* Posts by Allan George Dyer

2311 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Don't pay the ransom, mate. Don't even fix a price, say Australia's cyber security bods

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Pirate

There's room for different strategies among the criminals... the ones looking for a stable, long-term criminal income diligently provide the restore keys for victims that pay, and build a reputation. This provides an opportunity for "cowboys" that just trash the data and take the ransom, effectively feeding off the "reputation" of the "honourable" criminals.

A plague on both their houses.

When Irish screens are borking: Ticketing trip-up for Dublin-based Windows 10 IoT terminal, but at least it's not XP

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
IT Angle

Re: Irish Gauge

Obligatory XKCD

UK national debt hits 1.46 Apples – and weighs as much as 2 billion adult badgers

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

red.grey ?

Physical locks are less hackable than digital locks, right? Maybe not: Boffins break in with a microphone

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Boffin

Re: So we need to upgrade the physical locks....

How about a lock with a loudspeaker that plays white noise when touched by a key? Just drown out the clicks.

Snortical warfare: Wild boar launches amphibious assault against German beachgoers

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Go

We have the urban variety in Hong Kong.

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

and cannot be offensive or derogatory

I have a sudden urge to make DELEC a swearword...

"You stupid DELEC!"

AI assistants work perfectly in the UK – unless you're from Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Belfast...

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

Somehow I read that as the Mary Quant limit, which probably has something to do with mini skirts.

icon: the vinyl one, please.

Oh deer! Scotland needs some tech smarts to help monitor its rampant herbivore populations

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Deer shed their antlers annually... so each year you'll need to round up all the wild deer and paint the new antlers. Is this research sponsored by the Deer-Herding and Paint Manufacturer Association?

Alternatively, use gene editing to insert bio-luminescence genes*, and the antlers will glow by themselves.

*Like any gene-edited product, the expression control may vary from one production run to the next. The colour of the antler will appear different in various lighting conditions.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Easy - count the legs and divide by four.

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

@AC - I think you might have given us a clue to your name, Alan.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

@Captain Scarlet - "I have never used one of these before"

I don't think that phrase has ever worked for me. Somehow, when a known techie utters it, it only enhances their suitability for dealing with the problem.

Beijing's tightening grip on Hong Kong could put region's future as an up-and-coming tech hub in jeopardy

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Anyone remember Spain?

@martinusher - "Hong Kong is part of China. Unlike Catalonia it doesn't even have the historical basis to be an independent state"

It depends what you call an independent state, Kowloon was (reputably) named by the boy Emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty around 1278, when the Empire was just this tiny scrap of land. https://www.scmp.com/magazines/hk-magazine/article/2036314/ask-mr-know-it-all-how-did-kowloon-get-its-name

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Welcome....

@LucreLout - "hopefully without antagonizing China, while giving a choice to the protesters"

Well, I think China feels very antagonised.

As for the protesters, I'm sorry to say there's a bit of a gap... Boris has offered the route to full citizenship for BNO passport holders and their dependents (Good!), but the last BNO was issued in 1997, so anyone under 23 is not a BNO holder, and anyone over 18 is unlikely to still be counted as a dependent. Many of the protesters have been in the young adult age range, and so most likely to be in the gap.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Welcome....

@J.G.Harston - "We didn't give the expelled Ugandan Asians passports, they *already* *had* british passports, because they were already British."

As were the people of HK, until a new (inferior) class of British citizen was created in 1987.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: "we need clarity on what the laws will involve before we can decide anything"

@PhilipN - To be absolutely accurate, neither of us were in the room when Carrie Lam decided to introduce the extradition bill. The murder in Taiwan was the excuse, but the bill appeared very quickly. It always included the Mainland and Carrie Lam resisted all proposals to change it. My impression was that the bill had been prepared in advance, and they were simply waiting for a case that would get public sympathy. Carrie Lam always denied Mainland involvement in the drafting of the bill, but I can't imagine she would take the initiative to prepare it and keep it secret from them.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: one country two systems agreement

Yes, the concept came from Deng Xiaoping, but after the Joint Declaration was signed, the Basic Law was drafted by a committee of 23 people from Hong Kong and 36 from the Mainland. The Basic Law was promulgated in 1990, two years before Chris Pattern became Governor.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: "we need clarity on what the laws will involve before we can decide anything"

@LucreLout - "This manoeuvre from Beijing is a direct consequence of violent protests last year

I agree, and it will end them just as surely as sending in the tanks did in Tienanmen square all those years ago."

