* Posts by Unoriginal Handle

59 posts • joined 30 Oct 2016


Microwaved fish could help scientists create sustainable LEDs

Unoriginal Handle

Most likely accidental.

"Who left this luminescent salmon too long in the lab kitchen microwave?"

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

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Re: Sat Comm

If the hookers are big enough to play rugby on, count me out.


Debugging source is even harder when you can't stop laughing at it

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Re: Trust but verify...

A slight aside...

Colleague at a job a long time ago received a mistakenly addressed email from one brother to another, expressing in colourful terms the older brother's dismay at finding out his sibling had come out as gay.

When he replied, to let the sender know the missive hadn't reached its intended recipient, their firm's email filter rejected it due to the level of profanity contained, none of which my colleague had added to...

Real-time software? How about real-time patching?

Unoriginal Handle

Re: In before someone says Rust would have enforced memory safety

Nice thought. Except Rust appeared in 2010, this story is set in the 1990s.

And the winning entry for the Jumper of Windows Past is...

Unoriginal Handle

I got a Windows Advent calendar. Opened one window, all the others opened by themselves.

And a few minutes later they *all* closed of their own accord.

<with thanks to Gary Delaney - https://www.garydelaney.com/ )

Log4j and Omicron: Brothers in harm, mothers of invention

Unoriginal Handle

Re: log4j

Here's a three liner:

1. Identify systems in your environment - and prioritise Internet-facing ones - which are using Log4j.

2. Check traffic to and from those systems, and allow only communication to and from trusted IPs

3. Block outbound connectivity to LDAP and RMI-IIOP services (port if you have to, application-based of you have a new-fangled application-aware firewall).

4. (Spanish inquisition time...) Change Log4j config to mitigate the threat, or upgrade...

Server errors plague app used by Tesla drivers to unlock their MuskMobiles

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Tesla


Engineers' Laurel and Hardy moment caused British Airways 787 to take an accidental knee

Unoriginal Handle

Re: The engineer's careers

They may not, but it's happened at least twice ( US, 2018, from the report ) so two sets of engineers...

Others may make the same mistake in the future if the little plastic insert isn't fitted by the date required by the AD.

Hubble Space Telescope may now depend on a computer that hasn't booted since 2009

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Shuttle!

Is that because it'll reflect the heat of re-entry?

Mine's the one with the book about reentry physics with a missing page

Poltergeist attack could leave autonomous vehicles blind to obstacles – or haunt them with new ones

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Automation

"many incidents weren’t the result of lack of braking capacity in the vehicle, but lack of brake pressure applied."

The overwhelming majority of car crashes are the results of decisions or the lack of well before the brake pedal is applied, however firmly.

The only way the human driver will be given an incentive to improve their own skills is if it saves them money - which in essence is insurance companies giving discounts for decent ongoing driver training a la RoSPA ROADAR or IAM schemes (these are int he UK, I'm not aware of anything else similar elsewhere in the world).

I can see the logic - sort of - from the car manufacturers' points of view. "Let's eliminate the things which cause cars to come together, like not braking in time, crossing lanes, not looking properly into blind spots". The problem is that those speccing the systems to do this are probably in the same boat as other drivers in that the passed their tests many years ago and haven't had any standards checks since then.

I say this as someone who's a tutor for the local RoADAR group and sees a ex-police advanced driving instructor at least yearly to make sure I'm still up to scratch. And before anyone passes me a pork pie hat and some string back gloves you'd need to drive with me first to see if that particular stereotype fits.

Stealthy Linux backdoor malware spotted after three years of minding your business

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Pretty stupid port number

You wouldn't. The C2C server is listening on port 443, but *not* using SSL/TLS to encrypt services.

The backdoored machine may be running a web server but it's talking *outbound*. Destination port = 443, source port on the victim something completely different.

Known software issue grounds Ingenuity Mars copter as it attempted fourth flight

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Did....

OTA ? Through a vacuum?


39 Post Office convictions quashed after Fujitsu evidence about Horizon IT platform called into question

Unoriginal Handle

Therium funded the litigation against the Post Office, and its probable that without that, the good work of all involved in bringing it to light wouldn't have succeeded as it has.

