* Posts by Vic

5256 posts • joined 7 Dec 2007

Thunder struck: Apple kills off display line

Vic
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Re: I'm with Sanditz, there.

Sony (who call it iLink... go figure)

It was worse than that.

I was a Sony employee at the time. Word came down from On High that it was to be called i.Link (including the dot) and nothing else - we were not permitted to let on to the world at large that it was 1394.

I had to write a rebuttal to a ZDNet article years ago that claimed i.Link was a new audio codec - they seemed to have become confused about i.Link and ATRAC. I had to word it very carefully - emphasising that it was a network, not a codec, but without mentioning FireWire anywhere in my piece :-)

Vic.

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Meet the 1,000 core chip that can be powered by an AA battery

Vic
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Re: Sounds like a transputer

It didn't take off at the time

It did take off at the time - many units were sold.

And even after the Transputer name ceased to be used, the cores were still selling - as the ST20, which powers a significant portion[1] of the digital TV decoder market.

Disclosure: I used to work there...

Vic.

[1] At one point, the ST20 had almost 100% of the European decoder market. But then the competition came along :-)

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Snoopers' Charter 'goes too far' says retired Met assistant commish

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Unfortunately for the Lib Dems, they were blamed for the unpopular Tory policies

No, I don't think so.

They made a personal pledge before the coalition. They then did a complete 180 and ignored that pledge. And when called on it, they apologised - not for breaking their word, but for making the pledge in the first place.

Tuition fees was quite an important policy for many of us - but more important was the breach in faith that occurred as soon as they got a hint of power.

Vic.

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Watch as SpaceX's latest Falcon rocket burns then crashes

Vic
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I mean reliable and repeatable right, not right every now and then by accident

These geostationary launches are unlikely ever to be repeatedly reusable - they are working on the very limit of fuel availability. Expect crashes on return.

Getting the payloaaad aloft is the main goal; getting the first stage back is profit...

Vic.

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UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

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Re: Born out by experience

there simply aren't enough good developers available.

There are loads of good developers available.

That their CVs aren't getting to your desk implies at least one of the following :-

  • Your positions are not sufficiently appealing as advertised.
  • Your filtering mechanism is discarding the CVs you want and passing the ones you don't.

The latter does seem to correlate rather strongly with using recruitment agencies...

Vic.

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Laser probers sniff more gravitational waves from mega black hole smash

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Re: Why LIGO Is a Scam

Twat.

Vic.

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Crims set up fake companies to hoard and sell IPv4 addresses

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Re: Irony

sign up for free with Hurricane Electric or SixXS and get yourself a free /64 to play with - followed by the free /48 so you can play with address layout / VLAN's in IPv6.

SixXS is no longer allocating subnets. There was a stroppy email about it a few weeks back - it's an attmept to force people to badger their ISPs to support IPv6 natively.

El Reg should have done the IPv6 change long ago

I'd rather El Reg concentrate on getting HTTPS working...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: IP addresses CAN be scarce...

But it would also be nice if some networks which use huge ranges of public IPs could implement some NAT and make better use of smaller address space.

But that's not going to happen.

I used to work for a large networking company. We had vast gobs of IPv4 space. Internal PCs all had non-reserved IP addresses - I almost wrote "globally routable", except they weren't; they were all firewalled at the perimeter. So there we wre, consuming all that address space without actually using it for accessing the Internet at large.

Of course, some of us acted up about this, suggesting we move everyone onto reserved space and NATting at the perimeter - which was essentially the model we were using anyway. But that would mean change, and change means cost, and the beancounters said no.

And therein lies the problem: there is no penalty for these companies to hang on to all that address space, and there is a cost to "doing the right thing", so until and unless we can make it a shameful act to keep it, that's what will happen.

Vic.

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Microsoft releases open source bug-bomb in the rambling house of C

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Re: Haven't we been here before?

just not clear what is really "new" here

It's got a new hat </smithers>

Vic.

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Apple starts clock on HTTPS app rule

Vic
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Re: HTTPS requires domain names, not IP addresses

At least this gets rid of the problem of apps sending encrypted or obfuscated data to unknown IP addresses

Tell me you're not serious...

Vic.

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Sneaky brown dwarf gives us a bright flash and astroboffins are confused

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That's no star...

...It's a navigation beacon...

Vic.

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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Vic
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Re: Safe spaces for vapers needed

Your life should end with whatever celebration you can still enjoy

Some years ago, a mate of mone was on a terminal ward.

The guys there decided it would be a laugh to modify their drugs charts - e.g. adding "Gin and Tonic". After all, what could they do to them?>

The medical staff saw the funny side, and these chaps all got their bevvies. I've no idea who paid for it...

VIc.

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Re: Idiots in charge of drugs regulation.

