* Posts by stungebag

144 posts • joined 28 Jan 2015


Update your Tesla now before the windows put your fingers in a pinch


Re: Beauty or beast

With a software update a window safety system can be broken. As can the brakes on a Model 3.

The complexity of all this software makes a constant stream of problems inevitable, not all of them trivial.

Yes, a big IT angle, but not as pretty as you paint it.

Document Foundation starts charging €8.99 for 'free' LibreOffice


Re: I'd pay

You do realise that Office has never lost the ability to keep your stuff local?

BOFH and the case of the disappearing teaspoons


I got one, too. I hope BOFH isn't next.

Deluge of of entries to Spamhaus blocklists includes 'various household names'


I got on the list because I was using Demon Internet. An early and clued-up ISP. The idea that it's your fault for using a dodgy ISP is plain stupid.


Re: No case to answer

That's good. So please explain how a mail sender opts out of Spamhaus' service. For the absence of doubt I'm not talking about deliberate spammers, just somebody who, for instance, finds themselves sending from a listed IP block because somebody using their ISP so smarthost has managed to screw up (or got compromised).

UK launches 'consultation' with EU over exclusion from science programs


Re: I assume a continuation of their efforts to anex NI

That's the first dab on my cliche bingo card!

Hi, I'll be your ransomware negotiator today – but don't tell the crooks that


Re: That $2000 job

Appointed by the insurers?

UK internet pioneer Cliff Stanford has died


Re: Phone bills

You mostly got used to the phone bills, especially if your POP was local rate. I was able to access Chelmsford, about 30 miles away, as local. But Chelmsford went down for a few weeks so I had to use a London POP, also about 30 miles away but A rate. My monthly bills shot up well into three figures.

Another notable feature of Demon was its quirky customer support. Knowledgable, yes, but sometimes very rude. The name Richard springs to mind.

Microsoft to block downloaded VBA macros in Office – you may be able to run 'em anyway


Re: Macros are the only real differentiator left between MSOffice and LibreOffice, bar one.

Cash cow? Does anybody, apart from criminals and a few heavy-duty Excel warriors, use macros?

Would anyone even notice if they were quietly removed from Word?

Court papers indicate text messages from HMRC's 60886 number could snoop on Brit taxpayers' locations


This is how SMS works

Most bulk SMS senders wouldn't use SS#7 as that's the internal phone network protocol suite (or was, last time I looked some years ago). But this company did. That suggests that either they're being treated as a telco by their peers, or perhaps they aren't doing anything, a real telephone company is doing the work for them.

In the GSM network any call or text causes a location lookup from the HLR. This is perfectly normal and not in any way sinister.

How else can the call/text be routed to wherever the phone happens to be today?

IBM bosses wrongly sacked channel salesman after Tech Data joint venture failed, tribunal rules


Re: This was in the UK. In the US …

Eh? Amost all US states can bin you for any or no reason, within (sometimes) very loose limits.


You've stolen the antiglare shield on that monitor you've fixed – they say the screen is completely unreadable now


Re: HAZMAT suit please, nurse, gloves please!

In the days when London Undergroud trains had two smoking cars per train you could see the difference in the colours of the ceilings of passing trains.

I used to travel in smoking cars if I was carrying a disk pack, as I thought the smoke less likely to corrupt data than the magnetic fields above traction motors. The smoking cars were always unpowered trailers.

Wifinity hands customers bills for Wi-Fi services they didn't want but used by accident after software 'glitch' let 'fixed term' subs continue


I don't understand why the area being large should affect the wifi. Universities have campus-wide networks as do many towns and cities. Not providing comprehensive, free, wifi is just the usual mean attitude we've come to expect from the state.

I bet the officers' mess has decent wifi.

Wi-Fi not working? It's time to consult the lovely people on those fine Linux forums


Yes. tell me about it. I was network manager in a school that owned 600 HP laptops and the most common problem brought to us could be easilly diagnosed by observing whether the little blue light by the little sliding switch was illuminated or not.

Windows Terminal to be the default for command line applications in Windows 11


It's odd how the server editions of Windows manage so well without a UI, isnt it?

Crypto for cryptographers! Infosec types revolt against use of ancient abbreviation by Bitcoin and NFT devotees


Re: how about "Cryptography means Cryptography"?

By his own logic he isn't NickHolland but, perhaps, Mr. Nicholas Holland.

But I think we're in danger of turning into a community of cryptofascists.

Amazon tells folks it will stop accepting UK Visa credit cards via weird empty email


Re: VISA will be just the first

Yes, you're correct. I've seen a suggestion that this is due to the UK no longer being subject to EU regulations. While I'd like to believe it I really don't know.

What I do know is that two of my cards, from seperate banks, have recently been replaced before their expiry date. Both were Visa and have been replaced by MasterCard.

Tech bro CEOs claim their crowns because they fix problems. Why shirk the biggest one?


