* Posts by Will Godfrey

4581 posts • joined 8 Sep 2007

Office supplies biz owned by UK council shrugs off ransomware demand for 102 Bitcoin

Will Godfrey Silver badge

Re: Email plus HTML/scripting is a disaster wating to happen

My mail reader is configured to display html as plain text, and show anything else that isn't plain text as a closed attachment. It runs absolutely nothing, but I can save things like embedded images without once actually viewing them.

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Thumb Up

Good!

I just hope more organisations and companies start taking this approach

Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork's Grendel – systemd

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Linux

This was absolutely the final straw for me. I'd already been trying devuan ASCII out on one machine. Once I heard of this all my other machines got blitted to ASCII, and a couple of them are now confirming Beowulf.

Snapping at Canonical's Snap: Linux Mint team says no to Ubuntu store 'backdoor'

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Happy

Re: Debian and Debian derivatives

Been running Beowulf here on my two main machines for a while now - not seeing any issues.

'Beyond stupid': Linus Torvalds trashes 5.8 Linux kernel patch over opt-in Intel CPU bug mitigation

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Alien

Reminds me of...

If I be goin' there, I be-n't start from here.

7*7 = a simple equation for taking total control of multiple VMware-powered clouds

Will Godfrey Silver badge
FAIL

How?

Can someone explain please.

I simply cannot imagine coding even the simplest of user accessible systems without decent input sanitation.

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Linux

I feel left out

I never got any kind of of warning at the start of this pantomime (and yes I'm well over 60). I've not had any text messages either about not going out, nor recently that I now could. I'm not even getting any scam attempts - apart from the usual supposed bank telephone warnings and outlook folder full emails.

What am I doing wrong?

SpaceX Crew Dragon docks at International Space Station

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Alien

Re: Why the delay?

While I appreciate they were being ultra meticulous as a first run, it seemed that the guys on the space station spent most of their time fiddling with the cameras.

They've only gone and bloody done it! NASA, SpaceX send two fellas off to the International Space Station

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: A Sense of Wonder

There's always (at least) one, and when there is a fairly complete vid they turn round and say it must be faked.

I was a teenager when they showed the moon landing. The improvement that have been made all-round since then are truly astonishing.

Ardour goes harder: v6.0 brings 'huge engineering changes' to open-source digital audio workstation

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Linux

There is a wee detail you are missing. For a long time they couldn't fully support mp3 without buying licenses - not exactly the thing for a flagship FLOSS project.

I know some of the developers quite well and have the greatest respect for them.

On a broader point, regarding GUIs, somewhere on the net there there is an article discussing the merits various toolkits available, specifically with respect to high quality audio control. The author comes to the conclusion that none are suitable and the best thing you can do is design your own... if you have enough time!

Beardy Branson’s 747-assisted sat-launcher can’t get it up

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Thumb Up

At least they tried

They are on the steepest part of the learning curve. Getting the first of anything to work is where you find out all the stuff that couldn't be foreseen.

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Linux

Re: Minimum spec?

Even on the small project I work on I use my fastest machine for actual development. Only when getting near to a release do I then cross-check with older and lower speced machines - these days including a raspberry Pi 3B. Occasionally I'll run it on an elderly EeePC900, or to be more correct I'll walk it

Record-breaking Aussie boffins send 44.2 terabits a second screaming down 75km of fiber from single chip

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Only part of the problem

They only said they succeeded in doing that, not that they couldn't have gone further. It might be the longest piece of fibre that had available

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam

Will Godfrey Silver badge
FAIL

Disgusting

Well, I was never especially proud of being British, but it never occured to me I'd get to be ashamed of my nationality.

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Angel

Been There Done that

My reward for carefully guiding someone through the perils of... ummm, 'guey' interfaces, while studiously not noticing their embarrassment, was lifelong loyalty.

P.S. 'guey' because the little pictures stick where you put them and remember what they did last time.

Linux desktop org GNOME Foundation settles lawsuit with patent troll

Will Godfrey Silver badge

Good result

These trolls are terrified of the idea that an organisation will fight as a matter of principle to get their crap patents invalidated.

DirectX comes to Linux (via WSL2): Microsoft unveils tricks needed to flash a GPU at a penguin

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Big Brother

Hmmm, more bugs?

I seem to remember something about a raft of security issues. Does Linux have so few that it needs more?

