* Posts by Emir Al Weeq

130 posts • joined 28 Mar 2020


BOFH: You want presentation layer, but we're physical layer

Emir Al Weeq

Color? Liter?

Et tu, Simon?

By Jove! Jupiter to make closest approach to Earth in 70 years next Monday

Emir Al Weeq

Apogee = furthest from Earth

Perigee = closest to Earth

Aphelion = furthest from sun

perihelion = closest to sun

Heart now pledges 30-seat hybrid electric commercial flights by 2028

Emir Al Weeq

Seat plan please

"By dropping five passengers, Heart said, the ES-30's range doubles to 800 km,"

Does anyone know which seats have the trap-doors under them? I'd rather like to sit elsewhere.

GM's Cruise revises self-driving software after San Francisco crash

Emir Al Weeq

No way was the car turning

I don't know the exact junction layout, but I get the impression that it is unlikely that a Prius could make the turn at 40mph. This should have been enough to tell the Cruise AV that it wasn't turning or to make the turn quickly, keep right and be prepared for an out-of-control Prius to enter its path. Or better still, don't even attempt the turn.

If too much for an AV then it's not ready for real-world driving.

You can never have too many backups. Also, you can never have too many backups

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Stack popped reading that procedure....

I think step 11 should say "It is the backup copy of F" but, apart from that, your interpretation is the same as mine.

You have no downvotes as I write this. If you get one, is not me: the process is confusing enough that the error is understandable.

Smartphone gyroscopes threaten air-gapped systems, researcher finds

Emir Al Weeq

Isn't it obvious?

That spa weekend you did? You were hypnotised and now your secrets are encoded into the rate at which you throw the bread.

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Voyager to pay $1.6m bonus to key staff

Emir Al Weeq

A bonus is a bonus

If you do well and the company does well, you get a bonus. It's not standard salary.

If you or the company under-perform than it's reduced or lost. Going bankrupt generally counts as under-performance.

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up

Emir Al Weeq

Re: And don't work too fast either!

One summer job I had was at a distribution company, basically putting goods ordered into boxes. I started on a temp's wage but after my first week the foreman said that my output matched that of the permanent employees so he would pay me the same as them.

There were two conditions:

1 Don't tell them.

2 Don't exceed Jim's output. "He is proud of being number 1 and will sulk all summer of you better him. I don't need that."

Emir Al Weeq

When checking my work landed me in hot water.

I was working at a UK mobile network operator, whose new CTO was an arrogant individual. He had some bad ideas and also some good ones, many of which were issued as JFDI diktats.

One of his ideas arrived on my desk. The requirement was that it should not be possible for a user to make changes on a switch without change control authorisation; this was to be managed by disabling all user access and providing change control with a scheduler to enable relevant users’ access as per the change schedule. My job was to write the scheduler and front end; end of conversation: do it now!

To be sure that my system was meeting the requirements I created a second utility that periodically downloaded the switches’ change logs and checked to see if any changes were being made that my scheduler could not account for. I found something...

An unknown user was using an unknown access port to run unknown commands. The penny didn’t drop and so, not twigging what department this might be and me being in a rush to plug the hole I’d found, I asked various people I knew throughout the business to try to identify the miscreant.

Next thing I knew I was standing in front of the CTO with some individuals from “lawful intercept”. It turns out that a config error (not mine) had made visible to my log checker their supposedly hidden activities: I shouldn’t have seen what I had seen and certainly not gone asking questions. The CTO, who, up to that point, knew nothing about the intercept activities or my second utility, hated being shown to not know everything.

I got a proper dressing-down from the CTO that afternoon for having gone the extra mile and written the log checker, but nothing more came of things after that so I assume I hadn’t ruffled too many feathers. I deleted the logs I had uncovered and, given that no more showed up, the config error must have been fixed, not that I got any thanks.

NASA builds for keeps: Voyager mission still going after 45 years

Emir Al Weeq

Multiples of less

"three million times less memory than a typical modern smartphone".

One time less would be zero, so that must be -2,999,999 more.

I wonder what negative memory looks like; two's complement?

