* Posts by Chairman of the Bored

932 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Apr 2017

IT Marie Kondo asks: Does this noisy PC spark joy? Alas, no. So under the desk it goes

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Loudener

@Lee D- well played, sir. And the little smirk from the staff means they love what you did and will follow you anywhere

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Loudener

Some of the things I really miss from uni are the sax, drums, and rock-'n'-roll

Chairman of the Bored


We had a boss that absolutely demanded to have the most powerful PC in the building. Very annoying when you set up a modeling and simulation rig, only to have it disappear into the management suite and you get his malware-infested hand-me-down.

So our IT guys would build out out M&S boxes inside ancient IBM-AT 5170 cases, modified as appropriate. Very occasionally they would upgrade the execs PCs by installing louder and more obnoxious fans to handle the 'increased power'

From the Department of WCGW: An app-controlled polycarbonate lock with no manual override/physical key

Chairman of the Bored

If it had a mechanical override...

...would we have a new meaning for the term dick pic(k)?

Chairman of the Bored

USB devices

Former SO worked in an emergency room, and had a number of ... disturbing... tales about the objects guys and gals would stick in, over, and through their recreational sites.

The one that got me was a dude with a USB cable stuck in his inflamed urethra. WTF, over?

How's this for overachieving? Man accused of running software outfit as a Ponzi scheme while on parole from previous fraud

Chairman of the Bored

ERP deployments

Is it just me or do I see a parallel here:

Supposedly off-the-shelf software that will make (save) you millions, big firms are throwing money at our feet, Ponzi scheme, no deliveries, has to screw the next set of customers to make you whole...

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable

Chairman of the Bored

Cable fights back!

Supposedly my firm had an installer suffer an eye injury because he was looking down a conduit while a buddy blew a fiber down the tube.

Didn't witness it myself, but the mandatory training did gain another entry.

Hydrogen-powered train tested on Britain's railway tracks as diesel alternative

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Not as green as 25kv overhead


Yes, I was going to suggest standard nukes for electrolysis, but the real win is with a very high temperature gas reactors. Japan is leading the world in VTGR technology right now, but the UK atomic energy industry is far more than capable of giving this a go. My own county not so much.

Above 900DegC process temperature, one can use a closed cycle utilizing iodine and sulfuric acid to split water into H and O. Basically one uses the Bunsen reaction for hydrogen iodide and sulfuric acid production; the iodine and sulfuric acid are recycled in the process, minimizing waste. Carbon has no role in such a system.

The extremely high process temperatures from a HTGR/VTGR can also potentially make other processes that thermodynamically disadvantaged under "normal" circumstances economical. Examples include cracking of non-recyclable plastic crap into useful hydrocarbons, detoxifying waste streams, and so forth.

Mines the one with the borated polyethylene foam blocks in the pocket. Thanks!

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Not as green as 25kv overhead

No downvote, but the "green energy to production hydrogen" is at best a miniscule part of the problem.

Industrial hydrogen production follows from coal gassification, steam reforming of natural gas, and oxidizing methane. All of these are highly energy intensive and filthy.

This is green washing.

FYI: If you're running HP Device Manager, anyone on your network can get admin on your server via backdoor

Chairman of the Bored

Have a pint

How many of us (myself specifically included) would have blown right past the log entry? Nicely done, sir.

Not the Southern Rail of the stars: Rocket Lab plans frequent, regular trips to Venus from 2023

Chairman of the Bored

Re: satellite

Venusian satellite?

Probably want one ... Actually, a network of them ... safely outside the atmosphere as a comms relay for the atmospheric probes. What this buys you is mass margin on your probe: why carry a radio and power conversion equipment suitable for interplanetary comms when all you really need is to close a link of a few thousand kilometers? Spend the mass savings on experiments.

That's how we roll on Mars. Earth, too, for that matter- check out the Tracking and Data Relay Satellites...

Exercise-tracking app Strava to give away data sweated out after four billion runs, rides and rambles

Chairman of the Bored

Another 2nd order effect

When I lived in a city years ago, my cycling route avoided certain economically disadvantaged areas. Not so much because of the people there, but the road conditions were awful... The city doesn't invest in infrastructure in the tough parts of town.

So then if we target investments based on traffic density, and the traffic density is a function of existing infrastructure quality, do we not run the risk of further discrimination in investment?

Wondering how to tell the world you've been hacked? Here's a handy guide from infosec academics

Chairman of the Bored

Re: How to report a breach?

