* Posts by Aleph0

134 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Oct 2007


Bank boss hated IT, loved the beach, was clueless about ports and politeness


Anarchy - definition (from Wikipedia)

Etymologically, anarchy is derived from the Greek: αναρχία, romanized: anarkhia; where "αν" ("an") means "without" and "αρχία" ("arkhia") means "ruler".Therefore, anarchy is fundamentally defined by the absence of rulers.

Calling for getting rid of leadership altogether is basically the textbook definition IMO. If you actually meant middle management that's totally another thing from what you wrote...

When it comes to personal data, we're on a highway to hell


Re: Woe Be The Professional That Loses Control of Confedential Patient/Client Data In A Rental

A doctor receiving a message from one of his patients about some embarrassing disease while he's streaming music from his phone to his car via Bluetooth? AFAIK cars can read aloud incoming messages from connetted devices, so they must necessarily have access to the text thereof.

Perhaps the car syncing the address book / calendar? Plenty of sensitive data can be stored there...

Software is listening for the options you want it to offer, and it's about time


Re: Not just Apple

On the other hand, on the 3-year old LG TV that I gifted to my elderly parents it's altogether too easy to switch sources. Every few months I receive a call from them telling me "the TV has broken down" because my father inadvertently sat on the remote and it takes only a single butt-press to switch source from the TV aerial to the AV1 input, and now the TV only displays a "no input signal" message and they have no clue what it means...

Perhaps LG has made it more involved to switch sources because it was too easy to do inadvertently and with faded legends on the remote keys it wasn't obvious how to revert the change?

Bad eIDAS: Europe ready to intercept, spy on your encrypted HTTPS connections


"The dark ages of 2011"

From the users' point of view maybe, but I'd wager that government snoops consider 2011 "the good old days"...

UK may demand tech world tell it about upcoming security features


"King's Speech – when the country's monarch reads out a speech that is written by the ruling political party"

Disclaimer, being from abroad I'm totally unfamiliar with the British political system, but after reading this fine article I'm kinda curious whether the monarch has the option of saying to whoever is handing the text "Nope, I won't read this shit"...

Android VPNs to get audit badges in Google Play Store if they aren't comically crap


Re: How about the classic switch?

Yes, and if you dare to turn off automatic updates in order to check whether an update is really a downgrade ("we're putting ads into the paid version of our app", my ass) the Play Store will pester you to no end, with a banner that takes up half of a phone's screen...

BOFH: Adventures in overenthusiastic automation


Not an infinite loop of hiding for two weeks? IMO the BOFH should have said "HIDE FOR TWO WEEKS THEN REPEAT LAST TWO INSTRUCTIONS – INDEFINITELY."

Classical off-by-one error if you ask me...

It is 2023 and Excel's reign of date terror might finally be at an end


Re: Behold the 2039 problem

There are people born in that 30's that are still alive, and I guess more users have to input birth dates than bond/mortgage maturities...

BTW I'm pretty sure Excel has a setting for the century when the user inputs two-digit years, you may want to look into it. I recall having to tweak it on each reinstall, back when I used to work with securities on version 4 some thirty years ago...

Google Chrome Privacy Sandbox open to all: Now websites can tap into your habits directly for ads


Some days I feel pretty smug about never having dropped Firefox as my personal browser...

I'd rather the apps on my devices work on my behalf and not for the sake of advertising companies, thankyouverymuch.

Sure, give the new kid and his MCSE power over the AS/400. What could possibly go wrong?


Only problem is, for some of those more recent stories the statute of limitations may not have elapsed yet...

Japan complains Fukushima water release created terrifying Chinese Spam monster


Re: "China has labelled [this] a selfish and highly irresponsible action,"

Just to stress China's hypocrisy, burning coal releases radioactivity (Wikipedia, Scientific American).

Icon: anti-gas mask

80% of execs regret calling employees back to the office


Re: We have expensive real estate.

Yes, and if we force our employees back into the office our real estate expenses will somehow be lower...

Virgin Galactic finally gets its first paying customers to edge of space


Re: Italian Air Force Salary

Kinda curious myself but don't think it's super-relevant, they sure aren't paying the trip out of pocket... And I must say, as an Italian taxpayer I sure am glad that my money went towards giving those three a joyride so they can brag about being "astronauts" with their peers. /s

Japan kind-of nationalizes key chipmaking material-maker JSR


141 percent premium?

