* Posts by mathew42

718 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Sep 2011


Australian bank stops handling cash at the counter in some branches

Thumb Down

> the loss of 864 bank branches and 517 ATMs between June 2020 and June 2022 means 95 percent of the population must travel an extra 100 meters to find a branch, or 200 meters to find a standalone cash machine.

I find the RBA's Distance to Case Withdrawal graph more interesting.

- In remote areas 95% live within 30km of a cash access point., To reach 99% the distance jumps to 60km.

- In very remote areas 95% live within ~100km. 99% jumps to 180km.

NASA overspent $15m on Oracle software because it was afraid an audit could cost more


Re: Once upon a time

You can build a parameterised query dynamically. For example adding clauses to the where statement.

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up


Re: And don't work too fast either!

The problem with this theory is that in a competitive world someone else will innovate and the company you work for will most likely go bust or be taken over.

I've been involved with many projects where one of the goals is to automate administrative tasks. Business users can attempt to stall, but in my experience only those who embrace the change are able to make the leap and continue having a job.

China plans to toss foreign-made PCs from government agencies 'in two years'


> China is becoming less dependent on western technology.

But as COVID-19 showed, the West is becoming more dependent on China. How secure is the western supply chain?

The "Golden Arches theory" as outlined in The Lexus and the Olive Tree states No two countries that both had McDonald's had fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald's.. Unfortunately the idea that globalization and economic integration would lead to peace appears to have failed.

John Deere tractors 'bricked' after Russia steals machinery from Ukraine


Re: If I owned a piece of equipment

> For one, they are owner repairable.

With sufficient skill you could fabricate or use an alternate part in older cars, but I have a real concern that when electronic parts fail it will be simply impossible to source replacements even from dealers. You cannot even replace the stereo in a new car.

> Two, it fun to have something you have to drive with a real risk of failure if driver is incompetent.

While it may be "fun", the number of incompetent drivers is way to high, as evidenced by driver using vice grips as steering wheel and Tasmanian school crossing guards to trial wearing body cameras amid bad driver behaviour.

Note that I fully support access to track days where people can take risks without endangering others, however I suspect that the intersection between track day participants and idiots on the road is tiny.

Review: ASUS dual-screen laptop may warm your heart, will definitely warm your lap


Totally agree. I point blank refuse to buy laptops that don't support USB-C power delivery, simply because if you forget the charger it is highly likely that someone will have one you can borrow or it should be easy to buy a replacement.

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call


Re: The honeymoon is over

With the prevalence of laptops, the biggest reason for upgrading is that the battery no longer retains sufficient charge for a day at school. Memory is the second reason.


Re: I saw the reveal presentation, and, while I'm no fanboy, I was amazed

It depends on what you do. I frequently have multiple VMs running and memory is the most critical resource. Of course that doesn't count firefox which appears to have an instance for every tab, some of which are consuming 400MiB+.

A Snapdragon in a ThinkPad: Lenovo unveils the X13s


You can order a current model Lenovo X13 Yoga with Linux (Ubuntu) installed, so we can hope there might be a Linux edition. That would be very tempting.

Linux kernel edges closer to dropping ReiserFS


Small (<4KiB) file size performance

My understanding was that one of the advantages of ReiserFS was performance and storage using tail packing for files were under 4KiB. Back 2000, this was a big deal, now not so much.

Now storage is cheaper and I've moved on to ZFS.

Ransomware crim: Yeah, what I do is bad. No, I don't care. Yes, infosec bods are all mouth and no trousers


Re: And this...

In construction it is easier to identify risks (e.g. falling from heights), address those risks (e.g. safety lines) and verify that best practise is being followed.

With aircraft after an incident there is an investigation to identify the root cause and if mechanical failure then inspections are ordered with dates based on how likely the failure is. Software flight controls make it much harder to test and identify the root cause.

IT risks are harder to identify (zero days), harder to address and even harder to train users.


Re: And this...

The challenge of any security role is that a single mistake can make you vulnerable. In Infosec that mistake (e.g. buffer overflow) could have been made by someone else and worse could have been added deliberately via an attack on a software developer who wrote a library that is used by a piece of software.

Security has to balance the risk of a breach with enabling people to do their jobs. The more security you add, the harder it is for people to do their work.

For example I'm writing some code to be deployed in the cloud. Previously I could connect to a jump host, copy the text onto the server and test. Now I need to save the file, transfer, wait for it to be scanned and copied to a cloud server, transfer the file to where I require it and test. If I make a change on the cloud server I need to reverse the process.

Do I understand why? Yes it is primarily to make it easier to trace transfer of confidential data.

Northrop Grumman's MEV-2 gives Intelsat satellite a new lease on life until the next rescue in another five years


Re: Original estimated lifetime

At moment there is deep reluctance to launch communications / broadband satellites into geosynchronous orbits (GEO) because low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations deliver lower latency (600ms versus 20ms), higher bandwidth and cheaper ground install as receiver dishes don't need to be precisely aligned.

