* Posts by the hatter

66 posts • joined 18 Feb 2009

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So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise

the hatter

Re: Looking for liquidated damages.........

People are expensive, so when you replace a contract with a person, that has to come with a strong admission that the contract was far from fit for purpose. It does happen frequently enough that a supplier's dedicated engineer to a company gets hired into the company, which comes with a measure of certainty. Also happens that companies carry on paying overthe odds even when staff are annoyed that their budget is being wasted on a contract they could be doing themselves for substantially less, but the highers up don't want to admit they were wrong, or be reliant on their own staff rather than a contact - which if they need to rely on, ends up costing them a lawyer anyway.

the hatter

Re: To my shame ..

We were all in an episode of the IT Crowd, that's why it hit a certain nerve. See also "Do you read Dilbert ?" "Read it ? I live it"

the hatter

Re: Ah, customers.

Exactly - no point having a standard, then letting people arbitrarily choose how to handle non-standard data, else you'll find that passing 'acceptable' data to different 'compliant' processors and getting different results. At that point, you don't have a working standard.

the hatter

Re: Ah, customers.

200.73 OK(ish)

the hatter
Mushroom

Something wrong with the also -standard media-loved unit of 'olympic-sized swimming pools" ? Though I do reckon chernobyl's output when it went wrong *could* boil a number of london buses.

Behold: The ghastly, preening, lesser-spotted Incredible Bullsh*tting Customer

the hatter

Re: Yes the users are bad

Not really their fault, just archaic usage. When the main cabinet of transistors, valves and cables didn't contain a potted silicon die, it was the CPU. Miniaturisation happened and more and more parts became integrated into the big cabinet, and then into the little boxes. Pretty sure even when I was at school in the 80s the diagram of a PC was labelled 'keyboard', 'VDU', 'CPU', 'printer'.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

the hatter

Re: And what about the people ...

Some are, the app is useless to us^Wthem, because there's one app in the foreground 99% of the time, and it's not a contact tracker

the hatter

Re: And what about the people ...

Similar experience. I suspect in some small part, the availability of cheap PAYG and cheap low-ned handsets and the difficulty in getting a non-smartphone unless you're really trying to avoid one. Once you've bought your parents/grandparents one, they become, if not hooked, then at least understanding of the conveniences. The younger generations don't want to print out and post photos of themselves/offspring/pets, and maintaining/not-breaking their smartphone is rather easier than keeping an occasionally-used laptop happy, for both parties, so whether it's email, faceb**k, or whatever.

Plus unlike US telephony, in the UK calling from landline to a non-local mobile can cost some, whereas mobile to mobile is almost always 'free', and even if the older folks answer their landlines, noone else does.

the hatter

Re: Hanlon's razor

> In general, treating responsible adults like responsible adults will produce positive and constructive results

Like we did when we asked people to just stay home and not gather, unless they had to, and just be sensible about it ? If it worked, we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place. The only positive results as a result of treating adults like responsible adults have been in bio labs running swab tests, up and down the country. The flaw in your argument is trying to apply 'sensible adults' to a general population of adults, in a situation where we have specifically seen the scope of damage from the less sensible fraction.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

the hatter
Facepalm

Re: Experienced tester.

Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this. Well then stop doing that.

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING

the hatter
Boffin

Re: "my backpack can weigh between 8 and 14kg"

I'm sure I heard a fatal 'crack' when it hit the rim before falling in. Did you hear that too, or are you going to fish it out to check ? (icon - going to need PPE to get that)

Train-knackering software design blunder discovered after lightning sparked Thameslink megadelay

the hatter

Re: Bugger

Think of it like needing a manager to approve certain refunds in a shop. It's an unusual enough circumstance, something that shouldn't really happen, and thus they probably aren't going to be certain why it happened. Better to just cause a bit of inconvenience, and let someone on a better pay grade make the decision about the best way to proceed. Surely if you're in this business, you know users who click dialogues and warnings to continue, without considering why they are clicking them. Also I'd hope you're familiar with situations happening that 'can't' happen, and what look like obvious problems which aren't fixed by (repeatedly) making the obvious fix. All becomes routine, then something catastrophic happens because they weren't thoroughly investigated.

For once, the cause of it reading a low frequency was exactly what you'd expect, but the network running at that frequency 'shouldn't happen', but I'd guess the power train, which needs to be very efficient, may well be massively damaged if drivers kept pushing the restart button, which would strand the passengers for longer, quite aside from operating such a high energy system out of spec.

