* Posts by Curtis

194 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Aug 2007


FTC sues VoIP provider over 'billions of illegal robocalls'


Re: Then how will they reach me about my car's extended warranty?

In the case of newly purchased cars, these companies are getting records from your state's records offices. Like much data that has been "commoditized", the sellers don't really care how the data is being used, because it's filling state coffers.

BOFH and the office security access upgrade


Infection Alert

I might have used "Toxic" by Brattney Spears

Telecoms networks could provide next-gen GPS services without the need for satellites


GPS was intentionally de-tuned

GPS used to be capable of decimeter precision. It was intentionally nerfed by the US government to prevent it from being used for weapons guidance after September 11, 2001. About 2004 as I recall. I used to have a Garmin GPS12 that was capable of MGRS (Military Grid Reference System) positioning to 10 digits (5x5) which equated to a 1 decimeter square area.

Meta, Google learn the art of the quiet layoff


WARN act

I suspect that this is an attempt to circumvent the WARN act is the US.


Basically, they're not "laying off" workers, they're shifting them and if the worker is "unsuccessful" at finding a new position then they're choosing to leave the company.

FCC Commissioner demands review of Starlink rural broadband subsidies


Re: Quite Impressive

I hate to tell you this, but fiber won't be run to these rural areas for 2 decades or more. The population density simply isn't high enough to justify the capital expenditures needed, and frankly there just isn't enough interest in "the innarwebz" in some of these areas to ensure that even 1/10th of the population would take it.

Convicted felon busted for 3D printing gun parts


Re: I'm pro-gun

If only 3 round burst were legal. I have no interest in "spray and pray" on anything other than an LMG at the minimum.


Re: 3D printing?

Hate to say this, but the FA switch for a Glock is very different than an AR auto sear, which this guy was accused of making and selling.

Either way, the FA device is considered a machine gun on it's own. There's a guy with a shoestring that's registered as a machine gun.


Re: I don't own a gun, but...

Frankly, the part in question can be made from a wire coat hangar...

Goodbye, humans: Call centers 'could save $80b' switching to AI


Re: Most call center drones are not more useful than chat bots

I'm a "drone" in an ISP call center, although I am not front line any more. If a caller demonstrates through their conversation that they're somewhat knowledgeable, I am glad to short circuit the checklist.

Bloke robbed of $800,000 in cryptocurrency by fake wallet app wants payback from Google


Re: Oh dear

An acquaintance uses the term "schadenboner"

Large Hadron Collider experiment reveals three exotic particles


Great, here we go again

The first run was in 2012 - The end of the Mayan calendar.

The second was 2016 - President Trump

2022... What are we going to end up with this time?

Misguided call for a 7-Zip boycott brings attention to FOSS archiving tools


Re: I like 7Zip.

Yeah, but we all know Finns like to play "Spot the Finnish Sniper" with Russians.

That time a techie accidentally improved an airline's productivity


Re: Easy to miss something trivial

I do this on a daily basis. "Press and hold the <modifier key>. While holding that key, press and release <whatever>. Then release the <modifier> key."

The hardest part is when the modifier is the Windows key, because some people still don't realize there is such a key on the keyboard.

BOFH: Where do you think you are going with that toner cartridge?


Re: Band Name


BOFH: Something's consuming 40% of UPS capacity – and it's coming from the beancounters' office


Have I been doing it wrong?

Meanwhile, gnerds like me are asking IT which are the UPS sockets and which aren't for plugging in our "extra" gear. Like my personal laptop, docking station, test gear, soldering station etc. (try explaining to manglerment types why "phone tech support" has a soldering/reflow station at his cubical...)

Beware the techie who takes things literally


Re: bah humbug

"I possess in my hand a device capable of accessing the accumulated knowledge of the human race. And I use it for arguing with strangers and looking at pictures of cats."

Three major browsers are about to hit version 100. Will websites cope?


Re: History repeating itself...

