* Posts by jgard

122 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Oct 2018


Unity CEO 'retires' in the wake of fee fiasco


Re: In the short term, it'll increase pass rates. In the long term, it'll make for a better exam.

As someone who used to work at Diebold I can indeed confirm that they are, or at least were, doing it wrong. For a company that flogs ATMs (and used to sell voting machines) their approach to security was erm... sub optimal! In my long experience, they are rivalled only by the NHS in terms of their terrifyingly bad approach to 'security'. Some of the things I saw there would make your hair curl, one of the best was when I came across a private signing certificate - the cert that was used to create other certificates that give you a cast iron guarantee that an ATM is definitely a Diebold ATM - in some production ATM source code. For those who aren't up to speed on these things, Its hard to state how daft and reckless this is. It's one of the stupidest things you can do in terms of security. Standard practice is to keep these certs on offline machines locked in a safe, or in hardware security modules. This cert gave anybody the ability to prove their computer was a Diebold ATM.

The worst bit was that the person who put it there knew it was bad, because they left a comment saying something like: '//todo it's bit naughty this, need to move it really when I get the time...'. Sheesh!

Microsoft teases Python scripting in Excel


Re: Nice in concept but...

Hey, I love open source, and yes, VBA is bloody awful, but please tell me why Open Office is better than Excel. You've listed the scripting languages, which are definitely more varied in Open Office, but remain irrelevant in 99% of use cases. So what is so much better in OO compared to MS Excel? I've recently had to start using OO at work and on any objective measure, it is NOT better software than MS Office, it just isn't.

I hate Windows and refuse to use it - there are far better alternatives for an OS. MacOS, Ubuntu, and Mint all fit the bill. There are much better web servers than IIS, better hypervisors than Hyper-V, and better web frameworks than ASP.net. But for office apps, I don't see it fella. What exactly makes Open Office better than MS Office?

Microsoft makes some certification exams open book


Re: What is Microsoft testing?

You have expressed my thoughts exactly, far better than I can manage. The only problem is that I can't see an immediate way out of this, because to remain viable certs must be cheap and attractive to exam takers.

For this, they have to be:

1) made up of multiple choice questions, so they remain markable by computers, and therefore cheap

2) easy enough to pass in order to ensure keep people taking them

The only thing that I can envision changing in the near future is that AI will become able to accurately mark written, longer-form answers.


The Azure Fundamentals course is the worst exam I have ever taken. It was a free voucher and I was asked to take it by my employer as they wanted all techies to be certified in AZ-900. I bailed after maybe 10 questions as it had bugger-all to do with anything technical and all to do with marketing, licensing, and support contracts. As an experienced techie, I found it just insulting. No, thank you, not for me.


Re: In the short term, it'll increase pass rates. In the long term, it'll make for a better exam.

The VMware certs used to be terrible for this. You could answer at least 5 questions on an exam by memorising the vSphere maximums, like maximum vCPUs per cluster or other equally pointless knowledge that would take you 10 seconds to look up. I still remember the maximum VMDK size before ESXi v5.5 - it was 2TB - 512 bytes - and I can't remember ever having to use that knowledge professionally. A total waste of my time and effort! Unfortunately for me, when I took the ESXi 6.0 exam, I followed all the old revision tricks I'd used in the past, I memorised all the maximums and not one of them came up! Instead, they changed to a more 'experience/job based' approach and asked even dafter questions like 'What is the first button on the left after clicking on the network tab blah blah... '. As someone who nearly always used the CLI tools, I was thinking: "How the fuck would I know? And why would I even care?" There are no perfect ways to test an engineer's knowledge, but that was fucking ridiculous. I failed it on the first attempt, but memorised some screen views and passed it 2nd time around. Sheesh!

I had an MCSE back in the day when it taught and then tested you in detail on TCP/IP, DNS, DHCP and other widely used and important protocol-level, vendor-neutral knowledge. I studied hard and learned shit loads from them, and those exams are one of the best investments I ever made in my career. Although looking back to Windows NT 4, the most precious thing I ever learned was to reapply Service Pack 6a after doing literally anything, and no certification is more useful than that!

Subsequently, I did all sorts of certs - more MCSEs, MCSD, VCP, VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DCD, MCITP, CCNA, and CCNP. I gained a truly tremendous amount of knowledge from them, and I would advise any young whipper snapper to do the same as I did. However, that is no longer possible as cert exams are now little more than an extension of a vendor's technical marketing program. You'll gain so little real knowledge from doing them, but you will get an excellent grounding in the various product and support SKUs, software licenses and lifecycles, privacy policies and not much more. The whole concept of tech certs has been destroyed by this nonsense and reading any cert guide now just makes me want to scream 'JUST FUCK OFF, FUCK OFF, NOT BLOODY INTERESTED, I DON'T FUCKING CARE. ARGH! FUCK. OFF. PLEASE. FUCK. OFF!"

I work primarily in public clouds these days, and the certs in those are even fucking worse. It's like they've devised a way to inject L. Brad Chessington Jnr - Senior VP from Corporate Marketing and Sales - and his corporate sales manual into your brain by convincing you that memorising it is necessary for your technical education and professional development. Fuck that! I therefore stopped doing any certs a few years ago. Now I do all my learning myself, based on what I enjoy and what I can use to conjure up a fun mini-project or whatever. I wouldn't advise anyone to do certs these days if they wish to actually learn something. If you have to do them for work or job hunting, that's different and you have my unwavering sympathy. But if you want to learn, do something else, it will benefit your sanity and your knowledge.

FTX crypto-clown Sam Bankman-Fried couldn't even do house arrest. Now he's in jail


Re: He really can't just shut the fuck up, can he ?

No, ADHD and/or ASD would offer no real defence here. ASD might help if you're living in a box room, have no friends and lack the social skills and insight to fully understsnd the gravity of what you're doing. But this guy is obviously an expert in reading and manipulating people, he had the comprehension and insight required to perform extended and highly complex planning and was able to maintain a massive fraud worth billions. He fully understands what he's doing.

ADHD is a factor in a lot of crime, largely because it increases impulsivity, making it more likely you'll do something stupid that you might regret. The prevalence of ADHD in prison is many times higher than the general population. However, this guy planned his behaviour, it was repeated, consistent and directed towards a goal of ripping people off. There's no way ADHD would be seen as a legitimate offence.