A Notepad nightmare leaves sysadmin with something totally unprintable

the hatter

I recall a particular period of time, where geeks who grew up on windows started migrating to linux. Viewing a file on windows you'd click and it opened in notepad, so viewing a file on linux you used your editor of choice (vi, joe, nano, depending on what your distribution had taught you to use). I certainly steered a goodly number away from using an editor when using a viewer (cat, more, less, the new-fangled ones followed) was sufficient, with the bonus that of course your natural instinct to exit went through a 'save' would mess up with whatever changes you inadvertently made while scrolling through was no longer a danger.

Xbox Series X: Gee thanks, Microsoft! Just what we wanted for Xmas 2020 – a Gateway tower PC

the hatter

Re: Ah yes but

Already an option, I noted as a non-Xbox-er who was looking at some detail the other day "Xbox One S All-Digital Edition" billed at $50 (and I assume £50) less than the normal One S, for those with poor budgeting skills. Might even make sense for MS to do an All Digital edition of the new one at launch, give a short-sighted cheapskate option for those who can't quite justify the price tag of the full-fat version at launch.

Internet world despairs as non-profit .org sold for $$$$ to private equity firm, price caps axed

the hatter

Re: Is it just me?

You can buy it from several places, but they all buy it from the organisation that pays for the infra to make it exist. The alternative is an 'alt root' - right now, most people ask icann about every single domain, who ask the nominated registry. If you add a different, or a second root, you could ask one, the other, or both where 'archive.org' is located on the internet. A different domain root may have an entirely separate .org directory, where archive'org either doesn't exist, or is in the same place, or is in some other place entirely (possibly owned by a completely different organisation). You might experience this on a massively smaller scale, if your company has for instance test and internal systems listed on a nameserver that only answers internally - instead of asking ICANN where 'yourcompany.com' is, your computer is told to ask your company nameserver directly. Whereas the internal and real NSs both know that www.yourcompany.com has a certain IP address, the internal one knows where test.yourcompany.com lives, the public one will tell you it simply doesn't exist. controlpanel.yourcompany.com may have one address for outside users, but internal users get pointed at a version with supervisor/admin functions included.

Second time lucky: Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

the hatter

Re: Stating the obvious

Mr A repeatedly, openly offered to be interviewed by the swedish authorities, it was quite the puzzle (unless you considered the US extradition issue) as to why they felt they could only conduct them in sweden. They were only over alleged crimes, not like it was regarding details on an offence that had already been prosecuted.

Labour: Free British broadband for country if we win general election

the hatter

Thats sounds like any number of high-density buildings in London. Funnily enough, installing one uplink and switch/router into the basement to then serve dozens/hundreds of tenants in a building is really easy money, compared to cabling up an equivalent number of homes - and of course it's all baked into the offer (whether free, or what looks like a good price for gig), it's a feature of the high-spec rental package, the building owner gets it at a fraction of the cost and the ISP gets a captive market, because the landlord won't allow a dozen other companies to bring in lines, run through all their ducts, punch holes through structure, etc. Look at the likes of hyperoptic.

"Londoners can't get more than 4Mb" is misdirection. Plenty/most londoners can get much better, plenty of rather rural people can too. But some unlucky londoners and more unlucky rural folk are behind the curve. It's the londoners I have sympathy for, because they're living somewhere you expect (and pay/rent to be close to) the latest facilities.

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?

the hatter

Re: The big red button

That's what makes the APC design all the more special. It *is* a serial connection, everything looks normal with the rx/tx/rtx/cts/ground pins all where you'd expect on a DB9 with levels you'd expect. Just they chose to do.... something weird with one of the other pins (I think DTR, but could be any of the remaining ones) which means that if you're not using their own serial cable, some common line is at the wrong level, and that signals the UPS to shut down the instant you connect a a computer to it with a regular serial cable.

Holy smokes! Ex-IT admin gets two years prison for trashing Army chaplains' servers

the hatter

Re: Some people just don't get it

After having a nice little break from the daily grind first, no doubt, and being treated with great reverence upon his return.

Ever own a Galaxy S4? Congrats, you're $10 richer as Samsung agrees payout over dodgy speed tests

the hatter

Re: S4 still running fine here :)

Not an option - the lawyers have already been paid, but any unclaimed compensation also generally goes to them, in cases like this. Do you want lawyers to get more money ?

