* Posts by Don Dumb

452 posts • joined 20 May 2013


Money can buy you insurance against network break-ins but investing in infosec hygiene wouldn't go amiss, says new NCSC chief

Don Dumb

Re: Simply not embedded into the UK's boardroom thinking

It needs standards and regulations. The things we have governments for, allegedly.

And enforcement - often governments think the first two is enough.

It was illegal to build towerblocks that burn down. It seems more difficult to force builders to care.

Microsoft wants to show enterprises that Edge means business, rather than the thing you use to download Chrome

Don Dumb

Leopards and their spots

I wonder if the uptick in Edge is at all linked to the recent update which forced itself on the user. Going as far as a splashpage on system startup which couldn't be deactivated by any normal command (no 'X' in the corner).

The splashpage both attempted to make itself default, again noting the page couldn't be deactivated normally and take bookmarks and history from other browsers.

I avoided it by killing it from task manager but how many users would have just clicked on 'yes' to get the page to go away, being as there was no other exit

Just like the good old days...

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

Don Dumb

Oh really?

@Brewster's Angle Grinder

"And Apple won't let you install other media players."

Did your teenage kid tell you that to keep you from suspecting? - VLC Disagrees


Adobe: Two critical Flash security bugs fixed for the price of one

Don Dumb

Re: Urgh!

FFS! - Remove Flash from your browser and, guess what, it works fine.

Snap, crackle ... patch! Apple kicks out iOS 11.0.2 to tackle crappy calls, fix email glitches

Don Dumb

Control Panel

Have they fixed the 'control-panel-doesn't-really-turn-off-bluetooth/wifi-it-just-disconnects' issue?

Or is that Apple "innovation"

Apple's 'shoddy' Beats headphones get slammed in lawsuit

Don Dumb


@Not also known as SC - "I don't think the complainants should win this particular case - it should be obvious that headphones would get sweat damaged in that sort of environment."

Unless they were sold with advertising stating that they would work in those conditions.

If only they stated this in the story you've commented on, like perhaps, across the first few paragraphs....

Facebook posts put Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli in prison as a danger to society

Don Dumb

Re: It's called deflection

@elDog - "It's called deflection"

Occam's Razor - no, he really is just an arsehole

Don Dumb

Re: Menace to society? I think not.

@Jake - "Menace to society? I think not...I've certainly never been afraid of people like that."

But he hasn't offered to buy *your* mutilation, so why would *you* worry?

It's not him specifically that the Secret Service are concerned about, so much as the crazy people who will do something because of him.

Violent moon mishap will tear Uranus a new ring or two

Don Dumb

Re: Well, i hope it happens ...

I believe you're thinking of La Palma in the Canary Islands, not an island in the Azores, and unfortunately the devastating tsunami impact was overstated by an (enjoyable) episode of Horizon. The '50m high walls of water' destroying New York theory has been somewhat over-egged - Andrew Orlowski collated many references in this story 2 years ago - https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/02/17/bbc_trust_oks_hollywood_disaster_factuals/

It's a useful reminder of how easily an enduring urban myth can be created and how difficult it is to extinguish them later on.

Hurricane Irma imperils first ever SpaceX shuttle launch: US military's secret squirrel X-37B

Don Dumb

Way to Manage Risk guys

"Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, all new buildings at the location have been built to withstand wind speeds of up to 130mph. However, Irma is, right now, producing winds in excess of 180mph and may pick up more strength before it hits the coast."

So after a category 5 hurricane caused damage to Florida, they reacted by ensuring that they built strong enough to withstand up to category 3 hurricanes. That's some reaction and from an organisation that knows just a little bit about the effects of a changing climate.

I really hope the nuclear facilities in California aren't built to withstand earthquakes merely up to 7 on the scale....

New MH370 analysis again suggests plane came down outside search area

Don Dumb

Re: Now this is intersting

@Mad Mike - "you would have thought these organisations are aware of what they have and what has been photographed and therefore, even if it's low priority, would take a look at it."

But they may have already done that before these pictures were taken. The story points out that the images were from 2 weeks after the event. The owners may have already reviewed their data stocks and worked on those. Notwithstanding that it was a manual exercise to go through all the imagery and you would have started within the search area, not outside it.

