* Posts by anothercynic

1313 posts • joined 4 Dec 2014


Frustrated dev drops three zero-day vulns affecting Apple iOS 15 after six-month wait

anothercynic Silver badge

There are other issues...

In iOS that are a problem. Using a private certificate authority and want to limit it to enterprise WiFi (WPA-Enterprise/802.1x)? Good luck with that. Without a .mobileconfig you're screwed. Is Apple listening? Who knows.

Unable to test every tourist and unable to turn them away, Greece used ML to pick visitors for COVID-19 checks

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: EVA, ZOE and...

Ahem, ZOE is also used in England. And ZOE is definitely not in the same ballpark as EVA.

Senior IBMer hit with £290k demand from Big Blue in separate case as unfair dismissal claim rolls on

anothercynic Silver badge

It's only paused until the Tribunal case is *heard*, not when it is *concluded* (as Miah requested).

So the time starts ticking again when the tribunal meets and discusses the case.

OpenSilver throws Microsoft Silverlight devs a lifeline as end of support looms – or you could forget it ever happened

anothercynic Silver badge

Sadly there are many.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Fraudulent too...

So what you're saying is that Sinclair revolutionised crowdfunding before Kickstarter and Indiegogo came along? :-)

anothercynic Silver badge

What a loss

My condolences to the Sinclair family. Sinclair clearly had a big influence on the industry and as such, it's a loss to everyone. I remember the old cassette tapes go around with games and other things on.

Apple emergency patches fix zero-click iMessage bug used to inject NSO spyware

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Autocratic governments, that's a broad brush nowadays.

And? We're the biggest offshore tax haven and funny money laundrette off the coast of the EU. Channel Islands? Paleese! Gibraltar. Come on now. Cyprus? *gives you a pitying look*

The City of Westminster and the City of London is where it's at. All those pretty modern highrises? *Not* owned by Brits, and likely not even *lived in* by Brits. No... they're all owned by random limited companies with controlling interests elsewhere, with again controlling interests elsewhere until at the end of the rabbit hole an Eurasian or African person with connections to <insert despotic tin pot "republic"> pops up.

You might want to read about how much dirty money washes through the great laundrette that is the London property market in a year...

The Eigiau Dam Disaster: Deluges and deceit at the dawn of hydroelectric power

anothercynic Silver badge

Ahhh, this disaster!

I watched the story of this on one of the many engineering shows one finds everywhere these days. It was fascinating. Apparently the concrete/cement used in the Eigiau dam was absolute rubbish, and it was a complete mess. Of course it then had disastrous consequences.

There are other dams in the world that have had similar consequences, one that I had heard of before is Vajont in Italy where the entire mountain-side collapsed into it, causing a massive tsunami to overspill the dam and cause colossal damage downstream (yet the dam remained intact!), the other is Gleno, where poor working practices caused it to collapse (although some 'revolutionaries' who wanted to sabotage the dam claimed credit with a bomb).

Anyway, the story was very interesting from an engineering perspective, and thank you very much for popping it into the Geek's Guide! :-)

Vaccine dreams: A trip to Oxford to see a biscuit tin, some bed pans and ChAdOx1 nCov-19

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: “ the university's vaccine worked safely and would be made available cheaply across the world”

What Spartacus says.

It's coming along fine, thank you very much, despite some negative press from tabloid papers who don't understand the word 'research'.

I recently attended a presentation from the team to their volunteers (I am one of their lab rats and proudly so), and the progress is amazing. It'd be nice if more effort on the side of the first world nations could be done to get the rest of the developing world vaccinated, but there we are.

This thing is still going to drag on a while longer.

However, one would hope that the long faff to get funding to do some investigatory work (like getting the custom DNA sequences from Thermo Fischer) could come to an end, because *that* is the biggest hold-up of any vaccine development. Professor Gilbert and Dr Green made that abundantly clear in their book, and it's only because one funder saw the future and the sense in Professor Gilbert's argument (within her request to reallocate her funds to the COVID vaccine instead of its original Ebola vaccine work) that the work actually got funded, made, and history followed on from that.

And thanks has to also go to people at AstraZeneca, who despite not having *ever* made vaccines before, stepped up, learned on the fly, and pulled off an amazing feat.

Sort-of Epic win as judge kills Apple ban on apps linking to outside payment systems

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Pyrrhic victory?

The thing though is that it will only apply to the US. Any other countries are excluded from that ruling. So... good for US gamers, not so good for everyone else.

But - it's baby steps.

Italian stuntman flies aeroplane through two motorway tunnels

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Up for a challenge?

