* Posts by BenDwire

181 posts • joined 30 Jun 2009


Privacy activists prep legal challenge against UK plan to keep coronavirus contact-tracing data for two decades

Black Helicopters

Re: There is no F in weigh

Pre-lockdown, I found myself at a reunion weekend with a few pals from my university days, and got into a conversation about this very topic. It transpired that he lived and worked in Cheltenham, and looked at the floor as he said that we have nothing to fear if we've got nothing to hide. I pointed out that while I was able to accept their intentions, they have given full access to far too many careless people who routinely leave disks, keys and laptops laying about. Eyes look up; "Hmmm. There is that"

REvil ransomware gang publishes 'Elexon staff's passports' after UK electrical middleman shrugs off attack


Re: Why is passport data in a company server

And what about anyone born in the UK who has never had a passport? How do they prove they have a right to work here?

They can't, which means that they are passed over in preference for someone else who can. People who can't / won't get official recognition tend to end up working for employers who don't give a monkey's about the regulations, nor employee rights.

When I was hiring and firing, we were instructed by our legal advisors to keep a copy of the passport to prove that we had done everything we could. This we did, in paper form under lock and key.

Watch an oblivious Tesla Model 3 smash into an overturned truck on a highway 'while under Autopilot'


Re: Call it what it is

It's not Artificial Intelligence that's driving the car, it's Artificial Guessing.

Rather, it's Real Guessing that's driving, as opposed to (Artificial) Fake Intelligence.

As the US maybe gets serious about coronavirus-tracking apps, Congress wakes up to the privacy risks


My sentiments exactly. I read until the word "Breitbart" and stopped right there.

7*7 = a simple equation for taking total control of multiple VMware-powered clouds



I'm surprised that they didn't use ${6*7}, as that usually yields the answer to everything ...

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do


Re: OT - Did I miss something? 301 moved permanently??

I noticed too, but I thought that my password manager was just having an off day. I do hope this doesn't mean a less UK-centric sense of humour is on the horizon? (Yes, There is a 'U' in humour)

75 million smartphone sales up in smoke in Q1: Let's drill down into which brands took the most pain


Re: "Show me" the money Xiaomi

and my 3 year old OnePlus 5 has regular updates and is even getting Android 10 shortly.

UK.gov dangles £400k over makers of IoT Things: Go on, let's see how you'd make a security cert scheme


Typical government project

Of course this problem exists, and something needs to be done - Think of the children! But it's typical of the UK government** to spaff loads of cash looking for a solution which will be half-baked at best, or completely useless. The end result is that the politicians are seen to have done something, taxpayers will be worse off, and the world carries on as before.

For other examples, see the NHSX contact tracing app.

**Probably not limited to the UK

Building society caught in middle of high street sharing a little too much on TeamViewer


Re: Logowatch

And maybe filtered through the London 2012 olympics logo

Not the Wright stuff: Bitcoin 'inventor' loses bid to sue YouTuber who called him a liar



Has anyone else running the Brave browser noticed that the vast majority of paid adverts are for cryptocurrencies? I've found that my cynical mistrust is spilling over to the browser as well, with the result that I'm using Firefox far more these days.

Nice wallpaper you've got there. It would be a shame if it bricked your phone


It's a bit ironic...

It's a bit ironic that a 'Mountain View' causes so much grief to the unwary.

This'll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year


I'm feeling very old now

Oh yes, I endured an early 1980's engineering course and had to use a Research Machines 380Z to do my coursework - could I figure out where to put the semicolons? As a self taught BASIC 'programmer' I really didn't have a scooby at the time...

I spent a lot of my career twiddling pins on embedded microcontrollers using assembly language, but eventually I had to grow up and use C.

By then I could afford a Nissan 380Z which was a much more pleasurable experience...

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way


Re: Sounds

Dyslexia Rules KO

Raspberry Pi Foundation serves up an 8GB slice of mini-computing goodness


Re: Pi a great project

I assume you're aware that the people behind the BBC Micro went on to develop the RISC processor which ended up as the ARM - as in the thing that powers the Pi?

If you ever get a chance to see the BBC drama "Micro Men" then do it - one of the better things that Auntie produced.

