* Posts by JosephEngels

24 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Oct 2015

Could you speak up a bit? I didn't catch your password


Don't look at the man behind the curtain ...

"It makes you wonder how the facial recognition works at international arrivals for certain UK airports since there's no Face ID-like depth analysis data on file with which to compare your real-life mug."

I hate to burst your Christmas bubble, but if you thought there as anything clever about the system, you are sadly mistaken. As you pass the gates you will observe a border force chap in a small elevated booth ... if you glance through the window you will notic he has a couple of monitors, where each persons camera is presented alongside the photo from their passport, if he like the look of you, a click of the mouse is all that is needed to let you through.

I really wish it was more sophisticated than that, but truly, it isn't.

UK taxman has domain typo-squatter stripped of HMRC web addresses


Under the Nominet DRS procedures ... a persistent abusive registrant counts as a strike agaisnt, even before the matter goes before an expert. I think it was 3 counts in 5 years was the level at which it becomes a problem. If they think they will lose, they usually give up the name, because if it is found to be an abusive registration, it will hurt their argument in marginal cases. In effect it serves as a "presumption of guilt" so they usually try to avoid it, good on HMRC for sticking with it.

Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!



It is, and always has been PEBKAC ... between Keyboard and Chair.

I quick google would have sorted that ... journalists ... minds unclouded by knowledge ;)

HMS Queen Lizzie impugned by cheeky Scot's drone landing


AS she is sailing alongside the USS something or other, there is a NOTAM out banning flight, any flight, in the vicinity as she enters port ... not for the UK ship, but for the American vessel ... which may (in theory) launch it's aircraft at any time, hence the no fly zone. Check the NOTAMs for more details, there was one promulagted as she anchored off Portsmouth recently, I suspect there will be another as she heads south again.

Revealed: Web servers used by disk-nuking Shamoon cyberweapon


And all because

Someone, somewhere, decided it would be a good idea if the program you use to write memos could run system level commands embedded in the text files you are editing?

Seriously, it is high time this useful "feature" was removed.

Major outage at broadband biz 186k


Not at all surprised, perhaps surprised they lasted so long.

I used to colo a few boxes at a lovely and wonderful little ISP in Fulham called "Mailbox" ... sadly, they got taken over by 186K ... what a complete clusterfuck that was. A truly awful experience and I closed the account and shut the boxes down within a few months.

If they (186K) have gone bust, then it is hardly unexpected, the organisation was pathetic, it needed putting out of it's misery.

'Toyota dealer stole my wife's saucy snaps from phone, emailed them to a swingers website'


Re: a million bucks?

I'm shocked, shocked that you would even suggest that one of America's fine pastors, who selflessly devote themselves to religion would even consider such a stunt.

You know as well as I that he would surely give any damages he received to charity anyway, right?

I'll get my coat, as she clearly forgot hers ....

Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'


Europeans call it a "scientific mission" ... Martians believe it to be a bombing run ...

Pair programming – you'll never guess what happens next!


It's probably a useful tool for neophyte programmers learning the ropes, but when I'm in the zone, I can code more efficiently than I can speak. I have been forced to try this idiotic method on two occasions, neither have turned out well, with mostly a "please, just shut the fuck up while I get this down" ... which basically lasted for 4 hours, by which time the pair has lost interest and usually glazed over, or it boiling with so many "why the hell did you do that?" questions ... its simply unworkable for experienced programmers.

I want to remotely disable Londoners' cars, says Met's top cop


Not too much to hit?

" If it is traveling at say 200 ft up there isn't too much to hit" ... when it's engine inevitably fails, I think you will find in an urban environment there is quite a lot of fleshy things to hit.

The current CAA rules prohibit single engine flight over built up areas ... the rule is you have to be able to land clear, in the event of an engine failure. I don't think any of the current drone technology would get close to that requirement.

BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it


Re: Once upon a time detector vans existed

Color me stupid ... but surely, rather than sending a detector van to sit outside the house of someone on the outskirts of Manchester to see if they happen to be watching iPlayer on the particular day they show up .. would it not be easier to simply easier to match up ip addresses of broadband connections (taking into account time/date for dynamically assigned IPs) and filter up a list of IP addy / timestamps of people known to not have a TV licence ... and then just cross match it with the webserver logs from the iPlayer streams?

I suspect that may be complicated by using CDNs such as Akmai to distribute content, but the data should exist somewhere ...

Rolls-Royce reckons robot cargo ships are the future of the seas


"Or, alternatively, anybody with a RIB could board it and do what they want."

On the contrary, without humans on board, you don't need the walkways, doors and windows ... so many of the customary ingress points can cease to exist. There is no real need for a bridge either, so even if they got aboard, there is not real reason to think they would be able to take control, unless they are teaching advanced CANBUS hacking in Somalia these days.

Even when docking, the pilot would not need to board, he could happily chug alongside in his launch, remote control in hand ... which is not so far fetched, as anyone who has watched a large crane swing 50 tonnes of machinery through the air, driven by a guy with a hand held remote will tell you.

Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn


How much?