WinME was a bugfix. Home users installed WIn2000 on their machines, and had to start dealing with NT4.0 issues. And they couldn't "downgrade" back to 98 without reformatting all of their data. So they hurriedly released "ME" built on NT, that was more consumer friendly, as a hold over until they could get XP fully tested and released.

God, I hated tech support in the early 2000's

File suffixes: Who needs them? Well, this guy did


This should be a setup item at best

I've been railing on this "feature" since the Windows ME days at LEAST. Working front line support for an OEM, and having to talk grandma and grandpa through finding a file and the extensions are hidden is a nightmare. It got to a point that one of our first support steps was to disable "Hide file extensions for known file types" early in any call, and when reinstalling Windows would have the customer do this as soon as possible.

BOFH: The Geek's Countergambit – outwitted at an electronics store


I sense a disturbance in the force

And possible the beginning of a multi-part story arc

He ain't heavy, he's my brother: Bloke gives away SpaceX ticket because he was over weight limit


No, we use pints (some cans use ounces, but that's not in the pub). But most of the pubs I visit also serve nice dark porters.


Re: Let me fix that.

It was also designed as an excuse to keep peasants "underfed". Among other issues, it ignores the "square-cube" law of volume

When forgetting to set a password for root is the least of your woes


"Curtis broke it"

I am routinely put on beta teams at my employer with the instructions "Hey, Curtis. See if you can break this". And I do. Because the guys doing the programming don't actually use the software daily.

To this day, there's one dev who has stated that under no circumstances am I allowed to "test" his software. Interestingly, whenever he says that, upper management then pulls him off whatever project he's working on.

BOFH: 'What's an NFT?' the Boss asks. In this case, 'not financially thoughtful'


I see a revenue stream here...

Will El Reg be selling NFTs of "aManFromMars'" comments?

On this most auspicious of days, we ask: How many sysadmins does it take to change a lightbulb?


Call Sparky

My usual response is on the order of "If it doesn't have a processor, or a network connection, it's not IT, it's Facilities. Call Sparky. I'll let him know you're calling and he'll be sure to bring the Russian circuit tester."

Since someone printed that particular BOFH and pinned it to the breakroom bulletin board, the issue usually stops there.

BOFH: You say goodbye and I say halon


Am I wrong here?

Or would introducing a higher concentration of nitrogen possibly cause "the bends" when coming out of that environment and a potential way to punish certain parties?

Apple's expert witness grilled by Epic over 'frictionless' spending outside the app


Re: Hitt's hit

That's actually the case in the US with the ATF. Their expert witness (Dan O'Kelly) has repeatedly testified in court that the AR-style lower is not a firearm as defined in the law.


Apple's global security boss accused of bribing cops with 200 free iPads in exchange for concealed gun permits


Re: Why didn't he just buy out of state?

It's not a matter of "buying", which is a whole other level of issues. (You cannot purchase a handgun from an out of state dealer, it has to be shipped to one in state to perform the necessary background checks)

This is a matter of carrying a handgun on your person in your day-to-day life. Some states take a "must issue" stance in which the state must issue the permit unless the background check fails. Some take a "may issue" stance in which the local LEO (Head Law Enforcement Office) can choose to approve or deny. In "may issue" jurisdictions, there's a lot of talk about the system being biased for those who are politically connected or willing to offer something "under the table" to get the permits approved.

And in the US, any firearm purchased from a federally licensed dealer must perform a background check (that involves querying a national crime database) to complete the transfer. A private party can sell a firearm to another private party, but if the seller is caught "in the business of selling firearms" they get hammered pretty severely.

This allows someone to sell a weapon they no longer want causally, without having to bear the expense of going through an FFL to complete the transaction. Since this would involve transferring the weapon to the FFL, who then has to document the weapon make, model, serial number, etc, and then that FFL transferring it again to another person, it creates a bunch of paperwork that the FFL is required to keep for 10 years.

Samsung to introduce automatic call blocking on Android 11-capable flagships


Re: How does it work?

