* Posts by qwertyuiop

259 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2009


A floppy filled with software worth thousands of francs: Techie can't take it, customs won't keep it. What to do?


Re: A reel of tape valued at £1M

ISTR that shortly after the merger there was a joke going round, coined by disgruntled former Sperry employees, that the new company should have been called Rabbit Computing because the managers all came from Burroughs...

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer


Re: „I use Macintosh“

"...bizarre quotation marks..."

Why are they bizarre? Not all languages use quotation marks where the leading and trailing symbols are at the same height. In many languages - especially European languages - they use the same convention that the OP did. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark (yes, I know it's Wikipedia but even WIkipedia is correct occasionally!).

Cheque out my mad metal frisbee skillz... oops. Lights out!


Re: Nice to read this

Hmmm... lovely story, but surely cheques require you to fill in the amount in both words and numbers. It's a long time since I used the little Welsh I know, and even longer since I learned any, but I'm pretty sure they use Arabic numerals like everybody else! Or do they have to check (no pun intended) that words and numbers are the same?

Post Office faces potential criminal probe over Fujitsu IT system's accounting failures


Re: Wow, looks like Oracle and ICANN could find some board material here.

This is what I don't understand about the criminal justice system. Once a verdict is reached then by definition surely either the prosecution or the defence witnesses must have been lying?

Suppose I'm accused of carrying out a robbery. In court the prosecution witness says "Yes, I definitely recognise him as the man who robbed my premises".

The defence witness says "It can't possibly have been my old mate qwertyuiop, we were at my place having a few beers and catching up on what we've been doing".

If I'm found guilty then my mate who gave me an alibi must have been lying - I couldn't have been doing the job and been at his place at the same time. If I'm found innocent then the prosecution witness is lying because he said he recognised me when in fact he couldn't possibly have - I was at my mate's house.

Obviously this won't apply to every witness: if a crime has genuinely taken place then somebody saying that the goods were there at close of business but missing the next morning is stating a fact, but otherwise both sides can't be telling the truth when their truths are contradictory.

Wham, bam, thank you scram button: Now we have to go all MacGyver on the server room


Re: world-wide DC access

Yeah, so can I. But then I weighed the advantages - £500 worth of kit (secondhand value) if nobody realised - against the disadvantages that my prospects of continued work as an InfoSec manager would suddenly become vanishingly small.


Re: world-wide DC access

In one of my jobs I was home-based, although I spent most of each week travelling to offices around the UK. The company did me proud, setting me up with a decent laptop, docking station, two monitors and a decent printer for my office at home.

On the day I left the organisation I duly returned all of my kit to the desktop support team. Their manager asked why I'd bothered to lug two monitors, a docking station and a printer 100 miles up the motorway to return them. I reminded him that they were company property. He told me that, with the exception of my laptop and mobile phone, he had no record of what kit I'd been issued so I could just have kept it!

When I pointed out that I was the company's InfoSec manager....

Exclusive: Windows for Workgroups terror the Tartan Bandit confesses all to The Register


Re: Childish but satisfying...

In a previous working life two members of my team had a friendly rivalry that occasionally wasn't so friendly. They loved playing practical jokes on each other.

One week colleague A (let's call him John) was on holiday, so colleague B (let's call him Peter) decided as a practical joke to remove all the keycaps from John's PC and replace them in a random order that was nearly correct but not quite. We pointed out that this was perhaps a little foolish as he would be going on leave almost as soon John returned.

On John's return he had considerable difficulty using his PC; log-on wasn't too difficult due to muscle memory, but anything else caused huge confusion. It took him a while to work out what was wrong nut no time at all to guess who was responsible and vow revenge.

Fast forward three weeks....

Patrick has just returned from two weeks' holiday. First morning back he sits down at his PC, examines the keyboard carefully, then looks up at John and observes that it was pretty pathetic joke to just copy what had been done to him.

He then spends several minutes rearranging his keycaps into the correct order and logs in. Only he doesn't. The login fails. And fails again. A microscopic examination of his keyboard follows, even borrowing mine for comparison. Convinced the keycaps are in the correct place he tries logging-in again and fails again. After five tries he rings the helpdesk to get his account unlocked and gets them to change his password as - clearly - he's forgotten it.

He tries logging-in yet again...

...and fails.

It took him all morning to realise that his keyboard had been remapped as a Hungarian one

Raiding party! UK's ICO drops in unannounced on couple of dodgy-dialling dirtbag outfits


Re: Why stop there

Why assume that any data has leaked?

