* Posts by gerdesj

1608 posts • joined 15 Aug 2009

Imagine a fiber optic cable that can sense it's about to be dug up and send a warning

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Deterrent

Fibre optic cables are generally not armoured. They are basically very long glass rods inside rubbery plastic sleeves. There is probably something else between the glass and the outer sleeve to help avoid stress on the glass bit when flexed. You run them through conduit.

When run over a really long distance then you would obviously run them through a SWA type cable. That is generally a submarine cable.

My office (UK) has several private telegraph poles - three of them. It's simply an oddity of being a bit odd - the building that is! It used to be a NHS clinic and for ... reasons ... each desk had its own BT exchange line. They didn't seem to have an exchange (PBX) nor use the one in the hospital that is about 200m away. There is a 150 pair line running to the building. It took two days to strip out the redundant wiring inside and out when we bought the place. We have a IP PBX.

We bought a couple of leased lines and a pole was erected by OpenReach to carry them, instead of using the existing wood work. The fibres look like a four or eight pair of which two are in use. They are quite thin, rn through some trees and have survived some pretty windy weather so far, so all good.

Microsoft does and doesn't require VMs to meet hardware requirements for Windows 11

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Interesting link to the Photos App...

"iOS and that there's no obvious rationale for Windows Server"

Do tell us about your iOS servers.

Yes, of course there's now malware for Windows Subsystem for Linux

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Anyone surprised?

"look almost consistent when you run a GTK next to a QT"

Wot? I have GTK theming in KDE. eg Evolution on my KDE Plasma desktop thingie has the same window widgets as the rest. The odd one out is Chromium but that can have them if you want to lose a bit of vertical space.

I doubt that themes/widgets have anything whatsoever to do with with your OS or platform choice.

Simply describing Linux as horrible is rather disingenuous - please feel free to expand on that statement. Your telly may boot Linux, do remember to swap it out for an iTV or whatever that is ...

Apple, Google yank opposition voting strategy app from Russian software stores

gerdesj Silver badge
Big Brother

Oh come on!

In Soviet Russia, voting counts you.

So I’ve scripted a life-saving routine. Pah. What really matters is the icon I give it

gerdesj Silver badge

Austin Morris

What on earth is an Austin Morris?

Those were both individual companies back in the day that merged.

Austin now appears to belong to a Brit again and Morris may well have been a 2000-3000 year old Chinese company all along. Who knew! I went to school in Abingdon which I think is where the Morris Garage (MG) lived for a while.

There may be a prize for the best/worst hybrid Austin/Morris monstrosity.

WTF? Microsoft makes fixing deadly OMIGOD flaws on Azure your job

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Let's start with a fairly fundamental question here

"That's like building a bank safe out of meringue."

My efforts at meringue makes the Scone of Stone look like candyfloss ...

Facebook building 'on-demand executable file format' that self-inflates using homebrew compression

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Nothing to see. Move along...

Is it a better mousetrap?

It depends. Arch Linux recently moved to .xz from .bz2 or .tar.gz (can't remember). Anyway, the additional compression is a roughly 10% saving. However, these things take something like 15x longer to create.

Now, the distro sources are created once and then downloaded millions of times, so a small saving in size repays the additional effort of compression, many times over. I think they also take longer to decompress too but with SSD these days - who knows? I don't really notice. The even more recent parallel download thing offsets even that.

Miscreants fling booby-trapped Office files at victims, no patch yet, says Microsoft

gerdesj Silver badge


NT prompted you for a password for the only account it created by default at setup - Administrator.

Italian stuntman flies aeroplane through two motorway tunnels

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Speeding

"Maybe the 245 km/h was too much for the radar detector?"

Finding the number plate would be tricky.

Don't like the new Windows 11 Start or Taskbar? Don't worry – Microsoft's got your back

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Thanks for your loyal unpaid service,

"Shame Mint20.2 still doesn't support 5.11 kernel"

You can still install it yourself and you won't void the warranty. You do realise you have bought into a world of choice?

I suggest you look at the Mint forums. Start here - the Beginner forum: https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewforum.php?f=90

Otherwise you basically download the kernel source. Unpack it in say /usr/src/linux. Wave gcc over it. Copy the compiled lump to somewhere in /boot. Fiddle around with your boot loader and hope for the best. I've been a bit vague here but why not find out how to do it from first principles? If you sort this out you will never fear a computer ever again - I promise!



