* Posts by Peter Gray

29 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Oct 2007

Remember Norton 360's bundled cryptominer? Irritated folk realise Ethereum crafter is tricky to delete

Peter Gray

Re: "removing Norton in any part or form was 'tricky' at the best of times"

AVG Free is owned by Avast, who have also just been bought by NortonLifeLock, and which is also including it's own cryptominer software. The same company is also in talks with Avira I believe, anyone want to bet what will happen if they buy them as well?

Nothing's working, and I've checked everything, so it must be YOUR fault

Peter Gray

Re: Several times...

Having spent some 17 years on a variety of help desks I did develop some questions specifically for this sort of issue, for printers it usually went like this:

"Ok, so you have turned the printer off and on and it still isn't printing?"

"That's right, can you send someone please?"

"Can do, can I just get you to tell me which lights are showing on the printer?"

"Which lights?"

"Yes, as long as it is turned on there will be a power light and a couple of other indicators - that will tell the tech what needs to be fixed, so they can bring any parts with them"

Pause, followed by the click of a switch being powered on, then the "Whiirrrr..." of a printer powering up.

"Oh, I think I might have fixed the issue after all"

"Really, that is excellent, I'll close the ticket. Have a nice day!"

You can easily secure America's e-voting systems tomorrow. Use paper – Bruce Schneier

Peter Gray

Re: Trust

Yes, Australia and the UK don't trust their politicians, but are many people at the point of buying firearms to protect themselves from them? I realize this is a minority in the US, but the impression I get is that it is a minority that is steadily growing, and their level of distrust seems to be greater than anywhere else (that isn't already in a state of revolt)

Apple: OK, we tracked your every move... but let's call it a caching bug, m'kay?

Peter Gray

Re: Apple is refusing to hand over certain documents which might prove this one way or the other

How about being pulled over for a traffic stop and the cop asking if they could take a look through your car? This is something I've seen on quite a few of the US "Cops" style TV shows, and I'm always confused when someone says "Sure" and is then amazed when the police discover a rubbish bag full of weed in the boot.

Still-living, unincarcerated Ted Nugent invited to Barack Obama gig

Peter Gray


I watched an interview where the head of the NRA was promoting the idea of armed guards being based at schools as a way of preventing more shootings - America is the only developed nation I can think of where someone thinks this is a good idea.

And why do so many Americans seem to think their Government will attack them if they don't own a firearm? (This may just be an impression based on biased reporting, but it seems to be an issue with a fair number of people there)

Oracle 'fesses up: Java security flaws more than storm in teacup

Peter Gray

Re: Oracle

Gahhh! Goatse flashback!! Curse you DAM, now I'll have to downvote you for the mental image.

Researchers pitch switch to electronic prescriptions

Peter Gray

An old "Two Ronnies - But now the news" skit

A large group of doctors demonstrated outside parliament today, waving handmade placards and signs. Unfortunately, no-one could read these except for a passing pharmacist, who told them to come back in half an hour.

Yes thanks, mine's the white lab coat with the "Two Ronnies" in the pocket. DVD

Southern Cross Cable offers discount bandwidth

Peter Gray

And it's not just Telecom - when Telstra announced they were moving in to New Zealand they made a lot of noise about competing with Telecom. A year or so later they were happily settled into a cosy duopoly, with Telstra undercutting Telecom by a few dollars, and Telecom matching prices if customers complained.

I suspect that whoever you are with you won't see any discount in bandwidth costs, let alone a 40% drop.

'Puzzling structures on surface' of YU55 spaceball

Peter Gray

Yes, sandwiched in between severl Starbucks...

BioWare Baldur's Gate

Peter Gray


Try going to Good Old Games - gog.com. They have both BG 1 and 2 combined for about US$5.99, fully licenced, no DRM and already in an emulator so they will run on XP/Vista/Win7.

They also have all of the Icewind Dale games, and Planescape torment....

Say goodbye to a big chunk of your time after visiting this site!

X-COM UFO: Enemy Unknown

Peter Gray

One of the best

It would be a toss-up as to which is my favorite, X-COM or Command & Conquer, but both were the cause for many sleepless geeked out nights of gaming.

