* Posts by Pat 11

212 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jul 2009


Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids

Pat 11


Hopefully Neil Stephenson owns that.








Reg readers: Don't assume anything when sharing health data

Pat 11


No need for anyone new to get this most sensitive of data. Ben Goldacre has demonstrated that any legitimate analysis can be run within the data centre using public code.


Upcoming Android privacy changes include ability to blank advertising ID, and 'safety section' in Play store

Pat 11

Format of the "string of zeros"?

It's pretty simple to set your Ad Id to a new UUID:

NEWADID=$(cat /proc/sys/kernel/random/uuid)

sed -ri "s/[0-9a-fA-F]{8}-[0-9a-fA-F]{4}-[0-9a-fA-F]{4}-[0-9a-fA-F]{4}-[0-9a-fA-F]{12}/$NEWADID" </data/data/com.google.android.gms/shared_prefs/adid_settings.xml

At a guess, it will be set to UUID format made of zeros. Might try setting it to that now.

'Vast majority of people' are onside with a data grab they know next to nothing about, reckons UK health secretary

Pat 11


So Hancock commissions Ben Goldacre to do a review of health data uses for research:


Goldacre is very much careful about who gets to use data for what - he made Opensafely, a perfectly secure platform for doing analysis of this same data:


Simultaneously Hancock oversees a massive insecure data grab of the most sensitive data any of us have, and spouts some bullshit about patients owning their data.

I think Hancock is full of shit.

Pat 11

There is nobody in a sign-off position in any UK office that doesn't know about GDPR. That confusing initialism is deliberate as hell.

You put Marmite where? Google unveils its latest AI wizardry: A cake made of Maltesers and the pungent black tar

Pat 11

Bit derivitive

Janelle Shane has been doing AI recipe stuff for yonks, eg https://aiweirdness.com/post/190721709472/ai-vintage-american-cooking-a-combination-that

Tax working from home, says Deutsche Bank, because the economy needs that lunch money you’re not spending

Pat 11

This is fine

I support this idea, alongside a somewhat larger tax relief to reimburse my costs for equipment, office space, heat and light and extra tissues for all this wanking.

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

Pat 11

Re: Thank you

You mean infection fatality rate, which is the one we really need to know. However it is still the case that there are some very powerful risk factors - age and sex the main ones so people need to behave accordingly.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Pat 11
Black Helicopters

It is your duty ^D^D^D^D obligation to install the app

Hatt Mancock is already pushing this as a "duty", next step will be immunity passports which control your activity. Not green on the app? Sorry, no public transport, no travel outside your neighbourhood. It will be a virtual ankle tag.

And per Ada Lovelace Institute, there is no evidence that any of these apps actually work.

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy

Pat 11

what evidence it would even work?

Sure, is a privacy nightmare, but there seems to be Ann assumption that it will work. Would it? Won't it be so full of errors (which will multiply) that is not worth doing?

Academics: We hate to ask, but could governments kindly refrain from building giant data-slurping, contact-tracing coronavirus monsters?

Pat 11
Black Helicopters

Dedicated device

This should be a tiny disposable wearable.

Probe Brit police phone-peeking plans, privacy peeps plead

Pat 11

How do these work?

So they plug their equipment in, can it extract data without the user saying ok? Most phones are encrypted nowadays, so the OS needs to be running. Surely they aren't so insecure as to allow an unauthorised device to read all the data?

Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

Pat 11

Re: You can't fork Android

There are versions using micro GMS which replaces all calls to Play Services. What you're left with is less swish, but it works.

Dixons Carphone 'fesses to mega-breach: Probes 'attempt to compromise' 5.9m payment cards

Pat 11

Re: Timing is interesting for me

I take the view that any phone call, email, text, IM etc is utterly ignorable. If I'm wrong and it's important, they'll keep trying and find a better way to reach me, ideally by a hand-written letter.

I've always felt phone calls are very one-sided arrangements; one person somewhere else decides it's time for me to have a conversation with them. Very often they are wrong.

I am Ron Swanson.

Pat 11

Timing is interesting for me

I had two spear phishing phone calls last week, never happened before. Knew my name and address, avoided saying who they were, tried to get me to confirm my ID.

How can we find out if we were pwned?

'Facebook takes data from my phone – but I don't have an account!'

Pat 11

Re: 'Unlock bootloader, root, install Lineage OS '

I know it's against orthodoxy, but most people don't need root. You can install something like LineageOS and still block ads using (eg) Adguard. Otherwise Magisk is very unlikely to be compromised.

