* Posts by Fat_Tony

42 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Mar 2016

Congrats, Meg Whitman, another multi-billion-dollar write-off for the CV: Her web vid upstart Quibi implodes


And then it opened for business in April 2020

Mistake #3

Probably not a terrible time to launch (although they could have planned it around a pandemic) - lots of bored people with time on their hands sounds like good fortune. Not being able to capitalise on that however...

While they did lose a big pile of money, they didn't lose much/any of their own money so they'll be back and ready to fail again no doubt

NHS COVID-19 app's first weekend: With fundamental testing flaw ironed out, bugs remaining are relatively trivial


Re: Police told not to download Covid app

An enterprising ne'er do well could report a positive test and contact with lots/all PCs if they fancied a little crime spree with minimal interference :)

Google forced to defend new trademark foundation as Knative community takes umbrage at 'neutrality' claims


Sounds pretty neutral to me

With no other vendors on the board they're free to shaft everyone equally

Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds


Finger print readers

Reminds me of finger print scanner/readers.

We'd always see them failing a bit more in winter mornings. Root cause was people putting on a load of hand moisturiser as soon as they got into the office and it was a bit reflective so the scanner could read the prints properly. Once we figured it out, we did have one person put in a complaint that it was discriminatory because it was affecting women more than men

Don't worry, IT contractors. New UK chancellor says HMRC will be gentle pushing IR35 rules


Re: Unintended consequences from the other side

Another consequence, maybe unintended or maybe not, is that employers will look to reduce the number of permies to avoid sick pay, pensions, holiday pay, etc. Can put everyone on zero hour contracts, ignore unions, etc. Maybe it won't happen but it would make a lot of Tory donors pretty happy.

Another consequence would be to make Capita, TCS, etc, more attractive if a company cannot get a load of contractors in to help with a project.

Rugby legend Will Carling tells El Reg: Techie stats bods will love this year's Six Nations


Re: From commentator curse to...

Yep, stats in sport can generally help explain a past outcome but rarely predict a future outcome. There'll be lots of %ages of likelihoods given for predictions, which will just be ignored. So a 80% chance of penalty being successful (+/- 10%) will always be called as 80%

The Nokia 3.2 is a phone your nan will love: One camera's more than enough, darling



"And while that doesn't sound like a lot – and it isn't – it's worth remembering that this phone is targeted at casual users who are unlikely to accumulate mountains of apps."

Although the target market won't use apps, they're demons for storage usage. My sister in law sends about 70 photos a week and several videos of her kids via whatsapp. While I happily delete them, usually without looking at them, the grandparents keep them all. When they run out of space they hate deleting anything, never mind photos of the grandkids.

While it's not a big deal (it doesn't take long to get another load of photos), it does show storage is a bit of a consideration.

150 infosec bods now know who they're up against thanks to BT Security cc/bcc snafu


One recipient even reply-all'd to the original email asking to be taken off it

there's always one idiot who just can't help themselves

We're all doooooomed: Gloomy Brit workforce really isn't coping well with impending Brexit


If the current government ... keeps its promises


Ohm my God: If you let anyone other than Apple replace your recent iPhone's battery, expect to be nagged by iOS


That's the very one!


Is there something similar already in place with electric cars? Batteries are proprietary and are soft-coded to restrict capacity. Tesla or someone sent an update to car owners in Florida to lift the restriction when there was an evacuation order due a hurricane a couple of years ago.

El Reg had a story but can't find it, this seems to be the same thing though - https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/12/imagine-escaping-a-hurricane-in-a-tesla/

UK cops blasted over 'disproportionate' slurp of years of data from crime victims' phones


I'd like to report a data breach

Me: Hi, someone appears to have stolen all my data and stuff

PC Plod: No problem, fill in this form, hand over your phone and we'll get cracking on it

Why are fervid Googlers making ad-blocker-breaking changes to Chrome? Because they created a monster – and are fighting to secure it


So if we know the problem, what's the solution?

Is there any practical solution for your normal everyday user?

Moving to iOS is a different flavour of the same google juice and it's not completely possible to avoid google. Do people just have to suck it up until regulation does or doesn't come along at some point in the future?

