* Posts by Nick Ryan

1773 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

'I bet Russian hackers weren't expecting their target to suck so epically hard as this'

Nick Ryan
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Re: endianness @#define

Somehow or other I'd never actually noticed the disparity in L-R languages compared to the (arabic?) number layout system (the common alternative Roman numbering system available at the time [AFAIK] was just a work of art of almost purposeful obfuscation with an intention to be useless). It would genuinely make more sense if one hundred and twenty three were represented 321 (and read as three twenty hundred).

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Yes, but....

Interesting trick (always handy), but it does depend on the language and the handling of actual NULL values. In poxy MS T-SQL it'll wind up as a nasty combination of RTRIM(), LTRIM() and NULLIF() which always leaves a horrible taste in the mouth. I could take the combination of NULLIF() and a TRIM() but the lack of a proper TRIM() (i.e. both start and end of a string) always feels bloody annoying. Almost purposefully so. But then n/var/char values are the bastard end of useful and performant in MS-SQL anyway... best compared to glaciers.

As for Access, I guess so - past a certain version when MS pillaged the FoxPro database format, before which MS-Access was a total train wreck of a mock database, it became at the very least stable and useful for small projects. However in most instances rather than leaving (end) users to implement a database in MS-Access I've always found it considerably more efficient to build, or have built, a proper database system even if it's still in MS-Access but at the very least where the data and interface are separated into different files but usually in something else, again the lowest form of usefulness being an MS-Access front end to an MS-SQL database. On the other hand, it's considerably better than shared spreadsheets that have been bastardised into pretending that they're databases. These still underpin far too many companies and as much as I hate to promote it, even MS-SharePoint is better than this situation. However it's worth bearing in mind that the psychiatrist fees that substantially add to the overall cost of any MS-SharePoint development project should be compared to the legal costs defending assault and battery charges typically incurred when "training" users not to use shared MS-Excel "databases".

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Yes, but....

My guess here would be that the set of values comes from somewhere else that isn't too clever at nulling strings of whitespace......maybe written by the same person.....?

That'll be anything that has any form of implementation descending from Microsoft Access (which includes the horrible mess of ODBC) where depending on various arcane client settings (as in as a developer you couldn't really guarantee the settings) you may receive a NULL, an empty string or a string consisting of a single space when expecting a NULL.

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Continuous Lifecycle Early Bird: Less than seven days left

Nick Ryan
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Am I the only bored of these adverts. Er, advertorials. ???

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What we all really need is an SD card for our cars. Thanks, SanDisk

Nick Ryan
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Re: Options for idiots

Vehicles are horribly noisy electical environments - partly from just the power feed but also from EMF which interacts with anything vaguely antenna like such as wires and circuits...

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Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

Nick Ryan
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Re: Coding by geniuses

I first encountered this when working on an industrial placement as part of my Uni course.I was given the task to take over code from the resident genius. His code was concise, fast and didn't work.

It was so concise there were often no, or few validation checks with error messages. If something didn't work it was often ignored, and this "something" could have been any one of a dozen things in a single compound logic statement. Every bit of code worked like this, therefore when something didn't work it was next to impossible to work out why.

Needless to say I simplified things and logged every damn error message so we knew exactly wasn't working, where and when which gave us a start as to why.

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Is this the last ever Lumia?

Nick Ryan
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Typical Microsoft marketing. Lumia => Surface. Take a known and established that's almost well thought of... and replace it with something else that's either unknown or is known but has a poor reputation among those that know it.

They'll be replacing Skype with Lync or Hotmail with live/outlook.com next...

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Computer Science grads still finding it hard to get a job

Nick Ryan
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Re: The point is not to match skills: It's attitude

I've had plenty of experience on both sides of the interview process, however what is usually genuinely important can be summed up something like this:

When you're interviewing for a position, your primary concern is to ensure that the candidate's personality is a match for the company and the team. Knowledge and skills can be taught, attitude can't.

Interviewing for attitude isn't as easy as interviewing for skills but it can be done and when you're a candidate it's often your responsibility to "sell" your attitude.

