* Posts by Valerion

593 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Oct 2009


Like a Virgin, hacked for the very first time... UK broadband ISP spills 900,000 punters' records into wrong hands from insecure database


Re: Might be wrong

Correct, the one for talking to the phone drones is not your online password.

Early adopters delighted as Microsoft pulls plug on Mobile Backend as a Service. Haha, only joking – they're fuming


Re: Yea - give me that random stuff

You know not every build in a pipeline needs to go straight out to Prod, right?

Co-Op Insurance and IBM play blame game over collapse of £175m megaproject


"Project Cobalt also marked the start of a strategic move by IBM into the insurance platform sector"

Yeah, I bet that strategic move started the very second they answered the phone and someone said "Hi, this is the Coop, do you do insurance systems?"

ICANN finally reveals who’s behind purchase of .org: It’s ███████ and ██████ – you don't need to know any more


Has anyone asked

The Elders of the Internet, to see what they think?

Beware the Y2K task done too well, it might leave you lost in Milan


Re: Y2K bugs

A few months ago I was in a fairly posh hotel in NYC. Anything bought from the mini bar (not that I'm stupid enough or rich enough) to buy anything from the mini bar) also had a "restocking fee" applied that was about 50% of the cost of the (already eye-wateringly expensive) item. Of course, this was written in very small print.

I can only assume the restocking fee covered the cost of sending someone down to CVS on the corner to purchase a new item and come and put it back on the shelf.

Deadly 737 Max jets no longer a Boeing concern – for now: Production suspended after biz runs out of parking space


Re: "... anti-stall – sorry, plane pedants hate it when we call it that..."

Its more complicated than that. MCAS was put in because without it the planes had some extremely nasty handling characteristics that are absolutely prohibited, and rightly so, as Electronics R us says above. That wasn't unreasonable, I very much doubt that its the only plane that has similar fixes in software,

Indeed, many fighter planes are also unstable.

They, however, are equipped with ejector seats.

Microsoft emits long-term support .NET Core 3.1, Visual Studio 16.4


Re: Proof in the pudding

You won't have to... They aren't retroactively breaking something, they are removing it from a newer version.

Boffins hand in their homework on Voyager 2's first readings from beyond Solar System


And they actually benefit mankind.

We're late and we're unreliable but we won't invalidate your warranty: We're engineers!


I need an electrician

But it's such a damn hassle.

First, I need to find one that is competent. I don't even know how to do that - how do I know they are any good?

Then, I need to get in contact. I hate phoning people, and they never answer the phone anyway, as they are always busy.

After that, I want some idea of how much I will need to pay. Naturally, the sparky will not want to commit to a price based on my vague telephone description of "The lights in my lounge stopped working. I want to replace them but there might be a wiring issue, or it might be the switch". Do I need £100 or £1000 spare in my bank account in order to get this done? I have no clue.

And after all that, we need to agree a time for them to come. This will involve either taking a day off work at the loss of precious annual leave - not always possible to arrange at short notice - or trying to work out a work-from-home day, which also isn't always possible depending on what project I'm working on at the time.

So, the lights in my lounge have been broken for about 18 months now. I've learned to live with just lamps.

US customers kick up class-action stink over Epson's kyboshing of third-party ink


Another reason to avoid expensive original ink

Is that the printer will invariably break before you've finished the damn cartridge and you're left with ink you can't use, because of course the new printer won't take the same type.

Serverless neither magically faster nor cheaper, dev laments


Re: Its always a good idea to outsource

A project I'd worked on for a long time was suddenly turned over to outsourcers, as they wanted to scale it out to a load of other regions. The work involved here was basically writing and running a shit-load of SQL scripts to generate all the required data for these new regions.

I had this down a fine art having done it several times already and, frankly, could have done the lot in a week. But nobody even bothered to ask me about it, and it got outsourced and I got moved onto other things. I spent over a week getting them involved, and because nobody quite trusted them they had to do every small SQL change (all the inserts/merges etc) in a pull request for me to review.

