* Posts by Philip Stott

90 posts • joined 12 May 2007


NHS Digital exposes hundreds of email addresses after BCC blunder copies in entire invite list to 'Let's talk cyber' event

Philip Stott


The most bum-clenchingly awful reply all mistake I've seen happened after the whole company received an email from operations reminding us of the new password policy - 12 characters, mixed case, special chars, etc., and NEVER write them down or share them.

This poor guy (let's call him Gary) meant to forward the following to his mate, but instead replied all: "How the hell do we remember these without writing them down".

This was swiftly followed by the email - Gary would like to recall ...

Which was followed about half an hour later by an email from HR, saying Gary no longer works for Enron (sorry), and has left the building.


2FA? More like 2F-in-the-way: It seems no one wants me to pay for their services after all

Philip Stott

Re: I'm glad it's not just me

Plus many for the Frasier reference; I loved that show.

Heard a nasty rumour that they're bringing it back. Hope that's not true, as IMHO they ruined it already when Niles & Daphne got together.

Breaking Bad or just a bad breakpoint? That feeling when your predecessor is BASIC

Philip Stott

Re: Debug build on a live server?

This was VB6 in early 2002 - a few months before C# and visual studio. net was released.

Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast

Philip Stott

Re: Alternate method for the crap that supermarkets pass off as bacon...

Buy your bacon from a good butcher ... ?

Philip Stott

Probably the perfect topic for an (English) flame war!

Personally, haven't had any black pudding that's tasted of anything other than grease, so that's out.

Also mushrooms only grow on Beezlebub's knob, so they're out too.

Once you've binned them, everything but the beans can be cooked in one big frying pan.

If your eggs aren't frying in the fat from your sausages & bacon you're not doing it right.

Job done.

Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features

Philip Stott


Hungover Brits declare full English breakfast the solution to all their ills

Philip Stott

I suspect the respondents who replied "chow mein" & "s&s pork balls" were still in that delicious stage of drunkenness before the horrors set in.

Google, Microsoft pitch in some spare change to keep Mozilla's Web Docs online bible alive

Philip Stott

Re: Niche skill

Wasn't always that way.

I'm showing my age here, but I remember switching from Borland C++ to MS Visual C++ for exactly the reason that all their tools and good documentation could be found on their MSDN discs.

It was once they switched to online docs that the rot set in. Any technologies they wanted to ditch (silerlight anyone) would no longer be linked to, and their favoured new technologies, recently. NET V5 would be favoured in the docs even though NET V4.8 or lower is probably the largest installed base.

Eclipse boss claims Visual Studio Code is an open-source poseur – though he would say that, wouldn't he?

Philip Stott

Re: Nicely balanced article

Good point.

I started on Borland Turbo C circa 1989, after a short interval with MS Visual C and their Windows SDK experience afterwards (which want nice), I've been using MS Visual Basic, then Visual Studio for .Net development since roughly 1995.

Mainly developing LOB applications for banks and trading houses.

At no point in the last 25 years have I been approached to give my opinion on the merits of one IDE/toolset over another, so I'm guessing that these surveys aren't actually representative of the jobbing developer.

Philip Stott

"Full fat" Visual Studio has supported clang for at least 3 years (maybe longer, but 3 years is my last time to need it).

Windows 10 Insiders: Begone, foul Store version of Notepad!

Philip Stott

Re: A good u-turn

EDIT: Should've read the comments first, sorry.

What's wrong with Notepad++?

A great text editor that can come as an installer free version.

Refactoring whizz: Good software shouldn't cost the earth – it's actually cheaper to build

Philip Stott

Re: SW .EQ. intellectual exercise .NNE. Intelligent

No inferiority complex to be seen here. Move along people.

Philip Stott

The answer is easy as any fule knows

I have been a contract software developer since 1998. I was entirely self taught, after finding my chosen field of interest, research chemistry, would be a life of drudgery unless I stayed in in school long enough to earn a Ph.D.

So I turned to the other skill I had naturally, software development, by virtue of a family investment in a BBC model B microcomputer in the 80’s.

Over the years I have mentored 6 six graduate trainees who wanted to switch to software development for a career (one of which, ironically, was a chemistry Ph.D that worked for Kodak and hated it).

Of those six, I could tell within half a day which of them “just got it” (two of them) and which of them would always struggle no matter how hard they tried.

There is a misunderstanding between the view “that anyone can learn to code” and “anyone can learn to code well”. It is an innate ability that one either has or has not.

Long story short, is that companies that really care about code quality need to learn how to differentiate between these two types of developer.