However, the presence of one or both conditions could certainly be relevant in sentencing. His team could try this tactic to get him cushier detention conditions.

That said, the US legal system does not apply justice evenly or fairly. We have all seen rich, privileged criminals acquitted on ridiculous defences that would never work for Joe public. So who knows?

RIP Kevin Mitnick: Former most-wanted hacker dies at 59


Re: But why tho...

You are spot on with your analysis here my friend, an epidemiologist would struggle to provide a better summary.

Cancer is cruel and indiscriminate, I'm very sorry to hear about your mother. All the best.


Re: Takedown

Not to condescend, but are you sure you're reading the right Web site? Maybe Ars Technica Arsehole.com is more your style.

A fun loving pioneer has died far too young, tragically leaving a young family. What do you do? You spot the tiniest, most oblique, of opportunities to act like a supercilious, self-satisfied dick, before meeting that challenge with ease. Seriously mate, what's wrong with you?

You should know that it's usually better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you're an arse, than to open it and remove all doubt. Having read a lot by and about Kevin Mitnick, I'm pretty sure he'd be of the same opinion.

To quote Alan Partridge: "Some People!".

To quote me: "What a knob!".

Microsoft admits unauthorized access to Exchange Online, blames Chinese gang


Re: I blame Microsoft


Can't you come up with anything better mate? You know, like better than the usual: " Duh.... um.... duh.... erm.... oh.. erm Microsoft... erm they're rubbish, must be shoddy code. Just look at all the bloated software they write! Duhh... erm... "

Yeah, it's all down to Microsoft writing shoddy code. Says you: a person who doesn't understand what they are talking about, wouldn't know what shoddy code was if it jumped up and slapped them in the chops, and simply is not skilled or experienced enough to ever work as a Microsoft developer.

But yeah, shoddy code. Right!

Malwarebytes may not be allowed to label rival's app as 'potentially unwanted'


Agreed, but given the shabby behaviour of the app, I'd suggest calling it PUP is letting it off lightly. There seems only one appropriate response: upgrade it to an UP! There's no P about it in my opinion!

UK tech industry pushing up salaries – but UI devs out of luck


I don't agree at all. If you do the same old job for years and don't push yourself to learn and develop professionally, then it's no surprise you're not in demand. But that demand is entirely a function of your initiative and committiment. I know this because I've just been laid off (I'm 51) and have never been in such demand, I've also never been offered so much money.

I was a wintel infrastructure engineer with a bit of software engineering thrown in for about 15 years. I saw the demand was declining and what the market was doing, then I stuck my head down and relentlessly worked on renewing my skills in cloud, software engineering, design patterns, cloud security, software architecture, and cloud infrastructure. I'm now a very experienced and competent cloud architect.

It's all down to you as an individual - put the effort in to be at the top of your profession, or don't bother. Claiming you are the victim of ageism simply means you are not prepared to put in the huge effort that it takes to be better than your competitors. I have never seen ageism in tech (ever!), but I have seen many, many older techies give the advantage to young, enthusiastic people who are more flexible and open to change. These younger people are driven, they are committed to learning, and they are adaptable.

It might sound harsh, but if you aren't valued by potential employers, it's because you didn't make yourself valuable enough.

Professor freezes student grades after ChatGPT claimed AI wrote their papers


Re: Artificial Irony detector required

That reminds me of a course in my undergraduate days. We would all have to sit there each week, listening to him paraphrase the contents of a book in a very boring fashion. The best bit was that it was his book, an essential on the reading list, and I'm sure he got the library to hide all copies before each course started each semester. I bet he sold at least 200 copies a year with this tactic. He'd come up with new editions every 3-4 years, and always covered the new material, so students had to buy the new edition! With gifts like that he should have gone into enterprise IT sales.

Don't Be Evil, a gaggle of Googlers tell CEO Pichai amid mega layoffs


Re: "Don't be evil" is long forgotten

I can give you a couple reasons why people don’t react as you think they should.

Firstly, if you’re looking to someone who will further your cause, you need to do a LOT better than a right wing reactionary potato farmer called Andrew Bridgen. The conspiracy-loving, lying, gobshite MP, of whom even most Tories are embarrassed of.

A high-calibre, trustworthy and deeply honest man who:

”was embroiled in controversy in April 2022 when he was found guilty of lying under oath in a High Court case over claims about a multimillion-pound family dispute. The judge said he was so dishonest that his claims could not be taken at face value.

In January 2023 he was suspended from the House of Commons for five days after he was found to have breached the MPs' code of conduct by lobbying ministers for commercial gain. In the same week, he had the Conservative whip withdrawn for spreading misinformation about the Covid vaccination programme, comparing it in a tweet to the Holocaust.”


Secondly, anti-vax, anti-pharma types have a natural ability to dissuade others from joining their cause. Why? Well, they lack common sense and judgment, and very likely invest in other conspiracies too. Like most conspiracy enthusiasts, they see confirmation bias as a virtue, and see any evidence against their viewpoint as further proof they’re being lied to. They also find it difficult not to keep quiet about their views and tell us all that we’re the real sheep etc. They jump at the chance to push their anti-vax nonsense in even the most irrelevant situations, e.g. in a comment on the Register, responding to a story about Google and their HR policies.

Seriously, you couldn’t make it up!

Why ChatGPT should be considered a malevolent AI – and be destroyed


Re: When we do get real "AI", it will lie to us

Lying may be a sign of intelligence, but that doesn't mean that intelligence is a sign of lying.

You therefore can't claim that all intelligences lie. You can only claim that all liars are necessarily intelligent.

Real AI may never lie.

Think of Andrew Wiles proof of Fermat's Last Thereom. No one could legitimately deny that it represents the output of a most amazingly creative insightful and determined intelligence. Yet it contains no lies.

In the context of his mathematical research, the incentives and rewards associated with lying are almost zero. But the risks are huge. Therefore he doesn't lie in his research.

However, I'm sure he lies in his personal life. He no-doubt tells white lies to his wife, e.g. you've lost weight, as the risks are small, and the benefit (no arguments / accusations of insensitivity) relatively larger. He lies due to specific goal directed behaviour and the insight provided through his own intelligence/theory of mind/ experience etc. No one could reasonably claim that for mathematical research, he needed lying skills from his personal life.

