* Posts by Adrian 4

1754 posts • joined 18 Jul 2009

USA decides to cleanse local networks of anything Chinese under new five-point national data security plan

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: aggressive intrusions by malign actors

We have better choices here in the UK.

But they still voted for Doris. So what's the point ?

Adrian 4 Silver badge

News ?

Is US banning $chinese_thing still a newsworthy event ?

Greatest crossover of all time: Microsoft, Samsung preview Android on Windows via Your Phone app

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: What's the point?

If they're only going to run the app on the phone, why not just use VNC ?

Think carefully about cyber insurance, says NCSC. But don't worry about buying off ransomware crooks

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Just waiting to see how long before...

Surely keeping backups which would defeat a ransomware demand is a no-brainer ?

And for those who still don't do it, negligence.

Do insurers claim to protect from negligence (not just the legal liability of it, but the direct costs) ?

NSA warns that mobile device location services constantly compromise snoops and soldiers

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Nobody NEEDs the always-on availability. A lot might find it convenient but that's negotiable as the discussion about secure working above shows.

The only people who might be considered to NEED both (ie their job requires both communication and protection from the consequences of communication) are authority-sponsored types such as military. In that case, the essential communication is done using appropriate equipment : and a lot of money goes into providing that equipment.

Seconds don't count any more than they used to. Yes, you might get someone with a heart attack who can be saved by fast action. A few years ago that person would have died regardless. Requiring that everyone who might benefit from such action is able to, is an edge case and a trade off.

Currently, emergency services aren't protected from the consequences of leaking the location information. Perhaps some day that will be necessary, but at the moment the people who deliberately attack them don't appear to be organised to obtain location information - they're usually one-offs.

Ever wonder how a pentest turns into felony charges? Coalfire duo explain Iowa courthouse arrest debacle

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: There's more..

While I'm not a big fan of lawyers, it's really only lawyers and doctors - rather than *every* professional - that has the status of being considered above reproach in the matter of seeing and preserving someone's secrets.

I don't think it would be easy to extend this status. It's pretty hard to justify keeping for them, given the number of cases where it's seen to be broken.

You're probably better off getting yourself uniquely qualified as a pentesting lawyer rather than declaring all pentesters guilt-free..

Venerable text editor GNU Nano reaches version 5.0 and adds the modern frippery that is scrollbars

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Tilde

I grew up on TECO. I was happy to move to a screen-based editor once they were common, but I do think that background makes me a bit more accepting of line-based one, even though they're mostly crap compared with TECO.

I don't recall the commands for edlin now. But MS-DOS's general model was to take some tool built for Unix or RSX-11, dumb it down until it was nearly, but not completely unusable, change some things (like the directory separator character) so your muscle-memory constantly misled you, and then make it essential.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: flaws in nano

Colourised text on a light background is also useless. Many common colours in the typical ls -c setup leave you with unreadable filenames.

I always assumed this was because 1334 distro releasers liked dark screens to go with their hoodies, so it's interesting that you find them rubbish on dark, too.

Where do these idiot colour choices come from and why are they default ? GUI applications don't seem to have this problem (ignoring 'cool' websites) but consoles can't seem to get it right.

Is the problem that it's configurable, and therefore MUST be configured - even if it doesn't help ?

OMG I just agreed with bb. Igmc..

A tale of mainframes and students being too clever by far

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Well, duh ..

"When the mainframe recovered, the program request list (including Sam's move of doom) was run again. Again, everything fell over."

They didn't think of running the program _after_ the one that had crashed ?

Seems like the fault was with the college's system programmers, not Sam.

Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: This is excellent news...

Don't care much about whether Tik Tok survives, except that the more competitors facebook has, the better.

Burn baby burn, plastic inferno! Infosec researchers turn 3D printers into self-immolating suicide machines

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Hardware failsafes?

You know the answer to that : it's the old favourite, cost. And, to some extent, practicality. What use would a 270C limit be when paper ignites (famously) at 232C (451F) ?

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Is this really news ?

That's a bizarre argument.

The cheap ones commonly sold at places liker Amazon or Aldi clearly aren't meant for industrial or eductional uses. So if they're not meant for homes, what are they meant for ?

I'll grant you that not every home - by a long way - will have one. But that's purely a function of the homeowners interests, as with any device. You could say the same about home computers, sewing machines, or footballs. To some people they're essential. To others, not so much.

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

Adrian 4 Silver badge

What do you expect ?

When they deal with 'dog ate my homework' every lesson, isn't a bit of that going to rub off ?

Someone made an AI that predicted gender from email addresses, usernames. It went about as well as expected

Adrian 4 Silver badge

why even bother ?

So why did they do this ?

The only reason I can think of is that they want to use stereotypes in one form (email addresses etc) to estimate how to use stereotypes in another (the types of advert that is intended to appeal to stereotypical men and women). Seems like it's truncating precision as far as it can by reducing to binary gender, then extrapolating from that to choose an advertising strand.

It difficult to think of a less useful thing to do.

