* Posts by vogon00

106 posts • joined 10 Nov 2011


A tale of mainframes and students being too clever by far


Re: Ray-tracing on a Vax

Nice answer to the suspected problem. I shudder to think what would happen these days....even if you could stimulate a response from the manufacturer.

Everyone would dodge the issue and blame anyone else; God forbid actually taking some ownership of the issue on behalf of someone else!


Re: Memory protection


I wish the current crop of young devs would realise that bandwidth is NOT limitless, and what is available is shared, probaly with a high contention ratio. I recall I made a savageish post a long while back about some idiot mobile app that tried to auto-complete after every keystroke by sending said keystroke to the backend in real time.

Try that on GPRS!

Just starting a telemetry and update project where I have advised the other players to assume that the cellular IP connection is not available, as opposed to assuming it really being 'always on' like wot they want. Also, I'm of a mind to suppress the use of GPRS/EDGE to avoid 'expectation' issues....the jury is still out on that decision.


Re: Memory protection

> " universities actually taught something." - Seconded!

My major beef with recent grads is that they know the latest shiny bells-and-whistles stuff, but they have little or no comprehension of the 'lower-layer' stuff that makes it all work.

Latest one was a recent grad in all things webby and Azure. He seemed to have the inability to accept (or believe, I don't know which) that that the resources he requires in the all-powerful Azure estate may not be reachable on a mobile platform that relies on cellular connectivity....no matter what 'xG' is in use:

The phrase that got me involved was "I don't know why it doesn't work, the IP address is valid!". Que a *long* discussion of IPv4 vs v6, Firewalls and the general state of cellular connectivity in our portion of the universe. He's a bright guy, and picked up the concepts he needed very quickly.

I blame the FE Establishments and/or syllabus for not at least introducing the idea of lower-order system components. It's not *all* about Layer 7 by a long chalk.

Bored binge-watchers bork beleaguered broadband by blasting bandwidth: Global average speeds down 6.31%


All those Bs made remember this; I think this has the edge on the headline....

Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump


Re: “Don’t worry Donald, we’ll take care of it”

"shameless self-promotion" is all there is left to get noticed with these days. It's hard to stand out any more amongst all the other BS and 'noise'.

I may be old and grouchy, but my rep is based on making things work, as designed and then as necessary if the original design doesn't cut it for whatever reason(s) - at small, large and national scale. It makes me a pain in the arse for some people*, but the majority of the end users are happy.

Modem life is rubbish: RootMetrics 5G stats show EE has widest UK coverage, but Three is the speed demon


Re: What is it with '5G'?

Nice summary....Now I'm sober, I'd be pleased to have written that :-)

Thanks, Dude / Dudette.


What is it with '5G'?

Now, I admit I'm in my cups this evening, so this may be a less thought through question that usual....however..

For a long time I have been of the opinion that it is better to have more consistent long-to-medium-term throughput at a lower-than-peak speed than the instantaneously achievable high speed that cannot be sustained - especially if one is mobile (Either walking or at speed as opposed to being immobile/static).

Consistency is what you want/need (Ask any racing driver!) - it's pointless being able to shift stuff at 600Mbps if you can do that for one second and then get, say 50Mbps for the other 59 seconds of that minute (3550Mbit/Min) due to RAT/environmental conditions. Better to have a consistent rate of 75Mbps for the entire minute, every minute, isn't it (4500Mbit/Min)? Especially when on the move on foot or train etc.

I'm well aware of the traffic profiles in use (Still generally asymmetric, although upload from user-to-network is becoming more important as we upload increasingly 'rich' content including over-the-top VOIP and especially video calling, and more frequently too).

I'm also well aware of the fact that '5G' tech incorporates the concept of fixed (as opposed to mobile) devices to some extent, and it's right that these can expect higher transfer rates.

