* Posts by ChrisBedford

285 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Feb 2012


So much for CAPTCHA then – bots can complete them quicker than humans


Grammar! Grammar! Grammar!

"explained that the explosion in advanced machine learning methods have rendered the defense obsolete"

Verb is conjugated for the subject of the sentence, not the adjectival phrase (or whatever that is) that comes after it. The *explosion* HAS rendered, not the methods. Bah humbug.

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


Re: Until we manage to screw up with orbital debris

1. My satellite TV service is interrupted by heavy rain, and that's using a 40cm fixed dish. How reliable is sat phone communication?

2. How many satellites will it take to carry the number of calls that an emergency system will have to handle?

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris


The worst kind of sloppy programming

I thought multiple GOTO statements was bad but this has to be a classic example of ignoring all the rules of coding.

How fiends abuse an out-of-date Microsoft Windows driver to infect victims


Re: I still blame MS for the problem

"trust but verify"

The most oxymoronic piece of advice I've ever heard. And I hear it a lot. People quote it all the time without apparently listening to the words or thinking about what they mean.

If you trust something or someone by definition you are dispensing with the need to verify. Conversely, if you verify something or someone you by definition do not trust them or it. The two actions are completely and 100% mutually exclusive, no way to overlap those two circles.

Lockheed Martin demos 50kW anti-aircraft frickin' laser beam


Jeeezzuzz all the corporate buzzwords eh

You could play a very entertaining game of bullshit bingo with the responses from the company.

Asus' latest single-board computer packs a 12-core, 4.5Ghz Intel i7


Also, "Click to enlarge"

Is it just me, or did that not enlarge the picture at all

Man wins court case against employer that fired him for not liking boozy, forced 'fun' culture


Re: Motivation

"It's a sign of severe depression and loneliness when managers use a company as a some sort of way for providing paid for friends.

I am surprised workers don't feel being abused by this behaviour, because in reality they become nothing more but escorts.

If people go to pub for a drink with their work colleagues, that is an extreme red flag."

100% in agreement with the first two paragraphs. But the last one? No that statement is something of a "red flag" in itself. It's one thing to value your own privacy, and respect others', but you can't be completely antisocial. I've worked at a couple of companies that organised "pub evenings" and the occasional weekend getaway and they were always fun - because no-one forced anything on anyone.

And of course there is always the Christmas party when at least one (ahem, non-)couple end up "hooking up" for a quickie in the bushes. But I think that's a separate discussion.


Damages of €3,000?

That falls pretty much into the 'derisory' category, doesn't it?

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move


If you thought Twitter was toxic before...

It wouldn't come as any kind of surprise to me if the entire company folded in the next year.

YouTube loves recommending conservative vids regardless of your beliefs


Yah well, not in my experience.

I get hardly any conservative recommendations.

No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron


Not just repairing but repurposing

I had one granddad proudly pull out his serial joystick and ask me to "put" the USB "plug" from a flash drive on it so it would fit his new computer.

Girls Who Code books 'banned' in some US classrooms


Because of course they did.

Welcome to the retrumplican party

Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth II – Britain's first high-tech monarch


Re: She was a good one

I like having the royals around.

To anyone who doesn't, I'd like you to think about two words: President Boris

One other word: Tourism.

Doctor gave patients the wrong test results due to 'printer problems'


They're certainly not as polite, or politic, as they could be.


One thing the car industry doesn't do quite as much is openly sneer at the customer to his face. Some in IT rationalise this as being "more honest" but honestly it's just rude and works actively against retaining business.

Tweaks to IPv4 could free up 'hundreds of millions of addresses'


But it will just delay the inevitable

"Testing and changing all devices that know that 240/8, 0/8, and 127/8, etc, are 'special' is a bigger job than making them just use IPv6," tweeted Adrian Kennard, who runs UK ISP Andrews & Arnold. "The 0 address being usable probably only helps local networks."