@Psmo,. I think I will steal your excellent suggestions if/when I have the need. One more came to mind:

Quietly hidden

Label under mouse pad lurks

User password bliss

Chairman of the Bored

How to report a breach?

Maybe with a haiku?

Crypto moves softly

Ripples across NAS

Come dawn we are fscked

Frames per second? Windows Terminal brings back text animation with the VT100 blink

Chairman of the Bored

Re: I'll take a pass

My first university's computer room was a VAX and Sun affair. Plenty of VT100s and 220s. A bunch of Data General terminals sat in a room by themselves. I remember well laughing uproariously when a team lead suggested our little band retire to the Data General room to work and one guy snorted, "Dirty Genitals? No thanks, I'm clean". Some things are funny at 2am on the cusp of an all-nighter

Years later I had use of multiple SGI Power Origin machines. Wonderful beasts. Console was a VT100 because... Why not?

Second lockdown? Perfect time to unveil Teams Breakout rooms and another ginormitor – the 85-inch Surface Hub 2S

Chairman of the Bored

Wait... Virtual commute?

I already experience one, what with the ten to thirty minutes wasted trying to worm my way onto the corporate VPN, waiting for Outlook to deign to download my ration of comms, and saying "Hi" to the team members on Teams.

They want to make this even slower? WTF!?

Admittedly in the physical office I fire up the computer and then go walkabout for thirty anyways, but still...

Your latest security headache? Ed from accounting using his kid as an unpaid helpdesk

Chairman of the Bored

A lot of the IT busy work I assign is absolutely intentional

To be honest, our schools curriculum is so easy that the teenager finishes their "four hours of homework" in 30min, assuming they didn't knock it out while pretending to pay attention during their online, socially-distanced class. We need to find productive and mentally stimulating activities or we will all start drinking again.

So, kid, you want a better computer? You're going to build it. Want it to be secure? OK, let's learn something. Want to see if it's really secure? Let's both learn something by trying to nuke it. Welcome to Kali. Good times, valuable skills.

I will admit to having the kids take hours of mind-numbing annual corporate training on my behalf. But they owe me...

Get ready for Clippy 9000: Microsoft exclusively licenses OpenAI's mega-brain GPT-3 for anything and everything

Chairman of the Bored

BS bomb

In US military service the PDU-5B container munition (leaflet dispenser) is commonly known as the Bullshit Bomb.

I suspect that the first users of generative networks for text will be marketing types. We will have Cyber bullshit bombs.

I wonder if we will have arms control - it's a weapon of mass distraction!

Future airliners will run on hydrogen, vows Airbus as it teases world-plus-dog with concept designs

Chairman of the Bored

Im going to say the quiet bit out loud...

Most industrial production of hydrogen is achieved through steam reforming of natural gas, coal gassification, and oxidizing methane. This is all extremely dirty and inefficient.

Failing to include the H2 production environmental effects in the system boundary under discussion is disingenuous. Unless we bring high temperature has reactors online, designed so that we can use extremely high temperature coolant for process heat, H2 production will remain dirty.

The deadliest bullshit it odorless and transparent. And, apparently, lighter than air.


Take your pick: 'Hack-proof' blockchain-powered padlock defeated by Bluetooth replay attack or 1kg lump hammer

Chairman of the Bored

Social engineering and pick sets

I sometimes had to open locks in the office, for perfectly ethical reasons, such as "Need backup drives from some guy's locked container and he's on leave abroad..."

Management was uncomfortable at best that I had the pick set.

Solution? Teach the head secretary how to pick locks and let her hold onto the pick set and practice locks. The organization gains a powerful tool against people losing keys to random racks of crap, you gain serious political capital by helping the head admin, and you can have the pick set whenever you need - no questions asked

Entity list? Pah! Huawei rolls out updated laptops, including a pricey i7 ultrabook

Chairman of the Bored

Power connector?

Is there an actual connector or does power use up your USB-C?

I hate carrying hubs around just to distribute juice while I keep peripherals connected. Yeah, it's a first world problem but I'm getting old and lazy...

Three middle-aged Dutch hackers slipped into Donald Trump's Twitter account days before 2016 US election

Chairman of the Bored

Re: What this means

Wait, so some poor bastard had to read every single tweet? Drink up.

Chairman of the Bored

Re: If you check on https://crackstation.net/ (as I just did, as I was curious)


This one seems to use ALL CAPS, and no special characters. At best seven bits of entropy per character. Should be an easy search.

I think my first try will be: YUGEWANKER

Chairman of the Bored

Need better pseudonyms

Might I suggest "Dewey, Screwum, and Howe?"

