* Posts by 0laf

1735 posts • joined 25 Nov 2009

Microsoft: The UK is facing an AI skills gap. If only there were a humble cloud giant that could help

0laf Silver badge
Terminator

Possibly because the majority of interactions we have with AI systems end badly. Shite searches, shite email ordering, voice recognition that doesn't (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAz_UvnUeuU), racist profiling, facial recognition that puts innocent people in a cell and scientists telling us that unless we're careful we'll be reduced to swapping out batteries for Terminators. What's not to like about AI

Pay ransomware crooks, or restore the network? Guess which way this city chose after weighing up the costs

0laf Silver badge

"What's driving a lot of these attacks is insurance - you can get policies against being attacked these days"

My understanding of insurance is that it will only pay out if you have taken all reasonable security steps. If you have been found to be lacking in patching, configuration or training your insurance won't pay.

Same at home, you can have very good cover but I con't think of any insurance policy that will pay out for burglary if you never lock your doors.

Too many organisations right now get away without doing even the bare minimum. Running a municipality without adequate IT to manage and maintain systems should be criminal incompetance in the same way failing to run health and safety on a building site is.

The outcome is the same these are life and death systems (not just emptying your rubbish and putting up bunting at Easter but social work, child protection and criminal justice) and must be treated as such.

0laf Silver badge
Pirate

Imagine if there was a criminal charge that would be levied against senior manager or officials of an organisation for allowing their security to be lax enough that they 1- allowed a significant and dangerous malware onto theri network and 2 - their systems were too poorly configured/maintained to allow them to recover from 1 in a timeous way.

If that was the case 1- security/maintenance would be much much better and these incidents would be much rarer, 2 - where an incident still happened no one would pay the fine therefore these incidents would continue to be rarer (bad business for the bad guys).

Things happen when the CEO or Mayor (whatever) has their arse personally in the firing line.

Pen Test Partners: Boeing 747s receive critical software updates over 3.5" floppy disks

0laf Silver badge

Aviation is very tightly controlled for the most part. It's probably safe to assume that this is a tried and tested way of carrying out this particular task on this vintage of aircraft. i.e. it works and works well.

I got a tour of an active Vanguard nuclear missile sub about 10yr ago. Even then the tech on the sub looked antiquated (70s). But it was old because it was reliable and hardened against emp etc.

Sometimes old stuff works better. As mentioned by one commenter it's a terrifying though that an aircraft might rely on a connection to the internet to do anything.

I got 99 problems, and all of them are your fault

0laf Silver badge

I have no problem with any user making silly mistakes like that. It's the attitude towards the person they have asked to fix the problem that matters.

If you are pleasent and polite and have made a silly error like putting an RJ45 in the wrong place or the USB in the network port (a common one), I will be delighted to help you out, have a chuckle with you about how easy it is to get these things wrong and give you a bit of advice for next time. I'll also know you're not a dick and will likely help you out faster next time.

If however you're are an arsehole your experience may differ.

0laf Silver badge

Re: My example

I dunno,

I'd have thrown it across the room, torn it in half, sneezed on it, wiped my arse with it something anything but do the bidding of a gigantic prick with a micropenis.

0laf Silver badge
Megaphone

When working ina school I was yelled at down the phone that a printer wasn't working (urgent, life threatening blah blah usual shite from a teacher). It was a 10min walk across the campus. I got there, was berated again in front of a class of 6yr olds. Went to printer, it was out of paper.

No apology, no acknowledgement of inappropriate attitude for such a basic fuckup.

I was using a dating site a few years back, I was not suprised to see a large proportion of the 'ladies' on the site were divorced teachers. And not with yours would I go near a single teacher.

That's how we roll: OWC savagely undercuts Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels with bargain $199 alternative

0laf Silver badge
Paris Hilton

How much would it cost to hire a lacky to move the thing for you?

£15 a pop (assuming 1:1 for £:$ as usual).

That's 46 whole moves and one part way for £700.

