* Posts by David Glasgow

179 posts • joined 24 Aug 2007


If the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition doesn't make you a fan, we don't know what will

David Glasgow

Re: When will I get what I want?

Grandad! Sit DOWN. Everyone is looking at you.

Single-line software bug causes fledgling YAM cryptocurrency to implode just two days after launch

David Glasgow

I don't even understand how real money works

"I thought of calling the secretary of the treasury, Kermit Winkler, a man who had graduated from Harvard two years after me, and saying this to him: “I just tried out two of your dimes on Times Square, and they worked like a dream. It looks like another great day for the coinage!”"

Kurt Vonnegut

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Black hole quasar tsunamis moving at 46 million miles per hour

David Glasgow

Re: Has anyone told GoSafe?

1 downvote? Gotta be that BMW driver!!

Review of IR35 is in: Quelle surprise, UK.gov will forge ahead with controversial tax reforms in the private sector

David Glasgow

Sir Humphrey lives!!

"While there remains some opposition to this change, the Government believes it is right to address the fundamental unfairness of the non-compliance with the existing rules."

B-but it doesn't get viruses! Not so, Apple fanbois: Mac malware is growing faster than nasties going for Windows

David Glasgow

These data make no sense as reported

"In 2019, we detected an average of 11 threats per Mac endpoint — nearly double the average of 5.8 threats per endpoint on Windows."

This can't be an absolute measure of attacks, the numbers are far too low. Presumably its new threats. So attacks which represent a novel malware exemplar. But if so, what is the "per endpoint" condition for? It doesn't add or explain anything. Average attacks per machine would be interesting, as would the proportion of these representing novel malware. The trouble is that the base rates of malware across platforms is skewed, which is a practical concern, but more importantly in this instance, directly impacts on the number of exploits available to be err... exploited by novel malware.

Kind of looks like smoke and mirrors designed to sell a product, rather than meaningful statistics.

Super-leaker Snowden punts free PDF* of tell-all NSA book with censored parts about China restored, underlined

David Glasgow

Re: A good read

Wish I had written any one of these.

Interpol: Strong encryption helps online predators. Build backdoors

David Glasgow

Re: Internet predator behaviour

"I just realised you're 'one of those'"

Ah! Quite possibly.

In 25 plus years I have worked on 2 cases of female internet predators. Of course, that is a biased sample, because I only see the cases referred to me, and there are several reasons why women might be under-represented. Still, I have seen a few hundred cases of males. Not mentioning female, child, white or asian offenders in my post does not mean they don't exist, or that their behaviour is excused.

The point is that unless the issues are considered in a balanced way, accommodating child protection AND technical AND forensic issues, the result will only be divisive polarisation. Fashionable at the moment, but not helpful.

David Glasgow

Re: Internet predator behaviour

Completely agree with all points.

The pressure to do something about this particular problem arises substantially from people who do not consider the issue as part of an equation. On the other hand, why would you expect them to? Their starting point (whether parents or 'authorities') is that they don't want internet predators targeting children via encrypted messaging, because it renders them (said parents or 'authorities') powerless in a way much more complete than more traditional communications.

Also, ElectronicsRUs, (unlike some folks) you did not suggest I am making things up, and I appreciate that. In fact, those who dismiss legitimate researchers and child protection professionals as cranks or dishonest are doing a service to those who would mandate back doors. I assume that isn't what they wanted.

David Glasgow

Re: Internet predator behaviour

Good point.... it was a near miss, because it was a case I worked, and I know the context. Which of course is everything. Once you have found the attempted switch to encrypted, you can investigate exactly who is talking to whom and why - unless it is encrypted and not stored locally.

I have also investigated similar communications in non-predator messages, and they arise at a surprisingly low rate.

David Glasgow

Internet predator behaviour

I can't comment on whether the position in the expected report is honest or not, but I have been researching and assessing internet offenders for years. The comments declaring that most children are sexually abused by family and 'friends' are correct, but off the point. The issue is that there is a growing problem of men using various forms of messaging platforms to communicate with and ultimately sexually abuse children.

In my work I found most references to any form of social media or communication channel were associated with an attempt to establish an alternative ‘back-channel’, access to video chat or, most often, switch to a more secure channel. For example:

[13:33] <H> u have torchat?

