* Posts by TechDrone

71 posts • joined 18 Nov 2014


After years of listening, we've heard not a single peep out of any aliens, say boffins. You think you can do better? OK, here's 1PB of signals


Re: Equidistant Letter Sequence

Or they could try ELO, but that would require some Mr Bluesky thinking.

Let's check in with our friends in England and, oh good, bloke fined after hiding face from police mug-recog cam

Big Brother

Re: I foresee a market opportunity

The hood maker will get to those that need one. Take a good look inside the next box of cerials you buy.


Re: Actually not

The outcome of the Battle of Britain was as much due to German strategic mistakes as to the Dowdings command system or the combat skills of the pilots. The change to bombing cities gave the RAF time to repair facilities that had been severely degraded - otherwise many sources agree that it's unlikely they could have fought on much longer.

Don't forget that Germany too had radar and a leader who could inspire his population. The bouncing bomb was only used on a single operation, and the losses to 617 were very high, not to mention civilians and forced workers downstream.

Don't take my word for this, do some reasearch maybe starting with iwm.org as an example. Or eveen some of the history pieces here on El Reg for a more nuanced view.


Re: Only in Nany State Britain...

You'll have a hard time trying to carve a sunday roast with a wooden spatula.

Also, that b**t@rd serrated breadknife we got a couple of years ago has drawn more of my blood than decades of using chef, carving, paring, boning and veggie knives put together. And also various chisels, guillotines, snips etc when I did proper engineering.

The difference between October and May? About 16GB, says Microsoft: Windows 10 1903 will need 32GB of space


Mint: 10GB all in

Linux Mint 19.1, Cinnamon desktop, all apps I need, inc LibreOffice, mail, and a bunch of other stuff comes to just a shade under 10GB and apart from lack of SfB, Teams and and 2 other other corporate apps it can do everything my work Windows machine can do - and even then I can run a P2V of that should the need arise. OK, I'll admit to having an isolated WinXP VM for a couple of ancient games that I can't be bothered to mess about with Wine for, but they don't really work well under modern Windows either.

Something is very wrong when the OS takes more space than the data you need to keep.

Amazon may finally get its hands on .amazon after world's DNS overseer loses patience


No internet in the Amazon?

Nearly 20 years ago I spent a few months out there, and had no issues getting online in Manaus or most of the other towns and villages. If you could see a phone line you could bet on finding an internet cafe within a few hundred yards. Bigger problem was keeping the local molds and fungi from trying to breed inside the little laptop I was carrying.

After IBM SoftLayer fails to scrub bare-metal box firmware of any lurking spies, alarm raised over cloud server security

Black Helicopters

Re: Problem Solved

And a great way for HP to enforce that only their spare parts, upgrades and OS's can be run on their kit too.

Or am I being too suspicious of their motives?

Samsung Galaxy's flagship leaks ... don't matter much. Here's why


Re: Convergent design ?

Yep. I managed to get a spare battery just after WileyFox went TITSUP. I occaisionally look around for a replacement given the lack of updates but have yet to see anything that comes close (proper dual SIM and an SD card at the same time). I guess Easter could see me take the plunge with LineageOS, although I'd like to have a fall-back candidate just in case.

No fax given: Blighty's health service bods told to ban snail mail, too


About time email was offered as an option

Years ago one of our local hospitals made you wait months for an appointment. They will then send you a single postcard with your appointment date on. If that doesn't arrive and you subsequently miss the appointment they cancelled the referral and you have to start all over again. To add insult to injury, they refuse to discuss appointments over the phone on the grounds of patient confidentiality.

I have regular contact with NHS & school staff with reports going back and forth. When we go to appointments now we take printouts of every letter and report from all parties with us due to the number of times we've turned up, only to have to rebook due to the consultant not have all (or even any) all the bits of paper in their case notes. We even take 2nd copies of recent reports for them to keep.

Email as an option is fine for many. Post works for many. SMS also works for many. These are not mutually exclusive, and it's about time the NHS administrivals got their act together.

Wells Fargo? Well fscked at the moment: Data center up in smoke, bank website, app down


Re: The BOFH Strikes Again

If you're in an office and somebody sets off a dry powder extinguisher you don't want to hang around. Although most of the powder will go where it's pointed you also get a fine dust that spreads everywhere and you'll inevitably inhale some. For the next several hours you don't want to be too far from a toilet...

Google: All your leaked passwords are belong to us – here's a Chrome extension to find them

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Another vote for Keepass

My employer insisted we use it - 1 keepass per customer, only teams working with that customer even have access to the file.

