* Posts by Alister

4257 publicly visible posts • joined 19 May 2010

A tiny typo in an automated email to thousands of customers turns out to be a big problem for legal


Re: A small percentage of the blame should go to the other RDBMS creators...

Note that the default installation path for Microsoft SQL Server is

\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL{nn}.<InstanceID>\MSSQL\

and has been for many versions.

Locked up: UK's Labour Party data 'rendered inaccessible' on third-party systems after cyber attack


Re: Who is this 'third party'?

Probably Canary Wharf

First, stunning whistleblower leaks. Now a shareholder lawsuit lands on Zuckerberg's desk


The complaint, brought by shareholder Wee Ann Ngian

Is she a Nac Mac Feegle?

LAN traffic can be wirelessly sniffed from cables with $30 setup, says researcher


Good luck trying to sort out a single coherent stream of data from the bundles of cables shown in the rack in the header photo. If they had to artificially slow down UDP packets and transmit a single letter at a time on a single cable, I think it's going to be a while before we need worry about this in the real world.

Italian researchers' silver nano-spaghetti promises to help solve power-hungry neural net problems



Bistromathics itself is simply a revolutionary new way of understanding the behavior of numbers, Just as Einstein observed that space was not an absolute but depended on the observer's movement in space and that time was not an absolute, but depended on the observer's movement in time, so it is now realized that numbers am not absolute, but depend on the observer's movement in restaurants.

UK.gov presents its National Space Strategy: Space is worth billions to us. Just don't mention Brexit, OK?


Boris Johnson’s 'Galactic Britain'

We are going to launch BT Tower into space and travel from one solar system to another spreading promotional materials about investment opportunities in Peterborough and Slough.

Computer shuts down when foreman leaves the room: Ghost in the machine? Or an all-too-human bit of silliness?


Because US...

They don't have the same separation that we do in the UK between lighting and power.

WTF? Microsoft makes fixing deadly OMIGOD flaws on Azure your job


Re: "Cheap" for a reason

I just don't understand why so many managers insist on going cloud

It's because the beancounter mindset worships OPex, and considers CAPex as the work of the devil.

Going cloud means your IT spend becomes OPex, and they simply don't care if it's 3 x the annual spend if you went with hardware.

Sir Clive Sinclair: Personal computing pioneer missed out on being Britain's Steve Jobs


Like many on this side of the pond, my first tentative steps into computing were with a ZX81.

Clive, it's all your fault, you bastard.

Rest in peace.

Arms not long enough to reach the plug socket? Room-wide wireless charging is on the way


Re: nho

Yes, that was the point

How to stop a content filter becoming a career-shortening network component


Re: exceptions policy.

Please learn the difference between cue and queue.

Texan's alleged Amazon bombing effort fizzles: Militia man wanted to take out 'about 70 per cent of the internet'


Re: Christian Militia Terrorist

I have never heard of a Christian terrorist group

Never heard of the IRA, INLA, etc?

What a sheltered life you lead!

Remember that day in 2020 when you were asked to get the business working from home – by tomorrow?


Also got lucky

In February 2020 we started a major change to our office connectivity, moving from a 20Mbs copper leased line to a 100Mbs fibre link, and migrating from Cisco routers and firewalls to Juniper routers and Netgate pfSense firewalls, and rolling out OpenVPN clients to all staff. The work was completed on Friday 13th March 2020, a week before the office closed. Had we not completed it in time, there was no way our previous infrastructure would have allowed all our staff to work-from-home, but with the new kit, it all went smoothly.

There's no Huawei on Earth we're a national security threat, Chinese giant tells US appeals court


Re: On a side note

I for one had a failure of the sarcasmomometer, I must admit. upvote applied to cancel downvote.


“Last year the FCC issued a final designation identifying Huawei as a national security threat based on a substantial body of evidence developed by the FCC and numerous US national security agencies,”

Strangely, nobody seems to have actually seen any of the "substantial body of evidence", so at the moment it still looks like a purely commercial decision.

The Ultimate Collection of Winsock Software goes offline for good


That was very Mooooving.

