* Posts by Mike Dolan

38 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Feb 2008

UK mobile customers face inflation-busting price hike

Mike Dolan

Re: Abuse

Or Plusnet.

For £10 I get per month: 4GB data, 1500 minutes, unlimited texts, roaming, and crucially, tethering. 30 day contract so I can shift quickly if needed.

I suspect this thread is now going to turn into a "hey, I can beat that!". So long as everyone is happy with their deal and it represents value for money (to them), then all is good....

Never quite understood people who pay megabucks per month if they don't have a handset commitment to pay off.

'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Mike Dolan

And the idiot award goes to...

When I was a lad I used to tinker with very basic electrical/electronic equipment including video recorders (when they used to cost more money in real terms). Friends mum had one that was being skipped as it had broken down, so I got my grubby paws on it.

Pulled out my trusty Voltmeter and tested power on the AC input side of the transformer. Then tested power on the output side. All ok.

And then my brain farted and I connected the Voltmeter *ACROSS* the transformer (1 pin on input, 1 pin on output). Despite previously seeing voltage on the output pins, my brain said something akin to "but is the power flowing correctly through the transformer". WTF?

Amazingly bright flash and a loud bang that left me temporarily deaf for around 5 mins. My glasses caught the main impact of the glass fuse - would have been much worse if I hadn't been wearing those.

That was the last time I ever worked on electronics. Gave me a very healthy respect for electricity.

PPI-pusher makes 75 MEEELLION nuisance calls, lands £350k fine

Mike Dolan


The ICO make a big song and dance about handing out fines.

Now get back to me when they actually collect any money....

SAP customers won't touch the fluffy stuff... so here's another on-prem HR data tool

Mike Dolan

Marketing Shyte

"solutions to accelerate their digital HR journeys"

Can we add some more bleach to the gene pool please?

Openreach fibre plan for 10m premises coming 'before Christmas'

Mike Dolan


"I really think it's about time someone stepped in and nationalised Openreach and the BT infrastructure to put things back on a level footing rather than faffing around trying to get a BT-owned middleman to work to anything other than BT's advantage."

Ah, the good old days. Where all equipment was restricted and had to have green labels before being allowed to be connected to the GPO owned infrastructure. Some of us remember the reality of having a GPO setup.

Ummm - no thanks.

Openreach are crap. But going backwards is really not the answer.

Web crash and pricing errors hit Argos

Mike Dolan

Re: Source...?

And by the way, very happy to quote my own source (which I believe is credible).

Citizens Advice:


"Shopping online

Your legal rights depend on something fairly tricky in the law: whether or not you have a ‘contract’.

Depending on the company’s terms and conditions, you’ll have legal rights (and a contract) either:

once you’ve paid for the item

once they’ve sent it to you

You’ll need to find the company’s terms and conditions to find out where you stand.


Argos T&Cs clearly state it is when they send it to you. Which seems to be completely legal and fits into the advice quoted above.

Morally - that's a different discussion ;-)

Mike Dolan


Got any links to a credible source backing that up? All the searches I find indicate that for online buying it can be cancelled and refunded at any point - only when you have it in your grubby mits is it "yours".

I've heard a number of people say varying statements - but so far no credible sources.

Enquiring minds would like to know :-)

Another day, another British Airways systems screwup causes chaos

Mike Dolan

Re: I feel sorry

^ This. A thousand times this. And a thousand times more.

Hell, I would generally even settle for just basic communication. But waaaaay too many companies just ignore customers.

Flight delayed? Let's hide the staff - sod talking to the people who actually have already paid for the service and letting them know what's going on.

Huge ransomware outbreak spreads in Ukraine and beyond

Mike Dolan


It's *not* just the EternalBlue exploit. This ab(uses) psexec and other components. I've seen fully patched machines with SMBv1 disabled get infected.

But by all means, continue in your little bubble as you obviously know all about this.

Sports Direct hacked last year, and still hasn't told its staff of data breach

Mike Dolan

"They could run companies with less margins, but treat their staff as assets rather than criminals"

And if they chose to run with a smidgen less margin further, they could treat staff as humans.

