* Posts by kirk_augustin@yahoo.com

93 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Mar 2016


NSA urges orgs to use memory-safe programming languages


NSA wants more back-doors

Obviously these languages the NSA are promoting, like "C#, Rust, Go, Java, Ruby or Swift" are the least reliable and secure, because the NSA does not want "security", but instead want more backdoors they can more easily exploit.


Totally Backwards

All the programming languages listed, like "C#, Rust, Go, Java, Ruby or Swift", are terribly insecure, as well as being much slower and limited.

All of them require installing run time security breaches that can easily be exploited.

None of the secure facilities I have ever worked at would ever allow a Java interpreter engine be installed for example, because then it is easily controlled by anyone who knows the details of the built in vulnerabilities.

C and C++ are the MOST secure languages because they rely on loading the fewest run time leaks, and are totally self contained except for driver and OS calls.

This article should have known better, and any real programmer should know that C and C++ are by far the most secure programming languages.

About the only security weakness in C and C++ are buffer over runs, which should be caught by the OS calls.

Software engineer jailed for 2 years after using RATs and crypters to steal underage victims' intimate pics


Autism a valid defense

The reason autism is a valid defense is that anyone who puts naked pictures on their computer is an idiot. It is essentially posting them in public. So then a person with autism will see no logical contraction in collecting them, because there is nothing at all wrong with that. People who think they should have privacy on their computers are idiots who simply do not at all understand computers. If you look at the running processes on any computer, you will see dozens, if not hundreds, and only 1 or 2 will be the user. The rest are all systems or externally initiated processes, like communications from your network, printer, mouse, keyboard, or other devices. That is just how computers work, so anyone who thinks their computer is at all private, just is ignorant.


Re: Austism Defense

Sure you can still tell right from wrong with autism, but that does not mean the judge was right to convict him, because collecting images off other computers is not wrong and even someone without autism should be able to understand computers well enough to understand that. Computer networking works by the computer being essentially public. The crime would be damaging files, not copying them. Merely copying them harms no one. If you think that violates privacy, you would be ignorant because no computer on a network can ever be private.

Phone jammers made my model plane smash into parked lorry, fumes hobbyist


Re: Failsafe?

If the signal is being jammed, then no loss of signal can be detected. Instead the signal is being over ridden by a stronger and constant signal, which prevents any control OR any failsafe.


A drone is any craft without a person on board. It can be autonomous or remotely controlled. A drone also does not have to be a hovering quadcopter. Military or any long distance drones are winged and NOT quadcopters.

As for jammers, one would think they should be easy to trace, since their signal has to be stronger than what they want to override.

Magna Carta mayhem: Protesters lay siege to Edinburgh Castle, citing obscure Latin text that has never applied in Scotland


The article is incorrect. The Magna Charta is a principle that applies everywhere and at all times. Sure it was the Barons who forced it on the King, but the point is the Kings is not the ultimate source of authority. That same principle applies against the Barons as well. And whether or not article 61 gets repealed, the principle still exists as an abstract truth, which hopefully is then encompassed by additional articles and we do not just backslide.

Record-breaking Kuwaiti heatwave triggers inadvisable TikTok expletive outburst


Change what we can change

We may not be able to do anything about the weather, but we can do something about the questionable government of Kuwait.

Spy agency GCHQ told me Gmail's more secure than Microsoft 365, insists British MP as facepalming security bods tell him to zip it


Microsoft 365 NOT in-house

Of course GMail is more secure than any cloud service like Microsoft 365. Microsoft 365 is NOT in-house. It is a remote cloud service, and is about the least secure system anyone could ever come up with.


Re: O365 but not as you know it

You can easily make a secure email system by not connecting to the internet, but then what is the point? If you have to in the building to access it, then just talk to the person instead of emailing at all.


Microsoft 365 Very Insecure

As a cloud service, Microsoft 365 likely is less secure than Gmail. But it is foolish to want or expect email to be secure. It really can't be. If you want security, you need encryption, and then you need something like Cisco VPN.

State of Maine orders review of $54.6m Workday project as it alleges delivery failure and threatens cancellation


Never hire out for a proprietary system.

When the code writers are gone, you can't modify it and you got nothing.

Always hire you own permanent programmers, and use students to help fill in.

If you want to use a company to write it, then use generic programs many already use, so that you an be sure the software will be maintained.

Cobol, Fortran, Pascale, BASIC, or even Python, can all easily be rewritten in C or C++.

Richard Stallman says he has returned to the Free Software Foundation board of directors and won't be resigning again


You said," letting Stallman back in after what he said, and his characteristic refusal to apologise makes it very hard to argue that the FSF is an organisation that represents the movement", and that is utterly wrong. Attacking a dead person like Marvin Minsky who can not defend himself is wrong. The allegations with Epstein are totally unverified and cross the line to illegal slander. Youi should shut up.


