* Posts by Afernie

397 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Dec 2014


NASA delays James Webb Space Telescope launch date by at least seven months



"If the engineers say a delay is necessary, then it is. "

This. I'm looking forward to seeing what the JWT can do, but it will reveal precisely no secrets of the universe if gets instantly reconfigured on the launchpad or is reduced to its constituent elements by an "unscheduled re-entry".

I'm happy to wait.

Incredible how you can steal data via Thunderbolt once you've taken the PC apart, attached a flash programmer, rewritten the firmware...


Re: Most people wouldn't be surprised by this

As evidenced by the impeccable research carried out to craft this plausible scene, NCIS is practically a hacking documentary.

India makes contact-tracing app compulsory in viral hot zones despite most local phones not being smart


Re: so what *is* the solution?

“funded by bill and melindas depopulation and trillion dollar profit cult”

Next time you’re typing in the web site address, remember that Infowars begins with an “I”. You know, “I” - for Insanity. “Idiocy” also works.


Re: so what *is* the solution?

OK, so:

There already is an open API supported by the only two mobile OS developers with market penetration that emphasises decentralisation and privacy, and does the job.

It would be child's play to develop an app quickly and easily that uses it. End of proposal.

What the government has chosen to do is ignore the decentralisation and privacy offered, and develop a solution that centralises data.

* All previous evidence would indicate this data will rapidly be abused.

* All previous evidence would indicate this data will rapidly be compromised by other actors, because a government with a long record of dishonesty and an utter lack of transparency that does not care about your privacy certainly does not care about your security, at the backend or in the app.

* It should be noted that this is just the first step. Within a matter of months the tracing app will be supplemented by an immunity passport app that records facial biometrics. Access to public places and your workplace will likely depend on your co-operation in using this app. This despite warnings from the W.H.O that immunity passports will not work and provide a false sense of security.

* Once adoption is made either compulsory or refusal made socially unacceptable, the data gathered will soon be provided to:

1) Law Enforcement for fishing expeditions, fit-ups, persecution/marginalisation

2) Security forces for persecution of minorities, and "enemies of the state" (people who who disagree with the government).

3) Councils and Quangos for an endless bounty of automated and uncontestable fines for various claimed minor infractions

Of course, any attempt to contest the legalities of this will result in the application of the Civil Contingencies Act. This is an emergency after all.

So in summary:

Apple/Google way: decentralised, private contract tracing and warning

UKGov way: Police State in a box. Just add legislation.


Yeah, this is essentially my strategy too. I'll stick it on a cheapy Alcatel or similar. Might help pass the lockdown time to also use it to investigate what it actually does. Probably things that are embarrassing/criminal/incompetent/inexplicable.

ESA trumpets 'world's first space debris removal' with 4-armed junk botherer


Commencin' Operation Knapdarloch in een, twaa, three...

Clutching at its Perl 6, developer community ponders language name with less baggage


Re: Oyster?

They ARE the ones we warned them of!

World recoils in horror as smartphone maker accused of helping government snoops read encrypted texts, track device whereabouts


Re: The under-emphasised point is that

"Do you really think that Her Britannic Majesties Secret Service thugs and slippers don't keep a very close eye on what her government and all those other pesky parliamentarians are up to?"

Absolutely. Still, given the number of times various home-grown bombers and terrorists turned out to have been "known to the security services beforehand", I'm uncertain as how close an eye a very close eye really constitutes...

Delphi RAD tool (remember that?) gets support for Linux desktop apps – again


Re: A good indication of the market ...

"Such purchase decisions would not be made without Engineering/Lead Developers/Technical Architects etc having the reviewed requirements and available alternatives."

So... you seriously believe companies don't make massively stupid purchase decisions with no input from the technical side of the business?

Last week I was at a company-wide meeting where it was casually mentioned that our customer services team would be moving to a new CRM system. Ink was on paper, but no member of the IT department from the top down had been told it was happening, literally the first we'd heard of it.

When you have the right mix of the wrong people, it happens all the time.

When it comes to DNS over HTTPS, it's privacy in excess, frets UK child exploitation watchdog


Re: But it might have been ...

"Seems to me it could be a quote from any demagogue from Cleon to Donald Trump to the antichrist him/herself."

I'm trying and failing to imagine the high priest of the 1%, Donald Trump, saying "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."

