* Posts by nonpc

30 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Oct 2011

Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically


The physics lab was also used as a hobby electronics lab, shared by two teachers, one good (who ran the electronics lab) and one bar steward.

The report and bullet-like motion of the casing of a small transistor that had been wired across the mains on a timer switch was impressive.

This was on a par with the wag who painted the floor of the chemistry lab with nitrogen tri-iodide. The teacher had been pleasantly suprised that we had politely waited for him to enter the lab first...


Re: Check the power supply

That's when I gave up buying hifi mags. The concrete bunker speaker installations for 'rock' solid bass I could just about believe, but the necessity of soldering every mains joint in the house wiring to reduce noise pickup and distortion escaped me.Presumably this quantum fuse fitted snugly into a standard cheap plastic mains plug...

UK admits 'spy clause' can't be used for scanning encrypted chat – it's not 'feasible'


Re: When it becomes possible

So ultimately when it is recognised that the biggest risk to humanity is humanity itself, our toys get taken away from us and we live in an AI driven care universe?

UK voter data within reach of miscreants who hacked Electoral Commission


Re: How was this made possible?

Do tell - how is the data protected when you are processing it? What steps to you take to prevent unwanted remote access to your PC and any LAN connection. In a commercial environment industrial-grade precautions (better than the Electoral Commission, one hopes) would be employed. From my decades in IT security, the weakest link is usually the human element when they bypass all the carefully crafted protections... Just sayin'

The number’s up for 999. And 911. And 000. And 111


Re: Why the down vote?

They are ok until some bug gets into the system...

JP Morgan accidentally deletes evidence in multi-million record retention screwup


Boris and the UK Conservatives would like to know who looks after their records, and can they do the same for WhatsApp please?

Alternatively has anyone tried the Dark Web for copies?

Amazon Ring, Alexa accused of every nightmare IoT security fail you can imagine


Has anyone seen themselves on Prime video yet? An under-the-counter option would surely fund any impending class action...

Botched migration resulted in a great deal: One for the price of two


Re: Nokia 6310

I went into my elderly parents' house and found my father outside the (closed) kitchen door with the telephone to his ear, apparently talking to my mother who was the other side of the door. I thought that they had finally lost it, but they explained that they were using the intercom function on the DECT handsets to test the hearing aid mode for my hard-of-hearing father...

In a similar vein, my wife said to me 'You haven't listened to a word I said!'. 'That's a funny way to start a conversation' I said...

Programming error created billion-dollar mistake that made the coder ... a hero?


Re: Explosive demonstration

I recall that tale - as a gap year job I started my computing experience at Harwell, and, as an early morning arrival, along with switching on the kettle, I had to turn on the vertical winchester disk as it took 20 mins(?) to get up to speed, before I loaded the paper tape system bootstrap. I was told to run like hell if the disk started making noises...

Loathsome eighties ladder-climber levelled by a custom DOS prompt


Re: Like so: C:\>.

On a DEC VAX I committed the cardinal sin of leaving myself logged in. When I next tried to login, it said 'No!' and logged me out immediately. I had to pore over the manuals (newly converted from hardware engineer) in order to find the 'login without autoexec' option.

It's official: UK telcos legally obligated to remove Huawei kit


Re: It's official

'Competencies' anyone?

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint


Re: Bug Finder

Similar to me - I could break anything (and still can, though retired). If you wanted something (major)bug-free, let me loose. Don't let me anywhere near a time-critical release that has been tested to death - by others. I'll find the showstopper.

It's a b****r when I actually want something to work for me...


Re: It's still going on

Similarly with File Manager - you have to open File Manager, click on a different drive, and eject decides to work...

Not to dis your diskette, but there are some unexpected sector holes


Re: You were lucky

You had to be careful with using 'chad' as one in the eye could be dodgy. Could be useful for decorating the inside of the wedding card as static made them difficult to remove. Adding some to the air vents meant that the flavour lingered even longer!

Govt suggests Brits should hand passports to social media companies


Re: I'm A Celebrity......

Thank you - a right riveting read! Presumably better than her published output (real and imaginary).


... although you have to hand it over when travelling (where details can be/are copied/recorded), and in certain countries they require you to carry it, when it can be relatively easily stolen.


Re: they already try to do this...

Years back, as an IT manager/security officer I created a Facebook ID to assess the risks of my users accessing it at work. The first thing it wanted to do was leech my contacts, which I declined. I implemented and enforced a 'no Facebook on company PCs' strategy.

I tried sometime later to access this account. In order to do so, I then needed to supply more personal information, which I declined to do, in order to unlock the account. I then tried to delete the account, which I could not do unless I provided more personal information, and no, I could not contact anyone without authenticating myself with - more personal information... That was a few less years back. Now I'm retired I might have enough time to tweak the tiger's tail, but I doubt I'd get anywhere.

