* Posts by VanguardG

144 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Apr 2016


The black screen of BIOS borkage haunts Space Shuttle Discovery's new home


I visited there shortly after it opened, and guided myself. At the time, the tour guides were...questionably informed. I did overhear errors. If I could get one request filled, I'd ask for fake exhaust nozzles and intakes to be added to the jets on display - they all have the engines out, of course - many of them are displayed separately (and for the suspended aircraft, the weight savings is significant) but the illusion of these being airplanes and not just props is broken since they are obviously incomplete.

The Discovery display was a work very much barely started when I was there, unfortunately. I'll make it back one of these days.

Nice to see the Langley Aerodrome back on display - minus the false claims. Its a nice-looking craft, even if it never did fly.

Hmmmmm, how to cool that overheating CPU, if only there was a solution...


As seen on TV

There was a TV show in the later 70's that followed members of a certain fire station in the Los Angeles County Fire Department. In one episode, the station is called out for a house fire, which turns out to be a toilet on fire. The homeowner had flipped a lit cigarette into the water, only to have it essentially explodes. The crew hook up to a hydrant, and go to douse it, only to have it flare up. A neighboring yard has a sprinkler on, and a pedestrian flips his cigarette into the wet grass, only to start another fire. This time the crew uses only the water already in their engine to put it out, and they begin searching for the contaminant. They find a crew with the water main hooked up to the fuel oil line, which is supposed to be flushing the fuel oil line in preparation for welding the line. But the oil line was running at roughly triple the pressure of the water main, and the crew had failed to install a one-way valve, so the oil was flooding into the water system, not the other way around.

Fictional show, of course, but perhaps it took a page from genuine incidents of the time.

Tesla owners win legal fight after software update crippled older Model S batteries


Re: Carbon neutral

Those "advances in battery tech" have been promised for decades and, as yet, we've had only creeping improvements. I hope these promised advances magically appear soon.

As for the Tesla Semi, which doesn't exist yet, there are 2000 or so orders - but as Airbus discovered with the A-380, orders can go away if you don't fulfill them in a timely manner.

Doppelpaymer ransomware crew fingered for attack on German hospital that caused death of a patient


It still amazes me that doctors and nurses with many years of education and experience just throw up their hands and don't even try to provide aid without computers. Sure they need to check for interactions between medications she might already be using or they may be adding, but was there no way to stabilize this patient somewhat using old-school methods before they sent he on to the next hospital? I'm not in the medical field, but it still seems hard to believe first-line medical personnel are this helpless without their silicon overlords.

Or was it the hospital admins who said no, because they weren't able to ensure they would be paid?

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


Bit late on this, but the charge is generally along the lines of "Failure to obey a law enforcement officer's lawful orders". Key word is "lawful". A police officer cannot order someone to commit an act that abrogates that person's rights otherwise guaranteed. That's not so cut and dried, and the focus of the argument - is a demand to hand over personal information lawful? If it forced self-incrimination? Those questions will generate many more wealthy lawyers before they're decided.


I'm confused a bit here re: Schedule 7. As quoted, police can demand things like a phone PIN from those people who are obstructing an investigation. In this case, the investigation was of this person's phone - therefore, the investigation did not exist until such time as the demand was the PIN was made. So which came first, the search or the refusal to provide the PIN?

I would also be quite concerned, were I British, about the prosecutors comment that the "noises about abuse of power" were nothing more than an attempt to conceal this man's lack of obedience. Not compliance with the law, obedience. The choice of words seems quite telling how this person views the general public. and he's not a low-level clerk, either.

Maze ransomware gang threatens to publish sensitive stolen data after US aerospace biz sensibly refuses to pay


Re: Remind me again.....

This type of thing is not super-common, but it does remain a threat. The best choice is to examine the encrypted files, as the "last modified" flag will usually let you track where the infection got in - even today its usually done by email attachments, tried and true method. Most don't want to put in the effort to actually run an exploit to gain direct access to a network's files if they can get someone who already has access to run their encrypter for them.

Never trust a criminal to do what they say they will. And if they extort the money from you once, they'll be back for more.

