* Posts by vogon00

91 posts • joined 10 Nov 2011


Railway cables overpowered errant drone's compass and flung it back to terra firma


Re: Actual engineer

And just to be different, I recommend avoiding ElectroBOOM, especially if you are trying to actually learn something about this 'Elec-trickery'* stuff. That said, his method of educating people can only improve the gene pool in the long run..

He's a good source of entertainment, but a shite source of knowledge.:-)

* Perfectly SFW, possibly even funny!

Rogue ADT tech spied on hundreds of customers in their homes via CCTV – including me, says teen girl


Re: Camera in bedroom?


FCC boss pleads with Congress: Please stop me from auctioning off this spectrum for billions of dollars


Re: Do It

Isn't a .50 cal round through the antenna feeder or some vital bit of kit a solution?


Fiddle with First Responders...

at your own risk.

I know jack about the US Spectrum, it's usage and associated costs, including of course this 'T' band...

However, messing about with the Systems/Processes used by First Responders (no matter what side of the pond you are on) is not a good thing - even if people want more cellular bandwidth, for less outlay.

Perhaps someone could ask the British ambassador how the ESN job (Emergency Services Network) is going here in the UK. For our 'merican cousins, this involves moving all 'Blue Light' services (Fire/Police/Ambulance/Coast Guard/Transport police/etc.) off their nataional-coverage TETRA radio networks on to ..... LTE.

Actually, perhaps I'd better call the ambassador... having been involved at the start in a very minor capacity, I'd love to find out the current state of play now....especially the bit called 'NATS'..

Cyber attack against UK power grid middleman Elexon sparks in-house IT recovery efforts


AC Amperes....

...are now forever known as 'wiggly amps' thanks to this article :-)

Thanks - it's the perfect way to describe AC to my less technical contacts.

Non-AC to avoid confusion, I hope.

16 years and counting: How ESA squeezed oodles of bonus science out of plucky Mars Express probe


Re: Remote software updates

Seconded. Thanks for the clear explanation of the operation of *and* the reasoning behind each step in this highly fault-tolerant architecture. Lessons have been learned:-)


Re: Remote software updates

Bad form to quote oneself, but in my defence I did say "Once you've appreciated that, and done the appropriate design, modelling, and completed a confidence-giving 'review and test' process"....


Re: Remote software updates

Red, thanks for pointing that out.

Now, this requires a moderately large leap of faith.....but the 'orbit of another planet' part actually doesn't matter.

If you look at things from a system point of view, each node or functional entity in the system is remote from it's neighbours/adjacencies to some degree. They may be separated by 5 Meters of utterly reliable Ethernet cable via a low-latency switch, or a few million miles of comparatively 'risky' and stupidly-high-latency hops via the Deep Space Network.

Once you've appreciated that, and done the appropriate design, modelling, and completed a confidence-giving 'review and test' process, remote software update is not as scary as you may think. Of course, I've only ever done terrestrial upgrades myself*, and no doubt I would have a seriously twitchy bottom doing what these guys did, not to mention a seriously bad case of pride in what I had achieved when it worked.

Bottom line for me here is : Muchos kudos and respect to the folks managing the mission software and science etc., but at least as much kudos is due to the folks in the DSN organisation.

You can't do jack without that bit of ethernet cable. Also, the connectors used at each end of the link aren't moving, and you can always see from one end of the fibre to the other with no interruptions.

Have a look at what spacecraft/missions the DSN enables..

Lower layers to the rescue, yet again :-)

[ * : Despite the handle ]

Outages batter UK's Virgin Media into wee hours as broadband failures spike 77% globally


Re: AS6830 connection issues

Thanks for taking the time to figure out and post the incident analysis.


Re: Same excrement, different operator...

Ooops, forgot to mention peering :-)

I've been out of the IP-routing dicipline for a while now and can no longer keep track of who peers with who, or who routes via who.....let alone who hosts their endpoints in who's CDN / on who's service :-)

God, I miss my own looking glass and accurate whois.


Same excrement, different operator...

