* Posts by Justin Clements

339 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Feb 2008


What, Uber charges disabled people fees for taking a while to get into their ride? Doesn't seem fair, says Uncle Sam

Justin Clements


And this is why people hate big corporations. Simply give the driver the option to waive the fee if the customer is disabled and instruct them that by law they must do so. The disability laws really are quite straight forward in this case.

Oops, says Manchester City Council after thousands of number plates exposed in parking ticket spreadsheet

Justin Clements

Why is this a privacy issue?

I don't see why this is a privacy issue.

The vehicle got a ticket in a public location, this meant the ticket was visibly attached to the vehicle in a public area. So this information is already in the public arena.

So why does it suddenly become privacy matter, when it's clearly not?

Appeals court nixes online blueprint sharing ban on 3D-printed 'ghost guns'

Justin Clements

Re: Question

Exactly, and there's a reason you don't put a 357 in a 38 Special.

Best of FRANDs: Judge allows Apple retrial following $506m patent infringement ruling

Justin Clements

Re: We need a patent court

We need to overhaul the patent system. It probably wouldn't work but I think a patent should only be awarded with a working prototype. You can't just patent a good idea and wait for someone to trip over it, there needs to be a working prototype. Especially in areas of chip designing where people who are unable to build or design a chip suddenly seem to have a patent on how something works by purely dreaming it up.

Seagate claims it shipped its third zettabyte of storage in record time

Justin Clements

Is that all?

Is anyone else left a bit underwhelmed? 3ZB in 2 years? Is that all? For some reason I expected it to be much much higher than that.

South Korean regulator recommends Apple be prosecuted for hampering fair trade probe

Justin Clements


I'd drag my heels if someone wanders in and wants to hook up to my servers to read anything at will. And yeah, you wanna come in and play, there are some seats in reception you can use - you ain't setting up shop in our conference rooms. And bring your own coffee.

Where did the water go on Mars? Maybe it's right under our noses: Up to 99% may still be in planet's crust

Justin Clements

I've seen how this goes

So, we're looking for a giant underground arena, with a hand control that sends down giant heated elements into the surface to release this vapor, and hey presto, atmosphere. But the gotcha was heating clay and not ice.

Ex-Microsoft exec admits he tried to swindle $5.5m out of taxpayers with COVID-19 relief loans for bogus biz

Justin Clements

Re: Covid bonanza!

Considering the readership of El'Reg, there will be quite a few people here that didn't mind HMG splashing all that cash nor their personal gain from it. So we probably shouldn't be throwing stones in this particular greenhouse.

Hacking is not a crime – and the media should stop using 'hacker' as a pejorative

Justin Clements

Re: I'll bite. You should be in jail.

I listened to a talk by a big retro YouTuber the other night. Weird guy at the best of times.

In his speech he talked about phreaking and when he was a kid how he and his friends copied games. His justification was "how else would we stay in contact" with the phreaking and "we weren't going to buy the game anyway so we weren't depriving the writers of revenue" for copying the game.

That's how far we've come these days. He felt long distance charges were too much so he felt justified in phreaking, and he would benefit from someone's work when copying a game, but didn't feel the need to compensate the writer for that. Zero remorse. We simply write off "our" criminal behaviour as a bit of a laugh.

But if I was to use his car one evening, and return it the following morning, would he really be quite so agreeable? I mean, I returned it, I might even fill it up with fuel, and I might only have driven a couple of miles slowly so it won't have any real wear, and I didn't deprive him of his vehicle because he was asleep at home. Or would it be grand theft auto?

If someone wants to hack their own system, I don't have a problem with that. But it's the sanctimonious way hackers think that they are somehow honorable and call themselves "white hat hackers". Then blackmail the company "we found a hack, pay us to fix it", which is extortion. And also criminal. Or how they find holes in things, and go on to document the hole, and sell the fix, and again, describe themselves as the "good guy".

Justin Clements

I'll bite. You should be in jail.

If the definition of a hacker is someone gaining entry into another persons computer (as opposed to other uses of the verb) then yes and you need to be in jail. You have entered a system where you had no privilege to be there. That makes your actions criminal and you a criminal.

