* Posts by Dan White

109 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Mar 2007


Bizarre backup taught techie to dumb things down for the boss

Dan White

Re: Damn sight more common than might be thought...

A significant part of my job is setting systems up to prevent people from clicking buttons, entering data or running processes that will cause something to fail spectacularly.

Every time I think I've made it idiot proof, someone comes along and builds a better idiot to prove me wrong.

I can at least content myself with the fact that I seem to have job security...

Datacenter fire suppression system wasn't tested for years, then BOOM

Dan White

Re: What are the odds?

I'd say, given your experience, about 1 in 1...

Basecamp CEO issues apology after 'no political discussions at work' edict blows up in his face

Dan White

Re: Sex, Religion and Politics

I had a colleague ask me once what I was giving up for Lent.

Apparently, "organised religion" was not the answer she was looking for...

Can't get that printer to work? It's not you. It's that sodding cablin.... oh beautiful job with that cabling, boss

Dan White
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Re: RE: Brother for laser printers.

Ah, LaserJet 4000TN, with a duplexer fitted. Still my favourite printer, and with XL toner cartridges that regularly lasted longer than rated.

Lasted from 1998 until 2 years ago when children, lack of space and not working from home required me to part with it, still in full working order.

They literally don't make them like that any more...

Atheists appeal to higher power for intercession over alleged sins against privacy

Dan White

Re: There is no File?

"I refuse to prove that the File exists, for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."

"But the entry in the File Allocation Table is a dead giveaway isn't it? It proves it exists, and therefore it doesn't".

"Oh dear, I hadn't thought about that".

<Disappears in a puff of trying to convert to NTFS...>

Apple hits back at Epic, says Fortnite crew wants a 'free ride' on fees: Let the app store death match commence

Dan White
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A good time to be a lawyer...

Having carefully examined all the evidence, I can only conclude that I want them both to lose...

Five years in the clink for super-crook who scammed Google, Facebook out of $120m with fake tech invoices

Dan White

Re: Nice piece of change for 5 years (time off for good behavior etc)

I sincerely hope that as a Brit he actually said, "Do the maths"...

Dan White

Re: Hey d00d!!

" Math*s* "

You're welcome...

One person's harmless japery can be another's night of LaserJet Lego

Dan White

Been there, done that...

20+ years back, a colleague and I were engaged in a passive-aggressive back and forth over the LaserJet perched on the end of my desk. He resented the printer going into power saving mode after 10 minutes, as it caused him to wait an extra 10-15 seconds for the printer to warm up if he sent a print job. I, on the other hand, resented the constant stream of hot air being blown in my face from a printer that was sat idle for 95% of the time.

Every time he walked past the printer he would look at the two line screen, and if it was in power saving he would quickly double-tap the Menu button, taking it out of power saving mode, regardless of whether he had any intention of sending a print job or not.

The solution: Change the menu text entry for, "STANDBY" to show, "READY", then drop the power saving timeout to the lowest delay possible. That way, the display always showed, "READY", and I was able to stay cool for most of the day :-)

Virgin Media promises speeds of 1Gpbs to 15 million homes – all without full fibre

Dan White

I tried running mine in modem mode. Didn't work, wouldn't talk to the real router. I've had to resort to leaving it in router mode with WiFi disabled which is bloody stupid.

Samsung Galaxy's flagship leaks ... don't matter much. Here's why

Dan White

Headphone jack? Meh. Kill Bixby and I'm in...

Much as I'm annoyed about the lack of a headphone jack, if I honestly look at how much I have used it, the answer is... hardly ever since the S7 was bundled with Bluetooth headphones.

Bixby, on the other hand, I would happily see removed. At the very least, give me the option to choose my own assistant. Those who know better will probably choose the Google assistant, and those who don't can stick with Bixby if they want.

It is 2018 and the NHS is still counting the cost of WannaCry. Carry the 2, + aftermath... um... £92m

Dan White

Re: NHS upgrades antiquated IT systems to Windows 10?

Bob, just stop. You're embarrassing yourself now...

