* Posts by stungebag

119 posts • joined 28 Jan 2015


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.

Vegas, baby! A Register reader gambles his software will beat the manual system


Sabotaged by IT

It isn't always the users. I worked for one of the BUNCH back in the day and it was received wisdom that the IT departments of large organisations that were firmly in the grip of a certain large blue computer manufacturer were happy to indulge in a little empire preservation.

My first ever trip to the USA (from the UK) was to test some networking software. I met my American counterpart on the Sunday and we visited the customer on Monday. The customer was a very large car manufacturer with an IT configuration that was mostly blue, although we had a substantial toe-hold. The conversation went like this:

My colleague: "Did you make the alterations to the networking configuration we asked for"?

IT: "No. We were unsure of some of the settings you wanted".

Us: "OK, when can you make the changes"?

Them: "We update the network configuration once a month. This month's was yesterday".

We then had to fly 600 miles to an in-house machine and network we could scrounge out of hours time on.

I know of a similar example ih the UK. A household name financial organisation was a large customer of said major computer manufacturer. We'd successfully sold them a system to run a major, very public, set of financial products. All testing had completed successfully but go live day was a disaster. Turns out that they'd introduced changes to their core systems that we had to interface with. Those changes went live the day before our service did.

Remember Apple's disastrous butterfly keyboards? These lawsuits against the iGiant just formed a super class action


Re: Well played Katyanna

I've still got one of those horrible hemisperical one-button mouses somewhere. Absolutely horrible to use, but look! What a clean design. Then there's my iMac. If you need to spend ten minutes working out where they've hidden the bloody on/off switch you've got form trumping function.

PSA: If you're still giving users admin rights, maybe try not doing that. Would've helped dampen 100+ Microsoft vulns last year – report


If you'd have asked to make some guesses about software that still did things in old, wrong, ways I'd have guessed Sage!


You're right about legacy apploications but things need to be seriously old to cause that sort of problem. The real problem I've encountered these days on Windows systems is apps that insist on installing to places they shouldn't such as Appdata. They do this in an attempt to get round access controls on Program Files. But any sensible shop not allow code to run from Appdata.

Yes, it can be fixed using, e.g., Applocker, but it's a pain in the arse.


Re: Better idea.

I'm missing the point you're trying to make here, provided there is one apart from your constant moans about Windows.

The article is saying that user accounts should not have admin rights. I think we agree on that. You apply that rule within your family. I do within mine, and I'm sure many El Reg readers do the same.

My pre-retirement second career was as a (mostly Windows, but some Mac and Linux) network manager. Of course the users did not get admin rights. The only real inconvenience to them was that they couldn't have Spotify. If they really did need something I'd set up the deployment and they'd get the thing they asked for pushed to their machine the next time they connected. Same with patches.

This is all common sense and standard practice in any sensible organisation. This article is not talking about sensible organisations.

What point does the Pavlovian anti-Windows comments serve? Especially as your last sentence suggests you're not exactly a Windows expert.

Just when you thought it was safe to enjoy a beer: Beware the downloaded patch applied in haste


Re: why not just pull the Ethernet cable?

When several servers share a common chassis the mapping from NIC to port is in software so you can't identify the cable to pull without checking the somewhat complex configuration or relying on your non-existent or out of date documentation.

Much easier to just hit the tit. That's if you know which physical server is the one to kill, and that's a whole new series of Who, Me?

'Incorrect software parameter' sends Formula E's Edoardo Mortara to hospital: Brakes' fail-safe system failed


I look foreward to the Who, Me?

Cloud Direct stung for £80k in constructive dismissal lawsuit after director's 'insincere' evidence to tribunal


Re: Sham bam, thank you ma'am

The problem with using external organisations is that those that do well commercially will be those who develop a reputation for dismissing grievances. Then the employee is doomed as the organisation's finding will be seen as prima facie eveuidence that they were in the wrong.

Fujitsu scrapping fuel card benefit to cut costs, threatens dissenters with fire and rehire


Don't get this. I left a large IT compnay 15 years ago, and even then expenses was a relatively simple online form. No secretary and no line manager's approval. And in any case these Fujitsu employees will be expensing things tother than fuel.

We imagine this maths professor's lecture was fascinating – sadly he was muted for two hours


Re: Hold up a sign.