The problem with (IT) graduates is that they are in a wide, and widening, industry and the technology they'll have been taught at University will often not match what an employer requires. This isn't helped when many employers are ludicrously specific on what skills they "require" and while this is reasonable to help filter out the sometimes deluge of applications, being too specific will reduce the available candidates with exact matches down to zero.

The next problem is what graduates are taught and how. Pre-graduate education is currently largely mired in the process of being taught to pass an exam which doesn't give the Universities much to work with and is a perpetual gripe for them. Many Professors will complain that the first year of University is now wasted having to teach students how to learn and often to teach the basics of the subject they managed to pass exams for. Universities have previously been under an enormous amount of criticism for not teaching using environments and packages that are in common use in industry, their reaction to this has generally been either to switch to more modern environments (which given that most employers are not cutting edge isn't a problem) or to switch to cutting edge environments that aren't industry proven.

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Flash flushed as Google orders almost all ads to adopt HTML5

Nick Ryan
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Re: The root of the problem?

As much as I like to hate Windows (in all of its incarnations), I agree with Jess above that comparing it to Flash is a trifle unfair.

Microsoft, to give them their due for once, have managed to cut out a lot of crap from Windows 10. That's not to say that it's all gone, or they haven't replaced it with other crap... FFS - Candy Crush, Minecraft, everythijg Xbox and zune and a host of other shit that you'd only expect on a shovelware inflicted phone on Windows Enterprise by default. Not that you might not want these apps, but they really shouldn't be inflicted, repeatedly, on Professional or Enterprise versions of an OS. However a pile of the legacy nonsense is no longer there and while I've personally found this annoying, crappy win32 code that relied on equally crappy win16 code really does deserve to die (looking at you Corel).

The Win10 interface is somewhat less retarded that Win8 and it breaks a few less of the fundamentals of good UI design. It's not to say that it's great, often the only way to do something useful it to find the underlying Win7/Vista/XP/2000 dialog and set the options there. However compared to the "mystery meat" navigation and the enforced brain fuck disjoint of Metro vs Desktop it's pretty much wonderful.

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Virgin Media spoof email mystery: Customers take to Facebook

Nick Ryan
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Re: Reliance on broadband provider for email

I've just logged into my Virgin email account. Went past some crap about "if you don't login regularly we might disable your account" (which obviously wasn't being applied to my account) and admired the long stream of "important" messages from Virgin Media. All unread. Apparently I can upgrade my Internet speed from 150Mb to 100Mb, although they forgot to mention "up-to" and the small points that the upload speed will still suck balls and if you attempt to download something during "peak time" (i.e. anytime until 8pm at night) your entire account will be throttled to buggery.

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What’s new in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016?

Nick Ryan
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The registry, while having some advantages, is one of the single most ill-conceived ideas that Microsoft vomitted out and embedded into the heart of Windows. I'll admit that some of the plus points such as search are reasonable but compared to the overall inefficiency, instability and unmanageability of the registry pale into comparison.

Can you imagine the deployment and management pain if IIS web applications stored their configuration in the registry instead of files such as web.config? Suddenly you move from files that can be version controlled and managed to storage in an amorphous blob registry file that when the operating system fails you can't (easily) recover from - and it's often a fair bet that when a system really goes down that something upleasant will have happened to the registry database file, if not the file structure itself but what passes for referential integrity.

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Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

Nick Ryan
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Re: disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7

I have the 2nd Gen Nexus 7 (Nexus 2013?). I was pretty happy when it received the latest updates, although I'm pretty sure that these are the last major updates it'll receive. It's still recognised as one of the best budget tablets even now.

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Five technologies you shouldn't bother looking out for in 2016

Nick Ryan
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@Yugguy

1. IoT will go mainstream

I don't know ANYONE who really gives a toss about smarting their house up. I know I don't.

It really depends on what you mean by smarting their house up, for example:

I'm quite happy having fitted a light above my front door with a sensor that automatically turns the light on when it's dark and motion is sensed - both the darkness threshold and sensitivity can be adjusted slightly which was a nice touch. In many ways this is "smarting my house up", what it lacks is any form of network connection (I don't give a rat's arse about an Internet connection, just connectivity of some form).

