* Posts by Sparkypatrick

87 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Mar 2008


Bank boss hated IT, loved the beach, was clueless about ports and politeness


The lingo

OE = Overseas Experience

EA = Executive Assistant

NZ = New Zealand

Having bank problems? I feel bad for you son: I've got 25 million problems, but a bulk upload ain't one


Re: 10 minutes, not a second more...

I used to carry a pair of pliers with a notch melted into the cutting section as a reminder to always double (or triple) check I had isolated the correct circuit. I eventually replaced it with one that was more effective at cutting - and with better insulation - but only after the lesson was well hammered home.

White House: Is it OK to hijack, shoot down, or snoop on drones? Er ... asking for a friend


@ x7

No, you're thinking of DHL. DHS is a furniture company. Of course they don't like drones. It's not like they're going to be any use for delivering sofas.

Trump to NASA: Fly me (or some other guys) to the Moon


Re: Caveat

It may not happen often, but Bob is correct on this one point. CO2 solubility in water decreases as temperature increases.


Funnily enough, no, IT admins who trash biz machines can't claim they had permission


Re: This man is obviously a psychotic

"knowingly causes the transmission of a...command"

It's no stretch at all. Typing a command into a console session is exactly transmission of the command.

The legislation is not specific to malware. It explicitly includes the type of activity he engaged in. The basis of his attempted appeal was that the consent given by his employers to access their systems in the normal course of his duties extended to his acts of sabotage.

Common sense tells us that this is nonsense and his own admissions suggest that he understood that he did not have permission to do what he did.

User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot



Try turning on your DVD player by pressing the power button on your TV.

NEWSFLASH Now even science* says moneybags footballers are overpaid


Crocked in Tunbridge Wells

There will be difficulties in getting accurate player earnings, as many clubs are privately held; but Spuds are publicly listed AFAIK, so no real excuse for not knowing that Kane is currently on £100,000 a week. A bargain, apparently.

User filed fake trouble tickets to take helpful sysadmin to lunches


How's that?

After sorting out an issue (I forget what) for an Underwriter, I got treated to the opening day of the third Test v the Windies at the Oval. Lunch and beers (many) for the day provided by a bunch of brokers, who seemed a bit bemused when I told them I worked in IT.

It's a day I remember fondly, though I subsequently lost my souvenir England cricket hat in Rome airport. But that's another story.

Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes


Re: Mobile Phones

There's no safety reason for not using a mobile phone on the forecourt, but it can cause interference with other systems.

Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone


Re: Copyright

I'm pretty sure you can't be haunted by the living - but you can certainly be sued.

Giffgaff 'roam like at home' package means £1/min calls in Jersey


Weasel words.

They don't have to charge for those destinations, they choose to. All of them - apart from Monaco - are on Three's list of Feel At Home destinations. A service they offered long before the EU forced the other operators to follow suit.

A word of warning though to anyone travelling on a ferry or near a coast: neither Roam Like Home nor Feel At Home include the Maritime Network, which is quite expensive to use. Your phone may connect to it without warning. As I discovered the hard way.

UK General Election 2017: How EU law will hit British politicians' Facebook fight


Re: A question

Leaving the EU does not mean leaving the EHCR. They are separate institutions. We signed up for the latter a long time before joining the Common Market. We actually helped draw it up.

What's got a vast attack surface and runs on Linux? Windows Defender, of course

Black Helicopters

Re: But isn't the environment itself just as important?

"Say detonate a flashbang once in a while nearby..."

I can see the House of Commons from the end of the road (<50m). Under no circumstances would I be letting off a flashbang, if I had one.

PC repair chap lets tech support scammer log on to his PC. His Linux PC



"By the way, you win against the scammers if they call you a mother [bleep] before they hang up."

I am a winner!

I strung out the last call from the "Windows" team for a good 20 minutes before getting bored. Haven't heard from them since.

What augmented reality was created for: An ugly drink with a balloon


Why won't you serve me?

I've got the right change and everything.

Cowardly Microsoft buries critical Hyper-V, WordPad, Office, Outlook, etc security patches in normal fixes


Re: Proper procedure?

One thing to note about installing patches individually rather than as part of the Windows Update bundle, is that Microsoft don't test them that way. Obviously, they also don't test them against every possible permutation of hardware and software, which is why you need to test the patches yourself.

New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners


Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

That 300 football fields per hour figure isn't globally, it's just for Indonesia.


Re: best solution!

