* Posts by Paul Crawford

4435 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Treaty of Roam finally in ashes: O2 cracks, joins rivals, adds data roaming charges for heavy users in EU

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Re: Colour me surprised

Disgusting, those unelected eurocrats doing things to help me!

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Brexit, the gift that keeps giving....

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Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

Even when it is, it still won't happen.

Have you tried turning server cores off and on again? HPE wants to do it for you from GreenLake

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Re: Is this meant to be Oracle-safe?

The best way to be Oracle safe is not to use them. Otherwise they have you in a financial gimp suit for Larry's pleasure.

EU court rules in Telenet copyright case: ISPs can be forced to hand over some customer data use details

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For those not understanding your reference, here is a summary article on ACS:Law


And the matching Hitler rant for Andrew Crossley's downfall:


It's 2021 and a printf format string in a wireless network's name can break iPhone Wi-Fi

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Also after me:

Use static code analysis tools, and actually deal with the gcc -Wall checks

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

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Re: Here here

Because the camera's software is Windows-only.

We had some Vivotek cameras and the software recorder/manager supplied by them was surprising not crap, but it was over 5 years after UAC was enforced by MS that they fixed their software to not require the poor minimum-wage sod checking stuff to be administrator.

I am sure there are better options, but when faced with stuff that "works" mostly and spending weeks trying to find a better alternative you just put it on a Win7 VM for no updates and firewall the hell out of it.

Mayflower, the AI ship sent to sail from the UK to the US with no humans, made it three days before breaking down

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Re: Idiots

I can imagine a hammer being taken to the camera. Every day.

BOFH: When the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, only then will the UPS cease to supply uninterrupted voltage

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One of the guys I worked with would unplug the network cable(s) and then see if anything stopped. If nothing went bad for a month then it was deemed safe to power the thing off for almost certainly good, as the HDD had little prospect of spinning up again.

Ex-NSA leaker Reality Winner released from prison early for 'exemplary' behavior

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They just don't listen, do they?

Must be the ears...

Thailand bans joke cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens

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Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

Same here. When I first heard of them I presumed folk were performing some sort of useful computation in return for money, a bit like a commercial SETI system. Then I found out the moronic truth :(

Paul Crawford Silver badge

Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

Oh MS, Adobe, etc, are doing very well out of making folk pay to keep accessing their own cloudy data.

Inventor of the graphite anode – key Li-ion battery tech – says he can now charge an electric car in 10 minutes

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Re: There still remains......

More it applies to "service stations". Typically a motorway stop will have something like 6-8 pumps, so we are looking at something like 20MW available to provide 10 min charges for long-range support to commercial drivers, holidaymakers, etc. While folk would love to see 800 mile charge ranges I strongly suspect that we won't see that ever, but rather improved battery power density will be used to have a lighter and safer battery pack so cars in crashes don't go all Ford Pinto on the occupants.

Are any existing service stations going to be able to afford it?

If not then we are looking to move society in to a position where car and van use is largely local with long distance by train and similar. Not necessarily a bad thing, but without many fast charge points we will struggle to deal with the large number of people relying on on-street parking that has no reserved areas and local authorities who lack the budgets to electrify them. Even assuming the local infrastructure has enough capacity.

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Re: There still remains......

They love selling electricity.

And they hate replacing infrastructure that costs serious money to do. If you want a new supply you will be charged something like £120/m for the cable route for a domestic 3-phase arrangement (max load around 70kW, assuming the local substation has spare capacity). If you wanted the 2+MW that the above commentards have discussed for a 10 min charge you would have your own substation and 11kV supply. Have you tried asking the price for that?

Realizing this is getting out of hand, Coq mulls new name for programming language

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Lets face it, there are so many slang words for sex-related parts or activities it would be hard to not come across one. But really looking for names related to a male chicken is always going to end badly, probably by chocking it.

$28m scores mystery bidder right to breathe same air as Amazon kingpin Jeff Bezos in Blue Origin flight

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Re: Time to update the Rowan Atkinson sketch

I thought that Willie Nelson was an illegal wrestling move?

If HAL did digital signage. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that...

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Re: I'm sorry...

Dried frog pills. Those are the best!

Well, second only to licking the hypnotoad...

We've been shown time and again that strong encryption puts crims behind bars, so why do politicos hate it?

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"the kiloscrote bust"

Have a beer on me for that phrase!

Excuse me, what just happened? Resilience is tough when your failure is due to a 'sequence of events that was almost impossible to foresee'

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You still need to sync the atomic clocks together in the first place, and to keep them agreeing afterwards (depending on the level of time accuracy you need)!

For that you need something like GPS to do it, so really it comes down to how many will pay extra for an atomic clock reference oscillator in addition to the GPS receiver and outdoor antenna, etc. Many should do it, if they are running essential services, but usually the bean counters say no...