Microsoft shifts Windows 7 and 8.1 fixes to 'rollup' bundles

Mike Dolan

To solve the 8 hr initial scan issue, apply the following first and reboot:

1) Windows Update Client

2) KB3138612 - An update to the windows update client

and critically

3) KB3145739 - although it updates the graphics component, hidden in that little gem is a kernel update which allows the OS to take advantage of the windows update client updates

Reduced 8+ hrs to ~30-45 mins for a scan.

Still stupidly long, but saves me a day so it's a good starting point.

Is it humanly possible to watch Gigli and Battlefield Earth back-to-back?

Mike Dolan

Hawk The Slayer

So bad. So terribly bad. It's fantastic.

Coming clean: Ten cordless vacuum cleaners

Mike Dolan

Re: All expensive for what they are

Umm - they do? The charger plugs into the battery directly. So nothing stopping you buying a spare if you *really* want to. Have got a 3 bedroom house and never needed a spare yet though :-)

Mike Dolan

Re: Replaceable batteries?

The Dyson does this. Push button, battery pops out. Same as a cordless drill.

Mike Dolan

If you're going to review something, at least spend 5 seconds checking the manual. "Clumps" in the dyson are easy to remove. Press the red handle and the whole outer shell disconnects along with any clumps of compacted muck.

Oracle sued over $33,000 bill for SaaS: STRIPPERS as a SERVICE

Mike Dolan

"A corporate card linked to a personal bank account? what country are we dealing with, that sounds barbaric and idiotic.. Whatever country does that is surly a third world?"

Try not to make blanket statements. I'm in the UK and I have an Amex Corporate Card linked to my own bank account as that is what my employer insisted on. Suffice to say I avoid using it where practically possible.

"Here in the UK corporate cards are linked to the business accounts"

No. Some corporate cards are linked to business accounts, but they can be linked to personal accounts. See statement above.

IBM snaps up banking security biz Trusteer, won't say what it paid

Mike Dolan

I've found Trusteer Rapport to be terrible. I've lost track of the number of PCs where it causes unexplained boot errors, BSODs, random crashes. Hopefully IBM will bury this piece of trash, never to be seen again.

Critical IE update dominates Valentine’s Patch Tuesday

Mike Dolan

Dont forget Java...!

Java - more patches released yesterday as well. Joy.


Mike Dolan

Gary Timmons

Wasn't the animator Gary Timmons? If so then fairly sure he doesn't drink! Admittedly he does have long hair though (still). My claim to fame is that during one of the final demos in a Dundee computer store, I beat him on a 2 player level. So he promptly changed the level so I couldn't repeat the method I used to win ;-)

Gas bill climbed £13,000 after correct online reading given

Mike Dolan

Umm - my meter (replaced with a brand new one last year) actually has 5 digits before the decimal point. So this makes no sense? Yes, loop at 100,000 - but not at 10,000. Methinks there could be more to this than the explanation given?

Office and Windows fixes star in quiet Patch Tuesday

Mike Dolan

MS in the future

They seem to have released full details in the summary this time. i.e. KB numbers, full details etc. And it's been published in the future - "Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2011"


IE, Excel fixes star in bumper Patch Tuesday

Mike Dolan

Dont forget Flash

Adobe failed to notify anyone about Flash. Which they just fixed last week. And they've fixed it again. But it's really fixed. Honest. Promise.

British Airways sorry for 'landing on water' nonsense

Mike Dolan

Ah - good old announcements

I remember being on an Easyjet flight years ago where the cabin crew had a great sense of humour. Some of the gems:

"While we are taxiing to the stand, please remain seated. Our pilots are great on the air, but their parking is questionable so may break hard and we dont want to have to clean up your blood".

"Our cabin crew are here for your safety. While some of you may have seen these announcements, just remember that your newspaper is unlikely to help you if we fall out of the sky"

"Anyone caught smoking will be asked to sit outside"

Ralph Lauren says sorry for incredible shrinking pelvis

Mike Dolan

Sorry? Where's the apology?

Did I miss something? Nothing there that looks like an apology - just "we have addressed the problem". That's not an apology in my book...

Masked passwords must go

Mike Dolan


Sometimes common sense seem to desert researchers.