Lying for personal gain and abstract mathematical creativity are two very separate domains of intelligence. There are many people who are genius liars but can't add 2 integers together. There are genius mathematicians that almost never lie due to the fact they are autistic. Interestingly, many autistic people don't lie and are also highly intelligent.

We only lie, as do squirrels, because of inherent biologically determined inclinations to gain status, sex, money, survival etc. These motivators, along with our abilities for deception, are only there because they have been encoded into our genes. These are skills which are crucial for our survival and have been inserted into the very core of our code by evolution, over billions of years.

That intelligent beings lie does not mean dishonesty is fundamental to intelligence, nor does it mean intelligence must be accompanied with lying. The fact that we have the tendency to lie is due entirely to biological imperatives. It has been programmed into us at the deepest levels by evolution. And let's be honest: If we create true 'AI', the last thing it should resemble is angry, devious primates who happen to be pathologically greedy and territorial.

There is no reason why AI cannot be made inherently beneficent. None at all. But if people are creating it, it will be very difficult to refrain from giving at least some of our less noble proclivities. The only safe way to develop AI is together as a global society, on the foundational principle of do no harm.

Unfortunately, I see little chance of that given the shit show of spite, greed and violence that is the current state of our world.


Re: I quite like it

From what you've summarised of the article it claims that those that interacted most with it, and used the most suggestions wrote the least secure code.

That doesn't demonstrate very much at all though. Were there controls for skill level, experience, educational level etc? If not, this study is probably only demonstrating that less experienced coders tend to use more suggestions due to their lower ability. They are also least able to identify dodgy/insecure code, it therefore doesn't get fixed before it's committed.

Also, security bugs can be hard to spot, but that's often a needle in haystack problem - a bounds check only needs to be missed once in many thousands of lines to cause trouble. However these AI code generators don't usually create large volumes at once; they are usually used to create small chunks of code for a specific job. When adding a small chunk of code, any competent coder should be able to spot possible issues. If they can't manage that then they have no business writing production code.

Therefore, the AI code generating technology used should be largely irrelevant, because it's actually a people and management issue. If your coders aren't at least reasonably competent, do not let them code!

US cybersecurity chief: Software makers shouldn't lawyer their way out of security responsibilities


Re: Something to remember ...

Mate, you don't half talk a load of rubbish.

"They started commercial computer work with Windows 2.x and DOS 4.0 (or thereabouts), and have become conditioned to the Redmond Way ... In their minds (and the generations following) it's supposed to be shoddy code, it's supposed to not be secure, it's supposed to break at the least convenient time, it will crash at random, updates will make things worse, over time it gets bigger and worse, if you turn it off and back on again it might fix it (maybe; try it again) ... these are all enshrined in the corporate attitude.

So why bother building clean, elegant code that just works when the underlying OS doesn't support such a concept? There is no point."

OK, let's see what boxes this ticks:

1) laying on the usual, generalised anti-microsoft sentiment.

2) stating your own very personal and subjective opinions about Microsoft as fact, of course this helps you bask in the glow of self-generated admiration of just how amazing you are.

3) ensuring those opinions you passed as facts are so vague and general that they can't be fact checked - therefore buttressing the confirmation bias of other MS bashers who share your beliefs (not facts).

4) demonstrating you have no idea about modern MS products, e.g. "it will crash at random", really? What 'crashes' at random? Have you used MS products in the last 20 years? You're just wrong.

5) brazenly making shit up to falsely support a false narrative that everybody these days accepts crap software, because MS are crap and have enforced their standards of mediocrity on to the collective corporate attitude. Total BS.

6) providing irrelevant info dripping in false equivalence: "Those of us who started coding in the 60s or earlier are just left shaking our heads. Can you imagine what the reaction in Corporate America would have been if DEC or Burroughs or Sperry or IBM had made just one release that was as buggy as the code that is run as a matter of course on modern computers? Or worse, the drek in "the cloud"? The company's stock would have tanked, they would never have been trusted again, heads would have rolled ... ugly wouldn't even begin to describe it." Really? You are comparing:

i) the high-end, rare and expensive tech of yesteryear (when hw and sw were designed and created specifically for each other) which did a very specific job, with:

ii) software running on mass market (i.e 100's of millions) of commodity pieces of technology (PCs / laptops etc), each of which can have any combination of third party hardware AND any combination of poorly crafted software, written any of the ten's of thousands of software houses around the world.

You're not even comparing chalk and cheese, it's more like shit and satsumas.

7) Claiming it was better in your day, that they were real techies and today's techies are just can't-give-a-shit, complacent simpletons, lacking the smarts and ethical approach of your generation: "But these days? Navigating through crap, buggy, crash-prone bullshit has become business as usual. Because THAT'S HOW COMPUTERS ARE SUPPOSED TO WORK! Ask any manager. Or coder under 50. (Thankfully there are still a few real programmers out there in each generation.)" Not only is this complete BS, it's so frigging patronising and insulting. I'm one of those idiots under 50, and neither me, nor any other techy under 50 I know, resemble your lazily assembled straw man. I have written loads of software that lives depend on, critical stuff, so I understand why quality matters. Hey, some of it even ran on Windows! You really are one massive condescending a hole, so please just stop with the patronising BS, NO ONE thinks that, apart from you.

BTW. I now mostly use Mac OS and Linux on desktop, but I have used Windows desktop for 30 years. I hate Windows now it has turned into an advertising/tracking/data-mining system and will not use it unless I am absolutely forced to. However, I get far more lock ups / panics on either Mac OS or Linux than I ever have on Windows. And if we're talking servers, Windows if properly managed, is these days absolutely rock solid.

Someone as expert as yourself will of course know that Dave Cutler was the brains and driving force behind Windows NT. You'll also know that he was poached from DEC, where he led OS development on: RSX-11M, VAX/VMS, VAXELN and MICA . Did he suddenly become complacent when joining MS? Not from what I've read! But he was working on a product with vastly different FRs, used for vastly different purposes, aimed at a vastly different market. And toughest of all, he had to contend with supporting any of several quadrillion possible combinations of hardware and software.

I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I'm a fan of the the truth, and what you've spewed here is just rubbish, and lazy rubbish at that. Not only is it full of stuff you made up and pass off as fact, it shows a real disrespect towards others, and is thoroughly patronising. Thank God I don't have to work with you.

Make Linux safer… or die trying


Re: Men

I'm currently contracting for a very large financial institution. They avoid the delicate problem around man/woman usage in their technical specs by referring to users as 'human entities'. Seriously.

