* Posts by Cheshire Cat

241 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Nov 2007

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BOFH: The new Boss, Aiman, is suspiciously good – for now

Cheshire Cat
Go

Re: Esperanto? That's for rookies

Voku la halan pordiston, estas rano en mia bideto!

US broadband internet: Now with mandatory 'nutrition' labels

Cheshire Cat
FAIL

Re: Three ways to make this idea even better

3. The example image: 1200 down, 200 up for only $109.99? As long as it's not one of the major coax cable companies, sign me up! I'll even move for that deal!

Here in New Zealand, thousands of km from the centre of the internet, we get that, plus unlimited usage and free phone service, for the same price in *NZ* dollars, which is about 60 USD. You yanks are being ripped off.

Chinese schools testing 10,000 locally made RISC-V-ish PCs

Cheshire Cat
Pirate

Microsoft will not lose much...

... because most of the Windows in China is pirated anyway.

I'm more interested in whether or not this new architecture will become available outside China, and if it will join x86 et al as a standard linux build. A bit more competition for Intel might get things to improve in general

Judge slaps down law firm using ChatGPT to justify six-figure trial fee

Cheshire Cat
Coat

Did anyone else parse that as "Cuddly Law Firm" and wonder if their lawyers had teddy bears and ponies?

Google Maps leads German tourists to week-long survival saga in Australian swamp

Cheshire Cat

Re: Unless I'm mistaken...

There's a break in the road here 13°58'59.7"S 143°11'06.6"E

This means google will never route anyone along it

Cheshire Cat

Re: Unless I'm mistaken...

This is why its doing it: https://www.google.com/maps/place/13%C2%B058'59.7%22S+143%C2%B011'06.6%22E/@-13.9832575,143.1829237,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m47!1m42!4m41!1m26!1m2!1s0x697862555ba22413:0x400eef17f207860!2sCairns+QLD,+Australia!2m2!1d145.7709529!2d-16.9203476!3m4!1m2!1d143.2541971!2d-14.1483235!3s0x6999af9ce9644b71:0x4a50f2a26b96eacf!3m4!1m2!1d143.2528997!2d-14.1407584!3s0x6999afa267b1bbcd:0xb4c3d13967f1c431!3m4!1m2!1d143.2831829!2d-14.1036521!3s0x6999aea119b44c41:0x94d58f7045aabcdf!3m4!1m2!1d143.1900959!2d-13.9599422!3s0x69984d0be4c3961f:0xefc441f59ebc6a77!1m6!1m2!1s0x69baa201d6daf179:0x400eef17f20d810!2sBamaga+QLD,+Australia!2m2!1d142.3871554!2d-10.892344!1m3!2m2!1d143.1854248!2d-13.9862892!2m1!3b1!3e0!3m3!8m2!3d-13.983262!4d143.185157?hl=en&entry=ttu

Theres an incorrect break in the map data at 13°58'59.7"S 143°11'06.6"E and Mr Google doesnt think its a through road.

Cheshire Cat
Facepalm

Broken map data

This sort of thing happens when the map data has a break in a road - zero length, but the calculations think it isnt joined. So, it sends you via the next-best route as it sees things - and this is then compounded by it not knowing the differences between a standard minor road and an outback dirt track that is 4wd-only. This is why people should always sanity-check their planned routes rather than blindly following...

There was one of these up north of here near Kerikeri, that sends you a great long aroundabout route rather than the simple trip by a ferry. I found the break and reported it to Google years ago, and it seems to be fixed now.

Chrome engine devs experiment with automatic browser micropayments

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Down

Re: Good luck

Paying for an ad-free experience is like handing over your lunch money for a bully-free school day

Tesla says California's Autopilot action violates its free speech rights

Cheshire Cat
Go

Re: All the more reason

That's the pronounciation rules for Chinese PInyin.

In pinying, Xitter would be indeed be pronounced She - ter (same as "Xi Junping" is pronounced "She june ping")

Police ignored the laws of datacenter climate control

Cheshire Cat
Stop

Kill the unauthorised servers!

I can understand the director of IT on this one.

Unauthorised servers on an internal (and privileged) network are a security nightmare. They are rarely kept in line with security standards, probably never backed up, or regularly patched, and cause unanticipated load on network infrastructure.

Plus, at some point, they go wrong or are crypotolockered, and then IT are called in to help fix the shitshow caused by the office cowboys.

In a university, which likely does not have much (if any) internal firewalling on the staff network segments, a vulnerable machine can cause chaos if it is compromised, and you can't recover what was not backed up.

How is this problem mine, techie asked, while cleaning underground computer

Cheshire Cat
Holmes

Smokers in the 90s

As a young, green techie I was sent on-site to some offices of BAT (British American Tobacco) to help sort out some desktop computers.

