* Posts by Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

1484 posts • joined 22 Jul 2014

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

Re: Switching on the "monitor stand"

What happened to horizontal computer cases?

Good point. I remember back in the late 80's/early 90's when we all had horizontal cases, it was quite the fashionable thing in my workplace to stand them vertically. IIRC this was an evolution of having the monitor sitting on the desk itself, and having the case (horizontal) off to one side...I think because it was considered to be a bit cooler than having the monitor atop the base unit in a conventional manner. The practice of then putting the base unit vertically was just to save desk real estate. None of the machines even had CD drives then so there was no worries about whether a disc would stay in place.

Well bork me sideways: A railway ticket machine lies down for a little Windoze

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Re: Victorian computing

Given train operators' attitude towards punctuality, presumably such a device would be known as an Indifference Engine.

Yes, Prime Minister, rewrite the Computer Misuse Act: Brit infosec outfits urge reform

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Re: The law is fine and doesn't need changing

If a "security person" wants to "test" the vulnerabilities of someone's computer, then they should ask permission from the owner of the computer before conducting such testing. Otherwise anyone could claim after being caught that he was a "white hat" merely "testing security".

Agreed. All the times I've been involved with security testing, there's been paperwork agreed between the client and the testers with words to the effect of "you're going to do something naughty, but it's OK because we've asked you to (so that we know how to detect/stop other people from being naughty)" and that makes common sense. Therefore there is no "unauthorised" activity.

I've always been a bit mystified as to why people who, without any solicitation, try to break into networks and snoop around are in some way considered to be heroic in their actions because they are highlighting weaknesses in someone's security. Outside of cyberspace, it's the equivalent of going down the street trying to pick doorlocks to get into peoples' houses, just so you can tell someone that they need to replace their aging Yale....something which feels both wrong and creepy in equal measure.

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

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Like shutting off when the remaining minutes countdown reaches 29.

In my experience, once it has beeped to indicate that it's now active a UPS generally shuts down in the time it takes to utter the first four words of the sentence "I'm glad I've got UPS"

When you bork... through a storm: Liverpool do all they can to take advantage of summer transfer, er, Windows

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Re: Sounds like a night out in this hack's often less than fair city of Brighton

No, nothing compares to a night out in Liverpool for the sheer quantity of alcohol, vomit and threats of violence. Except possibly Glasgow.

I'm slightly surprised about the violence bit - I've generally found Scousers to be quite a friendly, easy-going lot...although I've tended to cross paths with them outside of their home city. Maybe they're a bit more belligerent when they're on their home turf?

BT and Serco among bidders competing to run Britain's unfortunately named Skynet military satellite system

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Re: Wot no Hawaii?

This is Skynet 6 - I think they be better suited to 5.0

Oh crap: UK's digital overlords moot new rules to help telcos lay fibre in sewer pipes

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Re: Fiber in sewer pipes

Well, that will be fun for someone when it comes time to troubleshoot and fix a service outage

Troubleshooting should be easy - there'll be plenty of logs

As anti-brutality protests fill streets of American cities, netizens cram police app with K-Pop, airwaves with NWA

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Re: radio channel

If you have two brain cells to rub together you'd think this would be easy, but it isn't, especially in a big city like Chicago. It's so much easier to just keep using what you already have.

I wasn;t making any comment on how easy (or not) it might be to implement. What I was saying is that in the UK for at least a couple of decades emergency services have been using secure communications (TETRA, provided by the Airwave network) and I know that similar secure networks are used by these services in a multitude of other countries. It strikes me as odd that in the USA they're still using something so insecure for this purpose.

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radio channel

the channel used by the Chicago PD was not encrypted or protected, and could easily be broadcast over by anyone with the right equipment.

In this day and age, that sounds a bit, well, rubbish. I remember using a VHF radio to tune into British police radio traffic when I was a small lad, but that was decades ago...technology and security have moved on.

Beer rating app reveals homes and identities of spies and military bods, warns Bellingcat

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Re: and then there is this????

I just had a look at their website, and can't make up my mind if it's a badly named real thing, or some sort of parody/spoof.

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

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Re: Never saw a car crash into a computer

Indeed. As a native of Newcastle I have only ever known Fenwick as the department store (on Northumberland Street) and by derivation as a place where one might expose oneself if proven wrong, as in "if the Vega guys ever ship any product, I'll bare my a**e in Fenwick's window"

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G

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Of all those people recording videos of them torching 5G masts, I wonder how many were frustrated that it took so long to upload the footage from their phone to InstaTwitFaceTube?