I frequently get these calls asking me about the accident I was involved in; they never have any details, probably because haven't had an accident in 15 years*. I think they work on exactly the same principle as spam - if you contact enough people at random then by the law of averages some of them will have had an accident. You just need the total cost of the calls to be less than the money you recoup from the suckers you convince to let you help them.

* and if that's not tempting fate...

Crypto exchange in court: It owes $190m to netizens after founder 'dies without telling anyone vault passwords'


Re: As we get older...

If i was being pursued by a bear I'd probably shit right AND left!


...you said SHIFT...

OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users


Working fine for me here (in London)...

Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday



...It's Friday, it's payday...

WTF? Payday? Have I been asleep for two weeks? Is it the 15th of October already?

Not everybody gets paid at the end of the month...

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill


But Nigel was in favour of a second referendum!

In this BBC story - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36306681 - just a month before the referendum and with a Remain victory seeming likely Nigel Farrage was reported as saying "In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the Remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it."

Funny how with Leave having won unexpectedly by precisely that margin those who voted Remain are supposed to just accept it when the Brexiteers clearly weren't prepared to.

I don't understand why Brexiteers are so scared of a second vote. If "Leave" was the will of the people two years ago and still is then surely it will only confirm that?

The problem of course is the "and still is" bit. I suspect many in the Leave camp know they attracted a protest vote - about things other than the EU - which they won't benefit from second time round.

Voting machine maker claims vote machine hack-fests a 'green light' for foreign hackers


I can't remember where I read (or heard) this, but it seems entirely appropriate here: "Hackers don't break things, they just prove they were broken in the first place".

London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail


Two failures?

"...It really doesn't double the cabling costs. Pulling a multi-pair cable is a sensible precaution..."

Ah, I see. We increase resilience by using a multi-pair cable but immediately reduce it by using... a multi-pair cable. When the digger goes through the cable it doesn't matter how many pairs are in it! (and yes, I know that in this case it wasn't a digger)

The only way to truly increase resilience is to have two cables which arrive by completely different routes - and that will increase the cost.

Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything


Re: Arresting times past

Except that it is an offence to take pictures inside the Old Bailey - I know 'cos I recently did jury service there. You're warned beforehand in the FAQs sent to jurors and again in the jurors' briefing.

Israel cyber chief's 'pants' analogy for password security deemed, well, 'pants'


Re: passwords should be treated like underpants

Two years! 6 months one way round, six months the other way round. Then turn them inside out and 6 months one way round, six months the other way round.

Why doesn't anybody want to sit next to me?

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally


Re: Screws and escaped death.

He wasn't a trainee or apprentice. He was supposed to be a proper assistant experienced with wiring....

....One was fitting the 25 litre water tank on a steel frame high on the wall.

The problem I'm having here is why you consider it his fault that he screwed-up. He is, supposedly, an experienced wiring technician so you criticise him for not being able to install a water tank? The only part of the job that was within his acknowledged skill set was wiring the pump.

I wouldn't expect a plumber to be able to install a ring main so that he could then fit a water heater...

What's all the C Plus Fuss? Bjarne Stroustrup warns of dangerous future plans for his C++


Re: Actually, there's more...

I doubt if it was the weight of the canons that did it. Obviously they'd be written down and paper can be heavy but there would have to be a huge number of them to have any effect.

The weight of the cannons however is a different matter...

Don’t talk to the ATM, young man, it’s just a machine and there’s nobody inside

Thumb Up

Re: In the days of pen and paper, initials were double edged too ........

...hairdryer and freezer spray to locate and replace/resolder...

That's a very interesting soldering technique!

Ex-staffer of UK.gov dept bags payout after boss blabbed medical info to colleagues


Even if these 11 people (...the superior sent an email about it to a colleague, with 10 others copied in...) were immediate colleagues they didn't need to know the detail. At most the manager simply need to say "As you know, Aftab has had some time off because he was ill. He'll be back at work on Monday so when he comes in let's cut him some slack while he adjusts to being back at work."

If anybody asked what was wrong with him it was only necessary to say "I'm sure you appreciate that I can't share that with you."

Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech


...of some kind that only the user can activate...

Let me know when you've cracked that one!

Programming languages can be hard to grasp for non-English speakers. Step forward, Bato: A Ruby port for Filipinos


Re: Nothing new here

...Then again, most code is not shared...

What? It seems to me that nowadays most programmers - sorry, Developers - don't write much code at all. They just scour Github et al and cut and paste somebody else's code that does a similar job. (Usually without understanding all that it does so that they include unnecessary fucntionality.)

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper


Size matters!

