* Posts by ElReg!comments!Pierre

2716 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009

Back-to-office mandates won't work, says Salesforce's Benioff

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Happy to return to work if....

I'm happy you raised the "Escort" argument. I am an ESB developper / tech lead for a pretty large financial institution (Top management speil is that we are either first or second, worldwide, in our domain). I identify as a Dev, not a coder. I can code, but that's only part of my work (almost secondary, as it happens). My work consists largely in architecture definition etc. In generic Teams meetings With 18+ people (Top management, clients, Financial managers, the whole lot) I can't raise tech issues without looking like a Grouch because all these people only think in terms of share value and there is an overwhelming auto-reinforcement bias towards the "Google does it, we want the same. Now" train of thought.

When I meet the same people around the coffee machine, ideas seem to flow much more naturally.

Am I an Escort ?

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Happy to return to work if....

I am happy I can WFH 3 days a week. OTH I wouldn't take a full WFH position. I do think that in-person informal discussions are necessary for a smooth workflow, especially when managerial arbitrations are involved.

EU lawmakers vote to ban sales of combustion engine cars from 2035

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Useful for city dwellers, I guess...

When I was a student, a few decades ago, I was able to buy an old car to carry me occasionnaly from / to "home" (aka the old folks). It cost me the equivalent of 150 € (200 USD, 100 pounds). In today's money that would be about 5 times that, but still I had to team up with my sister to gather the funds. The vehicle was able to cover the 450+ kilometers (one way) on a single tank. Its dry weight was about 450 kg. It had very litterally zero electronics, I routinely fixed it with a basic set of tools (think of the set of tools available to a student 30 years ago). It was over 15 years old and over 250 000 km when I got it, we brought it well over 350 000 km and was over 25 years old when mutual relocation forced us to part with it and in the meantime it cost us exactly zilch to maintain. I was doing the maintenance. It was still running according to spec when we were forced to part with it.

Newsflash : a lot of students and low-pay workers are in the same situation as I was in 1998, if not worse.

Now name an EV that is even remotely close to that kind of affordability / durability. EVs are OK for rich people who don't really need a car, but that's pretty much it.

Of course now that I am considerably better off, I understand your argument, but the 1998 me seriously winces and thinks "this guy has clearly much more money than sense"

IBM's self-sailing Mayflower suffers another fault in Atlantic crossing bid

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Electrical problems

Perhaps IBM should just buy the tech from China and call it a day. Ah, no can do ?

On a more serious note this is exactly the kind of problems that were entirely predictable, and that arise from a "solution" looking for a problem.

Surface ships are notoriosly hard to keep running unnattended, and even though most shipping companies now run ships that are almost entirely autonomous, a minimal crew is always included.

But there is little (if any) need for a reseach vessel to be a surface ship : underwater siblings are faring pretty well, thank you, as are airborne ones.

In addition to that, the project suffers from what I will happily name "the Elon syndrome", after Tesla's famous attemps at autopilot : why would you try to emulate a human operator when more efficient technical solutions are widely available and well tested ? Surely cameras and image recognition should be at the very most a last-resort help rather than in the core design? A bit like how human crews have been in most commercial carriers for quite a while now ?

BOFH: Where do you think you are going with that toner cartridge?

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Well the BOFH himself is not impervious ...

... to the clever machinations of printer-attached leeches :

https://www.theregister.com/2016/06/17/bofh_2016_episode_8/

World’s smallest remote-controlled robots are smaller than a flea

ElReg!comments!Pierre
Headmaster

Carcinisation

"Rogers called the crab-like feature of the design “a creative whim.”"

Either a lie or a lucky "whim". For these kinds of application, Evolution seems to agree with this design decision. And of course XKCD has a take on it

: https://xkcd.com/2314/

IBM looked to reinvigorate its 'dated maternal workforce'

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Of Yoof and (Wo)Men

Speaking as someone who's been in in this game for quite some time now, and who actually runs a MVS emulator on my own hardware (open to the world, too, for the education of the masses), I must say that IBM is trying very hard to become a subsidiary of Red Hat, instead of the contrary. The typical out-of-school software engineer knows Angular, Springboot, basic Java if you're lucky.Perhaps some Python for the most adventurous but only the flashy "AI" frameworks. Big Iron (or real programming for that matter -gerrof mah lawn yodan ngood kids-) is kinda out of fashion, and for a reason (note that I didnt write "for a GOOD reason").

