* Posts by jabuzz

224 posts • joined 13 Aug 2009

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BT providing free meals to coax its healthy customer support staff back into office as calls rocket amid pandemic

jabuzz

Why would you need a VPN? A sensible run call centre would be in 2020 using software that runs in a web browser, which will be running https anyway. Best practice is to secure the endpoints because you can't trust the internal network anyway. All you should need is a Chromebook or better.

Then you just need a way to route calls and VoIP does not require a VPN either to be secured. I had to call eBuyer today due to their silly systems ignoring the input address and defaulting to my work address and well the building is closed. I would lay money that the call was handled at home based on the background noise.

If I where in charge I would be on the line to the lawyers looking for grounds to fire the person responsible for call centre operations for failure to make sure staff could work from home. Two years ago it was "beast from the east" so it's not exactly an unprecedented occurrence. There where a couple of bad winters on the trot a decade ago too, so failure to prepare is IMHO gross incompetence.

Den Automation raised millions to 'reinvent' the light switch. Now it's lights out for startup

jabuzz

Re: Needed Engineering Input

Den's unique selling point (at least as far as I could tell) was that if you switched a light on via the internet then the switch actually moved in the socket to reflect the status. Similar with the sockets. Noting that most other countries don't have switches on their sockets. Most "smart sockets" and light switches use push buttons for this. Another selling point of the Den was that the light switches didn't need a neutral wire at the light switch which most UK homes don't have (they have live, switched live and earth).

Morrisons tells top court it's not liable for staffer who nicked payroll data of 100,000 employees

jabuzz

Re: Depends if decent efforts at data security made by Morrisons

He used a USB stick probably because it was convenient. I could write a javascript program that runs in a web browser that streams the data as a series of QR codes (or similar) that I record on my mobile phone as a video then turn back to a working file. Try protecting against that.

jabuzz

Re: Depends if decent efforts at data security made by Morrisons

Right so if the cleaner ram raids your data centre (those with long memories will remember the University of Durham had theirs ram raided twice) and steal this months pay slips as they are being printed out then the firm is vicariously liable?

Google lashes out at DoJ, Oracle as it asks US Supremes to sniff Java suit one last time

jabuzz

Careful what you wish for

I am sure lawyers at IBM are sitting on the side lines thinking boy are we in for a huge pay day if Oracle win. That is Relational Software, Inc. (now Oracle Corporation) didn't have a license for Structured English Query Language when they incorporated it into their flag ship database, and now we want a big a really big payday that will make the payday from Google look like loose change.

Frenzied bidding war for hot property KCOM as share price rockets by tuppence and a half

jabuzz

Re: Hold out ...

The USS pension scheme are very unlikely to be looking for anything other than long term revenue generation.

I don't know but it's been said, Amphenol plugs are made with lead

jabuzz

Re: keeping swappable spares in stock might make sense

If it's IT kit and from a reputable manufacture, you head on over to the local tat bizzare that is eBay and buy the part as a used item from an IT recycler. The older method is to ring up a seller of refurbished parts and buy it from them direct though this tends to be more expensive in my experience.

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

jabuzz

Re: You've obviously not seen systems run by professionals then

Here is an employment tribunal judges view (not mine I just happen to know them) on "professional". If there is not a professional standards body that can kick you out of the profession and stop you ever working in the profession again if you turn out to be an incompetent numpty you are not a professional.

Frontiersman Cray snags $50m storage contract for 'largest single filesystem'

jabuzz

Re: "File system" not "total aggregate"

Yeah a 1EB Lustre file system, how long do they expect that to last before it eats itself. While Lustre has fsck tools they basically take forever in my experience to the point that even on a 150TB file system they are unusable, and Lustre would basically develop corruption about once a year for no apparent reason.

IT pro screwed out of unused vacation pay, bonus by HPE after judge rules: The law is a mess but it's still the law

jabuzz

Re: Bar Stewards

If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you. My source of information on the subject is my brother who is a salaried employment tribunal judge, and he tells me that it's basically all EU law.

