* Posts by Cheshire Cat

178 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007


China spins up giant battery built with US-patented tech

Cheshire Cat

Clearly the US tried to bury this

A good, cheap and efficient battery of this sort is just what is required to make renewables (wind, solar, etc) work on a large scale, as it allows a constant supply even when the source is dependent on weather and annoying planetary rotation.

Having renewables become more attractive is not in the interests of the US Oil and Coal oligarchy, so this new technology was quietly hidden - until the Chinese picked up on it, realised its value, and bought it up.

The Chinese have always had a much longer-term view of things whereas the US tend to be no more than 4y into the future or the next election

Datacenter migration plan missed one vital detail: The leaky roof

Cheshire Cat

Re: Architect Smartitect

We designed our own home as a newbuild. Specified plug sockets everywhere, at least on every unbroken wall. Phone sockets in several rooms, and TV aerials in 3. It didn't add much to the build cost, relative to the overall price. Sadly adding CAT5 cabling was too much of a cost, something I now regret.

Everyone I talk to who is building I recommend to install lots of sockets, as doing so afterwards is a huge PITA

Amazon accused of singling out, harassing union organizers

Cheshire Cat
Big Brother

In todays headlines..

Megacorporation acts unethically!

In other news, Paddington is found to be using the woods as a toilet.

Bosses are SHOCKED and promise shreholders they will not be caught again, honest.

Uber explains how it was pwned this month, points finger at Lapsus$ gang

Cheshire Cat

Denying an MFA request

Explicitly denying an MFA request should blacklist the login IP for a set time (maybe 4h or a day). That would do a lot towards stopping this sort of thing.

Ad blockers struggle under Chrome's new rules

Cheshire Cat

Re: Security & Privacy

ITYM "Google are trying to protect Google's ad revenue from adblocking extensions"

Cheshire Cat

You can install FF without a snap under ubuntu - I have it installed under jammy as a proper application, since doing otherwise breaks my password manager and other stuff.


OneWeb takes $229m hit from satellites not returned by Russia

Cheshire Cat

Re: Sorry, that’s what caused the war.

You are confusing the EU (who were not involved, and are 'grabbing' no land) and NATO (who are a mutual defence treaty, again no 'grabbing' of land). Russia, on the other hand, is unhappy about the choices of a sovereign nation and has invaded it to grab all of its land. Nobody has threatened Russia; whereas Russia has most definitely threatened and attacked several places. It's not surprising that Ukraine wanted to join NATO - they could see the threat from Russia and wanted to be safe like the Balkan states are.

Clearly you are a Russian shill, and so your crazy rhetoric is not unexpected.

Microsoft: The deadline to get off Basic Auth is approaching

Cheshire Cat

Thunderbird and Evolution both have plugins to support EWS protocol. Evolution-ews is free, but Thunderbird will set you back E10/y IIRC.

Google promises to adjust search algorithm to favor 'people-first content'

Cheshire Cat

Re: A good start….

Miss Piggy knows what you're searching for


Nancy Pelosi ties Chinese cyber-attacks to need for Taiwan visit

Cheshire Cat

China's just testing the waters

Most Taiwanese are generally happy with the current status quo - they have had de facto independence for many decades, and have never been under the control of the CCP, but nobody wants to upset China by pointing it out. However the way China has behaved in HK, and the way Russia has behaved in Ukraine have made a lot more people nervous of China potentially using "bigger-army-diplomancy" to bagsy them and start a war.

Charter told to pay $7.3b in damages after cable installer murders grandmother

Cheshire Cat

While cable companies are, of course, all bastards; and continuing to charge a deceased customer is apparently common practice (Sky did it to my father for months despite multiple calls); I don't think that it is fair to hold an employer responsible for the actions of a deranged adult employee -- and $7 billion is another of those stupid numbers pulled out of the collective rear ends of the US court system. The employer had no way of knowing that the person was planning on going out on a murder spree.

The most the employer is guilty of is not having a properly-implemented vetting process for employees expected to be visiting vulnerable customers, and in this case the employee had taken a vehicle without permission, was acting outside employed hours, and against company rules (well, I assume they have a rule similar to 'dont kill the customers')

Does that mean that any crime victim can now sue the culprit's employer for $billions?

