* Posts by Doctor Syntax

21507 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

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Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I'm sure we've all done this too

It's just the air of menace and the big hammer you carry. Equipment needs to know who's boss.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The photo received showed the router with a large table lamp sitting on it and blocking the air vents on it's top surface"

That's why so many of them were made with rounded tops or, as seems to be the preferred design now, to stand upright.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

Switching it off when the the software shutdown of W95 didn't.

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I suppose you think you have nothing to hide. If so go back and look at the T&Cs of the online services you use. Start with banking. Then come back and tell us all the login credentials you're contractually allowed to share with us.

Legitimate online commerce depends on being able to maintain security. Anything that compromises that for the sake of attacking criminal operations also attacks legitimate commerce is problematic.

While one part of me thinks this was a great operation the other side worries. To do this legitimately, with due protection to the innocent, it should have been conducted under appropriate* warrants. Was it?

*I also have concerns that the framework under which interception is carried out in the UK really is appropriate. There is a history of the Acts which provide this framework being struck down in court and replaced by a new one to provide the same shaky cover. I suspect that somewhere in a Home Office filing cabinet there's a draft of the next Act ready to put before Parliament as soon as the existing one gets successfully challenged.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Matters arising

"I may be wrong but my understanding is of encryption when using this device depending upon a dedicated chip."

The Motherboard article says they didn't, they just added a little something in software to intercept the plain text from the keyboard. Which raises the question of how did that get smuggled out to their own servers without anyone noticing?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So...

"they did physically disable the GPS, camera, and microphone"

The reports also mention pictures in the seized data. I don't doubt there will have been a certain amount of disinformation in the account that's been released.

Details of Beijing's new Hong Kong security law signal end to more than two decades of autonomy

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Terrorism Act 2006

"the Diplock courts were introduced primarily as a solution to the problem of getting an independent jury"

Of course. But their use needed to be pointed out.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Terrorism Act 2006

"Yes, but people here accused of terrorism still have the right to a fair trial, overseen by an independent judge with a 12 person jury where the evidence is heard by all parties and a defence entered for the accused."

It depends on "here" as there were the Diplock courts in NI where the judge also acted as a tribunal of fact. Even there, of course, the rest of the trial proceeded as normal. And one fo the features of the Diplock court was that the judge gave a reasoned argument as to how he arrived at his decision, something that juries never have to do.

UK space firms forced to adjust their models of how the universe works as they lose out on Copernicus contracts

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I GOT 1 wordz 4 all u traytowers!!!

"We won"

And now you're starting to discover just what it was you "won". Some of us, of course, realised all along what we'd lose.

Happy privacy action day in California: If you don't have 'Do not sell my information' in your website footer, you need to read this story right now

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: ...ought to be delayed given the Covid-19 crisis...

"they've had a full year and a half to plan, design and implement the change"

But it's so hard to do all that when your head's buried in the sand.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: It only stops them from SELLING my information?

These are the companies whose lobbying got the current legislation watered down. The CPRA is their comeuppance for that.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: he criticized the slow enforcement of Europe’s GDPR

"Funny, given that it's his country's (frequently his state's) megacorps that are the problem"

You might be looking at cause and effect here. Plenty of his voters work for those megacorps and aren't happy with the thought that they're some of the subjects whose data their employers are abusing.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Of course there is an alternative

"It depends, if you sell something, you have to record the name of the buyer, for online sales, and that information has to be kept for tax purposes."

How many shops do you walk into and have to give your name because the shop has to keep that information for tax purposes? Or insist that you set up an account?

Clearly somebody selling physical goods online has to collect delivery information but doesn't need to retain that information once delivery is complete

Billing information might need to be retained to deal with a complaint or need for a refund but doesn't need to be consulted unless that happens. However, a physical shop doesn't need to do that - what they need is to provide a proof of purchase. Maybe there's scope here for a new product - a system for providing an electronic tamper-resistant proof of purchase.