The '$4.4m a year' bug: Chipotle online orders swallowed by JavaScript credit-card form blunder

the hatter

The customer is always right. The customer who can't order is even worse. There's a lot of lazy input forms, and in this particular instance, there are (afaik) exactly 4 possibly years that any current card can be expiring in. Is it too complicated for it to recognise '2019' and '19' as the same, across all 4 values, at least as far as client-side input ? You can do stricter validation server-side if it really matters, and in this case you get an extremely hard validation when you submit the payment request, if the customer has entered something really sneaky around your validation steps.

Similarly, forms which reject spaces in card or phone numbers, and double-beatings for those that have a specific error 'spaces not allowed in card/phone number' You clearly know exactly what I mean and why I'm typing it, it is both common and understandable why the customer has typed them, so do the trivial work to deal with them.

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students

the hatter

Re: sad mac

At least he has the opportunity in front of him to pick the correct mouse. A favourite in school/uni computer labs was to swap mice over where computers/benches are set up back to back, so everything looks normal, but someone else is using your computer's mouse and vice versa.

Brit couch potatoes increasingly switching off telly boxes in favour of YouTube and Netflix

the hatter

Iconic satellite dish ?

The only 'iconic' dish was from the company that put the 'BSB' into 'BSkyB', and their squariel. Nothing that notable about Sky's own generic small dishes. Still, looking forward to the time when Sky feel obliged to maintain their satellite fleet at great expense, because the clue is in the name, but enough people have moved to on-net provision

Sleeping Tesla driver wonders why his car ploughed into 11 traffic cones on a motorway

the hatter
Angel

Re: God loves idiots or He/She wouldn't have made so many of them.

Life is nature/god's way of keeping meat fresh.

Google's Fuchsia OS Flutters into view: We're just trying out some new concepts, claims exec

the hatter

Re: A new OS from Google

When google knows where you left your keys, that bolt you couldn't figure where it came from, your baby, or that last piece of your jigsaw puzzle, everyone's going to be signed up in an instant. (almost added 'your phone' as a popular misplaced item, before checking myself).

ALIS through the looking glass: F-35 fighter jet's slurpware nearly made buyers pull out – report

the hatter

Re: What happened...

You must be new here. The only thing that puts computers into second place on the list of 'reasons why things TITSUP' is humans. Save the humans to check the bits that computers can't, and to recheck the computer-checked bits sometimes to make sure nothing's amiss there (and feed back which checks are unreliable).

the hatter

Re: America : the #1 hypocrite

> NATO members would be required to do that anyway

It's called politics, just because you're supposed to do something, even agreed to do something, doesn't mean you will do it, and do so openly and in a timely fashion. They are allies, not equals.

If I bought the planes and want to tell the world that a squadron is mostly grounded because of mechanical issues, that is my perogative, regardless of it's actual readiness, or or where the airframes are being moved. If I want to reassure them that we stand strong with our ally, ready to support them against a hostile actor, though actually I'm not risking my people in those rattly death-traps, even though I sent a carrier of them to park nearby, it is not for my ally to nervously suggest I'm not putting enough budget into maintainance, nor for a rogue contractor to tip off our enemy that the call to arms is weaker than it looks.

the hatter

Maybe just deal with, or ignore, the merely-possible potential problem. Intelligence agencies spy on people, that's their job. All governments lean on companies to make that job easier, either at a corporate level, at insider level or via subterfuge (or all of the above). I don't think anyone doubts the USA does this too, so why are the US leaning heavily on foreign governments to blacklist huawei ? Those nations can make their own judgement as to who is the biggest threat to them, and to which sectors. It's pretty much a commercial decision, USA can't compete with china, sad but true, but this boycott won't change that, nor will it make any other nations more secure.

DigitalOcean drowned my startup! 'We lost everything, our servers, and one year of database backups' says biz boss

the hatter

Re: Idea...

> since the card readers at the pumps were typically skimmer heaven

Not only that, but they tend to ask for your ZIP code and verify it before dispensing. Which is not so helpful when your card is a UK card (either native £, or a $ currency card).

the hatter

Re: DigitalOcean hosts hackers

> If IPv6 ever happens, at least that should bring an end to all this scanning nonsense

It happened, and is hasn't.

the hatter

Re: Sad

Data egress is a cost of doing business (safely). If your team are aware of the consequences of provider fail (even aws and google have cross-region outages that last several hours, and some businesses that hour may actually be when they make the month's revenue) then they may be able to design some parts so the data is mirrored directly to the DR backups, rather than into one cloud then out to another, or efficient deltas transmitted between sites rather that who files/databases/object/etc every time. If none of those strategies apply, you should probably make your customers, investors and BC insurers are aware.

