* Posts by david 12

1383 posts • joined 6 Jul 2009


Somebody is destined for somewhere hot, and definitely not Coventry

david 12

Do the right thing

For the rest of is, it was often the case that IT couldn't or wouldn't tell us what was banned. Our salesman was trying to communicate with an acquaintance as a client, and d'd if they could work out why his email had been deleted. By cunning testing of small parts of the message, they worked out that "a large international cigarette company" had decided to block and discard any email containing the magic phrase:

Just do the right thing

In the '80s, satellite comms showed promise – soon it'll be a viable means to punt internet services at anyone anywhere

david 12

Re: Satellite Latency

". I have to wonder if some bright spark decided that San Jose to Corvallis was best relayed via Myanmar."

Least Cost Routing is done automatically -- in the short term, it doesn't require human intervention at all. The only 'bright sparks' involved are those approving the cost of the telecom contract on the buyers side, and those approving the cost of the telecom contracts on the providers side.

You'll want to shut down the Windows Print Spooler service (yes, again): Another privilege escalation bug found

david 12


The 'print spooler' is the system that manages print jobs for multiple users on multiple computers. It needs to have some kind of super-user permission to do that.

If it was a new service, it would probably have some kind of special default user, but back in the day all the critical parts of server infrastructure were "SYSTEM".

High-end network printers have their own computer, OS, and spooler services: the Windows Print Spooler as was common at the turn of the century, implemented all that stuff on a Windows Server, and a cut-down version was implemented on workstations for printer-sharing.

Post Office awards Fujitsu a £42.5m contract extension for the IT system behind wrongful subpostmaster prosecutions

david 12

Re: The Beast of Bolsover

>Hansard does not record Mr Skinner using the work "crooks" at all,

At the option of the house, Hansard does not record things that 'never happened' (were withdrawn with exceptional circumstances). So there is a small open possibility.

More commonly, heckling is not reported unless the the member with the floor responds. So Mr Skinner may have used the word 'crooks' many times, and simply not been reported.

And the Turing Award for best compilation goes to... Jeffrey Ullman and Alfred Aho

david 12

Re: '67 ?

The big step that opened up computers to a vast array of people who began to write software that now powers just about everything we equate with the modern world was Dartmouth BASIC. At the time there was a split between the SF idea of computers as intelligent thinking machines, and the real world idea of computers that they were big calculators, tabulators, or accounting machines. The world of computing laughed at Kemény for wanting to put computers into the hands of humanities and social science undergraduates: they laughed at Kurtz for thinking it was possible.

The BASIC compiler that Dartmouth built was complex, fragile and engineered by a brilliant programmer. In the 80's, any undergraduate with an interest could write a BASIC interpreter. The difference was "Principles of Compiler Design".

EST 7:09PM

Huawei's first desktop PC to be sold outside China is a sleek business machine with optional 'smart' keyboard

david 12

Re: Serial port-Yay!

The standard internal bus is PCI. There will be a PCI - RS232 bridge, not PCI - USB - RS232 bridges.

david 12

Serial Ports are for Point Of Sale retail.

Serial ports are used for legacy cash drawers and legacy bar-code scanners, so they are still common on POS computers. Dell models in this form factor have a serial port too.

GPS jamming around Cyprus gives our air traffic controllers a headache, says Eurocontrol

david 12

GPS was always a civilian system

President Reagan authorized the development of GPS - a civilian navigation system for civilian airliners - in 1983, after the Soviet Union shot down an airliner. The first satellite was launched 6 years later in 1989, and the constellation was complete in 1994

It didn't take 10 years just to notice that civilians were permitted to use an existing military system: it took 10 years to develop a new civilian navigation system suitable for airliners.

Electronics and Communications weren't at some kind of dead stop during the 1980's: like computers and networking, satellite technology completely changed in the 1980's. The GPS satellite launched in 1983 was not 1970's military technology: it was new technology, developed for civilian airliners in response to the loss of a civilian airliner that went off course and was shot down.


The military was able to piggyback on the back of the new civilian navigation technology, as they always have: the Allies collected civilian maps and photographs of Europe prior to D-Day landings in Europe, and removed road signs in Britain for the same reason. And the development did happen inside the "Military Industrial Complex": this is the well known method of pork-barreling and industry protection in the USA, but that's much to the disgust of the military, which would like to appropriate all of the 'military' budget for military purposes, rather than having it used for things like developing a civilian navigation system for civilian airliners.