US Air Force chief software officer quits after launching Hellfire missile of a LinkedIn post at his former bosses

gerdesj Silver badge

Two years

All military postings in the UK at least are about two years long (give or take and with some exceptions.)

That's why my childhood involved getting a new friendship group and school every 18 months to two years. Quite often in a different country to the previous one. Loved it!

If a scandal in the 1980's created two year postings then how the hell did that decide my Dad's postings in the 1970s?

I can recall moving to Paderborn around 1977 and moving on to the delights of Andover in 1979. Prior to that I was a bit young to remember but Manchester in 1976/7 (UMIST for Dad) and Soltau with 7th/11th Armoured (Red Rats and Axe head). Yes, we called them Red Rats because the jerboa logo was always red or at least a dodgy pinkish colour as paint or shit quality T shirts faded - Desert Rats is cooler and will always be the official moniker and it was probably the first one.

Postings have always been about that length for probably the reason stated but the actual event(s) that caused it would have been in the 18th or 19th century.

UK VoIP telco receives 'colossal ransom demand', reveals REvil cybercrooks suspected of 'organised' DDoS attacks on UK VoIP companies

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: This has been a known threat...

"Much more work is needed before we start transitioning potentially life-critical systems such as telephony exclusively to the internet."

It mostly happened quite some time ago. Just because you are being charged old school telephony (per minute) fees, doesn't mean that telephony actually runs circuit switched anymore.

Back in the day, you paid to use a electrical circuit that was created between you and the other end. That circuit started at your phone, to the exchange. At your local exchange the ladies (mostly) would link you to the destination exchange and that exchange would link in the final endpoint. So you would pick up the handset, hit the lever thing a few times to wake up Doris in the exchange. Actually Doris is doing more jobs than you can possibly imagine, simultaneously. When Doris responds, you ask for "Yeovil 576". She connects your line to the Yeovil exchange. That automatically notifies Yeovil. Doris at Yeovil is on intra exchange work for a rest. She sees the inbound call and allocates it to Doris who has some spare capacity. Doris sees 576 and calls 576 and when they answer, she patches the pending link through.

That is a bit of a parody but not too far off why telephony used to be charged by the minute and had a set up cost too (minimum charge) which is not seen these days. We are still charged like that but now your phone talks direct to the other end without any human interaction.

If you like I can really tell you how phone calls work these days but if you use a browser, you already know. The real power (ie grabbing cash off of punters) is in phone numbers themselves and not the medium. Imagine if you had to pay to look up Google's IP address every time you wanted to do a search and paid whilst you used their facilities.

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Calling OfCom and Openreach...

Please can you change your mind about switching off my POTS line in 2025?

Tch kids. I was phreaking your parent's phone line a fair few decades ago. Nowadays I go in with nmap and Wireshark on my Arch laptop (and a few VMs on it - KVM obvs!)

There's nothing really wrong, pe se, with VoIP and it certainly is not fundamentally less secure (whatever that means) compared to POTS. SIP n RTP or IAX2 etc can be secured just as well as a copper line with one or two pairs but at least you don't have to piss around with electrical signalling and trying to work out the creative ways that electricity can leak to earth. You can encrypt RTP streams (eg ZRTP) and SIP can use fairly modern authentication methods. A copper line can't use encryption without extra hardware. In the old days wiretapping involved a bloke up the pole in a fake uniform with some croc clips and stuff. That's probably bollocks and it was probably all built in from day one at the exchange - and still is.

Now there are a few problems with implementations of telephony (POTS or packet switched), starting with nearly all of it! For example why can't we use ENUM? Nominet won't let us in the UK - that's why. I know this because I asked them and my offer of hosting and managing the DNS zone was turned away. To be fair, not one ISP/phone operator would want us plebs using telephones like email, bypassing their per minute charges.

You really don't want a copper pair to your house. You want a fibre or two. It's 2021 FFS! You'll be wanting to do your Instatik thing now and tok a sluffie or whatever you kids get off on these days. In my day we smoked kippers ...


... sorry nodded off ... get off my lawn etc.

/s Judging by some of your past posts, you are my age or possibly older (I'm 50)

Spring tears down math geek t-shirt listing because it dared to mention the trademarked word 'zeta'

gerdesj Silver badge

Are zed and zee also trademarked. Zeta is merely the Anglicised name for ζ. The uppercase form of all of those is Z.

Microsoft does and doesn't want you to know it won't stop you manually installing Windows 11 on older PCs

gerdesj Silver badge

"removal of the brake calipers."

