* Posts by Chairman of the Bored

932 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Apr 2017

You know SAP's doing a great job when a third of German users say they 'have no confidence in it'

Chairman of the Bored

Had all my strength SAPped

Worked for a billion-dollar-plus enterprise that went with SAP ERP tools. Theoretically the ERP solution is tailored to support and augment existing business processes and rules. In actuality what happens is that the organization gets distorted to match the ERP software design. It constantly reminded me about jokes from my ex-Soviet Bloc friends who said Russia is shaping the New Soviet Man with unbelievably uncomfortable train and airplane seats...

Tesla Autopilot crash driver may have been eating a bagel at the time, was lucky not to get schmeared on road

Chairman of the Bored


She's gonna have to blow the computer!

Allowlist, not whitelist. Blocklist, not blacklist. Goodbye, wtf. Microsoft scans Chromium code, lops off offensive words

Chairman of the Bored

Johannes Brahms said...

"If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.” ...

Google security crew sheds light on long-running super-stealthy iOS spyware operation

Chairman of the Bored

Emails and contacts...

A lot of corporate iThing use cases do not involve use of Apple's email and contact applications but instead rely on Blackberry's sandboxed "Good App" or whatever it's called now. One wonders if this exploit worked on these or only the vendor-supplied tools.

Apple says sorry for Siri slurping voice commands of unsuspecting users

Chairman of the Bored

Re: No!

Wouldn't worry too much. As long as the train got into the station and everyone got off, it's all good.

Sueball claims Tesla solar panels are so effective, they started fires at Walmart stores

Chairman of the Bored

Obligatory lawyer joke

In an ironic twist of fate, an ambulance chaser's Tesla autopilot smashes him into an actual ambulance. It's a pretty horrific crash but the lawyer survives.

Lying on the stretcher he moans, "My Tesla! My Tesla!". The medical tech says, "Sir, unfortunately that's the least of your problems. Your left arm has been severed and we..." Lawyer interrupts him with an anguished cry, "My Rolex! My Rolex!"

Four more years! Four more years! Svelte Linux desktop Xfce gets first big update since 2015

Chairman of the Bored

XFCE usability

A pint, I think, is in order.

As the "go-to" computer guy in a family with several rapidly aging members, all of whom are starting to struggle a bit with cognitive function, XFCE on Xubuntu has been a real blessing.

All they want or need to do is email, browse the web, do their online banking, and do some light writing. I find it trivial to configure XFCE and a few other bits and baubles from Xubuntu to meet their needs, hide the dangerous bits, and keep things as simple as possible.

It is lightweight enough that even a modest laptop performs very well indeed. XFCE's look and feel is stable with time, critical for this population.

Outstanding software!

Our hero returns home £500 richer thanks to senior dev's appalling security hygiene

Chairman of the Bored

"security isn't my job" attitude

...I understand what you mean, and it's a good point. The rub is that in many large orgs - particularly government in my experience - your sensible position morphs into a management mantra that "Security is Everyones' Job"

What does that mean in practice? When the inevitable problems occur, the set {everyone} is searched until some poor bastard without any political clout or protection is identified, "investigated", and eliminated.

In environments like that I will use weasel words such as, 'While I employed best known practices, I'm a hardware guy. For the security angle you need to consult with Joe Blow...' It's a long sentence, but it must cover my entire arse.

Satellites with lasers and machine guns coming! China's new plans? Trump's Space Force? Nope, the French

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Clichés abiund

Of course the 500-plus rifle and 50 mechanized divisions the Soviets threw against the Axis pretty much saved everyone's butt. Some 30M lost on the Eastern Front. Have to give credit where it is due...

Chairman of the Bored

But.. French machine guns?

I'd make a crack about them having thousands of surplus chauchats "never fired but dropped once" but that's kind of like fishing in a barrel.

Please tell me they will use a Browning or even an old, reliable Tommy gun. Dear <insert deity> not another French submachine gun. Seriously.