Drag Autonomy founder's 'fraudulent guns' and 'grasping claws' to the US for a criminal trial, thunders barrister

david 12

Re: Typo fixed

Lynch is alleged by the US government to have CLAIMED TO HAVE followed standard American business practices. Which is part of what made his behavior illegal in the USA. The American courts have ACCEPTED THAT Lynch represented that his statements were following American standard business practice, and that HP accepted that representation.

I'm not barracking for either side: I don't know if it was reasonable for HP to expect a British firm to respect American law, or if the American courts got it right, or what British courts will make of the same allegations.

If the Americans were alleging that Lynch had /actually/ followed standard American business practice, he wouldn't be in court.

10:51AM AEDT

david 12

Re: The bounder the cad

>HP a hick from the country first time in the big city <

In amongst all the he-said / she-said, there's a little bit of interesting international finance: the American laws are different than the English laws.

The Americans (claim to have) depended on the representations made by the English. In the USA, those false representations were illegal, which is why they didn't need an audit report and why there has been an American conviction. In London, those representations were only illegal if they contained specific false facts: just making up BS is only business as usual.

Two countries divided by a common finance system.

8:18pm AEDT

Facebook and Google’s Australian pay-for-news nightmare finds a European admirer

david 12

Re: All has changed

> just forward the searches to Google, then strip out all the adverts in the results and replace them with THEIR own adverts. <

This is what HTTPS is designed to prevent.

Oddly enough, HTTPS was backed and promoted by Google, and most of the worlds web browsers are now based on technology developed and funded by Google.

7:14 AM AEDT

How do we combat mass global misinformation? How about making the internet a little harder to use

david 12

Re: So which search engine did you use? an imaginary one?

News flash:


The results you get back depend on your history, location, and the google secret sauce.


Attack of the cryptidiots: One wants Bitcoin-flush hard drive he threw out in 2013 back, the other lost USB stick password

david 12

A landfill site full of rotting garbage is a low-oxygen environment. Soft Iron doesn't rust in landfill. Neither does Copper/Chrome/Stainless Steel.

And since I've found it impossible to adequately compress garbage or recycling by any means, and, as I've read, you can walk away after getting compressed in a garbage compactor truck that you've been tipped into (while sheltering in a skip), I'm not inclined to think that a disk drive is likely to be damaged by that method either.

#12:25 15 Jan 2021# UTC

Passwords begone: GitHub will ban them next year for authenticating Git operations

david 12

...mission of replacing password authentication...

...an odyssey that began in 1995 with the introduction of "Microsoft Passport.", marked also by the "Internet Tidal Wave" memorandum from B Gates.

Passport got massive pushback at the time, because of reluctance to hand authentication to a company like (now) Google or Facebook ....

#2:27 18-12-20#

China praises Pakistan SatNav collaboration

david 12

"Armed Conflict"

You don't have to be imagining "armed conflict" to have a reason for developing your own technology or to have a reason for pork-barreling your own industry. Sometimes it's useful to pretend that "armed conflict" is your reason for supporting what President Eisenhower called "the military-industrial complex", or sometimes, as with maps and GPS, it's just something that everyday civilians find useful. As with the Chinese, Indian, Russian, and European "positioning systems"

The English maps were traditionally provided by "Ordinance Survey" -- a branch of the military. But American maps were traditionally provided by "Geological Survey" -- a branch of the mining industry. Governments support GPS services for all kinds of reasons, and "Armed Conflict" is by no means the main reason for subsidizing your own development in China, Russia, or India.

Marine archaeologists catch a break on the bottom of the Baltic Sea: A 75-year-old Enigma Machine

david 12

Re: Enigma code broken in the 1930s, not 1942

Yes, an Enigma code was broken in the 30's. It wasn't the machine, process, or code used in the 40's, but it was the starting point for the later work.

The nightmare is real: 'Excel formulas are the world's most widely used programming language,' says Microsoft

david 12

Re: Sorry but ...

20 odd years ago, you would have known that, if you really wanted it, you already had this functionality. It was very effectively hidden in office 95 and 97, but the ability to write functions using the native function language of Excel, as it existed in 4 and earlier, was still there.