Kinda overpaying, aren't they? Normal premium over market rates I've seen in past takeovers ranges from 15% to 40%.

Now wondering if there's some powerful politician's friend who's taking a bath at the current prices and needs bailing out...

School principal resigns after writing $100,000 check to Elon Musk impersonator


"I am very smart"

I don't know about others' experience, but speaking for myself the only people I've heard refer to themselves in those terms typically went on to say/do something remarkably stupid in short order...

Same as when you see someone's online handle containing words as "king", "lord", "master" or the like, you can safely ignore anything they write as chances are it will be utter drivel.

Fujitsu's A64FX successor will be an Arm-based datacenter chip



Monaka is a jam-filled wafer cake (IMO quite appropriate for a processor), while the interconnect is named after a soy-based quasi-cheese.

Methinks someone was feeling peckish while drawing plans for this next supercomputer...

Of course U2 is one of Bill Gates' favorite bands


Re: If Americans are involved

Mmh, while also mentioning Big Country for that bonus conspiracy aftertaste...

SpaceX tells astronomers: Fine, we'll try to stop Starlink spoiling stargazing sessions


Not being a "natural born" US citizen Elon Musk has between zero and negative chances of ever becoming president, unless there's a change in their constitution.

Were it not for that provision there likely would have been a President Kissinger in the 80s, or a President Schwarzenegger (icon) in the Noughties.

Edit: ah, ninja'd...

Native Americans urge Apache Software Foundation to ditch name


Re: MongoDB next?

Funnily enough MongoDB always reminded me of Flash Gordon, it never occurred to me that some could find it derogatory until it was explained to me why...

Too big to live, too loved to die: Big Tech's billion dollar curse of the free


Re: Serves Google right

My two rather old Google accounts (one for the Play Store, one for the discontinued Reader) are both of the form google_something@mydomain.com. It never occurred to me when making them that it was compulsory to also pick an @gmail.com address, I thought that like with every other service that required an email for verification you could use the address you were already using. Perhaps it is the case now? It sure wasn't back in the day...

Patch Tuesday update is causing some Windows 10 systems to blue screen


Re: Typo in the worst place?

Noticed that too, that typo is in the original Windows advisory however it should be harmless, cmd.exe doesn't escape backslashes the same way as a Unix shell.

That said, I'm much more surprised by the fact that some people at Microsoft are writing file paths with forward slashes instead of backslashes... Spend too much time in WSL (hence icon) these days?

North Korea using freelance techies to fund missiles and nukes


So, many DPRK coders work in DeFi

That explains a lot IMO, I wonder how many of the past blunders at crypto-bean exchanges were deliberate... "Sorry, there was a bug in a 'smart' contract of ours, all our customers' funds have been squirreled away" is an excuse I got tired of reading.

Web3: you might as well wire your money directly to Kim Jong Un.

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


Re: Worst code I ever saw...

"I know what's appearing on the screen even while I'm looking at the keyboard"

Lucky you, all too often I end up finding out that some poorly-written program (looking at you, SAS EG) has silently stolen focus from the one I was writing into, and when I look up from the keyboard a bunch of text that was supposed to be there is nowhere to be seen...

Icon is my reaction when I then think about how mumble-ty years ago I knew how to touch type...

Hardware makers criticized for eco double standards


Re: A matter

At 180 MB/s (average sequential speed of drives from 4-5 years back), writing 1 TB takes roughly 1.5 hours.

Now suppose you have to discard a 10 TB drive... That's why since a few years back most datacenter drives have been self-encrypting, and their secure erase functionality is implemented by simply resetting the encryption key, which is to all effect instant.

How I made a Chrome extension for converting Reg articles to UK spelling


"Biting the hand that feeds IT" dropped

Not entirely dropped but moved to the page bottom.

On that note I have another question, why does it say 1998-2022 when according to this article the site originated in 1994?

Google Japan goes rogue with 5.4ft long keyboard


Re: Checks date...

It took me a while to notice that in Japanese date style, 4/10 is 01/4 in reverse.

Also interesting that in the video for the cup-shaped keyboard, all the keys are kanjis for different kinds of fish...

Emissions-slashing hybrid trains to hit tracks in Europe


Blues train

> "Neither Hitachi nor Trenitalia has offered an explanation as to why they decided to call it the Blues train"

Trenitalia uses to name its regional train models after musical genres: in my corner of the woods I've spotted the Rock, Pop, Jazz and Minuetto ones.

