* Posts by Karl Vegar

56 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Apr 2008


BOFH: Looks like you're writing an email. Fancy telling your colleague to #$%^ off?

Karl Vegar

Re: "coloured pencil office"

I suspect that would be a reference to graphic design, marketing and now that you mention it probably UX as well.

Your landlord should offer on-prem cloud, suggests immersed datacenter upstart

Karl Vegar

Why isn't immersive cooling everywhere?

Because it kills your flexibility.

Sure, as long as it is OK to "install once and run until unit is ready to be replaced" it will have those other benefits

In a public cloud of some size, that can make sense. At that size you gain enough from your standardization it will outweigh the lack of flexibility.

In any kind of on-prem private cloud kind of setting, you will need that flexibility to be a viable alternative to the public behemoths

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater

Karl Vegar

Strange coincidence

The boffins at Cambridge have trained an AI on public statements, comments, and discussions by top politicians from all over the world.

This failed utterly at the stated goal of making a Political AI

By some strange coincidence, they have instead created a virtual Quantum entity. Every statement can at all times be both true and false, and in no way whatsoever contradictory unless that might be advantagious.

Bitcoin's thirst for water is just as troubling as its energy appetite

Karl Vegar

I must have missed something somewhere

That bitcoin and every other crypto currencyI know if uses electricity is well known. But exactly how does this prosess use water?

BOFH: Adventures in overenthusiastic automation

Karl Vegar

Re: Good use

I usually chalk it down to the name brand blinker fluid being expensive.

Karl Vegar

Re: Good use

I think that procedure is good for at least the B5b anf B6 generations. So 2002 until 2010

Possibly already implemented in the B5 from 1998

Gives about 10cm more clearance to work with in front of the engine. Handy for some regular maintainance opertions.

BOFH: Good news, everyone – we're in the sausage business

Karl Vegar

Re: CMOT Dibbler


In this case there would be infusions of "named meat", much higher quality.

£2B in UK taxpayer cash later, and still no Emergency Services Network

Karl Vegar

Why does every country do this on their own?

I live in Norway, and yes, we have the same struggle with a new emergency response network.

Are the needs of the first responders that different from country to country? Or could it be possible to create a system that would work for most, and then changing out crypto keys for the different customers, or even better, let the customer install their own keys as needed.)

(OK, apparently we need to add 100k £ in mods to any police car we get here in Norway, and for some reason the specs called out in requests for offers usually have a 99,9% fit on some model and tend to have demands that exclude some others... has nothing to do with a public sector that consider cost cutting to be foul language.;) )

You've stolen the antiglare shield on that monitor you've fixed – they say the screen is completely unreadable now

Karl Vegar

Similar to ...

Back in the mid nighties I used to handle in house IT, and we'd started using laptops instead of stationary machines.

Back then Dell had some issues work their keyboards, so replacement was easy and a phone call away. (Direct line to 3 lone was a massive timesaver as well.)

So far, all good

But we also had a user that kept smearing her hands with some lotion and eating "knekkebrød" ... let's call it crackers, not quite the same but near enough for this purpose. Keyboard files up with a nice porridge of the lotion and the crumbs, and stopped working as it should.

Getting the kb off was simple enough, in an "attempt at recension" I left the plastic wrapper on when reassembling the laptop. For some reason this was noe appreciated by the user...

Rolls-Royce set for funding fillip to build nuclear power stations based on small modular reactor technology

Karl Vegar

Am I the only one thinking

Nuclear powered electric car?

Created by RR, yeah that makes sense.

Computer shuts down when foreman leaves the room: Ghost in the machine? Or an all-too-human bit of silliness?

Karl Vegar

Way back when...

We were updating from Win XP to 7, and to lesse the inconvinience, we were updating in place.

Most of the time this worked just fine.

And then, we hade one site, where the road warriors where called in to, to get their laptops updated overnight. And a lot of them failed at various times in the evening. Somewhere between 19:15 and 20:20 or something like that.

OK, image as new, and hear the users complain. This happened with a lot, but not all of the laptops whenever we tried to mass update at that site.

Turns out that as a eco initiative, the desks were setup with regular and green outlets. The green outlets where ment for desk lamps, phone chargers and such, and to power to these would be cut when the office was empty. Fair enough. And the laptops connected to these outlets would then lose power, but since they had "buildt in UPS", they would go down at some later time, depending on the state of the battery.

