* Posts by Kevin Fairhurst

230 posts • joined 25 Aug 2008

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Facial-recognition technology gets a smack in the chops from civil rights campaigners

Kevin Fairhurst

https://www.theregister.com/2021/05/29/apple_sis_lawsuit/

Until the attorney was able to find the “lost” evidence which exonerated him, it seemed that someone was going to be sent up the river for a crime he didn’t commit!

BOFH: Here in my car I feel safest of all. I can listen to you ... It keeps me stable for days

Kevin Fairhurst

Can't believe no-one has yet mentioned...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HumancentiPad

Hubble memory errors persist despite NASA booting long-idle backup payload computer

Kevin Fairhurst

Have they tried

Turning it off, and on again?

FBI paid renegade developer $180k for backdoored AN0M chat app that brought down drug underworld

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: A job well done

And between the end of WW2 & the revelation, we sold them to embassies around the world, telling people how secure and unbreakable they were… sound familiar?

Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow? We ask because one got into the office and left quite a mess

Kevin Fairhurst

Dare I ask... what shed? Mrs F is looking at replacing the 3m x 3m summerhouse we have, and getting in something bigger so it can be used as a combined office & craft area (as opposed to barbecue/lawnmower/furniture dumping ground as currently).

However, prices appear to have skyrocketed since we bought this "small" one 7 years ago; the same design has doubled in price, so I imagine the larger ones have increased in line with demand also...

Jailbreaking app gets update to support iOS 14.3 and iPhone 12

Kevin Fairhurst

Once upon a time...

I would have been all over this... back when iPhones were locked to O2, jailbreaking was the way to use them on other networks... and then there were better apps for customising how your phone looked, improved functionality...

Eventually Apple caught up and now there's nothing available that warrants jailbreaking, IMO.

UK tax collector won't probe businesses for compliance with IR35 rules unless there's reason to suspect naughtiness

Kevin Fairhurst

What's that smell?

From the article...

"We have also committed that we will not use information acquired as a result of the changes to the off-payroll working rules to open a new compliance enquiry into returns for tax years before 2021 to 2022, unless there is reason to suspect fraud or criminal behaviour."

So give it about three months before the following letters start getting sent out...

"After ten years of working at Bob's Bolts Ltd where you have self-certified as outside IR35, Bob now want's to retain your specialist skills but inside IR35. Therefore we think you fraudulently self-certified as outside IR35 for the previous ten years and we are going to open an investigation into this fraud!"

UK Test and Trace chief Dido Harding tries to convince MPs that £14m for canned mobile app was money well spent

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Boris north of the wall

After he admitted shaking hands with Covid patients during a trip to (I believe) Kettering hospital, are you really that surprised at anything BoJo does during this pandemic?

Judge denies Parler an injunction to force AWS to host the antisocial network for internet outcasts

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Another snowflake

I would hardly call Twitter left wing. It really does become an echo chamber depending on who you follow.

The difference between Twitter and Parler is that Twitter will take down anything that is reported to them that crosses the line (unless it is from a protected account; e.g. a lot of Trumps previous tweets about alleged election fraud should have caused his account to have been taken down, but they were left there with a warning attached instead).

Parler didn't have a proper process for taking down anything - in fact they had a "community" to do it for them, and if the community thought the posts were okay, then far be it from them to disagree. The problem with that is the "echo chamber" effect means nothing will ever get taken down. It seems the only activity the community complained about was when anyone "left of centre" joined up - those posters seemed to be shitbombed off the site without fail.

AWS had actually taken issue with Parler for this previously. Parler said "It's not our fault we've had too many people sign up" which suggested that they really had no control whatsoever over the content they were publishing. And while 95% of it may have been harmless, it's the fact that there were a small minority using the site to publish e.g. plans to overthrow the Capitol and kidnap or even kill Democrat senators that forced the whole site offline. If you can't take down the small percentage of problem posts, in a timely manner, then they all come down.

