* Posts by Number6

2227 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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


Re: BOFH O'clock

You will need a car with a good ventilation system if you're eating the onion bhajis in it.

Wanna feel old? It is 10 years since the Space Shuttle left the launchpad for the last time


I was there the week before it launched. Had it launched at the originally-scheduled time I would have seen it launch, but instead it waited until the afternoon of the day I arrived back in the UK so I got to watch it on TV instead.

Happy with your existing Windows 10 setup? Good, because Windows 11 could turn its nose up at your CPU


That's me screwed then. My desktop dates back to 2013. Having said that, I only run Win10 in a VM on this machine anyway, it has always been a Linux box and it's got 32GB RAM in it.

What benefits might I get (running Win11 is not considered a benefit) from an upgrade to a more modern CPU. I don't consider a lighter wallet to be a benefit either. If one is not doing high-end graphics or CAD then why upgrade something that's still working just fine?

Traffic lights, who needs 'em? Lucky Kentucky residents up in arms over first roundabout


Re: Bunch of wusses

First time I found the Swindon one, I was through it before I realised what it was. Clearly my brain is equally convoluted. I did the Hemel Hempstead one a few times, used to visit BSI Labs there, and never had a problem with that either.

In the US they spoil some roundabouts by putting STOP signs on the entrances, so you can't time your approach for the gap you can see coming.

BOFH: Postman BOFH's Special Delivery Service


Re: Peace and quiet

I remember the boss apologising to us when he had an office built where he'd previously been open plan with the rest of us. A shift in company organisation meant he'd suddenly become the CEO rather than the local director and there are things that are required to be kept confidential. To be fair he kept his office door open as much as he could and was open to casual drop-ins if people had stuff they wanted to tell him.


Re: Peace and quiet

Being happy on company time is akin to stealing from the company, isn't it?


Clearly no BOFH at my place of employment, the office was due some new test equipment but as there was no one there to receive it, it's all on my workbench at home. I guess I'll have to take it in one day, although at least it's been used while in my care.

Who'd have thought the US senator who fist pumped Jan 6 insurrectionists would propose totally unworkable anti-Big Tech law?


So much for the free market his party espouses. Or his definition of "free" is somewhat different to mine.

It's been a long time coming but AWS has at last enabled an interactive serial console for de-borking VMs


I've had full console access with my VPS provider for many years, surprised that AWS is only just catching up with it. Fortunately not had to use it often, mostly when doing major upgrades, but it's nice to know it's there in case I've done something stupid.

Splunk junks 'hanging' processes, suggests you don't 'hit' a key: More peaceful words now preferred in docs


When it comes to typing, they're clearly not old enough to remember typewriters, nor allow for those who used them because we do tend to hit the keys. I'm not sure that "peer" is an alternative to "slave" either, peers are equals, whereas when you have an architecture where one unit is controlling others, the others could be minions, subordinates or secondaries.

They missed kicking the watchdog though, when the nicer term is to pat the dog.

All us HW types will have to think up some creative alternative meanings for MISO and MOSI, found on a lot of SPI documentation.

War on Section 230 begins in earnest as Dem senators look to limit legal immunity for social networks, websites etc


Time to bring back Usenet (not that it ever went away, but it lost market share to all these annoying web-based things).

US politicians should be careful about taking out section 230, I suspect a lot of them could fall foul of it. If you're going to change it, just provide immunity until a legal take-down notice turns up, at which point there's 24 hours to remove the offending item, and that if the removed party wishes to challenge it they should be awarded costs (and possibly more) against the legal firm issuing the takedown notice if they win the challenge. That should help cap the frivolous notices, I assume most legal firms will be smart enough to pass on such costs to the originator.

Knock, knock. Who's there? NAT. Nat who? A NAT URL-borne killer


I'm glad that OpenWRT doesn't seem to be vulnerable, makes me glad I'm running it when things like this crop up.


Re: Web browsers need a built-in firewall....