However, it does raise the exciting possibility that some users are entities of a non-human persuasion. Not seen any yet though.

Twitter tweaks third-party app rules to ban third-party apps



I still use Twitter to collate tech stuff and other news. However, I can no longer face supporting this incurable twat in any way. I'll certainly never buy a Tesla while he's involved with the company. And now his general behaviour has become so juvenile, thoughtless and tzar-like, that I simply don't want to use his services at all. I've not used twitter in 2 weeks, and I've now decided to never go back. I do not want to help this tosser in any way. It won't hurt him but it helps me feel better.

I don't know what's going on in his self-obsessed brain, but I can say with great certainty that Elton Musk is an absolute chopper.


Re: Leeching off a leech

By far the best place to shove that violin is exactly the same hole from which you appear to speak, i.e. the one that forms an exit for yout intestinal tract.


Re: Leeching off a leech

I'd suggest that you shove it in the same hole you speak from, i.e. Your ar*e. Good luck with it mate.

Some engineers are being paid between $250k and $1m, says salary survey


Re: Too Much Moaning..reading comprehension?

Wow.... touched a nerve did I? Sorry dude, but I didn't realise you were so sensitive. I wasn’t actually talking to you personally, though I understand that’s how you took my comments. Needless to say, I apologise if I caused you any offence.

However, I’m surprised that things turned so juvenile so quickly. What’s behind your need to turn friendly banter into a battle between the political ideologies of UK vs US? I don’t get it mate, and while I have neither the time, nor inclination to reply to most of what you say, I’ll deal with the bits that seem silliest to me.

You say: “I would guess you are one of those Mustn't Grumble Brits.” I say: “No, if you heard how vociferously I complain about our British political ‘leaders’, you would realise how dumb that is”. Also, what’s a 'Mustn’t Grumble Brit’? I’ve never met one, despite living here most of my life.

You also say: “Well they do things different in the US. For a start people tend to much more aware of where and what their taxes are being spent on.” Do they, are you sure, and why does that matter anyway? Get a grip. That said, I don’t know if you have spent much time in the UK, but over the years, I have worked and lived in the US for a very considerable amount of time. Your assertion in no way matches my experience in the US - US folk certainly do not have any better idea of where their taxes go. Really, that’s nonsense, it’s just not true.

You also said: “You seem to share the average Brits profoundly oblivious attitude to how much tax they pay and where and how it is spent.” So where is your evidence for that? What profoundly oblivious attitude? And how on Earth does that matter in relation to my comment? Also, do you not realise that by mentioning my PAYE tax could pay for several NHS nurses, I know how my taxes are being spent?

Your invocation of a battle between UK and US ideologies is still leaving me baffled; why do you do it, and what’s the point? But here’s your last quote: “I much prefer the American way. Always arguing. Always complaining. Always trying to make things better. The last one is the key bit. Now the Brits, they just moan a lot but nothing ever changes.”

The best bit is here: “Always trying to make things better. The last one is the key bit”. Is this true of the US, really? As you are (I assume) a US citizen, and one who knows how his tax $$$ are spent, you will surely be aware of the following fact: up until 2014, health care spending of the US govt, as percentage of GDP was an enormous 17.1%. Yes, 17.1%! The same stat in the UK in that time was 8.8% of GDP. So the US spent (and therefore wasted $ billions) over twice as much per capita as a share of GDP.

Many, many people in the US have been complaining, arguing, trying to make things better in the healthcare space, but virtually NOTHING has changed, and the stats are just as bad now: the US spends much more on healthcare than any other developed nation, even though it doesn’t have socialised, single-payer medicine. Ouch! Look at the other major political issues in the US. Take gun control as just one example, could you describe it better than this: “they just moan a lot but nothing ever changes”. What has changed, in this regard, for the better in the last few decades in your ever-improving version of the USA?

I don’t mean to criticise the US, or anyone in the US at all, and I'm not. I have lots of friends there. However, I have been forced into this style of reply. It’s necessary that I leverage these points in order to show that your US vs UK argument is irrelevant, petty, juvenile and counter-productive. People who can’t argue for themselves often resort to arguing on behalf of their country folk instead. It’s sad, it’s silly, but it’s true.


Too Much Moaning

There's a lot of grumbling from the higher earners in these comments, most of which I find hard to sympathise with. If you don't like paying high taxes on your enormous salary, either move job to something lower paying, or move home to a lower tax country.

I happen to be one of these tech people enjoying a great salary, and I remind myself every day how bloody lucky I am, and how grateful I should be. Yes I've worked and studied damn hard for over two decades, I've pushed myself to take jobs that really stretch me. But I'm also extremely fortunate to have done so in such a lucrative and rewarding industry that pays fantastically. And lucky that I have reached this level just as the financial rewards are becoming the best they've ever been. I often see my pay and think I can't be worth that, it's too much, honestly. And I think that's a MUCH better way to think than: I want more more more, its way too much tax....

Of course, I don't like paying taxes, especially when they seem excessive. However I can afford to pay them and still take home enough money to give me freedom to do what I want, go where I want / take my family where they want, all while never having to worry about groceries/bills/cost of living crises. That makes me incredibly fortunate, and I take that to heart - I'm very lucky.

Unless they are stupid, anyone paying these large tax bills is doing very nicely too. And like most of them, I don't like too see that cash go to the taxman. However, for me, it's nice to think that it's enough to fund a few NHS nurses. That makes me feel that I'm helping in some way.


If you are paying exorbitant tax, you are earning A LOT, you're very very fortunate, you have few of the worries of most people. Count your blessings and maybe give the grumbling a rest eh? It just feels a bit unseemly and demonstrates a pretty big deficit in the self awareness department.

Why would a keyboard pack a GPU and run Unreal Engine? To show animations beneath the clear keys, natch


Re: Useless feature

Mate, if you are worried your keypress-generated RF emissions are being read, you really don't need to worry about your keypress-generated RF emissions being read.

You have much bigger things to worry about. Like those guys from the SAS Signals Squadron that have been living in your loft for the last 3 months.

Computing's big question for 2023: How many more questions can we endure?


You Must Register to Continue....