How often do you move your damn PC anyway?

Toshiba formally and finally exits laptop business

0laf Silver badge

I remember them being very well regarded laptops back in the day.

China slams 'dirty' America's 'clean network' plan, reminds world of PRISM snoop-fest exposed by Ed Snowden

0laf Silver badge
Big Brother

‘Everyone can see that the US goal is to keep its monopoly in science and technology’ says Chinese foreign minister

Yep we all know that. And we know the Chinese aim is to gether enough intelligence and data, by pretty much any means, to help China establish a monoply in science and technology and expand it's political ideology.

And we know that corporations (FB, Alphabet, MS, Apple, etc etc) aim is to gether as much data as possible to efficiently exploit national populations as a free resource for revenue.

And we know the Russians and the Norks ......

Well I need not go on really....

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

0laf Silver badge
FAIL

Easy to point a finger at researchers for blaming their tools, but they are scientists not developers. It would be better if the tool maker produced a product that made it easier for lay-people to achive what they want without having to go through additional training.

But as another posted pointed out; in this current era of MS making changes to your configuration without proper warning (yeah yeah you publish your changes but to my users that's like changing one digit in a phone book and expecting them to notice) it's a significant risk that if you change Excel to not carry out this particular piece of autoediting MS will reenable it randomly with updates or just for shits and giggles.

MS should consider the implication (but I know they won't) that a significant body of professional workers cannot trust their product to process information which is of massive importance to humanity.

The results are in: Science says the Solar System's magnetic heliosphere looks like a deflated croissant

0laf Silver badge

Re: Magnetic as motion

Beware the Shrike

0laf Silver badge

Re: Aren't we lucky!

No dude, that yellow blob is the size of the solar system. The weird lump at the back is probably Neptune or Uranus if anything.

TikTok to splurge €420m on Ireland data centre to get Euro-data into Europe by 2022

0laf Silver badge
Meh

I do wonder if Tik Tok will just disappear like MySpace etc when the yoof get bored of it and their gandparents start using it, like everything else basically.

UK data watchdog having a hard time making GDPR fines stick: Marriott scores another extension, BA prepares to pay 11% of £183m penalty threat

0laf Silver badge

Is it just us?

Are other GDPR territories haveing any better luck extracting the actual money from the fines?

And it's off! NASA launches nuke-powered, laser-shooting, tank Perseverance to Mars to search for signs of life

0laf Silver badge
Pint

I for one....

Wish NASA's lastest nuclear tank all the best.

Mars missions, yay.

My boy is 9 and super interested in space and space science. I'd much rather have these fantastic missions to interest him than his other ambition which is to be a fucking Youtuber.

Pints for all the steely eyed missile men and women (and anyone identifying in any other way but being a productive asset on the mission) on the project.

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

0laf Silver badge
Trollface

W10 could have been decent...

Just as an OS.

But it has to be part of a whole ecosystem to drive revenues so it acts like a rental car that is serviced and remodelled on the move.

no matter what you pay it's never really yours and MS feels it has the right to move and remove feature and functions as and when it feels like it.

Steering wheel on the left, nope this week it's the right, but sorry our borked patch put it on top of roof and only connected it to the rear offside wheel, on a Tuesday is steers backwards.

But it's super safe, although crumple zones and airbags only come with E5 licensing (I actually typed £5 licensing there, Freudian or what), if you're on E1 you'll get a cushion to gaffer tape to your head and a 4 leaf clover air freshener.

Garmin staggers back to its feet: Aviation systems seem to be lagging, though. Here's why

0laf Silver badge
FAIL

The security of our customers data is our higest priority (have they said this yet?)

It's been a long time since I've seen a large company do security well. In fact I'm not sure I've ever seen it done well by a large company.

I've no doubt if any more comes from this story the response will be that this was a "sophisticated attack", "nation state" etc etc.

Then we'll find out through backdoor channels that the beancounters have once again been at it and that staff get no security training, security is neglected to pad the bottom end and servers went unpatched because no one would accept downtime.