Not a "foreign body" story, but the headline reminded me of something...

Early 1980s and I was working as a junior programmer at one of the NHS's 14 Regional Computer Centres. We were in the throes of preparing for the replacement of our venerable ICL 1904S mainframe with a shiny new (orange!) ICL dual 2966 mainframe. Amongst many changes we learned we'd be getting new printers which would be industry-standard (at that time) 13.2 inch width rather than the 16 inch character width we'd had up until then.

Inevitably much redesigning of reports and other printed output was taking place. The system I was working on had one very unusual piece of output; it was printed on thin card and was 16 inches wide by about 12 inches deep. It was lightly perforated in various places so that when printed it could be split into a large record card, a small index card, a postcard to go to the patient and a fourth piece whose purpose I've forgotten.

After many attempts we eventually conceded defeat on trying to accommodate the existing documents within the new narrower printer format, so it was decided to split the print into two separate jobs: the large record card would be one and the three smaller pieces another. All the programming had been done and it was ready for final test, including a print run. The only problem was that we hadn't yet received a delivery of the new stationery.

Thus it was that a young trainee programmer and I spent a day using the burster to trim the tractor feeds off the existing stationery then split it along the perforations before sellotaping it back together to replicate the new design stationery. To my astonishment it actually worked!

IBM thinks Notes and Domino can rise again


Re: Interface Hall of Shame

My machine has a set of flush black buttons arranged on a smooth black background. ...Fortunately, an indicator lights up...

Does it light up in black on a black background?

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?


Re: New???

"lights are working ("Turn them on and walk round")...

And how does that work for your brake lights? :-)

Beach, please... Billionaire VC finally opens way to waves


Re: B E A C H P A R T Y ! ! ! !

@jake - The Who's sound system?

Stuff that, THIS is a sound system: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/wnnayb/the-wall-of-sound

To quote from the article "This singular work of engineering would come to weigh over 70 tons, comprise dozens and then hundreds of amps, speakers, subwoofers, and tweeters, stand over three-stories tall and stretch nearly 100 feet wide.

You forgot that you hired me and now you're saying it's my fault?


You were doing so well...

I was completely with you on this (it echoes my own experience over the years) - and then you let yourself down with the licence issue.

There's not much you could have done about your host forgetting the session was happening, there's not much you could have done about no room being booked, but you could have done something about the licences.

After a very similar experience early in my career I always confirmed all of the session details with my host beforehand in writing/email. This always included confirming the requirement for everybody to have their own terminal* or PC with a copy of the software on it. That leaves them with no wriggle room to blame you.

*I am old enough to have trained people in the use of software running on a mainframe and accessed by a dumb terminal.

Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired


Re: Go Samsung!

10-foot UI (it's a thing) means the distance between you and the TV, not the size of the TV screen

<roll eyes>

Really? Well I'd never have guessed!


Sorry, it's my fault for not telegraphing my intentions with the joke icon for the benefit of those who can't keep up.


Re: Go Samsung!

@Dan 55 - I have a Raspberry Pi plugged into my 40-inch not-smart Samsung TV. Taking your comments in order:

- Difficult to watch on the sofa - although I'm of very mature years and need glasses I don't have any difficulty watching the 40-inch screen.

- No remote control - I have a mini wireless keyboard with built in trackpad for the Pi and it works just fine. Ordinary remote for the basic TV functions.

- No 10-foot UI - this is true, but see my first comment; I can read the 40-inch screen just fine, not sure I could cope with a 10-foot high UI. ;-)

Biz sends apps to public cloud, waves 'bye to on-premises server folk. NO! WAIT!


Strictly speaking that's not impossible.

The ad is for a .NET developer with 10 years' experience - but it doesn't say "10 years' experience of .NET". So in 2003 somebody who had started work in IT in 1993 and had been working with .NET from the moment it was available would satisfy the criteria.


She's arrived! HMS Queen Lizzie enters Portsmouth Naval Base


Oh no!

I was feeling quite good about all of this until I read ...Capita, for example, installed 14,000 IP connection points aboard the ship as well as the main round-the-ship fibre optic network....

I can see what the MoD did wrong there.

Another day, another British Airways systems screwup causes chaos


Because of course it's only people in the UK who have holidays in the summer. Strikes by French air traffic control staff don't affect people going to France in the summer from other countries or French people flying to other countries for their holidays do they?

It's not all about the UK you know!

'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary


Re: ""A piano could drop on her head tomorrow""

...I have no desire to arrange for the aforesaid musical instrument to descend on the aforesaid current Home Secretary, or any knowledge of anyone else who might wish to do so...