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Fail-over failure

We used to have one of the SunOracle storage servers with the dual heads configured as active/passive and linked via both a Ethernet cable and a pair of RS232 lines. That was, allegedly, so it could synchronise configuration via the Ethernet link and had the RS232 as a final check on connectivity to avoid the "split brain" problem of both attempting to become master at once.

It was an utterly useless system. In the 5+ years we had it as primary storage it failed over a dozen times for various reasons and only occasionally did the passive head take over. We complained and raised a bug report with Oracle and they just said it was "working as designed" because it was only to take over if there was a kernel panic on the active head. Failing to serve files, its sole purpose in life, due to partial borking was not considered a problem apparently.

The conclusion we had was paying for professional systems by big companies is a waste of time. Sure we had a soft, strong and absorbent maintenance SLA but we would have had less trouble with a singe-head home made FreeNAS server and a watchdog daemon running.

Paul Crawford Silver badge


For classic NTP operation it is recommended that you have 4 or more time servers configured on each client so they can detect problems including a broken/false clock source. That could be costly in hardware, so you might have 1 or 2 local servers from GPS that offer precise time due to low symmetric LAN delays and back it up with ones across the internet at large that can catch one of the GPS going massively stupid but only offer accuracy, on their own, to several/tens of milliseconds.

Baby Space Shuttle biz chases dreams at Spaceport Cornwall

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I am surprised they are not looking to RAF Machrihanish for landing as it has a 3km runway and was one of the emergency landing options during the Space Shuttle program.

PrivacyMic looks to keep your home smart without Google, Alexa, Siri and pals listening in

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Re: misses the point

Probably in the USA where there are more breaks than content, so coordinating them would be difficult.

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The best time to build a semiconductor foundry is 5 years ago

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Re: Optimistic?

People complain about UI changes and install legacy GUI's to keep the old feel.

No, they do it to avoid the loss in productivity that comes from fscking around with an interface that works perfectly well.

Take the Windows GUI as an example, and compare the layout of win95 with win10 - can you point to a single change that actually makes life easier?

Security is an architectural issue: Why the principles of zero trust and least privilege matter so much right now

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Oddly with the limited number of IPv4 addresses we ended up with NAT as the default for home routers and most small businesses, that automatically made "default deny" the standard for incoming connections. Of course that only lasted until we has UPnP breaking it for any dodgy software running on the user's PC, or the design goal of IPv6 offering access by default for ever device in existence.

And this highlights one flaw in the idea of authentication access to the network, as soon as someone's PC (or other device) is compromised it gets their access credentials, and often that is done via pull-requests now (email or web site malware) and so it can do the same to everything they have access to. So while such network rules might help reduce a free-for-all in the LAN, it really is not dealing with your typical ransomware attack for small business or home users. For they they need a immutable copy of important files, and some means to wipe and re-install the machine(s) impacted by it. The cloud-based accounts on offer promise this, but at what cost in on-going expense and in privacy?

How to use Google's new dependency mapping tool to find security flaws buried in your projects

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Re: Library bloat ?

The advantage of shared libraries is they get updated for security & bug fixes by the system update process. Or should do...

The advantage of statically linked libraries is the program keeps working.

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How do you know that has not already been implemented in one of the other 1.63M libraries?

If someone else cannot realistically discover the presence of such a library, or its quality/supported status, how useful is it?

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indexing, scanning, and monitoring 1.63 million JavaScript libraries

Does that not strike fear in to your heart? Surly the number of useful libraries must be a lot, lot, less! How many of them were written by someone not bothering to check if it is already standardised, and making new and exciting mistakes again and again?

BOFH: I'm so pleased to be on the call, Boss. No, of course this isn't a recording

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Re: Underwear?

Whose underwear are we talking about?

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof

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Re: The Spanish Inquisition

Our three methods are fear, surprise, being mercurial. Oh and an almost fanatical devotion to IEEE 754 Standard for Floating-Point Arithmetic!

Damn! Among our methods are fear...

Code contributions to GCC no longer have to be assigned to FSF, says compiler body

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Re: Apple and GPL

GNUradio is not a good example as a project as the code base and build system seems to be made up as they go along by folks with little in common, and often will not build from source! WTF are they doing?

As soon as you see a project that has made its own build-tool instead of a common utility you can see there is crap coming...

VC's paper claims cost of cloud is twice as much as running on-premises. Let's have a look at that

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Re: Where do I start?

The engineering cost is a key factor, but if your business has those folks for other reasons then getting them to spend a small amount of their time on the feeding and watering of your servers makes sense.

But as you say, for small non-tech businesses, or non-core stuff, it can be well worth the cost for a managed service (e.g. non-classified email, accounting package, etc).