SpaceX Starlink are going to own the satellite internet market.

Black Helicopters

Re: Hubble?

If you turn Hubble around, would it take clear photos of the planet? People might pay for the photos it takes.

SAP: It takes exploit devs about 72 hours to turn one of our security patches into a weapon against customers


Re: Rock, meet Hard Place

The internal support team complained about one cloud vendor that 'every time a release is made multiple things are broken'. This is after the internal QA team were given access a week earlier and ran some tests, finding numerous bugs which were fixed.

As for why we are using their product, I don't know, but after having a discussion about their broken errors handling processes, I have even less ideas.


Re: Rock, meet Hard Place

I've worked with organisations where it can take months for a patch to be deployed. The patch has to be installed into dev and tested. If successful the change can be deployed to the integrated dev environment and tested. If successful, change board approval is required to deploy to test environment. Repeat for quality assurance where the business tests and then finally prod.

Mullet over: Aussie boys' school tells kids 'business in the front, party in the back' hairstyle is 'not acceptable'

Big Brother

Deputy Principal simply cut a boy's hair at Trinity Grammar in Melbourne.

Trinity Grammar deputy principal sacked over cutting student's hair


An ugly stoush has erupted at Trinity Grammar after its long-standing deputy principal was sacked for trimming a student's hair on school photo day.

In a letter to parents and former students, school council chairman Roderick Lyle said deputy principal Rohan Brown left Trinity on Thursday night over his handling of a disciplinary issue.

He said Mr Brown's actions were at odds with school policy and “inconsistent with community expectations in this day and age”.

Revealed: The military radar system swiped from aerospace biz, leaked online by Clop ransomware gang


How many 2 year old consumer routers have had firmware updates?

Amazon's ad-hoc Ring, Echo mesh network can mooch off your neighbors' Wi-Fi if needed – and it's opt-out


Re: encourage third-party manufacturers to produce equipment that is also Sidewalk compatible

Considering that accessing a website from your IP address can be seen as sufficient evidence you viewed illegal content, I'd be slightly more concerned than just a bit of data.

EU says Boeing 737 Max won't fly over the Continent just yet: The US can make its own choices over pilot training


80% faulty?

> Drink it up: >80% of the AOA Disagree system installed on the MAX fleet do not work. Worldwide.



Re: Consumers need to know what aircraft will be used before they book.

> So you trust all their other models?

No, but my limited understanding is that Boeing management chose to add larger engines to the 737 air frame, for improved efficiency. The engines were moved forward and up resulting in a pitch up tendency. This instability is deeply concerning in a commercial airliner.

More concerning is what appears to be that senior management at Boeing have a cultural disregard for safety and risk mitigation as evidenced by the significant problems with the Boeing Starliner program. The question I have is what other issues have Boeing management suppressed?

Your Microsoft reseller can now predict when you’re ready to buy more stuff or dump Redmond


time for a chat about licensing anomalies

Fear of licensing anomalies was enough to push some companies I've been involved in towards open source software.

Apparently a tax audit is not feared as much as a license audit.

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad


Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

We are required by marketing to use a signature which includes links to various social media channels.

At various times emails have been blocked by spam filters on client's email gateways.

The internal conflict on the correct action has been intense, although a beer helps.

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript


Re: This puzzles

I wonder if the issue was identified during a change window and this solution was the quick fix to avoid rolling back. It might just be that the approval for the proper fix hasn't gone through the change process.

SpaceX's Elon Musk high on success after counting '420' Starlinks in orbit and Frosty the Starship survives cryo test

Black Helicopters

Re: Would China, North Korea be scared of starlink ?

Governments will be concerned by small size of Starlink receivers making it easy to conceal.

Those governments that tax telecommunications heavily will be worried about loss of revenue.

I expect that China will request that Starlink don't broadcast over China and mention something about the Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai.


Re: This may be a really obvious question.

Your average Australian living in rural areas and stuck on NBN's slow 300ms+ service will be very excited about a Starlink connection with 30ms latency. This should enable usable video conferencing including tele-health. It would probably be cheaper for NBNCo to subsidise Starlink connections than continue to pay operatining costs of the SkyMuster satellites.

I suspect grey-nomads and families taking a break to travel around Australia will be pretty excited as it should be trivial to attach an antenna to the caravan. Today caravans are configured with Foxtel satellite TV receivers, so I consider this very likely.

Paranoid Android reboots itself with new Android 10 builds


Re: Phone makers PLEASE take note

AndroidOne phones are what you are looking for. Clean vanilla Android with rapid security updates .

Nokia is arguably the best example of this.

Motorola tend to ship stock Android, but security updates are rare.

