* Posts by deadcow

30 posts • joined 21 Jul 2015

You had one job... Just two lines of code, and now the customer's Inventory Master File has bitten the biscuit


When DB stands for "Damn and Blast"

I worked for a company who had a similar tale where we ran a competition for a client. The Developer who wrote the competition accidentally forgot to remove a line of test code when the site was deployed live. The result was that at the end of the competition there were some 50,000-odd entries - all with the exact same name and email address. The test code had basically copied the first line of the DB into every entry when a submission was received.

Now - under normal circumstances, you could have covered this issue up because you could have just said - OK then, that first guy/gal wins the prize.

Problem was - there were 5 prizes...

I believe they extended the competition deadline by a couple of days, so if you entered after the deadline, you stood a much better chance of winning.

What evil lurks within the data centre, and why is it DDoS-ing the ever-loving pants off us?


ISP DDOSes self.

I used to work for a major ISP. We had development teams working across several different departments. One morning I came into work, booted up my VM and noticed it was super chuggy, eventually hanging completely. I had a poke around going on, to find out the site was making thousands of requests to the server - specifically requesting a timestamp. "That's odd", I thought and sent out a call asking if anybody knew what this timestamp request was to see if I could find out what was happening.

It turns out the marketing department, in an effort to create the most granular tracking I have ever seen in my life, had decided that they wanted to know exactly what time users were clicking on interactive elements on the website. Note this was any element on every page of the site: links, accordions, show/hide buttons, popups, everything. Now - they had also decided that they required this with such extreme precision that they didn't want to rely on the user's own system time - they wanted it synchronized with the server's timestamp. So they set up a script that pinged the server for its current timestamp every single time a user clicked on anything. I watched with growing horror as I started to repeatedly open and close an accordion on the homepage, every single click resulting in a server call.

I enjoyed raising that P1 to a red-faced development team. We also had a long chat with the marketing department about DDOS-ing our own website in order to collect completely useless user data.

Boolean bafflement at British Airways' Executive Club: Sneaky little Avioses - Wicked, Tricksy, False!


Beware the false Avios!

Follow only the one true Avios!

Barmy ban on businesses, Brits based in Blighty bearing or buying .eu domains is back: Cut-off date is Jan 1, 2021


Wow. And your vote is worth the same as mine.

Far-right leader walks free from court after conviction for refusing to hand his phone passcode over to police

This post has been deleted by a moderator


Re: Would never have happened in my day

Oh, so you're one of THOSE racists... No, of course, you're absolutely right, child abuse is solely the domain of foreigners and no white, British person has ever harmed a single hair on a child's head. Get in the sea, you racist idiot.

Fitbit unfurls last new wearable before it's gobbled by Google, right on time for global pandemic lockdown


I bought an Fitbit Versa 2 and swapped it for an android wear device when it spectacularly failed to do any of the things it was supposed to be able to do. Battery life on the wear device isn't amazing, although I can easily get a full day on a charge, but at least it works, I can get ALL my notifications on it, and it remains paired to my phone for above 10 minutes without requiring a complete reinstall of the Fitbit app. It was also considerably cheaper than the Fitbit. The Fitbit was also measuring my heart rate incorrectly. And my weight (Aria scales). And miscounting my steps.

Fitbit products are expensive trash.

Who's going to pay for Britain's Aunty Beeb to carry on? Broadband users, broadcaster suggests to government


Re: Three problems I can think of

The BBC is an entertainment service. Nothing more. It's an outlet for terrible soap operas and even more terrible gameshows. It's not a school. It's not a hospital. I don't mind paying a little for your kids (and everybody's kids) to go to school - I do object to paying for you to find out what happened to Phil and Sharon (if they're still a thing) this week.

We're great, boasts Huawei in founder's Little Red Book – but isn't that a video game screenshot?


Nobody tell El Reg

But, that image is actually FROM the Russian language history of the IL2 that they link to in the article - it's about 1/3rd of the way down the page...

Maybe everybody should do their research...

Atari finally launches its VCS console. Again.


But what is this thing? Is this a massively overpowered Atari emulator, or is this an expensive, underpowered, general purpose console? It's not that it's "under-powered" per-se, but it's under-powered in relation to it's price point, especially compared to existing hardware.

Wileyfox goes TITSUP*: Smartmobe maker calls in the administrators


Potentially good phone, ruined by a dreadful company

I had the Wilefox for a grand total of 5 days. From the little of it I used, I was pretty impressed. It was snappy, fully featured and looked great. However, it wouldn't charge. Once the battery died, it became a brick. Wouldn't charge, wouldn't reset, wouldn't turn on. I've had issues with hardware before (although this seemed pretty common), and it happens, no big deal.

I got in contact with Wilefox by email (which is the only way to contact them); and heard nothing. Nothing at all. Emailed them again: nothing. And again: nothing. Emailed them asking if I could send it back for a refund: nothing. Sent the phone back to Amazon who refunded it. The Amazon review are pretty much entirely a cut and paste copy of my experience with them.