With apologies to the entire legal profession.

In all seriousness, well done gentlemen.

Old and busted: Targeting servers and web bugs. New hotness: Pwning devs with targeted poisoned stacks

Chairman of the Bored

Not quite so simple...

...agree pulling random bullshit from Stack Overflow is probably not a good idea. Even if you don't get owned, you've incurred technical debt.

But what of the millions of lines of code I pull into my projects linking against standard libraries? How confident are we that libc is OK? libqt? lib*? .net?

ByteDance says it will abide by China's new export laws

Chairman of the Bored

One hell of an expensive temper tantrum

Nobody in the US Govt cared about Tik Tok until (allegedly) it was used by teens to pump and dump attendance at Trump's Tulsa rally.

I suspect that neither Alphabet nor Walmart actually feel a sense of business urgency to buy that crap app. Perhaps it's more of a feeling of political urgency and a need to purchase favors from the royal court.

'My wife tried to order some clothes tonight. When she logged in, she was in someone else's account ... Now someone's charged her card'

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Walmart?

Lube was relatively edible? Not sure, it was KY brand "warming liquid".

Methinks that if you need chemical help getting that fire lit, your technique is not kwite right. Some things require time, patience, skill, and creativity...

Chairman of the Bored


I do not use their online ordering / delivery service.

Imagine my surprise when a Walmart box shows up at my door, properly addressed. I opened it and found four large boxes of incontinence briefs. I'm getting old, but not that old!

Called Wally world and they had no idea how it was ordered and didn't seem to care that I had them... "just drop it at a store, or keep it"

Other boxes appearing from the void this past year: 4 large tubes of personal lube, a box of relatively edible food, and a box of junk food.

Not Half bad: Microsoft back to 16 bits with new storage-saving type in .NET 5

Chairman of the Bored

I hereby propose...

...when they get around to creating new operators for type half we get a new assignment operator called HALFASS

We've heard some made-up stories but this is ridiculous: Microsoft Flight Simulator, Bing erect huge skyscraper out of bad data

Chairman of the Bored

If it stays up like that more than 4 hours...

Call your doctor.

Thanks for the memories... now pay up or else: Maze ransomware crew claims to have hacked SK hynix, leaks '5% of stolen files'

Chairman of the Bored


That is all.

Ex-Apple engineer lifts lid on Uncle Sam's top-secret plan to turn customized iPod into 'Geiger counter'

Chairman of the Bored

Re: I call BS

Nice! Thanks

Chairman of the Bored

I call BS

If you want to differentiate between materials, you need something with energy discrimination- a scintillation counter, not a Geiger counter. That implies a liquid or solid scintillator... No need for high voltage electronics and photomultiplier tubes these days, we have silicon photomultipliers. See:


But sensitivity varies directly as the volume of your scintillator. Something small enough to fit in a ipod will have very little volume and roughly the sensitivity of Helen Keller. Workable, but you need a lot of patience. Instead of wandering the city, you would be standing or lying still for tens of minutes to an hour until your pulse height discriminator has something to work with. Then you move another half meter. Unless you're pretending to sleep rough, this is not suspicious at all. Size matters.

My coat? The one with the zinc sulphide in the pocket.

Trump administration labels WeChat, TikTok ‘threats’ to national security, bans transactions with both

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Trump is a moron


”[ban] ... because kids sharing dance videos on a Chinese owned platform is a national emergency?

Almost. I think this temper tantrum is because teens allegedly colluded over TikTok to reserve tickets for Trump's Tulsa reelection rally and, obviously, not show up. He was apparently incandescent with rage that the venue wasn't packed with people.

And here we are.

Rejoice! China's smartphone market drops 10% as 5G purchases surge

Chairman of the Bored

Well, good on them

Glad someone got COVID under control. I have a hard time believing official case numbers from China. Or my own govt for that matter. But economic numbers across multiple firms gives one hope.

Meanwhile, in the land of the free, my wife gets yelled at for WEARING a mask to the market...

That's how we roll: OWC savagely undercuts Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels with bargain $199 alternative

Chairman of the Bored

Sheets of PTFE

If I think a rack or something might have to become itinerant, I will put a 1cm thick sheet of PTFE under it before loading it up with equipment. Then I can slide it about the lab without needing, say, a rugby team to help me out.

What a good eye-dea: Battery-less, grain-of-sand-sized 2.4GHz transmitter to help save your eyesight

Chairman of the Bored


At some point I would hope that natural selection will start to thin that herd. Hopefully the bug that does them in isn't as transmissible as COVID.