Unlikely to work. He's probably screen sharing and has at best timy thumbnails of a small proportion of his auidence.

Windows' cloudy future: That Chrome OS advantage is Google's to lose


Re: and...

This view of the world is well out of date, but that was obvious as soon as you mentioned IE. As I'm sure you know Microsoft's browser was replaced yonks ago and is now Chromium-based. What you may not know is that Chrome is the universal browser for home users (except on Mac?). As volunteer I meet many older people who use computers and don't think I've met one who uses Edge. They don't know what it is. The unsophisticated computer user these days doesn't know a browser from a search engine from a computer, but they do know that they use Google for almost everything, and they start by clicking that nice round red, green, yellow and blue icon.

A Windows stranglehold, you say? Have MacBooks ever been so popular? And a very large chunk of those home users that would once have bought Windows now get by with a tablet. Schools, another subject you mention but that I know something about, may well use Office - unless they use G Suite, which very many do.

ThinkPad T14s AMD Gen 1: Workhorse that does the business – and dares you to push that red button


Re: officially named a "pointing stick" by Lenovo

It's a nipple and always has been, hasn't it?

Synology to enforce use of validated disks in enterprise NAS boxes. And guess what? Only its own disks exceed 4TB


Re: Key word is enterprise

The article refers to a new range of enterprise devices.

I have a DS413 and just took a look at the compatibility list. It's very long but the compatible drives are seperated by use case: enterprise, surveillance, desktop and so on. Even for this device Synology warn that manufacturers may update firmware without notice and thus disks may no longer be compatible.

I can think of several reasons why a storage device manufacturer may wish to tighly control the disks used. Maximising sales of their own disks is just one of them.

From memory HPE disk arrays simply won't allow you to add a drive that isn't on the list and even then you have to install the specific firmware. 15000 RPM dual-activator SAS drives are expensive and are behind the leading edge in term of capacity but I accepted that as the price of performance and reliability. Maybe Synology customers will feel the same.

For SOHO use a more relaxed approach may be appropriate. I seem to remember reading a hugely complicated set of procedures for replacing the HDD on my old 2009 iMac. I ignored them and just wacked in any old 2TB drive. Worked a treat, as does its current 512GB SSD.

Transcribe-my-thoughts app would prevent everyone knowing what I actually said during meetings


Bloody meetings

I used to be on the parish council and on the rare occasions the clerk was away I never got asked to write minutes as everyone knew that even I couldn't read my handwriting.

But if I had written the minutes they would have been very short.

"We spent 2 hours talking about dogshit again. Next meeting in one month."

20 years of Drupal: Founder Dries Buytaert on API first, the end of breaking compatibility, and JavaScript bloat


Re: Sounds Accurate To Me

"Migrate Module is your friend": if only.

I've tried to migrate a very simple site many times from D7 to D8 using the migrate module. By very simple I mean just that: it uses the default themes and about four simple content types. Very few contributed modules. After each migration attempt it's a mess. The theme no longer works - despite being the same theme it looks entirely different and changing the theme options doesn't fix it, and there are other nasties such as bits of comment and author information at the bottom of the screen that don't apear on the Drupal 7 site.

I really want to stay on Drupal but it seems inevitable that Wordpress (.org) must be the way forward for me. I welcome the new Drupal approach but it's too late.

Unauthorised RAC staffer harvested customer details then sold them to accident claims management company


Re: Competition for the RAC?

What? We're following EU rules on GDPR?

It's a disgrace, take back control and so on.

Four women seek release from forced arbitration to sue Infosys for widespread gender discrimination


You apply for a job and, when you're offered it, you're so pleased you sign the contract of employment. They're checked as carefully as software end user agreements. You don't even realised you've signed away your right to access the legal system until it bites you.

Loser Trump is no longer useful to Twitter, entire account deleted over fears he'll whip up more mayhem


Re: An elephant in the room

Oh, you are a hoot.

I read Americian newspapers every day: I wonder how many Americans read the British press?

Yes, the HNS is under severe and unprecedented stress at the moment due to a particularly nasty virus. Your health care system is struggling in many parts of the country, too. Can you imagine how bad it would be if you also treated the poor?

The odd thing is that many who support Trump don't believe in this virus for the simple reason that they're thick as shit.