Microsoft to blockheads: NFTs and blockchains aren't welcome in Minecraft

Cheshire Cat

Potentially, Minecraft servers could have used NFTs to grant 'ownership' (IE read-write permission) to areas of virtual terrain on a server, allowing people to trade 'unreal estate' outside of the bounds of the server on which it resides. That would have required the server to be aware of the walletID of each player, though, and have a plugin to allow ownership to be validated and update the access permissions. No different from now except that sale and transfer could happen independently of the server.

On the whole, though, it seems they are only being used to make tradeable things that have no impact on the game at all ...

Outlook email users alerted to suspicious activity from Microsoft-owned IP address

Cheshire Cat

Azure or O365 Shells do this

I've had this on my account; the root cause was my authenticating on an Azure/O365 web shell in order to run some admin Powershell commands against Teams. This showed up as an apparent login from an IP in Singapore that was MS-owned.

So the root cause may be people using their personal IDs rather than a Service Principal to run scripts in Azure

Cloudy Chinese word processor vendor denies deleting defiant docs

Cheshire Cat

and of course

... and of course, anyone supporting drinking that colonial rubbish called "coffee". Only Tea for a True Brit.

Misguided call for a 7-Zip boycott brings attention to FOSS archiving tools

Cheshire Cat

Re: I like 7Zip.

People in this world need to learn the difference between the Government of a country, and the People who live there, particularly when said Government is authoritarian.

Despicable actions by the Government as not the fault of the People - unless, of course, said people fully support those actions, and have sufficient freedom to see different sources of information and state their disagreement without reprisal.

Putin is a megalomaniacal egomaniac trying to set himself up as the next Tsar of a regrown Russia, but my expat Russian colleague is a great person. There is no conflict in these two opinions.

Next six months could set a new pace for work-life balance

Cheshire Cat

I said goodbye to those years ago, since Im not in senior management

Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers

Cheshire Cat

Re: The Americans talk such crap about their constitution

In WW2, the Americans censored the mail and broadcast media, and shoved all citizens with Japanese ancestry in to internment camps with armed guards (though not those with German ancestry, go figure, as they say). I'm sure they would do the same again in a heartbeat if they wanted to, and likely the UK govt would as well.

Help, my IT team has no admin access to their own systems

Cheshire Cat

And then somebody mandates MFA on the whole tenancy, and adds their personal phone as the MFA on the break-glass account ... been there done that.

Also note that spiffy Microsoft Authenticator (as opposed to boring old Google Authenticator) doesnt allow 2 devices to be set up with the same QR code and ties it to one only, so you can only save the QR code image in your keepass along with the break-glass account if you're using Google Auth.

Saving a loved one from a document disaster

Cheshire Cat

Re: Imperrfect

In '87, I did my A-level Physics project on the Amstrad word processor in the science department. It was just sitting there and nobody knew how to use it, so I asked to use it to write up the project (which included graphs, done with a different package). All worked well and made things much easier to managed a 20-page document.

I also managed to think up a project that would let me use the newly-acquired laser (I used it to measure tiny shrinkages in cooling metal rods), though the safety regs of the time meant I needed to have the entire classroom to myself when using it...

Real-time software? How about real-time patching?

Cheshire Cat

Re: 0F to 100F

Temperature ranging from 15 to 4111? 15 is OK but the other end is way too hot for me.

Another US president, time for another big Intel factory promise by another CEO

Cheshire Cat

Re: I'll believe it when I see it.

That's an *average* of $100k per year. So just pay $20m/y to the ten C level people and $30k/y to a few thousand drones...

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Cheshire Cat

Re: Colour me impressed...

How else would anyone be able to know what brand he wears?

How do you call support when the telephones go TITSUP*?

Cheshire Cat

Here in NZ, a couple of years back, someone put a JCB through the only data line coming out of one of the rural towns. This took out not just the internet, but all the phones - including the mobiles.

