* Posts by Ambivalous Crowboard

140 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Mar 2012


Lucky backup might save 100 days of data for InfluxData's GCP Belgium users

Ambivalous Crowboard

"Anyone stupid enough"

Three comments in and there's already an "anyone stupid enough" comment to blame the victims here.

Customers have expectations of their service providers, that's that.

And anyone, anyone stupid enough to NOT conduct a scream test when discontinuing a service such as this is the real idiot. I've been in IT for 22 years and I learnt about the scream test when I turned off my first server for decommissioning just six months in to my first job.

tsoHost pulls plug on Gridhost service with just 45 days' notice

Ambivalous Crowboard

I actually got all my hosting stuff deleted 45 days before everyone else did

I had a payment problem (card not accepted -- their problem, not mine), opened a support ticket and I told them please don't suspend my service (gridhost). They didn't, but they did delete it. And then when I called (I am a managed/VIP customer so have phone support access) they said oh well that's because it's been discontinued... I was livid. Then they coughed to say they did send out emails, but I was missed off. In fact yeah, a few people were missed off. Oh actually we aren't decommissioning it yet, but we're not sure why yours has been deleted. Anyway we will restore it.

They did work to restore all my gridhost stuff but didn't do a perfect job of it, so I instructed my (50+ customers) to host elsewhere in the 45 days (which, yes, for large hosting resellers, was nowhere near enough notice).

I have a cpanel server with them which runs perfectly well and I don't really want to move, but I've shuttered the majority of my web hosting business because I can't take another problem like this. And, y'know, Wix and Squarespace are things now.

Tech contractor loses IR35 tribunal appeal: 'Right' to substitute didn't mean he could, say judges

Ambivalous Crowboard

Yet another push for us to all go work at Tesco

Well well, if it isn't yet another push of the clever people into normal jobs. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Where the net is cast scoops up more and more people with each day that passes.

There's now so much legislation and gotchas that it is surely going to push people into "normal" work for larger companies that ... uh, don't pay the (morally) correct amount of tax, and ensure their offshore shareholders just get fat on the profits.

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward

Ambivalous Crowboard

No, no. You've got that all wrong.

People are VB using developers are people as smartphones using digital experts.

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

Ambivalous Crowboard
Paris Hilton

In 2006

In 2006 I worked for a shitty cabling/infrastructure company in Worcestershire (I can say it's shitty now because it doesn't exist ... because it was poorly run). I was employed as the IT lacky (with the title "Network Manager" I had no management responsibility given to me, but all of the blame). I'd inherited an undocumented shit-show, but due to my age it was the first undocumented shit-show I'd ever inherited, so I didn't know what to expect. Needless to say, IT, and me, got a really bad name as I tried to fix things, improve things, and generally make things better.

At 8:30am, as I was driving in to work, I had a call from the woman who works on reception. She told me, in pained tones, that her computer wasning working "again" (despite me having no recollection of the previous time it wasn't working). It wouldn't even switch on, she said. Flustered and embarrassed, I assured her that her desk was the first I would visit when I got to the office at 9am.

And, as I did, and I walked over to her desk, I could see the waist-level socket that her machine plugs into was switched off. So I switched it on, and said "try now" -- she dutifully apologised, and I didn't get that type of call again.

The bashing about everything else (that I hadn't set up, including home VPN config setups conflicting with the IT infrastructure so any VPN-connected user couldn't see the single server that they were to use for all files & on-prem email)...

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

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: And this ladies and gentlemen...

EO53 PRF checking in here

Doors closed by COVID-19, Brit retro tech museums need your help

Ambivalous Crowboard
Thumb Up

Promote & sign the petition

Would be good if you mentioned the petition that enables furloughed charity workers to continue to volunteer (for free) for the charity. This should help.


