* Posts by Mike Bird 1

49 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Jul 2009

Confessions of a sysadmin

Mike Bird 1

Letting Management Decide to Patch

What I found worrying was that the author permits management to decide when to implement patches that have been downloaded to thier computer via WSUS.

Zero use in doing that.

We use WSUS and all the user workstations get patches ENFORCED.

Its not a "please would you mind installing that patch .. thank you very much" its more of a "HERE IS A PATCH - YOU WILL DEPLOY PATCH NOW ! " method.

O2 limits unlimited broadband packages

Mike Bird 1

Unlimited (defined by O2)


1.limited; restricted; confined: limited trade.

2.nowhere and noway what our marketing team are saying

3.up to a limit defined by an average based on our user population.

Mike Bird 1

Unlimited (defined by dictionary)


1.not limited; unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.

2.boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.

3.without any qualification or exception; unconditional

Computing smart-scope gunsight for US snipers

Mike Bird 1

millions to one odds = 50/50

Lets face it .. either a thing WILL occur or it WILL NOT occur.

There fore the odds of anything is strictly 50/50.

Sergey Brin: 'We screwed up' on Street View Wi-Fi grab

Mike Bird 1

we were only collecting ...

So why were they collecting " SSIDs and MAC addresses from Wi-Fi networks. " in the first place?

What has my routers's MAC address got to do with them?

Not that I even have WiFi enabled on my router in the first place of course.

Perhaps so they can detail density of wi-fi nodes in places to then vendor the information for "public/private" wi-fi clusters?

Site auto-trawls embarrassing Facebook posts

Mike Bird 1

i facebook, you facebook, they giggle in hysterical laughter

What amazes me is the people who DO NOT enable security.

Its the whole "yeah I'm tellin' the whole world about my [medical condition | life | unauthorised work absence]".

For {insert deity} sake .. enable the security and restrict it to FRIENDS ONLY !

Google: Street View spycars did slurp your Wi-Fi

Mike Bird 1

UK Law is clear

The Computer Misuse Act 1990.

Section 1.

Unauthorised access to computer material, punishable by 6 months' imprisonment or a fine "not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale".

There has been multiple repeated access to UK private WIFI (regardless of whether it is open or not this is immaterial to the offense).

Currently they're looking at about GBP 5000 per offense.

Cops back in on BT/Phorm case

Mike Bird 1

Ignorance is Bliss -- but lack of intent is priceless

So we have the statement

"A file of evidence was handed to City of London Police, but detectives halted their investigation in September 2008. In a statement they argued that no criminal offence had been committed because they perceived no criminal intent by the two firms."

Since when did INTENT matter in a criminal case?

IF you do the crime then you PAY the price.

Beijing security know-how rules irk suppliers

Mike Bird 1

John McEnroe

To quote a somewhat well known 80's tennis player

"you cannot be serious"

San Francisco's rogue BOFH is guilty

Mike Bird 1

Breakign the Law is still ..

As an employee your duty is to follow the law and to do what you are told by your manager. If there is a conflict then advise HR or your COMPLIANCE person or seek guidance from the in house Lawyer (or if you're really worried from a personal lawyer).

Your job is NOT to second guess your employer's technical ability about if they can be trusted with the systems.

The "Oh I can't trust them not to muck it up" excuse doesn't wash with me.

Childs should have turned over the passwords, written a formal resignation letter and/or send in an dated/witnessed letter to the Mayor if he was that concerned.

eBayer sued for leaving negative feedback

Mike Bird 1

Same thing .. another site

Sellers on Amazon tend to be a bit "protective" of their reputations also. I left a negative comment there on one bookstore after they sent a paperback that was not just "thumbed" but "cracked spine / ripped cover".

They corrected it but then also emailed me asking for the comment to be removed.

My view was that the comment was put there because they'd not been careful enough the first time round. Any action taken "after the fact" was still "after the fact".

Thousands wrongly labelled by CRB checks

Mike Bird 1


Yes you do get a paper copy of the CRB check.

Brown creates one UK.gov website to rule them all

Mike Bird 1

nice name .. shame about the lack of registry

yougov.gov.uk ?

- nope 404

yougov.gov ?

- nope 404 - and anyway that would be (by convention) a USA gov site.