A more useful thing that doesn't pre-assume the results might be to attempt to link the input data with the desired outcome : If prettypolly@gmail.com actually BUYS dresses, that's a useful result that doesn't just throw data away,

Sick of AI engines scraping your pics for facial recognition? Here's a way to Fawkes them right up

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Yabbut...


It's an Expert System with a built-in method of extracting the information needed to train it.

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Here we go

Nice idea. I frankly don't care much about whether I use 'master' and 'slave'. If it truly hurts someone I'm happy to stop. If it's just being offended on behalf of someone who isn't offended I'm less impressed.

The problem is, 'master' and 'slave' describe an architecture. If those aren't acceptable any more, we need a new euphemism for 'entity that gives orders' and 'entity that obeys orders'. It's the nature of euphemisms to propagate offensiveness downstream, so I don't see that they help much.

But on the offchance that a change of words rather than concept makes everybody happy, I really like the idea of calling workers drones. And by extension, the supervisor should be called Queen. There's a certain amount of karma in the replacement for master being female.

UK.gov admits it has not performed legally required data protection checks for COVID-19 tracing system

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: But of course

Given that Boris & Dom's (or Doris', given the liking for portmanteau couple names) idea seems to have been to do a Trump and deny there's any sort of problem (for fear of hurting the economy) until forced to do otherwise by events, then yes, I think someone without a banker's hand up their arse might well have done better.

They could, after all, have hardly done worse.


Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: what charges...

Dear Coward,

The very last thing this government can be held up as a shining example of is decision-making.

About the only valid thing Corbyn can be accused of is not pandering to the media.

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?

Adrian 4 Silver badge

'Relevant' ads

Meanwhile, ads that are targeted at you based on your web history and failing dismally at their job - flinging washing machine ads after you've bought a washing machine - have become such a cliche that comedians are using them. Perhaps the targeting just doesn't work very well.

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Well, it wouldn't log temperatures when they were too high for it to run, now would it ?

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Logic

And why explicitly require them to have 'wheels arranged in line, one behind the other' ? I don't see anything more dangerous about the Segway concept, and it's a good deal more interesting and flexible.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Rental sucks.

I might use one when I go (as I often do) into london by train. Maybe that makes me a tourist.

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: A face-saving solution...

So, spend £500M buying a share. Spend another couple of £B making it work. Then, because running broadband services is a job for corporations, not the public purse, flog it off to $friend for a few £M.

Tory all the way.

Here's a headline we'll run this century, mark our words: Alien invaders' AI found on Mars searching for signs of life

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: So

It's not quite like that. According the the article, the AI looks for things it knows about. Presumably it sends the oddities in full.

cmd.exe is dead, long live PowerShell: Microsoft leads aged command-line interpreter out into 'maintenance mode'

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Strings

We'll leave it to our readers to debate the pros and cons of writing a script that depends on the format of a copyright string in order to keep a production line ticking over.

But that would require a spec for the string, stating which parts are guaranteed to unchangable and which might vary in different editions.

Supply me that spec and I'll ensure I parse it safely.

And that spec is where ?

The problem lies not with the programmer but with the vendor.

OnePlus to disable camera colour feature with pervy tendencies in latest flagship smartphone

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Sounds like the Sony camera bug of several years ago : in that case it was iirc the disabling of the camera's IR filter (usually only done when used with IR illumination) in daylight.


Podcast Addict banned from Google Play Store because heaven forbid app somehow references COVID-19

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: normalising censorship?

Lots of downvotes but sabroni is right.

If you're part of google's ecosystem, you're there because it benefits you commercially. If google says jump and you don't ask how high, tough.

It may be difficult to exist outside the dominant culture but plenty of people have been pointing out the problems with monocultures forever. If you want to make use of google, facebook or microsoft, play by their rules or play somewhere else.

Better yet, do your best to bring down monocultures. In the end, they only benefit themselves.

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?

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: One would have throught...

But this is on a phone.

Yes, UK people have been known to object to government monitoring, though usually only after long campaigns. But it seems they'll load any old crapp on their phones.

Firefox 74 slams Facebook in solitary confinement: Browser add-on stops social network stalking users across the web

Adrian 4 Silver badge

It's a start

Why don't all sites get this treatment ? FB is only the worst.

Duped into running bogus virus scans at Office Depot? Dry your eyes with a small check from $35m settlement

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: And what about the others?

People are also inclined to trust a bricks and mortar store more. Many fewer people trust a popup ad.

Office Depot were trading on this trust when they told customers in their store that they had a problem.

Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Be fair

Talk to him. Like a proper parent would.

Oh, and keep him away from immoral influences such as lawyers.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

The vast majority of the computers that are 'hacked' are running Windows.

So if your teen has Windows on their machine, the chances are they're practising exploits on it.

Outlook more like 'look out!' as Microsoft email decides everything is spam today

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Windows Search is down, too.

Are you suggesting that there are installs of Win 10 that aren't buggy ?

How do you get them ?