This killed off all EFTPOS payments, and some businesses (who had moved their booking systems to The Cloud) suddenly didn't know what to do at all. This is not to mention the horror experienced by the under-25s who were unable to tweet, post pictures of their lunch to facebork, or watch netflix.

Other people, who still carried cash, owned DVDs, watched broadcast TV and kept their diaries with local copies, had no issue...

Netflix sued by South Korean ISP after Squid Game fans swell traffic to '1.2Tbps'

Cheshire Cat

Looks like the ISP wants 2 bites of the cherry

Haven't the ISP subscribers already paid for this bandwidth? If they all happen to use it to access the same internet site, that's not the fault of Netflix.

The ISP is just being greedy. If they can't supply the bandwidth the customers paid for, then they should change their pricing structure.

Electrocution? All part of the service, sir!

Cheshire Cat

Re: "The power lead approached the PC..."

Both 110V and 230V sockets in the same room? That would be Taiwan, where the higher-voltage socket is intended for your Aircon unit. The aircon one can be distinguished by being both higher up, and all on its own, and usually having an earth.

Malaysian Police crush crypto-mining kit to punish electricity thieves

Cheshire Cat

Nice publicity stunt but...

... its a waste of valuable hardware that could easily have been resold and reused. Instead we end up with a load of unrecoverable e-waste.

Record-breaking Kuwaiti heatwave triggers inadvisable TikTok expletive outburst

Cheshire Cat

Meanwhile in the UK

Good thing they haven't made complaining about the weather illegal in the UK. There would be nobody left outside the jails to lock the doors.

Tiananmen Square Tank Man vanishes from Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, other search engines – even in America

Cheshire Cat

If it WAS intentional, then China really does not understand the Streisand Effect... and maybe Microsoft DOES understand it.

Surprise: Automated driving biz finds automated driving safer than letting you get behind the wheel

Cheshire Cat

Re: But... but... we are driving because we like it, right?

"I remember a short story by Larry Niven where someone was sentenced to be dismantled for the organ banks for manually driving their car."

The Jigsaw Man?

The torture garden of Microsoft Exchange: Grant us the serenity to accept what they cannot EOL

Cheshire Cat

And how about the way Microsoft IMAP support is broken

I spent a happy few days proving that Microsoft Exchange is truly broken when it comes to IMAP support.

It seems that, if a message contains a meeting request, then downloading via IMAP will silently modify the message to strip the meeting request and replace it with a link to the OWA meeting instead! After all, can't have those pesky 3rd-party mail-and-calendaring tools working now can we?

In addition, if they find a MIME-wrapped message then they can automatically re-wrap it in lovely tnef format for you, coincidentally breaking your mail client.

Both of these behaviours can be disabled; but only per mailbox, not as a default, and only via some tortuous (undocumented) powershell.

During this process, I phoned up the MS Support people (stupid move, I know, but we pay for them and I have to show I tried). The minion I spoke with insisted Microsoft Exchange did not do this, even when I presented him with the powershell code to fix it, and the steps to duplicate it.

Exchange 365 is an absolute nightmare to administer when you've come from something as simple as Dovecot under Unix.

You can drive a car with your feet, you can operate a sewing machine with your feet. Same goes for computers obviously

Cheshire Cat

Foot pedal

In those days, the usual recipient of these machines was the secretary. If you've ever seen the old dictaphone machines, they had a foot control (to stop/start the tape playback as the secretary types in the boss' correspondence) which looked very much like a computer mouse. It's not surprising that some people thought that the mouse was supposed to be foot-controlled.

Pizza and beer night out the window, hours trying to sort issue, then a fresh pair of eyes says 'See, the problem is...'

Cheshire Cat

Re: And so on. and so on.