Therium fund stuff like this for a profit, so it's them who got the bulk of the initial settlement. I'm not keen on it, but I'm happy to be enlightened on any other way the appeal could have been funded.


iPhone XR caught fire after getting trapped in airline passenger's seat

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Clumsy while sleeping

From the AAIB report - "One of the cabin crew asked the passenger if she could stow the bedding whilst the passenger was away from her seat", as the aircraft was in the last 40 minutes of the flight, starting to secure the aircraft for the descent and landing.

Brit authorities could legally do an FBI and scrub malware from compromised boxen without your knowledge

Unoriginal Handle

Not quite. They're prosecuted for burglary, which has no monetary value attached to it.

And the monetary losses are, from my dim and distant memories as a probationer constable in the late 80s, subsidiary to the emotional distress caused by knowing a complete stranger has had free rein in your castle.

https://www.cps.gov.uk/legal-guidance/theft-act-offences#:~:text=Section%209%20of%20the%201968,to%20inflict%20grievous%20bodily%20harm refers.

Won't somebody please think of the children!!! UK to mount fresh assault on end-to-end encryption in Facebook

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Bore Da, Maidin Mhaith

I'll plump for Navajo..

Prince Philip, inadvertent father of the Computer Misuse Act, dies aged 99

Unoriginal Handle

Re: No TV

"Just wondering since I can't quite remember where I left mine about 50 years ago"

Was talking with a new girlfriend once about where and when we'd lost our respective virginities.

After I told my story, she said "I can't exactly remember where or when it was, but I've still got the box it came in."

And yes, I am leaving so soon...

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Not necessarily.

"I'm curious why a bush pilot in Aus would use pounds?"

As the previous poster said, aviation - especially if flying an American designed light aircraft, uses a whole load of different units. Pounds for weight, inches for centre of gravity datums, potentially US gallons for fuel quantities. And the units used are specified in the aircraft manual which is a legal document so everything needs to be converted back to those units to make sure you're not over the max weight and the CG is within limits.

So you have to convert your USG fuel required into UK G or litres - and the potential for weight-affecting errors just here is massive if you're not on the ball as it's not volume you need, it's the actual weight...

Atheists warn followers of unholy data leak, hint dark deeds may have tried to make it go away

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Americans and Religion

Heretic atheists. Who'd have thought!

Apple iOS 14.5 will hide Safari users' IP addresses from Google's Safe Browsing

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Proxying

Well yes they're MITM. But unless they stick a cert on my device they're not going to see anything useful beyond the first few packets of metadata as it's all pretty much encrypted.

And even if I was dumb enough to allow Apple to decrypt my data, cert pinning, client certs and the like knock a whole lot of other stuff out for the potential decryptor.

The Linux box that runs the exec carpark gate is down! A chance for PostgreSQL Man to show his quality

Unoriginal Handle

Worked for an ISP many years ago. Was involved with auditing user accounts and configs on sensitive switches and routers which controlled a fair chunk of the ISPs and their customers connectivity.

On being told I was made redundant, I handed the SecurID fob in to a senior colleague the same day, and got an email confirmation from them to confirm. No way I was going to open myself up to all sorts of problems if there were problems.

My foreign manager, on the other hand, is a completely different story and couldn't understand why I wouldn't fly to Europe for a few days, in my consultation period, when I had job interviews lined up...

Accused murderer wins right to check source code of DNA testing kit used by police

Unoriginal Handle

It's not just DNA - breathalysers too...

In the past, Draeger breathalysers / intoximeters have had their accuracy questioned.

Start at https://www.zdnet.com/article/draeger-breathalyzer-breath-test-convictions/ for an idea of the problem.

A 1970s magic trick: Take a card, any card, out of the deck and watch the IBM System/370 plunge into a death spiral

Unoriginal Handle

Early 80s. University somewhere. Either under Ultrix on the old PDP/11 or the shiny new Vax 8600, likewise with Ultrix. But no per-user process limits...

Me, in my tinkering, had a shell script ( probably Bourne but who cares, and it doesn't matter ) which forked another background shell or copy of itself, slept for 5 seconds, then repeated.

