* Posts by Giles C

410 posts • joined 1 Jul 2015

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BOFH: You'll find there's a company asset tag right here, underneath the monstrously heavy arcade machine

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Sshh!

Where I used to work the comms room floor wasn’t strong enough to support the ibm system-I box (it was 4 or 5 full cabinets.

If you looked under the floor there were stacks of paper (500 sheet reams) propping it up and a few axle stands as well

One-size-fits-all chargers? What a great idea! Of course Apple would hate it

Giles C Silver badge

The new iPhone doesn’t come with a charger

From the Apple website for iPhone 13

In the Box

iPhone with iOS 15

USB-C to Lightning Cable

Documentation

No charger, so you have to supply one yourself.

Microsoft wants you to know it hasn't forgotten about Surface

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Unreliable

Well an ex colleague had a MacBook in a rucksack, rode his motorbike and it came out of the rucksack. It might have been ok until an 44tonne lorry drove over it.

Nothing was bringing that one back to life.

It was amazing there how many corporate iPhones used to fail just after the model was released and needed replacement the telecomms manager got wise to this so gave out the oldest phones he had and told them to raise a PO for a brand new one which needed to be approved by the finance director

Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Would've been good to give the settings link

Wow what language was that written in before it was badly translated to English.

I think Sir Humphrey would have been proud of that.

Seriously though I don’t use chrome, and after this announcement have even less desire to do so.

The browser should be a sandboxed app (as should most of applications) to stop this sort of leakage and spying on users.

I visit a website and then may leave it open whilst doing something else, hard luck site operators I’m doing what I want to do.

It's the end of the world as we know it, and we should feel fine

Giles C Silver badge

Re: "the standards are settled"

Well if you are talking chat/conferencing software the standard is

There is no standard - everyone does it there own way

hence why we have zoom/teams/webex /slack other apps installed

Forget that Loon's balloon burst, we just fired 700TB of laser broadband between two cities, says Alphabet

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Pigeon v Broadband in SA

I haven’t dealt with Telkom for about 8 years (it was a few jobs ago) but I remember the best bit was the call centre supporting international connections couldn’t phone outside of the country. Which was great when I am sitting in an office in the UK trying to fix a network problem in Cape Town.

We used to have to give them the mobile number of one of the office managers to relay information through…

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Laser comms

I used this a few years ago (probably about 10) the reason for this was connecting two buildings separated by a car park, there was a single duct between them but they wanted a redundant connection.

We had a couple of problems.one the laser was too powerful (we gave it sunglasses) the second was in freezing fog it refracted to the point of not working - not a problem in Africa,

But it did work and the signal did transmit for a for years until someone finally paid to run a cable for a kilometre round the site to give it redundancy.

De-identify, re-identify: Anonymised data's dirty little secret

Giles C Silver badge

My postcode only covers 10 houses, so if someone looked up bmw owners there is only one in this postcode area - mine. So that would identify me pretty quickly.

If you live in a block of flats then that does increase the pool size, but a row of semidetached houses there aren’t many to choose from. My parents live in a road with 8 houses using the same postcode so that reduces the pool further.

Unless companies need to post things to you then they don’t need anything more than the first 4/5 characters of the postcode.

Ie: PE4 will identify part of Peterborough (Werrington), the next digit will give you the sub area there are only 3 (5,6,7) and beyond that you shouldn’t be including the rest of the postcode especially not if the data is being anonymised.

Intuit branches out into email marketing by splashing $12bn on Mailchimp acquisition

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Suggestions?

I’m in the same position, run a car club with 90 members uninhabited the free tier, wonder how long that will remain in place for?

BOFH: Pass the sugar, Asmodeus, and let the meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards... commence

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Notable absence

Doesn’t work if it is going in a floor box, only solution is to go and find an extension cable and plug that into the floor box with the offensive item then connected, but yes why can’t these devices have cables that come out the back I.e. opposite the plug.

Giles C Silver badge

Re: And another classic!

On a side note, at a previous job someone put my machine into a policy that rebooted it at 22:30 every night, sitting on site reprogramming the core switch it got to the magic time and promptly told me it was rebooting in 1 minute. Cue frantic saving and note taking of where in the long list of tasks I had got to before I lost everything (and possibly crashed the site off the rest of the network)

So there is someone worse than the process designer….. the policy editing ad administrator

DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats sue NYC for trying to permanently cap delivery fees

Giles C Silver badge

Well, the ones who will suffer will be the delivery drivers themselves.

Having said that some people are really lazy, my neighbour ordered a takeaway delivered, the restaurant is 100 yds away.

They are all mobile (2 cars) but no we will pay to get food delivered!

You walk in with a plan. You leave with GPS-tracking Nordic hiking poles. The same old story, eh?

