* Posts by Allan George Dyer

2528 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Datacenter migration plan missed one vital detail: The leaky roof

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: What?

Cinderblocks are known as breeze blocks in the UK

Excel's comedy of errors needs a new script, not new scripting

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Clueless users

Didn't see anything like that in an address in HK in 29 years. It does remind me of references on some government letters. Was it a BFPO number?

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Clueless users

@Primus Secundus Tertius - "British postal addresses are particularly variable"

FTFY.

Save me from forms insisting I enter a City (Hong Kong), State (Hong Kong), Country (Hong Kong) and Postcode (HK).

IT services giant Wipro fires 300 for moonlighting

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Devil

Have they thought of paying enough so that workers don't need another job to make ends meet?

You can never have too many backups. Also, you can never have too many backups

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: Stack popped reading that procedure....

The classic solution is daily backups.

(mine's the one with "Department of Post-Bolting Barn Door Closing" on the back.)

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Pint

Re: Stack popped reading that procedure....

@Martin Gregorie - Nice description. Makes it easy to see that from step 5 to step 10 there is only a single copy of F, which is the weakness of the procedure and probably contributed to the snafu. The classic solution would be using a Grandfather-Father-Son rotation (should we call that Grandparent-Parent-Child now?), so there would still be two older copies in the event of any mistakes. Alternatively, use a single scratch disk to make a second copy of F after step 3. Or do both.

But how to justify getting all those extra expensive disk packs? Telling the boss, "it's in case I make a stupid mistake" would probably be career limiting. However, the backup is when the disks are most heavily used, read and written from end to end, and therefore the most likely time for a fault.

Kylin: The multiple semi-official Chinese versions of Ubuntu

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Traditional, Simplified or Both?

"I can't tell the difference unless they are side-by-side"

To be fair, quite a few are the same, there's not much to simplify in 一二三.

"I don't have any hardware suitable for testing handwriting input" How well it copes with the available device(s) would be an important question in itself. I've tried with a mouse before (dreadful) and the most popular Windows-based pen input devices have (or had, maybe it's changed) no Linux drivers. For many people, handwriting input on their phone has become their preferred method, they might respond well to the same experience on a desktop.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Traditional, Simplified or Both?

I would assume Simplified, given the Mainland connection, but it would be nice to be certain, and both would be a definite advantage. Also, how is the support for handwriting input?

Bootnote: I'm also named after the kylin, 戴雅麟

Smartphone gyroscopes threaten air-gapped systems, researcher finds

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Air gaps are all about physical security

You beat me to it.

WhatsApp boss says no to AI filters policing encrypted chat

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Time for WhatsApp to put its money where its mouth is

@AC

(1) using email as transport doesn't give me any assurance about the identity of the sender. If there is something additional (e.g. a GPG signature) giving that assurance, then that probably relies on published, persistent keys, which you claim are an attack entry point.

(2) no, I'm not. I wouldn't use ordinary email alone for something that sensitive. Your point was?

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Time for WhatsApp to put its money where its mouth is

@AC - Have I missed something? With no published or persistent keys, there is no way of telling who sent you a message, or even if it was the same person as the previous message.

There is a path to replace TCP in the datacenter

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Translation.

@Doctor Syntax - "easier than having to worry about whether your printer is local rather than in head office 2000 miles away"

So no worries walking 2000 miles to pick up your printout?

Printing is one of the few tasks where knowing the location of the device serving you is always going to be significant.

icon - I'll just pick on the poorly-chosen example and ignore the significant points.

Outlook email users alerted to suspicious activity from Microsoft-owned IP address

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

While I agree simple country filtering can block most miscreant attempts, there is a danger of locking some people out of their accounts permanently. I've recently relocated to a different country, and while I tried to update my address for the most important services before leaving, there are others I didn't get round to. Then there's the accounts where I need to receive an SMS on the old number before I can login to update the details... even with roaming, the message might take longer than the 10-minute window to arrive.

So, make the default safe for most people, but have a fallback mechanism for the edge cases.