As I see it, Windows13 will run on IBM mainframes in no time at all, and THAT will be either the end or the rebirth of International Business Machines. DOOM !

OpenSearch, the AWS-sponsored Elasticsearch fork, reaches 1.0 milestone

ElReg!comments!Pierre
Pint

Re: But what does it actually do?

According to the coloured crayon blurb Elasticsearch and Kibana are "the Google of business monitoring". They work quite well, too. Except when they don't. Cheers !

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Well, Elasticsearch and Kibana are not exactly stellar when it comes to stability

So an alternative would be at least a testable option in my opinion.

South Korean uni installs lavatory that pays out when you spend a penny

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Septic tank

So it's basically a septic tank with a tracking API on top. Manure and methane are not exactly scarce resources, especially in densely-populated areas, but what happens with the water ?

Help! I'm trapped on Schrodinger's runaway train! Or am I..?

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Inoui also means "unheard (of)" (with a strong hint of "unbelievable") and is running the "OUIGO" trains (which dosn't mean anything but you get the idea).

So that would be a silent "non" then.

Unlocking news: We decrypt those cryptic headlines about Scottish cops bypassing smartphone encryption

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Let me get this right

It all depends on how it's implemented. My assumption was that the use of dedicated "kiosks" is so that the kit can be properly locked down (and, hopefully, bolted down too). I don't think the plods want cases to be thrown out of court because of doubts about evidence massaging ...

The kiosks are probably read-only, with the devices sent to a proper lab with proper procedures if anything suspicious iis discovered. As for returning the "clean" devices to their owners, though, there is probably little hope.

Pomp and ceremony: When the US Secretary of State meets Oracle overlord Larry

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Debatable

Oracle (proven to exist beyond a reasonnable doubt)

Trump (proven to exist beyond a reasonnable doubt)

Amazon Not Paying Taxes (proven to be somewhat untrue, although they DO cheat a whole lot)

Assassination (proven to have happened beyond a reasonnable doubt)

There, fixed that for you.

ElReg!comments!Pierre

If they have time

You might have put the subjects to be discussed in reverse order there...

Is it a make-up mirror? Is it a tiny frisbee? No, it's the bonkers Cyrcle Phone, with its TWO headphone jacks

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: On the plus side...

Recently I went to a print shop to get a photo printed as a gift for an old lady. The snap had been shot by my wife on her smartphone (Ugh) so it was in 3:2 format (re-ugh). I took care to re-frame it properly and change it to the proper 4:3 format for photographs, only to have the millenial shopkeeper tell me that she'd have to crop it as it was not in a standard format.

Now what if I had come with a round pic !

Linky revisited: How the evil French smart meter escaped Hell to taunt me

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Le Diable

They have a built-in circuit breaker set (remotely) to the value you pay for ; this breaker is quite a bit more sensitive to peak consumption than electromechanical ones, and they do trip, IRL, way before the main breaker downstream does.

As it's distantly adjustable, all it takes to restore power stability is a quick call to your provider -and of course a quick increase in your monthly bill.

ElReg!comments!Pierre
Devil

Re: Le Diable

No, as far as they are concerned, the electricity companies are actively SELLING customer energy usage records to the DEVIL HIMSELF.

The meters do change the way power consumption is calculated, so if you were close to the upper limit of your power rating, chances are that the new meter will cut pretty often, forcing you to upgrade your contract. That is quite evil if you ask me !

Yahoo! customers! wake! up! to! borked! email! (Yes! people! still! actually! use! it!)

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Guilty Secret

I do have 3 accounts with them, although 2 are mostly spam traps.

Yahoo is much less of a pain in the arse about smtp / imap or geoloc than Google is.

