* Posts by Paul 87

163 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009


Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?

Paul 87

Have two like this!

The first features a lovely young lady from another country, now English wasn't her first langauge but she usually managed pretty well with most words. One day she takes a call into the support line where there were some S.M.A.R.T. error messages appearing on a client's computer, so she dutifully logs the call and passed it down to the relevant team to handle.

Within minutes the Hardware Manager is on the phone to her and asks her to open the ticket and re-read what she'd put

"Client has a hard d*ck failure" she'd typed in error

As she does so, the Hardware manager quips "well love you'd be better off handling that one than me" (he was a dirty old bastard too!)


The second one is tamer, having to talk a developer out of their chosen abbreviation for Cumulative Totals was well, a rather more lengthy discussion than I'd anticipated. He swore up and down that no one would read it that way and my arguement was that as part of the customer facing team, who had to train the user on the feature there was no way I was reading out Cum budget and Cum totals on an open call!

Eventually they relented!

HP CEO talks up HP-ink-only print hardware and higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges

Paul 87

Well looks like it's time to stop selling HP printers

This will be a huge hassle for businesses and is a stupid idea to boot because it says that HP can't actually manufacture at a sensible price, and thus charge over the odds compared to smaller businesses.

North Korean hackers pwned cryptocurrency sysadmin with GDPR-themed LinkedIn lure, says F-Secure

Paul 87

2020 and people are *still* getting hurt by Word Macro viruses....

Anyone else think that Word should have the feature removed entirely? No need for a doc to be anything other than formatted text

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

Paul 87

Spot the Mozilla paid shill! :)

Paul 87

Had the "pleasure" of this update this morning about an hour before the El Reg article went up that'd have warned me not to update Firefox

Dear god it is absolutely dire, you can't even get into the basic "about:config" page to customise any of the out of the box settings that are on by default that you don't want.

However, their FAQ page is lying through it's teeth, you can totally roll back to a previous version if you're prepared to lose your settings / bookmarks and are willing to take a risk on a non-Google play source. Willing to bet we'll see a tonne of virus filled APK's on the internet within the next few days unless Mozilla relent or fix their "open Beta" version.....

Google isn't even trying to not be creepy: 'Continuous Match Mode' in Assistant will listen to everything until it's disabled

Paul 87


No they wouldn't because they are not a company and thus not bound by GDPR

Someone's office however, then there may well be issues with data having been captured and processes by a third partty without notification.

Consent doesn't really come into it thoigh, because the legal basis will likely be legitimate interest, Google are gathering data to supply a contracted service. If GDPR was interepted to apply on an individual by indvidual basis then it'd be legally impossible to have any kind of voice activated device functioning

Stop tracking me, Google: Austrian citizen files GDPR legal complaint over Android Advertising ID

Paul 87

In all honesty, governments need to decide if targeted advertising is legal or not

All of this grey area crap is just vacilliating around the real question. Should you be able to gather data for people for the purposes of monetising them.

If the answer is yes, then accept that it means companies hold data on all individuals if they use devices or services offered by those companies, if not, then we've got to be prepared to pay monthly for phones, email, websites etc.

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

Paul 87

Wish software developers would stop misusing the word anonymous.

If you have a unique identifier on a record then that data is not anonymous, and indeed the app couldn't function if it was anonymous. The system has to know where every user is to be able to notify anyone in a pool of uploaded data.

Hard luck, Claranet. You managed to go 29 whole days without an incident

Paul 87

Two failures, at two different data centres and both times it's a) Power related and b) Disrupts the entire opperation.

Do you think they've failed to understand why data centres have at least two of everything?? Me thinks they have fwo power supplies, both feeding into one computer and it needing both to stay awake

WeWork filed its IPO homework. So we had a look at its small print and... yowser. What has El Reg got itself into?

Paul 87

So basically, their business plan is to build up 10 years of losses, then offset those against an actually profitable business plan and in the mean time make sure that their CEO gets paid twice, and if possible, a third time by selling stocks in a loss making company.

The US desperately needs a business regulator that has actual teeth. This should have never got past the submission stage

Hack a small airplane? Yes, we CAN (bus) – once we physically break into one, get at its wiring, plug in evil kit...

Paul 87

Boeing PR team spot an opportunity...

