* Posts by big_D

5662 posts • joined 27 Nov 2009

Europe considers making it law that your boss can’t bug you outside of office hours

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Re: Been there, done that.

Yep. Me too.

Although I am glad that my current employer has a different attitude. I get a company phone and I am supposed to turn it off / leave it in the office, when I am not working. I generally tend to turn it to mute and stick it in my work backpack and just leave it there when I leave work, or at the moment in home office, I leave it on mute in my office in the cellar, when I stop for the day.

And overtime has to be taken as time off in lieu as quickly as possible.

The last 2 places were similar. Any weekend work was planned in advance (E.g. server maintenance that couldn't be done during office hours) and was minimal - 2 or 3 times a year.

But before that, the place was horrible. Long hours and last minute call outs. I had the CEO turn up at my desk at 16:30 and say, "I need 50 slides for a presentation at CeBIT at 09:00 tomorrow morning."

And calls from customers at 01:00 through 04:00 weren't uncommon either - we sold software for meat processing plants and the slaughter lines usually started just after midnight.

Apple emits emergency iOS security updates while warning holes may have been exploited in wild by hackers

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Re: Once.....

Back when I started in computing, the Macs were the most affected devices at my first company. Although there were more Macs than PCs at the time and most wanted to use the Macs. The rest used VT100s.

Macs had a very poor virus record for a long time. It was only with OS X that the problem really died away.

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A booby is a bird of the feathered variety.


Dynamic Data do-over denied: Judge upholds $7m patent infringement claim against Microsoft

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dBase do something similar in the early 90s?

And I've worked with other tools (VAX, Mac, DOS and Windows) in the 80s and 90s that automatically generated a default layout based on a database structure...

I was targeted by North Korean 0-day hackers using a Visual Studio project, vuln hunter tells El Reg

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Re: If you see the whitespace on the site, it's probably because you're blocking an ad.

I get it sometimes in Firefox mobile, although I saw it in Brave yesterday on the desktop.

Showering malware-laced laptops on UK schools is the wrong way to teach them about cybersecurity

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Re: Rotten at the Core

I know where they can get some laptops cheap, so they can video conference...

Tesla axes software engineer for allegedly pilfering secret Python scripts after just three days on the job

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Re: "Received a computer" "He also installed Dropbox"

Given licensing issues, data protection issues and security issues, everywhere I have worked has had very strict rules on what software is allowed or not.

All too often people will say, "but it is free, I use it at home," yeah, home fine, but actually read the license and it is only for personal use, you can't use it for business without buying a license or professional support.

It is nice that your employer is a little more lenient. Although, working in IT and responsible for licensing and security, I'd prefer to deal with our locked-down model.

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Re: "Received a computer" "He also installed Dropbox"

6300 files isn't that much for a complex system. They can quickly run into the 10s of thousands. As to this case, I can't comment.

And, yes, installing "personal", i.e. not from IT controlled and installed, is generally a big no-no in most companies I've worked for, either it isn't allowed or you have to get special permission and a damned good reason for doing so.

You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right? Trust... but verify

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Re: You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right?

Or those good ones who "zone out" once in a while. In our office, the sparky had wired up over 50 plugs in my area, but crossed live (phase?) and earth on one plug... Just happened to be the one where I touched the earthing prong (German socket with exposed earthing prongs, to well, you know, earth things, before the hit the current), very useful for earthing yourself when working on delicate electronics - assuming the pulg is properly wired!

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Re: You would expect a qualified electrician to wire a building to spec, right?

Yes, in my old office, the electrician had wired up one socket "wrong", phase to earth. That was literally hair-raising, when I touched Earth prong! I had a pain in my arm and shoulder for an hour or two afterwards, but was very lucky!

The techs in the production area wouldn't believe me, until they turned up with a multimeter. They promptly cut power to the wing and checked all the remaining sockets. From around 50 sockets in the area, the electrician had messed up on only one... But it only takes one to cause an accident.

Somehow, over 15 years in the building, nobody had ever stuck anything into that socket, until I did.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community

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Re: "Drivers" me mad...

Or Windows (8/9/10, Server 20008 - 2019) on VMware with Paravirtual SCSI driver and VMXNet network card. You need the VMware Tools ISO to get the PV-SCSI driver installed, then you need the VMware Tools to be installed after Windows is installed, before you can use the network.

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Re: "Drivers" me mad...

I built a new PC in 2004, Athlon64, SATA HDD, DVD, no floppy... And swappable hard drives. The drive with Linux installed like a dream, slap the DVD in the drive and wait 30 minutes while it chugged away.

