* Posts by Old Handle

1600 posts • joined 4 Mar 2011

Someone tried to poison a Florida city by hijacking its water treatment plant via TeamViewer, says sheriff

Old Handle

Re: Eh?

Could be a "work from home because Covid" deal. I'm almost surprised I haven't heard more stories of companies getting compromised because they implemented something stupid and insecure in their rush to quickly deploy a system to let people work from home.

I mean it's not really an excuse, but if that's what happened it doesn't surprise me at all.

This Free software ain't free to make, pal, it's expensive: Mozilla to bankroll Firefox with paid-for premium extras

Old Handle

It's tragic really

Firefox used to be the savvy user's browser. And it was darn good at being that. It was also good enough that let's say "non-geeks" started to see the value too. But then Chrome got big, and I swear someone at Mozilla must have said "See boys, that's what we need to be." But they can't out-Google Google, so that was never going to work. Instead they just made a browser that doesn't really have a target audience anymore. The old users mostly hate the changes, and I can't see any reason for users to pick it up when almost all the changes are to make it more like Chrome, the browser they're probably already using.

Swedish court declines to detain Belmarsh prison resident Julian Assange

Old Handle

Anyone Surprised?

Presumably this is the first step in winding down this bogus case now that it finally achieved it's real objective.

LLVM contributor hits breakpoint, quits citing inclusivity intolerance

Old Handle

You guys are missing the point. The word in question is not Latin, but Latin@. Which I assume is pronounced la-TEE-nat, but I'm not sure.

There is no perceived IT generation gap: Young people really are thick

Old Handle
Paris Hilton

I know what it means in the UK, but despite living in the US, here I have no idea what means here. I thought it was just a nickname.

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Old Handle

Re: Chocolate

"Thank you for the demonstration, but as we were able to be brute force your security quite easily, I don't think we will be pursuing your products further."

What the @#$%&!? Microsoft bans nudity, swearing in Skype, emails, Office 365 docs

Old Handle

Wait what?

So if I post a nude picture online (I have, not necessarily of myself), and Bing finds it (they did, I just checked), does that count as using the services to share objectionable content?

Bing is only good for porn anyway, I can't see them shutting that off.

Tumblr troll-ban follows February indictments

Old Handle

Tumblr already lost all respect I may have ever held for them with their earlier censorship sprees, but this Russian infiltrator thing is just absurd. There were only 84 accounts, a ridiculously tiny fraction of their userbase. But they claim I interacted with 2 of them. And this is a seldom used, non politics oriented blog! It doesn't even make sense.

Whois? More like WHOWAS: Domain database on verge of collapse over EU privacy

Old Handle

Why wait for the EU?

This is something they should have addressed decades ago.

WHOIS strikes me as a holdover from the early Internet, when it was all universities and large companies. Now that many (perhaps even most?) domain names are owned by private individuals, it makes no sense to have all their personal contact information, published by default.

Use of HTTPS among top sites is growing, but weirdly so is deprecated HTTP public key pinning

Old Handle
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I loathe gratuitous HTTPS

All it does is cause problems. You try to connect from an old device? Boom "no cypher overlap". They forget to renew their cert? Now everybody's locked out because browser makers are too stupid to realize this isn't even a serious problem.

And almost invariably this nonsense happens on sites that don't even have a legitimate need for security. Knock it off, people.

Tor pedo's torpedo torpedoed: FBI spyware crossed the line but was in good faith, say judges

Old Handle

Re: Then what is the point of Tor?

There's no such thing as perfect security. Tor does a pretty good job, but it's not perfect, and more importantly it's only part of a solution. This attack was probably against the browser it comes with and/or the OS it was running on (Windows) not Tor itself. If you want to be completely untraceable A) tough luck, see first sentence and B) you're gonna have to do more than just downloading the Tor Browser bundle to get close.

Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

Old Handle
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What a silly article

How exactly is Alexa supposed to know whether something is a crime? Do you really want it analyzing everything it hears to that extent?

Firefox to warn users who visit p0wned sites

Old Handle

Maybe not terrible

This doesn't have to be done in a privacy-violating way. It could just query a server for a list of recently compromised sites each time you start it/daily or whatever and then alert you if you visit one on the list, rather than checking each site you visit individually. Checking each site separately would be bad from a speed standpoint too, and Firefox is all about speed now...

'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

Old Handle

Indeed. The Bill of Rights does not work like that, as explicitly stated in the 9th Amendment.

Congress battles Silicon Valley over upcoming US sex trafficking law

Old Handle

It's very disheartening that the sex trafficking myth has been allowed to get so big as to threaten the entire internet. Even The Register seems to buy into it by shirking their journalistic duty and reporting the delusions of this dead girl's estranged family as fact. It's almost certain that she was never kidnapped or "bought". She ran away from home and stayed with her grandparents for a while, that much is known for sure. Then something tragic happened and she was murdered.