There are useful things that javascript can do, such as hide/display various bits of text and re-jig drop-down menus based on selections in other menus. That level of functionality does not need any ability to generate network traffic though.

One of the biggest dangers with javascript is the malicious scripts occasionally delivered by ad servers. If all the ad stuff could be done server side then (a) we'd be a lot safer and (b) ad blockers probably wouldn't hide the ads because they could be streamed in from the main site without any of the obvious flags of an advert.

We regret to inform you the professor teaching your online course is already dead


One of my former lecturers provided a rare bit of excitement in one of his classes by dropping dead in front of the class. This was a year or two after my time though.

Europe considers making it law that your boss can’t bug you outside of office hours


Re: It depends upon your boss

If your phone is off or otherwise muted then you wouldn't know about the calls until after the funeral. There are ways to mitigate such things, and in the limit, a new job beckons if the boss is a chronic arsehole. It is said that a lot of people change jobs because of their boss.


Re: In an emergency

UK private health insurance is a dubious benefit most of the time, given that it's taxable and so you're paying a significant chunk of it yourself.


The advantage of ignoring the house phone (that's what the answering machine is for) and carefully leaving the mobile I use for work by the bed on charge. It also has a nice Do Not Disturb feature which means it won't make a noise outside certain hours unless it's a call from one of a few people, none of whom are likely to call that phone anyway. The boss also has his own dedicated ring tone so I know immediately if it's him.

That's not to say I don't occasionally check in on work email during the evening, but then it's during the working day now and I'm posting here, so I figure that balances out.

On his way out, Trump emits exec order suggesting US cloud giants must verify ID of all foreign customers


That would probably destroy the business of most US hosting providers if offshore competition set up and didn't insist on such information. Nice idea in theory, falls flat on its face when you consider the follow-on effects.

Loser Trump is no longer useful to Twitter, entire account deleted over fears he'll whip up more mayhem


Twitter is being a good old capitalist company. They've made a business decision that they will lose more by not shutting down his feed than they would by letting him continue. The same with Facebook and Instagram.

Trump could always create a TikTok account and use that.


Re: An elephant in the room

The President gives the order and gives his authorisation code. A bunch of people with him also have to give their codes to certify that he's not under duress and is in a suitable state of mind. In a real situation they would also presumably be privy to other information about the world situation and would also be receiving their own independent data to back up their assessment of the CinC's mental processes and the tactical situation. The process is designed so things can be done very quickly, but there are a few safeguards thrown in so it can't be done at the whim of a single person.

Search history can calculate better credit ratings than pay slips, says International Monetary Fund


Given my opinion of how US credit ratings appear to be put together, it's got to be an improvement, although I am fascinated by what they'd deduce about my credit rating from my search history.

I guess if "how to defraud the bank" is one of the search questions then you've failed.

About $15m in advertising booked to appear on millions of smart TVs was never seen by anyone, says Oracle


Sounds like an excellent reason not to have a smart TV, too. Not shedding any tears for the content that didn't appear, though.

Ad blocking made Google throw its toys out of the pram – and now even more control is being taken from us


All ads should be selected server-side. That would make it way safer for us as users and stop our browsers being bogged down with badly-written or malicious scripts. It would also make them way harder to block because if done well, they'd be indistinguishable from other images in the downloaded page. Then it's between the ad brokers and the server owners. Given how the money flows, that would give the ad brokers every incentive to make the server-side code efficient.


From a practical side of things, if Google wants to handle everything on their servers and just throw out static images with no scripts running on the client side then I'd tolerate ads way more because that vastly improves security at my end.

Flashy banners and pop-ups are still unwelcome and result in me doing my best not to buy anything so advertised.