The 25,000 Jains had grounds for complaint, but were hardly the voice that "[forced] a change of Bank of England industrial processes." Try considering the over 800,000 Hindus that consider cows sacred or the 2.7million Muslims that would require it to be Halal. Or if you don't care about people's religious sensibilities, how about the estimated 12% of the British population that are vegetarian or vegan?

Squirrel sinks teeth into SAN cabling, drives Netadmin nuts


Re: Rats!

Pest control people may suggest wire wool as a means of dissuading rats, but you should bear in mind that it is a fire hazard. wire wool will burn quite readily, and quite hot. Ducts should be sealed with fire retardant, expanding foam.

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


Inappropriate charge

It seems to be the norm in the US to go for maximum sentences or the most serious charge available to pressurise defendants to take a plea. This looks like a case of applying anti-hacking legislation to a case of criminal damage, presumably on the basis that it carries a higher tariff. It deserves to get knocked down for over-reach.

"If he is found to have acted without authorization, the question then becomes: does that make other sysadmins criminally liable for mistakes they might make unless they get explicit permission beforehand? That would create a hell of a problem."

Really? I thought getting permission in advance was called Change Control. I'd certainly be required to follow that process for any of the changes he made.

Zuckerberg thinks he's cyber-Jesus – and publishes a 6,000-word world-saving manifesto


"[W]e built social infrastructure...to empower us to achieve things we couldn't on our own."

Zuck's actually not wrong about this. Sure, we group together for mutual defence; but that's an example of a thing we cannot achieve on our own. It's also not the only reason we come together and secondary in the long run to achieving economic benefit.

The rest is deluded, self-aggrandising bullshit.

How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order


Re: stormtroopers being fodder

I saw a couple of Stormtroopers close up at a Rogue One screening last week and that 'space age armour' looks a lot like plastic.

Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP


Re: Only Britain? Short answer: No.

That's to purchase a download only version. I'm not sure how you imagine you would be able to achieve that without internet access.

Windows 10 will function perfectly well without an internet connection - albeit with very limited utility, in this day and age. And by 'perfectly well', I mean with a dog's dinner of a Start menu.

The big day is here and it's time to decide: Patch Flash, Windows, Office or Android first?


Re: Yay another 37-hour wait

This might help. https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3200747

Lenovo downward dogs with Yoga BIOS update supporting Linux installs


Re: "Lenovo downward dogs with Yoga BIOS update supporting Linux installs"

That's Cobra pose. Nearly the opposite of Downward Dog.

Lessons from the Mini: Before revamping or rebooting anything, please read this


Re: I was assuming this would be a look at the mini...

It's bad, but it's not Maxi bad!

Google has unleashed Factivism to smite the untruthy


Re: Wut

Peace be upon it.

Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works


AI is a new kind of automation.

In the past, people designed machines that reduced the amount of human labour required in a given process. Increased production created economic growth, bringing mode jobs. A high proportion of those losing jobs in one industry/workplace found new ones in another.

AI potentially doesn't just remove human labour from one process. Eventually, it is likely to remove the need for human labour at all. In the immediate term, we are already on the verge of being able to replace a large proportion of the workforce with machines that can do any job those humans are equipped to do, including any new ones that come with economic growth.

Some of those people will be able to retrain to do something that machines can't yet do, but the numbers will grow year on year that can't. If we don't find some way for those people to share in the new economy, then civil unrest is inevitable. The Terminators of the future may not serve a machine intelligence, but rather a ruling human elite.

Microsoft warns Windows security fix may break network shares


I suspect there's nothing broken to fix.

Rather that this is intentional. There's a long-standing security flaw that allows Windows to pass authentication details to SMB shares, even over the internet. That should not happen and if the fix for this issue is to make the network your NAS is on a trusted one, then it looks like they are fixing the older flaw.

About time.

Sysadmin gets 5 years for slurping contractor payments to employer


"the only person with password reset privileges on Genesis' systems."

In a company with 1200 employees? I'm surprised he found the time for anything else.

HP Inc's rinky-dink ink stink: Unofficial cartridges, official refills spurned by printer DRM


Re: Are the complainers...

Kyocera laser printer cartridges are just a toner reservoir. The printers cost more to buy initially, but the pp printing costs thereafter are very low, even using genuine Kyocera toner.

Watch the world's biggest 'flying bum' go arse over tit in a crash


'... the crew will individually release ballast'

Is that a euphemism?

King Tut's iron dagger of extraterrestrial origin


But what of the burning question?

Can it kill a White Walker?