The worst examples are the subscription / membership notices that pop up on magazines and newspapers. I don't mind the legitimate ones - if you need subs to keep going that's fair enough, and at least you're being honest. It's the barefaced lies that piss me off! There are loads of places that do this, but The Guardian is one example that comes to mind. It asserts that "You must subscribe/register to continue reading", but scroll down a bit and you can choose "Maybe later". The truth is you never have to subscribe or register to read normal Guardian content, it merely helps them monetize readers. Again, fine if your visitors know and agree to it, just don't make shit up to trick people.

US Air Force reveals B-21 Raider stealth bomber that'll fly the unfriendly skies


Re: Eye-watering

Dear American,

Firstly, thank you for your characteristically forthright and uninformed perspective. In just a few sentences, you have provided us with a valuable yet measured contribution to this complex debate.... at least that is what I would say if you had, but you haven't, so I won't. Nevertheless, it's always a pleasure to hear from a brash American friend, notwithstanding your complete ignorance of the historical basis for US militarily imperialism.

The stereotype of geopolitically ignorant Americans has always felt unfair to me. Yet, with you, the shortcomings are obvious. I'm sure even you would admit to a poor grasp of geopolitics and international relations. But it's not your fault; I can only assume that while your classmates were learning these subjects, you were absent. Given the number of mass shootings in schools, I'd be terrified, and I wouldn't go to school either. Of course, the key to dealing with these horrors is more guns, and I've no doubt you were doing your bit to help. Maybe by polishing your gun at home, by yourself. Or shooting animals in the woods.

Although your education is questionable, your sense of humour is brilliant. This, in particular, is a classic: perhaps we could afford social programs of our own. LOL! You can afford them now you great buffoon, you just choose not to because you're terrified that your cash might go toward helping someone less fortunate. Perish the thought.

But worry ye not my friend; your priorities are already in the right place. It's clear from just those few sentences what makes you happy: guns, ammo and Easy Cheese spray. And don't kid yourself mate, if you did get more money, you'd spend it on them before you helped anybody else.

All the best.

A European Friend

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move


Re: Bit klunky, but...

Exactly, it's so bloody cringe worthy. He uses them in such an embarrassingly transparent way. He's desperate to appear a tech genius but demonstrates exactly the opposite. Like me lecturing my 16 year old daughter on tiktok's top teenage fashion influencers.

Its pathetic and smacks of a desperate need for recognition and adulation. I have no expertise in rockets, but I do in computing and it's obvious he doesn't know what he's talking about. He knows enough to embarrass himself though, and long may he do so. It's hilarious.

He's a complete toss pot, an angry spoiled baby in the body of a man. I really don't know how any one could work for him, I'd rather be unemployed.

Elon Musk tells Twitter: My takeover deal is back on


Parallels with Putin?

Musk may be the world’s richest man, but he’s also a pestiferous, self-aggrandising bore. His pathological narcissism drives him to believe he’s an authority on everything, it also means he can never admit mistakes and never be seen to lose.

I detect strong parallels between the Musk and Twitter scenario, and Putin’s dally in Ukraine. Both are megalomaniacs, brimming with hubris, and both are hurting because they’re losing face. Each got themselves in a huge self-inflicted mess while the world looks on, and to a narcissist, there’s nothing worse than that.

They both know they fucked up massively, and there’s no way to escape from the mess without losing face. That’s unbearable, so they either dig their heels in and inflict more damage on themselves, or they reframe the situation to make it appear as though they’re happy with the result. It’s clear as day in both of them.

Even more interesting is the fact that Musk was sending out ridiculous tweets the other day on the Russia - Ukraine issue. Among other things, he was making the point that Crimea has always belonged to Russia. Implicit in those tweets was the argument that Russia has fair claim on much of Ukraine’s territory. This incensed Ukraine’s political leaders to the point where one high-ranker told him to fuck off, president Zelenski also chimed in with similar sentiments, but milder language.

Applying my armchair psychologists hat to this situation, I can’t help wondering if there is something deeper here. Is Musk unconsciously identifying with Putin, supporting his unreasonable behaviour in order for Musk himself to feel better about his own situation. I have a few similar ideas on his motives, but I’ve got to get back to work!

Zuckerberg: Yes, Facebook kept Hunter Biden's laptop under wraps


Re: Why do people ignore facts?

Are you THAT clueless? Trump’s whole persona, his entire identity, is predicated on his skill in telling lies, spewing bullshit, and convincing others he has integrity. Anyone with more than two brain cells can’t help but realise he is unfit to hold any position of civic authority. He has fuck all ability, and less interest, in doing anything other than furthering his own selfish agenda, making money and venerating himself above his competitors.

However, in projecting this misguided fantasy he demonstrates just what a muppet he really is. Results matter my friend, so with that in mind, can you please demonstrate where and how Trump has contributed to international cooperation, understanding, and reduced tensions among the major powers? I’d be interested to read your response.

Trump is especially good at telling others just how bad they are compared to him. So, please show me where Biden has called international partners childish and insulting names. Show me where he has shared classified images on Twitter. Show me where Biden has expressed warmth and support for dictatorial leaders of anti-democratic countries. Show me where he has made a positive impact upon international relations. Show me another idiot, trump-like president who promised that his opponent would experience fire and fury like the world had never seen. I could go on, but your point is lame, silly, and obtuse.

If you are even slightly persuaded that Trump has anything but the most base of personal motivations, you are wrong. Absolutely, and categorically wrong. He’s a twat, and from reading your comment, I’m convinced you have neither the brains nor the education to understand just how bad he really is.

Big Tech silent on data privacy in post-Roe America


Re: Democracy

Erm…. It could have prevented Trump getting in after Obama. That would have prevented him making the political landscape even more toxic and divided. Most of all it would have prevented that orange POS from loading the SCOTUS with judges best described as lying, knuckle dragging theocrats.

Trump appointed religious fundamentalists to the Supreme Court. These are people who think legal scholarship and criminal justice have been on the wane ever since the Salem Witch Trials. Just a few more votes against Trump could have stopped him before he got started. If only.

UK Home Office signs order to extradite Julian Assange to US


Re: A truly dreadful day

If you think the US govt and legal system haven’t already decided the verdict, you’re deluded. And if you think the First Amendment applies to an Australian citizen committing crimes outside the US you’re mistaken.

For the record, I’m glad he is going. He has evaded the rape charges by skipping bail, hiding in an embassy, disappearing, running away again and more. He’s acted like an entitled, whiny and ungrateful little prick toward people who have helped him, and he obviously sees the law as applying only to others.

