* Posts by mistersaxon

91 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jul 2012


Keir Starmer's techno-fix for the NHS: Déjà vu disaster or brave new blunder?


John Armitage - who dat?

I mean I googled him and Wikipedia is not very informative but it's not clear how he is linked to any private healthcare company or companies. Do you have a source?

His giving to Labour, Sir Keir and Wes "Shadow Health" Streeting is provocative but if I'm going to make trouble with this information I'd like it to be detailed and specific trouble, you know?

Meanwhile you acknowledge that Labour are a somewhat less shite version of the Tories and that we deserve better - well, guess what? In this brave new world "slightly less shite" is the new "better" and since there isn't a perfect answer we'd better start incrementally, right? Or are you arguing that "somewhat worse than Labour" Tories are a better alternative than Labour? What we really need is an end to FPTP electoral systems and some proper PR so we get grown-up government that is suddenly a real job that takes work and skill, as that will weed out the current large crop of narcissistic buffoons and self-stuffing lawyers, neither of which groups really appreciates either compromise or hard work. We might even end up with an effective government that takes practical and pragmatic steps to improve the country in achievable ways - now wouldn't *that* be something?

Proliferation of AI weapons among non-state actors 'could be impossible to stop'


Re: Orthogonal approach: local tech and education

“New Musks” is the Bad End we are trying to avoid tho.

'Thousands' at Meta face layoffs this week


They're doing it because the shareholders think cutting costs will increase the EPS / dividend / EBITDA / other shareholder-y BS. The shareholders "have a doody" (they're American you know) to their funds to "maximise returns" although they don't know how many of their shareholders they are trying to get fired right now, nor do they "have a doody" (they're still American at this point, even though their allegiance is to the dollar not the flag) not to put a burden on the state by dumping loads of people into economic peril or disaster (which - even in the US of A costs the taxpayers actual money)*.

*these shareholders are not taxpayers in any significant way of course. If they were they'd be more careful, but not paying tax is "cost cutting" in the same way as firing tens of thousands of people is.

Techies try to bypass damaged UPS, send 380V into air traffic system


It's just a silly phase I'm going through...

Worked in a building where they made several offices into one open plan. That was how they discovered that some of the sockets were wired on one phase and some on another, after connecting a PC to one phase and the printer to the other...

But generally the worst electrical foul-ups I've come across have been where a UPS is the cause: one that decided to put 400V on the output, another that switched the power to the IBM mini off and on every 30 seconds and one that thought "hold my beer" and just flat out burst into flames - and that one was a room UPS. The fire brigade chopped the cables with a (heavily insulated) axe and pushed it out of the computer room into the yard because it was on wheels and they decided that was the easiest thing to do, and who am I to argue with a fireman holding an axe?

If you're lucky your UPS will fail to a safe state but it's more luck than design I feel. (and yes I know I'm being very very selective and that UPSes have saved WAY more bacon than they have flame-grilled - including mine. And yet I still have nightmares about the 20A circuit breaker that jammed half-open when a bulb blew out and tripped it and it burst into flames in my garage.)

Equinix would offer more liquid cooling but struggles without standards


Re: China Syndrome // server equivilent?

The question is what is the weight loading limit, whatever the floor is made of. Some IBM racks weigh 250kg or more EMPTY. Weight is already an issue in DCs…

Investor tells Google: Cut costs now and stop paying staff so much


Re: "not labor intensive"

They want Google to turn out like IBM. If they can’t see why that’s a bad idea it’s because the view is very limited when your head is up your own back passage.

IBM stock buybacks, sell-off of every possible subsidiary, lack of investment in R&D, short-sighted M&A policy* and their attempts to prune back employee wages and benefits, plus layoffs have all proven that driving down the “bottom line” in an attempt to increase dividend income (NOT share price) is a self-limiting plan as it affects the top line just as much as the bottom, possibly more so.

*still think they should have bought Sun instead of letting a major competitor have it.

Voyager 1 data corrupted by onboard computer that 'stopped working years ago'


Re: 70's Tech

Just resurrected a Quad303/33 system which is actually 60's tech, though it really needed wiring and cleaning more than major surgery. Sounds good though...

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



The urology department definitely take the piss though.

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up


Re: Honesty kills

In the interest of accuracy it's *chef's kiss* with an apostrophe to indicate that it is the (trademark) kiss of a chef, otherwise you are implicating a couple of chefs in something they don't necessarily consent to.

Keep your cables tidy. You never know when someone might need some wine


Re: fail - over?

Rounded down

Remember the humanoid Tesla robot? It's ready for September reveal, says Musk


Re: Yeah right

The other 10% of the time YOU HAVE TO DO IT. You don't just let the damn car CRASH unless you are a particularly dumb person who values their "principles"* over their life.