Hacker swipes personal deets of 20,000 peeps from under Los Angeles Police Dept's nose

Chairman of the Bored


Well, if the AG gets his way and becomes our back door man I fully expect him to get doxed. Right off the bat. And then I can say, "Warning! Prosecutors will be violated"

Capital One gets Capital Done: Hacker swipes personal info on 106 million US, Canadian credit card applicants

Chairman of the Bored

Crapital One & usury

A good point; this organization is a den of thieves. Problem is that this whole episode squeezes their customers even harder, the firm itself will be fine.

Book recommendation: Broke, USA by Rivlin.

$0.001 question- what am I going to do with all the free credit monitoring services I've been "given?". I've got three simultaneous BS services now, from three breaches.

He's coming home, he's coming... Hutchins' coming home: British Wannacry killer held in US on malware dev rap set free by judge

Chairman of the Bored

Re: So who at the FBI or DA got a promotion out of this?

No downvote because I agree the system is pretty jacked up, but where is your evidence the confession is coerced?

We have to be careful with hyperbole. It doesn't help ones cause.

I know coercion is used but I've not read anything in the Hutchins defense suggesting his counsel expressed concern about the plea... We all do stupid things when we are kids. Some of its actionable. Sometimes (usually?) a guilty plea means ... Guilty. In this case the good outweighed the bad when he had his day in court. Other than the two years he pissed away waiting, I'm rather glad with the outcome

When Harry met celly: NSA hoarder thrown in the clink for 9 years – after taking classified work home for decades

Chairman of the Bored
Paris Hilton

Should have just st set up an email server

Then he'd be good to go, right?

Li-ion battery 'price-fixing' case settled with bonus fury over lawyers pocketing eight-figures

Chairman of the Bored


Mum worked for a civil counselor. Every time the yacht or airplane needed an upgrade, his multiple alimony payments got readjusted upwards (that's a thing in the US), or anything else would go bump in the financial night... He would go 'oh, crap" and have his staff start phoning clients to ask "questions relevant to their open cases" and bill the time. The calls were such BS that other than billable hours nobody bothered even documenting the content

Six staff times ten calls per hour per staff member... Billed in 15min increments with a half hour minimum... At $150/hr in 1980's money. That's $4500 per hour, less expenses. Corrupt tosser, but rich

Are we sure we want these bastards invoicing by the hour?

Rust in peace: Memory bugs in C and C++ code cause security issues so Microsoft is considering alternatives once again

Chairman of the Bored

Maybe some progress on the hypocrisy front?

I love the MS security people's inconsistencies and will truly miss them in the unlikely event MS starts using safer tools. Here you go:

(1) MS: stop using dodgy tools and unsafe practices! Pros don't do C++ anymore!

(2) MS: unthinkingly, reflexively install every (marginally tested) security update binary blob we vomit forth!

(3) MS; ignore the fact we used C++ to generate the untested dirty hac^H^H^H patch!

Rinse, repeat

UK Home Secretary doubles down on cops' deeply flawed facial recognition trials

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Oh fantastic

Aye, but you missed "no banging the right someone to get something" requirement

Loose tongues and oily seamen: Lost in machine translation yet again

Chairman of the Bored

Re: The human Rosetta Stone

Indeed. But when crushed the 100-odd psia system blows as well.

Chairman of the Bored

The human Rosetta Stone

Sometimes you don't need a gadget, you need a guy.

Like it or not, in the US most dirty dangerous construction work is done by people of questionable immigration status.

I had a new roof put on, and the workmen accidentally dropped about a ton of crap onto a brand new HVAC system. Instant destruction. Suddenly, none of the men could speak English. Furthermore, they pretended they didn't understand my Spanish.

Crusty old retired Navy Chief comes over, stares at me, and says, "[Chairman], dumbass, you're not communicatin''"

Me: "Oh, FFS. What do you expect me to do?"