Ardour goes harder: v6.0 brings 'huge engineering changes' to open-source digital audio workstation


Re: Reaper

From their website - "Note: Linux builds are experimental and unsupported"

One to keep in mind though.

Not going Huawei just yet: UK ministers reportedly rethinking pledge to kick Chinese firm out of telco networks by 2023


Re: Invariably for many thick humans, a forlorn hope on the way to a deserved future dire state

Andre, welcome. You must be new around here!

5G mast set aflame in leafy Liverpool district, half an hour's walk from Penny Lane


Re: On an electric bike

How do you know it was a man? Women are equally able to be thick, gullible and violent.

Photostopped: Adobe Cloud evaporates in mass outage. Hope none of you are on a deadline, eh?


No. It's good, but it ain't photoshop. Years of muscle memory make swapping an uphill struggle, which is exactly why Adobe can continue to gouge their customers.

'I wrote Task Manager': Ex-Microsoft programmer Dave Plummer spills the beans


Re: Pinball Wizard

I used to love playing that game too ... maybe it's time to see if it can be made to run under Wine?

While waiting for the Linux train, Bork pays a visit to Geordieland with Windows 10


Reader reflection cunningly removed

If I'd known you were going to do that, then I'd have sent you another borked Barclays ATM a few months back when they were often in trouble. The sun was particularly bright, but low in the sky, making it imposible to get a decent picture. Better luck next time ...

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam

Black Helicopters

Re: Ever tried to buy shares in Huawei?

Is there any proof of that fact? Enquiring minds would like to know ...

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30


Thanks for that ...

Well I've just wasted several hours running up old versions of windows in Virtualbox, just to see which one could run the "card cascade" at the correct speed. Answer, Win2k.

If Aisleriot added that "feature" then I'd be a happy bunny!

Linux desktop org GNOME Foundation settles lawsuit with patent troll


Re: For those asking about payment...

That's even better news. Well done to all concerned.


Re: An excellent result

I find your remarks inflammatory.

Campaign groups warn GCHQ can re-identify UK's phones from COVID-19 contact-tracing app data


Re: Numpties!

There are rumours that some of the people used by NHSX were involved in the Cambridge Analytica debacle, so I'm fairly sure that robust privacy is not even a consideration.

Railway cables overpowered errant drone's compass and flung it back to terra firma


Re: Unpopular engineering pedant

You've just reminded me of my first year at Uni, when one of my courses taught us to design electricity pylons such that the conductors didn't attract or repell each other too much, which would have damaged the insulators (glass or ceramic disks, if you've never looked up)

I went into software ...

Google rolls out pro-privacy DNS-over-HTTPS support in Chrome 83... with a handy kill switch for corporate IT


Power grab

If DoH catches on as anticipated, then the potential for serving targetted ads gets swept away from carriers and ISPs, and over to the Chocolate Factory. I suspect that any improved privacy for users is just a side effect.

Oh, your DNS isn't DoH capable? Let me check to "protect you"

New Zealand releases Bluetooth-free COVID-19 tracing app


Re: IQ downward spiral...

Villages have always had their idiots, but now they are all connected to each other and have formed a mob. Social media gives them the same reach as more eductated sources, making it much harder for the averagely schooled to work out what to believe. Monitization, like ads and click-bait, has made misinformation even more skewed.

It's, it's, a red-and-blue striped golfing umbrella... Facebook teaches its online tat bazaar to auto-identify stuff for sale


Re: Rotating View

But enough people don't care or understand. They only want cool new tech to show off to their followers.

If I want a 3D representaion, then I'll go to a shop, and buy it from there.

Former Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman calls on UK govt to legally protect data from contact-tracing apps

Thumb Down

Licence to litigate

The way to have protections is through law.

Is it? Is it really? I would suggest the best way to have protection is by design, so that the data exchange and retention are minimised. If (When) the breach occurs, then the information isn't that useful against individuals.

All the data breaches over the recent past have rarely given anything back to the victims, but the lawyers always seem to do very nicely thank you very much. I'm reminded that NuLabour were headed up by lawyers, and I suspect the new lot have similar backgrounds, or mates.