I use it at home too - Linux, Windows and 'droid versions. Same method applies though, sites for me are in one file, sites to share (eg utilities, joint accounts) are in another. The only 'droid device with it on is a tablet that never leaves the house, just to be sure.

Like single signon, it does mean all your eggs are in one very tasty basket, but at least this way I can maintain random passwords for each account. And yes, the keepass file is backed up offline, and not even kept in the house in case something really entertaining happens with the kids chemistry set.

The only other option is the little black book [with my poems in] but you can't copy/paste and if you lose it you're seriously screwed.

Jammy dodgers: Boffin warns of auto autos congesting cities to avoid parking fees


Re: I said that!

When I used to cycle to work, red lights in the outer suburbs were great as it gave me an excuse to stop and get my breath back. In the center the ones along Regent Street were the best as on a green light the cars would go screaming off as fast as they could, only to get caught at the next set when I would calmly pedal up just in time for them to go green again. A few times I was able to race our senior counsel along there, him on shiny turbo-nutter RC45 jobbie and me on some clapped-out Halfords hand-me-down.

Ca-caw-caw: Pigeon poops on tot's face as tempers fray at siege of Lincoln flats

Black Helicopters

Pop goes the pigeon

I know of a couple of lads at a certain council who every so often work night shifts at various sites around the city. Each takes a council owned air rifle and 100 pellets with them.

One brings back an average of 98 pigeons.

The brings back an average of 102.

Even though they put up signs, notify police with names, copies of photo id, serial numbers etc well in advance and are driving vans marked with the council logo, the police have to send an armed response unit whenever somebody sees them and dials 999. Officially the ARU are not allowed to have a go themselves...

OK Google, er, Siri, um, Alexa, can you invalidate these digital assistant patents, please?


Re: Non-transferable

Inventor: Yay, I have a brilliant idea and a patent. And I've written the book/film/song to go with it.

EvilCorp: We want to make something that uses your idea. Here's $10 for an unlimited licence.

Inventor: It'll cost you more than that.

EvilCorp: Ooops, you appear to have died. Your patent is now public domain.

Nothing 'unites teams' like a good relocation, eh Vodafone?


Re: £8,000 to relocate from Glasgow to Newbury?

That's the tax-free limit for company relocation. Any more than that and HMRC start to take a share, even though you can easily end up paying twice that in the various fees, charges, duties, and then tax on top of fees and charges, Plus the cost of actually buying new house of course.

EasyJet boss says pre-Chrimbo Gatwick drone chaos cost it £15m


I'm he was

And I'm sure the thousands who's flights were cancelled were pretty disappointed too. And suing Gatwick will really help the improve the situation, although I'd be delighted if Easyjet had any brilliant plans about how to catch those responsible.

Idea: Work out how much you'd spend on lawyers, and offer that as a reward for information leading to prosecutions? Possibly adding a few £100,000 to the bounty might make a difference?

Oh snap: AWS has only gone and brought out its own Backup


Only backs up up 1 database - theirs

So not much use by itself if you want "proper" backup of any other database. Unless you're happy fart-arsing around with two-stage backup and restore via file system dump and manually getting the transaction logs back and loading by hand.

Chinese rover pootles about... on the far side of the friggin' MOON


Re: Nah

You mean the soup dragon and baby soup dragon? Although they lived on a small blue planet rather than the moon.

<whistles: sod it, the bloody thing’s stuck again>

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas


Re: And so it starts

Councils and anyone else with a regulatory role has to follow RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) and the clue is in the name. It sets out how they have to perform investigations and that it doesn't matter if they're investigating fraud in school admissions, contaminated food, dodgy builders, fly-tippers, rogue landlords putting people at risk or some of the nasty stuff childrens services have to deal with. There is a surprising amount of enforcement/regulatory/legal work that is not actually the responsibility of the police, and the police don't have the expertise to deal with either.

They also have to follow the PACE (Police and Criminal Evidence Act) for properly collecting evidence that may be used in court, plus 100's of different bits of legislation that dictate how councils do things. If they fail to follow the law in how they do this not only do they lose when prosecutions go to court, they can be prosecuted themselves.

Or would you prefer a dozen lads on overtime from the bin collector team to turn up at your door at 0400 to extract evidence because somebody claims they were poisoned by one of your sausages-inna-bun?

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'


Re: Sounds like...

If you're messing around with Kali then you should have some clue about OS matters and be able to at least research problems. If you're a graduate trainee then you really should be able use google. Or maybe even use the index at a back of a manual if they teach such old skool skills these days.

