* Posts by Timo

381 posts • joined 26 Sep 2007


Research finds consumer-grade IoT devices showing up... on corporate networks


Re: The elephant in the room

Add a printer to the list if the place wants to keep everything separate. My last place used split tunneling VPN so it was simple to print to the network printer I have at home.

Forget that Loon's balloon burst, we just fired 700TB of laser broadband between two cities, says Alphabet


Re: Standards of measure

I might be able to find 5 sides: top, bottom, edge, inside, outside

'Unicorn' startup CEO faked sales figures, deals to trick investors, prosecutors claim


Collecting logos for that one slide

Many silicon valley jobs involve collecting logos from other companies for their slides, as a way to attempt to demonstrate that they're one of the movers and shakers there, and pump up the assumed value of their contributions.

It quickly turns into a hollow exercise, but it's almost the only thing they know how to do.

See that last line in the access list? Yeah, that means you don't have an access list


Stopped asking why a long time ago

I used to ask that question of "what are you trying to do?", but that often opened an few cans of worms. I now just follow my orders even when it makes no sense. Much less friction at the ivory idiot towers and it keeps the paychecks flowing. I've given up.

On this most auspicious of days, we ask: How many sysadmins does it take to change a lightbulb?


Re: First and only thought

Alternative, as unappealing as it is, is to consider it easy pay. You make the same money whether you're checking in office supplies or putting out virtual fires.

TITAN crypto-token does the opposite of zero to $60: Value plummets in hours


Buy low?

With the titan at such miniscule levels (infinitesimally small) why wouldn't someone put $25 into it, get 176 million titans, and then plan a good time to get out when it rebounds?

I must be missing something, because if it was viable someone would have already done it.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes-Benz? Detroit waits for my order, you'd better make amends


Re: Dear Lord...

Statistically that is true, but in relative terms you have a 100% lower chance of winning than she has...

JavaScript developers left in the dark after DroidScript software shut down by Google over ad fraud allegations


Re: Nobody works at Google anymore

The money that is being made by these companies is built up of bazillions of users multiplied by pennies per user. As long as everything works (for the company, primarily) then its all great. But as soon as you have a problem you're not worth supporting, and its then up to you to try to fix it yourself and hopefully post what you did to fix it as free tech support.

What did you expect for free after all? I keep coming back to that old saying "if you aren't paying for it then you're not the customer, you're the product".

This last wave of internet innovations has been driving even more cost out of the system, to the point where "customers" are becoming part of the cost side of the equation.

FCC urges Americans to run internet speed app to counter Big Cable's broadband data fudging


Re: Samknows whitebox

in fact I found the email from them (it was back in 2018)


The Whitebox you currently have is one of our older models and it caps at around 92Mbps. Which means that your test results will be skewed and your internet speed will also be limited to 92-94Mbps therefore, we don't recommend using it at this point.

We're not sending new Whiteboxes at the moment, but we hope this change soon. Therefore, we recommend re-registering for a new Whitebox here and we will keep your details on our waiting list and in an orderly fashion.

You don't need to return the Whitebox, we only advise to dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way.

Alternatively, you can use our free SamKnows App which is available on both Google Play and the App Store. Our app measures download, upload, latency, YouTube and web browsing. It also generates monthly graphs that you can share.

We really appreciate all your time with us. We’ll remove your details from our system so you can re-register using the same details again.


Samknows whitebox

Our house had a SamKnows "whitebox" for years (we're left-pondian), happily running speed tests and checking all those endpoints that you mention, and provided a pretty decent dashboard of test results. At one point I was able to use the SamKnows data and charts to show our ISP that their connection was failing and causing retries and terrible performance.

The whitebox that we were given could only handle fast ethernet, so when we upgraded to >100 Mbps cable it couldn't test the full throughput. At that time the response from SamKnows was to remove the box and sign up for a future revision of the whitebox, time TBD. That was probably at least 5 years ago.

Cheers to The Reg because I think I heard about SamKnows here, and signed up for the service. The only downside was that the continuous testing consumed a relatively huge amount of data each month.

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy a beer: Beware the downloaded patch applied in haste


Re: Not as bad as...

You may also have proven that nobody paid attention to those alerts. Some companies (and PHB's) think that anyone and everyone should get the alerts, it usually starts when the company is small and the process never matures, possibly because the poor minion that was tasked with setting it up is long gone.

How embarrassing: Xiaomi and Motorola show up to high school prom both wearing remote-charging tech


Re: Waste and saftey

Article mentioned millimeter waves, which puts it into the range of 30-300 GHz. At that frequency it behaves much closer to light and would need to be direct line of sight to operate.


