* Posts by russmichaels

39 posts • joined 28 Nov 2015

As Amazon pulls union-buster job ads, workers describe a 'Mad Max' atmosphere – unsafe, bullying, abusive



how on earth are they still getting away with this. It has been well known for years how they treat their employees and break just about every single employment, discrimination and health and safety law going.

Bezos must be lining someones pocket to get away with this.

Log us out: Private equity snaffles Lastpass owner LogMeIn


Re: "The former policy wonk -

If the user is incompetent enough to still be using a weak password for the password manager, then all your suggestions are moot. Such a person is likley to have bad security everywhere, so storing it locally won't be any more secure for them.

Storing it in the cloud encrypted with a strong password, which multiple levels of back/redundency is fine for the rest of us who do not want to risk a local disk failure and losing all our data.

IT contractor has £240k bill torn up after IR35 win against UK taxman


Re: "The former policy wonk -

HMRC screw up, lie, overcharge, harrass and threaten people for money they do not owe every single day.

My wife is a bookkeeper and regularly has to deal with these problems on behalf of her clients.

Yahoo! customers! wake! up! to! borked! email! (Yes! people! still! actually! use! it!)


Re: "The former policy wonk -

That is actually just a silly misconception, the UK is not like at all.. The summers here are unbearably hot, just as hot as any other holiday destination most of the time. We actually have very little rain.

OneDrive is broken: Microsoft's cloudy storage drops from the sky for EU users


backup your cloud storage

If you do not want to be caught out by such problems, then I suggest backing up your cloud storage to a second location.

I have GoogleDrive as well, and I sync my onedrive and googledrive storage, so if one goes down for any reason, I can still access all my data on the other one.

Microsoft Surface kicks dust in face of Apple iPad Pro in Q3


LOL, that is such a daft and ignorant comment. It would make no noticeable difference at all because barely anyone uses Linux on desktops. Last time I checked it was barely 2%.

And most Linux users hate Windows and Microsoft, so wouldn't buy a surface anyway, so you are probably talking 1% of that 2%.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs


Re: "The former policy wonk -

LOL, the irony... they ban swear words, but then behave like complete c*nts :-)

In Windows 10 Update land, nobody can hear you scream


I have been defending Windows for years on the basis that it is only a small minority who have issues, and it is impossible to account for all possible setups, hardware and drivers.

But even I have reached the end of my tether with all the Windows 10 problems. While it may still be considered a minority, every issue is still affecting millions of users.

The whole point in Windows 10 ecosystem is that it was supposed to be easier to maintain and avoid these types of issues.

I now have a backup system running Linux

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid


Re: Calls and Email

I think most people who use their devices for business would rather have a phone that lasts for days instead of hours and will carry a tablet or laptop for the other stuff.


Re: Calls and Email

It means you link your tablet to this phone and use it as a wireless access point, and do all the other stuff on your tablet.

I really wanted somehting this simple to give to my kids, without all the social media crap and security issues. Albeit cheaper and with GPS tracking.

US and UK Amazon workers get a wage hike – maybe they'll go to the movies, by themselves


Re: "The former policy wonk -

Not sure why Bezos is being congratulated, he only did this due to all the bad publicity and harassment he is getting for being a tight-ass and screwing his staff. If it wasn't for the Stop BEZOS Act, he wouldn't have upped anyone's salary.

As one Microsoft Windows product hauls itself out of the grave, others tumble in


As much as I liked Windows Phone and preferred it over both iPhone and Android, I don't see how WileyFox are going to make any money from another Windows Phone, the number of customers is minute and even Microsoft have given up on it and are killing of the phone OS and nobody is making apps for it anymore.

A better idea would have been to build an Android phone that looked and worked like a Windows phone.

Spent your week box-ticking? It can't be as bad as the folk at this firm


someone needs to learn to proof read his articles before posting.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help


Re: "a gentle word will probably achieve more than the f-bomb"

I can relate to that.

Everyone makes mistakes now and then, but there are a lot of people out there who do sloppy work and simply cannot be bothered to check it properly and do not care what problems it causes for others.

I have worked with such people, and I cannot think of any instances were asking nicely has helped at all, I can, however, think of several instances where losing my temper and delivering an f-bomb did make a difference.

A boss pinching pennies may have cost his firm many, many pounds


I once worked for a hosting company whose racks and servers were your worst nightmare, so much so that the engineers in the DC would not even touch them.

Cables everywhere, all tangled up, you could not tell which power cable or ethernet cable was for which server, and you couldn't touch anything without accidentally pulling out another cable.

Tracing a cable to a switch port was almost impossible.

