* Posts by stungebag

163 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Jan 2015


Menacing marketeers fined by ICO for 1.9M cold calls


Re: Spam calls

One of the callers in the article called my TPS-listed landline just this morning to discuss the warranties on my appliances. They don't know what appliances I own and I very much doubt that they'd be of any use if an appliance broke down and I tried to book a service call with them. So they may appear to be offering a real service I'm not sure that they are.

Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically


Re: Silly Mistakes

I never got a sensible reading when I (accidentally) tried to measure the resistance between live and neutral of my mains supply. The end result was similar to that of a University colleague who had the bright idea of getting a ~500v supply by putting two adjacent 240v sockets in series.

BOFH: Zen and the art of battery replacement


"You shouldn't be storing those in the building," our claims guy points out.



Amazon confirms it locked Microsoft engineer out of his Echo gear over false claim


Re: Hypocritical

I'm astonished at the constant claims on here that Windows (only children say Micro$oft, Window$ and so on) keeps feeding ads. I've never seen one - where do they appear?

If I looked at the Bing homepage I'm sure I'd see plenty of ads, and most sites I visit show ads that ultimately lead back to Google, Facebook and I dare say Microsoft, but where does Windows ever display an ad outside of a browser?

IT phone home: How to run up a $20K bill in two days and get away with it by blaming Cisco


Not just in the office

I had ISDN at home and a new laptop configured by my employer. I worked from home a couple of days a week, and often left the device switched on at evenings/weekends. After about a month the postman knocked and handed me an A4-sized parcel about two inches thick. It was my itemised phone bill. The laptop had been sent out with IPX/SPX installed which was firing up a data circuit and trying to make a connection every minute. Or perhaps it was every second. In any case it led to many thousands of very short calls, each of them billed at a far higher rate than their length would suggest due to a minimum connection charge.

I can't remember how large that bill was but it was sufficient to get the company to reconfigure networking on that PC very quickly indeed.

A tip for content filter evaluators: erase the list of sites you tested, don't share them on 100 PCs



I was quite an early broadband adopter, proudly sitting at home marvelling at my 512kb ADSL connection via USB dongle. Streets ahead of my previous 128kb ISDN. But one evening it started getting flakey. No problem, I'll sort it tomorrow.

I pitch up at work the next day and durng a quiet time decide to look at my ISP's website. They were called Bulldog Broadband. I typed an address, possible www. bulldog.co.uk, into my browser. Imagine my surprise when my screen was filled with thumbnails of gyrating naked women! It seems that Bulldog had not checked, or secured, the url. Or perhaps the company was more diversified than I'd realised.

No harm done but by the time I was made redundant several years later Bulldog Broadband had gone. My ex-company put me on a course of handling redundancy and two of my classmates were ex-Bulldog customer service staff. I wished I'd had the ability to talk to them before choosing my ISP. It was, apparently, a porrly managed shitshow.

Learn the art of malicious compliance: doing exactly what you were asked, even when it's wrong


Re: Rate your skill level

Oh dear, the memories. I know exactly what you mean. We had to take an annual skills inventory. This was reviewed by my line manager and normally came back with an instruction to raise my reported skill level for most of the categories. It was exactly what you're referring to. I knew quite a lot but was aware that there were others who knew much more than I did.

BOFH and the case of the Zoom call that never was


Great start to a Friday! We've all met them. Both of them.

It's been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system


"The trick is to phase it in slowly, one direction at a time."

They've already started at Liverpool St. Underground station. One of the corridors has a Keep Right sign at one end and Keep Left at the other.

Ex-Twitter Brits launch legal challenge against dismissal


Re: Union

The reason that drivers' wages are quite high is all down to the traiin operating companies. They ask drivers to work on rest days and Sundays (when some of the companies have ZERO rostered drivers) because it's cheaper than training new drivers and increasing the headcount. A further reason is the habit of poaching staff from other operators, which again tends to increased wages.

Royal Mail, cops probe 'cyber incident' that's knackered international mail


Re: Hmm, 'Incident'?

Horizon was Post Office which has long divorced from Royal Mail. Quite possible that RM use Fujitsu, thought.

RIP Fred 'Mythical Man-Month' Brooks: IBM guru of software project management


Re: 6 to 8

The Burroughs Large Systems, dating back to about 1970 but still in use today as the Unisys Clearpath range, were interesting in this respect. Originally character data was 6-bit. 7-bit ASCII support was added and 8-bit EBCDIC which became the normal way of handling character data. Eventually 6-bit was retired in the hardware. The word on these machines was 48 bits so the character size indicated the packing: a word could hold 8 6-bit characters, 6 ASCII or EBCDIC characters (ASCII being padded) or 12 Hexadecimal characters. A word could also contain a real, integer, boolean, complex (over two words) and so on.

Things used in string manipulation, such as Algol SCAN and REPLACE, used character pointers with a length expressed in the appropriate unit for the character size of that string. E.g. you could declare EBCDIC POINTER P then perform operations on it that knew that it was 8-bit units encoded in EBCDIC. Other data structures such as arrays could be SIMILARLY typed.




An efficient TRANSLATE was supplied.


Fascinating machines.

Guess the most common password. Hint: We just told you


Re: changeme

When I worked in schools' IT about ten years ago most people had systems provided by RM. Most still had the default admin pasword of changeme.

Time Lords decree an end to leap seconds before risky attempt to reverse time


Re: Cop Out

There is, but the word is too long to write in the margin.

OpenPrinting keeps old printers working – even on Windows


Better at supporting old stuff?

My old Canon printer lacks drivers for every Linux distro I've tried. It won't work on my old iMac, either. There are no Windows 11 drivers. But the Windows 8 driver installs and runs just fine under Windows 11. Never solved it for Linux.

Royal Mail customer data leak shutters online Click and Drop


Re: Facts?

You don't need a printer to use the service. There's the option to have Royal Mail print the labels for you upon collection or drop-off.

Cops swoop after crooks use wireless keyfob hack to steal cars


Re: Progress of car security

I had a company Sierra a while back. It needed a thin physical key with a round cross-section to unlock the central locking. Some oiks tried to steal it one day but the police were on hand and stopped them, leaving me with a dangling ignition switch and nice full-beam-only headlights for my commute home on the M25, the scrotes having broken the stalk.

The policeman told me that to unlock the doors all you need is half a tennis ball. You place it over the keyhole and strike it sharply. The air pressure then unlocks the car.

Brexit dividend? 'Newly independent' UK will be world's 'data hub', claims digital minister



I don't think cookies are the consents being referred to here.

UK politico proposes site for prototype nuclear fusion plant


Re: 17 yrs FFS

Maybe Blair and Brown did think about it but assumed that when the situation changed the Government of the day would be competent enough to change the rules?


Re: Dame Sue Ion, former chair of the UK Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board

She must be neutral as she's neither Ann Ion or Cat Ion.

Don't mind Facebook, just putting its own browser in its Android app


Re: Our Ethical default? !Ethical

It's also the place where most villages, clubs etc. communicate. The only thing comparable is nextdoor.com which many trust less than FB.

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.


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.