They probably got nailed by a phish to the CEO that said "hey Bro forgot to send coolz pics to you clik here to download them, btw password is eg0maniac". The sort of CEO that demands domain admin access and unfiltered internet coz he's the CEO and problems are for others to sort.

China successfully launches Mars probe that packs an orbiter, lander, rover

0laf Silver badge
Terminator

Re: China has successfully launched a Mars probe.

It's not there to rescue him. It'll just take a Tik Tok video of him and steal his personal data (already stolen by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Experian, Equifax, and anyone else with 20p and an app).

UN warns of global e-waste wave as amount of gadgets dumped jumps 21% in 5 years

0laf Silver badge

Re: Or...

Lol yeah I have a pile of Palm pdas I picked up cheap when they were going out of fashion. It was sad when the software (and serial connection) stopped being supprted. They were simple but they suited me.

0laf Silver badge
Facepalm

Shockaroony

What a shock. A recent (ish) trend towards unupgradable, unrepairable devices with non-replaceable batteries results in an upswing in dumping of those devices.

Whoda-thunk-it.

Nothing will change without legislation, and the politicians have big business to please, and big business needs regular sales. Devices with built in obsolescence is the model now.

None shall pass: Yet another layer to protect hapless users, employers from dodgy docs added to Microsoft 365

0laf Silver badge

Show me the money

Yeah 365 can be very very secure if... you pay an astounding amount of money for an E5 license + extras and then have a dedicated team to configure and manage the setup.

We can't afford E5 and we still have to have pretty much 1 FTE just working on keeping up with the changes MS push through every week.

It's a system build on shifting sand.

Microsoft attempts to up its Teams game with new features while locked-down folk flock to rival Zoom... warts and all

0laf Silver badge

Re: Used both

Teams has actually worked really well for us in the current crisis but I can see why consumers would prefer Zoom.

Where Teams falls down is dealing with the ad hock communications with members of the public. They don't want to use Teams, they want something simple that works with their family and friends too. That has meant WhatsApp until the recent Zoom outbreak. But neither Zoom nor WhatApp sit very well with DP law.

Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as 'dangerous nonsense' after phone towers torched in UK

0laf Silver badge

I often like to point out to the mentally challenged the biggest source of electromagnetic radiation around. I will often add that this source has been proved to be dangerous causing illness and deaths in large numbers of people. It's a known cancer risk, causes burns and is even known to start fires, kill crops and have a massive effect on the climate. Yet no one does anythign about it and no one complains. It's a conspiracy. That bloody sun has to go.

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much

0laf Silver badge
Childcatcher

Re: During my time in front line IT support I've seen things

I had to fix the PC of the CEO of a car dealership chain early in my career. Once I'd removed the anal sex porn from his hardrive to free up some space it worked fine. I never said what I did to fix it, he never mentioned the loss of his stash.

Apollo astronaut Al Worden – once named most isolated human being of all time – dies aged 88

0laf Silver badge
Pint

Re: I suppose...

I've read books of interviews with the Apollo astronauts and the module pilots all seemed to enjoy their time alone especially even their isolation on the dark side of the moon.

All truly inspirational people and the world is a much greyer place without them.

NASA to launch 247 petabytes of data into AWS – but forgot about eye-watering cloudy egress costs before lift-off

0laf Silver badge

Re: Just wondering

They will have a "cloud first" policy like every other muppet. It took me months of persuasion to get our strategy to be "Cloud where appropriate".

I'm sure people in high places are trying to make Amazon realise the PR opportunity from cutting NASA a break for this particular SNAFU.

Microsoft Teams usage jumps to 32, no, 44 million as Windows-slinger platform slides onto home workers' PCs

0laf Silver badge

Stuck at home now and relying on Teams as well as the rest of 365.

Teams is working ok for me, I'e not had any reliability problems, meetings on it have run ok, but yeah big fecking notifications blocking parts of the screen.