Bus pass or bus ass? Hackers peeved about public transport claim to have reverse engineered ticket app for free rides

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Pretty much like a real ticket; for single fare*, activation performed by external hardware containing the private key. Of course there's an associated cost, however small, so First had to try and dispense with the hardware.

*for anything else, there's no real issue - besides the pervasive tracking of users, which companies insist is for our own good - because daily / monthly etc can be controlled by other means, for example a calendar.

Welsh police use of facial recog tech – it's so 'lawful', rules High Court

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Would I be right....

Already illegal in France during protests, and I do mean full-on, criminal charges involved, illegal, not bylaw-prohibited as for petrol stations and the like.

Overstock dot-gone: Surplus biz CEO now surplus to requirements, ejects after Russian spy fling, deep state rant

ElReg!comments!Pierre
Joke

"The head of the world's most powerful country just cancelled an important diplomatic trip"

I call bullshit. Xi Jinping would certainly not do such a thing. Or were you thinking about Putin? Doesn't sound like something he'd do either. Oh, Trump? So, that'd be "the head of one of the world's 20 most powerful countries, on some metrics", then.

Ransomware attackers have gone from 'spray and pray' to 'slayin' prey'

ElReg!comments!Pierre

And don't get me started on the public sector. I've seen hospitals, Unis and research institutes that are still mostly on Vista, with some XP boxen !

ElReg!comments!Pierre

There is also a lot more legacy apps on corporate machines. iexplorer springs to mind... and of course large corps often have a very slow update cycle. Two of our very large clients (top-500 companies) are on Windows7.

BOFH: Oh, go on, let's flush all that legacy tech down the toilet

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: ShitSecurity

A previous update to our password policy automatically expired passwords every month, directing you to create a new password. It was so secure that users weren't given the rights to generate their own password, so for about a month the whole company had the same password, Beach234, helpfully set up by the helpdesk one support call at a time.

Fed-up graphic design outfit dangles cash to anyone who can free infosec of hoodie pics

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Pitching their contest at Infosec bods

Actually it's pitched at coloured-pencils types, with the winners provided with guidance from infosec bods. How they intend to source those is unclear, perhaps dangling a bacon sarnie at a white hat con ?

France seeks science-fiction writers to help futureproof its military against science-fact

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Well fr. gov has strongly denied the move in somewhat overly-precise terms "we can assure that science-fiction stories are not going to influence defense policies", or someting to that effect.

So we can safely assume that they already have prospects, or even signed contracts.

AI solves Rubik's Cube in 1.2 seconds (that's three times slower than a non-AI algorithm)

ElReg!comments!Pierre

"AI solves Rubik's Cube in 1.2 seconds"

No it doesn't, for lack of opposable thumbs.

Blah blah Blaha: Slovak infosec firm ESET sues politico who called them 'outrageous fascists'

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Scenery?

Agreed, going from "accused of conspiring to keep vulns undisclosed" to "working with the CIA" is a bit of a stretch, but I think most people can understand the link (if not agree with the reasonning). Compared to "just ban them chinks or else" from Carrot Top, it is even rather soft.

Also, little known fact*: Slovenia and Slovakia are actually different countries, and while I'm not a rabid political correctness knight (quite the opposite in fact), what was your "mail order bride" comment supposed to bring to the discussion?

*OK, not really

Train maker's coder goes loco, choo-choo-chooses to flee to China with top-secret code – allegedly

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Keeping track

However, there's the need for that data to be passed from the freight co to one of the infra controllers (DB Netze, ProRail, InfraBel etc.) and from them to the next, in a standard format, as well as to regional and municipal authorities

Currently, I work on the team that develop precisely that for one of the top 10 logistics company in the world, and while it's sometimes non-trivial, it's certaily not rocket science. Also, every company -and almost every route within that company- has its own very specific needs, so stealing info about how company A does it would be of little to no use for company B. At most you could get some business advantage if you could point the competion's weaknesses to the client, but in the present case neither the goods nor the geographical reach of the companies overlap, so stealing "software blueprints" would bring exactly fuck all benefit to the chinese company.