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

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Now that DAB radio covers 90 per cent of the UK and listening via digital platforms accounts for 52 per cent of all listening

This looks like another one of those statistics that's measured by population count rather than land mass, so is massively skewed by big cities with lots of people.

I have a DAB receiver built into my car (2018 model) and have tried listening on DAB in preference to FM but it just doesn't work. In quite a lot of places, if DAB is available at all then it's only the BBC stations - the commercial ones (I'm a big fan of Planet Rock) just don't get transmitted from some masts.

And head further north....on a recent trip in Scotland there were places where I could hardly get FM, never mind DAB. Obviously, in places like that mobile data coverage is GPRS at best, so online listening isn't a viable option either.

Long live FM say I...although I am of an age where I still occasionally refer to radio as "the wireless" and remember talking about "VHF and medium wave" rather than "FM and AM".

Apple creates face shield for health workers, resists the temptation to call it the 'iMask'

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Even if one was to be really harshly cynical and call it a viral marketing/awareness exercise, it's still a good thing.


Reg fashion special: Top designer says 'video chat accessories' are in for spring!

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A phrase I leaned last week is "business mullet" - shirt on top with boxers below, the ideal outfit for video conferencing

Thought you'd go online to buy better laptop for home working? Too bad, UK. So did everyone. Laptops, monitors and WLANs fly off shelves

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Re: The end result

Since so many employers are investing in enabling staff to work from home as much as possible, I wonder how this will end up.

Honest Hans will give you odds of 2-1 that the government will say that home-working has been proven to work and will mandate it in order to get commuters off the roads and so get us closer to carbon neutrality.

The show Musk go on: Tesla defies Silicon Valley coronavirus lockdown order, keeps Fremont factory open

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On the plus side...

If they're going into work, at least they can take a dump there and make use of company-supplied bog roll rather than worrying about maintaining a stash at home.

Forget James Bond's super-gadgets, this chap spied for China using SD card dead drops. Now he's behind bars

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Re: He seems to be very trusting

his handlers may have given him the money in advance, but then it wouldn't be "reimbursement".


Google reveals the wheels almost literally fell off one of its cloudy server racks

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Don't expect numbers in a name? One idiot changed his middle name to his national insurance number.

That reminds me of an old Top Tip from Viz...."Avoid paying for expensive personailsed licence plates by simply changing your name to your car's registration number - yours sincerely, C695 LCU, Southend"

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean

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The cleaners here won't even clean the desks because they have computers on them. I've got an interesting experiment going on to see how thick a layer of dust I can build up over the course of a few years*

* technically it's a control group, because I have a similar ongoing experiment at home, which is down to pure laziness on my part.

Resellers facing 'months' of delays for orders to be fulfilled. IT gathers dust on docks as coronavirus-stricken China goes back to work

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Re: Just an FYI

I guess they also help prevent you from spreading your germs to others. I saw something last year about how the Japanese perceived obsession with avoiding bugs by wearing masks is actually the opposite - it's them being polite and not breathing/coughing their germs onto other people.

Capita hops on UK's years-late, billions-over-budget Emergency Services Network to keep legacy system alive

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Re: EE Data

if there is a major incident close-by does that mean that ordinary EE subscribers will suddenly find themselves devoid of any Data Services?

'twas ever thus for any network... see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACCOLC

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

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Re: Windows appears in the most unlikely places

And of course a photocopier must retain, somewhere, images of documents of which it is producing copies...

Indeed they do. I remember watching something a while back (probably on YouTube) here a guy went around buying second hand photocopiers...they all had bog standard hard drives in them, which he took out, hooked up to a PC and voila....terrabtypes of TIFF files of everything that had ever been photocopied or printed. A scary enough though, but at least one of the machines in question had been previously used by a police force

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42

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The only place in the halls of residence that we could get a good signal to listen to it was in one corner of the library of Havelock hall,

I thought that all the libraries at Castle Leazes were practically underground in the quad in the middle of each hall?

UK.gov sits down with mobile big four to formalise plans for rural shared 4G network

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Scotland, for example, will see 4G coverage from at least one operator rise from 80 per cent today to 91 per cent by 2025. Wales will also see a sizeable improvement, going from 89 per cent to 95 per cent.

'x' per cent of what? Population or land mass? I suspect the former, as there's no way I'd believe Scotland has 4G covering 80% of the landmass....last time I was in the lower bit of the Highlands, it was sometimes a struggle to get anything above GPRS. I reckon 91% coverage by population could be achievable while still leaving a lot of land without coverage.

