* Posts by the hatter

138 posts • joined 18 Feb 2009


Council culture: Software test leads to absurd local planning SNAFU

the hatter

Re: This seems like a real legal loophole

Then applies for change of use, along with a large grant from the council to create precious housing resource, 6 months after the pigs move in ?

Oh! A surprise tour of the data centre! You shouldn't have. No, you really shouldn't have

the hatter

Re: year 2000

Seems to be a weird failure more in several triggered noise-making toys. I guess at a too-low battery level, it fails to be able to keep a transistor path open, so the noisy bits trigger - but with so little current available it just drones at a low, sinister frequency because that side can't power it's oscillator well enough to get a kid-friendly squeaks and beeps you'd expect. Evidence as to how they knows to start only in the hours of darkness is beyond the explanation of electrical engineering/the laws of physics.

Hacking the computer with wirewraps and soldering irons: Just fix the issues as they come up, right?

the hatter

Re: Computer O Level

I think you mean A** - and these days you'd get that just for switching a computer on in fewer than 3 attempts of pressing the power button.

Samsung: We will remotely brick smart TVs looted from our warehouse

the hatter

Because when your iphone is stolen, you can disable your iphone - the hypocrisy from samsung extolling societal benefits, yet they only use it to protect their own assets, won't extend the same courtesy to their own customers when the customer is in the same situation.

the hatter

Re: This seems normal

The difference is that you can't disable your samsung tv if it's stolen. If samsung's property is stolen, they'll press a button so it's got no resale value... but they won't let you press the button when your property is stolen, even though clearly that could be an option.

the hatter

Re: Seems pretty lenient

They tried that a few generations of smartphone ago - not a formal rollout, but random user tests showed a less than positive response for samsung products unexpectedly erupting in a fireball.

8 years ago another billionaire ploughed millions into space to harvest solar power and beam it back down to Earth

the hatter

Re: Cool idea, but...

From what ? Are you thinking that bootstrapping refinery and semiconductor manufacturing facilities in space will be cheap, or even feasible at any scale in any worthwhile timeframe, once you identify the asteroids you want to mine ?

the hatter

Re: Bzzzzzzz - phut!

Aircraft ? If amateur pilots won't read their NOTAMs, that's on them.

Northern Train's ticketing system out to lunch as ransomware attack shuts down servers

the hatter

Re: One Needs To Ask

Most tansomware isn't targeted, they simply hit any and all machines they can find a way into. Then data on the size of the target organisation probably based on both what the software says it sees and what google says about the identified org, is used to give them a price to pay.

UKRI denies pulling funding from Newport Wafer Fab over Chinese ownership concerns

the hatter

Re: Reciprocity

You can't trade in china unless you have a chinese company, and you can't have a chinese company unless there's a large chinese stakeholder. There's a very limited pool of chinese investors who will take on those 'partnerships', and you may guess that their influence isn't limited to simple business interests.

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

the hatter

Really depends on your circumstance, but how often does wall power fail ? If you don't have UPS redundancy, then one PSU plugged into the wall and the other into the UPS gives you redundancy for PSU failure, for mains failure, and for UPS failure, Dual feeds cross-feeding dual-input UPSs, feeding in twin-psu boxes is nice and all, but a small office with one server sound like 9 times out of ten (if not 99//100) would be better off with mains+UPS, and if anything, putting extra budget into a better or bigger UPS rather than a matching pair.

Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker

the hatter

Re: Using it wrongly

Sensors, just like film before, don't just take a pure, level view across the entire spectrum and brightness. They are designed and picked, and similarly at the lowest image improvement level, to take absolutely any scene, and hopefully make it most intelligible to the viewer. What this means in practice is that flesh tones, which feature in many pictures, are enhanced. And by flesh tones, obviously I mean the pinky pixels in pictures. And similarly, detail is more readily available from enhancing light sections, people want detail that their eyes also do similar with; the darker parts of whatever random view the picture includes are more easily lost. Dark tones contain more noise, so look better if they're evened out, rather than 'detail'/noise picked out. This approach means that for any million random photos you take, the majority will look better than that even, pure, imaginary sensor - you're a winner. Except it means many specific circumstances will likely always end up doing worse, because they are different from some platonic ideal picture in ways this approach does not favour.

tsoHost pleads for 'patience and understanding' as sites borked, support sinkholed

the hatter

Thanks for the reminder. Tso long and no thanks for all the godaddy

Like most people, a few of my bits ended up over there via a long chain of acquisitions. Moved everything important a very long time ago, but I'm not giving godaddy another penny (think these were all last renewed before then), nor any more voting weight on Nominet matters.