Probably a "serial hoarder" who happened to be fired on completely unrelated grounds and who happened to find a new job, because that's what laid-off staff tend to do.

ElReg!comments!Pierre

No mean feat but no rocket science either

I should know, that's my job these days

Firm fat-fingered G Suite and deleted its data, so it escalated its support ticket to a lawsuit

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Conflicted who and what to bash

if they took weeks to inform a paying customer their data was deleted

Well they didn't. The customer terminated the account, and thus became a non-customer. While Google gives you a grace period when you accidentally delete a document, they may not extend the courtesy to the accidental deletion of a paying account.

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Dihydrogen monoxide

Fake news, as is explained on this site.

There's Huawei too many vulns in Chinese giant's firmware: Bug hunters slam pisspoor code

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Not an investigation

A bit of PR from Trump's cronies.

Vulns discovered in 14 years old code (that perhaps noone uses anymore) ? No shit, Sherlock

You're not Boeing to believe this, but... Another deadly 737 Max control bug found

ElReg!comments!Pierre

"The safety of our airplanes is Boeing’s highest priority,"

As we all know, this is the standard way to say "we couldn't possibly care less, but we can't say that out loud, can we".

BGP super-blunder: How Verizon today sparked a 'cascading catastrophic failure' that knackered Cloudflare, Amazon, etc

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Oh, that would be why one of our customers had trouble accessing their IBM Cloud VMs and kept bugging us !

Out of Steam? Wine draining away? Ubuntu's 64-bit-only x86 decision is causing migraines

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: Interesting

If Ubuntu drops this support, does that mean that Mint Linux and Debian are also affected?

There is no reason why a downstream decision would affect the upstream distro. Debian is notorious for its tendency to keep backward compat for as long as possible in order to bring maximum stability (recent decision about init systems notwithstanding).

Cisco cleans up critical flaws, Florida city forks out $600k to ransomware scumbags, and more from infosec land

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Desjardins

not Desjardens

Good old British 'fair play' is the answer to vexed Huawei question, claims security minister

ElReg!comments!Pierre

It makes sense for the keynote not to be covered by the Rule, designed to keep the discussion open.

A $4bn biz without a live product just broke the record for the amount paid for a domain name. WTF is going on?

ElReg!comments!Pierre

billion-dollar business that comprises of nothing but others' confidence that it is worth something.

To be honest that is an accurate description of the whole stock exchange system.

Sad SACK: Linux PCs, servers, gadgets may be crashed by 'Ping of Death' network packets

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: So, not great, not terrible

As for me I'm moving to Kolibri. Much cleaner than all this text file nonsense : all you need to tweak the OS is a bit of assembly coding.

Greatest threat facing IT? Not the latest tech giant cockwomblery – it's just tired engineers

ElReg!comments!Pierre

In a previous life it was more like 80 hrs for each working for 12 years straight (and barely any vacation at all). I've taken more days off in 2018 than in the previous 6 years combined ! Yay for carreer changes.

Captec saps tech from Aleutia to put its tiny PCs back to work

ElReg!comments!Pierre

I'm glad I never heard of them, I'd certainly bought a couple for roles that I now devoted to Raspis with great success.

Nice little machines for sure.

That magical super material Apple hopes will hit backspace on its keyboard woes? Nylon

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Pro

That's not new and not limited to Apple. Pro now means "top tier personal". Good examples include MSWindows (Pro for consumers, Buisness for professional use) or indeed the PS4 Pro.

Let's make laptops from radium. How's that for planned obsolescence?

ElReg!comments!Pierre
Flame

Well, they DO make degradable carrier bags

The buggers are a PITA, too, if you are in the habit of reusing your shopping bags as garbage bags.

