* Posts by Bah Humbug

37 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Oct 2009

Lego's Space Shuttle Discovery: No trouble with Hubble, but the stickers will drive a grown man to insanity

Bah Humbug

Every time I see that statement about the Ulysses probe, this bit jumps out to me as a blatant lie: "We do our best to make sure items like this one are available to as many LEGO fans as possible,"

I understand there were just 300 sets available for the whole of Europe. That is not a typo or missing any zeros - three hundred. For the whole of Europe.

That is a long way from making sure items are available to as many fans as possible! If they actually meant that statement, then they'd produce a load more sets.

Scumbags can program vulnerable MedTronic insulin pumps over the air to murder diabetics – insecure kit recalled

Bah Humbug

Re: There's the other reason for hacking these pumps...

What you're describing is looping, and there is a commercial version of this available now by, guess who, Medtronic.

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that, now they have a commercially available system, they're trying to get older pumps that can be used to compete with that out of the market.

WannaCry is back! (Psych. It's just phisher folk doing what they do)

Bah Humbug

I've had a few of these emails reported to me today - they've all had different wallet addresses, so just checking the balance of one wallet isn't enough to say how successful the phish has been. I guess by having one wallet per email, they know who's suckered in enough to be persuaded to perhaps pay again in the future.

Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

Bah Humbug

Sure you can have my password, but my phone's at home

What's to stop someone enabling 2FA on their accounts (well, those that support it anyway!), and just 'forgetting' to bring their phone with them, or leaving it at home to avoid extortionate roaming fees? So give them your password, knowing(*) that they're not going to be able to get into your account anyway without that SMS code.

* (also knowing that if you're someone of interest, they're probably in your account already anyway!)

Boeing 787 software bug can shut down planes' generators IN FLIGHT

Bah Humbug

Re: refuel...

Have you ever been on a plane? They're often refuelling the plane as you board, but have lights on so you can find your seat - those lights need power. Ditto for the cleaning crew - they need to be able to see those piles of rubbish the passengers on the inbound left, etc. etc.

XenData’s storage Jurassic Park: PC tape backup is BAAAAACK

Bah Humbug

Re: I wonder how that works from a technical standpoint

How did CD-R drives cope with finicky and slow (in the early days) spinning rust? Many turned to internal buffers to provide a cushion against slow spots. I'm sure a USB tape drive can pack a few megs of RAM as a buffer.

In my experience, most of them coped by producing drink coasters and (sometimes dangerous!) frisbees...

EBay, you keep using the word 'SECURITY'. I do not think it means what you think it means

Bah Humbug

Re: Tried to change password ..

Not only is there a twenty char limit, they don't allow spaces in passwords either - so much for my normal practice of using a sentence for a password.

BT-owned ISP Plusnet fails to plug security hole on its customer signup page

Bah Humbug

My understanding (and I'm no expert, so correct me if I'm wrong!) is that it is still insecure to load a form over http and then submit over https.

By loading it over http, you can't be sure that it hasn't been tampered with on the way over to you, possibly changing the address the form POSTs to, and adding some additional fields to the form, so you end up submitting a form with your PIN number and mother's maiden name to https://www.plu5net.com for example.

Only by loading the form itself over https can you prevent that initial tampering.

KCOM-owned Eclipse FAILS to cover up the password 'password'

Bah Humbug

Re: Fire the spokesman

Either don't care, or don't understand (and for some reason, I've got a feeling it's the latter in this case).

Not sure which option is worse really!

Chip and PIN keypads 'easily fooled' with counterfeit cards

Bah Humbug

Re: Levels of card fraud are at their lowest since 2000.

The more I read about Chip & Pin, the more glad I am that I have a Chip & Signature card.

Nowadays, when the till tells them to check the signature, they actually do it quite carefully, because it's out of the norm. I suppose that's the key to this really - chip and pin has become normal, so people get complacent about it. A few years ago, signing was the norm, and people were complacent about that.

Seems to me that there isn't a reliable answer - people will always get complacent over things they do every day.

Would you spend $300m to save 6ms?

Bah Humbug

We could send them there on a boat. We could call it the B-Ark.