Oh dear. Secret Huawei enterprise router snoop 'backdoor' was Telnet service, sighs Vodafone

Philip Stott
Black Helicopters

I'm edging towards giving them the benefit of doubt on this

That they're just as prone to shite infosec as any of the other Shenzhen white box shifters.

Except Huawei aren't anymore and need to up their game.

Have you ever, ever felt like this? Have strange things happened? Is high-speed data going round the twist?

Philip Stott

Buzzword Bingo!

Whoever had "plasmonic topological insulator material" on their card has just matched six numbers and the thunderball.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

Philip Stott

Nice one Dabbsy

I always enjoy your articles, but this one has me laughing out loud (sorry, I mean lolling obvs).

Keep up the good work.

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

Philip Stott

Re: Monitor

Just a guess, but I don't think you're paying the going rate for good technicians.

Over twenty years ago I used to be a Unix & NetWare admin earning a decent wage (I've since switched to software development), but have noticed how "commoditised" desktop support has become.

Big firms pay peanuts for monkeys who's only technical abilities are turn it off and on again and if that fails re-image the boot drive (which is great when it takes a day and a half to install all the tools needed to do your job)

If you want non-simian staff you have to pay for them.

If you have to simulate a phishing attack on your org, at least try to get something useful from it

Philip Stott

Re: Seeking The Best Phishing Education and Testing

You don’t work for S&P Global by any chance?

They have a similar thing there. The praise from getting it right with the Report Phish button is like a virtual hug :-p

AI on Raspberry Pi, Waymo touts robo-rides to Arizonians, and more

Philip Stott

Whoa a whole $7K!?!? Are you sure you can afford it?

Nice of Snap Inc. to sponsor a professor in AI for a week.

Hoping for Microsoft's mythical Andromeda in your Xmas stocking? Don't hold your breath

Philip Stott

Maybe it’s just me, but ...

I’ve bought 2 Surface products; a Surface Pro 2 and the first gen SurfaceBook, and I’ve been more than happy with both.

The Surface Pro 2 was bought for mainly tablet usage, but with the ability to run Visual Studio if a client had an urgent problem while I was on a train, or otherwise away from the office.

The SurfaceBook I couldn’t love more. The best laptop I’ve ever had. It’s mostly used for development, so what I want is fast compile time and it does that in spades. This machine seems more than the sum of it’s parts as I have an almost identically specced Lenovo laptop that comparably runs like a dog.

I realise this sounds a bit “gushing”, so I should point out that as it cost two and half grand, I’d be almighty f***** off if it wasn’t good.

A Reg-reading techie, a high street bank, some iffy production code – and a financial crash

Philip Stott

Re: This smells funny

You mean the investment banking arms of Barclays and RBS.

I worked for the latter for 3 years from 2008, so yes, I know they make a lot of trades.

Philip Stott

Re: This smells funny

No. They never have.

Apart from a brief foray spent developing clinical trials systems with the author of this article I've spent the last 25 years working for investment banks and commodity trading houses so I know what I'm talking about.

Philip Stott

This smells funny

UK retail banks don’t make trades, and never have.

They take deposits and lend them out.

The head office risk management unit do make fixed for floating interest swap trades, but they are simply to hedge their fixed interest rate mortgage and loan books.

Only investment banks engage in prop trading and that has more or less ended since the financial crisis.

RAF Air Command to take on UK military space ops

Philip Stott

How did I not notice that?

The Mekon is totally William Hague!

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

Philip Stott


I had one particular scumbag offer me 5% cashback on my consumables budget if I ordered through his firm.

The fact that I support manager for a well known charity at the time didn't seem to bother him either.

CEO insisted his email was on server that had been offline for years

Philip Stott

Re: Deleting emails

Sounds like my wife. Last time I looked (I'm her BOFH, not nosy) she had 10,000+ emails in her inbox.

Huawei P20 Pro: Triple-lens shooter promises the Earth ...

Philip Stott

I want that street food. The phone not so much.

Are meta, self-referential or recursive science-fiction films doomed?

Philip Stott

The Baroque Cycle is a work of genius.

I admit that two thirds of the way in to the first book I started skipping ahead as it just seemed to be a bunch of disconnected events, however I persevered, and I’m very glad I did.

Starting with the second book and continuing to the end of the third, Stephenson brings all those seemingly endless threads together in a way that almost had me giddy with his attention to detail. So much so, that I reread the first book completely to ensure I didn’t miss any of it.

I’ve met several people who share your opinion, and I’ve persuaded a few of them to give it another go, all of whom have thanked me after doing so. I hope you will give it another go too.