Softbank itself only has a market capitalisation of around £21bn ... it bought back around 14.2% of its own shares at around £3bn earlier this year, but it's capitalisation at around 21bn ...

And they plan to buy Arm for 24bn? Someone somewhere is ponying up a lot of cash for this one. Well, to be fair, they won't have to pony up the full amount, as Arm has around 8bn in cash that can be raided, so they just need to find 16bn ...

NASCAR team red-flagged by ransomware attack


Re: When...

No, there has been some gross negligence here, but it is not on the part of law enforcement failing to stop these people ...

If the data is valuable, BACK IT UP. Jeezus, even (paid for) Dropbox will save you from this, just roll it back.

US military tests massive GPS jamming weapon over California


Re: galileo

and .. what *exactly* makes you think that come the Big Day ... they will either a) be targeting this capability at their own GPS systems, and not the other side, and b) be turning "selective availability" on again on their own systems .. don't forget, most systems, the uS GPS system included feature at least two key channels, and the low-res public channel can be either dithered (as the GPS system was until a few years ago) or turned off at will ... without affecting the secure/private channels. There is no need to jam your own systems .. so you can bet this tech is going to be targeted at something else other than the US GPS system when used in anger ...


Re: uh, whut?

Exactly that, the "lack of ground jamming" indicates that there is no line of site to the transmitter from stuff on the ground, so I expect it is in a hole/basin/surrounded by mountains in the desert somewhere and only "visible" from elevations more than a few degrees above the horizon.

Linux fans may be in for disappointment with SQL Server 2016 port


Oh im really cut up about that .. not.

We have plenty of excellent, world-class database servers already for Linux ... last thing we need is that closed source bloat bucket, thanks all the same.

If they could delay the port until, say, 2085, i think you might find we appreciate it,

That's cute, Germany – China shows the world how fusion is done


Re: RIBrsiq

Thats a bit rich.

As a journalist writing an article, you are supposed to get it right in the first place. If someone points out an error, then you should be grateful. Whining that they didn't email you about it, when they are under no obligation to do so, is a bit rich ... especially as you got paid to write it, and they have (by consuming your adverts) paid to read it ...

China has a chip to fry with y'all: Wants its own chip smarts and fabs


IP Rights

But we could simply ignore any IP related issues and laugh, claim it was some other guy, claim it "is being investigated" ,or simply forget how to speak whatever language they are talking in.. just like they do when we complain about Chinese companies infringing our IP...

Squeeze the banana to log into this office Wi-Fi


Voltage drop?

"causing a voltage drop in the fruit" ???

what complete toss. It's just a touch switch, which works like every other touch switch ... when you touch the sensor (which in this case has been extended with a bit of wire to a banana) you couple stray 50Hz electrostatic field from all the general mains driven stuff in the area (60 Hz in places I guess) into a high gain amp (usually a CMOS gate biased nearly on) ... that turns into a 50Hz square wave and then gets rectified ...

the other sort is a capacative sensor ... where it either oscillates or nearly oscillates ... and when you touch it, the added capacitance of your body either changes the frequency, or causes it to start oscillating, as appropriate.

Either way, voltage drop (across or in) the banana don't come into it. What are they teaching in electronics class these days?

BBC Micro:bit delayed by power supply SNAFU


Re: Why new hardware?

Why do you need LED's when you have a screen? Why do you need buzzers when you have a speaker?

Honestly, the BBC Micro was a great idea because at the time there were close to zero available compute devices in schools and it opened up computing to a generation. These days we are inundated with compute devices .. phones, laptops, tablets, desktops, watches ... there is NO SHORTAGE of hardware ... in fact, we have too much.

Prediction: 70% of these devices will never be even powered up and will be thrown across the playground as some sort of high-tech skipping stone. another 20% will be powered up but junked once they reallise they wont run xbox games .. a few will get a basic bit of code written .. and less than 1% will end up actually used.

TalkTalk attackers stole 'incomplete' customer bank data, ISP confirms


What about passwords?

They have not yet confirmed if passwords were also stolen ... I would hope they are salted and hashed .. but I suspect they may not be. When you initially sign up for their services (over the phone, not web) they will ask you for a password. You can then use that to log in to their website. Unfortunately they do seem to be able to ask you for your password when you call in for support ... which might mean they are typing it in and checking it matches .. or might mean its displayed on their screen .. and held in the clear.

If they have held passwords in plain text, they need punishing, financially.

Big Blue lets Chinese government eyeball source code – report


almost certainly correct.

There is little chance of them finding a back door, as it is unlikely to be in the code delivered for scrutiny.

Far more likely is they simply want to see how it is built, and/or spot hitherto undiscovered entry points for their own purposes.

DDoS defences spiked by CloudPiercer tool - paper


A problem solved with a simple firewall rule?

Since the majority of origin sites are hosted in the cloud anyway these days, incoming bandwidth is unlikely to be a problem. A simple firewall rule allowing access only from the Cloudfare or whatever entry point servers should solve any issues.

I would have thought most competent sysadmins would have put that in place at the time they switched over to Cloudflare/whatever anyway.