Stallman appears to be correct. Marvin Minsky not only is a national treasure, but dead so can't defend himself.

So then anyone else making unverified allegations about Marvin Minsky is violating basic ethics.

Happy birthday, Python, you're 30 years old this week: Easy to learn, and the right tool at the right time


Re: Why do some people not like python's indentation=code block container

Never had a missing { or } in my whole life. If one follows good programming indents and rules, it is pretty much impossible.


Python needs lots of work. Since it does not come with Windows OS, there needs to be a compiled version that runs as an executable and does not have to have the interpreter installed. Many places won't allow the Python interpreter to be installed, as a security risk. It also it way too slow interpreted. It needs to be able to make all the normal OS calls, like multi processors, sockets, pipes, etc.

GSM gateways: Parliament obviously cocked up, so let minister issue 'ignore the law' decree, UK.gov barrister urges court


Privacy is Paramount

The right to privacy supersedes any mere desire by government to make law enforcement easier for them. The right to privacy by individuals is paramount, and government has no authority to try to make the means of private communications illegal. Since government obtains all of its authority by borrowing delegated authority from us, then government can't have that authority. They can't have it because we don't have that authority to let them borrow. National security is a red herring. The actual bad guy have infinite ways of getting around this like BitTor or simple VPN encryption. The heart of the matter is that the government has exceeded its authority in such a blatant way that all those responsible should go to jail. This is the kind of abuse we would only expect from a fascist dictatorship.

Here's US Homeland Security collaring a suspected arsonist after asking Google for the IP addresses of folks who made a specific search


Not a shred of actual evidence. The guy could have been trying to prevent some sort of attack he heard about or by someone else he suspected of wanting to commit an attack. Since it was a rental SUV, it could ever have been arranged by Kelly to avoid payments. Very lame case. But does indicate why people should not carry cellphones. I never do. The alternative is to put it in a metal case to it can't ping.

Bill Gates lays out a three-point plan to rid the world of COVID-19 – and anti-vaxxer cranks aren't gonna like it


Re: Question for Reg staff

It is foolish to volunteer for something you know nothing about. For example, one of the proposed vaccines would attack all corona spikes, and cause them to become clogged up. And while that would stop all corona viruses, what they forget is that the whole point of those spikes is to mimick the spike of exosomes. So it is possible this vaccine would also cause all the exosomes to be rendered useless as well. And the point of exosomes is to allow cells to communicate with the immune system. So if you ruin the exosomes, it could be you end all other vaccinations, and make us vulnerable to all other pathogens again, that we used to have immunity to, like polio, smallpox, etc.


Re: What pandemic?

@Captain Dallas, if the "experts" are not lying, they how come they lied before, like when they claimed there was no immunity to covid-19, that immunity would not last, that no one hard inherent immunity, that you did not gain immunity by recovering, etc. Just tell me ONE entrenched epidemic in all of history that was ever ended by anything other than herd immunity? Or how about telling me one epidemic in all of history that was ended by "social distancing"? The closest anyone can come is Ebola, that was ended by quarantine, but quarantine is NOT social distancing. Quarantine is fast. Social distancing is the opposite, and makes an epidemic potentially last FOREVER.


Vaccine useless

Obviously we can't wait for a vaccine, and with 90% of the infected people showing up as asymptomatic, then the majority of the population is already inherently immune, and we are VERY close to herd immunity already. Instead of waiting for a vaccine, we should just ask for 10% of the young and healthy population to volunteer to be deliberately infected, and just get it all over with. It will not likely return unless someone goes back into those bat caves again. A vaccine against a disease that will never be able to come back is a total waste of resources and money.

You *bang* will never *smash* humiliate me *whack* in front of *clang* the teen computer whizz *crunch* EVER AGAIN


Too bad the Amiga is no more and no one has ever built a computer as good.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline


It has been such a long time, I wish someone would post an image of a PDP-11/70 front panel?

I remember one that was red, but I think that was a PDP-11/45?

There are a lot of PDP-8 images confusing me as well.

Ah, just found one.



Repair store faces hefty legal bill after losing David and Goliath fight with Apple over replacement iPhone screens


Re: Change Apple to Boeing or Airbus

Airplane parts are required to be certified by the FAA, cellphone parts do not. No one has the right to dictate what parts are used for repairs, unlike planes.


Re: This guy gave evidence in one of these cases

If salvaged, then the logo should have been legal.

If not, then the most they should have been able to do is have them remove the logo.

The destruction and court costs make no sense.


The courts totally goofed this one up.

Apple has absolutely no right to claim you can't put in any third part parts you want, and if they are salvaged, they most certainly can retain their orignal Apple logo.

