM. If you can fix poor code the day after you release it, why bother writing good code in the first place?

Norway mobilizes against IE 6

Paul Uszak

Re: It's all the web developers' fault!

But Mr Badger, that's exactly my point!!! You want, you want. The specs may say one thing, but if that's not how the browser works then why are you complaining about the specs and still coding to them? Some developers are the sorts of people that would get on a plane because the brochure says it's a right good flier, but has never actually had a flight test. Would you get on the plane? Would you then feel that it's someone else's fault that it crashed?

The text fragment [script type] appears 15 times in the source of this page.

NoScript is telling me that it's blocking 22 scripts on this page.

Why are you telling me that it's a lot simpler now, and that it's more likely to render properly than my megatable that downloads in 1 millisecond via my broadband connection?

Paul Uszak

It's all the web developers' fault!


Pushing for standards compliance might be a good thing, but not all browsers are created equal. Even if nerdy web developers don't know it, managers should tell them that they live in the real world (that's Planet Earth).

I'm sure that it's sexy and a challenge to eek out every feature of every browser if you're a web developer. Also means that they can rebuild the site every six months, stay in jobs and congratulate themselves on how clever they are.

Now explain to my gran who's had her hip replacement canceled four times, how Cascading Style Sheets and Ajax would have reduced her pain. If only that theater booking system had semi-transparent javascript menus... It might not be clever or sexy, but a html layout table and some static hyperlinks work in most browsers.

Think of it this way:-

IE6, Chrome, Nokia and webTV compliance = sexy & expensive

Simple and works = gran can walk again 'cause spent money on doctor

Microsoft says it again - no second beta for Windows 7

Paul Uszak

No more DRM?

I'm a bit worried about no one talking about the DRM features in 7. There may or may not be any now, but if there aren't, what's to stop the media /film /music corps saying:-

"Oh, you're deliberately not including DRM features in your new OS when they were included in the previous one? You're going to actively help the copiers /thieves /file sharers /terrorists? We don't think we can allow that..."

and then will DRM worm its way back in (via updates perhaps)?

NASA ponders Spirit's erratic behaviour

Paul Uszak

Even more sentimentality...

"call me sentimental, but to me it's reminiscent of the final task given to HAL in 2010..."

I think I've got that beat. Last scene, Silent Running with little Dewey drifting alone through space to Joan Baez's soundtrack. Sniff...

Ubuntu's Shuttleworth praises Windows 7, welcomes fight

Paul Uszak

Visual IDE


Conficker seizes city's hospital network

Paul Uszak

Let OS wars begin...

Windows virus story? ...Linux ...Mac... begin.


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