In those days, their employees were given free cigarettes and, of course, could smoke in the office as much as they liked. You can imagine how unpleasant it was in the building.

After opening up the nonfunctional computer, I found a thick and heavy layer of ash and tar deposited all over, which may have been the reason for overheating and failure. Still cleaning things off and unblocking vents somehow did the trick, though my clothes had to be fumigated after returning home and my hands were stained yellow.

Added a smoking icon because ...

'Millions' of spammy emails with no opt-out? That'll cost you $650K, Experian

Cheshire Cat

Just make it so that the C-suite at the time of the incident are PERSONALLY liable. Then it would NEVER happen.

Textbook publishers sue shadow library LibGen for copyright infringement

Cheshire Cat

Re: They are blocked in France

When I went to Warwick uni in the early 90s, one of our Maths profs wrote his own book for the course -- "Derek the differentiable dinosaur". It was available for about 5 quid which covered photocopyiong charges, or we were free to photocopy someone else's copy if we wanted to, since it was all public domain.

This guy was very, very popular.

Not call: Open source gurus urge you to dump Zoom

Cheshire Cat
FAIL

So all business move to Teams

Kill off Zoom -- and all businesses then move to Teams, which is likely just as bad - if not worse - but you'll never find out.

Producers allegedly sought rights to replicate extras using AI, forever, for just $200

Cheshire Cat
Holmes

Re: "address concerns of being replaced by AI"

ChatGPT confidently tells me that the story in question is "The afterlife of Bailey" by Harry Bates, though it notes a whole range of other stories with a similar premise.

False negative stretched routine software installation into four days of frustration

Cheshire Cat

Re: Marital Status: British

There is a specific document, a "Certificate of no impediment", that the British embassy can produce - it is sometimes required for overseas marriages in countries that suspect every foreigner of being a bigamist.

Cheshire Cat
IT Angle

Re: Marital Status: British

When I married in Taiwan 20y ago, I had to prove that I had never been married previously. This is much harder than you would imagine, and required several contacts with the British embassy, and taking out an advertisement in the local newspaper to meet certain criteria. After almost 3 months of to-and-fro, the resulting "Certificate of no impediment" document was very impressive, with seals and ribbons and the like.

Gen Z and Millennials don't know what their colleagues are talking about half the time

Cheshire Cat
WTF?

This is all Management jargon

This is, of course, all Management jargon.

The big difference between Technical jargon and Management jargon, is that with Technical, everyone knows and agrees exactly what it means, but disagrees on how or if it should be implemented; whereas with Management jargon, they all agree it is Necessary and Important but cannot clearly define what it actually means...

That old box of tech junk you should probably throw out saves a warehouse

Cheshire Cat
Facepalm

Re: TBFOOTYSPHTOBKJIC vs managers - You Forgot

Oh yes, SWMBO just hates my boxes of spares, even though they have proven useful several times in the past.

Cheshire Cat
Pint

Re: PSUs

Have an upvote for this, and a vBeer, because you remembered to post the solution to the forum

Teen in court after '$600K swiped from DraftKings gamblers'

Cheshire Cat

Re: Does rate limiting mean anything to anyone ?

Nonono... more than x failed connection attempts, using different passwords, in y minutes from the same IP, and you deny the *login* for 24h, not the connection. But tarpit by 4s. Don't deny the *connection* - then they won't realise they've been blacklisted, and will continue to waste more time in the tarpit, and will think everything in their database is a bad password.

Google accused of stomping on rivals as it stamps out annoying Calendar spam

Cheshire Cat
Go

Re: The FOSS aversion to Outlook leads here.

Evolution (add evolution-ews for O365/Exchange access) or Thunderbird (add OWL for O365/Exchange access) seem to work well for me. Thunderbird was a bit ropey a few years back but has improved in the later versions. They are also both much better than Outlook at handling multiple external calendars.

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Up

Sounds like a good idea to me

I don't want thing to appear in my calendar just because someone emailed me an invitation; I want to explicitly accept them first.

Google's change here sounds good to me, and is in fact how my current Evolution mail client works as well.

No wonder the spammers are complaining when they no longer have a way to push things into my calendar without my approval.

Your security failure was so bad we have to close the company … NOT!

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Up

Re: FBI banging down doors is a real thing

If the local police *asked* me to help them catch a pedo who was stealing my wifi to try and cover his activities, by adding a snoop to the network for a week and keeping quiet about it, I'd have no problems helping them out. The key word here is "asked".

Though I'd not be such a jerk as to have no auth on my wifi in the first place of course.

Thanks for fixing the computer lab. Now tell us why we shouldn’t expel you?

