* Posts by Zippy's Sausage Factory

766 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Mar 2008


UK taxman told: IR35 still isn't working in the public sector, and you want to take it private?

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Maybe in 20 years when the UK IT industry no longer exists the government might wake up and realise this wasn't such a good idea after all.

Internet overseer ICANN loses a THIRD time in Whois GDPR legal war

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Not legally binding...

Not quite. They have an office in Brussels. Belgium's still in the EU, as far as I know...

Amazon, ditch us? But they can't do without us – Oracle

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Maybe it's what is needed to force Larry to review his business model.

My betting is the moment AWS starts offering database services that could compete, Oracle will sue claiming that their services are a clone of Oracle's technology.

Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

Zippy's Sausage Factory

So many downvotes because I missed the "joke alert" icon. Sheesh!

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Sounds like it might make a reasonable netbook if you could install lubuntu or Fedora on it...

SMS 2FA gave us sweet FA security, says Reddit: Hackers stole database backup of user account info, posts, messages

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Thirteen Years of Operation...

If they hadn't hired an InfoSec guy would they even have announced this breech?

If they hadn't hired an InfoSec guy, would they even have known - that's a scarier question.

And why on earth are they keeping ten year old backups anyway? That makes me suspicious.

Facebook deletes 17 accounts, dusts off hands, beams: We've saved the 2018 elections

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: What about the rest?

They should at least log the URL and prevent anyone else linking to it.

I had that happen when someone reported a video as being "offensive". It wasn't, unless you object to vintage pop music shows (this was from France, so it didn't have the excuse of containing gratuitous images of Jimmy Savile). But because of that, the video is blocked for all time.

So surely they should be able to do something about that...

UK cyber security boffins dispense Ubuntu 18.04 wisdom

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Finally took the plunge with 18.04 last night..

Strange. I've been running 18.04 for a few months with no problems.

However I usually do a nice clean reinstall - copy all my files off to the NAS box and then wipe and install from freshly downloaded media. I've found upgrading ubuntu releases in place is... well... not always a good idea.

Capita still squats on top of the UK's software and IT services heap

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: The Institution?

I have to wonder about Capata their reputation as a bunch of corrupt pirates has long been established, at this point, there can be nobody who deals with them who is not aware of this fact so why are they being hired?

In my experience, government thinking goes as follows:

5. They have three years of audited accounts, therefore they are eligible.

4. They are not the most expensive option, therefore they are not overcharging.

3. They are not the cheapest option, therefore they are providing a quality service.

2. If something goes wrong, we can take them to court instead of holding elected officials to account.

1. Everybody else is using Capita, therefore they must be the best.

UK slides from first to fourth in UN e-gov survey

Zippy's Sausage Factory

That the UK was ever atop the poll surprises me. What has surprised me since moving to Portugal though is the amount of paperwork here compared to the UK. Although the tax people here are light years ahead of HMRC...

Spectre/Meltdown fixes in HPC: Want the bad news or the bad news? It's slower, say boffins

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Simple - the same ideas underpin their implementation of the same thing. Speculative execution and so forth are fairly industry standard techniques, and even if they aren't necessarily implemented in exactly the same way, it's possible that people have made similar mistakes in their implementation - especially if there's an open "reference implementation" that includes the bug.

US Homeland Security warns of latest hacker craze – ERP pwnage

Zippy's Sausage Factory


"minimise the attack service" - should that last word be "surface", or has my morning coffee not kicked in yet?

Sen. Ron Wyden: Adobe Flash is doomed, why is Uncle Sam still using it?

Zippy's Sausage Factory

It will get better, finally. When Microsoft finally wakes up and drops Flash from Windows 10. Until then, you can't* even uninstall it!

* Well, you can, if you're willing to drop into an administrator console, delete files from two places, wave a chicken in the air, say a backwards prayer to Bill Gates and then put up with Windows Update bitching about how it can't update Flash forever.