Dan White

£73 million? Pah, that's only about a fifth of the money that the NHS is going to get back in a week thanks to Brexit.

Oh, wait. That was bollocks wasn't it...

UK.gov asks biz for ideas on how to 'overcome' data privacy concerns in NHS

Dan White

Re: Keep it local

1) You have a pre-existing medical condition meaning you absolutely must *not* be given Medicine X.

2) You live in London.

3) You go to Devon for a weekend break.

4) Whilst there you suffer shortness of breath and lose consciousness. Fortunately the paramedics that attend have Medicine X on board, which is ideal for your circumstances.

5) You die of a reaction to the medicine, because nobody could get clearance to view your medical records in time.

Transmission of data in the NHS *is* heavily encrypted. The focus on "overcoming" privacy concerns is not a reference to ignoring privacy, but relates to setting up systems to enable the people that *need* to see your records to get them as fast as possible. The challenge is doing this without sacrificing security of data, but it's being worked on, hence the news article above.

The idea of locking down records even more will leads to more delays in treatment and deaths.

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

Dan White

Re: Not Ads, but chuggers

My version:

Open the door.

"Hello sir. Can I tal..."

"Does it involve a Direct Debit?"

"Er... yes."


BBC presenter loses appeal, must pay £420k in IR35 crackdown

Dan White

Re: Any news on whether the BBC pays their side of the bargain?

Tax accountants will (must) have professional indemnity insurance that will cover them in the event of legal action. It almost certain that the insurance would pay out to compensate her if she sued.

Nobody wants to risk losing a court case and setting a precedent that could make *all* firms liable in these circumstances. Better to pay off a small percentage of people that can be bothered to take action than be proven to be liable for *all* cases.

Google slaps mute button on stupid ads that nag you to buy stuff you just looked at

Dan White

Mute after purchase?

I'm not too bothered about ads for something that I went to the trouble to look up in the first place. However, what I really want is for the ads to stop once I have made a purchase.

If they can track you across domains to serve you the same adverts, it should be fairly trivial to no longer send me dozens of ads for an electric toothbrush/pressure washer/coffee maker after I already bought the bloody thing!

What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies?

Dan White

Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted.

Factor in the staggering amounts of energy for all the infrastructure required to drill, extract, pump, refine, transport and dispense petrol and diesel. Then imagine that you didn't need to use all that energy any more, and that it could be used for another process, say, charging car batteries...

For example, a 2008 study estimated that the energy use in the refining stage alone was equivalent to 6kWh lost per refined US gallon of petrol. For an average 50 litre fuel tank, that's about 80kWh, enough to fully charge a Tesla model 3 almost twice over.

When you add in all the other infrastructure costs involved, it really is a no-brainer. Then you get the added bonus of reduced particulate emissions, reduction in respiratory diseases, NOX emissions, smog. etc, etc etc.

-NAS (2009), Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use, The National Academies Press, www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12794&page=1

Batteries that don't burn at the drop of a Galaxy Note 7? We're listening

Dan White

Re: Lithium batteries are last century's technology

I would be more than happy to have a phone that was half as thick again if it meant I could genuinely get more than a days use out of it without charger panic.

Horsemen of the disk-drive apocalypse will ride upon 256TB SSDs

Dan White

Hammer, petrol, match...

Secure erase job done. :-)

Tech can do a lot, Prime Minister, but it can't save the NHS

Dan White

Re: The long-term cost no one talks about..

The main problem is that the public sector can't afford the lawyers and accountants that the private sector can. The big problem with PFI is as follows:

1) Builder goes to the city and secures financing on a hospital construction project. Quite a risky proposition, as builds overrun and costs increase, so builders have to borrow £100 million at say 10% interest.

2) Builder goes to Govt and says, "We'll build you a hospital for £150 million plus 15% interest on top". Government lawyers and accountants say yes.

3) Hospital gets built. Builders now go to the city and say, "Can we borrow £100 million please? We have this shiny new hospital as collateral, so there's no risk". Builders get refinanced at 2% interest, but continue to collect payments at the original rate. Profit at expense of taxpayer, result.

