* Posts by The Basis of everything is...

61 posts • joined 28 Jun 2019


LAN cables can be sniffed to reveal network traffic with a $30 setup, says researcher

The Basis of everything is...

"Given the theoretical use of https/ssh to secure most links"

I have lost count of the number of customers I've dealt with who claim they encrypt everything and yet it comes as a great surprise during pre-migration discovery that they find that although they might have TLS for end-user browsers, none of the GUI or inter-system connections and interfaces are encrypted.

And given that we don't muck with encryption during migration (unless specifically requested and charged for) the usual result is comms stays unencrypted afterwards 'cos nobody wants to pay for the config changes, interface retesting and downtime, or more likely they don't want to explain to their own management why there's going to be a charge for stuff they've been saying for the last few years has already been taken care of.

Maker of ATM bombing tutorials blew himself up – Euro cops

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Playing with Chemicals that Go Bang

Cornflower / custard powder can make an fun little chemistry experiment. Or at bigger scale lead to the loss of the silo, factory roof and workers.

Nitram fertiliser in the UK has had a retardant added for a long time to stop certain groups abusing it, and also keep farmers barns intact. What happened in Beirut a couple of years ago is an example of what the pure stuff can achieve.

And yet so many of us walk around with little packets of lithium and oxidiser in our pockets without even thinking about it. Or even sit in a car full of the stuff.

AWS Frankfurt experiences major breakdown that staff couldn’t fix for hours due to ‘environmental conditions’ on data centre floor

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Once again, Single Point of Failure failed

There are a lot of things that could go wrong within an Availability Zone that could cause an application to fail.

If you want your application to survive anything bad enough to take out zone, then you need to architect it to use at least two zones, and it's your problem to make sure you've addressed every component and service needed to make it work.

If that's still not good enough for you, then you need to look at using two separate regions, again making sure to address every component and service needed to make things work.

It quickly gets complex and expensive to cover off every possible risk. And the more complex it gets, the more the risk of something going wrong.

And if there's an event bad enough to take out an entire region, of a level more than a comms glitch, do you really think your staff are going to be rushing to sort the problem or frantically combing though the rubble looking for their loved ones?

Oracle hits UK reseller with lawsuit for allegedly reselling grey market Sun hardware

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Restrictions of forward sale

When I was in the USA many years ago, Cadburys' Bournville Dark was illegal. The story went that Hersheys owned the exclusive rights to import Cadbury chocolate to the USA, but believed there is no market for dark chocolate in the USA so refused to do so. Anyone else attempting to import it was breaking their rights, which were enforceable by US Customs, thus bringing it to the country was technically smuggling.

I knew of a shop that had small bars available under the counter for those with a British accent for around $15 each if things got really desperate.

A few years back Hersheys successfully sued a chocolate importer (LBB) too, so yeah, it does happen.

Stuck in R/3verse: East Sussex County Council struggles to move forward with £25m SAP replacement

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Gone sapped?

Done properly, no. Your data is in a DB to which you have full access and control, a complete set of APIs and 100's of companies and independent contractors who can get data in and out in any format you could wish for if you don't have the skills or google-fu to do it yourself.

Now if you chose to bring in somebody else to run it all for you in some third-party data jail center to which you have no access to do anything more than basic user stuff then that's a problem for sure. But that's not an SAP problem.

Cloudy as-a-service is a whole different ballgame and quite frankly you get what you deserve.

39 Post Office convictions quashed after Fujitsu evidence about Horizon IT platform called into question

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Having been a customer of and worked alongside Fujitsu

Not winning everything they bid for ;-)

But they do have a few excellent staff, who really do deserve better. The rest though, dear me. Just no.

If you have a QNAP NAS, stop what you're doing right now and install latest updates. Do it before Qlocker gets you

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Presumably...

As I have mentioned previously, an RPi 2B or later running Bacula and using USB hard drives makes a great little backup server.

While one USB drive is in use, the other is kept in a box in the garage (which in my case is not attached to the house) so that if the worst happens I still have data. And if something is able to take out my house and garage at the same time then I'm probably not going to be caring too much about getting any data back.