Engineers blame 'intentionally conservative' test parameters for premature end to Space Launch System hotfire


Re: Well That Doesn't Sound Too Bad

How is SpaceX going to get the extra fuel into orbit so that it can do the in-orbit refueling?

It seems to me that most of the fuel is used up getting to orbit. The more payload they try to lift, the more fuel it will take. As you can tell, I'm not a rocket scientist by any measure.

Buggy chkdsk in Windows update that caused boot failures and damaged file systems has been fixed


Re: And where is the fix?

I read the KB linked in from the article here, and it seems that "chkdsk /f" is what they recommend to fix it? So the same chkdsk that trashed the computer will be the same thing that fixes it?

Or are they assuming that you can boot the machine to get the update, then run the check?


Maybe I was hit by this too

My parents have a mid aged desktop that ran Win7 and then got the upgrade to Windows 10, but the last week of November refused to boot and then wanted to repair itself back into Win7. As everyone is quarantined it was easier to order them a cheap laptop for them to pick up curbside than to take the trip to see WTF windows had done to itself.

It's always DNS, especially when a sysadmin makes a hash of their semicolons


Text checksum

ISTR that the magazine I had for C64 games came with an initial program (that I also had to type in) that generated checksums for each line of input, so it checked the program as it was typed in. That helped a lot.

Japan unveils new scheme to speed up adoption of cashless payments


Very analog indeed

When I was in Japan, the suica card was really just a place to store cash. There was not a way to load it with funds directly from a bank, etc. It was not a debit card either. And so every form of payment involved cash at some step. I don't recall if the subway accepted credit cards, I seem to remember that it did not.

The Japanese are also incredibly frugal, and so I imagine they frown on the concept of giving the card processor a cut of the business. Either from the payer or payee's perspective.

Unexpected victory in bagging area: Apple must pay shop workers for time they spend waiting to get frisked


Re: Good

I'm not sure "alienating" is the look they're going for. It may be more about humiliating them in the effort to demonstrate who is the boss.

We've reached the endgame: Bezos 'in talks' to turn shuttered department stores into Amazon warehouses


Catalog pick-up locations

In the 70's both Sears and JCPenney had catalog pick-up locations. I guess because shipping was so expensive. You'd order something from the catalog (!) and it would ship to the closest pickup spot. Where I grew up there was a small pick-up spot in town.

You have to remember that Sears or JCPenney carried every product on the planet, many more than would fit in a store.

So it made me laugh when the ecompanies started putting in pickup kioscs. It was just like the old days.

Nine in ten biz applications harbor out-of-date, unsupported, insecure open-source code, study shows


Software life cycle is like buying someone a puppy

I've always said that software is like buying someone a puppy. It all sounds great when you look at them, they're so cute, etc, and they don't seem to cost that much. But then you get them home and have to buy food for them, and someone has to go pick up after them.

Software is much the same way, its so "fun" to create stuff, but 90%+ of the cost is in maintaining it for the rest of its life. Many companies run in and try to save that initial money by using open source or free stuff, but then they don't realize what they're getting themselves into, in that they're also on the hook to support it and maintain it. If you could do some estimates of those costs over the life, then maybe commercial software with a support contract wouldn't look so expensive. Not to mention the opportunity cost of your people who could be doing other things.

But I suspect that many companies just go for the cheapest up front cost and hope it all works out with no plans at all for maintenance.

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2


Been screwed by something similar

There have been a few times where I've received a document by email (usually Excel), and have toiled away editing it, and saving it.

But then if I go back to work on it, I have no idea where it got saved, was it in temp, or downloaded files, or yet another folder that isn't the one that I expected it to be in?

In that case the "recent documents" list is about the only way I can find where that file went.

Thought you'd go online to buy better laptop for home working? Too bad, UK. So did everyone. Laptops, monitors and WLANs fly off shelves


and desks and chairs at IKEA

I'm sitting in my basement working on a folding table and chairs, and there are likely many others in the same situation. I bet there's a run on desks and chairs at IKEA as people get tired of working at the kitchen table (while the rest of the family is home too), or worse, and look to set up something in a far corner of the house.

Disk stuck in the drive? Don't dilly-Dali – get IT on the case!


Re: Shonky-net

I bet they have improved on the process... by emailing the information downstairs. Maybe even had to hire someone to be stationed as the receiver of the info. Government efficiency and all.

