* Posts by veti

3146 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Woman dies after hospital is unable to treat her during crippling ransomware infection, cops launch probe

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Re: Time to hit ransomware criminals

We've seen where that kind of thinking leads. Google "Andrew Finch" if you've forgotten the name.

As we stand on the precipice of science fiction into science fact, people say: Hell yeah, I want to augment my eyesight!

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I used to wear glasses. Then I paid a bunch of money for a doctor to shine lasers into my eyes, and now I have 20/20 vision. Is that augmentation?

ByteDance rebuffs Microsoft's TikTok purchase proposal

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Re: @Death Nija Backlash

Trump is going to get a Nobel peace prize right after "Mike the FlyingRat" gets nominated for one.

I'll give Trump credit, he's done something good in the Middle East. Assassinating Gen Soleimani was a bold move, and more importantly a smart one. But it doesn't really offset the mayhem he's caused by the rest of his hamfisted policy toward Iran, to say nothing of his see-sawing on Syria, his interference in the internal politics of Israel, his support of murderous and corrupt despots in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, his idiotic and needless intervention in Lebanon, and probably more things that have slipped my mind for the moment.

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Re: I'm no lover of Oracle

Where? I see nothing contentious, or even debatable, about Oracle here.

Heck, it's not even rude.

IBM calls for US export bans on facial recognition tech including cameras and big iron

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It's not as if Chinese and Russian programmers aren't perfectly capable of developing tech at least as good as anything the Americans have come up with in this field.

I suspect it's an attempt to close down a market in which IBM doesn't rate its own performance.

UK Home Office seeks suppliers: £25m up for grabs to build database to keep track of crimelords' ill-gotten gains

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Re: Can this really be that complicated*?

"Then I'd humbly suggest that you're developing/producing/maintaing software wrong."

If the customer buys it, how is it "wrong"?

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Re: Can this really be that complicated*?

Speaking with my database engineering hat on...

... yes. Yes, this can easily be "that complicated" and a good deal more. If you build it in some kind of SQL, I'd be surprised if the finished product has fewer than 500 distinct tables.

Of course, "building" the database is only the tip of the iceberg of costs. As ane fule kno, the real money is in maintaining it. That's the dirty little secret that the "software development life cycle" tries to cover up: at least 80% of the cost of software happens after it's installed, assuming of course it's actually used.

With a million unwanted .uk domains expiring this week, Nominet again sends punters pushy emails to pay up

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Re: Competence? We've heard of it.

There is a sliding scale of skulduggery, and Nominet is still only on a fairly low setting. They haven't (yet), for instance, tried to hawk ".bbc.uk" to News International for purposes of discrediting the other party.

Although that is an obvious next step. I wonder if it will happen?

Google, Amazon pass on UK Digital Services Tax by hiking ad prices, fees at same rate the government takes

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Besides, isn't this precisely what we wanted? If prices go up, online advertising loses some of its advantage over other media. Maybe there will be less of it. How is that anything but a win?

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Re: re: so it'll be interesting to see what the new competition regime makes of this

Someone will. Remember 20 years ago, it was Microsoft that looked untouchable? Now they're not even mentioned in these discussions.

The wheel of time turns quickly for companies.

Funny, that: Handy script for wiping directories is capable of wreaking havoc beyond a miscreant's wildest dreams

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Re: My contribution ...

Whenever such systems have been tried, they are roundly and routinely abused by basically everyone. There's the poser who claims to be mission-critically busy for weeks on end, and the chancer who sets that status when they want some, ahem, uninterrupted Internet time.

And, of course, the huge majority of people who completely forget/ignore the whole thing - who neither set their own status, nor pay a smidgen of attention to anyone else's.

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Re: My contribution ...

If the perp doesn't fess up, how can the company know exactly what the mistake was?

Making a mistake shouldn't be grounds for sacking, but keeping quiet about it should.

Zuck says Facebook made an 'operational mistake' in not taking down US militia page mid-protests. TBH the whole social network is a mistake

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Re: Interesting note from the field.

Police in the USA kill, on average, 2-4 people every single day. Why pick on any one of these incidents over another?

