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* Posts by Dodgy Geezer

1221 posts • joined 27 Jul 2007

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Another UAV licence price hike? Commercial drone fliers rage over consultation

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Logic?

Er...no - they simply think that if someone is making money out of something, they should get a share of it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the bureaucratic state, where thinking up new taxes is what gets you promoted...

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Dodgy Geezer

I am old enough to remember...

..the licence required by the Home Office Radio Regulatory Board to operate a radio controlled model. It was an arbitrary charge - you gained no benefit from having it, and just had to pay for the privilege of having a hobby.

In the late 1970s/early 1980s CB radios started coming over from the US to the UK. These transmitted on the same band as model radio, and consequently interfered with the controls, causing the model to crash. When asked to do something about this, the Radio Regulatory Board could do nothing, so they just made the band license-free...

Licenses of this kind are no more than a money-making scam.

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Trident nuke subs are hackable, thunders Wikipedia-based report

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Single Point of Failure

Actually, won quite convincingly. Sunk its target rapidly, within 5 minutes......

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Single Point of Failure

....Would not a flotilla need to float, generally considered to be on the surface..

No. Subs do float, even when they are underwater, unless they are resting on the sea bed.

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Dodgy Geezer

Statement (blindingly obvious)

...Trident nuke subs are hackable, thunders Wikipedia-based report...

No Shit, Sherlock!

ALL computer gear is 'hackable' if you are allowed to imagine any pre-conditions that you like. It's also subject to bugs, hardware failure, incorrect data input and good old human error in interpreting the output. And many more possible threats.

The sub itself is subject to damage or destruction from enemy action, navigational or seamanship error, system failure, corrosion, mutiny.... - the list is endless, including obscure accidents like getting struck by a meteorite.

Wake me up when they have invented an object which isn't subject to any threats at all. The issue is what you do to counter the threats, not that they exist. And I'm guessing that nuke subs:

a) have security policies and procedures suitable to prevent attempts to hack their computer systems

b) are certainly not going to tell the world what these are...

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Malware hidden in vid app is so nasty, victims should wipe their Macs

Dodgy Geezer

..buy a new computer?

Malware sponsored by Microsoft and HP...

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Florida court's schizophrenic rulings throw mobe passcode privacy into doubt

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Fake News

..All we need do is enter the password into the machine within 48 hours. It's the password that YHWH gave us, wayback. Naturally, it's the strongest possible password.....

It could be 1,2,3,4. I have that on my luggage...

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UK surveillance law raises concerns security researchers could be 'deputised' by the state

Dodgy Geezer

It is interesting to consider...

...WHY this proposal was made by GCHQ.

It all harks back to the reason that we have 'state security' bodies in the first place. Why don't we just have police forces, who can be just as suitably equipped and staffed? The answer is that the Security Services and the interception networks that they use were designed to operate OUTSIDE the law.

These bodies were set up during wartime - WW1 and later WW2. In those conditions, where a spy might be directing an invasion, there was neither the time nor the desire to go through the process of obtaining a warrant for every action. People could be arrested and retained without charge for an indefinite period. People's mail could be diverted or opened at will. If due legal process had to be followed, there was the risk of warning the suspect, or losing valuable time.

This culture survived after WW2 into the Cold War. And so long as it was only 'Russian spies' that these powers were being used against, no one cared too much about the fact that legal principles were routinely dispensed with.

Now the Security Services have run out of the traditional justification for their jobs, and are trying to maintain their staff and budgets by moving into straight criminal activity - the kind of thing the police ought to be doing. But they are still maintaining their 'Cold War' culture. Note that they often don't want to offer evidence 'for fear of revealing sources and techniques'. That is a WW2 justification. They operated widespread communications interception - a WW2 tactic, and had to have it retrospectively legalised when it was discovered.

One of the lesser-known laws during WW2 was one which stated that ANY invention could be impounded by the military and suppressed or used without compensation if that were deemed necessary to the war effort. Again, a rule which makes sense in wartime. But now I see it is being revived by the Security Authorities in peacetime - 60 years after WW2 and 30 years after the Cold War ended...

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BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding

Dodgy Geezer

I don't think I've ever seen...

...a big blue-chip IT disaster where so LITTLE technical detail has leaked out to the Register.

Of course, employing people who only speak Hindi probably helps...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Where was the "power surge"

SSE and UK Power Networks, which both supply electricity in the area, said that there had been “no power surge”.

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Dodgy Geezer

Culled from the Pilot's forum...

"On Saturday morning around 9:30 there was indeed a power surge that had a catastrophic effect over some communications hardware which eventually affected the messaging across our systems..."

