* Posts by Phil W

1107 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Mar 2010


Microsoft to drop price for Teams Rooms, add free Basic tier for SMBs

Phil W

"Microsoft customers can also acquire up to 25 Basic licenses"

Does that mean if you've got more than 25 rooms but you're happy with the Basic license, that you've got to buy Pro anyway?

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

Phil W

Re: The light..

There are four lights!

Brit authorities could legally do an FBI and scrub malware from compromised boxen without your knowledge

Phil W

Forced remedy to infection

The only way this should be legally allowed to happen in the UK is if we also introduce mandatory vaccination against Covid-19 for everyone (unless there's a good medical reason not to). If you're going to allow the government to force remediation against computers being infected with malware, then you should damn well be ok with allowing them to force remediation against deadly infections. Lives aren't even at risk with the former, but they are with the latter.

IBM job ad calls for 12 years’ experience with Kubernetes – which is six years old

Phil W

Re: Age discrimination

Not to mention experience does not equal capability, 10 years experience of being shit at something is not better than 2 years experiencing of doing a good job.

Phil W

Re: HR droids...

Did the exam have a grading criteria I wonder?

A 3 hour long paper of pseudocode would be incredibly tedious to read as well as write, and given the lack of any formal standard for pseudocode the resulting papers turned in would be hard to compare.

Remember when we warned in February Apple will crack down on long-life HTTPS certs? It's happening: Chrome, Firefox ready to join in, too

Phil W

Re: Is there any advantage left by using commercial certs?

LetsEncrypt doesn't provide CRL DPs in their certs which are required for some things.

Logitech Zone Wireless: Swanky headset means business, but that also means it comes with a hefty price tag

Phil W

Re: Logitech H800

Another vote for the h800, it's a great bit of kit.

Microsoft! Please, put down the rebrandogun. No one else needs to get hurt... But it's too late for Visual Studio Online

Phil W

Re: This is Microsoft

It's to be rebranded Microsoft 366 every four years, and changed back to 365 in the intervening 3.

The BlackBerry in your junk drawer is now a collectors' item: TCL says no more new keyboard-clad phones

Phil W

Re: That's a shame

There is a first part keyboard cover for the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, i did have one for a while, but it's not fantastic. Better than using the touchscreen for those that can't handle that, but not as good as the keyboard on the Priv, or KeyOne and KeyTwo

This is also a system for GPs, right? UK doctors seek clarity over Health dept's £40m single sign-on funding

Phil W

Re: WTF are they doing ?

Your success at signing into eduroam at other institutions or organisations comes to down to whether your home organisation has their RADIUS set up properly for external logins and if they've configured things correctly with JISC. Getting signing working at your home organisation is pretty simple getting it working elsewhere a little less so.

Why is a 22GB database containing 56 million US folks' personal details sitting on the open internet using a Chinese IP address? Seriously, why?

Phil W

Re: late capitalists

"you fuck up on data privacy and we'll test our cosmetics on your CEO"

......are you trying to encourage the coalface workers to leak people's data?

IT consultant who deleted every account on UK company Jet2's domain cops 5 months in jail

Phil W

Yeah this has never been the case at any hotel I've stayed in in the UK ranging from travelodge and cheaper budget hotels to more expensive premium hotels. I've also literally never seen a difference online when booking either, many forms ask how many people are staying but this has no bearing on price.

Phil W

Re: He was stupid


I especially like the part where the police tracked him down from the IP address he connected from which was his own Virgin Media connection. I mean FFS there are so many ways to connect to the internet that are impossible or at least significantly more difficult than that to trace.

It's also intriguing to go back to the original cause of the grievance. Who was the person he tried to get into the hotel the company was paying for? The obvious options are his girlfriend/partner, but if that were the case you'd think the company might have been willing to stretch to letting her stay with him if he'd asked. The other option seems likely to be prostitutes, which would explain the relationship breaking down after he was charged when the story of his grievance came to light.

El Reg presents: Your one-step guide on where not to store electronic mail

Phil W

Re: Deleted

"If every single thing deleted could be rescued, but only by a technical person who knows the proper incantations, users would learn"

Really? Do you really honestly believe that? Because I can tell you now that you're 100% definitely wrong.