Giles C Silver badge

But he was happy to on never mind the buzzcocks (bbc music quiz) back in 2012.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00yy6wg

Glasgow firm fined £150k after half a million nuisance calls, spoofing phone number, using false trading names

Giles C Silver badge

To avoid these

Two options

If you have a landline get a phone with bt call guardian or similar service, only numbers in your phones address book will get straight through, everyone else has to identify themselves and most call scams won’t.

On a mobile block all unknown numbers calling - iPhone this is built in, I think you need an app for Android. My phone sends all unknown / withheld numbers straight to voicemail. If it important they will leave a message.

A practical demonstration of the difference between 'resilient' and 'redundant'

Giles C Silver badge

Proliant server

A tower compaq proliant server (this is pre 2000, front panel is off as it had to be moved to gain access for something.

Thumb caught the power switch - the thing is these switches only actuate when the pressure is released - I sat there for about 10 minutes waiting for everyone else to shut down before I could let go of the switch - the springs on those switches get very heavy after a minute or two....

The server was the main Novell box for the entire company.

A speech recognition app goes into a bar. Speak up if you’ve heard it already

Giles C Silver badge

Bunker

Just read the zoopla advert

Bathroom

Kitchen

Underground bunker

Garden

It is just the casual remark in the listing that makes you wonder if the people listing it think it is a normal feature of a property?

China welcomed its billionth netizen in the first half of 2021

Giles C Silver badge

Re: "Average use times are down [..] – probably reflecting lockdowns"

Read the whole line

Average use times are down from a peak of over 30 hours a week in 2020 – probably reflecting lockdowns in the first half of that year.

I read that as it 2020 (lockdowns) more internet use in 2021 (no / fewer lockdowns) less time spent on the internet.

When everyone else is on vacation, it's time to whip out the tiny screwdrivers

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Haynes Manuals

You hope that but make sure when you put it back together ensure you use copper grease, correct torque settings etc. It might not be you pulling it apart again but the person doing it will be grateful.

Speaking from experience after resorting once to an angle grinder to remove a rusted on brake disc (the neighbours loved me using it at 9pm on a Saturday night as the car was needed sunday morning!)

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Haynes Manuals

Yep, have two manuals fo4 the Ford Sierra (comes of having a Sierra based kit car) youngsters go an look the car up.

One the grey/pink version covers everything including rebuilding the gearbox.

The other a blue cover just says check the oil and then take it to a mechanic.

For modern cars it is even worse, there is virtually no technical information and I think they have stopped producing any new ones as the cars are too complex for the home mechanic to do anything with these days.

Fix five days of server failure with this one weird trick

Giles C Silver badge

Re: I'm guessing TSB

I went to look at the link and the cookie policy was so complex I gave up (see the gdpr thread today)

After quietly switching to slower NAND in an NVMe SSD, Western Digital promises to be a bit louder next time

Giles C Silver badge

Virtually every company tech and non tech is guilty of doing this.

The spare parts you buy to find out that they only fit a model made up until X date provided the serial number is less than something.

Just try and buy spares for a car without the chassis or registration number you will find a subtle difference where the replacement won’t fit.

I had a bmw where one year into the production run they changed the door lock mountings as a result you need to check the part number against the chassis or it won’t fit. But look at two with the different doors and nobody can spot the difference as it is all internal.

Using 'AI-based software like Proctorio and ProctorU' to monitor online exams is a really bad idea, says uni panel

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Online exams do not seem like a good idea in general

I have done several online exams during lockdown as the exam centres were closed.

To be honest next time I will go to the exam centre, as it is a lot less mucking about.

The online proctoring service the pearson Vue exams use does use the software to stop you accessing the internet, or opening up other files and as the exam is meant to be a knowledge test that seems reasonable.

Having said that I did use a spare laptop with nothing personal on it to do the exams.

But yes at the exam centre there are several cameras watching you constantly to ensure you aren’t cheating so you are under constant surveillance. The only other choice they could have is to lock each person in a cupboard with no access to anything. But that would probably be stressful for someone.

If you are taking an exam which is closed book, don’t try to cheat and if you are being observed then accept it.

So the data centre's 'getting a little hot' – at 57°C, that's quite the understatement

Giles C Silver badge

Re: I once had to do something similar in a Skoda...

It could be worse - I drive a tiger (lotus 7 type) so fibreglass bonnet and nose with a fairly large Ali fad inside. Doesn’t help when the fan stops working (thermal switch broke) and in a queue of traffic.

At road speeds the airflow works fine at no speed it overheats and there isn’t a heater fitted to allow for cool downs. The only thing you can do is to pull over and wait for a cool down.

I do have a manual switch that can be wired in and taped to the bonnet to get it to near me!

See that last line in the access list? Yeah, that means you don't have an access list

Giles C Silver badge

Used to be a common argument about why SIP couldn’t go over a firewall…

Mind you an employer had programmers that wouldn’t use dns as it slower the program down!