But that story doesn't sell books and laws, "sex trafficking" does. Why let truth get in the way of a good opportunity to sew fear in the public and reap financial and political gain?

Old Handle

No of course it's not a real thing!

Here's what really happened. A teenager ran away from home, stayed with her grandparents for a while, and somewhere along the line decided to make some money as a prostitute. Possibly with help from others, she posted an ad on Backpage. Tragically one of her customers proved unstable and murdered her.

There was zero people-purchasing involved.

DRM now a formal Web recommendation after protest vote fails

Old Handle

Good by W3, you're now officially irrelevant.

Old Firefox add-ons get 'dead man walking' call

Old Handle

Make sure you turn off updates before that happens.

Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

Old Handle

I say go ahead, just insist your victims pay with both forks.

Teen texted boyfriend to kill himself. It worked. Will the law change to deal with digital reality?

Old Handle

Re: Is american law stupid?

So that's a "yes' then.

The open source community is nasty and that's just the docs

Old Handle

Re: Here we go again..

Orv may be referring to a previous article here, but if so that's a misstatement of the what the study actually showed. They found that that contributions from accounts which were easily identifiable as belonging to a woman were accepted less often. Interestingly, they also found that that contributions from accounts which were easily identifiable as belonging to a man were accepted less often (though this was smaller effect). So perhaps "keep your private life private" really is the best advice.

In any case it did not get into the issue of women using male pseudonyms, as such. Perhaps Orv is basing that claim on something else though, I don't know.

Old Handle

Re: "may therefore not find documentation written by native English speakers easy."

I think it's mostly that writing docs is boring. If you're the type of person to get involved in an open source project, you're probably either enthusiastic about the product itself or enjoy the problem-solving aspect of coding.

So which would you rather do, work on that exciting new feature or write a detailed explanation of the existing product?

Lexmark patent racket busted by Supremes

Old Handle

Re: Epson extortion

Recently Epson has (at least supposedly) puled a heel-face turn and started selling some printers with refillable ink tanks. Don't know how good a deal they are ultimately, but it's nice to see companies at least considering the possibility that pissing off their customers isn't necessarily the best business model.

Came too late to win me over though, I've already switched to laser. Toner may well be a ripoff too, but at least it doesn't evaporate when you're not using it.

BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding

Old Handle

There are no redundancies [...] taking place around this particular hardware

Well there's your problem. A system that big needs redundancy.

Google can't spare 113 seconds of revenue to compile data on its gender pay gap

This post has been deleted by a moderator

8 out of 10 cats fear statistics – AI doesn't have this problem

Old Handle

Anyone else notice a problem with the probabilities on the image match?

The article itself points out the car is not really vintage, but that's OK, that was only 88% confidence. That's not the problem. The problem is 99% car, 97% land vehicle. Since all cars are land vehicles*, it cannot by any reasonable definition be "more likely", a car than a land vehicle. I'm sure there are perfectly good reasons for these numbers, but it's another example of why "trust the tools, don't worry about how it works" might not be good advice.

*It's 2017, where's my damn flying car?

Go ahead, stage a hackathon. But pray it doesn't work too well

Old Handle

I'm not the only who thinks this article is kind of bizarre without any examples, right? Just something simple like "We all remember when Foocorp released Barbot which became sentient and tried to assassinate the president of Bazistan, but you may not have known... Yep that was a hackathon project."

I mean... there has been a real example of what the author is talking about, right?

US Coast Guard: We're rather chuffed with our new Boeing spy drone

Old Handle

Re: Is that a catapult?

Looks more like a ballista to me.

Don't panic, Florida Man, but a judge just said you have to give phone passcodes to the cops

Old Handle

Re: Remote wipe.....

Hmm... Don't iPhones already have a wipe after X failed attempts feature? (Though it may be optional) So what if she just gives them X wrong pins one after the other?

Deeming Facebook a 'publisher' of users' posts won't tackle paedo or terrorist content

Old Handle

Re: Maybe it's because Facebook's moderators simply refuse to look.

Interesting hypothesis. If true that means the thing to do is misreport ISIS videos as breastfeeding.

Three indicted over sex trafficking operation run on Backpage.com

Old Handle
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It's a carefully engineered moral panic

Human trafficking is a completely invented problem pushed by politicians and fake do-gooders who stand to gain by stirring people up. It's a great issue for them because it has appeal across party lines. Leftists hate because those poor womens. Conservatives like because that nasty evil sex. Who cares if it doesn't really exist? It's a great excuse for draconian laws, right up there with terrorism and a lovely gravy train for "charities".

