* Posts by antman

27 posts • joined 18 Feb 2018

How to ensure your tech predictions catch on in a flash? Do the mash



Some of us remember Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's take on the puppetry:


BBC makes switch to AWS, serverless for new website architecture, observers grumble about the HTML


Re: WebCore?

And the panataloon duck white goose neck quacked...

(upvote for the Beefheart ref)

Big IQ play from IT outsourcer: Can't create batch files if you can't save files. Of any kind


Not a pipe

$> dir | files.txt

'files.txt' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

Shoulda used the '>' redirection operator.

Whoa, someone actually texted you in 2020? Oh, nvm, it's just Boris Johnson, telling you to stay the f**k at home



I immediately thought it was a phishing attempt and deleted it. There was no indication who the sender was.

Finfisher malware authors fire off legal threats to silence German journos



The original article is in the Wayback Machine archive. PDFs of the complaint and appendix in English are stil available from Netzpolitik:



Surprise! Copying crummy code from Stack Overflow leads to vulnerable GitHub jobs



I know they're not as widely used these days but if you can find the right newsgroup (that's NNTP not HTTP) you can get good advice (which may include pointers to better articles in SO and other places) from experienced programmers. Those of us who've been in the game a long time tend to prefer newsgroups over web forums.

Summer vacations put an end to rampant desktop crimewave


Re: Disposable income

ISTR the folded sheets were the posh type and the rolls, often with "government property" printed on each sheet (as if anyone would steal them) were the cheapo variety. I don't recall having a choice of hard or soft when I were a young man or having much of a problem with the "tracing paper" then. It's possible that because we ate better in those days (not so much fast and easy food around) our turds were more solid and there was less mopping up to do. Now I couldn't imagine using Izal or Bronco (remember Bronco - does it buck the chug-nuts?).

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


Re: Safer Languages

It is suitable as a systems language for microkernels, embedded systems and others[1]. You can get similar perfomance to C[2]. I wasn't involved with putting it in the hardware but an optimizing compiler would have been used.

[1] https://www.adacore.com/about-ada

[2] https://www.electronicdesign.com/iot/comparing-ada-and-c

(needs javascript)


Safer Languages

ADA is used in safety critical systems so why not use that if they want safety? MS has never certified its OS for use in such systems, AFAIK. It took me a while to get the hang of ADA but eventually I got to like it. I wrote code for microcontrollers using ADA95.

Usenet file-swapping was acceptable in the '80s – but not so much now: Pirate pair sent down for 66 months


ISPs may have dropped Usenet because not enough people used it, expected it or knew what it was as the web developed. It was no longer a factor in choosing an ISP. Providers I've used carried no binary groups or only a very limited selection so storage and pirating wasn't a big issue. They also no longer provide personal webspace but cloud services instead. I'd rather have webspace but Joe Public doesn't want, or know how to build a site - they have blogs and social media which offer a better experience at the cost of lack of control and selling their soul to advertisers.

I'm still an avid user of Usenet. I use nntp.aioe.org which is a free service and run by an Italian chap as a hobby. There are traffic limits and it's text only but no registration is required.

By the way, Gopher servers still exist out there.

I don't have to save my work, it's in The Cloud. But Microsoft really must fix this files issue


Re: hang on a moment...

>Don't understand the down vote.

> ... it leverages the larger IT infrastructure

You almost got one for using "leverage" but I'm in a good mood today.


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


The rusty capstan must be oiled by seamen

The rusty sheriff's badge must...

(getting coat)

Florida man pretending to be police pulls over real police, ends badly, claim cops


Legging it

A long time ago we were returning from an evening out when I could hear a siren (it might have been a bell) nearby. A glance in the rear view mirror revealed it to be the car behind as is started to flash the headlamps (no blue lights). I could see from the silhouettes of the driver and passenger that they had long hair, didn't look like cops, and the car wasn't a marked police car. I felt somewhat in fear for our safety so put my foot down and accelerated away. About a mile or so later we ran into a police road block! "why didn't you stop?" said the uniformed officer. I explained my fear of what I thought were villains in the unmarked car and how would I know they were cops. He stepped away, muttered something to his colleagues and after a quick breath test we were on our way. No idea what that was about; perhaps they were looking for a particular face.

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


Re: Did she learn nothing?

> ...I have never bought a lottery ticket.

Neither have I but I did win once. As part of a secret Santa present we were each given a scratch card. I quickly uncovered the panels, saw no matches and cast it aside. My friend, knowing I'm not used to this kind of thing, checked the card and found it was worth a fiver. Don't know what the odds are for that but I'm not tempted to buy them. I only enjoy gambling (for small amounts) when it's social, like a card game or taking part in a sweepstake.

How do you know it's finally the weekend? Clock hits 5pm? No, Slack goes down on a Friday afternoon in June


Productivity increase

It did for me. Cut the front and back lawn and did some weeding.

The seven deadly sins of the 2010s: No, not pride, sloth, etc. The seven UI 'dark patterns' that trick you into buying stuff


Re: think of the children!

>...I'm drawn to SALE NOW ON!!!