US nuclear weapon bunker security secrets spill from online flashcards since 2013

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Re: secrecy

Same in Scotland, usefully signposted...

Big Tech has a big problem with Florida passing a law that protects politicians from web moderation

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Re: How much does a theme park cost?

Step 1 - buy a disused theme park somewhere

Step 2 - ban all Florida politicians who voted for said legislation

Step 3 - profit!

BOFH: But we think the UK tax authorities would be VERY interested in how we used COVID support packages

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Re: Stairwell or Elevator


India, Twitter brawl in public as latest content rules begin to bite

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Re: Broad brush.

I have been to India once and it is a nice place to visit.

But they have as obnoxious and self-opinionated politicians as they come and with a back story of racial/religious tensions and piss-poor handling of the pandemic in recent months you can see them trying to fight public opinion by attacking the media.

A big factor in this terrible wave of death in India was the resumption of public rallies for the elections. Hubris.

Seeking an escape from the UK? Regulations aimed at rocket and satellite launches from 2022 have arrived

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Re: "we want to be the first country to launch into orbit from Europe"

It also depends on the type of orbit. For GEO you really benefit from an equatorial launch site, for sun-synchronous polar orbits, not really.

Paul Crawford Silver badge

Unclear if 'space' is on the green, amber or red list

Just ask Dr Quatermass...

Apple is happy to diss the desktop – it knows who's got the most to lose

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Re: ridiculous - "Win10 ... is no more inherently vulnerable than Apple or Linux ..."

Comparing vulnerabilities is useful, but ultimately not that important. The real down-side of Windows are (a) its popularity, and (b) the fact that well-managed / secure was never its default configuration, so you depend more on competent sysadmins to use group policies, etc, sensibly to make it so.

You can find examples of Linux systems with default user/password that makes their security a joke, so the underlying OS details are only significant if you really have eliminated the other factors.

Paul Crawford Silver badge

For Linux if you want higher user security you simply mount the user-writeable areas (typically /tmp and /home) on partitions as 'noexec' and then they can only use programs installed via the package manager. Which obviously they cannot use as you have not given them any administrative rights...


Beijing bashes Bing and lashes LinkedIn over improper data collection and storage

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Big Brother

I feel dirty for liking something the otherwise-appalling Chinese government is doing.

ESA signs off on contracts for lunar data relay and navigation

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Re: Satellites in lunar orbit

The satellites themselves will be much the same size, orbit around the moon probably a little lower but we shall see what they come up with. I suspect not *that* low as they won't want the same sort of constellations size that you see for Earth (~24 active satellites) navigation simply for the cost of putting it up there, and might be willing to accept areas of poor navigation coverage, etc.

Cloudflare stops offering to block LGBTQ webpages

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Re: Religion and porn

Very true!

Though to be fair many more are killed by religion than porn.

Internet Explorer downgraded to 'Walking Dead' status as Microsoft sets date for demise

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You can say the same about Chrome now.

Some sites only work properly with it as the idiot designers don't test anything else, and it comes with Google's prying eyes screwing privacy as well. Not to mention Google using its near-monopoly ability to push through changes that no one really needs beyond Google's own agenda (idiot-brain things like activeX USB and native file system access, for example).

Meet the new bossbrowser, same as the old bossbrowser...

Waymo self-driving robotaxi goes rogue with passenger inside, escapes support staff

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Do you mean a train?

Not keen on a 5G mast in your street? At least it'd be harder for crackpots to burn down 'a flying cell tower in orbit'

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My GF had a similar problem, but hers is full bras at all times.

Thanks, I'll just get it =>

South Korea orders urgent review of energy infrastructure cybersecurity

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Enact a law to make board of directors liable for any major incident unless they can prove they took every step to prevent it. I.e. reverse the burden of proof.

Then watch the IT budgets transform!

US declares emergency after ransomware shuts oil pipeline that pumps 100 million gallons a day

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Re: Why?

Is anyone actually able to explain why corporate networks and critical systems coexist on a network - beyond 'stupidity?

Money. Trying to save the cost of duplicated air-gapped/firewalled networks, or the time to manually check/reconcile things.

Stupidity and greed cover the vast majority of disasters.

Paul Crawford Silver badge

When the board of directors get massive fines and/or (preferable) some gaol time for failing to ensure a secure system leading to this sort of thing, only then we might see a bit more proactive security.

Tesla Autopilot is a lot dumber than CEO Musk claims, says Cali DMV after speaking to the software's boss

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Re: Re:10X

The problem is the "average" driver includes a lot of serious asshattery by a few which greatly skews the results. If you as a responsible sober adult is going to swap control for a computer then you want it to be better than yourself by some measurable amount.

Think of how dumb the average voter is. Now remember half of them a dumber...


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