How's this for a remote support fix? Solar storm early-warning satellite repaired with million-mile software update



For the early warning part to work... it means that the speed of the solar flares is slower than the speed of light?


Parks and recreation escalate efforts to take back control of field terrorised by thug geese


Federally protected

ISTR that Canada geese are federally protected in the US, so a layperson can't just go move nests or do any harm without severe penalty. So there is an industry of certified goose-botherers that has cropped up, with their dogs or their shotguns with blanks.

Satellite operators' shares plummet as FCC plumps for public 5G spectrum auctions


this will be US-only

Other regions of the world will still be able to keep using C-band, as they have uses for it.

Also - for the US it is only affecting part of the band, this would be 200-300 MHz of the 500-MHz C-band. So there would still be some capacity there if needed.


bent pipe satellites don't work that way

That's not generally how satellites work - they don't use C-band for the terrestrial link and Ku/Ka on the terminal link. I'm saying "generally" because there are some in the recent generation of equipment that do translate.


VSAT uses the Ku or Ka band, as physics of the higher frequencies allows for smaller physical antennas to have much higher gains. Most applications have moved away from C band anyway due to the huge dish required to get usable gain. As people have already noted Ku and Ka are much more susceptible to rain fade, but can be somewhat overcome by power control margins.


Re: There goes international roaming

Mobile device manufacturers certainly could make a device that handles all bands, but it would not be practical. Each band generally needs its own filtering, amplifier and antenna, although a few bands overlap so could be supported without as much work.

So it drives up cost and complexity, and size. And power consumption. It was a huge breakthrough to get 4 bands in a phone.

After 10 years, Google Cloud Print will finally be out of beta... straight into ad giant's graveyard


Of course they'd kill it

It seems that they just made some improvements and it's working great. Time to end it.

I've been using it at home to put an old "classic" printer online, I can print to it from anywhere, and the assorted family machines of tablets and laptops just work. I use it to send myself reminders so when I get home there are receipts and notices waiting on the printer. Dammit.

Ex-Twitter staff charged with spying for Saudi royals: Duo accused of leaking account records, including those of critics


PBS Frontline episode

There was just a documentary in the US about this - on "Frontline".


Seems the new crown prince was (is) looking for ways to finger many people as dissidents.

Not sure if they've got it region-locked but was interesting to watch, if almost 2 hours in duration.

America's 5G auctions will make someone a fortune – but for whom exactly, and who pays?


Life or death for satellite operators

The lives of a few satellite companies hangs in the balance of this decision. Intelsat, for example, is virtually bankrupt on paper but still carries a market value based on.the anticipated value of their C-band spectrum. And that market value (stock price) fluctuates wildly with speculation about this upcoming auction.

Linky revisited: How the evil French smart meter escaped Hell to taunt me


About cutting power

If you allow some leeway in "civilized country", over here on the left side of the pond ComEd does very much have the ability to cut power remotely. I suppose it is both a good and a bad thing.

Behold the perils of trying to turn the family and friends support line into a sideline


"there was an error message and I clicked on it, what was it?"?

Ahh yes, since you do computers you somehow should know what Windows is telling her.

My mom still does that, even after 20+ years. It's like the computer is one big monolithic box with only one program that runs.

I've been able to use TeamViewer to at least see what she's doing wrong to generate the message. Still haven't found a way to explain the cloud to her and why she can't see all the emails on her phone, that she's moved to her local drive...

Breaking, literally: Microsoft's fix for CPU-hogging Windows bug wrecks desktop search


And lots of bluescreens

Our company pushed out the updates and it more or less stopped us from working. Had an hour or two of reboot, patch, reboot, and then a couple hours of blue screen crashes.

The purple SIM of fail: Virgin Mobile punters left in the dark with batch of borked cards


Why are people swapping SIMs?

Please tell - why are people swapping from their functioning red SIM to the purple ones in the first place? Is it to access a different underlying MNO? The various intricacies of the mobile networks is vast and confusing.

Apple blinks on iPhone repairs, touts parts program for independent tech mechanics... sort of


They may be figuring this out

Apple may be figuring out that they've put themselves in a strange position. They've built their devices out of glass and made them unrepairable. The devices are also so expensive that people are keeping them longer, which would be driving up demand for repairs. (I wonder what the average time to screen breakage is for a $1k phone.)

And due to the escalating price people may be much more likely to replace those things with another vendor, as you have illustrated. So if Apple wants to keep consumers inside their walled garden they need to do something.

