* Posts by Usually Right or Wrong

91 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Jul 2011


Dusty old supernova could reveal answer to life, the universe and EVERYTHING

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We already know the answer

to life the universe and everything. Obviously the solution to the dust problem would be a Dyson DC-42.

(Not the animal version, it just needs to get the dust)

Nicked unencrypted PC with 6,000 bank details lands council fat fine

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Double whammy

So Glasgow tax payers are told to bend over and take an ICO £150K shafting and whilst they are bent over, open their mouths and take a bank account fraud shafting as well. Lucky devils.

Forget wireless power for phones - Korea's doing it for buses

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Bring it on

With small induction loops, I am sure we could all charge our mobile phones and iThingies for free, well at least until we got run over by a tram.

Office 2013 now available for some home users

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Ordered and will wait

Just ordered using the HUP and included Visio and Project, at the price, it is daft not to if offered and you use office at home, which I do. I will wait though and see what SP1 or the next update brings, usually these fix major issues and address UI criticisms if MS are going to address these. Also ordered Win 8 Pro which is on offer until end Jan, again, will hold off until I can confirm all my software will work. This is probably my cheapest upgrade ever, but happy with Office 2010 and Win 7, so will let others dive in and will learn from them before upgrading.

I reckon Ciaus Petronius would recognise the grief of software upgrades, ribbons and menus, even in 66AD, "We trained hard, but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising: and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress, while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation."

Beer, because that is what Fridays were invented for.

Is this the sleek new BlackBerry mobe that will save RIM jobs?

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But it has rounded corners!

It's a rectangle with rounded corners, won't that get then into trouble with patent lawyers?

Reform candidate gets CISSP tin star sheriff's job

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Don't forget the CPEs

Gave up my membership years ago when the downturn meant that the £2000+ courses required to get your quotas of CPEs became thinner on the ground. You could top them up with endless vendor meetings, but eventually even the vendors gave up when you bought nothing. You were only allowed to read one book a year.

Being CISSP gave me a certificate and ... and somewhere to register my CPEs.

Facebook invites users to vote away voting rights, some privacy

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Re: No more people power

There is a very good essay just posted on Bruce Schneier's blog about feudal overlords and vassals. Serfs pledge their allegiance to their Lord Google, Lord Apple, Lord Facebook, etc. and become their vassals in return for their data being available online, some protection of their data and maybe data backups.

The essay points out the imbalance of the arrangement in that your data becomes tied to a Lord, can be deleted on a whim (Amazon), not deleted when you delete it, given to anyone that will pay the Lord money, and if you leave, the Lord still owns your data to do with as they wish.

I suppose there is always a sector of society that feels a need to live in serfdom and actively seeks it out.

'Four horsemen' posse: This here security town needs a new sheriff

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Waste of space and my money

Was CISSP for 6 years, return on investment ziltch. To keep up the CPE's you have to attend expensive courses because you cannot sensibly get the CPE's for other sources, such as vendor presentations which just waste everyone's time unless you are going to use their product, or reading books (1 book a year can only count)

Did the MSc in InfoSec at Royal Holloway instead, great foundation in information security and the networking afterwards keeps you up to date far better than scraping round to gather CPE's. I agree the (ISC)2 are out of touch, I meet committee members from time to time and their focus is on increasing membership, not infosec issues.

New broadband minister snubs 'ugly' fibre cabinet gripes

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And when the cable breaks?

Private landowners will also be told that fibre can be laid under or above their land, with the government doing away with "the bureaucratic burden of long-running negotiations"

Lawnmowers, spades etc. and the whole neighbourhood goes dark? Who would be responsible for repair? Who will keep chopping cables because they resent being told it is going on their land whether they like it or not?

Judge: Apple not liable for dropped, broken iPhone screens

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It is simply a case of

dropping it the wrong way, so not Apple's fault.

Apple's lone wolf approach to security will bite it in the rear

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The trend is social engineering

Even Microsoft hacks are tending more towards social engineering of the end user to get them to install malware. Much as MS is criticised for having vulnerabilities over the years, it has made MS users aware of the pitfalls and more wary of clicking Yes or OK without thinking.