That was Mission Impossible (the one that spawned that godawful franchise that's now on instalment seven). The tunnel was meant to be the Channel Tunnel and the train was meant to be a Eurostar, but since that tunnel is two separate tubes (similar to the road tunnels in this stunt) and Eurostar trains are yellow and white, not blue, the continuity in the movie fell down. But there we are.

Guntrader breach perp: I don't think it's a crime to dump 111k people's details online in Google Earth format

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Facts?

CSV files cannot be loaded with malware. They are text files, they don't contain executable content (not unless you shove a bunch of VBScript macro rubbish into it).

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Law of Unintended Consequences

Indeed. Irresponsible actions of a few tend to have consequences for the many. As any fule no.

ProtonMail deletes 'we don't log your IP' boast from website after French climate activist reportedly arrested

anothercynic Silver badge

Did you read the English T&Cs or the French? That makes a big difference and that's what the controversy revolves around.

anothercynic Silver badge

The problem is that the English statement on their site said that they would log (and retain) IP addresses for a certain period of time, and would if required by Swiss law provide them to law enforcement.

HOWEVER - The French statement said no such thing. The French statement was simply "we don't log any IP addresses", and *that* is where the brown smelly stuff hit the big round metal whirly thing.

There was a long thread on Twitter between the CEO of ProtonMail and some of the French folks raising the objections that the messaging was inconsistent. If you're a French person, you were under the impression you were safe (unless you read the English version too, but since there is a version français, why would you). If you were English, you knew what you were getting yourself into and understood that once Swiss law enforcement was involved, all bets were off.

There was even a question from someone asking if ProtonMail would start deploying canaries. I don't remember whether there was a response to that.

'It takes a hell of a mental toll' – techies who lost work due to COVID share their stories

anothercynic Silver badge

No doubt people like you made a huge difference to the hospitality industry during and after the successive lockdowns. Well done and thank you.

GitHub merges 'useless garbage' says Linus Torvalds as new NTFS support added to Linux kernel 5.15

anothercynic Silver badge


We migrated away from that to Perforce.

Branson (in a) pickle: FAA grounds Virgin Galactic flights after billionaire's space trip veered off course

anothercynic Silver badge

Are you sure?

Alternative facts are still very popular.

They're leading to things like people being sent to ICU with ivermectin poisoning, people refusing to vaccinate, people (how ironic it's all the 'I ain't takin' no vaccine' talking heads) then ending up in hospital or kicking the bucket over it.

They lead to crap like the new abortion law in Texas (with South Dakota and Florida to follow).

They lead to crap like the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

So yeah, they're *still* very popular, despite what you might think.

How to stop a content filter becoming a career-shortening network component

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Not an IT issue.

Oh dear. Someone's only had experience with the West... *tsk*

The Middle and Far East are *very* different animals where this kind of thing is concerned. Hence the "it's... errr... not convenient". The regions have their ways to mean no whilst actually saying yes, and have their problems when dealing with organisations that are rife with nepotism.

Japan's aerospace agency hooks up with Boeing to make planes quieter when they land

anothercynic Silver badge

Gets pretty close to it though. Aerodynamics and all their ilk are a magic all to their own...

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Others use ...

It would only absorb water if it wasn't hydrophobic... ;-)

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Why not go the whole hog

And of course there's a *lot* of work done by Eurocontrol, NATS and others to reduce the amount of 'loiter' by jets in holding stacks, which also adds to the noise profile, and going for other, alternate approach and landing profiles.

I understand London City (LCY) uses the latter, with a steeper approach angle to not only get through the housing estate jungle but also to reduce the noise in the area. Embraer, Bombardier and Airbus all have specific configurations for such approaches that they developed in cooperation with LCY because it's useful elsewhere. :-)

anothercynic Silver badge

The easiest has been tackling the most obvious source of noise - the engines.

Now that turbofans are at the point where they are arguably quieter than the latent noise generated by all other parts of the plane but the engines (and even unducted fans à la the GE36 UDF or the Safran RISE), the hard work begins. After all, the wing is meant to be ultra-efficient (with few vortexes, with laminar flow etc) for flight, and now we're having to make the wing less efficient and in fact be a piece of resistance to slow the plane down and to make it drop but not in a way that makes it go "boom" or leave a crater at the end of the runway, all whilst being *quiet* to avoid noise on approach and finals.

The aerospace engineers have their work cut out for them.

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: re: Just kill the stupid US date format.

