* Posts by Cpt Blue Bear

485 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Aug 2010


Buying a Chromebook? Don't forget to check that best-before date

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: That's Chromebook right out of my buying list then

"There really isn't any functionality in a car GPS that can't be matched or bettered by a connected phone."

This. Worked it out about 20 minutes after my first phone with Google Maps.

"My bike GPS on the other hand offers genuinely improved functionality over a phone..."

Now that sounds genuinely interesting. Having toured using a cheapo (read "don't care what happens to it") Android tablet shoved into the clear panel of a tank bag just the ability to operate the !@#$ing thing with gloves on has got my attention.

WTF is Boeing on? Not just customer databases lying around on the web. 787 jetliner code, too, security bugs and all

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Take away their spade

Boeing no longer own a spade.

They contract the digging to third parties. Therefore they are not responsible for the implement used.

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Re Director of Security

"I'm sorry, but that's not always the case. This is a flaw of some IT professional's believing they're God."

We don't want to read your super-secret-squirrel thoughts, mate. Frankly, they are duller than dog shit. When something happens we have to be able to deal it. Nothing to do with thinking we are god (small letter as I am an athiest), everything to do with have a job and responsibilities that trump your self importance.

"If an investigator wants the data, you'd then refer them on to who's locked it."

You have clearly never been through a serious investigation or its post mortem.

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Dolt

"The last time I asked for a screenshot (about 5 days ago) I was emailed a picture that had been taken using a phone from about a 30 degree angle. "

Yep, get those. The problem is you assumed your "correspondent" understands what you mean by a screenshot...

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Dolt

"I'd say a screenshot would've been great but.... Have you ever tried talking a customer through the difficult practice of doing that? He's still be on that bloody call right now!"

I used to do it regularly. Never took more than about three minutes even with senior management and most people said "oh is that how you do that!" at some point in the process. It helps to have written instructions handy to follow along.

"No idea when this occurred,"

The article says it was a company website, so some time after Firefox (?) introduced a spell check plug-in. I'd guess late 2000s from hazy memory.

But all that is beside the point: a screenshot would have shown exactly what the "problem" was...

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Re Director of Security

"That’s nonsense, you don’t need access to his data at all."

No, I do need access to that data. It does not belong to him, it belongs to the company and that being a casino will be subject to all sorts of legal oversight and auditing*. If I am instructed to present an investigator with a copy of his data it will not go down terribly well if I present a Truecrypt volume.

* This is why they are so popular for money laundering.

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Once again the bad memories resurface

"What makes you think you are that interesting?"

A colleague used to point that she managed the email server and thus had already read all your email. What she didn't see was the frenzy of deleting that followed her visit.

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Dolt

"And the user of course knows how to take a screenshot and email it? Don't bet on it."

No, bet against it. Send instructions with the request. Instructions in short sentences. Using small words.

Metropolitan Police's facial recognition tech not only crap, but also of dubious legality – report

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: It's in its infancy, but it will improve

I fear, Mr Coward, you have completely missed your own point. You may have made that point accidentally and be completely unaware, mind.

In my experience the people who tick your boxes are unaware of your points. Those of us who are avoid or mitigate their effect.

Those points have been dealt with by other posters.

What they haven't addressed is your "MASSIVE BOON" (initially mistyped as BOOB - make of that what you will). You seem to be a fan of arresting people based on "risk" rather than their actions. Welcome to the world of thought crime, guilt by association arbitrary arrest. When you start arresting people for what they might do rather than what they have done you have well and truly left any notion of justice far behind.

I also note you say "us". Clearly, you don't ever envisage being on the receiving end of this. That is telling and makes me wonder exactly who should be removing their head from their posterior...

'It's like they took a rug and covered it up': Flight booking web app used by scores of airlines still vuln to attack – claim

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: "Yet again you've let them get away with an anodyne statement"

You are conflatng two separate issues.

They have certainly been taken to task for their failure actually fix their crappy system.

They were allowed to get away with issuing a statement that is plainly contradicted by their own actions. This is what we are complaining about.

£10k offer to leave firm ASAP is not blackmail, Capita told by judge

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Not Blackmail?

..."blackmail where the victim is given money..."