Think I might have to install X-com of Steam again when I get home...

Yahoo! search! accordion! prods! you! to! squeeze! box!

Peter Gray

Sorry, Ya-who?

Still can't find a reason to go there, same as for the past decade or so...

Microsoft ID guru slams 'duplicitous' Apple

Peter Gray

Honest mission statement

Many years ago I worked for a small ISP where the mission statement was "to make enogh money for the directors to retire to a life of hookers and blow" - I miss that place sometimes.

Police snapper silliness reaches new heights

Peter Gray

Not just Australia

Here in New Zealand the Police are pretty good - they're happy to pose with tourists for photos, not threaten them with lockup time....

Game censorship crusader sues Facebook for $120m

Peter Gray

Faxing the CEO?

I can't say I'm a fan of this idiot, but I don't agree with the "$50.00 to punch him in the face" thing - we run the risk of convincing non-gamers that he may be right when we do things like that.

That said, is faxing the CEO of the company the suggested means to get something removed? I don't use Facebook, but I suspect there is some info on how to lodge a complaint through the correct channels.

Probably best if he doesn't use email though, I have no difficulty imagining him spamming everyone to get his message across.....

Met steps up stop and search with mobile phone scanner

Peter Gray

Sounds scary

Thank heavens i live in New Zealand where we have very little of this sort of rot.

I have to say the more I read of this sort of thing the less I desire to visit Blighty - I think I'll stay here in the sunshine instead.

Church altar smites devout Catholic

Peter Gray

@AC 13:48

To be fair, while he probably believed he would go to heaven, it might be the form of death that worried him. Dying while trapped in a lift doesn't sound like an easy way to go, so praying for deliverence wouldn't be so weird. Well, other than the whole "talking to the big beard in the sky" weird anyway.

Pirate icon because... I like pirates.

Air NZ rolls out naked safety vid

Peter Gray


Dunno what you mean, only us Kiwis have no accent, it's you poms that speak funny.

Years ago I was on a flight from Wellington to Christchurch just before a a big inter-region rugby game. There was a large contingent of club supporters (each with a carry-on luggage consisting of a dozen cans of Tui beer, none of which was consumed while on the 'plane) on board, and when the stewardesses started doing the safety demo these guys stood up and started doing it with them. They did a great job, and it was very funny to watch the stewardesses try to finish the demo while giggling hysterically. The whole plane gave them a round of applause when they finished, but they wouldn't do an encore.

Definitely the most fun I've had watching one of those safety demos.

Man dressed as dead mother to scam $1m

Peter Gray

"... so I am my mother."

"Luke, I am your... no wait wait, , YOU are your... hmmm, this isn't going to work the way I expected"

US lawmakers put Canada, Spain on piracy 'watch list'

Peter Gray

You do have to wonder

... why they bother publishing this. Do they really expect other countries governments to say "Oh no! We may be costing US corporations some of their profits!! Quick, lets start enforcing US copyrights in our own sovereign nations!"

Or is this just cynical posturing for their own domestic market - and if so, do people outside of these companies really care much?

Pirate icon, for fairly obvious reasons...

Fasthosts to offshore support staff

Peter Gray
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"Redundancies will further improve shareholder experience" *fixed that for them*

You did what? The trials of supporting remote users

Peter Gray

Rural solution

When I was working on the service desk at one of the local banks one of the desktop engineers came down to show us a laptop wrapped in a plastic bag that was dripping muddy water. The reason?

The bank had issued all of it's Rural Lending Managers with new laptops and cell-phones (this was back in the late 90's) with the idea being that they could do the full applications etc while at their customers farms. They did not provide these guys (mostly ex-farmers/farm managers themselves) with any training on using laptops.

The manager whose laptop it had been had been unable to work out how to open the laptop and turn it on - he was a bit of a technophobe. He kept it in his car and filled out the old paper forms, so was able to work that way. One day, while driving back down a fairly rough metalled road his car got stuck in a large pothole. His solution? Wedge the laptop behind the wheel of the car to get more traction!