Yah not to mention it's just a way of dragging out the transition by giving admins an excuse to delay it another year - or two, or three. Sounds to me like more work than actually just biting the bullet and making the jump to IP6

Amazon puts 'creepy' AI cameras in UK delivery vans


Re: @Dave3415etc

It's called *satire*

Running Windows 10? Microsoft is preparing to fire up the update engines


Why bother? They'll only move them again.

Because, you dimwit, it will be at least 5 years before the next version of Windows comes out.

Sure, a lot of the changes feel like change for its own sake - e.g. right-click on the taskbar for Task Manager has been a feature since at least WinXP, but now it's on the Start button (WHY?!) - and it can be frustrating when you have to work with various versions, but "not learning because they'll just move them again" is churlish and cutting off your nose to spite your face.


Re: Last update wrecked so much

"Fatally wounded" eh.

Your computer has something wrong with it, you're running some dreadful old legacy software, or you've managed to break a setting or the registry, or something.

I have two desktops running W10 and they've been in service for more years than I care to try and remember (Core i5 gen 3 and i3 gen 7 - the latter replaced a couple of years ago because the hardware of its predecessor expired) and I run loads of software on them, the i5 is my primary workhorse which I use all day, every day and the i3 is used as a small business file server. I keep them 100% up to date and I honestly can't remember when last an MS update broke anything significant. Sure, they ask to reboot at the most inconvenient times, but I run a Macbook as well and so does Apple.

There is a culture of criticising and blaming MS for everything that goes wrong with a PC when in my experience nine times out of 10 it's user error or something random or minor that can be fixed without a lot of trouble.


But why would you want to keep running those old versions???

Seriously, what is all the FUD about?

Apart from a couple of minor inconveniences here and there, I've not yet seen a W10 update that didn't improve things in some way or another. And I have worked on *A LOT* of WIndows 10 machines.

A very lot.

There's a culture of dissing everything that comes out of Redmond BECAUSE REASONS but I have decided it's almost always down to BS and emotions, very very little actual logic or valid argument.

No defence for outdated defenders as consumer AV nears RIP


What's changed?

"It became commonplace to ship PCs with "try before you buy" AV packages that encouraged the new user to activate the software for free, only to receive truly terrifying warnings a month or so later about shelling out for continued protection"

A practice that continues, expanded, to this day. If you remove the McAfee that ships with your PC, instead opting for the "free" adware from say AVG/Avast, you get daily scareware advisories that are in fact total BS.

US Army journal's top paper from 2021 says Taiwan should destroy TSMC if China invades


"Chinese State [...] responded [...] by denying that TSMC was the reason the country was seeking reunification with Taiwan"

Oh, yah, sure. And Peng Shuai is 100% OK, Hong Kong is still a democracy unencumbered by authoritarianism, and the Dalai Lama is welcome to come home to Mongolia and preach independence.

Don't touch that dial – the new guy just closed the application that no one is meant to close


Re: As a young broadcast engineer, unschooled in IT at the time

Oh, yeah, that's another thing I've learned - applications should never, ever, become foreground unless the user has explicitly requested it in the last half second or so


I know, right? And yet multiple MS program do it - several times, just for good measure - every time they feel the need. Never mind the opportunities to shut down important apps, if you're not the world's best typist you might not be looking at the screen while entering something important - only to look up and find you've entered an Office activation key into the wrong screen. This can be ever so slightly frustrating.

Activist raided by police after downloading London property firm's 'confidential' meeting minutes from Google Search


Pet Peeve

I know I'm being 'anal' but it really gets up my nose when people say "it's on Google" or "I downloaded it from Google". NO YOU F%^**ING DIDN'T you SEARCHED for it on Google. You downloaded it from wherever Google pointed you, dammit.

Remember those wacky cyberpunk costumes in Hackers? They're on display in London this week


Re: It was and still is

Our reg journalist's dig that it's _implausible_ that Johnny Lee Miller would score a date with Ms Jolie is a bit snide: they got married IRL!

You do realise there's a difference between "IRL" and the characters that actors play in a movie, right?

