* Posts by AnotherName

48 posts • joined 1 Oct 2020

City-killing asteroid won't hit Earth in 2052 after all


Observational effect

"The more the asteroid was observed, the greater that risk became"

So stop looking at it and all will be fine.

Microsoft issues fix for Windows 11 Wi-Fi hotspots


"Search Highlights"

I've already had to find out how to disable that in Windows 10 Pro. Why do they think I care about what other people are searching for - it's none of my business or interest. All it does is tell me how shallow many Bing searchers are.

Yodel becomes the latest victim of a cyber 'incident'


I've had them deliver to a house several streets away - slightly similarly named road but different postcode - and leaving the packages on the front doorstep there before letting me know they'd been delivered to my home. I had to go out and find them and cart them back (heavy items).

On another occasion they told me that two items were delivered even though only one was handed over and signed for. I had to use CCTV to show the driver arriving at the door with only one parcel before they admitted the error and delivered the second item a couple of days later.

As mentioned earlier, if they are the delivery option, don't shop there.

Microsoft patches the patch that broke Windows authentication


Why not wait for the fix to be tested and proved before releasing it, instead of sticking to an arbitrary schedule of patch releases. It could be a novel approach?

Start your engines: Windows 11 ready for broad deployment


Getting the most out of it...

Microsoft would very much like users to sign in with a Microsoft Account "to get the most out of your Windows 11 experience."

I bet they'd like to get the most out of your experience. The more they can get from "your" computer, the more they like it. As for the removal of local accounts, for me that will result in the removal of Windows full stop. I have a local AD domain at the moment, but when I retire this year I will remove all Microsoft from my home.

In the graveyard of good ideas, how does yours measure up to these?


Re: The porridge in that photo looks a bit odd, don’t you think?

Contents: Arachnids and fruits of coque - is that why they're called nuts?

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


Admin access

In a previous job in the early 2000's, where I was IT Manager (and I was also 50% of the IT team), I was made redundant, partly enabled by underhand reassigning of roles. We had an internal meeting where the organisation chart was displayed. I pointed out that they had me down in the wrong role, but it was brushed over - I should have seen the signs...

Anyway, on the day they called me down to tell me I was redundant, they asked someone else to revoke my admin rights and changed the admin password. I was allowed to go back to my desk for the rest of the day to copy off my personal files from my computer. As I had been logged in the whole time, I still had full admin rights and could have done anything, but obviously didn't do any damage. I did copy off a few customer directories from a server so that I could make direct contact with them after the event and actually did some work for many of them.

A few months later, after the redundancy period was up, I received a call asking for the password for a specific system. I told them what my rates were for consultancy and they never bothered me again. They lost many knowledgeable developers due to the way those of us who were made redundant were treated and eventually went bust.

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?


One from years ago...

I can't remember the system or software involved, or even the approximate era, but I did once get an error message "An impossible error has occurred".

As for UX/UI, in many cases I think UXB would be more appropriate.

Play Store class action has £15m budget for defeating Google in London court


Guess what the legal bill will amount to?

I'd estimate £15,400,000.

Update 'designed to improve user experience' takes down the Microsoft 365 Admin Portal


At last - the truth

'designed to improve user experience'

It certainly did that.

50 lines of Bash to bring a Wordle fan out of their shell


Re: Prior art?

There's been a TV game show 'Lingo' based on the same principles since 2020 already here. It doesn't stop at 5 letters, but increases the length as the player gets further. Hardly makes Wordle a unique game anyway, unless you use the Apple definition and add the magic words '...on a mobile device'.

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


Re: Nobody told me I wasn't allowed to do it.

Ours was called Malcolm. He could break anything without trying. Eventually I had to add a series of traps in the code looking for unexpected input and branching to a subroutine with a label called [OhGodItsMalcolm] where the input was discarded before carrying on. This was our first real programming experience on a CCPM-based data processing system using Dataflex 3GL back in the mid 80's. It had 1MB of memory shared between the OS and the three user terminals.

