* Posts by Stephen Byrne

32 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Apr 2007

No secret to stopping XSS and SQL injection attacks

Stephen Byrne
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@Bruno Girin

"I hear the argument of the DBAs who say "I only want stored procedures" but my issue with stored procedures is that they are not portable so it's a way to lock yourself in with a given vendor and they are not easy to write or debug. So, when I have the choice, I'd rather have SQL statements that use bind variables rather than stored procedures."

1.If your T-SQL won't run on Oracle or your PL-SQL won't run on mySQL then it doesn't make a difference if it's being constructed dynamically or executed in a Stored Procedure - Unless it's pure ANSI, SQL iteslf isn't ncessarily portable.

2. Secondly, an SP is only as hard to write/debug as its underlying SQL, also see point 1 above.

3. "Bind Parameters" can work with SPs too, but will not protect against every SQL injection type.

4. You also do need to implement Richard IV's suggestion, do not give the ability for the data layer user to drop or delete anything.

Swiss watch auctioned for £3.76m

Stephen Byrne

But where's the USB Port?

Pfft, doesn't even have Bluetooth.


Twitter bomb joker found guilty

Stephen Byrne

Free Speech indeed

Why do so many people think Free Speech means you can say what you want with no consequence?

Joke or no -- and I challenge *anyone* to prove, given the tweet in question, BEFORE it had been explained that is was in jest, that it was indeed a joke-- he still assaulted every single person working in and travelling through the airport by "saying" something that would put them in fear for their own safety.

Plus, the idiot didn't do himself any favours with his childish attitude after the fact, so they probably decided to prosecute just to spite him.

Pirate Bay co-founder hopes it will die

Stephen Byrne

Oh for God's sake shut up AC


seriously, so bloody what if he made up a testimonial? Maybe it did exist in the past and was removed for some reason, but of course, in your mind, if you can't find it on the internets then it must be a lie. FFS, grow up.

Ad-hominem attacks are the lowest of the low, what has his own private morality got to do with the subject under discussion? Typical freetard attitude.

It's not about whether he is a nice person. It's not about whether or not his creations suck. It's about the fact that HE created them, HE owns the rights to them and HE has a moral right to decide how and by whom it gets distributed, and whether or not it gets given out for free or is paid for.

Also, all this talk about the record labels raping artists - I have yet to hear of a record label exec holding a gun to a band's head and forcing them to sign a contract. (Forcing them to do multiple retakes, yes, Phil Spector did that as we all know). Claiming that the artists are being raped is like complaining that volunteers in the army get killed in combat.

I will agree though that the Sony exec's comments were pure pot-kettle stuff though.

Met terror squad beats all complaints

Stephen Byrne
IT Angle

Benefit of the doubt?

Perhaps we should give them the benefit of the doubt - many of those cases could have been marked as "not upheld" where informally the officers in question have offered unconditional apologies to the "vitcims", which is often all they are looking for - but this then goes as an "invalid complaint" in the statistics.

With all that being said, if these guys are anything like the uniformed muppets we see on the likes of "Road Wars" etc etc then I feel sorry for anyone who has to ever deal with them. You know, the one where the guy is asking the copper to "stop hurting him" and the copper is bashing his head off the car door whilst repeating loudly "I'm not hurting you" :)

Britain's bingers out-boozed by Irish

Stephen Byrne

Mine's a Guinness

Another reason why these reports are nonsense.

Around 2 million of us leprechauns get hammered drunk on a regular basis.

But over 20 million British people do the same.

With figures that large, surely percentages start to seem a bit pointless?

El Reg insults 'millions of Irish Catholics'

Stephen Byrne

So sad

That's really sad. I'm native Irish and was allegedly baptised a Catholic, but I could care less what colour the Reg is on Paddy's day- after all, it;s not a bloody Irish publication, now is it?

Just more fucking morons who should never have been let near a computer let alone out onto the internet, giving my country an even worse name than it already has.

OpenOffice is the new David Hasselhoff

Stephen Byrne


Office 2000 is, IMHO, the best office suite created, ever.

It's small, fast and just works. I install this suite on dozens of computers every week and I never have a problem with anything like you mentioned. I simply run the installer, enter the key and about two minutes later it's done, on any version of windows from 2000 to 7.

That's one double-click to open the installer, and one to click "Install Now". Three clicks, FTW!

Personally I could care less about 2003 and 2007 (ugh) but it might not be a bad idea for OO to go back and have a look at Office 2000 as a baseline instead of trying to keep up with MS all the time.

Eye Candy + Bloat != a usable tool.