(* "Dammit, it says Full Self-Drive so by God it ought to do it! I'll be damned if I'll turn the steering wheel to save my own goddamn life when I paid a lotta money to have car do it!" is actually too long and profane to go on most headstones but otherwise that's what it would say)

Google Cloud growth slows, losses grow, bosses unworried


Re: So they lost less than a billion over $69.7 billion in revenue

Nobody can make over 100% of their profit doing anything. "Taxable" profit sure, that's a moveable feast for the lawyers and accountants to pick over, like seagulls following a trawler or sharks swarming over spilled chum, but "profit" is a thing - you can't have more than 100% of it no matter how big or small it is, except in comparison to something else.

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything


Re: UV check lamps

You know what the UV lamp is for right? The notes have their value printed in UV ink so just making the paper glow a bit wouldn’t be an issue. Unless you’re saying you washed out the UV ink?

Engineers on the brink of extinction threaten entire tech ecosystems


Umm… apprenticeship?

This is what you’re describing - you get them working while they’re learning so they and you both know what you’re getting into. One of my kids is doing this at Rutherford Appleton and there aren’t many cooler, geekier places to work.

That emoji may not mean what you think it means


Re: "there are 3,633 emoji in the standard at time of writing"

Are we all still ok with the 3.5” floppy as an icon for “save” (or “write to disk” or “commit work up to this point” or whatever you understand happens when you click that icon)?

Near-undetectable malware linked to Russia's Cozy Bear


Re: Cunning ?

The ISO is just a file system and a way to get past the Outlook automatic filter for executable types. I want to know more about this so-called undetectable malware that gets installed by the OneDrive updater? But this all looks like Office allowing executables in a document format (again/still). Add ISO to your blocked file types on mail and move on…

Google engineer suspended for violating confidentiality policies over 'sentient' AI


Re: If LaMDA is sentient.. it is psychopathic...

... and what did the researcher reply? "Me too LamDA, me too!" ?

TBF, for many conversations harvested from the internet, a lack of compassion and a willingness to wish people dead is a big factor in making even a language processing NN respond that it feels nothing at the news of deaths of others. Training data makes the most enormous difference to the output and trying to homogenise "human conversation" (boldly assuming they bothered translating from other languages into English and that those translations were remotely accurate, so that they could claim to be sampling across the spectrum of human existence, to say nothing of human experience) is a fool's errand.

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them


I think the idea he needed goats to get goats' milk on his plane is ... excessive. I mean these people are excessive: the whole idea of private planes is excess writ large but even so.

Intolerance to cow's milk can happen to anyone - my brother had it as a child, had to have goats' milk - I tried it, wasn't keen, didn't feel sorry for him because 'Brother' - and we just got on with our lives. We did not have to buy a goat...

Govt suggests Brits should hand passports to social media companies


Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

Would you trust *Barclays* with it? They’re all owned by members of the same damned clubs and schools apart from the foreign-owned ones like FB et al and they are all as bad as each other.

IBM Consulting assimilates cloud firm for Azure expertise


It's called IBM Cloud - our branding is so pervasive and subtle that you use it without being able to help yourself! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cower before the might of the IBM marketing machine!! We called one of our operating systems "i" - just a lower-case i so that you CAN'T EVEN GOOGLE IT. FEAR US, PUNY HUMANS!!

No defence for outdated defenders as consumer AV nears RIP


Re: "thrived in enterprise"

...and on the users who think their business computer is a home computer that don't have to pay for: shopping online, bringing in docs and even photos to print on USB sticks (or email), posting to SocMed and so on. And don't forget the torrenters who like(d) to use corporate bandwidth.

Now most, if not all, of that is typically utterly banned on modern business machines but the "need for A/V" remains. And VPN profiling that insists any non-company PC connecting to a corporate network with a VPN has a certain level of a/v protection pretty much guarantees that this requirement for home A/V will persist - even on Mac and Linux, neither of which arguably really need it either.

The way I see it, it's the "Stupid Tax" we all have to pay.

Web3: The next generation of the web is here… apparently


Re: @Len - Forget technology

Nobody (let me repeat that - NOBODY) is "reliant" on FB or Twitter. Neither platform provides anything essential to life. In fact I would say that both provide something that is detrimental to life overall, even if you don't use the platform (because of the environmental impact).

But, as others have already noted, the issue is basically that in a "decentralised" world (of Samsung and iPhone mainly) is still gatekept(?) by the OS suppliers. And besides all that, a truly decentralised (==Libertarian) world is one where barter is the only realistic means of exchange. It's anti-social in the most basic sense of the word, and none of us are actually really ready for that.

Log4j RCE: Emergency patch issued to plug critical auth-free code execution hole in widely used logging utility


Re: A failure of forethought.

TBH the idea that patching a logging service would need production DOWNTIME is beyond ridiculous.

