* Posts by yetanotheraoc

1113 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jan 2021


UK lawmakers look to enforce blocking tools for legal but harmful content

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No, they wave their legislation, fully expecting the American megacorps will not comply. Then they can beat bad offshore megacorp over the head with the legislation, fine them some arbitrary amount, and put down "saved the children" on their CV.

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harmful but legal

`the problem is in defining what constitutes "harmful but legal" content`

Oh that's an easy one. If someone complains they were harmed, then it was harmful. Soon followed by OOM due to the unchecked recursion.

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Re: Grow a brain

"getting old, insists on living alone, forgets stuff on and off, and does not answer phone calls at times"

Sounds a lot like me.

Microsoft: Whoops, Patch Tuesday might screw your database connections

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Re: one thing after another

Take screenshots of your powerpoint slides and run them in, for example, irfanview in kiosk mode. Way lighter on system resources and looks _exactly_ like powerpoint, your users will never know the difference.

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Re: After

"a long list of things"

When the list includes every thing, it ceases to be useful.

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Re: Do you prefer to be impaled or burned alive?

"In one hand,we can patch our systems but major functionalities could be broken. In the other hand, we could let major functionalities working but let security holes opened that could lead to disasters. Take your pick."

Why not both? Patch our systems and introduce a new security hole due to a bug.... Impaled by a burning stick.

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Re: Clowns

Don't accept candy from clowns. (shiver)

Windows 11 still not winning the OS popularity contest

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A handful of upvotes, but no serious answers, so I had to go looking.


OOBE refers to a never-before-booted machine or image, so this smoother upgrade path from Win10 to Win11 is helpful for precisely zero users. Home user types will be either upgrading a non-OOBE Win10 machine or purchasing a new Win11 machine. Corporate types will be (one hopes) installing a properly tested Win11 image. Well done Microsoft for keeping your eyes on the prize.

Icon for why did El Reg bother with this article?

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"out-of-box experience"

Could someone kindly translate this puzzling jargon for me? As I always remove the computer from the box before plugging it in, I can't quite understand how there can be any other type of experience...

Programming error created billion-dollar mistake that made the coder ... a hero?

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Re: Worst code I ever saw...

RE "Coding Style Heretic" -- When jake said, "when in Rome", he didn't mean "... feed the Christians to the lions". Anyway my code editor finds the matching braces even when they don't line up.

RE "} # if (a -eq b)" -- Took me *decades* to learn that trick. I find it especially helpful when there are a bunch of nested closing braces very close together, with maybe one line of code in-between. Which one still needs closing, before or after that one line? But I make it even more explicit, for grepping later:

} # END if (a -eq b)

As for the Who, Me? it's a good thing the change from add to add-update wasn't worthy of a comment!

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Re: Worst code I ever saw...

"Comments are a code-smell." Upvoted for having the sense to run like heck.

"internal staff, of which there were few" Sounds like you were not the first to run.

Two signs in the comms cabinet said 'Do not unplug'. Guess what happened

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Re: Don't forget mischief

"The real villain is the person who didn't think of the cleaner's job when they designed the room."

The other real villain is the cleaner who cheerfully tells you how to make their life easier, then proceeds to do something different.

Just 22% of techies in UK aged 50 or older, says Chartered Institute for IT

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Rashik Parmar. "The message must be that you can become an ethical, trusted and highly competent tech professional no matter what your background or age."

I wonder why The Register mentioned only age while ignoring disability and women? https://www.bcs.org/articles-opinion-and-research/helping-over-50s-into-tech-jobs-can-support-government-s-silicon-valley-ambitions/

Almost 300 predatory loan apps found in Google and Apple stores

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Re: I'd like to know...

It's all well and good what you'd like to know. What Google and especially Apple would like to know is how these apps managed to avoid the app store TOS regarding payments made through the app. Mandatory retraining for all app reviewers! 30% of predatory pricing is some nice change.

Intruders gain access to user data in LastPass incident

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Re: OnePassword next?