Spectre rises from the dead to bite Intel in the return stack buffer

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Aside the fuss about production cycles, my other question is why are people accepting delivery of broken parts in the first place? Maybe there should be legislation about putting warning stickers on things: "warning, this device has X known vulnerabilities". I suspect Intel would start taking it a bit more seriously then...

Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions

Zippy's Sausage Factory
Thumb Up

Well, so long SImon and hello Rebecca. And good luck to both of you!

Azure running out of internets in UK South, starts rationing VMs

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Actually I got that wrong. Should be "Fire, Aim... Load?"

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Typical MS behaviour - Load, Fire... Aim?

Samsung touts bonkers-fast 8 Gbit DRAM for phones, AIs

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Proof reading needed?

The company notes that the data rate means the LPDDR5 “can 51.2 gigabytes (GB) of data,

The data rate can what, exactly? I know "any noun can be verbed", but to "51.2 gigabytes" something seems to be stretching that phrase a little too far...

Oldest swinger in town, Slackware, notches up a quarter of a century

Zippy's Sausage Factory

I started with Slackware back in 1994, and like other contributors, I remember downloading Linux from the University of Kent's lovely mirror service (I haven't used it in a while as there are now nearer mirrors to me, but it's still a buzz to go hunting through its archives with my ftp client, just to see what's there).

I'm not sure it'll tempt me away from Ubuntu 18.04 - maybe I'm getting lazy in my old age - but it's good to know it's still going strong.

A (virtual) beer for the Slackware maintainers...

Call records breach let users feel like Movistars (with everyone watching who they're talking to)

Zippy's Sausage Factory

I can remember showing a vendor a fail like this on a system, years ago.

"But nobody's ever going to do that," they said. "Don't worry about it."

You'll be unsurprised to know we didn't buy their crap product.

Azure certifications are awful, Microsoft admits, so it has made new ones

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Not just Azure

Personally, I dislike Powershell intensely. It feels like they wanted to try and make their own version of bash but without making it look too much like bash and now they're too far down the rabbit hole to back out.

If I were in charge of MS I'd just cancel Powershell immediately - no further products to ship, and all existing products remove all support in their next release. I appreciate that this sentiment will get me downvoted by all the Powershell junkies but hey, just my opinion...

Skype Classic headed for the chopping block on September 1

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: When will they wake up

I totally agree. Skype 7 is a much better user experience than the hideous new version. I'll keep using S7 until it stops working and then probably move entirely to Viber.

Notes/Domino is alive! Second beta of version 10 is imminent

Zippy's Sausage Factory

I wish they'd just open source SmartSuite. I still have my DVD of the last version (Millennium 9.6 or something like that) and I still have it installed on a VM just for sentimental reasons (although I don't use it much any more).

But I used to love Organizer. If I could have that connecting to Google calendar, or Hotmail... *sigh*

Ransomware is so 2017, it's all cryptomining now among the script kiddies

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Cryptomining sounds a sensible place for malware slingers to go. I'd think it's less risky because corporates are more likely to treat it the same as any other low-level virus infection, whereas I'd think with ransomware they're much more likely to get the plod involved.

Depressing as that sounds, I know...

Happy 10th birthday, Evernote: You have survived Google and Microsoft. For your next challenge...

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Microsoft now splashes out on companies that implement Outlook functionality from scratch.

And closes them down, usually, doesn't it? They probably incorporate the one thing they wanted into Outlook, of course, but it also thins down the potential competitors.

Ironically, I think one of the reasons Outlook succeeded early on was competing against the bloat of Notes. Now Outlook/Exchange seems to be just as bloated these days as Notes ever was when I used it.

UK privacy watchdog to fine Facebook 18 mins of profit (£500,000) for Cambridge Analytica

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Max Fine

£500,000 is the maximum fine, and yet it is parking ticket for the uber-rich. Why is there a maximum fine?