When other users sat at terminals in the room with all the consoles started expressing confusion as to why they couldn't do anything I went off and sought the advice of one of the post-grad system admins. Who had to resort to rebooting the whole kit and caboodle to resolve the problem, and /I don't know how much of other peoples' work I lost.

Sorry, all...

There are two sides to every story, two ends to every cable

Unoriginal Handle

Obligatory Dilbert . . .


Who knew that hosing a table with copious amounts of cubic metres would trip adult filters?

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Over sensitive company intranet

If you'd like a double entendre, I could give you one? As the bishop said to the actress...

Unoriginal Handle

Or Wetwang ? https://goo.gl/maps/oTQRS1g3f2nBq7rf6

It's always DNS, especially when a sysadmin makes a hash of their semicolons

Unoriginal Handle

Double quotes, versus single quotes, versus Microsoft "smart" quotes...that took a while to find.

Panic in the mailroom: The perils of an operating system too smart for its own good

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Computerized billing ...

On my honeymoon in 1991, driving through the French countryside near Darois (I think). Saw a sign pointing to the CAP aircraft factory. Knocked on the door and got a tour, seeing the raw materials (piles of wood) being turned into aircraft in stages. It appealed because at the time I'd just completed a PPL(A).

Got told to go to the nearby airfield the day after and look at the actual finished product. No trip in one, but seeing the transformation of the raw material to a finished aerobatic aircraft ticked my geek boxes...

Palo Alto Networks threatens to sue security startup for comparison review, says it breaks software EULA

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Is that Barbara Streisand I hear in the background?

Actually that search only lists 137 vulns. The full list is at https://security.paloaltonetworks.com

Beware, drone fliers, of Scotland's black-headed gulls. For they will tear your craft from Mother Nature's skies

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Once upon and Lands End...

"Winged pirates" ? Indeed, they arrrrrr....

You there. Person, corp, state. Doesn't matter. You better not shoot down or hack a drone. That's our job – US govt

Unoriginal Handle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CzURm7OpAA - how to stop a pervy kid taking pictures into bedrooms. Might fall foul of this lot, but it's a fun watch.

Oh what a feeling: New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour

Unoriginal Handle

The biggest gripe I've got with any sort of telematics which sends driving-related data to anyone, including insurance companies, is not the data itself but the poor interpretation.

Anyone who's done some sort of advanced driver training ( most likely in the UK, I've not seen it very prevalent else where) of the likes of IAM or RoSPA's ROADAR scheme ( https://www.iamroadsmart.com/ or https://www.roadar.org.uk/ ) will drive considerably differently than anyone else, and safer. That doesn't preclude firmer braking or harder acceleration, but both those activities would be pinged by

And a friend was hit by a young driver with telematics - he was too fast round a bend on a country round and while she stopped in a few feet, his marks were measured at about 45 yards. Telematics don't make things safer at the time, they tell you after the fact (or possibly not - what's too fast on a 60 mph piece of road where in reality 25-30mph is the top safe speed in the case above).

The way to better safer driving is to give the human the skills and the attitudes to deal adequately with anything the road might throw at them, and the only way to do that is to offer good insurance discounts for people with a demonstrated desire to improve their driving. But that's not going to happen unless it's mandated, so I'll keep my as-little-computerised-as-possible car off the Internet and drive it in the way I've been trained, and out of the way of everyone else out there who's not.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Front panels and security keys...

Key-related topic drift...

I worked in the Newbury offices of Cabletron, and we had a lab with all sorts of kit in it to simulate a network for the Spectrum software my team and I was supporting. We kept the lab locked because kit would be raided for urgent customer requirements ( i.e. rapid replacement of broken kit on site). But the key sometimes took a while to come back or we'd havr to go and find it.

Until the day the 8 x 4 metal door sign with "Lab" on it no longer stuck properly. So I used a split ring to attach the key to the sign, and funnily enough the key was always promptly returned from then on.

No Wiggle room: Two weeks after angry bike shop customers report mystery orders on their accounts, firm confirms payment cards delinked

Unoriginal Handle

Re: At Chris G, re: Lycranthropist.

Cellophane? Surely wouldn't his thighs have stuck together?

You can't have it both ways: Anti-coronavirus masks may thwart our creepy face-recog cameras, London cops admit

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Lookie likey

I thought we had to use the terms "thinking challenged" or "thinking deficient"...