So, that's cheerio the nou to Dundee Satellite Receiving Station: Over 40 years of service axed for the sake of £338,000


Crowdfunder open for this now - https://www.gofundme.com/f/dundee-satellite-receiving-station

When customers see red, sometimes the obvious solution will only fan the flames


Re: Dolt

send it to you by whatsapp...

Giving a dense user your mobile number cannot possibly end well - you'd be their personal support monkey for work and home issues til the end of days (or until you got a new number)

Here's what Autonomy told its salesmen they were allowed to do


Re: It begins with H and ends with E and is 8 letters long:

holesale dummy

Buffer overflow flaw in British Airways in-flight entertainment systems will affect other airlines, but why try it in the air?


They just can't help themselves

"Although I was very tired, and it was a night flight, I couldn't resist to do some basic security checks in the entertainment systems"

this is exactly why so many people think they're knobs

You're indestructible, always believe in 'cause you are Go! Microsoft reinvents netbook with US$399 ‘Surface Go’


to The Register’s mind it looks a lot like the re-invention of the netbook.

Not sure it's a reinvention, and doubt the name is an accident either - one of the first attempts at something like a tablet in the 80s was called Go. Think MS skewered the company that made it (there's a decent book by Jerry Kaplan called Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure, read it ages ago but forget the specifics)

1,300 customers of Brit bank TSB defrauded due to botched IT migration


If they're calling a migration project an upgrade, or their migration project included an upgrade it's no suprise it ended up on it arse

'Tesco probably knows more about me than GCHQ': Infosec boffins on surveillance capitalism


'Tesco probably knows more about me than GCHQ': Infosec boffins on surveillance capitalism

"If TESCO knows, then NSA knows and by proxy GCHQ knows also"

and so too will other agencies such as the Welsh Ambulance Service, Scottish Food Safety Agency, Morpeth Otter Preservation League, etc thanks to the Investigatory Powers Act too

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper


Bodies in a foreign body

We moved into a new building and the new post room had a xray machine. All xray images were sent to HQ. One night around 3am 2 large images popped up and the security bods in HQ had a look as it was unusual to see xrays come in at that time, and even more usual for 2 large images to be generated.

Upon investigation the images were of 2 skeletons - the security guys were intrigued by the new xray machine and decided to give themselves full body xrays to see what it would look like.

HQ were not impressed and wanted to fire the guys. The powers that be in our building saw the humour in it and gave the guys a half hearted ticking off and posted a print out of the xrays on the wall saying it was forbidden to xray people in future

HPE to cut technician jobs as field work outsourced to Unisys


Re: out of curiosity

The board will be "right sized" immediately after HR are.

It's amazing how rarely HR are affected by redundancies




for reviewing proposals for new kit/software/project, WOTEM is an informal decision.

Waste of Time, Effort and Money

'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'


Re: That farmer...

"Hah! I'm suspect that said farmer is in fact my father in law. He's got fingers the size of sausages, and often has to type on the computer using a pen as a stylus to poke the keys, in order to only press one key at a time"

Had a guy like that where i worked a few years back. He was a bit on the rotund side and his fingers struggled with the keys on his Blackberry Curve. Usually had to replace his blackberry every 6 weeks or so because he forgot he had it in his arse pocket and sat on it.

Volvo puts Swedish families to work on driverless data-slurp trials


Re: Chelsea Tractors

XC80, following on from discos in UK.

How about a non chelsea tractor car?

Maybe/probably these are the cars that would benefit most from being automated

Tired of despairing of Trump and Brexit? Why not despair about YouTube stars instead?


Re: Despair over Brexit and Trump?

That's an incredible quote, it's like Abe Simpson has come to life!

Transcript of one of Trump's speeches:

"... you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me, it would have been so easy, and it's not - as important as these lives are - nuclear is so powerful. My uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power, and that was 35 years ago, he would explain the power of what's going to happen and he was right. Who would have thought? But when you look at what's going on with the four prisoners - now it used to be three, now it's four - but when it was three and even now, I would have said it's all in the messenger. Fellas, and it is fellas because, you know, they don't, they haven't figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know, it's going to take them about another 150 years - but the Persians are great negotiators, the Iranians are great negotiators. So, and they, they just killed, they just killed us."

European Patent Office staff rep blames prez for 'slipping quality'


Removing staff representatives from hiring committees.