There are at last four bolts holding each wheel to the axles. Both of my cars have four. That's way too much redundancy!

One of our cars had a tyre replaced. I buggered off to London to do a job and that evening the wife mentioned her car made an odd grinding noise when going around corners. I'm no mechanic but it sounded to me like a knackered CV boot. She did mainly whizzing around town driving so it should be fine until I get home, besides it had only just come back from a garage. I got back home and did some test driving. Yes, grinding noise when accelerating and turning. I've got some ramps so take a quick look and a poke around - all looks fine to me. I Google it and wheel bolts get mentioned amongst many, many other things. I remove the cover over the bolts on all wheels. On the recently changed wheel - one bolt is mostly tight, the other three vary from finger loose to rattling behind the cover. It could have collapsed whilst I was underneath the car or it could have failed on one of the rather busy roundabouts here. I suspect the mechanic got distracted and then forgot he hadn't torqued all the bolts. Wheels are handy on a car and I inspect the bolts on mine regularly, now. Lorries often have arrows on theirs to show that they haven't come loose. Cars could do with similar.

Mirai-style IoT botnet is now scanning for router-pwning critical vuln in Realtek kit

gerdesj Silver badge


"A denial-of-service vulnerability affecting SDKs for Realtek chipsets used in 65 vendors' IoT devices has been incorporated into a son-of-Mirai botnet, according to new research."

Software Development Kits don't have vulnerabilities, per se. They might facilitate them by being shit. What I really need to hear is what is affected and why.

Let's consider concrete cancer (c.) c is caused by x,y,z and a published paper (a for article) describes x,y,z and also waffles on about w. Does a cause concrete cancer? No of course not - it only discusses it. What on earth is w? For that matter, what on earth is concrete cancer? Oh and whilst we are at it are you sure that only x,y,z are causes and not symptoms and is w really involved because it seems unlikely. Also I've heard about v, what's that all about?

Search the term "concrete cancer" and you'll get a few

I've abused several letters and asked them to duck and weave. desultory results. Nothing to do with the real thing.

The map cracking is nasty. The funny thing is that the "cancerous" matrix is actually stronger (tougher) than the proper thing but it swells and other nasty things. Stress and strain, stress and strain - that's what an engineer worries about. If you have done some simple searches on the term "concrete cancer" you will find all sorts of pages that have nothing to do with the real thing. CC is not simply "spalling" it is a chemical reaction that fucks up the matrix that holds the aggregate in place. It could cause multistorey CPs in Plymouth to explode (Drakes Circus) except the concept was quite well worked out in the same town. Physician heal thyself!

I picked on conc cancer because I know about it - I own an IT company and ... oh have a HND in Civ Eng from Plymouth Poly err Polytechnic of the South West or is it the University of Plymouth?

So, what is broken? Is it actually the code in place and not the SDK? Why is a SDK even mentioned?

Microsoft, flush with cash, raises cloud office suite prices for businesses

gerdesj Silver badge

You get what you pay for ...

... death by a thousand cuts.

The cloud will not be kind to you (unless you are a MS/Goog int al share holder).

Eight-year-old bug in Microsoft's 64-bit VBA prompts complaints of neglect

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: "a function that should return false will instead return true." is not correct!

Anyone using that many backticks in prose needs their dried frog pills.

Nurse, nurse!

Before I agree to let your app track me everywhere, I want something 'special' in return (winks)…

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Flake Ad

"Of course that could be because I was 14 and full of hormones at the time! Some things tend to stay with you :)"

Ease ... springs!

too late -->

El Reg talks to Azure Data veep as Microsoft flicks the switch on Azure Arc for SQL Managed Instances

gerdesj Silver badge

"That was a key learning for us"

I'm quite a mild sort of person but I suddenly want to continuously punch someone in the face quite hard. English is a pretty flexible language and I personally encourage verbal widdling around the boundaries to see what pops out.

The sort of wanker who unthinkingly deploys a phrase like: "a very key learning" deserves to be hung by the smaller of their testicles until they say soz or perhaps scream for mercy. IDK. lol. etc.

All your DNS were belong to us: AWS and Google Cloud shut down spying vulnerability

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: ISP Routers

"Also, the routers are often key components for the ISP's service"

Utter tosh in the UK. I've never used an ISP supplied router/modem except in extremis. I have customers across the length and breadth of the UK, including Hull.