...Mr Cruz said the surge was “so strong that it rendered the back-up system ineffective”, causing an “outage of all our systems” at 170 airports in 70 countries. Power companies denied that there had been any supply problems at the company’s main hub at Heathrow or the airline’s headquarters, north of the airport perimeter. SSE and UK Power Networks, which both supply electricity in the area, said that there had been “no power surge”....

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America's drone owner database grounded: FAA rules blown out of sky

Dodgy Geezer

For a typical recreational drone, I suspect that the airliner would not notice it. Similar to a small bird strike...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: stupid l[aw]yers

..And a drone registry is NOT a bad idea at all. If YOUR drone is involved in an aircraft accident, there's a liability involved. Or, similarly, if your drone comes crashing down on a person, vehicle, pet, house, whatever, then it is the responsibility of the drone owner to deal with the aftermath.....

Sounds like a good reason for not joining the register, then...

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BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Heathrow and Gatwick?

Seeing as how the Chairman and the CEO are the same person, I suspect that the CUP is no different...

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Dodgy Geezer

I see that El Reg is unable....

...to get ANY data leaked from the BA IT staff at all.

One more advantage of outsourcing to a company which does not speak English...

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Drones over London caused aviation chaos, pilots' reports reveal

Dodgy Geezer

...not once the flame goes out...

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WannaCrypt ransomware snatches NSA exploit, fscks over Telefónica, other orgs in Spain

Dodgy Geezer

...BBC are reporting the following:

"A massive ransomware campaign appears to have attacked a number of organisations around the world....

From which we can infer that the BBC have been hit themselves...

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Dodgy Geezer

People who have been in the Malicious Software field for as long as I have will remember the Aids Information Floppy disk (5 1/4"!) of 1989. That was an early ransomware hit, and the fact that it was presented as a quasi-medical service ensured a wide copy across the UK medical services.

People in technical specialisms are often very unthinking about security when communicating with their colleagues...

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Antivirus tools are a useless box-ticking exercise says Google security chap

Dodgy Geezer

This has been said many times before...

...Advice on safe internet use is "horrible", he added. Telling users not to click on phishing links and to download strange executables effectively shifts blame to them and away from those who manufactured hardware and software that is not secure enough to be used online.

"We are giving people systems that are not safe for the internet and we are blaming the user."...

The misunderstanding here is that people expect 'security' to be 100%.

It can't be. It's a continuous process. At any one time there are threats and defences appropriate to that period. AV scanners are actually still quite useful, but if they become less useful and people go for white-lists, then the black hats will attack white-list technology. If we go for physical defences then they will examine how to overcome these (usually by social engineering).

There will ALWAYS be SOME level of risk attached to doing anything - or, indeed, not doing anything, and computing is no exception. Adequate security involves knowing something about what you have to protect, knowing something about the risks, and taking appropriate levels of precaution - which will almost always involve some defensive measures, some impact-minimising measures and some recovery measures.

Trying to get people to realise this, rather than asking for the best product to provide total protection, is a major job for security professionals...

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Good luck securing 'things' when users assume 'stuff just works'

Dodgy Geezer

Not far enough

...Thoughtful security by design would go a long way....

...but not far enough.

If something is insecure - say, uses default password '1234' - it's fairly easy for any malicious user to hack you

If something is secure by design, that needs a deep investigation by skilled hackers to find a vulnerability. There will always be several in complex system - it's just a question of how hard it is to find them. That sounds good. The bar has been raised. Only a few highly-skilled hackers can possibly attack you....

But.... the skilled hackers write their attack routine into a script. And publish it on the Web. And now it's fairly easy for any malicious user to hack you again....

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Margaret Hodge's book outlines 'mind boggling' UK public sector waste

Dodgy Geezer

Do you remember...

....when the government had the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) to oversee big projects and provide world-class expertise when needed?

Government IT projects didn't fail then.

But then the Government closed CCTA down in the 1990s, because the industry said they could do a better job on their own...

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She cannae take it, Captain Kirk! USS Zumwalt breaks down

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Leak

Oh dear! That would result in your ship being declared non-operational in the middle of a battle due to excess pollution...

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Dodgy Geezer

This looks terribly like the A yacht. Perhaps that was also low radar signature to minimise assassination attempts by aircraft...?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_(motor_yacht)

That was built for a Russian oligarch. And it didn't go wrong. For obvious reasons...

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It's time for a discussion about malvertising

Dodgy Geezer

...The quality of the professional news outlets varies greatly, but anyone with a little experience will know which publications are more likely to produce unbiased news.....

Er....NONE of them...?

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Student Loans Company burns £50 million in IT project superfail

Dodgy Geezer

Chickens home to roost

The government used to have an agency called the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA)

That ran government procurements, and never had a failed project.

