* Posts by gannett

44 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Aug 2008

Email blocklisting: A Christmas gift from Microsoft that Linode can't seem to return


My domain name hosting partner offloads mail handing to a ?big? aggregate provider. Despite my domains impeccable reputation, my email to folks on Hotmail sometimes gets blocked (by Hotmail) because of the bad behaviour of others using the same provider at the IP address level of that provider. Not much to be done except moan to domain name provider and send email again in a few days when the landscape changes. I only send about 10 emails per day but the reputation of the sending domains seems to count for nothing.

When everyone else is on vacation, it's time to whip out the tiny screwdrivers


Re: Ha!

Early 2011 17inch MBP here - it's the original machine just two new motherboards ( one replaced under Apple recall), CDROM swapped for a SSD, doubled up memory and two replacement batteries. First replacement battery only lasted 18 months before blowing out like a cheep sausage on a BBQ. Second one seems to be doing better. Both batteries ordered from Amazon - I suspect they are clones rather than OEM. Just needs to last till the new M1 MBP arrive.

My bad! So you're saying that redacting an on-screen PDF with Tipp-Ex won't work?


HMRC still has wrong/internal .pdf version of SA100 tax return posted for year 2017

The 2016 SA100 and other years form can be downloaded, completely filled in on screen and printed. The 2017 version only has the .pdf form structured fields for the tax payer identification details on Page 3 but none of the fields that a Tax payer would actually need to fill in. Income, interest etc. From this I conclude that HMRC has posted the wrong version of the .pdf SA-100 form. The one posted seems to be an internal staff form used when staff are manually sending a punter the form and not the one intended for home completion. This posed a problem for doctors and others hand-writingly challenged ( me )

The other sub-forms for the 2017 tax year and main form for other years did have the .pdf forms fields ready for completion. Capital gains tax, Employee pages etc

Yes I reached out to them twice ( and El Reg) but form was never fixed and remains the pen only version to this day. See here https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/626131/SA100_2017.pdf

Brit registrar 123-Reg begins 2021 in much the same way it ended 2020 – with DNS issues


Yet another DNS fail at 123reg.co.uk

It's technical but Email from private domains at 123reg have been marked as spam senders by SPF fails at Google's Gmail for months now.

The DNS txt lines at 123reg.co.uk are so long and chaotic that they cannot be sent in a single UDP packet. Google declines to get the full TXT/SPF records and thus marks 123reg.co.uk customer domains as spam senders.

$ dig 123reg.co.uk TXT


123reg.co.uk. 3600 IN TXT "v=spf1 include:a.123-reg.co.uk ip4: ip4: ip4: ip4: include:trustpilotservice.com include:spf.mandrillapp.com include:spf.protection.outlook.com include:sendgrid.net include:mailcontrol.com include:s" "pf.em.secureserver.net ~all"

notice the broken bit in quotes near the end >>> include:s" "pf.em.secureserver.net ~all" <<< that's the failure point. Customers with own email sending domains have to guess (from a wide selection) which of the outbound 123reg.co.uk email server will be in use. As you know a domain that sends emails out via another has to inherit that domains SPF record.

Yes they have been told/shown/proven this problem and admitted the issue but have failed to correct the problem. Other proper hosting providers do this technical point correctly. Despite promoting hosted domains as suitable for email and web friendly they disappointingly fail to deliver ( or send correctly ).

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick


Still rolling on MBP 2011

Rolling on a 17inch MacBook Pro 2011 I did feel twinge of sadness when the machine could not upgrade to the latest OS. After replacing the CD-ROM with an SSD on day two of ownership and recently doubling the RAM to 16GB the system still copes well with research and development tasks. Replacing two motherboards ( one free under recall, one paid for) and putting in a new battery I expect to be using this one for a few years more. I waited for ages before looking at the latest shiny mac toy but would miss the big screen, traditional 3 * USB, external display port and wired ethernet but the firewire not so much.

Upgrading would also obsolete the Adobe CS5 and office that I regularly use but don't want to buy again from scratch. Despite it's high initial price and spendy repairs to get 9 years (and counting) service out of a laptop proves the benefits of repairability and upgradeability. Retail machine power exceeded most consumer needs in about 2010 and Intel have plateaued since. For my other desktops upgrading the GPU has and storage has kept them from needing a refresh.

Buying a new mouse/keyboard every few years make a desktop machine feel fresh again and is certainly cheaper / greener then swapping out the whole device.

Server-side Swift's slow support story sours some: Apple lang tailored for mobile CPUs, lacking in Linux world

Thumb Up

I learnt Swift last year - now my brain is better.