Pat 11

If you're up for rooting you're probably up for community ROMs which will not usually have this crap in. Some ROMs also have microG GMScore (https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/apps-games/app-microg-gmscore-floss-play-services-t3217616) which allows you to dispense with Google Play Services. You can be rootless in this scenario and still use your banking apps.

UK age-checking smut overlord won't be able to handle the pressure – critics

Pat 11

Insecure by design

The risk of public shaming is a well-worn tool in the repressive toolbox. So the system will not guarantee anonymity.

Techies building UK web smut age check tools: You'll get a spec next week

Pat 11

Blackmail database

There will be some very motivated blackmailers working 24/7 to get hold of this data.

Smartphones' security enhancements just make them more dangerous

Pat 11

To know != to be

Shifting from something you know to something biometric is dumb as fuck. All the enemy need to do is wave your phone in front of your face and they're in. At least with a pin you have to consciously divulge something.

Interstellar space rock screams through Solar System

Pat 11


Or a Contact GCU taking a look?

UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

Pat 11

It only needs to semi automate the process

The task of automating this isn't as hard as folk are saying. You don't need the algo to make decisions, you just need it to constrain the candidates to a level where human judgement can be used.

NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

Pat 11

who's the contractor

Who's building this, and what is their track record in delivering on time within budget?

France and UK want to make web firms liable for users' content

Pat 11

User Moderation

The problem for FB etc is volume, their business model probably doesn't scale to employ enough moderators. The solution might be to incentivise users to moderate posts, perhaps in return for some kind of bonus like going ad-free. So you get a stream of random posts to check and in return for flagging up the odd thing for formal moderation, you get a nicer experience. Several mods would have to get the same material though so again it probably doesn't scale.

Infosec guru Schneier: Govts will intervene to regulate Internet of Sh!t

Pat 11
Black Helicopters

Offline mode

I like the sound of an offline mode. I'll start to worry when these things have their own network provision that I can't block. Won't be long before your fridge has a Vodafone logo and you have to snip the antenna to disable the snooping.

So despite all the cash ploughed into big data, no one knows how to make it profitable

Pat 11

It doesn't have to actually work

Google have got a great way to monetise big data but it's entirely independent of whether it actually improves results. All they had to do was convince marketing execs that it might give them an edge. Maybe it does, or maybe it doesn't, it's all the same when you have captured the advertising industry.

When it comes to me important subjects like health, the evidence has to be a lot better, and nobody wants to be that guy who used an algorithm and killed a bunch of patients.

UK PM May's response to London terror attack: Time to 'regulate' internet companies

Pat 11

nice extremism and nasty extremism

May owes her right to vote to the actions of extremists. Under her mindset the Suffragettes would have been locked up. Gay men like Turing would still be imprisoned. Countless positive social changes have resulted from the actions of people who were initially classed as undesirable extremists. Nobody can argue in favour of "Islamist" terror, but how the hell is any of this going to restrict just them?

I wonder if there could be a framework where intrusive surveillance was enabled but that the target matter had to be legally constrained. Ie nobody cares about what you did on the internet unless it involves giving one to the great Satan.

UK ministers to push anti-encryption laws after election

Pat 11

Re: thoughts on future regulation of encryption

1i - tough, it not your taxes, cancer, depression and it helps us stop tewwists, suck it up

1ii - that's an empirical question, you might or might not be right, but things like support vector machines are pretty handy

2i & ii - hard wired endpoint based license. Your blagged banking server will only work on Barclay's ips, aything else gets a red flag

3 - Always an option but this is about encryption

Pat 11

Re: thoughts on future regulation of encryption

Apart from a couple of daft autocorrect errors, why?

Microsoft sparks new war with Google with, er, $999+ lappies for kids

Pat 11

Just give it native printer support and it will clean up

I am so sick of Google Cloud Print Sometimes.

Google's 'adblocker' is all about taking back control

Pat 11


I guess people who care will just stop using Chrome, but it might also increase the "load random urls in the background" noise generating technique.

Also, for Android, Adguard is great and can block https and app ads as well. And pi-hole for the LAN of course

Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Pat 11

Some people do hate all adverts, they're messing with our heads

Even unobtrusive advertising is trying to influence me against my will - in fact the less obvious they are the more sneaky I perceive them to be and hate them all the more for it. And as for their attempts to influence my kids, well they can fuck the fuck off.

90% of the web can die in a fire for all I care, and 100% of the advertising industry. Not the Reg of course, I'd happily pay for the pages I read via microtransactions.