...we'll shortly hear that the 737-MAX crashes were due to hackers, and thus totally not their fault

Timely Trump tariffs tax tech totally: 25 per cent levy on modems, fiber optics, networking gear, semiconductors…

Paul 87

Stupid part is, regional tarriffs can be avoided by big companies. Make the goods in China, ship them to a nearby third country to a distributor who gets at best a penny on the dollar, who tightens the final screw, or puts on the outer case and voila, product of the Phillapines ready for sale to the US

We reveal what's inside Microsoft's Azure Govt Secret regions... wait, is that a black helico–

Paul 87

So, basically they've setup a "secret" zone, then go and have a press release with the name and the fact it exists.

Kinda opposite of a secret really.

Not to mention why on earth would you want information deemed to be critical for National Security on the internet. If it were me, I'd setup an entirely seperate network using a non-standard communication method.

Brit Watchkeeper drone fell in the sea because blocked sensor made algorithms flip out

Paul 87

Finally! A task for machine learning that isn't creepy.

They should program an a.i. to analyse flight data over tens of thousands of aircraft to build a model of what "normal" looks like, and use that to help handle scenarios when the instruments are malfunctioning.

For example, some combinations of say airspeed and climb rate simply wouldn't hold up, so if one said you were slowing down, and the other said you were diving, then you can kick in a default of "fly level" or "check other instruments"

Facebook ad platform discriminates all on its own, say boffins

Paul 87

Targeted ads *gasp* target people?

Well no shit Sherlock

I'd love to kill the idea of targeted ads dead as a doornail but then we'd have to pay for all the internet sites we wished to use, and it'd likely kill off a lot of self published content too

US prosecutors whack another three charges on list against ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch over $11bn HP biz gobble

Paul 87

Unfortunately, accounting practices can be incredibly vague and hard to follow to the untrained.

For example, an annual contract, you can book the cash in immediately, but book the cost out monthly as it's occurred. You *should* record that you have a potential liabilty in the mean time but if you want to boost the profitability, you'll skip that part.

Nothing illegal per se, but do it often enough and your business position at any one time will look significantly better than you'd expect because the costs are hidden.

That's not including out and out fraud whereby invoices are manufactured, as appears to have happened to Patisse Valarie

Click here to see the New Zealand livestream mass-murder vid! This is the internet Facebook, YouTube, Twitter built!

Paul 87

The more censorship that's needed, the more we try and stamp out hateful ideas by blocking them away, the more the terrorists win in their goals.

The far right lunatics *want* a police state, they *want* people to be oppressed and restricted in what they can and can't say.

It's a horrendous event, but lets drag the ideas expressed out into the light and ridicule them, make a joke out of them and expose them for the pathetic rantings that they are. If it were legal to do so, I'd suggest putting the idiot naked into a perspex cage, with one way sound, and let people point and laugh at what a pathetic example of humanity he is.

Small Brit firms beg for 'light touch' as only half are ready for digital tax reforms due next month

Paul 87

I work for a software company that had to deploy MTD into our product.

It's been an absolute ballache, start to finish. HMRC are *still* changing the specification and requirements, including remembering to implement some actual security beyond a token.

What's more, this is just the start, there's every likelyhood that we'll see requests for more and more data each year, likely to the point of taking complete invoices and VAT numbers to spot fraud.

Texas lawyer suing Apple over FaceTime bug claims it was used to snoop on a meeting

Paul 87

Up until the damages section, this is all potentially provable and a consequence of the issue (assuming there is supporting evidence such as a call history)

However, proving damages beyond "Have to buy a new phone because of loss of trust in Apple"... well it's a lot tougher

Mobile network Three UK's customer details exposed in homepage blunder

Paul 87

Re: A small number of customers...

Re-read their statement

They said only four people *complained*

That isn't to say that's the same number of people who accessed the data, nor is it the number of customer accounts displayed incorrectly.

It's just the number of people who could be bothered to contact Three about the issue.

GDPR: Four letters that put fear into firms' hearts in 2018

Paul 87

Interesting thought exercise, if, by means of automatically inferred location data, a company targets you for special offers via adverts, could you argue that the decision making process harms another person by virtue of them not meeting the criteria, and therefore the decision made automatically and with no oversight, isn't permitted under GDPR?

Could kill off the entire targeted ads business once and for all

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

Paul 87

Despite having an entirely blank location history in my downloaded data, no app installed for the past 5 years, and repeatedly detagging, removing any check ins etc. Facebook is still able to serve up "Amber Alerts" in an approximate location.

All because it has kept and retained over 10 years worth of IP address history, which apparently can't be deleted.