For one reason or another, I found myself working at the weekend, and using (Well, trying to) BT's nationwide-ish Wi-Fi network with an SSID of "BTWifi-with-FON" (Yes, I know, but needs must on occasion. And yes, I was using the office VPN service to work).

Now, I normally run a 'split-tunnel' to work, mainly to avoid hogging work's bandwidth un-necessarily but in this case I had to go to 'full tunnel'....and why was that?

Every single Google service (Google search, youtube/ytimg, fonts.googleapis, you name it etc. ad nausium) appeared to be 'silent' on that connection, almost as if they were 'blackholed'.. Even moving to another router/BSS didn't help. So I did a bit of digging. DNS was fine - hosts resolved correctly in all cases it seems and traceroute looked sensible - but TCP to those hosts just vanished into the often-mentioned cyberspace. Its almost as if someone had pulled the plug on google's entire AS and suite of hosted services.'Talking' to anything else was fine...but if involved a google service talking to my endpoint(s), then things just didn't work.

Switching to a full tunnel, or hot-spotting to my mobile (Awful signal, hence the dreaded BT/FON thing) sorted it out - thank $DEITY. It's an unpleasant experience surfing when google services are unavailable.....some would say not much better when they are :-)

Gave up trying to figure it out once I remembered how much NAT/CG-NAT/Firewall/Routing BS was going on. I'm told this is not an infrequent occurrence for BT Wifi users..

This problem lasted all weekend, but was magically fixed when I got home from the office on Monday.

If anyone has the inside gen. on this, I'd love to know what the cock-up or failure was. I had hoped from better from BT, however I'm not surprised - nobody gives a shit these days ::-)

O2 be a fly on the wall during BT and Vodafone's video calls: Telefónica's UK biz, Virgin Media officially merge


Re: Think about the poor sponsors

Especially given the reason for the bank holiday moving to Friday here in Blighty.

I suppose 'A4' would be an option also.

BOFH: Will the last one out switch off the printer?


Re: Monopoly Money!

Clench your fists, then extend just your little finger/pinkie.

Keeping your remaining fingers and thumbs closed, insert your pinkie fingers into your mouth and use them to 'hook' your cheeks apart from the inside - the corners of your mouth should be as close to the pinkie knuckle as possible and the fingertips should touch the inside of your cheeks.

Left pinkie then pulls left cheek left, right pinkie then pulls right cheek right which also results in your mouth being stretched...maintain the tension and....

then say the word 'Banker'.


Re: Mister X

I hope this is the Passionate Reply you are Waiting for.

If not, I have No Regrets.

All your jobs are belong to us... Amazon is hiring 75,000 people but if you want US home groceries, tough luck


Re: Must be hard to find 100.000 people..

Interesting comment.

On the east side of the pond, we enjoy labour-related laws that require a process and a reason before making someone redundant.

However, in the U.S., I believe (happy to be corrected if I am wrong here) some states allow firing 'without cause', whereas some states require a valid reason for termination of employmentand are known as 'with cause' states.

I should think that most buisinesses in the US operating in 'without cause' areas take full advantage of that when necessary.

Anyone done a study of Amazon's staff retention or turnover in 'with cause' states against 'without cause' states?

GCC 10 gets security bug trap. And look what just fell into it: OpenSSL and a prod-of-death flaw in servers and apps


Re: El Reg (or the readership) really has changed

"Most Brits will (should) know who he is but they still"........ won't care.

Trello! It is me... you locked the door? User warns of single sign-on risk after barring self from own account


+1 for the backup strategy.

Co-incidentally, I needed some RTP audio despatch code I knew I wrote years ago. Finally found it on a 'backup' IDE hard disk...which briefly 'choked' on spin-up.

OK, OK, I *know* I should have used tape....which for me means DAT. Still got two drives somewhere.


Re: SSO is flawed

+1 for the admission of liability!


Yet another reason....

...to keep your professional and private accounts/data separate. I don't have much sympathy for people suffering from this....what did you expect?

