* Posts by Barbarian At the Gates

103 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Feb 2013


Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

Barbarian At the Gates

My House is Invincible!

> "We designed this fingerprint lock of againsting [sic] theft," it begins. "However the lock is invincible to the people who do not have a screwdriver."

My house is invincible to the people when it does not have people.

Netflix US Twitter account hacked

Barbarian At the Gates

SMS isn't really "secure" for 2FA

Here's something to think about if you use your cell phone number as a form of 2FA. In some scenarios using SMS for 2FA actually helps make your account easier to hijack. It depends on how password reset is implemented by a particular account provider. If they set it up such that if you forget your password, you can get a code sent via SMS to use to reset your password...well...

If someone can find out a cell number is attached to a particular account, some trivial social engineering can get that cell phone number ported to a different service/burner cell phone. Issue password reset requests to account(s), get reset code SMSes on burner phone, take over account.

US election pollsters weren't (very) wrong – statistically speaking

Barbarian At the Gates

Iowa is "empty"?

Looking it up, Iowa is 30th out of 50 in terms of population. So, it's actually middle of the pack in terms of population.

Someone else mentioned Utah as being like Iowa. Which is quite true in terms of population, as Utah is 31st in population in the United States. Even if it isn't much like Iowa in any other way.

So, sorry if you have a beef against the state of Iowa. I don't know what that would be, but being among the most lightly populated states in the USA...shouldn't be one of them.

Mac book, whoa! Apple unveils $300 design tome

Barbarian At the Gates

Genius of a different stripe

Do it in white, make it pricy, offer it in two sizes, and charge $100 more for the upgrade.

I'm seeing some old fashioned Apple genius involved here...not sure if it's "design" so much as some other category...

The IRS spaffed $12m on Office 365 subscription IT NEVER USED

Barbarian At the Gates

Re: I can see it now...

This could take "government transparency" to a whole new level. Add in some off-shore data centers for data resiliency and availability and think of all the additional "oversight" other countries could have over IRS email traffic.

I mean, what's the big deal, the US government doesn't see anything wrong with snooping emails of foreign nationals, I'm sure they wouldn't object to having other countries take a peek at tax related messages.

Y'know that ridiculously expensive Oculus Rift? Yeah, it just got worse

Barbarian At the Gates

The future is now, Occulus

And honestly it's not that exciting.

True, I found that the first 30 minutes of a VR headset experience can be pretty glorious. But a vast majority of the applications available are not much more satisfying than a tech demo or "early access" title that is interesting for about that 30 minutes. Then I end up with a feeling much like after eating a whole bag of crisps/chips...unsatisfied, a bit queasy and vaguely remorseful.

Google crushes 33 Chrome bugs, pays boffins more than $56k

Barbarian At the Gates

Re: I am anonymous

No, I'm anonymous. And so's my wife!

Wikimedia boss scoops $100,000 payrise – after stepping down

Barbarian At the Gates

They should hire me

I'd save them a bunch of money, I'd quit Wikimedia for a measly $50,000/yr pay raise. Someone on the board could then reward themselves for making such a thrifty move by taking a $50,000 bonus. Win/Win situation!

US nuke arsenal runs on 1970s IBM 'puter waving 8-inch floppies

Barbarian At the Gates

Re: Security by obsurity

I wonder which CERT vulnerability fridge magnets fall under....

Apple, AT&T, Verizon named in $7bn VoIP patent claim

Barbarian At the Gates

They forgot to ask for a pony. Always ask for a pony!

Valley VC Peter Thiel becomes an official Trump delegate

Barbarian At the Gates

Re: Location

A person having a lot of money in their possession is not an indicator of intelligence. Or taste, since I'm on the topic...

Five Eyes nations must purge terrorists from the web, says Theresa May

Barbarian At the Gates

Simpler solution

Put a blindfold on and stop up the ears of the frightened lass. That will keep all the horrible, horrible Internets out of her.

So, that's sorted.

Xen forgets recent patches in new maintenance release

Barbarian At the Gates

Re: Maybe a little perspective helps

Maybe there could be an RSS feed for the list.

Philae comet lander officially dead

Barbarian At the Gates

Considering ridiculously hard all this is

It's amazing how many successes (or even partial successes) humankind have managed. Well done, ladies and gentlemen, well done indeed!

Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

Barbarian At the Gates

See here, Bolivian Embassy!

We, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Working Groups, declare that the Bolivian Embassy, in confining Julian Assange to a single couch within a rather small set of rooms to be "arbitrary detention". Keeping him there is "unlawful". We rather forgot about your existence for a number of years, Julian, much to your chagrin. I do hope you will recover from this blow to your ego.

