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Comment A kind of "Nous sommes des Inconnus" .. (Score 4, Interesting) 488

IS is one of the largest threats to our way of life in the west, but we are thinking too small when we think of ways to combat it. They believe they are on a mission from God, bringing about the final reckoning between good and evil - the Apocalypse. We think of them as trouble-makers that need to be sorted out as painlessly as possible, a short-term problem that can be solved with conventional weaponry, with relatively small losses. They aren't.

How we respond to them is difficult to work out. Maybe the Anon approach of hacking and defacing their web sites - cutting off the oxygen of publicity - would be a Good Idea. It may be better than trying to pick the right targets out of the desert with smart bombs and drones. It might be better than turning the entire region into green, glowing glass.

Comment S322 Abend - out of time (Score 3, Insightful) 78

Well, what a good innings and what a man who helped bring computing technology to where it is today. There must be some way that we can immortalise people like he and Seymour Cray. I worry that people will forget the legacy that mainframe computing architecture has left us; if we knew more about the history of computing architecture, we might stop re-inventing wheels.

Comment Weapons and all that (Score 1) 400

I've been searching for years to learn more about the weapons I use in online games. It's a particular fascination. Of course possessing such weapons in my country is illegal with many years of time in jail as a punishment. I can imagine that I am on a few watchlists for that alone. Add to that an intense interest in electronics and computers. There is no hope for me.

Comment To be fair, I do the same (Score 2) 121

Many, many times in my career I have found some vunerability and delayed disclosing it while enjoying it myself. I found a wonderful way of spiriting - nay, liberating - electronic components out of work that would have found their way into a dumpster. I found a way of accessing peoples' accounts on TSO and VM; I found ways of resetting the prepayment cards for lunch at work. I've keylogged PCs; I have tcpdumped and etherealed to find passwords to gain access to systems. I used I don't know how many exploits to get free Sky TV. I installed an FM transmitter in my manager's office about that time of year when salary plans were being discussed. I've picked many locks. I've used Apache and other exploits to break into systems where admins had long before forgotten root passwords. Not everything I have done has been legal. It's all contributed to me being who I am today, and having the skill set that I rely on to do my job.

If I think about it, I can't expect any different from the NSA. If they are going to learn the skills that they need to do their jobs, they do need to flex their muscles. We do need to have some level of trust in the agencies that have been put into place to protect our citizens.

Comment Now come on Vodafone, not really trying. (Score 1) 9

2,000 ? It's not really news unless we get into the hundreds of thousands - and if that really is the level of information that has been leaked, it is not devastating.

Mind you, I did receive a call from someone today claiming to be from "Windows". Apparently I have a problem with my computer, and if I just go to their web site, they will help me solve my problem. I wonder if Vodafone told them I have a problem?

Comment El Capitan Works - but there are some buts (Score 1) 138

First off was the failure to boot from cold after the upgrade with a kernel panic. After some searching around, I found some discussion about kext (from SyncMate) that upset El Capitan .. after manually hacking those out from the recovery mode, the machine was back again. It wasn't until today, that I found I couldn't use airplay to display video on the TV using my jailbroken AppleTV 2. Apparently El Capitan insists on a new encryption which is only available when Apple TV is running the latest version of iOS.

Not happy.

Comment Re:No real place for it (Score 2) 311

I am a technical architect supporting the diagnostic imaging solution for a number of hospitals. CTs and MRIs are often 35-50MB each when encoded with lossless JPEG2000. Running multidisciplinary team meetings can mean 20 expensive clinicians sat together to discuss imaging from anywhere in the region, which means the time taken to fetch and display the imaging is of crucial importance. If I could switch to a lossless format that would replace JPEG2000 but still offer the progressive display, we could save half the bandwidth, cut down the storage from the petabyte of spinning disk in the region, cut clinicians wasted time (and bugger me, are they expensive!!)

IRL should be good.