That might be why this bit was described as bribery. Threatening to sack her if she didn't accept it was the blackmail bit. The email is pretty explicit even if the judgement seems to confuse the two.

Facebook spooked after MPs seize documents for privacy breach probe

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: It's got me wondering...

"...or choke the cat with cream..."

What a lovely turn of phrase. I must drop that in a meeting later today. Its just disturbing enough an image without going full Malcolm Tucker.

" ...(ie, fill your feed with so much non-personal crap that it's useless)"

I used to think you could choke these systems with noise to render them useless and was an enthusiastic generator of the social data equivalent of white noise. Now I have concluded that neither those collecting nor those using this data actually care about its veracity. The former just want to get paid. The latter either take their assertions of magic algorithms revealing the truth at face value, or are engaging in a due diligence box ticking exercise. Either way, I am no longer certain that noise is the best poison for this plague of vermin.

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs

Cpt Blue Bear

"That's exactly what I would've done with this. Unplugged it, put it in my desk (locked of course) and waited to see who claimed it."

And that's exactly what I have done. Mind you, it wasn't anything quite as sophisticated as this. Mine was an old netbook plugged into an open wall socket and tucked behind a filing cabinet. Its sheepish owner got a lecture about professional behaviour, followed by how to throttle a torrent client so it doesn't cause trouble on the network (because no one in IT over the age of 35 hasn't done something similar and incompetence offends me).

"And then given them a talking to about putting things in MY server room that I don't know about."

I've also heard that argument from a network manager when organising sanctioned traffic monitoring. My answer was it wasn't "his" server room, it belonged to his employer. Turns out he had good reason to not want us snooping (or should that be snorting?) around "his" network.

Six critical systems, four months to Brexit – and no completed testing

Cpt Blue Bear

Honest answer here also from the colonies

The short answer is there isn't time before April Fools Brexit Day.

The longer answer is: on top of the time taken to decide on a sensible question, organise campaigns and actually hold the damn thing (all while avoid clashing with the football, Strictly Come Braindead finals etc.) you have to get an enabling act through Parliament (because Britain has no constitutional mechanism for referenda). Then you still need time to work out what the hell the result actually means and decide how to implement it.

I have a vague recollection of reading that the latest plausible time to call another referendum was the last week in October.


The EU have offered to postpone the event in case of fire, flood, general election, etc, but that would push the decision into the next EU budget period and European Parliament. That would mean the UK ponying up another four years contribution and electing some more MEPs. It would also make the agreement of liability moot and they'd have to start over again.

Oh, and Mr Banks et al are also only accused of laundering Russian money through a series of off shore bank accounts and front companies in the Isle of Man to fund their political causes. No one has been convicted, and frankly, any convictions are years away given the glacial pace of British justice, if ever given the state of financial disclosure laws in the IOM. Even then I doubt it would legally invalidate the referendum.

For some reason when I read this back I keep slipping into the voice of Jeremy Clarkson...

Oz intel committee: Crypto-busting is only bad if you're a commie, and we're not by the way

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Hashes are not encryption

"There are rather huge differences though..."


"Well, if that's your definition of encryption..." *

I think you have both missed my point. Its not my definition that is important here. Its the definition used by Oz lawmakers - a group well known for playing fast and loose with definitions.

That definition came from a Google search. I was a little surprised at how vague it was myself, but it is the sort of wording that non-technical people are going to use.

* Actually its not - you are replacing information not converting it. But again, that is not my point.

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Hashes are not encryption

"WTF? Hashing is not encryption."

Actually if you take a broad, layman's definition (and we are dealing with some of the layest of laymen here) it is. A quick shuftie at Google suggests something like: the process of converting information into code to prevent unauthorised access. That sounds like hashing to me.

Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm

Cpt Blue Bear

"I would be quite cross with you had I discovered the stock shenanigans."

You were obviously not working in the industry in that era. Getting cross with, or indeed threatening murder of, a junior storeman would have got you marked down as a dangerous lunatic who needs to be kicked into line or got rid of.

It was a very different time to now. :-)

Cpt Blue Bear

"Working for a retail chain doing shop fit out and maintenance. I visited stores in various places and had some interesting experiences with "stock"."