Now, here's the question:

Can someone provide, preferably in words of one syllable, and as you would explain in plain English to a small child, a decent explanation of exactly exactly *why* people still try to sell mobile services on *SPEED* rather than sustained throughput? (* and **).

I'm getting more and more cynical and despondent as time goes on, so please understand when I say that my current considered opinion is that all mobile operators are a bunch of cnuts (Although not the engineers!).

* Because differentiation / marketing / competition / commercials / going ever forward is *NOT* a valid answer - I want another one!

** We are the technical aristocracy and I know Joe Public is gullible mug :-)

BT: 'Because of the existing underlying supply of the 4G equipment, most of our 5G (NSA) so far is with Huawei'


This is the kind of bullshit conspiratorial thinking that is ruining politics!


Smoke on the Tyne: Blaze at BT exchange causes major outages across North East England


Re: Fire suppression?

Only 30 Years ago?

Just for the hell of it, I cycled down to the local exchange building I had always intended to visit*, to find a very ancient sign proclaiming 'Telephone Exchange' above the door, and a date stone in the wall proclaiming it was built in 1966.

Seems about right, as the condition, materials and (weird!) architecture of the building are consistent with the mid-60s. It's so unusual that I may be tempted to make an offer if it ever comes on the market..

Having somewhat nosily viewed the premises, I effed off sharpishly just as the 'No Trespassing' signs suggested I should.

Exchange code obfuscated to protect the guilty, but it starts with 'EA' which should give cognoscenti a clue....

(*Actually, pay homage to as, back on the day, I was heavily into what is now the the 20CN and it's TDM beauty.)

NASA trusted 'traditional' Boeing to program its Starliner without close supervision... It failed to dock due to bugs


Re: Bah!

"Of course, using FLOAT just because we were operating in zero-g was, in hindsight, a mistake."

Do you know, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that exact idea featured in some manager's thought process somewhere..


Re: A calculation

Nice little calculation, that.....however, based on my thought/opinion of:

“The strategy was because we’re buying a service, NASA did not have a requirement to have a systems engineering management plan,"

Errrrr, if they were at all professional here, NASA should have at least had a requirement to *see* a plan, and preferably review it.

....that makes me want to suggest a modification of the formula to (S*T)+(N*(P*P))*K = R.

IMO the 'P' term is the one that is the prime cause of risk at the moment so I think it should be P-squared,..and it's influenced & modified by K, which is a measure of common sense (Ranging from 1=a healthy engineering based scepticism, to 100="We don't know how, but it'll be OK - it will just happen" optimism.

Space operations require quality, not cost and speed.

PS Full disclosure : I doubt I could do better now, as I've just caught myself with my nose inches from the screen when trying to figure out if I'd typed quotes or apostrophes. Damn getting older, and Damn small fonts :-) Looks like I need to change the handle to 'Magoo'...

Mainframe madness as the snowflakes take control – and the on-duty operator hasn't a clue how to stop the blizzard


Re: Bah!

OMG! MAXIMOP! That takes me back!

Many moons ago (Early 80s), one was a student of Electrickery and Electronics at the local Technical College (Great place - was taught my trade by people who had been there, done that, and actually gave a shit).

Some of us took advantage of the 'Open Access' sessions run by the computing department to learn about the machine we had experienced from High Skool via dial up acoustic coupler and pukka Teletype machines, punched tape and all (Login was S0531HELLSDN if anyone is interested/bothered!). IIRC it was some sort of ICL Mainframe, I forget which model.

Shortly after I arrived for my secondary education it was replaced by a Harris S800 system, involving time-sharing between serial CRT terminals - luxury! The system documentation available was excellent and available to all in ring-binders stored in the 'Terminal Room'.

One of the commands that intrigued us power-hungry PFYs was 'TT', which was short for "Terminate Terminal" i.e. 'kicked'/forced logoff of a numerically-identified terminal. However, very correctly, it wasn't available to us plebs, just the Operator Gods.