What *should* have happened is:

a) PFI contracts to contain a break clause. Repayment of outstanding capital plus, say 2 years interest, and job done.

b) Variation of financing clause. Repayments should have tracked the cost of financing to the provider. If they refinance and halve their costs, the interest repayments are halved automatically.

c) Bad faith penalty. Appoint arbitration in the event of a dispute (say for example, a large proportion of your school walls start collapsing due to not building to agreed specs.). If provider is deemed to have taken the p*ss, barred from any large scale contracts for 10 years.

Do we need Windows patch legislation?

Dan White

Car Analogy Fail

"An analogy may be vehicles that develop a dangerous defect. Would we excuse the manufacturer and allow unsafe vehicles on the road?"

AFAIK, the longest vehicle warranty offered is currently 7 years. This is a 16 year old piece of software that has received thousands of updates during its lifetime. It should have been scrapped years ago for a newer model with the fixes baked in, and that is exactly what has happened, at least three times since XP in fact.

I'm charitable enough to assume that MS didn't *deliberately* ship with vulnerabilities, and has actually spent a huge amount of resources fixing and updating them where found. To crowbar this back to the car analogy, new vulnerabilities are discovered all the time in software. By definition, they weren't known at the time of shipping. Would you expect a car manufacturer to recall your 16 year old engine because it doesn't meet new emissions standards? Eventually you have to bite the bullet and buy a modern car.

Nest cameras can be easily blacked out by Bluetooth burglars

Dan White

Re: In other news

After forcing me to read through that marathon post, the least you could do is provide specs and model numbers!

I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Dan White

Re: This should be covered by a different clause in the contract

That would make professional boxing a pretty boring career then wouldn't it?

Cheer up, pal: UK mobe networks are now 8% less crap, tests show

Dan White

Customer satisfaction measurements?

What isn't measured here is the terrible customer service experience that the "leading" networks provide.

I was with Orange throughout the 90's and most of the 00's, as they had a great reputation for good customer service. Then in the space of a couple of years they seemed to stop giving a crap, and that was when I jumped ship.

Been with O2 for nearly ten years now, and in that time I've had three handsets replaced free of charge, loyalty discounts to my account and unsolicited data upgrades applied. I'm surprised that their network performance is so (relatively) poor, but I'll take that hit as long as I can depend on them not to mess me around when I have a problem.

College fires IT admin, loses access to Google email, successfully sues IT admin for $250,000

Dan White

Re: I've been in that situation.

An admin friend of mine once described the process for getting rid of nice techies in his old firm:

1. Take Unsuspecting Victim out for expensive farewell lunch and drinks.

2. Admin disables UV's remote access.

3. Announce during lunch that this is UVs farewell lunch.

4. Admin disables UV's Mobile phone account.

5. Admin trawls UV's logs to check for other accounts created by UV, nukes them.

6. Admin bins UVs user account, revokes Access card and ID.

7. Box up UV's possessions, place in lobby with security.

8. Place generous severance cheque in box.

9. UV returns, collects box, never seen again.

For techies that you *didn't* like, remove the words "expensive" from step 1, and, "generous" from step 8.

For techies that f**ked up, remove steps 1, 3 and 8 entirely, and carry out procedure after they leave work and what was then their last day...

Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

Dan White

Re: Tell you what then,

Q: How can you tell when someone is a vegan?

A: Don't worry, they'll tell you...

London cops strap on new body cams

Dan White

Selective reliability?

I look forward to the reports of large batches of body cameras simultaneously failing for "Operational reasons" at any large public protest, just like the mysterious failure of all static CCTV cameras...

Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Dan White

Removable battery? Meh... Replaceable batteries FTW!

Don't really care if the battery is removable or not. What I would like to see is a battery that is easily *replaceable* when it reaches the end of life, without having to crack the case open with specialist tools and/or send it back to a manufacturer.

Your battery could lose around 25% of capacity within 9 months or so of charge-discharge cycles, and I tend to find after about 18 months that it's annoying me enough to look at doing something about it. I'd like the option to get a new, genuine battery fitted that wouldn't cost half the price of a new phone to sort out.