Apple users are only starting this journey and Apple does not yet have the responsiveness of other software providers in that they provide security updates as and when they deem it necessary or a press release excerpts pressure.

This is not a troll, I use MS, Android (even further behind Apple), and Apple and work in information security so am aware of what fixes are released, when and what promoted the fix and more importantly, how the exploits work.

Few are now direct attack exploits compared to just 2 years ago, most expect a user to click somewhere to trigger the exploit, putting the major OS's and apps on a similar playing field.

First full landing site and colour pictures back from Mars

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Re: First impressions

Any Martians would have looked through their telescopes at Essex, seen all the cars sprouting accessories and all the trash thrown in the streets and thought 'there goes the neighbourhood'.

Using Facebook causes less eco damage than farting, figures show

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Re: Yes, but.

But I need Facebook, I tend to fart more than the average beer and curry male, so need to carbon offset by NOT having a Facebook account.

If Facebook is closed down (or goes under) I already offset against Twatter, so would end up having to ignite the damn things to compensate.

UK Border Agency to create 'national allegations database'

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Simples solution init

'concerns about a huge backlog of 276,000 immigration cases, which it says is "larger than the population of Newcastle upon Tyne".'

Just send all the people in Newcastle upon Tyne on a long holiday, move the backlog immigration cases there with a bit of overspill, then you know where they are. Oh, and probably build a big wall in case, and encourage all the people in Gateshead to 'complain' (what happened to allegation?) about all the people now in Newcastle upon Type and they will up the complaint accuracy rate and know where to find all the people who complained to give them feedback. Then the UKBA would have some good stats to report for a change.

Or maybe just give up the idea of a hearsay database that can ruin peoples lives. The sad thing is that given the choice, UKBA would probably opt for my first option.

Teleconferencing 'shifts hundreds of NHS bed-blockers out the door'

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Gosh, the NHS has gone all modern

Teleconferencing, what an innovation, they will move onto email soon I bet.

Is it me or did that article portray Whittington NHS trust as being about 20 years behind the curve, which I doubt they really are?

Loved the cross charging though, the thought of virtual taxpayers money moving around is so similar to virtual company money moving around and is great for creating bean counter jobs.

Habbo Hotel to 'unmute' chat so users can show they love it

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Now let me think...

I want to groom children and get web cam pictures of them in the nude, where should I go? Oh look, there is a virtual reality site full of children called Habbo Hotel!

How do they expect to keep predators off the site? Also, how do they expect to effectively moderate all conversations. In all the articles I have read about Habbo, not once did they say that they would refer recognised grooming or sexual coercion to the police for investigation, which may act as some deterrent.

Also, I have not seen any indication that an avatar can be explicitly tied to a particular individual. They did state that this incident has had a terrible impact on their business though, which shows where their real priority lies.

Wraps come off UK super-snooper draft plans

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I was wondering when...

"It is a vital tool for the police to catch criminals and to protect children."

...the children would come into it. Would love to see the stats of how many children were unprotected before the legislation and how many extra are protected when it comes into force. Probably many are unprotected and then most will be protected, which will prove the legislation's effectiveness in the face of the ever increasing paedophile onslaught.

Considering the expected increase in data requests, the ISPs would be better off creating a standard API and publishing this, available on request if you can prove that you are a 'public authorities' sort of person. Would save all the hassle of having to hack in and post the data.

Google to show China what it's missing

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Good for Blighty as well

When they step up the censorship here, Google can implement the same technology so that we can work out what is being blocked, because the government sure as hell won't tell us.

LG pitches £7k 55in OLED TV, again

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Technology just marches on

I am reading these comments on a 22 inch LG OLED screen, all the gubins behind the screen, about 6mm at the top, lower half about 12mm and a 20mm curved out bit at the back for speakers at the bottom. Freeview TV, 1080p, 3D, PC RGB input, 2 HDMI, USB port for recording to disc, £250.

5/6 years ago I had a Sony CRT 32 inch, about 700mm deep and never likely to be stolen because it weighed 100kg with stand. When bought about 15 years ago it cost £600.