Python swallows Java to become second-most popular programming language... according to this index

david 12

Re: Sin tax

The only language I've used without syntactic white space was FORTRAN, in which GOTO100 and GO TO 100 were the same statement, X=SUM SX was the same as X=SUMSX, and accidentally hitting the . key instead of the comma key gave you a legal statement meaning DO50I = 10.1 instead of DO 50 I = 10, 100

I'm not aware of any person who's actually /used/ a language without syntactic white space who wants to go back.

The evolution of C#: Lead designer describes modernization journey, breaks it down about getting func-y

david 12

Re: Breaking a lot: we can't do that

""People… have code they've committed and if you take anything out or change what it means, you're breaking a lot: we can't do that," "

Which it's been right from the start, when they wanted people to move seamlessly from c and c++ to c#.

And which is why VB.Net was such a fail. Because it was designed to be like c/c++/java, which largely changed what it meant.

Your web browser running remotely in Cloudflare's cloud. That's it. That's the story

david 12

'Sends HTML5...

Wait, somebody's developed a HTTPS proxy server that converts Web 2.0 to HTML?

Now lets just match that with a small light-weight application that displays HTML .... we'll call it a 'web browser'.

Brit webcam criminal snared in FBI LuminosityLink creepware sting spared prison

david 12

Re: How on earth wasnt this toe rag jailed?

Stopped in 2016, caught in 2018 (on a purchase from 2015), sentenced in 2020.

Might have been different if he hadn't demonstrated changed behavior 2 years before he was caught and 4 years before he was sentenced.

Excel is for amateurs. To properly screw things up, those same amateurs need a copy of Access

david 12

Re: Using a computer where pen and paper would have sufficed!

a shared user database that doesn't go through a server.

It does go through a server -- that's the problem. There is a network database service provided by matching "workstation" and "server" services which auto-start on most Windows machines, and a database protocol called "SMB" which provides record locking and retrieval. Problems are that (1) SMB on IP is notoriously high latency, buggy, and made worse by authentication and encryption, (2) the native Windows database API dates back to DOS 3.x and was never upgraded to provide record-level security or authentication (WinFS was canceled) and (3) If it worked properly, why would people pay for SQL Server?

The DOS 3.x database API is so limited that not even Access can use it without another layer on top, and even then is fragile due to the lack of record-level ACLs. While the 'server' service and SMB/IP protocol is so heavy weight that the number of recommended users has declined from 32.. to 16 ... to 8 ... to 4 ... to 1.

Meanwhile, the free version of unix that was provided to universities did not include a native OS database system (just one of the reasons why mainframe programmers thought it was 'not a real operating system'), and the whole idea of a native OS database system ('computer says "no") was lost to a new generation, who are convinced that Access is a 'flat file' database because they have no idea what that means.

Windows XP firewall

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Former antivirus baron John McAfee collared, faces extradition to America on tax evasion, securities allegations

david 12

Re: $750

This is old tax forms, so the line numbers don't match the current forms.

But 'total credits' includes form 3800, which includes business tax paid.

So the magic of $750 was not that it was total tax. The magic was that every year, after deducting expenses and tax paid, it came to /exactly/ $750. Which suggests that the tax returns were a form of fiction, written to get a particular result.

But that's true of all complex tax returns in the USA. The tax system is such a mess that even the IRS doesn't understand it, and their tax revues are a form of fiction, written to get a particular result.

I'm sorry. I give this one to Trump.

Future airliners will run on hydrogen, vows Airbus as it teases world-plus-dog with concept designs

david 12

Re: Looks good to me

>It’s more likely to go bang than a pool of fuel.<

It doesn't though.

Propane is known to be dangerous, and sometimes goes 'bang', but hydrogen doesn't. Even the Hindenberg didn't go 'bang'.

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

david 12

Council Policy

This was the same council that took me to court for parking legally in front of my house.

I didn't blame the parking inspector -- it was not a clear situation, and it's not the parking inspectors job to decide who to let off.

But when I wound up in court, I found that not only had they not read my protest, they hadn't even briefed the barrister. I had to explain to the magistrate, and to their barrister, where I had been parked.

Northrop Grumman wins $13.3bn contract with US Air Force to kick off Minuteman III ICBM replacement

david 12

Re: Opposite wealth

This is just the engineering development budget. Actually building missiles is a separate allocation.

also... Boeing could bid for a control program sub-contract :) Recently demonstrated incompetence may damage their chances in that area too.