Well, given that much of the world drives on the right side of the world, it's the Englishers who are wrong this time (with this driving on the left business). Even the Swedes saw the light in 1967 and decided that it'd be best to drive on the right side like their Scandinavian brethren and the rest of Europe (the poxy island off the coast of Belgium and France excluded).

The Southern Africans and South Asians have not yet twigged that maybe it'd be useful to drive on the right side, which makes border crossings always... errr... fun. ;-)

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: re: Just kill the stupid US date format.

You mean you don't like 14:00 PM? ;-)

A man spent a year in jail on a murder charge that hinged on disputed AI evidence. Now the case has been dropped

anothercynic Silver badge

ShotSpotter could (and probably does) have its uses, but as Hannah Fry and others point out, a lot of this AI stuff is only meant to assist, *not* solve the case for you. But then again, when someone sells you software and claims it does everything short of toasting your bread in the morning, then yeah... you end up with crap like this. People claiming "computer says you're guilty" bug me. Hannah presented at a conference a few years ago and pointed this out, asking the audience whether you'd prefer an algorithm or a human to dole out your sentence. My response was that until AI was sufficiently matured and accurate, I would prefer a human, despite conscious and unconscious bias on the part of the human. It led to a very interesting discussion about that.

Apple's bright idea for CSAM scanning could start 'persecution on a global basis' – 90+ civil rights groups

anothercynic Silver badge

Screeching minority, eh?

All I'll say is... if no-one stands up for your rights, then you're stuffed.

You may wish to disagree with the 'screeching minority' all you like, but don't conflate their concerns about individual privacy and the flagged issues with implicit agreement of what the 'thing' is attempting to solve.

I'll rather continue to be a 'screeching minority' and be proven wrong, than stand on the side of those just standing by saying 'oh, just suck it up already' until the 'screeching minority' is proven right when it's too late and everyone screaming 'how did this happen!'

Sorry. Not sorry.

In Search of Lost Time: GNU Grep 3.7 released with fix for 'extreme performance degradation'

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: grep, sed & awk

Ooooooooooooh! That's a new one for me!

Thank you!

*adds to arsenal of tools*

World Intellectual Property Office settles dispute with CIO it previously ousted for 'criminal misconduct'

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Crap rolls down hill.

ALWAYS get things in writing. And when the other person resists putting it in writing, write back confirming that said person resisted putting it in writing and that this should be a matter of record.

COVID-19 cases surge as do sales of fake vaccination cards – around $100 for something you could get free

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: A long way still to go

Sorry, but the Oxford process scales up extremely well (but you're right about the precursor products being a bit scarcer on the ground). Pfizer (BioNTech) and Moderna both have patented their tech and insist on patent licencing before signing agreements. In particular, the EU is resisting the TRIPS waiver because Germany feels it would negatively impact its strong pharma sector (especially BioNTech because they were the ones who worked on mRNA vaccine technology the longest) for future vaccines and medications. The waiver is due to be discussed on 14 September.

When AZ gets the Pasteur Institutes in Africa involved, it'll be a huge step forward, but as I said in previous replies, the EU actively undermined AZ and the work that went into the vaccines, and the goal of AZ to get it to as many people as possible for as cheaply as possible (the goal of the Oxford Vaccine Group and the Jenner Institute) because AZ executed the 'best efforts' clause in its contract with the EU which the EU didn't like (and got stroppy over until the courts gave both the commission and AZ a slap and told them to behave like grownups).

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: A long way still to go

For the elderly primarily. The study to see whether boosters in 30+ age range are viable is still being evaluated.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: A long way still to go

Well aren't you and your family lucky then.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: A long way still to go

98%+ with low to severe reduction of life quality, sure. I know too many people with Long Covid, and there's enough medical information on the damage caused by an unchecked Covid infection.

But hey... sure... don't get vaccinated. Instead deal with scarred lungs, scarred heart and possibly a much shorter lifespan than before Covid. No biggie.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: A long way still to go

Production shortfalls are only a problem because a) patents (primarily the costs of which, which is why there's a push for a WTO TRIPS waiver) and b) lack of agreements signed early with vaccine labs and facilities elsewhere in the world. Only AZ signed an agreement (with the Serum Institute of India) early on to expand capacity. Pfizer didn't until recently (with a company in South Africa). Moderna and J&J (Janssen) haven't either.