AFAIK most employment contracts have a clause in them that says anything done with employer's resources is the property of said employer....so if you get terminated you will probably loose it - especially if you are fired and immediately frog-marched off site*.

Plan ahead, people, and plan for the worst:-) You are still (just about) the master of your own data's destiny.

*Never suffered this myself though - employer's have always been 'polite' and reasonable.

Cloudflare outage caused by techie pulling out the wrong cables


Re: Basic

<pedant>Just out of interest, what does reconnaissance have to do with it?

One can ether abbreviate 'reconnoitre' or 'reckon'.</pedant>

From Brit telly presenter Eamonn Holmes to burning 5G towers in the Netherlands: Stupid week turns into stupid fortnight for radio standard


Re: Don't follow the link I'm posting!

Bottom line IMO : 'Just don't' bother with the link as Foxglove suggests above. That's 60 seconds of viewing and a thoughtful 5 minutes of typing I won't get back :-)


@foxglove : Thanks for citing your sources.

That has enabled me to agree with you - the opinions expressed by this 'Seven' person (Actually a 'Zero') are bloody risky ("Go onto the website of the UK Government - they KNOW there is no deadly virus"), and probably 'reckless' (provided anyone listens, my bad here as I did, briefly) and almost certainly 'actively dangerous'.

Whilst we''re on the subject of free speech, I'm glad to be in the UK as 'Miles' and 'Seven' are so obviously able to enjoy their free speech - and NOT get charged with 'Reckless Endangerment' a-la USA statutes. Almost a shame we don't have that offence on the books here*.

People get slagged off for being Holocaust Deniers (And rightly so), so how about starting up something aimed at doxing 'Coronavirus Deniers'? This numpty is at least as bad.

The delicious irony is that targeting coronavirus deniers would go viral :-)

They say there is nothing like *knowing* what you are talking about. If so, then 'Seven' must be very happy as she obviously knows nothing about what she is talking about.

*IANAL and am happy to be corrected if we do.


Re: The RF nutters

> "ears nose, mouth and eyes"

May I suggest that ears, noses and eyes are optional, but it is mandatory to cover the mouth in such situations?

Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all. Good thing the PM isn't using it for Cabinet calls. Oh, for f...


FFS! Typo again

Normally, I don't bother flagging typos (Regular readers will note I frequently make them - Vino Rosso, don't you know..)....however today has been bad.

"A link such as \\evil.server.com\foorbar.jpg will, when clicked on, cause Windows to connect to evil.server.com, supplying the logged-in user's credentials in hope of fetching foobar.jpg."

Errrr...."foorbar.jpg" != "foobar.jpg" so typo needs correcting, or the conclusion needs changing to "in hope of fetching a 404 page."

What happens when the maintainer of a JS library downloaded 26m times a week goes to prison for killing someone with a motorbike? Core-js just found out



You say : 'If every chunk of free software had some sort of “foundation” to supervise it, productivity would plummet.'.

I say/FTFY : If every chunk of free software had some sort of supervision it, quality would improve.

IMO, the bottom line is either PAY ATTENTION TO AND UNDERSTAND YOUR DEPENDENCIES (Shouting is intentional!) and update your code when necessary, or 'snapshot'; things at your release time and include all deps in *your* release as absolutes.*

Understanding dependencies involves both your code, and and how it is used by 3rd/4th/5th/Nth parties..

I get soooo fucked-off with code/systems/applications that suddenly fail due to someone changing one or two lines in a dependency that the author didn't know they had.

Is it just me. or do people no longer know or care what they are doing? Why write a package/system with *your* name on it when it can be crippled by someone else, by design or accident?

Learn what dependencies means in your context, and take the necessary steps...

*The software equivalent of nuking the site from orbit - it;s the only way to be sure :-) Old quote I know, but stop being age-ist, you!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago


I bet the model B has aged better than the 80s fashion model....

World Wide Web's Sir Tim swells his let's-remake-the-internet startup with Bruce Schneier, fellow tech experts


Well, Well, Well...

....isn't this an interesting idea?