Cheshire Cat

Re: old password

I was one year too late to have used the university's PHysics Undergraduate Computer Resource, named by its acronym. Someone caused it to be renamed for some reason.

Automation is great. Until it breaks and nobody gets paid

Cheshire Cat

Re: I have consulted in many places over the years

"I am trying to convert many of them to python scripts "

Yes, convert a simple, working shell script to something that is understood by fewer people, and now has a dependency on the whole of Python being installed, plus a few extra libraries...

If you don't need to have Python (or Perl, Ruby, Php, GCC, etc) installed on your server it's inherently more secure, less to keep patched, less disk space required, and so on. At least shellscript is a universal that everyone knows, and unless you need something really esoteric or high performance I'd go with the KISS principal

Cheshire Cat
Coat

Re: This is why we need code review

A project manager, programmer, and QA tech go into a bar...

The PM orders a beer.

The programmer orders a beer.

The QA orders -1 beers. Then orders a fish.

What if someone mixed The Sims with ChatGPT bots? It would look like this

Cheshire Cat

Re: Overriding limitation

I remember that as far back as 91, at University, a couple of us wrote a simple Eliza-type program that took generic input, and then programmed it up to write scripts for Neighbours (old Aussie soap opera starring Kylie for those of you who are still whippersnappers). Later datasets produced a university-based soap, rap songs, and a new soap imaginatively based on students in a computer lab.

US bans good for Chinese chipmakers, and bad for us, says Taiwanese rival

Cheshire Cat

Re: Memo to Taiwan

China's attitude toward Taiwan and the rest of the neighbouring areas is a bit like the Cat in Red Dwarf

https://media.tenor.com/7CPAzQHV2n8AAAAC/the-cat-red-dwarf.gif

Today's old folks set to smash through longevity records

Cheshire Cat

Re: Longevity in the US

On average, the US population have *worse* teeth than the UK. It's just that the rich have a fashion for cosmetic dentistry, and the rich and beautiful are the only ones they show on their media. The majority of the population cannot afford dentistry at all, and so have worse teeth than the average in the stereotypically-awful UK.

Though, with it now becoming impossible to find an NHS Dentist the UK is doing its best to join the US at the bottom of the pile.

Uptime guarantees don't apply when you turn a machine off, then on again, to 'fix' it

Cheshire Cat
Go

Re: Not following procedures?

Esmeralda Margaret Note Spelling of Lancre!

- known as "Spelly" to he enemies.

Errors logged as 'nut loose on the keyboard' were – ahem – not a hardware problem

Cheshire Cat

Re: Aaaaargh!

But - if you don't measure it, how will you know how much work you're not doing because you're measuring things?

Any timesheeting system that requires "filling in timesheets" as a loggable category is clearly too cumbersome. Similarly any monitoring system where useful metrics or alerts are buried under noise or false-positives.

How the Internet Archive faces potential destruction at the hands of Big Four publishers

Cheshire Cat

Re: There are 200 people taking the course

> And even so, there is now this thing called electronic loans, so the availability of hardcopy texts is not the constraint.

Because of the publishers desire for $, the electronic loans are still limited to the number of licenses the university purchased in exactly the same way as with hardcopy. So you still can only have a couple of people 'borrowing' the electronic copy at a time, exactly the same as with the physical copies.

GitHub rolls out mandatory 2FA for loads of devs next week

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Up

We already mandate 2FA for our devs using Github. Yes, they try and push you to use Microsoft Authenticator app but it is certainly possible to use Google, 1Password, or even YubikeyAuth with a Yubikey v5, I've tested all of them. 2FA is easy to do and makes it more secure, and is an open standard. What's not to like?

Singapore software maker says own hardware in colo costs $400M less than cloud

Cheshire Cat
Meh

It depends on your workload

If you are a small user; need to create and destroy many ephemeral instances frequently; need to be able to quickly scale up or out and then quickly scale back down again; or have a workload that is large but only at specific times; or are able to take advantage of the long-term reservation discounts; then you should be able to do well in a cloud.

Companies with a very large and stable workload, who already have in-house knowledge, would likely find colo far cheaper, even if they have to hire a few more operations staff to manage it. There are also issues for companies based in a country without a cloudy datacentre who care about data sovereignty or low RTT.

What happens if you 'cover up' a ransomware infection? For Blackbaud, a $3m charge

Cheshire Cat
Thumb Down

Re: Company Culture of Suppressing Bad News

A sure sign of a shoot-the-messenger culture in management. Then they complain they were not told and throw the staff under the bus.

Datacenters still a boys' club, staffing shortages may change that

Cheshire Cat

The shortage of women in datacentres and programming is like the shortage of men in HR, kindergarten teachers, nursing, general practice, and so on. We all know they can do the job, and there are examples of people proving just that, but the fact is that proportionately fewer want to enter the profession and go through all the required training. You don't see them in those professions because they are less interested than the other gender.