A personal bete noire is the use of personal information (mother's maiden name, 1st pets name, school attended etc) as security questions - in order to protect your personal information! The simple solution is to allow you to create a unique security question which will trigger you (and you only) to know what the answer is, and is meaningless to others. Instead we get inanities like 'a significant date' where you have no idea as to what significant date you stated when you set the thing up.

On one of my past financial cards, transactions had a buried reference of 'fuckknows' because I got presented with a request to enter something... This was apparently unchangeable, and I never was asked for it again!

No - I see no future in requests for passport information. Perhaps when a full digital ID system has been built and perfected, and run but a reputable and incorruptible authority(!) that may be the answer.

To err is human. To really screw things up requires a wayward screwdriver


Two events spring to mind - one computing related, one not.

The first was where a Newbury Labs terminal engineer used snipe-nosed pliers to slide sleeving over a mains transformer terminal - with the PSU connected to the mains and switched on. He attempted to claim for replacing his glasses which had a sputtered metallic coating... This was declined, but he was let off the cost of replacing his now snub-nosed pliers.

The second was an Irishman who dropped his metal mallet into the uncovered, ceramic fusebox in the roadway in Covent Garden. Each 'bang' relaunched the mallet into the air again, accompanied with what sounded like 'Feck'. There were many iterations, and people scattering in all directions.

Fisher Price's Bluetooth reboot of pre-school play phone has adult privacy flaw


In the words of Monty Python (OK late boomer credentials): "Luxury! We had cocoa tins and string...etc.etc.". The fun with technology in those days was (and indeed still is) in trying to make it do what you want it to do instead of what its provider thinks you should want it to do (Thank you Bill G!). To quote Douglas Adams 'Very nearly almost but not quite like...'

Japanese bloke collared after using AI software to uncensor smut and flogging it


Re: Silly censorship

Does the AI recreation work on the premise that 'they all look the same'...?

It's time to delete that hunter2 password from your Microsoft account, says IT giant


Coercive theives are ahead of the game

I saw a news article very recently that the modern equivalent of marching the vulnerable to the cash point and forcing them to withdraw cash can now be done from the comfort of their home or elsewhere and forcing them to share the authenication codes to allow bank transfers to the criminals interim accounts. Finger scans can be physically forced (although recognition is so variable there can be enforced lockout delays incurred even with normal use).

What is needed is an emergency authentication pin as well as the normal one, but this one alerts the system that this is an enforced criminal act, appear to allow the transactions through but activates tracking etc, hopefully letting the victim off the hook but catching the bigger fish (or phish)...


Re: "in a safe place"

The answer (as always) to that is to buy/make a replacement and when you go to put in a safe place you find that is where your old one is...

Pi calculated to '62.8 trillion digits' with a pair of 32-core AMD Epyc chips, 1TB RAM, 510TB disk space


Re: they are now the last known digits of Pi

For a time I stood wondering to myself about the inane accuracy of decimal fractions. Why in the apostles name do we bother with all these decimals?

Scalpel! Superglue! This mouse won't fix its own ball


The modern day equivalent is the crud buildup on the feet/sliders on the mice - if you don't use a mat, which I guess wipes as its used. That seems to grip instead of slide. Build-up from sweaty palms, I guess...

Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs


I've forgotten the original quote, but there was a statement that a fire had swept though an area and done £3m worth of improvements...

UK government resists pressure to hold statutory inquiry into Post Office Horizon scandal


Re: Accountability?

Surely the normal process for such events were there was a discrepancy that was challenged would be for the auditors to go through with a fine 'human' toothcomb (yes, I do subscribe to the Terry Pratchett view on Death's auditors, but do have a software test/QA/audit background myself. If I haven't found a fault, I haven't looked hard enough...). There should have been transaction logs that would have shown that something was amiss. These have presumably been long deleted, or were never adequately implemented in the first case. All financially mined software that I have been involved with has been almost crippled with the requirements for detailed audit logs and reconciliation of the same. The fact that such a prevalence of queries and cases passed without comment is unbelievable, but reminds me of the phantom ATM withdrawals in the '80s...

Australian police suggests app to record consent to sexual activity


Re: The definitive solution

I take it an up and down motion will follow from the 'no' swipe.

Did I or did I not ask you to double-check that the socket was on? Now I've driven 15 miles, what have we found?


Re: Poor On-Call this week

I particularly like the Welsh graduations of response time:

'I'll be with you now' (shortly)

'I'll be with you now in a minute' (presently)

'I'll be with you now in a minute after' (forget it)

BT bitchslapped for misleading 'Join now' Infinity ad


Infinity updates

Condidering I'd registered my interest in Infinity, an email would have been expected when the 'available' date moved last week from 30th Sept to 31st Dec... Yes, delays happen, but a comms company ought to be able to communicate to manage expectations!

Also the plethora of broadband deals makes it impossible to work out if it is worth switching to BT now and getting and automatic (ho ho!) upgrade to Infinity when it is available. The online web support chat seems to suggest that that would be a change in contract which negates any deals...

I'll stick with my 6Mb Be offering, I think.