* Posts by PJ H

44 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Jun 2009

It's about time! NASA's orbital atomic clock a boon for deep space navigation – if they can get it working for long enough


Paging Mr. Einstein...

"The paper claims that variations in radiation, temperature, and magnetic fields did not seem to limit the performance of the clock, making it suitable for operation in the extreme environment of space."

One presumes any effects of time dilation due to gravity or acceleration are not of concern here?

i.e. they only want an accurate time in the frame of reference of vessel it's on, rather than comparing it to earth's frame of reference?

Might have been interesting to at least mention a nod in that direction...

Version 8 of open-source code editor Notepad++ brings Dark Mode and an ARM64 build, but bans Bing from web searches


"...but bans Bing from web searches."

But it hasn't - all he's done is remove it from the defaults[1]. It can be added back manually.

It's hardly as if he's proactively looking to see if someone's using it and refuses.

[1] https://github.com/notepad-plus-plus/notepad-plus-plus/commit/06657c82b3b9a1871c483982282f046b1ac7b3be

British IT teacher gets three-year ban after boozing with students at strip club during school trip to Costa Rica


I am disappoint...

... our teacher only took us to a performance of "An Inspector Calls."

UK government opens vaccine floodgates to over-45s, NHS website predictably falls over


Re: Was it contracted out

"When you go to the Doctors it is most likely some practice that is contacted to NHS ..."

It's more than likely; it's a 100% certainty. All GP practices are private businesses - have been for years.

Not that you're encouraged to hold that belief by the likes of 'Keep Our NHS Public" and the Graun.

To them, a private business changing hands is 'privatising the NHS.'

Facebook says dump of 533m accounts is old news. But my date of birth, name, etc haven't changed in years, Zuck


"You can see if your profile is in this latest leak by entering your deets into [...] Have I Been Zucked."

Because sticking your phone number in a newly created random website - who probably store the details sent - is the thing to do these days...

(OTOH, I trust HIBP, but they don't have a search function for phone numbers. Yet.)

1Password has none, KeePass has none... So why are there seven embedded trackers in the LastPass Android app?


> "All LastPass users, regardless of browser or device, are given the option to opt-out of these analytics in their LastPass Privacy Settings, located..."

..next the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.

It's hardly discoverable, if people are unaware of it to begin with, is it?

GitHub to replace master with main across its services


I have a complaint about that form - it asks for the whiner's sex, not their gender...

Tor Project loses a third of staff in coronavirus cuts: Unlucky 13 out as nonprofit hacks back to core ops


TOR sacking people...

Can someone explain how COVID-19 caused this? Somehow they lost revenue of one month and now have to lay off 13 people?

Iran military manages to keep a straight face while waggling miracle widget that 'can detect coronavirus from 100m away'


This the one you're thinking of?: The story of the fake bomb detectors

They were all bogus. But despite this, some are still in use today - in Iraq at checkpoints, to guard sites in Pakistan, and at hotels in the Middle East.


The fake "detectors" were little more than empty cases with an aerial which swings according to the user's unconscious hand movements, "the ideomotor effect".

It's Becoming Messy: Judge says IBM's request to shut down age-discrimination lawsuit should be rejected

IT Angle

Water Vapour Vendor...

"a cloud salesperson"

A *what*?

'Sophisticated' cyber attack on UK Labour Party platforms was probably just a DDoS, says official


Meanwhile, over at Guido's..

.. an alternative explanation is that a last-minute rush to get some things done overloaded their servers...

"Today was the deadline for Labour CLPs to get their freepost printing done. Could it be that a last-minute scramble has overwhelmed Labour’s servers? [...] True a lot of people logging on can seem like a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack or it could just be a lot of people trying to log on before the deadline."

Post-Brexit plan for .EU tweaked: No dot-EU web domains for Europeans in UK, no appeals, etc


Re: Time for a language law?

Well we've made a start with Patisserie Valerie...

Is Google purposefully breaking Microsoft, Apple browsers on its websites? Some insiders are confident it is


Brittle software?

the appearance of a seemingly useless empty HTML div tag in YouTube videos that had the effect of slowing down the Edge browser. According to the intern, that tag caused "our hardware acceleration fast-path to bail"

They wouldn't have been trying to game the whole system themselves would they? Why else would a seemingly innocuous empty tag cause such problems?

When it comes to AI research the West is winning, the East is rising and women are being left behind


Re: Bit of a boy's club

but what's the "right answer"?

Women must be forced, against their will, to enter these positions whereupon the mixture will be a more pleasing 50:50, but all said women will be miserable doing things they don't want to instead.

So the gender-mongers will have that to bang on about instead.

The right answer to to roll your eyes at such 'research' and then ignore them. Then they'll accuse you of being indifferent.

Kafka-trap. You're in one, and you can't get out.