I'd love to see a trimmed down bare-bones version that runs as fast as Office 2000, then I would actually consider using it since I do in principal think it has potential.

ASA bites PETA over Baby P billboard

Stephen Byrne

@RegisterFail / Danny5

Sorry lads, that's a load of bull. You can link to as many studies as you like, but the fact of the matter is that PETA are just using this terrible occurrence to get advertising out of it.

And the largest piece of text on that ad states "People who are violent towards animals rarely stop there"

That is patently false. It should read "People who are violent towards animals sometimes go on to do much worse things to other people, but very rarely"

I have killed hundreds of fish, by violently hitting them on the head with a heavy object after letting them get a sharp hook stuck in their mouth and pulling them from their natural environment.

I have also shot and killed hundreds of ducks and pheasants. Sometimes you have to break their necks yourself if the shot and fall didn't kill them. That's pretty violent, wouldn't you say?

Shock horror, I even eat their corpses afterwards. Lots of my friends have done (and continue to do) the same thing, not to mention countless hunters and fishermen the world over, or even the people who murder cows so we can have cheeseburgers.

And yet, I never murdered or physically abused another person, nor did anyone I know. If PETA's statement were true, everyone who ever ate meat would be a murderer.

Oh, wait....

Iraqi weapons inspector accused in online sex sting

Stephen Byrne

@John 186

"I do know this case has a bad smell"

You are implying that there is some ulterior motive behind this case, without having any actual evidence to that effect, and you imply that some shady establishment is behind a campaign to shut this guy up, again without any evidence.

Isn't that Mudslinging, too?

How malware frames the innocent for child abuse

Stephen Byrne

Linked article is a scary read for more than one reason...

"This defense was curtailed, however, when Loehrs ended her investigation in a dispute with the judge over her fees. Computer exams can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Defendants can ask the courts to pay, but sometimes judges balk at the price"

So basically one of these supposed experts let a man go down because she wanted more money than the judge was willing to pay.

Italian Job sat nav driver cops £900 fine

Stephen Byrne

50/50 here I think

Surely the town council would have put up a sign at the entrance to this rollercoaster saying "NO ENTRY FOR VEHICLES"

Although on the face of it he looks like a dumbass, I think the Satnav is a bit of a red herring. It only told him to take the turn, remember it was dark and late at night, so maybe he had no way of knowing that the lane became a track until it was too late and figured it was better to keep going (he is ex-army after all, they can follow orders).

That being said, his comments that "users should be made more aware they should only use them as a guide" do seem to indicate a slight lack of independent thought and/or higher brain function!

HTC readies radical Touch HD revamp

Stephen Byrne
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HTC Epic Fail?

After waiting 3 years for a device that was both powerful enough to run our Sales Rep's on-the-road software suite which can only run on Windows Mobile, and that had a decent sized screen that they could actually read, AND was a phone as well - now we'll have to find something else as once the original HD becomes obsolete we can't upgrade.

Either that or convince the developer to rewrite it for Android. I wonder how many other people have "legacy" WM apps that will not be able to migrate, or are most folks just using the Phone side of the device?

Japan torture flick sickens UK film censor

Stephen Byrne
IT Angle

Having your cake and eating it

Surely, the point of all this is that you have to draw a line somewhere in a "civilised" society?

Certainly, I am 100% in favour of free speech, or rather, a person's right to it, but let's say the movie was about a psycho who kidnapped two children, raped and them murdered them - would that be OK? Would everyone here defending the film's right to exist defend a move like I just described? Or would some of you draw the line at the depiction of a child being dismembered whilst still alive?

And if you would draw a line there, then I think that's maybe just a wee bit hypocritical. If you want to talk about objective proof or objective argument, then where's your objective morality? How can you justify objectively that it's OK to watch it happen to adults, but not for example kids?

Personally I never watch this kind of thing but that's only because I get plenty of adrenaline/freaked out scary from my active life of bear wrestling :)

also, where is the IT angle?

Martha Lane-Fox: No broadband, no citizenship

Stephen Byrne
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Heh, 100% agree with you. We can only know what she said, not what she meant - and I'd love to know what her definition of a "proper citizen" is.

CIOs get £170k but helpdesk staffers settle for £6/hr

Stephen Byrne
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@Pete 2

I agree with your statement re. women, it's true that they do tend to "damage" (for want of a better word) their promotability by getting pregnant.

But as for "improving the company's profits" in my experience that's more like "taking credit for improving the company's profits". I don't deny that if you are hard-working, talented and put in the extra effort that it *may* help to get you promoted/more money, but the reality is that in many cases, it just leaves you tired. And the fuckstick that plays golf with the CEO or wears a better suit and talks better bullshit, gets the promotion.