I disagree, this manoeuvre is a response to the large peaceful protests last year, and the overwhelming success of pro-democratic/pro-protest candidates in the District Council elections[1]. There has been violence at some of the protests, but the HK Police can handle a few thousand violent people. It's the millions of non-violent people saying what they want that frightens Beijing.

"If I recall correctly the protests were brought about precisely because Beijing interfered with the HK system making it easier to extradite people to the mainland."

Absolutely correct.

"Tienanmen Square was more than a generation ago, China has changed.

Not so long ago in my memory,"

Ditto. Yes, China was opening up. Then Xi Jinping got the top job and rooted out corruption... coincidentally, his opponents in the Party were all found to be corrupt. Now he's leader for life, a position last held by Chairman Mao.

"The World has changed Xi Jing Ping will NOT want to taint his legacy

Then respectfully he should see that the whole world recognizes China's strength and requires no demonstration of same."

I'm guessing Xi wants his legacy to be China as the only Superpower, restored to its "ancient borders" and all other countries subservient.

"To me this feels like a mistake, but I am not Chinese, nor have I even visited HK, so I'll bow out here with best wishes for all involved to find a peaceful resolution."

I tend to agree its a mistake. I'm not Chinese either, but I live in HK, thanks.

[1] The District Councils don't have a lot of power, they have some budget for local improvements and discuss bus routes and the like. They do elect a block of members to the Election Committee, a topic that would need another footnote. Previously, they've not been hotly contested, and were controlled by pro-establishment councillors. The democrats got their act together and contested every seat at the end of last year, campaigning on the protestor's 5 demands. They won a majority in 17 of the 18 Councils.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Facepalm

Recently, someone was sending me a document containing a table of colour-coded rows, so they printed it out on a monochrome printer, scanned it into a PDF and sent the PDF as an attachment.

I am astounded by the ingenuity of ignorance.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

@Alan Brown - "the external access code for your PABX should NEVER bear any similarity to the local emergency numbers"

Think of it as a safety feature: you're still likely to get through to the Police when dialing in a panic as an axe murderer breaks down the door to the office and you haven't realised it's a PABX line.

Belief in 5G conspiracy theories goes hand-in-hand with small explosions of rage, paranoia and violence, researchers claim

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Re: explosions of rage, paranoia and violence

@redpawn - That's not paranoia, we are all out to get you.

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: What used to be a joke has become fact

So Winnie the Pooh game him some advice when they met?

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Windows

Re: Ah IT 'managers'

@spireite - "This is why I don't support family........"

You get a CHOICE?!

How do you run a military court over Zoom? With 28 bullet points and a ceremonial laptop flunkey, of course!

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

We also called them "dead fly biscuits" in my family, probably more often than "Garibaldi". I've never tried witchety grubs but I once had an unpleasant experience eating a sea cucumber.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

@Claverhouse - "Garibaldi --- a strong contender for biggest bore of the 19th century himself"

But I do like his biscuits.

Windows 10 once more in print condition: Microsoft applies out-of-band fix to Patch Tuesday cock-up

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Windows

Re: At the risk of repeating myself

When I was young, we only had to ask grumpy neighbours for our ball back. Could be a new variant on the old excuse...

"My neighbour's dog ate my homework."

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Pirate

Re: At the risk of repeating myself

@Barry Rueger - "found four different printers, by three manufacturers, in our building"

Were any of those printers yours?

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Spelling

@Lars - "I prefer kilo to kilogram or kilogramme"

So, when you go on a massive walk, do you encounter resistance?

Whose side you on, Nominet? Registry floods .co.uk owners with begging emails to renew unwanted .uk domains

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Windows

Re: Pointless limitations

@doublelayer - "We started with a .com"

Speak for yourself. I started with uk.ac. (yes, big-endian). Even then, there were legends of bang path addressing from the truly ancient.

It could be 'five to ten years' before the world finally drags itself away from IPv4

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Simple solution?

@The man in the pub - "mandate that all devices brought onto the market after a given date only use IPv6"

First, mandate that all ISPs must support IPv6 as a standard (no extra charge) part of their service. If it doesn't include IPv6, you cannot advertise it as an internet service.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Devil

Premium Service

Out of the ISPs competing for my employer's business, one offers IPv6, but only on their more expensive "Secure DIA Premium Always-On service". The ISPs do charge for fixed IPv4 addresses.