Case in point: This attack on Back Page was initiated by California's Attorney General in an effort to look good while she was running for senate. Back Page has been around for years, yet in what would be an example of deplorable laxity if it were a real problem, she saved it until election season just to get her name out there.

Y'know CSS was to kill off HTML table layout? Well, second time's a charm: Meet CSS Grid

Old Handle

Re: By hipsters for hipster

I don't think that's really true. That illustration in the article was just an example comparing grid to flexbox. After reading up on grid a bit (I must admit I never heard of it before) I have to say it actually looks very handy. It can easily solve classic layout needs like header/content/sidebar/footer that web designers might otherwise be tempted to use a table for.

Here's the article I read. Looks like it was originally written some time ago so I can't be sure it's up to date and complete.

Old Handle

Re: Finally!

I was curious if this is true, did a quick source peek at a few random web pages. Only Wikipedia used them. And to an extent at least, alot of their content really is table-like.

Google pulls Hezbollah YouTube channel after we told them about the drone ads

Old Handle

Re: The commenter needs to do some thinking

Oh fuck off. We have enough censors in the world without the register doing it too.

It's happening! It's happening! W3C erects DRM as web standard

Old Handle

Nah, they've jumped the shark. Just ignore them.

Force employees to take DNA tests for bosses? We've got a new law to make that happen, beam House Republicans

Old Handle

To be fair, an employer is not a state.

Except when they are, of course...

Sir Tim Berners-Lee refuses to be King Canute, approves DRM as Web standard

Old Handle

Wondering if there's any legitimate use for EME

Where legitimate = helpful to the user, not harmful.

About all I can think of would be streaming illegal content (whether pirated or more illegal than that) and making sure no trace is left on your computer. Has anyone made an EME module for facilitate this? Maybe it would change the industry's tune.

Palmtop nostalgia is tinny music to my elephantine ears

Old Handle

Oh man, you fell for one of his stories? Sorry to hear that.

Nokia 3310 'Supremo Putin' edition goes on sale in Russia

Old Handle

Can you still lock/unlock the keypad by pressing * and the left button?

Frustrated by reboot-happy Windows 10? Creators Update hopes to take away the pain

Old Handle
Paris Hilton

Re: Holding post

How will down-voting this post before we reply make relevant comments easier to read?

Cloudbleed: Big web brands 'leaked crypto keys, personal secrets' thanks to Cloudflare bug

Old Handle


You guys (El Reg) use cloudflare, don't you? Hope your HTML is well-formed.

Old Handle

Re: Unbelievable

Yeah, actually it looks like an "I know what I'm doing" kind of error. Unless there's some microsecond processing advantage I don't know about the only reason to use == would be misguided confidence that it could never be greater.

US judge halts mass fingerprint harvesting by cops to unlock iPhones

Old Handle

Re: Weasel words

I can think of some legitimate reasons for the distinction, for instance with a password, it's possible you forgot it or they've got the wrong guy and you never even knew it. But you can't forget your fingerprints and if it turns out yours isn't the right finger, that would been you're off the hook, rather up the creek.

That said, I totally agree with the judge that this kind of fingerprint dragnet is over the line.

I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Old Handle

This was pretty much my thought. I think he has a good point, it was not unauthorized access (or hacking in common parlance) but that doesn't mean he couldn't be guilty of some other crime.

Magic Leap sued for sex discrimination … by woman it hired to stamp out sex discrimination

Old Handle

Assumption Of Risk Doctrine?

If you've been hired to fix a company's sexism problem, wouldn't that mean you go in knowing you'll be working for a sexist company? That would be an interesting defense anyway, no idea if it would work.

Macs don't get viruses? Hahaha, ha... seriously though, that Word doc could be malware

Old Handle

Re: mac AV

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't viruses, in the technical sense, nearly obsolete even on Windows? Worms and Trojans seem to be the hot thing now.

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

Old Handle

Pretty soon it will be no one but terrorist left who want to visit. I guess that will make them easy to spot though.

Vapists rejoice! E-cigs lower cancer risk (if you stop smoking, duh)

Old Handle

Did I read that correctly that vaping is not only safer than smoking but also safer than nicotine patches? This is frankly a bit hard to believe but if true ought to be the final nail in the coffin of fearmongering about it (but I'm sure it won't).

Russia (A) bans web porn as a 'bad influence' (B) decriminalizes domestic violence – or (C) all of the above?

Old Handle

I'm not saying it's a good change, but the assumption that the new domestic violence laws will be bad is a bit kneejerk in my opinion. Harsher penalties do not always reduce crime or lead to better outcomes in general. I do not know how they concluded this was the way to go, but I bet more went into the decision than some idea that domestic violence isn't that big a deal.


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