* Posts by GrumpyKiwi

461 posts • joined 21 Jul 2013

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The server is down, money is not being made, and you want me to fix what?

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Dark Monitor

Back in the mid 90's when contracting for a part of Brutish Rail I got sent to Bletchley (no not the park) to the depot where a terminal had "stopped working".

Got there, wiped the inch thick layer of dust off the screen that was preventing it from being viewable and job done. Even got a nice cup of tea out of it, so I considered that a pretty decent result.

First Coinbase, now Basecamp: Should workplaces ban political talk on internal corporate platforms?

GrumpyKiwi

The only thing more tedious than that person who wants to turn every topic of conversation to politics is the one that wants to turn it to their favourite conspiracy theory. If I worked somewhere with "that person" I'd welcome this rule with open arms.

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

GrumpyKiwi

Re: An ex GCHQ bod once told me never to use GMail

All the ex-GCHQ people I worked with were dodgy-as scumbags who thought nothing of cheating on their spouses and taxes and several of whom were heavily involved in a corporate fraud liquidation/phoenix rebirth scheme that cost several of my friends and ex co-workers a lot of money.

GCHQ could tell me that the sky is blue and I wouldn't trust a word they said.

Think tank report names and shames 'stakeholder capitalist' Salesforce for paying no corporate income tax in the US

GrumpyKiwi

R&D Credits

You'll note that almost all of the companies in this list are tech companies that invest heavily in R&D.

R&D Tax Credits are a bipartisan favourite in the US. The last major revision of them was done under the Obama administration which (rightly IMO) valued the long term effects of greater R&D spending. One of the reasons Amazon pays relatively little federal tax is because it spends so much on R&D.

A floppy filled with software worth thousands of francs: Techie can't take it, customs won't keep it. What to do?

GrumpyKiwi

The US armed forces are strictly amateurs compared to those of Australia and NZ.

There has never once been a campaign where they didn't head home with more equipment than they arrived with.

Staff and students at Victoria University of Wellington learn the most important lesson of all: Keep your files backed up

GrumpyKiwi

Competency was optional

It's Victoria uni. The uni that wasted millions of dollars on trying to get their name changed to Wellington University only to get slapped down and told to stick to doing what they do best - being the fourth best uni in NZ.

It's no surprise that their IT matches.

From Maidenhead to Morocco: In a change to the scheduled programming, we bring you The On Call of Dreams

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Site Installation

Have a +1 for the Girl Genius reference. One of the better web comics out there for sure.

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Not quite a straightforward bribe

For a long time because I was a tight bastard, my range bag was also my cabin bag for travel.

I'd regularly get stopped and swabbed while travelling with it (usually between NZ and Aus), often within 24 hours of it being used to store magazines, ammo and so forth.

Never once asked any questions or any other consequences. Makes me wonder just how much of the process is psychosomatic.

That said I also have anecdotal evidence of an Australian Army engineering team coming back from Iraq having spent their time there doing BDA and other demolition work being stopped by a particularly unimaginative Australian Border Patrol officer who could not understand why a group of soldiers (in uniform no less) kept dinging the machine, even after they showed him their various paperwork on their role.

Starlink's latent China crisis could spark a whole new world of warcraft

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Its very easy to detect ground based broadcasts

Yes that would explain why in 1997 I got them thumping on my front door telling me I had a TV and no license. At the time I had no TV and told them to go f*** right off.

Clearly it was very "easy" to detect. So easy one might suspect that they were in fact just making it up on the fly.

Remember that day in 2020 when you were asked to get the business working from home – by tomorrow?

GrumpyKiwi

Got lucky

I got lucky, I take exactly zero credit for how easy it was in the end.

It turned out that all the stuff I had been doing over the past 2 years - laptops for all, managed external supplier VPN, Teams rollout, RDP apps for the ERP, remote device management - were exactly the things needed to let the whole company work from home.

I also look after IT for a charity dealing with mental health. They were in the unfortunate situation of needing a lot of laptops all of a sudden at a time of low availability. They had to go to a local consumer electronics shop (sounds like Noel Lemons for other kiwis) and got a hodge-podge of massively overpriced and underspecc'd random brands and models. Luckily they too were already set up for VPN access and remote desktop so at least that aspect of it worked OK.

The wastepaper basket is on the other side of the office – that must be why they put all these slots in the computer

GrumpyKiwi

Probably the FIB who are apparently notorious in the US LE community for their computer illiteracy. I have a recollection that it took them two or three tries to get a working email system for example.

