* Posts by volsano

130 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jun 2007


New research aims to analyze how widespread COBOL is


PICs rule

COBOL's great strength is its ability to model number fields exactly how you want them. Need something that can go from 0 to 9999.9999999 (but not negative)? Easy with the right PIC clause. No slumming it with inaccurate Floats, or bignum integer work-arounds.

That strength alone (and yes, COBOL has many weaknesses) has kept it a contender in the financial arena.

Intel is over GPUs and CPUs – it's all about 'XPUs' now that OneAPI code-abstraction tool is golden



Intel signalling they are leaving the processor market by selling ex-processing units.

After Cummings' Barnard Castle trip, cheeky Britons started using the word 'vision' in their passwords


Re: Forced changes

Years back I worked somewhere that enforced monthly changes of password.

Had to be upper and lower letters, digits, special characters, Could not reuse a password you had previously used. At least 8 characters long.

Pretty much everyone in the company password for this month would be some minor variation of


Fits all the rules, and hard to forget. Secure? Not so much.

Microsoft open-sources fuzzing tool it uses in-house to keep Windows so very secure


Fuzzy Blue Screen of Death

Not all of us need a new tool to crash Windows.

Existing applications do the job very nicely.

When Apollo met Soyuz: 45 years ago, Americans and Russians played together nicely... IN SPAAAAACE


Re: LOL, and what if it's all a hoax?

It's a sad fact of technology, that the 1960s simply were not technologically advanced enough to fake a moon landing - and especially barely 25 years after faking an entire world war.

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript


Tat for Tit

Dear Bank Manager

Thank you for reporting that an account fully managed by you in my name has become "overdrawn".

I take our responsibility to protect the contents of your accounts extremely seriously and it is a top priority.

I want to reassure my banker that their money was not at risk as a result of this error.

Only a tiny minority of customer accounts are affected by this situation.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you


Call them for what they are

The Office Boys.

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS


Google it!

Maybe the mighty Googlers should try googling "backward compatibility" before requesting the whole world join their borg cube.

GlaxoSmithKline ditches IR35 contractors: Go PAYE or go home


For those unfortunate enough to have a Tory MP - it's time to phone them ask to get IR35 done.

Remind them - per page 59 of their manifesto - that they will "put you first" and their job is "to serve you".

And so tell them you won't hang up until they have done their priority job of fixing IR35 for you - wouldn't want them to get distracted with another task that isn't serving you.

Final update doled out to those who let Google sit on their face: Glass Explorer Edition cut off from the mothership


The Apple Newton was the overpriced floating train wreck of its day. Today, tablets and smartphones are part of our ambient background.

So failure does not always mean extinction.

Maybe when Google retools and launches the usable version - let's call it the Google Monocle - they might sell two to every networked punter in the world.

Not LibreOffice too? Beloved open-source suite latest to fall victim to the curse of Catalina


We don't say "cripple" any more - it's "a person experiencing disablement".

If it helps, pronounce the image software as JIMP.

Tesco parking app hauled offline after exposing 10s of millions of Automatic Number Plate Recognition images


Security Assurance

Tesco said there were no security risks at all - but advised all UK shoppers, for their convenience, to change their vehicle registration license plate as a precaution.

Oops - sorry cut'n'pasted the wrong marketing bland response to a security breech.

Serious Fraud Office fines Serco £22.9m over electronic tagging scandal


Criminal conviction

A criminal conviction would bar just about any individual from ever working within the criminal justice system again.

Why does that not apply to corporations? Serco still has many lucrative contracts.

Oh cool, the Bluetooth 5.1 specification is out. Nice. *control-F* master-slave... 2,000 results


Re: It's not cultural cluelessness

Let us now start pandering to those who dislike the terms Client and Server - Server being particularly problematic as it implies a subservient role.

The terms Provider and Consumer are much more closely fitting our modern day sensibilities.

So, all together now, Apache is not a web server. It is a web resources provider. So much simpler.

A developer always pays their technical debts – oh, every penny... but never a groat more


Re: Like any Debt, Not all Technical Debt is equally bad

> A credit card debt is a wholly different class of liability than a mortgage.

And a technical gambling debt or technical payday loan needs to be prioritised before your technical leg gets technically borken.

Boffins fear we might be running out of ideas



Doubling from 1 to 2 takes one researcher.

Doubling from 1 billion to 2 billion takes 18 researchers.

Each of those 18 are 5.5 million times more effective than the original one.

Old Firefox add-ons get 'dead man walking' call


Re: unfortunate

Definitely worrying that uBlock Origin and NoScript are showing as Legacy. I could live without my other half-dozen customisations, but without those, Firefox is a damp squib.

