* Posts by ChrisBedford

263 posts • joined 27 Feb 2012


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).


Can't believe no-one has pointed this out. Under TeamViewer's licencing model, it's perfectly fine to have Personal/Non-commercial selected on the client-side computer. In fact it's what they tell you to do. It's the machine that you use to access the clients that has to have a business licence.

And incidentally, TeamViewer monitors your usage (connection is managed via their servers, remember) so if you don't can a commercial licence and you remote control too many client PCs (no idea what their definition of 'too many' is) they start cutting you off. At first it's for a minute at a time, then they allow you to reconnect for five minutes and cut you off again, but if you persist the breaks get longer and the intervals shorter until you can't get any work done at all.


Re: Free for non-commercial use?

RDP is an option as you described but "far more secure"?? What are you smoking?? Teamviewer's encryption is as good as your password, and you can make that as complex as you like, while RDP requires, as you pointed out, opening and forwarding ports on your router (not great for security).

Also if you want to have access to more than a handful of machines inside a router (like a small business, for example) you have to (a) use fixed IP addresses (b) set up different ports for each PC, which IIRC involves registry editing on the client side and some really tedious messing about on your own; AND (c) most user-grade routers only allow for a limited number of port forward rules. Sooo... Teamviewer wins hands down. Oh and also (d) RDP is not implemented on Windows Home, and (e) when you connect to the PC the user's screen goes blank so you can't use it as a remote coaching or teaching tool, only to do things *for* the user.

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network


Yeahhhh... cute story

...but I wonder if it really happened. Sounds like one of those "I wish it had happened this way" anecdotes that turns out w-a-a-a-a-y too well to be real.

Planet Computers has really let things slide: Firm's third real-keyboard gizmo boasts 5G, Android 10, Linux support


A physical keyboard? You've got to be f*(^%in kidding

What a waste of hardware resources, time, money, and god knows what else, to say nothing of the inflexibility of fixed hardware and requiring hundreds of regionalised variants. I'm a "boomer" and even though this looks like it's aimed at the conservative "older" market I think it's stoopid.

Don't see it becoming a best-seller, somehow.

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...


Re: What utter fake news nonsense, you need to do MUCH better.....

Naah. What you are disappointed about is that Trump's characteristic stupidity and style of rhetoric were even quoted at all.


One hopes it wasn't the scientist who wrote that, but the reporter quoting a verbal statement.

Oh but wait, reporters are supposed to be good at words. Ummm.


It's not LOW and behold, people

Lo, an archaic form of "look". Behold, ditto of "see".

Look and see. "Low" means something else, doesn't it?

Forget about those pesky closures, Windows 10 has an important message for you


Re: "not giving Windows 10 enough headroom"

how is this going to work well on a system that's in a kiosk?


You have conveniently ignored the previous line, "Windows deletes old versions 30 days after the update".

So no, not "crickets". This is a classic example of Linux / Apple fanboi blind Windows-bashing when it's not justified. If the computer had been set up properly in the first place, this wouldn't have happened - so don't blame MS for this. Heaven knows, there are plenty perfectly valid criticisms - this just doesn't look like one of them.


Re: "not giving Windows 10 enough headroom"

how is this going to work well on a system that's in a kiosk?


Actually, no, it's going to work just fine, as long as you observe all the normal procedures for running a PC that is accessed by every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean


Re: The cleaner did it.

hospital ward in the UK had a much higher than average rate of patients failing to respond

Yeah I'm pretty sure this is an urban legend. I read a newspaper report about this (allegedly) happening in a hospital in Johannesburg, SA, but wasn't able to ever trace it anywhere. Doubt it ever happened.

Come to Five Guys, where the software is as fresh as the burgers... or maybe not


Naturally, I would not suggest that The Register is alone capable of churning a 337-word report on nothing of any value or interest at all.

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary


Re: I think you underestimate it...

"Why don't just buy a copy of Office 2013/2016/2019?"

Ummm because $$$

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer


It was my fault - I took the blame...

I was a lowly "IT Co-ordinator" (effectively just the guy the operators reported to), having spent a couple of years as operator myself. So, when I was elevated to the position, we got a new trainee operator who had zero knowledge of minicomputers or anything much beyond basic DOS commands (DOS 2.1, probably, in those days). I worked a week or two on shift with him and then left him alone to run the overnight batches, which consisted of (1) run backups (2) run day-end (3) print the invoices, then take them downstairs to separate and burst, ready for the day staff to stuff into envelopes.

All appeared to go well, at first. Then after his 3rd or 4th solo run, the sales people came to me about halfway through the morning to query why there were duplicate invoices (if memory serves, one duplicate of each invoice went to them for checking - turns out with good reason). Oh sh!t - dear Nicholas (his real name, why not, it was a long time ago) had seen me "BREAK" and "ABORT" running jobs, and decided to do the same with the day-end batch (a couple of times) because... who knows why, it probably seemed like a legit reason at the time. Entirely my fault for not explaining when I did it that some jobs can be re-run from scratch, others not so much.