We all are to some extent but you should have your wits about you. When I bought a mattress a few years ago I was attracted by the 70% discount posters plastered all over the first shop I looked in. I was not immediately convinced their prices were that good so I checked a nearby competitor. They had no OTT sale offers but their mattresses were a similar price. I got quoted a real discount from them which undercut the supposedly discounted price of the other store and they got my custom.

Those darn users don't know what they're doing (not like us, of course)


"Do you remember this sort of thing?"

I still use one of those sort of things. Faster and more responsive than many newer sorts of thing for the sort of things I do. Of course, the needs of bloated web pages and reluctance of browser makers to support older OSes means I have to use a modern sort of thing to do most online things.

I like the background of Penguin and Pelican books in the second picture. Reminds me of when I lived at home.

Wondering where that upcoming meeting with 'Cheap Viagra' came from? Spammers beat Gmail filters by abusing Google Calendar, Forms, Photos, Analytics...


"...deeply committed to protecting all of our users from spam"

Including spammers with gmail addresses. I'm one of their users and sometimes try to browse old articles in the archive of Usenet messages in Google Groups. This becomes impossible in some groups which have become choked with spam. The spam is invariably from a google account but any complaint via their feedback mechanism is completely ignored. I don't know how they handle their own non-usenet groups.

All's fair in love and war when tech treats you like an infant


Re: new sign

Remember the trains with the slam doors and pull-down windows? Above was the notice: "Do not lean out of the window". In those days you could smoke in most carriages and they were generally filthy so naturally some wag altered the message with marker pen to: "Do not clean soot off the window".

A little phishing knowledge may be a dangerous thing


Re: How Can You Tell Without Opening it?

"...until I get a look at the headers, and that means I have to open it".

Actually, you don't. Even Outlook Express allows you to examine the raw email (headers and body) as plain text without first opening or previewing it.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day


Talking of old kit

My memory has been jogged - someone made a business of using old kit years ago.

In the 1970s I worked for a company who used both analogue and digital technologies. As we moved over to digital the analogue machines were retired but the companies who bought our (geophysical) data sometimes wanted it reprocessed using the latest techniques. Of course, they had the original analogue recordings which we could no longer read, having disposed of the old equipment. The recordings were on magnetic tape and some were in a strange format, like 6-inches wide and a yard long. We had to send them to another company who must have bought many of the obsolete machines knowing there would be a market for these conversions of old media to digital.


Re: Storage media

"...rubbish ZIP drives"

I have an IDE ZIP drive (built in to a PC) and a portable one that connects via the parallel port. Neither have given trouble (no click of death) and the few 100MB disks I have, again, are still readable. Admittedly, I haven't made much use of ZIP but it did come in handy recently. I have an ancient laptop running NT4 which contained some data I wanted to move and using the portable ZIP drive on the printer port was the only way to do it. Would have been impractical using 3.5 floppies, there was no USB port and network access was not possible for other reasons.


Storage media

The many 5.25 and 3.5 floppies I have from the 1980s/90s are still readable today, whereas several CDs I burnt in the noughties now give read errors or won't mount at all. I like the robustness and reliability of old kit. The 486 which houses the 5.25 drive and two IDE hard disks running DOS and Win 3.11 is still going strong, although it could do with a new CMOS battery to save having to enter the date & time whenever it's powered up (not often!). I keep it for running old games and other stuff which works best on real hardware. It came in useful a few years ago when a colleage needed to retrieve some software from 5.25 disks.

From dank memes to Krispy Kremes: British uni eggheads claim viral lol pics make kids fat


Kids playing outside

Yes, they do. The kid opposite is often kicking his football up, down and across our quiet (traffic-wise) street; sometimes alone or sometimes with a friend. Quite refreshing to see and his ball-skills are such as not to cause a nuisance. The teenagers hanging about on the corner are also outside but they have mobile phones to play with.

Abracadabra! Tales of unexpected sysadmagic and dabbling in dark arts


Percussive maintenance

In the days when computers were huge and lived in air-conditioned rooms we had a machine with an array processor. I guess this was the math-coprocessor of its day. It had two metal handles and could be slid out for inpection and maitenance. Sometimes it would cause the CPU to hang and the fix was to slide it out and gently tap the chips and circuitry with a stick. I suppose the problem could have been a dry joint but whatever, it was eventually fixed by the engineers.

Chap asks Facebook for data on his web activity, Facebook says no, now watchdog's on the case


Re: Stopping facebook spying on your web activity


That's a useful list to find the FB domains but trying to keep up with their host names (they could change) might be a never ending task. What you want is something that sits between the browser and the net where you can enter *.fbcdn.net, for example and block the whole domain. Proxomitron was good for this years ago, not sure what's avaiable these days as I only block scripts now.

Chrome adblockalypse will 'accelerate Google-Facebook duopoly'


"Would it be so hard for the site to fall back to plain and simple static image adverts, or even plain text adverts served from the sites domain?"

I don't block ads but block scripts. This cuts out all the annoying stuff for me. It does not affect El Reg as they are able to serve sensible static ads in "noscript" tags.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022