Microsoft's Family Safety app drills into kids' screen time, browsing habits to help 'facilitate a dialogue'

Ambivalous Crowboard

Let me tell you why it's useful and isn't the same as Chrome's

Chrome's family safety tools only monitor what happens inside of the Chrome browser (or their device, whatever) but the Microsoft Family stuff monitors the whole Win10 operating system.

I have it in use on my kids' computers. I can control how long they spend in games (only an hour a day between 3pm and 6pm on Minecraft, for example) and generally how long their workstations are accessible for (only between 8am and 6pm) and that Spotify is always allowed, no other web browser is permitted, and it also permits age-based ratings for web browsing (although you can, and should, block youtube for example as typing 'sex' in the search box brings up unsavoury thumbnails, if nothing else).

It'll also enforce Safe Search is on in your chosen search engine.

What's more you can also combine a kid's screen time across Windows and Xbox devices, which means that if you only grant them 2 hours a day, that 2 hours is combined on both the Xbox and their workstation.

Pretty neat all round tbh. Not bad for free.

Ding-dong. Who's there? Any marketing outfit willing to pay: Not content with giving cops access to doorbell cams, Ring also touts personal info

Ambivalous Crowboard

So... what now?

I have a camera. It appears as though my data has been unlawfully shared. I don't think I consented to this... Now I'm aware of it, I don't like it, anyway.

So, what can a layperson such as myself do to get my money back for my device as I uninstall it from my premises? Where's the breach of contract I can cite?

If you never thought you'd hear a Microsoftie tell you to stop using Internet Explorer, lap it up: 'I beg you, let it retire to great bitbucket in the sky'

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: Annoyingly....

Came here to say this. You give me a way to use the remote console in iLO, I'll happily take it. Until then, Java and IE it is.

Mastercard goes TITSUP in US, UK: There are some things money can't buy – like uptime

Ambivalous Crowboard

Backups and redundancy, FFS

And I'm not talking to the payment providers.

Seriously people, it's 2018 and you're not carrying more than one (type of) credit/debit card around with you? Stop shitposting on twitter, hoping to get quoted by BuzzFeed, and get your own house in order - for one, make sure that no one single company can screw you over just because their service takes a lie-down.

Remember, the only thing preventing $bad_situation from happening, nowadays, is someone else's code - so build your own escape plan!

Good news: Apple designs a notebook keyboard that doesn't suck

Ambivalous Crowboard

Great. But before that,

If you could start shipping keyboards with a UK layout to your UK customers, that'd be excellent.

Perhaps also take a look at all the people posting on the Apple support forums asking where the hash key is.

Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call police if they hear a crime?

Ambivalous Crowboard

"Assistants are always listening, this is bad. I want them to listen more to fix this"

You do realise that you contradict yourself throughout this article?

"Voice assistants are always listening. So why won't they call Police if they hear a crime?"

Because that device listens for something that resembles a button being pressed. It does not continually upload the stream of audio to the cloud to be processed. Except you appear to not want this...

"These devices, or the cloud services that power them, can easily understand when someone is angry, or terrified or in pain. It should almost be trivial to detect when something is way out of range, and flag that."

It isn't, unless you want them to continually stream your home audio to the cloud for processing, which you appear to be against.

"Listening means being responsible for whatever you hear."

Which is why they don't listen. They wait for a predictable nudge; a vocal button-press. And if you don't press the button (say the wake-word), they don't hear anything.

"We're listening as never before, and we have to do something about it."

No, we aren't. This has always been the same; saying "Alexa" to wake up the hockey-puck is no different to pressing the "voice command" button on the side of your BlackBerrry 9700, except instead of pressing a button with your fingers, you press it with your voice.

The one exception would be Samsung's smart TV; I don't see that brand name in your diatribe.

The Google Home Mini: Great, right up until you want to smash it in fury

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: It watches Netflix for you?

More likely it has no recollection of ever watching Netflix and tells you it's been doing "nothing" for the last few hours.

Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: The notorious round "puc" mouse

Ah... Even back in the olden days of Apple gear, people were holding it wrong...