That's not just unqualified cynicism though; many smaller companies take the wrong road of keeping their top performers trapped where they are (because they are so good at their jobs) because they are afraid of losing their skills when that person moves up the ladder. So instead of putting someone who can motivate and inspire the people below them because they actually know what they're talking about, they put in the guy who sucks at his job.

Tiny typo blamed for massive IE security fail

Stephen Byrne

A typo? how cute.

"I contend that this would be very difficult to spot in a code review, and is not picked up by the C/C++ compiler owing to the (void*) cast. If the cast is removed, the compiler issues a warning like this:

C2664: '<function>' : cannot convert parameter 1 from 'BYTE **' to 'BYTE *'

I despise C-style casting because it’s utterly unsafe; C++ casting is safer, although the reinterpret_cast operator is almost as bad as C-style casting"

Once you cast to a void *, all bets are off. Blaming it on a "typo" is a nice, cute,

way of sweeping the real problem - that they are STILL, after all this time, essentially coding in C - under the carpet.

Engineer commits suicide after losing iPhone prototype

Stephen Byrne

Poor bastard

Terrible thing to happen. Hope the guy has found some peace in the afterlife.

They suspended the security chief because that's pretty much standard procedure when a serious allegation like that is made, same as it is here in Europe.

And as for all the "Apple should sever ties with FoxConn and go somewhere else, stop dealing with China blah blah blah" people-

It's the consumer that demands low prices. If you want to have these things made by ethical companies, in ethical (by our own inflated standards anyway) countries by well-treated workers, be prepared to pay a lot of money for them.

Also, stop buying branded runners/tracksuits/any electronics/toys for your kids. Otherwise it's simple hypocrisy.

Man hooks home into Twitter

Stephen Byrne
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One way pointlessness

Unless it can work two ways - you get a text telling you the heating came on, oops, forgot to turn it off, text back "HEATING OFF" and have it turn off - then it's utterly pointless.

US city ends FaceSpaceGooHoo log-in grab

Stephen Byrne


It was all probably a "make sure the person we have supporting the opening of the new gay/lesbian/furry/homeless/vegetarian/etc library doesn't show up on the interwebs dressed as a Nazi/KKK/phobe/furry/priest/etc and embarrass the living hell out of us as has happened before to several organisations" type of policy taken to extremes by people who didn't really understand the law regarding this.

You know, privacy is all well and good, but when you are taking a job as a civil servant there is a reasonable expectation that you're "clean" (by their standards, I'm not judging anyone). Having an invite-only facebook profile or whatever is not necessarily making that page private.

Microsoft kills Visual Studio's Oracle data connection

Stephen Byrne
Thumb Up



"We have decided to halt all in-house production of wheel rims and tires, because we simply cannot match the quality of rims and tires you can get at a number of third-party sites"

It's not really like that - it's more like "we have decided to halt all in-house production of the fittings that let you attach third party wheels to our car. If you already own a car with these fittings, they will continue to work but we won't be fixing any new problems you find."

Why shouldn't Oracle be responsible for providing a working Oracle Data Connector for .NET?

Dell shuts Limerick factory and scraps 1,900 jobs

Stephen Byrne

@The die was cast

How true; I remember a friend who worked there whose wife was over in Poland 8 years ago helping to setup the Manufacturing plant which even back then was earmarked as the replacement for the Limerick plant.

Like I said, we had it coming.

@TeeCee: the reason why the defence minister was sent it because he's from and based in Limerick and about the only politician we have who actually has the interests of the area at heart.

Stephen Byrne

Sucks, but...

Whilst I feel awful for the people who are going to be affected (not just in DELL but in the satellite industries) we've had it coming for a long time - we sat around talking about how great our economy was, how clever we were (spending the EU's money to offer tax incentives to foreign industry, oh indeed we are "cute hoors" as we say) and now look at us.

It's about time we actually started to learn how to be really competitive again, stop taking our jobs and lifestyles for granted, and stop relying on the same old system which, although it served us well in past years, is simply not good enough any more.

We simply need to to become good at something else now. Like maybe, Slavic languages ;)

Connoisseurs go mad for £1,000 ham

Stephen Byrne

Last word

Well Peter, it worked, didn't it. How ironic, that my inane post against inanity actually got some non-inane replies.

Plus, and be honest, we haven't seen a decent flame on the Reg in a good while, and whilst mine may not have been great, at least I am trying...