Planes, fails and automobiles: Overseas callout saved by gentle thrust of server CD tray

the hatter

Re: Three slots?

If you're not travelling on a flight after all, your luggage needs to come off. At some point when it becomes apparent that you might not be getting on the flight, people start figuring out who needs to be standing by, waiting for the word, to then unload your plane and pull your luggage off. But they don't want to just start unsealing the hold, pulling containers out, until they're sure you're not flying. So I guess they were trying to balance the time and labour costs off, stalling the go/no-go for the flight until finally they got word he was definitely boarding.

the hatter

Re: Brad, of course, was in Europe

Also, regarding the lineage of the Commander-in-Chief.

PuTTY in your hands: SSH client gets patched after RSA key exchange memory vuln spotted

the hatter

Re: "Sure, the latter lets the terrorists"

Your argument follows when talking about bespoke products for small markets with ongoing changing needs. It's completely backwards for a company selling volume of a highly regulated/certified product. There's little reason not to have your new 737 be pretty much identical to the current model from 5 years ago, if it costs a lot less from a cloner. And no reason for boeing to spend millions/billions on making substantiative developments just to ship a better model each week, meanwhile cloners could happily keep up for more modular tweaks and fixes made to older models. Both aircrew and maintainence crew benefit from a very standardised product that doesn't have big changes between each plane they touch.

The HeirPod? Samsung Galaxy Buds teardown finds tiny wireless cans 'surprisingly repairable'

the hatter

Re: Wireless?

Obvious ? Because cycling with headphones in means you certainly can't hear what's going on, whereas being sat in an metal box purposefully designed to be soundproofed is fine ? Or am I missing something. And no, I'm not even a cyclist these days, but even as a pedestrian with passively isolating headphones I'm sure I can hear more than I can as a driver.

the hatter

Re: Why bother?

If apple have spent their effort making good earbuds and samsung have spent their on making repairable earbuds, then samsung have lost, and rightly so. Better to spend no money and cause no pollution and have no earbuds. Quite aside from that, 99.9% of owners won't get their buds repaired anyway, so why suffer the substantially worse product ? I can't even see there being a substantial refurb market; at least with a more repairable handset, in 2 years time someone may get a few quid, a refurb company stick a new battery in, and someone else gets a new-to-them phone. In first world countries, buying a refurb phone is still a niche activity, while most salvaged handsets are shipped elsewhere. Are premium wireless buds going to be that valuable in other markets ?

Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey

the hatter

Re: Platinum Crucibles

On a good year, your department could even make a profit on that sort of transaction.

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

the hatter
Stop

Re: Placement of kill switch and other quirks

Problem is, EPOs are pretty much required to be somewhere quickly accessible near the space they protect, and obviously you want access to it protected to the same access level as the equipment. Then door releases obviously should be located near the door, and in places where people turn the lights off, that probably should be there. However, putting these switches all together at least shows the user there is a choice to make - the alternative it an exit, and an action to perform (release door/turn off lights) - if the user glances at one lonely switch, they're going to press it, so if their gaze falls on the EPO rather than the one placed not quite close enough, they're just going to hit it, with autopilot engaged.

Molly guards, and putting EPOs out of direct sight line are options in some locations, but other times, local or national regulations prohibit them

Apple hardware priced so high that no one wants to buy it? It's 1983 all over again

the hatter

Re: No, you don't wish you'd have bought it.

You will ask google, and if it has any form of battery cell in it, you will go get it now and at least snip out the old battery before it does any (more) damage.

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

the hatter

Re: Ah, the carefree days of yore

We are a two-dyson household. Mine (upright) has done sterling service for years, including not infrequent uses where I should use a shop vac. Mine benefits from an (easy) stripdown and cleanout every year or two. OH's cylinder one properly died, but as most of the cost seems to be mechanical design, replacing the whole motor cost me I think £25 (turns out I could just have replaced a brush, for even less), a couple of quid for a long enough driver (was probably torx, and too narrow a path to use an extender bar) and pretty much minutes to disassemble. Got a proper clean at that point too, which certainly did it no harm.

