* Posts by hmv

354 posts • joined 30 Apr 2010


To test its security mid-pandemic, GitLab tried phishing its own work-from-home staff. 1 in 5 fell for it

hmv Silver badge


These kind of attacks don't require email and in fact predate computers.

That's not to say email couldn't be made a lot better.

hmv Silver badge

Re: Not bad

And the 3.4% rate includes phishing attacks from the clueless - you would expect a half-reasonable security team to come up with a more credible phishing attack than them!

Linux desktop org GNOME Foundation settles lawsuit with patent troll

hmv Silver badge

Re: I hope it's a good result

There's a word for people who only pay attention to the costs and ignore the ethics - that's 'sociopath'.

DNS this week stands for Drowning Needed Services: Design flaw in name server system can be exploited to flood machines offline

hmv Silver badge

Re: Urgently patch your publicly available, recursive DNS server

Yep. On closer inspection - I was distracted by the flames on the victim's authoritative servers and the imminent start of Yet Another Meeting.

hmv Silver badge

Re: Urgently patch your publicly available, recursive DNS server

Er ... "publicly available /authoritative/ DNS server". Whole different beast and whilst it's relatively rare, there's still quite a few out there.

Windows Terminal hits the big 1.0: Fit for production?

hmv Silver badge


However I find that the programs I use the most frequently I /do/ remember the names of and "gooey-space, viv Return" is quite a bit quicker than trying to remember where the mouse is, activating the menu, and selecting the right option.

It's nice to have both options.

hmv Silver badge

Re: A terminal program?

To be fair they're replacing that bletcherous CMD.EXE, so it's hardly pointless. Seems quite nice although I don't have much call to use it (Windows lives in a VM).

As to Unix/Linux "nailing" the terminal, well there are still those tinkering trying to improve it - xterm hasn't entirely stood still since it was released, and my own favourite (kitty) does graphics inline.

DirectX comes to Linux (via WSL2): Microsoft unveils tricks needed to flash a GPU at a penguin

hmv Silver badge

Kind of handy that my monitor is 4K plus a bit extra on the side then. Whilst it isn't great, at least VirtualBox doesn't crap itself for me.

Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?

hmv Silver badge

Re: @jonha - Why do you believe this ?

"Windows kernel achieved supremacy"

Desktop supremacy (except for us weirdos). Actually anyone who knows the word "kernel" is a weirdo - most people don't care. And there might just be a business case for moving Microsoft's gooey and apps over to a Linux kernel - rather than continue to maintain the Windows kernel, they can get others to help with that maintenance. And that would be quite a cost saving.

Enough to pay for the work to be done? Probably not. But neither of us has seen those calculations.

Easyjet hacked: 9 million people's data accessed plus 2,200 folks' credit card details grabbed

hmv Silver badge

I wonder just how many times the NCSC face-palms when they learn the details of what "a highly sophisticated source" did to get the data.

And just how necessary is it to store credit card data anyway? I know /we/ don't and we do take such payments.

Windows invokes Sgrîn Las Marwolaeth upon Newport

hmv Silver badge

Re: Llundain

Welsh autocorrect? It was apparently "Lundein" in Old Welsh, and is probably where "Londinium" came from.

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain

hmv Silver badge

Re: Unpasteurised milk

It is surprising how common regulation comes after some abusive practice demonstrates the need for regulation. There's a similar tale from the UK about how flour in bread used to be adulterated which was so profitable than honest bakers were driven out of business.

hmv Silver badge

Re: K'in eejets.

"Cider is swill."

With 40L of cider on top in the kitchen I can't be said to be an impartial observer.

But, no. You just haven't found the good stuff.

hmv Silver badge

Re: K'in eejets.

Yeah! We used to drink beer like that - it was called 'small beer' and used as a substitute for water when water wasn't so safe. Now that we have reasonable water supplies, it's no longer popular.

