* Posts by Number6

2192 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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.

Bada Bing, bada bork: Windows 10 is not happy, and Microsoft's search engine has something to do with it


Ah, it's not just me suffering from this problem then. I've learned to save stuff before invoking the snipping tool, although I see that it's now been replaced by something else, doubtless with its own quirks to learn.

Thunderbird is go: Mozilla's email client lands in a new nest


I use TB because it is cross-platform so I can run the same thing regardless of OS. I mostly run Linux machines so any MS-only solution is out. I did try Evolution on Linux for a while, and have played with KMail too, but ended up back with Thunderbird. Mind you, I also run my own IMAP server for home email, so I do have control over both ends of the service.

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?


What we need is a proxy server type of thing that doesn't block things as such, it'll go fetch them, with a bit of randomisation in the cookie data it sends back, does all the processing required and serves a sanitised script-less page to the user. So the ads get requested but the user is never bothered by them. No doubt some helpful person will come along and point me at a project that's been doing this for some years.


Re: Two conflated things

On TV, that's a thoughtfully scheduled pee-and-tea break, gives you chance to go do those things, or let the dog out (or back in) etc. Not needed on the web because you're free to go pee any time without missing anything.


Re: We see that you're using an ad blocker

As I've said before, anyone who wants to run ads brokered from one of the big (or not so big) sites is out of luck. They're not going to indemnify me if, due to malware on the big site (which does happen), my PC is compromised, so I choose to go elsewhere rather than access their site if they want me to allow that code to run. Now if they ran the ads in-house, even if they hauled the static images from a broker, with all the stuff done server-side instead of using javascript on my machine, it would be easy to produce something that would get those images past an ad blocker unless the user chose to disable all images. Of course, it would require a lot more CPU cycles on their servers, but rather there than on my machine slowing down my browser.


Re: Privacy Badger

Anyone who manages to get an animated ad in front of my eyeballs pretty much guarantees that I'm not going to buy their product.

Don't Xiaomi pics of other people's places! Chinese kitmaker fingers dodgy Boxing Day cache update after Google banishes it from Home


I have two basic precautions, one is to be very careful where internet-facing cameras are positioned (all mine are outdoors covering entrances) in case there's a breach and the other is to firewall the cameras from the outside world anyway, because they're set up on the internal network and something else has the responsibility of storing and preserving the generated images and videos. They do email me images when tripped, but that comes via another internal machine.

Beware the Y2K task done too well, it might leave you lost in Milan


Re: knocked back the expresso

Sounds like the end result once the body has processed the Espresso.

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


When it comes to Y2K, I remember being asked if my Rugby MSF clock code was Y2K compliant. Given that MSF slow code doesn't transmit century digits, I said yes, but if it happened to be running in 2100 and wasn't receiving MSF at the time, it would wrongly tick over to 29th Feb and that they could call me nearer the date if it was a problem to them.

Not a death spiral, I'm trapped in a closed loop of customer experience


Fortunately, it appears that a lot of places that want a paper bill seem to accept one I've downloaded and printed myself. Even when someone wanted a notarised copy of a bill, I just took two copies to the notary, got him to agree they were the same and stamp one appropriately, then sent that off and it was accepted.

Most on-line billing systems seem to let you download PDF copies of the bill.

Facebook: Remember how we promised we weren’t tracking your location? Psych! Can't believe you fell for that


Good reason not to use Facebook from my phone. I never put their app on in the first place because I didn't want it munching through my contact list, and have avoided it like the plague ever since.

Low Barr: Don't give me that crap about security, just put the backdoors in the encryption, roars US Attorney General


Re: Wyden for POTUS?

Usually it's a case of "we might trust the current government but how can we be sure of future governments?" We appear to have skipped the first step this time around, which is worrying.

There are really good reasons why governments with any sense will refuse to even consider certain actions.


I hope that if such a Bill gets presented to Congress, some public-spirited Congresscritter will introduce an amendment to declare pi=3 to highlight the absurdity of it all.