Alleged dark web drug baron cuffed – after he flew to US for World Beard Championships

Ambivalous Crowboard


Feds: "OxyMonster is coming to the US for the beard expo. Detain him; you moustache him some questions."

Thousands of hornets swarm over innocent fire service drone

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: Stop the racism

The female ones are the worst. Especially the ones with children and no husbands, and their shattered iPhone 5's hanging out their back pockets.

*tuts, audibly*

Stop replying! pleads NetApp customer stuck in reply-allpocalypse

Ambivalous Crowboard

"I can't recall being plagued"

What are you, twelve? This has been a problem since email became email.

Sony: Get out Comedy Central, MTV – we've built a wall around Vue, the greatest wall ever

Ambivalous Crowboard

More wall-building headlines/subheadlines please

I can take at least another few months of this before I won't laugh at each and every one. Please proceed!

Adblock overlord to Zuckerberg: Lay down your weapons and surrender

Ambivalous Crowboard


They're making money whilst they can but their model is neither unique nor sustainable. They caught the market at the right time and rode the wave, but the shoreline isn't too far away...

Is Apple's software getting worse or what?

Ambivalous Crowboard

hiding things

"Press <Alt> (aka <Option> on some keyboards) in the File menu and 'Save As' will appear."

Oh, that standard feature that our metrics tells us loads of people use on a daily basis? Yeah, we hid it under the carpet. Just lift it up, and you'll find what you're looking for.

BT: We're killing the dabs brand. Oh and can customers re-register to buy on our site?

Ambivalous Crowboard

BT Shop?

They just do phones, or something, no? Why would I buy a printer from a telecoms provider?

123-Reg goes TITSUP – again

Ambivalous Crowboard

Look on the bright side

Those of us who run web hosting & domain registrar companies are having a lovely time.

Lester Haines: RIP

Ambivalous Crowboard

So long, and thanks for all the fis^H^H^Hchuckles

Wow! Condolences to the team and his family, he was a great writer and will be missed!

Facebook throws BlackBerry an HTML bone

Ambivalous Crowboard

"Recently" gave up?

The facebook for BB10 app was abandoned about a year after the BB10 platform came out. No replies-to-comments support, no events support, limited groups support...

I used to go to m.facebook.com on my phone to *get* the functionality.

'Just give me any old date and I'll make it work' ... said the VB script to the coder

Ambivalous Crowboard

$userId = cookie('userId');

I am guilty of this, but not for a client website. I was learning Classic ASP, and I was sixteen, and this was basically how I wrote my login system for my own blog/CMS thing. When I extended it to other users, it was simple; the cookie for the username was already present.

But at least I had the foresight to realise that after a few weeks that this wasn't the right thing to do (and discovered sessions). And I wasn't being paid to do this. And it wasn't my FT job...

Islamic fundamentalists force Yorkshire IT shop to chop off brand

Ambivalous Crowboard

a bunch of rapacious fundamentalists hell-bent on world domination

"No-one wants to be associated with a bunch of rapacious fundamentalists hell-bent on world domination, after all."

And yet you continue to sell stuff with your logo on via the Cash & Carrion site...

It’s alive! BlackBerry 10 users lobbed fresh 'Hotfix' update

Ambivalous Crowboard

Received mine this morning

My update presented itself this morning.

Does anybody else have the thing where you're typing on the physical keyboard and not only is it slow, but if you type the sentence

>This is a sentence.

You end up with

>This This This sentence.

? I'd have hoped that this update would have addressed that; alas, it persisted even after a (four-hour!) security wipe and rebuild.

Australia considers mass herpes release for population control

Ambivalous Crowboard


from the sole. Well done.

Dev to Mozilla: Please dump ancient Windows install processes

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: Apple application packages/they got it right.