Er, no. Large cloud providers rely on statistics. They hope that your sudden need for 100 times your usual computing resource does not happen at the same time that everybody else needs 100 times their usual resource.


Re: But it's up to us

Zoom runs fine in the browser, so I don't believe it would struggle under Vista.

I would, though, it was horrible.

Microsoft engineer fixes enterprise-level Chromium bug students could exploit to cheat in online tests


No, they didn't put the answers in the page source code. They used Google Forms. The people setting the exam almost certainly had not the slightest idea, or interest, of how Forms works. It seemed to offer what they needed and even if they'd been told that the answers were hidden in the source they'd have been reassured by their admin telling them that they'd disabled the view source feature (but we now know that the disabling didn't work). They wouldn't have the slightest notion of what Javascript is so suggesting that they hand-craft some js is just silly.

And these are managed machines so almost certainly are in a school. Invigilators are walking around the room looking at screens. Possibly someone's monitoring thumbnails of the whole room using a tool such as Impero. Supervised students doing an exam under time pressure are not in a position to do much in the way of tech-based cheating, even with vulnerabilities such as this.

Yet again, Cream Finance skimmed by crooks: $130m in crypto assets stolen


Crypto Rules Everything Around Me

Why would anyone, even if terminally stupid by normal standards, trust an organisation with such a stupid name?

Teen bought Google ad for his scam website and made 48 Bitcoins duping UK online shoppers


Re: Locking up kids

If you're talking about Zahid Mubarek tt was certainly a while back, 21 years. He'd committed 11 offences over 10 months and hadn't cooperated with his parole conditions, according to WiKi. He was five hours from release.

Fatal Attraction: Lovely collection, really, but it does not belong anywhere near magnetic storage media


If I had to carry a Burroughs 225 disk pack on the tube I'd use a smoking car as they were always trailers, so lacked motors.

Texas law banning platforms from social media moderation challenged in lawsuit



"Once the monopolies in social media can decide who to allow the voice, it is totalitarianism..."

If you use the plural of monopoly you don't have one.

Yes, of course there's now malware for Windows Subsystem for Linux


Re: So, let's summarise this..

"And none of this stuff requires administrator access."

Of course it does, and has done for many years.

ProtonMail deletes 'we don't log your IP' boast from website after French climate activist reportedly arrested


Re: Just curious...

All police forces find it hard to distinguish between activists, whose policies and methods they may not as individuals support, and criminal behaviour.

Maybe this group had overstepped the mark, but look at the UK's undercover police scandals where police infiltrated activist groups who were not criminals to the point where they formed relationships with and even fathered children on their targets.

Report details how Airbus pilots saved the day when all three flight computers failed on landing


Re: Only on landing?

I'd certainly hate to travel when I know I'm relying on a system that fails as often as every 4.3 million hours. It should be rectified immediately - a quick and dirty fix is needed.

Why we abandoned open source: LiveCode CEO on retreat despite successful kickstarter


Re: English like code ?

But pay very special attention to the punctuation. A missing period can be a bugger to debug.

Fix five days of server failure with this one weird trick


Re: Power supply on the floor?

It was a server in that it supported client devices, but these machine were not very big. See https://www.blackmoreit.com/b38-mev-unisys-b38-mev-386287-cpu-module.html.

Disks and so on were latched to the CPU. These machines were configured in clusters with a server supporting several diskless clients, botting from the master.

Mountains on neutron stars are not even a millimetre tall due to extreme gravity


Re: "extreme gravitational fields"

If the object was of any size I'd think that the differential force betwen the bottom and top of the object would pull it apart during its short journey to the surface.

Northern Train's ticketing system out to lunch as ransomware attack shuts down servers


Re: Suprisingly cheap.

If you're referring to the Arriva franchise that had it taken away in 2018 then they DID commission it in 2016.


Re: Shockingly bad design

I love the way that El Reg commentards (not just Missing) can fill in the blanks and tell us exactly how a compromise occured, diagnose the root cause then advise on ways to stop it happening again in just a few seconds.

You realise you're wasted in your current jobs?


Re: A quick fix

You clearly missed those days when it took 20-30 minutes to get to the front of the ticket queue because you'd forgotten that it was Monday, so season ticket day, so you missed your train. And you'd get no sympathy from barrier staff if you tried to talk your way onto the platform without a ticket.

As to 'the process was straightforward', that's just bollocks. In every ticket queue there was someone who wanted to travel to Southampton via Maidstone and Reddich, returning two days later with an overnight stop in LlanfairPG, who wanted to take their dog and a box of racing pigeons with them. "Oh, that's expensive. What it I travelled on Thursday instead and returned via Luxulyan?"

These and the frequent far simpler enquiries ("what's the best train to get me to Reading by 11:30 tomorrow?") were all dealt with by good subject knowledge, if you had an expereinced booking clerk, and mounds of thick volumes (plus loose-leaf updates) containing times, routes, fares and restrictions.

Straitforward? Pah.