And I don't know about you but I would not expect somebody destined for a consulting role to be lugging a desktop PC around - that really would be grounds for complaints about unreasonable behaviour.

Up to three million kids' GPS watches can be tracked by parents... and any miscreant: Flaws spill pick-and-choose catalog for perverts

Big Brother

Kids need to learn, but...

As a concept I like this. Cheaper than a phone, not likely to get dropped or left behind in a coat pocket somewhere (at least you'd be able for find their coat). Being able to call them back for tea at the right time, them being able to get help easily, and me being able to hear what they're up to as if they were playing in the garden is a good thing. For now I can do this in person (and it's cool to have Dad playing apparently). It won't - and shouldn't - be the case forever.

And when they're at the age where they resent my entire existence they will hopefully have learned to behave properly when Dad isn't around, or at least, learned how not to get caught...

No doubt in 30 years time they'd be wanting to the same to me and make sure that I've got to/from the pub or chippy OK as well.

But FFS do it *properly*.

US government charges two Chinese spies over jet engine blueprint theft


Re: The US government should fund 'fake plans'

Apart from if Chinese home grown / stolen engines happen to be flying over my house in the future I'd really prefer if they didn't fail spectacularly thanks.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs


Re: And then there are Spoonerisms

The "cunning stunt bonus" of Carmageddon. Probably caused more offence than driving through the crowns of people, sorry, zombies. I think Jasper Carrott (remember him?) did a sketch on spoonerisms on BBC1, back when the beeb was very prudish. And finished it with reference to somebody's shining whit.

Bloodhound Super-Sonic-Car lacks Super-Sonic-Cashflow


Re: What this project has really done...

I dare you, in fact I double date you, to say that to my missus. Or, come to think of it, to my sister-in-law. One does really scary engineering & chemistry stuff of the variety that flattens the nearest city if it goes wrong. The other, well lets just say she thinks bloodhound would be a really interesting project to work on if she wasn't making lots of noise with things that could quite possibly kill you if you stood in the wrong place. I've got the boring route job messing with this computer stuff.

Don't make us pay compensation for employee data breach, Morrisons begs UK court


I guess you could argue that nobody has any business running a ToR client on a PC in a supermarket, so blocking 9001/tcp outbound would have stopped that for the 2 minutes it would take to reconfigure ToR to use a different port. And you can't really block outbound 80/tcp or 443/tcp. And thats assuming the files were uploaded from within their network and not put onto some other media and uploaded from elsewhere.

An awful lot of finance work consists - rightly or wrongly - of extracting data from one system and then loading it on to another, and I would expect an auditor to need the ability to do mass extracts to feed into audit tools which quite possibly sit on another machine.

I can't help feeling that Morrisons are being blamed for being a victim. I guess the different between them and the ****** who did this, is Morrisons have more money. A lawyer friend once told me it's not about justice or right or wrong, but who you can most easily sue.

Why did Visual Studio Marketplace go down in the Great Azure TITSUP? Ask Azure DevOps


Re: Definition of "The Cloud"

It doesn't matter if you place a system into the cloud or a server in your shed. If you don't understand where the single points of failure are, likely failure modes, who is responsible for each aspect of the services needed to run it, and have taken steps to mitigate likely problems then sooner or later you are going to have an incident.

It doesn't matter if it's a cloud provider, your in-house techies, or your hubby/missus/gardener. If YOU are not managing it properly and have the appropriate governance in place, it's YOUR problem.

'Men only' job ad posts land Facebook in boiling hot water with ACLU


So by the same reasoning, it would be illegal for me to have different adverts targeting each demographic to get my job vacancy in front of potential future employees in a way that they're most likely to respond to?

Or the government campaigns to get under-represented groups into jobs (eg men into teaching, women into engineering) would have to waste taxpayers money on targeting the adverts at everyone else too?

I guess shooting the messenger, especially a rich one, is easier than looking at the complex messy underlying issues.

Microsoft: Like the Borg, we want to absorb all the world's biz computers


MS control with DXC as a partner.

So, that's all right then. Absolutely no worries there. They've never applied an update that has broken an entire customer now have they?

Microsoft pulls plug on IPv6-only Wi-Fi network over borked VPN fears


Re: Does that mean they'll bring out an IPv6 stack for Windows?

IPv6 has been supported in the OS since at least Windows 2003 if not earlier.