- a "public opinion and behaviour" site been registered since 2009


- for the disinterested


- for those seeking attention

Home Office planning to brick version 1 ID cards in 2012?

Mike Bird 1


Make it the required and ONLY permissable card for proof of age (ie. buying cigarettes and alcohol) .. you'll have the teens queueing up to buy the thing.

Make it the only way to get a Driving Licence (you have to proove who you are first) so all the new drivers will need one.

Finally make it so that anyone who wants to claim benefits needs one.

That will put a final clamp on it .. as the benefits include Tax Credits this catches a good portion of the working population.

Personally I'd sign up for one right now (even though I'm 40, don't drive and don't claim any tax credits).

Facebook warns over password reset scam

Mike Bird 1

Are people really this stupid?

No really .. I mean if you got an email saying what this says (and I've gotten a few of them in my spam folder) then you have to ask why don't people go to facebook and check first?

(alien - because thats what users are to us geeks)

Rubber Duck banned from txt

Mike Bird 1


You can do

a) DRIVE (a multitasking action requiring co-ordination of vusual and audiatory input) plus complex control management.

b) SIT in your CAR with the ENGINE OFF and use your PHONE.

You cannot

c) do both at the same time.

Air France offers two-seat deal for fatties

Mike Bird 1

typo ..

for 31" inside leg read 33" inside leg.

suffering from rage induced typo when I posted that.

Mike Bird 1

Not An Obligation

Maybe if the airlines provided seats that are realistic with legroom that someone taller than 5'6" can sit in without having their knees rammed up against the seat in front and a headrest that doesn't dig instead into my shoulders then this kind of thing wouldn't be suggested.

I'm sick of airlines treating me like a one-size-fits-all component. I'm 6'3" have a 31" inner leg and I don't fit into their midget option seating plan.

IT workers told, 'Put down the biscuits, fat boy'

Mike Bird 1

Don't they have better things to do?

I don't need the BCS to tell me to stop eating bikkies.

What they should do is get on with processing my London Central group membership (still outstanding after two years and various approaches to the Central London team).

US makes travellers go online, before getting onboard

Mike Bird 1

I wonder

... do the visitors from the USA have to fill in similar documents on flying into EUROPE ?

Mike Bird 1


I really like being pre-approved, like when the US auto-dialers call me up and tell me that "You've been Pre-approved to received this call" .. which results in me pre-approving my hanging-up on them.

IPS in cunning 'get an ID card, get crucified' scheme

Mike Bird 1

But I wants one

.. my preshus.

Actually i do really want an ID Card.

I don't see what the problem is, the government has all the information anyway, just scattered across 50 different systems.

BT names 63 more exchanges for fibre upgrades

Mike Bird 1

on the list

finally my exchange is on the list. excellent.

Masses marvel at 'Most Useless Machine'

Mike Bird 1

More useless

Sorry but the British Government completly outdoes that box for "most useless machine".

Paramount prepares to scale Dune

Mike Bird 1

Weird Abberation

The 1984 movie was an abberation full of non-canon junk like the "wierding modules".

The TV Mini-Series was a darn sight more effective at bringing the books to screen.

The best (of the worst) patent claims of 2009

Mike Bird 1

They're Dead Jim

ALARM ! Your shoes have reached the end of life and will be locked out in 100 paces.

"What .. they're only 2 months old, they've got months of life left"

ALARM ! Your shoes have reached the end of life and will be locked out in 10 paces.

"oh no they're ..."...


<sounds of person tripping over>

Facebook urges public exposure in 'privacy' revision

Mike Bird 1

Defaults should not change things

The default position on the new privacy options is to make it "open".

Given prior debacles with social websites making things open, and sharing data that should not be shared, shouldn't the dailog defaults be "keep the same settings" ?

UK.gov may abolish edited electoral roll

Mike Bird 1

Tracking Dispersement of Personal Information

The number of times I've been emailed or called by someone who says "we got your information from a mailing list" but then when challenged says "but we don't know which one".

This process should be legislated against. If you gather information about me then you should be forced to track WHERE you obtained it. That way I can backtrack down the line and find out who has been gathering and or distributing my personal information in the first place.

Smut-ladened spam disguises WoW Trojan campaign

Mike Bird 1


These fail on focus=self because I have zero interest in having a girlfriend.