Mirror mirror on the wall, why will my mouse not work at all?

hmv Silver badge

Re: Even easier to get wrong with Sun optical mice

I think I've still got one of those mouse mats in the bottom of the drawer at work.

You could also print out a grid and use that … if you were lucky!

hmv Silver badge

Re: obvious

It's easy to forget how we were introduced to mice - they just appeared on our desks one day without much in the way of explanation of how to use them. I once encountered a student using a lab machine with the mouse turned upside down - it worked in a way (mice still had balls back then); he'd never encountered a mouse before.

Mind you, as someone whose spacial awareness isn't so bad, you do have to wonder why they didn't try the mouse the other way up as one of the first things to try.

Microsoft doc formats are the bane of office suites on Linux, SoftMaker's Office 2021 beta may have a solution

hmv Silver badge

Or perhaps LyX which is an almost WYSIWIG word-processor with LaTeX underneath.

hmv Silver badge

Re: Trust Office

It really all depends on your definition of "usable". If that includes /quality/ printed output and you're picky about kerning, etc. then yes marginally usable is an appropriate phrase. If that includes managing /really/ big documents, then yes marginally usable is an appropriate phrase (there's always some bugger who refuses to use styles).

As for competitors, I remember when $work switched from WordPerfect to Word (over the loud and furious objections from those who worked with documents the most) - there wasn't a consideration of any of the competitors.

This space is intentionally left blank

hmv Silver badge

And all over the world ...

Helpdesks are handling a surge in calls relating to this mysterious error that appears when they hit "Reply-All" ... it used to work fine.

'We're changing shift, and no one can log on!' It was at this moment our hero knew server-lugging chap had screwed up

hmv Silver badge

Re: Labels people, and read them!

Front and rear. Guess why I'm so insistent it should be both ends?

And to server manufacturers: Make bloody sure there's enough space. A space for a readable server label is more important than that 12th disk drive slot.

hmv Silver badge

Re: Labels people, and read them!

It's generally preferable to do application level clustering (as done with ISC's dhcpd server). But yes having two is generally a good idea especially if you insist on using (now) older versions of Windows for doing it with.

Mind you, I would say that as that's what I've been doing for over a decade.

The iMac at 22: How the computer 'too odd to succeed' changed everything ... for Apple, at least

hmv Silver badge

Re: Nowadays Macs don't look different than PCs

Not especially - compare it with equivalent workstations from Dell or HP.

Now if you were to say there should be a Mac Pro mini at half the price and half the expandability, I'd agree.

I'm doing this to stop humans ripping off brilliant ideas by computers and aliens, says guy unsuccessfully filing patents 'invented' by his AI

hmv Silver badge

Re: Plus ca change

On the other hand just because it's a new 'abuse' by humans doesn't mean it should be allowed. Thaler may well be a nut-job, but it's an interesting topic to discuss over a pint or six.

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard

hmv Silver badge

Re: Brownie?

It may be that the designers were required to avoid making the glyph look too much like any one specific camera - just convey the idea of a camera. Given how outdated it is, and given the subject perhaps Sauron's eye would be more appropriate?

The rumor that just won't die: Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length in 2021 with launch of 'A14-powered laptops'

hmv Silver badge

Re: virtulaization

Are you trying to say that ARM doesn't support virtualisation? Because it does.

Are you trying to say that it needs to run virtualised Windows x86? That makes a bit more sense, although it should be possible to do as Qemu does and run a virtual machine with an emulated processor to walk Windows x86. Probably not a great experience, but usable for minor tasks.

Move fast and break stuff, Windows Terminal style: Final update before release will nix your carefully crafted settings

hmv Silver badge

Re: How about a poll?

Ah! $work used to manage even better than that - one building you would walk in on the ground floor[0] and climb the stairs to floor zero.

0: This assumes that one of the windows hadn't fallen out, and you'd constructed a bridge to walk in on a floor higher than usual. And yes they were known to fall out on occasions.

hmv Silver badge

Re: How about a poll?