More recently, I was impressed by their adverts, and what they didn't say. Finally dawned on me that 'cordless is so good we no longer make corded' is another way of saying 'the EU can't police our motor power (whose methodology we disagree with) if we're drawing it from a battery'.

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

the hatter

Re: Do people really need reminding buses are still running?

Except the tfl website also didn't know where the buses were, because the buses themselves also used o2 to tell control where they are.

Raspberry Pi supremo Eben Upton talks to The Reg about Pi PoE woes

the hatter

Re: Oh dear, a fan

Without a strong plan for a sufficiently low-power display that is still large and legible enough, you're going to end up needing a power socket for that part anyway. Even keeping within the higher currents provided by the later specs, your switch may be limited to how many can be supplied at that current, vs all 12/24/48 ports at a lower standard.

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

the hatter

Re: The guy who set up that rack

> Most rack mount keyboard/display units have a hinged or flexible arm just for this.

It did take manufacturers several decades to get to this point, and neither low-end kit, nor reassuringly expensive boxes were necessarily quick to join this trend. Not necessarily feasible to have everything secured too, when a rack's keyboard would be moved between servers at the top/middle//bottom of the cab. Especially in places which didn't have the budget for expensive serial console servers (only for a moderately expensive proprietary keyboard).

By gum: Supermicro's Samsung storage ruler server uses secret SSD

the hatter

Re: Question:

Software raid has a much better chance of keeping up with your needs, especially since there are fewer instances of spinning rust, and the related paradigms that host cards were built with, and (except at this sort of scale) we have enough spare CPU on the side to manage it, rather than having to offload it to a separate processor. But at this scale, you wouldn't want to fund the development of a controller card powerful enough, given how few units would ship.

Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

the hatter

It's a great safety feature where it make sense - why make it a possible failure mode when there's distance and load to accommodate doing it that way. But whether it's something like a simple high density data centre it becomes unworkable, and then literally impossible when you require diverse power feeds to even a single piece of kit for resilience.

East Midlands network-sniffer wails: Openreach, fix my outage-ridden line

the hatter

<quote>I don't, but that is irrelevant. If the issue is with the provider/Openreach kit there is no charge. if you have created the problem you will be charged. Not rocket science</quote>

But that's not how it works. More like one of these outcomes

(1) if they detect an issue with the provider/openreach kit, there is no charge.

(2) If there is a problem with the provider/openreach kit but they don't spot it, you get charged.

(3) if there is a problem with your kit, you get charged

(4) if there is a problem, and they can possibly blame it on anything other than their kit, regardless of being able to provide any proof, you get charged.

(5) the intermittent fault is not occurring when they attend, you get charged.

How many times would you like to pay BT £180 or whatever it is, for them to continue tell you simply 'it's not our problem' before you can finally find an engineer to actually diagnose a problem, that's happening when they attend ?

I doubt most reg readers have a problem with (1) or (3) but there is a strong incentive for openreach to push engineers not to try too hard, as then they get paid, and there's a strong incentive for engineers to close tickets ASAP because then they can get onto the next job.

Software changed the world, then died on the first of the month

the hatter

Please tell me that after going live around 20/10/19NN, and failing on (0)1/11/19NN that Stan got out of there before 01/(0)1/19NN+1 and someone had to debug that without the heads-up.

Well, that went well: Withings founder buys biz back from Nokia

the hatter

Re: On the alternative subject of finance

Mostly they're not being nokia, the handset maker that owned the world. Their cell infra side was always a strong sideline but when they lost the plot on handsets at least they got something out of MS (seeing as it was MS-flavoured koolaid that sealed that fate). Nokia died, but what remains is doing alright, considering.

US citizen sues France over France-dot-com brouhaha

the hatter

For a long time, there was a viking-direct domain with a website that claimed to supply all your horn-helmeted, nordic raiding needs, despite several attempts from a certain office stationery company to claim the domain had been registered in bad faith. Long before many UDRP and arbitration policies, or even scarily long domain registrant terms and conditions, and the owners were quite happy to do enough to keep the corporate lawyers busy trying to work out a solution, it was a long, entertaining saga.

the hatter

Re: Eh?

Hard to know without the details, but there are still a lot of companies who think that because you paid $10 for the domain, their offer of $200 is just far too good to have any reason to legitimately decline. My guess is that (at least without the risk of the french government just seizing it) there's half a dozen entities who would offer substantially more than than the government did, and that is it's market value. That's the value in forward thinking and planning.

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