Right to repair shouldn't exist – not because it's wrong but because it's so obviously right

Karl Vegar

I guess you have mostly been working on clasics?

Something as simple as replacing the rear brake pads will require a connection to the onboard 'puter in order to reverse the electric handbrake back to where the calipers will take the new pads and the disk. Some models require you to code in a new battery.

And there are a lot of settings and diagnostics you can only get at through the diagnostics port. Yeah, they all use the ODB or the ODB-II port, and there is a comono set of commands / diganostics data there. But the standard port was put in to allow US police to plug in a device and check that your car is withing emissions rules. Most of the other stuff is using vendor spesific subsets of the command and diagnostics. There are some 3.rd party tools for some vendors, (VCDS and ODBEleven for VAG for instance), for others like Mercedes there are some pirate versions available. Or the more recent approach, you can lease access to the software to diagnose your car. (Oh, and the brand repairshops are no longer able to buy the software, they must also start to lease the software.)

BOFH: 7 jars of Marmite, a laptop and a good time

Karl Vegar

Re: Surprise!

Well, this was presented as a three step process.

We never see what happens after step 1. I expect these maybe backup plan 1 and 2.

If the IR test does not fix the issue at hand, nest step would be a salvia test. I guess this involves spiiting on someone, probably big, important and aggressive.

And if all else failes, there is allways room for electrocution.

BOFH: Time for the MMOCC. You know, the Massively Moronic Online Christmas Call

Karl Vegar

Not everybody.

The portable ones should be admin only.

For everybody there should be some kind or insert into the office chair, remote controlled from some kind of admin interface naturally. I expect the insert need to be installed with say a massage system.

There are two sides to every story, two ends to every cable

Karl Vegar

Been there, done that.

Although in my case it was a teachers work room, where all network was down after the summer vacation. And half an hours from my office.

So before I even got into the car I looked up swtich locations for the building, and prepared myself for a round of "trace that port". (I still do not understand why "wallplug - switch" port is never documented anywhere.)

Got to the teachers workroom, had a little chat with a smug teacher, that happened to be the teacher for one of my kids, and usually an intelligent and technically hands on kind of guy. Traced the cables to the wall to find the wall plug label, only to find that they were all unplugged.

I'll admit I had to let him know the cables really need both ends plugged in to work properly.

And then there are the jokers that put a piece of clear tape on the switch end of a cable just for laughs. Took a while to troubleshoot and find.

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?

Karl Vegar

Has no one drawn these to together yet?

Measuring the well known abbreviation in m3 should be worth at least a sniggle?

It's always DNS, especially when a sysadmin makes a hash of their semicolons

Karl Vegar

Typos in text files...

Have had some brushes with typos in text files that are automagically imported.

Though not the vital service killing kind.

Once uppon a time (early noughtys) I was working on / inherrited a web service to present financial data. This data was entered using a dos "application", exported to a CVS like file, using | as the only delimiter, passed on to my system over the internjet, and then imported into my system. The closest thing this had to any kind of validation, was the db schema.

Every now and again, someone would misstype 1 as |. And this would not be overly visible in the DOS application. Export would not be troubled by this at all, file transfer would naturally not notice at all. The import would fail with a note to the logs, and if I didn't notice the logs, the client would complain about stale data after a couple of days.

When the logs were showing error at line 3'254 I coule easily use * text editor, and fix it easily enough. However, when got to complaining about line 325'400, I learned to love SED.

When even a power-cycle fandango cannot save your Windows desktop

Karl Vegar

Re: In defence

Eh, yes, and no.

Though when the user demonstrates "exactly" what he/she did, and it suddenly just works, I usually hum a little queen tune as I leave.


RIP FTP? File Transfer Protocol switched off by default in Chrome 80

Karl Vegar

No problem.

For anything I'd like to collect from the wild web, I'd like something more secure then FTP myself.

And for any more serious file transfer one could use FTP for, why use your browser, there are better clients around. (And they usually support SFTO, SCP in addition.)

But I guess it will live on for a lot of local stuff.

PXboot, Wyse config files and similar. And probably a load of IOT stuff that really should know better.

Maryland: Make malware possession a crime! Yes, yes, researchers get a free pass

Karl Vegar

Re: Banning malware is not an option!

And since the at least the early versions of ransomware utilized builtin encryption mechanisms, any encryption tool can also be considered a ransomware tool... And the feds go wild.

The time that Sales braved the white hot heat of the data centre to save the day

Karl Vegar

Re: Something similar happened to me...