When he was called to explain what had happened he said "It was the only use I got from the f*cking thing, please don't send a replacement"

We didn't.

New Zealand bolts net filtering regime into place

Peter Gray

Blocking access

First off, with regards to Horness' comment and those telling us that blocking content won't make it go away:

"So if they know what the sites are, and are able to filter them out of your browsing - why the hell don't they shut the sites down carrying the content?"

That would be because the internet lets you access websites in other countries - so if the 7,000 blocked sites are based in countries other than New Zealand then the NZ Govt cannot shut those sites down. While I don't have a lot of time for any politicians, at least most of ours (yes, I'm a Kiwi) don't seem to think that the celestial globes rotate at their command. Some stupid laws certainly get signed into the system, and certainly some do have some very loose descriptions, but I can't think of any examples where laws have been substantially twisted. Kiwis do tend to be a bit vocal when we think Politicians are trying a fast one, so maybe that is why.

For those saying that people will get around the filters that is very true, but that does require at least a little knowledge. My impression is that this law is aimed at stopping this sort of content popping up for casual surfing. Who knows, maybe this will mean that some people who would have stumbled over this type of content and become more interested in it now won't?

Just my $0.02, thanks for reading it.

Oz man collared with pigeons down trousers

Peter Gray


Typical Aussie from the sounds of it - possibly sheep are getting too expensive?

Microsoft Office chief to manage Bill Gates

Peter Gray

Re: not since

Have to agree with AC here. I do not like Bill Gates, nor his software, but the man puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to charity. Far better that it goes to help others then sit in a vault doing nothing.

His software may suck, his business ethics may be questionable (at best), but the man has saved and improved life for far more people than I will ever meet.

So you can hate the man, but give respect the work his foundation is doing - everyone else who reads this will do far less in their life.

Penguin goes electronic

Peter Gray

Baen are smart

Baen books also include a CD-Rom with some of their hardbacks. This usually contains the full versions of the existing back catalogue in the same series (ie the Honor Harrington novels) as well as a handful of similar books by different authors they publish. On the coverslip is a message saying you may copy the CD and hand it around as much as you want (as long as you do not charge for dosing so) and a warning that the publisher is confident that people who like the stories are likely to buy them, as well as other books by the same authors, so is making the CD free as a sneaky way of promoting this.

And they're right - I have about a dozen shelves of Baen books, half of them hardbacks, that I have purchased because I read an e-book and liked it, so I bought it, and the back catalogue associated with it. I still read my e-books though, I usually have a couple of dozen different ones on my Palm, so if I'm on the train and I'm not in the mood for the dead tree book I am carrying I can try a new book, or re-read a favourite.

Amazon's $399 folly book reader

Peter Gray
Thumb Down

Ebook storage

I've been collecting ebooks for some time, and have several gig of them - about 50,000 books in several formats from HTML to plain text. I like the ability to grab a random selection of a hundred or so, stick them on my PDA and have them there to browse through while on the train, in down-time, waiting for installs etc. I've found several new authors and series this way, and bought the paper books for them.

PDA's aren't as nice to read as a paper book, which is why I have nine (overflowing) bookshelves, but a book cannot compare to the convenience when it comes to storage. All that said, a dedicated reader would need to be waaaaay cheaper and non-drm before i would bite.

Russian spammer murder hoax exposed

Peter Gray

Old news?

I was sure that this same story was circulated several (at least 2 - 3) years ago? I remember seeing it on the TV news and in the papers. I did a quick hunt and found the story of Vardan Kushnir - see http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/dowbrigade/2005/07/25/top-russian-spammer-bludgeoned-to-death-in-moscow/

Maybe this is where the inspiration for the current story came from? Other than the name only the cause of death seems different, with a death by bludgeoning (haven't we all wanted to do that to a spammer!)

No idea if the earlier story was true, but it was very widely reported - I guess reporters get spammed too.

Kiwi boffins prove that booze makes you clever

Peter Gray

Bad news for me...

... because I am allergic to alcohol - one drink and it's hospital time, which doesn't seem so smart...