I'll leave "38,000 times slower" as it makes my brain hurt working out what that means.

Scientists use supercritical carbon dioxide to power the grid

Emir Al Weeq

I came here to say that too and was quite pleased to see that it was the first thing in the comments.

El Reg confusing energy and power. Standards are slipping!

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Exchange

Have an upvote for echoing my opinion of Sharepoint perfectly.

Everyone back to the office! Why? Because the decision has been made

Emir Al Weeq

I once worked where meeting rooms were booked in blocks of 30 mins. Any room unoccupied at 5 or 35 past the hour was deemed as available and could be used without booking.

Spam is back with a vengeance. Luckily we can't read any of it

Emir Al Weeq

Re: A little Spam is useful

I have said before on this site:

A previous employer of mine used to send this sort of email out, training its customers (of which I was also one) to click on dodgy links. The thing was, if I followed the company's internal security awareness training then, had the email been sent to my work address, I should have sent it to our IT security team (a few times I actually forward it from home to work and did this to make a point). I put a fair bit of work in trying to identify who in the company was responsible for the emails but eventually left before I found out.

Microsoft-backed robovans to deliver grub in London

Emir Al Weeq

Re: DPD, wtf

My thoughts exactly. Can you imagine getting a RoboTaxi trained by DPD?

It will take you to a street 5 miles from your desired destination, park on a double-yellow and leave you behind the rubbish bins. That's assuming it picks you up at all and doesn't just wait outside your house for 5ms then leave a note saying you weren't in.

Confirmation dialog Groundhog Day: I click OK and it keeps coming back

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Effect as a verb

Many years ago I read about a professor who taught medicine who had failed a student for muddling up "affects" and "effects" when writing "<drug> effects blood clotting". The prof's point being that an error like that could lead to someone's death.

The end of the iPod – last model available 'while supplies last'

Emir Al Weeq

It must have been about 20 years ago but I still remember, having unpacked my iPod, the disappointment and anger as I looked at one of the items on my desk. "What the hell is that?". A colleague answered, "firewire".

I discovered it would cost me another £20 to buy a USB cable from Apple (inc postage), so instead I bought a firewire card for £22 from a local PC shop and vowed never too give Apple another penny.

I'm a stubborn bugger and have stuck to that ever since.

Can't fault the iPod though: got many years of use out of it.

Astra Space to launch satellites from Shetland

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Isn't it a bit far from the equator?

I was going to ask the same thing. Have an upvote and let's hope we are enlightened.

Google Docs crashed when fed 'And. And. And. And. And.'

Emir Al Weeq

Yeah, but

Found by Eliza Callahan. Are you sure it wasn't Vicky Pollard?

Volkswagen to put Qualcomm tech under the hood across all brands

Emir Al Weeq

Performance under test

Of course, to win the contract, the chip vendors could always have their chips recognise when they're on a test rig and perform accordingly. But no respectable manufacturer would do that. Would they?

Your software doesn't work when my PC is in 'O' mode

Emir Al Weeq

Re: return value

Cannot fault a HHGTTG reference (upvote), but in the context of this article I was expecting "mode execute ready" replacing "access standby" to have shown up by now.

Bank had no firewall license, intrusion or phishing protection – guess the rest

Emir Al Weeq

Re: At KatrinaB...

"Even if the person in the footage is obscured, the account holder is known & will be brought in for questioning. If they can't provide a plausible excuse for the person in the video *not* being them, they'll be on the hook"

Ah yes, the old guilty-until-proven-innocent approach.

Hackers remotely start, unlock Honda Civics with $300 tech

Emir Al Weeq

Re: almost never use remote key fob features

Indeed, which is why all of my cards have a slight cut in them to break the antenna. Inserting the card and entering a PIN every time is not a hardship in my opinion.

Emir Al Weeq

Re: almost never use remote key fob features

Nate, look for "relay attack" on Youtube and you'll see how distance between car and fob can be easliy overcome by relaying and amplifying the signals.

Replay attacks aside, fob unlocking requires access to the fob whereas keyless is initiated from a button often left on a driveway.