That is the end of me ever buying any more Apple stuff.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds


80 column is ancient

The last time I was limited to 80 column lines was when I was programming the Commodore 64.

No sane person would limit lines to 80 columns.

Often I do use 80 column lines for code, but that is then where the comment starts.

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way


Huge mistake to trust software

All software has mistakes, so should never be trusted. If you really need software to do something safely, then have 3 separate algorithms on 3 separate cpus all try to solve the same problem, and only allow the software to take control if 2 of the algorithms agree. It is still risky, but then you can still also have a human over ride.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal


Easily defeated

All people have to do is either leave their phone at home, or put it into a metal or mesh faraday cage. Which any intelligent person was already doing.

Anyone who thinks you can do anything honest of useful with tracking people, is an idiot. There is no way to trace infections by GPS.


Re: False sense of security?

Since the number infected is 10 times higher than we realize, and we only need 55% for herd immunity, then that means it is almost over, all by itself.


Herd immunity has the least deaths.

Odd how people admit the lock down only slows the curve and does not reduce the death toll, but then still do not realize that the quicker we achieve herd immunity, the least deaths result. The only exception would be if we were on the brink of herd immunity through vaccination, which clearly is 2 years away.


Tracing can't work

The reason tracking can never work with COVID-19 is that it is not one cholera pump or typhoid person.

If a COVID infected person picks up a loaf of bread in a grocery store, then decides not to buy, but 5 minutes later someone else does, then there is not going to be any way of tracing it.

You can't trace infection with GPS location because infection can't happen just because 2 people crossed paths on the sidewalk.

GPS does not tell you anything.

You need far more information than that, because there has to be actual contact, and you may not even know there is an infection and worth tracing until a week later. That would mean you would need to store all the movements of all the people for weeks, waiting until there was an infection. That not only is impossibly huge, but would be far more dangerous and intrusive than any virus.

Dumbest idea I ever heard of.

The Great British anti-5G fruitcake Bakeoff: Group hugs, no guns, and David Icke


The higher the frequency, the greater the energy

High-band 5G uses frequencies of 25 - 39 GHz, near the bottom of the millimeter wave band. That is clearly in the same range as your microwave oven. Would you stick your head into a microwave oven and turn it on? Well that is what you are doing when you use 5G in a cellphone.

There are lots of people claiming that is no problem because the wattage is too low for there to be enough heat to damage the brain, but they are not physicists. Physicists understand Quantum Mechanics, which says that EMF travels as a photonic particle wave. Which means it is not spread out as gross wattage, but tightly bundled in to little quantas. And each quanta is so concentrated that is DOES have enough energy to cause an ionizing shear of a molecule it hit. So it could cause cancer, blood clots, or all sorts of problems.

The reason many do not understand this is that microwaves are below the visible spectrum, and most people consider only the higher frequencies above the visible spectrum as being dangerous, ionizing radiation. And the reason they are wrong is that humans are built for the visible spectrum, so our skin is designed to block it out. We can get damage from visible spectrum light, but it would only be on the surface, so then not particularly dangerous. But 5G is low enough frequency to pass right through the protective skin layer, and can cause much more damage internally then.

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file


The Interface Formally Known As Metro, (TIFKAM), totally sucks.

Everyone I know would always prefer the Win98 GUI by far.


Consistency, Not Style

We can adapt to other styles. That is not relevant. But adaptation is time consuming, painful, and absurd when unnecessary.

What makes Windows so terrible is that they keep changing it, for absolutely no reason at all.

Vista was awful for no reason. The Metro look of Win 8 was ridiculous, tedious, and stupid.

I don't see why MicroSoft does not get it, that people just want consistency.

You can add new features, but NEVER take away or change existing features.

Is that so hard?

The BlackBerry in your junk drawer is now a collectors' item: TCL says no more new keyboard-clad phones


Physical keyboards are vastly superior to virtual keyboards where you get no tactile feedback when you commit a fat finger mistake. No comparison. The Blackberry was the best, and will be missed by all rational cellphone users.

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune


The quality of Apple products are ok, but I would never own one because their pricing is ridiculous.

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked


DES backdoor

We always knew DES encryption had a backdoor and was intended to be cracked. The U. of Waterloo proved that many decades ago.

Having the secure file of hashed passwords has always been known as being reversible.

There is never going to be a way of preventing that.

That is because you do not have to get the right password.

All you need is to end up with the same hashed result.

And that is never computationally hard, just slow.

Handcranked HTML and JPEG japes. What could possibly go wrong?