Microsoft slaps the Edge name on SQL, unveils the HoloLens 2 Development Edition

jabuzz

Linux only for now

I guess the bit that gets me the most is this "SQL Database Edge supports ARM64 and x64 devices running on Linux. Windows support is coming soon. If you’d like to use it on another platform or OS, send us your suggestions." The concept of Windows support being secondary to Linux from Microsoft just blows the mind.

They did it! US House reps pulled their finger out, voted to restore net neutrality in America!

jabuzz

Re: This is hardly a US speciality...

In addition every one in the leave campaign said a deal would be "easy peasy" to negotiate. Which is why even arch Brexitiers like Gove and Greene have openly admitted that there is no mandate for no deal.

The simple problem with Brexit is that the sort of Brexit that the long term agitators (aka people who never respected the 1975 referendum on membership of Europe) of Brexit want is fundamentally incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement, which basically mandates a customs union and regulatory alignment with the EU.

The deal May has presented (and it's not just her deal it's the EU's too) is as far as you can get from the customs union and regulatory alignment and respect the Good Friday Agreement. Noting there is no electoral mandate for breaking the Good Friday Agreement either.

The simple solution is to ask the people if the deal is acceptable or should we remain. Noting that in 2012 the likes of Mog said a confirmatory referendum on the deal would be perfectly reasonable, and Farage two days before the result said a 52/48 result would be unfinished business and he would not respect it.

Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly

jabuzz

There is a range of ground drying machines from Super Sopper in Australia. Extensively used in cricket, but can be used to dry any grass surface. They even advertise some of their machines as being ideal for baseball. There is also the Bowdry squeegee.

Post-Brexit plan for .EU tweaked: No dot-EU web domains for Europeans in UK, no appeals, etc

jabuzz

Re: Didn't the UK create these rules?

No civil servant in the UK is employed by an elected representative either. That is the point of an independent civil service. This is not the USA where huge swaithes of the civil service are political appointees.

If you care to watch Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister you will see British civil servants do reasonable job of countering the wishes of the electors too.

The reason that sections of the British press refer to EU civil servants with the pejorative description of unelected is because it suits their rabid anti EU stance.

Nationwide UK court IT failure farce 'not the result of a cyber attack' – Justice Ministry

jabuzz

Re: Judicial precedent for refusing to continue ...

Then you don't know many Judges. The Judges are highly independent of the executive and legislative branches of the state, and have been that way since Henry II reign.

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins

jabuzz

And you would be wrong. There is a picture of the very first working MRI scanner on the following Wikipedia page

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_magnetic_resonance_imaging

It had nothing what soever to do with colliders. Heck the copper piping on the magnetic coils was after the fact water cooling, it's not even superconducting. At the time it was the largest magnet made by a certain company in Oxford. I would suspect that MRI is more of an economic driver for large magnets these days than colliders. The money spent on CERN is small beer compared to the annual market for MRI scanners.

jabuzz

Re: The FCC, eh?

It was more the low levels of ethanol killed the bacteria. Even today ethanol is used as a disinfectant.

Peak Apple: This time it's SERIOUS, Tim

jabuzz

Re: Too late

The strangeparts youtube channel. Headphone socket in iPhone 7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utfbE3_uAMA

Wanted – have you seen this MAC address: f8:e0:79:af:57:eb? German cops appeal for logs in bomb probe

jabuzz

You are assuming the MAC that you are seeing is not a fake one in the first place. If I was up to no good on a computer one of the first things I would do is set the MAC addresses on my kit to something other than their manufacturing default.

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt

jabuzz

Re: How long until the new referendum will be called?

Have an STV (single transferable vote) referendum, with options of remain, no deal, and May's deal.

Of course that would be the third referendum on membership of Europe, the first being in 1975 which the Brexiter's have never respected, because if they did there would not have been a referendum in 2016.

Hey Farage two days before the result said that if it was close (at which point he expected to loose) said it would be unfinished business and he would campaign for another referendum. Then as soon as the result was in his favour it everyone had to respect the result and calls for another referendum where "undemocratic".

