* Posts by BeakUpBottom

31 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Sep 2017

Damian Green: Not only my workstation – mystery pr0n all over Parliamentary PCs


Re: Much whataboutery about nothing

I challenge you to dredge murky depths of Jacob Rees-Smug's browser cache. I'll be prepared to bet that would hold some eye-watering stuff.

Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said


Re: Grammar!

Reasonable to assume that they put the little Baby Jesus figure, removed from the nativity scene, into the sausage roll wrapper that was then lying empty, donchyathink?

How can airlines stop hackers pwning planes over the air? And don't say 'regular patches'


A plane has additional risks ...

Even airgapping isn't quite enough, leaving aside the problems that presents.

Planes are frugally designed and inherently vulnerable. Even with a nicely separated customer Wi-Fi/ents network you need to be sure what could be done to it by someone gaining access with elevated privileges. I don't see that they even need to be on board, necessarily, there's those seat phones for one thing, and the possibility of getting a device on board you have control of remotely, like a compromised smartphone. Both vectors present major challenges to a hacker, but there's some very motivated miscreants out there, and some suicidal ones, lets not forget.

Simply knowing a way to cause the entertainment system to communicate misleading information to passengers could cause all sorts of peril. Working out how to overload part of it to cause, say, a cabin power problem or even a fire ..... a power-slurpy IFE was a factor in the total loss of Swissair 111.

DXC spills AWS private keys on public GitHub


Re: Tribal Frankenfirm

I thought that, but then maybe the grammar is ambiguous. It's incredible they admitted it.

I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs


But, they live in America, just as much as Mexicans and that bunch in the country inbetween ... I swing a field hockey stick myself, maybe that's why I've yet to get the the deserving beating from the Canadanadians I know.


Re: Thank you for resisting the temptation

Personally I started using it to annoy Canadians who throw a massive strop about being called American, and then an even bigger one when you point out they are, in fact, just as American as you USAians.

Although I suspect it doesn't really have the desired effect. I could say Yank, but there was some confusing explanation I got as to how that doesn't work either.


Re: For further confusion ...

Yes, and No. In that order.


Vowels are for wimps

Could try Polish, where they obviously decided they'd used enough vowels in the name and went with putting little dots and slashes on consonants to tell you how many wasps to put in your mouth before attempting the word. They are quite proud of how hard their language is, even for them!


Strapping on An Awesome Serpent

I don't know how he got through all those William Burroughs and Naked Lunch references without using Steely Dan the Third in his punch-line somehow.

Better that than something to do with "the musty aroma of penetrated rectums deliciously flavoured the air" as an alternative to DRV_IRQL_NOT_LESS_THAT_OR_EQUAL_TO, because it pretty much means the same thing even if there's no acronym in it.

Yes, I did read the book recently, I'm not sure how many years the various images it conjures up take to fade!

Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user


A non-IT one, but from an IT PHB

I had to "apologise" for being late in one winter morning as when I started my car, 5 seconds later the rear windscreen just exploded.

- Wow, what's that load bang behind me? look in the mirror and the glass is all smashed with a large hole in one corner ... I thought I'd just been shot at!

My manager (director of IT, though with no qualification or experience whatsoever) decides I need a lecture because, y'know, I must've just got off the boat.

PHB: "oooo, that car must have a twisted chassis, it must have been in an accident, you need to sue the person who sold it to you"

Me: "I bought it brand new, off the forecourt"

PHB: "Are you sure?"

Me: "I think I remember. "

PHB: "Still, you should contact the dealer"

Me: "It was four years ago. "

PHB: "Maybe it's a manufacturing defect"

Me: "Maybe, but after four years and no recall or notice I'm going to have a hard time proving that, my insurance will repair it anyway. "

PHB: "Still, follow my advise"

Me: "Sure, thanks"

All the time I could see his secretary behind him shaking her head in despair, apparently he was making her write endless letters to a garage that had serviced his company car because 3 weeks later he'd had a puncture and "it must be their fault".

Night out in London tonight: Beer, Reg and platform wars


The BBC Model B ...

... had a hamster for a mother and it's father smelt of elderberries.

Dragon 32 was the real machine for the great unwashed, boyo, way ahead of its time, powerful, expandable and didn't cost the earth buy and upgrade.