What is WebAssembly? And can you really compile C/C++ to it? And it'll run in browsers? Allow us to explain in this gentle introduction

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Wasm is evolving extremely rapidly, and new information and changes occur weekly

It'll be like Python : extended every month and the devs writing for public consumption use all the latest features. So we'll end up installing a new wasm byte-code interpreter every time we load a web page.

In deepest darkest Surrey, an on-prem SAP system running 17-year-old software is about to die....

Adrian 4 Silver badge

You wish

The business case warns the new system would potentially "reduce back-office staff costs" and "reduce the number of business support staff required to support a SaaS-based technology".

'potentially' is the key. This is standard boilerplate for proposals and means nothing. When did you ever see a government system that required less civil servants than the one that preceded it ? In fact it will take three times as many staff for the 5-year transition and twice as many thereafter.

A Notepad nightmare leaves sysadmin with something totally unprintable

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: three decades

The 90s were just a few days ago.

And some of my colleagues weren't born yet :(.

Snakes on a wane: Python 2 development is finally frozen in time, version 3 slithers on

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Apple's walled garden

"The problem comes when Red Hat want to pin the version the system uses at say 3.5 but the user wants 3.8 for applications and both versions are known as "python3". This change lets two versions of 3.x coexist without conflicts."

And so it continues ...

You know something is broken when the fix for it is 'give it it's own private environment with all its dependencies packaged in so it doesn't break everything else'

Remember the Dutch kid who stuck his finger in a dam to save the village? Here's the IT equivalent

Adrian 4 Silver badge

And in the Fens.

Devils must have been common in watery places.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Once upon a time in Brighton...

I had an upper-case only terminal at one time. Wasn't it possible to enter lower-case by escaping with a backslash ?

Buy Amazon's tiny $99 keyboard so you can make terrible AI music for all your friends

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Oh, good

Like we need more plastic music.

I often wonder, when passing a TV playing 'drama' what it must be like to have a job where you compose or play those meaningless, content-free sequences of notes that fill in the gaps in the dialogue. Soul-destroying, I would think. If they even had a soul in the first place.

Didn't Julia in '1984' work on the novel-writing machines ? Orwell saw a lot further into the future than mere politics.

Vote rigging, election fixing, ballot stuffing: Just another day in the life of a Register reader

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: side issue of green beer

TIL ..

Thanks. I was under the impression that the Weisse part was a conventional weissebeer.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: side issue of green beer

Weissbeer coloured green with Waldmeister (as served in Berlin) is a lot nicer than it should be.

Open-source Windows Terminal does the splits: There ain't no party like a multi-pane party

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Because MS love to prove that 'those who do not understand Unix are condemned to reinvent it, poorly' -Henry Spencer, 1987.

Bose customers beg for firmware ceasefire after headphones fall victim to another crap update

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Just bought a set of QC 35 II's ...

That's what I was told by a developer. I would love to get a definitive answer.

As I understand it, the argument goes like this :

If you want to search for and connect to your bluetooth device, you can search for arbitrary bluetooth devices.

If you can search for arbitrary bluetooth devices then you can see beacons.

Beacons provide location information.

Therefore if you want to search for bluetooth devices you must have been given permission to obtain location.

It may be that if you only use generic bluetooth services negotiated by the OS (such as bluetooth audio connections) or use a connection that has been paired through the OS's settings, there is no need for the location permission.

So it may be that the problem occurs because developers like to connect in-app rather than push users to the pairing setting. That's a reasonable requirement given the knowledge of the typical user, and google could support it in a useful way, which is why I blame google rather than the developers.

Actual explanation from a knowledgable developer welcome.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Just bought a set of QC 35 II's ...

You can't have a bluetooth connection without agreeing to location services.

Because google.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Google trashed the early Nexus 7 tablets (2011 ? 2012?) with a software update that ruined performance and battery life.

As far as I'm aware they never apologised or fixed it. They just completley ignored it and supported only the later version until everyone got fed up complaining.

A big problem with using consumer protection law is that it will usually have expired for the hardware purchase and isn't relevant for the 'free' software update. So it's probably better to tackle it as theft of service or wanton damage.

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Maybe they could bulldoze him into a ditch. That's two promises fulfilled - a record for Boris.

Amnesty slams Facebook, Google over 'pervasive surveillance' business model

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Amnesty International's own privacy commitment

As does el reg.

But since I delete the cookies once they're no longer useful to me anyway, I prefer this approach to a huge in-your-face 'cookie policy' popup that wants me to read pages of crap and confirm three times that no, I really don't want their tracking cookies to improve my experience, thank you, and have a cookie set to say so.

UK public sector IT chiefs shrug off breach threats: The data we hold isn't that important

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: wrong question perhaps?

Perhaps they meant 'It won't cost us out business if we lose this data because we don't actually HAVE a business, and fines for government departments, if they exist at all, are just a paper exercise'.

Losing your civil service pension, on the other hand, might be seen as a reasonable deterrent.

Second time lucky: Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Stating the obvious

'given the nature of what he did'

Except no adult outside of a trolly astroturfer would say that now a swedish court have decided that there is far too little reliable evidence to be sure of any such thing. Because it would be libel.


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