Happy birthday to the Nokia 3310: 20 years ago, it seemed like almost everyone owned this legendary mobile

david 12

Re: I'll See Your 33xx and Lower You

It was the 2110 that made the Nokia ringtone ubiquitous; although the number sold was much smaller, the total market at the time was tiny, and the sound of the Nokia ringtone was the sound of a mobile phone.

In the frame with the Great MS Bakeoff: Microsoft sets out plans for Windows windows

david 12

Re: The revenge of OS/2?

MS killed OS/2 because it was owned by IBM and written in Assembler.

QUIC, dig in: Microsoft open-sources MsQuic, its implementation of Google-spawned TCP-killer QUIC

david 12

Re: Ok, I have to ask...

SMB was always a dog when running on TCP. That's the internal dog food environment.

If you can't understand how Instagram 'influencers' make millions, good luck with these virtual ones doing even better

david 12

Re: Every time I think people can't get any crazier,

>What, people in the 19th century pushed newspapers into your face every 10 seconds?<

Well they certainly did in the 20th Century. 3 kids on every corner, 4 corners on every intersection, leading down to the main railway station, where more waited. And, as I think about it, I can still hear the voices, crying the name of the evening paper.

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

david 12

Re: User Error

Nobody wants this feature of Excel.

Lots of people like Excel, and lots of people use Excel, but nobody likes this feature of Excel. There are a large number of people who haven't been bitten by this feature of Excel recently, who don't care today, and there are people who have been bitten, who do care, and there are people who don't use Excel, but there are no Excel users who want this feature of Excel.

david 12

Re: User Error

BSP -- British Standard Pipe -- is a metric thread. The metric thread for pipes.

I can only imagine the negotiations and horse trading which led to that result (standards creation is notoriously corrupt), but out of all the thought that went into creating the metric standards, BSP was chosen without modification.

For nuts/bolts, a modern thread profile was wanted, which was why all the existing British bolt threads were abandoned, and Britain had the choice of going with Europe, or continuing with the new standard it had just developed in co-operation with the USA. Britain abandoned the new trans-Atlantic standard, and adopted the European standard instead. And Europe chose BSP for pipe threads. Was that the best choice for Europe? I have no idea what their pipe threads looked like before metric threads. But after metric threads, I know what their pipe thread standard is: BSP.

Privacy Shield binned after EU court rules transatlantic data protection arrangements 'inadequate'

david 12

How is this different to EU/UK practice?

As I understand it, "the processing of personal data by competent authorities for law enforcement purposes is outside the GDPR’s scope (e.g. the Police investigating a crime)", and National Security is exempt. In the UK and in Ireland and in the EU. How does FBI and NSA access differ from this?

51 years after humans first set foot on the Moon, a deepfaked Nixon mourns how Armstrong and Aldrin never made it home

david 12

Re: Alternative fakery

>We know they never went to the moon anyway<

As shown in the 2002 French documentary "Dark Side of the Moon" (William Karel)

It is very good if you are the kind of person who likes watching history documentaries or are interested in the space program.

And it demonstrates that you don't need Deep Fakes to do deep fakes. Watch the film before reading the Wikipedia article :)


If you can read this, your Windows 10 2004 PC really is connected to the internet no matter what the OS claims

david 12

Re: I see this BS because of minimal trust for Microsoft domains

>The correct way to detect no connections, should be continuous failure to connect to any internet address, during a set time period, a good one can be the time server, if set to an internet address. <

This is the way Win10 detects internet connection failure, and up until now has been the reason for this bug. You get a routing failure, and Windows labels that as an Internet connection failure, and that affects routing....

It's been a problem with Win10 for some time, -- IPV4 standards/RFCs never really caught up with multi-homed systems and multi-homed systems are subject to corner-case routing failures. It should be fixed by total system conversion to IPV6 protocols (but of course will probably be broken by the transition).

And no, "IPV6" doesn't just mean IPV4 with more bits.

No Wiggle room: Two weeks after angry bike shop customers report mystery orders on their accounts, firm confirms payment cards delinked

david 12

Re: There is no breach

The fee isn't outrageous for a credit account, (although they look to be making money on their business accounts) and Revolut has an Australian presence. I'll look further.

david 12

Re: There is no breach

I would use one time virtual cards if any were available in my market. Which bank / supplier is providing virtual cards?