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem

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Re: Why reinstall Win3.1?

IIRC that was an official marketing slogan at the time - "A better DOS than DOS, a better Windows than Windows"

....and then NT launched and is was light-heartedly referred to as "a better OS/2 than OS/2"

Alleged Vault 7 leaker trial finale: Want to know the CIA's password for its top-secret hacking tools? 123ABCdef

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Re: Security Controls.

I often come up against people who think that certain 'data' isn't super-secret because it doesn't meet the criteria. Never mind that in the wrong hands that data could very well have a very negative impact on hundreds of millions of people.

And people so easily overlook the value of conflating a number of seemingly innocuous bits of data. For example....Bob is single...Bob lives at <address>. Bob works for <company> as a middle manager. <company> has office hours of 0830-1730.....throw that lot together and you've got a good idea of where there's a house likely to have some decent value contents and when it's likely to be unoccupied and available for burglary.

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Re: Cell phones in prison

And how the heck does someone smuggle a modern smartphone into a prison?

I expect that the easiest route in is via a guard who has taken a bribe.

If all you want is a basic phone, then there are some crazily small ones out there (have a look on Amazon) which are easily concealable and I expect could be exchanged from visitor to inmate with minimal sleight of hand during a visiting session

Broadband providers can now flog Openreach's new IP voice network in bid to ditch UK's copper phone lines by 2025

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The way that legacy kit has a knack of hanging around, I think 2025 seems like an ambitious target for switching off PSTN. There are bound to be loads of old-school bits of equipment all over the country still dialing in to some central server or another to exchange data

HP hostile takeover warms up: Xerox queues print job cash_and_shares.pdf, mails it to the board to mull over

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Re: Why

The key thing here is that whatever happens, the Xerox name needs to survive....with a lower-case 'x' it's a slang expression for 'to photocopy' and a very useful thing in a game of Scrabble.

I heard somebody say: Burn baby, burn – server inferno!

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Re: Oh so special's

For someone unfamiliar with the Tube, that's probably not an unreasonable question. Where I live there is an electrically-powered mass-transit urban rail system, but at some periods during the day the trains only run one every 15 minutes. If I'm making a journey at that time I take a quick look at the timetables to make sure I'm not going to be hanging around on a platform when I could be doing something more useful with my time.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now: Brexit tea towel says it'll just be the gigabit broadband

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There was a very good Long Read article in The Grauniad a while ago about the battle between the towel industry and the hand dryer industry...each one putting out negative propaganda about the other. The hand dryer industry funds and publishes a study about the environmental impact of paper towels, and Big Towel puts out a press release about how Airblades are basically a machine for spraying germs around the washroom. It's really serious stuff.

Worth a read or, as I did, search it out on your podcast delivery mechanism of choice.

BAE Systems tosses its contractors a blanket... ban on off-payroll working under upcoming IR35 tax reforms

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Re: Differences

As an outsider on a contract for services, you can change that culture if necessary to achieve the required objective

I don't believe that culture change is exclusively the preserve of an outsider on a contract for services. Where I currently work, there are a number of changes which have come from initiatives started by people on the inside, i.e. permanent staff members. Arguably they're better placed to initiate change because (a) they've been here longer so understand the culture better, (b) are known to management who respect their experience and so are more prepared to listen to them

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But would you take a 3 month temp PAYE job 150 miles away while getting paid the rate for the job, just like the others working there?

To be honest, no. I have family so always looked for employers in my home city or within commuting distance.

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People are still getting mixed up between being an employee under PAYE and a permanent employee. You can be the first without being the second.

Indeed. I've been a PAYE employee on a permanent contract for a good number of years now, but did quite a number of jobs before that as a temporary employee, i.e. not as a freelance contractor.

One was covering for someone on maternity, another was a few months to cover someone on long-term sick, others were for "we have a project running for <x> months and need someone to do <y> on it". Signed a contract of employment and became a employee on PAYE with the knowledge that after a set period of time my employment would come to an end.

I think I spent around four years in full-time employment and in that time I only had one job with a permanent contract (the job turned out to be s**t and I resigned after a week).

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries

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Re: Electrics (especially batteries) are a problem, one of many

<$1,000 would buy you a well-made Swiss watch with an automatic movement, so no batteries to worry about.