No top-ups, please, I'm a millennial: Lightweight yoof shunning booze like never before


Tee-totallers die earlier..

...I mean, that's the only possible explanation a state-funded puritan could take away from this, isn't it?:

"The Office of National Statistics reports that teetotalism is rising among all age groups under 44 and declining with the over-65s."

What a Hancock-up: MP's social network app is a privacy disaster


Well I suppose we should be grateful...

... that it wasn't Mike Hancock (MP - well at least until 2014.)

Can ISPs step up and solve the DDoS problem?


No. Not regulation.

"Perhaps some government regulation is appropriate..."

If government regulation is the answer, then you're asking the wrong question.

Government regulation usually involves egregious abuse of said regulation further down the line. RIPA being used to spy on what people put into their waste bins for example.

Brits: Can banks do biometric security? We'd trust them before the government


Re: “Unlike passwords, physical biometrics can’t be changed"

It's another one of those "using biometrics as authentication instead of identification" situations.

And they keep doing it. Why do they think using something that a 3rd party can trivially observe/see/copy as a proxy for a password is ever a good idea?


> according to a new survey from Visa

Clearly it will have been impartial and not a single leading question in sight.

> Nearly two-thirds of consumers (64 per cent) want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication.

Then nearly two-thirds of consumers are ignorant and/or stupid, or the wrong question was asked, or the wrong answer assumed.

> Consumers favour fingerprint authentication (88 per cent) as the most secure form of payment

Sorry, make that nearly 9 in 10 consumers (that were questioned.)

Google to kill passwords on Android, replace 'em with 'trust scores'


Re: Once again...

"As for revocability, thanks but no. Up to me."

That latter is exactly what it does mean. As in "You should be able to revoke the current authentication and replace it with another." i.e. changing your password.

What it doesn't mean is someone else can do it for you, which is what I think you took it to mean..


Once again...

... we're expected to use things that can't be changed as passwords.

Biometrics used as passwords are, in general, a bad idea. They're not secret, they're not revocable and they're not precise.

Google kneecaps payday loan ads


"Do you remember the loan arrangements that existed before payday loan companies?"

They still exist - they're called overdrafts and they, too, have APRs in the 1000's.

Asda slammed for letting vulns fester on its cyber shelves


For? Serious?

"Supermarket chain Asda has come under fire was sitting on a potentially series set of web vulnerabilities on its website for almost two years."


Amazon now renting physical servers you can cuddle and love



"Amazon now renting physical servers..."

Shouldn't that be 'renting out' or 'leasing'? Have we borrowed subs from the Telegraph or something?

Bacon as deadly as cigarettes and asbestos


Hectoring much?

In other news, those who see fit to hector others into living a mundane life are seen to be more prone to heart-attacks and strokes caused by high blood-pressure due to the proles ignoring their bully-statism pronouncements about anything that they don't like (thus - in their eyes - no-one should be doing it.)

Sadly, having been told about this, they continue to tell others how to live their lives, despite the risks.

Ill communication delays NHS England's GP data grab for six months


Re: The default should never be opt-out

But if it was opt-in, then they'd collect so little (saleable) data that it would render the whole project useless and worthless.

Which tells you all you need to know about this project.

Yahoo! announces! plan! to! change! logo! 30! times! this! month!


Wasn't the subheading an ideal opportunity to use an interrobang‽!

Microsoft DENIES it gives backdoor access to Outlook encryption


Deny, rebut, refute

"Smith also published a blog post in which he rebutted claims that Microsoft has built backdoor access for federal investigations into some of its most popular software and services."

Such a shame he couldn't refute[1] it instead. Perhaps there's a reason for that; like he can't...

[1] http://www.dailywritingtips.com/rebut-refute-deny/

Adobe shuts down Connect user forum, confirms passwords raided



"Potentially exposed passwords were hashed using MD5, but it's not clear whether or not they were salted..."

At first blush, if all they're using is a single round of MD5, salting will matter very little difference.


Top admen beg Microsoft to switch off 'Do Not Track' in IE 10


"...it will help its customers by reducing advertising..."

No. It won't. DNT is not intended to reduce the amount of adverts, just what those adverts might be; it's "Do not Track", not "Do not Advertise."

All they're complaining about is the fact that they're supposed to promise not to track their viewers; not that some of the advertisers are honouring the DNT to begin with.

Boycott forces Go Daddy U-turn on anti-piracy law backing


U-turn? No.

"Go Daddy is no longer supporting SOPA," is not a U turn.

Go-Daddy actively opposing SOPA would be a U turn.

Website with 10 million users warns of password theft


Re: Dear Trapster...

That's all very well, but the point of a salt is that it should be different for each user, otherwise all that's needed is a single rainbow table for that single salt.

Which websites are you responsible for again?

MP wants age verification for net smut


As a mother...