PC makers: Intel CPU shortages are here to stay ... for six months

jabuzz

Re: Intel in trouble

We have a new cluster at work for just over six months and had two possibly three (I loose count) CPU failures now and this is Skylake Xeon Gold 6138's which is only 14nm stuff. These are genuine verified CPU errors, try pinning a program to run on one of the CPU's in the system (they are dual socket servers) and it exits with errors. Replace the CPU and it's fine. In my previous 25 years in IT support I have known have had exactly one CPU failure.

Don't make us pay compensation for employee data breach, Morrisons begs UK court

jabuzz

Re: You shouldn't be able to get to there from here.

The thing is it is almost impossible to stop someone who wants to getting data off a system. I am sure you could write say a PowerShell script to display a series of QR codes or even just a blinking square of the screen from a file that I can capture via video on my mobile phone with an app that turned them back into the original file and then walk out the building. How do you propose stopping me do that? Perhaps I can get the PowerShell script in through the simple expediency of emailing a PDF of the source to myself.

A 200GB microSD card is £55 on Amazon with a 400GB one only £130. If you willing to pay through the nose you can get a 512GB one too though it will set you back £290.

Would Morrisons be vicarious liable if an employee walked into a store and gunned people down?

If you weren't rich enough to buy a Surface before, you may as well let that dream die

jabuzz

Re: You don't cancel a successful program

The screen is the value proposition. Nothing else gets you a retina display with somethimg other than a 16:9 aspect ratio. Well the Google Pixelbook does, but back when I got my Surface Book laster year it was Chromebook Pixels and they maxed out at 64GB of storage. So I went Surface Book and I am basically happy with it and it rarely boots into Windows either running Linux. I admit to not using the pen even though it works, and the Nvidia GPU does not work, but I don't need it so it is fine by me. Basically I had to get it if I wanted 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. The cameras dont work either, but that is actually a plus in my view. The screen however is to die for. If it ain't retina its junk in my view these days. I could never go back.

Registry to ban Cyrillic .eu addresses even if you've paid for them

jabuzz

Re: ACII stupid question and you get a stupid ANSI...

Screw AltGr (especially as the cleaners seem to have made off with it on my Model M at work yesterday) and give me a compose key any day of the week. Well OK I have Scroll Lock mapped to compose as it's a pointless key in 2018. However AltGr is a horrible abomination that needs to die die die.

jabuzz

Bulgaria

One imagines that they are shortly going to find out that what they are proposing is in fact with a Cyrillic alphabet country a full EU member state (and a couple more as prospective members) illegal and will be shortly reversing their decision. If they don't they will likely find themselves in front of the ECJ and loosing very badly. Frankly those who proposed this and all those who signed off on it need identifying and sacking.

WannaCry reverse-engineer Marcus Hutchins hit with fresh charges

jabuzz

Re: Who do you trust?

If this where in the UK that evidence would not even make it to a jury. Under the Police And Criminal Evidence Act otherwise known as PACE it would all be inadmissible. If the Crown Prosecution Service where daft enough to even try and use it the defence barrister would object, the jury would be sent out (so as not to be prejudiced) there would be arguments before the judge who would then rule the evidence was inadmissible.

That said it was not always like this in the UK...

Visa Europe fscks up Friday night with other GDPR: 'God Dammit, Payment Refused'

jabuzz

I only have Visa and Mastercard credit cards, but I do make sure that they are from totally separate banks. Then for good measure I have a stash of cash in the house, ten crisp each of the three lowest denotation notes.

SpaceX to pick up the space pace with yet another Falcon 9 launch

jabuzz

Single use medical items don't end up in ocean unless the hospital is risking a massive fine. Heck they don't even end up in landfill. The only disposal option is incineration after autoclaving. Well at least here in the UK that is. I would imagine most developed nations are the same for the same reason. The idea that we need to do anything about it in the UK is utter ignorance.