African countries *could* have been ahead of the curve if Pfizer & Moderna and AstraZeneca had also signed agreements with the Pasteur Institutes in West and North Africa, along with the vaccine manufacturers in Kenya and South Africa. But there we are. Instead the EU plays politics over the TRIPS waiver, China is making hay while the sun shines (they ramped up quickly and are providing Sinovac to God knows how many African countries and South East Asia), and we're having to wait and see what transpires.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: A long way still to go

There are currently several studies on the go to see whether boosters of vaccines made for different variants (primarily beta and delta) help improve immunity coverage in those who were vaccinated early in the year (or even last year). There was an early study that showed that older people (70+ I believe) benefit from a booster, but those younger we don't know yet.

Also, variants are only a problem because of the glaring vaccine inequity. If you can vaccinate a huge portion of the world's population (even if it's just one shot to start with), you reduce the chances of variants developing that spread faster and evade immune systems better. Immunologists have pointed out that the variants of concern came from countries where vaccination was far and inbetween (India, South Africa) and they spread to countries with higher (but still not high) vaccination rates.

While it's a government's prerogative to ensure that its own population is safe, that safety means nothing when some of its population travels to countries with less vaccine coverage, possibly is in contact with variants that have evolved there (again, immunologists point out that if they wanted to cause rapid mutation in viruses, they'd start in a partially vaccinated population pool), and brings them back, and thus, governments of the first world should prioritise getting vaccines to the developing countries or countries where the virus is still very much wreaking havoc, whilst maintaining basic safeguards like masking up, socially distancing, and continuing to exercise caution.

Unfortunately, the whole anti-vaxxing movement is a big threat to actually achieving the goal of suppression (and herd immunity), as is playing politics with vaccines (I'm looking at the EU ministers who played AstraZeneca down as being unsafe, despite it still being better than nothing, and actually was aimed at countries who cannot afford the super-cold freezers required by Pfizer and Moderna, and also cannot really afford to pay the high prices for those mRNA vaccines).

Branson sews cash parachute for Virgin Atlantic with $300m Virgin Galactic share sale

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Why is he selling ?

Or maybe there is neither.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: a private-equity firm

There is no Virgin Airlines. There's a Virgin Atlantic and a Virgin Australia. If you want to spout a bunch of rubbish that's meant to sound like facts, at least get the names right. So which airline are you referring to here? Virgin Atlantic is still 51% owned by Virgin Group, so... is it Virgin Australia?

All your DNS were belong to us: AWS and Google Cloud shut down spying vulnerability

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: ISP Routers

Same here. At least I'll know what I let in and out based on *my* preferences. But then again I have a grown-up ISP, so this doesn't generally cause a problem.

SolarWinds urges US judge to toss out crap infosec sueball: We got pwned by actual Russia, give us a break

anothercynic Silver badge

Oh no, no no honey, no. They'll have to suck up that lawsuit and deal with it. Just because Russia hacked them does not absolve them from responsibility. Given their client base, you'd have expected SolarWinds to be ultra paranoid... clearly they weren't.

SUCK. IT. UP. Princess.

Microsoft to require proof of vaccination from on-site staff, pushes back full reopening

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Ok, I'll bite

The COVID vaccines went through "proper trials".

And it's thanks to those vaccines (and those before you who took them without this "oh but they weren't tested properly" bull) that you don't *need* to have them to go to the pub or your place of work.

Most of those do not spread by aerosol. Most of them spread by bodily fluids. That makes them less likely to spread as quickly as the contagion we're dealing with.

Stop being a prat, grow up, take the vaccine, and know you're protected and you can go to the bloody pub. And you're welcome to downvote me or report this all you like.

This is the truth, whether you like it or not.

anothercynic Silver badge

Oh Lordy, do I have to do an explainer again?

The vaccine does not make you immune. It gives your body an early leg up to get the infection of SARS-nCoV-2 (if and when it enters the body) under control reasonably quickly. It does *not* stop you from giving it to others. It does *not* stop you from getting infected. It stops you from getting so goddamn ill that you are a burden on the medical services by requiring oxygen, or worse, mechanical ventilation.

60% of the infections now entering ITUs and ICUs are the unvaccinated, the other 40% are either single-vaccinated (i.e. those who don't have 'full coverage' yet), or twice-vaccinated people where the conditions would have been a magnitude or two worse if they *hadn't* had the shots.

So... wear your bloody mask to avoid giving it to someone whose vaccination status you have no idea of, and to possibly prevent getting it (if you wear the appropriate mask).

*ANYONE* who believes that the vaccine now makes them invincible is a) deluded, b) monumentally misinformed, and c) irresponsible.

Take that from one of the labrats.

