* Posts by fearnothing

265 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Jul 2009


Ghost in Musk's machines: Software bugs' autonomous joy ride


Re: Really??

As I suggested to my colleagues, 'Supercruise'

Stealing, scamming, bluffing: El Reg rides along with pen-testing 'red team hackers'


If anyone is curious about this but doesn't want to spend £££ on a course, I recommend this book by Chris Hadnagy (@humanhacker):


Ever seen the TV series Lie To Me? The main character is loosely based off a real person, Dr Paul Ekman. Hadnagy learned the ropes from Dr Ekman, who also advised on the book. Good read.

Court to Wikimedia: Your NSA spying evidence is inadmissable, so you can't prove NSA spying


Re: Catch 22 back at you

Unfortunately for that argument, I think you'll find that it's not the accuracy that the population takes issue with, but the means.

Password strength meters promote piss-poor paswords


I personally favour sloppykissesfromgrandma69420.

Hackers hacking hackers to knacker white hat cracker trackers


I have a theory that amanafromMars1 is in fact a markov bot.

'Leave EU means...' WHAT?! Britons ask Google after results declared


Re: Seriously...

"I've long maintained that right to vote should be subject TO TAKING A FUCKING EXAM. You know, to prove that you have any idea of what's actually what. Sadly, so far, no "democracies" seem to be interested in the concept... :("

Whilst it's wonderful to imagine that this could improve the system, what would in fact happen would be that the people in charge of examinations would exercise their control to manipulate the voting demographics. In spite of feeling a mixture of anger, pity, contempt, and loathing at the people who voted to leave, to do this would fundamentally compromise the integrity of our democracy. It is thoroughly and entirely wrong, just as limiting parenthood on the basis of IQ is.

Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery


Re: Viewing habits

Indeed, it was enough of a thing that I remember when I was a kid often seeing the lights dim a bit in the evenings - it didn't mean a great deal to me at the time because we didn't have TV, but I learned later that it was due to this exact phenomenon. It gradually disappeared from my consciousness as I grew up, probably because the country's infrastructure was being modernised and techniques improved.

You've patched that Flash hole, but have the users? Phone's ringing. It's for you


Interestingly, Angler was a bit behind the curve on this one. The Neutrino and Magnitude kits were exploiting it several days earlier. Neutrino took first place this time, with the exploit first appearing just nine days after release of the patch.

Google Chrome deletes Backspace


I have a tool at work in which the cursor only remains in the text field as long as your pointer is over the field. The field is one line high. As soon as you disturb the mouse slightly or fail to leave it perfectly still when moving your hand from mouse to keyboard, you're screwed.

Chaps make working 6502 CPU by hand. Because why not?


That's nice

but will it run Cry... oh, wait.

Six-year-old patched Stuxnet hole still the web's biggest killer


Why is Java singled out as a horror box when it's sitting next to Flash in your sentence? What does that make Flash, the Lament Configuration?

Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell


Speaking of which, I've experienced two genuine hold audio instances which were very nearly as bad.

The first was the first few bars of The Beatles' "Help", on repeat. Now, this doesn't sound too bad, but I guarantee you that if you have to wait through it for 40 minutes because you have something critical that the company is providing, your brain will be liquefied in short order.

The second was an American company that have those peppy messages extolling the virtues of their product and support offerings interspersed with the hold music. It used to be that they would play the music for about 10-15 seconds, then give you a 10-second advert/message. Recently, they've changed it so it's more like 20 seconds of message separated by one second of music. And this company provides our core product, which breaks often.

My manager bought me pizza the last time I had to deal with that. He's gonna have to up the ante if it happens again.


Very nice, although I feel that it could be improved with a little more of a lead in.

Something like the audio equivalent of that Stack Overflow post about parsing HTML with regex he com̡e̶s.

Roll up, roll up to the Malware Museum! Run classic DOS viruses in your web browser


There is polymorphism to some extent, but it's more often seen in the delivery, exploit kits and the like, than the final stage malware.

Ducks, Lord of the Rings, movies and maths: The GCHQ Xmas puzzle solutions revealed


Re: 600,000 really clever idiots!


13,000 Comcast customers complain to FCC over data caps


I had a similar issue with an ISP in Belgium; they stated my usage was 3 times what my pfSense box was telling me. I called bullshit, but the extra €20 wasn't worth the time trying to fight, given my poor French and the fact that I was leaving the country shortly.