Pizza and beer night out the window, hours trying to sort issue, then a fresh pair of eyes says 'See, the problem is...'


Re: Nope, never, not me...

I tried to be careful to make sure updated configurations were deployed as soon as possible. And I only slightly deviated from the truth when I managed to reboot the core switch during the day, taking down an entire school with its 1400 staff and students. Anyway, it was all back in ten minutes or so, and the headteacher didn't lose that much work.

All I want for Christmas is cash: Welsh ATMs are unbeatable. Or unbootable. Something like that


Amex ATM error

There was a branch of Amex in Cannon Street with a handy ATM many years ago. One morning I walked up, shoved in my card, and waited. And waited. Then waited some more.

MY card was then ejected and an onscreen message appeared: "Delay in completing transaction. Answer the phone if it rings".

'Best tech employer of the year' threatened trainee with £15k penalty fee for quitting to look after his sick mum


Re: awards

I, too, worked for a compamy that applied for IIP. The application was trumpeted widely. That was the last we ever heard of it. I imagine it turned out that you actually had to invest in people.

Exonerated: First subpostmasters cleared of criminal convictions in Post Office Horizon scandal


Re: brownouts

I thought it was only a brown-out if you were standing in your plant room when it happened and just realised you'd never got round to re-enabling your UPS after its last maintenance.


Re: I agree

I don't get why you're singling out Fujitsi rather than the Post Office for the blame. Yes, the faulty system was built by Fujitsu, and I can only imagine the conversations betweeen the PO and Fujitsu when the customer was claiming the system had accounting errors and Fujitsu were denying it, possibly for the reason that they genuinely didn't believe that problems that important that had made it into production and they couldn't reproduce them.

It was the PO that was responsible for the system. They ordered it, they specified it and they accepted it. And they discovered that in some circumstances it didn't work properly. They knew of the software problems yet still pursued these people all the way to the courts and prison in an attempt to deflect the blame.

Building bespoke software with bugs isn't a crime. If it were then every software developer, ever, would be guilty of it. Was the testing done by Fujitsu and the PO adequate? In hindsight, it wasn't, as it missed something very important. But that alone isn't necessarily culpable. What's unforgivable is the Post Office covering up shortcomings it was responsbile for and being prepared to see innocent people have their lives ruined to save its own reputation.

If I pedal faster and feed it spinach, my robot barman might pull more pints


No need for an exoskeleton

I want a proper La-Z-Boy chair. Those huge ones with a built-in fridge, for beer. My version would have a decent sound system, a large unfoldable screen like a better version of an airliner bulkhead seat tray table, and it would be fully connected.

It would have motors, so it could take me to wherever I want to go - probably the pub. And Google/Alexa would complete the deal. OK, Google, take me you know where.

I'd never leave the chair, and would have no need, ever, for walking frames or for sticks, other than to clout those who try to ponce a beer off of me.

Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?


Re: Wang Care

There are two things wrong with this. The first is that you seem to think there's Government censorship of entertainment media in the UK. There isn't. There are regulators established by parliament but they're independent and are concerned with taste and decency as well as, for the film industry, deciding the rating.

Your second, bigger, mistake is in your definition of the word censorship. You in the US have it, whether it's imposed by advertisers, public opinion or politicians, and you have more of it than we do. Yes, you can produce just about what you like, but try getting it in front of a sizable audience.

You say you've had shows like Naked Attraction in the US. I bet they were niche and subscription only. This show is put out in prime time by a free to air public service broadcaster. It is completely mainstream. It's a dating show where almost the very first part of six people we get to see is their genitals. That's both men and women, straight and gay (to a small extent). And not just shot from a distance.

And it's funded by advertisers. The 'advertising partner' is Dominos, others buying time for an online episode I've just looked at are Western Union, Asda (a Walmart subsidiary) and Which!, our equivalent of Consumer Reports.

Try putting that out on NBC and attracting that type of advertising.

This is the UK. Our attitudes are staid compared with some other European countries and places such as Australia, but so far from yours. You remind me of the UK in the 1950s.

And that's just media censorship. There are many places in your country where standing up and saying you were atheist would be career, social and especially political suicide, so people keep quiet. Similarly on issues such as abortion and gun control. They are, in a very real way, censored, as saying the wrong thing will lead to repercussions.

No, you not in any meaningful way free of censorship.



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