Legacy IT kit is behind 80% of UK taxman's pandemic costs, says spending watchdog


"HMRC has recognised that, due to the need in the past to forgo operational maintenance and upgrades to its systems to secure cost savings, its IT systems now constitute a significant risk to the department,"

And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the root cause of the problem.

Will they learn from this?


1. Install big new shiny

2. Do no maintenance or upgrades for the next ten years

3. Moan about risk to business.

4. goto 1

Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with remote-access worm


Re: Is Ivan shooting himself in the foot or is it simply a mistake?

Harvesting data from schoolkids who are most likely to be using it to do their schoolwork can't be a matter of national security.

Self replicating network worm... It doesn't need to harvest kids data, just spread out.

BOFH: Are you a druid? Legally, you have to tell me if you're a druid


Re: Am I a Druid?

Apparently sitting under a waterfall meditating for a week wearing buffalo hide is required

With depressing predictability, FCC boss leaves office with a list of his deeds... and a giant middle finger to America



Jake, your quoted statement relates purely to medical examination and emergency treatment in an emergency department, and then only if the hospital is part of the Medicare program.

Free healthcare means you don't pay for routine operations, doctor's consultations etc, no matter how much it might cost or how long it takes.

Police drone plunged 70ft into pond after operator mashed pop-up that was actually the emergency cut-out button


Re: Won't somebody think of the ducklings?

And as a tax-payer (?) I'd rather pay for a drone over a cop-ter.

As was pointed out to you in the previous discussion, there are things that a helicopter can do which a drone can't - as one example, following and recording a high-speed pursuit on a motorway - and as most police services already have a helicopter, why not use it to its best advantage?

Hollywood drone pilot admits he crashed gizmo into cop chopper, triggering emergency landing


Re: Helicopter danger

The type of infra-red camera system used in a police helicopter is too large to be carried by a drone. Nothing a drone could carry would have the sensitivity needed.

Also, as ably demonstrated by this case, flying a drone at night is difficult.


Re: Helicopter danger

Something that could and should have been carried out by officers on foot.

You really don't have a clue, do you. By far the safest and most effective method of searching for someone at night is to use an infra-red camera from above. Officers on the ground have no way of replicating that sort of search.

Watchdog urges Tesla to recall 158,000 Model S, X cars to fix knackered NAND flash that borks safety features


Re: Keep retracting.

Tesla Autopilot actually has fewer (and generally less serious) accidents per million kM than human drivers. This despite AP not being fully autonomous.

Umm, that's because Tesla Autopilot is not autonomous, and therefore when used properly, the human is doing the tricky stuff. The accidents attributed to Tesla Autopilot occur when the human decides to pretend AP is autonomous.

Quixotic Californian crusade to officially recognize the hellabyte and hellagram is going hella nowhere


Re: Could I suggest

No you've got it all wrong, it's one, two, many, lots.

Sun, sea and sad signage: And lo, they saw a shining light in the sky... oh, it's a BIOS error


Re: Baby Jeebus

Well at least you're frank about it.

Comedy gold, but let's have no myrrh awful puns.

Well, on the bright side, the SolarWinds Sunburst attack will spur the cybersecurity field to evolve all over again


Re: But don't forget.

Don't belittle the serious impact of the Sunburst attack by trying to drag it down with partisan politics. It has fuck all to do with elections.

US aviation regulator issues safety bulletins over flaws in software updates for Boeing 747, 777, 787 airliners


A Boeing Spokesperson said:

Safety is and always has been Boeing's top priority.

This is a lie.

Not just Microsoft: Auth turns out to be a point of failure for Google's cloud, too


Re: Redundancy

So you proceed to move to the cloud so that you can save yourself the hassle of backups

That has never been true except in the minds of the cloud salesman.

Moving stuff to the cloud is not an automatic panacea, and needs to be planned just as thoroughly - if not more thoroughly - than setting up a physical environment, and backups and redundancy have to be added, they are not there by default.

FBI confirms Zodiac Killer's 340 cipher solved by trio of amateur math and software codebreakers


Re: "Not so good at spelling"

There is an unspoken clue in his spelling of paradice (i.e. should be paradise!) which indicates a POSSIBLE English or Canadian heritage where words such as Defence, Offence, etc use CE as the replacement for SE in their spelling of certain words.