'95% original' film star Spitfire could be yours for a mere £4.5m (or 0.05 Pogbas)


It's got better taste than that...

RAF shoots down 'terrorist drone' over US-owned special ops base in Syria


Re: Whoops!

Helped out by RAF pilots!


Re: Whoops!

Unfortunately (for you) I wasn't involved in the main base activities, so I wasn't involved in the airfield side. I was part of a specialist sub-unit co-located on the base, but we still got word from other areas.

The initial rumour was that the Jaguar was shot down - this was still during the cold war, so there were massive implications in that piece of information. Within about an hour we heard that it was one of our Phantoms from a nearby base, which still raised a lot of questions.

I seem to recall reading (or maybe watching a TV program) regarding the Court Marshall of the Phantom pilot some time later when back in the UK. There were a lot of errors and assumptions made, from the ground crew to the aircrew, and especially the armourers, but the pilot was the man who pushed the button...



I remember the 1982 incident well as I was serving at the RAF base where the Jaguar came from. The crash siren went off and shortly afterwards there were already rumours circulating around the base that it was one of ours that shot it down. Wildenrath 1 - Brueggen 0.

'Admin error': AWS in dead company data centre planning application snafu in Oxfordshire


Re: Concealed planning applications

> The one thing that pleases me about the choice for that particular location is that it's below sea level.

A whole new definition of 'pulling the plug' on a project!

Windows giant seeks Pluton-ic relationship with chipmaker: AMD first out of the gates with Microsoft's security processor


"Microsoft has also stated that the Pluton hardware will be updateable through Windows Update"

What could possibly go wrong! WU is not known to have broken anything ever...

How do you call support when the telephones go TITSUP*?


Remote access internet

Many years ago the company I worked for was putting in a call centre system for travel company based at a London rail terminus. While there I met up with their IT guy, who happened be someone I knew from previous employment. He showed me to the call centre in another building and I started work. After a while I needed some data from him, and decided to save time and pick it up from his PC over the network rather than bother him. Once I got into his PC to look for the file I needed I found a rather large (for the time - 1990's dial-up access) porn stash. He had apparently set his office phone up so that he could call it and get it to dial back to his home from where he would surf the internet on the company connection and dump the files on his work PC at no cost to himself. I don't know if he ever got caught as I only dealt with the call centre staff after the initial visit.

When you think of a unit of length, do you think of Antony Gormley's rusty anatomy?


Wind speed

"It has a wingspan greater than a Boeing 757 and is able to withstand winds of over 100mph in its exposed hilltop location,"

It must have got pretty damn close to the limits last Friday night/Saturday morning!

Remember when you thought fax machines were dead-matter teleporters? Ah, just me, then


I used to live just round the corner from Muirhead in Elmers End, Beckenham back in the 60's. Later in the early 70's I was maintaining two pairs of their valve-based units at an RAF base in Oxfordshire. These were one-way-only units, a sending device in one location and a receiver unit elsewhere on the base made up a pair. They were still operational in '79 when I moved overseas.

Microsoft's problem child, Windows 11, is here. Will you run it? Can you run it? Do you even WANT to run it?


Widest array?

"Available on the Widest Array of Choice in Devices" - except maybe the one that you actually own and/or use right now.

2FA? More like 2F-in-the-way: It seems no one wants me to pay for their services after all


I hate those systems that won't allow you to change the username when it is an email address - BT Wholesale is one of them - and you no longer have access to that email address.


Re: To be fair

I find it very useful when American 'comedy' programs have a laughter track. It informs me what just happened or said was supposed to be funny. If it wasn't for the audience I would never have guessed. But I do wish they would cut out all that cheering and applause when a character comes on screen for the first time in an episode. The opening captions should inform us that "This program was filmed in front of a bunch of morons".

Apple's bright idea for CSAM scanning could start 'persecution on a global basis' – 90+ civil rights groups


The thing that struck me about this when I first heard of it is that they were scanning the uploads and see if they matched against a database of known images. Surely this idea will put more children at risk when the offenders have to start making more *new* images to share that aren't currently known about by the authorities to work round this matching process.