I have no idea whether he raped anyone in Sweden. But rape is a disgusting and violent crime. Do his alleged victims not deserve justice? Should he not be tried like any normal suspect? Apparently he thinks not. Assange has gone to extraordinary lengths to evade justice, leveraging every opportunity his fame and circumstances afford him. He’s also shamelessness abused the kindness of others in that same quest.

How can he have the chutzpah to berate governments for not investigating and trying alleged criminals when he reuses to face the music himself? He’s a grifter and a coward and I’ll be glad when he’s gone. I would rather my taxes be spent on a more worthy cause.

Salesforce staff back an end to its relationship with NRA


Re: How do we protect our 2nd amendment & our kids at the same time?

Unless that armed teacher happens to be James Bond, they may find their solitary pistol is somewhat lacking against an aggressor armed with several AR-15s and covered in bullet proof armour.

If twenty odd armed and trained police officers didn’t storm the school to shoot the guy and save lives - when that’s their actual job - what makes you think teachers would (or could)?


Re: "How do we protect our 2nd amendment & our kids at the same time? "

Yes, someone fucked up in the head, who also had a gun.

Elon Musk orders Tesla execs back to the office


Narcissism, hubris and arrogance

Elon Musk has turned into an attention seeking bore. I'm getting thoroughly sick of him. How could anyone work for this big headed, bad tempered man-baby? Narcissism, hubris and arrogance are a bad combination anyway, and he is overflowing with all three. But he's also surrounded by a coterie of yes men falling over themselves to kiss his arse and polish his ego. And on top of all that are millions of sycophantic fan bois, hanging on his every word, spending their life chatting shit about Chads and Stacys on incel forums. The only break they get is for the 5 minutes following a Musk tweet - it's all go as they rush to be the first to repost in on 4chan.

It's no wonder he believes his own bullshit, surrounded by all that. What he needs is someone brave and honest enough to tell him he's acting like a juvenile, entitled little prick.


Re: Victorian values - what made Britain great.

The Victorian values that made Britain great? Loosely summarised as:

Travel the world with big ships and lots of guns. Fight and kill natives armed with wooden spears, subjugate whoever is left, steal their land and natural resources.

Yep, our Victorian values were bloody amazing!

Microsoft veteran on how he forged a badge to sneak into a Ballmer presentation


Re: MSFT executive quote...

That's a weak effort dude, very weak. The quote you provide is from 2007, fifteen years ago!. Then you say they should keep playing with the disguised coffee machine and leave it to the experts? LOL. From someone who wouldn't have the chops to tie Raymond Chen's shoelaces.....

But why waste an opportunity to sneer at MS eh? I know you're still bitter after they rejected your application, but you need to accept you weren't good enough. Move on with your life, this is getting boring.

An international incident or just some finger trouble at the console?


Re: Typing is not a good idea.

'A password entry box should never accept copy/paste. It's a security thing.

Seriously. Think about it.'

I'm thinking.......

Still thinking....... ah no need - he's unleashed the wisdom, let's see what the reason is...

'in the cut buffer ... or, in *nix terms when you select something, it shows up in X Selections (items hilighted, before you copy or cut them). This is available to anyone who has access to that session.'.....

Oh.... OK. This is about the silliest security advice I have ever read. There are SO many things wrong with your sage-like cogitations that it would take me hours to do them justice. So I'll just state the most obvious.

There are only two fundamental reasons for someone else having access to your session. One is that you share sessions or your credentials with other people. The other is that your security policies and procedures or system design and admin are so inadequate that they provide other people, unbeknownst to you, with the freedom to access systems with your credentials. To allow either scenario to arise takes some pretty serious negligence or ignorance. Take my advice, if anyone is able to access your session, the very least thing you should be concerned with is that they might see what you copy pasted earlier.

Elon Musk 'violated' Twitter NDA over bot-check sample size


Random Sample? Hmmm....

Given their less than rigorous approach to statistical methods, and the obvious incentive to 'calculate' a low bot count, it wouldn't surprise me if they ran the test repeatedly with 100 random accounts until they got the result they wanted. Just sample 100 random accounts in a loop and repeat until a sample with only 5 is found. Strictly they aren't lying as that sample was of 100 random accounts - they don't have to let on that the overall process was extremely non-random.


'no rubbish'.... Really?

I don't understand the upvotes on this. I am afraid it is you who is talking rubbish if you claim sample size doesn't matter. That's categorically wrong, and as you say: '_improper use_ of statistical methods'.

Think about this: if sample size is irrelevant, why not just sample 1 account? Because it will provide absurdly unreliable data; given a true 5% incidence, 95% of the time you would find there are no fake accounts, 5% of the time you find they're all fake. Take 2 accounts, or 5 even and it doesn't get much better.

Sample size is crucial when you can't test a whole population, as sample size grows so does confidence in the result. It's one of the most basic principles in probability.

Microsoft, Apple, Google accelerate push to eliminate passwords


Re: It's just you that's an idiot

Upper and lower case each with 36 characters? That's one funky alphabet you are using there :)

I set a Windows laptop up for my nephew recently, and after clicking through heinous and intrusive pages about directed advertising, I arrived at the request to create a PIN. If I remember rightly, it claimed that it increases security. I simply don't understand the logic behind PIN usage. Unless you are a complete buffoon, the PIN will almost certainly contain less entropy than a traditional password you'd create.

To be fair, I discovered that a PIN won't give you admin access, even if you are an admin; you have to elevate permissions with your full password for that. I also realise that the PIN allows access to the machine only. But in terms of mitigating the most important threats, those two measures are useless. It doesn't really matter if a PC is hacked unless your victim has sensitive docs etc. But once you are logged in, you can probably access all their internet accounts via their cached browser credentials, or the cunningly titled pa$$w0rdz.txt that you find in the 'my docs' folder.

From a security perspective that's pretty terrible, which is why I'm convinced PINs are NOT about security. Instead PIN authentication is a tactic to get you to use a Microsoft account - the PIN is a dangling carrot. If you tell Joe Public he can use a 6 digit PIN rather than a complicated bloody password that includes squiggles and numbers, and then advise it's more secure too, he'll take that carrot in a flash. The fact that he needs to set up an MS account first won't bother him at all. Hey presto, MS has access to a new user's personal information, their browsing habits, laptop login times, maybe their private conversations 'to improve Cortana' (yeah right) etc.