OK, Sir Tim originally invented the 'web' bit of the inter-tubes way back when. Were I in his shoes, I would be rather disappointed in what humanity has done with it.

It has turned from a brilliant idea to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and discussion etc. into the festering cesspool of monetisation and self-aggrandizement that we have today. We have squandered it's potential and reduced it to merely another marketing tool.....why am I not surprised.

If his latest stated aims are achieved (Where *you* control what you publish where, rather than accepting someone else's controls and policies) it will go a long way to redressing the balance....provided we don't make the same mistakes again. That's unlikely as someone, somewhere will wrest control from where it should be for their own benefit, dressed up as in our interest.

Optimistically cynical as ever,


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


Re: As usual ...

Oh, that last paragraph is just 'class' - beautifully constructed!

We've all had a colleague like that at one point or other. Mine was quite a while ago and the ignoramus was so far up is own chuff that everything he did was brilliant, everything anyone else did was flawed.

The empirical evidence was the reverse, and everyone apart from him knew it. I'm glad to report that he did get caught out in the end, for the same reason (syslogs and command audit trails were forwarded to a third machine overseeing the entire shooting-match).

Parks and recreation escalate efforts to take back control of field terrorised by thug geese


Re: Funny...

Never mind forcing one's self to be "adult"... i have a hard enough time forcing myself to be "nice"...

US govt accuses four Chinese army soldiers of hacking Equifax and siphoning 145m Americans' personal info


Re: Grand Jury...

Thanks for bothering to explain the grand jury process and purpose. Not many would have bothered.

So, the U.S. Grand Jury is a 'check and balance' in the process, where 'joe public' has the chance to decide if the case is worth prosecuting then? We have a state organisation over here, the Crown Prosecution Service, who's job it is to decide if the evidence (and other factors!) even permits someone to be charged with an offence, never mind being trialled for it. Sadly, this is usually based on their estimate of the probability of conviction should the person be charged. Not much chance of conviction? Then you're not charged as going to trial is 'Not in the public interest' i.e. too expensive.

By the way, some sites I read suggest that once you are selected/accepted as a member of the Grand Jury, you could be in court a couple of days a week for up to two years! Is that (a) true and if so, (b) nationally or only in some states?

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


Re: An SCSI?

Depends on who you are speaking to.

I was discussing some new infrastructure with a previous boss a long while ago. I used the my (actually *the*) usual vernacular term, to be met with the reply of 'Don't do that, put decent disks in instead'.

I sh*t you not.


Re: IDE not SCSI but the hack worked

Ahhhhh... the finesse here was getting the overdue ciggie...sorting out the cable was just a bonus :-)

Virtualization juggernaut VMware hits the CPU turbo button for licensing costs


Re: The even more cynical amongst us..

This comment isn't really related to VMware so read on if you want to. That said :-

This is nothing new. I work in the EU, and was involved in the development and deployment of a fleet-wide (~200+ vehicles) integrated data and management system using cellular routers from a North American equipment manufacturer, mainly on the strength of their 'back end' management platform.

It really was a thing of beauty and flexability, due to their excellent and flexible hardware (Expensive, but good) and the truly excellent back-end that allowed management of the fleet's devices, Settings changes (and therefore the end-user's 'experience') were comparatively simple and near-instantaneous, no matter where the relevant vehicle was in the EU. We re-sold several variants of the system, despite the initial capex being on the high side, on the strength of the back-end management & reporting system.

Licensing changes occurred typically once annually, steadily placing more focus on the management suite until........the per-device licence fee when remotely managed rose ~450% in one go..... instantly a non-viable solution for most of our existing customers - the opex was now seriously (actually prohibitively) unattractive, and NONE of our fleet customers opted to renew their device licences, in most cases switching to an alternative solution.

So...nothing unexpected here. Build a following, achieve significant market share, create 'vendor lock-in' and then monetise the f**k out of the thing - In this case, to death. I'll never recommend their solution again.

It's just business, but it it's not playing the game nicely.

Microsoft Teams starts February with a good, old-fashioned TITSUP*


Not impressed..