Servers with dual power supplies used split power cables. So if the fuse went in the plug, both PSU's still went off. Some split cables were used to power 2 servers.

If a PSU died, there were no spares, so the on-call IT guy was sent to PC world to pickup a desktop PSU, which was then retrofitted into the rack server. Meaning the case was then left open with a PSU sticking out the top. So the 1U server now took 4U of space.

more than 50% of the servers were actually not even in use. They were retired servers from ex-customers who had since left, but were never removed from the DC. Most of them were still left online for years draining power and running unpatched Windows OS. The company actually got fined every single month by the DC for exceeding power quota.

The Firewall was an EOL product with software that was outdated and unsupported for several years.

The main router was so old and outdated that it couldn't cope with packet sizes or the IP tables requirements. Which could have been solved which a cheap memory upgrade.

How this company stayed in business for so long was a complete mystery. The only reason they had customers is that the accounting was just as bad. Most customers were undercharged, and in a large number of cases, not being charged at all. Hundreds of dead domain names still being renewed each year, which should have been cancelled long ago, with no record of who they ever belonged to.

No, eight characters, some capital letters and numbers is not a good password policy


Re: "The former policy wonk -

The problem is that STILL too many websites still encourage poor passwords and even limit the length of the password to a paltry 8 or 10 characters.

You want to know which is the best smartphone this season? Tbh, it's tricky to tell 'em apart


Year after year people throw away £600+ of their salary on a flimsy device that they use to argue with everyone on social media, look at web pages and play simple games like candy crush.

On top of that they then also need to buy a case to protect the flimsy phone because it is so thin.

And a battery charger because the battery doesn't even last a day if you actually us ethe device.

And a screen protector because the screens are so easy to scratch,

All of this can be done on a phone that costs under £200, I have purchased several Chinese phones that do everything and cost less than £100.

I would much rather have a chunky, rugged phone that I cana ctually hold properly, is shock proof, won't break in my pocket, a screen protector as standard, a battery that lasts several days.

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage


Re: "The former policy wonk -

Nothing is 100% perfect, despite whatever you big headed know it alls think, and IT systems sometimes fail, even at the biggest companies, run by smarter people than you.

It is hardly like this happens all the time, in fact it is the first time I ever heard of such a failure.

US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR


Re: "The former policy wonk -

no they were not, this is been public knowledge for a long time, sites has been posting articles about it for a long time, bloggers have been blogging about it for a long time.

But in typical fashion, lazy companies stuck their heads in the sand and ignored the issue and left it until the minute to take action, so we all get a billion emails in the last couple of weeks about new privacy policies.

BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network


What this also means is that broadband goes down, so will your phone, so make sure you have credit on your mobile and a signal so you can call your provider to tell them its down.

Gmail is secure. Netflix is secure. Together they're a phishing threat


Re: Google claim this but are incorrect

I also have a gmail address with a DOT only because it was not available WITHOUT a dot, as it was taken by someone else.

So two gmail addresses belonging to 2 different people, the only difference is the dot.

Now I did get that gmail address quite a few years ago, so they must have changed this functionality since then, causing addresses with DOTS to just be an alias of the address without. In which case, hardly surprising that people have started getting other people's email.


If someone creates a netflix account or any account using a gmail address that is actually an alias of yours, then you are going to get the welcome email of the newly created account, which you would have to also completely disregard in order to fall for this. The person who created the account would never get that email because they do not own that email address.

Also doesn't netflix send out an account activation email to verify the email address?

User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word


Re: "The former policy wonk -

I have fired a few over the years.

We had this one guy who was incredibly rude every time he called, and it got to the point that no member of staff wanted to speak with him anymore. So we told reception to refuse to put any calls through unless he sent us a written apology and agreed to stop being rude, and to simply hang up on him if he continued to be rude to them. He refused to apologise and continued being rude, so his number was blacklisted.

He was not a direct customer, but rather a web developer (who was still running sites on MSAccess no less) who managed several client accounts. We had to contact those clients and inform them of our decision to blacklist their web developer and that they would have to contact us directly.

10 PRINT "ZX81 at 37" 20 GOTO 10


amazing that this thing actually had a 3mhz processor but was so limited and rubbish. To think the C64, the best home computer of all time, only had a 1mhz processor, yet was a 1000 x better.

Bloke sues Microsoft: Give me $600m – or my copy of Windows 7 back


I understand it is frustrating for people when their PC updates and no longer works. But in this guys case I would say it is down to ASUS to have made sure their laptops were compatible with Windows 10.

And you do have the option to rollback if it doesn't work.

But what happens when the people who decide to keep using Windows 7 end up getting infected with malware or ransomware because their OS is no longer supported? As they did with XP.