So yeah, they're lying assholes

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

Paul 87

Doom was what started me on learning IT skills. From hacking a monochrome screen 386 work laptop to run the shareware version, to getting my parents to buy a top of the line PC where I eventually cut my teeth learning to install and configure Windows after installing OS/2 by accident.

The level creator, especially for Doom 2, was a big influence in trying to understand just how computers worked, as much as it was having to auto-compress files to save HDD space via batch scripts or reconfigure config.sys and autoexec.bat after games like System Shock and Dark Forces with their more demanding profiles

'My entire company is without comms': Gamma's Horizon cloud PBX goes DOWN

Paul 87

Think this has highlighted a serious design flaw in their infrastructure

Not that the failure happens, I meant we all know that IT can and will fail at the worst moments, but it comes as no surprise that service was finally restored after 5pm. Strongly suspect that the system coming back up took a lot longer than expected because everyone kept trying and trying to use the network, but come 5pm, the volume of calls drops, the number of phone restart attempts stops, and the system gets breathing room to come back up.

Paul 87

Plus side, our partner company has been pretty helpful in ensuring updates on progress (or the lack thereof) are going out.

Microsoft lobs Windows 10, Server Oct 2018 update at world (minus file-nuking 'feature') after actually doing some testing

Paul 87

It's exactly this kind of reason as to why I was so resistant to the Windows 10 concept in the first place. Had no choice but to end up using it due to work, and Linux isn't really an option due to a lack of desire to fight with every Windows game I want to install

However it does concern me that there's little to know repecussion for Microsoft, they can't even lose sales because they're basically giving it away....

Big Tech turns saboteur to cripple new California privacy law in private

Paul 87

Maybe they should put less effort into fighting this and more effort into giving their platform sufficient value that we'd actually hand over money for their product?

Also, much like GDPR achieved very little other than some even more intrusive pop ups and slower site loading times, the net effect of this bill will be negligable. Very few people care about their privacy

ZX Spectrum reboot scandal biz gets £35k legal costs delayed

Paul 87

The comments in court do seem to indicate that some of the people present shouldn't have agreed to be a Director for the company as they had no idea of their legal and personal responsibilities that comes with the role!

Hi-de-Hack! Redcoats red-faced as Butlin's holiday camp admits data breach hit 34,000

Paul 87

It's easy to call people numptys and other names for clicking on malware links but it's all too easily done.

IT security should be built on the assumption that humans are dumb, and will click things without thinking.

What matters now is whether or not Bourne Leisure responds properly to this, whether they can justify the data they're holding and if they take steps to prevent the same issue occuring.

What if tech moguls brewed real ale?

Paul 87

Black Screen of Death

ABV 12% - A double brewed Imperial stout with notes of smoked oats, dispair and a smooth nutty finish. Leaves a lingering aftertaste of panic.

Best followed by a pint of Reboot, or if taste lingers, NewMachine

Nostalgic social network 'Timehop' loses data from 21 million users

Paul 87

Well someone wants to test the domino effect on GDPR early on, let's see whether Facebook, Twitter, or their cloud provider end up with liability for either not letting keys die, or for not enforcing 2fa on an account of that size

When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

Paul 87

Scenarios like this are why when you plan a business case using the cloud, you have to ask what's your backup plan, and your exit stratergy.

Serverless Computing London: Time running out on blind bird tickets

Paul 87

£600 seriously?

Is this some kind of price tag designed to further the "old boys" network approach to IT?

Sure, dedicated training sessions might top £1000, but we're looking at an event that is an opportunity to go and pay even more money, to get that dedicated training.

I think I'll spend that money on a few training sessions and exams

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?

Paul 87

I've had 5 pairs of Sophos socks so far, they've been sending one for each new customer we add.

For what it's worth they're pretty comfy, with weird designs and made from 75% Sweat wicking acrylic, 15% nylon 10% pokyester and 1% unicorn hair

The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

Paul 87

It's pretty clear from the evidence that the guy is guilty of counterfitting, even though what he copied was a product freely given away. If he hadn't copied the logo's onto the disc and made it much clearer what it was, there wouldn't even be a case

Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush

Paul 87

Won't lie, I spent 3 days with my Windows 10 laptop at work learning powershell commands to strip out all the unnecessary bloatware that came with it. Utterly ridiculous that a work machine has no option or choices on what to install

Uber: Ah yeah, we pay women drivers less than men. We can explain!

Paul 87

This is where there's a huge difference between equality and equity, on paper Uber pays men and women the same hourly rate, for the same journey. Great.