VPN users menaced by port forwarding blunder


So from the sounds of it, this isn't a bug with the protocol itself, but a bug with how it's being implemented in specific provider environments with multiple users?

Hacking group Strontium dogs NATO and government targets


Legitimate sounding? Okay, maybe to someone who doesn't work in security, but from my perspective those domains might as well be waving a flag and playing a fanfare.

Brazilian prisoner nabbed with mobile up rear end


I used to work in a phone forensics lab. Nobody ever wanted the 'bumphone' jobs. There weren't that many, but there were enough to make it worth having a solid supply of latex gloves.

Best part was, the report didn't always state in detail where the police had gotten the phone from. Sometimes the first you knew was a nasty smell, or seeing through the evidence bag that it was... less than clean.

Faked NatWest, Halifax bank sites score REAL security certs


Re: This is nothing to do with certificates!

You already can subscribe to a service where you get a feed of domain names like your company's. If you're a big company with concerns about people spoofing your domains, you should be doing this already. If you aren't, start right the hell now.

For example, DomainTools brand monitor.

(I am not affiliated with DomainTools)

BT to shoot 'up to 330Mbps' G.fast into 2,000 Gosforth homes


Gosforth is an 'isolated region'? Wow, didn't know an affluent suburb of Newcastle was considered 'isolated'. Then again, those idiots probably have a map where everything north of Luton is marked 'Here Be Dragns'.

Damn well knew it! Seagate has helium drives in its labs


If they're capable of producing airtight seals, why not produce drives with semi-vacuum?

Hackers spent at least a year spying on Mozilla to discover Firefox security holes – and exploit them


Zero day heaven.

GitHub wobbles under DDOS attack


"lurking behind China's Great Firewall" is a bit misleading isn't it? It was the Great Firewall itself that was being used to insert malicious code snippets into requested pages.

Activist pens pirate's map to 'liberating' academic journals



This hospital drug pump can be hacked over a network – and the US FDA is freaking out


"Exploiting cybersecurity vulnerabilities requires penetrating several layers of network security enforced by the hospital information system, including secure firewalls,"

And as we security pros know, hospitals are renowned for how well locked down and protected their networks are.


BOFH: My diary is MINE and mine alone, you petty HR gimps

Thumb Up

"It's the same old story. They try to ambush you into an HR intervention by slapping a meeting in your diary with an ambiguous title - only, knowing this was coming, I've booked back-to-back meetings for the next three weeks, made them all private so that no-one but me knows what they are and set my calendar to reject meeting proposals that clash."

Slick operator right there. Good one Simon, and right on time too!

It’s DEJA VU: Customer forgets to tell us about essential feature AGAIN


Re: Soiled underwear

Well, now that imports of real British Cadburys have been banned, that may not be the case anymore...

Arctic ice returns to 1980s levels of cap cover


Terrible article, giving the impression that an increase in surface coverage is an indication that the global trend towards warming may have been changed and that we don't need to worry. All because of one cool summer. Newsflash: the reason global warming is a problem is because it's a long term trend. One cool summer does not a trend make. Cherry picking this most certainly is, along with supporting the side of those with an absurd and frankly dangerous level of denial.

El Reg, please can we get someone on these articles who isn't drinking the kool-aid?

Microsoft sets end date on Windows 10 support. Hey, wait, WHAT?


What's this about 10 being "Microsoft’s last client operating system"? Any links/citations for that please?

Police investigate strange case of doughnut-licking pop singer Ariana Grande


Re: Who?

"called doughnuts, or olykoeks."

Presumably also the root for the Dutch/Flemish 'olieballen'. Food of the gods is right.

What do you MEAN, 'Click on the thing which looks like a Mondrian?'


Re: Why do you keep using the phrase "training course"?

>>>> I went for a course in electroconvulsive therapy

>> Did you make any contacts?

Knowing other people is important - you need to stay current. Did the therapy help or were you just going through a phase?

Palaeoboffins discover 500 MILLION year old ARMOURED WORM


If they were from 500 million years ago, they are not "nearly as distant" from the dinosaurs as the dinosaurs are from us, they are far more distant. Not only that, they're more distant from the dinosaurs than the most distant dinosaurs are from us.

Most recent dinosaurs: 65mya.