Don Dumb

Re: Now this is intersting

@voland's right hand - "if the area was under observation by a satellite during the window after the supposed crash why the data was not offered to Australia earlier."

These are subtle artifacts in images "objects 'probably not natural'"and outside the search area. In many ways it's the same as the physical search, you mark out an area and start looking through that. The imagery analysts may have been combing through all their data but were simply looking at pictures too far south. Only when they've taken a longer look further afield have they (possibly) spotted something.

Don't forget this isn't something that was automated so would taken time even for a small area and the images were from 2 weeks after the plane disappeared.

It's August 2017 and your Android gear can be pwned by, oh look, just patch the things

Don Dumb

Re: Who is writing all this crud?

@Version 1.0 - "so I'm old but when I started coding"

I suspect modern systems are much more complex than anything you were ever working on.

The code might well be crap, but then your code probably wasn't subject to anywhere near as much vulnerability 'attention' as Android is.

70% of Windows 10 users are totally happy with our big telemetry slurp, beams Microsoft

Don Dumb

Re: 29% Windows users

If Microsoft were really confident that people are happy with telemetry, they would have it *off* by default. Because people would be happy to turn it on right?

Dems fightin' words! FCC's net neutrality murder plot torn apart

Don Dumb

Re: Not for profit

@Charles 9 - "no one expects ANYTHING run by the government to be efficient and well-maintained. Name one where private, profit-driven enterprise can't do any better."

Healthcare, Education, Policing..... oh, sorry, you said just one.

"Two, that smacks of Socialism, and in America, Socialism might as well be a four-letter word."

You're right there, the *word* Socialism is dirt in the US but it would really shock Americans if they realised just how socialist their sports are compared to the way sport is run elsewhere. I guess I wish* people would care more about what works best rather than whether it fits their ideologies.

* - that may be my ideology though trapping me some sort of irony spiral.

Linux kernel hardeners Grsecurity sue open source's Bruce Perens

Don Dumb

Re: Racist?

@David Roberts - Let me spell it out for you, "going by the name" suggests that someone with that surname is based in India, based only on his name. Because of course, assuming someone with that name isn't American or based in America is just straight up racism.

I can get behind digs at outsourcing but assuming someone with an Indian name isn't in America, is shit behavior.

Don Dumb

@AC - "Well, looking at the name"

How nice of you to clarify up front that you're being a completely racist shit

Don Dumb


Problem is that it almost encourages the spread of viruses

WannaCrypt victims paid out over $140k in Bitcoin to get files unscrambled

Don Dumb

Re: The most worrying comment is ...

@Andy The Hat -

But it isn't a massive organisation so much as a massive collection of organisations, each with their own levels of competence, funding and priorities. I'm not at all surprised that NHS Digital can't be sure about every NHS body.

This is one of the reasons it is so difficult to get a pan-NHS IT system.

Cardiff did Nazi that coming: Hackers slap Trump, swastikas, Sharia law on e-sign

Don Dumb

Re: Sarf Wales

Mate. The speedway stadium is gone


Don Dumb

Re: Sarf Wales

I've been to both Cardiff and Newport - they are very different places. I spent 4 hours in Newport waiting for my passport, it was an absolute shithole, I could see no other reason to be there. Certainly anyone going there for pleasure seems to actually be going to the Celtic Manor which is outside the city. I remember the G7(or one of those) that was held at the Celtic Manor no one said Newport.

Cardiff's had quite a bit of investment (modelled on Baltimore they told us) and, being the principality's capital, has quite a bit going for it. The transport into and out of there on an evening is a nightmare though, which is why it's fantastic that they put so many events on at the PrincipalityMillennium stadium on Friday nights.

I imagine the number of stag and hen dos out on a Saturday night might sully the place for some but I'm not sure of any nice places in the UK that aren't inundated by Stag/Hen dos at the weekend.

Of course, to the rest of Wales, Cardiff is basically England.

Don Dumb

Re: If they really wanted to troll Cardiff

@Nattrash - You mean Malta, no?

Don Dumb

If they really wanted to troll Cardiff

Then they would have flown the St George's flag

Trump-backed RAISE Act decoded: Points-based immigration, green cards slashed

Don Dumb
Thumb Up

@AC - "It will take a lot more than this to do that."