Windows? No. No hard drive attached to the PC! Hmm. The motherboard supplier provided a floppy with the drivers. I borrowed a USB floppy from a friend. Windows found the drivers... Then reset the USB bus before trying to load them! Luckily the shop where I bought the components was very friendly and lent me an internal floppy drive, 10 minutes later, Windows had found the drivers and loaded them! I then returned the floppy drive to the shop.

I also had an Acer laptop, with ATi Radeon X800m graphics. That couldn't even install Linux in VESA mode! I had to do a command line install, then download the ATi drivers and link them into the Kernel... I think it took a good 18 months, back then, before even rudimentary support was built into Linux for the graphic chip!

Both sides of the fence "could do better". Although, these days, both do a half-way decent job of installing from scratch, as long as you have a compatible network driver in your toolbox...

Judge denies Parler an injunction to force AWS to host the antisocial network for internet outcasts

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Re: Censorship by Private Companies

That is a whole different matter. Are the companies getting too big and too powerful? Absolutely. It is also how capitalism works.

But that is a completely different issue and has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the US First Amendment and contract law.

I'm no supporter of Big Tech, but I also see the stupidity and futility of Parler's case here. They were allegedly warned in November and again in December that they weren't fulfilling their contractual obligations.

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Re: Censorship by Private Companies

No, the government can't interfere, mostly (shouting fire in a theatre and all that).

But a private company is not the government and they do not have to work with people they don't like or who break the terms of their contract. That is not censorship, that is capitalism at work.

AWS not hosting their site isn't censorship, Parler can go and buy their own servers and plug them into the internet or their users can go out on the street or into public parks and shout their heads off.

If the government turned around and said, "we don't like Parler and we will stop them from being on the Internet and stop their users standing on the street and saying what they want," that would be censorship.

Loser Trump's last financial disclosure docs reveal Tim Cook gave him $5,999 Mac Pro, the 'first' made in Texas

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I was contracted out to GPT in Coventry in the late 80s. The managers there invited me to lunch every day and were annoyed, when I declined one day, because I had to go to the bank at lunch time.

When they had guests, they could get a free meal, with silver service, at the on-site golf club! Luckily, my company had no rules about being fed by the client - in fact, they preferred it, because I didn't then submit an expense claim...

On his way out, Trump emits exec order suggesting US cloud giants must verify ID of all foreign customers

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The US Government has done its best over the last 4 years to destroy big tech,outside the USA.

With failing to implement its side of Privacy Shield, not revoking the Patriot Act, FISA courts or NLSs, plus adding the CLOUD Act into the mix, they have done their absolute best to destroy cloud computing.

Maker of crowd-sourced coronavirus spread tracker app sues Apple for 'arbitrary and capricious' iOS store snub

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Re: Good luck.

Because this is sensitive medical information, in effect.

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Re: Good luck.

The app is also a privacy nightmare. I wouldn't have touched it with a barge pole!

Indian government slams Facebook over WhatsApp 'privacy' update, wants its own Europe-style opt-out switch

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The problem is, it takes a lot of effort. It isn't just writing a law, you need to give companies time to adjust their systems, change how they work, re-write systems, in some instances, so that they can comply.

They need to train staff, appoint a data protection officers. The government would need to create a new body, like the ICO.

All of that in 6 months? Hard to do.

Labour Party urges UK data watchdog to update its Code of Employment Practices to tackle workplace snooping

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Re: Privacy by design

We are lucky. No BYOD. We get a company PC/laptop and a company phone, if we need it.

No private data allowed on company devices. No company data on private devices

No company laptop and no company phone, no access to company data.

It also makes "signing off" easier. You leave your company phone at work or you turn it off when you leave the office, unless you are on call.

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Re: Naive

Frowned upon and pretty much banned here. Definitely can't be done without first getting the employee's consent and if they don't consent, you can't take any retaliatory actions.

At my employer:

We can't monitor email, for example, without first informing the user. If a user is long-term sick, they are sometimes informed that an out-of-office message will be set and their supervisor will be copied in on email, so that nothing important slips by. (They are also not supposed to use email for private communication, so there is generally no real problems in that area.)

Listening in on/recording telephone conversations has very strict rules in Germany, both sides have to agree, before the recording can take place, there can be no automatic recording. (Warrants for police purposes excepted, but the employer can't spy) The employer has simply deactivated all recording on the telephone and in Teams by policy.

No monitoring software on PCs, smartphones etc. Only the app for clocking on and clocking off for remote workers.

No monitoring of internet access (anti-virus excepted).

In Microsoft 365 all the monitoring tools are deactivated / access removed.

It makes for a much more relaxed and efficient atmosphere (you aren't constantly "looking over your shoulder").

Looking for something on which to spend all that bonus Bitcoin? How about The Hoff's very own KITT?

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I preferred Doyle's RS2000 in the later series.