UK urged to choo-choo-choose hydrogen-powered trains in pursuit of carbon-neutral economic growth


Another problem with hydrogen is that, although it's energy density by mass compares well with diesel, even at 250psi it still occupies 14 times the space. You'd have to find somewhere to put bloody big tanks if you want long range.


Re: My thoughts

Apart from extending and infilling you can't have new installations with exposed third rails where anyone can walk/sleep/piss on them. Even if you could it would be hopelessly uneconomic to install third rail on the long rural Scottish routes because the low voltage needs substations every few miles.

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again


Field Engineers' Terminals

Some Burroughs mainframes had FE Terminals, used by the engineers during preventative maintainance time. They looked very much like electronic calculators and, coincidently, they were installed during the time that Burroughs had an incentive scheme that handsomely rewarded those who sold electronic calculators.

The engineers were instructed to make sure that they used their terminals on every visit, even though they weren't in any way connected to the computer.

Report commissioned by Google says Google isn't to blame for the death of print news


Echo chamber - bad

Don't know why you were downvoted because what you say is right, and the world would be a better place if more people made an effort to avoid their own echo chamber.

I read the print versions of The Guardian and The Sunday Times. Both infuriate me at times (more often in comment pieces than news) but much is informative or entertaining and I remind myself why I still buy both. It's important in a democracy to know what more than one side of an argument is saying, and that's been lost for many people (probably before Internet came into being).

In terms of quality content both of my papers are eclipsed by my online subscription to the the New York Times, which gives a detailed, well-informed view from outside the UK and which, if you catch a special offer, is only £2 a month.

Seagate finds sets of two heads are cheaper than one in its new and very fast MACH.2 dual-actuator hard disks


Is this new?

I don't get this. When I had an HP disk storage system to worry about all of the (rather expensive) drives claimed to have dual activators. What's different about these Seagates?

Congestion or a Christmas cock-up? A Register reader throws himself under the bus


Cheered me up

And this is how life is much of the time. An honest mistake by a competent person, fixed by a organisation with a sensible mindset that doesn't seek vengeance after every minor cockup.

And it still makes good reading.

Ganja believe it? Police make hash of suspected weed farm raid, pot Bitcoin mine instead


Re: LACK of smell???

Hmm. Two farms have been found in my village, both in empty houses. Nobody smelt anything, but after being busted they were uninhabitably until very extensively cleaned.

Home Office slams PNC tech team: 'Inadequate testing' of new code contributed to loss of 413,000 records


Re: Fujitsu BS2000/OSD SE700-30

ISTR the PNC went from Burroughs to Siemens because they wanted a platform that would run Adabas and Natural. I don't suppose there's a huge pool of young talent available in that field these days.


Re: Realities

It sounds to me like a quick and dirty script to do what seemed like a very basic task. No methodology other than an informal 'can you delete some of this old stuff, please?" In hindsight a terrible idea but it may not have been seen as anything important at the time.

Apple is happy to diss the desktop – it knows who's got the most to lose


Re: Just give me a Linux desktop

Windows has all of the active directory, group policy, deployment and other bits of infrastructure that enterproses need.

Parliament demands to know the score with Fujitsu as Post Office Horizon scandal gets inquiry with legal teeth


Re: Still

Even if they were stealing they'll be cleared if Horizon is the only evidence against them.

The future is now, old man: Let the young guns show how to properly cock things up


Re: Police Computer

I worked for the vendor who used to supply the PNC and one of our salesmen on the account was likeable enough but managed to find himself on the front page of the Sun for walking out of the PNC with a removable disk pack full of data under his arm. Without going through the formalities of seeking any permission to do so. During the Falklands war.

Proably the same bloke as the one who sold the unsuitable kit.

Microsoft bins Azure Blockchain without explanation, gives users four months to move


I wonder just how many Joe Users actually install Outlook these days? Most use webmail, and I suspect that even includes many with personal M365 accounts.

Compsci boffin publishes proof-of-concept code for 54-year-old zero-day in Universal Turing Machine


Re: Turing -> von Neumann -> Intel et al

This is exactly what Burrough/Unisys Large Systems and their successors had, and still have. Everything in memory is tagged, and if it's data you can't try to execute it - the hardware won't have it. Except these days it's firmware rather than hardware.


Re: nothing is totally secure

And THAT'S why you'll never be in a Who, Me? column.

UK government resists pressure to hold statutory inquiry into Post Office Horizon scandal


Re: Statutory inquiry

Once again you ruin a good rant by introducing facts. For shame.

When I'm in charge Im going to force everybody to read The Secret Barrister's books. Maybe then there'll be fewer postings that are so ignorant of how the legal system operates.

Apple's macOS Gatekeeper asleep on the job: Exploited flaw put users 'at grave risk' of malware infection


Re: Mavericks

My early-2009 iMac is running Catalina, fairly happily it seems. Can't say for certain as I've dumped it on the Mrs.



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