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Who has "instigated the killings of more than 30 people" on Facebook? Citation needed.

You may say that the right to protest does not entail the right to endanger and destroy other people's property. And if you left it at that, you'd have a point. But when you extend that to "and so it's OK to kill people if you think they might be doing these things", you are not even pretending to apply any sort of coherent morality. Even less so when it's someone else's property, and you haven't even asked the owner's views.

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How is that different from Usenet?

UK national debt hits 1.46 Apples – and weighs as much as 2 billion adult badgers

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Re: So it goes

Yeah, cos that worked so well for Sweden...

There is no way of fixing the economy without getting the pandemic under control first. The US is an abject lesson in what happens if you insist on seeing it as a tradeoff - you get a huge economic crash *and* a huge pile of dead people, both at the same time.

New Zealand, on the other hand - has (until ten days ago) no covid-19 and unemployment that actually went *down* in the first half of the year. Now it's got a new outbreak, but it's far better placed to take care of it than most anyone in Europe.

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Mostly, it's owed to rich people.

Government debt, in most first world countries at least, is considered about the safest commodity you can buy. So when the economy is in the crapper, rich people rush to lend their money to governments that, they think, will most likely not rat on it.

This is the real reason to want to reduce debt: it's money from tomorrow's taxpayers that will go to the people who need it least. It's also, of course, why there's an unholy alliance between left and right wing politicians to keep growing the debt, whatever happens.

ICE to see you: Homeland Security's immigration cops tap up Clearview AI to probe child exploitation, cyber-crime

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Re: DHS head has no authority

If the orders themselves are unlawful, then it makes no difference who issues them - any federal employee would be obligated to refuse them anyway.

If they're not unlawful, then who needs "cover"?

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Re: Someone needs to hack the dataset.

If I could hack the database, I'd randomly change the names and addresses associated with each image, and make sure politicians were well represented in those. Faces - sounds like it might be difficult, but I bet names are stored in a simple table.

Global network controlled by erratic billionaire Qracks down on Qanon Qranks

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It's a good solution. Let them witter away amongst themselves, just don't expose new people to their nonsense. This way FB keeps them where it can see them, but doesn't help them to recruit.

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Re: Cranks

Note, I am not the above AC.

The EU did not "let the UK leave", it did everything it could to prevent that outcome - short of making actual concessions, of course. But once the British public had reaffirmed its referendum vote with a decisive election outcome, what more could it do?

We saw the true face of the EU in its punitive treatment of Greece and Spain, and to a lesser extent Italy, after the financial crash. That was way more gratuitous than the Tories' idiotic "austerity" programme in UK, and did harm far beyond the victim countries (remember the gilets jaunes?) Spain, for instance, last year only just managed to drag its youth unemployment down to around 30% - after hovering around 40% or more for most of a decade.

I still think that if the pandemic hadn't rewritten the entire book of rules this year, we'd by now be watching the EU tear itself apart over its diminished budget - but every government has gratefully seized on covid-19 as an excuse to blow the budget into the stratosphere, thus allowing them to put off that fight. (Mind, I'm not saying they're wrong to do that - only that it was an amazing stroke of luck.)

As for "post under your real name", that's rich coming from "Poncey McPonceface".

You there. Person, corp, state. Doesn't matter. You better not shoot down or hack a drone. That's our job – US govt

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Re: Huh?

Writing laws is hard. In order to get enough people to vote for it, legislators often find it... expedient to leave some ambiguity about the terms.

That way, everyone can kid themselves that the courts will apply "common sense", they can all vote for the law and pretend to their supporters that it says what they want it to, and move on to the next headline.

The alternative is not only hard work, but would also drastically reduce the number of laws passed. That would undoubtedly be a blessing in many ways, but might be very awkward in others.

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That's nice

At last, a chance of some well-deserved work for that most sad and neglected class of Americans - lawyers.

Let's hope Congress is in no hurry to make a new law. We wouldn't want things to be clear, would we? As it is, this "guidance" basically means "if you're rich enough to afford the lawyers you can do whatever you like, if you're poor then you daren't do anything" - which is exactly the way Trump and co. like it to be.