It doesn't matter if you guessed a password, the password was not yours to use. You have fraudulently presented yourself to the system. In the same way knowing a PIN number on someones debit card does not give you the right to their money, knowing a password does not give you permission to enter the system.

Finding a weakness does not automatically give you immunity. If you break into my house by cutting a hole in my roof, the onus isn't on me to show that you entered my dwelling illegally, and why is it on me to repair my roof. The roof was perfectly good until you climbed through it. Same goes with the servers I run. They were perfectly happy until some s-o-b gets onto them, and then we spend yet more time and money fixing things.

And the moment you open a single file of mine, that is akin to you creeping around my house looking at my things, so criminal trespassing at the very least.

However, in these examples people like you pretend that they have a right to break into my house or my servers, because you tell everyone "it's not secure", like you're innocent for some reason. It was secure before you ram raided it.

You also complain that you shouldn't be held responsible for owning hacker tools, merely owning the tools shows no intent you say. But we've already done this in law - you wander round with tools for house or car breaking, and the police will prosecute you for owning such tools. But because you went to college, for some reason, you feel you're above this level of scrutiny.

No, you are a common criminal, and sysadmins like me, have to deal with people with less honorable intentions than you all day long. But in my book, you're a criminal, just like those trying to get into my systems because frankly - I can't tell you apart, and you both cost me time, money and aggravation.

If people like you were serving 10 stretches, you'd make things a whole lot easier.

And yes, removing videos about how to hack systems is a good thing. Because these people you're training don't have "good intentions" like you, they have bad intentions. Watch a hacker one day execute an fsck on a production server and tell me with a straight face that you are a good thing for the industry.

You are one of the cockroaches of the internet that working sysadmins have to endure every day of the week, and who cost our employers money by being shaken down to buy yet more and more security products.

The world's first Apple Silicon iMac is actually a Mac Mini

Justin Clements


He put a board inside a case designed to hold a board. Just wow. Seriously? Are we struggling for stories today? He didn't even make the power switch work. It may have taken him 2-3 minutes to work that out.

Look, I put a AMD 64core machine in a G5 case. Power switch doesn't work. And the holes didn't match up, I even took a grinder to open the back up. And the SSD is held in with hope. But the PSU does hold itself (barely) inside with one screw. And to stop mice living in the machine I put a bait box in it.

Can I too have a particpation award?

Retro Microlympics concludes with possible reopening dates for UK computer museums

Justin Clements

Re: for the add!

For JetPack fans, sit your man on the top right ledge, nothing can get you. Then leave it for 48 hours and see what score you achieved lol

Justin Clements

Re: Elite

You actually reached Elite? That was a heck of a grind.

I got to Deadly, had a cloaking device, wiped out everything in sight but the grind to get to Elite was just too much.

House Republicans introduce legislation for outright ban on municipal broadband in the US

Justin Clements

Re: Anyone surprised?

Screw the average American? Look at the price of water from municipal owned companies and it's far higher than private companies.

We live on the edge of two districts. 1 mile over and we'd get water from the local county owned company for twice the amount we pay for water from a private company. Right now, we pay something like $12 a month. Our local water company has been offered millions to sell out, and when they do, first thing that will happen is our water bill doubles, and every one here knows that.

The whole problem in places like Detroit was that our $12pm is closer to $60-70pm and a lot more if you actually have a family. Again, municipal owned. Not to mention Flint whose own municipally owned company poisoned them to save money.

And check out electricity prices, privately owned companies here in Florida are cheaper than the municipal owned utilities. Just like water.

So enough of this idea that a centrally publicly owned utility is somehow always cheaper and more beneficial.

What's that, Lassie? Dogs show signs of self-awareness according to peer-reviewed academic study?

Justin Clements


All dog owners know how bright dogs are. And then some researcher comes along and cries "look what I've discovered about dogs" and we're all sitting there think "f-off, the dog is doing my crossword".

It's cats that are thick. Dense beyond believe.