In the meantime, I get to send a kid back to school knowing two of the offspring in his class were sites by anti-vax nuts. Nothing like knowing your kid will be sitting next to Marco Polio.

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

Chairman of the Bored

Paranoia- inducing signatures

I worked for an organization that required your basic "I am not a contracting officer... You cannot construe anything in this email as a constructive change or commitment..." signature. Written by lawyers, the sigs were generally longer than our emails.

A few users were observed to have terse, cryptic signatures when communicating with each other. OMG! Non-conformists! Spies! Traitors! Bag biters! Call the authorities!!!!

Turns out they were playing multiple simultaneous games of chess.

Only the nails that stand up get hammered flat.

Twitter Qracks down on QAnon and its Qooky Qonspiracies

Chairman of the Bored

Juvenal called?

So mass appeasement has gone from "panem et circenses" - let them have bread and circuses - to "Let them have Twitter and twats"

We're screwed.

€13bn wings its way back to Apple after Euro court rules Irish tax deal wasn't 'state aid'

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Two things

1) Quite right, sounds fun!

2) No, PWC not involved. They won't give you a single PowerPoint for only 3.9e6

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

Chairman of the Bored

Re: / tmp

Thanks, all, for the corrections on my -i fixation. I've been doing that since SunOS 2 and it definitely helped me way back then.

In getting old enough to cargo cult MYSELF? Guess that explains all the gray hair!

Chairman of the Bored

Re: / tmp

Aye! I've shot my toes off in much the same way.

Tip: put a zero length file called -i in the root directory. It will force a rampaging rm -rf back to interactive mode. Then the trick to to not hit 'y' when prompted...

It's a zero length file, but at least once has covered my entire posterior.

Chairman of the Bored

Speaking about the f*ing manual...

I think there is some sort of physical law that says something to the effect of, "If you're in deep ship when working on a production system, you will not find the required manual in your documentation wall. Nor will the requisite man pages be installed. After the disaster, you will find the resources with ease."

White elephants in the mist: Google's upcoming Pixel 4A may ship without Soli motion recognition, per FCC filing

Chairman of the Bored

Gesture recognition?

Combined with the inevitable security failures in complex phone software, I can see apps being developed that finally answer the question- 'Are the punters around us primarily wankers or tossers?'

As Uncle Sam flies spy drones over protest-packed cities, Homeland Security asks the public if that's a good idea

Chairman of the Bored

Re: "lol they're just using them for surveillance"

My fault using "order of battle"; it's probably uncommon outside of military and law enforcement circles.

I learned my electronics in the military. OOB refers to the command authority, structure, number of people, disposition of personnel, and equipment of a military or police force. No matter how peaceful your local coppers are, they think in these terms.

Personally I don't think the solution to US problems is to refund the police, but let's stop giving them military-grade kit and hiring guys who think they're freaking Rambo. If you step on the street with enough weapons to whack everyone in a block's radius you are sending a message...

Chairman of the Bored

Re: I submitted my comment

Well, I sent my $0.02. Accessed the survey through Tor, natch. That probably just means my comment is deleted.

Chairman of the Bored

Re: "lol they're just using them for surveillance"

I definitely cannot speak for conditions across the US, but the five counties and cites around me all have had UAS integrated into their order of battle for years. With a common APCO P.25 radio infrastructure and officers co-locating at each others' emergency communication centers, they do a reasonably good job of sharing actionable information. UAS are indeed used to find lost people and assess fires, and have done so successfully. The police do UAS demos at schools all the time to show students what can and cannot be done with the platforms, and of course to recruit I suppose.

So why does local law enforcement need a Predator? When they already have UAS up (I've seen 'em)? They probably don't. A time of crisis in not an appropriate moment for integrating a new system into your order of battle.

So there are three reasons: ISR for the federal forces in the ground, intimidate the local police, and to send a big f__k you to the governor of a state. The latter makes sense only if the national leader is prone to temper tantrums. Oh, wait...

Northrop Grumman to polish NASA's HALO, techies test tardy telescope tower, SLS boosters ready for Florida

Chairman of the Bored

I thought...

...the tweet said we were going to put boobs on the moon in 2024. But we think that was a typo

Pablo Escobar's big bro and former accountant sues Apple for $2.6bn over FaceTime bug

Chairman of the Bored

So you blow 100k on "added security"...

...and effen install FaceTime? Are you kidding me?

Someone needs to stop using his own product!