We forthwith declare: Mr. Assange, you are...still...free to go *

* directly to jail in Britain for skipping terms of bail. Do not pass "GO" and do not collect $200. Really, that's on you, old boy.

GitHub: We're sorry (again) about (another) outage

Barbarian At the Gates

First rule of slacking

If you can plausibly blame non-productivity on an event outside of your control, play up how critical the tool/service is to your work, and then goof off until it's back up.

If your boss sucks, they'll buy the story, and you won't feel too guilty about selling them a line of hooey.

Show us the code! You should be able to peek inside the gadgets you buy – FTC commish

Barbarian At the Gates

Wait, what?

I find myself feeling a little bit...disoriented...by hearing the head of a US Federal organization come out on the side of citizens of the United States. I think my heart may have grown three sizes right there.

MIT boffin: Big data won't compute? Try these handy quantum algorithms

Barbarian At the Gates

We built one

But we keep misplacing it when it's working, and when we find the machine, it's broken.

That one weird trick fails: Google binned 780 million ads last year

Barbarian At the Gates

Ad Company proud they don't always send you malware ads

Hi, we are in the business of selling advertisement space on webpages and sending ads to you. We are pretty proud of how we spend a small fraction of the money we take in doing that to filter out some of the least desirable ads.

While we are here, lets take a moment to tell you about how malicious advertisements are increasing and that ads even we are too embarrassed to serve up are becoming pretty common. This gives us even more ads to filter out! You know, from the good ones. The ones you eagerly wait for.

You're welcome!

How to help a user who can't find the Start button or the keyboard?

Barbarian At the Gates

Been there, hated that

I've had the pleasure of attempting to help a user get started with an application when the following conditions applied:

1) Not familiar with "double click to launch application from shortcut" concept

2) Not familiar with "double click" concept

3) Did not know there was a "left" mouse button, and preferred using the "right" one

4) Neither of us spoke the other's native tongue

5) User did not want to use application

The user was not happy to have been stuck in front of a computer in the first place, as they were a pilot, and they really didn't see the need to be sitting at a desk when they could be flying. I agreed, really.

Hey, Intel and Micron: XPoint is phase-change memory, right? Or is it? Yes. No. Yes

Barbarian At the Gates

Can they field it?

Can they build it into a product, and will the product be successful? That's the really interesting question to me. As the author noted, Intel and Micron are adding a new memory product that needs to sit in a new "spot" in a computer architecture. Where Intel thinks it should go in has me more curious than what's in the magic black box, personally.

Trump's new thought bubble: Make Apple manufacture in the USA

Barbarian At the Gates

For a guy that claims to be a "businessman"

He doesn't understand how businesses work.

Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

Barbarian At the Gates

All this talk of crufty old computers

Reminds me of all the old computers I've been blessed with that I wish had died much sooner than they had.

Beware the terrorist drones! For they are coming! Pass new laws!

Barbarian At the Gates

When it comes to drones...

Never attribute to terrorism that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Stanford boffins snuff out li-ion batt blaze risk

Barbarian At the Gates

Re: Excellent.

Agreed. Until a battery "invention" reaches products people actually use and buy, I can't take it seriously anymore.

The Register needs a battery invention comment icon, and can finally retire that Paris Hilton one...battery research has become a bigger attention seeker.

Activist investors want tepid Yahoo! to reboot crashed Marissa Mayer

Barbarian At the Gates

Yahoo! seems to be in one of the hardest parts of a company's lifespan

Sometimes, the purpose or utility of a company has come to an end. Yahoo! may be there. If so, then, well...the company possibly needs to be ended, and stakeholders would prefer that to be done in a way that makes them filthy rich. Which, I can't blame them for, I'd rather end up filthy rich rather than just filthy.

The tough part is that the people that work for the company, which is currently providing them with their livelihood...they won't end up filthy rich if the company ends, and they depend on the money coming in from working at said company to maintain their current lifestyle. And I can't imagine that anyone wants to unemploy themselves.

So, attempt to reinvent yourself, company. Sadly, your odds probably aren't a lot better than a from scratch startup at succeeding at that new venture(s). Sure, you probably have actual money coming in to spend on making yourself a new company, but you're public, and that means you've got a lot of cooks in your kitchen that want results now, not tomorrow or next decade...

Comcast's Xfinity home alarms can be disabled by wireless jammers

Barbarian At the Gates

There's an interesting implementation of "fail safe"

Oops, security system has failed in a detectable manner. I shan't worry, I'm sure your property is safe!

Intel, Warner lock horns with hardware biz over HDCP crypto-busters

Barbarian At the Gates


For this device to have any utility, that would mean it is highly probable that the user has a "legit" copy of a piece of media, and is playing it on a compliant media player. Or it wouldn't have HDCP going out on the wire to strip out.