Aside from the built in Outlook/Exchange functionality that allows items to be retrieved from Deleted Items and even from Reoverable Deleted Items for a period of time after they've been purged from Recoverable Deleted Items, we still get not infrequent requests to restore from months old tape backups emails which were "accidentally" deleted 6 months ago. Repeat customers for these requests are no uncommon.

The problem is the sort of user who doesn't just write off an email they accidentally deleted x number of days/weeks/months ago is also the sort of person who is quite willing to repeat the mistake and then demand that IT fix it (or even take the blame for it going missing in the first place) because that's we're there for as far as they're concerned.

BOFH: 'Twas the night before Christmas, and the ransomware struck

Phil W

Re: How dare they hide something from him!

@Captain Scarlet

That worked for 2007/2010 I believe, but 2016 and 2019 the password is no longer in the XML file. I know I know, shocking that MS would bother to patch such a shockingly simple security hole.

Phil W

Re: A what USB stick?

I wondered that but it didn't seem jargony enough.

Phil W

Re: How dare they hide something from him!

Countless times I've dealt with requests for password protected Excel files where the password has been forgotten.

Job is closed with a totally unsymptathic email saying we can't help, that they shouldn't use passwords on spreadsheets like that and strongly worded advice that the files should be secured by virtue of where they are stored not through proprietary app based passwords that only one person knows

Phil W

A what USB stick?

Ok, I hate to seem ignorant but what is a "Class 10 USB Stick"?

SD Cards have numbered classes but I have literally never seen "Class x" associated with a USB flash drive.

Your duckface better be flawless: Huawei's Nova 6 mobe has a needlessly powerful selfie camera

Phil W

"Microsoft and Valve only know the gaming time, but they won't know which of your friends beats the most bosses in the co-op game"

Yes they do, that's what achievements/awards/medals etc in games are for.

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer

Phil W

Re: Beer...

As laudable as it is for Alessandro to take the heat, I would be reluctant to blame the "junior Oracle DBA" guy anyway. Sure he might have pulled the trigger on the wrong command but the bigger questions of responsibility are

Why did the senior DBA let him do it if he was really looking over his shoulder? If he wasn't really looking but was supposed to be then some of it is on him.

Who let the junior DBA have access to do this on the most important live databases if they weren't sure he knew not to do something like this and why?

Halfords invents radio signals that don't travel at the speed of light

Phil W


While this clearly is marketing BS there is a certain truth to it. It depends how you define "fast". DAB has a higher bandwidth, so can transfer more data more quickly than a lower bandwidth analogue FM, transferring the same amount of data more quickly is arguably a reasonable definition of the word fast.

Before you argue that this isn't the case, consider whether two broadband connections that can both get 1ms latency to a server, but one is 24Mbps and is 36Mbps can one be said to be "faster" than the other or not.

A cautionary, Thames Watery tale on how not to look phishy: 'Click here to re-register!'

Phil W

Re: Why no subdomain!?

You mean little Bobby watertable?

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool

Phil W

Re: Hardware Testing

Mitel phone systems have a function called Automatic Route Selection, commonly to by its acronym.

Behold the perils of trying to turn the family and friends support line into a sideline

Phil W

Re: F&F discount

"One way to stop being asked to provide tech support is to change things beyond recognition, announce that it's better, then leave"

Install Windows 8.1 then

Lancaster Uni data breach hits at least 12,500 wannabe students

Phil W

Of course there is. Speaking from experience there a wide variety of qualities of phishing attacks, ranging from random middle eastern email address you've never heard of, sending poor worded emails with links to poorly constructed pages asking for credentials in broken English, to attackers deliberately compromising known partner organisations of their real target and then using their real email accounts to email the target institution with very well constructed emails with fairly genuine looking links to extremely well constructed pages including the organisation's logo etc.

Not to say some common sense and training wouldn't also help defeat the well crafted attacks, but there is most definitely a varying sophistication of attacks.

UK's North Midlands hospitals IT outage, day 2: All surgery and appointments cancelled

Phil W

Re: "Where is your contingency planning for such events?"

For clarity I would add that, I'm quite sure the Doctors and Nurses in the NHS do care about their patients, it's the manglement above them I was referring to. Manglement types don't tend to hang around in warzones.

Phil W

Re: "Where is your contingency planning for such events?"