The more I look at the march of consumer electronics, the more it amazes me to find so many features packed into such a small space and at affordable prices. The LG 55 inch TV will soon be down at the £1500 mark, and when it is, I will not be able to resist buying it.

Crooks sell skint fanbois potatoes instead of iPhones

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And another point

what cash machine allowed a £1400 withdrawal? Unless he used multiple cards, which must cut the estimate of his brain cells to the fingers on one hand.

Child support IT fail: Deadbeat mums 'n' dads off the hook

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This just reinforces the belief...

That government and IT and not happy or cost effective bedfellows.

Pints under attack as Lord Howe demands metric-only UK

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I seem to remember...

a seismic chart that a geologist had scaled in milli-furlongs per micro-fortnight. The scale was close to feet per second, so your system would work, except for the health hazards of having a couple of firkins of beer at the pub.

At last! A use for Blighty's phone-boxes: Free Wi-Fi hotspots

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Re: London

Don't get too upset about it. Just think, in the near future, when you can opt in for porn, you will be able to safely walk past billboards with your other half without being embarrassed by targeted adverts, or plod's hand on your shoulder saying 'you're one of these opt in types I see, now come along with me'.

Anonymous takes the Kremlin offline in Putin protest

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Re: Anonymous take out the Kremlin

Right. Because the idiots will have left their IP addresses all over the place, as they usually do. maybe not three days, but sometime in the future, in the spirit of cooperation, police in European countries and other places will go knocking on doors.

Apple blocking Dropbox SDK over in-app buying

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Re: Children

If you read the 64 page agreement on the iPhone, somewhere around page 37 (and on lots of other pages) it says that all your data is Apple's to do with as they wish, so iCloud is not going to be as popular as Dropbox, where they say your data is your's and they will secure it the best they can.

Boy wrecks £22k worth of MacBooks by weeing on them

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Re: Moisture sensors

Just one tiny drop of rain on my iPhone is enough to invalidate the warranty, so scale that up to a few large drops on a Mac and the kid could probable wee a Apple store full of them into oblivion.

Just imagine how many an El Reg reader could wee off after a Friday feed of beer.

Expert: UK would break its own rules with web-snoop law

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a privacy impact assessment...

Plod, local council etc. (insert as required); will this impact our privacy? No, right ho then, collect as much as you can and anyone who wants the information can have it.

Minister blows away plans for more turbines

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Seems some sense at last

Some of the costs and subsidies for wind and solar that have come to light recently show these technologies to be very inefficient in terms of return on investment. Not sure how this compares to nuclear, someone out there probably can answer that.

Saw this on artificial photosynthesis http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-04/16/artificial-photosynthesis but could not find any information on how much was being invested by governments.

The advances sound amazing, but I expect there will be a down side of massive photosynthesis panels being erected instead of wind turbines, needing large subsidies and being considered a blot on the landscape, the same as turbines, or maybe not. I hope it is the latter, the potential for sunny developing countries must look promising.

Himalayan glaciers actually gaining ice, space scans show

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Here we have

Lewis Page flying yet again in the face of a multi billion $ industry and expecting to be taken seriously.

Doesn't he realise that the new ice is warmer than the old ice and warmer ice spread out further than colder ice is warmer so the earth's warming must be accelerating at an alarming rate and the global warming budget must be doubled immediately and the time targets halved and doubters would be burned at the stake if they promise not to give off greenhouse gasses during the burning.

I'm fed up with all the hype and giving governments excuses to tax us for eating hot (global warming because they had to be heated) pasties.

Anonymous plans DDoS attack on GCHQ in snoop law protest

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Re: Trying to hack the experts?

Well minister, as we no longer need that £100m set aside for the GCHQ hacking defence exercise, can it go into our pension pot?

Lords give automatic smut censorship bill the once-over

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Censorship and snooping...

Both are very desirable for governments, and in that respect UK plc is way behind the trail blazers like China, Iran and Australia.

We all know that parents are no longer responsible for their children, they are someone else's problem and better be looked after properly or someone else gets sued.