What I'd quite like is an automatic curtain opening and closing system. Smart enough so bedroom curtains are either only opened manually or at a specific (later) time in the day if they're not open already, but otherwise to open curtains based on sunrise and a configured fallback time of day. This level of smart is pretty much hopeless for locally managed devices (e.g. physical access with buttons and dials - you can image just how disgustingly awkward these would be to configure) , however being able to manage all of the devices using an intuituive interface would be useful. Again, I don't give a rat's arse about this being "Internet" enabled, local network controlled is just fine thanks...

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El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

Nick Ryan
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Re: Web of Death

They didn't mention vibrations... (could be visible)

Grab hold a robot and proceed to blast it with a variable range of vibration frequencies until you find the one that causes it the most problems. Then lock onto that one and turn up the power...

OK, there's the possibly downside that you come across a really well built robot or you shake your own robot to pieces, but, whatever!

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Acid.

Last I checked (which admittedly was a long time ago), tethered projectiles were acceptable. Unfortunately corrosives or other liquids weren't, nor were flame throwers (the house robots are built to different rules).

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Deadline

Thanks - I already spoke to them, and they said it kicks off in early March. That's why it's too late to get something together from scratch.

That's not an insurmountable problem. El Reg should just call on the services of Captain Cyborg, arm him with a variety of plastic spoons and perhaps a tooth-pick or two if we're feeling generous and drop him into the arena. Possibly from a great height?.

It's a win-win situation.

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HPE's London boozer dubbed the 'Hewlett You Inn?'

Nick Ryan
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You missed a bit regarding the 'instructions'. They should be in every language imaginable (except English of course), prefaced in as much legalise 'it's not out fault' boilerplate as possible and should fold out to at least a few square metres. The exact same 'instructions' (as in nothing instructional, just legal disclaimers) should be on a sealed CD that's also marked 'instructions'. Safe packaging of these is expected of course, along with picking and packing slips for each.

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'You're updated!' Drupal says, with fingers crossed behind back

Nick Ryan
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Lots of hate here...

And I understand the hate. However Drupal itself is very flexible and can be very good.

Unfortunately there are some serious problems, a lot stemming from the core developers who can often be politely termed "asshats" who in the past have been so blinkered and elitist that they didn't care for suggestions or improvements unless they came from within. This has improved but there's still far too much of it...

Documentation - the general response is "go read the source code". Erm, if I wanted to do that I wouldn't be looking for documentation would I? While there is some good documentation, unfortunately most of it is utterly appalling and you're left having to a global source search to find usage of the methods/functions and guess from there. And that's if the method/function is actually used in the source you have, or hasn't been obfuscated through the module system. Basically unless you're an expert in PHP then you'll find the documentation mostly useless but you'll be left admiring where all the CPU cycles have gone to perform very little of real benefit (Drupal 8 is an improvement on this front).

Without turning this into a rant, I've found that the best way to work with Drupal is:

1) Try to do everything "the Drupal way" - even if it's not quite the way you'd like to do it, it will save you a huge waste of time fighting it. Working out what "the Drupal way" is in a given situation is not always easy though given the pathetic documentation but often it does come with a lot of benefits.

2) Use as few modules as possible. It should be very obvious that the more modules you drop in the worse site performance will be but this doesn't stop some folk from doing this. As posted above, it's often that you find a module does 90% of what you need but lets you down on the other 10%. Sometimes this isn't a problem, others you may need to put some custom functionality in and a moderately experienced PHP developer shouldn't have a problem with this. This doesn't help hopeful end users though but in reality this isn't any difference to WorkPress modules except it's slightly easier to resolve with a PHP developer.

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Newspaper kills 'what was fake' column as pointless in internet age

Nick Ryan
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Re: MSM can Blame Themselves

Do these people not realize that this devalues everything that they publish?

No, because they are absolute morons(*). Any little extra bit of cash dredged in, no matter the source, is considered a "good thing". Very similar to the morons who think that having placing adverts on your own company's website is a good thing (unless that's the business you're in of course).

* Only outclassed on the level of being a moron by those that believe any of these "stories". Unfortunately repetition is a key part of brainwashing and the more that the gullible see these "stories" and see them repeated on other websites the more they believe them.