It's all one big con, and one that Apple has been running for years (try using a Mac without an Apple ID and see how much functionality is unavailable). Microsoft are just playing catchup. It's thoroughly depressing.

Problems for the Linux kernel NTFS driver as author goes silent


Re: Hang on a mo ...

Is that really the best you can manage mate? I addressed your claims; I explained the tradeoffs inherent in a calculating checksums, I showed you were wrong about replication. And you double down by moving the goalposts and claiming checkmate? I wouldn't have bothered.

You clearly lack a mature and experienced understanding of engineering principles, design decisions and cost benefit analysis. You struggle to understand that filesystems are designed to deal with different scenarios and use cases. They are not all designed to have exactly the same strengths and weaknesses. I would go into more detail, but most people who read the reg understand this stuff implicitly, and I would be insulting their intelligence by repeating it here.

And yes, NTFS is up there with the best file systems, it also has different use cases to ZFS. Both are excellent and for you to double down on your original claims, simplistic and ignorant as they were, shows you don't get it.

Your 'criteria' and 'examples', are silly and ill defined, your argument is incoherent, and looking at the upvotes, the experienced techies around here agree with me.


Re: Light on the issue?

That's a very poor analogy.

If someone throws manure over your wall, it's a destructive and deliberately adversarial act. There's no good will involved, they are not trying to help you. It doesn't take any real time or effort on their part (they probably just slipped a few quid to the guy that did it). Most importantly, the cleanup is time consuming, expensive, unpleasant and takes FAR MORE EFFORT than that expended by your adversaries who chucked it over your wall.

Paragon worked hard for a long time to get to the point when they first submitted their code. Twenty seven thousand lines of kernel level code of their own backs. They did it to help; to contribute to the biggest and most successful open source project on the planet. It was all about good will and collaboration, and they did it for free. Most importantly, the cleanup is trivial in the extreme, if it needs some attention that can be conveyed with a few words. There is NO requirement for the maintainers to clear loads of shit up from their garden, a simple polite email or two will suffice.

Think of it in terms of thermodynamics, Paragon created order out of disorder. That takes enormous effort, and requires next to no effort to reverse. Leave it all alone and let the 2nd law do its stuff, entropy wins. Dumping loads of crap on you clean garden achieves the opposite, it turns your lovely ordered patio and plants and turns them into one big shit-smelling lump of entropic mess. The 2nd law won't help you there, which is why you need to put in MUCH more effort to get back to where you were.

The paragon guy (or guys) was naive in terms of his knowledge of the contribution process. We all are naive when joining a community and helping out, but in most communities you can expect to be welcomed; especially when you are working (hard) for them, for free.

The point is we are all human, and it's nice to be encouraged and appreciated. IT people are no different, and that includes you, my friend. Furthermore, some people have mental health issues and struggle with self-esteem. To be publicly castigated on a forum by people you respect - and likely feel inferior to - can be hugely damaging to them. You don't have to be a 'snowflake' to understand that, it's basic humanity.

Open source is fucking brilliant, the current prominence of OSS in the industry is best thing to happen in IT for decades. Contributors should be valued and nurtured, and if they make a mistake when they start out, they should be encouraged. If there are people acting like 14 year olds - accusing newbies of throwing manure over a wall, why will people do it?

Why the attitude? What's the point? And what does it do to help OSS? People need to start acting like adults. I know LT ain't perfect but he has definitely improved over the last couple of years, maybe you should take a leaf out of his book? Just sayin.


Re: Hang on a mo ...

Ok, and what does that mean exactly? What does NTFS lack? What has been partly done but unfinished? What are the real world ramifications of these issues you speak of?

As someone who works on this stuff a lot and has done for a long time, I do not recognise what you are saying. It's easy to make these general points. And it's even easier to hide behind them, sage-like and thoughtful, when their vagueness is such as to render them completely unfalsifiable.

I don't mean to be rude or confrontational, but I do get bored with this sort of stuff. So, here goes: what you said offers nothing in the way of useful information. So, could you please provide us with specific, accurate and falsifiable claims to back up your vague suggestions? Otherwise this sort of stuff is little more than noise.


Re: Hang on a mo ...

Well, I would suggest that your statement is too narrow. How can you say it's not as good as ZFS? On what criteria do you decide that?

The very reason I said "up there with the best" is that it's a broad statement that is demonstrably true. Claiming one is 'better' than the other is just silly, and meaningless. NTFS and ZFS are both excellent, but they have different use cases. An environment using NTFS will usually be different to a ZFS environment - the OS will be different for a start and so will the storage platform.

NTFS is most often used on top of a hardware RAID layer (from a mirror in a server, all the way to an HP XP enterprise SAN). The standout features of ZFS are the software RAID capabilities it offers. NTFS hands off some responsibility to the RAID layer, allowing it to deal with issues like scrubbing / zeroing, striping, spindle workload distributions, file and block integrity etc. ZFS does a lot of that stuff itself. That's is exactly why it has built in checksums and NTFS doesn't. Like all engineers, those working at Microsoft have to make tradeoffs and compromises. In NTFS, they came to the conclusion that checksums would involve more CPU cycles, RAM etc, but give virtually no real world benefit. And they were correct, because the number of issues that it would fix in the real world is less than insignificant compared to the performance gain.

Regarding replication - have you not heard of DFSR on NTFS? It's available on all Windows Server OSes, and it is one hell of a replication engine. It uses remote differential compression to replicate whole volumes between hosts, scaling to huge mesh topologies with dozens of servers. And it does it using a fraction of the bandwidth it would normally require - on general file data it usually saves upwards of 90% in bandwidth.

It absolutely IS up there with the very best, just like ZFS. Both are fantastic, but have slightly different strengths and use cases.


Re: Hang on a mo ...

No, it's not still true, and people who offer these opinions either:

i) Have very little experience and just jump on the Microsoft is shit bandwagon because the know no better, or:

ii) Haven't tried to develop on Windows in donkey's years, and think NT4 SP6a is still state of the art, along with shit documentation, inconsistent development standards and an absence of conventions for coding, style, documentation or naming, i.e. the late 1990s.

Their last experience with Windows was 20 years ago when they spent 2 weeks ploughing through a 300 page white-paper attempting to set up a cluster that wouldn't work because there was an umlaut in one of the serial numbers. Things have changed a little since then.