It was tediously slow as you'd expect. The funny thing was when after a few weeks the outsourced devs (who were actually pretty smart) realised this was a huge waste of their time and talent and all quit, leaving us with nobody at all to do the work. By this time I was on other projects and couldn't be spared, so the big roll-out just basically stopped. I left shortly after, too.

Justice served: There is no escape from the long server log of the law


Years ago

I spent hours waiting at a customer site for their contracted IT firm to remember the password to their firewall. Eventually a guy came onsite and managed to guess it.

I took a backup of the config, made my change and left.

Months later we get a letter demanding compensation because I'd changed the password and they'd had to rebuild the entire thing. I hadn't - obviously it was just that they'd forgotten it again - but they took the existance of the config backup with my name in the filename as proof.

We told them to go forth, if I remember corrrectly, and sent them a bill for my wasted time from months before. No idea if they paid it or not, sadly.

Cloud, internet biz will take a Yellowhammer to the head in 'worst case' no-deal Brexit


Re: How?

Every generation supports stupid, it's just gotten to such a level that people think the stupid is normal now and so are willing to elect the likes of BoJo and Trump and accept the bullshit they get fed.

We haven't elected BoJo.

Now it's Terrance Dicks' turn to regenerate: Golden-age Doctor Who mainstay dies aged 84


Re: I have fond memories of those books

This. Just, absolutely this.

I was a massive fan as a child, but had no way to watch it (McCoy era) unless it happened to actually be on TV at that time.

The library had a huge collection of the books, and I pretty much read them all. Many of them multiple times.

In Hemel Hempstead, cycling is as bad as taking a leak in the middle of the street


New problem

The problem now isn't so much the people on bikes, but the abandoned Jump / Lime / Whatever rental bikes that are all over the damn place, blocking the pavements.

At least the Boris bikes have to be put back in their docks. These ones just get left anywhere.

WeWork filed its IPO homework. So we had a look at its small print and... yowser. What has El Reg got itself into?


Re: They are a real estate company

BBC News made this comparison a while back:


Essentially, IWG has about 7 times the number of properties, close to double the revenue, and actually made £150m profit last year compared to a £1.5bn loss. As a result it is valued at £3bn compared to £36bn - a tenth of the value despite being very profitable and having many times the assets.

I despair. As, I expect, do the IWG board.

If you could forget the $125 from Equifax and just take the free credit monitoring, that would be great – FTC


Re: I'd choose

Fucking Total Cnuts would be my contribution.

Experts: No need to worry about Europe's navigation sats going dark for days. Also: What the hell is going on with those satellites?!


Re: Big Outage

They may have spare parts, but 23,000 km is not a trivial distance for the AA van to travel.

According to their latest advert, 3 million years into deep space to fix Starbug is fine, so a satellite should be no problem.

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames


Had to implement a spell-check once

It was in our in-house "do-everything" system, which included sending emails out to customers.

CTO dictated that it must be done, and must NOT allow a message to go out to a customer unless the spell-check agreed there were NO mistakes. No exceptions, no overrides.

So I did it, QA signed it off, it went live, and within about 10 minutes the complaints came flooding in. Turns out there were a lot of things that we needed that weren't actually words and, unless they wrote ridiculously worded emails they basically couldn't send anything.

Luckily I had implemented an override anyway which I had just configured to be turned off... Naturally it took me all day to "get the emergency fix out".

Gee, SEC, how did that get out?! 'Leaked' Tesla email claims big boost in Model 3 production



On one hand I really want Tesla to succeed.

On the other, I love that Ellison is losing loads of money.

Why telcos 'handed over' people's GPS coords to a bounty hunter: He just had to ask nicely


Re: It's a hard problem

I also used to work in a vehicle tracking firm (quite a while back). One of the services we offered was mobile phone tracking. We had an API link to a company that actually provided this, and there were supposed to be all sorts of checks to ensure you weren't tracking people without their knowledge (had to send automated texts reminding the phone-owner every 30 days etc), but as an operator of the system I could track any phone in the country to a cell-tower location (not GPS level) if I felt like it. That always unnerved me a bit.