Here's what Autonomy told its salesmen they were allowed to do

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: It begins with H and ends with E and is 8 letters long:

habitude, hackable, hackette, hairlike, hairline, hairwove, halazone, halflife, halfpace, halfpipe, halftime, halftone, halicore, halidome, halimote, hamulate, hamulose, handlike, handmade, handsome, hangable, hangfire, harambee, harangue, hardbake, hardcase, hardedge, hardface, hardline, hardnose, hardwire, harelike, harplike, hateable, hawklike, hawknose, headache, headcase, headgate, headline, headnote, headrace, headrope, healable, healsome, hearable, heatable, heatwave, hebetate, hebetude, hebraize, hegumene, hellfire, hellhole, hellkite, helotage, helpable, helpline, helpmate, hematine, hematite, hemipode, hemocyte, hemolyze, hemplike, henhouse, hepatise, hepatite, hepatize, herblike, herdlike, heritage, herniate, herolike, hesitate, hetaerae, hexamine, hexylene, hiccatee, highlife, highrise, hillside, hireable, hittable, hivelike, holdable, holesome, holocene, holotype, holydame, holytide, homelike, homemade, homepage, homesite, homicide, hominine, hominize, homodyne, homotype, homuncle, honeybee, hoodlike, hooflike, hooklike, hooknose, hooplike, hornlike, hornpipe, horologe, horrible, hoselike, hosepipe, hothouse, hotplate, huarache, huggable, huisache, humanise, humanize, hummable, huntable, hurtable, husklike, hylobate, hymnlike, hyoscine, hyperope, hypnotee, hypobole, hypogene.

Found it !

The curious case of Spamhaus, a port scanning scandal, and an apparent U-turn

ElReg!comments!Pierre
FAIL

PS: Re: For the love of..

By any chance do you still have the reject message from that? That would be very interesting to see.

No, I don't. I tend not not collect trash for the fun of it. I have no doubt that you would be very interested in a free audit of your broken model. I -and many here, I suspect- can provide test cases, logs and stats from a variety of systems both senders and receivers. At a price.

Anyway, as anyone even vaguely familiar with the matter might tell you, the "reject message" would be of no interest at all since it's configured by the receiver. Unless you're trying to pinpoint which of your clients let slip that you are the cause of an abusive block, with potentially disastrous consequences. I understand that it would be damaging for your extortion-based business model. In my case the message was something about my IP being listed in some SpamHaus blocklist. It wasn't even in any of the many, many, many languages easily understood by "worldwide" SH operatives, like US English, US Ingrish or US English_Indian -optionnally US English_Boston_Litterary, US English_Southern_States or US English_Midwest but these may carry a surcharge. (none of them a problem for me, but still a concern).

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Re: For the love of..

They must have been sitting there waiting for you

The great thing about over-automation is that noone has to be sitting there at all. The automated system sees a direct-to-mx from a yahoo account to one of their customers, blam, IP blocked.

The main metric used by SpamHaus and their ilk to market their lists is the percentage of blocked inbound mails. A blocklists that blocks 86 % of inbound mails is marketted as better than a one blocking "only" 85 % of inbound mails, regardless of false positives. False negatives are visible to the client (the receiver, who pays SH) so they MUST not have them, but false positives are only visible by the sender, who may not be a client and may not have an alternative way of contacting the receiver to report abusive blocks by SH, so who cares ? I actually suspect that SpamHaus clients are automatically added to a do-not-block list, too, even if they deny maintaining such a list.

ElReg!comments!Pierre
FAIL

Re: For the love of..

If Spamhaus lists something(*) there's invariably a bloody good reason for it

Absolutely. In the case of my individual home IP addy, the reason is that I sent one email from a yahoo-hosted account to a fellow of mine who works at the local hospital ("protected" by SpamHaus) to refer a patient.

There is a reason. It's just absolutely idotic.

Spamhaus are worst than Equifax, because the methods are the same but their reach is far wider and they are more moronically entrenched in their sense of self-righteousness.

Google rolls out Android Easter Egg for Europe – a Microsoft antitrust-style browser, search engine choice box

ElReg!comments!Pierre

Actually I had switched away from Chrome / Google, but I ran out of space at some point, and you can't uninstall Google or Chrome, so the alt had to go... and np*, I'm not terribly happy with that. But I don't do much browsing on my phone anyway.

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