Help, my IT team has no admin access to their own systems

Emir Al Weeq

Re: don't spoil the magic

Eg, to use the plumber comment at the start of article...

Replacement washer: 1p

Knowing which one to replace: £199.99

How CAPTCHAs can cloak phishing URLs in emails

Emir Al Weeq

Re: "Given how often the average user fills out a CAPTCHA challenge..."

I see them all the time as a TOR user. The most recent was about 10 minutes ago visiting theregister.com

I had to identify "vertical rivers".

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Ugh

"I will usually spend a minute getting the captcha wrong so I can poison Google's database"

So it's not just me who does that. I did wonder if I was wasting my time, but if enough of us do it...

Reg reader rages over Virgin Media's email password policy

Emir Al Weeq

That would allow a crude denial-of-service attack by blasting every known email on that system with three random passwords.

Better to enforce a delay between attempts. 10 seconds would hamper brute-force but not bother someone trying to remember which password they'd used.

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

Emir Al Weeq

Lots of files with the same name

I remember when Microsoft did that trick of hiding the extensions, I was working on something using file names like:




Oh fun! Yes, I could have learned to differentiate the subtle variations on the icons, but life's too short: I enabled extensions.

Crack team of boffins hash out how e-scooters should sound – but they need your help*

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Clop - clop - clop - clop - ....

Where'd you get the coconuts?

Emir Al Weeq

Have an upvote for the obscure FaRoRP reference.

Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Does it go through brick walls?

New keyboard please!

Mobile networks really hate Apple's Private Relay: Some folks find iOS privacy feature blocked on their iPhones

Emir Al Weeq


Interesting that the article mentions EE in the UK. They've not been bothered by TOR users on their network for years. This comment (and many of my previous ones) was posted using exactly that.

Maybe those like me number too few for them to care.

Some errors fill the screen. And some come from the .NET Framework

Emir Al Weeq

Re: No change given?

Or, having downloaded the app and set up the account, when asked what time you want to pay from (about 10 mins ago) was told you can't pay for a time in the past.

I'm waiting to see if I get a penalty charge notice for those 10 mins.

A lightbulb moment comes too late to save a mainframe engineer's blushes

Emir Al Weeq

Re: I had a somewhat similar problem

>turn off the electrics in case of an accident.

Is that what it's for? I thought it was to flick off and on when riding a carburettored bike through a tunnel.

Boffins find way to use a standard smartphone to find hidden spy cams

Emir Al Weeq


So, LAPD in LA: the police; LAPD on a phone: Link Access Protocol D-channel.


He called himself the King of Fraud. Now this bot lord will reign in prison for years

Emir Al Weeq

I was going to post exactly this.

Have an upvote.

Analogue tones of a ZX Spectrum Load set to ride again via podcast project

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Software via teletext...

>a method of setting a VCR programmer using Ceefax/Teltext program listings

My first VCR (can't remember make or model) did just that. It also gave me Teletext on my non-teletext TV; you had to do it all via the video channel though. It also had a neat trick of using the teletext data to superimpose the TV show's name and broadcast time & date onto the first ten or so seconds of the recording which made searching a tape much easier.

Get real: Say what you like about your app but don't be surprised if I trollsplain

Emir Al Weeq

Ultimate marketing

The misused word that always gets me is "ultimate". I once considered buying the Ultimate Rock Album purely so that I could ask for my money back if they released another one.

But what really baffles me is why someone would market food as the ultimate. Surely the only way someone can be sure that they really are selling you your Ultimate Burger is if its full of botulism*.

* I suppose in the pedantic spirit I should say Clostridium botulinum, but you know what I mean.

I'm feeling lucky: Google, Facebook say workers must be vaccinated before they return to offices

Emir Al Weeq

My personal view

I remember watching familiar landmarks go by as I rode from my home to the hospital in the back of an ambulance, thinking "will I see any of these things again?". Pubs, Tescos, even a bloody McDonalds. I had Covid.

Two days after I left hospital, I was offered a vaccine, but had to wait another 28 days before jab one.