We had some police customers too. One of them was a constabulary that had a few units of ours, would go and nick the cars of known/suspected crims (usually drug dealers), fit the unit and put the car back, so they could sit back and see where they went whilst putting their feet up and having a cuppa.

WikiLeaks boss Assange acted as a foreign spy, Uncle Sam exclaims in fresh rap sheet


Re: I was fine with the first indictment

And as referenda are one-off events, there should never be a second referndum on the same question.

Why not? Sure, not immediately after, but after a few years it seems appropriate. Circumstances have changed. More detail is known. The population itself has changed. Many of the "facts" have proven to be lies (on both sides).

Many argue that the original 1970s referendum wsa the defining vote and should never be challenged.

I suppose the real problem is that we still don't know for sure what are facts and what are lies, and still have no idea what leaving might actually look like.

Police ICT Company kills £500m procurement, no longer wants one box shifter to rule them all


A spokesbod for Police ICT Company said:

spokesplod, surely?

Dedicated techie risks life and limb to locate office conference phone hiding under newspaper


Shouty CEO

Once demanded that my boss get hold of me and make me come back from a family holiday to Orlando immediately to fix a problem they were having at the time.

My boss, who had been in contact with me a few times during the holiday to tell me he was jealous (and, incidentally, had not even asked me anything about the system problem as he was dealing with it himself) told him that he had no way of getting hold of me. Decent boss, that one.

What's that? Uber isn't actually worth $82bn? Reverse-gear IPO shows the gig (economy) is up


Re: 0laf

You've never seen a car pass a red light? That must be a lie.

I meant at that specific junction - the one where cyclists never seem to obey it. I have seen plenty of cars go through red lights in general in my life, but still a tiny fraction of the number of cyclists that do it. However mostly this is due to not noticing/being distracted. Sure, that is absolutely not a excuse, but the cyclists do it on purpose.


Traffic laws != red lights.

"a new study from the Danish Road Directorate found that less than 5 per cent of cyclists break traffic laws compared to 66 per cent of motorists"

It may well be that cars in general break more traffic laws than cyclists, but in the specific case of red lights, cyclists win hands down. Literally every day on my drive to work in South London I see at least 10 cyclists go through red lights deliberately - mostly at major junctions. On more than one occasion I've seen that many go through a single set all together whilst I'm sitting there waiting. There really does seem to be weird sense of entitlement amongst them that red lights just don't apply to them*

I've never seen a car do the same (I'm sure it happens - I've just not seen it).

*I'm sure all commentard-cyclists here are fully law-abiding and would not even dream of it.

Crap band sues crap beer maker: Hair-metal rockers have an Axl to grind over Guns N' Rosé


Re: Axl should be happy someone remembers them.

Long washed up now, I can't remember the last time I heard one of their songs.

I hear them on the radio daily. Try changing the station from Magic or Heart to Absolute. They are currently playing The Cult. No chart drivel.

Boeing boss denies reports 737 Max safety systems weren't active


MCAS met its "design and certification criteria"

That doesn't mean MCAS is not at fault.

It just means the design and the certification criteria were unsuitable.

Let 15 July forever be known as P-Day: When UK's smut fans started being asked for their age


Or perhaps you have two pictures of kittens for every bit of porn.

One site for all your pussy-related needs...

So you've 'seen' the black hole. Now for the interesting bit – how all that raw data was stored



Hyper Markup Text Language?

Overzealous n00b takes out point-of-sale terminals across the UK on a Saturday afternoon


Re: You should have been sacked

I think people (including me) sometimes forget how long ago the 90s were

What do you mean? They were only a few years ago.

*Checks calendar*

Well, shit.

FYI: You could make Tesla's Autopilot swerve into traffic with a few stickers on the road


Re: @ John Robson

Autopilot sounds correct though.

On a plane, Autopilot is used to keep the plane following a particular heading. It's not a system to taxi the plane out onto the runway, take off, climb to correct altitude, follow the headings, descend, and then land and park up at a gate. It just does the job of keeping it going the correct way mid-flight.

Tesla's is the same, really.


I was thinking the same. If it's fooled by a couple of small stickers, god knows what it'd make of the network of potholes, loosely linked with small bits of tarmac, that make up my local roads.