UK's Ministry of Defence: We'll harvest and anonymise private COVID-19 apps' tracing data by handing it to 'behavioural science' arm

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: And in other news..

Judging by the, err... numpties that crowded out Devon today they would be quite correct in that assumption

Attorney General: We didn't need Apple to crack terrorist's iPhones – tho we still want iGiant to do it in future

Will Godfrey Silver badge
FAIL

Doesn't make sense

If they are already able to crack the phones, why do they need a back door?

Huawei's defiant spinning top says Chinese vendor can cope with renewed US sanctions

Will Godfrey Silver badge

Re: Mixing up policies.

Or as someone once said:

"You don't improve your own reputation by attacking some one else's"

Can't remeber the exact words, but that was the crux of it.

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Happy

Excellent review

If I was in the market for a smartphone (which I'm not) I now know which phone to get to avoid all the Google and Apple slurpage, along with the American snoops of course. To the best of my knowledge we don't have a one-sided extradition treaty with China so I won't have to worry about being snatched away for some bizarre manufactured offence.

Microsoft's Family Safety app drills into kids' screen time, browsing habits to help 'facilitate a dialogue'

Will Godfrey Silver badge

Re: a family's activity to be monitored

It's a bottomless pit. No matter how bad it gets, it can still get worse.

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Unhappy

That was my instant first thought too.

Penny smart and dollar stupid: IT jobs slashed in US, UK, Europe to cut costs – just when we need staff the most

Will Godfrey Silver badge

Re: It's not all bad.

You'd guess wrong. She is also a personal friend, and is highly relieved. She had been considering resigning. She is over 60 with a history of respiratory issues.

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Happy

It's not all bad.

A small engineering firm I used to work for got it exactly right. They've always kept an amount of finance invested for quick access in emergencies. About 15 years ago, they started diversifying (having been previously exclusively supporting the print industry). As a result, during this period they've kept working, as many of their newer customers are in essential services - food processing and packaging. They've only started furloughing some of the more junior engineers as other work has tailed off. One of the directors has returned to do engineering work, and the other one now maintains all the office paperwork - the secretary had to be furloughed immediately as she is high vulnerability.

Post-pandemic hard-sell under way: Resellers leaned on to convert free trial users into fully paid-up customers

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Mushroom

I'd like to say I'm surprised

But I'm not. I have utter contempt for people or organisations who use underhand methods to profit from others misery.

Back of the net! Norfolk County Council kicks off £18m Oracle cloud ERP deal

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Coat

Re: The big question...

"What do you think of the pedestrianisation of Norwich County Council?"

Wasn't that what you meant to say?

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are

Will Godfrey Silver badge

Re: "engineers should never, ever get involved in User Interface design"

Crestron and AMX are two names I've not heard for a long time. I always preferred the AMX ones myself.

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Happy

Never see them

On the basis that these 'smart' {choke} pumps almost certainly have a camera attached, I make a point of turning my back on the pump. I always fill the tank so only need a quick glance at the tally, before going in to pay.

GitHub Codespaces: VS Code was 'designed from the get-go' for this, says Microsoft architect

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Unhappy

Something wicked this way comes

Sorry, but that is my gut reaction to this. If anyone can demonstrate how this is a good idea, I'd like to hear it.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Happy

Something quite simple

Nemesis

dictionary definitions:

1. a source or cause of harm or failure.

2. an unconquerable opponent or rival.

Australian contact-tracing app sent no data to contact-tracers for at least ten days after hurried launch

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Unhappy

Can't be explained by incompetence

I don't believe any degree of incompetence could achieve a clusterfuck of such proportions. Therefore it must be malice.

'A' is for ad money oddly gone missing: Probe finds middlemen siphon off half of online advertising spend

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Happy

Where's the problem?

A basically dishonest system is being robbed by basically dishonest people. Looks like a perfect match from here.

Senior MP tells UK Defence Committee on 5G security: Russia could become China's cyber-attack dog

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Unhappy

Scary stuff

First that people keep spouting this bullshit,

Second that others actually believe it.