Ok a fair percentage of the MMORPG target audience is hetero male, but the pron hackers could try a few variations to get the other target groups.

Afghanistan disappears from Planet Apple

Mike Bird 1

so far up the river

it should be obvious ... the merry Apple guys are in a the State of Denial.

US immigration dodge is permanent

Mike Bird 1

chop chop..

Stand by for "the evil terrorists" to start chopping off American citizens' hands just to get their fingerprints.

Vampires not good role models for Catholics, declares Vatican

Mike Bird 1


"Oh gawd .. we're slipping from the people's viewpoint .. quick come up with some tirade on a popular subject so we at least look kewl."


Arkansas cop tasers 10-year-old girl

Mike Bird 1

Parents & Discipline

Clearly the mother did make a mistake.

She forgot to video it and flog the tape to a TV gag-reel show.

UK2 email migration still not finished

Mike Bird 1

@Steve Foster

Tell that to someone who is being emailed their Flu-Jab details by their GP.

Judge Dredd 'Black Box' recorder/spy kit for guns unveiled

Mike Bird 1

Does a Bear ...

Yes officer .. I am going bear hunting, and yes I can only do that with my SG 550 with GL 5040 40 mm grenade launcher.

oh and yes .. armor piercing bullets. you never know what those tricky bears are going to get up to.

Win 7 users shout: Where's my bloody ballot screen?

Mike Bird 1

Choices .. .choices

Dialog box pops up ..

You have the choice now of downloading/installing another web-browser.

Its up to you.

[A - you have IE Installed - do you want to keep it?]

(ps some features/functions may not work without IE)

[B - take time to download and install <browser X>]

(ps this will take a while)

95% of people will stick with the Keep what they Have.

The other 5% (highly IT oriented) will have Mozilla/whatever installed anyway.

This completely ignores the CORPORATE environment, most of whom are on IE 6 or IE 7 for software compatibility reasons and DO NOT want their staff (or permit their staff) to mod their company computer.

Crypto spares man who secretly video taped flatmates

Mike Bird 1

McGee is pants give it to Beal

Eric Beal of NCIS:LA uses a hacked Bot-Net to break a laptop encryption. Much more devious.

MS, US take aim at data protection laws cyber trade barriers

Mike Bird 1

One Size Fits All (size Zero)

The only "way" that MS/USA-GOV want is their way.

Your IT will do what the .GOV tells you to and you will like it.

Local Jurisdiction .. ha ha !

Ralph Lauren stick insect sacked for being 'too fat'

Mike Bird 1

Body Mass Index .. she's too fat ???

"The model, who is 120lb and 5ft 10in tall, "

According to that the model has a BMI of 17.2.

According to most checks that value means the person is Underweight, but not "seriously so" (Normal would be 18.5 to 24.9)

The fashion industry people and the advertising & magazine agencies who feed on them need to be taken to a Krispy Kreme outlet and made to eat there without fail for a year.

Pluto still a planet, says Ronald McDonald

Mike Bird 1

Bogus McD's Quizcards

The last time I had a McD's Quizcard was about 8 years ago, some music question which my music-mad boyfriend went "thats wrong".

We took the card to one of the UK tabloid papers and sold them it, along with the story. Got about £1000 for it.

The story being .. don't blag it on the internet, flog the story to the newspaper!

Theatre draws veil over naked Anna Friel

Mike Bird 1

Other Stage Pictures

Given the mass outbreak of pictures of Daniel Radcliffe and and Alfie Allen as Strang in the recent stage version of Equus, I find it laughable that such measures are only now being considered for Miss Friel.

DARPA seeks orbital wheely-bin plan

Mike Bird 1

Salvage 1 to the rescue! (with help from McG)

TIme to get old Harry Broderick and McGuyver out of bed for a cooperative relaunch of Salvage-1


Sony and BBC clash over PS3 problems

Mike Bird 1

Sale of Goods Act = Your Rights

Sorry to contradict Alien8n but your statement "Under the Sale of Goods Act all goods are covered for 6 years anyway." is totally incorrect. The 6 years refers to the limit for bringing a court case in England and Wales (its 5 years for Scotland by the way as they have a different court system).