Of course, the irony of owning a Samsung phone and wanting a genuine battery is not lost on me at this point...

'Faceless' Liberty Global has 'sucked the very soul' out of Virgin Media

Dan White

What the F**k...

... does this even mean?

"One of the key reasons for outsourcing to Ericsson is to enable headroom to allow us to focus less on managing the volume of issues in Operations and worry more about reducing the volume coming in by focusing on root cause and preventing more outages from happening."

Sounds to me like, "We can't manage a piss up in a brewery, so we're going to outsource that part, giving us time to work out why our infrastructure is screwed."

Perhaps if they stopped using management-speak and told people what was actually happening, they wouldn't be so demoralised.

Toaster cooks network and burns 'expert' user's credibility to a crisp

Dan White

So she was OK with having WiFi enabled on her laptop though...? FFS.

P2P badboys The Pirate Bay kicked out of Greenland: Took under 48 hours

Dan White

Re: why is it illegal?

Ant and Dec encourage me to commit violence against my TV. Should that make them illegal?


Dan White

I think you're misunderstanding the point of the invention.

Nobody is claiming that they are getting out more energy that they are putting in. They are using solar power to generate electricity to split urine and generate hydrogen, which can then be stored and transported as a usable fuel. You might not want to crack regular water to do this as it's quite a scarce resource in some places, so why not use the waste water in urine instead?

If the kit was designed just to store electricity, then charging batteries would seem a much more obvious and efficient use of the solar panels. In this case though, you can in theory use the hydrogen to drive a vehicle or in other areas where batteries are less practical.

In any case, we'll know if it was a viable technology or not if an oil company has them all shot by the end of the month...

Amazon lends e-books free to Prime subscribers

Dan White

Re: Meh, EPUB based readers get this for free of course

Yup, my local library (along with all the others in the Bristol/Somerset/South Gloucestershire region) will lend eBooks in pretty much any format EXCEPT kindle.

As usual, it's a sodding licensing restrictions issue :-(

New broadband minister snubs 'ugly' fibre cabinet gripes

Dan White

Dude. Less Coffee. Seriously.

And perhaps some anger management classes.

Dan White

One appeared outside my house...

... about six months ago, courtesy of Virgin Media.

It's a squat beige box of ugliness, which I can forgive, but would have preferred green. It's also a good twelve inches clear of the wall, putting it right next to the pavement, which seemed a little poorly planned, and makes reversing into my drive a *little* trickier.

However, all of this pales into insignificance when compared to the consistent 60Mbps I'm now getting, being 20 feet from the cabinet :-)

Feds unlock suspect's encrypted drive, avoid Constitution meltdown

Dan White

Re: Given enough time and resources

For "enough time", substitute, "a significant proportion of the age of the universe", assuming the protocol is implemented correctly and the password wasn't something like, "letmein1".

However, "Attempted denial of justice" sounds very much like thought crime. It is the job of the state to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The defendant is not obligated to help them in any way, and is in fact protected from doing so in many cases.

You, sir, sound like a bit of a tool...

WD dries out flood-trashed fab, pumps out first disks

Dan White

Could be that because they were clean rooms, some of them with the more sensitive kit remained water tight.

TiVo subscriptions go up – for the first time in 4 years

Dan White

I'd be happy for them to throw one at me. When I first looked into they wanted £150 for the box alone! Is that not the case any more?

Hey Commentards! [This title is optional]

Dan White
Thumb Up

You omiited the one that forces me into a pedantic rage that burns with the heat of a thousand suns: Why can't you f**ktards learn the difference between "lose" and "loose"?

iPhone 5 less than a month away

Dan White

More battery life please

The iPhone 4 does pretty much everything I want it to right now, with one exception - if you happen to actually *use* the thing, the battery life sucks something awful.

I'd happily see the new version be half as thick again, if it meant I didn't have to keep a spare charging cable in my car, at my desk, at work etc...

iOS upgrade cocks up iPad USB connections

Dan White

Re: Funny

Wow... that's a whole new level of stupid.