People seem to get far more upset about the lack of females in IT than the lack of male GPs and nurses.

Of course there are some industries that have places where they would rather hire nobody than hire a female (construction and auto mechanics come to mind) but I've never seen that in any IT place I've worked.

Microsoft begs you not to ditch Edge on Google's own Chrome download page

Cheshire Cat

Re: When a product is better, people will naturally switch to it

"nor did any of Google's other services"

Google Meets works suboptimally is you're not on Chrome, with regard to sharing. In particular sharing of audio.

Marketing company chases Twitter for $7,000 over 'swag gift box for Elon'

Cheshire Cat
Coat

Re: Elon

Does that mean that the lady who works in the local chinese takeaway is a wonton wench?

I have in the past referred to the mrs as a wonton wench when she cooked dumplings for dinner, but it didnt go down well

Cheshire Cat
Coat

Re: $800 for a cheese board and cheese?

Nonono... chocolate milk comes from *brown* cows. Normal white milk comes from the black and white, or 'friesian' cows (thats why the milk is always cold).

Strawberry milk comes from pink cows ofc

A tip for content filter evaluators: erase the list of sites you tested, don't share them on 100 PCs

Cheshire Cat

Re: Fresh versus hot

Similarly, back in the late 90s when I was the Master of the Company Web Proxy, I was contacted by a young lady in accounting, who was having trouble accessing moneyworld.com due to the pornfilters.

A quick test on an unlocked PC showed that the filters were indeed doing their job, and she actually wanted to go to moneyworld.co.uk. She was most embarrassed when I explained this to her.

If you're struggling to secure email forwarding, it's not you, it's ... the protocols

Cheshire Cat
FAIL

The scenario of forwarded email was considered a long time ago, and the "Sender" header is supposed to handle it. When you forward an email from user A to user B on to user C, you are supposed to have the Envelope From set to user B, and add the Sender header to indicate user B was the latest source. This is used by mailing lists and is sometimes referred to as the "Secretary scenario".

Unfortunately, there are some issues -

* Some mailing list software doesn't do this

* Most forwarding mailboxes don't do this, and don't change the Envelope From or add the Sender header

* Some mail clients only display the From and not "From [Sender] on behalf of [From]"

* The DMARC definition ignores the Sender header and uses From even if Sender exists

The first 3 were just a case of improving software, the but the fourth screwed it all up.

Learn the art of malicious compliance: doing exactly what you were asked, even when it's wrong

Cheshire Cat

Re: Coffee... and Tea

An ex-GF of mine kept her sugar in the kitchen in an unmarked pot. Next to an identical unmarked pot used to keep the salt.

She did not appreciate my attempt to make her a cup of tea. To be fair, mine also tasted nasty.

Let's play a game: Deepfake news anchor or a real person?

Cheshire Cat

The issue here is, of course, if they use Deepfakes to create a new item purporting to be from a more trusted source such as the BBC (well, its not hard to find a more trusted source than the Chinese news outlets anyway)

If they're using AI to create faked news anchors, displayed on their own shows with their own branding, and who are presumably cheaper to run that the real talking heads, then I don't really care.

IBM health benefits blackout leaves retirees footing the bill

Cheshire Cat
WTF?

Re: Makes me sick it does

I am so glad I chose to live in a country that regards healthcare as a Human Right rather than as a way to screw every last penny from people with no alternative

Shag pile PC earned techies a carpeting from HR

Cheshire Cat

Re: Two I remember from way back (as a trainee)

Very clever, particularly the bit with the silicone, though when wearing my H&S hat I do wonder about the risk of hot tea splashing over people. And the potential for dissolved water-soluble adhesive in the tea being ingested. I wonder who thought of the silicone trick?

Eager young tearaway almost ruined Christmas with printer paper

Cheshire Cat
Go

Re: Procedure update

And also the Bank Manager in Terry Pratchett's "Making Money".

GNU TP

Prepare to be shocked: Employees hate this One Weird Clause

Cheshire Cat
Coat

Re: Too broad: You can't work in IT for 2 years.

The first rule of OSA club is ...

World of Warcraft Classic lead dev resigns to protest 'stack ranking'

Cheshire Cat
FAIL

I was working for EDS in the UK when they introduced this to our team of 4.

That was the point I started actively searching for other opportunities, and found something a lot better...

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

Cheshire Cat

That's when the telco should take the opportunity to monetise. Charging $15/year to keep your email address alive after moving? A lot of ex-customers would do that. Plus, they'd have a known email address to send all those great-opportunity-you-dont-want-to-miss emails to ...

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