Happy 60th, Sinclair Radionics: We'll remember you for your revolutionary calculators and crap watches


Other earlier hardware

Sinclair used to do a range of modular slimline 'HiFi' kit in black with transparent perspex slider controls, meant to be mounted onto a piece of furniture. Used to be advertised in all the electronics mags back in the 70's.

UK's National Museum of Computing asks tunesmiths to recreate bleeps, bloops, and parps of retro game music


Re: Wot! No mention of the Hybrid Music 5000?

I had Toccata, Golden Brown, and Sweet Dreams as BASIC programs using the internal sound system on the Beeb. I'm sure I had others too that I can't remember now - possibly there was Only You as well - I'll have to dig the 5.25" floppies out of storage - not that I've got a drive to read them any more... or a Beeb... Superior Software games had good soundtracks (Repton, anyone?).

P.S. It wasn't the Golden Brown causing the Sweet Dreams, either.

Facebook pulls plug on mind-reading neural interface that restored a user's speech


Common Good?

Don't write it off - donate it for the common good, not corporate greed.

Openreach to UK businesses: Switch is about to hit the fan. Prepare for withdrawal of the copper-based phone network now or risk disruption


Re: The future is coming

POE over fibre? I'd like to see how they solve that one! Maybe run some copper wires from big batteries at the exchange?

Microsoft releases Windows 11 Insider Preview, attempts to defend labyrinth of hardware requirements


Re: Check out Pi-Hole - run on a VM if necessary

It's difficult. I used to block various advertising sites via my hosts file that were used by MS Store desktop games like Mah-Jong, but within a short time the ads were back as they either had the IPs hard-coded to avoid DNS lookups or had a list of alternate addresses they could use. Eventually I stopped using the games - it was the easiest option.


Useless checker

I ran the upgrade checker on my HP laptop (i7 gen 8 with TPM 2.0) running Win10Pro in a domain. All it tells me is that my updates are controlled by the domain admin (me) and doesn't tell me if it is upgradable or not. I know it probably is, but I won't be able to check my wife's older HP laptop - which probably isn't upgradable - in the same domain for the same reason.

As I'm not asking for it to install the upgrade, what is the point of not telling me if it is upgradable or not? I think I'll move both of us over to ZorinOS that I'm already running on another laptop and drop out of the MS Partner Network for good.

Watch the moment China's Zhurong rover lands on Mars, hear it truckin' for the first time


Second view?

I can understand the rover being filmed as it leaves the ramp and moves away from the lander - the camera is attached somewhere near the base of the ramp. After that there is a view of both the rover and the lander platform from a second point of view. Did the rover go out, plant the camera and then return to the lander for the moving selfie that included the lander?

Toyota reveals its work on an honest-to-goodness cloak of invisibility


Re: I remember a SciFi book about this.

So it will shatter your illusions?

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like


Of course they will - they will move directly to Microsoft and away from "your" computer.

Are you ready to take a stand? Flexispot E7 motorised desk should handle whatever you dump on it – but it's not cheap


Another option

After a recent house move, I decided to buy a standing desk. I'd been looking at the Tresanti model available from Costco for a while and decided it was time to make the move from a 20-odd year old John Lewis fixed desk. The Tresanti desk is glass-topped with touch controls in the top and a 3-port USB charger and a shallow drawer built-in. Available in white or black, it didn't take too long to assemble, with reasonably good instructions. Plenty of room for all the usual peripherals and no problem for the motor to raise/lower all the kit onboard. There are four memory settings to make changing heights easier and a lock button to avoid accidental activation as well as a height display by the touch area that only normally shows when movement is in progress. Solid and not too bad value. Cost can vary according to what offers Costco has on, but is currently £310 delivered for members. It would have been nice to have an under-desk shelf at the back and a cable tray, but very happy so far.