Because that's an old law. The GDPR replaces it with much larger fines - it would have been in billions under GDPR - but because of when the offences were committed, they can only fine what was the maximum at the time.

Hardware rumours, goat-spanking search engines and plenty of Azure. It's last week in Redmond

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Fluent Design?

Missing the "ef" from the front of that word, surely?

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Compaq 'security'?

"You had to know the original virtual cylinder/head/sector values "

Which were usually written on the top of the drive.

For old enough drives, they weren't. I used to carry around a book with thousands of CHS values for various drives in it.

Plus, for added laughs, people would often put the wrong number of heads or sectors in. So the drive would sort-of work, but not all of it would be accessible. And they would then get cross when you tried to upgrade their PC. "How can I have lost all my files?????"

Have I been paid, Sage? Cloudy wage service locks out users

Zippy's Sausage Factory

I wonder if Sage are looking at this, checking out user names and trying to match them with customers? I've had that happen (not with Sage) in the past, but I suspect that's why there's so many anonymous posts on here...

(Before anyone asks, I use Gnucash thanks, which is great.)

Windows 10's defences are pretty robust these days, so of course folk are trying to break them

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Office Applications? OLE?

"who the fuck decided to introduce the concept of workflow via the medium of Excel spreadsheets"

Microsoft BizTalk, I guess?

"They're going to be using our workflow engine, so how can we further lock them into our 'ecosystem'?"

"Make a dodgy Excel connector and then sort of get halfway ish with workflow in Excel?"

"Well done, there. Well done."

(No joke icon because I'm half serious here)

We might be skimming the Surface, but it looks like Microsoft's readying a wallet-friendly device

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Ooh, I've always wanted a device of that form factor I can wipe and put Linux on.

I'll wait for one to appear on either CeX or eBay though, I don't want one that much...

IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row

Zippy's Sausage Factory

No, they gave her a helicopter instead.

She wished for a helicopter, she got a helicopter.

She'll be wishing for a robot hand next...

Relive your misspent, 8-bit youth on the BBC's reopened Micro archive

Zippy's Sausage Factory
Thumb Up

I was always a Commodore 64 person but I was totally in the ethos. I can still remember the bits of the memory map I used most - D000 was where the character rom lived, A000-BFFF was the basic, then there was C000, KERNAL started at E000, D012 was the current raster line, D020 was the border colour, D021 was the screen colour, always set $01 to $35 to clear out the ROMS from memory and turn the tape off...

Ah, heady days...

GitLab's move off Azure to Google cloud totally unrelated to Microsoft's GitHub acquisition. Yep

Zippy's Sausage Factory

I only realised this while out walking the dogs several hours later. Maybe the morning coffee took effect at last...

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll go take some ProPlus, drink a Red Bull and then see if I can finally wake up...

Chrome sends old Macs on permanent Safari: Browser bricks itself

Zippy's Sausage Factory


...are they going to use the time they save not supporting Maverick to make sure Chrome works properly on High Sierra then?

It regularly seizes, says "connection interrupted" or otherwise falls over for me.

(Before you ask Vivaldi, Firefox, Pale Moon, Safari are all working fine. And yes, I know Vivaldi is based on Chrome...)

Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: At least it was better than...

To be fair, being stabbed in the face with a fork was better than Windows ME.

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Memories

At least some of the Greybeards here, must remember the battles that arose from IRQ confilicts...

/me hides under desk, quivering. Occasional light sobbing.

Uber's London licence appeal off to flying start: No, you cannot do driver eye tests via video link

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Uber really isn't a great business. In New York, the scarcity of taxis is basically to try and reduce congestion in the city. With Uber, that policy gets shafted and everybody loses (because, by implication, the cost of ordering a cab/Uber is now more than before, as the time spent waiting in congestion is greater than before).

I have no patience with them. Never used them, never will. Anyone who thinks they're "the future of public transport" is deluding themselves - they're the new Addison-Lee / Foxtons of public transport, if they survive that long (and given their cash burn rate, who knows)

It's getting more and more Azure'd: For Microsoft, sorry seems to be the hardest word

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Free Github?

