* Posts by Dr Who

190 posts • joined 25 Oct 2007

Page:

NASA plots interplanetary cubesat swarms

Dr Who

To boldly go where no Platonic solid has gone before.

6
0

Mounties nab Canadian woman, 27, in webcam hack shenanigans bust

Dr Who

Re: "recreational terror[-ism, -ist]"

I too was greatly tickled by that particular phrase!

"Darling, just popping out for a spot of terrorism. Should be back in an hour or so. Love you."

7
0

NASA spies weird glow from Pluto's FRIGID pole

Dr Who

Re: "The US has been the first to flyby every planet of the Solar System"

I hope Symon and Voland aren't programmers. Their grasp of syntax is clearly somewhat lacking.

7
1

Google promises proper patch preparation after new cloud outage

Dr Who

Re: In other news:

Indeed. Which could be messy if their internal software system fails to correctly route the egress traffick, resulting in the shit hitting the fan instead of the correct target destination (the pan).

0
0

Thousands of UK drivers' details leaked through hole in parking ticket website

Dr Who

On balance I like El Reg

But this article is just awful. The quote from Sol Cates clearly demonstrates that he has no idea whatsoever what he's talking about. I doubt there was any "backdoor link" that left the "computer database wide open" (what does this even mean?).

I suspect that the only encryption in place was between client and server via https. The "backdoor link" was most likely an unencrypted database, open to anyone either via a web application vulnerability or via direct access to the database server.

You will also notice that even now, the site does not enforce https. If you go to paymypcn.net you end up on a standard http connection (even though they still display the Verisign Secured logo at the foot of the page). You have to explicitly go to https://paymypcn.net to get an encrypted link.

To try and blame the DVLA for this is disingenuous of PaymyPCN.net. This is just a shite web application full of all the usual holes, and John Leyden should have spotted that whilst blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back.

10
0

HMRC fails to plan for £10.4bn contract exit... because it's 'too risky'

Dr Who

Which is very good to hear for an open source fan such as myself, but in this context makes the sums look even worse. If the software licence costs are lower, that means that an even more ridiculous and frankly unbelievable sum is being spent on development.

3
0
Dr Who

Let's be generous and allow 400 million for hardware expenditure and software licensing (assuming they won't use FLOSS because you don't get the thoroughly outstanding support that can be received from proprietary vendors such as Oracle and MS).

That leaves 10 billion for development. If we assume an average rate of £60 per hour for people involved in the project and working on an 8 hour a day 240 day a year basis, that seems to me to work out at 86806 man years of development time. I could write quite a nice system on that sort of timescale.

13
0

Lizard Squad threatens Malaysia Airlines with data dump: We DID TOO hack your site

Dr Who

In many many ways I would rather have my website compromised than have someone take control of my zone file.

3
0

Will hottest CES gadgets be HOT TARGETS for hackers?

Dr Who

It could give a new meaning to privilege escalation.

Home Central Heating Controller->Smart Watch->Smart Phone->Email Account->Password Reset->Work Laptop->passwordless Private Key->Admin Access to work servers.

1
0

BAN email footers – they WASTE my INK, wails Ctrl+P MP

Dr Who

Re: Obligations

The most offensive stuff is not the mandatory company information but the disclaimer and confidentiality notices, which are often enormous. You'll notice from the Out-law article you posted (which is excellent and one I often refer people to) that these notices are to all intents and purposes pointless and carry no legal weight. They should never be included in a routine email footer.

5
0

So, does anyone in UK.gov actually know what G-Cloud is for? Apparently not

Dr Who

Grease is the word

Does the Crown Hosting Service take me to major international sporting events? No it does not.

Does the Crown Hosting Service have a plush office in the West End and does it take me to a 3 Michelin star restaurant for lunch after meetings there? No it does not.

Does the Crown Hosting Service even know what a round of golf is? No it does not.

6
0

Sony Pictures in IT lock-down after alleged hacker hosing

Dr Who

Re: Predictable and not going away

Asking when rather than if your systems were/will be compromised is good security practice.

So your strategy is to make life as hard as possible for miscreants once they are in. One useful tactic might be to avoid (presumably) unencrypted password stashes called things like Extranet Oracle & SQL passwords 4.3.06.txt.

1
0

Two driverless cars stuffed with passengers are ABOUT TO CRASH - who should take the hit?

Dr Who

Expeliamus!

"it arrived at its decision using magic"

That is a very neat way of describing what most of my customers think. Being a developer of custom business applications, something I hear often is "shoudn't it just do that?". The "it" in the sentence is the key word. I will forever be amazed at how hard it is to explain that "it" does nothing except that which we tell "it" to do.