Never understood why MDMA and Cannabis are illegal rather than controlled and taxed.

MDMA is illegal primarily because it came along at a time when governments wanted to ban all narcotics.

The criminalisation of cannabis is much more interesting; there's a good write-up here. TL;DR: the Turks and Egyptians told tall tales about how dreadful it was, and it should be banned (coincidentally bringing the rest of the world into their historic Islamic beliefs on the matter), and the USA just wanted to ban everything, with WIlliam Randolph Hearst in particular likely to lose out financially if hemp pulp toook over from his wood pulp. And he ran newspapers...

Vic.

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Re: Idiots in charge of drugs regulation.

I'm not a MDMA user, but I don't understand why it's a class A drug

The problem with MDMA and its ilk are that they are essentialy unknown substances; clinical trials have not occurred.

That doesn't mean that they are dangerous - indeed, empirical evidence would suggest that they are fairly safe drugs. But the problem is that we don't actually know yet - and we won't until someone cuts through the political posturing and gets round to testing them objectively.

Vic.

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Re: rubbish

crack a window open a quarter inch, exhale towards it

I saw a massive cloud come from a car in another lane the other day. Initially, I thought the head gasket must have let go spectacularly...

Vic.

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Orlando shootings bring Facebook's safety check to US soil

Vic
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Re: Guns don't kill people....

He could have just as easily blocked the exits and set the joint on fire.

If he'd set a joint on fire, he'd probably have been far too mellowed-out to harm anyone...

Vic.

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In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning

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Re: "revenue from any taxes levied...

Hunger does not equal low blood sugar levels;

OK, here's a claim for which I can't be arsed to provide any substantiation, but I'm sure a bit of research can back it up.

Most people don't drink enough liquids. And they get thirsty as a result. And they cannot distinguish that feeling from "hungry"[1], so they eat food.

So when a fat person starts talking about "water retention", that's actually exactly what it isn't.

Vic.

[1] Cetaceans suffer this far more than humans; they need a fresh-water supply despite, for most of them, spending their lives in seawater. Thus their entire water supply is obtained through their food, and they have no distinction whatsoever between "hungry" and "thirsty". Playing a hose into a dolphin's mouth at a dolphinarium - whilst potentially quite endearing - is actually messing with their diet...

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Vic
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If we're taxing things just because they cause people to become a burden on the health care systems, then we should also be taxing sporting goods

I read somewhere[1] that parachute jumps cause sufficient injury that, on average, each charity jump in support of the NHS actually costs them money...

Vic.

[1] Might have been here - I forget these things...

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Re: increasing the proportion of gin

The correct proportion of G to T required to make this shite drinkable was 1:1.

I've started paying a little more for my gin of late. With the better stuff, I find that the correct ration of G to T is 1:0.

This is not something I would recommend - it gets expensive :-)

Vic.

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Re: Aspartame

Aspartame has it's downsides.

All sweeteners do.

A guy over here was hospitalised no so long ago after snorting half a gramme of Sweet 'N' Low. Apparently, he thought it was Diet Coke...

Vic.

[ Yes, that is a Bob Monkhouse joke. He really was quite funny. ]

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Vic
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Re: "revenue from any taxes levied...

Also, they may have to avoid allowing their blood sugar to drop far enough to make them sleepy when they are at work or at other times for other reasons

Refined sugar - including sugary drinks - is an astonishingly bad way to do that.

The blood sugar level goes up rapidly, an so the pancreas goes into overdrive trying to control it. And then the sugar runs out.

We're not really evolved for that - so it takes a while for the insulin production to drop off. But as there is no new sugar coming into the system, that means the blood sugar level crashes...

Starchy foods are the way to raise the blood sugar level - and they're generally cheaper than sugary foods to boot. They just don't always taste as interesting.

Vic.

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Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

Vic
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Joke

Re: Eh? - Nothing good can come of this?

I suspect there will be many more than 1,850 unfortunate profiles looking for new jobs this time.

Well there you go, then - guaranteed growth...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Medusa Was A Mere Dilettante

"...and then sells them off for the price of Carthage."

... Post delendum, natch.

Vic.

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"Hey, we use MS products to INTERROGATE THE DETAILS OF YOUR WORK AND EMPLOYER'S IP"

Really?

Where would they find that, then?

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: The day I'll delete my account...

A close friend of mine died 5 years ago, she still shows up on "people you might know" offers from LinkedIn.

An ex-girlfriend of mine had her profile updated about a week after she died. That ... troubled me.

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Goodbye Salesfarce

With their biggest and fastest growing competitor now in control of the world's largest and most up to date professional CRM platform

I always thought I was a sarcastic bugger, but from time to time, I get given a masterclass in the subject...

Well done!

Vic.

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Re: Double-yew-tee-eff

Looking forward to the $22B writedown in 2020.