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Dignity

This sounds so familiar. Had an interview once with a company out in the West Country where the interviewer clearly was expecting superman or something, who cut the interview short with a "I think we'll terminate this interview as this is clearly a waste of time", and seriously had me questioning my skillset (granted, given my specialism, it wasn't quite the super-duper C++ OCD kind of obsessive you'd probably want). A day later a call from a recruiter who thought I'd be perfect for a job at a facility whose interviewer was a proper boffin who had a great relaxed style, took me on a tour after, and who called the recruiter the minute he got back to his office to tell him he was offering me not the job I had interviewed for, but a slightly different one that was completely out of left field.

Well, I'm glad for that boffin, who turned out to be an awesome boss for the time I was there, and who clearly appreciated my skillset more. The other bloke probably was right in saying that the interview was a waste of time, because quite frankly it was excruciating and worse than any financial industry job interview I ever had.

NSO Group 'will no longer be responding to inquiries' about misuse of its software

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: There is no evidence it's shut down Pegasus – just its PR department.

I suspect it's the latter. And since NSO Group is Israeli, the chances are that a certain institute in Tel Aviv also told them to kindly stop.

England's controversial extraction of personal medical histories from GP systems is delayed for a second time

anothercynic Silver badge

Transparency? From an organisation that's tried multiple times to pull this kind of stunt and still attempts to persist? Are you kidding?

Given that some organisations that should *never have access to that data are lined up to get their hands on that data, NHS Digital is playing with fire. The longer they persist, the less likely they are to succeed because the GPs and their CCCGs are going to snap shut and say "bugger off and don't darken our doors again" sooner rather than later.

To see the GPs push back this hard is already encouraging from a data protection standpoint. It's clear that if they weren't clued up about what they could just happily hand over, they are now.

I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

anothercynic Silver badge


Another Googler gone all googly.

What does Google feed their staff? Kool-Aid overdose, anyone?

How many Brits have deleted life-saving track and trace app from their phones? No idea, junior minister tells MPs

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: "We have always been at War with ...

The vaccine is *not* the be all and end all. It doesn't stop you from getting the disease. It merely reduces the chance of getting seriously bad symptoms. Those double-jabbed people who now 'are justifiably narked' talked themselves into believing (or happily believed the trope) the vaccine was the holy grail.

Those who've been involved in medical trials and who've continued to listen to the scientists and not the populist gutter-scraping rags, are under no illusion, and are rather narked at the ones who think 'Freedom Day' is going to be the end of it all.

So no, while you're right that constant exposure is meant to be used here, 'give us our bloody freedom' is not appropriate yet.


Total recall: Amazon faces legal action from US consumer protection group over hazardous goods

anothercynic Silver badge

This is the problem...

This is the problem with Amazon. They've opened up the Marketplace to everyone and everything and the amount of tat on it is just utterly frustrating. What's worse is when you search for "<brandname> <item>" and despite being clear about what you want, you get a shedload of unrelated rubbish, or 'promoted' items from the tat vendors.

If I ask for 'Sandisk SSD', I want... Sandisk SSDs, not 'Guofawei SDD Rainbow Umbrella' or 'XzzYGHHS SDD Cup' something similar. It does my head in. Limiting the seller to 'Amazon' tends to cut the rubbish down somewhat, but not much.

I think this is going to be Amazon's downfall.

Dutch Queen, robot involved in opening of 3D-printed bridge in red-light district

anothercynic Silver badge

Same applies to the UK. There cannot be a Roman Catholic on the throne since that is fundamentally incompatible with the fact that the person on the throne is also the head of the Anglican Church, which as any fule no, is not a Catholic faith.

Those who have married Roman Catholics have been removed from the line of succession to ensure that Roman Catholics don't get anywhere close. The joys of Henry VIII and his shenanigans still delivering fun 6 centuries later.

Microsoft, Google, Citizen Lab blow lid off zero-day bug-exploiting spyware sold to governments

anothercynic Silver badge

What the South African Apartheid regime called terrorists were considered freedom fighters by the people in the townships and by the people under the cosh in Namibia.

What Venezuela called terrorists are considered freedom fighters opposed to the regime there.

What Myanmar considers terrorists are considered freedom fighters by the Rohingya.

What the US authorities considered terrorists (like the Black Panthers), blacks in the civil rights movement to a degree considered freedom fighters.

The list goes on. And on.

Maybe the saying should be turned on its head by saying "One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist" because that at least is more accurate and less likely to be grossly misconstrued.

anothercynic Silver badge

Re: Targets

Bingo! Singapore will be surveilling Singaporeans.

And it would not surprise me if GCHQ paid them to get their hands on the tech to use against Brits (or other dissidents living in the UK).



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