[13:34] <K> what is that sorry

[13:34] <H> nm all good

[13:37] <K> i have heard of snapchat not torchat

[13:38] <H> oh k... just an encrypted one thats all

So there's a near miss. Favoured encrypted channels evolve over time, and there has been a definite shift to mobile. However, the effect is so strong that it is worth searching all digital evidence for any reference to encrypted communication, because most of them are associated with a grooming process, if one is present.

Whether this real threat justifies a backdoor in all messaging systems is another question, I just didn't want the prevailing tone of dismissal of risk and harm to children in the comments so far to continue unchallenged.

A copy-paste of Europe and a '5G' hotel: El Reg's Adventures in Huawei Land were fairly wacky

David Glasgow


A single storey stone cottage where brilliant innovations and ideas are promoted by repeatedly smacking your head on too-low beams?

Is your kid looking at GCSE in computer science? It's exam-only from 2022 – Ofqual

David Glasgow

Back to. Basics

If its any help, I had to read a piece of punched tape for my CSE. It said "Marylin Munroe".

Most exciting exam I ever had.

Chinese rover pootles about... on the far side of the friggin' MOON

David Glasgow

Wait a minute!!

...where are the flags not waving in the breeze that wouldn't be there??

I call FAKE!

That 'Surface will die in 2019' prediction is still a goer, says soothsayer

David Glasgow

Re: So the logic is

“I keep meeting people who absolutely love their Windows Phones and protect them like human babies,”

Where do you meet these people? I haven't met anyone who has a Windows phone for a very, very, long time.

Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

David Glasgow

Re: Puh!! Visit Dublin and try out their 121m whip antenna

Who would thumbs down that post? Onot person I can think of would be the Dublin Spire architect. So, architect, was it you?

David Glasgow

Re: Puh!! Visit Dublin and try out their 121m whip antenna

I do hope there is a more detailed account of this ill conceived caper published somewhere?

Russia's national vulnerability database is a bit like the Soviet Union – sparse and slow

David Glasgow

Never mind the delay....

That chart labels days to two decimal places. Harrumph!

Boffin botheration as IET lifts axe on 20-year-old email alias service

David Glasgow

Re: Email forwarding services are passé

Oh yeah! Everyone should do that right now. That thing that you just said.

Decision time for AI: Sometimes accuracy is not your friend

David Glasgow

Oi. Where's the curve?

One of the benefits of receiver operating characteristics is that the method generates a curve, not a spot on a chart. Sadly omitted from this article. You use this to choose an optional cut point on the continuous measure depending on the positive and negative utilities of the outcomes. You could easily create an algorithm to do this.

Nothing much to do with AI though. Intermediate statistics.

Fraudster admits she was OPM dealer: Leaked US govt staff files used to bag cash, car loans

David Glasgow

Re: Take that!

One in thirty three US citizens are incarcerated.

Creaky NHS digital infrastructure risks holding back gene boffinry, say MPs

David Glasgow

200 Gigs true

Apparently. https://medium.com/precision-medicine/how-big-is-the-human-genome-e90caa3409b0

I don't understand it beyond the general principles.

NHS given a lashing for lack of action plan one year since WannaCry

David Glasgow

Re: Kick me whilst I'm down

"an upgrade from Office 2007 would improve everyone's productivity".

I agreed with everything else, but this. How on earth would productivity be increased by upgrading Office? Most clinical records are (pretty much) plain text, and so they should be.

10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10

David Glasgow

Re: Gateway Drug

Ahhhh. Maplin. :((

Facebook settles landmark revenge porn case with UK teen for undisclosed sum

David Glasgow

Why on earth would victims need to send potential revenge porn to Facebook?

Surely the hash values or 'PhotoDNA' (©️Microsoft) of images at risk of revenge posting can be obtained without them actually going anywhere?

Firefox 57's been quietly delaying tracking scripts

David Glasgow

Re: Oh, that's why

You stay on the Daily Mail website for more than four minutes?

History shows why geeks will never, ever, ever... get along

David Glasgow

Re: constructive antagony

Even then, even there, nobody said "dang".

Facebook pulls plug on language-inventing chatbots? THE TRUTH

David Glasgow

I'm still not sure I understand

Did the bots just break, or were they converging on an analogue of the Morse code where the words are used (a la caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland) to mean something different to the conventionally ascribed meanings?

Southern awarded yet another 'most moaned about rail firm' gong

David Glasgow

Re: random luck

"please make sure you use all the doors!"

Oooh! Quantum!