Blighty: If EU won't let us play at Galileo, we're going home and taking encryption tech with us

jabuzz

Re: Hypocrites

More people voted out of a larger population. Was it the highest turnout for a referendum? Was it the highest percentage vote for the result in a referendum? A higher percentage of the population voted in 1974 to stay in Europe, apparently you don't like respecting the result of referendums unless the vote is the one you want.

jabuzz

Re: Chokes with laughter

Apparently we did the keep voting till we got the right answer. First referendum result was to remain in Europe, so they then spent 40 years agitating for a second referendum to get the result they wanted. Now they claim any further discussion on the subject is undemocratic and the issue is settled.

NASA dusts off FORTRAN manual, revives 20-year-old data on Ganymede

jabuzz

Re: Old Media

The TK50 aka CompacTape I was the prerunner to DLT. It evolved into the TK70/CompacTape II which then became the CompacTape III later renamed to DLT III. Capacity on a TK50 was 94MB, rising to 294MB on the TK70 and 2.6GB in the DLT III. All superseded by LTO.

Openreach and BT better watch out for... CityFibre after surprise £537m takeover deal

jabuzz

Re: Sigh .....

The problem with BT or more precisely the telephone network when it was operated by the Post Office is that is was undergoing a massive expansion. That is hundreds of thousands of lines where being added every year for best part of two decades. By the time BT was privatised all that had more or less ground to a halt and the old electromechanical exchanges where already in the process of being replaced with shiny SystemX ones, which improved the reliability of the system. All of this would have happened regardless of whether the it was privatised or not.

The real villain is actually Rupert Murdoch. BT offered back in 1997/98 time frame to fibre up the whole nation if only it could get out of the restriction of doing TV early. Murdoch was able to persuade the Labour government that this was not the best option. One can only hope that one day he gets lynched for that.

UK.gov demands urgent answers as TSB IT meltdown continues

jabuzz

Re: Do the TSB not have anywhere left where you can just go and draw your money out?

I would recommend making sure you have at least one Visa card and one Mastercard, and some actual cash hidden somewhere safe in the house. I also recommend a third card that you don't actually carry around for when you loose/have stolen your wallet/purse.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 poised to fling 350kg planet-sniffing satellite into Earth orbit

jabuzz

And if they are launching on a block 4 then the bit about recovering the booster does not make sense either. Musk said earlier that they won't be reusing anything other than a block 5 going forward, and they are just using the older stages to explore the landing envelope.

Scotland: Get tae f**k on 10Mbps Broadband USO

jabuzz

There are a small number of dwellings, almost exclusively hunting lodges stuck at the end of dirt tracks miles up a glen with not a single other dwelling between them and the main(ish) road. The Scottish government probably rightly thinks that if the folks staying in said hunting lodges what to surf the internet with superfast speeds on an evening they can pay for that themselves with FTTPoD, because the public purse is not subsidising that. Note due to the none straight nature of most glens using microwave links is not a viable option either so it's pretty much FTTP or nothing.

The rest of the highlands the Scottish government are fairly desperate to cover with decent broadband in an effort to stem any further depopulation.

Mind the gap: Men paid 18.6% more than women in Blighty tech sector

jabuzz

And last time I checked a 60 hour week was illegal in the UK except under some very special circumstances. Even then the long term average must be well below 60 hours, hum..........

Linux Beep bug joke backfires as branded fix falls short

jabuzz

Re: A stand-alone program to ...

Yeah except if you want echo to interpret backslash escape sequences you need to use the -e option (at least on all my Linux machines) so the command needs to be echo -e "\007" though echo -e "\07" works, as does echo -e \\07 which is a even fewer characters. However instead of using random octal why not use \a which is the alert backslash sequence so echo -e \\a is the shortest variant.

What a mesh: BT Whole Home Wi-Fi users moan over update

jabuzz

Re: Mesh Networks

Great but roaming between your cheap access points won't work reliably without 802.11k and 802.11r, which is where the BT Whole Home WiFi comes in. They also can be linked together with some Cat6 if you wish and this is probably recommended in the instructions.

jabuzz

Re: Genuine question

The difference is these devices support 802.11k and 802.11r so that you can seamlessly roam between hotspots in your house. Your £15 TP-Link WiFi extender will work so long as you don't move the device from one place to another, especially if you move it to a place where it can still get a signal from the original hotspot, but it is rubbish compared to the signal it could get from the hotspot right next to it.