And I believe that Bacula is also available for the QNAP, it can even run the server component on there.

Another successful flight for SpaceX's Starship apart from the landing-in-one-piece thing

The Basis of everything is...

Re: SpaceX have turned rocket science into Spaghetti Engineering

Chemical rockets have been around for a bit more than 100 years. The Chinese used "fire arrows" against the Mongols at the battle of Kai-Keng in 1232. Says NASA.


Ex-IBM staffer files lawsuit claiming company stole his cloud computing tech IP

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Its the downside of being an employee

I once applied for some menial summer job with a very large bureaucratic engineering conglomerate who sent a huge contract to sign which also insisted as a condition of employment that I hand over - for no payment - any inventions, patents, copyrights or other intellectual property rights before employment starts.

I remember then thinking it seemed a bit cheeky, especially for a 16 year old lad still awaiting O-level results. Thankfully I found a better offer paying half as much again, a whopping £2.46/hr, with a contract of simply a handshake and "when can you start?"

Outsourced techie gets 2-year sentence after trashing system of former client: 1,200 Office 365 accounts zapped

The Basis of everything is...

Re: In my 30-plus years as an IT professional, I have never.....

It still amazes me that people push back when I suggest at the beginning of cloud projects that we have completely separate administration between real systems and the backup systems. It makes initial setup more complicated, but it means no one person has the keys to the kingdom.

And if anything bad happens, we can hit 'em with conspiracy charges too.

(So yes, for years I had keys to the kingdom as both PFY and eventual BOFH. But I was much more responsible than the modern yoof.)

OVH flames scorched cloud customers with pledge to build data centre fire simulation lab

The Basis of everything is...

Re: "server fires and electrical fires need different dousing tech"

If you've ever tried to solder anything you'll soon discover that burning electrical insulation can be pretty nasty stuff.

Or maybe that's just me.

The Basis of everything is...

Re: fire propagation

True story:

Building insurer: That building is a fire risk. You must fit a sprinkler system.

Equipment insurer: You have a sprinkler system in that room. You must fit a hood over the electrical equipment to stop it getting wet should the sprinklers activate.

The Basis of everything is...

Re: The backup is on top of the cabinet ...

Most of my customers are quite happy for key systems to be parked in separate rooms of the same building or complex. It's cheap and thankfully events like this are incredibly rare.

Some are a bit more cautious and have a bit more money to spare so say they need to be at least a few miles apart to protect against local issues, but within c. 80km of each other 'cos it does take time for network packets to get through a stack of kit and down the cables and the microseconds soon add up.

A few expect DR systems to be a least 300km away although I'm not quite sure what they're trying to protect against as I repeatedly point out that an event that can affect sites 299km apart is likely to be of global significance and do they really expect my ops teams to be staying at their posts to deal with it or running home to their families for a last goodbye? Admittedly one was in California so having something on the other side of the Rockies probably makes more sense for them.

On the other hand, I've seen dual-redundant servers, comms and storage not only running in the same rack, but all running off a single (and worryingly warm) power strip plugged into one 13A wall socket. I did not like being in that room...

Australian police suggests app to record consent to sexual activity

The Basis of everything is...
IT Angle

Re: Wanna have sex?

But isn't the finding out what the other like to do/have done part of the fun of dating?

The Basis of everything is...

Of course policeman is thinking how to solve the problem

How can you realistically prove an "A said" v "B said" situation where there is nobody else present, both went into the situation intending to have fun, there's no recording of exactly what happened (and unless both agreed that would be an offence by itself anyway) and one or the other - or even both - could be deliberately lying after the event? Or at the very least there's been a major misunderstanding between them while they were quite possibly somewhat emotional and not thinking with judge levels of rationally.

And since any pre-existing agreement can be revoked by either party at any time, there's no point to apps or contracts to luck. This is not a situation that technology can really help with, and I'm not certain the law can be of any practical help in preventing this situation either.

Blaming one party afterwards is the point of the law, and for that we have the police to investigate what happened, but how can you realistically prove an "A said" v "B said" situation....