It was closed down in the 1990s as Thatcherite politics required industry to do this sort of job. And the rest is history....

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Parliament takes axe to 2nd EU referendum petition

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Of course the original referendum is only "advisory" it is not legally backed.

...A more correct strategy for referenda is to count the non-voters in some agreed way. Typically, they may represent "status quo", or other proportion. This would then be used to set a benchmark point at which the result carries validity....

Saying that non-voters represent 'the status quo' is a mindless statement, which would lead to illogical results which would fly in the face of reason. It is certainly not a 'correct strategy'! Imagine an election where the winning party threw out the government with 45% of the vote while the government supporters got 10%. Your approach would then give the losers the victory?

If you MUST make assumptions about non-voters, the only one you are entitled to make is that they did not care which side won. They are happy with either outcome. That means they are de facto supporting the winning side.

Looked at that way, the Referendum vote was around 75% in favour of leaving...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Anti-democratic?

Actually, he did not. He said that would be 'unfinished business'...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: 4Chan pranked

Probably the key requirement is that, once bought, they can be stored in any conditions for 5- 50 years and still work.

Pens would almost certainly have to be bought anew for each election....

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Dodgy Geezer

Right wing views...?

...no subsidies for renewable energy...

That sounds just like common sense...

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

We CAN'T make a positive contribution to the EU

Because, if you want to point out what the EU are doing wrong, you are not allowed to work in the EU. A precondition for working in the EU is to believe that it's perfect. And you get sacked if you say otherwise....

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Dodgy Geezer

You will vote them out. That is allowed in Britain. It's not allowed in the EU.

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Dodgy Geezer

Has anyone pointed out...

...that the 'leave' negotiations are specified as taking 2 years. More if necessary. And that at any point, if we find that the negotiations are not going to our liking, we can just stop and say 'OK, we won't leave after all"?

So arguments that we will be jumping into the unknown are missing a critical point - we will be jumping into the unknown with a firm safety line....

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Filter out the noise

If we can't stop immigration in the EU, workers from countries with lower pay expectations will arrive here in large numbers. Everyone in the EU speaks a bit of English. Unfortunately, our workers don't speak much Dutch/French/German...

...(Yes, you can buy our BMWs, no we will put high tariffs on your services)...

Then we will put high tariffs on BMWs. I would be amazed if a reasonable trade deal could not be worked out. I looked up the 'threats' which the papers published - they do not come from reputable politicians, but rather from maverick minority parties in the EU, and are not going to happen in practice.

To me, freedom seems to outweigh everything. The 'financially broken' threats are both exaggerated and temporary, but freedom.....

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Dodgy Geezer

...I'm not denying the EU is broken, but we're better off from emerging from this with a remain vote and a mandate to fix the EU from within, and to fix our own democracy that has quite rightly pointed out abandoned the working class,...

If we are out, we get the change to fix out democracy once every 5 years at election time.

We have tried to fix Europe for 40 years, and it has simply got worse and worse. It has now got an established conservative bureaucracy which is never going to change, or be voted out....

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Dodgy Geezer

Three simple points.

1 - the fundamental reason for leaving is that, for a democracy to work, you need to be able to elect the people who have the real power. And that is not true in the EU. And never will be. It is an open and shut argument.

2 - the people of Britain will, however, vote to stay. Because it is less frightening. The frog will boil because jumping out can be made to look SO cold when Project Fear is running...

3 - IF only the people vote to leave, we will not leave. Because the only way we could leave is if the governing body in Parliament had a majority for leaving. So long as most MPs want to stay, we will never get through a leave negotiation...

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Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

Dodgy Geezer

Not going to happen...

... Brexit will leave some of those tens of billions looking for a new target. ...

Brexit won't happen. Even if there is an 80% vote in favour.

The Governing group in Parliament make the rules, not referendums. And until there is a pro-leave government party, we can whistle for getting out of the EU.

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Man dies after UK police Taser shooting

Dodgy Geezer

Re: It is interesting

There is no appropriate charge if a policeman kills a member of the public...

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Dodgy Geezer

...and it helps if you give the librarian a banana...

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Forget about Brexit – let's talk Orbits, Digits, Robots

Dodgy Geezer

I'll bet they don't mention Skylon...

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Don’t let the Barmy Brexiteers wreck #digital #europe

Dodgy Geezer
WTF?

How to decide how to vote...

...I've been listening, but haven't yet heard an argument that stands up to scrutiny. Or cites a reliable (and neutral) reference. At all.

Seriously, I'd be more than happy to vote to leave *if* someone can present a good case for it. That stands up to scrutiny, and doesn't rely on facts that fall apart when context is applied....

Seriously (for once)!