I might add something about the last one out turning off the lights, but too many people lap up GD's adverts, and tso seem quite willing and able to switch stuff off without any prompt being necessary.

What job title would YOU want carved on your gravestone? 'Beloved father, Slayer of Dragons, Register of Domains'

the hatter

Re: Sir Christopher Wren's epitaph

"Despite popular rumour, not all cockroaches were bound to outlive humanity" ?

Space junk damages International Space Station's robot arm

the hatter

Except the galactic centre.

the hatter

Re: Zeroes

What would china gain from that ? They don't need anyone else's help, so they don't need to do anyone any favours.

Bribery charges against Apple's global security boss dismissed in iPads-for-gun-permits case

the hatter

Re: "he is carrying a concealed weapon"

The US is a total mess with it's gun control/gun law, obviously. However, the security services, like members of the public, don't conceal their guns, they're all still just open-carrying (except LEO will be carrying loaded, not just 'expressing their constitutional freedms') So if his case is that he's been thoroughly vetted for trustworthiness and mental stability, but doesn't want to be seen carrying a gun a lot, then it doesn't make the world of difference imho. And thanks to these stories, an even wider circle of organised undesirables are aware they wouldn't be attacking an unarmed target, should they target him.

iFixit slams Samsung's phone 'upcycling' scheme for falling short of what was promised

the hatter

Re: Its a problem of volume

> How the hell is everyone buying that many phones?

Because first world phones are only a small part of the picture. Markets like china, india, most of south america and africa are being sold phones for a pittance, because the R&D and tooling costs have been covered already - not just the phones overall, even components like chipsets and radios - where someone else already designed and perfected them, and clone parts at various levels (from straight piracy, to new implementations but based on the optimisations to performance and production cost learnt from the market leaders). That lets you build phones from runs-just-well-enough to passable, and then to the flagship models from those suppliers that often slip into the EU marketplace as high-spec, comparatively budget pricing offerings that a lot of geeks will choose, instead of the latest samsung marketing tool at twice the price (even after the extra costs passed on to us that make that possible)

Copper load of this: Openreach outlines 77 new locations where it'll stop selling legacy phone and broadband products

the hatter

Re: They're sitting on a gold, umm, copper mine

Someone did the maths some years ago of BT's value at the time vs the scrap price of the copper they owned, and the copper of course won. But getting it all (a) out of the ground and (b) minus the insulation takes away far too much, with most of it in such a thin web across pretty literally the entire country.

Perl changes dev's permaban for 'unacceptable' behaviour to a year-long lockout after community response

the hatter

Well perl's only had 4 decades to form factions and interpretations of rules, the jews obvious have much more time to finesse this inevitability of human nature.

FBI deletes web shells from hundreds of compromised Microsoft Exchange servers before alerting admins

the hatter

Re: Whose bloody computer?

Whose bloody country ? The good guys will tamper with your computer if it's in the national/their interest. Always have done, always will do. The time to install strong security was forever ago, and it still won't keep anyone determined, good or bad, out. If your takeaway from the feds removing one piece of malware from your computer is that you need better security, you're not wrong, but you're not competent.

the hatter


I can't say for sure, but sounds like they removed the shells and possibly notified the companies at the same time/shortly after (likely with a demand for secrecy). Just that the sealed order has now been unsealed, giving all the cleaned and warned parties a tiny fighting chance to sort themselves in the meantime.

Nominet chooses civil war over compromise by rejecting ex-BBC Trust chairman

the hatter

Re: EGM v2

Most of the votes to retain the status quo were from a very small number of very big companies. They weren't voting because they think the board are doing things right, they're voting in their own self interest, which may well be even stronger now they've propped up the incumbents, so can push for things to work even more in their favour. Plus most of those companies are not merely not known for their strong grasp of ethics, but in fact for actively making highly unethical choices.