The first series had them driving a bunch of different BL stuff, including a TR7. </shudder>

My top 5 would probably be:

1. Bandit Trans Am

2. General Lee


4. Doyle's RS2000

5. Streethawk (yes, I know, motorbike, not car)

Flash in the pan: Raspberry Pi OS is the latest platform to carve out vulnerable tech

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When I was at school, we had to make to with CESIL (Computer Education in Schools Instruction Language). Now that was "fun".

It ran through an interpreter written in CBM BASIC on our PETs.

My final CSE project was an adventure game written in CESIL!

Sweet! Your boss is going to get you a plush new headset, says Gartner as wearable spending to soar almost 20%

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I've been using Jabra DECT headsets for about a decade now. They are great. Generally more reliable than BT, especially in crowded environments (at a previous office, we had around 50 people in range with wireless DECT headsets.

At home I use a simple Jabra wired headset or my Sony BT cans. They are generally good enough for my home office.

Extreme Networks misses death-of-Flash deadline, suggests winding back PC clocks to keep its GUI alive

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I read it on a couple of tech sites in November/December that the last security update for Flash also contained a kill-switch.

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Re: Wow...

"We take our customers security....."

and throw it in the bin.

Sorry, but how can a network company that doesn't take security seriously even be considered as a supplier?

Linux developers get ready to wield the secateurs against elderly microprocessors

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Re: what is linux good for?

Or my Ryzen 7 PC with SSD RAID and 64GB RAM...

Or supercomputers...

Developers! These 3 weird tricks will make you a global hero

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Don't worry, a "researcher" has snaffled the whole kit-and-kaboodle and posted it online, including personal posts and deleted messages...

BOFH: Time for the MMOCC. You know, the Massively Moronic Online Christmas Call

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Re: Pardon?

It isn't HIS software he would be installing.

The PFY has always had an aversion to installing external vendors' software on "his"* kit.

* All you devices are belong to PFY

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Probably a little less painful (for me) than saying, "if my fist can flatten your nose, you are too close!"

Trump's overhaul of Section 230 stalls, Biden may just throw the web legal shield on the bonfire anyway

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Re: And...

No, it protects the platform where the comment has been entered from being sued.

It doesn't stop the individual from being sued, if they post libellous information.

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Section 230 – the liability shield that more or less prevents websites, such as Twitter and Facebook and the Register forums, from being sued in the US for their users’ content

It doesn't just protect the big names, it protects any site, blog, forum etc. that allows users to comment.

Trump pushes anti-immigrant policy into Biden term with extended freeze on H-1B and other work visas

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How the US is (not) dealing with COVID, who in their right mind would want to go there anyway at the moment?

Server won't boot? Forgot to make that backup? Have no fear, just blame Microsoft

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Re: A hard lesson...

Yep, we had an IBM AS/400 in the mid 90s. UPS failure (battery check said 100%. power failure said 0%) and the AS/400 went down. It took a couple of hours to get the power back, by which time the components had cooled and the DASD, that had been holding on on a wing and a prayer, seized. The bearings had dried out.

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Re: Out of the Frying pan, into the Fire?

We had Backup Exec running on NetWare 3.1, writing to a Sony tape system.

'Following the science' rhetoric led to delay to UK COVID-19 lockdown, face mask rules

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Re: The Institute for Government, a bunch of non-scientists

Sorry, living in Germany, the science said, use masks, social distancing and lock down.

I would say that the UK Government ignored scientific advice for too long.

'Best tech employer of the year' threatened trainee with £15k penalty fee for quitting to look after his sick mum

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Re: Suddenly, all is clear

Despite our academy being excellent, it doesn't sort out all the chaff...

I had to mentor one guy who came out the other end. He'd been pushed from project to project, the PMs couldn't wait to get rid of him. Then I was assigned as his mentor and I actually called up a couple of the PMs and asked for a quick assessment.

It turned out, that after 6 months of training and 6 months of project work, he still didn't understand a for-loop or how an if statement worked! His testing was passable, but not good.

I called him in for a talk. It turned out he was a marketing graduate, but marketing graduates don't make enough money in the first couple of years, so he went into programming instead, because it was better paid!

I managed to get him seconded to the marketing department, where he actually excelled for about 6 months... Then he was shoved back into the programming pool, despite my recommendations and protests. :-(

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Re: Suddenly, all is clear

When I first started in IT, the company I worked for had an internal training division. There is nothing wrong with having a training division or an academy. But it needs to be a professional set-up and it need trained professionals running it.

Ours was so good that the training was actually also sold to clients.

Windows might have frozen – but at least my feet are toasty

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Re: Site services...

As A.P.Veening says, prongs, top and bottom of the socket. The type E has a single prong / nubbin in the middle of the socket.

If you take a look at the link Strahd Ivarius posted, you can see the two metal prongs on the Type F.