US senators: WikiLeaks 'likely knew it was assisting Russian intelligence influence effort' in 2016 Dem email leak

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Re: Clueless

You can make what inferences you like, but the committee's job was to report on what it actually has evidence of. If Manafort never talked about it or wrote down his reasoning - and why would he? - then it seems pretty likely, there is no evidence on this issue.

Where there's a .mil, there's Huawei: Pentagon allowed to keep using Chinese tech deemed too dangerous for everyone else – report

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Re: So, let me get this straight

Don't get your hopes up. Even if Biden wins, he won't try to reverse everything Trump has done. Just as Obama didn't undo Bush's follies, such as creating the DHS and fingerprinting incoming travellers.

How is Trump's anti-Chinese rhetoric playing out? 70% of smartphones sold in the US are – surprise – made in China

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Re: Then let him do something about it

You're thinking of the old Republican party, as built by Reagan. That party is gone. There's no place in Trumpism for fiscal conservatism, because Trump realised - ahead of the rest of his party - that only a vanishingly tiny number of people ever cared about it.

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1994 called, they want their complaint back. Neither of those things has been true for a generation.

Firefox maker Mozilla axes a quarter of its workforce, blames coronavirus, vows to 'develop new revenue streams'

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Re: Sadness

Sad to say, Firefox's market share is now less than 5%. While I'm sure Google does care about those people, I doubt they are prepared to go far out of their way to direct their searches.

America was getting on top of its electronic voting machine security – then suddenly... A wild pandemic appears

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See your videos, and I raise you https://xkcd.com/2030/

First rule of Ransomware Club is do not pay the ransom, but it looks like Carlson Wagonlit Travel didn't get the memo

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Re: You get what you pay for

You mean, for the same group after it changes its name three months later. Or for factions of it after they inevitably fall out.

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

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Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

I hate to break it to you, but I only recently realised this myself:

Nobody reads those emails anyway.

Now I assume that any manager will not read any paragraph of more than four lines or two sentences, whichever is less; nor will they read more than one such paragraph, unless the first paragraph mentions a specific sum of money.

Email has become a write-only medium. If you actually want them to act on something, you need to find another way to tell them. Of course, if you're just covering your arse, it doesn't matter.

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Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

Copyright doesn't work like that. Would you try to claim that you could copy the content of, say, a mag you read in a waiting room, or a video you watched while standing in a queue, because you hadn't agreed to be bound by copyright?

You can't republish someone else's work without their explicit consent, no matter how it came into your possession.

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Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

Well, that was clearly breach of copyright. And yes, in some circumstances you could probably be sued for unauthorised forwarding of someone else's email on the same basis.

Twitter says spear-phishing attack hooked its staff and led to celebrity account hijack

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Old story

Compromise one lowly drone, then use their credentials (information, identity) to compromise a higher level drone. Keep going until you get to the level you need.

Defence must be in depth. You can't maintain a strong firewall around everyone, because too much of the Internet would have to be inside it. But escalating through each level should become progressively harder (usually, in practice, it gets easier), and people with access to sensitive information need really solid security training.

At historic Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google CEOs hearing, congressmen ramble, congresswomen home in on tech market abuse

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Re: Only Jeff bothered to find an interesting room for the video-chat hearing ...

If you don't like what your representative is doing, vote them out. That's the simple correct remedy regardless of party or sex.

As for the report, perhaps you can point out specific instances of questions or participants that you think have been misrepresented?

'I think the police are here...' Feds reveal Skype, text chats of Canadian trio charged with $8m crypto-coin fraud

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Re: Skype sniping

Why should Ms care about that?

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American courts can and will snatch all the property within their jurisdiction, i.e. (with a bit of assistance) the USA. They can't touch property in Canada, unless the Canadian government chooses to pass it over for some reason.

No wonder Brit universities report hacks so often: Half of staff have had zero infosec training, apparently

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Re: Common Sense

The financial question is, what is the return? Sure you can give basic training to everyone for £x thousand, but "basic training" will only do so much. And for the same money, you can probably hire one or more full time infosec specialists - which may be a better use of your budget.