And Dragon, in true British fashion, flopped, got bought out, and took out it's new owner on a continued deathslide.

Alleged dark web drug baron cuffed – after he flew to US for World Beard Championships


The way I read it they nabbed him for his administrative and enabling involvement in Dream Market, and the rest of it is just their proof that the market sells drugs, presumably with some vendors offering to US clients.

Interesting they didn't try and get the gendarmes to do this with a bit of help from Interpol?

Trump accuses Facebook of bias, collusion with his least favourite newspapers


"Don't argue with an idiot, onlookers can't tell you apart" *

If there is a lesson here the debate needs to be directed not at Trump, that's a waste of energy, but to those amongst his apologists who actually would respond to reason.

*impossible to properly attribute before someone tries, but the idea seems to come from Proverbs 26.

Personally I prefer "Don't argue with an idiot, he'll drag you down to his level and beat you with experience", but it's not in line with my point!

NatWest customer services: We're aware of security glitch


So has your account been compromised?

Because that's pretty much the only conclusion if they are denying a simple system bug is the cause ?!

Deloitte is a sitting duck: Key systems with RDP open, VPN and proxy 'login details leaked'


Meaningless gongs

I had a slightly better insight on this in another industry I spent a lot of time in, but I cynically formed the view they're all the same.

Pretty much everyone has a glass cabinet in reception/the boardroom, the MDs office with 2 or 3 shiny baubles per year for "best in sector", "most magnificent new product", "innovation leader" or other such meaningless twoddle.

Once a year, some "industry body" (actually several )sends everyone on the mailing list an invite to the annual award ceremony and tells them they've been nominated for a few of this year's prestigious medals. You've just got to turn up and pay for a table, pre-book meals and bottles of bubbly, buy an advert in the commemorative arse-wipe brochure etc. This will run you will into 4 figures, if not 5, all on expenses, natch.

Everyone who turns up will get something, kind of in proportion to what they've forked out to get there. It's usually the marketing dept go and get these things, so they get a 3-day coke-fuelled orgy somewhere nice, with the industry award circle-jerk in the middle of it. They can then go home and boast about how amazing it is to win such a highly regarded thing, to a bewildered bunch of underpaid staff who still don't see what difference it makes to their torrid days of misery.

Or maybe I'm wrong and some merit is involved, champagnes all round!

Brit military wants a small-drone-killer system for £20m


These things don't move that fast, surely they just need to adapt the CWIZ to target them? That's got to be a cheaper solution?

Compsci degrees aren't returning on investment for coders – research


I suspect they massively broadened the net of what they'd lump in as a CS-related discipline.

Most times I apply for gigs they will ask for a CS degree or similar/equivalent, and they are happy with any Maths/Science/Engineering thing at 2.1 or above.


Re: Don't bother

"Game dev in Hull you might be on <=30k but live like a king."

Ummm, 'ull? given the choice between being king there (granted 30k would buy you a mansion, but you'll need security guards) and doing minimum wage somewhere more desirable ..... not that I left for a reason, you understand.

How much of this comes down to the fact CS degrees are no guarantee whatsoever of actual ability to work in this industry, particularly coding? I've worked with many excellent and many awful coders, I never found having a degree to be that good a correlation. In fact, I'd say, most of the competent (and better) coders I've been with have had degrees, but not in CS.

Something good about Brexit? Errr, more teeth for Ofcom! – report


Isn't this just fluff?

Seems to boil down to saying we will have to replace the EU-driven legislation we have with our own homebrewed concoction, and it might be better for the consumer? except we'll have less leverage.

Isn't that just the screamingly obvious wrapped up with trite speculation?

They'd do better explaining why the improvements they suggest haven't been done already, as that aint down to Brussels!

UK PC prices have risen 30% in a year since the EU referendum


Could have done more with this article ...

If they'd actually told us what the same prices did in the Euro and USD markets we might be able to draw some more meaning out of it, there's bound to be a shift to cope with the sliding pound, and I'd imagine that everyone in the chain will try and price that in with a margin given all the uncertainty, but without knowing what consumers in the other markets are being treated to it could be entirely the opposite.