But he's got people talking about the issue, and that maybe is the point of the whole exercise?

OVH says burned data centre’s UPS, batteries, fuses in the hands of insurers and police

The Basis of everything is...

100A is current current.

Our house was built 8 years ago and we have a 100A board fuse, and most of the day we get 248V although currently that's down to 239V which is more reasonable. I got a little concerned when it hit 252V (checked on 3 separate meters just to be sure) during the winter...

The wrong guy: Backup outfit Spanning deleted my personal data, claims Cohesity field CTO

The Basis of everything is...

Re: If you cannot touch it do not complain when it evaporates

if you read El Reg then you should be able to work this out for yourself. Just to kick off an idea:

Raspberry Pi 2B or later with Ubuntu for you plus friend with Bacula configured to either

a) Backup locally (with encryption) and then sync the backup files to friend via rsync, syncthing etc

b) Backup (with encryption) direct to friends Bacula Pi.

Friend does likewise to back to you. Encryption means friend doesn't need to be trusted not to look at your stuff.

Yes, you'll need enough disk at each end for each others data (or both if you use the first approach), but disks are cheap and for a domestic setup how many people genuinely need a working backup set of more than a few hundred GB of stuff? When you get more then 5 GB of anything you want to keep forever such as photos etc, burn to a DVD. 2 copies of course.

I have one half of the above setup to back up data to a pair of 1TB USB disks - full data once a week, incremental data every night, OS backups every so often. 1 disk is in the house being used, other in the garage just in case something bad happens in the house. Swap over once a week. Only had to do a restore once so far, and for that my most important user was extremely grateful....

There's gotta be many other ways you can do this. And not a cloud in sight.

It's not easy being green: EV HTTPS cert seller Sectigo questions Chrome's logic in burying EV HTTPS cert info

The Basis of everything is...

Internal CA not that difficult

If you control the distribution of keys to users machines, set up a Certificate Revocation List on a server somewhere and be sensible with the signing process it's not difficult to run an internal CA. There's various tools to help manage and automate too,

For small organisations you can do it yourself with the like of XCA or if you want to be really hard core techie OpenSSL on the command line.

Cloud Direct stung for £80k in constructive dismissal lawsuit after director's 'insincere' evidence to tribunal

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Sham bam, thank you ma'am

I once overheard a conversation with a formerly large IT organisation that went along the lines of

HR A: You dealing with that issue between XX and YY?

HR B: Yeah, she got him bang to rights, there's no way we can defend against that

HA A: Again? That's what, the third time he's been caught now? OK, settle with her quickly.

The thing that really got me was even though after Mr XX left a short while later, he was rehired after a few years in a more senior role.

Dangerous flying car drone zoomed into UK's Gatwick Airport airspace after killswitch failed

The Basis of everything is...

Failing safely

As a young lad I would occasionally accompany my dad to watch him fly RC planes and sometimes have a twiddle on the controls myself before getting bored and wandering off to drop stones in ponds, explore the abandoned buildings from when it was an active flying strip or other more interesting things.

One of his models had the on/off switch for the electrics mounted on the side of the fuselage for easy access. The usual take-off method for this plane was to get the motor running, then carefully pick it up and throw it from one hand then quickly grab the transmitter from an unwilling assistant and start flying. Except on this one occasion he managed to catch the on/off switch with his finger mid-throw and was rewarded with the sight of it flying perfectly straight and climbing slightly over the trees at the far edge of their field and away across the countryside, ignoring all control inputs. From this I learned two things:

1. Ergonomics is a useful science. If the only places you can put the on/off switch means it can be accidentally caught by an errant finger, make sure the forward position is on.

2. Never repeat the new words learned from your father and his flying buddies after an incident in front of your mother later that day.

Happy Ending 1: A couple of weeks later he got a call from a farmer who'd found the plane in a field 20 miles away, slightly trampled by cows. The plane never flew again but at least he got the receiver, servos and engine back which were still usable and quite expensive.

Happy Ending 2: In later years he had a job involving the design of cockpits and flight instruments on real aircraft. He never said where the master on/off switch for them was located.