China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America


"Traveling in a metal tube, cramped, uncomfortable seats"

That sounds a lot like my journey to work this morning. On a train.

Whatever they do, they mustn't get Southeastern to run the trains.

Microsoft celebrates 25 years' SOLITARY SELF-PLEASURE with GROUP SESSION


Metro app versions are no use.

I want to be able to play Spider Solitaire or Minesweeper while keeping an eye on my desktop. Bring back the desktop apps!

TTIP: Protect our privacy in EU-US trade deal or ELSE, snarl MEPs


Data protection is ther least of your worries.

TTIP is basically handing the keys of democracy over to multinational corporations. All done in secret, with no mandate from any electorate in the EU.

OpenSSL 'high' severity flaw just a puny DoS risk


"what happened is the IT equivalent of preparing for a Black Sabbath gig, complete with Ozzy Osbourne biting off a bat’s head, only to be treated be an a cappella set featuring Lionel Ritchie instead."

So a complete nightmare, then.

Boffins now one step closer to male birth control pill


Re: Vasalgel FTW

Hmm, 'injected into the vas deferens' - there's your problem, right there. Or to put it another way, 'Hell, no!'

Pebble: The brilliant stealth wearable Apple's Watch doesn't see coming


Re: +1 for a Pebble here!

"It's very waterproof" - I wear my watch at depths of 20 - 30m, so my definition of 'very' may be different to yours. How deep can a Pebble go?

Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty


Re: So basiclly, @Dalek Dave

M&S don't do Free Range pork sausages, only the highly misleadingly named outdoor reared/outdoor bred.


Re: So basiclly,

There are some very tasty veggie sausages out there; but the Linda McCartney ones are, indeed, an abomination. Much like those weirdly pink things made by the likes of Walls.

Thought mobe banking apps were safe from nasties? THINK AGAIN


More security company FUD

All sounds plausible until you see the word 'may'. This terrible thing could happen...if your bank does something really stupid. And you compound it by doing something equally stupid.

There's no suggestion that the researchers found any evidence that any bank has ever put out a mobile app that doesn't check SSL certificate validity. That would be a real story.

Antarctic ice shelf melt 'lowest ever recorded, global warming is not eroding it'


Re: Nice article

Squid are supposed to be damp. As opposed to say, fireworks.

We MUST be told: How many Bitcoins do I need to kill a melon-head?


"Real money has value irrespective of confidence"

Your 'real money' was backed by gold reserves. Gold has limited intrinsic value beyond being shiny. When the shit hits the fan, you'll be better off having put your money in chickens than lumps of bling.

In the meantime, gold is a trade-able commodity and consequently its value fluctuates, sometimes quite wildly. This is one of the primary reasons why countries stopped using it to back their currencies. Confidence in the economy is often the biggest driver of fluctuations in the price of gold, as nervous investors perceive it as a safe haven for their money when other markets fall.

In short, no money is 'real' and it all depends on confidence.

Fiendish CryptoLocker ransomware survives hacktivists' takedown


Re: backups and...

If you have a Windows guest running on Linux, any files visible to the guest are vulnerable.

BT Sport scores own goal with £897m Champions League footie rights deal


Re: Will I be able...

BT Sport is delivered over Freeview.

Web Daddy Berners-Lee DRMs HTML5 into 2016



I'm tired of Sky Go breaking every time MS patch Silverlight. Get all the streamed content on a single platform with agreed standards; and maybe then I'll be able to get more of it on my Android tablet.

Middle America pulls up sagging pants menace, belts repeat offenders


Re: I still dont get it though

It's not about advertising anything, it stems from the practice of confiscating items such as belts and shoelaces from inmates. It's the 'just got out of lock-up' look, rather like the Adidas trainers with no laces look, as popularised by Run DMC.

The stupidest variant on this I have seen is yoofs with low slung kecks with a belt in. Clearly not getting the point of their own ridiculous 'look'.

I'm 'pretty comfy' with PRISM + 'It's Google. What else do you expect'

Paris Hilton

Re: So... European countries are NOT spying on US activities?

In the unlikely event that we aren't already, we should get started. The US has always put its own interests first (who doesn't?) and we would be fools to trust them just because we are currently allies.

We can start with spying on Paris. Any volunteers?

Sci-fi and horror scribe Richard Matheson: He is Legend


Junk metal in the air.

It's a total nightmare...at 20,000 feet.

He also inspired some great music. Megaphone for reasons that would be obvious to anyone who knows what I'm talking about.