As for why they've chosen "Blues" for this particular one your guess is as good as mine, although I suspect that it may reflect the feelings of the usual suppliers about losing an order of this size...

UK govt refuses to give up on scoring Arm dual-listing for London


Re: Get rid of that questionnaire

I have taken to uBlock and wrote a personal filter matching the CSS of its container <div>. Won't post the code here because I don't want to run afoul of moderation, but targeting its height of 500 pixels is working well so far.

Tesla employee: I was fired after sharing video of self-driving car crash


Re: Coincidence?

Destroy your AI models, and delete the data

Good. Now some authority with a spine should do the same to Clearview for its facial recognition model trained with dodgily-obtained data (photos scraped from social media). Though since they're pimping that service to law enforcement bodies around the world I won't hold my breath for it actually happening...

Chinese Go Association suspends player 'for using AI'


I suppose that he was caught doing numerous moves countering currently established game theory, moves that were revealed being advantageous much later in the game (so-called "divine moves"). Human players cannot usually think too many moves ahead in early stages of the game where complexity balloons exponentially.

Saving a loved one from a document disaster


Re: "decades past, when DOS was king and remote access" . .

Perhaps it's just me, but if I had to print something that seldom I'd accept the minor inconvenience of only turning on the printer as needed, rather than waste 1 kWh a week...

Dark-mode Task Manager unveiled by original's creator


Can only speak for Firefox as it's the browser I'm using. On Android one of the few extensions working on the recent versions is Dark Reader that enables an algorithmically-generated dark mode per site.

Since I prefer a more muted appearance, on the desktop I've written myself a userstyle that I'm using with the Stylus extension. Works with the pages I'm habitually reading (front page / articles / comments), some other ones that I rarely go to may well have gotten broken since my latest update.

If you're using a Chrome-based browser I hear that they can directly store and apply user CSS modifications, so it's possible to roll your own. I agree that first-party support would be nicer, though.

Microsoft to block downloaded VBA macros in Office – you may be able to run 'em anyway


Re: I'm missing something

At least at my company, every document downloaded from our own file shares is marked as coming from the Web and thus insecure as far as Office is concerned, just because the path is of the form \\server.companydomain.tld\share\folder\file.ext, and the setting "Mark network documents as safe" is forgotten as soon as you close the program. Disclaimer: I'm not in IT, just a lowly user trying to do my job, so I don't know how much of it is due to Windows / Office themselves vs. some idiotic group policy enacted by my company.

Problem is, at least in Excel the Safe Mode is as useful as a chocolate teapot since you cannot sort, filter, or even just widen the cells. The numbers in the spreadsheet you just opened are too big for the default column width? Too bad, either exit Safe Mode or stare at cells after cells of ######## ...

Privacy Shield: EU citizens might get right to challenge US access to their data


Re: F'ing useless bandaid

It will surely help the lawyers fund their second yacht. Form the point of view of the user, you get to spend lots of money only to be said in the end "Sorry not sorry, national security trumps all, ktxbye".

Even if you can prove your data has been accessed, otherwise you have no standing to sue in the first place...

Attack on Titan: Four Japanese Manga publishers sue Cloudflare


DNS Servers

Well actually here in Italy around Christmas all ISP DNS servers suddenly stopped resolving mangadex.org, one of the main manga scanslation hosting sites (unaffected by this latest lawsuit because it uses another CDN, not Cloudflare's) likely due do some court order instigated by some local licensor. Oh well, that finally got me to pull that long-forgotten Raspberry Pi out of its drawer and install a PiHole on my LAN...

Note: I'm a staunch supporter of the manga industry – I purchase around € 100 of local editions montly, and sometimes digital Japanese editions that I don't usually even bother to download because I just want to support the authors with my money – but sadly for some of them there's zero chance of ever being licensed abroad. And I'm not even talking about hentai, just risqué stuff...

Icon: response from the ISP upstream servers.

Fugitive mafioso evaded cops for two decades until he was spotted on Google Street View

Black Helicopters

Odd, I thought Google Street View blurred faces... Does this mean that law enforcement gets to see the unredacted images?

Sweden asks EU to ban Bitcoin mining because while hydroelectric power is cheap, they need it for other stuff


Re: I second that request.

I'd also ban the trading of cryptoassets and conversion to regular currency, as each transaction uses a ridiculous amount of energy. And most users don't care how carbon-intensive the energy required to process their payment is...