I wrote a typical* Startrek game (50x50 Universe, Federation vs Klingons, Phasers, Photon torpedo weapons, bonus squares, traps for the unwary...bit of a cross between a MUD, Startrek and levels of deviousness a really nasty DM would have been proud of). Not bad for the time, and it made it onto the system 'Games pack' (Yep ED Packs had replaced the vacuum column tapes of the ICL system). I wonder if someone still remembers '2256E*TREK'.

After having the source code stolen by a serial-port-swapping arsehole (No consequences in those days), I beefed things up, including a way of dropping the banhammer on the arsehole (Who couldn't understand what he'd nicked) with my *own* version of the 'TT' command, which involved setting things up so that the user was logged out if the program encountered an error...plus a very deliberate div/zero when the 'TT' message arrived at the terminal number in question via an inter-process mailbox.

All was fine, until one evening I spotted terminal ID '0' being used to play it, with a UID of 'OPERATOR' shown. As a small act of rebellion, I thought it would be fun to terminate that session, as the operators were forever bollocking and banning us for playing games during 'Educational Time'...so I hurled a 'TT' event towards terminal 0. Being on fairly good terms with the ops, I was sure they'd see the funny side. And *they* did.

Their boss didn't...as when terminal 0 (The system console) logs off, the entire machine abruptly dropped back to single user mode, necessitating a full 'cold boot'. Ooopps.

Downtime was in the order of 15 mins, but apparently it messed up several important batch jobs from real academics and real-time interactive sessions from remote evening/night classes.

To his credit, after dispensing a big bollocking (in person and by proxy) he had the grace to ask how I managed to do that. On reflection, it could have been fun explaining to Head-Of-Computing and one of his A/Ps how I did it but I was shitting myself the entire time!

*For the time..

Apple: Don't close MacBooks with a webcam cover on, you might damage the display


Re: Tolerance?

Seconded. Was just about to say similar, but took the unusual step of reading all posts first!

IMO, one designs using tolerances that produce the required fit, not the other way around....that's just bodgery.


Well said, sir.

Same myopic and excess lard* issues here:-)

*Reducing thanks to new-ish pushbike...don't panic folks - short journeys only, generally to the office/bottle-o/package store.

Living on a prayer? Netgear not quite halfway there with patches for 28 out of 79 vulnerable router models


Don't forget Layer 2...

This isn't really anything to do with vulnerabilities, just a comment on Netgear's L2 switch issues.

Because I'm personally on a budget (Solved due to the donation of plenty of Cisco kit - thanks, Richard!), and work is definitely on a budget, I've been forced into useing Netgear switches (GS105/108/GS308E) at home and GS10x/GS724/FS728 at the SMB where I currently labour.

I have all sorts of 'beefs' with these blasted things..

* The GS105/108s lock up when subjected to (undiagnosed packets from) WinPE and the GS724/FS728 have individual ports that 'lock up' intermittently, so much so that one has a large-ish script ('Smart Managed' is not 'Properly Managed', you know) that spots locked up ports and down/ups them. MD/CEO is deaf to the "it's your bloody surface pro doing that" argument I present....

* The GS308E isn't manageable with a particular device attached... looks like the CPU is maxed out trying to make sense of something.

The other thing that pisses me off is that rather than change the model number like most people, they just change the *version* number ('Model X, Version Y'). I deliberately asked for a very specific thing to match some existing infrastructure (Version 4), and 'coz purchasing is done by Boss I got the cheapest one available....which was of course the way older V2 hardware that had been stuck in the supply chain for a while. Conversation was along these lines - Boss:"I can't return it , It's the same model", Me:"No it's not", followed by two unnecessary hours of effing about with upgrades and configuration to get them to even begin to 'play nicely' with each other.

Oh yeah - watch out for their implementation of 'Link Aggregation', either passive or active.

Thanks to Richard again for the donation of lots-of-ports-of Cisco gear for my home lab. Luxury in comparison!

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.



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