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Google chap bakes Amiga emulator into Chrome

Nick Ryan
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Re: Deuteros..

Same here, I loved the game.

However the biggest disappointment was the consistent crash at the end of the game when you completed it on the hard(est) game mode. Unfortunately like many games it involved learning the AI and countering it using and abusing it's actions and responses.

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Strict new EU data protection rules formally adopted by MEPs

Nick Ryan
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Re: Right to be forgotton

Government agencies are specifically excluded from some, or all, of the DPA. Nice try though.

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From Zero to hero: Why mini 'puter Oberon should grab Pi's crown

Nick Ryan
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Re: Meh Python

Modula-2: A fine example of idealist attempts at creating a programming language... a language that wound up either utterly useless or having to be hacked so it was capable of doing anything useful but was no longer the "pure/idealistic" vision that it started off as. One of the biggest stupidities was the insistence that single pass compilation was the only way forward and everything was nailed in place around this concept regardless of how this crippled code or code organisation.

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Nominet to hike price of UK web domains by 50%

Nick Ryan
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Re: Highway Bandits

Something like that. As far as I can remember all nominet have ever cared about is getting cash and it always felt like their other aim was to do as little as possible in return. They actively seemed to encourage domain squatters and coincidentally there were more than a few financial links between the execs at Nominet and various domain squatters. When they saw the cash cow of .co.uk domain sales tailing off, which it will naturally due to saturation, they unanimously decided to push more .uk domains onto the market effectively blackmailing organisations into buying them in addition to their .co.uk and/or .org.uk domain names. Nobody (sane) actually wanted the new domains, but that didn't matter.

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Plusnet ignores GCHQ, spits out plaintext passwords to customers

Nick Ryan
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Re: Not anymore...

That's a common ploy anywhere there's interactive chat. It goes along the lines of:

Perpetrator: Hey, this (chat) is really smart. It filters out your password. Mine is: ****** (manually typed asterisks)

Victim: Really, cool mine is CorrectHorseBatteryStaple

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Brit filmmaker plans 10hr+ Paint Drying epic

Nick Ryan
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Re: I hope it's a trilogy

Not forgetting all the other wonders of Blu-ray that are apparently very, very important for, well, on broad average nobody at all. So we can have multiple commentaries, different endings and different angles all of the same riveting storyline. Not forgetting the directors cut and the making of featurette as well.

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Y'know how airlines never explain delays? United's bug bounty works the same way

Nick Ryan
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Re: Poor sod.

That will happen only if his ticket doesn't accidentally get canceled or the flight is <ahem> overbooked and he gets bumped. I wouldn't even want to think about lost luggage.

How will he be able to tell if this happens if it's because of his reporting this bug or just business as normal for UA?

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Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!

Nick Ryan
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Re: Yahoo! blocks Adblock users

That and every iterarion of their "improved" webmail experience makes the entire thing more and more horrible to use. In general, everything Yahoo designed is User Unfriendly Software, effortless falling off the wrong end of every metric of usability, accessibility and just plain common sense.

While they claim to keep access to the old versions alive, in reality they just cripple the old version and effectively force users to switch to the "improved" new version because they have no choice.

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Shall we Drupal 8? Hint: it's not a verb, but the 8th version of Drupal

Nick Ryan
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Upgrading from any prior version of Drupal to Drupal 8 will cause serious sense of humour failures amongst everyone involved. Guaranteed. While the core Drupal development team are somewhat better than they were there's still an unpleasant ivory-tower syndrome there and if you can't mind read and predict the future then whatever you build, or have built, will not be easy to update. The more plain, vanilla your installation the easier it will be upgrade but for many situations I'd honestly consider just recreating the site than attempting an upgrade.

It's not that Drupal 8 isn't heading in the right direction, it's been steadily lagging more and more behind other CMSs such as wordpress when it comes to backend usability and ease of use but IMHO there's still a very long way to go. The underlying changes in Drupal 8 will make this transition rather easier and hopefully swifter.