Just to be awkward: NaN

Welcome to life in the Fossa lane: Ubuntu 20.04 let out of cage and Shuttleworth claims Canonical now 'commercially self sustaining'

hmv Silver badge

Re: I still don't see the purpose of WSL

a) There are definitely commercial software vendors for Linux applications - I've even bought one (Bibble; now Corel AfterShot).

b) Of course there is a market for commercial software applications for Linux - it's tiny in comparison to Windows, and Linux users do have the benefit of many free desktop applications. If Catpure One were to be released for Linux, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

c) I personally don't see any benefit to WSL - I run Linux on the desktop and keep Windows safely inside a VM where it can't do much damage. But in a Windows-based corporate environment, WSL does allow those who would prefer to work with Linux to do so without annoying their corporate masters overly ("It's part of Windows").

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

hmv Silver badge

Re: "Hopefully he also added a bit of text along the lines"

As compensation for being a proper sysadmin for many years and avoiding tweaking my shell environment too much to cause problems in broken environments, I've since gone overboard in tweaking things. My shell prompt now shows a green ✓ or a red ✗ depending on $?

Honor MagicBook 14: Nice keyboard and ports aplenty – but with a webcam forever fixed on all of your chins

hmv Silver badge

Re: Camera Angle

And the bonus feature of a nostril-cam ... people are less likely to invite you to the next video conference.

hmv Silver badge

Re: Sure, USB-C is way more versatile

And it has the advantage that you can share a power cable with the slack-witted fool who forgot to bring his charger (not uncommonly me).

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

hmv Silver badge

Re: The real mystery is how Paula discovered the clock work around ...

"Thankfully, we are largely past that in this modern day and age."

To fill some of us old-timers with horror and loathing, it is worth pointing out that your USB storage is just the SCSI command set with a fancy new paint job. It also lives on in SAS.

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?

hmv Silver badge

There's an old, old joke about IBM middle-management.

Two lions escape from a zoo and agree to meet up after 6 months to see how things are going. Six months passes, and they meet up in the agreed place; one is bedraggled, clearly starving whilst the other is fine and dandy. The second asks the first "What happened to you?".

"Snacked on one of those humans, and I've been running from them ever since. How did you manage so well?"

"Hung out in an IBM car park and took a middle-manager every day; nobody noticed they were missing."

It's only a game: Lara Croft won't save enterprise tech – but Jet Set Willy could

hmv Silver badge


So games are responsible for GPUs? Does anyone remember a little company called SGI that produced graphics workstations that included board sets that did 3D graphics (including textures) back in the 1980s? And the three SGI employees who founded 3Dfx?

BOFH: Gosh, IPv5? Why didn't I think of that? Say, how do you like the new windows in here? Take a look. Closer...

hmv Silver badge

Re: IPv5?

It may have been withdrawn too quickly for "5" to be included in IEN-119 (which mentions the "IP Version Number" assigned to ST).

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

hmv Silver badge

Re: Tesla never said it's driverless

I wouldn't be at all surprised.

It would also be interesting to see statistics on how 'autopilot' equipped Teslas compare for safety compared with conventional cars. It may well be that despite the best efforts of those who pay too much attention to the 'autopilot' word or get overtaken by progressive complacency, Teslas are still safer. Or not.

Shipping is so insecure we could have driven off in an oil rig, says Pen Test Partners

hmv Silver badge

Re: So, the ship is 300M long...and you don't want to walk

On the other hand, most corporate campuses aren't dancing around in a force 10 gale.

hmv Silver badge

Re: That's not unreasonable

WiFi can sometimes travel a surprisingly long distance if you have a decent antenna and there's not much between you and the target. And ships are surprisingly often near land (as a minimum, twice each journey).

I suspect nothing will change until it's "You're not allowed to dock here until you have ${some basic security certification}".

Going Dutch: The Bakker Elkhuizen UltraBoard 950 Wireless... because looks aren't everything

hmv Silver badge

Re: "as your mum once told me"

I used to use a reconfigurable TiPro keyboard and used the number pad on the left side - it certainly makes a huge difference. These days I just avoid mousing too much and tend to swivel in the direction of the mouse when I need to use it.