We'd better shut those people right down. Paying for content might be habit forming, and once you've got an established pattern of behavior, it's frightfully difficult to stop.

Cat fight: Watch out YouTube, here comes Facebook

Barbarian At the Gates

YouTube website is poor for "surfing"

In my opinion, one of the most basic problems with YouTube is that it's just not a good user experience.

I end up "on YouTube" mostly from links from other sources that have posted/curated/promoted a video that just happens to be using YouTube as the distribution means for their content. Or I use YouTube to upload a video that I post elsewhere. I need to link to it from elsewhere on the web for anyone to find it.

YouTube just isn't something that I go to directly. There's just too much noise and abysmally poor content sorting and presentation. Funny isn't it? An advertising company that is known for search engine prowess and thorough profiling and analysis of users of its services...can't figure out what videos people want to watch?

No, drone owners – all our base are belong to US, thunders military

Barbarian At the Gates

This is not going well

There's a lot of US citizens that are pretty sure they're experts about their "rights" and their "freedoms". And it's very likely that over one million "drones" have already been sold in the USA to date. Probably crossed that number months ago. Just playing the averages here, it's a pretty safe bet there are a lot of these things in the hands of unskilled operators. Don't even have to have malicious intent for accidents to happen here.

Feds widen probe into lottery IT boss who rooted game for profit

Barbarian At the Gates

So much for randomly generated

"installing a rootkit in the MSLA's random-number generating computer that allowed him to predict the digits for future winning tickets"

Either there are errors in this sentence, or the random-number generating computer isn't generating random numbers. Given the charges levied, it seems the latter would be the case.

So, after finding out who benefited from gaming the system, crack investigators...find out who implemented the "random" number generator and sack them. I'm pretty sure there's enough free cash flow from this lottery to ensure you could hire a competent implementation of a random number generator.

Death Stars are a waste of time – here's the best way to take over the galaxy

Barbarian At the Gates

I was impressed

By the 'technology' that could somehow harvest the mass of a star in mere minutes, and 'store' that as energy. On something the size of a planet.

I mean, the Earth has a mass close to 6x10^24 kg, and the Sun masses roughly 2x10^30 kg. Using this as a rough proportion of what the Starkiller Base hoovered up...that means it somehow pulled in and stored about 1 million times it's mass in less than a hour.

I NEED this technology...if this could be adapted on a smaller scale, it would completely revolutionize my enjoyment of holliday meals.

How to log into any backdoored Juniper firewall – hard-coded password published

Barbarian At the Gates

The US solution to a bad guy with a backdoor

...is a good guy with a backdoor.

I wish that was a joke.

Facebook hammers another nail into Flash's coffin

Barbarian At the Gates

FutureSplash Animator

When you look back on the history of where Flash came from, it seems obvious why it's a festering pile of...software. I will miss it about as much as RealAudio, webpages with auto playing MIDI music, and <blink> tags.

Let's shut down the internet: Republicans vacate their mind bowels

Barbarian At the Gates

The GOP candidates weren't talking to you

They were speaking directly to their base: the stupid and angry. This is the stuff the stupids want to hear, they feel bad when people use big words and make them feel their dullness. People with average intelligence or better are supposed to hear this drivel, despair, and give up on democrazy. If the GOP can get smarter people to not vote, they're on their way to taking over the thing they most want to destroy.

GOP senators push FCC to kill support for local broadband

Barbarian At the Gates

Free market works

Until your monopoly gets a competitor, then you need government intervention to come in and squash them before they make you work for your dominate position.

I mean, really, what does a company that has decades of experience in serving and delighting their customers with a fantastic offering provided at the prices only an economy of scale can make possible have to fear from an upstart that has no experience in running an ISP?

Sorry, I don't have tissues enough to go around, you'll have to wipe up those tears of laughter on your own.

Memory-resident modular malware menaces moneymen

Barbarian At the Gates

Malware Anti-virus

Anti-virus packages are for shutting the barn door after the cows have already started to get out. Never will completely prevent the cows from getting out in the first place. Anti-virus is more Clean-up The Mess Once You've Discovered It, And Someone Else Has Already Figured Out What To Do About It.

I view "anti-virus" software as virus injection software...you've decided to infect your PC with a relatively benign strain of performance sucking rootkit, in hopes that it is so successful as a infectious agent that it can starve out other, nastier virii.

Adobe: We locked our customers in the cloud and out poured money

Barbarian At the Gates

Adobe's move got some people/organizations to become more...diligent....about purchasing licences for software they were using. The "cloud" moniker is rather poorly applied here, but I suppose from a marketing point of view, they couldn't call it the Creative License Enforcement Suite.

