* Posts by Frank Marsh

46 posts • joined 1 Mar 2013

Sure is wild that Apple, Google app store monopolies are way worse than what Windows got up to, sniffs Microsoft prez

Frank Marsh

Damage the hard drive?

I have to question the technical accuracy of the statement: uninstalling IE "would actually damage the hard drive."

I can't recall the actual details, which probably involved corrupting your Windows install in some way. But damaging the hard drive? That seems unlikely.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

Frank Marsh

Re: Two spaces?

You were, and remain, right! Computers can handle spacing. We're not using fixed-width fonts for body text anymore.

Malware hides as iOS jailbreak, Sucuri is insecuri, and China is about to get even worse

Frank Marsh

Cross-side scripting?

A new attack vector? Will any of the cross-site scripting mitigations work against it?

Yours truly,


The safest place to save your files is somewhere nobody will ever look

Frank Marsh

Re: Been there. Done that.

Thank you! I hadn't seen that video in years. Well worth the re-watch.

First Python feature release under new governance model is here, complete with walrus operator (:=)

Frank Marsh
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Re: newlist = [ result for x in oldlist if (result:= f(x)) > 0 ]

Thank you. Literally laughed out loud. I'm still chuckling.

Be still, our drinking hearts: Help Reg name whisky beast conjured by Swedish distillers and AI blendbot

Frank Marsh

Re: They should call it what it is...

Laughed out loud. Thank you.

Samsung Note10+ torn apart to expose three 5G antennas: One has to pick up something

Frank Marsh

Microphone jack?

"Samsung has dumped the microphone jack...." In that case, I don't want one! If my phone can't provide phantom power to a studio-quality condenser mic, what good is it?

In hilariously petulant move, Apple shuts Texas stores and reopens them few miles down the road – for patent reasons

Frank Marsh

Re: Author of the article thinks there's nothing different about Eastern District?

Lost In Clouds of Data is on the mark. I wonder if s/he is a patent attorney.

Eastern District of Texas has waned as the mecca of patent trolls, but in its heyday companies like Samsung were building ice skating rinks outside the courthouse. This article is instructive: https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/why-south-korea-s-samsung-built-the-only-outdoor-skating-rink-in-texas

There are many ways that, even with a single federal body of law in common with other districts, a judge can advantage one side over another. Procedural rules, as one example, are specific to different districts.

Face-PALM: US Patent and Trademark Office database down for 5 days and counting

Frank Marsh

Re: "a novel approach to dealing with the problem of patent trolls"

Unfortunately, all the Examiners who can't work effectively will just have to rush through their backlog once the systems come back up. That sort of rush will make it even more likely for BS patents to be excreted out the back end of the USPTO.

Frank Marsh

Re: Viral?

I just desperately hope that one day we will learn what really happened in an issue of "Who, Me?" This has all the markings of something like running a backup in the wrong direction.

The incremental progress the USPTO keeps talking about suggests they restored from tape and are now hand-entering all the lost transactions from log files. At least that's where I'll place my $20 bet.

June 2018, and Windows Server can be pwned with a DNS request

Frank Marsh

Device..... *Guard* - I had to look up one of the CVEs

"Device was a special point of focus" -> "Device Guard was a special point of focus"


SpaceX blasted massive plasma hole in Earth's ionosphere

Frank Marsh

Re: Interesting

Hmm... I think the Editor may have glossed over that a bit too quickly. The actual journal appears to be Space Weather from the American Geophysical Union. "Advancing Earth and Space Science" is simply a tagline on their website.

Us? Reverse engineer HoloLens? No way, not us, nuh-uh – Magic Leap

Frank Marsh

These stories about Magic Leap are hilarious. I find them almost as funny as BoFH. Thank you very much, El Reg!

User stepped on mouse, complained pedal wasn’t making PC go faster

Frank Marsh

Re: Reminds me of a story

Oh. My. Goodness. I used to work for Agilent/Genital and never heard or realized that. Thank you! I will never think of that time in the same way again.

Military alliance NATO adopts official hymn

Frank Marsh

Re: Agreed on the Rickroll

Well-played. You got me.