Seen that done wrong.

New building.

Technical people were as usual kept well away from any planning

Since the company had a subdivision delivering aircon, the project leader basically ordered the largest units he could fit two of. And placed them in the ceiling somewhere.

Spring comes, and we're moving in. all sorts of cables have been run nicely to the racks. The racks have been nicely bolted to the floor.

IT comes carrying the servers, and notice the aircon units are set to pull air from the front of the racks, and blow over the tops of the racks to the rear.

Not ideal, but can't be that bad, right?

That summer, we had a heatwave. And the massive stand alone UPS units shut down from heat. I seems to recall some of the legacy kit didn't come back up after. (And would be the silver lining of this story.)

If at first you don't succeed, pry, pry again: Feds once again demand Apple unlock encrypted iPhones in yet another terrorism case

Karl Vegar

Re: Yeah, sure

Yes, the FBI have done everything right. And yest they are kicking at the front door.

Makes no difference. That is not what this case (or any of the preceding ones)

To take your door analogy. The door is 5 inch tempered steel. Apple cannot make it half inch soft wood just because FBI is asking nicely. And a court order will not change this.

US immigration uses Google Translate to scan people's social media for bad posts – Er, don't do that, says everyone else

Karl Vegar

Re: Can we please keep the lynchmobs quiet?

Oh, be fair.

A lot of the French get confused by this when attempting to translate from French to English as well.

Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google told: If you could cough up a decade of your internal emails, that'd be great

Karl Vegar

Dead three edition

For this kind of crap, dead the edition with toner saver on would be my preferred delivery method.

All continuous text, no formatting, divider between mails or any such frippery. Maybe add in the headers to be certain there no nursing info.

What a meth: Elderly Melbourne couple sign for 20kg shipment of drugs, say cops

Karl Vegar

Re: " if they were smarter they might not have to turn to crime"

Smart politicians: Not necessarily as much of an oxymoron as you'd think.

I'll grant you that a lot of politics don't make sense in pursuit of stated goals. But we all know politicians have an understanding with truth. So why do we believe the stated goals?

And what might be a less than optimal way of completely missing the stated goal, might just be a less visible way to achieve something else.

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music

Karl Vegar

Re: Brussels is evil I tell you!

Hey, that might not be all bad.

If we could get Hasselhoff on a separate station, and keep him off the others, that might just be worth it. (Now to see if there is a way to blacklist a station on my radio...)

Karl Vegar

Not totally useless

It's a nice sobriety indicator.

When the audience at the pup sort of nods along to the beat, they're about rightly drunk.

When they start to dance, that is proof they've drunk to much, and should be escorted to a cab...

Anyone start to sing along, and you know attempting to cut them off will result in a fight, prep the pints of nearbeer, and call security.

UK.gov went ahead with under-planned, under-funded IT upgrade? Sounds about right

Karl Vegar


30% increase in a public IT project.

WOW, UK must be good.

Around here they try to stick by the rule of PI.

Cost and Time should not be more than 3.14 times the orginal offer. And some times they actually manage to keep within that boundry...

No, eight characters, some capital letters and numbers is not a good password policy

Karl Vegar


Log in as a few of them, and send out an invite to their team / the rest of the company.

Open bar event of some kind, some words about bringing a cake on Friday, BBQ at home.

After the first few, some just might take a hint. Otherwise, these events are probably going to be a nice benefit. Just make sure you make them something you enjoy as well.

Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle

Karl Vegar

Re: Is it just me?

Yeah, you're right.

And they're halfway right...

(They get more human resources pr square meter/feet.)

I'm not so sure the loss in productivity will not balance out the rent saved. But this will be depending on factors like salary, invoicing practice (do you charge by the hour or by the project/service?),the rent, cost of turnover...

BOFH: Give me a lever long enough and a fool, I mean a fulcrum and ....

Karl Vegar

Re: Decruitment..

No need for neither lime nor carpets.

This was a clear case of a workplace accident. Some old (UPS?) unit being decommissioned, accidentally slipped out the window at an (in)opportune moment. On the bright side, the cushioning saved the footpath.

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

Karl Vegar

Had a demonstration of what happens if you use inkjet overhead transparent papers in a laser printer.

Who knew not all plastics are good with high temperatures.

I would have assumed the local Fire dept should have some idea of these kind of issues. Apparently I was wrong.

Fuser was quite accurate.

Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

Karl Vegar

Re: Aircon Leaks

1,2 as stated *

3 seal drain/output side

4 Displace one side of hose above suitable drain.

5 as stated.

* or get fancy:

- Stick tube down into the bin, one end first, make sure to let air escape through the other end. When there is an inch or two left above water, block the dry end. Dry end is drain end. move on from 3. If done right, all that gets wet is your thumb.

Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

Karl Vegar

Re: @AC:ATT drone

>Some of these f'wits HAVE CHILDREN...

Doesn't exactly take a genius to make a child.

All it takes is two persons of opposite physical sex, each with an orientation that makes them compatible, in the right circumstances at the right time of month. No sense, common or any other involved.

To raise a child... is another matter entirely.

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

Karl Vegar

Re: Biometrics

If we for a moment pretend biometrics are 100% perfect, secure, foolproof and able to determine if the fingerprint is provided from a live and willing judge. Just for the sake of the argument.

Are you planning to grant US Federal judges this power over all phones in the world? Isn't that a bit overreaching, and out of jurisdiction? Or only handsets sold in the US? (And what makes you think handsets wont be bought in Mexico, and resold in the US...)

How about other nations? Should every judge at the level determined by the individual nation be granted this? Would you like the commissars of Putin or Kim to have access to your phone at will?

And what happens when a judge is replaced?

And how long would it take before apps had a possibility whether or not to trust the builtin biometrics, for instance requiring a password or other form of authentication instead.

So in short. This would greatly reduce the basic security of the handsets. Add a lot of cost. And slightly inconvenience anyone who wants to keep something secret.

Linux Mint-using terror nerd awaits sentence for training Islamic State

Karl Vegar

Re: New and dangerous breed of cyber terrorist

Note: It doesn't say that non single male are not in want of a project. It probably should state that non single males no longer have the luxury of time to do anything about said projects.

The answer to Internet of Things madness? Open source, of course!

Karl Vegar

No, this is not the solution to the problem with IOT, it's a workaround to limit the symptoms of the problem with IOT.

The problem is: Every vendor have a "standard" communications protocoll pr generation and type of device.

This is merely a hub that will speak them all.

That bein said, if it at least remain true to the promise of openness, then it might be worth procuring for my own smarthouse experiments.

Spoof an Ethernet adapter on USB, and you can sniff credentials from locked laptops

Karl Vegar

Oh, nasty. And difficult to protect against.

For the no USB on a locked machine crowd: Ever had to replace a keyboard? Kind of difficult unlock if you can't use the new keyboard.

For the no auto install of USB without clicking on something: Ever replaced a keyboard (so you can unlock) or mouse (so you can click)?

For the reboot required crowd: What are the odds you need to replace x for your C*O with the machine locked, and that important draft not saved...

For those not reading thearticle, and seeing this as something that needs both ethernet access and external power: RTFA. The device would look like a largeish USB thumb drive. To the machine it appears to be a generic ethernet card (drivers already installed), with a network behind it. And since this fake network is wired, new and unreasonably fast, it becomes the new default. Then the computer tries to do something on the network, and the credential hash is uploaded to the DB on the device. Plug it in, look at the lights / give it half a minute, unplug and move on.

Best way I can see to mitigate it, train your users to log out or power down when they leave for any period of time. Or make sure anyone with physical access to the USB ports are trustworthy.

Cisco confirms two of the Shadow Brokers' 'NSA' vulns are real

Karl Vegar
Big Brother

Re: IT Security

Nah, you'd just get two sets of back doors, and two sets of agencies trying to breach you instead of just the one you'd get anyway.

Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Karl Vegar

Milk in a teapot, massiv NO.

A: Not everyone will want milk, or the same amount of milk.

B: Getting the pot clean again is going to be .... a suitable punishment for the miscreant.

That being said, I must confess: I have, on occation, brewed tea directly in milk (heated in the microwawe no less...) To my defence, this was some spicy variant, I'm usually a coffee drinker, not much of one for tea, and I'm not a Brit.

Karl Vegar

Re: dear god what are we teaching the kids?


If you've had milk in a glass, it needs to be thouroughly cleaned before you add beer. If there is any milk fat left on the glass it messes up the formation of a good head (in turn leading to your beer going flat before it's time.)

Basically, never serve dairy products in anything you want to serve beer in later.

Harrison Ford's leg, in the Star Wars film, with the Millennium Falcon door

Karl Vegar

Re: Eh? What?

If it weren't for "The Force Awakens", it could have been a typo for "last known".