Pirate Bay co-founder criticises Parler for its lack of resilience

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Geeks versus Politicians

The Mueller report found evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election. There’s also the question of Cambridge Analytica’s involvement.

Following the 2020 loss to Biden, Trump has had 60+ opportunities in court to present evidence that the election was “stolen” or that there was “fraud on a spectacular scale” ... he’s never once done so. Any idea why that might be?

Parler games: Social network for internet rejects sues Amazon Web Services for pulling plug on hosting

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

Four fried chickens and a coke

United States Congress stormed by violent followers of defeated president, Biden win confirmation halted

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Police Scotland

Don’t make promises that you’re not going to keep! ;)

Elon Musk says he tried to sell Tesla to Apple, which didn’t bite and wouldn't even meet

Kevin Fairhurst

From what we know of Musk...

he was only setting the meeting up so he could leak about it on Twitter to artificially boost their share price ... investors think “oh Apple might buy them” and jump aboard.

A decades-old lesson on not inserting Excel where it doesn't belong

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Excel as an intermediate step

Usually with Excel just opening it is enough for the conversion to happen. The file is then marked as "modified" and autosave overwrites the original with the modified sci-no version. The file gets closed with no warnings about being modified, and the user is literally none the wiser as to what has happened.

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

Kevin Fairhurst

People joke about using paper tickets

However they now have it where you have to enter your registration plate for those, too!

It used to be the case that you’d not know how long you were going to be, so you’d pay for 3 hours parking. When returning to the car with an hour still on the ticket, you’d give that to someone who was just arriving in the car park, good deed for the day and all that (and sometimes you’d be the recipient of the ticket).

However this community spiritedness meant that parking spaces were only being paid for once within a given period, even if multiple vehicles had used that space.

So pay & display machines changed to include the registration on the ticket so that you couldn’t pass it on if there was still time left on it :(

I can 'proceed without you', judge tells Julian Assange after courtroom outburst

Kevin Fairhurst

Meanwhile when the boot is on the other foot...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-54092547

"Harry Dunn's family say they have been told prosecutors do not believe the woman accused of killing the teenager in a crash had diplomatic immunity."

So she fled the country to avoid prosecution, and now the US are refusing to extradite.

Apple to Epic: Sue me? No, sue you, pal!

Kevin Fairhurst

The “Apple take 30%” thing is a lie

Same with Google. You can buy ITunes & Google Store cards from supermarkets, often at a 5-10% discount. So for every £1 you might only be paying 90p, and after Morrison’s take their cut Apple might only get 85p. They then have to have the data centre capacity to host not just your app but hundreds of thousands of others (& videos & music & podcasts etc), around the world with failover & redundancy in place to make sure that even on Christmas morning, little Tommy can buy your fart app for his new iToy.

The thing is, that ain’t cheap, and given the plethora of free apps, they have to make that back through paid for apps & services.

Just because the app developer only sees 70p in the £ does not mean that Apple is making 30p profit for every £ spent on the App Store.

Someone's getting a free trip to the US – well, not quite free. Brit bloke extradited to face $2m+ cyber-scam charges

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: It's only money...

It was a *fatal* road accident and after being told not to leave the country, she claims diplomatic immunity and jumps on a plane to escape the U.K. justice system. I’m sure causing death by dangerous driving is *more* than just a driving ban these days, especially if she was found to be additionally negligent (driving in wrong side of road while using a mobile phone?)

Epic move: Judge says Apple can't revoke Unreal Engine dev tools, asks 'Where does the 30 per cent come from?'

Kevin Fairhurst

The “Apple take 30%” thing is a lie

Same with Google. You can buy ITunes & Google Store cards from supermarkets, often at a 5-10% discount. So for every £1 you might only be paying 90p, and after Morrison’s take their cut Apple might only get 85p. They then have to have the data centre capacity to host not just your app but hundreds of thousands of others (& videos & music & podcasts etc), around the world with failover & redundancy in place to make sure that even on Christmas morning, little Tommy can buy your fart app for his new iToy.