In my youth, and possibly for my future sins as kama works in strange and non-euclidian ways, I worked in the warehouse of a now defunct local supermarket chain. The stock control system had almost exactly the flaws you describe and it was indeed seen as a perk of the job and compensation for low pay and crap hours.

That was until someone discovered a bug that generated spurious stock movements, the judicious application of which could make stock vanish on command. Cue a sudden spike in "shrinkage and spoilage" but only on the most expensive lines. I suspect the last straw was when cartons of cigarettes started disappearing...

The front end staff got an interview with Mr Plod and a few were "let go" extremely sharpish. Fortunately I was in the warehouse and thus above suspicion. I have no idea why - the stores were the source of all serious pilfering. So we quietly got on with our games of under counting (to ensure a supply of snacks and drinks) or over counting (to generate errors that could be reported with much indignation while covering up more serious stock take discrepancies)

How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Dead trees never failed anyone

"I make of that that they're idiots"

You are assuming their motivation is safety. In reality I suspect its an opportunity to enjoy the journey while you are stuck in the flying cattle truck because its safe.

Fast food, slow user – techie tears hair out over crashed drive-thru till

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Very Good Answer...

"Christmas time - tinsel on monitor. Often ending up with bits of tinsel _in_ monitors :("

I walked past a row of CRT monitors draped with tinsel and commented that they shouldn't do that because its a fire hazard. I was not actually serious, I figured the strands are so thin and contain so little conductive metal that should they bridge something high voltage they would vaporise before any harm was done.

I seems I was wrong.

VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Outboarding

"After that I invited our lawyer to each event with the promise of good food and a fun time."

Damnit! I cannot find or think of a suitable Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas quote about taking your "attorney" to Las Vegas.

Boss regrets pointing finger at chilled out techie who finished upgrade early

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The boss owned up? Apologised, even?

"I actually had this happen when I was in the military."

I've seen two bosses apologies publicly. Both were ex-military so I presume it was something they are taught in officer training. Take it on the chin, clear the air and move the !@# on is a pretty good management strategy.

Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Unpaid walking advert for someone else's company

"Sad to see RR Motors and Bentley ending up as the modern equivalent of Ghia. How long till we see "Bentley" as a trim level on the VW Golf Mk23?"

Rolls Royce hit that point in the late 1970s selling what was, fundamentally, a rebadged Austin Maxi with some wood trim glued on. My uncle hid one in my dad's shed during while getting divorced.

I'd not miss RR or Bentley: the former has always been a marketing driven company and the latter's glory days were 90 years ago.

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Unpaid walking advert for someone else's company

Crikey! They saw you coming didn't they. 200 squids and they didn't even change an O-ring and pressure test it (that's all that seal is, seriously). I get this done (clean, lubricate and pressure test) on Seikos about once a decade and it costs under 100 Ozzie Pesos.

Dixons Carphone: Yeah, so, about that hack we said hit 1.2m records? Multiply that by 8.3

Cpt Blue Bear

"Look here, el Reg. I'm fed up with you just rolling this sort of statement out like that."

Agreed with bells on.

I'd also like to ask what they are actually doing beyond issuing vague statements of intent.

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: One move and we shoot

"It's amazing how one person's "extremely serious misuse of corporate IT facilities" is another person's "nothing to see here, move along" when They decide "

When they say "civilised society" I think they mean with real labour laws. Generally they spell civilised with an s.

Here in Oz* your "gorss misconduct" argument fails a simple test: is your definition of "gross misconduct" consistent with both the rest of the industry and historical example within the company? If not, then please sign this cheque with A Very Large Number(tm) written on it and we will go away and never bother you again.

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: One move and we shoot

"We're moving your job/team role(s) to India. Who want's to emigrate?"

The correct response goes:

"Excellent - I always wanted to go there. You'll be paying relocation I presume."


"Well, you've made me an offer. Now we are negotiating terms."

Check and mate.

Oh boy: MPs prepare to probe UK.gov's digital prowess and tech savvy

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

"I didn't vote for any of them"

I infer from this that you didn't vote at all rather than you voted for someone who didn't win your quadrennial (is that even a word?) popularity contest. If I am wrong then please take what is below as a general statement rather than aimed at you.