New Jersey blames Microsoft for weeks of outages, glitches plaguing coronavirus vaccine sign-up website

Justin Clements

Re: Pot Meet Kettle

One of your lot escape Jersey and took a position at the State of Florida that awarded Sunpass (tolls roads). Of course she awarded it to a friend of hers in New Jersey. She left Florida when the AG came calling. And they only found out what happened because the company couldn't scale up their billing system! They literally had disclosed a max 500k transaction limit per day and bid for a 2m transaction contract. Why scale up when you can pay someone off?

Nominet vows to freeze wages and prices, boost donations, and be more open. For many members, it’s too little, too late

Justin Clements

Re: Nominet should never have existed

What are you talking about? You have just spouted so much nonsense I don't even know where to start. So I'm not going to.

Justin Clements

Nominet should never have existed

I was there at the beginning of this, quite vocal at the time that Nominet should never have existed. Everyone knew that at it's creation it was a money grab by a second rate lecturer who happened to have discovered he was sitting on a pot of gold.

The idea that it was a membership organisation was laughable at the time, everyone knew that control of .uk had been passed to a private company operating under the guise of a not for profit membership led organisation. Members were seen from the start as a problem.

Naming Committee members like Demon had even offered to the run the entire registry for free, in part because it would have been a coup, but also because domains were merely a line in a database that didn't need to cost £7.50 or whatever it was at the time. A line in a database. Name serving duties could be carried out by any one of a 100 ISPs at that point. Again, just a line in a database on a machine that already was acting as a name server.

Instead, Nominet was pushed down everyone's throat, a plush new office in the Oxfordshire countryside, doubles for everyone. Guaranteed salaries from a money making machine.

It is long overdue for Nominet not to listen to it's members, but to be swallowed up by the DTI (or whatever it's been renamed to this week), which is where it should have been run from 25 years ago.

Vote machine biz Smartmatic sues Fox News and Trump chums for $2.7bn over bogus claims of rigged 2020 election

Justin Clements

Re: Should be fun: Donald J Trump as witness.

>There will be lawyers all over the world salivating at the chance to get him under oath.

I doubt anyone wants to get Trump under oath because discovery rules go both ways.

Google's cloud services lost $14.6bn over three years – and CEO Sundar Pichai likes that trajectory

Justin Clements

Re: Accounting Data

The losses are ridiculous and they aren't supported by any meaningful financial analysis other than "we can afford the loss". Trying to rationalise the losses through "increased investment" is a wasted exercise. Losses like these with no end in sight is just theft of shareholder money.

Facebook finally finds something it thinks is truly objectionable and needs to be taken offline: Apple

Justin Clements


Think Facebook needs to sit down and stfu frankly. Everyone has had just about enough of them meddling with the newsfeed so we see what they want us to see, warnings on just about everything because we can't be trusted etc. And Apple is probably one of the few companies who could build a FB clone, get the critical mass it needs to work and gut Facebook once and for all.

Five years after US promised crackdown on ticket-snaffling bots, the first prosecutions are in... and are a slap on the wrist

Justin Clements

Re: Getting soft?

Hate to be pedantic, but in many cases yes, if you get a large fine, generally they will do a deal with you, either by reduction to something you can pay or by installments. Even if it's IRS, they will only collect on what you can afford. They take the attitude that something is better than nothing.

Top engineer who stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving division pardoned on Trump's last day as president

Justin Clements

Re: the founding fathers absolutely did anticipate a president . . .

Not entirely sure why the reference to the VP is relevant. The government was split into 3 branches so that everyone was accountable. The VP position is largely irrelevant.

Justin Clements

Re: So..

Yes, the internet is covered by the First Amendment. This went before the Supreme Court in 1997.

Justin Clements


If the second amendment doesn't cover modern firearms, why does the first amendment the internet? The Supreme Court extended the First Amendment to specifically to the internet in a case in 97.

And the founding fathers absolutely did anticipate a president who would put personal gain ahead of the country, that's why they divided the government into the legislative, the executive and the judicial.