Nervous, Adobe? It took 16 years, but open-source vector graphics editor Inkscape now works properly on macOS

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Thumb Up

As I said before

I've been using it for years. Does everything I want, and that's before this upgrade.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Facepalm

Trust the user for good tests

In the early 80s I wrote a pinball game for the BBC B. Unlike those on the market at the time, the ball in mine followed something like a parabolic curve, and you could get real control of the speed. This worked fine for me and a bunch of friends, until a new guy joined us. After familiarising himself with the game, he complained that sometimes the ball would go 'through' the flippers. We didn't believe him at first, until he was able to do it repeatedly. It turned out he had dramatically better reaction time than any of the rest of us, and (like in a real pinball machine) timed the flick so just the tip of the flipper hit the ball to get maximum velocity. The code was slow enough, and the look-aheads far enough apart that this came between two of them. The solution was one of the very first bits of 6502 assembler I did.

P.S. I was quite proud of making rebound speed dependent on where on the flipper it hit.

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Happy

Nothing changes

Without access to precision tools I had to mount a Raspberry Pi on a panel. Lining up for screw holes in the panel, and then threading them would have been a nightmare so I eventually came up with the idea of using plastic standoffs (the type with a peg to push the board onto). This presented two problems. Being able to line up the holes (again). A peg small enough to fit in the raspberry Pi mounting holes. The latter are 2.7 mm.

The solution I came up with was to use a rat-tail file to careful increase the size of the holes, then thoroughly clean and scratch up the panel, and dollop quick-set epoxy on the other end of the standoffs, then prop the whole assembly against the panel till it set - seems to still be OK after a couple of years.

The ultimate 4-wheel-drive: How ESA's keeping XMM-Newton alive after 20 years and beyond

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Great story, well written

hear, hear.

ATLAS flubbed: Comet heading our way takes one look at Earth, self-destructs into house-sized chunks

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Alien

It's a decoy

The real invasion fleet is coming sneakily from behind the sun.

Resistance is futile: Some Cisco security appliances are ticking time bombs of fail thanks to faulty resistors

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Unhappy

Almost certain it's an underspec device

If it was a placement problem I'd expect it to fail pretty quickly, but these seem to carry on for some quite long (indeterminate) time, which suggests they are underrated by a fairly small amount.

Happy birthday, ARM1. It is 35 years since Britain's Acorn RISC Machine chip sipped power for the first time

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Happy

Thanks for this.

I went along for the ride right from the (BBC B) start, and now have a Raspberry Pi with RISC OS installed on it.

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Cheers...

What gave the game away was that it would instantly crash if all data and address lines went to zero

Capita to continue managing Brit teachers' pensions well into the 2020s

Will Godfrey Silver badge

You misspelt the title

Capita to continue mismanaging ...

Dumpster diving to revive a crashing NetWare server? It was acceptable in the '90s

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Thumb Up

Doffs Hat

I've pulled a few tricks in my time, but nothing that approaches this for sheer Class!

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Unhappy

Are the tab V spaces wars over?

That's the only explanation for this being the new essential thing to fight over.

Want to put a satellite into orbit for US comms? Whoa, says Uncle Sam: Where's your space crash risk assessment?

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Unhappy

Commentards are right onto this one.

Just about everything I thought, while reading this has already been said - well done people.

I just hope Satan is preparing a very special place for Pai

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Facepalm

Been here before!

Our people fitted a new central process control unit in a plastic film factory. This had just about every test imaginable before being fitted including being hit by brownouts and static discharges. However, once installed at the location demanded by their engineers all sorts of random errors were occurring. This was in the middle of the factory on a partition attached to the back wall and at the top of a flight of steps. It was months before we identified the problem, and only then because one of our engineers took a laptop there to make notes of readings and it kept crashing. One of their production workers commiserated and said that their mobile phones would sometimes freeze if they went there. In a moment of inspiration our guy asked what the partition was there for, and was told the 3 phase supply for the entire factory complex was behind it.

Vietnam alleged to have hacked Chinese organisations in charge of COVID-19 response

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Unhappy

No Surprise

Everyone is calling this a war, and of course in a war the first casualty is the truth.

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file

Will Godfrey Silver badge
Mushroom

Well I'm glad it's not just me

I detest the buttons that aren't buttons, and uniform washed out appearance.

IBM == Insecure Business Machines: No-auth remote root exec exploit in Data Risk Manager drops after Big Blue snubs bug report

Will Godfrey Silver badge
FAIL

Does not compute

Stranger: "Hey! You left your door and a couple of windows open."

Home Owner: "Fuck off."

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020