Fitting the slender demographic of mac owning old crusty unix hack with enough time on hands for something new, last year I chose to learn Swift. Coming from a Perl and C background it has taken a while to get head round objects and iterators but I now really like the newish language. I can really see how this modern language has made it possible to build more robust software from the ground up. Like INGSOC (from 1984 (the book by G. Orwell)) the language is structured and typed enough to remove dangerous (index out by 1) faults and common runtime problems. On the native Mac it has a low barrier to entry being usable for cmd line scripts without pre-compilation or linking and gives out helpful error message on parse failures. Good on-line documentation and tutorials available for free.

Once off a Mac things do get tricky, Ubuntu installs are available, one right from the App Store, but they lack the support libraries for GUI building and multitasking and toolchain seems rather fragile and version sensitive.

Overall a great language that has built on the best bits of older languages but may end up as the next Pascal.

PS: Yes I mostly edit the src in Vim with colour coding package added but sometimes wander over to the Xcode dark side.

ERP disaster zone: The mostly costly failures of the past decade


Re: I'm just a user....

To be fair similar sales related chaos was seen when Veritas was split out again from SYMC and that was just an ERP split-in-two. I seemed there was just a few too many "Special" sales processes that no-one knew about.

Beware the trainee with time on his hands and an Acorn manual on his desk

Black Helicopters

Xroach - such fun we had.

I guess the evolution of net write was sending X11 output to someone else's workstation.

Anyone remember xroach that would hide cockroaches under windows that would scatter and go under other display windows ?

XROACH 1 "Release 4" "X Version 11"


xroach - cockroaches hide under your windows


B xroach [-option .,..]


Xroach displays disgusting cockroaches on your root window. These

creapy crawlies scamper around until they find a window to hide

under. Whenever you move or iconify a window, the exposed beetles

again scamper for cover.

Er, hi. Small Q. Where's our billion-ish dollars gone? We summarize Bitcoin exchange's subpoena requests


Same con different space

Somehow "The police/authorities have arrived and confiscated the loot from our dodgy transaction" sounds just too much like the end of multiple confidence trick movies and TV show plot lines.

Apple blinks on iPhone repairs, touts parts program for independent tech mechanics... sort of


Not for car servicing - BER

Thanks to the EU, since 2003, cars can be serviced by independents and not void warranty as long as manufacturer parts are used. Why this was not done for all consumer products - who knows ?

The Block Exemption Regulation is an exemption in a business line or industry, which debars organizations in the industry from some business activities in order to create competition. The regulation is highly known in the automobile industry due to the effect caused by the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) from the European Commission.[1][2] BER has changed the automobile industry in the last decade.[3] Prior to 2003 automobile owners in the EU region risk nullifying their vehicle warranty when the vehicles were serviced or repaired in workshops not belonging to the vehicle manufacturer or its dealers. This barrier was broken in October 2003, when the European Commission (EC) passed a law allowing vehicle owners the freedom of having their servicing and repairs done at their chosen workshop.[4]

FROM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Block_Exemption_Regulation


Just saying ..

You know why all those Apple shops and buildings are made out of glass (even the staircases in the shops) ?

..... Fanboi legend has it that's them being all eco and recycling broken iDevice screens.

Remember when Lenovo sold PCs with Superfish adware? It just got a mild scolding from FTC


Dell still stuffing products

Dell still stuffing products : Got an Inspiron along side a corporate server. Stuffed with Mcafee not a choice, no questions. Just "boom" there it was a multi headed interfering bloatware.

We checked and yup, it's no longer 2001. And yet you can pwn a Windows box via Notepad.exe


Recompile is the new rebuild.

Capital One gets Capital Done: Hacker swipes personal info on 106 million US, Canadian credit card applicants


"applied for one of our credit card products from 2005 through early 2019 .. "

Retaining application form data from 2005-2019 ?, some will be 10 Years ago ? Sounds like data hoarding to me.

Cray's found a super scooper, $1.3bn's gonna buy you. HPE's the one

Thumb Up

Working at Cray

I worked at Cray for 8 years in the 90’s, the people were great, the was kit fantastic and I still use lessons learnt from those years especially in multi core programming. The customers were demanding but they had spent $Millions to buy them. The SGI merge was a flop from the start, USA Midwest company trying to mash with West coast outfit.

As a computer guy starting work at Cray was like a car mechanic going to work for Lamborghini.

.EU wot m8? Brexit smacks fresh registrations of bloc's top-level domain


Another abusive TLD.