Take backups multiple times per day, test them regularly by actually restoring data from the media Try to educate users about attachments - though that's never easy to do.

Stay educated on the topic, and bookmark the anti-ransomware sites on a phone or laptop that's not on the network, so if you're hit, you can identify what you got hit by - there may be a free-to-use decrypter available.


Re: Someone with a blunt axe to grind?

Then why do you come here?

Well, that's something boffins haven't seen before: A strange alien streaks around Jupiter


They must spend days torturing words to find one that sort of matches what their new gadget does, but makes for a catchy acronym.

Back in the 60s, they had the Satellite Tracking Antenna - SATAN for short. We had rocket scientists literally listening to SATAN.

French pensioner ejected from fighter jet after accidentally grabbing bang seat* handle


Re: Double ejection

In the USAF, the plane captain (usually a senior enlisted) would be responsible for ensuring the aircraft is ready for flight - the article states that a "mechanic" checked the pensioner's restraints, and the pilot's. This was probably the French equivalent of a plane captain. The pilot doubtless did his walkaround of the aircraft itself, but assumed the plane captain would ensure the passenger was properly settled. The Plane Captain presumed that the pilot had properly instructed the passenger. That said, neither one should have gone on assumptions or "the other person's problem", especially for an older gentleman who wasn't even a retiring pilot...they both should have checked him over at every stage...it might take the pilot x minutes to suit up, but he's done it a few hundreds of times, he should have been monitoring the older man's every move during suit up. Clearly they didn't even test the intercom to make sure the passenger could communicate with the pilot, and THAT should be a checklist item anytime there's a backseater.

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?


I got similar guidance from management back when i was a youngster...."You're too specialized, you need to have more general knowledge". Very next boss, just a couple of years later. "You need to specialize in a niche you can make your own."

Stop us if you've heard this one before: HP Inc rejects Xerox's $36.5bn buyout plan as takeover saga drags on


Re: Strategy Option?

That would make sense, from a math standpoint. But you would never get a look at the books, no due diligence phase. You could easily succeed in getting a majority of stock and force a takeover, only to find out you bought a house of cards.

HMRC claims victory in another IR35 dispute to sting Nationwide contractor for nearly £75k in back taxes


Apparently it doesn't work that way. Contractors are "disguised employees" for liability purposes (ie, taxes) but not for benefit purposes (holiday, sick leave, pay reviews)...in short, only in the ways that benefit the government by increasing tax revenue.

Fella accused of ripping off Cisco, Amazon, iRobot, others to the tune of $2m by fraudulently demanding replacements for tech gear


Theoretically, should he somehow live to the end of the 825 years, would the fine be considered payable in 2020 money, or 2845 money? Inflation being what it is, 8 million could be just a few days' work then.

Death and taxis: Windows has had enough of clinging to a cab rooftop in the London rain


Re: The real big joke

Alternatively, the ads are so abundant and crass that you begin to despise the product or service the ads are about. Vehicle insurance companies and political "vote for me!" ads are prime offenders in this area. Instead of tuning them out entirely, they become the opposite of what they're meant to be, because they push you toward opposing products and services (candidates) just so you're not paying extra in order to help fund the ads that annoy you so much.

Forcing us to get consent before selling browser histories violates our free speech, US ISPs claim


Re: Stop the Press

Under US law, corporations are considered "legal entities", not people. Should a "company break the law", as in criminal law, the company officers are still liable for jail time. If a company if found to have breached a civil duty, as part of a lawsuit, the "legal entity" prevents the personal assets of each and every employee of the company from being at risk of seizure to satisfy the lawsuit. That's why in many modern lawsuits against companies, the major officers are named separately as co-defendants, to put their assets on the line as well as the company's. Under current law, if a company intentionally mis-states its financial position to gain investor confidence, the CEO can go to jail - the CEO has to sign each financial statement personally attesting that its true. So CEOs become obsessed over accounting - they don't want to go to jail - and lose sight of the actual company business. And it doesn't take being a company to buy votes - wealthy "celebrities" do it all the time too. You never seem to have A-list celebs called up for Jury Duty either, and they *are* people. And it takes a whole lot for one to ever go to jail....even when they're found guilty of actual crimes.