1Password won't axe private vaults. It'll choke 'em to death instead

Frank Marsh

Re: KeePass to LastPass to 1Password

My fault - when I said "local vaults," I was specifically referring to Dropbox sync for those local vaults. Yes, my password blob is stored in the cloud, but a hacker would then have to crack my master password if they plucked the vault from Dropbox.

1Password 6 has actually _removed_ support for Dropbox sync. https://discussions.agilebits.com/discussion/76885/1password-6-does-not-support-local-vaults-atm

Previously, the vaults were read-only, which was also a non-starter.

Now I find out 1Password 6 doesn't work with IE. ARGH. You can hate it but it's what many businesses (like mine) use.

Frank Marsh

KeePass to LastPass to 1Password

Now back to KeePass?

KeePass was great, but I moved to LastPass so the web integration would be more seamless and my wife would hate me less. Then I read in the hallowed pages of El Reg about them getting sold, so I finally paid for 1Password, as some of my friends had suggested.

1Password is great, and I love the mobile apps. I could even stomach paying them a monthly tax on top of the perpetual license I already bought. But at last check 1Password 6 doesn't support local vaults (forcing me to stay on 1Password 4). This news suggests 1Password 6 won't ever support local vaults.

Maybe I have to jump back into KeePass and install CKP into Chrome. My wife likes the idea of strong passwords, but doesn't have much patience for copy/paste from an external program.

'Janus' resurfaces: I was behind the original Petya. I want to help with NotPetya

Frank Marsh

Concrete shoes

That's what I'm wondering. Many of these criminal gangs don't restrict their operations solely to the ether.

Messaging app used by Trump aides 'riddled with security bugs'

Frank Marsh


So tell me again why anyone would use a me-too product like this, which has no actual cryptographers on staff? Cryptography is hard, and these bozos aren't even getting to the cryptography - they're forgetting to check for valid SSL certificates.

D-Link sucks so much at Internet of Suckage security – US watchdog

Frank Marsh

D-Link needs to pay its astroturfers better

djzoey: I might have accepted that your personal experience with D-Link products has been good. But when you join the forums solely to post 3 times on the glory of D-Link, you outed yourself.

How much would D-Link have to pay so that you took the time to at least create a few posts on other stories? And maybe to think through your posts, so that the shilling for D-Link was just a little less transparent...

Pwned Clinton aide Trumped

Frank Marsh

Zero Progress

My family never seems to think they would be worth hacking, so can't be bothered to care about basic security.

But you would think that a campaign being actively targeted and actually breached would lead at least the top people in the campaign to take some security measures. Even basic stuff like using different passwords for different accounts. How hard is that?

Google plots cop detection for auto autos

Frank Marsh

This is NOT a patent.

Patent law is endlessly complex, but El Reg, this article gets the basics wrong. Google's APPLICATION for a patent was was filed in August 2014 and simply PUBLISHED on 1 September. The publication is not related to whether the US Patent Office decides to grant a patent.

In fact, I troubled to look it up and, at the moment, the US Examiner has just rejected all of the claims for the second time.

Zero-day hole can pwn millions of LastPass users, all that's needed is a malicious site

Frank Marsh

Re: Truecrypt + Notepad

What Charles 9 said. You're basically creating your own poor man's version of KeePass. And if you think that a Truecrypt volume is security by obscurity in comparison to KeePass, look up how Hacking Team got their code stolen. An attacker got admin rights and grabbed the text password file when the lead engineer decrypted his Truecrypt volume to use a password.

You have the exact same single point of vulnerability as KeePass (or 1Password minus browser plugins). And none of the features (additional fields for security questions, password generator, and many UI features beyond what Charles 9 said, such as auto-locking after various measures of inactivity).

Gwyneth Paltrow and Richard Branson will lead Sage's 'sexy accounting' shtick

Frank Marsh

Is this still April 1?

Do mid-market accounting software buyers want to hear from Ashton Kutcher on any topic, much less “values over valuations: building a mission-driven business”?

I kept thinking I would get to the end of the article and would see: "Just kidding - they're the celebrity glitter into for a 'maximizing capital depreciation in the coming tax year' presentation."

Brit AI daddy Sir David MacKay dies

Frank Marsh

I never knew you

but I learned at your knee. Never thought I'd look at Information Theory, Inference, and Learning Algorithms and feel a twinge of sadness. Since Arthur Rank Hospice Charity was important to you, I've donated. Rest in peace.