Apple doesn't *have* to specify that you can hook any USB device to it. It's already part of the USB specifications. Hint - That's why there's a "U" in USB.

If you offer a connection port with USB, you adhere to the standards laid down for that connection, otherwise it's not USB. It's now ASB, where "A" *might* stand for "Apple", but at this point it's more likely to be "A**hole" for buying one and expecting it to work properly.

Sci-fi and fantasy authors wade into Amazon spat

Dan White

Re: Online distribution costs are not Zero

Given that most of the costs you're listing are applicable to print versions, and the publishers already have a web presence, the *actual* cost of selling an ebook is still in the order of pence per copy. Subtract the cost of printing and distribution and an ebook version should be free when you purchase a paper version.

Murdoch threatens to yank News Corp. from Google News

Dan White
Jobs Horns

Please God, do it...

Nothing would make me happier than to see this odious turd and his hate filled propaganda machine disappear from search engine results

Street View snooptrike stalks Siena

Dan White

@Grease Monkey

As someone who is also a motorist, motorcyclist, cyclist and pedestrian, and who pays an extortionate amount of road tax, I'd like to point out that yes, motorists DO indeed literally own the roads. In fact road tax revenue and fuel duty covers the amount we spend on roads dozens of times over. If cyclists feel like chipping in towards the cost of maintainance, signage and lighting, and perhaps I'd be more sympathetic.

"I would say dangerous, illegal and arrogant behaviour from car drivers outnumbers other road users about 1,000 to 1"

Are you for real? Is your house in the middle of a stock car track? Perhaps you could consider that it's because car drivers actually outnumber other road users 1000 to 1. I commute into Bristol every day, and it's a rare day indeed where I don't see some cyclist on a suicide mission, running lights, swapping lanes and hopping onto the pavement at will. Granted there are also ditsy car drivers who do silly things, but it's the cyclists that *deliberately* ignore the law whenever they see fit.

Amazon Kindle doomed to repeat Big Brother moment

Dan White

Simple solution?

Perhaps I'm oversimplifying here, but wouldn't a far more PR friendly move have been for Amazon to:

1) Stop selling copies of both books on the Kindle store.

2) Compensate the rights holder in full for every copy that was sold, even if it means paying over the standard rate.

3) Sue the shit out of the distributor that put it there in the first place, thus retrieving all the money spent at 2).

4) Tell the world how great you are and how you stood up for your customers.

Right now the amount of business that they have lost must be way in excess of the cost of compensating the rights holder for a few thousand books.

Beeb borrows copyrighted Flickr image

Dan White

Hmmm, naughty but ultimately fair...

Whilst this was a bit of a silly thing to do, I think the Beeb's explanation is entirely plausible.

Engineers aren't going to have been trained on the finer points of copyright, but they may well have been shouted at to, "get something up on a screen in 3 minutes or you're fired."

At least the Beeb has coughed to the error, and £75 is more than most people would get for a single use of an image these day.

Nokia N97 touchscreen webphone demo'd

Dan White
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Could have been an interesting video, but I found myself irritated by the number of times the presenter stopped to say, "Ahhh", "Ummm" etc...

Phone looks nice though :-)

I've only shagged two blokes, insists Paris Hilton

Dan White
Paris Hilton

@raving angry loony

Perhaps if we can find a reasonably good looking *male* heir to a fortune of billions who:

1) Films themselves shagging and gets it realeased all over the Internet.

2) Gets their Blackberry hacked on a semi-regular basis, revealing celeb phone numbers (Note the IT angle...)

3) Appears to be a thick as pigshit, yet...

4) Earns a fortune just for turning up at parties and acting as thick as pigshit...

... then I'm sure there would be equal coverage in The Reg. The closest I could imagine would be if David Beckham suddenly turned into a porn actor. After all, he already has the perfume brand and the fuck ups with text messaging... ;-)

Online crime maps go live

Dan White

@Tom Smith

If you zoom in on the Google map of Bristol, eventually you'll see it broken down by area.

You may be particularly stunned to see that the highest rates are in St. Pauls, Southville, Eastgate and Filton.... or perhaps you won't :-)