Let's hear from Cybersaber whether his "local-only" recommendation is the same as your "Local install" recommendation.

"you could probably stick USB storage in your router and share the database out from there" -- I wouldn't try this myself, I'm not sure I could do it securely.

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Re: Available + Convenient != Sane

I like your title. The whole problem is, as you put it, the pro/am divide. In short, if you make access *reasonably* secure, the pros will look for ways to make it *more* secure, the ams won't use it *at all*. ExtraHop says "implement controls that balance usability and security". Balance, ha! It's like the pros and the ams are fighting over a thermostat, each one wanting to turn the dial all the way in a different direction.

Sirius XM flaw unlocks so-called smart cars thanks to code flaw

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Re: Sirius XM?

"We take the security of our customers' accounts Siriusly" - FTFY

Criminals use trending TikTok challenge to make data-stealing malware invisible

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Re: Mining the minds of minors

"be mindful of how much access TikTok has to their data and devices"

There's an app for that.

Ever wondered how the AWS leviathan develops software?

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Re: I would like to know more about Greg

Greg spends his time wondering why Amazon's shopping page today can't do things his cgi script could do back in the day.

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two pizza teams

I hope they are not suggesting two pizzas can feed 6-15 people, because I can eat a large two topping pizza all by myself, as can two-thirds of my siblings.

China: Face-to-face meetings are best when swapping space station crews

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Re: Consumables at 400kg per year

"Perhaps the figures are slightly misrepresented and don't include basics like fuel, water and oxygen?"

I don''t think that can be the case, since from the article "Recovering 95 percent of oxygen and water was cited as the main contributor to the reduction in required supplies." Ergo, oxygen and water are included.

Still, you are correct to question the numbers. "..advanced life support systems that have reduced the mass of consumables needed to sustain the crew – from 8,000kg a year to just 400kg." These numbers have to be per person. If water is 3.2 liters per day that's 700 + 1168 = 1868 kg/person/year. Then 95% of that is a savings of 1775 kg, so I don't see how that can be the "main contributor" to a reduction from 8000 kg to 400 kg.

One assumes the Chinese know how much mass they are shifting to their space station on each launch. We just don't know what the given numbers refer to.

Japanese convenience store chain opens outlet staffed by avatars and robots

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Re: Sounds good

"thinking that the few remaining human staff would be wearing full-size avatar costume uniforms"

We've been thinking about the Turing test all wrong. In future, the humans will be impersonating the robots, success will be if the customers can't tell the difference (barring a sharp implement). Although there can't be many opportunities to slack off when all your coworkers are basically a camera on wheels.

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An unmentioned upside is the avatars and robots won't try to steal the merchandise. That still leaves the customers, but San Francisco politicians have the answer for that.

Man wins court case against employer that fired him for not liking boozy, forced 'fun' culture

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Re: Their "fun"..

"I've done the Six Sigma training, and most companies use it in the wrong way."

You know that, because you know what a Sigma is. They don't, because they don't.

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Re: Their "fun"..

"I snagged the tools and jigs for some of the products I'd designed and stashed them away before they could go in the bin."

From the Field guide for Identifying Engineers....

* Saves "obsolete" tools, "just in case".

* Reads manuals, even for things they don't own/use (that was in a previous El Reg article).

Guess the most common password. Hint: We just told you

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Re: Salting?

It would have been a clue if they had been looking at the dialog! Touch typists already looking at their paperwork for the unique id that has to go into the search form. Most of the business applications automatically populated the username, this was one of the two that didn't.

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Re: Salting?

The other issue with your embedded pattern is when you are required to change your password, you either have to change the 31HighSt, or you have to change the embedded pattern. Given enough time your passwords become just as difficult to remember as random ones. Might as well start with random ones and use a password manager.

I used to look at the plain-text login .log for a badly coded business application: timestamp, username=plaintext, password=********. Amusingly, it was trivial to get scads of valid passwords out of it, because more than half the time they would put their password in the username field on the first attempt, so you had an invalid login showing the password and five seconds later a valid login showing the username.