In the long term it's not deletion systems that need to be developed, it's data acquisition and handling systems that are based on the proposition that the data acquired might become toxic waste.

Germany is helping the UK develop its COVID-19 contact-tracing app, says ambassador

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: In the interim, the British government has been forced to adopt human-powered contact tracing

"I'd say about 75% of the people shopping in supermarkets, gift shops or just visiting nice areas are pensioners."

Pensioner here, living in what's considered a nice area to visit. Haven't been in a supermarket for months, all such shopping done by our daughter. Haven't been in a gift shop since goodness knows when. And the people I see visiting here are seldom pensioners, especially not those congregating in non-socially distanced groups.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

One that works is of more interest. Not necessarily to HMG but to the rest of us.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The strapline...

You should realise that el Reg is completely non-discriminatory. It will take the piss from anyone and likewise make atrocious puns about them. After all the writers know that if they don't we will.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Explaining it's owned by Microsoft should help.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

It has a fatal flaw: Not Invented Here.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Rental vs privately owned

A personally owned scooter is more likely to be abandoned. Chained up to somebody else's railings like a bike, maybe, but only casually dumped if it's been stolen.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Rental vs privately owned

"Anyone seen the basis for this?"

The rental company will be paying some sort of licensing to the local authority or DfT. You don't pay them anything - except, of course, everything you're paying already.

One map to rule them all: UK's Ordnance Survey rolls out its Data Hub and the juicy API goodness that lies therein

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Could this become the official UK postcode and address database?

The Geoplace website is just about as bad as the W3W one, differing only in having fallen victim to someone from the crayon dept. who thinks that an animation of the site's name is far more useful than presenting information.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Could this become the official UK postcode and address database?

"Have you seen What 3 Words?"

I've seen that the link you gave doesn't display anything without opening up to a load of Javascript and thus fails my first test for any website: must at least be able to say what it's about with the most basic of browsing facilities.

Having got past that AFAIK it's just a geographical coordinate system. Postal addresses are more than that. They have to deal with multiple addresses at the same location such as Flat 1 or 1a Acacia Ave etc.

It’s happened again: AT&T sued for allegedly transferring victim's number to thieves in $1.9m cryptocoin heist

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I have questions...

And if it's the second option, then why the hell does anyone trust this crap?

TFA describes him as a technology consultant. You'd think he'd know better.

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Actually the "no ferries" shouldn't really have been a problem. They could have been leased when needed.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Cut your cloth...

"a number of terrestrial masts across the UK to provide additional beacons"

That won't be of much military use other than during UK-based training.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Could be worse

"a Scotland - NI bridge"

Which would still have been hung off the A75.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Why Galileo?

"we just need better contract drafting lawyers!"

I think the problem was that our contract drafting lawyers were too good. The ones who drafted the EU only clause at our behest when we were in the EU and didn't want those outside the EU to use what we'd paid for.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"find the most effective way of delivering it"

It sounds easy if you say it quickly enough.

Actually there's also the problem of finding the money to do it. And the additional problem that about half the country don't want you to do it and you hope enough of them are going to have to vote the next time round. And the overriding problem as to whether what you decide you want to do will prove to have been a good idea when it confronts reality and the law of unintended consequences.

But, apart from that, simple.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I am sure it's possible calculate position based on a signal from any three Sat's if their positions are knownbecause it is fairly basic maths"

The calculation requires very accurate timing signals from the atomic clocks in the satellites. The atomic clocks that navigation satellites have.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Re assume...

"They obviously have some plans for it which aren't immediately apparent."

If they're not immediately apparent how can they be obvious?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Government Tory therefore government stupid."

I'm instinctively conservative - with a small c. But this particular government is formed out of a clique that took over the Conservative party. They've shoved out anybody who showed an inclination to do details and rely on rhetoric and Dunning-Kruger powered hubris.