Naked cyclist streaks through Suffolk village

Bah Humbug

a title

Clearly none of you have been to Acton - the place is as dead as Dunwich. They were probably just so desperate to produce some news, any news, that they decided this was worth bothering with.

Wouldn't be too surprised if the parish council paid him to do this to get something remotely newsworthy happening there...

Chicago lawyer deploys distractionary dumplings

Bah Humbug

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits. - for the love of god, why??

> just look at Sarah Palin.

I'd rather not...

Sage Pay prevents punters blowing Xmas wad

Bah Humbug


Think the problem is that they upgraded that XP laptop to Vista...

US may disable all in-car mobile phones

Bah Humbug

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

How many crashes have you, and your friends had? You're all driving on the wrong side of the road....

HP bids $2.4bn for 3PAR

Bah Humbug

The title

That was a great WTF moment for me - misread the headline (twice!) as - HP Bids $2.4BN for Spar...

BT Tower to open for first time in 29 years

Bah Humbug

The title is required

Definitely worth going up if you get a chance - views are great, and for anyone with a technical bias (so everyone on here), there's something oddly cool about the visit.

BT used to give certificates out to people a few years ago when they visited (found mine a few days ago, had completely forgotten about they gave them out) - wonder if they'll be doing the same with these visits?

Ten unlikely iPhone insurance claims

Bah Humbug

The title is required

One of the wacky ones reminds me of a night a few years ago. Had a company mobile, as I was always on-call, and went over to a mates house to smoke some possibly illegal substance.

About 4 hours later, I get my stuff together to head home, looked for my mobile, and find my mates dog had been chewing on it all evening and it was now just in pieces. (Can you imagine how amusing we all found this - given what we had been doing for the last few hours??)

Got some very odd looks from the telecoms dept. the next morning, when I took a bag of phone bits to them, and told them I needed a new phone, 'coz a dog ate my old one...issued a new one with no problems - as they put it, if I was lying, I'd at least use a convincing excuse!

Satnav leaves family stranded in Outback for three days

Bah Humbug

The title

Surely: "So guys, how did that dog taste?"

Linx outage caused by upgrade

Bah Humbug

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

The power problems knocked our network connection out as well, but we're in Telehouse Metro.

One of the joys of London data centres really - only takes a small problem in one to cascade to loads of others.

Lindsay Lohan goes down for 90 days

Bah Humbug

The title is required,...

Watched this on the bbc news website this morning - it was in the 'Entertainment' section, which I thought was quite apt. Sure entertained me, anyway.

Secret ancient code, basis of all modern civilisation, cracked

Bah Humbug

The title is required blah blah blah

I got bored about 1/3 through the article - can anyone tell me if I missed anything interesting??

Mods - On a totally unrelated sidenote...finally figured out how to reply to comments on here - use Firefox... Turns out that Opera doesn't show the 'reply to this post' link, so I've been searching in vain for that option. Any chance of getting that fixed?

The Reg guide to Linux, part 1: Picking a distro

Bah Humbug

Why, oh fecking why, is a title required??

Seems like a pretty good summary of the mainstream distro's which are out there at the moment.

Not really sure who the article was aimed at though - most people on this site surely know this sort of stuff already, and already have a favourite distro. Could be useful for those who are new to Unix/Linux though, but I'd say Linux is still not ready for them - when it works it's great, when it doesn't, it can be a real sod.

Recently installed Ubuntu on my laptop - almost defenestrated the thing out of sheer frustration - eventually found a really obscure setting was needed as a boot parameter to get my graphics card to work properly - there's no way someone new to Linux would have had a chance in hell of getting this to work, and Ubuntu is meant to be one of the more newbie friendly ones!

Strippers hit historic Marconi HQ

Bah Humbug

# The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I walked past that building so many times in the '90s (god, I feel old typing this) when I went to Uni in Chelmsford) and always felt a small sense of pride about the history of it. Such a shame it's come to this.

Could be argued that this building is more important to history than Bletchley Park in some ways.

Chip and PIN security busted

Bah Humbug

Don't Stop allowing signatures

The system will remain weak as long as there are humans anywhere near the payment chain...