Germany mulls giving end-to-end chat app encryption das boot: Law requiring decrypted plain-text is in the works


Surely the quick fix for this is for WhatsApp, Telegram et al to include in their Ts and Cs that use of the software is not allowed in Germany but make no effort to do any sort of GeoIP checking. If they're going to offer 'proper' software for use in the free world and an emasculated version for places that want a backdoor, then anyone with any savvy is going to install the proper one regardless. No one reads the Ts and Cs anyway,so things will continue as normal until the state jumps on someone and there's a big court case, at which point the people either say STOP! or bend over.

Chrome ad, content blockers beg Google: Don't execute our code! Wait, no, do execute our code – just don't kill us!


I mix and match between Chrome and Firefox already, and I can see dropping Chrome completely if the adblocker stops working. I occasionally get to see pages bristling with ads and it reminds me why I don't want that to be my regular browsing experience. Plus there's the security issue too, with the occasionally dodgy scripts that plant malware. I've said it before, the ad industry needs to come up with a server-side model so that all that gets served is hosted on a single server rather than finding that a page is loading scripts from a couple of dozen different sites. If they did it that way, most ad blockers would be defeated but user security would be maintained.

We did Nazi see this coming... Internet will welcome Earth's newest nation with, sigh, a brand new .SS TLD


I've seen social services abbreviated as SS before now, as a deliberate reference to the behaviour of some of those who work for the service.


The trouble is that .gb excludes Northern Ireland. Given the huge efforts currently being made not to exclude it in other ways, this is an important point. The full title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so using .uk is reasonable. One could argue that ISO got it wrong, but it as probably discussed at great length and the UK probably agreed to it.

UK.gov plans £2,500 fines for kids flying toy drones within 3 MILES of airports


Larger drones in testing cannot cause an uncontained engine failure.

I think they'd prefer to avoid engine failures even if contained. Jet engines aren't cheap.

I suspect a toy drone wouldn't even be noticed as it got disintegrated by the engine though. They're designed to withstand hailstones, some of which may well be bigger and tougher than a flimsy bit of plastic and fibreglass.


Sadly, the way to fix this is for parents to do exactly that, call ATC and ask for permission to fly their drone in the garden. Pressure will soon mount for the government to stop the complete waste of everyone's time and re-introduce the exemption.

Three quarters of US Facebook users unaware their online behavior gets tracked


Re: Most what?

How do you know it's not a British person living in the US?

Slack to fend off the collaboration competition with... a new logo


Given that I'm not the one paying for it, the product isn't bad, better than Teams because it's truly cross-platform. As for the logo, I'll refer people to Dogbert's Brown Ring of Quality. https://dilbert.com/strip/1996-06-11

Wow, over 22 years ago.

Google Play Store spews malware onto 9 million 'Droids


Re: "Trend Micro has found"

...is a good sign that the app is about to be uninstalled pronto.

This July, Google will weep for there are no more worlds to banhammer: 'Bad ads' to be blocked globally


I would add "any sort of ad that requires a script to run on my machine" as bad because it's a security hazard. On the other hand, it does make it easy to clobber ads by blocking scripts from known ad sites.

If they want to run a script-based system then they can do it server-side. There's also the point that such ads would be way harder to block if done carefully.

Um, I'm not that Gary, American man tells Ryanair after being sent other Gary's flight itinerary


Re: It'll never happen...

I get lots of emails to my own domain that are clearly for other people. Usually people who've signed up to receive information about medication, or are clearly interested in places to use said medication.

What happens when a Royal Navy warship sees a NATO task force headed straight for it? A crash course in Morse


Re: After you. No, after you!

This is what immediately sprang to mind for me too. Stand firm and make like a lighthouse. The flashing light probably helped.

I think the RN expects officers to manage 5wpm Morse, so a bit easier than the old amateur radio Morse test where 12wpm was required.

Millennium Buggery: When things that shouldn't be shut down, shut down


Yes, a remote reboot assumes that there's nothing wrong with the hardware that might prevent a reboot. For a simple router box that was reasonable, the only hardware concerned was required to be working to be able to talk to it in the first place. I guess if the system disk was well and truly fscked then it might decide it couldn't find critical files after reboot though, having trampled through the inodes with the CPU equivalent of hobnail boots.