We restored the backups and I think that instead of re-running the batch which would have taken the best part of the rest of the day we left it for a 'double day' run that night. Leaving the staff to re-capture the morning's sales orders and the mail room guys to stuff a double batch of envelopes the next day, but more importantly the company head office had to restore their backups from last night and re-run *their* day-end because our system had of course uploaded a munged version which they then processed. I didn't get much of a bonus that year.

A stranger's TV went on spending spree with my Amazon account – and web giant did nothing about it for months


All those precautions and 'they' left out the most obvious one

Why didn't 'they' (let's face it, *he*) delete the credit card from 'their' Amazon account? That would have been my *first* action, forget changing all those passwords.

Each time I've used the 'purchase with one click' option on Amazon I've mentally cringed at the potential loophole there. But let's face it, it's really convenient, innit...

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein


2019, and I still have plenty of 'those' users

"Don't know anything about computers"

Those announcing this are really telling you they aren't prepared to put in the mental effort required to learn and want spoonfeeding. I'm normally quite patient, and sometimes those who learn just a little but are disproportionately confident, make a bigger mess - but the pride when they tell you this can really get up my nose...

"Didn't know you could right-click" (repeatedly, *EVERY* *SINGLE* *TIME* I mention it)

Aaaarrrghhhhh... [repeatedly bashes head against wall]


Re: Taking the Trash

The best defense against pushbikes on pavements, is a deft jab with a walking cane/cross country ski stick, at the front wheel.

Thanks. Thanks very much. Thus forcing us to ride in the traffic, where motorists have an even more homicidal approach to us.

Try to appreciate the bloke on the bike is just trying to stay alive and relatively uninjured, and (with a bit of luck) not too out of pocket for bicycle repairs. Is that too much to ask?

Yahoo! customers! wake! up! to! borked! email! (Yes! people! still! actually! use! it!)


Re: Guilty Secret

No reason to label this "guilty". El Reg has built-in snark that causes automatically derogatory references to Yahoo (plus the *very* well-worn use of italic exclamations in any header that includes the Yahoo name). It doesn't mean it's justified though.

Call Windows 10 anything you like – Microsoft seems to


I've come to expect a certain amount of snark from El Reg, but this...

This kinda tears the ring out of it, just a bit, dontcha think? A lot of mileage from very little material, is what this article is.

It's not like Apple is any better at avoiding confusion, either, now is it? Version numbers, animals and place names, wines - or not, who knows - and keys that are labelled one thing and called something else...

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students


Re: BOFH potential for sure

How would you like it if your doctor hilariously edited your test results with a few Theme Hospital style diseases?

Next sentence: "Get off my lawn."


Re: BOFH potential for sure

I hate it when people think that they have the right to go and wreak havoc on someone else's computer and find that funny.

Try to remember (a) what it was like when you were young, as opposed to a grumpy old man, and (b) what the computing environment was like back when Win 95 was a thing - specifically, nowhere near as mission-critical as it is today.

I'll warrant 95 (yeah, 95) % of El Reg readers learned to be inquisitive about the workings of computers by doing (or repairing!) stuff like this.

Security? We've heard of it! But why be a party pooper when there's printing to be done


Re: What were they doing with an expensive photo capable printer in 1989?

Most copiers do 20-30k sheets per cartridge

Love to know what copiers you are talking about. I've worked with lasers from SOHO to huge corporate, since the very first LaserJet - HP, both KMs, Canon, Gestetner, and others I've forgotten about, and never seen a machine that got more than 2,000 pages from a cartridge.

Outraged Virgin slaps IP trolls over dirty movie download data demands


Re: Ben Dover?

The *Person* Ben Dover is an English (well, British, anyway) porn producer of many years' standing.

LMGTFY: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Dover

Heh... quote from above article: "In 2012, Honey was nominated by the Internet Service Providers Association as an Internet Villain for his involvement with his company Golden Eye (International) in speculative invoicing".

Rise of the Machines hair-raiser: The day IBM's Dot Matrix turned


No ties in the workshop is the most BASIC of safety precautions

Any school - or any other place with a machine tool shop - should have a sign at the door and several more inside. Any shop supervisor or teacher who doesn't already implement this most obvious rule isn't worth tuppence.

Common sense is obviously one of the least common traits out there.

I don't have to save my work, it's in The Cloud. But Microsoft really must fix this files issue


Re: A very traditional story @Nick Kew

I have recovered several that have been through a washing machine. Has anyone here not dealt with coffee or tea immersion? I even managed to have one of my own come into several pieces but still worked long enough to get stuff off.

Sadly the same can not be said of superglue exposure.

Back when USB sticks were new (and small! 32 MB was hugely expensive and as big as they got!) I managed to break one because, well, it was physically huge and stuck out so far that... yeah, so anyway the case popped apart but it still worked just fine.

After a few days of struggling I got tired of putting the thing back together only to have it fall to pieces again some minutes later, so I applied one or two drops of Alpha Cyanoacrylate and it promptly stopped working altogether. Stayed in one piece beautifully though.



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