But this is called the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy Act. Any politician that votes against reforming American immigration for a strong economy must be a traitor to the American people.

Yes, I do find the habit of using silly naming as a pathetic attempt to blackmail legislators into support very childish.

Don Dumb

Re: This isn't a terrible idea

@naive - "oDummer-Care"

That's a wonderful play on words, you must be really proud.

Canadian ISPs do not Canuck around: Bloke accused of piracy grilled in his home for hours

Don Dumb

@Chris G - "Anyone comes to my house with a bailiff and lawyers unless they have cops with a warrant as well, hey can fuck off."

If ever there's a group that works on the principle that people don't know their rights or what is allowed by the law it is bailiffs.

Don Dumb

Re: The true nature of big corp

@Pascal Monett - "why didn't Lackman have the right to consult with his lawyer ?"

I read it as he wasn't *allowed* to consult his lawyer, not that he didn't have the right to, which would be a big red flag for me. If someone (who isn't even in the police) is in your house, taking your stuff, questioning you AND THEN saying "no you can't get your lawyer", then it's pretty clear they know they aren't doing what they're allowed to.

This is where giving many millions in damages really is justified. Even the police can't just do whatever they want to you in your house, private individuals or corporations certainly can't and should be heavily dissuaded from doing so, the only way they understand.

RentBoy.com boss faces six months of hard time

Don Dumb

Re: I am not sure about the sentence

@Ogi - "Perhaps I am misunderstanding this, but from what I gather, as long as you donate to the right causes, you can get leniency for committing crimes?"

NO, read the article again and look past the headline. Because that would mean any organised crime or politician would be effectively immune from sentencing. That's not what the judge has done here.

From the story itself:

"These considerations appear not to have been lost on Judge Brodie, who told Hurant of his company: "The very thing that was illegal, it also did a lot of good.""

The judge said that.

What the judge is effectively saying is that "the law [here] is an ass". The very thing he is being sent down for is something that local elected representatives and ultimately the judge acknowledged was a good thing for society. That is a damming indictment of the US legislative position on this and on the priority of law enforcement in pursuing it.

This is very different from an old-fashioned racketeer claiming leniency on the basis of funding some art galleries and paying for the church renovation.

Thought your divorce was ugly? Bloke sues wife for wiretapping – 'cos she read his email

Don Dumb

Re: Why issue a sueball?

@kain preacher - "It's not uncommon for the plod here to say oh that's a civil case."

Considering it involves alleged wiretapping and possible attorney misconduct, that's disappointing.

Don Dumb

Why issue a sueball?

Surely this would be a criminal violation?

It reminds me of some of the super-injunctions in the UK, if people were really being blackmailed, perhaps rather than just getting an injunction, maybe you should be involving the police? Unless of course the reasoning was simply an excuse...

If a lawyer has used this information, then wouldn't they would be in big trouble with the bar, rather than simply having to defend a defamation suit?

Uber drivers game Uber's system like Uber games the entire planet

Don Dumb

I see what you did there

"To some extent, people can be expected to look for ways around technological obstacles to self-interest. Efforts to bend or break rules have existed throughout history."

Are we still talking about the drivers' behaviour or about Uber's general approach in adhering to legislation?

PayPal splashes cash on biz that persuades folks to splash cash online

Don Dumb
Thumb Up

@Captain DaFt - "Yah, I'm calling bullshit on this one."

This seems to be another crazy net tech spending spree. The words of suspicion -

"The startup itself claims to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, although there isn't a vast amount of detail proffered up by the company on the data science behind its platform."

They present little evidence for their worth but claim to make people spend more. Unsurprisingly the only time when I visit paypal is at the point of spending, I've already made my decision (and I'm blocking anything that isn't directly helping me pay)

Don't make Aug 21 a blind date: Beware crap solar eclipse specs

Don Dumb

Re: Genuine question

@Tim Warren - that's great, thanks for the info. I've just checked that I'm on the left(i.e. south) side of the plane. This flight was booked long before I realised there was going to be an eclipse so I'm feeling pretty lucky.