Apple seeks patent for paper bag - you read that right, a paper bag


This invention infringes my own pocket-stowable, portable facial anonymization and ambient CO2 concentration device. My lawyers are furiously tying.

Adblock Plus blocks Facebook's ad-blocker buster: It's a block party!


There's spongers and then there's spongers

> Spongers. If you don't like their revenue model, don't use them.

Spongers wanting to run their scripts on my computer without contributing to the electricity costs - or having assured me they have indemnity insurance for any issues their scripts cause.

Now, if all their scripts came ISO-9000 certified, I may be willing to give them a discount on the electricity and insurance cover costs. Until they do, they can pay in full up front before I let their stuff run.

Just trying to be professional here.

UK's 'Sir King Cash' card fraudster ordered to cough up £560,000


Banker criminals

Now we have this precedent, I look forward to the return of our 1200 billion taken illegally during the "banking crisis" of 2008.

Pilot posts detailed MS Flight Sim video of how to land Boeing 737


Why not show videos like this during the pre-flight safety briefing? Then passengers have only themselves to blame if they can't land it in an emergency.

How long is your password? HTTPS Bicycle attack reveals that and more


> My password has twenty five symbols. Be my guest

If the bad guys were specifically targetting you, they'd know enough now to put the HTTPS attack on the back burner and break out some of the more specific tools.

Chances are, they aren't specifically targetting you, so they keep fishing for passwords that are short enough to break, and profit from that. That you have a long password is a tip off to them that you may have other defences, so it'd be too costly to focus on you.

It's no different to having a strong front door lock. You either divert opportunistic crimes to your neighbours; or you cause the person seeking to specifically burgle you to look for other weak spots.

Here – here is that 'hoverboard' you've wanted so much. Look at it. Look. at. it.


None of the scoffers so far have considered the practical uses when running in a (hypothetical) tethered mode: You re plugged into a power socket (perhaps your Tesla's cigarette lighter) via 50 meters of lightweight cabling.

You could now easily get, ohh, say fifteen minutes out of the current device, although not on a public road of course.

Plenty of time to poise as a low-flying acrobatic idiot with more money to burn that remaining IQ points. With enough make-up and some cross-over with synchronised swimming, it could be an olympic sport candidate.

Software bug sets free thousands of US prisoners too early


UK Not much better

Quantum or LIDS (the article isn't clear which system had the problem) not so much better for the UK prison service:


Boffins promise file system that will NEVER lose data


One Computer Scientist, he say:

"Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."

--Donald Knuth

Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue


I would be happy to link to one of their pages.

But, in return for their permission, I would require to be informed no less than 21 (twenty-one) days in advance of any changes they intend to make to that page -- that includes but is not limited to embedded advertising, javascripting, visible text, invisible text, CSS classes attributes and tags, non-visible comments, HTML alterations, and images.

Otherwise, how can my overworked and under-ferrari-ed lawyers ensure that we are still linking to the information we originally linked to?

Fair's fair.

Windows 10 Device Guard: Microsoft's effort to keep malware off PCs


Mal ad ware

A huge number of malicious scripts come via advertising -- bad Javascript, bad Java, and Bad Flash.

I would love to see all unsigned,untrusted, Javascript being simply rejected. Would really force the ad industry to do quality control on their stuff before they try to insist that I run it on my machine.

Ad bidding network caught slinging ransomware


I would not run random code on a server. So why should I run it on my personal machine?

If (it's a very big if) that random code came with a certificate proving it had been extensively tested, that it was believed by reputable authorities to be harmless, and that I was covered by ad-industry insurance in case it did any damage, then only only then might I allow it to put a big flashing distraction in the corner of my screen.

But until that happens, Adblock is an essential layer in my security perimeter.

Horrors of murky TrueCrypt to be probed once more


> Unfortunately VeraCrypt does not currently support GPT partitions

There's hope:

"GPT support is on the top of the TODO list. It is a complicated feature to implement thus needing a lot of time. We hope to have it implemented between 6 and 12 months from now."

Veracrypt developer, 6-Sep-2014


Forks and future

Truecrypt as a single project may be dead, but development of the codebase continues by other teams.

One such project is Veracrypt. They have already addressed the (mainly minor) flaws found in Truecrypt's first audit. And now they are making various useful enhancements.

Did NSA, GCHQ steal the secret key in YOUR phone SIM? It's LIKELY


> I'm glad Snowden is releasing this info as a trickle

Snowden has ceded control over what is released and when to the media people he is working with.

That has several advantages, including the one you mention -- these guys are very savvy at timing and pacing.