German lodges todger in 13 steel rings

Frank Marsh
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Re: Points for the image

I ain't Spartacus: How did I overlook the Lord of the Rings connection? That would have been a travesty. I regret that I have but one upvote to give.

'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

Frank Marsh

Re: Oh, for a sensible cable...

I like their site, and may try them out for new speaker cable. But they don't appear to have much selection in the way of USB-C cables.

Sunk by 'patent troll': Iron Speed director asks 'anyone want to buy us?'

Frank Marsh

Re: Anyone been through the filings in East Texas?

Advanced Dynamic Interfaces LLC is the troll. Amazingly, they filed in Delaware, not E. Texas.

Thankfully they also sued Salesforce.com and Oracle, so hopefully there will be some well-funded hellfire and brimstone.

Frank Marsh

More info

I looked up the patent at issue here. It is: https://www.google.com/patents/US7062502

It's not pretty, but at 108 pages, it's not the cursory marketing shite many trolls are advancing. And the patent actually started its life at what appears to be a real (though probably now defunct) company: http://www.appquest.com/

Unfortunately, (i) the claims are incredibly broad, covering the general idea of database->software generation. All too commonly permitted by the USPTO. And (ii) a troll is suing developers of the general idea rather than developing the more specific ideas from the patent. How does that encourage innovation?

Houston Astros 'hack' row: St Louis Cardinals fire their chief scout

Frank Marsh
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Re: @disgruntled yank (was: Typical of today's lax kiddie "sysadmins".)

Jake: "Possible with lax security. My systems? Not so much."

Right, because your systems know the passwords a user used at a previous job, and adds those to a magical blacklist.

I'd say that ill-deserved smugness is more old, tired, & derivative than the BOFH could ever become.

Motorola Mobility loses another patent suit to über-troll Intellectual Ventures

Frank Marsh

Quid pro quo

So the US government gave out a patent (a 20-year monopoly) on this "invention." However, in my humble opinion (which is my own, not my firm's or clients', and formed after only brief review), what was disclosed by the "inventor" in the '462 patent was simply putting a processor in a headset but not in a docking station, so that the docking station only functioned when the headset was plugged into it.

The patent is quite short, and it appears that the inventor didn't have to solve any technical challenges - he simply came up with a marketing concept. The actual technical problems were left to the actual engineers, like the ones at Motorola.

And yet in return for this brief disclosure, he (or, even worse, Intellectual Ventures) gets to extract money from every company that uses a processor-less docking station with a phone.

Frank Marsh

Re: I blame the jury.

IANYL, though I am a patent lawyer. What the jury is allowed to consider is limited to what the plaintiff and defense lawyers introduce at trial.

Obviousness is a determination made based on prior art, so Motorola absolutely did do their best at introducing prior art to invalidate the patent.

(and yes, technical knowledge of the patent subject matter will often get you kicked off the jury)

Frank Marsh

Re: Their Patent '7054

I agree with the "leeching" characterization, but effectuate is a real verb. For the most part, we lawyers only use it to look like pompous windbags, but it is out there for the using.

$533 MEEELLION – the cost of Apple’s iTunes patent infringement

Frank Marsh

Re: Gotta love Apple.

You make an excellent point, one that patent apologists believe is the only point. The problem exist when the "inventor" hasn't invented anything but instead has simply described the problem. When a company like Apple comes along with the solution, the inventor (or, more likely, his chosen troll) comes along and extracts money from Apple.

The patent system establishes a quid pro quo: a 20-year monopoly in exchange for public disclosure. When the value of an inventor's disclosure is nearly zero, the patent monopoly shouldn't reward the inventor with millions, and hundreds of millions of dollars.

Frank Marsh

Re: Nothing wrong with Patent Trolls...

Blame the lawyers. We're the only ones who truly understand how broken the system is. But most of us are so blinded by self-interest, we don't do anything about it. So Apple lost, next time they may win, but either way, the lawyers make millions. On *each case*. It's astounding.

Good grief! Have you seen BlackBerry's square smartphone?

Frank Marsh

Re: "keyboard doubles as a capacitive multitouch trackpad"

Best Reg comment of the week. As I was thinking "Read the bl--dy article before commenting, you... " the satire hit me. Brilliant! Thanks for the laugh.

Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

Frank Marsh

This is exactly the problem. I doubt very much that more than a handful of Reg readers haven't upgraded their phone or tablet in the last 5 years. But the ones who have may repurpose the outdated devices to functions (like running Sonos exclusively) that are well within the abilities of an old device. And it's perfect - your new iPad is your personal device, while the old iPad is the family/guests coffeetable remote.

I nearly bought some old iPod Touches off of eBay to replace my original Sonos CR100s, whose batteries are nearly dead. Good thing I didn't, or I'd be boohooing right now as well.

I doubt Sonos has any malicious intent, like funneling more of our hard-earned monies into Apple's pockets (Sonos would rather have those dollars). I'd be curious, though, why old Sonos iOS apps won't be able to talk to the updated Sonos device software. If it will make the Sonos app more responsive, I'm all for it! The Sonos app has never impressed with its speed.

Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED

Frank Marsh

Only 6 hours

This is the 3rd time I've seen the "Remarkably, in the miniscule 6 hour window!!!" defense mentioned for the Canada Revenue Agency.

But the social security number snaffle happened on Wednesday, while Heartbleed was announced to the world April 7 at 1:27 p.m. New York time.

What am I missing? Or do they really mean "But it was only 6 hours from when we realized the bug affected us until we took the site down!!!" ?

'Catastrophic' server disk-destroying glitch menaced Google cloud

Frank Marsh

Are these actions commutative?

So when you move data, do you copy it and then delete the original, or is it the other way around? Does it really matter?

Ouch. This doesn't seem like abject stupidity, it seems like a race condition that wasn't anticipated. So glad I wasn't the programmer.

Mac fans: You don't need Windows to get ripped off in tech support scams

Frank Marsh

Browser speed

Another howler from the video: in order to test "browser speed", the scammer opened up another terminal window and ran ping www.safari.com. Brilliant!

Troll loses 'we own the Web' patent appeal

Frank Marsh

IBM just patented some iterations of trolling, or as they say in lawyer-speak, "System and method for extracting value from a portfolio of assets"


While amusing, the fact that it issued does not exactly cover the US patent system with glory.

-US Patent Attorney

Frank Marsh

The Examiner that issued the patent was Dinh C. Dung. But you really can't blame him/her. The Examiner is making $40 an hour and is up against lawyers making $300-$600 an hour and often not subject to the same hour constraints per case as the Examiner.

More importantly the best prior art (which ultimately invalidated the patent) was not readily accessible to the Examiner. Probably the primary reason that so many bad software patents get issued. Examiners are only equipped to search other patents, not the myriad places where coding ideas may be found, like stackexchange, github, programming manuals, Unix source code, etc. Not a good situation.

-US Patent Lawyer

Frank Marsh

Number 2 isn't really a point of law - simply Mr. Berners-Lee's correct analysis that this patent would be a huge tax on innovative companies.

But in Court, they actually had to prove the patent was invalid, not just that its results would be counter-productive. Mr. Berners-Lee and others provided some compelling testimony that embedded objects already existed before this patent was filed. Thank Heavens.

Frank Marsh


I don't mean to be rude, but companies that have previously settled with a troll (or any patent owner, for that matter) almost never get their money back. The troll is smart enough to put language in the settlement agreement that says "even if this patent is found invalid, that doesn't affect our settlement."

It is a pretty sorry state of affairs, though - the previously settling companies have paid out 10s or 100s of millions on a patent that was invalid the whole time, but only officially declared invalid after they were out of pocket.

-US patent lawyer

Using encryption? That means the US spooks have you on file

Frank Marsh

Re: Vindication

So two people get the joke, and then one gets suckered in. Yes, Xamol, they're joking. If this were the Daily Mail comments, I wouldn't be so sure. But if someone on The Register starts taking in hushed tones about "Ctrl-A", they're pulling your leg.

Apple takes aim at accessory makers, files iPad stand patent

Frank Marsh

18 months to publish?

Although the US Patent Office has quite a backlog, the 18-month delay between filing and publishing is set by statute. It has nothing to do with the complexity of the "invention." I can say this confidently since I'm a patent attorney here in the U.S.


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