I have no great love of Windows, I've not touched it in over a year, and I'd never use it personally on my desktop due its other purpose in delivering advertising and spyware. But the truth is that Windows server is now a very capable and secure platform, the dev docs are excellent and accurate (unlike 20 years ago), and IMO they make the best dev tool on the market in visual studio.

As for NTFS, people here are still banging on about it being crap, they're simply wrong. NTFS is an incredibly good filesystem, it is up there with the very best. It was way ahead of its time with some features, and due to its very well implemented preemptive journaling it is extremely robust and resilient.

People seem uncomfortable that Microsoft makes some excellent technology now, and I just don't get it. Yes, they are a tech giant that has done dodgy stuff in the past. But come on, compare them to Google, Facebook, Oracle, Apple, Amazon - in terms of ethics and trustworthiness I would put MS above any of that bunch.

At last, Atlassian sees an end to its outage ... in two weeks


Re: We maintain extensive... DMML

Any ransomware outfit would be delighted to come up with a script that does so much damage for so little effort - the destructive efficiency on show is unprecedented. I hope Atlassian are keeping the script under lock and key, because we would be well and truly f**ked if the Russians got hold of it!

But on a more serious note, I would like to offer heartfelt and genuine sympathy to the person or persons responsible. It could happen to the best of us at some point in our careers. I can only imagine how they have felt the last week or two, chin up guys and/or girls!

IBM highlights real-time fraud detection in z16 mainframe


Re: Just more of the same doesn’t cut it within IT and AI circles anymore.

Yes, it is. It’s most assuredly batshit crazy.

I wonder if you could please help me and my coworkers settle a bet? Did you by any chance get a quantum computer to write your comment? Or is it merely the result of setting the wrong config on your bot?

Looks to me like you have left it on number 12 - ‘Incoherent Daily Mail Commenter (5G causes Covid / Louis Theroux is a Satanist)’ by mistake. Best knock it down to about 5 on here mate.

If you fire someone, don't let them hang around a month to finish code


Re: Morals

Ah yes, they are everywhere, you can't escape them. They're officially known as 'The Insufferable IT-Twat', a Jungian archetype that Jung never got round to describing, because he was lucky enough to die before it emerged.

Insufferable IT-Twat <abbrev: IT-Twat>

(psychology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, Jungian analysis)

Definition & key features:

Jungian archetype of the insufferable, self-identified IT "genius" which first emerged in the mid 1990s.

Its prevalence grew rapidly, and by the mid 2000s it enjoyed a ubiquitous presence in IT departments across the globe. Key identifiers are: a grating personality which can range in intensity from mildly annoying to infuriating; extreme pedantry; inflated sense of own technical abilities; passive-aggressive interpersonal style; obstructive behaviour; strong unwillingness to help with anything, ever; dismissive of co-workers abilities, suggestions or opinions; dismissive of everyone else's opinions; patronising; rude; shows eagerness to sabotage colleagues; unwilling to train co-workers; highly deficient in self-awareness; lacks normal adult social skills; thinks everybody but him is an idiot; talks loudly so everybody can hear how clever he is; displays indigence at the suggestion that another individual could perform any part of his job; feels excessive and unwarranted confidence that the company could never cope without him; invariably a man.

Social and interpersonal impact:

The 'The Insufferable IT-Twat' has a significant impact on behaviour of those around him.

Responses are remarkably consistent across different cultures, companies, genders and ages. These are centred on the following themes: a desire to shout and swear at the IT-Twat; strong and often uncontrollable urge to strike him physically; an extreme aversion to being in his company or close proximity; strong feelings of dislike invariably felt toward him which may verge on mild hatred and/or disgust; strong ideation and frequent fantasising regarding IT-Twat being fired; shared experiences of extreme joy and schadenfreude if he does get sacked; joyful and sarcastic waving as he leaves the building for the last time; induces an irresistible urge for team to shout ‘don’t let the door hit you on the way out!’


Re: Extra credit

For a very long time support was the main route to a programming job. I was told this repeatedly by recruiters when I started 25 years ago, and they were right. In fact, the vast majority of software devs/engs I know that started in that era all got their foot in the door via tech support.

So much of todays code is generic / commoditised web code, or just plain boilerplate. The threshold for being a productive enough dev (to warrant employment) is therefore generally quite low. But this wasn’t true 25 years ago - code and programming techniques were a lot more specific to the use case. You were pretty much useless until you became familiar with the product & code base, irrespective of your programming skills. An initial 6-18 months in support was the way you got up to speed while not being a huge burden on everyone else.

It was also the case that code was seen as much more valuable and sacrosanct than it is today. Companies didn’t want any old fool fiddling with their code, and your time in support was a way of demonstrating your diligence, competence and trustworthiness before you were released into the wild!

Axed data scientist sues IBM claiming he was discriminated against as a man


Re: What a lovely company to work for

I beg to differ. I work with quite a few people who are ex-IBM and not one of them says nice things about the experience. Their experiences and views are pretty consistent, chief among them:

1) top down and autocratic corporate structure

1) a stuffy, old fashioned, impersonal culture

2) strict delineations between workers and management, very them and us

4) rigid and impersonal ways of dealing with staff, their needs, problems etc

5) the firm and management have the opinion that IBM is still at the very top of the corporate tree in technology and people should be glad to work there

It sounds horrid to be honest. Why would anyone work there when there are forward thinking, flexible tech employers all over the place? The biggest issue to me is that the company knows it has real problems in terms of image, re age-discrimination, redundancies, unfair employment issues etc. But it does nothing to try and improve that image, it just doesn't care. It's stuck in the past.

So yeah, from what I know from people who have worked there, IBM are definitely toward the bottom of the range in terms of employee treatment and corporate culture.


Re: What a lovely company to work for

Totally agree. I was approached by a recruiter of theirs about 9 months ago and told him I would never consider working for IBM these days. When he asked why I told him that:

I know many people who have worked at IBM, and keep up to date with the glut of employment / discrimination / dismissal stories that appear in the IT press. My pals have told me some horror stories about the things management got up to. Based on those sources of information I wouldn't work there ever. I'd never even consider it.

His off the record response was that he understands and he frequently gets such feedback. He was pissed off and frustrated as it he was finding it increasingly difficult to recruit anyone at all.