Trump tries one more time to limit H-1B work visas with new minimum salary requirements

Justin Clements

Re: culmination of many hours of extensive research and thought

Probably because it doesn't need days or weeks to think about some of this stuff.

You cannot have a program designed to bring in people to fill the skill gap in a company whilst at the same time the company laying off the exact same Americans who have the skills, and re-employing a foreigner for less.

Does it really take long to think through? Only for a bureaucrat.

Having been through the US immigration system, for what it's worth, it is utterly abused. If the day I was at the US Embassy for my paperwork was anything to go by, there were 300-400 people leaving the UK for the US on non immigrant visas on any single day. As opposed to 12-14 of us on immigrant visas.

As Uncle Sam continues to clamp down on Big Tech, Apple pelted with more and more complaints from third-party App Store devs

Justin Clements

Re: "we effectively handed them the Internet, a huge public resource"

Nonsense. We were in the UK for a start, and we connected our private networks to each other through things like LINX and bought in connectivity from the US; by offering both connectivity through dial up and tiny leased lines, and then hosting webservers and colos we created the value for people to connect to the internet.

The commercial internet was not built around the idea of people connecting to the various universities.

And whilst the universities and research from the DoD created the basic internet, those were not the partners who created the network we have today. Nor were they the people who were building the internet 25 years ago.

Just because something started as a government funded project doesn't negate the billions of hours invested by IT companies in the internet to give us the network that is in operation today.

Justin Clements

"we effectively handed them the Internet, a huge public resource"

We didn't hand anyone anything.

The internet you see today was built from private money, it's not a "public resource". It wasn't public money that was paying for my Cisco routers 25 years ago. It wasn't public money paying for my rack space. It wasn't public money paying for my connectivity. And I don't remember public money paying subscriptions to the likes on LINX, RIPE or anyone else.

And I don't remember Cisco building their switching gear with subsidies, or anyone else.

The internet that you know, the internet that you connect into is not a "public resource", it was a private network, and it still is a private network.

China's Chang'e 5 probe lands Moon rocks in Inner Mongolia

Justin Clements

Re: Space Race Propaganda

Interest waned, not because the Soviets stopped their program but because they really couldn't justify sending many more men to the Moon because there wasn't much to do once you get there. 12 men have stepped on the Moon so far. It was an expensive endeavor that was becoming difficult to justify. The same research could be done by just going into Earth's orbit, you didn't need to go to a dull grey park 250,000 miles away to do the same research.

Plans to get to another planet were scrapped because of increasing research into the radiation effects and how no one had any idea to overcome that, short of sending soon to be corpses. Sending men on a one way mission is easy to do, we could do it today, but it serves no purpose right now as there isn't anything exactly pressing to handle on Mars. Sure we will one day, when we can figure out a way to make it sustainable.

China's adversary is the rest of the world and for the most part the US, because simple minded people think this is an achievement.

But yay China for getting to the Moon 60 years after the USSR and US.

Justin Clements

Re: Impetus

Do you know your history?

Keep up with China? The US and USSR went to the Moon 60 years ago. And because we're clearly in new territory here, the US put people on the Moon nearly 50 years ago. There's even a flag. They took video and photos. You should look them up.

The problem with the Moon is that there's nothing there that really requires revisiting, although the US is trying again.

And whilst China is reinventing the wheel, scientist from across the globe are collecting rocks from asteroids, and there is a huge difference in landing on a orbital object that you can see from your bedroom window, to an asteroid 10 times farther away.

When it comes to taxing tech giants, America is out, France is in, Canada and Indonesia are going their own way

Justin Clements


The problem is that if companies like Google roll themselves back into just a US operation, and a UK customer wants to buy ad space the customer is the one doing business in the US, and the UK taxing authority has any say over that US corporation. Of course it could fine the US company, but no court in the US is about to uphold such a fine.

Now if Biden were to allow a foreign company to tax a US entity within the US on it's global profits - where do you think this ends? Will the IRS now chase Airbus for a percentage of it's profits of sales in the US? How about Mercedes being charged a percentage of it's profits? Or VW? Or will this be one sided where only US companies get charged?