Ask the developers of climate models whether they really believe that if they just had enough data, if the data were *really* big, the truth would emerge ... as if by magic.

4
2

Hacked and ashamed? C'mon, Brits – report that cybercrime

Dr Who

A significant minority of victims change their behaviour after becoming victims. For example, nearly half (45 per cent) opted to shut the stable door after the horse had bolted and 42 per cent report being extra vigilant to avoid a second lightning strike.

1
0

Our Vultures peck at new Doctor Who: Exterminate or, er ... carrion?

Dr Who

Gosh

Didn't know I was so popular ,,, or controversial.

3
0

So long Lotus 1-2-3: IBM ceases support after over 30 years of code

Dr Who

Pah! Lotus 123 ... modern drivel. SuperCalc, now there's a real spreadsheet.

5
0

George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests

Dr Who

How romantic

I bet they make each other produce a current STD test certificate before they feel able to undertake their act of enclosive sexual intercourse.

1
0

Open source and the NHS: Two huge disorganised entities without central control

Dr Who

The possibilities are endless

Accident and Emergency : OpenWound

Geriatrics : OpenGrave

Maternity : OpenLegs

Maternity (for the the executive with a meeting to get to) : OpenSunroof

Plastic Surgery : OpenChequebook

Pharmacy : OpenAllHours

16
0

Beer in SPAAAACE: Photographic PROOF

Dr Who

Breaking news - Ukraine crisis over as Putin killed by high velocity frozen pint of British beer. President Obama, currently in Cardiff for the NATO summit, said "I wanna thank you guys. We got carriers and aircraft coming out of our asses, but it takes Brit genius to truly kick ass. Just like WWII." David Cameron couldn't comment. He was chillaxing having just downed his eighth pint of Brains SA (god no).

3
0

CNN 'tech analyst' on NAKED CELEBS: WHO IS this mystery '4chan' PERSON?

Dr Who

Re: Misuse of Word

The meaning of hacker in popular language has come to be the same as cracker. The two are now pretty much interchangeable. We the congoscenti will either have to find an alternative to replace the original meaning of hacker. How about code artiste or vim jockey or extreme keyboarder or even god forbid programmer? More likely we'll just have to be smug in our superior knowledge.

If I'm talking to a non-technical person I always say hacker when I mean cracker. Life's too short to fight the crowd on something which makes no difference to anyone.

Language does change. The meaning of gorgeous is literally "like a pile of of gore". How it got to mean beautiful over the aeons is anyone's guess.

7
0

Cave scrawls prove Neanderthals were AT LEAST as talented as modern artists

Dr Who

It says "I woz 'ere" and "Kev 4 Shaz 37000BC"

7
0

Whoops, my cloud's just gone titsup. Now what?

Dr Who

Now a year is not exactly 365 days, but if it were then that would be 525600 minutes. At four nines that allows for an outage of 5256 minutes or 87.6 hours. SLAs calculated on an annual basis are worthless. The same service level would allow for an outage of 7.44 hours before being triggered if worked on a monthly basis, which is more reasonable.

All of the above is of course meaningless if there's no (or trivial) compensation in the event that the service level is breached, which is the case with most SaaS offerings.

One must not however confuse SaaS with cloud. It's quite possible to get a robust infrastructure in the cloud by using two or more infrastructure providers and installing your own business software. That's why SugarCRM is infinitely preferrable to SalesForce. You are in control be it in the cloud or on your own infrastructure.

0
1

Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage

Dr Who

Re: Makes sense

I agree. It's certainly unlikely and it does sound too simple. But it fits. Each time they switched from their emergency site back to the full site the thing died, presumably because the missing cache caused a database overload. So they then switched to the emergency site for several hours, probably to restore the cache from a backup, meaning it wouldn't have to be rebuilt organically.

Fun as it is shooting in the dark, it would be rather nice for the Beeb's technicians to provide El Reg with a full explanation, so that we can all take away the learnings (you've no idea how much I hate that phrase but I'm sure they use it a lot at the BBC).

0
0
Dr Who

It would make sense that if the cache was wiped, the load on the database servers would suddenly shoot through the roof as every request would have to be served from the original metadata. The cache failure may therefore be the root cause of the problem, not a coincidental second problem.

11
0

Turing biopic with Cumberbatch, Knightley to premiere at London Film Festival

Dr Who

Re: Real portrayl?

Could have been worse. They might have gone the whole hog and cast Johnny Depp as Turing. Mind you, code breaking is probably about as close to swashbuckling pirate activity as boffinry gets.