UK signs deal to share police biometric database with US border guards

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

@Barry Rueger, SundogUK

What if you're both right? While the vast majority of firearm murders are inner city gang related, they are still outnumbered by accidental shootings by acquaintances and family members using legal weapons.

Is there a name for subtly changing the category of a statistic to claim your debate opponent is wrong?

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Go

Easier to remove one. Where would you find a free page of the 'other' colour, unless I'd been there first?

If you didn't store valuable data, ransomware would become impotent

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: The other option....

@Fading - I think you needed this icon, once each for the world population:

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

and no assumption that every place has a postcode at all.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Re: So instead of...

@Doctor Syntax - "I enter my name and delivery address. That's in my own memory where it's not open to a ransomware attack." - Yet. Someday soon Google is going to announce a brain interface where they can access your memories.

Icon - I hope!

How did you mourn Internet Explorer's passing?

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Re: It's not dead.

I think you forgot this icon...

HP pilots paper delivery service for Instant Ink subscribers

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: Paper isn't required due to the cost of ink

I considered that, but then I noticed Instant Ink was a monthly subscription, and additional pages require an internet connection.

Safer to get a laser printer instead. At least I'll still be able to print a letter begging my ISP to reconnect me.

Indian authorities issue conflicting advice about biometric ID card security

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Facepalm

Could they be less specific?

"exercise normal prudence"

Is there any phrase they could have used that would convey less information about what they expected people to do?

The Human Genome Project will tell us who to support at Eurovision

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: For those wowed by how much DNA they share with people from other countries

@the Jim bloke - "and 50% the same as lettuce"

and we know we get half our genes from each parent, so look carefully kids, which is a lettuce, your mother or your father?

We have redundancy, we have batteries, what could possibly go wrong?

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Single point of multiple failures.

@SImon Hobson - Something like this?

Enterprise IT finds itself in a war zone – with no script

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: Cutting Russia off from the InterWebs is stupid

@DS999 - "China is not going to invade Taiwan."

Well, It wouldn't be an invasion, it would be a reunification, according to Xi's perspective. They don't need to label everyone "neo-nazis", they are already using "separatists", which is quite possibly a far worse crime in Xi's eyes.

Of course China wants their rebel province Taiwan to return willingly. They believe that Taiwan will be quite willing, after a suitable period of re-education The success of this approach can be seen in Hong Kong and other places.

Saving a loved one from a document disaster

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: Oh the dreaded 11th finger...

Anonymous South African Coward - "Great for diagnosis especially when nothing will show on the screen."

If you happen to have the manual that matches the BIOS to hand...

icon - the one with Beethoven's Greatest Hits in the pocket.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Imperrfect

Not just typists. I always thought the left side of the original PC keyboard was perfect for WP: Ctrl Alt Shift stacked above each other, with the F keys all within easy reach of one hand in two vertical columns. Forty functions instantly available (once you'd memorised the combinations). Moving the F keys to a single row along the top makes every function a stretch, or for both hands.

The right side of the AT keyboard, though, was a great improvement, but why not just drop the Numlock key?

Yes, this does make the keyboard a bit wider. So what, you've see a piano, haven't you.

The zero-password future can't come soon enough

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Pint

There is a place for biometrics...

but it is not for online authentication.

The server trusts the client to truthfully report what it "saw", whether that is the finger on the fingerprint reader, or a face in front of the camera etc. An attacker has complete control over their own client, so they can introduce fake biometric data.

icon - used glasses are a great source for fingerprints.

Plans for UK rival to Silicon Valley ditched

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Does the Tory Government Actually Know What It Is Doing ?

@Arthur the cat - So that would be Eton, not eaten?

Computer scientists at University of Edinburgh contemplate courses without 'Alice' and 'Bob'

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Well...

@MachDiamond - "interns around for low cost/slave labor. Most of them were useless"

Isn't that the deal? You get some low-cost labour, but have to spend time supervising them, they get practical experience. And the ones that weren't useless from the beginning get the best references at the end.