Curse of Arecibo strikes again: Now another cable breaks, smashes into America's largest radio telescope

Justin Clements

Re: Indicators

Stock market is great news if you have a 401k.

Nominet refuses to consider complaint about its own behaviour, claims CEO didn’t mean what he said on camera

Justin Clements

Re: At what point do you pull the plug?

Nominet is and always has been afraid of the Department of Trade and Industry.

If you want to screw Nominet, and I highly recommend this course of action, then contact your MP and ask him why a critical piece of the UK online infrastructure is under the control of a private company, and not by HMG. Ask him why the CEO of this company is being paid £600k per annum.

Google rolls out pro-privacy DNS-over-HTTPS support in Chrome 83... with a handy kill switch for corporate IT

Justin Clements

As a system administrator of 25 years

1. Do I have to do anything?


|----> Yes. ----> Ain't happening.


|----> No. ---> Good. As you were.

2. There is no 2. I'm a system administrator, I have finely tuned nerves and if you're a mouth breather there's a good chance you're on them already.

Butterfly defect stripped from MacBook Pros, Airs by Q2 2020, reckons Apple analyst

Justin Clements

Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

Same MBP here, no idea what the fuss is about.

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune

Justin Clements


Superb idea! I'm not trying to defend Apple, but try that with the IRS and you'll be in front of a grand jury in no time for tax evasion.

The flaw to the idea is that the IRS will not accept continued losses from an operation, and will automatically assume that you are engaging in tax evasion and will investigate. The rest of your operations will be red flagged.

Protest against Trump's US travel ban leaves ‪PasswordsCon‬ in limbo

Justin Clements

I'm not so sure

Technically, unless he has a visa or residency in the US, he does not have the right to put on an exhibition in Las Vegas if he is Norwegian.

I would have thought he'd need a CW-1 Temporary Work Permit at the very least.

The fact he's got through border control in Las Vegas does not mean he had any rights to do any work. Chances are that he travelled on ESTA. Travelling to put on an event would not be classified as business either, as he's doing actual work in the US. Business travel allows you to attend an event as a visitor, not to actually do any meaningful work.

DirecTV Now plagued with faults, but uptake not slowing

Justin Clements

Odd problems

Watching DIRECTV now for a few days.

The Apple TV app is not happy in the evenings, streams seem to stall especially 8-9pm where it's unwatchable.

However, in the last two weeks it's definitely improving.

What is odd is that the iPad app seems a lot more reliable and it's sometimes easier just to stream to the tv from the iPad.

Really want this to work as we can get rid of another box in the house, and lose a few more cables, especially the cables nailed to the outside of the house.

Jeremy Corbyn wins Labour leadership election

Justin Clements


>>Quite. Labour needed to be rid of the last traces of the Teflon-clad, self-regarding NewLabour crew to have any chance of being electable. Now that shower have been given an unmistakable message it may become a credible opposition.

You realize that the Teflon clad self regarding new labour crew are the only Labour Party that managed to be elected in 40 years, right?

Jeep Cherokee 2.2: Capable, comfortable ... but just not very Jeep

Justin Clements

Re: Fiat Chrysler "incongruous"?

Err, don't think you'll find that Mercedes was making a quality product when they merged. As a Mercedes owner of a 2000 E class, its reliability is horrific. The Mercedes you think of, making something of quality and reliable, was taken out back of a Mercedes factory in the mid 90s and shot in the forehead.

W is for WTF: Google CEO quits, new biz Alphabet takes over

Justin Clements


When do the Google pair reach a point where they've spent so much money on researching things, and doing stuff that no one wants, that the investments will never recoup any of the large outlay? We've got to be getting close to that point.

'Sunspots drive climate change' theory is result of ancient error

Justin Clements

Re: Here we go again

What is faulty about the data?

I really don't know of another science that goes around changing data on the basis "it's faulty" to prove a computer model!

How convenient "faulty data" has become. What is the point of recording anything, if you are just going to say in 100 years "the data is faulty".

And finally, the data a few years ago wasn't faulty, it was fine, it suddenly became faulty recently. Because it annoyingly didn't prove what they are trying to prove. An inconvientant truth.