Not everyone has a signature card because they can't remember a 4-digit code - some do it so that the bank can't just turn around and say 'your pin was used, therefore it's your fault' when an unauthorized transaction goes through.

I still use Chip & PIN, though my wife has a signature card - I'm thinking about switching back to signature myself though, because I don't particularly care for the way the banks have pushed liability for unauthorized transactions onto us.

Having said that, Chip and PIN can be useful when out shopping - I can just give my card to my wife, say 'you know my PIN', and she can use it...no messing about with signatures!

Bah Humbug

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

A bit careless perhaps, but no more information than you give someone when paying by guaranteed cheque in a shop (if you can find a shop which accepts them anymore, which is a whole different rant!)

UK inserts battery take-back scheme

Bah Humbug

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

You say that the retailer is required to take back any battery, regardless of whether or not they sold it.

I'm curious - does anyone know if that includes things like car batteries, ups batteries etc.?

Russia plans asteroid-defence space mission to Apophis

Bah Humbug

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Just curious if anyone has worked out the odds of it hitting one of the geosynchronous satellites in 2029

Wikileaks suspends ops to launch pledge drive

Bah Humbug


They'll take cash as well. And cheques. And bank transfers.

The best (of the worst) patent claims of 2009

Bah Humbug

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits. - WHY?

> Below the belt, Apple envisions giving the all-important shoe

When I started reading that sentence, I was expecting a different word to appear than 'shoe'...not sure if that is indicative of my depraved mind, or if I've just spent to much time reading El Reg.

Bing dies (briefly) after Microsoft hits wrong button

Bah Humbug

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

You mean someone is actually using it enough to notice it going down?

MS discovers flaw in Google plug-in for IE

Bah Humbug

A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I wonder how many hours MS spent, desperately trying to find a bug, any bug, in Chrome?

I'm also wondering how upset they must be now that Google have released a patch for that bug...back to searching.

Google Reader Koobface spotlights security risk 2.0

Bah Humbug

A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Saw Koobface, read Knobface...am I the only one?

BT Tower restaurant reborn for Olympics

Bah Humbug

Why? : "A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits."

That's really good news; if you ever get a chance to go up there, it's really worthwhile - the views are spectacular.

Just don't plug your laptop into the non-revolving part, and put the laptop on a table on the revolving part, like my boss did once during a presentation...

Brit space agency to probe 'crackpot' antigravity device

Bah Humbug

The earth used to be flat, and at the center of the universe...

The earth used to be flat, and at the center of the universe...

I'm quite convinced he's wrong, as seems to be the consensus of everyone else, but people used to think the earth was the center of the universe, until Copernicus came along, and that the earth was flat'ish, until Magellan circumnavigated it*.

Terribly arrogant to just say "He's wrong, because we don't believe him" - we've made mistakes in the past about physics, are undoubtedly making loads now, and will make even more in the future.

* OK - it was known to be spherical (ish) before that, but he is the guy who conclusively proved it, even though he was dead by the end of the voyage...

Though you could argue the Greeks proved it, or the Egyptians.

Windows 95 to Windows 7: How Microsoft lost its vision

Bah Humbug

The '95 picture looks like my 7 desktop

I installed 7 a few weeks ago, in the hope that it would improve the wireless reliability on my laptop, which struggled to maintain a connection for > 15 minutes under Vista. So far, it's working well, and the wireless hasn't dropped once, so it seems to have been a worthwhile upgrade.

Anyway, seeing the pictures of Windows 95 made me realise just how old-fashioned I am; one of the first things I do with a new install (after anti-virus, updates etc.), is make my desktop look as similar to the 95/98 experience as possible - Windows 7 can still get surprisingly close. I just find that version of the UI to work better for me - most people would probably disagree!

Still think that 3.11 was the best version ever though...

Man jailed over air traffic control IT kit eBay scam

Bah Humbug

A title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits. - WHY???

I feel kinda sorry for the guy in some ways - he must have been pretty desperate to do this sort of thing, and known there was a high chance he'd get caught.

Having said that, looking at this a different way, £58k for 15 months work is a pretty good salary - criminal record screws up future career prospects a little though.