Equifax's disastrous Struts patching blunder: THOUSANDS of other orgs did it too


Re: Your credit report. Free. Forever.

Anyone, anytime, any place.

Downloaded CCleaner lately? Oo, awks... it was stuffed with malware


Who knew?

I always thought CCleaner was malware, oh well, near miss, not!

They don't really explain what happened ... were they breached? Someone surfing pron on the build server? A careless mixup with something they were analysing (presumably not on an airgapped machine).

Normally it wouldn't really matter, but with a firm that should be security focussed vague assurances don't really cut it.

User worked with wrong app for two weeks, then complained to IT that data had gone missing


Re: Changing the colour scheme is not enough

Called DXC* now, at least the bit I spent some time working** for ...

And you are correct, test data in the production system is irritating but nearly always mostly harmless, real data in the test system ... >>> shudder <<<. Someone in compliance (or the regulator) finds out that happened and you'll have to reclassify your test system & network and everything it touches until it's been sanitised convincingly (ie, never).

* CSC (Cutting Serious Corners) merged with HPE (Horrible Projects Executed) to become DXC. Best I could come up with was Deploys eXcruciating Crap

* OK, juggling my bollocks waiting for the opportunity to do something meaningful between endless meetings about meetings about meetings about why nothing ever gets done.


Well, half right

OK, the user was being a dick, but if you are going to have them test on their own PCs, and all you warn them with is a colour scheme they can customise this is an entirely predictable outcome.

What was it? the guy's first deployment?

Web crash and pricing errors hit Argos


Yeah, even in regular shops it's not the clear cut route to a bargain some think.

The shop can refuse to sell you something for any reason or none, they just can't change their mind once they've accepted your offer to pay the advertised price, based only on the fact they'd marked it up wrong. If they wanted to be arsey, they just make a pretend trip to the store room and come back and tell you the computer was wrong, they've no stock. Even if there is a pile of them, they don't necessarily have to be the ones in the pile that were on sale at £90. Travel firms are tiptoeing around that bait and switch trick all the time, sometimes they get their wrist slapped, sometimes not.

What you can successfully do is have them ticked off for false advertising (on- or off-line), but the ASA are not about to get huffy over mistakes like that, they're too busy with broadband resellers and double glazing salesman genuinely lying their backsides off.

What is the cyber equivalent of 'use of force'? When do we send in the tanks?


Python explosion blamed on pandas


Re: Execution speed...

You could make that argument for Excel/Access/VBA. But I'd rather you didn't.

At some point it all ends up in front of an experienced programmer as a pile of novice code, a huge problem, a short deadline and requirements of "I can't quite get it working, will you take a look?"

It's got its merits but, like everything else in this industry for the past umpteen years, all the breathless hyperbole is a bit of a turn off.

Yet more British military drones crash, this time into the Irish Sea


however, for some obscure reason the manufacturers removed this.

"Can we have an extra 0.5 bill for feature x? it's really cool!"

"We're a billion over budget already, and we haven't even recarpeted the Colonel's office for at least 6 months"

"OK, switch that one off, we'll make it back in replacing lost aircraft."

Cops' use of biometric images 'gone far beyond custody purposes'


Another slightly myopic article

The guy who was arrested and de-arrested was down to a mix up over warrants, so the facial recognition presumably did its job correctly, at least that's how I read it from the linked article at the bottom.

And it's all very well saying there were 35 false positives resulting 5 unnecessary stops, but there's no mention of any successful ones. If that's because there weren't any, then privacy issues aside this thing is a massive waste of resources. In any case, before getting all uppity, we'd need to compare this to "off-line" facial recognition, as in, officers simply recognising (or thinking they recognise) someone and then either detaining them or comparing them to a photograph and detaining them. It happens all the time, and it's not always the right person. Or sometimes it is and they have very convincing fake ID!

Which isn't to say them holding 19 million images without adequately explaining in themselves isn't a concern, of course.

Shoddily-set-up Elastisearch hosting point-of-sale malware


Yeah, funny how the when the great devil incarnate Micro$oft was guilty of punting server software like this they were pilloried back an forth for crimes against humanity, but now it's a modern trendy tech firm it's suddenly the customer's fault.

Although reading between the lines, isn't it Amazon who've cocked up with their wizard, not ES?

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