By not voting you increase the value of the votes of those who do. This is A Bad Thing(tm) because it increases the influence of those motivated by fringe ideas and general fruitloopery. This is why the religious right have so much influence on American politics - they get out and vote. If much of the "normal" population are too busy, apathetic or disinterested because "whoever you vote for a politician always wins" then we get the governments that appeal to the lunatic fringe. This is precisely why voter suppression is such an evil and why the RWNJs and libertarian fruitloops alike are so enamoured of it. This is why what Cambridge Anal did was so evil.

This is also why compulsory voting, like we have in Oz, is desirable.

Politicians fume after Amazon's face-recog AI fingers dozens of them as suspected crooks

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The fact that Amazon is actually trying to sell this crap in its current state...

"Regarding police high-ups willing to buy this, I'd say they're split 50%-50% between sociopaths and morons."

Having met a few senior police I can tell you they are neither. They are the product of the prevailing police culture of the 1990 and 2000s filtered through the following decades management training. I find your suggestion less scary.

I predict a riot: Amazon UK chief foresees 'civil unrest' for no-deal Brexit

Cpt Blue Bear

At the risk of being accused of trolling...

Is it just me or is the standard of english in this thread much lower than usual on El Reg? There are several posts on the first page that I cannot parse at all. Incoherent blather or bad translation?

Boss helped sysadmin take down horrible client with swift kick to the nether regions

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Magical policing

"When it comes to old ladies and black men with big knives, Sigmund Freud is your go-to."

Ah, the good Dr Freud. Someone once summed up his career as having started out in animal husbandry until someone caught him at it, at which point he switched to diseases of the rich. The first part sounds more like Jung but I can't fault the second.

PayPal's pal Venmo spaffs your pals' payments – and yours

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Weasels

Or a nice passive aggressive "If we caused any distress".

I'm becoming thoroughly sick of these statements getting no push back from reporters. What I'd give for spokesmorons / politicians / whatever to be confronted with questions like "Your actions show the complete oposite, how do you explain that?".

UK taxman outlines its CHIEF concerns for customs IT systems

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The fallback position SHOULD be...

Its not saying how much you have to pay that is the issue. That is easy. You can do that with a piece of paper pinned to the notice board at customs.

Its enforcing it that is hard.

Hardest of all, and most important, is proving you have paid.

Brit privacy watchdog reports on political data harvests: We've read the lot so you don't have to

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: interesting

And we'd have got away with it if it wasn't for those pesky unelected bureaucrats and their stupid dog.

Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Fs#king Pisa Airport!

"So tell me - how many litres to fill the tank of this Fiat I've rented, based on the tank being 50L and the needle on the dial (which is of unknown accuracy and non-linear scale) showing somewhere between E and 1/2?"

About 30l will be fine. Now do you want me to cut up your eggs, too?

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Fs#king Pisa Airport!

"cash only works if you know how much you need and it is exactly a note"

Or maybe you could just fill up to the paid amount? A radical idea I know...

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: What pumps need is an

They have 'em here in Oz too. Doesn't stop some people doing the opposite: when I worked for transport company one of the drivers put 200 litres of unleaded into the tank of his truck before noticing...

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Might be the compass

I've had one and seen several that went spastic* at some point. There is (or was) a thing on the store called GPS Tools that can force a recalibration. All worked perfectly after that.

* Before anyone takes offense, I feel this is a perfectly accurate description of the device at this point. It is thrashing about due to internal problems beyond its control.

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: *shrug*

Walking a mate's dog one night the thought crossed my mind that cutting across the park near his place might not be the smartest move. Then I thought: I'm a big lad wearing a motorcycle jacket, a black beanie and walking a big, black dog. The scariest looking pedestrians out tonight are probably us.

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Similar experience in the USA

"They're especially evil if you have a motorcycle."

They're a bugger when you don't know they even exist. Last time I filled a bike in the US the "attendant" had a old towel with a hole cut in it for the filler that he put over the tank before even lifting the filler. That was somewhere in south east LA below the foothills where the locals speak a patois of english and spanish (something I thought was a movie cliche until then).

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Similar experience in the USA

My experience of the USA is, along with much of the world, to keep your credit card for the hotels and tourist shops.

Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: My shop a long time ago had a rather large outage

A mate worked for a (read only) hosting centre in this one horse town. One morning the sparkies come in to test UPS batteries. They take them offline and test each and all is good. Then they decide to test the failover. Only issue is they didn't put the UPSs back on line first...