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Re: Site services...

No, definitely type F, with the earth prongs sticking out. I should know, I've lived here in Germany for nearly 20 years.

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Site services...

Our helpdesk was reorganized. The desks moved around and the tanks in the floor with the power and networking along with them. These plugged into a power rail and only plugged in one way... At least in theory.

Somehow the site services guy managed to rotate the box 90° and wedge it in place. So, now, life = neutral, earth = live and neutral = earth...

I plugged my PC back in and flicked the (hardware) power switch. BANG a 12" long spark shot out the back of the PSU and everything went dead! Unfortunately, I had turned the PC on first, not the dodgy old monitor I wanted replacing... Hey ho.

Another time, in Germany, I had a similar problem. The German sockets are similar to the UK ones, in that the Earth connector connects first as the plug is pushed into the socket. All very good and safety conscious. The German system, however, has the earth connectors standing proud in the socket. You can actually touch them. They are great for working on electronics, you attach your anti-static wristband direct to the earth prongs.

I was standing in my office and leaning against the wall, I then leant forward and lost my balance. I reached out behind me and managed to stick my fingers in the socket to save me. My left hand touched the earth prong, no problems. My right hand followed and BAM! The electrician that had wired up the sockets had switched the phase and earth on that socket! All the other sockets were correct, just this one was wrong and, in over 15 years of use, nobody had ever plugged anything into that socket!

Microsoft is designing its own Arm-based data-center server, PC chips – report

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Re: MS take a look at the Apple design

There are physical limits, which can't be gotten around. With Azure, you are talking about servers with RAM in excess of 1TB in many instances. You won't get that on the same SoC as the processor cores - in fact, you will have multiple SoCs sharing memory.

Just look at the Fujitsu super computer, a couple of hundred thousand 48-core processors...

There is a world of difference, in terms of scale between entry level laptops and high end servers, or even desktop workstations.

Apple have achieved a huge performance push, for ARM, in the M1 chip. But it will be what they do for the iMac Pro and Mac Pro that will really show what is happening. I don't think you will find 30 - 60 cores and 512GB RAM all on the same SoC, when it comes to the Mac Pro.

About $15m in advertising booked to appear on millions of smart TVs was never seen by anyone, says Oracle

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Re: Naughty step

Shaking the advertising out of a magazine into the bin is wrong? I thought is was just fire starter material for our camp fire in the garden... Just add parafin.

GitHub will no longer present a cookie notification banner – because it's scrapping non-essential cookies

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Now, if only they could do the same for Windows and Office...

They were not the cloud you were looking for, insists Amazon Web Services in unsealed JEDI protest

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Black Helicopters

They probably weighed that against Amazon's ability to vacuum data wholesale from its customers...

Twitter scores a first for big tech after being fined €450,000 by Ireland's data watchdog for violating the EU's GDPR

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Re: The fine could hardly be smaller

There is usually leniancy in such situations, where the company cooperates with the authorities and shows contrition.

A few large fines in Germany have been reduced, because the companies involved worked closely with the registrars to ensure exposure was minimized and to take remedial action, so that such an event couldn't occur again.

Up yours, Europe! Our 100% prime British broadband is cheaper than yours... but also slower and a bit of a rip-off

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Re: Speed is not the whole story

I've never had caps applied in Germany. In the mid 2000s, I was using around 250GB a month (I did a lot of testing for SUSE back then and was downloading beta DVDs every few days), now it is over 1TB a month. I've not had my connection throttled and I've never been warned about my data usage.

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Re: Value for money

It depends. If you get your 30mbps for 38 quid, that maybe the cheapest. But if you get 100mbps for 45 quid, that is "more expensive", but better value for money.

I agree, if it was markedly more expensive, then it isn't necessarily better value for money, if you don't need the extra speed. But the prices, here in Germany aren't generally much higher than in the UK.

1&1 are currently offering 100mbps for 0€ a month for the first 10 months, then 39.99€ a month thereafter (2 year minimum).

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My German LTE backup is faster and cheaper than the UK standard, albeit limited in volume.

Lucky you. I am on Vodafone Deutschland. It is supposed to be "up to 500mbps"... I get around 0.001mbps at work and 5mbps at home. Switching back to congstar, that is "only" 50mbps, but at least I get 10mbps at work and 45mbps at home.

My ISP at home is Osnatel and I get 50mbps for 39€ a month, including a landline and mobile flat rate. And I get 52mbps most days.

But I can confirm what the OP said, I get the 50mbps all day. I've never seen the speed drop off - apart from the time the builder down in the town dug through the fibre trunk into the town! 2 days of no bandwidth, then 1 week at 2mbps until full service was restored. Given how much damage the builders caused, I was surprised how quickly we got emergency coverage and how quickly full service was restored.


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