Don't rush to adopt QUIC – it's a slog to make it faster than TCP

gerdesj Silver badge

QUIC - meh

No matter how fast the protocol, it still has to shift the gigantic wankery that is a modern website.

Have a look at your dev tools and see if the protocol makes much real world difference at all compared to the overhead of the vast wodges of JS lumbering along the tracks.

Here's 30 servers Russian intelligence uses to fling malware at the West, beams RiskIQ

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: if you know the suspect addresses

Jake's a septic as you well know being an ex-pat, "our" (UK) lot are mentioned here:

"Just for good measure, the GCHQ offshoot also briefed national newspapers in November that they were countering the SVR's continuing efforts to break into British research institutions, hinting they were deploying a form of encryption malware (think ransomware without the ransom) against the Russians."

No need point fingers Mr Danny 2. I'm sure all Secret Services do all sorts of naughty things. It's what they do.

What keeps me up at night is that back in the day, Boris (the Russian ones, not our PM) and co had to brush up on how tall Salisbury Cathedral's spire is before flying over here to poison people. With internets, you can bang on the virtual door of any tom, dick and harry, anywhere in the world for day, weeks, months or more until you guess the password and then wreak havoc.

Microsoft abandons semi-annual releases for Windows Server

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: SMB over QUIC

If you can't pronounce "VPN".

BOFH: They say you either love it or you hate it. We can confirm you're going to hate it

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: ... to be continued ...

The PFY is getting the backups and the Marmite. You don't need too much imagination for how this all ends (it's spelt out earlier)

Here's a list of the flaws Russia, China, Iran and pals exploit most often, say Five Eyes infosec agencies

gerdesj Silver badge

"I'm also guessing my downvotes are from Five Eyes infosec agencies"

You can't see their votes!

Latest Windows 11 Preview a well-rounded update – literally

gerdesj Silver badge


A Linux box can have a variety of window managers and each WM can do whatever the heck it wants.

You can have choice and loads of it.

Thinking about upgrading to Debian Bullseye? Watch out for changes in Exim and anything using Python 2.x

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Sigh

"But my personal GIMP plugins bit the dust over the loss of Python 2.7, I'd only ported them from Perl a few years ago."

Thank you for your works but are you absolutely barking? 8) You ported your stuff from Perl to Python 2.7 when the kool kids had already told us that Python 2.x is going south, quite a few years ago.

"Scheme is a minimalist dialect of the Lisp family of programming languages."

Good luck with that or as you say: "Oh Dear me" 8)

You are in my thoughts.

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: "and in a few short years we were liberated."

PowerShell on Linux is far more pleasant than on Windows. The damn thing starts when you hit enter after typing pwsh in your terminal. On Windows you click on start ... eventually the menu lumbers into life ... or not, so you R click the logo to get the short menu. After a while a blue window materialises out of the gloom.

It's nice not having to RDP a Windows box to fettle VMware stuff via PowerCLI (PowerShell modules.)

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: "and in a few short years we were liberated."

OK, it works but we are missing quite a few features.

Is it broken yet? Is it? Is it? Ooh that means I can buy a sparkly, new but otherwise hard-to-justify replacement!

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: I also like shinny new kit


Lisping horse?

Good news: Jeff Bezos went to space. Bad news: He's back

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Executive Summary

Whenever I see that thing (fnar) I go all Finbar Saunders.

Happy 'Freedom Day': Stats suggest many in England don't want it or think it's a terrible idea

gerdesj Silver badge

"he was very apologetic." ... for the lycra.

BOFH: But soft! What light through yonder filing cabinet breaks?

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Hilarious!

You missed things like Twinax and people wiring buildings with that smart new ethernet four pair stuff in strange ways: To save money and double your socket density, you use two pairs per link - yay!

CAT5 only needs 1,2,3 and 6 connected to "work".

Bogus Kaseya VSA patches circulate, booby-trapped with remote-access tool

gerdesj Silver badge

"It's not clear how the attackers learned of the vulnerabilities"

They are probably the same outfit that did the original job.

IT for service providers biz Kaseya defers decision about SaaS restoration following supply chain attack

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: "Only a very small percentage of our customers"

Kaseya's customers are MSPs. MSPs have a lot of customers ... each.

A *lot* of data has been encrypted

gerdesj Silver badge

"It’s been posted to cloud storage locker Box"

It's on a file sharing thingie. It's a zip file. There's a .pdf and Powershell scripts in the zip file.