They blame Microsoft for that as well.

Microsoft are simply trying to get everyone onto the same OS, so that it is easier to support everyone on a unified platform, and have fewer issues. Considering how many millions of devices run Windows it is literally impossible to cater for every scenario, every device, every piece of hardware.

Windows 10 does run on quite old hardware, I am running Windows 10 on several old Intel Core 2 systems.

My biggest qualm is Microsoft terrible support from useless incompetent support staff. Whenever I contact them, I usually end up giving them support and telling them how things work.

From the graaaaaave! WileyFox's Windows 10 phone delayed again


Wileyfox phones are good for cheap phones, I have bought my son 2 SWIFT devices now.

However the comments on customer service are true for any phone manufacturer I have used. Chinese phones have no customer service period.

I had an issue with my SWIFT and Wileyfox told me to install a new firmware which bricked the phone.

They then told me I had to send it to them to fix, which I did.

They sent it back with a broken screen. Which then resulted in me having to argue with them about them replacing it, they tried to charge me.

User worked with wrong app for two weeks, then complained to IT that data had gone missing


A tale of 2 sites

I had a similar story.

I had a client who for some bizarre had 2 copies of their site offshorepipe.co.uk and offshorepipe.com with different hosts.

The client kept making changes on the .co.uk site and then complaining to me that she couldn't see the changes because she was looking at the .com site. It took me some time to figure this out as I didn't originally know about the 2nd site, and she would keep telling me she was logging in at the .com site, when in fact she wasn't. It took a screen share to figure it out.

This was a recurring issue and happened every single time she updated the site, and each time I had to explain the cause of the problem and that the changes would only show up on the site she changed. I kept telling her that she did not need 2 copies of the site and to just get rid of one of them, and point both domains at the same site, but she never listened. Eventually, they went out of business.

UK government's war on e-cigs is over


Of course, all governments want to ban vaping because they do not make billions in taxes out of it like they do with cigarettes and alcohol. There is no other reason for them to be completely anti-vaping and try to stop it, but still allow smoking to be legal and kill millions of people per year.

Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows


A ridiculous nonsense click bait title and an article full of ignorance, probably on the part of NHS rather than the writer.

This would be a great solution if it was being properly managed and maintained going forward. But sadly history and common sense say otherwise.

Will moving to Linux same some money.

OK so they will not have to pay for Windows licenses, but as we all know from previous articles, most of the current expenditure came from having to pay Microsoft for extended support for Windows XP.

So they will save the ongoing license costs, but they then incur new costs for implementing and maintaining the new Linux systems and training everyone how to use them. So I think that saving will be lost in the first instance.

Remember that the average NHS employee is not going to be very computer literate, and even struggles with Windows, but when Windows problems occur, there might be someone more computer illiterate around who can help. Once they have moved to Linux, that is out of the windows, there will not be a single person who will know what to do with Linux, and we know this because Linux is used on less than 2% of desktops (servers do not apply here, so calm down fanboys), so every issue will require a call to tech support, which will also incur a cost.

Govt not keeping their IT systems up to date is a systematic problem, not just in the UK either. Moving to Linux is not going to miraculously change that. So unless they address the whole issue with maintaining systems and keeping them up to date, then they are still going to have the same issue. Sure they will have some added security through obscurity thanks to that <2% userbase, so won't have much malware to worry about. But once it becomes common knowledge that NHS is running on Linux, hackers and malware writers will likely make more efforts to target Linux, especially knowing that NHS are likely running an older version with known vulnerabilities.

Granted this will probably take years, by which point the NHS bigwigs will have a false sense of security and will probably have adopted the old "We don't need to worry, Linux doesn;t get malware and is unhackable" attitude, so the whole OS maintenance and updates plans and procedures will be even worse than they were with Windows, maybe even non-existent, especially since nobody is telling them "you must update, it is not safe, your OS is end of life".

Now we sit back and await the rantings form the Linux trolls who didn't read this properly and jumped to the conclusion that it was an attack on Linux rather than the govt's incompetence.

Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts


Re: "The former policy wonk -

So you think any non-tech person is a fucking idiot?

Can you do the job of a doctor, dentist, cardiologist, optician etc? DO you know how to build houses, install central heating systems, do plumbing... the list goes on.

No? then I guess by your own logic, you must also be an idiot for not knowing how to do all the things that other people know how to do.

I am a techy as well, the difference is that I have respect for the jobs other people do, and do not arrogantly expect everyone else to be good with computers and technology.

TeamViewer: So sorry we blamed you after your PC was hacked


I would say "careless" was being polite.