Aha! So either you have a desire for a piano to fall on a past or future Home Secretary or you have knowledge of somebody with that desire!

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY


Re: Get it right

"And add lava bread..."

I think you mean laverbread (made from Laver seaweed). Of course, if you like hot, molten rock as part of your breakfast I apologise.

Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month


Re: Misleading Title

So a typical El Reg headline then?

NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object


Re: Conspiracy theory

"...2014 MU69 was struck by Voyager 1... - it just pulled out in front of me, no warning. It didn't use its mirrors or signal.

Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)


Aaah, MENSA...

In my experience a bunch of arrogant shits who seem to think they're better than everybody else.

Who does that remind me of?

Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'


Re: "pushing LGBTQI"

No! I am qwerty!

Don't panic, but Linux's Systemd can be pwned via an evil DNS query


But isn't this how it's done?

...Linux already has a bunch of DNS resolvers...

But I thought that was what you were supposed to do in Linux: if you don't like something - regardless of whether it works or not - you go out and write your own version so that we find ourselves with endless variations on a theme.


Men charged with theft of free newspapers


Re: This is England. We use common sense here.

You can commit "theft by finding":

Theft by finding occurs when someone who chances upon an object which seems abandoned and takes possession of the object but fails to take steps to establish whether the object is abandoned and not merely lost or unattended. - Wikipedia

For example, if you take something from a skip (dumpster for our American cousins) because you think it's worth having then technically you can be charged with theft by finding - even though the original owner clearly no longer wants it. You're supposed to ask the owner's permission before you take it.

Social media vetting for US visas go live


Ummm... it's your personal data so you can choose to do anything you want with it. The EU got stroppy because it was proposed that your data be handed over by a third-party - the airline - whether you wanted them to or not.

Cybercrooks charging more than the price of a new car for undetectable Mac malware


Of course it's expensive!

We all know that iThings are stupidly expensive versus their actual component cost so it stands to reason that iMalware will be expensive.

Does it have rounded corners?

iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war


Re: Dear Apple.

...enough Apple Corp "fans"...

Except that it isn't Apple Corps doing this! It's Apple (the computer company) which took the action and has the fanbois. Apple Corps Ltd is the multimedia corporation which the members of The Beatles founded in 1968. The name is a pun.

Revealed: UK councils shrug at privacy worries, strap on body cams


What if I object?

Hmmm... I'm not an expert on the Data Protection Act and so I'd welcome an opinion from somebody who is, but I'd like to know how this is legal if I object to being filmed.

I believe that video of me in which I can be identified is considered to be "personal data" within the meaning of the Data Protection Act (and the General Data Protection Regulation). In order to collect my personal data you must (a) inform me that you're going to do so, (b) inform me of the purposes for which you're gathering it and (c) obtain my consent to process it.

So if I decline to give my consent how is it legal for you to film me?

2009 IBM: Teleworking will save the WORLD! 2017 IBM: Get back to the office or else


Re: You answered your own question

"...where an old school CEO or COO...'suddenly' decides to stop remote working..."

Or in the case of a company I worked for, the CEO and several other C-level managers decided the company needed to relocate from London to a scenic spot on the south coast. This caused huge disruption for a large number of staff for whom relocation wasn't an option due to family or other considerations.

Of course the fact that the senior managers responsible for the decision were all approaching retirement age and were able to set themselves up very nicely in new homes, aided by the relocation package, was a total coincidence!

God save the Queen... from Donald Trump. So say 1 million Britons


...hacks at The Register are guessing is the most popular to have ever graced the site...

No, the most popular petition to date was the post-Brexit one http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-government-rejects-eu-referendum-petition-latest-a7128306.html.

<sigh>I know I'm just a grumpy old git but I remember the days when hacks did some research instead of just guessing.

Xmas software update knackered US Customs computer systems


Re: Nope, your terminology is wrong

I haven't been through Atlanta in a few years now, but it used to be that baggage reclaim was a publicly accessible area due to the weird layout of the gates/immigration/customs/etc.

CERT tells Microsoft to keep EMET alive because it's better than Win 10's own security


Re: Great point he's making

Ummm... I don't get this.

Why should every new version of an OS support every bit of software that ever ran on previous versions?

The world moves on, technology moves on. A payroll or accounting package that was released back in 2001 alongside XP may no longer be compatible with modern legislation/requirements (electronic submission of returns to HMRC for example) so you'd need to update/replace it anyway.

User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again


Re: Can you hold down the power button

No. It's an HP EliteBook 820. My employer's choice, not mine.