Unsourced, unreliable, and in your face forever: Wikidata, the future of online nonsense

Barbarian At the Gates

Facts are what you make of them on the internet

We demand truthiness¹ here!


Battery-free IoT sensor feeds off radio waves

Barbarian At the Gates

Age of the IoT Zombie Hackpocolypse Sensor

Imagine a future in which a device along these lines has a remotely exploitable bug, and you can't shut the darn thing off as a last ditch mitigation because you've slapped a few thousand of these doohickeys into a building's fabric, and there's no easy way to power only the "good" IoT bugs with RF without also powering the "bad" ones.

Dave: "HAL, turn on the heat in here, it's freezing!"

HAL: "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. The temperature sensors indicates that the internal temperature of your room is 127°C."

Grow up, judge tells EFF: You’re worse than a complaining child

Barbarian At the Gates

Re: The Judge is right ...

Agreed. It might be possible to make an argument that internet access is a "necessity", but it's not currently a "right" in the United States.

It's not like you have a "right" to food and shelter in the United States, so...even if it seems crappy that you don't have a "right" to internet access in the USA...I could see why the judge found a brief making a claim that internet is a "right" laughable in this context.

Apple downgrades iPhone 6S with wimpy 1715mAh battery

Barbarian At the Gates

Bit of soft shoe-ing here

If it takes iOS updates improving energy use to achieve the same battery time with a smaller battery on the new S variants when compared to the previous model using the existing iOS build...well, that's great.

But the previous model will even be better on battery life when the new iOS update happens to it.

We're kinda getting to the point where cramming more stuff in a smartphone isn't necessarily a better user experience. That is gonna become a problem for smartphone makers sometime soonish.

Reg top tip: Don't have the same name as someone else if you use Facebook's Instagram

Barbarian At the Gates

Re: Good parting advice

When you think of it that way, we actually don't know if their customer support is poor. We just know that their product support is poor.

Instagram may be doing a fabulous job of supporting their advertising customers.

Cyber-security's dirty little secret: It's not as bad as you think

Barbarian At the Gates

Correlation, causation, and conclusions

While it isn't a bad thing, in and of itself, to attempt to collect data, and make sense of it, there's bit of a problem with collecting data, finding that it is inadequate to draw conclusions from, and then...draw conclusions from it.

Botnets are decreasing in abolute terms? Interesting. Botnets decreasing in relationship to aggregating personal computers numbers with devices/platforms that may, or may not have relevance to botnets? What does that mean? Anything?

The zero day conclusions: I don't have complete data, yeah, there's a bunch of scary zero day things, and I don't have any way to figure out how "dangerous" they are or how exposed people are to them, but hey, if I increase the pool of potentially impacted people, the ratio goes down. Yay, we're safer?

If we add in the human population to the bird population, and then calculate the ratio of creatures dying from avian flu on an annual basis...are humans getting safer? Or is the question so unrelated to the available data that attempting to answer the question with the data silly?

Farewell then, Mr Elop: It wasn't actually your fault

Barbarian At the Gates

Given the €18.8m payout to Elop when Nokia sold to Microsoft

He'll be okay if he doesn't get another CEO job. He has enough to get by for the rest of his life. Unless he's not fiscally responsible enough to get by on 18.8m, and in that case, he isn't fiscally responsible enough to be a CEO in the first place.

So it's sorted either way.

Spaniard sues eBay over right to sell the Sun

Barbarian At the Gates

Re: I need to buy a Porsche to drive him to school.

I was under the impression that all children start out with mobility problems. So it could be anyone.

Amazon tries to patent 3D printers on trucks

Barbarian At the Gates

Help feed a lawyer, file a patent with the USPTO

So, now that "on a computer" patents are out, we're moving to "on a truck". Fantastic.

Facebook: Yo 'people'! Zap fake news on our giant ad farm, would'ja?

Barbarian At the Gates


To put it politely, this is asking the inmates to run the asylum.

I believe this would actually make the false/satire/doesn't-conform-to-my-beliefs-so-must-be-fake stories more durable. If it just shows up with a note "this has been flagged false by users" that will do jack all at best. If links flagged as "fake" get removed, then you tweak all the conspiracy mongers into KNOWING the link is true, because it got suppressed.

In all actuality, this would probably just turn into another means of online harassment.

Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

Barbarian At the Gates

They totally missed the most profitable use of this technology

What if it maneuvered the phone so that it maximized potential damage? There's where the money is at!

CONTAINER WARS: CoreOS blasts Rocket rival at Docker

Barbarian At the Gates

Feature bloat?

Sometimes, when you make something, simple, powerful and useful...it's done, other than the maintenance and bug fixing. But when that happens, what do you do with your time?

Hollywood has sequel-itis and remakes. Software has feature bloat.