Almost everybody had a simple word followed by a single digit which they would increment by one for each required password change. Foolproof!

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Second-hand story. Two more-or-less "IT" guys are discussing passwords, 1st IT guy says, "I just use the same one they issued me back in university." 2nd IT guy "What's that?" 1st IT guy "changeme". (Double fail for blurting out his stupid _lifetime_ password.)

Not changing the emailed temporary password means the still-valid password is now saved in plain-text on multiple email relays.

I wonder why the hackers don't just set up an email relay, attack the route, and once they start forwarding the emails they can issue the reset requests themselves. This is where SMS, while not true 2FA, would be a deterrent.

Orion snaps 'selfie' with the Moon as it prepares for distant retrograde orbit

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Re: Reg standards

You were joking, but I can't replicate the 39.9389 Brontosaurus per hour.


9.8 ft/s = 0.1359 Brontosaurus/s = ?

Boss broke servers with a careless bit of keyboarding, leaving techies to sort it out late on a Sunday

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Management perspective

"They never understood that any job could be done any two of these three ways quick, cheap and right."

I bet they did understand that, they just always chose quick and cheap. From their point of view it makes sense, all the more so since, being in charge, later when it goes south they get to decide who gets the blame that it wasn't done right.

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Re: Belt up

"laptops move around quite a bit"

The newer laptop I don't worry about because it has an SSD. The previous laptops I made sure to move them like molasses. Just turning them from the horizontal plane could have been hazardous. External drives I don't move them at all without spinning them down first, which means I have to think about it a bit before plugging them in. Even if 99.9% of the time it's fine to move them, in the not too long run they are dead.

Windows Subsystem for Linux now packaged as a Microsoft Store app

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"after informing the district sysadmin that it stood for Windows Sucks, Luser"

Calling the sysadmin a Luser was perhaps a step too far.

If Apple's environmental rhetoric is meaningful, Macs and iPads should converge

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Why is this on Apple?

Apple should make devices people want to buy, and if people buy more than one even though they don't absolutely _need_ to, I don't see that as Apple's responsibility. Instead of pointing fingers at others for not being green, we should clean up our own houses first.

I have two Linux computers, same distro, one is a Dell laptop and the other is an Asus netbook. I could get by with just one of them, but I like both. Sometimes they are interchangeable, sometimes not, e.g. the laptop has more storage and horsepower, the netbook has longer battery life and more portability. I blame neither Dell nor Asus for making such an imperfect device that I needed (sic) to get another one.

And that's not even the end of it. I have various Apple devices, some retired laptops needing recycled, etc. I suspect the average reader here is in the same boat. Manufacturers can be criticized for forced obsolescence, unrepairability, etc. But for non-convergence? I don't see it.

Watchdog warns UK health data platform could damage patients' trust

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Did someone say treasure? (see icon)

The only value the patient cares about is improved outcome for the same cost, or same outcome for lower cost. What's needed is not centralization of records, but improved handling of records at the point of care.

When I visit one of my specialists, he has a slick desktop application that allows him to pull up my entire patient history _with him_. It cost him real money, but it didn't cost millions. From the patient point of view, he has the right information. If he needs to know about my other conditions then he can ask me, if he needs details he can ask me to authorize a transfer of those patient records.

Now contrast that with my GP. He referred me to a specialist for treatment I didn't need. I questioned that and his response to me was, quote: "Do you want to die!?" Much later I wanted to discuss that treatment with him, he didn't remember it and asked for permission to request the medical records. Granted, but then his secretary asked me "Do you have the contact info for that doctor?" WTF? You referred me to that specialist! (And I did have the contact info on me, that's so basic.)

I rather like that all the care providers need to go through me to transfer the medical records between them. In that way I'm my own data controller. Centralizing those records wouldn't make my treatment better. What would make my treatment better is if the GP's desktop software was as good as my specialist's desktop software.