They hated it when we moved to a new site and had to replace the IP address as the old site was still operational.

Giles C Silver badge

I’ve had people come to me with firewall changes with an ‘any’ in the rule.

Now for certain things this is fine i.e. web servers where you have inbound traffic; mail servers to smtp outbound etc

But the only thing that rule should be used for is with a deny statement and then send everything to a syslog server.

It isn’t hard to set up a firewall, think about it logically and check each service properly although with some of the stuff I have seen a lot of people shouldn’t be anywhere near a firewall.

Don't believe the hype that AI-generated 'master faces' can break into face recognition systems any time soon

Giles C Silver badge

My bank (narwest) has started putting notices in the apps that soon you will be able to use your face to login.

Not a fan

Undebug my heart: Using Cisco's IOS to take down capitalism – accidentally

Giles C Silver badge

Hmm

Two network engineers sitting in an office, one (not me) types in a debug command that was missing a parameter so it started overloading the console.

I glanced over at him as things started slowing down - his glanced towards the door a quick nod and we both got up with laptops and quietly walked to the comms room. Where we found a switch stuck in a debug loop

Rebooted switch and as it was spooling up management burst into the comms room

There was a panic when the network went slow followed by a bigger panic when both network engineers had vanished.

We both stayed working their for another 7 or so years - management put it down to human error…

Great reset? More like Fake Reset: Leaders need a reality check if they think their best staff will give up hybrid work

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Sadly

True for my current role I don’t need to be anywhere near an office - configuring firewalls in remote data centres.

However if I was installing device I would have to go to the office to do that work (or wherever the kit was located).

So a hybrid approach will be needed - depending on what you are doing.

For a true display of wealth, dab printer ink behind your ears instead of Chanel No. 5

Giles C Silver badge

Printer ink isn’t as expensive as some things

As a side note, someone pointed out that Zovirax (cold sore cream) costs £6.99 for a 2g tube.

So that is £3495 per kilo.

Makes ink look almost cheap……..

Windows 11 comes bearing THAAS, Trojan Horse as a service

Giles C Silver badge

Re: We have been moving AWAY from standards since years, unfortunately

If the internet companies had been the ones around over 100 years ago I dread to think how many telephone systems the planet would have had.

Think about it, due to standardisation any phone can call any other phone on the planet and it will connect and allow you to carry on a conversation.

This is due to the ITU making sure all countries agreed on a standard.

The internet firms don’t care about standards

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

Giles C Silver badge

Dodgy circuit breakers

A few years (and jobs ago) we had just had some new distribution boards in the computer room.

Some new kit had been installed and powered up but it was only idling.

A while later it powered up fully and at that time the whole room went down. Nobody was in it at the time fortunately.

When we went down to investigate the first thing to check was the new dis board - everything was switched on and none of the breakers had tripped.

So out of the room and off to find the switchgear running the room - which had tripped.

We had a 40A circuit breaker feeding the new board which was protected with a 100A breaker.

So the load tripped the breaker outside the room and killed the power. The electricians were in that weekend swapping the supply cables out….

Windows 11 gets chatty as Teams integration turns up

Giles C Silver badge

Re: When is an OS....

Park lane is named after the road in London, as are all of the locations in the standard uk edition of monopoly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Lane

Snail mail would be a fool-proof way to inform patients about plans to slurp GP data, but UK govt won't commit

Giles C Silver badge

Strange about them not wanting to do a Mail shot.

I got a letter from the dvla this morning, informing me that I will be charged when the ULEZ around London expands later this year.

Strange this.

I live over 100 miles from London,

The last time I went to London I got a train

The last time was about 3 years ago.

I have never driven in London (and never want to).

Does this mean people in John O’groats also got the same letter?

How to keep your enterprise up to date by deploying the very latest malware

Giles C Silver badge

Dammed autocorrect

Giles C Silver badge

Wake on lawn is great for this sort of work, provided they are using desktop machines as said below laptops are a bit of a problem.

However it can have its drawbacks….

A few years ago I had to go to a remote site to upgrade the network switch firmware. Because it was a 24x7 operation I needed to be on site to make sure the users where aware.

My change is scheduled for 11pm, about 10:20 all the agents stop taking calls. I thought this was strange and it turned out the automatic updates policy (which did a WOL call, applied the updates and then shut the machines down at the end) was applied to these machines.

So every night at 10:30 the machines would look for updates and it if didn’t find any shut the computer down….

I told the staff to raise it as a call with the service desk as they would get the policy changed. I left the company a month later and as far as I knew they hadn’t made the call yet - wonder why?

Try placing a pot plant directly above your CRT monitor – it really ties the desk together

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Its not just crts

Dead pixels that stay black are inconvenient, worse used to be the dead pixel that was stuck on full brightness.