If they were using their teamviewer password elsewhere then they are utter morons and should not be allowed to have remote access or be providing remote support to anyone. And the scary thing is that a lot of these people are so called it support people. My wife had a guy like that providing the support for her employer, she was more competent than he was. He used the same password for every system, for every client. And for the clients themselves. he set their passwords to be be the same as the username but with a uppercase first letter.

Any IT competent person knows that sites get hacked all the time, and this is why you do not use the same password twice.

There is no excuse for this kind of incompetence or lazyness these days with apps like LastPass or Dashlane to make it easy to deal with unique passwords.

Script kiddies pwn 1000s of Windows boxes using leaked NSA hack tools


Re: Tut tut tut

Oh dear, that is very ignorant. People are not using the same version of Windows you use on your desktop, there are separate SERVER versions of windows. And guess what, Linux also gets hacked too.

UK.gov cuts deal with Microsoft to avoid £15m post-Brexit price hike


ok but what does this have to do with a Commodore 64 ?

Brit ISP TalkTalk blocks control tool TeamViewer


They really should have sent a notice to customers since this tool is used by a lot of people to provide remote support to customers, friend and family.

It seems quite ironic that TalkTalk care about scammers, considering they are in the scamming game themselves.

Twice they hijacked my BT phone line without my consent or knowledge and tried to transfer it over to them and on one occasion they succeeded as BT ignored my request to block the transfer. I ended up with no phone line or broadband for several weeks with all my calls going through to someone else.

I had to contact Ofcom to find out who had transferred my line as even BT could not tell me who they had transferred it to, it seems they will just accept a transfer request from anyone without any verification or anything, all they do is send you a letter telling you they are transferring it away unless you stop it.


Re: @FlamingDeath

Sorry but that is nonsense. There are hundreds of ISP's and BT are one of the worst. Zen Internet by far has the best reputation.


the correct solution

If TalkTalk management had any sense, the correct approach to deal with this problem would have been to educate customers, and send out a warning about the scam calls, and warn customers not to install Teamviewer or any other tool and that Microsoft would never be calling them period.

Amazon S3-izure cause: Half the web vanished because an AWS bod fat-fingered a command


good on them for being honest about the cause and not trying to blag everyone. these things happen.

Windows 10 wipes your child safety settings if you upgrade from 7 or 8


Re: How about accepting personal responsibility?

Just because it worked for you and your kids turned out fine doesn't mean it is the right solution for everyone else, and it is also a very ignorant and inconsiderate premise to work on and has numerous serious consequences.

The majority of parents are not computer literate enough to have any clue about this or how to deal with it, they know how to turn on their computer, use facebook and send email and not much more.

Some parents work long hours and simply do not have the luxury of being able to supervise their kids computer/internet usage.

I have 4 kids, and it simply is not possible for me to supervise them all at the same time, and if I did it one at a time, then I would only be able to allow then access at the weekend and would get nothing else done. So yes I absolutely have to rely on other software solutions to control what content and websites they have access to. Luckily I am very smart and very computer savvy, but even I am not infallible.

Safe use of the internet also requires a certain amount of savvy knowledge and experience, most parents do not have this, and neither do young kids, who will just click on and download anything, the result of which is spyware, malware, browser hijacking etc installed on yours or their computers, identities stolen, passwords hacked etc, which is very serious of your kids are using your computer, or their computer can access others on the home network. So every device should absolute have a good anti-malware product installed at bare minimum, to not do so is pure stupidity.

Then there is the fact that simply "trusting" your kids not to do or look at anything they shouldn't on the internet, could land you in a lot of trouble, and you could find yourself with the police and social services knocking on your door. And if your kids have gone to school and told their friends "My dad lets me do whatever I wan't on the Internet", then pleading ignorance probably isn't going to help you.

Once your kids get to secondary school and start going out alone and staying with friends, then it is game over anyway, as they will be using computers at friends houses that you do not control or have access to, but you should certainly be making the effort to take responsibility for what comes into your own home, not only for your kids, but for your own sake as well.

So I would have to urge anyone NOT to follow your advice, and to definitely use 3rd party software, but simply to take the time to perform routine checks to make sure the software is working as expected and doing what it is supposed to do.

There are plenty of online resources to help you be safe online and keep your kids safe online.

such as: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/

I would also recommend all parents setup OPENDNS at home (www.opendns.org), this is pretty infailable as it is not software and is a setiing at router level, so affects all devices connected to your home network.


it's even worse than you think

it is a joke indeed, my kids immediately disabled the settings after I upgraded them. But it is even worse than this, MicroShaft have also completely broken family safety on Windows 7 and 8 as well and left people vulnerable on purpose and knowingly, but choose to continue pretending everything is fine.


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