Handcranked Superiority

The article was good and funny, but the title is bad. It implies handcranked html is bad, and that is wrong. Using an automated process to generate html leads to code more than 10 times larger, slower, full of bugs, and very difficult to change or fix. Systems like Wordpress and Drupal produce huge blocks of one size fits all in a kitchen sink approach that is awful. Handcranked html is almost always vastly superior, and only takes a little more time. But it more than makes up for the extra development time by much quicker runtimes.

Bus pass or bus ass? Hackers peeved about public transport claim to have reverse engineered ticket app for free rides


The main rule for cellphone apps is that you never store anything on the phone except a successful login token. So then yes, any transaction, like buying or using a ticket requires a connection. But that is no big deal because you are not going to do either of those often. Tickets can persist forever once stored on the server side.


The only way to seriously reduce global warming is with free mass transit. Pay for it will carbon taxes on gasoline. But anyone writing an app that puts its security on the client side, is totally incompetent. Only the server side is secure and persistent.

ReactOS 'a ripoff of the Windows Research Kernel', claims Microsoft kernel engineer


Microsoft is the ripoff

The claim anyone would steal anything from Microsoft is absurd, because Microsoft never created anything.

Windows was junk until Digital Equipment Company, DEC, went under, and Microsoft hired its programmers.

Everything good or interesting about Windows, like COM and DCOM, came from stealing from DEC.

Before DEC employee were hire, Windows could not even pre-emptively multi task.

Idle Computer Science skills are the Devil's playthings


Don't hire

It is such a stupid prank that he knew had to be harmful, and showed no skill of intellect at all. Of course everyone thought of capturing login name and password. I actually captured the professor's login and password even. It is not hard. That is not at all a skill worth hiring someone for.

But the point is he kicked every one off who was running when he crashed it, so did actual damage to dozens of people, for no reason and with no gain.

Quit worrying about killer robots, they are coming whether you like it or not – and they absolutely will not stop


Since AI is very unreliable and does the wrong thing most of the time in a real world situation that is not kept simple like a factory, no one should ever rely on AI. Like the Aegis System on the USS Vincennes, that shot down Iranian airliner. No computer system is every going to be reliable because they will never have the full, real world perspective we have. At best, AI will simply fail, but it could get much worse, and the enemy could use our own AI against us.

Microsoft debuts Bosque – a new programming language with no loops, inspired by TypeScript


Re: Ah, the loop

Yes there are lots of bad languages out there with no loops. We don't need another bad language.

The processor has loop machine instructions for a very good reason. To remove instruction access is never an improvement.


Bosque sounds terrible. Why is it based on JavaScript, likely the single most well know bad language out there?

Why would anyone want to do something that stupid?

And one of the worst things about JavaScript is that is relies on higher level functions like sets and maps that you can not dive into the details of when they fail due to bad data.

And to bring out another interpreter language is really foolish.

Some of the biggest problems in programming is from the slowness and memory waste of interpreted languages having to rely on garbage collection.

Interpreted languages prevent essential things like making systems calls, interacting with device drivers, accessing hardware, etc.

College student with 'visions of writing super-cool scripts' almost wipes out faculty's entire system


Teacher at fault

There was nothing wrong with the student trying to automate a script to do it right. Doing it by hand individually is the wrong way to go, and is more likely to cause problems. The problem is the teacher did not explain anything to the student first, so that he would have known how to do it safely, accurately, and more quickly.

And it is foolish to pretend there was any danger, risk, or that the source files has to be rebuilt by hand.

ALL multi user systems are always backed up every night.

And restoring the back up was the correct way to fix the mistake.

The student should have been told about that.

And in fact, the student should have been told to make a script first to do a localized back up of all that he was supposed to copy, first.

He also should have been warned about side effect, and his scripts should have been checked by hand first by the teacher.

The fault is entirely with the teacher and not the student.

Wanted: DVLA CTO. Must love cloud, open standards, agile – and retiring outdated kit


New flash, the Cloud is Insecure!

It is illegal for any government agency to use the Cloud because it is inherently insecure. Agile is another ways of saying they don't do any planning because they don't know how to plan anything.

Linus Torvalds pulls pin, tosses in grenade: x86 won, forget about Arm in server CPUs, says Linux kernel supremo


Re: Will we ever go back to processors that do sensible machine code?

Exactly. The x86 is the worst register and instruction set I have ever seen. Almost anything would be better, and Motorola certainly always was much better.


Torvalds obvious wrong

If Torvalds was right, then we should still all be programming for CP/M on a Z80 processor.

Clearly the x86 register and instruction set really, really sucks.

It is the worst I have even seen, and it should never have lasted nearly this long.

There have always been better register and instruction sets, along with better and faster processors.

And the whole point of programming is that you right in an abstract language, like C or C++, and it is the compiler that makes up for the actual hardware differences.

There is not a single reason to stick with x86 hardware at all.