Microsoft doles out PowerShell 7 preview. It works. People like it. We can't find a reason to be sarcastic about it


As an occasional Perlmonger (and huge perl fan) and regular PoSH scripter, I have to say this is disappointing. Once upon a time it was Microsoft that spread blatant FUD about Open Source software. Now it's a certain variety of Linux fanboy who spreads FUD about Open Source software.

"I think the reason they only allow tricks to make your email work on powershell commandlets is so you order a hosted solution such as outlook365."

There is no Microsoft product called outlook365. If you meant Office 365, the things you can only do in Exchange on-premises with Powershell are also the things you can generally only do with Powershell in Office 365.

"It's really complicated - perl or bash is like basic compared to powershell"

I think real afficionados of perl and bash would be offended at a comparison to basic. But sure, let's play the complexity game:

A simple Perl echo without resorting to wrapping externally utilities or modules:


open (FILE, '<', "complicated.txt");

print <FILE>;


[root@shell ~]# ./echostuff.pl

Why do you have to go and make things so complicated?

I see the way you're acting like you're somebody else gets me frustrated

[root@shell ~]#

Powershell version:

PS D:\OneDrive\Documents> gc .\abc.txt

I'm gonna teach you

How to sing it out

Sing it out, sing it out

Sing it, sing it

A B C it's easy

It's like counting up to 3

PS D:\OneDrive\Documents>

"slow and full of undocumented 'features"

You... do know it's Open Source right? Here's the landing page for Powershell 7's github repository, and also the very, very extensive documentation, above and beyond that included with cmdlets and updated in-environment using the update-help cmdlet



"you only learn about after paying a consultancy that regularly swipes the credit card with MS."

So... you or your employer paid someone for expertise in a programming language you had no resource in? How is this different from every single other programming language, or IT discipline?

Guilty of hacking in the UK? Worry not: Stats show prison is unlikely


Re: The process is the punishment

If it were literally true that a criminal conviction "disqualifies you from ever working for a big company again", UK Plc would be out of business. About a third of all UK males have a criminal conviction of some form or other.

Two weeks after Microsoft warned of Windows RDP worms, a million internet-facing boxes still vulnerable


Re: Hold on a minute

How do you know it hasn't been?

Headsup for those managing Windows 10 boxen: Microsoft has tweaked patching rules


"You mean a professor from the country that gave Thalidomide to the world? Or the one that cheated on diesel engines emissions? Would you trust those companies too?"

That would be the Thalidomide currently being used as the main line treatment being given to my mother for Multiple Myeloma. A tragically incorrect use case does not somehow automatically negate the value of a discovery.

Huawei, Huawei. Huawei, Huawei. Feeling hot, hot, hot: US threatens to cut UK from intel sharing over Chinese tech giant


Re: Not Ireland

"Plenty of other options within NATO though, and most are closer to the people the US would like to listen in on."

The only problem is, the other NATO states were the ones GCHQ was spying on for the Yanks. Funnily enough they weren't terribly amused by that.

You were told to clean up our systems, not delete 8,000 crucial files


Yeah, I'd forgotten about that as well. Amusingly, the files are copied via modem in the space of seconds and our hero's techie sidekick declares that decrypting the bad guy's files will take "a few minutes". Some things never change, and Hollywood's depiction of magical technology is one of them.

My 2019 resolution? Not to buy any of THIS rubbish


Re: "What are you, a fucking 8-year-old? It's a TV series for children."

Talk about taking the bait...

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans


Well, this seems like an effective and reasonable solution.

I for one am confident the torrent sites, such as Pirate Bay and its endless whack-a-mole collection of proxies will immediately comply with this legislation, like the good law-abiding little drones they are. Oh. Wait...

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

Black Helicopters

Well, got the Brexit clusterfuck off the front page for a day or two...

But I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

Russian 'troll factory' firebombed – but still fit to fiddle with our minds


Re: You cannot troll a troll.

"No, but you can give him a cookie."

But if you give a troll a cookie, he'll want a glass of milk.

Could you hack your bosses without hesitation, repetition or deviation? AI says: No


"Could you hack your bosses without hesitation, repetition or deviation? AI says: No"

Mr Cotton's Parrot... same question.

Galileo, here we go again. My my, the Brits are gonna miss EU


Re: NATO...

"Galileo works "in combination" with GPS and is rather easy to block again not something you want in modern warfare"

No, you wouldn't want it modern warfare, because it isn't for modern or any other kind of warfare. Galileo is *interoperable* with GPS, GLONASS, etc. It does not rely on GPS, and is not, nor was it ever a military system.

BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great


Re: least beleivable storyline ever

We routinely encounter people who accidentally add calendar entries to the calendar profile for a personal account on an iPhone and then insist the system is broken when it fails to materialise on their desktop Outlook. It's entirely believable.

Hmmm, we can already seize your stuff, so why can't we shoot down your drone, officials mull


Re: Is private property worth more than a human life?

Someone's clicked the wrong bookmark again. Breitbart starts with a B.

Calm your conspiracy theories, latest glimpse reveals Planet Nine may just be a pipe dream


"Scientists believe Planet Nine may have began as the core of a gas giant, "

The PGN is developing a facial tic...


Re: Eat your heart out, Copernicus - the Flat-Earthers were right!

"I know this cos my mate told me last night."

Has your mate acquired a nasal, buzzing quality to his voice and refuses to be viewed in direct light? Lots of those summer colds going round...

In a touching Monty Python tribute today, Microsoft's Office 365 makes everything spam


Nice one!

"I set myself up a gmail account specifically for work, all my internal company mail goes to O365, all external to gmail."

I'm sure it shouldn't need saying, but this is typically a gigantic no-no. If the company has a proper security policy and AUP you are violating them both. If they don't, they should and you would be violating them both.

Depending on your correspondence/job you might also be violating privacy/data protection laws in a manner that leaves you and your employer liable.

PC recycler gets 15 months in the clink for whipping up 28,000 bootleg Windows 7, XP recovery discs


Re: Microsoft isn't Adobe

"I surprised Microsoft would be quite so denigrating of their own software!"

They are when it's a version of Windows they no longer want consumers to use.

World celebrates, cyber-snoops cry as TLS 1.3 internet crypto approved


Re: Round we go again

"They're doing it wrong. "

I expect if you write them a letter telling them all about how much better you could do it, they'd hang on your every word.

Tim Berners-Lee says regulation of the web may be needed


Re: Don't let the Gummint get involved

""Gibiru is the preferred Search Engine for Patriots." and does absolutely nothing on my browser except a lot of self-praise."

It does not use a certificate - default connection is to http, so your searches are in the clear for anyone who happens to be looking.

It also appears to use the Google API for search, which is hardly reassuring in terms of privacy, and the ability of Google to literally just switch it off if they choose. Plus the site blurb makes me think it was bashed together by a collection of raging fruitloops, so there's that.

India denies breach of its billion-strong 'Aadhaar' ID system


Re: Just think. The UK could have had the "benefits" of such a system years ago.

"How foolish they were to turn down the advantages of the cradle-to-grave surveillance system that was the National Identity Card Scheme and it's infamous "National Identity Register""

Turned it down, yes. Or at least temporarily dodged the bullet until the idea is resurrected and whispered in the instinctively authoritarian ear of whichever IT illiterate twit is Home Secretary at the time.

Brit film board proposed as overlord of online pr0nz age checks


"Who in their right mind would opt-in to porn when sharing the connection via public wifi?"

You'd be surprised. "Right mind" implies "thinking", after all.

So you're 'agile', huh? I do not think it means what you think it means


Re: Too soon?

"Certainly had all the characteristics of most "agile" delivery I've seen - blew up too soon, and incompletely."

Very agile - he was "testing from day one."

Tired of despairing of Trump and Brexit? Why not despair about YouTube stars instead?


Re: Despair over Brexit and Trump?

"Despair over Brexit and Trump?

Might be the prevailing sentiment of El Reg staff or Situation Publishing, but trust me, many of us think they are the two best things to have happened in 2016."

The tedious orange tool may yet prove to be the last thing to happen in or to 2018, given his manifest mental illness and his apparent belief that first use might be fun.

Microsoft exec says ARM-powered Windows laptops have multi-day battery life


Re: Cool.

"That means a non-bloatware OS should be able to run for a couple weeks. Count me in!"

Chances of their ARM kit not being locked down in the manner of the Surface RT? Zero.

'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto


Re: Sounds like he wants to be able to force people to give up passwords & keys

"Sounds like he wants to be able to force people to give up passwords & keys

Not attempt the impossible trick of making secure encryption with a government backdoor."