It's better to burn out than fade Huawei: UK rolls out schedule for rip-and-replace rules

GrumpyKiwi

Occam, his razor and all that

You can judge just how important Huawei is to China's intelligence networks by how loudly they've shrieked over their equipment being banned.

When Trump banned it in the US it was as if he'd wiped his ass on the Chinese Flag, said Xi looked like Winnie the Pooh on crack and that the Chinese Communist Party had spent all of WW2 hiding from the Japanese except when selling them opium*.

When Trump threatened to ban Tik-Tok you got a little pro-forma theatre and nothing else.

Quite clearly Huawei is strategic to them.

* this is exactly what they did, they just don't like acknowledging it.

Supreme Court mulls whether a cop looking up a license plate for cash is equivalent to watching Instagram at work

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Supreme Court

The weapons of mass destruction of the day were canons. Many many of which were privately owned by ship owners and the like. And a great many of these privately owned canons had been donated to the cause of the revolution.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice

GrumpyKiwi

I wonder where that all came from

Ex-GF (from a very long time ago) youngest brother worked there too until it was closed down. When I visited him his house was full of all the latest and greatest in IT tech of the time with WANG logos slapped on everything. He said that when the place closed down everyone grabbed an empty shopping trolley and walked out with a full one.

Philippines to install 23,000 free public Wi-Fi hotspots

GrumpyKiwi

Dunno about you, but when I tried just throwing a WAP into the middle of a road, it didn't provide me with any wireless. I ended up having to attach it to a pole, provide it with electricity and an ethernet connection to the internet. Which might have some costs associated with it like labour/permits/materials. Just saying.

Uncle Sam's nuke-stockpile-simulating souped-super El Capitan set to hit TWO exa-FLOPS, take crown as world's fastest machine in 2023

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Uggghh

***The argument is that drugs are expensive to create, so they need to be priced high to recoup the cost. Well, some free time on the world's biggest supercomputer (x600) should knock off a bunch of development costs.***

The biggest chunk of costs are getting FDA approval - something that can take up to 10 years. No amount of super/ultra/mega-computing time will cut that type of paperwork.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Cockroach syndrome

Hammer or .308 (7.62 NATO) data erase?

Crypto AG backdooring rumours were true, say German and Swiss news orgs after explosive docs leaked

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Ireland?

Yes those 10 armoured cars and five aircraft would make a real difference.

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Ireland?

Also Ireland is not, and never has been a NATO member.

Parks and recreation escalate efforts to take back control of field terrorised by thug geese

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Federally protected

They're not protected in NZ, they're a major pest - you can hunt them any time of the year using any method. They're also smart enough that they're bloody hard to do pest control on. They're big enough that shotgun rounds designed for ducks are shrugged off, and cunning enough to not let people get close enough to use larger rounds. The best bag I ever got required sitting with a supressed rifle on a hill more than 200 meters away from the pond - I got just two. The remaining 30 or so took flight.

Any Canadian goose dinners we get are well earned and have required teamwork, a good dog and more than a little luck.

US's secret spy payload offloaded: Rocket Lab demos missile muscle with second Electron guided home

GrumpyKiwi

Re: I Saw ......

And Elton John will be playing not too far away from Rocket Lab's launch site this weekend. Much to the disgust of my mate who is attending with his wife rather than coming out for a possum cull with the rest of the lads.

You know the President is able to shut down all US comms, yeah? An FCC commish wants to stop him from doing that

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German scientists, Black Knights and the birthplace of British rocketry

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Another interesting article

The Canadian fighter was the Avro (Canada) Arrow. Which was a potentially very good interceptor for shooting down Russian bombers that had the misfortune to enter testing at the moment that the USSR demonstrated Sputnik - showing that bombers were no longer the primary threat to be concerned with.

We need to make it even easier for UK terror cops to rummage about in folks' phones, says govt lawyer

GrumpyKiwi

Vital stuff

It's critically important that your local council can demand that you unlock your phone so that they can prove it was you who was walking your dog nearby when the highly trained nose of the nearby parking warden smelled s*** (don't ask about how they're trained, it involves senior council management, a tonsilectomy, a rabbit shaped jelly mould and a corgi called Dai).

Apple calls BS on FBI, AG: We're totally not dragging our feet in murder probe iPhone decryption. PS: No backdoors

GrumpyKiwi

FIB strikes again

The FIB has a long history of lying about this. They claimed at once stage they had over 8,000 locked phones that were preventing crimes from being solves. The actual number turned out to be about 10% of that - none of it terrorist related, almost entirely down to the "highly sucessful" war on drugs.

It's pretty safe to run on the assumption that when the head of the FIB says something, it's a lie.