Lochs, rifle stocks and two EPIC sea gates: Thomas Telford's Highland waterway

David Glasgow

De-metrification of previously metrified imperial specifications

Introduces error, and is a slur on the genius. The canal was designed to be 110 feet wide and 20 feet deep. NOW you can add metric equivalents in parentheses if needed.

Because it matters.

'Windows 10 destroyed our data!' Microsoft hauled into US court

David Glasgow

A spark of truth in the darkness of duplicity

"... a choice designed to help people take advantage of the most secure, and most productive Windows"

Notice there is no claim to be the most secure and productive Operating System?

Don’t panic over cyber-terrorism: Daesh-bags still at script kiddie level

David Glasgow


I've seen NCIS. Those terr'sts are hacking into allsorts of 'mercan 'mainframes'. And they have spiffy GUIs on their state of the art hackware. A big green box pops up that says "hack successful!"

Encrypted email sign-ups instantly double in wake of Trump victory

David Glasgow


Using caps on El Reg has an effect contrary to the effect you desire.

Microsoft goes back to the drawing board – literally, with 28" tablet and hockey puck knob

David Glasgow

Re: I want to join

You see the real problem here is that no-one can tell if this is irony or a genuine 24 carat spittle-flecked-monitor rant.

David Glasgow

Re: Windows 10

Tee Hee.

Joke, right?

After baffling Falcon 9 rocket explosion, SpaceX screams: Hands off our probe!

David Glasgow

Hey, looks like I have been mistaken all these years...

I have NEVER had an accident. Go me!

High rear end winds cause F-35A ground engine fire

David Glasgow

,,,,the pilot exited the aircraft while it was extinguished.....

I’ll bet he bloody did.

Violence, vandals and vomit: London's naughtiest tech Tube stations revealed

David Glasgow

Further FOI application required

Were any of the Voms El Reg neck-fillers?

Ditch your Macs, Dell tells EMC staff

David Glasgow

Re: Cease and desist

I beg to differ. Very interesting reading.

Carry on lads.

'Leave EU means...' WHAT?! Britons ask Google after results declared

David Glasgow

Re: Seriously

Its true. It is skewed. There are more people of below mean IQ. There are more ways of being intellectually disabled than there are of being intellectually gifted.

Holy Crap! Bloke finishes hand-built CPU project!

David Glasgow

He should call it The Peach

An altogether more satisfying Reg headline would then arise.

Microsoft’s IFTTT-alike Flow seeps into the iPhone

David Glasgow


I just love it.

Lester Haines: RIP

David Glasgow




Safari 10 dumps Flash, Java, Silverlight, QuickTime in the trash

David Glasgow

Re: Doing away with the cruft?

Cruft is not sticky and oozy. It's sort of flaky, whiskery and dusty.

Jacob Appelbaum quits Tor Project amid 'sex misconduct' accusations

David Glasgow

Re: IOError's Statement

Oooh! Post not found. Que pasa?

Kids these days can't even write a decent virus

David Glasgow

Why would Microsoft offer a reward?

I don't understand. We've all seen the advert. They have a huge Minority Report style room thing with touch screens and stuff. From here they can track down criminals wherever they are in the world. I feel so much safer running Windows in the knowledge that team and tech are dedicated to crime busting.

Come to think of it though, I haven't seen any reports of how many baddies they catch each week. That's a bit odd.

Banning computers makes students do better on exams – MIT

David Glasgow

"Given the magnitude of our results "

Is a novel use of the word 'magnitude'

To put the results in context, if performance was expressed as a standard score (like IQs) with a mean of 100 for the no IT group, the wasters with their tablets and laptops averaged 97.

This is a good example of confusing statistical with real world significance.

CERN publishes massive data set

David Glasgow

Tsk.... primary school error

...confusing barn doors with shed-loads. Former area, latter volume.

How IT are you? Find out now in our HILARIOUS quiz!

David Glasgow

I worked with your old man at Leeds

Affectionately and universally known as "Dabbo"

I hope he's still going. Either way, I shall raise a glass to him in couple of minutes.

Confused as to WTF is happening with Apple, the FBI and a killer's iPhone? Let's fix that

David Glasgow

Re: To be clear @Just Enough

Leonard, is that sarcasm?

Criminal records checks 'unlawful' and 'arbitrary' rules High Court

David Glasgow

Re: Time Travel?

...kind of Minority Report thing?



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020