Not seeing .eu spam just now but TLD .icq that represents a misspelled. "I Seek You" from old radio jargon is spewing tons. Apparently the registrar wants an abuse form for each one of the 100s of sending domains. It's a snowshoe operation pimping the typical junk facilitated by the usual masking agents of Cloudflare and a domain register that can't find the common end point in the 100s of their own domain names. Typically malware/phishing slips out every under the cover of a 100 or so semi-legit looking emails.

SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability


Ouch !

Ban JavaScript, flash and other platforms that import code.

Trust nothing.

Air gap trusted and performance platforms.

Phished IT bod opens door to 40,000 finance folks' personal details


full disclosure and transparancy

And in the interests of full disclosure and transparancy not a mention on the website anywhere....


Web searching died the day they invented SEO


I partly blame the attitude/operation of Pinterest and similar sites. Content stolen from other sites and put behind sign-up wall. Original back references are lost to unacknowledged sources. Google then priorities the pinterest results losing the route to the original content.

A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2


Calendars suck for "people resource planning" in anything other than a trivial teamsize.

Can't control how many leave entries put in on a day,

Can't add up total leave days over a year,

Can't ensure that min levels of various skill levels within team. language, technology, etc.

No auditing of versions to see who changed what.

Excel can do all of that and push publish to HTML. We had a page a week 3 teams 50 people diary/resource plan that showed all the skill levels with green/amber/red highlighting.

Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!


Re: Thats nothing. Weve got one that 27yrs old.

Is that one of the VAXs converted to beer fridge ?



Sun Enterprise 220R - Managed 15 Years as external FTP server

We had a Sun Enterprise 220R - that ran as an External FTP server until recently. 150GB spread over 8 drives. Did have a few new bits along the way. IT ignored it for so long they lost the console connection for 18 months. Service manual still available here : https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19088-01/220r.srvr/806-1081-10/806-1081-10.pdf

Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user


Re: Every day's a school day

The notorious round "puc" mouse that Apple put out with G3s was an on going pain as it had no natural orientation in the hand. Oval and rectangular mouse at least have a natural n-s orientation. Round mice Fail

When we said don't link to the article, Google, we meant DON'T LINK TO THE ARTICLE!


Re: Not so easy...



Re: Ooh, goody, the Streisand effect.

Represented by Sue,Grabbit&Run.


Re: This will be tough...

Yes but only told in Germany (Munich). It's a bigger world now.

Yeah, if you could just stop writing those Y2K compliance reports, that would be great


COBOL has been a fossil since 1980 at least and that's over a working lifetime ago.

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


I just become my elderly Dad - none of the provided instructions work - I don't know what he means by xyzzy please explain more - jump into sounds control panel and just keep generating bleep, bongs and pings down the phone. Add in a few choice phrases like "This won't upset my internet banking will it ? " & Can I send you a cheque for helping me fix this ? - Rinse and repeat.

Apple fans, Android world scramble to patch Broadcom's nasty drive-by Wi-Fi security hole


Item of interest

I did wonder how "john" in Person of Interest took over phones just by being near them.

The developer died 14 years ago, here's a print out of his source code


Data is the life blood

If you have the data that's the key. You can at least move forward on a new system if you can import the old account data. No backups /live copies except ancient CDs - stuffed.

I recently replaced a 10+ year old small biz mailing list + mini CRM with a single Excel sheet. Once the data was extracted all 7500 records, a new system can handle that on a page. Finding a data extractor for Paradox.db was the value add provided.

Bad payers - sue/small claims court em - it's good for all of us in the long run.

Symantec sources claim exec teams in place by April Fools' Day


> at risk of redundancy ten days ago, and are believed to number tens of thousands of individuals.

Me thinks that's a big fat exaggeration or blatant error. Would make it a 40% RIF.

http://www.symantec.com/en/uk/about/profile/business.jsp has ... More than 21,500 employees worldwide.

That's a bit unlikely.

Eco-friendly fluid keeps SGI supercomputer cool and moist


Re: Aesthetics

That's mixing the Cray hardware details folks. The Cray 1 and Cray XMPs had the "seats" covering the power supplies, and the Cray 2, Cray 3 and T series had the immersion cooling (no seats). More details on the Cray FAQ home page on


Building PCs into fish tanks full of clear Mineral oil is feasable http://hackedgadgets.com/2008/10/24/computer-cooled-using-a-mineral-oil-filled-fish-tank/

but without secondary oil cooling, when worked hard, eventually it will overheat as the oil -> air interface is thermally slow.

Symantec fires CEO Steve Bennett: To lose 1 chief is unfortunate, to lose 2 is OK, apparently


Re: yup, money money money

Bennett was a changer that was moving the needle and dumping the numties and fat 1:3 sales management layers.