Cyber attack against UK power grid middleman Elexon sparks in-house IT recovery efforts

Unoriginal Handle

If they are going to pay the ransom, why not pay in electricity, rather than directly in bitcoin ? After all, they know where the electricity is and how to get hold of it :)

Mine's the coat with the multimeter in the pocket.

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Windows Server 2000

"Reboot every 42 days" - so *that's* the answer!

We regret to inform you there are severe delays on the token ring due to IT nerds blasting each other to bloody chunks

Unoriginal Handle

In my first IT job (WH Pitt / Signal Limited) in the early/mid 09s I worked on ICL DRS300 running CCPMs. Never realised there were games for it !

Instagram influencer fools followers into thinking Ikea photoshoot was Bali holiday

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Ah!

I temporarily misread that as "AI! The stupoidity which keeps on giving"...

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers

Unoriginal Handle

It's been going on for centuries...


Behold the perils of trying to turn the family and friends support line into a sideline

Unoriginal Handle

Re: I've had my share.

My turn to be geek.

Kiowa - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_OH-58_Kiowa

or Apache Longbow - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AgustaWestland_Apache

I just love your accent – please, have a new password

Unoriginal Handle

Re: Scottish accent

Gratuitous Billy Connolly sketch, because it mentions "effers" and it relies on a Scottish accent. Well, at least BC does...


Transport for London Oyster system pulled offline after credential-stuffing crooks board customers' accounts

Unoriginal Handle

Re: We encourage all customers not to use the same password for multiple sites

I always put myself down as Michael Mouse, email address m.mouse@disney.com.

If that doesn't work, then Michael Souris, m.souris@disney.com.

Let's talk about April Fools' Day jokes. Are they ever really harmless?

Unoriginal Handle

One particularly irksome colleague in a job far far away played golf on his work PC on a regular basis.

Someone (who, me?) added a "golf.bat" and changed precedence so it ran before the golf.com or gold.exe, whichever it was.

The golf.bat said something like "you're playing games in work time, your hard disk will be deleted", then paused for a moment and ran chkdsk /f in silent mode.

Time from starting playing golf to punching the power button - about 2 seconds, perhaps less.

Poetic justice: Mum funnels £100 into claw machine to win single Dumbo teddy for her kid

Unoriginal Handle

Re: I beleve in Unicorns

Much like Pastafarians, who worship The Flying Spaghetti Monster...


Apple stock hits bottom ... as AirPod exits man's backside and still works after colonic travels

Unoriginal Handle

A suppository?

In the Pedant's Corner...if it was a suppository then he'd have to have made some serious contortions to get the AirPod in...

And on an unrelated note, and only to crowbar the joke in, I always thought "innuendo" were Italian suppositories until someone corrected me...

Having a bad day? Be thankful you don't work at a Russian ISP: Kremlin signs off Pootynet restrictions

Unoriginal Handle

Re: @JLV - Go, Putain, go

And the Chinese are brazen enough to do it in the US...


Complex automation won't make fleshbags obsolete, not when the end result is this dumb

Unoriginal Handle

Here's a link to that story - https://www.evo.co.uk/mitsubishi/7439/mitsubishi-evo-mr-340

And yes, most people haven't a clue how to drive in standard conditions, let alone when they or the weather make them non-standard.

Your pal in IT quits. Her last words: 'Converged infrastructure...' What does it all mean? We think we can explain

Unoriginal Handle

Re: The new mainframe?

"Just a continuation of the inexorable raising of the level of the presented interfaces in all hardware and software systems over time"

Yep, while underneath the complexities are very real. How many folks can use a browser to buy something over the Internet, compared with how many understand the interactions end to end which achieve that result? And the skills to understand that are few and far between.

It's what caught RBS out some years ago - no-one understood the whole picture in detail so each bit worked but the whole didn't.

Mikrotik routers pwned en masse, send network data to mysterious box

Unoriginal Handle

Blocking an external management interface from direct access from the internet is an absolute must. If you have to, VPN access to the box and do it that way. If nothing else the logs on the box fill up with denied SSH requests and the filesystem gets to 100% and the box does funny things up to and including becoming unresponsive...



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