[citation needed]

Ambivalous Crowboard

Oh, go on

Start on "app" while you're at it

LogMeIn adds emergency break-in feature to LastPass

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: "Fans of the older interface"

> be 2016

> be trolling

Okay, I'll bite. Here is just one example of how the new interface blows.

When I search for text in my vault now I can see 16 items on my 1920x1080 monitor. And loads of HUGE pictures which I don't have any apparent control over.

In the old vault I simply got a nice and elegant list of the text results, immediately, without the people standing behind me being able to see which sites I frequented at a glance.

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: Why does it need 'improving'?

> Just what I don't need...

Agreed. All of this. I hate to be a naysayer but there's nothing wrong with it; I type in the site I'm looking for and press enter or click it. I don't need extra bandwidth-hitting of logo fetching (and where do the logos come from? Embedded? No, fetched live, which means some webserver somewhere knows I have a login in my lastpass for that site), and...

blah, blah. I'm out of energy. I'm going to look for alternatives. Fuck you, Loggyminge.

Google probes AVG Chrome widget after 9m users exposed by bugs

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: "no browser extensions should be allowed to install automatically"

Absolutely. Have we not been here before? Many, mamy times, and many moons ago, with things with shitty IE plugins that trash your online life?

Speaking as an IT admin that loves it when silent installs are possible, they are also simply disasterous for home users with vendors and the likes pushing what they think is best into other people's systems. If your users can't be persuaded to click a "Yes" box by your shitware, then perhaps fix your shitware.

BlackBerry axes BBM Meetings a year after launching it

Ambivalous Crowboard

Should have been free for BlackBerry users

I'd have been all over it like a rash if it was, otherwise it's like "meh, let someone else pay for it"

Haven't they heard that free is the new black?

BlackBerry Priv: After two weeks on test, looks like this is a keeper

Ambivalous Crowboard


What disclosure? To be honest, I'd rather the person that reviewed the new blackberry had possessed the old blackberry. Makes perfect sense. I bet most people in the comments are of the "have the old, want the new" variety (or they are trolls come to sentence blackberry to death again).

Time to get down off your high-horse, I think.

Shuttle bus firm Terravision belatedly adopts https for credit card sales

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: Ironic that you think ticking the Anonymous box will hide you from the el Reg ironic police.

It isn't about that. It's about submitting any credential pair to anything should be done via SSL now, lest you find out someone's written an article on an IT news website about your lax security.

Unless you *are* the news website, that is.

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: ...it's worse when they bear no relation to the problem mentioned in the article.

Agreed. I wondered what the story had to do with instragram.

Ed: You know we can't publish it without an image, John.

John: But how do you represent something that isn't there?

Ed: Well, it's about SSL in general, isn't it? Didn't we do a piece on instragram having a leak, or something, a few years ago? Just use whatever was on there.

John: Uh, are you sure?

Ed: Yeah. The coding on the site won't allow us to run a story without a pic any more, just use one of your pet dog or something. Nobody even looks at them, let alone expects them to correlate to the actual article.

Boeing builds British Airways 787 Dreamliner in 4 minutes

Ambivalous Crowboard

Yo dawg

Is that a plane inside a plane I see?

Are Samsung TVs doing a Volkswagen in energy tests? Koreans hit back

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: Imagine if Samsung made cars

Ugh, that'd be awful! They'd only let you listen to the radio stations which they installed in your car (and there'd be THOUSANDS of them but they're ALL crap), and then one day you'd come out to your car to find that it'd had an update overnight, and now car doesn't work on certain roads...

iOS 9 update set to bork 'hundreds of thousands of EU businesses'

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: That's just ASKING for trouble.

If you don't know what you're talking about, don't post. It isn't "asking for trouble" -- as a customer you can do chargebacks, indemnity claims, and so on. These devices are very safe and very popular. Get back under your rock, or read up before you open your mouth.