Don Dumb

Re: Genuine question

@smudge - many thanks. I was mainly thinking about atmosphere and the unbroken quality of sunlight up there pushing things beyond the design of the sunglasses. Sounds like it is unlikely but I'll make some more inquiries.

Now all I've got to do is hope that I can get on the left side of the plane.

Don Dumb

Genuine question

I'll be over the North Atlantic when the eclipse starts to form, fortunate enough to land in the east coast before it starts in earnest. Will eclipse glasses work as effectively up at cruising altitude (especially as the eclipse will only be partial) or is the view of the sun too strong for the filters in standard eclipse viewing glasses?

Fox News fabricated faux news with Donald Trump, lawsuit claims

Don Dumb


You're proving just how good AManFromMars1 really is/was

Don Dumb

Re: The crazy fringe right still believes it is true despite the retraction

@DougS - "The fact that Fox later retracted it isn't a problem for them. In fact, it only makes them believe harder....The fact it was pulled makes it MORE TRUE in their minds, because it means the conspiracy to protect Clinton goes so deep that even Fox News is infected!"

That's the beauty of conspiracy theories - they are a turbo-charged self perpetuating cycle. Once a conspiracy theory gains believers, any information that would dispel that theory becomes more evidence to the believer of "just how deep the conspiracy goes", their belief actually grows.

Look at vaccination conspiracy theories, by now every medical, scientific, pharmaceutical figure and group must be in on the conspiracy to give children autism, there must be more people in on the conspiracy that outside it. To a logical person that would seem to disprove the idea, yet to a believer somehow that only shows just how big the conspiracy is.

Browser trust test: Would you let Chrome block ads? Or Firefox share and encrypt files?

Don Dumb

Re: El Reg

@Anonymous Coward - "£10 buys an automatic gold badge on the forums?"

Which you wouldn't use because you're posting as AC?

Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

Don Dumb

Re: So ...

@jake - "I'd have immediately brought the place to its knees[0] until the box was located. No potential security headaches on my networks, thank you very much.

[0] And have. Three times. All three were C-level idiots plugging unauthorized portables into the corporate network."

So I immediately imagine the conversation:-

"Yes, Chief Exec, I through it entirely reasonable to almost destroy your business because there was a network share I didn't recognise."
Shortly followed by:
"No I don't know what you mean by 'babies and bathwater'"

Flash... Nu-uh! Tech folk champing at the bit to switch off life support

Don Dumb

@Doctor Syntax - "And its demand to enable a stupid number of javascript sites."

Despite what webmasters think, it is not a *demand*, it is a *request*, to use those javascript sites and yet the pages work just fine without them (or simply only allowing the specific metoffice ones). Is that not your approach to all sites?

Don Dumb

@Doctor Syntax - "If only the Beeb would stop using Flash on www.bbc.co.uk/weather"

Ummmm, it seems to work fine for me (with no flash installed), alternatively there is always the Met Office site.

Uneasy rest the buttocks on the iron throne. Profits plunge 14% at Sky UK and Ireland

Don Dumb

Re: Sports

@AC - ".... which is why from 2019-24 Sky have total exclusive rights on F1 when the original Sky/BBC deal (where C4 picked up the BBC bit when the BBC decided that was too expensive) ends.

At least the new "owners" of F1 see this as a problem for the future of the sport"

Maybe they learnt the lesson of Cricket in England. The ECB sold it all to Sky, without even highlights on terrestrial for overseas tours. While the funding boost has helped keep the sport viable, participation numbers are down and great English victories aren't part of the public conscious as they were when Tests were live on BBC/C4. The 2005 Ashes were huge, not so much the subsequent triumphs.

Only now, 12 years later, has the ECB started to drag some cricket back onto terrestrial, even then not for a couple of years and it may be too late to have anyone playing the sport in a couple of decades.

Hopefully some sports have learnt that taking the pay TV dollar may be beneficial but going the whole-hog will gradually sideline the sport out of public awareness. And when that happens people are much less likely to want to pay for it or play it, long term prospects become troubling.

Don Dumb

Re: It's worse than that

@AC - "Am I reading this right:- *If* I want to watch F1 live in HD, I have to pay £744 per year?"