If the number is in the switch's database, it will automatically associate with the subscriber's name.

The "spoofing" is done just by changing the outgoing Caller ID, which is legal in the US for use by Call Centers, Police Stations, and especially Domestic Abuse shelters

Google screwed rivals to protect monopoly, says Uncle Sam in antitrust lawsuit: We go inside the Sherman parked on a Silicon Valley lawn


Re: FFS ..... Goose meets Gander and Both go on a Mindbender

Good God. I'm starting to understand AMFM... someone help.

Rambo: First Bork. Turns out John Rambo is no match for a bad CMOS checksum


Re: Please no....

Operation Wolf?

'I don’t want to see another computer for the rest of my life'... Brit Dark Overlord cyber-extortionist thrown in an American clink for five years


US Prison System

The best description of the US prison system is "demonic". Between the inter-inmate predation, and the unholy charges to talk to family via phone, the entire system is a gross failure of US society.

The entire system is designed to incarcerate slaves and put them to work in the "Prison-Industrial" complex on a scale that would shame China.

FYI: Yeah, the cops can force your finger onto a suspect's iPhone to see if it unlocks, says judge


Re: Not an item for debate

All of which takes money. Money the government has (from civil asset forfeiture) and the defendant (whose accounts have bee frozen as "possibly related to the "crime") doesn't.


Re: Maybe you just need the right password

My preference is "&3tF00k3d"

Sorry friends, I'm afraid I just can't quite afford the Bitcoin to stop that vid from leaking everywhere


Oh noes! I got one too. 4 days ago. With a 2 day deadline...


I'm a hacker who cracked your email and device a few months ago.

You entered a password on one of the sites you visited, and I intercepted it.

This is your password from <my email> on moment of hack: <password I've never used>

Of course you can will change it, or already changed it.

But it doesn't matter, my malware updated it every time.

Do not try to contact me or find me, it is impossible, since I sent you an email from your account.

Through your email, I uploaded malicious code to your Operation System.

I saved all of your contacts with friends, colleagues, relatives and a complete history of visits to the Internet resources.

Also I installed a Trojan on your device and long tome spying for you.

You are not my only victim, I usually lock computers and ask for a ransom.

But I was struck by the sites of intimate content that you often visit.

I am in shock of your fantasies! I've never seen anything like this!

So, when you had fun on piquant sites (you know what I mean!)

I made screenshot with using my program from your camera of yours device.

After that, I combined them to the content of the currently viewed site.

There will be laughter when I send these photos to your contacts!

BUT I'm sure you don't want it.

Therefore, I expect payment from you for my silence.

I think $821 is an acceptable price for it!

Pay with Bitcoin.

My BTC wallet: 1YnYAxprVrTo1WzPPzMo86ste5Ssp4xsy

If you do not know how to do this - enter into Google "how to transfer money to a bitcoin wallet". It is not difficult.

After receiving the specified amount, all your data will be immediately destroyed automatically. My virus will also remove itself from your operating system.

My Trojan have auto alert, after this email is read, I will be know it!

I give you 2 days (48 hours) to make a payment.

If this does not happen - all your contacts will get crazy shots from your dark secret life!

And so that you do not obstruct, your device will be blocked (also after 48 hours)

Do not be silly!

Police or friends won't help you for sure ...

p.s. I can give you advice for the future. Do not enter your passwords on unsafe sites.

I hope for your prudence.


Just how rigged is America's broadband world? A deep dive into one US city reveals all


Re: @MadonnaC Choice

Funny you should mention that. Chattanooga, TN. Most people would consider it "rural" and 10Gb fiber is available to every home serviced by EPB power.

FCC drops idiotic plans to downgrade entire nation's internet speeds


Hardware difference

ADSL2+ (the most common technology on landlines) will only do 12.5M max. In order to provide 25M, the provider is looking at Bonded Pair (which sucks up twice as many lines) or VDSL, which required grooming the old lines. And in many areas, especially the "rural" ones, the county commissions refuse to permit the upgrades without hefty "fees".