0
0

Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land

Dr Who

Re: The exact location of Rockall

It's easy to find. It's right in the middle of Fuckall.

6
0

NASDAQ IT security spend: $1bn. Finding mystery malware on its servers: Priceless

Dr Who

Logs

The most astonishing single thing here as that the server logs were unavailable. How can you do any kind of system administration, let alone security, without log files?

3
0

Man FOUND ON MOON denies lunar alien interface

Dr Who

You're a braver man than I Mr MacLeod. After 170 downvotes and rising on 3 posts a weaker spirit may have quit while he was behind.

I sort of see where you're coming from and you're right, we haven't found our next door planets teeming with life and we haven't had any radio signals from nearby starts, but that's a very small neighbourhood. The odds are very good indeed that in the whole universe there is other life somewhere. Probably lots of it in fact. This does not preclude the chance that Earth contains the only life in the universe, but that's a vanishingly small chance.

1
0

Doctor Who season eight scripts leak online

Dr Who

To use a famous quote from one of Capaldi's other legendary characters :

"If some cu*t can fu*k something up, that cu*t will pick the worst possible time to fu*king fu*k it up cause that cu*t's a cu*t."

10
0

Distributed Linux OS wizards CoreOS release first commercial product

Dr Who

Having skimmed their website, at first glance this looks to be very nice stuff. In many ways it helps address the main criticism of running your stuff on cloudy infrastructure, namely the dependence on a single third party whose operations a opaque. You can run CoreOS instances all over the place, say Amazon, Rackspace, Google, and on your own hardware in your own DC and use the whole lot as a single cluster. With Docker in the mix, I'd say this is well worth keeping an eye on.

4
0

Who needs a ride-on mower when a ROBOT will cut your grass

Dr Who

Re: What happened to GAGA

If you ask the guys at Indego, they'll tell you that theirs is a lot less bovver than a hover.

1
1

Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

Dr Who

That's just utter bo**ocks. This has nothing to do with the cloud and everything to do with truly dreadful system administration. It could just as well have happened in a private data centre as on a cloud service. Cloud services may have their faults, but this is categorically not an example of one of them.

8
22

London Tech Week: All for the luvvies and the joke's on you, taxpayers

Dr Who

The next big thing

Is unknowable and is more likely to be born in a garage in Milton Keynes than in a creative co-working space in Shoreditch.

I cannot however argue with those who are lapping up the gravy. I would. It's those who are pouring it that are to blame.

17
0

Boris: Look on 'London's digital tentacles', ye mighty, and despair!

Dr Who

Research has found

That a new born gnat grows at a faster rate than a full grown elephant.

7
0

Psst. We've got 400Gb/s Ethernet working - but don't tell anyone

Dr Who

Re: First modem

9600 baud (I know that doesn't exactly match bits per second). I missed a 1024 out, so it's actually 44,739,243 times faster than my first modem. I think.

3
0
Dr Who

If my sums are right then that's about 43690.67 times faster than my first modem. Blimey. Is my life 43690.67 times better for this technology though? Probably not.

2
0

NASA beams vid from space via laser

Dr Who

My thoughts exactly. Looks more like a pretty untalented unenthusiastic bloke with a copy of Photoshop's impression than an artist's impression to me.

1
0

Feds hunt 30-year-old alleged to be lord of Gameover botnet

Dr Who

What's all this two weeks business? You've either got an infected machine, in which case you need to clean it up asap, or you haven't in which case you don't need to clean it up.

Nothing has changed in terms of the measures a sensible end user should be taking to protect themselves against these and other nasties. Run up to date software including anti-virus, don't open unknown attachments and the rest.

In fact, apart form shutting down a couple of command servers, which in the greater scheme of things is irrelevant, and convincing some idiot to headline their news with it, nothing at all has changed. There are nasty things out there and there always will be, so protect yourself.

I completely don't understand what this whole thing is about. What am I missing?

8
2

Office website HACKED: Passwords, addresses, phone numbers slurped

Dr Who

Re: Ubiquitous passwords

Never mind over the phone. What if you walked in to a physical shop (I know, SO last century) and before they allowed you to buy anything you had to give the the shop assistant your full name and email address. You just wouldn't do it.

8
0

NASA preps flying saucer ballocket flight

Dr Who

Inflatable balloon that goes like a rocket, but with high endurance, and delivers a large payload at the end of it all. Hmmm.

2
0

Suffering from IPO interruptus? Perhaps your Box is full of the same soap as the others

Dr Who

Build brand loyalty by developing trust, by communicating, and by providing exemplary customer service. People expect stuff to go wrong, it's how a company deals with problems that matters.