Sorting a tech corp takes time. Refactoring products is a long term process

esp when the cash cows are still milking.

Dumping Steve is a step back to the quarter-at-a-time pointy hair management style.

Belgian judge mulled BANNING APPLE (actually, its website) in Euro warranty row


MBP '15 2011 - Fails after 2..3 years

In the long and sorry tale about MacBookPro 2011 Graphics/Motherboard failures


2011 MacBook Pro and Discrete Graphics Card^H^H^Hhip

Apple is clearly not honoring the 6 Year for manufactoring defects rules in the UK. Trying to get a repair refunded under Section 75 Consumer credit act from the CCard company is frought with delay and missdirection.

Cisco HAUNTED by $655m memory components snag


Would be good if ....

Would be good if .... other companies accepted that the expected life of electronics kit is more than the 3 years accounting depreciation period.

EXAMPLE : about time Apple got in front of the high failure rate of the 2011 MacBookPro 15' Integrated graphics chip failures that kill motherboards.

Australia rebukes Apple for 'false or misleading representations'


It's just so "Me too"

Apple got a slap from EU for exactly the same thing. see http://www.apple.com/uk/legal/statutory-warranty/

and when you have had a MBP 2012 laptop costing £1400 need a £470 new logic board after 14 months you will understand the need to do this. Pity USA folks that don't buy the extended warranty or those many folks with 2011 15' MacBookPro with failing Graphics chips (again) in forum https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4766577?start=375&tstart=0

Star Trek: The original computer game


And the spin-offs ..

Blake's 7 anyone ? o-= becomes *-= with a few other string substitutions your in any universe you choose. Such were the blessing of src code distros. I have a terminal session stuck in a "Twisty maze of passages all alike" here on OSX, hints anyone ?

Iomega Prestige Portable 1TB


Check the guarantee

Do not buy any disk drive product that does not include at least a 3 year guarantee. If the maker is not confident that the drive will last that long why should you be ? With external drives make sure that includes the power supply brick as those are prone to failure as well.

Apart from the customer forums Iomega has a "product in warranty" only support policy. I bought an Iomega 1TB drive on the day OSX Leopard and Time machine were released. It's dead and gone now thanks to the failing PS brick killing the enclosure electronics. That drive cost me over £100 per year of service.


Ten Essential... 500GB Portable Hard Drives


Check the guarantee

Do not buy any disk drive product that does not include at least a 3 year guarantee. If the maker is not confident that the drive will last that long why should you be ? With external drives make sure that includes the power supply brick as those are prone to failure as well.

Do some math .. Divide cost by length of guarantee and see what cost per year you will paying. If it comes out to be more than on-line storage think again.


British Library to scan 40m newspaper pages


HD & OCR is key

Lets hope the scans will be of high enough resolution / contrast to be actually readable, have lossless compression on the images and that the OCRing will be usefull/intelegent enough to index with differentiated titles.

Future generations will need to know who ate the hampster.


UK media: 'Met Office computer will destroy the world'


Same price tag as 7 years ago

A couple of things on the BBC news article http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/8224956.stm about this story. Firstly yesterday they had a picture of the previous ukmet NEC computer rather than the current IBM system. The soraway Sun had the right picture.

Secondly the price tag. At £30m this seems to have been the price for a big "super" for the last few years. Back in 2002 Ukmet paid GBP 27.5 M for the previous NEC + services.

BTW The Ukmet machine from '94 was a 16 Gflop Cray C90. About what an Intel Quadcore Q6600 PC can do these days. C90 price tag £30M, PC Price tag £350.

Serial killer may have been conjured by DNA blunder


Q: Just how scientific and balanced is this swab process ?

A: ... Not Very

Science 101 - Do your experiments and have a control sample. Don't just look for evidence that proves a theory of guilt - look as hard for evidence that disproves your theory.

Alien ? - We only test delusional country bumpkins to prove how clever mankind has become before the invasion .

Biometrics exhibit blushes over email snafu


Wellcome to *all* your data

Not such a larf when you remember that the The Wellcome trust is piviotal in the running of UK Biobank. http://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk/

" UK Biobank is a large cohort study comprising 500,000 men and women aged between 40 and 69, recruited in the UK . It began in 2003 and will run for up to 30 years. The study involves collection of data on health and lifestyle, blood sampling for biochemical and genetic analysis, and long term follow up via NHS medical records to accumulate data on health outcomes. The project is sponsored jointly by the Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, the Department of Health and the Scottish Executive. "

Was asked to join this data scoop-up but declined using "a lack of trust" reason. I think I will print this article out and send a "Told you so" and feel really smug all week.