A lot of special interests have claimed "first amendment" rights whenever debate over campaign spending and so called "soft money" comes up. Most of these aren't even actual companies.

For this ISPs to claim First Amendment...it doesn't hold water. They actually DO have that protection - they are allowed express "official company position"s on various topics if they so choose - and nobody can restrict their legal right to do it. They will still face consequences from individuals (customers, pundits, their own employees, etc), just as any human would who takes a view others dislike.

That said, I cannot figure out what convolution or distortion these ISPs applied to make the First Amendment apply here. That's the problem.


Re: Judgement

The lobbies/special interest groups play into the problem, certainly. The other issue is that politicians just don't care about stuff like this. They want high-profiles stuff that they can use to get votes. They're not about doing what's right, they're about doing what gets them re-elected as many times as possible.

Managed services slinger Ensono waves goodbye to staff on both sides of the pond


CEO-speak to normal human language : "We made more this year, but not enough more. The peons must pay. Since current law frowns on execution, I'll just take their jobs instead."

Note that instead of investing money in training employees to support the growing business segments, they just dump people and hire new ones - then comment about how "churn" hurt them.

Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch 'submits himself' for arrest in central London


Re: Trade deal - test for the UK government

Different company, I was referencing Miniscribe.


Re: Trade deal - test for the UK government

Its not that hard to fool auditors, especially since I'm sure these were sent in at the last moment to do a rush job - a company with a valuation running to 10 digits and above *before* the decimal point would take many months to fully audit, and HPE was in a hurry.

All these "auditors" did, most likely, is just make sure the total over here was the same as over there and double check some arithmetic. There was no digging into the assumptions or validating the basic numbers - they were just checking the decorations.

A certain hard drive manufacturer in the US, which no longer exists, was at one point claiming a value many times its actual worth, with large "orders" of stuff actually sent *to* itself, consisting of empty boxes. But having those "hard drives in shipment" let them claim way more inventory than they really had. After a while, building bricks were placed in the boxes so they had weight, thus creating truly bricked hard drives, without the drives.

Maker of Linux patch batch grsecurity can't duck $260,000 legal bills, says Cali appeals court in anti-SLAPP case


One of the basic tenets of defamation is that the person making (or writing) the defamatory material *must know its false* at the time the statements are made/written. With OSS's own lawyer admitting that the blog was Perens's opinion, they cut their own argument off at the knees. By definition, people will believe their own opinions to be true..

Just a shut'em'up case against someone who decided to fight back. And since this was in the US, there's that pesky First Amendment thing too.

Comms room, comms room, comms room is on fire – we don't need no water, let the engineer burn


Re: Great post

Chlorine gas. And it was pretty bad for the boats under the Pacific, too.

Atari finally launches its VCS console. Again.


Switch is a Nintendo handheld gaming system. Has a screen and two controllers that can detach from the sides for use similar to the Wii controllers. Billed as "hybrid" since it can be linked to bigger screens or go mobile with the included one.

DigitalOcean drowned my startup! 'We lost everything, our servers, and one year of database backups' says biz boss


Re: "We now have to explain to our clients, etc"

To be fair, it *is* a two person company. They're probably working out of shoebox with no proper AC/power for a server

That begs the question of why such a small startup has such big customers so early on, but that's not really relevant

Error pop-up? Don't worry, let's just get this migration done... BTW it's my day off tomorrow


Re: Not sure who is more dull...

"Everyone's stories are dull and boring. Except mine. Share my own stories? Oh no, I'm far too busy for that. I'll just leave condescending comments, because....me.