Yes, that's £37.20 per procession 'race'. Get a load of that value.

Don Dumb

It's worse than that

It's a lot more than £18 per month if you want *HD* sports channels, you can't just put on the HD option (another £6), you also have to have the Box sets package (which is £38 per month) rather than the basic (£20pm) package. They hide that way down in the small print.

I have the basic package (do love how reliable and simple that HD Box is) and wanted to get the Lions Rugby coverage, only two months I thought, but to get it in HD, it worked out as £42 per month more. It just isn't worth it.

With Premiership Rugby & European football shifted to BT Sport, it's only test cricket and international rugby that I would want Sky for and that naturally isn't reflected in their pricing. What Game Of Thrones highlights is that Sky doesn't have much going for it anymore as a broadcaster, but for some reason their pricing hasn't reduced to become competitive.

Virgin Media's profanity warning triggered by chief exec's name

Don Dumb

One of my early jobs was order processing the paper orders that came in to our mail order company.

One day I turned to my colleagues and said "someone's taking the piss, look at this name". The response from the person who had been there before was "what's the matter?".

A bit surprised that it wasn't obvious, I stated, "look they've created an order in the name of Mr [Redacted] Bastard".

Her response - "oh yes, Mr Bastard, he gets lots of orders."

I was flabbergasted that, not only was Mr Bastard real, but he was clearly old enough to have been able to change his name and had *chosen* not to. I can only imagine the number of service calls, that had cut him off on the assumption of him being a nuisance call. Nowadays I bet his family have real trouble using any online service, with the number of automated censors taking issue with that particular surname.

I've always felt that anyone passing that name onto their children should be in breach of child cruelty laws, imagine being a legitimate Bastard child.

They say we're too mean to Microsoft. Well, how about this... Redmond just had a stonking year. And only 8% tax. Whee!

Don Dumb

Re: A Stonking Year???

@The Count - "Would you please type in a version of English the rest of the world can understand."

You, Sir, misunderstand the point of English. It is merely for the likes of you to understand that your, presumably unfortunate, breeding prevents you from understanding as much as we do. Good Day.


Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Don Dumb

Re: Teledildonics

The term has been in the Jargon file for longer I believe (haven't looked at it in over ten years). There was a view that such technology was inevitable, quite presciently as it turns out.

Want to kill your IT security team? Put the top hacker in charge

Don Dumb

Re: Best advice

@Paul Crawford - "That applies SO OFTEN in science/engineering were the only option for a pay rise or other benefits within the company structure is to move in to some form of management."

The problem is that many places recognise that this happens, unfortunately the solution (put forward by the management consultants of course) is to end up with complicated functional/matrix/etc management structures, these end up having their own problems. For instance, not clearly knowing who is responsible for what, allows people to get away with not being responsible for anything

Even in academia, (certainly in the UK model), ultimately professors end up being merely people who manage and seek funding, rather than doing cleverwork and as no one wants to acknowledge this, they don't get any training and thus getting good academic management can be a lottery.

There isn't an easy way around this problem. Shitty management courses aren't the answer but good management programmes (there really are some and they require time and investment) might be the least worst treatment, at least improving some people's skills. Unfortunately too many places seem to think that a bit of shitty management training will do and all that does is piss people off.

Don Dumb

Well, yeah

"For those managing security teams there are two key mistakes to avoid, Murray said. The first – an error he himself made early in his career – is to not manage enough and just trust that it’ll all work out. It’s tempting to think that such highly skilled individuals could work on their own, but guidance needs to be given.

The other mistake is to go too far in the other direction – to micromanage and go fully corporate."

This is true for *any* management - it's one of the key skills, knowing when to give guidance & support and when to trust in the skills & direction of team members.

While lots of 'mgnt training' suffers from the idea that "anyone can manage anything", this is a universal skill. Albeit knowing how to do it in one area does not necessarily mean that someone can do it in another (despite what many MBAs claim).

NASA: Bring on the asteroid, so we can chuck a fridge at it

Don Dumb

Re: As a U.S. taxpayer, I can get behind this...

@Rish 11 - "They should send the fridge that Indiana Jones used to survive a nuclear blast."

I do not remember that from any of the 3 Indiana Jones films.



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