The thing is, that ain’t cheap, and given the plethora of free apps, they have to make that back through paid for apps & services.

Just because the app developer only sees 70p in the £ does not mean that Apple is making 30p profit for every £ spent on the App Store.

RasPad 3.0 converts Raspberry Pi 4 to a tablet – be prepared for some quirks

Kevin Fairhurst

Looks like a Kano, picked one up with a Pi3 from Argos clearance for £100, great introductory computer for my 6yo who has experience with touch screens from phones/tablets...

UK smacks Huawei with banhammer: Buying firm's 5G gear illegal from year's end, mobile networks ordered to rip out all next-gen kit by 2027

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: momentous decision, potentially

Yes we must chlorinate the salad to disguise the shitty conditions it has been reared in, rather than raise lettuce welfare standards!

UK space firms forced to adjust their models of how the universe works as they lose out on Copernicus contracts

Kevin Fairhurst

Actually there is an anti Brexit slant possible. Post Brexit we won’t be given any such information from the French police, and the U.K. criminals will continue as before. (Unless there happens to be some sort of data sharing agreement. Which means having a GDPR style agreement. Which means an ECHR agreement. So it probably won’t happen)

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Alternatives are good.

OOOH! U get two anecdotes for the price of one!

Not IT related; I used to work at a food processing place when in college, and one of the jobs involved chopping chillies. Some people refused to wear the gloves because it made handling the chillies harder. However, this became mandatory when someone on the weekday shift forgot to wash his hands before going to the bathroom and almost broke the sinks from trying to get water on the affected area!

Slightly IT related; My first proper IT job after uni involved spending 5 weeks on an intensive training course in Buffalo, NY, in the winter. I think the only intensive thing was the drinking. One of the bars we frequented did buffalo wings (unsurprisingly) and they went down a treat. Got talking with the owner and it turned out he used Dave's Insanity Sauce in the making. I'd never heard of such a thing, and he brought out the bottle to show me. There and then a new drink was invented, the Hot Southern Gal. A shot of Southern Comfort with a drop of insanity sauce mixed in. If you think being ill on Southern Comfort is bad enough...

Doors closed by COVID-19, Brit retro tech museums need your help

Kevin Fairhurst

Looks like the health system in Brazil is struggling, here in the U.K. we cancelled a fuck tonne of services and if you rely on those, the NHS collapsed from your perspective that’s for sure.

As for the Nightingale hospitals, the caveats around sending patients to them (Sending us a patient? You need to send half a dozen staff, plus equipment, too!) meant that most hospitals just knuckles down and got on with it. At KGH (where our “esteemed” leader went shaking hands with all the Covid patients, clever chap isn’t he?) they just got some porta cabins in and made their own Nightingale ward in the car park. Same isolation, no need to commit vast resources to a shed in London...

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

Kevin Fairhurst

That reminds me of...

I had an Amiga 500 with a trap-door memory card upgrade to bring it up to a whopping 1MB of RAM... I took the machine apart to cut a trace on the motherboard & solder two other pads together to enable this to be seen as "chip" memory rather than "fast" memory, and after putting it all back together was surprised that it seemed to be working! (I must have been 14yo and had my parents known I'd done something like this I'm sure I would have been in big trouble!)

After a short time I started experiencing random crashes. I couldn't pin it down exactly but they became more frequent when my dad was doing his chair aerobics in the next room (which was the style at the time), or if the washing machine was on. I simply couldn't understand why the noise of something like this could cause the crashes...

And then I realised that the memory card wasn't seated properly. You needed to push it in with so much force you thought you were going to snap it, and then a little bit harder than that, for it to really push home. Although it seemed to work without being fully pushed home, the vibrations coming through the floor were just enough to cause the card to disconnect at some point, causing the crash. Thankfully it wasn't as a result of my cack-handed attempts at soldering ;)

BOFH: Will the last one out switch off the printer?

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: the next wrung up.

Real Lancashire, or one of the bits subsumed by Greater Manchester ?

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

Kevin Fairhurst

In Corby?