Political ad campaign biz AggregateIQ exposes tools, DB logins online

Philip Stott

Re: Jesus Christ

I’m working on the hypothesis that this was a deliberate accident.

Suspected drug dealer who refused to poo for 46 DAYS released... on bail

Philip Stott

As far as I know, unless they get him sectioned under mental health act, they still can't force treatment on him.

UK.gov: Name a more iconic duo than 'culture' and 'digital'. We'll wait

Philip Stott

Seriously, do these people ever come out of their own a***holes to take a look at the world around them!

Private browsing isn't: Boffins say smut-mode can't hide your tracks

Philip Stott

Arrested Development

I'm sure it's just me, but did anyone else have a little chortle at the thought of Mr. Wang investigating smut mode browsing?

No? Thought so. I'll get my coat.

*Wakes up in Chrome's post-adblockalyptic landscape* Wow, hardly anything's changed!

Philip Stott

Re: Adverts?

Yep, and not being a suck-up, but The Reg gets whitelisted, because the ads aren’t annoying and I want to support them.

Philip Stott

What really narks

Are sites that I have paid to subscribe to which pop up passive aggressive messages say “We notice you’re ad-blocking. Adverts help us to fund the quality content you like”


Farts away! Plane makes unscheduled stop after man won't stop guffing

Philip Stott

Ah that might explain it

I once had to spend 9 hours on a flight to Jamaica sitting behind a family that were all dumping the most foul smelling toxic waste into the atmosphere, it was like being trapped in beelzebub’s buttocks.

They could’ve all had the same meal and all shared the same intolerance to one of the ingredients ...

Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

Philip Stott


They want to collect information such as; network connectivity or not ...

EE unveils shoebox-sized router to boost Brit bumpkin broadband

Philip Stott

Re: They did a bang up job installing it

I’m a developer, stuff like that confuses me. If they’re providing 4 holes then use 4 bolts and reduce the bore accordingly (and ensure it’s mounted exactly plumb).

Philip Stott

They did a bang up job installing it

They left 50% of the fixing bolts out.

Morrisons launches bizarre Yorkshire Pudding pizza thing

Philip Stott

I’d buy one of those USB coffee warmers for my office PC and leave the the foul thing sizzling all day to piss off my coworkers (I am a sociopath).

Facebook grows a conscience, admits it corroded democracy

Philip Stott

Re: This is a stupid discussion

I understand what you’re saying i.e. that people should be capable of critical thought and be able to decide for themselves what constitutes “fake news”.

Unfortunately, (and I realise this will sound elitist) there is a large demographic that can’t do this. This is why we have controls on how much of a slice of news organisations should be allowed to be controlled by a single entity - witness the recent Fox News/Rupert Murdoch tie up falling foul of the UK Competion and Markets Authority decision.

All aboard the Vomit Comet: Not the last train to Essex, but a modded 727 for weightless flight

Philip Stott

Well played Mr. Speed

When I read your last article I thought could that be you, and now I see it is!

To think that I once worked with a Reg Hack - pub bragging rights indeed ;-)

Soz, guys. No 'alien megastructure' around Tabby's Star, only cosmic dustbunnies

Philip Stott


Philip Pullman ... was right!?!?

Republican tax bill ready to rescue hard-up tech giants, struggling rich

Philip Stott

Re: Thomas Claburn - Define Wealthy


Thank you for that. Would just like to say that I miss your regular contributions to The Reg too.

I can only hope that the lack is caused by your time and energy being taken up by managing the massive profits from your rare earth metals bet.

Merry Christmas.

To Puerto Ricans: A Register apology

Philip Stott

Re: anonymous coward

Yes, but no.

I don't want to read political discourse on The Reg. I've been coming here for my tech news for at least 15 years (probably longer). It seems a relatively new thing, in the last couple of years, with Kieran a big contributed, which is a shame as he's actually a talented tech writer.

Please let's keep the politics to the Torygraph & Grauniad.

ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

Philip Stott

Re: £50's

Try the cash machines in Canary Wharf - you have to ask for an amount that isn't a multiple of £50 to get anything other than £50 notes ... which is great until you try and get a taxi home!

Robot takes the job of sitting on your arse

Philip Stott

Arsey McArse Face

Even more warship cuts floated for the Royal Navy

Philip Stott

Why do they never make the most obvious cuts?

Last time I checked we had approximately 70K civil servants (or about one per enlisted person) to manage a budget of roughly £30 billion.

The Israelis make do with about 400 civil servants to manage a budget of about £10 billion.

It seems we have some 68K civil servants we could cut instead of kit.



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