But Sharepoint, supposed to be the backbone of all this stuff. Jesus H Crist it's awful, even the most basic features missing. Can I share a file? Yep. Can I share a whole folder? Yep. Can I share 2 files inside a folder? Oh no no no who would ever want to share more than one but not all files. We don't do that!

British Army adopts WhatsApp for formal orders as coronavirus isolation kicks in

0laf Silver badge

Re: You mean?

I know WhatsApp was rolled out as a crisis measure in lots of places a few years back during bad flooding but those USP that it had then have been taken on by MS Teams, Google thing etc. Whether you loath Teams or not isn't relevant at least you can have some oversight and control of it unlike anything from Facebook.

Butterfly defect stripped from MacBook Pros, Airs by Q2 2020, reckons Apple analyst

0laf Silver badge

Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

I ended up with a Lenovo workstation laptop to get a better keyboard. It's good but not as good as the old ones. I prefer a longer travel in keys and I'd rather have a physically bigger laptop to get this. Saying that they managed to fit a great keyboard into a Psion 5, so no excuses really.

Post Office burned £100m in UK taxpayer cash on Horizon IT scandal legal fees, MPs told

0laf Silver badge

Re: "That doesn't make sense" ...

Missing files are usually due to a fudged click and drag. I've done it myself especially on a trackpad.

We have had files go missing due to technical fuckups (normally some 365 related machine fart), I've never been able to prove files go missing due to malicious action. It's pretty rare.

0laf Silver badge

Re: Who is responsible

In February a watertank in Dundee was set on fire by an arsonist.At the time I thought, "LOL only in Dundee could someone set fire to a watertank".

On hindsight the tank was covered in Grenfell-like cladding and the cladding burned easily.

The Internet of Things is a security nightmare reveals latest real-world analysis: unencrypted traffic, network crossover, vulnerable OSes

0laf Silver badge

I'm not sure we should be lumping in multimillion pound medical imaging scanners with £5 Amazon tat. A scanner is worth investing some time and money into securing to allow its ongoing use. Your Amazon dogfood reorder dash button we can probably survive throwing out with the rubbish.

No joy for all you Rover McRoverface fans: NASA's next Mars bot is christened Perseverance

0laf Silver badge

Re: Perseverence Devs Engineer AI To Perfection

Curiosity is usually described as a Nuclear Tank by El Reg hacks becasue it's really quite big.

Even the previous rovers Spirit and Opportunity which are normally thought of as being small and cute were actually pretty big, like a couple of dinner tables strapped together.

0laf Silver badge

Needs two names

They need to do it like pedigree dogs.

Pedigree name + pet name

So

Perserverence + Bert/Bob/Dave/Spot etc

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

0laf Silver badge
FAIL

Fuds

Virgin Media are still sending invoices to my other half 2yr after she cancelled. They won't talk to her about this unless she logs in through the cutomer portal, which she can't do because she's not a customer and she cancelled the contract.

I've told her to take it to the ICO since they are holding incorrect personal data which is unlawful. But she's too nice and can't really be bothered to deal with them since they were idiots when she was a customer, and have continued to be idiots.

Enjoy your fine Virgin.

Australia down for scheduled maintenance: No talking to Voyager 2 for 11 months

0laf Silver badge

Re: Down Under?

Is this why there are no elephants in Australia?

GCHQ's infosec arm has 3 simple tips to secure those insecure smart home gadgets

0laf Silver badge

Yeah but often now they all come with this 'value added' data mining shite on by default. It's getting harder and harder to avoid. Plus feature count sells, even if the users never touch half of them.

Maersk prepares to lay off the Maidenhead staffers who rescued it from NotPetya super-pwnage

0laf Silver badge
Headmaster

From a company solicitor who often speaks sense - "Common sense is a very rare commodity".

0laf Silver badge
Mushroom

Snakes in suits.

Fuck you for all your hard work saving the company, fuck you very much.