US Supreme Court asked if cops can plant spy cams around homes

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Maybe the engineer knew the fab had metric instruments and the shop had standard ones. Yeah, probably not.

Windows 10 – a 7-year-old OS – is still having problems with the desktop and taskbar

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Re: That's because it's shit

Windows is good. I've been using it every working day since Windows 3.1 days and get along fine with it. What you get out of the box is amazing. MS Office is fabulous, so good the clones are still chasing it even though it's the opposite of the Unix paradigm do one thing and do it well. Windows Update is bad. "Known Issue Rollback", have they no shame? Windows Update is why I use Linux at home.

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Re: Exceptional service

Well done on the one-upmanship.

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Exceptional service

WithFingersCrossed = True;

try { System.Update(); }

catch (SystemBorkedException) { KnownIssueRollback(); }

finally { // Do it the right way. }

Shocker: EV charging infrastructure is seriously insecure

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Can't be giving the CC network their 2%. Mine, mine, give me all the %s. Plus it's easy, we hired this great team of IOT developers....

Commercial repair shops caught snooping on customer data by canny Canadian research crew

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Re: And anyone is surprised?

"The hollowed out coin was purchased off the interwebs"

Customs and border security also know how to use the interwebs.

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Re: And anyone is surprised?

"It would never even cross my mind to supply a device for repair without a virgin hard disc/os in." Many/most people in my family would never dream of taking any steps to protect themselves. This type of article is annoying on the one hand, so bleeding obvious. And necessary on the other hand, because so many people, like Kyle (Michael Biehn) in The Terminator, "don't know tech stuff". It's like beating a drum. There will never be a point where _everybody_ heard the message, so just keep beating the drum, give one more customer a chance to hear. And on the supplier side, it's management that needs to tighten up their controls. So they also need to read articles like this.

Robotics startup wants to disrupt walking with AI roller skates

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Re: Why?

"These will let you go the speed of skating with the effort of walking, is the idea. So you can 'walk' fast and not get sweaty"

Perfect for an outing to the gym where you can get some exercise.

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AI no doubt means phone home

"we automatically regulate your speed downhill" -- Did he mean "we", or did he mean "the AI".

I have rollerblades, and I might (possibly) consider a pair of well-designed _dumb_ skates that go over street shoes. But the AI part? Just say no.

Also, the photo carefully omits to show whether the test subject is wearing a helmet....

Twitter is suffering from mad bro disease. Open thinking can build it back better

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Therein lies the problem

"many thousands of high value accounts"

You left out the word "only". Because, unfortunately, there are hundreds of millions of low value users, and possibly millions of negative value fake accounts.

Just follow the instructions … no wait, not that instruction to lock everyone out of everything

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alt-right vs ctrl-left

"you have labelled things the left and liberals have done, or would be ideologically inclined to do, as alt-right ideology"

No doubt trying to rile up both sides with one statement.

GitHub's Copilot flies into its first open source copyright lawsuit

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Re: Machine cryptomnesia!

"You can imagine the AI's creator being asked why it did whatever it did."

Because of the dataset it was trained on.

"Its like asking a dog trainer, why exactly did the dog bite the baby.?"

Because it has a mind of its own.

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Re: FOSS conditions

If/when Microsoft loses, it will be because CoPilot looked only at the code and completely ignored any software licenses. Of course, due to similar code existing under different licenses, it would have been a nightmare to include licensing. I'm not sure "it would have been really hard to do it the right way" would be a good argument in court, so they will have to come up with a different argument.

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Re: We need more takedowns!

Right. Whether CoPilot is part of "the service" the end user agreed to will be a bone of contention. Microsoft's opinion is of course the service is whatever they provide, the user agreed to all of it. Same as with their OS.

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Re: We need more takedowns!

"I would even go as far to say that if a copyright holder uploaded something to GitHub then this would trump any licence the copyright holder put on the code."

Doubtless that will be one of the many arguments put forward by Microsoft's legal team. Whether one thing trumps another thing seems to be the pinnacle of civil disputes.