Because English is not one language, it is at least 3 (anglo-saxon, french, norse, germanic, greek, latin, and anything else it can steal)

English is three languages in a trenchcoat, that follows other languages home, knocks them down in a dark alley and then goes through their pockets for loose grammar

(quote courtesy of Reddit)

No amount of Glasgow handshaking will revive this borked kiosk

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Up

The picture on the lockscreen is of Cathedral Cove in New Zealand, which was also used in the Prince Caspian 'Narnia' film. Though the shape is rather similar to the silhouette of Gru's head

Yes, Microsoft Access was a recalcitrant beast, but the first step is to turn the computer on

Cheshire Cat

Re: Yep

Curious about this, back in the 90s I actually bought an old 2ndhand fruit machine. It was mechanical, but had a digital controller.

After examining the innards and finding the controls, trawling for documentation and so on, I found a number of things -

* How to set the percentage return, that the machine would cheat in order to attain

* The big cheat switch that would NEVER allow you to win if the money inside the box was running low

* How it always skimmed off money into a lower cashbox to ensure that it would never, never pay our more than about 80% of takings

It showed that it is absolutely impossible to lose money with these -- if you own the machine. Otherwise, you're a sucker waiting to be fleeced.

The fun bit was setting the return to 80% (the highest it would go) and then playing to *lose* (holding the wrong reels, gambling a win until it failed, etc). After a while, the machine would get desperate that the return rate was too *low* and would eventually start giving a chain of natural jackpots.

Windows might have frozen – but at least my feet are toasty

Cheshire Cat

Place I used to work for used to provide IT support for Imperial Tobacco. In those days, office staff were not only allowed to smoke in the office, but were encouraged to do so by the supply of free cigs.

Taking the top off a PC to identify the cause of failure was disgusting - thick dust over all components. Nobody seemed to make the connection between the condition of their PC and the likely condition of their lungs, though.

What's that coming over the hill? Is it native Office? Microsoft's flagship arrives on Apple Silicon, but you'll have to wait for Teams

Cheshire Cat

I wonder when it will land for Linux?

I suspect there might be a looooong wait before MS Office 365 works useably on Linux.

Rocky Linux is go: CentOS founder's new project aims to be 100% compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Cheshire Cat

IBM won't like that

Rocky Linux? Taking potential RHEL cash-cows err, I mean, customers? Have to stop that!

IBM lawyers incoming in 3.. 2.. 1...

Tie them up in court over technicaltiies until they run out of money, that's the IBM way.

CentOS project changes focus, no more rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux – you'll have to flow with the Stream

Cheshire Cat

Re: A Very Unhappy RHEL customer

Maybe can keep a running replica of the Centos streams repo, and snapshot it every time RHEL goes up a point release? Then run your centos update form the snapshot repo, and you effectively get the RHEL point.

Will kill things like EPEL though, and there will be dependency chaos.

A 1970s magic trick: Take a card, any card, out of the deck and watch the IBM System/370 plunge into a death spiral

Cheshire Cat

Re: No recursion in Fortran

At my first intern job, around 1990, I had to use fortran for the first time. Having nothing better to do, I decided to port a boulderdash-clone game from C into it. The lack of recursion was a big problem, since the whole system depended on it, but I worked around it by having a separate function that managed its own stack, and called a function which returned a list of new items to put onto the stack. It did change the order in which things were resolved though, which in the end broke some of the puzzles in the game screens.

Linux Foundation, IBM, Cisco and others back ‘Inclusive Naming Initiative’ to change nasty tech terms

Cheshire Cat

Re: So basically we're going to have to re-name everything.

> While we're about it; do we have to do something about "Abort" too?

I had to deal with that sort of misapplied nonsense 20y ago, someone thought the message "process aborted" was insensitive as they apparently couldn't tell the difference between a computer systems process and a foetus. "process terminated" was also out. I can't remember what they finally settled on, but it was something like "process did not run at users request" or similar.

Missing Alan Turing memorabilia to be returned to Blighty from the US, 36 years after it went walkabout

Cheshire Cat

Re: There's a link right there

Maybe the plaque should say "These items were stolen back in '84 by persons unknown. They then spent the next 35 years with this woman who was so obsessed with Turing she changed her name to his. But we cant prove who stole them. Bit of a coincidence though dont you think?"

Something to look forward to: Being told your child or parent was radicalized by an AI bot into believing a bonkers antisemitic conspiracy theory

Cheshire Cat

Re: Wibble

Yes! Feed it the entire bibliography of Terry Pratchett and see if it can make some new Discworld books!