Chief, to foreman: "If El Manajero ain't here in five minutes, I'm callin' Immigration. INS! I bet evry' swingin' dick here is back on the boat by Saturday!"

Me: "..!"

Suddenly everyone spoke fluent English. I saw El Manajero is less than five, and had the insurance firm on the phone in maybe ten.

Facebook: The future is private! So private, we designed some handy new fingercams for y'all!

Chairman of the Bored

Medical uses?

I might see some use cases for assisting surgeons. But I fail to see how it would be better than existing laparoscopic techniques.

Realistically? Use case is pr0n.

NPM Inc settles union-busting complaints on third try – after CEO trolled for ordering internal mole hunt

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Gifts

Awesome use of fruit basket! If memory serves, South Texas has these little black flies that like sweets and can materialize out of thin air. Must have been epic.

Chairman of the Bored


Someone sent a package of Butt Paste (https://www.buttpaste.com) to a director at my last place of employment. The note read something along the lines of "You're a badly inflamed asshole. This might help. Cheers."

Funnily enough, that didn't go over well and interrogations ensued. Wish we had a name for the culprit though, because a turn like that deserves some free beer

Scumbags can program vulnerable MedTronic insulin pumps over the air to murder diabetics – insecure kit recalled

Chairman of the Bored

Watching the knee...

...for a knee-jerk reaction: "Oh my gosh! We must ban software-defined radios! Think of the children!"

What the cell...? Telcos around the world were so severely pwned, they didn't notice the hackers setting up VPN points

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Pretending Yanks

Agree there was no active CBW factory around; looks like the UN did take care of business after Gulf I. But there was a hell of a lot more than one sarin shell going walkabout. See:


Frequently it seems IED makers would grab whatever they could scrounge from an ammo dump or on sale at the souk and make some bang out of it ... Sometimes not realizing that they were playing with a mustard shell instead of HE. Kind of an accidental CW attack.

Hundreds of servicemen exposed. Good luck trying to get long-term treatment through the Veterans' Administration...

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Pretending Yanks

So I guess you didn't read the Chilcot report, eh?

What happened here I think is a case of looking for signal in the noise so hard, you can see anything you want to see. Washington and London were both hooked into the same bullshit feed ... from the same sources ... and asked each other for confirmation. And got it. Intelligence sharing is only a good idea if you've actually got something unique.

Proud veteran of Operation Enduring Cluster Fuck...

DXC Technology exec: What should our brand be known for?

Chairman of the Bored

Just need three partners...

Dewey, Phuckum, and Howe, LLC


LibreOffice 6.3 hits beta, with built-in redaction tool for sharing those █████ documents

Chairman of the Bored

OO performance?

Actually I use OO's calc tool to manipulate enormous machine generated .csv files that cause Excel (any variant) to segfault and go down in flames. Hundreds of meg in a go? No problem, even on modest hardware.

For me, where OO really shines is the equation editor. Unlike MS Word you can compose complex equations without having to constantly bat your hand between keyboard and mouse. It's a beautiful design. Not as powerful as LaTeK, mind, but good enough for government work.

Where OO suffers is when you convert to and from the Microsoft file formats to the open formats; I waste far too much time re-doing PowerPoint graphics foo, redoing margins in Word, and so forth. Suspect it's a combination of differing font configurations between a Linux and Windows box, combined with non-standard or undocumented cruft in the MS file formats.

If servers go down but no one hears them, did they really fail? Think about it over lunch

Chairman of the Bored

Not all ring jobs are pleasurable

Old school hardware used to have those nice round cartridge fuses we remember... You know, with the little protruding knob you turn to pull out the offending blown fuse and battle short with a bit of copper wire...

When wired properly the tip is hot and the ring ends close to your fingers is the contact the fuse closes.

Found one on a rack that was not kwite right, and the ring was hot. It me up with 240V when I pulled the cartridge without due care. I was sweating in the hot air blast between the rack and wall and got a good, solid hit. Bounced between the rack and wall, slicing my arm in the process. I atoned through a blood offering to the UPS.

