* Posts by BenBell

90 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Nov 2013


BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it


£2.29 (and half a penny)

..about an hour ago

...just in case you were wondering :)

Home time!

BOFH: This laptop has ceased to be. And it's pub o'clock soon


2 hours...

...into an all nighter upgrading multiple SQL servers. My patience is already wearing thin and this has just bought the next person to phone and ask "when's the system going to be back up?" or "Is there a problem with the server?" or "is the new database hard drive downloaded yet?" an extra 30 seconds of life.

(yes, all legitimate questions from people today)

So, from them and me, thank you Simon :)

Kids charity hit by server theft


Thats novel

...normally, we hear about Data Breeches, not someone actually lifting-n-shifting servers.

This is exactly Why I BitLocker all servers I build/deploy. While it adds an overhead, the price of 15k disks and a couple of extra cores is nothing compared to potential backlash of having unencrypted customer data stolen.

Hungryhouse resets thousands of customers' passwords



Beer O'clock.

On the upside, I have just registered with HH following on from this and will most likely be ordering a Pizza tonight :)

BOFH: How long does it take to complete Friday's lager-related tasks?


Sounds about right

Almost as much of a pain as our change management system - At present, if I want to patch one of my domains, I have to link all 600 servers individually to the change control.

If I had to do "Stages" for "open wsus and approve changes", "watch patches download and install", "get all machines rebooted" and "listen to users bitch and moan about how the latest IE patch broke their wallpaper or changed their screensaver timeout".. I'd quite possibly need the bleach and carpet myself.

Nano-NAS market dives into the cloud


Cloud isn't the culprit!


- Available outside the house

- 2 meg a sec upstream where I live to get anything

- 10 meg a sec downstream where I live to get anything

- Requires re-downloading on every device I want to use on.

- Price £66/month (Google Drive, 16tb, according to CNET)


- Available outside the house via VPN

- gigabit LAN, 300 WiFi at home

- 10/2 outside the home

- Doesn't require a re-download from the net at slow speeds for each device

- Price £800 one off (16TB, R5, QNAP, what I paid 5 months ago)

Bit of a no brainer really. By this time next year, I'll have access at home and equal speed at work access to the same storage, be £300 better off, not have Google claiming ownership of my stuff (It's inthe T&C's apparently!) and still be able to run my webserver, MySQL DBs, VPN, Media Server etc from home to suit my own needs.

SOHO NAS providers are their own culprit. My little 4-bay QNAP has more functionality than I know what to do with - mail server, web server, db server, ldap server, radius server, media servers (multiple), file storage, VPN, data sync, auto-backup (which is crap btw1). I can add bigger disks and the array will resize/reshape itself. As long as the box doesn't die - they've had a one-time few hundred quid off me and aren't likely to see anything else.

Adobe to brick eight Acrobat, Reader flaws next Tuesday


All together now

99 bugs in acrobats code,

99 bugs in their code,

Take 8 down, patch 'em around

130 more bugs in the acrobat code!

(I'll see myself out now)

BOFH: We're miracle workers. But you want us to fix THAT in 10 minutes?


....and they all lived happily ever after - all the way to the overtime bank :)

Volvo eyes kangaroo detection tech


This will be useful...

...next time I decide to go joyriding through a Zoo.

Have a Plan A, and Plan B – just don't go down with the ship



This is now doing the rounds at the office - Thanks for this :)

Has Voyager 1 escaped the Sun yet? Yes, but also no, say boffins


So it's escaped but not escaped.

It's Schrodingers space probe.

Why was the modem down? Let us count the ways. And phone lines


Aahh 1998, the days of Dialup, the year I started secondary school.. when all I had to master was kicking my brother off the phone so I could do my homework :)

Have a beer and thanks for another article thats going to make me waste a weekend playing with old toys.

Fully working U-Boat Enigma machine sells for $365,000



...I hope someone got shot for that.

I'll be in the comms room giggling to myself if you want me.

Cobweb 'fesses up to failure to renew SSL certificate


Re: 'Technical issue' - bollocks

Wouldn't be the first time, won't be the last.