I had my second vaccine over three months ago and I don't know if the covid or vaccines are responsible for the constant fatigue and the muscle aches, but if I have to choose between another vaccination or making that ambulance ride again: I'm rolling up my sleeve.

The UK is running on empty when it comes to electric vehicle charging points

Emir Al Weeq

First thoughts would be something akin to a relay attack as used on keyless entry vehicles today. A small extender fitted over the socket relays the victim's charging transaction to another unit on the plug belonging to perpetrator's car (which can link to a nice big antenna hidden in the car to read weak signals from the extender). As per keyless, clever encryption doesn't matter: you just relay the encrypted signals and once the victim's authenticated, juice starts to flow.

If there is a warning that the car is not charging then the victim will likely blame the charger and try another, especially if the helpful chap (aka perp) next to him says "that one didn't work for me either".

OK, I've never actually used an EV charger so this probably has holes in it. Anyone care to plug* them.

*Pun intended.

Exsparko-destructus! What happens when wand waving meets extremely poor wiring

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Er ...

"Failed with enthusiasm"

I'm going to keep that one for future use.


Our Friends Electric: A pair of alternative options for getting around town

Emir Al Weeq


I don't know if it's still like it but there is/was a one-way system in Limehouse, East London (Horseferry Road & The Narrow) where cars went clockwise but the cycle lane (just painted, not separate) went anticlockwise and, IIRC, on the right hand side.

Cue lots of drivers pulling out in front of cyclists coming the "wrong" way.

Ah, I see you found my PowerShell script called 'SiteReview' – that does not mean what you think it means

Emir Al Weeq

Keeping a stash is one thing...

...emailing it to all and sundry is another.

Many football* world cups ago I received an email from my boss with an Excel spreadsheet attached. The spreadsheet was apparently just an electronic version of the wall-charts used to track who’s playing who etc.

As someone who doesn’t find the Beautiful Game particularly beautiful, I was about to delete it when I noticed the spreadsheet’s size: even by Microsoft standards of inefficiency, it was huge.

A bit of digging revealed that clicking on a country’s name, although not obviously a link, brought up a picture of a young lady wearing nothing but a body-paint flag of the nation in question. I carefully checked all other country names to see if they had similar images: they did. Some needed to be checked more than once.

Looking at some of the names in the email’s “to” list it was obvious that my boss didn’t appreciate what he’d just sent out. However, he was one of the good managers who always watched our backs, so I had a quiet word. The look on his face when he first saw one of the pictures was priceless! The Recall button was his friend that day.

*that’s “soccer” to left-pondian readers.

The world is chaos but my Zoom background is control-freak perfection

Emir Al Weeq

Office background

For the first few weeks of WFH, I wanted to go back into the office to photograph it from where my webcam had been located pre-lockdown; thus providing the perfect background image.

Common sense prevailed: that's hardly a reason to break lockdown.

Stob treks back across the decades to review the greatest TV sci-fi in the light of recent experience

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Seems like a very good and remarkably simple facility 4ElReg2Pioneer and Driver.*


I thought of you as soon as I read The Governor's words. It all makes sense now: you are Q and I claim my £5.

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

Emir Al Weeq

Re: A Story about Magic

So you are saying that after fitting another piece of cheap kit from the Halfords boy-racer add-ons department to a Capri, ie a car that had probably already been "upgraded" by the previous owner/his mates/your brother/that bloke who "knows about cars", the electrics worked in a way that defied physics.

What's your point?

UK launches consultation on forcing landlords to allow gigabit broadband upgrades

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Leasehold, fleecehold

It may be rare but I was responding to J.G.Harston's question relating to this particular situation.

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Leasehold, fleecehold

Fair point, but if you have a third party company as the building's landlord and it needs money, you can't just say "no, don't want to", so what difference does it make if the landlord/freeholder is your own company?

IANAL but my my other half is and she is in exactly this situation (flat owner and joint freeholder) and it seems to work.

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Leasehold, fleecehold

You do.

The property owners each own a share of the freehold, it is their responsibility to manage the maintenance of the building itself. Typically a freeholders' association either manages it themselves or subcontracts the work out to a maintenance company who can be held to account.



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