Regulate This! Time to subject algorithms to our laws

Pat 11

confidence intervals

These kind of algorithms are using statistics to estimate parameters and make decisions. One way to make them more accountable without be to require all such processes to produce confidence intervals. For example, predicting recidivism - if the algorithm says X has a 68% chance of committing another crime, that sounds worrying, but if it also says that estimate has a 95% confidence interval of 26-81% then it looks much less certain. And if they can't generate confidence intervals, it's a shit algorithm that should not be trusted.

Windows 10 Creators Update general rollout begins with a privacy dialogue

Pat 11


Isn't it going to be hard to square all this data collection with the GDPR, which is very tight on consent?

'Trash-80' escapes the dustbin of history with new TRS-80 emulator

Pat 11


Tandy still exists! Who knew?

Microsoft loves Linux so much, its OneDrive web app runs like a dog on Windows OS rivals

Pat 11

Great news

Linux users have found a browser hack to make onedrive perform acceptably in Windows?

UK to block Kodi pirates in real-time: Saturday kick-off

Pat 11

Re: Short term 'fix'

Isn't the issue with torrrents that every downloader is also sharing, which puts them in a much worse legal position than simply streaming?

UK Home Office warns tech staff not to tweet negative Donald Trump posts

Pat 11

Only negative ones?

Surely a rational thing to do is to bar all tweets positive or negative. Otherwise it looks like you support him. Surely the HO don't support him do they?

Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

Pat 11

Slow hand clap for the ad industry

Dear Ad Industry,

You add nothing of value to the world. You are parasites, the worst expression of capitalist values. Your strident attempts to interfere with people's decision making is unwelcome on the web and in all other media. When you look back on your life, what will you have contributed to the human endeavour? Diddly fucking squat.

Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

Pat 11

VPNs and TOR?

Really? A quick search suggests you can just install Kodi on phones and PCs and add pirate plugins without any jiggery or even pokery.

'Exploding e-cig cost me 7 teeth, burned my face – and broke my sink!'

Pat 11

Cloud chasers, subohm

There's an aspect to this sad tale that hasn't been mentioned here. His device seems to have been a non-regulated unit firing a very low resistance coil. People do this to get denser vapor, it tastes better and looks cool when you blow out the clouds. I think this is a worrying trend aside from all the electrical danger. Vaping looks a lot safer than fags, but that density of vapor tastes nice because it is carrying a lot more of the flavorings. Of the ingredients in vapor, the flavors are the unknown and potentially dangerous ones. Thousands of compounds are used, and they are approved for food use on the basis that there isn't evidence to ban them. Nobody has much evidence at all what long term inhalation might do to the lung epithelium. My guess is that some will be harmful, and heating them may exacerbate this. So I would not be a sub-ohm cloud chaser, I stick to simple flavors like menthol and low wattage. Each to their own, but that's my take on it.

Revamped Cortana finally lands on UK mobe mass market

Pat 11

Re: Ha bloody ha

Any recommendations?

Google's Chromecast Audio busted BT home routers – now it has a fix

Pat 11

Other routers

I wonder if this is why my non-BT router keeps crashing.

UK.gov flings £400m at gold standard, ‘full-fibre' b*&%*%£$%. Yep. Broadband

Pat 11

Re: Fibre for Exchange-Only lines : no chance!

I feel your pain. We are the abandoned urban ADSL peasants.

Forgive me, father, for I have used an ad-blocker on news websites...

Pat 11

It's not the ads per se, it's the trackers

I'd be happy to turn off blocking for sites I want to support, but only if the ads came without tracking cookies and beacons.

Until then,

pi-hole.net - lan wide ad block, possibly the best thing to do with a RPi

Adguard - add blocking for Android without root, including ads inside apps.

Microsoft deletes Windows 10 nagware from Windows 7 and 8

Pat 11

Re: how badly they fuck up something so simple

I don't doubt it's challenging, but none of my Linux machines have ever locked up when patching without so much as an error message.

Pat 11

Windows Update is unbelievably shit

Several of my machines have got themselves into a state where the updater can't do anything, while fully using an entire CPU core. Fixing it is a dark art. It's hard to believe how badly they fuck up something so simple, the whole thing must be built on a mesh of bad kludges.

Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

Pat 11


Network-level blocking on a pi!

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Pat 11

PS4 remote play

Is the only reason for me, you can't do it in W7.

But the privacy problem. Is there any way to so it spying?

Brits don't want their homes to be 'tech-tastic'

Pat 11


It's all just more admin init. It'll all keep needing tweaking, fixing, updating. Who can be arsed, it's bad enough keeping computers running, and they constantly want to monitor you. I'd pay a premium for reliable kit that minds its own business.