Even adults are no longer responsible for themselves, as an adult recently setting themselves on fire at the behest of the government so clearly demonstrates.

So there are clear indicators that the government must take responsibility for what we are allowed to see on the Internet, and they get a nice little potential sex offenders register as well.

Anonymous turns its fire on China

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Re: Carefull, be vary carefull

How is this different from the proposed Anonymous hack of Los Zetas and other Mexican drugs cartels. They backed out of that one but now walk into this one and expect not to be found and taken to task?

And who in their right mind in China would help them and not have problems with the authorities. They need to pick battles where the fallout only impacts the intended target, this does not look like one of those battles, there is way too much scope for collateral damage.

UK net super-snooping clashes with Euro privacy law - expert

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Why not give GCHQ a Facebook account

We all know that we are viewed as criminals unless we prove otherwise, and all our communications will do is confirm this, so why waste money on this, just assume guilt and arrest us when the police have a quiet moment.

Of course the real criminals will email 'let's rob Joe's place tonight' in the subject line and may even include the address, or maybe they wont, if they are not dumb. Terrorists the same.

So only dumb people are going to give it all away, which is exactly what Facebook is for, so GCHQ could save millions by just having a Facebook account and 55 million friends.

Americans resort to padlocking their dumb meters

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Re: Smart meters serve two main functions

You forgot one, in the UK anyway.

Smart meters will be pre-paid, which removes the embarrassment of the pre-pay rates currently charged, usually to people who can least afford them, so everyone goes prepay and hides the issue. Run out of pre-pay and your option ii) to shut you off is always available.

The whole issue of pre-pay and shut off is very much a UK thing and political, whilst making UK meters more expensive, so we will all pay for that. Roll-out is from 2014 - 2019 and it is unlikely that options to decline will be allowed.

Barclaycard pay-by-bonk fraud risk exposes Amazon's security

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It's all a tradeoff

What drives customers to sites like Amazon is the convenience of making a purchase with saved details, being able to ship to a work address or pick up from a collection point.

What makes it convenient for fraudsters is that stolen credit cards get more mileage and goods mules don't have to be burned that often as the collection points rarely validate the photo ID, so false ID works most times and the home address is not exposed.

While the fraud rates remain low, the cost of fraud can be passed on whilst keeping prices competitive. A recent figure from another on-line retail vendor was <1% of transactions were fraudulent and about 80% of these were detected and stopped before shipping. (Simple measures like contacting the card holder before shipping if systems picked up anomalies.)

With figures like that, there is little incentive for a business to lock down too much and make the customer experience dificult, but a lack of CVV2 check is inexcusable.

Nokia invents teeny throbbing tattoos to make your skin crawl

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All well and good...

"...but sign us up for a pair of vibrating pants when Nokia gets round to making them, just for testing, of course"

but don't forget to take them off before an MRI scan, even minor burns down there would be eye watering.

Smartphone users sue Apple, Facebook over mobile app privacy

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Seems to be misconception

Social networks are all about being sociable, that is telling everyone (that will listen) about yourself and your 314,143 and 1/4 friends, only you haven't the time so the apps do it for you.

Whoever thought that placing your personal information in the public domain was a private matter seems to have got their wires crossed and has no idea how the services they use are paid for.

Google to app devs: Use our pay system ... OR ELSE

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Of course it is

But with all the operators in the chain, except Google and Apple, getting a cut, it wouldn't surprise me if they encouraged the can of worms, you know, run a break our security competition at some security event, then take a year to patch it while the money rolls in.

Been a bad Friday, so in a cynical mood.

Nuke clock incapable of losing time chimes with boffins

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It will still show the wrong time

Unless we make lots of these clocks and average the results to remove random effects, in 280 billion years the damned thing will be out by 1 second.

Great Firewall of Pakistan erection stroked with govt cash

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What is all the fuss about

Goodness me, these are their duly elected repressors^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H representatives honour bound to protect these people, and this is exactly what they are doing, protecting the people from being bombarded with stuff that they should not be allowed^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H have to see. All governments do this, Pakistan are just behind the curve and need to catch up.