Dev creeped out after he fired up Ubuntu VM on Azure, was immediately approached by Canonical sales rep

The Basis of everything is...

Cloud working very well thank-you

For quite a few years now my mortgage has been paid thanks to lots of people wanting to shovel stuff into the cloud.

And quite a few wanting to move stuff from one flavour of private cloud / hosting to another.

And no doubt in a few more years I'll be paying kids college fees thanks to people wanting to get their stuff out of the cloud and back to something they can fully control,

So I'm loving it. How's about you?

Attack of the cryptidiots: One wants Bitcoin-flush hard drive he threw out in 2013 back, the other lost USB stick password

The Basis of everything is...

Most of a hard drive is recyclable

And can provide a few hours entertainment for a curious nipper (or bored Dad) to dismantle them down to component parts for recycling. With the platters attacked with a wire brush and then put in the recycling bin over a number of weeks if you really want to be sure.

It's been a day or so and nope, we still can't wrap our head around why GitHub would fire someone for saying Nazis were storming the US Capitol

The Basis of everything is...

Re: The problem

"I think the usual term for those in a failed coup, or an armed* attack on a seat of power is terrorist."

Depending on the country of failure I'm pretty sure the usual term ranges from accused to deceased.

Flash in the pan: Raspberry Pi OS is the latest platform to carve out vulnerable tech

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Attaching a tractor-fed Epson LX-80 dot matrix impact printer was the height of luxury

First "proper" printer I used was an LX-80 hooked up to a ZX Spectrum to which my Dad had also added a decent Saga keyboard and Opus disk drive. And then he caught me playing Daley Thompsons' Decathlon on it and was promptly banned from touching it ever again unless using Tasword for a school project under strict supervision.

And now I can't remember the last time I actually used a piece of paper for anything work related.

The curse of knowing a bit about IT: 'Could you just...?' and 'No I haven't changed anything'

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Better state of mind for everybody: I do not touch other's computers

Sorry, I don't work with Windows, my computers have 1000 CPUs and run entire companies. Windows really is just a toy by comparison and my own PC run Linux anyway.

I know it's a lie. You know it's a lie. Apart from the Linux thing...

Microsoft giveth and Microsoft taketh away: Certification renewals to be free ... but annual

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Certification Hell

I got asked for all certificates right back to O Level (yes, that was a very long time ago). So I included a printout of a Unseen University "Doctorus Adamus cum Flabello Dulci" in the bundle - but specifically did not add it to the list of qualifications on the official list of claims - as a subtle dig that it's all a pointless exercise with no relevance to my current role.

Several months later I noticed my company bio gained an additional line. Turns out HR had been migrating to a new system and were correcting previous oversights...

Whistleblowers have come to us alleging spy agency wrongdoing, says UK auditor IPCO

The Basis of everything is...

This surely didn't come as a surprise?

All at sea: SAP was barely out of the port when it sank its 'social responsibility' voyage

The Basis of everything is...

Re: scourge of licence-abiding software sailors

Pirates just keep on running Arrrrrr/3

The Basis of everything is...

The Register is wrong (for once). Inner city kids can learn to sail

When I lived in London there were 4 or 5 sailing clubs on the Welsh Harp alone, including a dedicated youth sailing base. Plus another 30+ within the M25.

Birmingham has Midland SC on Edgbaston Reservoir right in the middle of the city, which has a junior sailing section. Plus another 40 odd within as many miles

Picking out some random googles..

Salford Junior Sailing Club

Nottingham Sailing Club


Sea Cadets & Sea Scouts

And same for other cities worldwide. It doesn't need to be much more than a puddle to let kids loose in oppies or a topper.

You get my drift.


Airbus drone broke up in-flight because it couldn’t handle Australian weather

The Basis of everything is...


And that all landings are controlled crashes?

We don't need maintenance this often, surely? Pull it. Oh dear, the system's down

The Basis of everything is...

Re: How about nonpayment?


Not unless you have made it clear in the T&C what will break if customer does not renew maintenance/subscription/whatever.

I recall some cases like this being reported El Reg, so shouldn't take much google-fu to find if you're interested.

