* Posts by stratcat

18 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jan 2013

'The computer was sitting in a puddle of mud, with water up to the motherboard'


Eating Habits

Have worked in a couple of logistics operations where PC's gradually ingest and build up an internal layer of concrete dust (bonus points for not having a sealed floor) and cardboard fibres.

Nothing beat the efforts of humans though.

My last employer had a couple of staff, that if I ever had to check/fix anything on their PC, it was likely to be a biohazard so I went in every time with a brand-new keyboard and mouse. Was once asked to check a desk phone for one of the offenders where the keys were sticking down, took one look and said 'nope - I'm not even touching that' and gave them some wipes. And how people manage to get food deposits on a monitor which is also out of arms reach is beyond me.

Lastly, some of the stuff that came back in for return or repair during the last few years of remote work... headsets pretty much go straight in the bin and everything else almost needs to be pressure washed and fumigated.

ps - if there's ever an ON CALL:UNDER THE BUS edition... let me know...

CES Worst in Show slams gummi gouging, money-wasting mugs, and other dubious kit


Missed headline opportunity...

Firstly, El Reg missed a golden opportunity here with a product that seems to be both figuratively and literally taking the p*ss.

Secondly, U-Scan just seems like someone looked at Theranos, and thought "how about we try this with p*ss?" and market as an unregulated "health" device and not for medical use.

I'm all for the somewhat questionable health/fitness data that already comes from my phone and watch, but I'm not spending $500 (!!!) on a gadget to p*ss on.

At the moment, for instance, I'm working in quite a warm climate. I suspect my salt levels are down a little and a quick glance tells my I'm a bit dehydrated. I don't need to p*ss on a $500 gadget to tell my I need more water and some potato crisps.

NASA's Artemis mission finally launches after faulty Ethernet switch delayed countdown


Looking forward to this week's instalment of "Who, Me?" where Joe, who works for an aerospace company that cannot be named, decides to do a last minute upgrade of newly released switch firmware.

And I raise my beer to "The Red Team" engineers.

Microsoft leaves the Office, rebrands everything as 365


I generally don't mind it...

... at least to use...

But the administration systems for 0365 are an ever-evolving patchwork of stuff that is just hell on earth to deal with.

IT departments often regret technology buying decisions


It's nothing new

Many technology purchasing decisions are going to be retrospectively wrong, usually just partially wrong, at some point during the short/medium term after implementation. That's just a fact of life as your own use case/business case/roadmap and the vendor's own road map diverge over time. If it's a long evaluation or a long implementation process from the time you sign your life away, then the regret perhaps comes a bit sooner into the working life of whatever you bought.

The best you can do is make sure it's fit for purpose, polish up your crystal ball, make sure others do the same if they're making the decision and realise it's often part of the lifecycle of whatever you're doing.

And don't purchase anything on the basis of business breakfast presentations. Just because someone fed you pastries and bad filter coffee and battery acid juice, slagged off the other vendors in the space, showed you some gartner charts, and peddled their wares (whilst glossing over any hidden costs), it doesn't mean that it's fit for purpose, or that you owe them anything.

Feeling highly stressed about your job? You must be a CISO


Remote working has increased the attack surface.

So has the move in recent years to move various things to various cloud services, which in turn has added various other attack surfaces...

...as well as a number of other moving parts to tie it all together, which require extra time and expertise to configure and maintain ...and which often present their own attack surfaces.

The CFO in the meantime wants to know why the time spent on updates and patching isn't making their computer faster. And is questioning the increasing number of $x per user/month services that are on the bills each month, having patted themselves on the back for the reduced capex that came with moving things to the cloud.

The CFO's 2IC has recently built a hackintosh at home and is now a security expert, thinks all the after hours patching work is fake, and has been deducting regular annual leave hours for IT staff time-in-lieu requests and hoping they don't notice.

Line Manager X doesn't work in IT, but is very much up to date on various security advisories and uses this to justify their long-standing lack of effort/usage for any given system. Today, perhaps understandably, they will no longer use Confluence despite the fact their inability to either write (or read) documentation in any form (even a word document) has been longstanding.

The CEO, also very much up to date on various security advisories, uses this to constantly decree that we shouldn't use various vendors. Which at this point means we should theoretically be using pen and paper. Also refuses to use MFA despite their email account being under attack on an almost hourly basis. Is also against most forms of email security after a smoking red-hot email exchange with their partner once triggered the worst possible category of email content alerts.

So, yep, a bit stressful.

Our front line staff fortunately navigate any security related potential inconveniences like MFA, computer updates and other measures with ease.

Microsoft starts 2022 with big bundle fixes for 96 security bugs in its software


Re: KB5009543 breaking VPNs

Yep - L2TP VPN's in particular. Recreating the VPN (as has sometimes been necessary after updates) doesn't work so KB5009543 needs to be uninstalled.

Fortunately we stagger the update timing so it's not yet a widespread problem for us.

Also, fortunately it's not as if our entire workforce is working remotely and needs VPN access...

We have some sad news about Facebook. It has returned to the internet after six-hour mega outage


Re: Something Else

Yep - any web based access for Outlook ("Outlook Live" or other flavours) is currently down, or at least degraded, here in the Antipodes. Apparently due to a recent configuration change, and they're throwing extra resources at it before everyone in Europe wakes up. It's been like this for about 6 hours. There's some collateral damage to on-prem Exchange too (I'm assuming for those that route via o365).

'Incorrect software parameter' sends Formula E's Edoardo Mortara to hospital: Brakes' fail-safe system failed


Fail safe systems...

I can't remember the source of this quote, but it generally holds true...

"Fail safe systems always fail by failing to fail safe"

'We think autonomous coding is a very real thing' – GitHub CEO imagines a future without programmers



I trained on ADW and also Texas Instruments' IEF about 25 years ago. There are multiple reasons that these never truly caught on. (To be fair, they also run on OS/2 at the time which never caught on either).

Atlassian kills God, rebrands as a mountain, a structurally unsound 'A' or a high five


I was looking forward to replacing Hipchat...

... but now all my work t-shirts are out of date.

First world problems :)

New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners


Re: One fairly serious alternative is ...


Which if you're old enough to remember a certain book, is actually made from tigers.

Testing times: Can your crypto-code survive the Google gauntlet?



... where the freight trains run down the middle of the main street.

(There's probably an analogy there with some tech companies)

I've spent a fair bit of time there over the years; not the world's most exciting place other than the train line and the mountain. The new bakery is good though.

IBM Australia didn't stress-test #censusfail router and blocked password resets


copy running-config startup-config.

There. I fixed it.

Australia: your real comms minister is George Brandis


Curse you, El Reg!

I'd almost forgotten about Helen Coonan until I read this article.


What goes up, Musk comedown: Falcon rocket failed to strut its stuff


Inanimate carbon rod - not so much the hero this time.

El Reg preps relaunch of Cash’n’Carrion online merchandise emporium


Re: Tees and mugs?

Re - Reg Condoms suggestion:

Actually a great suggestion for Reg merchandise... in reference to Alistair Dabbs' column, these would of course have "Something for the weekend, Sir?" written on them.

Telstra bets on a software future


Solution 6. Sausage software. T-Box. Telstra's Blackberry Portal. The early years of Sensis (I'm being nice).

Telstra and app development? Really???