Fortunately I learned the lesson of not messing with remote routers and firewalls by screwing up my home one from the outside. That was at least fixable by a phone call to my wife to tell her to power it off and on again. I hit the enter key, everything stopped and I immediately saw what I'd done. Oops.

Now I know to (1) never do that and (2) if it really must be done, schedule a reboot for five minutes' time before entering the command, on the basis that if I can still talk to the router I can cancel the reboot, and if I can't talk to it, hopefully it'll be back in five minutes.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…


I have managed to avoid putting the FB app on my phone, and when the news broke that they had bought WhatsApp I deleted that too. they don't have my true birthday, and I try to avoid putting anything but trivia on my timeline, although granted they can probably learn a lot from that.

Sticking with one mobile provider gets you... Oh. Price rises, big exit fees, and lovely, lovely lock-in


I figured out the rip-off of contract phones many years ago, plus the fact that they were always locked to the provider and often had a bunch of customisations that were irritating. I have vague memories of having to switch provider to get a SIM-only deal and keep my number too. In the US it's now possible to have a phone on a payment plan (essentially what the contract phone was) except it has a specific end date and a provision that you're liable to cough up the balance if you change providers before you've paid for it. Even the concept of 'contract' is nebulous for service, T-Mobile USA lets you cancel at any time and I think other providers now offer a similar option.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'



Having an official bit of plastic that says the government is happy that the person pictured has the name on the card is not in itself harmful, and is useful when you do need to prove your ID, such as at the bank when you want to do something to your account that you'd prefer others not be allowed to do. If you've got a UK photo-ID driver's licence then you already have such an ID card. In the US, such things are officially recognised as ID, and it's possible to get a similar card to act as a state ID that is not a driver's licence.

The line is crossed when the bank, or other entity is required to report your use of that ID to a central tracking system, which is pretty much what the last UK attempt at ID cards was all about and why we all kicked up a stink about it. It's the difference between the ID card being a tool for you to use, and it being a tool for the state to keep track of everyone.

The problem arises that once the first one is introduced, where you have an ID card with no requirements imposed on carrying it or its use, it's easy for a future government to suddenly declare that you're supposed to carry it at all times, or introduce a reporting requirement on its use, or to require it to be presented for certain transaction types. Far easier to hold the line at "no government ID card" than give them that bit of ground and then hold back on the rest.

It's a, it's a, it's a SYN flood: Quick, ditch that packet


So the DDOS crew mod their end to send each SYN packet twice. Back to the same problem as before.

BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol


Re: Speaking of confusion.....

Ah, the equivalent of releasing four piglets in a Walmart store with the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 5 painted on them, then watching as the security team frantically try to locate #4.

£10k offer to leave firm ASAP is not blackmail, Capita told by judge


Re: Accountants

The tax system files it under "compensation for loss of office", at which point it becomes a tax-free payment up to certain limits (used to be £30k, but may well have increased since then).

Yes, there are advantages to both sides because of this. Neither side has to pay NI contributions on the sum, and if you're a higher-rate taxpayer, that can effectively double the effective take-home money. I got three months' pay in lieu of notice when being made redundant and it was effectively enough to fund me for six months.

Microsoft gets ready to kill Skype Classic once again: 'This time we mean it'


I wish they'd fix the new version before dumping the old one. I get plagued with "network problems" despite nothing else having issues. My father's machine won't send video, despite him being able to see it locally.

Still using Skype? Good news! After HOURS of meetings, Microsoft reckons it knows when you're Not Active


I wish they'd fix the Linux version. It was fine until they forced everyone off the older stuff and made us all use the new one, which I guess proves that progress is a vector. Now I have 'network problems' that only seem to affect Skype and nothing else on my system.

I think they've used the same code as in Skype 4 Business, which I have the misfortune to use at work and also seems to suffer such issues.


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