Drug cops stopped techie's upgrade to question him for hours. About everything

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Entering New Zealand

"I had taken a break to do a bit of travelling. While walking through New Zealand airport pre-border control I was stopped by two police."

I heard the following story from a guy I met at a party in Sarf Lundun some years ago. It was mostly ex-pats and the topic of Customs and Immigration was hot at the time. The teller was a slightly dodgy Canadian "security consultant".

He arrives at Sydney airport early one morning having just skipped out of somewhere in Central or South America one step ahead of the authorities or death squads or somesuch, slightly hung over, very jet lagged and with a passport that may, or may not, have been completely genuine. At Immigration they take one look at the passport, one at his face and invited him for a private interview. He's expecting the third degree, a couple of days in lock up and summary deportation to Canada. Embarrassing but could be a lot worse, eh.

Instead he got ten minutes of general questioning, a cup of bad coffee and a half hour wait before being told he was free to go. A nice man from the AFP even walked him down to baggage claim, out to the taxi rank and expressed the wish that he should "enjoy your stay in Australia, Mr Mattheson".

Half way to his hotel he twigs that Mattheson is not the name on his passport. Its his real name. They had held him just long enough to work out who he was, that he was no risk, then sent him on his way with a subtle tip that his card was well and truly marked.

Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: many chop up their corporate distribution for legal reasons

It occurs to me that the GDPR along with pretty much every other data protection law contains a clause banning transfer of data to jurisdictions with weaker protections than their own. This law gets California into that club.

I wonder if this might have occurred to anyone else?

Google leaps on the platform formerly known as Firefox with $22m splurge for KaiOS

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: The Most Dreaded Words in IT

In reaction to all of the above I will simply quote Joseph Goebells via Mission to Burma and Moby: "That's when I reach for my revolver".

A year after devastating NotPetya outbreak, what have we learnt? Er, not a lot, says BlackBerry bod

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Bollocks

"When hacked companies say things like this you have to wonder how much of that was spend putting in place the defences they should have had all along."

You fail to understand the corporate management mentality. Security is a real and immediate cost which generates no return if it works as planned. Disruption costs are mostly potential and should they become actual, will be covered by insurance. Plus you get to attach your name to the valiant recovery operation thus furthering your career.

Happy birthday, you lumbering MS-DOS-based mess: Windows 98 turns 20 today

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Memories

"At least some of the Greybeards here, must remember the battles that arose from IRQ confilicts..."

Not if you knew what you were doing and by the time I had a Soundblaster* , a NIC**, a serial card and a "Hi-Speed" IDE controller playing nicely together I bloody well did.

All of which was 10 years before Windows 98 reared its ugly head. By the end of the 90s you really should have sprung for PnP (Plug and Pray) gear, you cheapskates.

* And none of your fancy SB16 nonsense, please. This was an ISA card with jumpers to set.

** A NE2100 clone that came in a white box with a red diagonal stripe or maybe a red box with a white diagonal stripe. I miss the days when PC parts came in small, sturdy plain boxes that looked like spare parts boxes, not huge things full of air with pictures of half naked barbarians and and spaceships all over them. Not that I have any problem with half naked barbarians, they have their place just not on the box for electronic parts.

Uber's London licence appeal off to flying start: No, you cannot do driver eye tests via video link

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Okaay...

"never knowingly compromise public safety"

Knowingly is the important word in that sentence.

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Cough, cough....

"...individually licenced as Private Hire drivers..."

There is the problem. They are not actually licensed.

Asylum seeker spreadsheet data blurt: UK Home Office loses appeal to limit claimants

Cpt Blue Bear

Re: Ripe For False Claims

"I agree with the ruling in part, but I believe this could open up the flood gates for a lot of false claims.

If a lead complainant was to make a claim and suddenly 10 members all suddenly come out of the wood work, where do we stand ?"

A fine piece of What-iffery.

You'll stand exactly where you are. Applicants will still have to prove they are affected by being outed to their murderous former-rulers when their known associates whereabouts were splashed about for the whole world to see. All this ruling does is slap down the Home Office's defense that only those whose names are on the wrongly released documents are to be compensated. Nothing more.