Here's how we got persistent shell access on a Boeing 747 – Pen Test Partners


Esoteric at best

...and "the IFE system is now no longer in use in any 747 still flying today" - so a complete waste of time and effort then.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children


Really though?

I couldn't find a reference to the aircraft model on a quick re-scan but let's assume something like an A300 Airbus, which typically seats about 240 PAX and has a gross take-off weight of around 132 tonne. Let's say 200, and if every person on the manifest was an adult female booked in as "Miss" that would be a miscalculation of 200 x (69-35) kg = 6.8t or 5% of gross weight.

Seems a bit over-dramatic to make out this was some kind of huge thing. Bear in mind the actual number of people misrepresented is going to be a small fraction of the total, certainly less than half, so closer to 2%.

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


Re: Very open-minded

There's a difference between all choosing to wear the same thing and being told what to wear by someone else

Is there though? The only real difference I can see is being told in a formally published rule vs by acceptance of a de facto fashion.


Re: Very open-minded

See https://thisistrue.com/ for some truly astounding tales of Responsible Adults and what passes for thinking. Mostly from the U.S.A. but that's not all that significant.


Re: It's the 1950s again (or is it?)



Re: It's the 1950s again (or is it?)

Wearing a mullet is just as conformist, just to a different culture.

Netflix reveals massive migration to new mix of microservices, asynchronous workflows and serverless functions


Re: Additional Features Services and Innovations

You sound like every old person with *shit* eyesight that has ever compared HD to SD. If you can't see the difference the extra £2 a month costs you, don't pay it. Or buy a better TV set. But stop whining about it, the rest of the world can't all be wrong.

Rookie's code couldn't have been so terrible that it made a supermarket spontaneously combust... right?


What weird IT department...

...did not think of the first, most obvious troubleshooting step: phone the location of the server.

Seems IT nerds had their heads even further up the proverbial drainpipe back then. Unless this story is apocryphal. But Harry would never spin us a tall tale, now would he? Would he?

Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands


Re: Should not have Netherlands VAT ...

It's also not how warranty replacements work. If the cust has to pay VAT on the incoming new unit, he should have been refunded the VAT on the exported broken one.

The simple solution, instead of lying down and letting bureaucracy walk all over ignorance, would be for Seagate to tick the box on the export form that says "warranty replacement" and the courier firm to ensure customs notes this. The part then goes through -=GRATIS=- -- at least, that's how it should work in any civilised society.

Hey El Reg, on a side note: why does this forum flag British English spelling and want me to use American? Hmm? Hmm?

Facebook appeals ruling that it stole tech. So, Italian judge issues new judgment: Pay 10 times the original fine


Knowing full well some will just give up as they can't afford to wait or go bankrupt while waiting

Yeah. AKA First World (read "USA") legal systems.

Dutch officials say Donald Trump really did protect his Twitter account with MAGA2020! password


Re: less than a month before no one has to care what appears on Trump’s Twitter feed ever again

Branding all Trump voters as bigots is the most stupid thing I've read so far today, but there're plenty of hours left.

You *have* to be a bigot to vote for Trump, or *staggeringly* stupid. There is no other way to excuse that sort of behaviour. The man is the worst example of humanity to emerge in world leadership since Pol Pot, and the least articulate, the most self-centred, the whiniest, and the stupidest.

Google Cloud (over)Run: How a free trial experiment ended with a $72,000 bill overnight


Google sent an automated email informing him that his free Firebase plan had been "upgraded due to activity in Google Cloud"

Yeah imagine if your phone provider did the same thing. Or your credit card company. "We have limits, but if you exceed them we just increase them." What a stupid, utterly anti-ethical default that is.

Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more


Working from home = the new norm here

In South Africa just about everyone I phoned - at least in the first 5-6 months after lockdown started - was working from home. The barking dogs and wailing children in the background (sometimes foreground) kinda gave it away. We had a 3-day notice period from 26th - 29th March during which every notebook PC at every distributor I deal with was snapped up by the bigger corporates for use by their staff not deemed 'essential workers'. Some people made a l-o-o-o-o-o-t of money.

Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone


Some people just have WAY too much time on their hands.

HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it's pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink


Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

If a vegan also does Crossfit, which one does he tell you about first?


Re: print-free-for-life plan was "an introductory offer,"

"and then say the offer referred to the life of the printer"

Yup - that's already in the fine print and has been for decades. In fact I'd guess you'll find that's the case with most manufacturers. 'Life' has a very specific meaning - and no, it's not *so* cynical that they mean 'if the printer expires the offer does', it means as long as the model is supported. Usually this is about 3 years (consumer inkjets), 5 years (business inkjets) or 10 years (lasers) and means the company still sells service parts and provides drivers for current operating systems. Once you discover your printer doesn't have a driver for your PC you can pretty much work on the assumption you're SOL any more.

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'


Re: And this ladies and gentlemen...

Saw photos of my mate's new car which is RO70 xyz which can be confused with circa 1992 style "R" followed by three digits and three letters. The first 4 characters are not spaced apart and there is no difference between the "O" and the "0" - if you have been living under a rock you might be forgiven for thinking it was a 30 year old car.


Re: And this ladies and gentlemen...

Ummm yeahhh, except you do. Reading DVLA office is currently (or was, as of a couple of weeks ago) issuing "RO" initial letters. A mate just bought a new Jag e-car and its registration starts with RO 70 - and incidentally, looking at the photos, there is absolutely no discernible difference between the "O" and the "0" on his number plates.

Amazon spies on staff, fires them by text for not hitting secretive targets, workers 'feel forced to work through pain, injuries' – report


Re: Dystopian Nightmares Inc.

Lots of people don't think they have a choice. But I'm sure you'll also find people who think it's great: young and healthy people might see the possibilities for promotion that I'm sure are covered in any interviews

I think you mean "lied about in interviews"

Marketing: Wow, that LD8 data centre outage was crazy bad. Still, can't get worse, can it? Finance: HOLD MY BEER


Re: Yes but is no-one going to comment on the PRICE!!??

Why the surprised look on your face?

Because even though I'd expect a certain amount of gouging, that is an absolutely staggering amount of money for a routine 10 second effort. A Pentagon-level charge-out rate, really.

In my money that is more than R 3,500 (South African Rands) and it's enough to buy half a fair-ish laptop for a high school pupil, or 10 hours of IT support work at my (what I think of as extortionate) corporate rate.

Nice work if you can get it. I guess the techie whose labour is being charged at £ 612,000 an hour is probably seeing about the same as I do, i.e. not far from £ 20/hr.


Re: Very poor article

You can’t highlight the £170 without EXPLICITLY stating it was NOT an invoice but an order request

I think everyone got that. The whole point of the article was to *highlight* that someone let the *intent* to charge slip through. Also that later it was withdrawn with scarcely even a shrug, let alone an apology.


Yes but is no-one going to comment on the PRICE!!??

£ 170. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY POUNDS to open a screen and reply to an email? Really?

That, right there, was my "What actual fuck" moment. As in, what the AF am I already paying THOUSANDS per month for, if not basic monitoring and maintenance, even if this wasn't the host's fault and problem?

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets



*WE* computer folks are supposed to be smart enough to know how to use English, too, right?

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


If you spend *THREE THOUSAND POUNDS* on a fridge and it goes "out of support" you are getting what you deserve.

'Non-commercial use only'? Oopsie. You can't get much more commercial than a huge digital billboard over Piccadilly


Re: Free for non-commercial use?

No - you are confused, based on a single incident where you got caught trying to circumvent their licencing. If a machine only ever *receives* connections it can run under a non-commercial licence forever.

*ONLY* the computer that you use *to remote control other computers* requires the commercial licence.

Also, and I'm not saying this is a solution, only that the serialisation is not bullet-proof, the TeamViewer ID doesn't survive an OS reinstall. And sometimes it doesn't even survive a reboot (I have one machine in my network that picks one of two different IDs on startup, and I've seen it before on a client machine. No reason I can find).