Maybe up Studfall, not in the one on Charter Court... (which has electric menu screens now, but they seem to be driven by a DVD player rather than a Windows boxen)

How do you like them Apples? Cook drops 'record' 30 times* on conf call as iPhone sales up, services up, wearables up

Kevin Fairhurst
Unhappy

Profits are up, but taxes are down?

Trebles all round, then!

The Six Million Dollar Scam: London cops probe Travelex cyber-ransacking amid reports of £m ransomware demand, wide-open VPN server holes

Kevin Fairhurst

"there is still no evidence to date that any data has been exfiltrated"

... because all the computers are switched off, and the data on them has been encrypted anyway.

Of course, once the professionals get in to the systems and look at the logs we'll find that there *IS* evidence of data exfiltration, going back months, but by then the execs will all have "retired" on big fat bonuses...

A Notepad nightmare leaves sysadmin with something totally unprintable

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Support ticket

What’s worse, open a CSV file in Excel, close it again, and Excel will “helpfully” save the file even though you didn’t click save. It doesn’t want you to lose those contract number -> scientific notation conversions it did in the background which you didn’t want!

Still to this day when asking users to download csv files from a client “portal” to send me a copy BEFORS they open in excel to play around with it, not after!

Vote rigging, election fixing, ballot stuffing: Just another day in the life of a Register reader

Kevin Fairhurst

Reminds me of a time...

Must have been around 15 years ago now. While enjoying a bottle of wine I thought I would peruse their website, and they were running a competition to win half a dozen bottles. On attempting to enter the competition, I found that the script wasn't working, so I went through the source code and figured out how to submit my entry.

A few weeks later I found out that I had won the competition, and duly received my free wine. And it was only then at that point that I realised I could have entered multiple times from multiple email addresses (and with multiple physical address locations as well, e.g. parents, work, etc) and therefore won multiple prizes. I may have been the only person to enter the competition unless someone else had also figured out the submission issue...

The eagle has handed.... scientists a serious text message bill after flying through Iran, Pakistan

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: No EU roaming charges

*so far* and until Brexit actually happens we don’t know what they will do, and they certainly don’t want to stop people subscribing with off putting statements...

But when, post Brexit, all the EU providers start passing on massive bills to the UK networks, because they’re no longer beholden to the “cross EU” services rules, how long do you think until those charges start getting passed along to the customers?

We read the Brexit copyright notices so you don't have to… No more IP freely, ta very much

Kevin Fairhurst

“Also changing are rules on EU Portability Regulation. This currently allows people to access online services from anywhere in Europe as if they were at home.”

So that’s the end of cross-EU mobile roaming, then. Why would companies pay for this when they can pass the costs on to the customer?

And I am sure Sky have a nice list of all the people/businesses they investigated who are using Eu TV decoders... so never mind the police, Sky will be ready to enforce that one as soon as they’re legally able!

Vulture Central team welcomed to our new nest by crashed Ubuntu that's 3 years out of date

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: So which local boozer should I avoid? :)

"Refreshing fruit water to keep you and your guests hydrated throughout the day."

GAK!

Kevin Fairhurst

So which local boozer should I avoid? :)

Cittie of Yorke, Chris Hatton or do you cross over to Inn of Court?

For real this time, get your butt off Python 2: No updates, no nothing after 1 January 2020

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Ada?

We used Ada on my CompSci course at York, '94 to '97. And then when I learned PL/SQL in 2001 I realised that it was pretty much ripped off from Ada :)

UK plod could lose access to 79 million criminal alerts in event of a no-deal Brexit

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Hmm

I have never seen anyone being told why they voted leave. What I have seen is false equivalence from leave voters; “I want a hard Brexit, I voted leave, 17million others voted leave, we all want a hard Brexit”

What people rightly point out is that you cannot make that leap across the entire dataset using a sample size of 1. The ballot did not differentiate between the various scenarios in which we might leave, therefore you cannot know what leave voters (as a whole) were voting for. This is usually met with the response you gave and head meets desk...