Goods are supposed to last "only needs to last as long as it is reasonable to expect it to, taking into account all the factors". Factors might include the materials the goods are made of, how much they are used, the environment they are used in. So for instance a set of cutlery should last a number of years, while a mobile phone might have reasonable lifetime of just 2-3 years and a paper/plastic kite might have a reasonable lifetime of just a few months.

A complex and expensive consumer electronics item used indoors, used with approved software / games (i.e original not copied games) and without any unauthorised "mods" to the hardware, and which is used a reasonable amount of time each day (lets say 3-4 hours per day) should have a reasonable lifetime of several years.

Sony's contention that they can get away with a one year warranty is facetious.

You should note that any claim you may have with a defective unit is with the RETAILLER (ie. the shop you purchased it in) and not the MANUFACTURER. You have a legal contract with the retailler and they are obliged to accept the laws which include the SALE OF GOODS & SERVICES ACT.

You should always retain your RECEIPT - your proof of purchase - and if possible retain any manuals (although its not necessary to retain the original box beyond a short period).

Take the item back to the store where you purchased it and ask to speak to someone. Its advisable to have everythign written down (preferably PRINTED) so you can detail the problem and also have a copy of the information here



You should not have to resort to it, but if you have reached the store manager and still cannot resolve your problem then take your goods away (never leave them in the store unless you have a written undertaking to resolve the issue to your (not thier) statisfaction). Then take the problem up with the Customer Service team at the company's head office.

Additional information can be found here


The last avenue is a Small Claims Court action. You should read up on this separately.

In general you are not obliged to accept vouchers, or a repair. Further you should be wary of acepting a repair as this may amend your rights at a later point.

You should of course note that the information above is pertinent to England & Wales (Scottish legal system has different procedures) and that you should seek legal advise if required.

Street View stalks Swiss data protection bureau

Mike Bird 1

Bigger Bite the ours

At least the swiss Data protection people have a bigger bite than our British mob.

Microsoft harries XP-loving biz customers on to Windows 7

Mike Bird 1

Do you really need?

What does a CORPORATE machine (and the IT Professionals who support it) need in terms of an M$ windows operating system?

A SIMPLE interface.

Aero is "glizty and fun" - its not simple.

Anything that is more than 3 clicks or mousedrags away is too much. I have users with 50+ icons on their desktops becuase they don't want to go clicking thru directories or menus.

TRUST the Hardware

The best place to do things is in hardware. So if the HDD can support disk encryption then let the HDD do the job - don't try shoving it into the OS where it will just cause an I/O bottleneck.


yes, powershell is wonderful. I use it myself. But thats not an excuse to have it pre-installed on every machine so that the users get to play with it and do things that I don't want them to do.

Mobile Connections

Again, M$ isn't a mobile connectivity provider, they don't (yet) make 3G datacards and they are not (in the UK at least) a mainstream ISP. So stop trying to wedge your software in between the ISP/Datacard provider and the OS. The ISP/3G-Datacard provider is the best company to make the O/S link to the hardware/service. let them do their job and you do yours.


There are already great corporate level deployment tools. We (the IT Professionals) are using using them - we have been using them for years. We have a lot of TIME and MONEY invested in their use. Kindly leave them alone.

Remote Support

See Deployment above.

Now .. go away and provide us with Windows XP Pro v2 - which has the same Interface, the ease of use and installation but has the needed features. Not 100's of bells and whistles that just eat up the resources of the hardware that we're stuck with for the next 3-4 years.

US state bars sex offenders from 'social networking sites'

Mike Bird 1

First Amendment

Does the US 1st Amendment not guarantee the right of free speech? Surely imposing a "you will not use social network sites" impinges this ?

BT's giant new faster broadband boxes blocked

Mike Bird 1

new skin

Give them a nice fashionalble "brickwork" skin.

That or paint them green.

Apple blueprints warranty Big Brother

Mike Bird 1

15 years ago .. prior art

I've seen HP Servers (and some desktops) with a hardware based, bios-linked trigger that indicates if the case has been opened.

French workers threaten to blow up factory

Mike Bird 1

Cost of it all

366 staff * 30,000 Euros = € 10 980 000

Cost of the stored stock, 2million the machine 2 million and lets be generous the building, 2 million for a total of 6 million.

And before you look at me with horrified shocked expressions you must admit that at least half of you did START/RUN calc and did the math as well.