"Amazing to think that in war zones, bombed out hospitals keep operating."

Performing emergency surgeries in a bombed out hospital with the windows/walls half missing, and not worrying about getting paid for it, is not really a fair comparison to an NHS hospital in the UK.

For one thing, all the staff in that warzone hospital care about their patients, that's why they're still there.

Before we lose our minds over sentient AI, what about self-driving cars that can't detect kids crossing the road?

Phil W

Re: self-driving cars that can't detect kids crossing the road

Or can, and are deliberately trying to run them over to reduce the human population.

Introducing 'freedom gas' – a bit like the 2003 deep-fried potato variety, only even worse for you

Phil W

Re: *pure*

It's Brussels sprouts.

King's College London internal memo cops to account 'compromise' as uni resets passwords

Phil W

Dumb passwords

It would be interesting to know how many people now have correcthorsebatterystaple as their password, having read that particular xkcd and decided that that would be a really secure password to use.

Brit Parliament online orifice overwhelmed by Brexit bashers

Phil W

Re: Can you blame us?

"I voted to leave but all that's happened in the past two years is that Westminster has proven itself to be utterly unworthy of governing the people."

I voted Remain, not because I was that arsed about staying in but because:

A. I knew that our MPs were a waste of oxygen who wouldn't be able to sort it out properly

B. I didn't see the benefit, in terms of the whole "unelected bureaucrats" "sovereignty" and "making our own laws arguments. We've got far bigger problems with corruption (all of westminster) and unelected bureaucrats (the house of Lords) in our own country, before we worry about being part of the EU.

Thanks to UK peers, coming to a laptop near you in 2019: Age checks for online smut

Phil W

Re: Doh....

"Paid for and used properly they can considerably increase security while browsing, and not just smut."

The fact that you're paying for a VPN makes it neither secure or trustworthy. If you believe that's really the case I will happily take your money for the VPN service I'm about to set up.

I pinky promise not to log all your activity and sell it to either the government or ne'er-do-wells on the dark web.

Scam or stunt? It's looking like the latter... Xiaomi so sorry for £1 smartphone 'promo'

Phil W

Versus Samsung

If Samsung can survive phones literally catching fire and exploding I think Xiaomi can handle this. At least this marketing blunder hasn't harmed anyone or cost anyone anything, unlike exploding phones, and doesn't really reflect the quality of their products just the competence of their marketing team.

I don't know about anyone else but I don't buy my phones based on the quality of the marketing...

Xiaomi anarchy in the UK: Chinese tat-flinger wants to slip its cheapo flagships in Brit pockets

Phil W

Re: Redmi 6A at £99

That's a little unfair, all the other major brand's lowest end phones are full of crap too.

However something like the Mi A2 is still relatively cheap at £250 (compared to the £1000 LG referenced above). That has pretty decent specs and runs Android One so is fairly pure Android with Google services, maintained and updated by Google on regular basis because it's Android One.

Phil W

Re: So....?

That's true about the updates, I bought mine 4 months ago and I've had at least 3 updates since then, including a major OS version update.

Phil W

Re: So....?

If data privacy is your concern maybe don't use the Internet at all.

I'd bet you posted your comment from a major browser on either a Windows PC or Mac or from an iOS or Android device so it's a bit late for worrying about that.

Personally I'd trust Xiaomi just as much (or little) as I'd trust Samsung or Google from a privacy point of view.

The hardware is pretty good anyway, I have a Mi Mix 2S and it's very good. If using Xiaomi's OS worries you, there is a working unofficial Lineage OS for it.

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call

Phil W

Re: Mac OS X Server isn't what it used to be

It's not just the software either. Your options for server hardware should not be iMac or Mac Mini form factors with single hard drive, or Mac Pro with multiple drives (assuming you use one of the older tower type not the new sexy cylinder jobs).

Want a server with enough storage physically attached to store the user profiles and work of a few hundred plus users? Yeah no help there sorry, you'll have to run a Mac Mini to manage the the users and then a Windows/Linux/BSD server or dedicated NAS/SAN appliance for the storage.

Want your server virtualised, as per industry standard operations these days, to help improve reliability and downtime (forget costs this is Apple we're talking about), nope sorry.

Most of us are left having to manage network users on Macs through Active Directory, with maybe a Mac "server" thrown in for extra functionality if required.