At which point do I wait for a phone call from Microsoft?

EDIT: I've taken a look at the ps scripts. This nonsense:

$SuspiciousFile = Get-Childitem –Path $Path -Recurse -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Where-Object { $_.Name -eq [System.Text.Encoding]::ASCII.GetString([System.Convert]::FromBase64String("YWdlbnQuY3J0")) }

means I'm looking for a file called agent.crt! The next stanza looks for agent.exe.

gerdesj Silver badge

"sophisticated sql injection"

Bobby tables is at it again

The PrintNightmare continues: Microsoft confirms presence of vulnerable code in all versions of Windows

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: As much as I like to dump on microsoft a pile...

Go and have a look at r/sysadmin on Reddit. You'll find it is very common judging by the wailing ...

PrintNightmare: Kicking users from Pre-Windows 2000 legacy group may thwart domain controller exploitation

gerdesj Silver badge

Builtin\Pre-Windows 2000 Compatible Access

Well, I've looked at four domains so far and all have different memberships for that group! All bar one has Authenticated Users in it.

Let's see what happens! Incidentally Builtin\Users needs authenticated users in it or AD certificates don't mint anywhere apart from the box with the CA on it. So, give it a go but you'll need to really look deep for problems.

Devilish plans for your next app update ensure they never happen – unless you start praying

gerdesj Silver badge

Crime of the century

"you’d think it had been the crime of the century"

Try snogging a colleague (whilst being the Health Secretary) - that's a proper crime.

Microsoft and Eclypsium lock horns over Dell SupportAssist flaws on secured-core PCs

gerdesj Silver badge

Sign of the times

"He added that "it is important to note that not everyone will be using Windows, many others will be using Linux which may not provide the same levels of protection.""

The year of the Linux desktop must be here already if that's the best defense you've got!

lol: print spooler ...

Developing for Windows 11: Like developing for Windows 10, but with rounded corners?

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Meh to both Windows 11 and mobile 5G



gerdesj Silver badge

Re: The new slogan

One should keep one's pants to one's self. However, if one is trying to avoid the Front, then a couple of pencils will be required too.

British minister claims technology makes maritime cannibalism obsolete

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Oat Cuisine

... a weasel

What job title would YOU want carved on your gravestone? 'Beloved father, Slayer of Dragons, Register of Domains'

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: Sir Christopher Wren's epitaph

Scribe/chisel: "<Your name> me fecit" into something you made that will last a while.

As a last resort get it tattooed on your kids. For maximum effect, get it chiselled into the little loves ...

(I have a small but quite minimal interest in how to start on translating: "The commentard formerly known as Mister_C" into Latin. Perhaps someone with more time on their hands could dive in here)

BOFH: When the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, only then will the UPS cease to supply uninterrupted voltage

gerdesj Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Reminds me...

"2nd LT with a map and compass."

Any officer will do, not just a 2nd Lt. My dad got to Colonel and could lose the family on a walk at will using a map. Mum was merciless, which was hilarious because she left the WRAC as a Captain. On the other hand she had eyesight twice as good as normal and really good spatial awareness. Dad wore bottle ends. Good team.

Excuse me, what just happened? Resilience is tough when your failure is due to a 'sequence of events that was almost impossible to foresee'

gerdesj Silver badge

Yes, absolutely

"Could monitoring tools have been put in place to see issues like this when they happen? Yes, absolutely, but the point is that to do so one would first need to identify the scenarios as something that could happen."

No that's crap and anyone who has managed a monitoring system for more than a few years will tell you so. Time sync is one of the two things that always goes wrong. DNS is the other one and so is SSL certificate expiration and the other things that you wonder how you wrote that script for but still seems to work years later 8)

The writer of the article is probably quite knowledgeable but clearly not time served.

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful

gerdesj Silver badge

"Try another one," suggests Mme D, gesturing towards the bowl.

I hope you have a safe word established before you do that sort of thing.

BOFH: I'm so pleased to be on the call, Boss. No, of course this isn't a recording

gerdesj Silver badge

Re: 90 days

"I do sometimes wish the English would do a better job of administrating their language."

The very fact that English is known as (the) lingua franca which is Latin for the language of the Franks should surely sound alarm bells in any civilised region of the planet.

I'm loving your use of the word administrating. You know exactly how to make my teeth itch, even whilst I pop out and mug another language for yet more words to add to our bulging ... err ... ooooh dictIONARY!


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