Ministry of Justice bod jailed for stealing £1.7m with fake IT consulting contract

GrumpyKiwi

Re: That pesky kid...

...if it wasn't for those pesky kids and their dog...?

The Register disappears up its own fundament with a Y2K prank to make a BOFH's grinchy heart swell with pride

GrumpyKiwi

Connections everywhere

Ex-wife used to work at a NZ university associated with degrees in gumboot wearing (Wellington boots for the Brits) alongside a certain Simon...

And then there were two: HMS Prince of Wales joins Royal Navy

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Bloody Shambles

Don't know why you got downvoted. Leigh-Mallory should have been awarded the Iron Cross for his services to Germany while in charge of Fighter Command. The Middle and Far East were crying out for good aircraft and crew while he was wasting them in pointless sweeps.

That being said, when Spitfire pilots did first clash with Zero's, they got the same bloodied nose as everyone else who tried to dogfight with a Zero.

GrumpyKiwi

Re: "I could walk in and take the whole lot this afternoon"

Interesting - especially as the "nothing East of Suez" dated long before Thatcher - back to the 1960's and was used to justify the end of the RN's carrier fleet. And was exactly the reason why there wasn't any significant RN presence in HK.

Then you have the small fact of the treaty that had only a 99 year lease on most of Hong Kong. The UK could have ignored/broke it. All that would do is demonstrate an utter lack of respect for treaties. There is no possible way that could rebound right?

I think you are perhaps misremembering things.

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Maybe

Not quite. Aircraft carriers were part of the 5:5:3: ratio. They were also limited to 8" guns just in case anyone decided to build disguised heavy cruisers. It turned out that 8" gunfire and aircraft are not a happy mix and most such carriers never fired their 8" guns in anger. Only the Japanese and USN even bothered to fit such weapons - probably on the principle that the most likely foe for an aircraft carrier in the Pacific was an enemy cruiser.

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Bloody Shambles

Singapore was a mixed of a military and a civilian screw up.

For example the military wanted to employ a whole lot more dock workers to get goods off supply ships as quickly as possible when they arrived. The Governor General of Malaya was opposed as it would almost certainly raise the wages of the people working in the rubber plantations and tin mines - the owners of which were his golfing chums. The result - a number of freighters loaded with urgently needed supplies were sunk at their berth, still unloaded.

On the other hand the military was also being run on a peacetime basis, even after the Japanese attacked. A story is told of an Australian unit that tried to get mines and barbed wire to help protect the shore they were guarding. A unit was sent to the supply depot to get some - it was closed because it was Saturday.

It was not the Empire's finest moment. The US at least could point to Bataan holding out until April - exactly what it was supposed to do under the old War Plan Orange. Singapore, "the Gibraltar of the Far East" lasted a week.

GrumpyKiwi

If the Chinese really thought that carriers were obsolete they wouldn't be busy building their own fleet of them.

GrumpyKiwi

It wasn't the Kido Butai that the PoW and Repulse were up against, but land based naval bombers.

I do totally agree that had pretty much any force in the RN at the time come up against the Kido Butai they'd have come off second (if not third) best. The RN's carriers could probably have survived a dive bombing attack, but the IJN's torpedo bombers and torpedoes were top notch and very few ships survive multiple torpedo strikes.

GrumpyKiwi

Bloody Shambles

I've just been re-reading Bloody Shambles, a history of the air war in SE Asia during 1941 and 1942.

The RN had realised a year back that only a minimum of three battleships, a carrier, three heavy cruisers and at least ten destroyers would represent a serious and viable task force against the Japanese. However almost none of that was available at the time, and those that were, were not necessarily the best choices for the role.

For example HMS Prince of Wales had been designed from the start for service in European waters. Her cooling was entirely inadequate for tropical service and among the first things to break from the heat were her radar systems. HMS Repulse on the other hand was designed to serve anywhere in the British empire - conditions onboard her were significantly more comfortable than on PoW. When other ships of the KGV class were sent to the Pacific in 1944, they were first given a major upgrade of air conditioning systems (and a nice "harmless" protective layer of asbestos).

The RAF had offered to have a CAP of 6 Buffalo aircraft overhead during daylight hours at all times. This was turned down by Admiral Philips because he was a desk jocky with zero recent experience of ship operations and didn't understand the need for top cover. He probably would have done equally poorly had a carrier been available. Even just 6 fighters could have caused a lot of havok with the unescorted Japanese torpedo bombers.

Finally the IJN pilots of the time were first class while the training of the RAF pilots in the region ... left a lot to be desired. (For example there was almost no aerial gunnery training as it wore out the guns and required more maintenance than was available).