Here's to beer, without which we'd never have the audacity to Google an error message at 3am

Kevin Fairhurst

Once upon a time I worked on the Commissions system at a mobile telco... I haven't the foggiest what was going live that night but I made it clear to the people doing the deployment that I was going to be unavailable, as I was going to see Iron Maiden at Brixton Academy (which means, thanks to SongKick I can tell you it was 20th March 2002).

So having thoroughly enjoyed the gig, and many alcoholic beverages with mates, I'm off the last tube and waiting for the night bus home. And my phone rings. I don't recall any of the conversation, but something had gone wrong, and I was being asked if I could help them identify what!

My boss said he had two things to note... I was quite obviously hammered, and yet was giving the exact SQL commands for him to run with no problems whatsoever. And I was very loud, so half of south London probably heard what I was saying :)

Apple disables iPad for 48 years after toddler runs amok

Kevin Fairhurst
Joke

Re: Three year olds can't read

So THAT'S where I left my copy...

USB4: Based on Thunderbolt 3. Two times the data rate, at 40Gbps. One fewer space. Zero confusing versions

Kevin Fairhurst

Now the marketing team can insist on fitting the slowest ports and still claim “it has the latest USB3.2” on the spec sheet. Trebles all round!

OK, team, we've got the big demo tomorrow and we're feeling confident. Let's reboot the servers

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Why?!

And if the software doesn't exist that does what you want, you have the right to write it yourself :)

iPhone price cuts are coming, teases Apple CEO. *Bring-bring* Hello, Apple UK? It's El Reg. You free to chat?

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: I can confirm...

His problem with snow was obviously that there was none, and therefore he was having to go to work.

(Corby based but drive through Northampton on my commute)

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

Kevin Fairhurst

New Road bad!

This is a local shop for local people! There’s nothing for you here!

Royal Bank of Scotland, Natwest fling new bank cards at folks after Ticketmaster hack

Kevin Fairhurst

Halifax changed my card last year

A couple of months after I’d phoned and asked if it needed changing due to Ticketmaster and British Airways. “Not at all” they said.

Then they did it without warning, meaning repeat payments screwed up. Typical. Except PayPal somehow managed to get the new card number without me needing to tell them...

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: Horrible

We picked up an electric meat slicer (can also be used for the bread from the bread machine!)

It’s fantastic for when I cook the Sunday roast on the BBQ... it slices really nicely so leftovers can be easily used for sandwiches the next day :)

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: click this

Sod this football / tennis malarkey, what’s your take on Greenalgh’s vs Galloways?

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

Kevin Fairhurst

Came in to work one Monday to find that the Unix system was borked... on investigation it appeared that a large number of files & folders had gone missing, probably by someone doing an incorrect rm.

Our systems were shared with our US office who supported the UK outside of our core hours (we were in from 7am to ensure trading was ready for 8am, they were available to field staff until 10pm UK time) so we suspected it was one of our US counterparts who had done it, but had no way to prove it.

Rather than try and fix anything, they'd gone through and deleted all logs and history entries so we could never find the evidence we needed!

Restoring the system from a recent backup brought everything back online again, as one would expect!

'World's favorite airline' favorite among hackers: British Airways site, app hacked for two weeks

Kevin Fairhurst

"We are deeply sorry for the disruption that this criminal activity has caused."

It's criminal that they allowed a breach of this scale to 1) happen, 2) continue happening for two weeks!

Hackers clock personal deets on 'two million' T-Mobile US subscribers

Kevin Fairhurst

Ah what's the problem with that? Okay so my bank uses my mobile phone for 2FA, and this means that the crims can take over my mobile number, and therefore intercept the 2FA messages from my bank, meaning they can take over my bank account too. But what's the big deal, right?

Grad sends warning to manager: Be nice to our kit and it'll be nice to you

Kevin Fairhurst

Re: what the fuck does PC LOAD LETTER mean?

I always went for NEED NEW CRAYONS but was asked to stop as there had been “complaints”

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