BOFH: Switch off the building? Great idea, Boss


Re: Parts of it date back to when fire was invented

One of my son's classes had a practical demonstration of pouring water on a frying pan fire. They did it outdoors in the car park, and invited the local fire brigade along to watch just in case. It was impressive, and hopefully a lot of kids learned an important lesson. The fire chief said his team appreciated the demonstration because normally they don't get to see that bit of the event, they just get invited to clear up the mess afterwards,

Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more


If you don't have a Paypal account, is it possible to contact them, or do you have to create an account to be able to do that?


Re: Same problem here

There is something to be said for responding and wasting their time for a bit, especially if they've been wasting yours. It might get you through to a real person.

As for the "click here to unsubscribe", if I didn't originally ask for it then I'm not going to click on a link that might be dodgy and merely confirm that the email address is valid and in use. I edit my spam filter and bounce the stuff instead.


Re: Instagram is the worst

If I look in my mail log I still get emails sent to corrupted Usenet message IDs from 20+ years ago (they bounce as unknown user), given how long ago it was that I used the newsreader that generated that format.


Re: Doesn't just happen with email

Sometimes a scammer will do that in the hope that they can intercept the mail before it gets to you. That way they get use of a card for a couple of months and you get all the hassle when they don't bother paying the bill.


Re: do-not-reply@some.domain

It wouldn't be so bad if the DoNotReply at least had a bounce filter on it so it would flag rejected mail as such, either for automatic removal or flagging for a human to check after enough bounces. I also wish spammers were smart enough to take out the email addresses that bounced rather than accepted and quietly dropped.


Re: Other casual people

So what happens when someone with a long-established email address keyed to their country wants to move to a different country? Do they have to give up the old one and get a new one?

I admit to getting a .org over 20 years ago, and have moved country since getting it, so I guess that paid off. I figured out even back then that a demon.co.uk address wasn't readily portable and might not last.


Early on in all the fun and games I had occasion to call Comcast tech support. While we were waiting for the set top box to reboot for the nth time, idle conversation revealed that all their tech support people were working from home as much as possible, presumably if they all had Comcast lines themselves then the company was presumably able to plumb in the corporate phone system out to individuals and let them sit at computers at home and talk to customers. So tech support, especially at this point, should be relatively easy for most companies if only they made an effort.

US government clears debt collectors to go after Americans through their social media accounts


I wonder what happens if they pick the wrong person? I know other people with the same name as me, so if one of them defaults on a debt, am I going to get bugged by debt collectors because it's easy for them to do on social media?At least if they're required to keep it private it saves them from defamation lawsuits from those they've wrongly accused.

This is how demon.co.uk ends, not with a bang but a blunder: Randomer swipes decommissioning domain


It's sort of sad that it's gone. I wasn't one of the originals but based on my IP address I was somewhere around customer 700-800. Stayed with them a long time and finally jumped ship because I wanted to play IPv6 and they didn't support it. I did see the possibility of losing the email domain well before that though, my personal domain dates back twenty years.

I see that the MX record now points to disabled.demon.co.uk, which doesn't resolve, so presumably mail eventually gets returned to sender as undeliverable.


I think the "relay not permitted" usually comes as a response to "RCPT TO:" because it figures out that it can't cope with that recipient. However, there's nothing to stop someone accepting the whole message and then issuing that response. My local spam filtering will accept the entire message and scan it before issuing a bounce (albeit not with that message, but it would be trivial for me to make it so) if it doesn't like the content. And yes, I do keep copies, helps with the occasional false positive.

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log


Re: International Organization for Standardization

Good address! Does someone (the Moderatrix?) stand there flogging the guilty party until they fix the mistake?


Re: Simple solution

Last time I had to fill in US entry paperwork (many years ago now), I recollect them specifying DD/MM/YYYY for the dates. I assume they did it that way because so many people visitng write it like that without reading the form more closely and it made their life easier when processing.


Re: International Standards Organization

Unless required to use another format I tend to use YYYY-MM-DD too. Some of us even managed to persuade my employer to adopt it as a standard format on documents too.

The only date that Americans get right is the 4th July. Ironic, really.