Rubbish. Paradise is not, and has never been spelled with a C in British English or Commonwealth English. The use of C in words such as defence and offence is very specifically after a consonant, not a vowel, so no-one educated in British English would extrapolate that to other words ending SE.

Wireless screen in estate agent window just begging for someone to fill it with mischief


Re: Wireless Display

You cod have tried harder

China bans encryption exports – including quantum and key management tech


Fascinating. Are you an actual Quantum Mechanic, with the overalls and toolbox and everything?

AWS boss calls for racial justice, slams enterprise rivals, unveils a raft of real and promised services


Re: Look in the mirror and at those you support!


Would it be outwith the bounds of possibility that you voted Republican in the last election?

Behold the drive-thru of the California Highway Patrol: Fry me a river, has 'CHIPS' stopped working again?


Crisis Happened In Preston Services

UK's Space Command to be 'capable of launching our first rocket in 2022'


Re: Space Command uniforms

Silver lamé would seem to be "traditional"

With purple wigs for the female staff?

Dulux feel lucky, punk? Samsung wades into paint world with interior emulsions designed to 'complement' your, er, TV


Re: Does this paint..

It's 5G activated

Good news: Boffins have finally built room-temperature superconductors. Bad news: You'll need a laser, a diamond anvil, and a lot of pressure


Re: What a great discovery

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.


We bought a knockoff Lego launchpad kit from China for our Saturn V rocket so you don't have to



I suppose in your ideal world, kids' toys and construction sets would only ever be hand carved from sustainably grown trees.

TalkTalk marches OneTel users into a brave new email world


Re: Begging for Trouble

Can't imagine why anyone ever used an ISP email account.

As opposed to what, GMail, Outlook.com, Yahoo?

ISS? More like HISS, am I right? Space station air leakage narrowed down to Russia's Zvezda module


SpaceX also stood down from its latest Starlink launch attempt yesterday after "an out-of-family ground sensor reading"

Is that a more polite way of saying "bastard broken"?

Google adopts ‘value-neutral’ language to make selfies less about ‘beauty’


Re: Wait what?

It's a good job the Romans didn't have social media then...


After conducting multiple studies across four countries and speaking with child and mental health experts from around the world, we learned that the potential for harm is real

...So we decided not to do anything useful like remove the filters, but just piss about changing the language.

Ring glitch results in global ding dong ditch: Doorbell bling flings out random pings but they're not the real thing


Re: Doorbell

There's a Bill Bailey clip where he replaces the normal happy ding-dong with a tricord using an augmented 4th interval, which sounds scary...


Talk about working smarter: NASA scientists searching for craters on Mars train AI software to do the job for them


Re: What's that you say, NASA?

Yep, and it isn't "Artificial Intelligence" in any shape or form, there is no intelligence there, just an image parsing algorithm.

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable


Was working as a telephone fitter in the early eighties, and went to a client's premises to fit a wall-mounted phone extension.

The client had decided where he wanted it, and helpfully marked the wall with a big cross in marker pen. It was in the middle of a bare external wall, with no electrical sockets or switches anywhere near it, so I was happy to fit it where indicated. (This was in the days before cable finders were a thing).

So I marked out the bracket, drilled the first hole, no problem. Started drilling the second hole, big flash and bang... Oops!

Turns out some electrician, in the dim and distant past, had run an electrical cable diagonally across the wall from top to bottom, and then plastered it in with no steel capping or anything over it.

Burning down the house! Consumer champ Which? probes smart plugs to find a bunch of insecure fire-risk tat


Re: top tip

@Mage, you do know Viz is a satirical comic, don't you? The advice was meant to make you laugh, not take it seriously.

Corsair's K70 MK.2 does nothing a cheaper keyboard can't, but the steep price gets you top-notch components


Re: KVM performance?

how long has 2020 been so far?

At least 13 months... or that's what it feels like...



Re: There's nothing the Corsair does

You mean ' ' and ' ' ?

No not those two, the other two.


Re: There's nothing the Corsair does

The ones printed in Octarine?

Not one to be outdone by Microsoft, Apple's cloud fell over too. Unlike Microsoft, it hasn't said what happened


We just need to wait for AWS, Google Cloud and Oracle to follow this new tradition then.

It is 2020, what else can happen?