If it follows the Nokia pattern, it'll be a $32B writedown...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Pretty obvious, no ?

or rather what people are posting on LinkedIn as "hot skills"

I've got a number of endorsements for the things I do - the vast majority from people who've never seen me do those things. I've even got an endorsement for something I can't do (from several different people).

Yep - LinkedIn is a real goldmine of valuable information...

Vic.

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Re: Eh?

In addition, they will most likely attempt to move everyone into "professional" and so try to charge you for the fact that you are supplying personal data

Whilst I hesitate to describe LinkedIn as a "golden goose", that's certainly how you go about strangling it...

Vic.

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Re: Eh?

I find it a very valuable professional resource.

Yeah, I'm looking for a job too :-)

I see my LI email address being spammed to high heaven

sed -i -e "s/^linkedin.*//" /etc/aliases

You're welcome.

Vic.

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Whitman deletes another chapter in HP history as CSC and ES borg

Vic
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Re: this may actually be useful in a cloud-component world

In a world where you have no integration but components on the cloud plugged together by people who can manage projects and understand business and technology.

This world does not exist - and never will.

There's always integration - it's just not always as abvious in some cases. And if it's not obvioous, guess what happens? And when it gets forgotten, guess what happens?

Vic.

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Queen's birthday honours shower knighthoods and gongs on tech's finest

Vic
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can I even get one at all as a non-Brit?

Yes, but there are restrictions on what you can do with it.

For example. Bob Geldof was given a KBE - which, if he were British, would make him Sir Bob. But as he is an Irish cirtizen, it doesn't; he is Bob Geldof KBE. Not that that stops anyone calling him "Sir Bob", of course...

Vic.

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British Airways slaps 'at risk' sticker on nearly half its app delivery dept

Vic
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Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

Which raises the question why you spent money on a smartphone?

Because it does a whole load of things that I want to use from time to time.

And when I choose to do those things - I've got battery left to do so, because I haven't wasted it all doing numpty nonsense that didn't interest me.

Simple, huh?

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: I've used the BA boarding pass app

i've never known batteries to last a whole day...

I typically[1] get 8-12 days from a charge.

My other half - who has the same model of phone - gets less than a day.

She runs the Farcebook app - but I'm sure that's entirely unrelated.

Vic.

[1] Unless I use GPS, which eats the battery in a few hours :-(

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NHS e-prescription service goes TITSUP: Problems since Monday

Vic
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Re: Patient? What patient?

Any ideas on how that could be fixed??? (perhaps BOFH style?)

My solutions always involve diesel...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Patient? What patient?

here does also appear to be a significant problem with "assuming that all will go well, all the time".

That's a standard beginners' programming error; writing the straight-through case without bothering to think about all the ways it could fail.

The issue, as ever, is that they've put too many crap coders onto the job; any experienced hands looking to complete the job will be ignored (usually dismissed as "being negative").

And it's not going to change, becuase those with the power to change have become accustomed to doing everything open-loop, and experience insufficient pain when it all goes wrong...

Vic.

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Chinese space station 'out of control', will do best firework impression

Vic
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Re: Maybe...

"Gravity"? The movie

Yeah, that went pretty wrong...

Vic.

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Government regulation will clip coders' wings, says Bruce Schneier

Vic
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Re: Management

Often the real problem is the various PHBs deciding what constitute good code.

s/deciding/caring/

Vic.

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Re: I want a dumb house.

It could pass half a life silent, and when a passing Blue-tooth 'sucking' device Agent pass by....

With respect, do you think it's about time you started posting in your first language?

We might stand a better chance of undestanding...

Vic.

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Did you know there's a mega cybercrime backlog in Ireland? Now you do

Vic
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Re: work with the FBI

NTSB is the exception. So far as I can tell they are the only federal agency with an agenda. Which is why they are some times asked to help in other crashes in other countries.

This is not true - for aviation, at any rate. I believe other transportation systems use very similar rules

The rules under which the accident investigation unit of any country can be involved in any investigation are laid down in Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Essentially, all countries have the right to be involved in an investigation if any significant part of the aircraft is built, used, or registered within their territory.

I was at the AAIB in Farnborough on Wednesday. They told us about an Russian crash they had investigated - because the aircraft was registered in British Overseas Territories. The pilot had a hooky licence - and the subsequent Russian investigation turned up an additional 81 such licences...

Vic.

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Brexit threatens Cornish pasty's racial purity

Vic
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Re: Cocoon

'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' begins with the destruction of the earth by a mindless bureaucracy undertaking a useless project

...Except it doesn't.

Read a little further, and you find out that it's actually a corrupt trade protection lobby that's set up the project to masquerade as useless...

Vic.

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Vic
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Re: Champagne Cider - what about Babycham?