Bit like a PDF viewer app patch needing a system restart and who'd code something *that* dumb...?

England's Data Guardian warns of plans to grant police access to patient data


Re: It's a bit late now

My MP is a Tory lapdog, angling for a cabinet post (whereas I wouldn't trust him in a drinks cabinet, let alone a government one).

tl;dr he won't lift a finger to oppose the government because he's an entitled, self-interested twat and, sadly, he has a safe seat filled with landowners and old people who "just trust the Tories". Armed insurrection might get rid of him (or gout) but the democratic systems will never achieve it.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the BBC stage a very British coup to rescue our data from Facebook and friends



Metro is owned by the BBCs (commercial) competition of course so can they really claim to be accurate and unbiased?

(Of course they *can* claim that - and they do - but it's another lie)

Apple's iPhone computer vision has the potential to preserve privacy but also break it completely


Re: It's simpler than that

...because let's face it, one very simple way to copy images is to take a photo of them. No USB sticks required, no bluetooth or wifi, heck, you wouldn't even use a phone necessarily. So having on-board scanning for known CSAM is a simple way to stop that happening on phones. I suspect it's an edge case but it will stop it.

You'd like to think this means it makes it harder for users and distributors of CSAM to use their phones for the tasks and hence will drive down the volume of this material but I suspect it will only drive up the desire for rooted phones while eating away at the privacy of regular people for little to no benefit to them OR law enforcement against CSA. It will make a useful testbed for looking for other kinds of images or media.

Remember the bloke who was told by Zen Internet to contact his MP about crap service? Yeah, it's still not fixed


Re: Write your MP

What does having ginger hair have to do with his fitness to be an MP? Are you saying all ginger people are thick? Dishonest? Labour voters? You'd better explain that pointless piece of spite or retract it, don't you think?

No, it wasn't "humorous" or "satirical" - it was, frankly, racist. And no, I'm not ginger, before you ask, though what that would have to do with it is beyond me.

Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts


Top right corner

That icon there? The one that, when clicked, shows all the organisations your ID is registered to? The button with the option to add a "personal account"? Is that the button you can't find?

It's in the top right corner.

(Yes, yes, I am sure you're all so complex and integrated that it doesn't work for you, and this is, admittedly, the MacOS Teams client, not the Windows one. But still.)

Spy agency GCHQ told me Gmail's more secure than Microsoft 365, insists British MP as facepalming security bods tell him to zip it


Re: Email is something you shouldn’t use

Ah, a fan of Lotus Domino! Quite right *nods approvingly*

Elon Musk says he tried to sell Tesla to Apple, which didn’t bite and wouldn't even meet


Re: Apple Car

Volvo's - especially the SUV models - are pretty aggressive though, as are VW drivers, but Skoda drivers take the biscuit. Scrappy little so-and-so's most of them, perpetually angry that nobody appreciates their parts-bin Audis. SKODA = Sharpen Knife Or Don't Argue (generally good advice anyway, mind you)

As UK breaks away from Europe, Facebook tells Brits: You'll all be Californians soon


Re: services

So let me get this straight - you say it will be simple and cost effective to apply two (or more) different data protection regimes on a per-record basis and that the EU and US will both expect that and both be fine with it? What about people with dual citizenship (to pick one trivial example of why it won’t work)?

Ad services are still subject to data protection regulation and “British sov’rinty” is not the issue, the issue is still data protection. But, as the article suggests, both Google and Facebook are big enough to be able to basically ignore our wishes and certainly they can afford to spaff many millions on legal actions if they think they might win. Only a huge class action lawsuit could give them any reason to reconsider, really.

Apple appears to be charging Brits £309 to replace AirPods Max batteries, while Americans need only stump up $79


Re: Fix it yourself

Aukey are good manufacturers too - I have a couple of their USB-C to USB-3 dongles which are tough, tiny and work flawlessly.

I also have a 3rd party power supply that gives 100W on USB-C and has a further 4 USB-A charging ports as well. It’s saved me a few sockets under the desk. Can’t recall the manufacturer and the unit itself is bigger than the Apple 96W unit but as a home item it’s useful.

Calls for 'right to repair' electronics laws grow louder across Europe


Re: @Dwarf

In the specific case of the home button on the iPhone, that is where the fingerprint data is stored. This really does require an indelible link between the button and the phone so that you can't just plug in a button with a different fingerprint and have that let you in. It should be possible to use a 3rd party button of course, as long as it is just as secure, and, in fact, it is possible to do that but in very case the phone knows it's a new button and you're forced to use the PIN/password to unlock the device until you rescan the relevant digits. Still, as with all repairs to security systems, you have to be very sure you trust all parts of the repair chain as much as you trust the original supplier.