OK, Microsoft's latest global-bollocks product had a hiccaugh, human error as usual most likely (I assume MS don't use self-renewing certs from Lets Encrypt). Move along, nothing to see here, bullshit big business as usual.

Who I'm not impressed with is the doof quoted in the article...Scott Hoag. Why so?

Dialling in a fact of life no matter how you do it.. with Circuit-switched PSTN, the CS ISDN, or some packet switched VoIP stuff. The voice is the same*, it's just the address (E.164 vs. URI + Authentication bollocks) that's different - you even use a microphone and speaker!.

If he *was* a savage, he'd be forced to physically meet someone to exchange voice communication....no PSTN, no ISDN, no internet, no VOIP, not even the two empty tins with some string. Twat obviously doesn't appreciate how lucky he is to have the options he does, or how foolish he is for relying on the latest mongo-scale populist BS that can be crippled by having one bit or date out of place.

I don't get riled easily, hardy ever, and I don't usually do violence upon people, but in this case I desperately want to punch this total knobber in the face for the crass stupidity of his comment. He needs to count his blessings.....despite having an implied dig at Microsoft which is warranted in this state.

Someone with a handle as techie as 'ciphertxt' should be more commenting with a more technical, less business development focus. Still, not as bad as it could be - the idiot** could have spelt it 'cyphertxt'.

Grrrr x 10^3 ....

* Circuit switched voice is actually better (Quality, Delay, Echo) , but not the current 'flavor of the decade'....,however I'm biased having worked on National scale circuit-switched voice and data, as well as the packet-switched versions.

** I've used 'twat' and 'idiot', because the adjectives I had originally selected wouldn't make it past the moderators. SOOOO ANGRY!

Whirlybird-driving infosec boss fined after ranty Blackpool Airport air traffic control antics


C-Suite mentality in the air

"unhappy about the service being given"? WTF?

He's obviously aware of his role outside of the aircraft, but he appears to have forgotten what his job description is when *inside* the aircraft.

IFAIK (And I'm not a pilot) 'ATC' stands for 'Air Traffic Control' and it's their responsibility to manage the airspace they are responsible for. not his.

This includes the timely delivery of 'service', with a focus on the safety of *all* airspace users, both passengers and crew,

The 'C' in ATC is Control. They are the people with the 'big picture' of what's going on in their ATZ, and as such are the only ones who *can* control the overall situation. Mr. self-important heli pilot seems to have forgotten it's ATC's job to control him, not the other way around. Frustrating it may be to a C-Suite mentality (ego?), but that's the deal when you strap the aircraft on.

As for the 550/Hour complaint, he should be familiar with the 'cost of doing business', and even I know the only thing that keeps a rotary-wing aircraft up in the air is money.....what did this idiot expect? Why choose to do something seriously expensive and then complain about the cost!

Plus, if his journey was that time-ciritical he should have allowed some wiggle room in his flight schedule :-)

Whilst writing this, I've been thinking of a suitable phrase to express my opinion of him. Sadly, the best I can come up with is 'Arrogant and ignorant twat!'

Train-knackering software design blunder discovered after lightning sparked Thameslink megadelay


Re: and basically impossible to test for.

"That's what the Test Track at Velim is for"....methinks that modern managers, project managers and beancounters need reminding of this.

My experience lately is that when folk of their ilk hear 'apply all the edge cases', what they hear is 'blahhhhh blahhhhh blahhhhhh un-necessary time and cost' and promptly chop those 'edge-ish' bits out of the test and/or approvals plan.

I'm lucky enough to have had a diverse and very enjoyable career testing things for a living, in an organisation where you were *expected* to try and break the thing you were working on (within sensible limits).... the rational being that if it went wrong in-service, it would be seriously inconvenient for users, if not downright Goddamn dangerous (Think national-scale 'phone infrastructure - no 112/911 service=big problems!).

We were well paid to have a negative attitude towards 'Product Whatwever' in those days - actually a realistic attitude from a Systems point of view - which was endorsed by the C-Suite as necessary for product quality. The attitude was that if Joe Public doesn't have an issue then we've done the job right.