So, my apologies to anyone whose feelings may have been hurt by my spiteful comments, but in fairness, a discussion about ham on an IT site?

Anyway. I'm going back under my bridge.

Stephen Byrne

@To all My Detractors

Oh deary me.

I wrote that post to try and get a few tempers raised specifically because I have of late become bored with the inanity of the comments posted to many articles here on the site.

Since people tend to get angry and try to justify themselves most often when they feel guilty about something, it says a lot about the more vociferous replies I have had.

Just a couple of points:

1. If you want to insult me in my native tongue, spell it correctly.

2. I must have missed the part where I declared myself a living saint when I wrote that post. I never said I was perfect, I just pointed out that it is wrong (and I don't care if your opinion says otherwise; of course you are perfectly entitled to it, but you are still wrong) to pay that much for food when people are starving.

3. http://www.oxfamgb.org/ukpp/poverty/index.htm

4. If you still think I am a whining git, go fuck yourself :)

5. If you can't take my opinion on the chin, see #4.

6. An article about HAM. On the Register. maybe because SPAM is made of animal parts, but really, that's a tenuous connection at best.

Stephen Byrne


my god, that is obscene. anyone who is a big enough wanker to pay that kind of money for dead pig deserves to choke on it.

As I write this kids over the world are starving to death and yeah you might say this is off topic but in fairness....anyone who pays that kind of money for that is a selfish cunt and I hope they get worms.

so there.

Leaping sturgeon menace 'Swanee'

Stephen Byrne

Typical human arrogance

"Some boat owners have suggested the sturgeon, which in spring migrate from the Gulf of Mexico to the Suwannee to spawn, might be "removed" to contain the threat"

Maybe the retard boat owners should remove themselves, permanently.

When will mankind realise that we are not the only species with a right to exist on the planet?

Its like the problems they have in Florida with alligators and sharks - they complain how its not safe to swim anymore boo fucking hoo - the gators and sharks were there a long time before we showed up, if the residents don't like it they should bugger off.

And don't even get me started about people who give out about squirrels and badgers.

Online games turn British man into hero

Stephen Byrne

brave but foolish

I'm sure that everyone criticising the guy would be the first to call foul if they were held up at gunpoint and nobody tried to help.

Indeed what he did was obviously ill-planned as he got himself shot - he must have dived right in without giving a moment to consider how to approach the situation (i.e maybe come from behind and deliver two swift nut-breaking kicks) - in situations like this you can end up getting in the way of the guards and that's how someone gets shot.

But yeah, having a shot at him (no pun) because he got himself shot is not nice. He did try to help and that was brave. Its easy to take the scenario to pieces after the fact and say oh he should have done this or that but if you were there, as an untrained and unexpectant joe public, your mind would have already made a split-second decision about whether to jump in or walk away before you even knew about it. Fight or Flight, remember?

Believe me, if you ever chance across a situation like this (and I'm not talking about people who have been trained for this kind of thing) you will get such a shot of adrenaline you won't know left from right...

Anyway I hope he gets better. And I hope we start seeing more like him,albeit without the getting wounded part...a few weeks ago, I was walking home from work past my local park in Limerick. As I passed the park, which is overlooked by several apartment blocks, I heard someone screaming from an open window "I'm going to kill you...I'm going to kill you ALL! You f***ers! I'm going to kill you all!"...now this guy was really loud, and in fact as I passed I saw several people stop and look up at the source of the noise.

Not a single person reached for their phone and rang the police. I did, and waited for 10 minutes for them to arrive (that's another story for another day - there is a police station about 500 yards from this location but they insisted on transferring my call to the one that's a mile down the road)...anyway in that time there must have been about 50 people walked past, looked up at the noise, and walked on, heads down, absorbed in their little worlds.

Eventually the cops came and to be honest I did not stick around....but you know what, even if I was sure what apartment this guy was in, and the door was open, no way woud have gone near it. I don't want to get shot and I certainly do not want to die at the moment. But was I going to assume that someone else would take care of this? What if I had walked away and the guy had started shooting people? Sure, he was probably just drunk and having a bad day, but what if?

So really, when you come across a situation like our gamer did, you have to do *something* about it..and personally I think he should get a medal for his bravery.

Dell finally switches on PC network in Glasgow schools

Stephen Byrne

None of my business, but...

>>The old 'when I was at school' argument is, with all due respect ROT. The three things employers demand from us is Numeracy, Literacy and IT skills.

That presumes that the sole function of education is to put kids in employment. Surely it's not?