Yes, TfL asked people to write down their Oyster passwords – but don't worry, they didn't inhale


Re: Mad

Does "disposed of securely" include dropping the paper into the bin next to the desk? If that it true there may be a goldmine of accounts right there.

Overstock's share price has plummeted. Is it Trump's trade war? Bad results? Nope, its CEO has gone bonkers...


Re: Uncharitable

Overstock is on the list of "most shorted stocks". It's the way to make money on the way down, betting that the stock price will fall.

BOFH: Oh, go on, let's flush all that legacy tech down the toilet


Re: This is both taking the piss..

If they made me pay to go to the loo then I'd probably be fine with leaving it by the door. Or down the wall.

Enjoying that 25Mbps internet speed, America? Oh, it's just 6Mbps? And you're unhappy? Can't imagine why


Re: 6MBps? Luxury!

Why not get a link extender and hang off your neighbor's cable? If you're friendly with them they might be welcome to splitting the cost.

There are a few ways to pick up a point-to-point connection between your two houses and you could appear to have separate networks up to the cable gateway, to minimize security concerns.

We don't mean to poo-poo this, but... The Internet of S**t has literally arrived thanks to Pampers smart diapers


Re: Sleep reporting for infants?

When we had our kids, a buddy that already had 4 in grade school saw our new baby monitor and said "best way to get the kids to sleep through the night is to shit that thing off". His point being that you shouldn't run in for every little squeak they make. Everyone will sleep better.

Could an AI android live forever? What, like your other IT devices?


No copper

I believe you'll find that there is nearly no copper in any of those said cables. Which could be the cause of the failures. Earphone cables made of a single string of copper atoms.

Hot desk hell: Staff spend two weeks a year looking for seats in open-plan offices


This is true

I've worked in a semi open plan office, and what happens is since the noise carries so much everyone uses headphones or earplugs to block out the noise. And it is uncomfortable to have a conversation, even a work one, as you know you're bothering everyone within earshot.

So to avoid breaking the library-like silence you will IM with the person next to you, and send emails all day long. It's really isolating and demotivating as each person is their own island. And if your cellphone rings you get to run to find a phone room, wasting a lot of time in the process.

Except for the sales teams who love the open plan and chatter all day long.

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'


Came here to say just that

This was mid-90's and one of the managers at our customer site would do something similar. He was a paper based person and would have his secretary print the emails, to which then he would spend time studying and filing them. I don't remember if he was capable of responding to them all by himself or not. He was a simple man in a bewildering world.

His predecessor was much more advanced in terms of technology - that guy would queue up a bunch of documents with the secretary to be faxed at certain intervals during the day, and then he'd be off to the golf course.

Apple disables iPad for 48 years after toddler runs amok


Three year olds can't read

They can't read, but they can sure figure things out. So the child would not have been able to understand the error or lockout message.

It's wild, everyone else (parents) have been reading for basically forever, and it is easy to overlook that fact when encountering a situation where the ability to read is (urgently) needed.

Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly


Quick dry

There is a product called Quick Dry that will rapidly soak up the water in a damp field. Go Google it.

Also helps to get out with a rake and work on the low spots, spreading out the wetness.

It takes more than a few minutes to work, so some planning ahead is needed. Rake and put down quick-dry, then wait a few hours. It is effective but won't make miracles happen.

My kids have played spring softball and those fields are just unplayable a lot.

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that


What, no three way call faux pas?

I'm sort of surprised that nobody has offered up this one: it was common to "tap" someone into a call, making it a three-day call. And by "tapping" again you usually dropped the third party.

But not this time. We were in a meeting, calling anther office, when it came up that we needed some information from a co-worker who was not particularly fit for her job. Tapped her on, asked the question and got a response, then boss tapped to drop her from the call and said something to the effect of "man I hate working with her she is such a pain to work with", only to hear a response of "hey Bob I'm still on the line". Much backpedaling ensued.

From then on it was determined that it was better to hang up completely and redial the first call then to risk getting caught with the third party still engaged.

It's 2019, and a PNG file can pwn your Android smartphone or tablet: Patch me if you can



My aging Moto phone on 7.1.1 says that it's security patches are from June 2018!?!

I bet it will be the 32nd of NEVER when the next set of security updates will be released. Might as well leave the barn door wide open.

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees


Re: Captain Obvious hits back?

Dear AC, I think your two ideas, while good, appear to be completely contradictory. If autonomous cars are not allowed to roam the streets without passengers, how will they legally be able to go park themselves after disgorging said passengers?

And I bet that will be how government will attempt to regulate it.



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