It'll be the techie's fault for only having a 1 year cert, for forgetting to remind the manager to renew it, for not raising the P/O, for not doing the managers job and documenting the reminder, for not having something in their calendar to remember the renewal despite the reminder emails going to the manager...

..do I come across as being bitter after being the scapegoat once before myself?

TalkTalk shares drop 10.7% despite research that breaches don't cause drops


What kind of idiot thinks data breached don't cause a drop in share price?

A breach causes a loss in customer confidence, makes customers want to leave, makes some customers actually leave, exposes the company to lawsuits, proves the company isn't a secure/study as it once believed itself to be, more often that not reveals a need to spend to secure, the list goes on.

Something of this magnitude will help or harm a share price and you have to be pretty thick (IMHO) to think that it will make your company worth more.

BYOD battery bloodbath? Facebook 'fesses up to crook code


Re: AVG Study

The App is pre-bundled, pre-starts, can't be unbundled without rooting (which kills my banking app) and sucks data even if I factory reset and ditch its memory of my credentials.. it's a real ballache.


AVG Study

Funny, I was reading only yesterday afternoon on SlashDot that AVG has released a report showing Facebook to be the top battery slurping app for android also:


This kind of sucks - I am a very infrequent user (only really use it because the wife, parents and extended family do and its easy to keep in touch this way) - but on days where I don't login, I still get my battery hammered for the priviledge.

UK/China cyber security deal: National security attacks still OK, it seems


The UK and China agree to establish a high-level security dialogue to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on security issues such as non-proliferation, organised crime, cyber crime and illegal immigration.

We Agreed that F**K ALL will change.

Fixed that for you :)

Sales down, profit up, 1,000 bods chopped: Your one-minute guide to Planet Microsoft


1,000 jobs lost is a real sad state of affairs regardless of company performance.

Fair severance package or not, the stress of job hunting for those who are (for lack of a better description) less employable than some of us is a horrible thought - especially for the single income or low income homes out there.

Paying the top dogs this much does seem unfair under these cirumstances, but unfortunately, this is very unlikely to change given the society we live in.

Volkswagen enlarges emissions scandal probe: 'Millions' more cars may have cheated


Re: NHS funding

Possibly - but they'd have to prove that the fumes making us all poorl;y came from VW's and Audi's and didn't come from all the other vehicles on the road (including the red Toyota Yaris that blows smoke down half my street each morning).

I've heard a lot of talk on the net about people trying to Lawyer up to get back Diesel money. If it's true that the cars (outside of tests) only get 40 instead of 50 to the gallon (as an example), people want the 10mpg difference with interest in cash for however many thousand miles they've driven.

Kind of understandable - but its PPI all over again in my opinion.

Joomla patches critical core shop-pwning flaw


Ah Damnit, I've got 2 Joomla shops active at the minute... Time to get patching (again!). Normally I check for updates at the beginning of every month, but time to make an exception.

New Nexus 5X, 6P smarties: Google draws a line in the sand


Re: I pity the US if $10 dollars per gigabyte is considered good.

...Likewise - £20 pcm with Three and I get unlimited Data, 3000 SMS and 5000 mins incl free 0800's. It must suck to have to pay that sort of money - I can easily use 10-12GB per month over 4G and using it as a hotspot when out and about with my laptop.


Re: These are not the droids I'm looking for...

Thanks for the suggestions, I really appreciate it. I will have a look at LGs kit next time I upgrade. Currently running an HTC M8 and love it :)

As for point 2 - flight mode :) just have to remember to turn it off when I get out the DC... which i frequently don't - but then I can charge it at my desk since I've got a plug point right next to me.


Re: These are not the droids I'm looking for...

They are indeed since they host credit card data. No writable media whatsoever. Only readable allowed media is OS/Driver disks. No USB cables for phone charging etc. Internet is firewalled and is allow-by-exception for business pruposes only. No Wireless access points for security, no mobile signal because its 2 floors below ground and has reinforced walls. All by design - but I wouldn't expect anything else when my personal card data is stored there among others.

If only others were so good with their security...


These are not the droids I'm looking for...

No SD is a big no-no for me.