Minecraft's my Nirvana. I found it hard, it's hard to find. Oh well, whatever... Never Mined

Chairman of the Bored

What happens in the boonies

@Chris G, maybe when we sell our eggs we can do some catchy marketing speak, such as... "Eggs! The very best thing that EVER came out of a chicken's arse!"

Chairman of the Bored

Judgemental maps!

They're a thing. See:


I lived near an area labelled as "scary rednecks on meth", and I'd have so say that it's spot on.

Cray's found a super scooper, $1.3bn's gonna buy you. HPE's the one

Chairman of the Bored


An elegant word coined by a government colleague some years back, before SGI got whacked:

Me: "How ya doin'? Are you going to buy that big SGI?"

Mate: "Nah, I'm in craptivity"

Me: ??

Mate: "You remember we bought the HP server farm? It's such a piece of crap that it has destroyed our support and maintenance funding lines. It also absorbs my planning and mission engineering lines, so I don't even have the resources left to do the market research needed to replace the POS or buy the SGI. I am captive to the crap. I'm in craptivity."

The plane, it's 'splained, falls mainly without the brain: We chat to boffins who've found a way to disrupt landings using off-the-shelf radio kit

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Crypto cannot mitigate replay?

Absolutely! I agree it would be a stupendous and expensive task, which is why you will probably see ILS gradually replaced as a standard, but not for decades after any potential decision to do so. Unless people deliberately start crashing aircraft using combined ILS/GNSS spoofing. In that case, industry will drag it's feet, and it will take decades.

At least on the US what I see is some thinking that we can possibly eschew large, expensive airport systems for dependent broadcasts from the aircrafts' own nav systems. As in, ultimately replace primary and secondary radar with ADSB.

I think that's idiotic from a perspective of denial of service through ADSB jam/spoof, GNSS jam/spoof, ASAT attacks, truck bombs into GNSS ground stations, etc. But it's cheaper! Must be better!

At some point we might realize that a secure off board source of precision nav might be nice for landing. Given the need is decades out, the process should probably start now.

Chairman of the Bored

Crypto cannot mitigate replay?

Not sure I agree. Negotiate a strong session key for each aircraft / airport interaction, and timestamp every message before encryption. Radical departure from the current crossed fan beam approach but should be secure against replay

Silence of the vans: Uber adds 'Plz STFU, driver' button to app for posh passengers using Black

Chairman of the Bored

Sigh.. if that floats your goat...

..sail on. But when I'm in New York or London... I like to talk to the cabbies and, you know, learn something about towns they are generally pretty proud of.

Simple really, if we treat each other like decent human beings we discover that - with some exceptions - we are surrounded by decent human beings and life goes better.

NASA wheels out Habitation prototypes while SpaceX encounters problems with parachutes

Chairman of the Bored


Am I the only one who immediately thought this habitat would come in two flavors: pizza box and cube, use a Motorola 68k, and offer a compelling desktop UNIX experience? For an absolutely shocking price?

Japan's mission to mine Mars' moon is cleared – now they've filled out the right paperwork on alien world contamination

Chairman of the Bored

Heck no, it shouldn't go!

I've played enough Doom to know that bad ship happens on Phobos! Where's my BFG-9000?

Tech giants get antsy in Northern Virginia: Give us renewable power, there's a planet to save... and PR to harvest

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Power in Virginia

Thanks for the numbers and references. I didn't realize just how well the CNG can work, and I will look up the BMW report. In my part of the US much is made of hydrogen, but by and large that's made from NG.

Here is the Wikipedia page for the pumped storage facility. I try to get my brain wrapped around visualizing what it's like to move 850m^3 of water per second up or down a 380m head, but it's difficult


Chairman of the Bored

Power in Virginia

Other than the hot air blowing from the capitol, wind power is pretty minimal. Perhaps there is a play on biomass... The amount of bullshit the Pentagon produces per day is staggering, and the source is close to the point of load.