Try working for the ISP and explaining this to people who have no idea that their county commission controls the right of way and insists on their pound of currency before they'll let upgrades commence. Then blame the ISPs during hearings.

User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work


Re: Your Network is broken!

I have a default answer for this (and have since 2001 and wireless cards in laptops).

"Because Nikola Tesla was wrong."

FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

Black Helicopters

The same FBI

You mean the same FBI that has interfered in the smooth transition of power and a select few have decided they know better than the American Electorate? Why wouldn't we trust them with a universal back door. It's not like they've abused their power and wiretapped candidates and elected officials just because they didn't like them.


AMD, Intel hate Nvidia so much they're building a laptop chip to spite it


WoW and Resources

Remember the Gates of An Quirage (sp)? That little "event' wiped out everyone on the server because there wasn't enough resources on ANYONE's PC to render 1000+ players + NPCs

BOFH: Oh dear. Did someone get lost on the Audit Trail?


Re: Ah!!

Just so that you know, we have the same in the states. It's generally for farm use, and it's both gas and diesel.

Phone crypto shut FBI out of 7,000 devices, complains chief g-man


Best Password

I still say your best defense is an offensive offense. Make your password "Sodoffyoufuckingwanker"

Then, you can give your password with impunity. And they'll of course refuse try it. Then, when you go to court, you simply say that you provided them the password and they still violated your human rights because they didn't believe you.

Brit broke anti-terror law by refusing to cough up passwords to cops


Just make the password "fuckoffyoubloodywankers" - you get to insult the plod while providing them the exact password, which they'll never try because you just gave it to them.

Singapore court awards $2.9m over bad job reference


"This employee works well when cornered like a rat and under constant supervision."

That being said, I know one person who suspected a particular former employer was providing a bad and biased reference. Due to her separation, she had already engaged a lawyer. They had their receptionist call and ask for a reference. Which what then added to the suit for sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Which, in Florida where this happened, is almost never decided in the employee's favor. This one was.

Sorry, but those huge walls of terms and conditions you never read are legally binding


"No one reads those"

When I started at my current employer, on an Internet Hell Desk, I was assisting a new customer setting up a modem. Part of the setup includes walking through a walled garden that requires the customer agree to a "Terms of Service" This is as close to the exact wording as I can remember:

Me: "Ok, now just read the Terms of Service, scroll down, and click agree."

Her: "I'm a lawyer. No one reads these. I'll just agree."

Me: "Umm, you really should have read that first. <Company Redacted> now owns your soul."

Her: "I'm a red-head. I don't have one."

Much humor was had, manglers got involved, and there was some talk about possible misconduct. The fact that the CUSTOMER said it saved my job.

Need a change? Well, the Euro Patent Office needs a new president...


I will apply and stress my intentions to implement a US style patent system. It works for the US and the rest of the modern world should accede to our ways.

Oh, did I miss the [sarcasm] tag?

Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes


Re: Humidity control

No. It's not. I used to smoke (switched to vaping) and cleaned the inside of my PC at least quarterly. This meant a full strip down, wiping down the board with 91% and qtips, cleaning all the fans and heatsinks, etc. A complete environment clean.

All this stemmed from a position at a company that had to replace the payroll computer at least yearly, because the elderly lady working on it chain smoked. Computers can die of smoke inhalation.


re: Commando?

The first time I heard it, it was from a female co-irker (who later that night offered to show me what she meant)

Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe


Ahh, but you're thinking legally. Google doesn't have to operate in "the old ways"

Were I them, I'd be looking at elections and "Search Engine Optimization" to get more "reliable" persons into positions of power. Persons who can then make more friendly decisions to them.

User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC


Re: He was lucky

Yeah, I saw the same episode. What they missed was they were using new, undamaged CDs. If even the smallest crack appears at the center hole, the stress at over 48x will break the CD.

For a VERY short time, 90x drives were available (2001 or so) and these had such issues that fragments of disks would some out the side of the PC case.