Remember originally WiFi was not designed with roaming in mind. Then we got a whole bunch of propriety hacks in expensive enterprise equipment to implement roaming and finally we have proper standardized roaming, which is beginning to make it's way into consumer equipment at reasonable prices.

Sacked saleswoman told to pay Intel £45k after losing discrim case

jabuzz

Re: Representing yourself

As a defendant to get costs in an Employment tribunal is exceedingly rare. You basically have to bring a baseless case and refuse any settlement offers. However the headline figure is misleading as the costs are only £20k, the rest is repayment of overpaid commission. Further Intel wanted £32k repaid in commission so she is actually only down £13k.

Normally employment tribunal's bend over backwards to be "friendly" to self representing claimants. Finally employment tribunals follow a single set of "procedures" across the UK so it would be basically the same in Scotland regards awarding costs. Well apart from wacky language like calling exhibits productions and some terrible rules on disclosure it's all the same. If you can always bring an employment tribunal case in England or Wales, where the defense has to produce all documents relevant to the case even if they are predjudical to their case. In Scotland they only have to turn over documents you ask for, so obviously you can't ask for documents that you don't know about but might help your case.

Hot NAND: Samsung wheels out 30TB SSD monster

jabuzz

Re: Where to buy? No price!

Scan have the Samsung PM1633a drive in stock. Price is eyewateringly expensive still. Basically £10k for 15TB usable.

https://www.scan.co.uk/products/15tb-samsung-pm1633a-enterprise-class-sas-30-12gb-s-ssd-25-3d-v-nand-mlc-145mm-195k-iops

The e-waste warrior, 28,000 copied Windows restore discs, and a fight to stay out of jail

jabuzz

If you use standard OEM Windows media, rather than the vendor-supplied media, you will need to extract the product key from either the BIOS or previous install, so the software can be activated.

Alternatively looking at the Dell PC I am typing this on one can just read the key from the COA sticker on the case. The only Dell PC's that I have seen without a COA are either really really old or a server.

Windows slithers on to Arm, legless?

jabuzz

Re: "Windows NT has historically supported five different platforms "

> I think mips is about the only one still operating and that's hardly desktop level.

Don't know I just last year brought a couple of Ubiquiti Edgerouter Infinity's. They have in them a 16 core 1.8GHz 64bit MIPS chip with 16GB of RAM. Allegedly the chip is available in a 2.2GHz variant and has a couple of SATA ports too and a PCIe x4. So a version of that chip which slimmed down the eight 10GbE ports and stuck in a GPU on would be a seriously decent desktop machine. From memory it is on a 22nm process so goodness only knows what it would be like on a 14nm process.

Ugh, stupid power supplies hogging server density, who needs 'em?

jabuzz

You could save a bunch of power if you just had the main PSU on a computer shift the mains AC to 12V DC and do DC-DC step down at point of use for everything else. A whole bunch of inefficiency results from trying to do 12V, 5V and 3.3V all at the same time in a single step down from mains. Not only that but you can't mange good regulation of all three voltages anyway. It's all about the forward voltage drop over the rectification diode's. Google where pushing for this five/six years ago but it does not seem to have gone anywhere. Quite why a PSU manufacturer does not do single stage to 12V then a bunch of DC-DC step downs in an ordinary ATX PSU form factor beats me. To be honest for a higher wattage PSU single stage to around 24V to get the galvanic isolation then everything from DC-DC step downs, given nice tight regulation of all rails would probably be even better.

Basically computer PSU's need some rethinking because they are currently rehashed design's from 20 years ago and things have changed, namely DC-DC step downs are now insanely cheap and reliable.