Perhaps a few small/smaller members who didn't vote may be sufficiently outraged and shocked by what happened after the vote to throw their weight in. I can't imagine too many smaller members voted against the EGM except out of self interest, but perhaps a closer choice between profit and ethics - maybe they will see the campaign's words about the character of the board were not mere hyperbole. All these will require a good amount more effort to reach out to though, along with those who voted for, but only because they were sufficiently reminded to make the effort.

the hatter

Re: When you're stuck in a hole...

Whatever else may be lurking, the board will need to make sure their pension plans are secured, because it's going to be a tough sell for any of them to take up senior roles elsewhere, once they finally get the boot. And if they do, t's going to be a hostile welcome from anyone not involved in the hiring, because why would anyone get that sort of person involved ?

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem

the hatter

Re: Where’s the effing handbrake!?

If the users had called to say "I can't find the brightness control" that would have been a different matter. And likely resolvable with a google for the monitor's manual, over the phone.

the hatter

Be kind, rewind.

the hatter

Re: When turn off/turn on fails

A physical button that only logically turns the machine off does have it's uses, but as the imac case shows, it's rather limited, when you can often achieve the same from inside the running OS, or from a key on the keyboard. I do like a physical switch on a psu - lets me isolate the power but keep earth connected when I'm doing some quick fiddling with it's internals in situ. Most tech here is plugged into socket-dense power strips so no switches at the other end.

Scottish National Party members found among list of names signed up to rival Alba Party after website whoopsie

the hatter


Some members of the only party for scottish independence interested in an alternative party for scottish independence shocker

Maybe not the way those members wanted to let the cat out of the bag, bur hardly surprising. Much as I find both sides merely popcorn fodder, this particular nugget is not where I'd anchor the story.

BOFH: Bullying? Not on my watch! (It's a Rolex)

the hatter

Re: "Not without write access to the HR archive they can't!"

Even better when they don't even have read access to the archive. Due to various corporate changes over time, the only actual archive was physical, and housed in an office drawer no longer under any care, which got cleaned out sooner rather than later to avoid all sorts of other perils to the company.

Fast forward a year or two, and being the only person i possession of (my own copy of) my contract, HR eventually realised they'd shot themselves in at least 6 or 7 feet before we'd even made it into our first meeting about my redundancy. HR could maybe have checked with other who signed identical terms, excet obviously they had parted way sooner, and there was a severe deficit of gruntle between those parties and the company at that point.

With Nominet’s board-culling vote just days away, we speak to one man who will publicly support the management

the hatter

> Firing five board members at once will be “hugely disruptive"

Well yes, all the attempted and actual changes before don't seem to have changed the company's tack very much, so clearly it needs something substantially seismic to set things back on course.

First Verizon, now T-Mobile: US carrier suggests folks use 2G to save battery

the hatter

Re: hmmm

FWIW, went from a 2x SE household to an SE2 and a 12 mini. Both do the job, and going from two well-abused batteries to new ones is something of a revelation. However, at least for out hands, we've got from a phone you can comfortable one hand (while actaually gripping, not just resting in your hand) to ones where neither can fully be comfortably one-handed. Also, getting rid of the home button/touch id was a terrible, terrible idea, I'm hoping the 13 brings back the button (at least a haptic button, with under-glass fingerprint scanner). because the mini is mine, and I'd upgrade it in due time to 13 that did. And I'd upgrade it today for something in the 5/SE sizing.

the hatter

Re: Here is our shiny new 5G - Don't use it!

When most people have several apps from, and more using APIs from, at least facebook and google on their phone, plus likely a load of other guff, I doubt most phones have much time when they need a keep alive. At least once they've stepped away from their own wifi and power sockets.

British owners of .eu domains given an extra three months to find a European address

the hatter

Re: And refund of the fees?

Pretty much all contracts allow the provider to change something. But doing so without consequence is unfair, and contract law is centred on fairness to both parties. Eurid/any other name provider have the right to stop letting you use a domain, but keeping the money you gave them, especially when it's for several whole years, and it is not due to bad faith on the customer's side, is fraud.