Americans far more willing to hand over personal data

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

@msobkow - "I don't understand why people in normal, civilized western nations would be so afraid of having their spending, surfing, and viewing habits tracked and tallied."

A few thoughts to get you started:

  • It changes the relationship between buyer and seller to the detriment of the buyer. The supermarket can offer you the minimum quality product you will accept at the maximum price you can afford.
  • the information can be used to manipulate your thoughts and beliefs.
  • Sensitive personal information may be leaked inadvertently, e.g. a pop-up ad for haemorrhoid cream during your important presentation.
  • sensitive personal information may be stolen and misused by criminals. It doesn't harm the data-collector if YOUR identity is stolen.
  • normal, civilized western nations can change into less-civilised places quite quickly (invoke Poe's law here)

Sure, it's been going on in some form for centuries, but IT makes it so much more dangerous.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Re: Lacking information?

@Michael Hoffmann - "where did M.A actually write that?"

Immediately before his famous quote, "90% of these quotes on the Internet are made up"

Interpol: Policing model needs to change with cybercrime

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Nice to see Craig Jones is realising that cybercrime is organised, but what is he doing as Interpol's cybercrime director if he didn't already know this ten years ago, or earlier? Many of his subordinates and colleagues in other agencies must be far better qualified for the position.

Or does he think the only way to get people to listen is to trot out the stereotypes he claims to be dispelling?

Ericsson admits it may have paid off ISIS terrorists

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Re: Baksheesh

I'm sure the wallpaper designs and paint colours were very 'sophisticated'; fuchsia is obviously a more expensive colour than pink.

Hong Kong Watch says its website suddenly can't be seen in Hong Kong

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Re: Time to run your own DNS

Well, it appears that a blue laser pointer with no batteries is not an offensive weapon, so maybe sanity will prevail (but asking an off-duty cop for his warrant card is resisting arrest, so who knows?).

DoH is also an option.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Boffin

Time to run your own DNS

The sites are reachable from HK if you run your own DNS. At least, at the moment.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

CMHK and PCCW are two of the biggest ISPs in HK.

Make assistive driving safe: Eliminate pedestrians

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

What we need is dozens of self-driving ambulances, they can be sent out to constantly patrol and pick-up the casualties they cause.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: designated right or wrong side

@Snake - "Ten seconds later an older woman steps on to the sidewalk from the street and places herself 8 inches in front of me."

Isn't the reasonable action to allow people to get out of danger? A pedestrian on the footpath should give way to a pedestrian leaving the street. Even if there is no traffic at the moment (these horseless carriages move fast, you know).

OTOH, I'll come to a dead stop and wait to see if a phone zombie walks into me, particularly if I'm carrying a large package.

UK.gov threatens to make adults give credit card details for access to Facebook or TikTok

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Long term solution...

So many parents struggle with monitoring and controlling their children's use of technology?

How about teaching this to older teenagers at school, along with use of contraceptives* and other essential life skills. There can be class discussions, led by specialist teachers - trained professionals, about morals and appropriate age. Eventually, those kids will be the new responsible parents.

The problem is, it would be seen as too expensive.

* Yeah, I know some places pretty much ban teaching about contraceptives, that's another problem to be fixed.

Labour reminds UK.gov that it's supposed to be reforming the Computer Misuse Act

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: Ha

@codejunky - "Unfortunately no party seems to be stepping up to take on the Tories, instead all just sitting around letting the Tories fall."

Was it Wellington that said, "Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake?"

FBI says more cyber attacks come from China than everywhere else combined

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: "the USA and its allies have had some wins"

@W.S.Gosset - "the (ex)Prince who said something similar" Wei Jingsheng has some interesting ideas. However, I would suggest that both feudalism and the elitism of the Chinese Communist regime are both examples of a broader phenomena: the rich and powerful think up rules so that they stay rich and powerful.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: "the USA and its allies have had some wins"

@W.S.Gosset - "Lin Biao" Thanks for the reference.