One more credit insurer abandons Maplin Electronics

jabuzz

Re: Don't Panic, All is Not Lost

RS have a number of stores around that you can pop into. There is one in Glasgow that is certainly still there, and one in Team Valley for those Newcastle based. Got to be others too. I personally gave up on Maplin years ago because they stopped selling components. Fortunately this was just the time that the web was coming on line and Farnell/RS started take web orders from Joe Blogs who was not a company and was willing to make a minimum order or pay postage.

These days Maplin is Tandy mark 2 and we all know how well that worked out for Tandy...

What will drive our cars when the combustion engine dies?

jabuzz

Re: fossil fuel - we're addicted. @katrinab

"OK, so a 9 - 10.8MW supply then. Still a lot more than the 3kW you get through a domestic plug."

But if your car can do 500 miles on a charge then you don't actually need to charge it in a minute. In fact over night is more than good enough for 99.999999% of people. Put another way if I could recharge a car overnight and get 500 miles of range then in my entire life that would have been more than adequate for *EVERY* journey ever I have ever made in a car including all the journeys when I was child.

For a 500 mile range from an overnight charge to be insufficient you would need to tag team drive, because 500 miles cruising at 70 miles (aka the speed limit) is over seven hours journey time. At a minimum I would need out the car for a comfort break even if tag team driving. So the opportunity to boost the charge with a supercharger or similar. Though like I said the number of times one would need to do that in your life is zero for the vast majority of people.

Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

jabuzz

Yeah, but they have loads of models that support a wired ethernet connection. Seems kind of odd to have a dot matrix plugged into the network, but my view if is if it's not networked it's not a printer.

Amazon to make multiple Lord of the Rings prequel TV series

jabuzz

Re: Running up stairways of falling rocks

While you can't always do book to fill 100% accurately you can do better than Jackson did. A confusing messed up impossible flight from the shire, that requires the extended edition DVD/BlueRay to remotely make sense. Aragon going from being a character full of purpose to one full of self doubt. A insane wobbly column in Moria and an Elvish army turning up out of the blue in Helms Deep are probably the deepest grievances one has with Jackson's effort. Also the elf/dwarf love story in The Hobbit, what the f'ing hell was that about.

You can do a much better adaptation than Jackson did. However it requires you to accept you are not better than the original author and bury any "artsy" tendencies you have that force you to make up shit because you have to have some way of expressing your creative desires.

To see how it can be done properly one just points to the BBC Radio adaptation of LotR's.

Openreach fibre plan for 10m premises coming 'before Christmas'

jabuzz

Re: Openreach FTTP creates a monopoly for BT

Buy a VOIP solution that has battery backup then it will work just like FVA. What FVA is just VOIP through to a POTS with battery backup you don't say.

jabuzz

Re: Noooooo!

The main complaints about the GPO days where delays in getting a new line and call quality. The green sticker thing continued long after privatization, and has *ONLY* gone away as approval is now done at an EU level; what did the EU ever do for me and all that... Note further that the BS6312 socket as used by telephones in the UK where introduced on the 19th November 1981. I was not till the 19th July 1982 that the government announced it's intention to privatize BT.

The call quality was fixed by replacing the older mechanical exchanges with SystemX and all the inter exchange links with digital ones. This was well under way before privatization, however many people ignorantly presume that because it improved after privatization it was the result of privatization.

The other issue when the GPO where running the telephones was the delay in getting a new line. This was almost entirely down to the huge and I mean huge increase especially in the 1970's of the number of households with a telephone line. In 1970 that stood at 35%, by the end of the decade it was around 80%. That meant over half a million new lines where being installed every year, and thus resources where short. Not long after privatization the growth in new lines fell back sharply and thus waiting times dropped to something sensible. Again ignorant people presume that because the situation improved after privatization it was the result of privatization.

I for one would be happy for the infrastructure to be spun out into Openreach and for Openreach to build a regulated monopoly fibre infrastructure. That we don't have one today is entirely the fault of Rupert Murdock who lobbied the government back in 1997 to reject BT's then offer to lay a full fibre network to every household in the UK.

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