Seriously though, coal mining is not really a huge deal in Virginia. Now in West Virginia, that's a different story; just about the whole state is economically disadvantaged. Land is not particularly arable, terrain is just rugged enough to make infrastructure hard to build, no decent hydro to do something like a Tennessee Valley Authority play.

Virginia has two major nuclear power plants producing a fair percentage of base load. I think nucs are a little over 20pct of the installed generation but over 40pct of net generation. There is a 2+ GW pumped storage plant that significantly levels diurnal demand. ISTR Dominion wanted to expand one or both nuclear stations with new, safer capacity but backed off due to $ and opposition. So instead we will burn more coal, natural gas (*), and life extend much older reactors.

(*) Natl gas is a fine vehicle fuel, feels almost like a crime to burn it for stationary power

Mods I have known, Mods I have loved, Mods I have hated: Motorola's failed experiment is now a savvy techie's dream

Chairman of the Bored

Software defined radio back

That would rock.

In the claws of a vulture: Nebra AnyBeam Laser Projector

Chairman of the Bored

Want an outdoor kids' activity?

Get two small hobby motors, some plastic mirror you can cut into small circles to mount on the motor shafts, and a decent laser modules. Let each mirror bend the beam path through 90 deg, run up your motors and watch the lissajous diagrams form on whatever you point the rig at.

Bonus points for operation in smoke or fog.

Lose points for lasing aircraft.

It's a great kiddo project; definitely a weapon of mass distraction

Chairman of the Bored

Aye, but where are the sharks?

I need a watertight one with blue-green laser modules only, please. And a good hydrophone so I can transmit an evil cackle from the shark's freakin' head! Why? Um, reasons.

Cocaine, psychedelics, DMT? They sure knew how to party 1,000 years ago: Archaeologists make startling discovery

Chairman of the Bored

Cocaine, psychedelics, and DMT?

Sounds like a weekend in Vegas!

HPE court witness subjected to own LinkedIn page

Chairman of the Bored

As entertaining as it is...

...to watch a barrister tear apart an inadequately briefed witness, I must note the witness is a "technical marketer". Finding mendacity here is about as sporting as fishing in a barrel. With a hand grenade.

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Justifiable tree homicide

@Kubla Can't-

Upvoted for making a very good point. I'm hoping the tree system is now closed loop. When I was younger I remember old growth forest being cut for paper and being replaced with stands of fast growing pine. I understand the economic reasons but was always saddened at the loss of the oaks and their kin.

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Another solution

No worries, was a government job. My boss quickly got promoted and became a staff infection somewhere in the Pentagon.

Sometimes you can just make yourself the hardest target around and hunker down.

Would've quit but it was a tough job market, two kids in college, etc.

Chairman of the Bored

Justifiable tree homicide

Use case: if you work for a sociopath who is building his/her career by taking credit for others' accomplishments and contriving means to fire them and destroy their credibility...

...one small piece of armor is to print and have witnesses sign critical emails, product disclosures, and contract actions. And take your hard copy backup in a lab or other hidey hole that is secure. Do not take home, that's just leaving the hangman's rope lying around. Emails have a very strange habit of disappearing off of servers. Especially when your problem adult is banging one of the system administrators. And the CIO. Or so I've heard.

Each piece of paper may be small, but sometimes you need enough to cover your entire ass.

Is that a stiffy disk in your drive... or something else entirely?

Chairman of the Bored

Re: Destroying CDs

Nice! Will definitely have to give this a shot.

Chairman of the Bored

Destroying CDs

When I was doing some RF work, my team was bored and had access to a sizable 915MHz magnetron. Memory dims, but call it a 25kW source. Dangle CD in front of an open waveguide and ... The lights, sounds, and colors were most gratifying. And I DEFY you to recover any data off the remains.

Chairman of the Bored

A cluster could be fun, too.