However, as their analysis shows, there's factors that cause a gender pay gap to be present, which include time spent driving (likely due to domestic demands), trips picked up (men doing more to game the system) and it wouldn't surprise me if mem worked more unsocialable hours than women too.

All of this combines to factors which if you want true equity between the genders, meaning women need to get paid more per trip.

You publish 20,000 clean patches, but one goes wrong and you're a PC-crippler forever

Paul 87

Communication is the real issue

Every software vendor is going to have these cockups, where Malwarebytes let me down was there was no obvious place to get information, and no communication via the account email or the patching mechanism to acknowledge the problem or that it'd been fixed

So yeah, fuck ups happen, but lack of proactive communication is what costs you customers

Google Chrome ad-blocking to begin in February – but what is it going to block?

Paul 87

There's no way this feature will survive, it's an entire anti-trust lawsuit waiting to happen for an abuse of monopoly, linking their pre-installed browser product with ad-blocking when they also sell adverts.

New Capita system has left British Army recruits unable to register online

Paul 87

For all the people wondering what went wrong, they've probably never implemented a core process piece of business software using an "off the shelf" product. It gets even more complicated when dealing with large organisations because often the points of contact tend to be the lighrer process users rather than the day to day people, and even if you do talk to the right people, humans tend to miss details out like Active / Reservist distinctions

Google sued by Gab over Play Store booting

Paul 87

Legally, it's an intresting lawsuit, whether a company offering a platform which they totally control, and effectively dominates their market, has to consider "public interest" and offer out rights to their platform to any non-illegal use.

Stand up who HASN'T been hit in the Equifax mega-hack – whoa, whoa, sit down everyone

Paul 87

Stock sell off

Surely the stock sell off is the very definition of insider trading? Dumping a load of it right before you release a public report which any idiot knows would negatively affect the share price

UK.gov job ads entice IT bods with promise they will be OUTSIDE IR35

Paul 87

Here's a related question, why on earth are people employed under the gig economy not subject to IR-35 rules when 90% or more of the criteria matches how their self employed contracts work?

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Paul 87

Re: If you are forced into Windows 10

Jeez, how many different fecking ways have they built into this OS to sell your info

In any case, it looks like it's time to buy up a stock of 6th gen chips and Win 7 and 8 discs.

Security slip-ups in 1Password and other password managers 'extremely worrying'

Paul 87

Always argued that all a password manager does is shift the risks of a single account being breached into the risk that *all* of your accounts being breached.

The root and branch password methodology is still the best option to memorising longer passwords, and failing that, write them down on a piece of paper that's not kept near your PC and doesn't reference the services the passwords link to.

AWS's S3 outage was so bad Amazon couldn't get into its own dashboard to warn the world

Paul 87

It's terrifying that we've gone from a network designed to survive nuclear attack without loss of communication, to a situation whereby a single company's IT failures affects tens of millions of people.

Whilst you can argue that the majority of the disruption is, in the scheme of things, minor, the IoT is pointing towards a lot more serious issues further down the line. Imagine what could happen if say, self driving trucks relied on AWS for back end updates of road closures, and due to a crash, couldn't be notified of temporary road closures, nor updated to signal that they should park up.

One ad-free day: Three UK to block adverts across network in June

Paul 87

As much as I loathe adverts on the internet, any network level blocking is a bad thing, it's censorship plain and simple, whether it's blocking advertising, or blocking access to the news, no network provider should be making this kind of decision.

Just because they can, doesn't mean they should.

Also, why do they have the right to experiment on us as customers, we pay for a service, and suddenly they're removing a portion of it, without our consent. What's to stop them doing this again in the future with say, Netflix?

Microsoft wants to lock everyone into its store via universal Windows apps, says game kingpin

Paul 87

It's an absolutely horrific thought, that may well be the death of PC gaming if it comes to pass. Either developers will be making games for UWP, or they won't be selling enough copies to justify the development of the top rated titles.

We can only hope that this gets crushed in it's infancy, either by an anti-trust lawsuit for an abuse of monopoly, or by the game studios themselves chosing to support the PS4 and normal PC instead.

The Register reveals SAP’s very own version of Black Friday

Paul 87

Work for a company selling ERP solutions to the SME market, whilst we only run into SAP on our occasional larger deals, we hear stories about the way having our quote gets SAP to drop their prices by substantial amounts, and asking us, despite being a cheaper product initally by the same %

White House to Feds: Stop buying new PCs, laptops right now

Paul 87

Bets that the standardisation doesn't save any money long term and instead makes everyone have slower machines than previously available?



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