VMware emits security alerts, Planet Hollywood chain hacked, SWAT death caller gets 20 years in clink, and more


On the other hand

In case you needed yet another reason to lock down your machine, do it lest your roommates be allegedly secretly committing crimes.

If you really are paedophillically-inclined* then not locking down your machine in any way seems a great way of ensuring plausible deniability.

*Substitute for other criminal acts as required.

NASA's first all-woman spacewalk outside ISS cancelled – due to lack of spacesuits that fit


Re: Cue ...

Unable to go out because they can't find anything that fits?

Sounds like every woman I've ever known...*

*All 3 of them.

DXC Security exec: Yes, I'd have thought we'd spend more on certs and laptop kit for staff, too


Re: DXC layoff strategy

That's a bad place to be in. Get out if you can. Ideally to a small firm who might appreciate your experience working for a big company.

I was at a job that I had no enthusiasm for until recently. Had no motivation at all. It was just corporate crap all day long. Bonuses and pay reviews were a thing of the past and HR ruled the roost. Then an opportunity to join my old boss at a new, small company came along. I jumped at it, and am so much happier for it.

Intel gets court order telling former engineer to return confidential docs in Micron row


Getting to the point now

That companies are going to insist on a full flashy-thing mind-wipe before you're allowed to leave and work elsewhere.

Russian sailors maroon themselves in Bristol Channel after drunken dinghy ride goes awry


Mate of mine

Once did something similar. Was living on Haling Island at the time, went to Portsmouth for a rather boozy night out, and for some reason decided the best way to get home was to steal a rowing boat and row back across.

He got well and truly nicked when it sunk and he had to be rescued. I don't think he made it more than about 50 feet from shore.

'It's full of beer!' Miracle fridge reveals itself to pals tuckered out from cleaning flooded cabin


"He says, 'Hey, this is a refrigerator.' And he opens it up and says, 'It's full of beer.'"

The divine care package of Busch Light and Bud Light

Contradiction in terms.

Brexit text-it wrecks it: Vote Leave fined £40k for spamming 200k msgs ahead of EU referendum


Re: Dodgy behavior by Vote Leave?

Which does not alter the fact that the Prime Minister stated that the government would be bound by the decision, and Parliament raised no objection to this.

Ignoring the fact that it doesn't actually matter what he said as his word is not legally binding, the PM resigned the next day and we had a general election not long after. Why should the new government be bound by what the old one promised?

Atlassian bats eyelashes at the enterprise with AgileCraft acquisition


Re: It drives me nuts

I recently left a nice job I'd held for several years due to the introduction of Disciplined Agile into the dev team by a new director of engineering.

My god it was awful. Hours and hours spent every week in utterly, utterly pointless meetings. Each task had about 10 individual Jiras allocated to it. Everything had to have "estimates" (in quotes because if you overran due to it being more complex then there was hell to pay). The only thing that mattered was the burndown chart. Not whether it was valulable to the business. Not whether it was done to acceptable quality. Not whether it would scale or was done in appropriate technology. Not even if it actually worked.

As long as the burndown chart looked good, all was well in the world. Just fix it in a future iteration.

And don't get me started on the non-jobs people. A good business analyst I can accept. But we had more project managers, delivery managers and programme managers than developers in the end. And I have no idea what they actually did, and what value they added. They existed purely to put stuff into Jira and badger people as to why something wasn't done yet. Before we had these people we just did it, were productive and delivered loads and loads of stuff. Nobody complained. We just talked to end-users and figured out what needed to be done. Now nothing gets done really because it can't get through "the process" to even get started.

I wasn't the only one to go. About 50% of the dev department have now left within about 6 months - taking years of tacit knowledge with them.

Now I'm in a small team in a small startup (with some of the same people who also left...) and all is good again.

Hackers cop a FILA thousands of UK card deets after slinking onto clothing brand's servers



Judging by who I see wearing their clothing, the card numbers were probably already stolen.

Science says death metal fans delightful and intelligent people, great at dinner parties


Metal = friendly

In my yoof I used to hang around a lot at the legendary Cartoon club in Croydon. Always full of rockers, metallers, big scary looking guys covered in tattoos and everyone getting hammered.