Kiwi tax probe squeezed $25m out of Microsoft – now it's Oracle's turn

GrumpyKiwi

Death and taxes and human stupidity

Transfer pricing is what enables my IT team's work to be charged to our Australian subsidiary where 90% of the support is needed. If that wasn't the case, the CFO would be demanding that we relocate to Australia - a fate worse than death.

It's not some kind of unmitigated evil - it's a normal accounting practise, especially where services are spread over multiple countries. The devil as always is in the details.

Meanwhile also in NZ, a combination of Police and SAP incompetence resulted in personal details of all firearms license holders being made available to any dealer who logged into the system - rumour has it that it wasn't just dealers either, but any bozo. Thanks very much Plod & SAP for handing out a shopping list to the local crims.

Talking a Blue Streak: The ambitious, quiet waste of the Spadeadam Rocket Establishment

GrumpyKiwi

Re: So if you ever wonder why Germany and Japan became so strong economically thats why

***Even during the war, the German economy never really went onto a war footing - mostly because they couldn't afford to - all the resources that they gained by invading other countries (including slave labour) didn't make up for the fact that they were living way, way beyond their means.***

The big problem they had was that there just weren't enough resources to go around - especially with steel and the coal you need to make it. So in 1940 a large percentage of the steel had to be diverted to ammunition making as they were running very low on it. Meanwhile aircraft and vehicle production suffer. The next year ammuniton was plentiful for the invasion of the USSR, but it was only by looting the crap out of France and other occupied nations that they could get sufficient vehicles to even attempt to invade. (And of course having 600+ different designs of vehicles in service was a really bad idea when it came time to logistically support such a vehicle fleet in the field).

Of course stealing all of France's trucks, cars, trains and coal meant that the French were no longer able to make and supply steel so instead of adding to Germany's overall power the French were a drain. And this was a pattern repeated in the other occupied states - a crippling of the state for a short term gain followed by a long term liability in which slave labour became the only thing they were good for supplying.

Germany did end up hitting it's peak possible performance in 1943 as far as production was concerned - every available man was in the armed forces or production, and there was effectively no civil economy. By that stage they'd given up any pretence that they could keep their economy under control - inflation rose massively while living standards plumetted. It was all to be sacrificed in the name of the Gotterdamerung on the Eastern Front.

GrumpyKiwi

Re: So if you ever wonder why Germany and Japan became so strong economically thats why

***Well, when WW2 started Germany was also very strong so the excuse of "free American money" (which wasn't really free) doesn't really cut it.***

Germany was very definitely NOT economically strong at the start of WW2. It was barely being kept afloat by the looting of the Austrian and Czech treasuries and a great deal of financial shenanigans.

There is a very good book called "The Wages of Destruction" by Adam Tooze that goes into the pre-war (and wartime) German economy and how they were (barely) able to to pay for rearmament and what this meant for the average German worker (hint - poverty, especially compared to the likes of a British worker).

***TSR2 - a world leading design that was cancelled...***

On the one hand the TSR2 was indeed a world leading design. On the other it was very much a bleeding edge design with all that implies for costs and development time. At the time of cancellation it still had massive issues to overcome, some of which they weren't even sure if they could be overcome. An endless financial black hole is not something the governments of the day could look upon with calm soothing thoughts. Especially when the F-111 was being developed with American money and at American risk.

Amnesty slams Facebook, Google over 'pervasive surveillance' business model

GrumpyKiwi
FAIL

Government? Privacy?

Yes if there is one thing governments are good for it's protecting our privacy. Well obviously not everyones privacy. In fact not anyones privacy.

In fact they're notoriously shit at it, and unlike Google or Facebook have been known to send the odd drone or special operations teams to kill people when they get things wrong (or right).

Asking the government to safeguard our privacy is like asking a bunch of foxes what kind of protection chickens need.

Judge shoots down Trump admin's efforts to allow folks to post shoddy 3D printer gun blueprints online

GrumpyKiwi

Re: More guns = safer for everyone

Here's a nice 3 seconds of googling from 2017.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11798314

Here's the muppet shooting his own police station.

https://www.ipca.govt.nz/Site/Outcomes/2018-19-summaries-of-police-investigations/2019-mar-18-accidental-discharge-of-firearm.aspx

Local police firearms training consists of 35 shots a year from their Glock's and a single magazine from their AR's at targets "as far away" as 35 meters.

Of course when you shoot yourself in the bum, that's a sign of competency, not that you should be charged with a crime.