Why do I get the feeling that someone doesn't want to lose a revenue stream?

Developers renew push to get rid of objectionable code terms to make 'the world a tiny bit more welcoming'

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Then, there is Chess...

But the only one that really matters is the King, so 50% pawns, 43.75% middle class and 6.25% kings. And the king is allowed to have up to 9 queens.

Don't panic: An asteroid larger than the Empire State Building is flying past Earth this weekend but we're just fine

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Headmaster

Aten-class?

"a label given to rocks that have a semi-major axis of less than one astronomical unit" - Isn't that all of them? Though a rock larger than 1AU would also be larger than the Empire State Building, so maybe the distinction is important.

Yeah, I could just assume a missing "an orbit with", but where would be the fun in that?

Have I Been Pwned breach report email pwned entire firm's helldesk ticket system

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Now, tell us, Troy

@robidy: Downvoted for using a colon instead of a semicolon. These details matter.

We spent billions building atom smashers – and now boffins think nature's doing the same thing for free?

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: The universe is weird, we want a refund

Fig. 3.1 is entertaining, but Fig. 3.2 tells you how to do it!

It's all fun and games until Godzilla arrives.

Beardy Branson’s 747-assisted sat-launcher can’t get it up

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Just relax...

Nervousness and excitement can often cause performance issues for V the inexperienced.

Go on, hit Reply All. We dare you. We double dare you. Because Office 365 will defeat your server-slamming ways

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

Re: User education

And people wonder why techies ask them, "Have you tried turning it off, throwing it down a coal mine, jumping in after it, asking a friend to fill the coal mine with concrete, and turning it back on again?"

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Megaphone

Re: User education

I find the conversation often goes:

"What does the message say?"

"Something about an error"

"Can you read it exactly?"

"No, I deleted it because it wasn't useful"

Which does, fortunately, avoid the ad infinitum, but can get me told off for shouting at users.

Serial killer spotted on the night train from Newcastle

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

Re: Manufacturer???

I noticed that too....

I can't help thinking, if someone shouted, "there's a bomb, take cover" while I was waiting for a bus, I would probably run AWAY from the risk of being shredded by broken glass, not hunker down inside.

I hope they add prominent "bomb shelter" signs.

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

Allan George Dyer Silver badge

@big_D "I always joked it would be replaced by the FFT, I'll leave you to work that out!"

Slow, but intensely pleasurable?

Dumpster diving to revive a crashing NetWare server? It was acceptable in the '90s

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Re: A long time ago

@Jason Bloomberg - "held in place by a reformed coat hanger"

Is that a coat hanger with a criminal record for hold-ups?

Did you help it to go straight?

Resistance is futile: Some Cisco security appliances are ticking time bombs of fail thanks to faulty resistors

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Pint

Re: Have a euphemism on us.

I'm getting "Beware of non-deterministic endpoint behaviour" signs printed to put above the urinals.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Windows

Dump this modern rubbish...

Documents were so much more artistic when there was no punctuation or vowels, and the margins had paintings of knights jousting snails.

CFAA latest: Supremes to tackle old chestnut of what 'authorized use' of a computer really means in America

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

GDPR?

There's a failure to protect the personal data of the car owner, so the EU should fine the USA for 4% of its global turnover.

Lockdown endgame? There won't be one until the West figures out its approach to contact-tracing apps

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Coat

I normally keep Bluetooth off, to preserve battery life.

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Singapore

@devTrail - "Singapore is a tropical country", "the paper says that the virus in hot and dry conditions is less virulent"

Tropical usually means 'hot and humid', and Singapore is a very good example of that.

A paper clip, a spool of phone wire and a recalcitrant RS-232 line: Going MacGyver in the wonderful world of hotel IT

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Windows

Re: Proper lash up

Comments are there to confuse and misdirect the unwary.

It's called job security.

Iran military manages to keep a straight face while waggling miracle widget that 'can detect coronavirus from 100m away'

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: TSA Security Theatre

It could be very effective for the TSA:

1. TSA agents use device to scan passengers

2. Arrest people who laugh at the TSA agents.

Result: the USA has been protected from a dangerous outbreak of intelligence.

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Joke

Re: Mindset

@Telwaz - "they dug up Cromwell in order to execute him for treason"

Admit it, you copied that phrase from the dictionary definition of "futile exercise".

Allan George Dyer Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Mindset

I think you've missed the point of "Hello World".

If there's any point in drawing and quartering after shooting, your firing squad needs urgent training.

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