48 ways you can avoid file-scrambling, data-stealing miscreants – or so says the Ransomware Task Force


OS-level protection

Why can't the OS trigger an alert when it sees multiple files being updated/written in quick succession under the control of a single process? Suspend the process until the user confirms the action. Have the ability to whitelist certain processes like backup software to avoid false positives.

UK government gives Automated Lane Keeping Systems the green light for use on motorways


Lane keeping = lane hogging?

We've got enough problems on motorways at the moment with drivers who keep to "their" lane - join the motorway and push straight to one of the outer lanes and stay there until within a few yards of the intended exit and cut back across regardless of traffic. Automatic lane discipline would be far more useful and free up capacity if these drivers didn't avoid the use of the left hand lane when it was clear.

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user


Re: if it works...

Like Karcher, who are now heavily advertising an app-controlled pressure washer on TV. Why reach for a phone in a wet environment to relay your instructions to the washer pump unit, only feet away, when that instruction has to do a round-trip of the internet to get there? I can see no use case for this idea at all.

Listen, son... Monster trucks just aren't cool anymore. Real winners drive Tesla Roadsters


Re: Recycled or recyclable?

Looking at the photo on the BBC report for this, the quality of the casting for the Tesla is terrible compared to the original Matchbox cars I used to collect as a lad, when they were made by Lesney back in the 50's and 60's. There was more fine detail in the modelling back then. I didn't know the brand still existed.

Diary of a report writer and his big break into bad business


Location, location, location

Way back in the mists of time, my first 'real' computing job was as a programmer for a system controlling a repair workshop and it's associated stock of repaired and due in for repair items. It was that long ago that we were working with Dataflex 3GL under CC/PM on co-ax networked ICL desktop hardware. It was a small team with a couple of programmers, and an admin assistant who did a lot of the testing and all of the documentation.

The documents were created in Wordstar (as was the coding). Our admin assistant insisted on putting hard carriage returns on the end of each line, which was all well and good up to a point - that point being when changes had to be made. He would then re-flow each line manually from the edit to the end of the document! It didn't matter how many times we told him just to use wordwrapping, he never changed his ways for the rest of the time I was on the team.

Brave bets on the decentralized web with IPFS browser support for a more peer-to-peer approach


Location, location, location

Exactly which other planets is content available from?

Like a lot of these ideas, it sounds great until you stop and think about how many ways it could be abused, both in terms of the hosted content, and the ways it could be intercepted or subverted in transit. Freedom is a wonderful thing, but so easily exploited by those who want to do harm.

Tech support scammer dialed random number and Australian Police’s cybercrime squad answered


Always take the Press 1 option to enjoy the ride...


They don't seem to use any form of block list, as I can receive as many as three or four calls in some weeks, usually Amazon Prime renewal, Microsoft Support, BT internet, "your ISP", VISA Secure and others. No matter that I usually string them out for as long as possible before breaking the news to them that I know it's a scam, they still call back. When I move house to a different part of the country soon, I wonder how long it will take them to find the new number and start the entertainment over again...?

H2? Oh! New water-splitting technique pushes progress of green hydrogen


You could say exactly the same about petrol too. It's been said that if petrol was proposed today as a new fuel, it would not get approved due to the same safety concerns.

Experian vows to drag UK's Information Commissioner's Office to court after being told off for data-slurping practices


Re: So why?

Unfortunately, in order to get a bank account, loan or mortgage, you have to sign an application which specifically includes their rights to search AND update your credit records. This has been happening for years, and not really related to who is in Government either.

What will you do with your Raspberry Pi 4 this week? RISC it for a biscuit perhaps?


They already have my original Archimedes. I still have a RiscPC and an Iyonix that I can add to the collection.

Where are we now? Microsoft 363? 362? We've lost count because Exchange Online isn't playing nicely this morning


Re: NSaaS

More like FUaaS


The advantages of cloud use?

1. Resilience?

2. Control of your data?

3. Data security?

4. Accessibility?

Yet another FAIL


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022