One has to wonder...did this application owner have some incredibly gigantic payout clause if he were called in during his time off? Maybe he wanted to be called in to both heroically fix the license issue and get a huge payout for the incovenience

Sorry, but NASA says Mars signal wasn't Opportunity knocking


It was just two red-planet pranksters named Mart and Ian


Dear America: Want secure elections? Stick to pen and paper for ballots, experts urge


Re: @Martin Gregorie

There are idiots on both extreme ends of the spectrum, AC. Right and Left both have their share of moonbats all too willing to sacrifice all rights of a few, or a few rights of all, in exchange for the illusion of "security", largely against threats mostly invented, or at least heavily exaggerated, but those in Congress and the White House, regardless of which side of the aisle they lean toward. To focus so ineptly on the threat from one direction would blind you to the equal threat from the other. Our friends over in the UK, where there's a political party for every blade of grass, have the correct of it. A two-party system cannot help but eventually polarize as people are forced into one or the other, though they do not fit into the mold of either, and here we are. Elsewhere, these people would band together and form a new party and become, perhaps, a force to reckon with in time. Here, the titanic two have amassed so much money as the ONLY two that no third party can raise enough to combat them. Long term, getting this nation back means making it easier, a *LOT* easier, for alternate political parties to take on the Democrat and Republican parties, and ultimately, ideally, eliminate *all* parties and make every candidate run as an individual, espousing what they really believe instead of what the "party" makes them say in order to get the "soft money" campaign funds. I'm tired of voting for a candidate knowing its really the DNC and RNC that are pulling the puppet strings.

Script kiddie goes from 'Bitcoin Baron' to 'Lockup Lodger' after DDoSing 911 systems


"I'm too smart and too good at what I do for old guys to catch me!" - said every 20-something ever. Wannabe hacker: 0. Old guys: 1.

Kind of a shame though...these days its hard to even search for somewhere to live without going online...half the time you want to lease a place and they direct you to their online website to fill out the forms. Looking for a job - also way harder. Looking for one with limited experience, and zero experience in over a year and a half...with a criminal record *and* this set of restrictions...he can't even work at a fast-food place because the cash registers are networked. Not that he should be handling credit cards or cash - extortionists aren't the most trustworthy types even when they're incompetent and unsuccesful.

PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage


The United States is a Republic. Why should Democracy get a look in with the chief executive of a Republic?

Hello, this is the FTC. You have been selected for a free lawsuit... Robocall pair sued


Re: No fines collected?

I think the inference there is that fines would be assessed, but never collected. All the companies involved go under the moment the process begins, then re-emerge a few months later with new names and resume business.


Then they don't need a link to a person from the computer. Mark calls back, calls the boiler room where the scammers are at work. But there's no "line" connecting the robocall to the boiler room scammer. The defense could claim "the phone number that my client left changed to the scam number without our knowledge"

US prison telco accused of selling your phone's location to the cops


Re: Simple change to the law will fix it

It boggles the mind how "vote in our favor now, and you'll have a cushy job with us when you retire" isn't viewed as precisely that...instead its just "lobbying". Being absolutely ignorant of a thing has in no way ever slowed any politician's attempt to establish control over it. Often their very ignorance is why they are so dogged about regulating it. Most are intelligent people, but they want an "elevator briefing" on complex topics and then attempt to extrapolate, or intrapolate, the rest on the fly. In my personal opinion, the first thing every nation that elects leaders is term limits for EVERYONE. If every poltiican has the same "shelf life", and is banned from holding office at a certain level ever again after a set number of years, their value to the lobbyists is lower. Also, a politician can only raise so much money for a campaign. Everyone can raise a certain dollar amount for the primary election stage, and if the candidate goes to the general election, any money left from the primary phase counts against their budget for the general phase. If they are allowed "x" million, and reach that, they cannot accept any more donations from anybody. Level the playing field and make the jokers show they can actually work within a budget BEFORE they get elected. If some grumble their rights were trampled, they can contribute their money earlier next time. "Soft" money is harder to regulate, but that doesn't mean we can't start fixing what we can while working on a fix for the rest. The system's broken...citizens need to take it back and fix it, because the nimrods in DC like it just the way it is.

BOFH: Guys? Guys? We need blockchain... can you install blockchain?


Re: Unfortunately he hits the nail on the head again.

I once tried to get a co-worker's job title changed to Application Support Specialist. I might have snuck it past the boss, who was actually a very good boss, but I got greedy and tried to add "Head of Licensing Enforcement". That made the acronym a little too easy to spot, apparently.

Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook


Re: Client support, we've heard about it

Due respect, AC, but a grown adult should be able to rationally address the problems they face...this academic had quite some time to get a leash on his temper (the tech was gone two weeks) and chose not to. While the "technical problem" was possibly just a stray mouse click, the show of rage was unprofessional. Sometimes, one needs to be sniped at in return to realize they're dealing with fellow humans and should offer the respect they expect to receive.

BOFH: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back


GIven the time frames, he is probably no longer Pimply-Faced, and certainly *not* a Youth anymore.

But yes, he's still the PFY anyway.


"we stuffed the red pill into your mouth and held your nose weeks ago." The Duo are getting soft - Not all that long ago it would have been duct tape OVER the mouth and holding the nose for anyone prying into the secrets of the sanctum.

BOFH has been a good reader of character, though - he did spare the over-eager youngster who became PFY, and became, in the man's own words, "a fiend with a scarcely human face." Though the PFY did have to demonstrate his chops by checkmating the BOFH's attempt to get him fired, invoking the "Uncle Brian" defense, he wasn't just accepted into the sanctum as James has been....

...or has he been? That engagement the lined up for him could still prove to be a tragic, carefully planned accident...

UK.gov throws hissy fit after Twitter chokes off snoop firm's access


Re: Not to put too fine a point on it...

Your teenage daughter probably actually understands social media like Twitter. At least over here, people get addicted to that crap, probably much the same there.

One woman in her 30's actually robbed a bank, WHILE CHATTING ON HER CELL PHONE. Twice, three days apart. Police took her into custody the day after her second "unauthorized funds withdrawal".

Plan to kill net neutrality is the best thing/worst thing ever! EVER!!1


The UK has 94,000 square miles of land mass. The entire European Union taken as a whole comprises 1.7 million square miles.

The US has 3.8 million square miles, over twice that of the EU. With that much territory to cover, its going to take a *lot* more time for providers to overlap and provide the kind of competition you refer to, for now its really only a competition in certain suburban areas.

At some point my house was run for fiber - and for some semi-inexplicable reason, all the standard phone and cable outlets were simply cut off and stuffed into the walls, and covered with blank plates. But for THAT, I'd have a choice of 5 home Internet providers, and I know of those and 3 more that offer business-class services. Since my house is set up the way it is, I'm limited to just one, since only one provider has, thus far, run fiber optics in the area - unlike copper lines, fiber lines aren't shared.

Irish Stripe techie denied entry to US – for having wrong stamp in passport


I hate the concept of the Security Council where ONE member can vote down a proposed action before the UN in general can know about it, let alone debate it. Nations with despicable human rights scores nonetheless serve on the UN Human Rights commission.

I do not like the United Nations, they really accomplish very little of any value. Some dictator somewhere violates international law? Why, a UN proclamation will set him straight, and if not, we'll sanction him! If that doesn't work, we'll reiterate our sanctions every odd-numbered day until that dictator reforms! Really, its a useless bit of nonsense.

Look at North Korea. The UN wags its forefinger at them and tells them off for being naughty, and North Korea happily wags a different finger right back. Makes me feel safer knowing the UN is doing its usual stellar job with the more recalcitrant regimes out there.

Their peacekeepers did a bang-up job in Syria, didn't they? They could write a textbook on that operation. They also have a contingent in Haiti, because people on the verge of starvation make ideal soldiers. Disclosure: the US didn't do Haiti any favors, at all, by supporting Duvalier, but I was 7 when he was overthrown, so I don't accept any responsibility for that choice.

The UN often seems like it has zero respect for the rights of individuals, or national borders. All too often, the UN seems to operate as if it is in charge and national governments are subordinate to it, rather than it being little more than an advisory body.

As for NATO...well, every country *is* free to choose what percentage of the GDP they contribute to NATO, and this includes money and material - the "expectation" is 2%. But the money is supposed to go to upkeep and improvement over the member's own military forces that are designated as part of NATO's forces should they be called up. So with the largest military involvement in NATO, the US pays in the most. Iceland *has* no military, so they pay very little into NATO. If Germany or the UK *wanted* to raise their contributions, the US wouldn't argue against it, but the nation would need to increase the section of their military that is designated as available for NATO use, to absorb the extra funding, and then politics gets involved. No politician would want to sign off on (potentially) having more of the military taken away from home defense and deployed by, potentially, foreign commanders not even paid by the same government. That caused Pershing and Haig to lock horns during World War One, and wouldn't sit any better in the modern era.