And secondly, yes all these IT things are great for teaching kids some things, yet since we started making our children's education dependant upon them, child literacy and numeracy levels are going down, not up.

I think the original poster was making the point that you do not NEED these things to teach kids.

Engineers write defence against aliens manual

Stephen Byrne

No chance

eyh, I am sure the Cylons will have far less trouble with our alreadly vulnerable defence systems running second rate OSs with default passwords left in place, than they did with Caprica's.

Panasonic CF-Y5 Toughbook laptop

Stephen Byrne

This is a bottom of the range model

Panasonic do make some really tough notebooks, but you'll pay 4 or 5 grand for them.

Check it out


Reg readers admit to faking it

Stephen Byrne

Just have to have my say on this

I don't normally post comments on the Reg, but I have to give my tuppence on this. And apologies for the length of it but there are two examples I want to give.

And so you know I am not takling out of my ass, I worked as 1st and 2nd level tech support for a well known electronics company (no names) supporting laptops and desktops for 5 years. 5 loooong years. Thankfully, I have moved on from that particular helldesk.

First up - on the side of the customer - I think that the biggest mistake tech support makes, is making the script sound like a script. you have to make it sound like it's just come into your head that it might be a good idea to check the firewall, or the cables, or whatever.

Then you have (and its true) lack of training - people not actually following the script. the scripts are designed by clever people who know how to design a process that can cover all the possible contigencies of a particular problem domain. I have never yet come across a script that did not include "if...then..goto" logic. So a lot of what you take as a stupid script is actually a poorly trained person who doesn't know how to REALLY follow the script.

That's why when you call up and complain that you can't connect to your new wireless router, they ask you to turn off your firewall. The tech support did not follow the script. No script would make you do this...I guarantee it's because they lacked experience, and chose to follow the "Troubleshooting Internet Connectivity" instead of "Troubleshooting Wireless Connectivity"

So actually the customer can do themselves a lot of favours by stating the problem clearly.

Not "I can't get online with my new router" but "My wireless card is broken".

On the flip side, I can honestly say, that when someone called business support, that in most cases one could assume a certain level of knowledge (i.e they were probably in IT already) and be flexible with one's script.

For Joe Public callers, the opposite was often, but thankfully not always, true.

Every day I woud get several of the usual "now look, I'm an IT consultant" or "listen, I have 3 MCSE's" and so on. Invariably, these folks would not know what they were talking about and in most cases, following "the script" solved their problem.

I think its because the people who think they know, the ones with the dangerous "little knowledge" often spend so much time trying to fix the issue that they get all worked up about it and upset before they call tech support.

So naturally they object to having to spend another 5 minutes doing something that they think will not check anything they did not think of. So when they would be told for example to turn their wireless switch to "on" they would be terribly gobsmacked. That was a classic "I'm an IT Manager" type of call. Not that the person was stupid, not at all. But on this particular laptop, the wireless switch was not in an obvious place. You had to know where it was (or have RTFM in the first place but who does?)...so this person would have spent an hour tearing their hair out trying to fix an unfixable problem, then called tech support in a rage looking for a new laptop and for my company to pay off their mortgage, etc, be FORCED to follow the script and have their problem fixed in 30 seconds.

Now, of course sometimes the problem could not be solved because it was just coincidence that the switch was off; the wireless NIC really was broken. But that was an exception, not a rule. That's what the script is for. It's playing the odds that in 90% of cases the problem CAN be fixed by the script. And eveyone has to play by the rules.

The ONLY way around the script can be that when you really do KNOW that the problem is not your Norton (and fair enough if you do) then you just say "I HAVE NO FIREWALL INSTALLED".

But God help you if you are lying, when the person on the other end of the line finds out, you will follow the directors' cut extended edition of the script.

Now you may think that I am making a broad generalisation here. But in 5 years I spent maybe 1000 working days, talking on average 30 calls a day. And I can still remember most of the good ones, which goes to show how few there were!

It still happens today - my wife works part time for a cable tv operator here in Ireland and last night she had a guy screaming for 20 minutes because all he had on his TV was a blank screen with a picture flcking on and off every few seconds.

She asked a couple of questions and quickly decided his cables were loose. The guy laughed sarcastically and suggested that maybe she had no idea what she was talking about, wasn't it obvious that he had already checked them (well no actually, it wasn't)and that he wanted a technician in the next 20 minutes (at 21:30, yes, suuure) and a new decoder box, etc, etc. Meanwhile in the background his son had unplugged the SCART lead from the telly and plugged it back in. On came the telly. The bastard didn't even have the decency to say "thanks" before he hung up. See what I mean?