Would they also be happy if chip and PIN terminals put your numbers on display for all to see? Why not? After all, shielding your PIN is obviously a hassle and nobody would should-surf?

Have they ever heard of "public kiosks"? Schools? I assume they are also in favour of people writing down their passwords and sticking them to the monitor.

Beggars belief.

BT bumps up broadband speeds

Mike Dolan


"Unlike other providers, BT is upgrading customers to 20Mb/s for free,"

Translation: Just like Virgin Media have done for customers for the last 4+ years, we're going to follow suit and upgrade customer speeds for free.

Apple brands UK tabloid 'obscene'

Mike Dolan

Knuckle draggers

There are 2 classes of people. Those who read^H^H^H^H buy the Sun and those who have evolved sufficiently to stand-upright to prevent their knuckles from dragging along the ground.

Microsoft releases Vista SP2 to manufacturing

Mike Dolan

@Jason Togneri

"Who on earth would use Vista without SP1? So your complaint is kind of redundant then ;-)"

Out here in the real world I'm regularly phoned to deal with friends/family/consumer PCs. Shed loads I have visited don't have SP1 due to MS breaking the servicing stack or MS blocking the update due to driver incompatibilities. Do a little searching and you will find many complaints of this type.

So how do they get SP2 if they cannot even get SP1?

For some people, they do not have the technical "know-how" and that is not their fault. But it places a much greater burden on techies who in previous OSes could just slap on the latest SP.

Mike Dolan

SP2 requires SP1?

"A prerequisite for the installation of SP2 is that SP1 is installed."

Good to see Microsoft moving backwards with technology.

No slipstreaming, non-cumulative service packs....

I'm sorry, I thought this was 2009, not 1989.

Vista SP2 release candidate gets public airing

Mike Dolan


Have they made SP2 slipstreamable? Ah - that would be a no. But hey, that was allowable in W2K and XP

And it only installs on SP1 machines - so it's not a true rollup.

Hello Microsoft. The 1990s are calling....

Hospital boss slams patient records system

Mike Dolan



Boss agrees to implement half-ass system without doing proper research. System fails spectacularly. Boss says "sorry" and thinks thats the end of it.

Just another banker.

Whatever happened to "the buck stops with me?". If I made that kind of mistake I would be fired without a thought. No doubt he'll continue to get a nice massive pay-packet.

Virgin Media trials longer bandwidth throttling

Mike Dolan

"limit the number of people who have their speeds moderated"

Yes. Lets "limit" the number of people by *increasing* the monitoring time therefore *increasing* the numbers snared in this.

Get these PR idiots a dictionary.

BBC: Top Gear Tesla didn't run out of juice

Mike Dolan

Umm - with petrol, you bring the fuel to the car


1) It's an entertainment show. Deal with it.

2) For all the supposedly intelligent people who work in IT I'm surprised nobody has actually pointed out that they were showing the major difference between bringing fuel to the car as opposed to pushing the car to a fuel source.

i.e. If it's a petrol car, you can just grab a petrol can from the nearest garage and refill it. Off again in minutes.

With a leccy techy car you (currently) don't have much choice unless you can find a *really* long lead and wait a number of hours. So generally you end up pushing it to the fuel source and waiting a loooooong time.


Angry? Try the Tw*t-O-Tron

Mike Dolan

ElReg already has one...

ElReg already has one of those. I believe it is named "AManFromMars".

Ex-MS staffer to demo Vista smart card hack

Mike Dolan

Surely this is a vendor issue?

Ok, I'm no MS apologist but:

"SCardFuzz creates a heap-based buffer overflow in the unnamed vendor’s plug-in for Microsoft Vista"

So, nothing really to do with Vista, just a crap vendor writing crap drivers?



Confidential Home Office data turns up in laptop on eBay

Mike Dolan
Thumb Down

So *what* did he do first?

"We put the disk in the drive to see what it was, but it was encrypted."

"As soon as I saw it belonged to the Home Office I placed it in the company safe and called the police."

If he put in the company safe "as soon as I saw it belonged to the Home Office", how did he manage to put it in the disk drive...?

Or more likely "wow, I can be famous... aww crap. Suppose I better be seen to do the right thing"