Morrisons puts non-essential tech changes on ice as panic-stricken shoppers strip stores


Re: Face masks

In Australia, hospitals are placing face masks under lock and key because they were growing legs and walking.

Thumb Up

Re: Poo tickets in short supply here in Oz

Coles & Woolworths have also implemented similar change freeze rules. Basically the same change freeze protocols implemented in the lead-up to Easter & Christmas that have the intent of protecting stores from unnecessary change and / or additional work during their busiest times of the year.

Yes annoying if your project was about to go-live, but risk is just not worth ending up on the front page of the paper.

I saw a couple of photos today of supermarkets with pallets of toilet paper out the front.

Protesters backing Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou during her US extradition hearings were 'duped paid actors'

Black Helicopters

Lack of aspiring mainland Chinese students?

Comment has been made that many of the pro-China protesters on University campuses are acting to demonstrate loyalty to the communist party. The hope is that when they return home attendance will boost their chances of employment and/or promotion.

Windows 10 update slips past Aussie border force and borks access to its Integrated Cargo System


ICS was rolled out around 2004. I doubt it has been updated much since then. Project would likely have started more than 6 years before that.

Also my possibly outdated understanding would have desktop software which integrates with ICS via the back end, so this would have impacted more on tiny firms which are unlikely to have dedicated IT resources.

Note these are not excuses, just explanations of why we are here now.

Google sounds the alarm over Android flaw being exploited in the wild, possibly by NSO

Thumb Up

Option 3: AndroidOne devices receive security patches relatively (1-2 months) quickly for three years from the initial phone release.

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


Re: certification

Unfortunately the knowledge will only come after months of 'nothing to see here' and possibly a couple more impacts.

Neuroscientist used brainhack. It's super effective! Oh, and disturbingly easy


Re: Survelliance state implications?

I'd be fairly confident that facial recognition has advanced to the point that peoples movements are already being tracked and if you don't match a known identity then a flag is raised and depending on criteria prioritised for investigation.

Black Helicopters

Survelliance state implications?

How far are we from being able to scan people on the street to determine their emotional state / thoughts and either take overt action or used a focused beam to alter the person's mood.

For example there is a protest scheduled in town today, so authorities scan people entering train stations, identify potential participants and based on personality profiles induce fear, despair, tiredness as appropriate,

Alternatively imagine queuing at the airport, your emotional state being analysed, a few more questions asked and being shuffled into a room for a more invasive discussion.

I'd suggest that preserving the separation of powers between the legislative, executive and judiciary becomes increasingly important to prevent totalitarian regimes. Add to this free speech as vitally important even if I disagree vehemently with your opinion.

Googlers hate it! This one weird trick lets websites dodge Chrome 76's defenses, detect you're in Incognito mode


Re: Don't use paywalled sites.

I find it interesting that news sites with leftish leanings (e.g. Guardian) tend to have no or ineffective pay walls and those on right (e.g. News Corp) tend to have stronger pay walls. I expect there are plenty of examples to contradict this anecdote.

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months


Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority bans Boeing 737 MAX 8

> Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) says it is suspending operations of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane in Australia after a deadly crash killed 157 people in Ethiopia at the weekend.


Only two carriers are currently using737 MAX 8 on flights to Australia. Silk Air have access to alternative planes, but not sure about Fiji Airways.

Can't unlock an Android phone? No problem, just take a Skype call: App allows passcode bypass


Is the implication of this that any application which has 'disable your screen lock' vulnerable? This permission is under 'Other'.

Seems like for some with nefarious intent it would be trivial to slip into an application and trigger via push to a specific phone at a later point in time.

Fingerprint readers are becoming common place now. An answer call by scanning fingerprint sounds attractive, but would require an alternative with bluetooth.

Techie was bigged up by boss… only to cause mass Microsoft Exchange outage


Simply seeing shutdown on the same menu as log off sends chills down my spine every time I see it.

Sure I can understand how it makes perfect sense for a desktop system, but for a production server where I don't have access to restart the box. Not good.

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.


Where are they magnetic connections?

I've have a MacBook and a Sony Tablet with a magnetic connection for charging. Best experience ever!

Connecting is a matter of bringing the cable vaguely close to the correct spot and letting the attraction force gently snap the connection in place. Easy to do by feel as there is no need to correctly line up the port. Easy to do with one hand as you don't need to brace the device as you push the connector in.

There are several online sellers offering adaptors, but I'm reluctant to go a non-standard approach with the risk that in 12 months time when I buy another device the seller isn't in business and I end up with multiple standards.

One of the most common failures (particularly with devices the kids use) is the USB port failing due to rough treatment.

Oz digital health agency tightens medical record access as watchdog warns of crim honeypot

Thumb Down

I'm surprised the government hasn't simply added creating a record to their practice incentive payment scheme. For those not aware the government makes additional payments to clinics which achieve certain KPIs.