As for not being permitted to go to San Francisco...just walk about with your head tilted about 35-40 degrees to one side, and you get a very similar experience to being there. Very expensive place to live.

As for charity...well, the United Nations is funded by its 193 member nations. https://factly.in/united-nations-budget-contributions-by-member-countries/. The US pays $3.024 Billion dollars (thousand millions to you chaps, I beleive) to the UN...on top of providing a large chunk of land for it to reside upon and housing for the ambassors and staff at cut rates. The US contribution is 621.9 million to the general operating fund, which is more than the 176 lower-paying nations *combined*...the contribution to peacekeeping is more than 185 lower-paying nations, combined. In terms of foreign aid, 25.6 billion dollars (American accounting) is paid Economic and Development programs and 16.8 billion (again, American accounting) goes to security...which includes military and counter-narcotics assistance. Who get it? Nations like Afghanistan, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Sudan, India, and, of course, Israel. For all the hype about Israel, though, only 3.05 million was actually given to Israel in 2016, though 3.1 billion was planned. Palestine got 163 million of 237 million planned. Even Switzerland and Ireland got some small pieces, though neither nation seems among those that are particularly impoverished. Its only tax money.

Man nicked trying to 'save' beer from burning building


Re: Then King's guitar left him

Its nothing to do with the alcohol content, Sir John of Brown. its how readily the alcohol that is there can transition to vapor - which is the only form that will actually light ... 100 proof vodka chilled will not catch fire. In this scenario, the beer would be heated up already, and spraying in a near-mist form, so yes, it would burn. Not for very long, I grant you - there's not much fuel. But there could be a few flickers of more fire then there already was. One could carry an open shot glass of 90 proof through a house fire without it flaming up, unless you dawdled amongst the flames for an extended period. Still, in my opinion, should you need to transport hard liquor through a fire, I would recommend drinking it first, and carrying it through in your stomach.


Re: Then King's guitar left him

I *suppose* one might argue that the overheated cans might have burst and sprayed any firefighters nearby with a flammable liquid, while they were in an area already on fire, therefore he was trying to keep firefighters from being harmed.

BOFH: The Hypochondriac Boss and the non-random sample


Re: Virus on a cd?

I once installed two retail anti-virus programs on one computer. Each saw the other one as a virus.

So I told them both to scan the drive and left for lunch while they fought it out. Neither won...they locked the system up. I called it a draw.


I recall there *being* a Holmes episode, actually...not really a "vs" scenario, though.


'We should have done better' – the feeble words of a CEO caught using real hospital IT in infosec product demos


"This moderator has been deleted by a post."

Teen charged with 'cyberstalking' in bomb hoax case


Re: "tumour"

That's fine...in Whitman's case, a tumo(u)r may have triggered his hostility and anger - but they do not claim it affected his cognition...Whitman did not conceal his actions, he was a straightforward "kill until I'm killed" serial murderer.

No bearing on this kid who took NO actions of his own, but got his kicks in making other people scared. That's not some unbearable rage or anger - that's being a jerk.


Re: "tumour"

He's not a danger? Okay...245 misdemeanors then, and just 1 month in jail per false alarm - he'll be out in 20 years, 5 months.

False alarms put everyone at risk...and calling SWAT on someone *is* dangerous...SWAT isn't deployed to deliver search warrants, they deploy to kill. Hopefully, just the "bad guys", but around here, SWAT weapons-safety training isn't all that great. One shot an empty closet, while his team leader was apologizing to the homeowner for the team having invaded THE WRONG HOUSE. Perhaps the closet did something threatening.


"..affects his cognitive functions..."? Seems like his thought processes worked well enough that he knew what he was doing was illegal. Otherwise, he wouldn't have even tried to cover his tracks. I suspect he has the same "cognitive" malfunction most 18-year-olds do - thinks he's smarter and better than everyone else and can get away with anything. Because he found this website about being anonymous on the web, and didn't notice the "1998" timestamp on it. These basics probably would have worked 15-20 years ago.