Most of the time, we would end up fixing an issue, even the 'Very Low Probability, Medium Impact' ones on the (proven!) assumption that if Mr. Sod can stuff it up, he will.

With this modern 'continuous delivery' way of working, I find the 'edge' cases get ignored as a fix is seen as 'only a software update away' - no matter that the poor sap trying to use the thing has to wait weeks/months/forever for a fix.

Nobody wants to take the time and trouble to create a robust product any more, and it's hard to take pride in your work (About 50% of my output at the moment is crap, because 'timescales' and workload).

The world is increasingly run/managed by people who have absolutely no idea of the technicalities and complexity of modern systems.

Here endeth this rant.

Londoner who tried to blackmail Apple with 300m+ iCloud account resets was reusing stale old creds


Script Kiddie Plus

Ok, 20 years old at time of offence, and the effort wasn't particularly difficult....so in my mind all he is is a Scrpt Kiddie. He gets the 'plus' elevation not for tech skills, but learning how to bluff with confidence.

He's a knob, who has probably made himself unemployable in the I.T. industry, unless he does the 'poacher turned gamekeeper' and becomes a white-or-neutral hatted 'Security Researcher'.

Please don't employ this total twonk in anything that requires a degree of trust or credability, it won't end well..

This isn't Boeing very well... Faulty timer knackers Starliner cargo capsule on its way to International Space Station


Caugh, splutter! I'll have you know that Vogons are *way* better at orbital ops than Boeing... Plus, big B doesn't have to worry about hitchhikers yet....

Post Office faces potential criminal probe over Fujitsu IT system's accounting failures


Re: Wow, looks like Oracle and ICANN could find some board material here.

That comment by Phuzz is a thing of beauty... concise, to the point, accurate and funny as f**k to those with a dry sense of humour.

Well said, Sir.

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?


Re: Live and neutral


>(This would be the same with DC, only you'd need to consider polarity instead of the phase.)

I don't believe AC Phase or DC Polarity matter.

It's Voltage difference/Potential difference/P.D. (Be it AC or DC) that causes the current flow and hence the electric shock.

The difference between 0V and 100VDC and 0V and -100VDC is still 100 volts...it's just the direction of the current that would be different, not the magnitude...

....or have I missed / mis-read something?

If I have, could you explain the bit in brackets? :-)


Re: Not on the wall socket

Nearly down-voted you for appearing to recommend the HSE..

However, have an up-vote for citing your source.

ESA trumpets 'world's first space debris removal' with 4-armed junk botherer


Re: Less bang for your more bucks?

I'm going to behave like most large corporate PR departments*, and point out that you are misinformed - Vogon poetry is actually superb :-)

*Bonus upvote waiting for the 1st person to guess the name of the brand I'm thinking of here...


Less bang for your more bucks?

Now, this may be a little contentious, but it strikes me that it is becoming time to do something about the amount of junk floating around up there - not from an 'eco' point of view, but one of global risk (We absolutely depend on the the contents of the 'space segment' for more and more as time goes on - Satellite TV, navigation, communication, weather forecasting etc. etc,. mersum premite).

I am relatively uneducated re space and orbital operations*, but even I can appreciate the amount of damage done by being struck by something of low mass but with a significant relative velocity (The often quoted 'chip of paint' example) or something with a decent mass (100Kg, taken from the article text) impacting something at an entirely achievable 500Km/H differential velocity.

Anyone know of a published study that comes up with a *realistic* probability of a catastrophic Kessler-like event occurring?