Ambivalous Crowboard
Paris Hilton

ITT: people who don't know what they're talking about

I didn't read much of the comments but I read enough to see that it's largely

1. iZettle's fault for not testing their stuff in time

2. morons tagging their card onto "a device attached to any-passing-joe's mobile phone"

3. 48 hours is a TERRIBLE amount of time to wait to receive your cash

Firstly, who's to say this little payment company iZettle didn't reach out to Apple at beta stage and try and get this all cleared up before iOS 9 was pushed out anyway?

2 - those who say you are a 'moron' for being a customer of a merchant using iZettle have clearly never looked at card machines. I was quoted £300 a year plus three year contracts and equipment purchase fees just to start taking cards for my run-from-home business. Or, I can just pay ZERO to iZettle upfront (card reader is optional and sometimes free), ZERO contract and just a relatively small percentage per transaction. Add to that the app's comms are encrypted, the PIN pad is a challenge-based device, plus full receipt and auditing of card & cash balances... you're a moron NOT to use it if you're a micro business.

And C - merchants typically ask customers to wait 7+ days before then doing a BACS (3 day) transfer to the account. This is also how iZettle started. And it's how VISA makes them do it. They've been able to shorten the time, but the bottleneck here rests firmly with VISA (et al) and not the card processors.

I'd like to acknowledge here the small minority of people in this thread who were using reasoned arguments and pointing out the facts in response to the seasoned idiots though; good work, keep going... but isn't it like swimming upstream sometimes?

Man in India claims his new iPhone 6 combusted in his car

Ambivalous Crowboard


This *is* a English-British site, isn't it?

Facebook tosses creepy Place Tips beacons at stateside retailers

Ambivalous Crowboard

Glad I've got a Blackberry

We haven't even got replies-to-comments yet on the facebook app for Blackberry, so you can bet it's going to be many years before my location is stalked like a tagged sheep around a shopping centre.

Beacon sounds like it's all about the people who pay facebook money, and not the actual users. Sorry, I mean the products.

UK.gov opens kimono to SMEs in Tech Services framework cash spaff

Ambivalous Crowboard


So I couldn't find Capita in the article. Is everything okay with them?

It's all got complicated: The costs of data recovery

Ambivalous Crowboard

RE: Very few places

"Very, very few places, especially small and medium enterprises, actually need these ponsy overpriced 'cloud' backup services."

Actually, all of my customers tell me the the opposite. Especially the ones who have lost data because they didn't have a proper efficient backup strategy working.

The vast majority of my customers are below 20 employees in density and the company owner doesn't give two hoots how his backup is handled, all he wants is for someone to shout at if there's a problem, and for his business to work for as long as he/she wants it to. Having recently handled a data recovery job for a new customer who was happy that everything was being backed up on his NAS, with mirrored drives, as soon as the main chassis died we then had to swing in to action and save the day. The local IT tech got canned and we won the contract for online backup. Daily reports, managed service (we fix it when they change something which stops the backup from running) and they are a million times more happy.

We only started providing cloud backup a couple of years ago because we realised it was the cheapest way of helping our customers be good at backup. Besides, it's all good and well grumbling from under your bridge about how easy it is to backup and small business don't need it, they just need to... ah, there's the prerequisite. And if the companies don't meet your defined prerequisite of actually being good with organising backup, then they DO need someone else to do it for them.

Forum chat is like Clarkson punching you repeatedly in the face

Ambivalous Crowboard
Thumb Up

I loved this article

I'm not here to complain about Clarkson or racism but just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this article, and the reaction that it is sure to provoke.

Prez Obama snubs UK PM's tough anti-encryption crusade at White House meet

Ambivalous Crowboard

Fifteen mentions

of the word "cyber" - a word which was originally only really used as a prefix of the word "sex"...

QWERTY-tastic BlackBerry Classic actually a classic

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: I bet


UK banks prepare for Apple Pay 'invasion', look to slap on bonking protection

Ambivalous Crowboard

Re: And I'd be curious to know why you wouldn't trust Apple with data security.