Microsoft's Cortana turns its back on consumers as skills are stripped from Windows 10

0laf Silver badge

Re: re: Ebay

Many have bids. Sure some of the larger capacity versions listed have fantasy figures attached but I'm surprised there was any interest at all.

I wonder if there is going to be much of a market for antique electronics apart from very early Apple kit and first editions of game changing hardware (Iphone 1, Razer, Startac, folding stuff).

0laf Silver badge

Can't say I'll notice. Cortana was a PITA.

On the other death notices, just checked ebay for Zune out of idle curiosity. They're still selling and big money being demanded for the larger capacity models.

It's a strange world.

Scottish biz raided, fined £500k for making 193 million automated calls

0laf Silver badge
Gimp

Show trial followed by lengthy public execution.

Lets take some proper steps. You can't pass the liability on to your spouse to start a new business if you've been hung, drawn and quartered.

Not if you could kindly get the bastards who phone me to tell me I've been in an accident and put them in a gibbet cage until their bones decompose.

Delicious irony: Credit rating builder Loqbox lets customer details and card numbers slip after 'sophisticated attack'

0laf Silver badge

Compromise bingo

"sophisticated attack" - CHECK

"cutomer data secured" - CHECK

I'm looking for "Our customer's data is our top priority" for a full house.

Southern Water not such a phisherman's phriend, hauls itself offline to tackle email lure

0laf Silver badge
Facepalm

As always it gets harder.

Genuine emails generated from Office 365 look more like phishing emails than many phishing emails.

Then you have partner organisation who get compromised then you get phishin emails from people you know, on subjects you are expecting, mixed in with the general obfuscation caused by 365s spammy looking links.

I'm sure thre is an app for that in E5

It's Terpin time: Bloke who was SIM jacked twice by Bitcoin thieves gets green light to sue telco for millions

0laf Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Do you outsource your security?

Cloud based hosting, SAAS etc 'can' be much more secure than your on-prem setup. But the vanilla cheap assed entry level options will not be.

MS 365 can be very very secure. But only if you give everyone a fucking expensive E5 licence and have dedicated and trained staff running the security consoles that MS have designed using the shifting sands of the Sahara desert as a model.

If you think you're going to be secure by buying an F1 licence for everyone then sticking it in vanilla then you're going to be in a very bad place very soon.

The analogy I use with the non techies is that if cloud was a car, MS and AWS can make a very very good car, but you're chosing the specification and you're still driving it, and if you spec it with 3 bicycle wheels or drive it off a cliff MS/AWS are not going to take the blame for your mangled corpse.

0laf Silver badge

Re: I hope he wins ...

A lot of businesses (i.e. banks) are relying on sms as a cheap form of MFA. They would not be happy to see this chap win and depreciate sms as an option.

How many times do we have to tell you? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash

0laf Silver badge

Re: Stop calling it Autopilot

People will hear what they want to hear and will convince themselves that what they think should be true is true.

Many people who pay for 'Autopilot' want a self driving car. The feature is called "Autopilot". "Auto" implies autonomous driving of the car.

The car really will drive itself largely without input from the meatsack in the seat.

Therfore it's not a massive leap for an idividual to decide that they have bought a self driving car. The marketing and the evidence thay have supports this, the small print is just legalise after all.

I would have to say is WTF is going on where we have 'beta' versions of software on two ton vehicles carring a large box of volitile chemicals.

Password killer FIDO2 comes bounding into Azure Active Directory hybrid environments

0laf Silver badge
WTF?

That's lovely the option for FIDO2 etc will potentially make life easier.

But on the samer note how about enabling all the features in Sharepoint without the need to keep regressing to fucking IE11 because some features still need ActiveX.

I can see requests for this going back 3yr, how about a bit of effort on this?

'Don't tell anyone but I have a secret.' There, that's my security sorted

0laf Silver badge
Pint

Spiralizing the courgette

Sir, I commend you for the creation of a new novel euphemism for bashing one's bishop. No mean feat these days in an overcrowded market.

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