Application support was a different matter - AD is fine, DNS supports AAAA records but can't forward to IPv6 hosts and Exchange 2003 hated it. Win 2008 onwards are happy as pi.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help


Re: That's right Linux community... bend over...

One man might have be central to the the linux kernel, but the kernel is not everything.

He says, typing away on a Linux desktop machine running a GUI by someone who never seems to make the headlines for anything other than delivering a pretty stable and reliable product that just works. I'm looking at you Clem.

And, incidentally, I spend a lot of time reading various Linux forums and lists and most posts are from people genuinely trying to help others and putting a lot of time into their answers and suggestions.

By your argument, if the guy at the top is such a jerk, why did Windows become so widespread?

Leeds hospital launches campaign to 'axe the fax'


Re: digital signatures

Or free if all you want is a certificate for a given email. Any organization can set up a certified email solution for not a huge amount of money, or buy it in as a managed service. Even Exchange could handle it the last time I looked.

My guess is you'll probably spend more in the first year training staff how to use it and making sure they can read email on all authorised devices than the cost of the certs themselves.

Maybe if the NHS did go for certified email by default it might help the idea catch on?

Cover up your privates: Linux distro Tails drops a new version

Big Brother

Re: I'm on a List?

Good evening Number Six. Did we sleep well?

Windows Server 2019 Essentials incoming – but cheapo product's days are numbered


Re: Microsoft keep on trying don't they?

I'd like to find a usable replacement for Exchange that could run on premise and not end up having to involve expensive "support contracts" for so-called enterprise extensions for just a few users to be able to use activesync for their tablets & phones. File & print is easy - maybe a couple of hours to get Samba going. Couple more if you want AD too.

BT scoops Home Counties chunk of new NHS IT contract


I guess it could be a bit of CAT5e, a fiber pair, TV transmitter, some random scrap wire and a couple of paperclips*...

AFAIK, digital signals for anything decently quick get modulated onto a carrier wave and at the other end a demodulator gets your bits out. Does 100baseT count as hight bandwidth these days? Even bandwidth is an analog term. Don't quote me on this - layer 1 stuff is an SEP. If the blinkenlights are a'blinkin that's all I care about at that level.

* Proven to work with serial links into network management port, not sure if you'll get a reliable 10Mbit through it.

Microsoft Azure: It's getting hot in here, so shut down all your cores


Re: How Does Cloud Work Again?

Cloud providers give you the tools to build redundant services, but don't do anything automatically. And since you have to pay extra to get the redundancy, you end up spending even more money to protect yourself from your suppliers failings.

From the cloud suppliers point of view I guess it's doubles all round.

Strewth! Aussie ISP gets eye-watering IPv4 bill, shifts to IPv6 addresses


Re: Has anyone truly made the switch?

It's still is catch-22. Untill there's more demand things aren't going to support it. And until things support it there won't be the demand.

At the day job most of our tools will run quite happily with IPv6, but a few key ones still don't. Since we can't switch IPv4 off (and save us a shedload of grief with NAT and seriously evil subnetting schemes), we're not bothering to turn IPv6 on as the effort of managing two network protocols is too much, even with the automation we have in place.

At home, I have both deployed and results are patchy. Some of my crusty old test servers sort-of use IPv6, the router varies with each firmware patch and routing randomly breaks on an admittedly over-complicated domestic setup but you don't learn by keeping it simple. And a beer to Hurricane Electric for letting me even get this far since my ISP are still twiddling their thumbs on the whole topic.

5G can help us spy on West Midlands with AI CCTV, giggles UK.gov


Preparations for CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN continue

At least Birmingham should be well defended when the great old ones finally break though.

UK cyber security boffins dispense Ubuntu 18.04 wisdom


Re: Good idea.

I once worked for a tech firm where the Director of IT insisted he be allowed to use a 2-letter password, and that I covered this up in the logs and audits.

In my experience those who should know better are often the worst offenders and more likely to get caught out though their own cockiness and over-confidence.

Another German state plans switch back from Linux to Windows

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Linux not always cheaper to run in the enterprise

I always assumed Linux would be cheaper to run 'cos you can install it for free (as I have for my personal use) but there are two big costs:

1. RHEL / Suse "subscriptions" which you have to have to get support from certain application vendors. Who only support those two distros even though it'll work quite nicely on CentOS and OpenSUSE.

2. Windows admins are everywhere, onshore and offshore so relatively (or even very) cheap. Linux admins are a much rarer breed, especially good ones, and so cost a lot more.

We have priced up deals where Windows was cheaper overall, which everyone agreed just didn't seem right somehow.