Most distant dinosaurs from us: 234-234mya

Distance between these and earliest dinosaurs: at least 266 million years.

Maths editor asleep tonight?

Bloke called Rod struck by lightning for second time


Re: Stats

I don't think the chance of being struck twice is the same as the square of the chance of being struck once. If it was the chance of being struck and surviving, then your maths would be right.

Hi-res audio folk to introduce new rules and weed out impure noises


Flanders and Swann said it 58 years ago.


British banks consider emoji as password replacement


Re: Great Idea!

On the other hand I know a bank that forbids any character stranger than a "-" in a password, will not let you use a password longer than 16 characters, but requires you to use a lowercase and uppercase letter and a number.

Don't ever expect banks to do the sensible thing.

'You wanted Silk Road to be your legacy. And it is. Now enjoy your life behind bars'


The notion was balmy? I think you mean barmy... unless it was sipping a cocktail on the Copacabana.

IRT your argument, this is the American justice system we're talking about, whose understanding of rehabilitation seems to parallel a fish's understanding of bicycles.

Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'


Supposing that the observable universe is, as has been theorised, a computer simulation inside a laboratory (which may itself be in another computer simulated universe), the best explanation is that one of the lab technicians messed with the starting conditions and said "ha, this'll mess with their heads".

Astroboffins perplexed by QUADRUPLE QUASAR CLUSTER find


Re: "a ten million-to-one chance of occurring."

When they zoom out, it will turn out to be the first diagonal in the phrase "We apologise for the inconvenience"

BOFH: Getting to the brown, nutty heart of the water cooler matter

Thumb Up

Did anyone else read the start and think 'plastic explosives'? Ending did not disappoint, but a different kind of explosion was implied. Regardless, nth-ing best BOFH for ages.

Colombian hacker who spied on gov-rebel peace talks jailed for 10 years


Can't tell if troll or really that dumb.

Self preservation is AWS security's biggest worry, says gros fromage


Re: Groundhog Day

Or, also like in the movie, he's happily doing his job until the point where he finds one of his customers has opened a portal to hell in their [fridge/webapp].

Rand Paul puts Hillary Clinton's hard drive on sale


Wouldn't be so hypocritical if IRQ.

Streaming tears of laughter as Jay-Z (Tidal) waves goodbye to $56m


Re: Word perfect article

That last one would be 'tool' rather than 'instrument' then.

Ah snap, someone already got there. Have an upvote.

Anti-gay Indiana starts backtracking on hated law after tech pressure


Re: Politics. politics....and duplicity

E 2: Have an up vote. People seem to have missed your sarcasm, despite it being massively obvious.

Flak for Slack chaps in yak app hack flap: User database whacked


I approve of this headline.

Bye bye, booth babes. IT security catwalk RSA nixes sexy outfits


Re: Not worth going then

"In some ways, using 'booth babes' actually demeans men as much as women."

Absolutely! As you noted it's not that men are objectified so much as that we are stereotyped as immature, grunting savages completely at the mercy of primal urges. Yes it's okay for a man to look at a woman and think of sex. And the people staring at them are less at fault than the people hiring them. But I'm not going to keep my mouth shut when someone implies it's okay to ogle and forget the negative effects.

As far as tact goes, a large part of the problem is that the culture of stereotyping men and demeaning women is built into our language habits. It's subtle, it's habitual, and kids learn it long before they see anything like porn or booth babes. If I get labelled a feminazi for trying to get people to be aware of this, then bring it on. Language shapes our thoughts and in many ways defines the thoughts we are capable of having. For that reason I'm not sorry for having addressed it in a way that looked like linguistic pedantry.


Re: Not worth going then

Don't forget stuff.


Re: Give the feminism a rest

And what about all the women who start to have an interest in working in tech? After slogging their way through the barrage of comments from colleagues doubting their ability because of their genitalia, the interviewers who drop blatant hints about sexual favours, and the desperate lack of role models, they finally land their first visit to a tech conference, and the weight of evidence is telling them that their gender is best suited to advertising via cleavage?

Here's a tip, talk to a few women who have been in tech for a while and get their perspective before merrily raising your flag for the status quo.


Re: Not worth going then

I'm well aware that the use of the word 'things' was largely a figure of speech. However it was a particularly unfortunate figure of speech given the objectification inherent in the statement as a whole, hence my choice to highlight it.