Chromium devs want the browser to talk to devices, computers directly via TCP, UDP. Obviously, nothing can go wrong


Ideally it comes as an optional add-on plug-in, so if I don't install it, it's not present on my system. Second best would be a big "Enable" button (because of course, such a thing should be opt-in, not opt out...)

FYI: Chromium's network probing accounts for about half DNS root server traffic, says APNIC


I would like to see browsers have a config option so that they didn't automatically assume a search if they didn't think what I just typed was a resolvable address. If I want to search it's the work of moments to bring up a search engine.

Whoops, our bad, we may have 'accidentally' let Google Home devices record your every word, sound – oops


Why am I not in the least surprised by this? Still not got one of those spy devices in the house. I bought a dumb TV (which is getting surprisingly hard to do now if you want a large screen size), although the cable box probably manages some of that on its own. The voice remote sits unused and unpowered on the shelf in favour of the old button-press one that came with the old cable box and works just as well with the new box.

Not yet paranoid enough to remove the microphone from the smartphone, although I did tick some option to tell it not to allow Google Play to access the microphone (about which it complains regularly, threatening loss of functionality even though I've not noticed anything I want failing to work).

Hooray! It's IT Day! Let's hear it for the lukewarm mugs of dirty water that everyone seems to like so much


I manage with a cup every couple of hours, but then my tea mug holds a pint. I drink it black, and relatively weak, the trick being to get the good flavour before the bitter tannins make an appearance. When it's hot I usually drink water, so my options are cold water or hot, slightly-flavoured water.

I have been known to drink coffee but I save that for emergencies and I think it smells way better than it tastes.

Oh Hell. Remember the glory days of Demon Internet? Well, now would be a good time to pick a new email address



Try Andrews and Arnold, they were pretty good when I was last in the UK.


I was a Demon customer for many years, not in the first batch but signed up in the first year. My local exchange back then didn't even support DTMF so dialling in was slow. My old 158.152 address still resolves but to a different hostname now.

As for email, I saw the light on that one back in 2000 when I registered the domain I still use today, which is based on my Demon hostname. I eventually jumped to AAISP because Demon weren't rolling out IPv6 and I wanted to go play with it.

I still ping gate.demon.co.uk as a connectivity test even now, I guess I'll have to stop that.

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE


Re: Lies, damned lies, and statistics that don't lie.

I think "easily" in this context is like carrying an ice cream in a cone intact through the Sahara Desert - if you've been allocated a /24 and are using 150 of them, not necessarily consecutively, then it becomes problematic to reallocate things to free up some of them, and it's going to fragment route tables unless the excess is given to someone else at the same ISP . Even behind a NAT, I find it convenient to allocate users from one end and servers from the other.

Freed from the office, home workers roam sunlit uplands of IPv6... 2 metres apart


Re: Extreme bandwidth restrictions

It's a foot per nanosecond in free space, so you only need 6-7 nanoseconds between packets. That's still a decent throughput. Stuff is slower in cables, so you probably only need about 4ns spacing.

Firefox 74 slams Facebook in solitary confinement: Browser add-on stops social network stalking users across the web


OK, this means I can ditch Chrome, which I was using solely for FB-related stuff precisely to keep it separate from normal browsing done in Firefox. That should make the PC a bit more responsive, not having to run two resource-hungry browsers.

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


A shame they probably scrapped all the old OS/2 ATMs, apart from one embarrassing system-wide crash related to a date rollover, they tended to be more robust. Probably way harder to hack too.

Would-be .org gobbler Ethos Capital promises to keep prices down in last-ditch effort to keep $1.1bn deal alive


Here's me thinking it's about time to pay for as many years up-front for my .org that I can. At least I assume that insulates me for the duration and that they can't suddenly decide to add a surcharge.

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey


Re: Anonymous Contractor

Not always, the times I've been at a company where headcount reduction was implemented, the first out the door were the contractors. That didn't mean that some weeks after the dust had settled they weren't invited back though.


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