Unexpected victory in bagging area: Apple must pay shop workers for time they spend waiting to get frisked

The Basis of everything is...

Retailers distrust staff

Many years ago I had the pleasure of working for a high street retailer, as a techie of course. One project involved creating a database to hold various store details including security systems. At the time I was surprised to find the majority of customer entrance tag scanners were actually fakes. All of the staff entrance tag scanners were live and usually had discreet CCTV too.

They also spent a small fortune on a supposedly secret business intelligence system run outside of central IT (who of course knew all about it) used to spot losses. It was no surprise to find that it had feeds from the payroll, time sheet and till systems and wasn't concerned with your average shoplifter.

It was the last time I ever worked in an end-user environment. I was approached a year later to return in a more senior role and the recruiter couldn't understand why I laughed so much before turning them down. A truly toxic working environment that I have thankfully never experienced since.

Engineer admits he wiped 456 Cisco WebEx VMs from AWS after leaving the biz, derailed 16,000 Teams accounts

The Basis of everything is...
Big Brother

Re: And the point is...

On what turned out to be my last day as a PFY at a certain formerly large engineering firm I processed my own redundancy through the HR system as a live test for the 15,000 who were to follow me out the door over the following months. The chief did check I didn't add an extra couple of 0's to the severance pay though.

The answer is Anthos, cries Google's OnAir videogasm. But what is the question?

The Basis of everything is...

Is it...

A Greek island famed for its fine wine and honest politicans?

The little known half brother of pathos?

The operating system of robotic ants?

OK Dara, I'll get me coat and Hugh can read the rest of the script

East Sussex County Council dodges SAP S/4HANA upgrade bullet, sets aside £25m for a 10-year SaaS ERP deal

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Why not get together ?

It's been tried several times, and generally failed. It's bad enough trying to get one council to decide what they actually want among all their various factions, let alone a group of them getting together and trying to come up with something they can agree among themselves and get buy-in from all their respective factions.

And having seen ESCC from the inside many years ago I wish whoever wins this tender the very best of luck as they're going to need it. I was so relieved when a subsequent employer did a little due diligence and then decided they really didn't need that level of pain.

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up

The Basis of everything is...

Re: But private ciphers also exist...even if end-to-end encryption is broken.......

Thats a code, not a cypher.

Madeline knows already. The cock is cooked.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

The Basis of everything is...

Re: You say tomato...


For a techie, a system is never done.

That word doesn't exist. Which means I never said that. oh....

The Basis of everything is...

Depends on how good you've been

If I've been good then I get jam with a thick dollop of clotted cream in the middle.

If I've let things slide a bit (and after 3 months of lockdown who hasn't) I get a thin scraping of cream with a smidge of jam on top.

As for scones, Mary Berry has a foolproof recipe and method that my wife swears by. Same for her yorkshire puds.

Beer rating app reveals homes and identities of spies and military bods, warns Bellingcat

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Sorry, I don't believe it.

Isn't a mile close enough for anything to do with atomic weaponry?

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a flying solar panel: BAE Systems' satellite alternative makes maiden flight in Oz

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Why, oh why...

Which has more chance of success:

Dear Shareholders. We're going spend 10's of millions developing something cool and then try to sell it to a few people who might want to email cat pictures across the outback

Dear Shareholders. We're going to spend 10's of millions developing something cool and sell it to countries x,y and z who want to see what their neighbours are up to and will pay enough to cover the development costs and 15 years of spares. Plus we can also sell it to anyone else who wants to email cat pictures across the outback.

Also military development is not state aid. Says Airbus, Boeing, you get the idea...

Protesters backing Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou during her US extradition hearings were 'duped paid actors'

The Basis of everything is...

Nothing new

Actors paid to protest outside a court room to create newspaper headlines

Actors paid to queue outside a certain fruity-themed shop to create newspaper headlines

Nah, I can't see any similarity. Nobody in the west would ever do such a thing. Move along, nothing to see here.

Y2K? It was all just a big bun-fight, according to one Reg reader

The Basis of everything is...