Fancy watching 'Bake Off' together with mates and alone at the same time? The BBC's built a tool to do that


BBC Taster

I'd read about this earlier today, and it uses a site called BBC Taster that I wasn't aware of. Before I knew it, I had decended into the hole that is the BBC Computer Literacy Project 1980-89. I started watching Series 1 Episode 1 and just couldn't tear myself away from the nostalia and amazing predictions. If you remember 1980 and have 40 minutes to spare, treat yourself.


I'd forgotten how good some BBC programs could be.

Open letter from digital rights groups to UK health secretary questions big tech's role in NHS COVID-19 data store


Re: The end result

Erectile dysfunction and a hole lot of other junk will be cumming our way

Bravo sir! I do hope that was intentional on your part, but if not, well done anyway!

Imperial College London signs £5m campus sponsorship, 5G deal with Chinese comms bogeyman Huawei


State Interference

I suppose it give them the potential to blame state interference if their numbers turn out to be wildly inaccurate ...?

Doors closed by COVID-19, Brit retro tech museums need your help


Advance tickets

TNMOC are offering post-pandemic tickets as one of their rewards, which obviously gives them funds now and something for you to look forward to!

Now, where's my little green "Basic Basic" book ...?

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban


Get Carter

Maybe it's time we blamed the Carter administration for something?

How about the huge rise in people having peanut allergies??


Dutch spies helped Britain's GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War

Black Helicopters


And in the 21st Century, all you need are a few compromised bits of backbone infrastucture to read everyone's telegrams ...

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo


What could have been ...

I was convinced that the tea trolley was going to be taking a larger role in this tale!

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain


Re: It's probably not actually "bad".

There is an off-licence near me that sells mostly out of date beer

There is a pub near me that sells nearly out of date beer. It's called 'Spoons

Everything OK with Microsoft? Windows giant admits it was 'on the wrong side of history' with regard to open source


Re: What a pity....

I'm afraid I just can't let myself believe they have changed / will change / will stay changed. My bet is on a damn good shafting somewhere along the line. (That sounds very wrong, but you know what I mean)

Micros~1? ClippyZilla? BSOD Bob? There can be only one winner. Or maybe two


Isn't that a Ubuntu release?


BobZilla ?

BobZilla popped into my head as I was reading that piece - it's a pity that I'm always late to the party ...

But regardless of what name is chosen, the kids won't understand at all as they didn't have to go though all the pain in real time. Thankfully my pills are working.

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?


Re: The Terrible IT Manager

Have you worked for me then?


Re: Varieties of rodent

You forgot the trackball. My elderly mother couldn't get to grips with a mouse (literally) nor could she use the touchpad on her laptop. At the time I used an MEDC trackball on a CAD system, so borrowed that for a weekend and she took to it immediately. I seem to remember forking out loads of cash for a Microsoft version which she used for the rest of her days.


Re: Even easier to get wrong with Sun optical mice

You've just given me flashbacks to my first proper CAD system (Daisy) that I bought in the 1980's which also had those optical mice. We had two seats, both running on 386's fitted with full length ISA memory cards and Matrox graphics. The worst thing was the network cable that was coiled up under the desk, vampire taps and all.

As I had more engineers than systems, people rotating the mouse mat was a constant source of japery. Good days. (Apart from Dave - he was a tosser!)

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?


It's a worry

It's a worry when the app seems so fundamentally flawed one would prefer the Google/Apple approach. Is this some weird example of Stockholm Syndrome ..?

Google says it'll pick up the tab – and stick it in a lovely colour-coded Chrome group


Re: What's the right answer ...

I've just received a teeshirt with that very slogon on it. Happy Birthday to me!


I thought I was a bit odd ...

I love loads of desktop icons, but I hate loads of tabs - what does that say about my mental state? And another thing, I shut the browser down when I'm done with it. And I even turn the PC off at night...

Mine's the white one (for those that can remember a time before "care in the community" became a thing)

'iOS security is f**ked' says exploit broker Zerodium: Prices crash for taking a bite out of Apple's core tech



But surely that assumes the employer cares about their people?


Here's an idea

Add time and financial motivation, he said, and you get more bugs.

How about paying people to find the bugs before release? I dunno, maybe put them together and call it a Test or QA department perhaps?

< looks for airborne pork >



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020