Justin Clements

Here we go again

When the historical data doesn't match your results, change the historical data. NOAA did it earlier this year, University of East Anglia do it as a matter of course, and ow the pesky sun spot data, let's change that as well.

Is this really science any more?

Tesla still burning cash: each car loses $4,000

Justin Clements

Tesla has the highest gross profit? Do you just make this stuff up in your bedroom whilst fantasizing over Elon?

It's not like the numbers are private, a quick search shows that Ford have a $6n gross profit for the last quarter, vs Tesla with $260m.

Siri, dim the lights and warm us up: First gizmos for Apple HomeKit love-in emerge

Justin Clements

It's not about controlling things from the couch, it's about the house becoming more automated, and cross function.

We already have a test system running at home using the Lowes system, if an alarm sensor on a door or window shows that it's open and the air con comes on, we get a text telling us that a window or door is open. It used the alarm system sensors to tell us about the heating cooling system. Which isn't techie fun, but actually real world useful.

If a door opens, a light can come on (set hours). If a temperature in a room is too high, it can close a blind, before it turns on the AC system. I will be playing with motorized vents in few months which should give me a cheap way of doing heating and cooling zones, without a very expensive AC system upgrade. The ceiling fan modules have just come available as well.

The lock systems are just superb, if you don't have a key use a keypad (if enabled), open door remotely if you lock yourself out, set pins for other people to come in out and on a schedule, and so forth.

The real key to the apple system is whether it will talk zigbee and zwave, which is what everyone is producing right now. If they go with anything proprietary it will die. They need to remember that you buy these things from lowes and homedepot, not from the apple website.

And companies like lowes are really pushing their solution as the hub was on sale for the first quarter of this year (if you could find it), for $5. The hub is really very good, built in battery so you can move it new devices when needed(initializing a device is often on a different short range channel), gig of space so the video recording will work, and so forth.

Healthcare: Look anywhere you like for answers, just not the US

Justin Clements

Re: If you

Why would you have no insurance though? Why would you be putting your car payment before your health?

Google leaves STUPID vuln on Nest devices

Justin Clements

Oh noes

A hacker (who would have to access to my house in the first place) can control my airconditioner. How will I cope?

Maybe they'll set the temperature to high and we'll feel the house is a little too warm, or maybe too low and it'll feel cold. And if I work out that the Nest is compromised - what shall I do (other than run out to Lowes and pick up a $19 thermostat to replace it)?

End of the world stuff folks.

Tim Cook: Apple's 'closer than it's ever been' to releasing new product range

Justin Clements

Re: The Facts..........

>>What I had to do was connect it to the PC, using some obscure thing known as a USB cable. I believe they are really expensive and difficult to obtain. Then, I had insert the CD into this thing called a CD Drive. Don't think they ever caught on. The really difficult bit was then clicking on one button in the Creative suite that ripped the CD to mp3 and instantly transferred them to the mp3 player.

>>Yep, bloody hard work it was.

>>Of course, I could also rip CDs using any number of applications, and simply drag n drop them onto the player. That concept is obviously far too complicated for a simple minded Apple owner to comprehend.

Trouble is that you never really understood the power of iTunes and the iPod then.

I could just as easily rip a cd in iTunes, plug in my iPod, and that's more or less it.

The power of iTunes was to use smart playlists. You didn't need to copy anything; it did it all for you, if you had spent a little bit of time creating playlists.

Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad

Justin Clements

Ok, I'll admit it

I never thought the original iPad was exactly thick in the first place!!?? In comparison to what came before it, it was a lightweight, and even when it was released it was thin. Even today, 4 years on, and our original iPad used daily still does not feel thick. And who cares about the thickness when a case easily doubles the thickness of the device anyway?

I blame techies for have weak left hands and limp handshakes with cries of "it's so heavy". Pussies.

IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'

Justin Clements


....all this anti-Rice stuff.

I do hope that when the current administration is replaced you also remember their failings so well, especially since they've had 5 long years endorsing what the NSA has been up to....