Icon: burning coal

The ideal sat-nav is one that stops the car, winds down the window, and asks directions


Re: Saab

Depends on personal inclinations I guess, for me personally I don't want a joystick entering by body either...

James Webb Space Telescope completes its voyage to French Guiana


Re: Shipping Label

Uh, bigger than I thought, 4.38 Wales in Reg units... Bigger that Ireland, about half of Great Britain.

Like all equatorial regions it looks smaller on maps.

How not to train your Dragon: What happens when you teach an AI game sex-abuse stories then blame players


Re: I

No, fiction about $thing doesn't necessarily normalise $thing. Think about Agatha Christie and murders, for example.

IMO just because something rubs some (most?) people the wrong way isn't a sufficient basis to ban it, unless a crime was involved in its creation. I'm sure the arguments being parroted against CP fiction were the same that were used against LGBT fiction...

Ex-US intel, military trio were cyber-mercenaries for UAE, say prosecutors


Re: it does not make much difference to me.

Yes, if that Lori Stroud thinks that foreign persons are fair game whereas targeting USians never is, she's implying that a foreign government cannot ever have a lawful motive to investigate any US person.

Some countries have a worldview that their their citizens are all angels while abroad...

You want us to make a change? We can do it, but it'll cost you...


Re: Screw-up?

I suspect that the application worked on the assumption that in that file there couldn't be duplicate records for the day since it was overwritten each time, but now that assumption was no longer valid and the modification caused unintended consequences downstream.

Yes I know the saying about assumptions; as for myself I'd have some check in place anyway, just in case the same transaction was received twice on consecutive days...

This way up: James Webb Space Telescope gets ready for shipment after final tests


Pretty pictures

Don't think so, the most stunning astronomy pictures released so far have often been in false colors (usually they do H-alpha as red, visible light as yellow and UV/X-rays as green/blue).

Similarly with JWST they'll simply map three bands of infrared to three colors; and of course nothing bars them from doing composites of JWST, HST and terrestrial observations as needed, so on the whole I'm pretty sure we'll continue to see new colorful astronomy pictures, just with many more pixels.

Live, die, copy-paste, repeat: Everything is recycled now, including ideas


"Madonna's bra cups" on his shoulders is a charitable way of putting it... All I can see is two poop emojis.

US boffins: We're close to fusion ignition in the lab – as seen in stars and thermonuclear weapons


Re: Self sustaining

For me too, and in that definition inertial confinement fusion is nigh-impossible to make self-sustaining, because the engineering problem of transferring energy from an exploding discrete packet of fuel to the upcoming ones isn't exactly trivial...

Leaving aside the fact that even once you achieve ignition (i.e. output energy > input energy), you're not even halfway there; given that the fusion energy mostly leaves the reactor in the form of heat, and in existing power stations the conversion efficiency is typically around 30%, to get power out to the grid you need your fusion reaction to output at least 300% of the energy used to start it...

Faster .NET? Monster post by Microsoft software engineer shows serious improvements


1.07 MB for a "Hello World"?

And in the best case... Am I the only one thinking it's a little wasteful?

Okay these days the emphasis is on reducing developers' time instead of resource consumption, but for such a size the program better write itself in under a millisecond.

Private cryptocurrencies make lousy national currencies: International Monetary Fund


That's by design

If you can easily transfer such large sums out of your account, so can a scammer that has compromised your credentials or has "persuaded" you (e.g. with the proverbial $5 wrench) to initiate such a transfer. Sadly many regulations that appear nonsensical to an outsider have an historical reason in some horror story...

So – at least at the bank I work for – large outgoing amounts are flagged, and a second pair of eyes (i.e. usually the branch manager) has to manually authorize them after having checked with the client that everything is in order, because once the funds have left your bank there's little that can be done to reverse the transfer.

BTW when I paid for my current car the 30k euro transfer got through in ~30 minutes. I had already told my branch manager that I would be doing such a payment, and luckily the car dealer also had an account at my bank, so no clearing was needed.

Ad tech ruined the web – and PDF files are here to save it, allegedly


Re: The Register print version next!

Still supported IIRC :)


(note case sensitive on "Print" )

Not only is Hubble back online after outage, it's already taking photos of the cosmos


Re: Life without the shuttle

According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle), you're off by nearly an order of magnitude... 211 billion $ program cost / 135 missions makes a cool 1.56 billion $ per launch.