Probably a decent phone (although, honestly, not better than a lot of lower end phones - I have a moto G5 plus, which was slightly cheaper than the Wileyfox and is a lot better), but an absolutely terrible company.

Labour says it will vote against DUP's proposed TV Licence reforms


In light of my downvote:

"You need to be covered by a TV Licence to

watch or record live TV programmes on any channel

download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand.

This applies to any provider you use and any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder."



Re: Yes, I know. I'm a wimp.

I haven't had a TV license for a few years now - this is one of the things that really gets to me about it, and why I fundamentally stand against it. The License fee people employ these threatening bullies who use underhanded and often illegal tactics the threaten people and then take them to court, and for what? Because you don't want to watch Eastenders? Because you think the media is a pointless joke? TV is treated as an essential - and it isn't. It's very far from it. I sound like a "Wake Up Sheeple" nut - I'm really not.


This isn't correct, you can't watch a TV broadcast, but you CAN use streaming services to watch pre-recorded and live television - as long as it isn't the BBC.

Source: I don't pay for a TV license and was asked these questions when I cancelled it.

All that free music on YouTube is good for you, Google tells music biz


Re: Radio?

There is a great, yawning chasm between radio and Youtube. For example, I can't listen to what I want, when I want on the radio. I can't listen to an entire band's back catalogue on the radio. You're comparing being offered a free sample of cheese in a supermarket, to shoplifting the entire cheese isle.

For $deity's sake, smile! It's Friday! Sad coders write bad code – official


Re: Bunch of bloody whingers...

Whinging about devs being whingy? Sounds like you DBAs are nothing but a bunch of bloody whingers to me.

Sneaky Google KOs 'right to be forgotten' from search results


Re: El Reg just lost the Google game...

That's a fair point - however - my point still stands: it's not a good search term.


El Reg just lost the Google game...

rtbf "data processing business": 9 results,

right to be forgotten "data processing business": 74,500,000 results

weak Googling skills more like.

Are bearded blokes more sexist?


The real question is...

Are people who design and conduct surveys asking if bearded men are more sexist, more sexist?

How exactly do you rein in a wildly powerful AI before it enslaves us all?


function exterminateHumanity () {

return false;


Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall


Just sayin'

This probably could have been resolved much quicker and easier if when he was asked "What are you up to?", he had replied with a de-escalating: "Well, I'm shooting some footage for a film I'm making about our city. As this is such a landmark, I thought I'd include it - is that OK?" rather than the deliberately escalating: "I don't have to tell you what I'm doing."

I don't think anyone comes out of that particularly well. Yes there's a pair of over-zealous, jobsworth security, but on the flip side of that, there's also a smart-arse photographer.

Firefox will support non-standard CSS for WebKit compatibility


Re: I'm sorry.....

If you're using a vendor prefix to perform graceful enhancement to a site with browsers that support those features, without a reduction in the experience to users with browsers that don't, then what's the problem Mr. Keyboard Warrior?

Dry those eyes, ad blockers are unlikely to kill the internet


It's the content providers fault.

I have no problem with advertising on the internet. I genuinely don't. I recognise that it's an important revenue stream for content generators, and I fully agree with them supporting themselves in this manner. However - there are a load of bad apples spoiling this pie. Sites that are 99% advertising to the point of actually being nearly unnavigable. Sites that throw up a full page advert directly over the stuff that I'm trying to read. Sites with adverts that forcefully redirect me out of a page and into somewhere else (this one REALLY grinds my gears). Sites that force me to watch adverts that are longer than the actual video that I want to watch. Serve adverts by all means, but be responsible about it, don't stop people from doing what they're doing and they won't need to install ad blockers. Simples.

Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist


Somebody needs his coffee this morning Mr Grumpy-puss.

Boffins raise five-week-old fetal human brain in the lab for experimentation


Re: Do vat grown brains dream?

This thing isn't plugged into anything. It's no more of a conscious entity than a McDonalds Quarter Pounder is. There's no blood supply, no electrical signals - it's a lump of brain cells.


Re: Enlighten me on this:

No. No. Eventually. Yes. Yes. In that order (depending upon your country of origin).

Virtually no one is using Apple Music even though it is utterly free


Spotify goes everywhere...

I can use it on my phone online and off, on my mac at work, on my PS4, on my PC, with very minimal effort, that's a pretty big draw. Now I'm settled, it would take something truly spectacular to get me to switch from Spotify because where's the advantage?

Major web template flaw lets miscreants break out of sandboxes


This isn't a particularly new vulnerability. Sanitising user input from any source is the very first thing that you learn about web security isn't it? Hopefully PortSwigger is mostly preaching to the choir.

Cops baffled by 'canal corpse' that turned out to be COCONUTS


I've got a horrible bunch of coconuts

Shy ace ditches winnings?


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