2 doors down was a "normal" club playing dance music. There were always fights outside and the police were pretty much guaranteed to be there every weekend.

But in the Cartoon there was never - ever - any trouble. Partly due to the self-policing attitude. If anyone did anything out of line, Animal the bouncer (I suspect not his real name...) would sling em' out as he was bigger (and nicer) than anyone else.

Happy days back then.

Biker sues Google Fiber: I broke my leg, borked my ankle in trench dug to lay ad giant's pipe


Re: I did about 10 years on bikes.

40+ years here, legs (and other parts) still intact.

My dad was the same. 40 years, no major problems (barring a black cab ignoring a give way and knocking him off resulting in a fractured shoulder).

It was at about 43 years when a car came out of a side turning, straight into the side of him, crushing his ankle against the engine of the bike and breaking his leg in 2 places. After a month in hospital and a year or so with an agonising metal frame screwed around, and into, his leg and several operations to rebuild his ankle which had pretty much disintegrated, then another 6 months or so with a big boot thing, he could almost walk normally. Several years later he still can't walk for that long, or bend it properly.

The surgeon said that had it happened 20 years earlier they just would have amputated it as it was only more modern techniques and equipment that allowed them to save it.

My uncle was a police bike rider for 25 years with a faultless record, and then retired to Cornwall and bought a Harley. One day he woke up underneath a lorry with an air ambulance parked in the field next to him. He was ok, fortunately.

Don't count your chickens...

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it


Re: My 2 stories

You're not wrong, but I was young, naieve, and flat-broke with a young family and a wife out on maternity leave.

Leaving a job, voluntarily or not, would have been a very bad move then. Several hours of 1.5x overtime was actually very welcome in the end, as was the meal out given I couldn't afford one!


My 2 stories

One was flying London to Edinburgh, then driving to Dundee, only to find out that instead of Windows 2000 it has Windows ME, as it was "basically the same thing" according to their IT expert. Despite me calling twice beforehand to check it had 2000 on it and pointing out, repeatedly, that it absolutely needed it. To make it even better I was sick as a dog and spent the entire flight throwing up in the bathroom. So after discovering that, I went home again.

The other one was when the incredibly dimwitted bimbo who was the MD's PA (hired for one specific reason. Well, technically a pair of specific reasons). Gave her the flight details of the one I wanted from Gatwick (25 mins from my house) to Glasgow, departing at 10am and the return flight departing at 7pm. So instead she booked one from 6am - from Stanstead, which is about 2 hours from my house - and returning at 10pm, because it was £20 cheaper. To say I got a little cross was an understatement. I had a new boss start that day - and I was out of the office - so my first dealings with him were me flatly refusing to go, and him then threatening to suspend me. In the end I went as I didn't want to get fired, but when he found out the full details and spoke to his boss - who basically said - we can't lose him, keep him sweet - I got overtime for the extra hours and the company paid for a meal out for me and my family as a thank-you. Turned out to be a good boss in the end.

You've been dying to know. Here's the answer: The Milky Way tips the cosmic scales at '1.5tr' times mass of the Sun


Re: London Bus

Which is one heck of a traffic jam, especially when none are going to where you want to go.

Soon the earth will be demolished by Vogons to make for a hyperspace bus lane.

No guns or lockpicks needed to nick modern cars if they're fitted with hackable 'smart' alarms


I always used to scoff

When watching a movie and someone hacked into a car and remotely controlled it.

Seems I was wrong to do so.

Prodigy dancer and vocalist Keith Flint found dead aged 49


As a rocker in the 90s

It was considered blashphamy to listen to techo, dance, drum n bass etc.

But the Prodigy were the one exception that that rule. Had a real universal appeal.

Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?


Re: wasting taxpayers' cash

An old colleague of mine once got asked to clear out an old storeroom. He found a couple of large boxes of expensive batteries that looked valuable and asked what to do with them. He got told to chuck them. He asked if he could have them, they said sure, and he made about 2 grand flogging them on ebay.