Intel Xeon workhorses boot evil maids out of the hotel: USB-based spying thwarted by fix

Black Helicopters

Should be disabled in firmsware

And how do we know it really is disabled just cos the computer tells us it is?

East Midlands network-sniffer wails: Openreach, fix my outage-ridden line

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Good results from Plusnet

A few years later we had line issues and as a previous poster mentioned we had to push past 1st line but soon got to their real fault finders. They were able to send pretty charts of DSL uptime and throughput, resulting in an OpenReach engineer being despatched and spending a few hours monitoring the line, changing to different line cards in the exchange (as Plustnet advised) and a different socket at the local cabinet then topping it off with a new master socket closer to where the router was.

Downtime due to Plusnet/network is maybe a few minutes a quarter. Downtime due to me playing with router config is hours per quarter depending on what "learning experience" I chose after pub-o-clock - which is often the only way networking makes sense to me.

I can highly recommend Plusnet for broadband, much better than many others in several countries I've used over the years.

Things that make you go hmmm: Do crypto key servers violate GDPR?


Removal breaks replication

Bearing in mind it's been 18 years (holy sh!t I'm getting old!) since I last used PGP in anger, way back then some keyservers would allow you to delete your key, but it was an experimental feature, not supported by the main ones (MIT?) and there was a risk that replication with another server would result in it coming in again. Thus turning it into a one-sided whack-a-mole contest.

As another poster has said, part of the point of PGP is non-repudiation. If I an erase all record of my key being used to sign something, I can then deny I signed it, which means what's the point of signatures?

In practical terms, what's the percentage of signed email these days? I think I've had maybe 2 signed emails in the last 10 years and they were S/MIME. It's almost as if people don't care about privacy at all.

IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row


Re: As someone who's recently experienced a similar situation...

I used to work for a (formerly) large engineernig firm that twice when through the process of "correcting" their age profile as they decided they had far too many experienced engineers which was some sort of long-term risk to the company so they made the majority of older employees redundant, which cost a fortune but made the charts look right to HR.

6 months later most were rehired as consultants, earning more money and working fewer hours because it was discovered that fresh grads did not have the 20+ years of experience required of a principal engineer, or the legally-mandated certifications to sign off on the work we were doing.

After I left at least one other division of the company repeated the exercise with the same result. These days it's called offshoring instead so I guess firms will never learn.


Re: He was the top salesman in the group

As seen on the wall of company earlier this year

Customers see us as too safe and boring. What they want is partners who are exciting and innovative and not afraid to try and fail.

And also guarantee service levels and no disruption to the business. And reduce costs.

Great news, cask beer fans: UK shortage of CO2 menaces fizzy crap taking up tap space


Pint of Bomber please landlord

US Supreme Court blocks internet's escape from state sales taxes



Hey Canada, stop undercutting our cartels with your reasonably priced stuff. Have a 500% tariff and random border seizures and 10 day safety inspections on every shipment. We don't need your medicines, beer, weed, oil, food, wood, gold, truck parts...


Re: Er ....

Software for this already exists - I had the joys of implementing Vertex (other apps are available) for a customer a couple of years ago to handle sales taxes for a certain 3-letter ERP suite. Standalone on-prem server or web service, just point an RFC at them, tweak a couple of settings to make it use it and it just worked. The only thing to remember was to apply the data updates every so often and to restart things in the right sequence after the monthly OS patch updates.

Virtue singing – Spotify to pull hateful songs and artists

Big Brother

So I guess The Wankin Song will be banned

And the pamela anderson song And old macdonal.. Ah well, it won't be the first place Mike has been banned from though.

"I had a dream the other night, a dream you couldn't beat..."

UK.gov expects auto auto software updates won't involve users

Big Brother

Re: Over the air you say?

Wanna bet there won't be a legally mandated snoop feature added?

Road pricing

Congestion charges

How many passengers you carry

Where you shop, drink, hang out, play

Where your friends / accomplices live or meet

Everything you say

Of course cyclists will then have to be banned as dangerous subversives trying to escape the love and care of big brother.

BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network


Re: Yeah right

650VA UPS under the stairs runs a house server, 14 port hub, VDSL router and Wifi bridge and phone base station or 35 minutes no problem. Most electrical works of late have taken 45 minutes...

I've no idea who long it will run the phone base station by itself as I can't be bothered to sit in the dark long enough to find out. I suspect more power is lost in the UPS overhead than is used by the phone.

I did try to get ethernet out to the garage for a second house server for redundancy but the missus decided I was taking things a little too far.



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