Gove made comments, aimed at the Civil Service, about group-think. He and the rest of the present government need a mirror.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Who can justify spending 92 million on a report?"

You're forgetting the printing costs. It'll be printed on pulped £20 notes and gilt-edged.

NEC insists its face-recog training dataset isn't biased, but refuses to share details of Neoface system with UK court

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"the Court of Appeal judges hearing last week's case seemed pointedly uninterested in wider legal and societal issues raised by the Cardiff AFR deployment."

Could that be because they expect it to go to the Supreme Court on those issues?

Beijing's tightening grip on Hong Kong could put region's future as an up-and-coming tech hub in jeopardy

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "we need clarity on what the laws will involve before we can decide anything"

"This manoeuvre from Beijing is a direct consequence of violent protests last year,"

AIUI the protests last year were against the looming imposition of this law.

Someone must be bricking it: UK govt website for first-time home buyers snapped up for £40,000 after left to expire

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Or did the new owner have an attack of conscience?"

A £40k attack of conscience doesn't seem likely Maybe HMG raised a dispute.

University of California San Francisco pays ransomware gang $1.14m as BBC publishes 'dark web negotiations'

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So, nothing important was encrypted

"Ah yes, but that expenditure comes out of a different budget you see!"

One that's only available after the event.

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Low-voltage DC is just USB now

"How many home electronics gadgets ...actually need a mains voltage supply these days?"

USB chargers.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: There is no price...

I thought it was the larval stage of the wire coat-hanger.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: There is no price...

"I've got dozens of USB chargers"

So does everyone. The funny thing is you can never find one when you want one, at least not one with the USB variant you were looking for and certainly not the high current one you know you have somewhere.

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: How to blow up 1000 houses all at once...

Or a thermocouple which seems to be the usual option on domestic properties.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "We ran out of available outlets."

"That is a sure sign of insufficient planning."

What do you mean, insufficient? It was perfectly sufficient when it was done 10 years ago.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Elec-trickery isn't the only utility that can get knocked out by industrial kit. Some years back a dyer had a new gas-fired boiler installed and until they got their own supply they connected it to the domestic supply main. Then fired it up the first time in the middle of winter. The initial surge took the pressure down so low that pilot lights went out. It took a whiles for the gas engineers to work out why the pressure was so low in the mains.

Poetry in lockdown: hiQ to Supremes / Please leave LinkedIn scrape ruling / well enough alone

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Much of this intelligence is derived from accessing the LinkedIn profiles of existing employees."

....and believing it!

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

17 syllables. Nice one.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I solved this when I was eight

I've also heard "skun" (rhymes with stun).

That's a new one on me. I's the great thing about el Reg. There's always something new to learn.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I solved this when I was eight

Not even in Yorkshire, where that pronunciation form is common ( e.g. the number "wun" )

Not in this part of Yorkshire.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: It doesn't matter..

"it depends what side of the border"

And which border. In fact it varies considerably throughout England and probably elsewhere. Fortunately SWMBO and I both come from "shone" areas.

Laws on police facial recognition aren't tough enough, UK data watchdog barrister tells Court of Appeal

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: There's several issues with sitting judges today

Sometimes I wish it happened like that with manorial rolls. Somebody says something in the English of the day. The roll is written up in Latin. The editor translates it back into modern English for publication but what was originally meant. I'm sure vill didn't always mean the same thing in different circumstances but what did it mean when it didn't mean "township"?

Brit police's use of facial-recognition tech is lawful, no need to question us, cops' lawyer tells Court of Appeal

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Liberty had not correctly understood how NEC Neoface worked"

Does it need to understand how it works if it knows what it does?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The Respondent employs AFR Locate at specific locations in the South Wales Police's area of responsibility. It could not lawfully or practically 'track the movements of individuals as they move around the country'."

The practicality could be addressed by deploying at more locations. If they claim the present deployment is lawful how many more deployments would it require to become unlawful? If it's not possible to answer that then maybe its no lawful now.

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