Maybe Boris Johnson is secretly running Apple, given the "F*** business" attitude that seems to be prevalent.

Microsoft Windows 10 October update giving HP users BSOD

Phil W

Re: Again

"so is MacOS and not once have i updated my 8 year old Macbook and had it forget how to play sound!"

Funny you should mention that but certain models of iMac had exactly that problem after updating to a particular MacOS, I forget whether it was Sierra or the one before that but essentially all the iMacs we had of a particular model stopped being able to output sound via the internal speakers following the update.

To be fair it was a trivial fix, plugging something into the headphone jack and unplugging it fixed it, but the principal is the same, it should never have happened.

In some ways you could blame Microsoft less for this, they can't realistically test Windows updates on every conceivable bit of hardware that it may be running on. Apple on the other hand have a much smaller set of hardware to test, and they make all of it!

Samsung Galaxy A9: Mid-range bruiser that takes the fight to Huawei

Phil W

Re: Four cameras?

Are you thinking of the Mach 20 razor?


Dust off that old Pentium, Linux fans: It's Elive

Phil W

Re: If it's snappy on old kit...

"What does it run like on a modern 8th gen I7, 32Gb RAM, a 4Gb video card, & 250Gb SSD?"

This question makes me think of the scene from Lost in Space (the 1998 movie not the Netflix series), where they find the ship from the (relative) future and the computers are so fast they struggle to use them.

Also the fact that Matt le Blanc, Heather Graham or any of the other stars from that incredible cheesey movie haven't been given a cameo in the Netflix series seems a missed opportunity.

Google is 20, Chrome is 10, and Microsoft would rather ignore the Nokia deal's 5th birthday

Phil W

Re: 'Amazing how Google evolved ... to all-powerful Megacorp out of a dystopian SciFi scenario'

Google is more akin to Massive Dynamic from Fringe.

Now you can tell someone to literally go f--k themselves over the internet: Remote-control mock-cock patent dies

Phil W


Massage payload delivered to box.

Thinking of saying goodbye to your servers? We'll show you how

Phil W

Up next:

Computerless computing, workerless working.

Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

Phil W


"A+ certification is a joke"

Yes, yes it is, and I say that as A+ certified technician.

A multiple choice exam where more than one answer is right but you can only pick one, or only one is correct they one they say is correct isn't, is not a good measure of anything except your ability to pass bullshit exams.

Phil W


Unfortunately there is a lot of cheap tat around in Windows 10 tablets now, much as with Android. iwork chuwi and other odd brands all tend to be garbage. Linx I have mostly read good reviews of, apart from those where people were clearly expecting more than they should given the specs. I am quite pleased with mine.

As with all purchases of items not from major brands (and some of those from major brands frankly), read reviews and be sure of what you're buying before purchasing.

Phil W


No thanks, I'd rather buy cake for myself, plus I have now received my Linx tablet and am not disappointed at all. Performance is more than adequate, especially given the price (£145 for a Grade A refurb unit)

Phil W

The WiFi dropouts should supposedly be better now, there have been driver and BIOS updates to fix it.

As for performance, like others have said it depends what you're doing with it. I tend to use small laptops/tablets as web browsers and remote desktop clients.

I had a HP 2in1 with a Bay Trail Atom and 2GB RAM previously, it was just about ok for everything I wanted, only lack of RAM let it down really. Given that this is a generation of CPU newer and twice the RAM it should do for me.

Phil W

If you're on a budget but want a Surface it might be worth looking at the Linx 12x64. Surface lookalike with a quad core Atom and 4GB RAM, available for under £200.

I don't have one yet but most of the reviews are good, so I have one on the way.

'Can you just pop in to the office and hit the power button?' 'Not really... the G8 is on'

Phil W

Re: An server environment

Not to mention several instances of "the" missing from the details of the trip to Seattle downtown

How much do you think Cisco's paying erstwhile Brit PM David Cameron?

Phil W

what up G

In fairness the being known as G thing might be more to do with stopping people mangling the pronunciation of Guillermo than it is to do with being hypercool.

In a world where people often don't bother to learn the correct pronunciation of names from countries other than their own, I'd imagine having people call you Gwill-err-moh instead of Gee-yair-moh becomes a little tedious after a while.