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This, right here, is the thing. The kind of training that can feasibly be delivered en masse to those sorts of numbers of people - is going to be of questionable value. Heck, the very fact that it's being given to everyone is probably enough to devalue it for some people, who will assume - not unreasonably - that if the bosses really cared, something more targeted would be happening.

UK housing associations offer framework worth up to £400m to eBay-for-plumbers startup (but it won't get to keep it all)

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Re: Small and local

I read the story thinking, that's one expensive database. But eventually it becomes clear, that's not what the money refers to: it's more like the total value of work being directed through the platform.

In your case, it sounds like you don't have a very clear understanding of the costs. Who pays for the list of approved suppliers?

My life as a criminal cookie clearer: Register vulture writes Chrome extension, realizes it probably breaks US law

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Re: My computer, my rules.

Right, which is one reason why I haven't set foot in the USA since 2002, and fully expect to live the rest of my life without ever doing so again. I was a regular visitor once, but it's just not worth it any more.

Black hole destroys corona

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Re: In Real Time?

What exactly does "now" mean, in this context?

Companies toiling away the most on LibreOffice code complain ecosystem is 'beyond utterly broken'

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The same goes for Word. If you really understand how to use Word the way it's theoretically meant to be used, with correctly prepared styles and templates and outlines, LO Writer is a horribly substandard substitute. But if you use Word like 95% of users do, making up your styles as you go along, it's fine.

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Re: It's quite clear where the money is:

What makes you think that Libre's "support" would be better than Microsoft's?

Office 365 gains from network effects: everyone uses it, if there's a serious problem then it's big news, you hear about it quickly and it generally gets resolved pretty quickly. LO offers no such confidence, let alone a formal guarantee.

Yeah, file corruptions happen, and the canny MS Office user has a danger list of functions that should just never be touched, like 'fast save' and don't even get me started on list templates. But again, with so many people using it, the war stories are all out there - you can learn from them and learn what not to do, without having to do it yourself.

Trump U-turns on foreign student crackdown: F-1, M-1 visa holders allowed to study online mid-pandemic in the US

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Re: policy being legal

Nail, head. What's more, I bet there's a noticeable fraction of Trump fans who have heard about the policy and the fuss it created, but haven't heard and won't hear that it's been abandoned. To them it's another of his great achievements against the stacked establishment.

The reluctant log trawler: The buck stops with the back-end

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Re: Not

That won't deter them, because every coder comes in to the company believing that their code will be perfect. The messiness only appears later, when they discover some of the constraints they have to work with.

Microsoft sues coronavirus phishing spammers to seize their domains amid web app attacks against Office 354.5

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Re: Something about motes and beams...

Though it could be the Molvanian MD/DM/YYYY...

Another anti-immigrant rant goes viral in America – and this time it's by a British, er, immigrant tech CEO

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Re: We hear these stories all the time

"Making an example" of him is exactly the worst possible thing to do. It won't improve anyone’s attitude, it will simply feed into the paranoid, us-v-them siege mentality that got Trump elected.

We need to show bigots that we're *better* than them. Not just "opposite". Opposition fuels opposition.

Trump is currently trying, with some success, to frame the election as a choice between him and his cronies on one side, versus a crowd of violent antifa and angry black people on the other. If he succeeds in making people believe that's the choice, he will win. Do NOT play into that framework, however satisfying it might feel. It's a trap.

Detroit cops employed facial recognition algos that only misidentifies suspects 96 per cent of the time

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What's the false negative rate?

So 24 in 25 flagged matches are wrong. So what? Without knowing the false negative rate, we still don't know enough to tell whether it's useful.

Hypothetically, if there are *zero* false negatives, this would still be a very useful system. If you have one suspect to identify in a crowd of 1000 faces, it's entirely worthwhile to have a computer just show you 25 faces to take a closer look at, rather than the full 1000.

Of course I know it won't be that accurate, but without knowing *how* accurate it is this "96%" figure *still* isn't enough to pronounce it useless.

And yes, I realise it will also victimise people based on skin colour - but let's be clear, that's an entirely separate issue, the cops don't need any automated help doing that anyway.

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

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Re: 'Relevant' ads

Comedians were doing that routine 20 years ago. Is that really still the reality of targeted ads? I don't see the things myself.


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