We know it's hard to get your kicks at work – just do it away from a wall switch powering anything important

the hatter

Re: Why have the switch ?

That may be part of the difference - US plugs will fall out of the socket if you so much as glance at them, whether you like it or not, a UK plug stays where you plugged it, and needs a bit of a wiggle and a proper grip to remove it. That said, no need to then relocate the plug and replug it when there's a switch. Handy for instance if you don't trust the 'off'/low power mode of many modern devices. And would stop all those sparks that rather scare visitors to the US when they plug in those flimsy plugs.

Phishing awareness gone wrong: Facebook tries to seize websites set up for staff security training

the hatter

Re: Differences in maritime law?

As with most older units, the knot is no longer tied to any string, but to the speed of light and the frequency of caesium. The waves measure the knots - how the tables have turned.

the hatter

Re: Clickable links

There's a market in (a) finding where those subdomains are hosted (generally, which cloud) (b) waiting for the campaign to finish/be abandoned then (c) new customer thrashing the cloud to be assigned that IP when it's no longer bound it it's original customer. That way, scammers have the bank (or other major organisation's) real domain to include in their emails, only now it's pointing at a web server who's contents are controlled by the scammer. Not yet a practice that marketing and IT are in lock-step on defusing.

It's not the cloud, it's someone else's highly recyclable but not entirely as-new computer (and infrastructure)

Google, Apple sued for failing to give Telegram chat app the Parler put-down treatment

the hatter

Re: @Overunder Am I bad for not...

Letting anyone express hate and violent desires which violates the fundamental legitimacy of others is the wrong choice. Those you're defending have no desire to defend your equal right. Trying to be 'fair' about it only pushed the window of what is acceptable in their direction and weakens a society where all people should be regarded as equal. They do so knowing they will mostly be protected from consequence because those they seek to terrorise and oppress, because those people are generally not unhinged, violent bigots. Punch a nazi today, remind them there's a world outside their echo chamber, and that the civilised world won't, or at least shouldn't, entertain promotion of their disgusting ideals.

Synology to enforce use of validated disks in enterprise NAS boxes. And guess what? Only its own disks exceed 4TB

the hatter

Re: Are they going proprietary though?

> Seems to me, they'll test the drives as they can and the list will get bigger

Then they need to sack their PR people. Really there's no excuse for an enterprise NAS not to ship supporting at least the 2nd biggest current size of disks. I'm not going to buy a 16 slot chassis to give me the same capacity I could get with an 8 slot and bigger disks, or realistically, a 4 slot that gives most of the same resilience. I'd rather buy a pair of 4-slot chasses and 8x 12TB disks than a 16-slot chassis and 16x 4TB. That would give more more capacity and more resilience in every way. And when I need more capacity in 18 months, even bigger disks should be available.

There's literally no excuse for not having tested 8TB disks - a very quick google tells me seagate released an 8TB NAS drive 5 years ago, they should have been in the test schedule since project inception, and much more current ones in test for the last year. They may increase the compatibility list, but if they do, I'd attribute it entirely to industry pushback. And if the performance sucks on them, that's on synology.

the hatter

If you choose to buy a synology NAS with these restrictions, you're free to not buy (big) disks for it. If you buy square pegs you don't get to sue anyone because they don't fit your round holes. You can do some things to make them fit, but neither the peg seller nor your hole vendor are responsible if that causes it to catches fire.

If anything, it feels to me like synology made their product, put bigger disks in it, and realised their product Does Not Work with the extra resources necessary to support those extra blocks. Which by the time they got to product release time were very much common, and the only way to make it work was to make drive firmware that works with their software, because there's nothing in their software they could sensibly change instead.

Top engineer who stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving division pardoned on Trump's last day as president

the hatter

Re: Good idea in theory

Or even can't pardon people who's crimes were committed for the president's own personal gain. All I can hope for is that (1) trump ends up on all sorts of charges (2) those pardoned are back on the hook for other crimes after the fact then either (a) they spill all and throw trump under the bus to save their own hide or (b) end up stamping licence plates despite getting a pardon for the bits they'd previously been caught and pardoned for.

the hatter

Power in all forms is granted on the basis that if it's stretched too far from the intent, it will be removed by the majority who it's held over. A higher power able to give clemency in exceptional circumstances allows for a greater justice to be served, rarely, while not burdening the day-to-day rules with complex exceptions that will inevitably be rules-lawyered for cases they weren't really intended for.