Anonymous web weapon backfires with hidden banking Trojan

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Black Helicopters

Just out of interest...

Does anyone know where this version calls home? Some site affiliated to the FBI, CIA, NSA, or is it the normal call to China. Just interested, it would be a good way to gather a list of Anonymous names (or at least supporter names).

Apple: We never said Siri would actually work in the UK

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Re: A watchdog with no teeth ...

There is a point, if we don't have an ASA, just who is going to employ all those advertising luvies when the young things come along and push them out of their jobs?

Been smacked by the ICO? Reveal your internal probes

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Do nothing, pass on the fine

Responding with the report would be "prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs" when people learned that Ealing council will just pass the fine on through council tax and carry on as before.

Or maybe they did investigate and improve security, then missed an opportunity to reassure the public.

Of course, the ICO also published the get-out, as "The ICO decided that the council had correctly applied the ‘prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs’ exemption", so all FOI's of this nature will be responded to according to the ICO's advice; public interest be damned.

I've sort of lost the plot as to why we have an ICO, or is it because the EU say we must have one, because all organisations handling personal information must register a Data Protection Officer and without an ICO there would be nowhere to register? Other than turning oxygen into green house gasses, do they perform any other function?

France: All your books are belong to us

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It's a normal function of gubment

This is just nationalisation. In the current climate, gubments are normally selling off their silver to raise cash, (airwaves seem to be the latest silver), so nice to see one on an acquisition spree, though I didn't read they were actually spending money.

Now, if they could just extend this to music and films and bring back the guillotine, we would have an end to media piracy, in France at least. Three strikes and we really cut your internet connection.

Secret high-security Chinese shipments point to iPad 3 exports

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Paris Hilton

The flights started yesterday

So the dedicated followers need to get their sleeping bags out pronto and start sleeping outside the stores or the image of the iPad 3 as the most desirable object on the planet will be tarnished.

Paris, because if I was asked to pick a most desirable object....

Wikileaks regains relevance with Stratfor doc-drop

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Data was obtained unlawfully

The hackers, who never owned up, actually deleted data, took down servers and tried to attack the backup servers. This was no secret, so Wikileaks once again knowingly receive and publish information obtained by unlawful means, but hey, its is all in the public interest, so that's OK.

As for StratCap, unless the information used to trade is restricted, that is not available as part of their normal geopolitical intelligence reports, then it is no different to any other informed gamble on government bonds, e.g. subscribing to Thomson-Reuters or Bloomberg data feeds and trading bonds.

Met Office wants better supercomputer to predict extreme weather

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The likelihood of weather is...

"In particular, we are keen to see broadcasters make greater use of probabilistic information in their weather forecasts,"

In Scotland there is 150% chance of weather, that is 50% chance of rain in Glasgow, 50% chance of snow in the Cairngorms and 50% chance of sunshine in Aberdeen, or none of this may happen, so that would be 0% chance of weather.

In England, the super-super-computer just said 42 and suggested that we release lots of white mice to see if they can get someone to work it out.

Child abuse files stolen from council worker in PUB - £100k fine

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Not really

The councillors would just claim the fine on expenses. Until someone is sacked for an offence like this, attitudes will not change.

Being a data protection officer is not just being registered with the ICO, it is being responsible for protecting data. The managers above the DPO are equally responsible for ensuring that procedures are in place.

In private industry, heads roll when there are data breach screw-ups, it may take time, but someone (not always the right person) is made pay. Why is it that this never happens in the public sector?

Now Proview seeks ban on ALL iPads coming out of China

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Not realy

"an annoying little lawsuit into a major problem for Cupertino" it is just that the price went up.

If Apple want to play games, then the purchase in in Taiwan was a purchase in China, that's the official line, so are Proview denying that their Taiwan office is just another branch in China.

Some potential fun in this one, for us observing from the sidelines anyway.

Heathrow facial recognition tech stalled by borders fiasco

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It is a well known fact that all foreigners from the same country look the same to us, so it will just let them all pass through if one registers?