This seems fair enough to remove this. Is the objection that the staff reps want to pick (or least have a say) their bosses? Not come across that anywhere before

Disbanding your security team may not be an entirely dumb idea


I met one chief security officer who said his team is known as the 'business prevention department'

Just one?

Most of IS guys I worked with find it easier to prevent work going ahead as it generally avoids introducing perceived risk. The perception is that saying no makes their lives easier, and as they tend to be super nerdy techie types, their interpersonal skills may not be the best which feeds the perception. That said if you ask the right questions, you usually find out what you need to do to get their approval but it does take several attempts

Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'


Re: OTOH there is the case

Just like punching an extra hole in a 1.44 disk to change it from DD to HD

Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC


Sysadmin jeered in staff cafeteria as he climbed ladder to fix PC

Must be the IT equivalent of folk cheering when a bar man smashes a pint glass

User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'


Re: One week at Bigger Blue.

Worked in a call centre that done tech support for HP who insisted on shirts and ties in case any clients happened to drop by for a site visit. twice when clients were on site there was a power cut. The powers that be/were thought it was better to force people to wear uncomfortable clothes rather than fix the flaky power supply and generator.

The dress code cost them nothing whereas there was a short term cost in fixing the power issues

Virus (cough, cough, Petya) goes postal at FedEx, shares halted


Re: I think we're a long way off still.

"staff are paid an average of $50k a year, that's close to $30k that you've poured down the drain"

PHB solution - pick someone who might be responsible, fire them and it's a $20k cost reduction/saving

Trebles all round

Now you can 'roam like at home' within the EU, but what's the catch?


£1/min - old school!

My first payg mobile phone (late 90's) cost a £1/min to make calls and 20p/min to receive calls. Much the same as roaming, prices back then were all about gouging customers as much as possible.

Suppose nowadays whatapp and the like mean there's some alternatives assuming you can find some wifi

Sysadmin's sole client was his wife – and she queried his bill


"they may be cheaper to run, but the service satisfaction just drops through the floor.

What's even worse is that the service gets so bad that no-one bothers to call support anymore. The reduced volume of helpdesk calls is then used by manglement as an indicator of how good the outsourced IT services have made everything."

Usually when onsite support is outsourced and quality drops the usual solution is to set up Exec/VIP support (onsite of course) so the powers that be don't see a drop in quality but do see some sort of cost savings while the plebs suffer on

CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme


"Ministers last year spoke of UK employers needing to maintain lists of foreign workers and last week of an annual £1,000 tax per EU citizen they employ."

Expect more and more of these ideas from the government - they won't seem so crazy after enough of them are floated and one or two of them might slip by unnoticed by the public (a bit like the investigatory powers act and section 40).

How Apple exploded Europe's crony capitalism



Nice article, no idea what a WID is though

A vintage year for snoopers and big state-ists



"How fitting that, if the IPA is to be fundamentally reformed, it will be done by the decree of a British court."

Shirley that's EU courts rather than UK (and the link goes to a story about EU courts)? Or am I missing something

Christmas Eve ERP migration derailed by silly spreadsheet sort


Re: AST Premium 386

one of my first jobs was tech/customer support for Compaq. They shipped out a ton of cheap machines around Christmas with an extra video card (cheap because the onboard video card was faulty, didn't update the user guide/set up instructions). We spent Boxing day telling people to hook their monitor up to the 2nd video card all day. Most folk figured it out and didn't call in, the majority of the people who phoned in were happy to get it working (a felt a bit sheepish about not trying the other video card) and a tiny minority whinged endlessly about how sh1t Compaq were (but we got that everyday!).

Houston, we have a problem: 'App dev stole our radio station'


Re: Let's pay with airtime instead of money!

"audit the code for backdoors"

probably wouldn't have the money for auditors if they won't pay cash for a developer.

Do any auditors take airtime instead of cash?

Could a robot vacuum cleaner monitor your data centre?



How bored with life do you have to be to watch a video of vacuuming?

Sysadmin 'fixed' PC by hiding it on a bookshelf for a few weeks


Re: deja vu - English really needs such a word

@ theModge

think "automagically" is the word!

BT: We're killing the dabs brand. Oh and can customers re-register to buy on our site?


One of dabs biggest strengths probably was that a lot people didn't know it was run by BT.