Ooo, a mystery bit of script! Seems legit. Let's see what happens when we run it

david 12

Re: Efficacy of warning messages

Chkdsk /does/ do that. It recovers chains of clusters. If all your chains are only one cluster long, either all your files were one cluster long, or your FAT has been overwritten.

Mortal wombat: 4 generations of women fight for their lives against murderous marsupial

david 12

Not RABV (rabies.lyssavirus). Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV). Fruit bats, wombats ....

El Reg presents: Your one-step guide on where not to store electronic mail

david 12

Re: But you can recover deleted Items ON AN EXCHANGE...

If that mailbox was on an exchange you have the option to recover deleted items

If only that were true. On exchange you actually have several options for recovering deleted items, and even experienced exchange administrators are unlikely to know all of them. And when you go to the "the deleted items store" on exchange, to recover the deleted item, you do not find it there at all. Although you do eventually find it in one of the other undocumented places where exchange hides deleted items.

Beware the three-finger-salute, or 'How I Got The Keys To The Kingdom'

david 12

Re: Inconveniently placed keys

It was an IBM keyboard. And although Personal Computer World reviewed the IBM PC as --meh--, they were unequivocal about the keyboard: not just excellent, not just best: genre re-defining.

Vivaldi opens up an exciting new front in the browser wars, seeks to get around blocking with cunning code

david 12

Re: re: Not a defence, it's not difficult to make things work cross browser.

Personally, when I use an unsupported browser, I don't care what the site looks like. If I render tables, side panels and transparencies wrong, I know the blame is on me. On the other hand, if they just refuse to provide a page at all, that's a problem, and it sucks.

jQuery started out offering transparent support for multiple browsers, then, as you no doubt know, later choose to interpret 'does not support' as 'will deliberately break support for'. So that when using an older browser you would get a blank screen on sites using current versions of jQuery.

jQuery pioneered "break site for unsupported browsers".

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary

david 12

Re: I'm not so sure that options are the answer to why Office is so popular

Office is popular because Microsoft gave it away to schools

Not like Open Office? That schools would have had to pay for? Or perhaps you are think of 1990, when every school had a MSDOS computer lab that students could use? Obviously I'm missing something, because this doesn't seem to have any historical basis.

david 12

Re: I think you underestimate it...

Oof the effects Open Office has had on Microsoft is that it has helped diminish the importance of Small Business for MS. That is to say, MS development is now driven by Enterprise customers, and Small Business users have to just take what they are given by OO and MS.

Oh this 2019 timeline. Finish this sentence: Austrian politico accused of spending €3,000 a month on ...

david 12

What I was thinking, but I wouldn't have put it like that. Life and Career collapse, he self-medicates with addictive self-destructive behaviour: drugs, alcohol, gambling, or, in this case, computer gaming. For that at least I've got some empathy and he's got my sympathy.

ACLU sues America's border cops: Tell us everything about these secret search teams targeting travelers

david 12

Re: "he just exploited them better"

Soviet communism was a menace, but he tried to fight it like Beria and Stalin would have By killing people? By sending them to concentration camps in Siberia?. Please moderate your hysteria.

It's cool for Brit snoops to break the law, says secretive spy court. Just hold on while we pull off some legal jujitsu to let MI5 off the hook...

david 12

Which team to support?

Court brought it back within the pale with a ruling that its decisions are subject to appeal, despite laws establishing the IPT having been explicitly written to ensure they couldn't be

It's hard to know which teem to barrack against: the government for trying to put themselves above the courts, or the courts for trying to put themselves above the government.

I don't want to go on the cart! Windows 10 Mobile hauls itself from the grave one last time

david 12

MS has never been able to get their dates right.

I've been a MS customer for 30+ years, and, apart from a few well known media events like Win98, their ability to correctly identify release or unplugging dates has never been any better than it is now.

Google tightens the screw on 'less secure apps', will block most access from June 2020

david 12

Re: How will this work with a printer?

This change -- designed to force legacy customers off of competition software and on to a system that ties all their activities to a single account, for advertising and identification -- only really affects downloads. Sending mail, as your printer does when it scans to email, is not affected.



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