'Don't tell anyone but I have a secret.' There, that's my security sorted

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Re: Freebies

I gave up expecting freebies many years ago after visiting an expo and seeing the staff of a rather large well-known company that makes graphic software re-sorting the goodies bags to remove anything they wanted for themselves.

In the interest of balance I remember visiting a stand (I think it was QBS) at a conference a few years ago on the lookout for swag. I mentioned to the guy on the stand that the kids kind of expected me to fetch them some stuff back...very kindly he asked what ages the kids were, went and got a load of goody bags emptied them out to discard the tat and retain the coolest items and build me a couple of bags of stuff best suited to them.

Your McDonald's demo has expired. For full functionality, please purchase a licence or try another fast-food joint

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Re: Demo food

Despite all of their culinary crimes, I do have to say that The Evil Beef Clown does do a decent cup of coffee.

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign

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Re: Adversarial attacks

What other sort are there?

Two I can think of, in ascending order of severity...(a) Panic, (b) Heart

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Re: Sigh.

When I came to do my test I was considered ready for it by my instructor but we both knew that as a new driver I lacked confidence and tended to hang back a bit. When we went into the test centre he spotted who the various examiners were and recognised one in particular who had a bit of a thing about failing to make good progress. The last bit of advice he gave me before he left me was "if you get that guy...when you've got a clear bit of road in a 30 zone you're more likely to pass by doing 32, and more likely to fail if you do 28 Have a bit of confidence, and go for it".

As it turned out, that was the examiner I got, so I followed my instructor's advice and passed first time.

Private equity ponies up £2m to help launch satellites from sunny Shetland by next year

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Re: Ideal

I remember that documentary too. Was it not about the Shetland site itself? I certainly recall their being a Scot involved

Can AI-enhanced virtual sports presenters do the job? It's a big ask

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Re: Infrared? Infra-red? Luxury.

I remember my aunt being the first person I knew to have a TV with a remote control, which was attached to the TV with a wire that stretched across her living room.. Now it sounds truly s**t, but at the time it felt like I'd been shown something straight out of Star Trek.

Fake docs rock real docs: Ex-Wall St guy accused of conning medics out of £27m for bogus cryptocurrency fund using faked paperwork

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'twas a fairly productive and enjoyable weekend as it happens....it's just that in the context of this conversation I didn't feel the need to list the various journeys I made and jobs that I got on with while the podcast was playing. That's the beauty of radio/podcasts - you can multitask a bit rather than being tied to a screen watching something.

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cryptocurrency is a cult


If you want a perfect demonstration of this, it's worth giving "The Missing Crypto Queen" podcast on BBC Sounds a listen. I binge-listened at the weekend, and it was time well spent.

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey

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And I bet you were far fitter and healthier than you would have been if you'd spent that time sitting behind a desk.

In between tech jobs a far younger me did a stint working for the city library service. The job mostly consisted of humping great piles of books around from one place to another. My musculoskeletal system has never been in better shape. The only physical downside was recurrent ringworm - a common complaint amongst my colleagues at the time, due to some weird things that lived in and between dusty pages of books.

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There is still plenty of IT work. Not working for 6 months and sell your house sounds odd to me..

Agreed. Even if he can't find employment in IT then there's nothing stopping him from taking some other type of job if it's the difference between having a house or not. As the great Mr Jagger once put it, and I think rather succinctly, you can't always get what you want but if you try sometime you find you get what you need.

For example, someone I used to know...super-clever guy got made redundant from his job in academia and got a job in a hose factory. Basically it consisted of him sitting next to a machine for 8 hours a night, and every minute or so pressing a button to make the machine do something that was part of the hose-making process.

A million miles away from what he truly wanted to do, but the money he got for those utterly mind-numbing night shifts meant that he kept food on the table and roof overhead for his family.

Quite quickly he got so he could do the job on autopilot and used to spend the time letting his mind freewheel, coming up with all sorts of wazzo ideas. I think he ended up doing something like publishing a book of logic puzzles that he'd formulated while sitting at the machine.

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

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"The coyotes were completely ineffective,"

Did they learn nothing about coyote versus bird conflict from the Roadrunner cartoons?

Windows 7 will not go gentle into that good night: Ageing OS refuses to shut down

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So if the OS is past end of life and is no longer receiving patches or updates, what CHANGED to make the shut down no longer work?

Exactly. The line from the article "[...] see increasing numbers of mysterious issues with Windows 7 as it becomes less well supported [...] seems completely wrong to me...I would have expected to see no change in behaviour as no updates are being provided for the OS. If nothing changes, then nothing changes


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