We use Rackspace over Amazon because their motto is Fanatical Support, and they mean it. In the ten years that we've been using them the odd thing has gone wrong of course, but the support has always been first class.

Don't pretend your rubber dog turd is better than the next guy's rubber dog turd. Instead, supply it with a smile and savour the whiff of success!

3
0

Amazon loads Docker app containerization into its cloud

Dr Who

If "the cloud" refers to virtualised computing environments, be they private, public or hybrid, then I am a fan.

Containerisation is an incredibly powerful tool for the development and delivery of applications in the virtualised world. Docker appears to have found a way of bringing containerisation into the mainstream. If you haven't looked at it yet, it is worth having a look. https://www.docker.io

1
0

AOL Mail locks down email servers to deal with spam tsunami

Dr Who

All the signs are that this is not simple spoofing

I've been getting spam from AOL users. But it's from people I know and the other addresses on the recipient list are to their genuine contacts. This means their account has been compromised in some way rather than straight forward (and far less serious) spoofing of their email address to send to random recipients.

1
0

Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED

Dr Who

If there's one thing the Mounties should know, it's no use shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

2
0

Puff on a hybrid – next thing you know, you're hooked on a public cloud

Dr Who

Re: Security? Licenses?

It all boils down to trust. The biggest issue of trust for a company is the level of trust it puts in its employees. Far and away the greatest cause of data security breaches is accidental or deliberate action by an employee.

One example is the use of unencrypted emails as the file sharing mechanism of choice both within a company and with the company's customers, suppliers and partners. It doesn't really matter where your email service is or how tightly its security is locked down. Sensitve data is routinely launched in the clear, into the wild.

Now add BYOD smartphones and tablets and things get even more interesting.

A company with substantial in house systems puts a particularly high level trust in its IT administrators, who can, and regularly do, make mistakes, or worse, deliberately sabbotage systems or discolse sensitive data. Hell hath no fury like a sysadmin sacked.

Where a company's systems physically reside, other than the obvious data protection constraints on geophraphic location, is in many ways the least of its data security worries. In this respect, the use of an enterprise class cloud service is at least as good as using your own data centre.

0
0

The cloud awaits... but is your enterprise ready for the jump?

Dr Who

Re: The dinosaurs live

I too have worked through (most) of those phases and qualify as a dinosaur myself. We've still got mainframes, UNIX systems, Windows servers and very probably DEC VAXs (although I haven't seen one in a while) and will have for a long time to come. What experience has taught me is that a great many new things have a lot of value as an additional tool, not a replacement one. I see farms of virtual machines, both in their private and public forms (Infrastructure, Platform and Software as a service) as pretty awesome things to add to my armoury.

Risk assessment, DR planning, performance management and the rest of it are perennial problems whatever mix of platforms you choose, and it is in these areas that experience counts most of all. You have known the heart stopping bowel moving panic and you have learned from it!

0
0
Dr Who

The dinosaurs live

Move my in house applications from a mainframe to a VAX ... never!

Move my in house applications from a VAX to a UNIX box ... never!

Move from terminals to PCs ... never!

Move my in house applications from a UNIX box to a Windows server ... never!

Move my in house applications from my network to the cloud ... never!

Worried about a 2e2 (who were more of a traditional outsourcer than a cloud provider) then use two providers and replicate your stuff.

Worried about trust? Well, as a sysadmin someone is trusting you. Why are you trustworthy? What SLA do you personally give to your company? Are you close to a breakdown? If you don't perform, how many years salary do you have to pay back to your business?

There is nothing new in the cloud. It's all simply about realising the economies and flexibility of working at scale.

1
5

First pics: Comet-chaser Rosetta hurtles towards icy prey, camera in hand

Dr Who

Re: Science is amazing

I take it you didn't pull.

0
0

What have Cherie Blair, Jonathan Porritt and El Reg's mobile desk got in common?

Dr Who

Jonathan Porritt once gave a lecture at my school which he opened with something along the lines of "I expect you think that we greens are all a bunch of woolly hatted lentil stirrers". In the intervening years (of which there are far too many), apart from not actually wearing a woolly hat or publicly stirring lentils, he has done little to convince me that he is not.

6
0

Punch and Judy face Blofeld in LOHAN doomsday box test

Dr Who

"in the event the doomsday box system goes titsup"

If the BRASTRAP can go titsup, then there must also be a system component called JOCKSTRAP to allow for the inevitable cockups.

8
0

Page:

Forums