"Cultures don't change that fast" Sometimes they do. Something that was unthinkable (e.g. votes for women) can become normal in a generation. Perhaps there are aspects of culture that are more fixed, but some of it could be the group that is loosing power formulating a strategy to re-establish the attitudes that benefit themselves.

"And you might be surprised to learn that every Chinese person you've ever met or seen in the West would be described in an English context as --at the very minimum-- lower-upper class or upper-middle class." Perhaps I should mention that I live in Hong Kong? I'm quite well aware that recent Chinese expatriates are very well-off, but any regular reader of TheReg may have noticed the reports of poor conditions in Chinese tech factories.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: "the USA and its allies have had some wins"

@The Man Who Fell To Earth - My point was that tagging a current regime based on a remark at least 46 years old is likely to be misleading. China was still very much an agricultural nation in Mao's time, held back further by the Great Leap Forwards. I would accept that a feudal label could be appropriate at that time (with certain reservations... there is an implied European and religious context). Fascist might be a more relevant term today, with strong industrialisation in many cities, militarism and nationalism. In between, there was a period of opening up and (relative) liberalisation, where both terms were less applicable. It's complicated.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Windows

Re: "the USA and its allies have had some wins"

@W.S.Gosset - Which of Mao's subordinates said that? Liu Shaoqi was executed in the Cultural Revolution.

Mao himself died in 1976, remarks from the age of Harold Wilson and Gerald Ford might not be entirely descriptive of the situation today, especially in a country where GDP has grown over 100 times.

UK government opens consultation on medic-style register for Brit infosec pros

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Terminator

Re: Forewarned is forearmed .... and the smartest freely available option is to take good heed.

When did amanfromMars 1 start replying to their own comments, and adding links to previous comments? This could be the next step towards the Singularity!

OTOH, could we get amanfromMars to respond to the consultation document? That could keep them tied up for years.

Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

@SGJ - "it won't be usable a room or two away but this means it will be usable in crowded urban areas!"

In a crowded urban area, the walls of your room might be in touching distance, and the concrete wall between you and your lounge means you can't contact the AP there. Save the cost of a 2m ethernet cable by buying a $X Wi-Fi 7 router for every room!

icon - Escape!

Planning for power cuts? That's strictly for the birds

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: That's a nice incentive

@Charles 9 - Then that crew member has to find a plausible failure mode they can trigger that's not in the plan, resulting in it being investigated and added to the plan. Sounds like a win.

Bit less of a win if they find such a failure mode, and decide to save it for the in-laws next visit...

North Korea pulled in $400m in cryptocurrency heists last year – report

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: Further to the North Korea story:

@Clausewitz 4.0 - "McAfee was in the antivirus business"

I think pavel.petrman was referring to McAfee's fame in the paranoid-batshit-crazy business, rather than his brief, early stint in the antivirus business.

"exploits and software implants developer" - somehow, I read that as "explosive software implants developer", it seems appropriate.

China builds 'free trade data port' inclusive of submarine cable landing station

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

What does that even mean?

"realizes the first cross-border operation in China"

It's (obviously) not the first international submarine cable entering China, what border is it crossing, and why is it different? Nansha is in the middle of the Pearl River delta, and from the link Hong Kong and Macao are involved. These big statements often leave me wondering, has something been lost in the translation, or is it purely PR hype?

Entirely unjustified speculation... does "cross-border" refer to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (crossing the internal border between the two systems in one country)? Perhaps this is the first international cable terminating at a shared data centre? So international traffic to Hong Kong and Macao can pass through the same data centre... and be subject to the same inspection as Mainland traffic. Is this the extension of the Great Firewall to protect Hong Kong and Macao too?

How convenient, to have a single point which all approved data can flow through.

LAPD cops who preferred playing Pokémon Go to tackling robbery can be fired, appeals court rules

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Missed Opportunity?

How about tagging crimes with Pokémon, using the rare ones for the more serious crimes, and let the gamers police the city?

I'm a little worried that some cash-strapped mayor will actually take this seriously.

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