For GPs already using medical records software it would be a simple ticking of a box and wait for the cash to arrive.

Bonkers Azure bookings give Microsoft a record-breaking $110bn year


Re: Great, just great

> PHB's eye up the potential savings without ever considering (or being given the data to consider) doing it properly.

I think another factor is poor service from IT departments that might be driving companies to the cloud, particularly for software as a service. A competent IT department can deliver great service, but building and keeping a team of competent staff is a non-trivial exercise. Compounding this are consultants who deliver crap and rarely stick around long enough to learn the business.

As for the rest of your comments, I agree.

Trainee techie ran away and hid after screwing up a job, literally


Re: Key word is "Trainee"

> it might as well be the one whose time is least valuable in terms of the work being paid for



Re: He started a new life

Dentists do not typically obtain a medical degree although there can be significant overlap with a medical degree in the early years. Dentists have limited prescribing rights.

Interestingly most dental work is not covered by Medicare.

Telstra reveals radical restructure plan


Labor created the NBN as a monopoly to replace Telstra. Now it appears that Telstra have decided to structurally separate and there is a reasonable chance that either NBNCo will be purchased by InfraCo or the other way around. If Labor had courage this would have occurred in 2008/2009 and potentially the NBN would be in a better state. Potentially NBNCo could purchase InfraCo assets but not the employees, this would deliver significant savings in current payments to Telstra.

It will be interesting to see how Telstra competes going forward. Failures in the mobile network mean it is loosing it's competitive advantage and it will be interesting to see Telstra retain sufficient fibre to compete in the FTTB market.

Um, excuse me. Do you have clearance to patch that MRI scanner?


Lack of security updates is common to all devices

> "This creates a problematic situation in cybersecurity because when a medical device has been tested and sold to a hospital, a vendor is focused on creating the future wave of whatever medical devices they are working on," Zilbiger said.

Waiting for 100 Mbps NBN on wireless? Errr, umm, sorry about that


Re: They got 100Mbps wireless in Iceland (country)

> History won't look kindly on what the current mob have done to the project.

I expect history won't look kindly on Labor either. Labor planned to build NBN with FTTN, but were thwarted by Telstra, so chose FTTP as a face saving option. Labor designed the financial model with opaque cross subsidy model, instead of transparency. Labor chose to implement a monopoly to replace the previous monopoly Telstra. Labor chose an optimistic financial model with a cowardly compromise between access fees and usage charges.

The result is demand for speed is significantly less than Labor forecast. On a 1Gbps network, >80% were on 25Mbps or slower when Labor lost government. The costs (particularly overheads) have blown out and the build was well behind schedule. The reality is for the vast majority limited by speed tiers, the physical medium doesn't matter as long as it supports 25Mbps.

nbn™ ponders a gamers' gate to throttle heavy wireless users


Re: Wanking load of #$%@^$&()(_*()+_!!!!!!

> stop worrying so much about everybody using bandwidth they've paid for

The problem is that those downloading significantly more haven't paid for the bandwidth they are using. RSPs have chosen to sell unlimited data plans and under provision CVC (1-2Mbps per user).

Having said that streaming radio should be under 256Kbps which would work on ADSL1. A better example would be the streaming of a rocket launch in real-time.

nbn™ CEO didn't mean to offend gamers, just brand them unwelcome bandwidth-hogs


> Would you be willing to pay for something that you can't get?

The weakness in demand for 100Mbps services existed well before the first FTTN connection.

Would it be correct to assume you allude to the issues with congestion?

Fibre fanbois rant about a lack of access to fast speeds, yet all the evidence points towards Australians preferring unlimited data with >85% of Australians being unwilling to pay for fast speeds even when available.


> So whilst your claims are factual, they are based on the mistaken idea that all NBN installs are the same.

1. FTTN rolled out start after 2014.

2. ACCC NBN Wholesale Market Indicators report shows little difference in take-up between the various technologies.

The reality is that most Australians don't care about speed, but want unlimited data even if they are not going to use it. Paul Britt, Aussie Broadband Rep made an interesting statement on changing to unlimited:

"It came down to some market research. We were finding that we were generating lots of calls into our call centre but around 50% of the people wanted to buy unlimited. Now about 20% of those we were able to educate why they probably didn't need unlimited (explain about actual data usage etc), but about 80% just had it in their head they needed unlimited or didn't want to have to worry about it. So we were missing out on a lot of sales as a result.

Whilst there will be some users who will just go to town on it, the majority of users follow a more normal pattern. We are predicting there will be a lot on unlimited that don't even use 500GB, and there will be some that use 3TB but there will be more on the lower end of the scale then the higher end."

The issue I see is that as higher speeds are offered, the minority have greater opportunity to download excessively ruining the experience for everyone. The well known economic theory 'Tragedy of the Commons' explains this in more detail.