You know how that data breach happened? Three words: eBay, hard drives

Karl Vegar

Maybe this is a bit squewed..

Anyone willing to sell old drives might not have the sharpest IT dept.

I can nearly understand old drives, that had been part of a raid5 setup,, and that have been low level formated being sold alongside a server, if that is the only way to shift the old ... iron.

Otherwise, I thought storing the old drives for a time, untill one can arrange for a physical og magnetinc solution was standard procedure.

Personally, I'd go for thermite, but for some reason my boss won't let me. (Something about fire and / or environmental hazard in a the middle of the city...)

North Korean operating system is a surveillance state's tour de force

Karl Vegar

Re: A serious question...

This IS NorK we're talking about.

There's some 2.5 gb in the install image. What are the odds theres a little undocumented "I'm still compliant" heartbeat feature or two in there somewhere? And what do you think might happen if the heartbeart flatlines while the ISP still show traffic on your line (using a familiar mac?)

Then there's penalties. I'm guessing loss of PC privileges and some labour on first offence for a script kid of good family. For willfull distribution, I guess the hard part is over when you get to the firing squad.

Outsourcer didn't press ON switch, so Reg reader flew 15 hours to do the job

Karl Vegar

A while back I was between assignments, and got some ad hoc assignments from my temp agency.

One such memorable assignment was related to a credit card terminal.

The assigment: to set up a new terminal in a shop.

I got a nice little documentation burn before you read and self terminate after package. And spent some time familiarizing myself with the procedure I was supposed to perform the next day. Didn't seem to complex, but there was a part with activation that needed a 25 digit code or some such. This part looked like it was a bit beyond your regular user.

I then drove a couple of hours to the site. Took a look at the terminal I was supposed to set up and activate. It was already placed where it should be, and nicely connected. But not on or activated.

Talked to the customer, and she'd had a bad experience last time she tried to activate a terminal.

OK, as the connections looked fine, so I fired it up and looked at it while it self tested all OK. Including connections to the bank... basically it seemed to be activated already.

- Hm, has this terminal been sed before somewhere? I asked.

- Naturally, it's the same I had problem with the last time. We didn't need this POS for a while, so we've had the terminal in storage the last 6 months.

OK, so we tested charging my card some minimal amount. Worked like supposed, both banks accepted. Had the back office test while I found some lunch. All OK. (I allways get suspicious when something look to be too easy, hence the vigorous testing.)

Total time spent fixing the issue: 5 min

Time spent testing: 15 min

Invoice: 1 hour work + 4 hour drive + expenses.

If nothing else, it makes for a good story.

All tests turned out OK.

Drones are dropping drugs into prisons and the US govt just doesn't know what to do

Karl Vegar

Re: The problem is that prisons are mainly two-dimensional

Lexan shield hanging under the drone?

Yeah, should be pretty sure the drone won't get shot down... since it will never take off.

The propellers create lift by pushing air down. The mentioned air going down will be pushing down on the shield and create a negative lift that will be aprox of equal the positive lift generated, and kind of negate any upwards mobility.

AV for Mac

Karl Vegar

One fix to do it all for every Apple iProduct


Apply and ignite outdoors.

8GB iPhone 5c is real, but no market-maker

Karl Vegar

8 gb iPhone pointless..?

Well, yes if you're buying the handset yourself.

But, when corporate is supplying the handset (, and the beancounters already have whined themselves a decent 5S, and the VIP's are exempt from regular policy), some beancounter could very well find that this is a good idea. Small savings pr handset, will give some substantial savings if you multiply it enough times.

Needless to say, understanding that most any decent midrange smartphone will be better (and possibly cheaper) than a nerfed into uselessness iPhone will be saddly lacking among the exec's who someone has sold on the idea that IOS is the better mobile OS.

Meanwhile at mission central, the resident BOfH is stringing his crossbow, whistling the Willhelm Tell overtyre...

Volvo tries to KILL SHOPPING with to-your-car Roam Delivery

Karl Vegar

Re: They need...

Actually, it's probably worse.

What kind of person will buy a car solely on the "it's safe" argument? It's the person who expects to need the security. So, it a crap driver, who knows he's crap, and compensates by buying the safest car to be a crap driver in.

BOFH: He... made... you... HE made YOU a DOMAIN ADMIN?

Karl Vegar

Re: Fervent wish...

Wardrobe affordability not an excuse because the wannabe admins bring their own.