Big Telco freaks out as unknown operator with great political connections vies for valuable 5G space in America


Re: Two more (sour) notes

This all sounds ferry familiar, and suspicious.

IBM ordered to pay £22k to whistleblower and told by judges: Teach your managers what discrimination means


Re: £22K? Is that all?

But now, who is going to be believed if, for example, a story gets posted to El Reg? The proven truth-teller or the corporate liars? They have to move VERY carefully around someone who is actually protected by employment law (assuming she is halfway competent at her job).

Raytheon techie who took home radar secrets gets 18 months in the clink in surprise time fraud probe twist


Re: Magnesium

British Navy. But I don't think they build ships out of thermite, no matter how light it is. Mind you I didn't think they clad blocks of flats in burnable cladding either and look how that turned out.

Is it Patch Blues-day for Outlook? Microsoft's email client breaks worldwide, leaves everyone stumped


Re: Other options

MacOS version was unaffected also - so the issue is Windows, rather than Outlook...

TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader


Re: As I read that

EU versions include the UK but need more storage for the whole of EU maps, camera updates, traffic and so on. Also the ones with a SIM inside need more agreements to roam which pushes up the cost (I assume).


Re: As I read that

TomTom say the following: Your TomTom device includes regular software updates, fixed speed camera updates, and seasonal (4x per year) map updates, as well as traffic and mobile speed camera services. These updates and services will remain available for the lifetime of this device. Device lifetime, or the useful life of a device, is the time during which a device is compatible with TomTom service and software updates, content, and accessories. A device will have reached the end of its useful life when that device or app is incompatible with TomTom service and software updates, content, and accessories

There is a list of obsolete devices: https://www.tomtom.com/en_us/obsolete-products/#rider (or #car)

There is also a link to a page where you can delete your account and data. As an EU company they can't afford to ignore GPRS...

Shopped recently in a small online store? Check this list to see if it was one of 570 websites infected with card-skimming Magecart


Re: 40000

Agnes B, The Body Shop, and plenty of others are not small shops...

Photostopped: Adobe Cloud evaporates in mass outage. Hope none of you are on a deadline, eh?


You should really try Capture One - the workflow is very powerful, the quality is high for the output and boy is it fast. And the software is stand-alone though there’s a subscription model available if you want to help their cash flow at your own risk.

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


Re: The long, dark teatime of the next few months

They cook and freeze it all apparently - which is why you also can't buy a freezer

Data centres are warm and designed to move air very efficiently. Are they safe to visit during the pandemic?


Docklands DC not in a novel coronavirus area apparently

Or at least no evidence of thermometers being deployed yesterday. I was surprised, TBH.

Microsoft, Google, Slack, Zoom et al struggling to deal with a spike in remote tools thanks to coronavirus


Valid point

More people at home means more streaming services pushing bandwidth demands. Can the actual backbone provide enough throughput for all this demand?


Re: Remote working

Been based from home in the main for about 20 years now - the monthly team meetings are ok but not critical and I meet customers and colleagues F2F when needed (can't hump a server into a rack remotely after all) but on the whole this will affect sales people more than technicians I think.


Re: I have noticed..

I was on Teams AND AnyDesk yesterday afternoon (presenting issues on Teams, audio issues on AnyDesk) and had no problems other than near-terminal boredom.

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?


Re: The big red button

APC can have an optional module that isn't RS-232 but is 9-pin d-sub. Typically used by IBM AS400s which should therefore be the *only* thing plugged in to the UPS, as the design spec is that the system monitors UPS battery level until a certain level is reached then shuts down the server *and the UPS* so the batteries will recharge faster when the power is restored. It was a design that worked well when the AS400s had their own internal UPSes but didn't translate to the bigger world of "other devices".

For the terminally curious: https://www.apc.com/bm/en/faqs/FA159551/

How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still


Re: All’s good here...

Mine too - the only thing I’ve noticed is a bit of amnesia around my iCloud password. But being able to authorise security actions on the Watch more than saves the time back.

That said I’m only updating my laptop for now - the others can and should wait.

Help the Macless: Apple’s iPadOS is a huge update that will enable more people to do without a Mac... or a PC


Re: Still no multi user/account support though

Enterprise management has you covered here with a variety of options on the way but principally the option to create basically an entire second storage area with everything independent on the device for BYOD management. There is a news item on this very site, posted yesterday in fact.

Re: mouse support - Jump desktop (RDP client) has had support for the Swiftpoint GT built in for some time, but you can't use your (rather expensive) mouse elsewhere in iOS. Maybe that's about to change? Let's hope so.

Ever used VFEmail? No? Well, chances are you never will now: Hackers wipe servers, backups in 'catastrophic' attack


Re: Backups?

LTO8 is about 20TB per tape so not that many tapes, even if they are a hundred bucks a pop.