You don't need any economic or legislative facts or arguments. You don't need ANY made-up predictions of the future - millions of immigrants, trade collapsing or a third world war. Or references. All these are bullshit from either one side or the other.

The whole European initiative is straightforward and its aim is laid out in all the founding documents - to create an 'ever-closer' union, culminating in a single large country. Your decision is simple:

Do you want to live in a single large country comprising all European countries, or a smaller country comprising the current UK?

I'm sure there are pluses and minuses on both sides, but that, essentially, is the question. Europe as a country hasn't been particularly successful so far, but they promise it will get better. If you believe that, vote Remain. If not, vote Leave....

P.S.

If the vote ends up with 'Leave' getting over 50%, do not think that we will leave. A referendum is not a legislative process - it is simply Parliament asking the people what their will is. There is no requirement laid on Parliament to follow that will. Politician's promises are not to be relied on.

There are several easy ways for Cameron to convert a 'Leave' vote into a 'Remain in practice'. Don't think he won't take them. No country will leave the EU unless it has a firm majority political party in power committed to leaving. And sometimes, in the case of Greece, not even then...

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Dodgy Geezer

Thank you, Mr Bong. Your article was just what was asked for. An application form for the club we are proposing you for is in the post.

Sir Humphrey

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

Dodgy Geezer

Perhaps the people downvoting this comment could point to one model that matches real-world observations?

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Dodgy Geezer

Re: Tidal?

..It wouldn't take an enginnering (sic) genius ....

On the other hand, it looks as if it DOES take an engineering genius to point out that the energy density of a flowing stream is about 50 watts per square foot (assuming 10% efficiency, which is generous). That really isn't enough to harvest...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Tidal?

...Why would you take tidal energy from Scotland down to Birmingham? That seems wasteful to start with. There are massive sections of coast far closer to Birmingham than Scotland and it's likely some of those would be more likely ...

Tidal energy, like hydro, is critically dependent on suitable geography. There are actually very few sites in the UK suitable for either, so any proposal suggesting widespread use of either is an immediate failure...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Knuckling under

Looked at one way, you will NEVER reach 'peak efficiency' - it's asymptotic.

Looked at another way, we are ALWAYS at peak efficiency - we are always doing the best that we and current technology can. The minute you make optimistic assertions about the future of your favourite technology, you allow me to counter with optimistic assumptions about mine - including the assumption that we will invent a much better form of energy production next year...

Betz's law limits the energy you can take from the wind, You could make the rest of the system 100% efficient, and you would still get no more than the Betz limit...

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Knuckling under

...Against this, we have the clear difficulty that gas is not renewable,....

Yes it is.

... will run out...

No it won't

... and is causing significant damage to the environment....

No it doesn't

... In otherwords, gas would never be cost competitive with wind power...

Yes it is...

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Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

Dodgy Geezer

Don't Worry!

As soon as the US Film Industry and Walt Disney get to hear that their DVD encryption might be weakened, the US Intelligence sector will back down.

Because no one annoys The Mouse.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O03M6Tm7sWI

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Dodgy Geezer

Re: Awesome article

New Godwin's Law. Let's call it 'Charles' law'?

Anyone requiring cites from 'Reputable' (ie, ones that I agree with) 'Peer-Reviewed' (in other words, old chum's networks) journals from 'multiple countries' (so that I can claim that you haven't cited enough) is:

1 - wrong

2 - unable to admit this

3 - frantically trying to force the original poster to do his own checking work for him

4 - never going to agree with any cite that's given, making the whole exercise pointless...

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Dodgy Geezer

I can't see the problem...

The Bill requires "appropriate technical assistance" to be given.

Great.

Send a mathematician around to explain why the encryption is believed to be unbreakable. That's 'technical assistance"...

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'Panama papers' came from email server hack at Mossack Fonseca

Dodgy Geezer

Where is the illegality?

...Given the vagaries of defamation law, every outlet reporting on the breach including The Register is constrained to note that there are legitimate reasons for using such entities, including estate planning and inheritance rules, so it's unsound to assume that all Mossack Fonseca customers were breaking the law....

Actually, it's unsound to assume that ANY Mossack Fonseca customers were breaking the law. The vast majority are presumably running offshore accounts, and these are frequently set up by people who are able to claim that the money they earn is not tied to a specific country, and should not therefore be taxed by that country.

This is often viewed as 'unfair' by people who are tied into a specific countries tax regime, but it's not generally illegal. It MAY be supporting an illegal transaction, depending on the specific details of the case,but simply having an offshore account is not something you can be charged with.

The interesting stories will no doubt turn up when accountants go through these papers and unearth specific wrongdoings. But I can't see why people are jumping up and down about the mere existence of an offshore account....?

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