Giles C Silver badge

Its not just crts

I had an lcd monitor that one summer a couple of thunder flies somehow got in and ended up walking between the backlight and the front panel. Was interesting when it was alive but it died and then left a small corpse on the screen about the same size as a full stop, fun when you are trying to edit documents wondering what the rogue punctuation is….

How many Brits have deleted life-saving track and trace app from their phones? No idea, junior minister tells MPs

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Technology to the rescue

I was chatting to a friend who had one of his coworkers have to self isolate.

The person couldn’t figure out where he had been pinged from, as all he had done was go to work and then back home. As his self isolation came to an end he was talking to his neighbour who mentioned that their child had had it. So the ping had triggered through the walls of the house…

Hubble, Hubble, toil and trouble: NASA pores over moth-eaten manuals ahead of switch to backup hardware

Giles C Silver badge

As I have said to people I work with, find an engineer who has never done any of the above and we have found either a liar or they have only worked in the field for a couple of weeks.

All of us have done this and the honest ones admit to doing it and will explain how they recovered from the problem.

Focus on the camera, mobile devs: 48MP shooters about to become the sweet spot

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Why the obsession with MP?

A piece of string question.

I have a canon 28-104 f4L second hand was £900 (new It is about £1200) was it worth it, yes the picture quality compared to a cheaper lens is much higher. But a slight downside is it weighs over a kilo before you couple the camera, and is also a quite large.

Compared to my phone camera there is no comparison in quality (mind you it is coupled to a EOS-R body)

BOFH: Here in my car I feel safest of all. I can listen to you ... It keeps me stable for days

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Not reading the text

A few jobs back, I was fairly sure my manager didn’t read the long and drawn out appraisal replies I had to read.

So in the middle of a long and tedious block of text (we had something like 30 objectives to fill in) I deliberately inserted a fatuous comment in the text.

Then I found out he did read it all….. and told me to remove the live before it went to HR.

Some people do read everything…..

Kaspersky Password Manager's random password generator was about as random as your wall clock

Giles C Silver badge

Re: On a slight tangent

Who knows - there is the old expression ‘thick as thieves’ but I thought it referred to them not wanting to shop another not their intelligence.

If you are in the uk watch it on iplayer it was a good programme.

Giles C Silver badge

On a slight tangent

I was watching forensics the real csi on the bbc last night.

A suspected criminals phone needed to be got into to trace the information history on it.

It took the forensics investigatior 5 seconds to break into to this iphoneX. The reason the passcode was set to 0000 yes 4 zeros.

No password is proof against human stupidity…..

India to open-source its Co-WIN national vaccination booking platform

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Another motivation for sharing

Are you sure about that?

I think there are eyes out there without a brain to attach them to…

This always-on culture we're in is awful. How do we stop it? Oh, sorry, hold on – just had another notification

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Switching off

I was an employee then - forgot to put in a previous role…

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Switching off

This was in a previous job when I was employed as a full time worker

Giles C Silver badge

Switching off

I had a manager once call me on my personal phone about 6 times in an evening.

My phone was on silent as

1 it was my personal device

2 I wasn’t on call that week

3 I was watching a film.

When it is on silent only a few peoples number overrides it and it rings.

The reason for the call they were doing a cascade test….

When I did answer (about 3 hours after the calls) I got moaned at for not answering the phone. I pointed out that I didn’t for the reasons above and if they wanted me to answer anytime then it wasn’t going to happen.

I also said that once I leave the office then I don’t care what happens until the next morning.

I won’t put any corporate stuff on a personal phone, or any of my own computers. If they insist on that then they can take a jump.

Mind you as a contractor they can’t force it on me.

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

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Oh great!

Oops….

On the other hand I do drive a Tiger (kit car)

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Oh great!

I’ve never understood the bombs on wheels comment.

You happily drive a cat with 60-80 litres of explosive liquid in a single walled plastic bowl.

An electric car with a ruptured battery pack can reignite a day of so later (see Richard hammonds crash in one)

If the tank developed a leak in normal operation then the hydrogen will disperse into the atmosphere, if something impacts with an ignition source then there could be an explosion.

Do you not think that the safety precautions would have been tested before going live. I would guess a crash test or two would be needed before anyone approves this….

Monitoring is simple enough – green means everything's fine. But getting to that point can be a whole other ball game

Giles C Silver badge

Re: Green means everything's fine

How not to design a system for colour blind users

Usually Alarm is red with white text,

Ok is green / white.

Both those depending on shade could be the same to me.

We also have Acknowledged(orange / black), Latched(khaki / white), Ignored(grey / black),

I could probably tell those apart.

Forced On(yellow / red), Forced Off(yellow / green).

Again they would be very hard to tell apart.

Being serious before you employ anyone on your service desk make then undertake a colour vision test.

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