Though, I suspect even Hex would not have the necessary creative genius.

Putting the d'oh! in Adobe: 'Years of photos' permanently wiped from iPhones, iPads by bad Lightroom app update

Cheshire Cat

Cloud replication is NOT a backup

So users should be made to write "Cloud replication is not a backup" 100 times before you are allowed to use it.

It's not a backup unless you have at least 2 copies, and they are offline. And, ideally, tested.

Just having a synch tool from your device-of-choice to The Cloud (tm) is not a backup, as any phule kno. It's handy for remote access, and sometimes for 'whoops' moments, but its NOT a BACKUP.

For comparison, my photos are kept on the local disk, in one cloud sync (with delete disabled), 2 offline monthly USB disk backups, and a set of annual printed albums (for the annual favourites). And I'm far from being a professional photographer. I am constantly amazed by people (both home users and businesses) who put critical data that they would be heartbroken to lose in a single vulnerable place with no backups... my Work data are backed up in even more revisions and replicas.

If the Solar System's 'Planet Nine' is actually a small black hole, here's how we could detect it... wait, what?

Cheshire Cat

Re: Great just what I need in 2020

I may have failed O level biology, but I'm pretty sure that getting pregnant requires some sort of contact

If you don't LARP, you'll cry: Armed fun police swoop to disarm knight-errant spotted patrolling Welsh parkland

Cheshire Cat

Mr Nosebonk looks like your UK prime minister I think...

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?

Cheshire Cat

Re: But if you're used to it...

This makes a lot of sense. I have to credit MS with an unusually successful idea.

Microsoft attempts to up its Teams game with new features while locked-down folk flock to rival Zoom... warts and all

Cheshire Cat

Re: NHS.net

"Yeah, we don't let any old Tom Dick and Harry create their own teams either - because if it's open slather, you get a whole bunch of crappy little teams people use for 2 days, then abandon. Then we need to spend significant time/expense tracking the owners down and ask them if they still want their crappy data."

Yes, THIS. Teams is designed to allow every Tom, Dick and Harriet to create a new group and the potential chaos for the admins is a nightmare. Not to mention that since you cannot add people to a team using a group, you end up with dozens of things to update when on/offboarding employees.

Cheshire Cat

But I still prefer Zoom...

While I wouldn't use zoom for anything highly confidential at government level, I think it's fine for other things, provided you configure it correctly (waiting room, password, etc). I am using it for our Scout group meetings with much success.

Teams cannot do the tiled multi-person view of up to 25 users like Zoom can; the teams client for Linux and phones is cut-down and a resource hog; and Teams doesnt support anonymous attendees. Zoom is just much, much easier to get someone into a meeting if they're not already part of your company. Also, administration of Teams is a nightmare - tracking down uploaded files, new groups proliferating uncontrolled, and inability to use existing groups to define membership.

Maker of Linux patch batch grsecurity can't duck $260,000 legal bills, says Cali appeals court in anti-SLAPP case

Cheshire Cat

Whether or not the OSS contract is illegal probably depends on the wording. Saying "we won't do business with you in the future if you do X" is very different from "Accepting the contract means you promise to never do X"

Perens clearly thinks they said the latter. However the judgement is solely on the belief that he has every right to state his opinion, and OSS were trying to shut him up. Too often it seems that US companies use legal threats to prevent people discussing or stating opinions.

Windows 7 back in black as holdouts report wallpaper-stripping shenanigans

Cheshire Cat

Actually, funeral strippers are a Taiwanese custom, not (mainland) China. They also have funeral processions containing flatbed trucks with pole-dancers on them, and "Professional Mourners" who can spend hours "crying" into a PA system about how sad they are that Uncle Wu has kicked the bucket, so that you don't have to.

When I was in Taiwan, one of the neighbours had one of these funerals. In the afternoon, there were puppet shows for the kids. After 9pm, the kids were sent home and the strippers came on. I wanted to go and experience the authentic local customs but the wife wouldn't let me ;)



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