Bye bye, said Trump admin to Huawei: You give a cheque-ie to our techies, but there's no licence to ply

the hatter

And even that is count is optimistic in some cases.

Under that pile of spare keys and obsolete cables is an IoT device: Samsung pushes useful retirement project for older phones

the hatter

Re: Certified second life ready

Also implies either they'll have a through-power mode, so they don't need a battery all. And better yet, for untethered uses, first- party, reasonably priced replacement batteries. The biggest problem with replacement batteries is finding ones you can trust. If paying £10 for one guaranteed me a more reliable cell than a £1 I would do that, but most of the market is shonky £1 batteries priced at all levels above.

Everybody's time is precious, pal: Sometimes it isn't only the terminals that are dumb

the hatter

Re: dumb terminal with modem on top???

Dumb terminals existed since the dawn of time and evolved, albeit slowly at some points, along with screen technology. Seems the wyse 60 was a flat-screen CRT (like the sony FST tubes and many imitators) Aesthetics plays a part, and CRTs got shallower over the years as customers would pay to not need a 6ft deep desk just to put a keyboard in front of their giant 17" monitor or whatever at the time, and there was some vale in slimming design choices - like a chunky bezel with a little lump in the back/middle for the rest of the tube. This also meant you can push them into a corner to take less desk area. But look at something like a real vt100 and in that era, they didn't go much further than 'how big does the very boxy box need to be, to fit the tube in.

Asus ROG Phone 3: An ugly but refreshing choice – for gaming fans only

the hatter

Re: unprecedented levels of weird

Thankfully, after several years hiatus, that is no longer weird and is very much mainstream. But if you don't like pictures of fruit on your phones, then you're still mostly out of luck.

Cruise, Kidman and an unfortunate misunderstanding at the local chemist

the hatter

Re: Hmm

Film scanners were expensive, commercial devices though, at least ones that were worthy of the name. Need a chunk more precision to scan something the size of a 35mm slide vs an average-sized print.

Obviously by this point, that company could have made good use, loading dozens of strips/rolls at a time into a feeder (more expense, but why would you not get one if you needed a film scanner) but I could well imagine their process had just grown a bit from sending the intern to Boots, and then having them spend an afternoon feeding photos into a flatbed scanner, which has a much lower starting cost, and probably not that much different in terms of running costs vs maintenance, so might be a tough sell to make the capital investment.

Oh, no one knows what goes on behind locked doors... so don't leave your UPS in there

the hatter
Black Helicopters

Re: This is when Dymo tape shows its worth..

Plausible deniability, after the invisible beam from stage left leaves two neatly sliced halves of the culprit next to the socket.

Google Cloud (over)Run: How a free trial experiment ended with a $72,000 bill overnight

the hatter

> The cloud providers are going to have to provide better controls to the user

They do, google calls them "quotas" and I discovered them several minutes after I discovered budgets and it warned me that a budget did not limit spending. Quite why someone who actually worked previously in this sphere didn't have that deeply internalised is at best puzzling.

Marine archaeologists catch a break on the bottom of the Baltic Sea: A 75-year-old Enigma Machine

the hatter

Re: MH370

It's possible, but the pacific is 500x larger in surface area, but more critically, massively deeper (500m vs upto 12km, according to a very quick google) That's a huge obstacle in terms of observing the bottom for any reason other than already having a reason to beat that precise spot.

Ticketmaster: We're not liable for credit card badness because the hack straddled GDPR day

the hatter

Re: Ticket master

I think the issue is the savings *look* massive. But inevitably TM and all the other parties will slide the balance to get more profit for themselves. Either until it's basically balanced, or worse, until you are so reliant on them, have lost all internal ability to compete or even just to switch to a different ticketing provider, that they're trapped in a pricing structure that's actually costing them more.



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