I like to have a large music collection stored on my mobe. I spend a lot of time working down in the bowels of a data centre where phone signal and the company WiFi are non-existant.

I could go to the effort of cloud-syncing a playlist, playing ti and then repeating the next day - or I could put a big 64Gig SD card in and have more music than I could ever really want ready and waiting in my pocket.

I like the idea of a service plan which pays back for unused data etc - it's an interesting concept given that a lot of people I know pay for high end contracts, barely touch their limits and then won't downsize "just incase". This could see some real competition entering the service market once it hits the UK.

Job alert: Is this the toughest sysadmin role on Earth? And are you badass enough to do it?


Former Mountain Rescue climber and currently sysadmin here. If I were an american, I'd be asking where to sign!

As it is though, this has just wasted 5 minutes of my life.

CompSci student arrested in Malaysia on doxing-for-ISIS charges


IF he did it, then good - he deserves what's coming to him.

IF he didn't, then i feel sorry for the poor guy - because odds are he's going to be convicted regardless.

Apple 1 goes on sale, expected to fetch £300,000 to £500,000


Look at that, finally a reasonably priced mac :)

EMC customers show distinct lack of Dell delight – research


...Sounds like it's a good day to work for IBM. It will be interesting to see how bigger shift towards XIV there is over the coming months, or whether this is just more moaning for moanings sake.

Nippy, palaver and cockwomble: Greatest words in English?



..has just become my new favourite word. How have I not heard this before?

Wheels come off parents' plan to dub sprog 'Mini Cooper'


..and yet someone was allowed to call their kid "Hashtag"?


I'm off to weep for society now - if you need me I'll be in the comms room.

Minicab-hailing app Uber is lawful – UK High Court


What am I missing

When I take a cab, a device calculates how much it has cost to get me from point A to point B.

If I used this service, a device would be calculating how much it cost to get me from point A to point B.

Whether the method is GPS/Distance based or ground distance & stoppage based - does it matter? I will still have travelled distance "x" and it will still cost £y..

I am probably misreading something here though.. It's friday and I'm not feeling the brightest.

Cheer up: UK mobile networks are perkier than Germany's


Well, as a customer of Three - I can't often complain. Good signal and good speed at home, at work, at the climbing wall, at the gym, at the supermerket, at the parents and up-n-down the M1 when working (well, I never seem to get call dropouts)

..but then I go to the Inlaws - only a couple of miles from Lincoln - and I get absolutely nothing! I have to go outside to make a call or send a text. Interestingly, the rest of the family (a mix of GiffGaff, Vodafone, O2) all get great signal and speed there too.

Everyone complains when the net/call signal drops - it's only human - you're paying for a service and are being inconvenienced by it's unavailability - but by virtue of it being a complaint-worthy event - we can't be doing too bad at all.

Virgin Media filters are still eating our email – Ntlworlders


“We’re aware that some customers may be experiencing issues with their email filters and are working hard with our provider to ensure normal service is resumed. We appreciate the frustration this causes our customers and thank them for their patience,”

"We don't give a flying f*ck!"

Fixed that for you.


I feel sorry for the poor folk who need this service online. While most of us have moved onto gmail, onto our own domains, onto wherever we currently host our mail - it would really suck to not be able to get mail and to be one of those affected - their mail is just as important to them as ours is to us... wherever its's hosted.

An Internet of Things music thingy? What, you’ve already got one?


So it's spotify for those who can't work Spotify, branded as an IoT for music - a term beyond those whose technical knowledge doesn't even extend to being able to work Spotify

Now i get it. Still, if people find it workable, enjoy it and are willing to pay for it, good for them :)

I'm off to a dark corner of a server room to calm down now.

SanDisk 'explores' sale, WD and Micron prick up ears - report


From a purely personal perspective, this can (hopefully) only be a good thing.

In the last couple of years, I have managed to brick at least half a dozen SANDisk cards in my Helmet Cam, phone, card reader, tablet etc...

I also have purely WD drives in a 6 bay NAS, 2 desktops, 2 laptops, mixed up between SSD, 2.5" and 3.5" spinners - never a single failure to date.