Re: But are they GDPR compliant?

Mmmm. Cake!

But every time I have a byte I get bits all over the keyboard.

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?

The Basis of everything is...

Bolivian shower

Many years ago I found myself wandering through Bolivia for the simple reason it was there and I had nowhere else to be. Down that way it's very common for showers to have the heating element in the shower head itself rather than in a separate box on the wall. The open mouse-trap style mains switch inside the shower stall was my first hint that electrical standards were a little bit different different, but when in Rome (or La Paz in this case) do as the Romans do.

The shower was really good. Hot water and lots of that left you feeling refreshed and slightly tingly. Almost spa quality and better than many of the hotels I get to stay in nowadays. Until you tried to turn the shower off. That meant using a nice metal tap and suddenly that slightly refreshing tingling became somewhat invigorating to say the least.

The Basis of everything is...

Re: I hate the bastards

Always blame the printer. The ERP system would never go wrong and lose printing 'cos they're designed to be perfect in every way.

When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games

The Basis of everything is...

Re: Its a uniquely American weakness -- or is it?

In the UK - unlike certain parts of the Land of the Free - you can do quite a lot of electrical work yourself in your own home e.g. move/add/replace sockets and switches, replace sections of cables, add spurs etc as long as it's not near water - basically the stuff that's "Part P" exempt. (For viewers at home please don't try this unless you know what you're doing. 240v hurts at the best of times)

If you want to add entire new rings or install an electric shower or run power out to your shed you can still do the work yourself but you need to get it certified by a competent person before you switch the circuits back on. The tricky bit is finding a sparky willing to sign off on somebody else's work for less than paying the sparky to do it all themselves.

There was a call many years ago to ban it all and require annual "safety" checks on private homes too but that got dropped as too big brother and would only have created a nice little payday for the cowboys and drive the real sparks out of business. And possibly the realisation there wasn't enough certified people to actually do a PAT test on every item in every home every year...

Christmas in tatters for Nottinghamshire tots after mayor tells them Santa's too busy

The Basis of everything is...

Santa is always watching

For the last few years I've reminded the kids that the little red light on the alarm sensors really mean that Santa is checking up on them to make sure they're being good.

Another good one for Crimbo Eve is if the ISS appears, sorry I mean Santa's Sleigh. It's too early to get a predicted time from NASA just yet though.

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Openreach's cunning plan to 'turbocharge' the post-Brexit economy: Getting everyone on full-fibre broadband by 2025

The Basis of everything is...

Why do I need Gigabit fiber at home?

My head office runs on that quite happily apart from when we try lobbing 7Tb of test data at a cloud.

Current sync speed of 30Mbit, with 20Mbit tested throughput is more than sufficient to run multiple conference tools, SSH & RDP sessions, remote admin tools etc and the kids can still be watching ceebeebies despite being QoS'd to background.

I'm more concerned about the out-of-contral renewal tricks my ISP are trying to pull than line speed. That and running fibre through to my under-stairs comms rack is going to mean a bitch of a redecorating job...

Nix to the mix: Chrome to block passive HTTP content swirled into HTTPS pages

The Basis of everything is...

Buy stock in certificate authorities now

Cos any server or application is going to need a certificate from a CA that Chrome trusts. Which will be fun for apps with a web GUI for installing certs, if you need to have the cert installed in order to install it.

While I can use a private CA for my own test lab and the few machines I'm responsible for, this is not something I'd like to even attempt to deploy for the entire company. I can't even get a entry made in DNS in less than the life-time of testing, and if certs on the project BoM up front then it means a change request to finance and multiple reviews and sign-off just to get them to spend that extra £79 for something that will last 11 months longer than needed.

Promise of £5bn for rural fibre prompts Openreach to reach for the trench-digging diamond cutter

The Basis of everything is...

Re: An unpopular opinion

Where I use to live, if the winter storms didn't blow the poles down. flying branches proved very effective at shredding the cables. And in the spring young squirrel nutkin and his mates used to really love chew on phone lines. Sometimes they'd chew on power lines too, but they only did that once...

Needs an icon for crispy fried squirrel...



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