TFS is looking more and more like they're going to take it out back of the shed and give it the Old Yeller treatment...

Qualcomm still serious about Windows 10 on Arm: Engineers work on '12W' Snapdragon 1000

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: If ARM is so good

The reason Apple aren't going to release ARM based MacBooks is they don't want to interrupt their competitors while they're making a mistake...

ARM on Windows failed a few years ago for the same reasons it'll fail now. Try running any moderately recent program on 1GB of RAM and an 800MHz chip and you'll be in hell. Yet this is the standard ARM configuration that gives you the low power consumption and long battery life. Microsoft are trying to fit a ten-pound bag of manure into a five-pound bag. Again. And it's not going to work.

And I agree alternatives to Intel are needed. But the easy way is to simply licence from AMD and build it yourself, surely?

Schneier warns of 'perfect storm': Tech is becoming autonomous, and security is garbage

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: One day, ...

We'll never have those regulations. We'll probably get populist politicians who want to ban computers long before that.

Test Systems Better, IBM tells UK IT meltdown bank TSB

Zippy's Sausage Factory

So IBM didn't do the original job, and got hired when things got bad?

Well, there's a reason that firms like IBM exist, and part of it is that if you hire them before things go wrong, they can advise you on how to do them correctly.

To then hire them and ask "what did we do wrong" and then quibble with the answer is a bit like running over your own dog, taking it to the vets and then quibbling with the diagnosis, saying the dog needs to be treated for fleas...

OpenBSD disables Intel’s hyper-threading over CPU data leak fears

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: A Kludge

Frankly, I wish Microsoft would take these issues as seriously and disable cruft like this in the consumer OS's by default.

Yes, this would be great. However it would annoy their long-term buddy, Intel.

That said, if they really are planning their own line of chips, maybe they'll do it to cripple Intel kit and bolster sales of their own silicon. (Cynical, moi? Yep.)

How to stealthily poison neural network chips in the supply chain

Zippy's Sausage Factory

There's a good sci-fi story in here. Specifically one where computers are completely banned because they can't be trusted.

Now Microsoft ports Windows 10, Linux to homegrown CPU design

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Anyone downvoting this care to tell us what the weather's like in Redmond today?

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Still at the FPGA stage after all these years?!?!?!?!???

You can absolutely guarantee Intel said no. This represents Microsoft turning into an Apple-ish end-to-end factory, where they make the hardware and the software.

I half expect Windows to become confined to Microsoft hardware only, like Apple. No more tinkering. No more buying whichever graphics card you feel like and slapping it in a tower and having it work. No more writing your own Windows apps without an MSDN account.

Great for Microsoft, but if that happens the days of open computing are over. To quote the Great Sage* himself, "they're selling hippy wigs in Woolworths, man. The greatest decade in the history of mankind is over. And as Presuming Ed here has pointed out, we have failed to paint it black."

* Bruce Robinson, natch.

Intel chip flaw: Math unit may spill crypto secrets from apps to malware

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Maybe I should take another punt at moving to OpenBSD then...

Microsoft loves Linux so much its R Open install script rm'd /bin/sh

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Typical installer written in a large company

Nah, you don't have to be a pro developer.

Actually, that's right. I've known people who were InstallShield gurus* who couldn't write a line of code, yet know where all the registry keys live for things, the "right way" to install stuff... it's knowing how the system works that's the main thing, not necessarily how it's written.

I'm actually encountering this on an open source thingy I'm writing. I can write the code, no idea how to get it installable (yet). *sigh*

* I was going to say "wizards", but that would conjure up a totally different image...

Microsoft tries cutting the Ribbon in Office UI upgrade

Zippy's Sausage Factory

Re: Libre ...

Yep. Office 365 installed because I have to, Libre Office installed so I can get some work done...