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2019/09/police-officer-accidentally-shoots-himself-in-the-buttock.html

GrumpyKiwi

Re: More guns = safer for everyone

Or a place where local youfs favourite activity is playing "stab the stranger". Or places where the penalty for being an infidel is to have your concerts exploded or shot up. Or a place where "rape the westerner, they're all asking for it" is a common weekend activity. And so forth.

Or for that matter, living in a place where the local cops are a lot better at shooting themselves in the foot or bum, or shooting the police station or their own car than they are at hitting an actual threat (which I do).

GrumpyKiwi

The Glock 17 was the Liberator of its time. "Undetectable" even though it had large amounts of metal.

"That punk pulled a Glock 9 on me. You know what that is? It's a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn't show up on your airport X-ray machines here and it costs more than what you make in a month!"

Which is at least 4 lies for the price of one.

GrumpyKiwi

Judge Canut was it?

Issues order that the tides may not come in - aka that things posted on the internet must vanish.

The LIberator is a piece of plastic crap. I am however aware of people using metal sintering 3D printers to produce far stronger and more useful components - something the NZ government has decided to acknowledge by putting it's fingers in it's ears and chanting "la la la la, I can't hear you, our arms confiscation program is 100% successful".

NSA to Congress: Our spy programs don’t work, aren’t used, or have gone wrong – now can you permanently reauthorize them?

GrumpyKiwi

Re: The United Scaredycats of America

Sigh!

When you want a hammer that doesn't EVER generate sparks when you're using it to adjust a fuze in an environment full of gunpower. When you want a toilet seat that goes into an airplane that doesn't put out toxic smoke in the event of it catching fire or shatter into razor sharp fragments.

Like most things designed for specialised environments where the product run is short, the costs per item are high.

There are many many things you can criticise various militaries for spending and/or wasting their money on - spending money to make things safer for their solders, sailors and airmen is not one of them.

UK Home Office: We will register thousands of deactivated firearms with no database

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Why?

Here's one example of a SMG made at home in the UK.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIhGCRIQnCA

In Australia there is a LOT more $$$ to be made churning out MAC-11 clones for the various motorcycle gangs than from being a regular gunsmith.

IT protip: Never try to be too helpful lest someone puts your contact details next to unruly boxen

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Where were you 20 years ago?

1999? Contracting for the British MoD rolling out ***DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS*** on a ***DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS*** platform.

The best bits were the ***DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS***, but that sure didn't compensate for ***DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS*** and the worst of it was that my line manager was ***DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS*** and Welsh.

Looking back on it, I can only shake my head and ***DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS***.

The Feds are building an America-wide face surveillance system – and we're going to court to prove it, says ACLU

GrumpyKiwi

FIB hard at work again

Hey kids, remember when the FIB were the defenders of democracy and justice because they investigated the Trump that one time.

Wait, oh yeah, they never were. They only just admitted to abusing the NSA's surveillence systems, using it thousands of times a day. This means they can totally be trusted with this system to never abuse it because they learned their lessons from the last time right?

The FIB have repeatedly shown themselves as scum. They're hated by the rest of US law enforcement as the guys who "show up after all the work has been done to claim the credit". They only existed because in 1920's it was too hard to co-ordinate between local, state and federal agencies - that time has long since past. Got to be time to think about breaking them up and shuffling their brave defenders of justice off to any agency that would take them.

Is HONK nothing sacred HONK? It's 2019 and an evil save file can pwn much-loved HONK Untitled Goose Game

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Honkity honk!!!

All geese are angry and flappy. Oh, and evil. At least 0.67 of a Hitler on the Hitler scale as this game so aptly demonstrates.

Windows 10 update slips past Aussie border force and borks access to its Integrated Cargo System

GrumpyKiwi

Australia Govt IT = crap

Pretty much every Australian government IT system I've ever dealt with has been utter crap (ABF, ASC and ATO). This is not to defend NZ Government IT who are also craptacular - it's pretty much just an observation on government IT in general.

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Pedant alert

**Pedant alert

Green actually means 'You may proceed if it is safe to do so'**

Nope I'm pretty sure it means "look up from your f***ing phone which you've been checking Faecesbook and messaging about that wicked parti after everyone behind you starts honking the horn because it's been green for 5 seconds FFS and slowly progress forward leaving just enough time for one more person to get through safely".

BOFH: The company survived the disaster recovery test. Just. The Director's car, however...

GrumpyKiwi

Re: Very Thorough

Sure the BOFH & PFY are violent, corrupt, devious and cunning. But they're not scum, there's no way they'd work for an intel agency.

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