Hopefully a new parent company would mean higher standards and more stability from products... probably not, but I can hope. Or, maybe I've just been unlucky.

Just my £0.02.

Devs ask Microsoft for real .NET universal apps: Windows, Mac, iOS, Android


An effort worth a giving a few "points for effort".

While a lot of people will immediately slate/knock the end result, managing to make this sort of headway on a project that will (hopefully) eventually give developers a way to build an IOS/Android/Windows10/Xbox/Linux hybrid application can only be a good thing.

Here's to the next release and hoping more milestones can be hit!

New Flash flaw lets you beat White House and NATO security


It's getting (gotten) to the point now where a flash vulnerability isn't news.

Flash in its day was awesome. I remember the countless hours I wasted at school in the early late 90s ignoring the teachers and playing flash games online.

Now I work as a sysadmin for a company that uses flash for interactive modules on its Moodle (Training/Learning web) platform and the continuous updates/patches of several thousand end devices is a pain in the a$$.

Roll on HTML5 (as soon as I'm allowed).


Credit card numbers stolen from charity America's Thrift Stores


Looks like nobody is safe these days :(

My wife works for a charity - they are having to spend more and more on cyber security ever year and are struggling to find the funding to stay secure and still be able to have an impact in the area they work in.

I appreciate that security of data is of upmost importance, but I quite like the idea of knowing that my donations actually go towards helping people - not to paying for the next years firewall maintenance contract.

Sad state of affairs.

UK.gov suspends broadband connection voucher scheme


..because it's not just as simple as phoning a supplier and asking for a line? Or maybe thats just me ina simplified world, having gotten lucky with every client I ever setup while on the contacting curcit.

Confession: I was a teenage computer virus writer


Without a doubt

...my favourite El Reg article to date. The insight, the nostalgia, the eager yearning to get back on an ancient machine with less power than my mobile phone for the sake of the "good old days".

Thanks for helping me plan next weekend, and thanks from my wife because I will no longer need a babysitter while she is out with her friends ;)

Beer because... why not!

Glasgow fanbois keep the faith at iPhone 6S benefaction


It's... a... bloody... phone!!! Get over it!

Bribing public officials up to $900 is OK-ish, says South Korean court

Paris Hilton

I wonder what I can buy in South Korea for $899.99 these days...

BlackBerry emits Android mobe as biz goes down the Priv


Sink or swim

Bold move - effectively killing off the OS in favour of its own Android flavour.

I personally love the idea of an Android phone with a real keyboard and some of the physical toys associated with the Blackberry of yesteryear.

It may also revitalise the company, bringing back those who loved BBM, who loved the old warhorse that was BES.

Or, it'll kill the company... but then the company is dieing anyway.

Sink or swim fellas.

WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg


...and with that final keystroke or glory, Simon finished the next episode of BOFH.

BOFH: I'm not doing this for the benefit of your health, you know


Thankyou, Again!

I said it last week and I'll say it again - You've saved the sanity of our team on yet another maintenance Friday.

Instead of changing backup tapes, checking reported disk failures etc while making boring small talk about the coming weekend - we are instead trying to come up with the most imaginative way to kill a H&S rep :)

God bless you.

Dislike: Facebook scammers latch onto anti-Like button calls


Here we go again

I give it a week before my phone starts ringing with family members and friends losing access to email because they use one password for everything.

On the other hand, it will be nice to see something new on Facebook - I've noticed that a lot of my social haunts (Reddit, Facebook, et al) seem to have hit a stage where there aren't many new toys appearing - unless there are and I havent noticed them.

Cambridge University Hospitals rated 'inadequate' due to £200m IT fail


Am I the only one

Who reads these stories and thinks "I could have done better" or wishes that they could have been in charge of these types of projects

...and then very quickly changes their minds??

I genuinely feel for the poor techs like us who get stuck working their asses off on big projects like these only to end up taking (partial at least) blame for poor management choices - while the poor management go off onto other high paying contracts and we get left with scars on our records.

Look out, world! Apple is about to launch .apple


I wonder

..how long it will take apple to register .samsung and start filing lawsuits.