Lets assume there *is* a risk of the Kessler syndrome becoming a thing - how would we cope if we lost most of the functions/services in the space segment at the moment AND were not able to leave the planet due to not being able to navigate through the resulting debris field. [ Obligatory Ref. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_DnrceDEI8&feature=youtu.be&t=112 :-) ]

OK, that's the problem. I like solutions, so what about this:

Every item of flight hardware that remains in orbit MUST be launched with a physically attached but entirely separate/autonomous thruster system (not necessarily high thrust!) with it's own mesh network/repeater communications system to cover failure of the hosting platform (Can't communicate with main platform - fine, de-orbit with the autonomous thruster, or the reverse). It must also have an end-of life plan that results in it's removal from space, not just shoving it into a parking orbit along with lots of other redundant cruft leaving a 'critical mass' of accident-waiting-to-happen.

Having one job to do, I bet these extra boosters can be standardised and low cost, at least compared with the TCO for launching and operating the parent platform.

Think of nuclear fission : It only works once things are densely packed enough to sustain the chain reaction, but boy, when it happens the results are interesting. Removing end-of-life platforms = less density = less risk = acceptable risk.

Nice idea, I think, but then I probably don't know what I'm talking about, and I'm not paying the bill (Unless the Kessler thing does happen, then we *all* get to cough up!)

*And in other things : 'mersum premite' comes to you courtesy of Google Translate.....

Ericsson throws $1bn at US authorities to make bribery probe go away


Oh, delicious irony

I worked for Ericsson for a while some time ago, before myself and lots of highly skilled and talented colleagues got sacrificed to the God of the low-cost-countries.

Now, someone way, way senior compared to us has done the dirty. I hope his training record has the appropriate tick in the box!

The beautifully ironic thing is that us plebs were continually harangued about the right way to behave commercially when overseas, with a mandatory Sarbanes–Oxley Act compliance and awareness course.

Us engineering types recognised it for the corporate arse-covering-exercise it was, and simply didn't bother to waste our considerably more valuable time to attend....which irritated HR no end.

At one stage, more than one of us were required for return from pretty distant secondments for *one day* to do the course.

Icon as the senior team are obviously behaving this way...

If you're going to exploit work's infrastructure to torrent, you better damn well know how to hide it


Re: Makes me feel amateurish

I had a slightly less technical and I suspect considerably less legal solution to the problem. Being a seriously 'circuit-switched' guy back then and having both interest and a small role in the fledgling technology of 'The I.N. Layer', I got to see a small (ish) list of 0800 (1-800 for left-pondians) numbers on a trial system running in one of the national networks.

Having an inquiring mind and having experience of PBXes and their configuration (Especially the occasionally difficult digit-map/dial-plan), I got to wondering...

Sure enough, one of the toll-free numbers for a government department had a very basic ACD system behind it, The options finished up with 'Alternatively, if you know the extension number of the person you are calling, you may dial it now') or some such.

Whoever forgot to prevent seizing an outgoing trunk with digit '9' when the call was in the ACD did me a big favour. I spent a good few hours surfing both domestic and foreign boards without caring about the speeds or costs - just dial up, start the download and go to the pub. Only connected at 2400 Baud? Who cares, time for another pint! :-)

In those says, no-one was bothered about analytics or the calling line ID / originating number flying around in the NUP or ISUP. etc, so I felt fairly safe surfing from home :-)

Even managed to automate the process a bit with TCL/Expect and some rather crafty AT commands and S-Register tweaks aimed at dealing with the group delays and echo cancellers encountered calling the foreign boards.

Someone must have had a surprise, as it stopped working a couple of months later :-)

Yeah, OK, this was a pretty common 'phreak', but still satisfying.

As an aside, I also saved another employer some money...a certain hotel chain we were forced to use for the usual B.S. reasons had a nasty habit of blocking in-band DTMF/MF4 dialling so you couldn't use your company-issued calling card (OMG, that long ago?), leading to a bigger bill due to their ridiculous in-room-call charges*. Turned out that if you dialled the '9+access number' by simulating loop-disconnect/pulse dialling with the in-room phone's hook switch, the in-band MF4 wasn't blocked... yippee!

I and my colleagues got quite proud of being quizzed at checkout time about the lack of chargeable calls...

*Rather hypocritical, I know, but the term 'Thieving bastards' always springs to mind.

I miss the completely circuit-switched PSTN with analogue signalling....sigh..