C'mon SPARCky, it's just an admin utility update. What could possibly go wrong?

hmv Silver badge

Disk work is ... entertaining.

I once had a mirrored volume set up with the intention that one half would be in one data centre ("A") and the other half in the other data centre ("B"). Worked fine except for the one mirror where I'd managed to set up both LUNs in the same data centre; and to maximise the stupidity, both were in the other data ("B") centre with the server in "A".

hmv Silver badge

Without intending to anger the gods and invoke Murphey's law, I've never fallen victim to the 'rm -rf' 'accident'. Probably because of tales like this.

Plenty of other mistakes.

In one case (not my mistake although I ended up fixing it), half a BIND master zone file got removed through a vi accident; unfortunately the result was valid and half the names disappeared! Fortunately I knew the name and address of the backup server, so we were able to rollback that single file. I've shown a strange obsession with filesystem snapshots ever since :)

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?

hmv Silver badge

Re: This one obviously needed a chalk pentagram in the computer room...

My memory of it is somewhat distant - I was a PFY at the time and now I'm getting to be a grumpy old fart. But I recall an ancient Sun SS20 with something like 5 SCSI controllers each with an insane tangle of leads coming out to a mixture of external disk drives, tape drives, and one CD drive (which wasn't really needed).

I was tasked with moving the damn thing from one side of the DC to the other. Spent an afternoon labelling everything up before unplugging everything, moving it, and (hopefully) plugging everything back. Seemed to power up okay :)

hmv Silver badge


HVD SCSI required goats.

Hey GitLab, the 1970s called and want their sexism back: Saleswomen told to wear short skirts, heels and 'step it up'

hmv Silver badge

"PC used to mean an IBM 5150. Not anymore."

And you didn't even get that right. Before the IBM PC, the initials "PC" meant "personal computer" and referred to a computer used (and often owned) by an individual.

BOFH: Darn Windows 7. It's totally why we need a £1k graphics card for a business computer

hmv Silver badge

Backlighting on a keyboard? What for? I don't look down there - freaks the shit out of people who walk up and ask questions whilst I'm still typing away. Worth the time spent learning to touch type for just that alone.

But yes, a decent keyboard is definitely on the list of essentials - you spend so much time fingering them. Unicomp UB40B5A (that's the 122 key 5250 keyboard) wired up with a Soarer adaptor to connect PS/2 to USB (and gives me keyboard mapping/macros).

Xiaomi what's inside: Wow, teardown nerds find debut smartwatch isn't actually a solder-and-resin nightmare

hmv Silver badge

Personally I remember when face time was the time you spent some time glaring balefully into the mirror wondering what your name is, where the hell you are, and what the hell were you doing last night (or possibly the night before).

RIP FTP? File Transfer Protocol switched off by default in Chrome 80

hmv Silver badge

Re: File Transfer Potocol

UDP? Since when did FTP start using UDP?

And FTPS is FTP (with TLS). It's the same protocol with an extension to support encryption.

hmv Silver badge

Re: File Transfer Potocol

FTP is reasonably secure providing you use TLS to encrypt the control channel (and the data channel(s)) and prohibit plain text control channels. It's inconvenient to process on firewalls without TLS inspection (the ephemeral ports used for data channels are negotiated over the control channel and if the firewall can't see those it can't open them on the fly).

This AI is full of holes: Brit council fixes thousands of road cracks spotted by algorithm using sat snaps

hmv Silver badge

Re: I have a simpler and lower cost solution

I think perhaps you missed the point that the fancy AI method is /cheaper/ than the conventional method.

Things I learned from Y2K (pt 87): How to swap a mainframe for Microsoft Access

hmv Silver badge

... and the fact that central databases tend to be backed up with occasional restore testing thrown in. Backing up Access files is ... interesting ... especially if someone never closes it.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020