For the last 18-odd years the government here in Blighty has had the legal means to force the surrender of encryption keys on pain of imprisonment (RIPA 2000). I'm pleased to report this has prevented all terrorism and we live a life of unfettered bliss in these Sceptred Isles, secure under the watchful gaze of Big Brother.

Twitter's 280-char blog mode can be enabled client-side. Just sayin'


Re: Double trouble

"I don't bother listing Trump's successes and successes-in-progress because every item I list as good will be denounced as bad by those who hate him. <SNIP>"

From here on out I'm going to assume Poe's Law is in effect, and you're just laying it on really thick.

Bing fling sting: Apple dumps Microsoft search engine for Google


Re: To be fair...

"I thought we weren't supposed to talk about them."

So they're like the entities of the Cthulhu Mythos, those that shall not be named? I started forewarned and repentant. Hopefully I haven't completed the summoning of that which lurks on the threshold (of mainstream computing).


Re: To be fair...

Not strictly true. As I recall Microsoft über-fanboy "Richto/TheVogon" was prone to letting those very words escape his lips. Think of him as the anti-Eadon, and for the sake of the universe, keep them separate.


Re: To be fair, it was Google search all along ...

"Bing was just a proxy with a very large cache."

But if that's true, how come I can never find any useful search results with Bing?

Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone


Re: Note exactly dangerous, but...

"Boss: "If you're well enough to pick up a £50 note, you're well enough to work.""

I hear there are jobs involving harassing disabled people going at ATOS for guys with his "skill set".

Can GCHQ order techies to work as govt snoops? Experts fear: 'Yes'


Re: Who cares?

"I mean seriously? Other than anti-establishment SJWs and solicitors looking for their next meal ticket why would anyone give a toss about this? The chances of Mr Average IT person who hasn't signed the official secrets act ever being called up by GCHQ is so vanishingly small that its virtually non existent."

There is always a delightfully uninformed uniformity to your alt-right buzzword-packed trollograms. I'm an average IT guy at a multinational and I can certainly think of a scenario where this would be a possibility.

The clue being "multinational", the significance being the nations in question.

Forget Iran and North Korea. Now there's another uranium source


No but you are reading a tabloid - the red top is the clue. If you don't like it there are other, much stuffier IT news sites to choose from.

It’s 2017 and Hayes AT modem commands can hack luxury cars


Re: "In IT terms a 2009 product is close to end-of-life" - Does not compute!

"Love to know the rationale for this statement; having worked on IT 'products' with an intended operational life measured in decades..."

Try sticking Windows 7 on this year's Ultrabooks and let us know how you get on. You've worked on products with a intended operational life measured in decades - but most businesses now work with hardware with an intended operational life measured in single-digit numbers of years.. The key word in each case is "intended."


Re: The one domain where IoT shit cannot linger long

"Security should be the number one concern of any IT appliance, unfortunately it generally feels to be last minute, rushed and under-appreciated."

Along with the sheer lack of interest in actually providing security fixes thanks to perception of these devices as disposable commodity items.


Re: The one domain where IoT shit cannot linger long

"Babyminders, stuffed toys, surveillance cameras, nobody's life is in danger when these things get taken over."

You appear to be limiting your assessment of the possibilities.

Police officer. "We're very sorry for your loss sir. We think they used the cameras to establish that your wife was home alone..."

Look out Silicon Valley, here comes Brit bruiser Amber Rudd to lay down the (cyber) law


Re: Boris Johnson is American already

"Ooh! Hasn't he given up his USA citizenship or does he pay the annual Federal taxes on what he earns here and else where?

The people need to know!"

Yes on both counts, the first earlier this year, and the latter prior to that. He didn't enjoy contributing to the US Treasury coffers, that much is clear.

AI quickly cooks malware that AV software can't spot


Re: Just link the virus checker to an AI

"Game on!"

An arms race that starts with malware AI versus detection AI and ends with... Skynet.

US Homeland Sec boss has snazzy new laptop bomb scanning tech – but admits he doesn't know what it's called


Re: I could have done without the "nerd" comment

"And I'm not a fashion whore."

You heard it here first folks. Opposition to a narcissistic crook, sexual predator, bigot, con-artist, pathological liar, possible traitor and science denier being in the White House is fashionable. Who knew? For your information I'm from Scotland and we hated him with passion and reason long before his name ever stained your ballot papers.

I'm also amused that you thought "utterly paralysed, perpetually scandal-hit global laughing stock government" would be preferable to "big government", but I guess it takes all sorts.