"As a mother with three children I know how difficult it is to keep children from seeing inappropriate material on the internet"

As a mother, you should know better than to let your children on the internet unsupervised.

"British Internet Service Providers should share the responsibility to keep our children safe..."

Perhaps the parents could be 'persuaded' to do their bit *instead*.

It'd certainly be cheaper. And less of a burden on those of us who don't have crotch-fruit.

Scareware cold-callers target 1 in 4



"Despite press reports on the scam going back more than a year, the security minister Baroness Neville-Jones said today that 80 per cent of internet users are unaware."

I was unaware of the issue until this report, however that doesn't mean I'm likely to fall for it.

Isn't this just government, again, using Big Scary Numbers to imply something that isn't actually the case?

Google finally pulls Gmail contacts tool into line


Use shortcuts instead...

You could always use the keyboard shortcuts instead - probably quicker than moving the mouse and clicking for those used to keyboards - press ? to get a full list but:

Select all: *a

Select read: *r

Select unread: *u

Select starred: *s

Archive: e

Delete: #

For example, to archive all read: *re

Delete all starred: *s#


Re: Paying customers

"So as an Apps user, and therefore a paying customer, I get these needed updates to the contact functionality last."

Indeed. What's the problem?

I don't think paying customers, in general, want to be beta testers for new functionality/interfaces. What if there's a bug in there and paying customers were exposed to it. Would you then be one of the first to complain that as a "paying customer," you shouldn't be exposed to bugs on stuff that hadn't been tested. You can't have it both ways.

It's how beta programmes are generally accepted to work.

Zuckerberg advises UK.gov on using Facebook


Considering how..

... both Facebook's and the civil service's attitude to protection of privacy of the proles seem so similar, would there really be that much difference if the government did use Facebook?

Google's WiFi snoop - who knew and who didn't?



"The engineering team at Google works hard to earn your trust - and we are acutely aware that we failed badly here. We are profoundly sorry for this error and are determined to learn all the lessons we can from our mistake"

Are Google turning into Facebook? Their apologies for this sort of thing are starting to sound similar.

Oz censorship debate censored on Comms minister's website



"Actually, this code should probably be on The Daily WTF"

It made it to the message boards yesterday:http://forums.thedailywtf.com/forums/p/15838/216113.aspx

Somerset council resigns over blog


23rd June?

[quote]Some background to this unholy spat can be found in the Somerton Town Council minutes of 23 June this year[/quote]

Um - it would appear that Mr Collolly has been blogging about the council since before then; I'm not so sure this was the sole reason (if it was one to begin with.)

IT contractors aghast as FSA evicts self-cert mortgages

Dead Vulture

What makes you think a mortgage is a right, not a privilege?

Hyperbole strike at The Register. Again. Has Murdoch bought you out?

If you're newly 'self-employed' without 3 years of accounts, guess what? /I/ don't think you're entitled to a mortgage. Because in the current economic climate, I'm guessing not very many of these newly 'self-employed' will still be self-employed by the time any mortgage they get has its introductory period run out.

If you can prove that you're still likely to be solvent 3 years hence, then by all means prove it, but I certainly wouldn't go on 'your say so.'

Small biz told to sort TV licences for PCs


Re: Riiiiggghhtt....

RichyS Posted Friday 2nd October 2009 10:50 GMT

"It always used to be that a license/tax was required for equipment 'capable of receiving a TV signal' (whether you actually had it hooked up or not was beside the point -- as long as it /could/ receive TV, you had to pay the tax). Has that now changed?"

It's been "actually used for receiving a TV signal at the time of broadcast" for some time - e.g. you can have one TV in your house for sole use with a Wii and not for actually watching broadcast TV, and you do not need a licence, even though it's technically capable of being used to watch TV.

From http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/information/index.jsp

"You must be covered by a valid TV Licence if you watch or record television programmes as they're being shown on TV."

New SOCA chief battles Yes, Minister jibes from MPs


Re: last couple of decades

"and he's 34."

Um, no. He's got 34 years experience. "Sir Ian Andrews, a 34-year veteran of the MoD," not "Sir Ian Andrews, a 34-year-old veteran of the MoD,"

I thought it was only /. where people didn't RTFA

Loch Ness Monster surfaces on Google Earth


Sun readers...

"Eagle-eyed security guard Jason Cooke, 25, from Nottingham, enthused [in The Sun]: "I couldn't believe it. It's just like the descriptions of Nessie.""


US city demands FaceSpaceGooHoo log-ins from job seekers


Re: wait, wait, wait

> What if you are the security conscious type who changes

> their passwords regularly? Today's passwords may not

> be tomorrow's; does security mindedness automatically

> disqualify you from having a personal (police) or property

> (fire) security oriented job?

If you're the security conscious type, you wouldn't be handing over your passwords to begin with!