Cubans launching sonic attacks on US embassy? Not what we're hearing, say medical boffins


Re: In the event of sonic attack on your embassy

Upvote for the Hawkwind reference.

Fortunately, I don't need to take the metal limbs option.

Remember, it is essential to bring all bodies to orgasm simultaneously.

Call-center scammer loses $9m appeal in stunning moment of poetic justice


Re: Do west-pondian judges even *do* G&T?

Not necessary, as I am an *honest* tax-avoiding citizen, not the totally 'bent' type that Disaster Area employ. It's usually a good policy to avoid 'bent'. :-)


Re: Do west-pondian judges even *do* G&T?

On the contrary, Old Janx is a personal favourite...

I was indulging in the export version when posting (Cunningly disguised in a Merlot bottle to avoid GST*) which accounts for both the recursive loop identified by TK above, and my delay in replying.

I lost a couple of days somewhere, then I couldn't hop a ride back from the Orion system...:)

Apologies to both :-)

*GST:Galactic Sales Tax


Basic rules :-

1) Actions have consequences (If you get caught, which you must be prepared to be).

2) There is always some one smarter or more authoritative than you (Not necessarily the same thing).

3) Forget smarts - experience,common sense and pragmatism count more.

3) If in doubt, consult rules #2 and #3.

This numpty has spent time doing stuff 'against the law' not to mention common decency (Actually, I wrote those in the wrong order, but never mind).

They then hypocritically attempt legal shenanigans to wriggle off the hook. Judge said 'Legal B.S. aside, you're guilty, F.U., here's your punishment, Sayōnara'.

Pint for the Judge, as there is no Vino or G&T icon available (Do west-pondian judges even *do* G&T?) .

Margin mugs: A bank paid how much for a 2m Ethernet cable? WTF!


As you say, pretty standard.... however if I guessed at E///, would I be correct?

Y'know how everyone hated it when tuition fees went up? Cutting them now could harm science, say UK Lords


Couldn't agree more.

I am in my early 50s now, and have been everything from a production-line electronics tech,, component-level repair tech., PDH/SDH transmission over optics and microwave radio, PSTN/ISDN Switching and 'last mile' stuff, and a system architect - and that's in my professional life (*I'm back to being a grunt now...that's life!).

Wanting to pass on what I've learned for the benefit of the next generation, I looked into becoming a lecturer at the local uni, only to find my 1980s-Technical-College-HND-qualified body actually needed a degree and PGCSE or better....despite the mind still being able to keep ahead of, if not run rings around, noob graduates. The experience, willingness to teach and my (proven) *ability* to teach counted for nowt.

As the AC says, I can't be arsed to spend the next 'n' years getting the entry qualifications for something I would really like to do but I fear very few would appreciate - especially as I would be self funding and have bills to pay. And no, the OU isn't an option for me.

Entry level teaching salary isn't attractive at all - there was a bit on the radio a while back, opining that earning less than 30K means you are officially classed as 'low paid'.

I suspect the down-votes will flood in for saying this, but I really think the educational system here in the UK is on it's arse these days.

* It's all about bums on seats, which has seriously diluted the value in a degree - STEM or otherwise.

* Teenagers are continually told the lie 'Go to Uni, get a degree, there''ll be a good job at the end of it' - May have been true once, but not any more,

* Oh yeah - have you seen the degree courses on offer these days? If you're half decent, you'll be able to do ANY job afterwards - all a degree does these days is give you a 2 year head start and teach you how to continue learning..

Lastly, uni isn't for everyone - there are those who *can* and cannot go to uni, and there are those who should and those who *should not*. I am the latter, went to a technical college and learned my trade from people who actually gave a f--k about what they did, and the quality of the students they were teaching. What would be called 'vocational' training these days was the right choice for me.

Fortunately, it didn't have the same stigma then as it does now.

Oh well, I'll just have to pass it all on the Boss instead.(Not a PHB, good bloke actually - I wonder if he know what he's in for!)

(OMG, I'm getting old - my first use of the phrase 'these days' in a post!)



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020