There must be other old-fart commentards who remember it

I certainly remember Babycham - but I don't remember it being "sophistoes" drinking it...

Vic.

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Flytenow's other wing clipped: second appeal fails

Vic
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Re: Hypocrisy

In the US, that was legal, at least back when I was studying.

I'd double-check that, because :-

This is a link that describes FAA cost-sharing in the same way I was taught it:

From your link:

The regulation says that a private pilot may not pay less than the pro rata share of the operating expenses of a flight with passengers, provided the expenses involve only fuel, oil, airport expenditures, or rental fees. Pro rata means to divide or share proportionately. So, if you’re carrying three passengers then you, as the pilot, are obliged to pay at least 25 percent of the allowable expenses. If you pay less than 25 percent and the FAA finds out, they could assert that you are piloting an aircraft for compensation or hire, and pursue action against your certificate.

So - from the link you posted - having someone else pay all the hire & fuel fees for the aircraft is explicitly precluded; it is commercial activity and outwith the remit of the PPL.

I suspect the link does indeed state what you learnt whilst training - it says the same as I was taught. And it backs up my previous post...

Vic.

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RIP ROP: Intel's cunning plot to kill stack-hopping exploits at CPU level

Vic
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Re: Silver Bullet

Heap overrun exploits.

You've mentioned this a couple of times; I still don't see the relevance.

To overwrite the PC, you still need to get some data into an area that will be loaded into PC - and that's the return address on the stack. If you should manage to exploit a heap overflow to manipulate the return address on the stack, that address will not match the shadow stack when the RET is executed - so the task will be stopped before it gets to your code. And if you attempt to use that exploit to manipulate the shadow stack, that will generate its own exception, killing the exploit.

Now there might well be issue as yet unrealised in this proposal - but a simple heap exploit wouldn't appear to be it.

Vic.

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Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image. Repeat. Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image

Vic
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Re: M$ Loves (non-GPL) Open Source, Because They Hate to Share

From Windows 2000, on M$ has stole non-GPL source code from the world. The first *I* noticed was the TCP/IP stack win Win2k, as well as tons of other binaries. Just go into any C:\Windows\system32\ dir and do a "findstr 'Berkeley' "

That's not stealing. That's what the BSD licence allows you to do. BSD developers specifically promote this behaviour - it's the root of all the "GPL vs. BSD licence" arguments.

Vic.

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Sophos U-turns on lack of .bat file blocking after El Reg intervenes

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Re: "An executable file type"

Which is how you can suborn unix servers by replacing binary stuff in /bin and /sbin with malicious kiddie scripts.

If you can replace the executables in /bin and /sbin, you've already got full control over that box.

but who routinely checks the stuff in /bin to see if the content has changed against some baseline?

Many of us. It's trivially easy to get a full check automatically using find /bin -exec rpm -qf {} \; | sort | uniq | xargs rpm -V . That sort of thing can even be scripted if it's considered important...

Vic.

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Microsoft's BITS file transfer tool fooled into malware distribution

Vic
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Re: BITS is not "fooled"

Just get into the habit of setting up PXE-based WDS or SCCM and standardised images so you can just wipe out a machine with F12 and a password, and put it back to a known-good state

That's all very well if you're in a sufficiently-organised situation, but that's not always the case.

I frequently used to get called out to fix machines which were running LOB software. There were no install disks. There were no licence keys. Backups? You're having a laugh. So nuking it from orbit simply wasn't an option - they would have been unable to carry on working.

Now it's all too easy to say that they brought it on themselves, etc. But that doesn't get the machine running again, and that's all they cared about. They'd accept the discussion afterwards about how to prevent such a problem in the future - but nothing ever sank in.

I had hoped my (substantial) charges for a dung-out would be sufficient motivation to get things on an even keel later - this proved to be a forlorn hope.

Vic.

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Your comms metadata is super-revealing but the law doesn't protect it

Vic
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Re: Everybody loves the consititon except for this or that amendment

In that case the 2nd amendment must also be interpreted literally. The right to keep and bear arms, thermonuclear or otherwise, shall not be infringed

If we're being literal, in order to bear arms, you've got to be able to lift them...

Vic.

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Vic
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Re: Meanwhile ...

Coral bleaches when the water it’s in is too warm for too long

This is misleading; temperatire is not the only thing that causes coral bleaching.

A mate of mine was amongst the first people to dive Bikini Atoll when it started to open up. This is an interesting place - the devastation of the nuclear tests is long past, but it has been protected from local human activity ever since. Thus the water temperatures are much as you would expect from the latitude, but the pollution level is very much lower.

When the Atoll was opened up, there was almost no coral bleaching whatsoever, despite the raised temperatures. The conclusion drawn was that coral bleaching is also caused by local polllution, and this effect may well be far more significant than that of raised temperature (as it is at Bikini).

Vic.

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