Comment Banks want to give anyone else the costs of fraud (Score 2) 317

.. so, if there are some disputed charges on your account, the bank can either 1) chase the retailer to get the lost money back - assuming the retailer has not given you the opportunity to use Chip and PIN or 2) chase you, since clearly if there is a transaction on your account, and your card is a Chip and PIN card, either you have given someone your card and PIN (in which case it's your fault) or someone has stolen your card, and found out your PIN (in which case you failed to keep it secure, and bugger me, it's YOUR FAULT again).

I was a victim of an early fraud about five years ago, at a coffee shop at Paddington Station. I bought a coffee using my chip and pin from my business account (well, there were lots of us having coffee, and I decided for once it was a business expense). A few days later, I noticed some charges on my account I couldn't identify, and I contacted the bank. Their immediate reaction was that I must have let someone have my PIN. It took six weeks to have the money returned to me by the bank - and then only when they could displace the blame on to the retailer (apparently I wasn't alone, and an investigation by the police turned up a hacked card reader which stored PINs on an SD card).

Comment Welcome to the party, pal! (Score 4, Insightful) 308

I remember when Microsoft used to try to compete against us with Windows NT replacing OS/2 (OS/2!!!) on ATM machines. It took them a very, very long time.

I remember when Microsoft used to try to compete against IBM embedded PC/DOS on handhelds. It took them a very, very long time.

Now I shudder at the thought that they might just impact on IoT. They've started late, and it may take them a very, very long time but they are a relentless, well-funded and Government approved software company. This is a genuine threat, people and you shouldn't just laugh it off.

Comment Assistant Chief Constable on the radio this am .. (Score 4, Interesting) 261

.. made some good points.

The school raised it with the police, and they are duty bound to record the 'offence'. However, that is no guarantee it would ever surface again. In the future, if young man decides to go for a job in public service - a policeman, teacher, lollypop man, chat show host - whatever, then the process would be:

Potential employer would ask for a Criminal Records Bureau check. Check would come back positive, at which point the police have the right to decide it was too long ago, too trivial etc and can ignore the finding. Second, they would contact the young man and tell him that they have received a request, and that the CRB check has turned something up.
Young man then has the option to challenge the CRB check, and it may at that point go no further. Only if those two hurdles are tripped over would the result return to the potential employer, who themselves might decide it is all bollocks and ignore it.

Who is at fault here? The boy for doing something childish? Hardly. Apart from the inconvenience of a few photons, it is unlikely to be a novel picture that causes a particular offence. The girl for doing something irresponsible as well? Dubious, really. Even if she forwarded it with a bit of libellous writing attached, hardly the crime of the century. The fault surely lay with the teacher for propagating the pain, and not dealing with it sensibly in loco parentis.

Comment Enjoying PostGreSQL myself ... (Score 1) 190

My healthcare IT supplier switched from using Oracle to PostGreSQL a few releases back, and since then it has been so much easier to work with them. Previously if we needed a test environment, or a migration environment, or a pre-prod or post-prod or whatever there was a significant cost for licences. Now they are using PostGres on Linux, we can spawn sandboxes to work data without thinking too hard. Or paying much.

Comment Medical imaging data needs backup (Score 1) 229

I am the technical architect for the Diagnostic Imaging solution for a number of National Health Service Trusts in the south of England. Currently, to provide the imaging for CT, MRI, a bit of cardio and a whole lot of plain xray and ultrasound, we have an archive of about 300TB of data. Replicated, and with local caching that is about 1PB of deployed storage. I am paying heavily for a second site replication, old school kind of solution, and it really doesn't scale well. Now I am looking at adding Digital Pathology to the shared imaging solution, and I really don't think that having two data centres growing to keep an online second copy of all of that data is viable; not least due to the cost of electricity of keeping a second copy spinning.

So, alternatives to this are:
Keep a second copy in the 'Cloud'. No clue on what my RTO would be.
Tape: Defined RTO, RPO, mostly passive means I don't have to worry too much about power consumption. I can keep multiple generations of data on tape if so required. My existing applications support Information Lifecycle Management and Online/Nearline/Offline storage heirarchies

Why would I NOT want a high density tape store as part of my solution?

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements. -- Norman Douglas