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MetroPCS patches hole that opened 10 million user creds to plunder

Nick Ryan
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Re: Bet it was a lazy designed AJAX lookup

Agreed, it would be best to manage and control the data lookups. However from experience there are far too many clueless designers and developers out there that struggle with the basic mechanisms of providing the data and frankly have no comprehension of in depth security. If you don't build (good) security in from the very start it's likely to be a ball-ache to retro-fit and just as likely to be forgotten as "new stuff" usually takes priority.

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It's Gartner Magic Graph of Wonder time! And Google won't be happy

Nick Ryan
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It's usually easy to see how these are made up. It's all about finance. Generally whoever the report is favourable towards paid for the report.

Which unfortunately while good for the BS factor is poor on the random number generation front.

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Condi Rice, ICANN, and millions paid to lobby the US govt for total internet control

Nick Ryan
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Re: FIFA

Let's see what happen if we merge them with VW...

muhahahahahahaha

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Met makes fourth TalkTalk arrest, this time a London teen

Nick Ryan
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Re: Arresting the kids...

another "hang the gunmakers, not the shooters" supporter eh?

I read it that those responsible for the security of the personal data failed miserably in their responsibilities and therefore they should also be investigated in great detail and punished appropriately. Simply blaming the perpetrator, or perpetrators, is not acceptable as we don't live in a trusted, wholly open society therefore there is responsibility for the protection of the personal data that was provided in good faith and legally protected.

As it's traditional to include real-life metaphors (or is it similes? can never remember) - if you leave your front door wide open and somebody comes in the door and makes off with your property then you have a certain degree of responsibility. While it's true that it needed that somebody to come in, you made it easy through carelessness. Try arguing with your insurance company that it wasn't your fault your car was stolen if you left the keys in the ignition and the door open...

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Second UK teen suspect arrested over TalkTalk hack

Nick Ryan
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Re: Not that Middlesex exists any more

...and which county is London in? That's the most common balls up so many websites make. And this doesn't just affect London either.

Interestingly, the Post Office, does not treat county as part of a postal address and they haven't done so for quite a few years. This is partly down to simplification but also to avoid problems when county boundaries arbitrarily change. And yet many websites still insist on county for postal addresses...

Now if I could slap the tossers that insist that credit/debit card numbers must be entered without any spaces (because it's far too difficult to strip spaces out of a string of numbers of course) or the eejits who have month names instead of numbers for valid from and expiry dates on the same cards. Gah!

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Nick Ryan
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Re: The fly on the wall.

rogue engineers. There, fixed that for you. Ignoring any prior art by VW of course.

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Bacon can kill: Official

Nick Ryan
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Re: US anything Meat I agree

Chemicals, then?

Yup - generally speaking everything is a chemical. It does depends on your definition of "thing" though. The distinction between "natural" and "non-natural" is astonishingly vague. Table salt: dug out of ground = "man made and nasty", extracted from the sea "natural and nice" all the while being the same chemical. Yes, there are different trace elements and mined salt has more trace elements removed and often non-clumping additives added (which are generally better for you than the salt itself) but that's it.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Why single out bacon?

Also important not to confuse common American pork with meat. There are more chemicals and other nasties forced into American pigs than are even remotely sane. This youtube video shows are pretty sane report on it (there are a lot of nutjobs associated with the reporting of factory pig farming).

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Mostly Harmless: Google Project Zero man's verdict on Windows 10

Nick Ryan
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Re: re. "ultimate bug bear"

I understand that having a vertically facing camera on your head can get some interesting "guess what happened next" type of shots when those very nasty indeed bears drop on you.

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OMG Captain Skywalker, here comes AMD's new Merlin Falcon doing Warp 9 to the Tardis

Nick Ryan
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Re: Hmm

My thoughts as well. The spec as read here screams "all-in-one", "set top box" and "media centre" to me. Sometimes I really wonder about the marketing of AMD and Intel (who also seem to be utterly clueless about this segment).

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Post-pub schnellnosh neckfiller: Currywurst

Nick Ryan
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Thats where they pour vinegar on the chips ???

Of course. What do you think you're meant to do with vinegar... pickle things or something silly like that? ;-p

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Self-driving vehicles might be autonomous but insurance pay-outs probably won't be

Nick Ryan
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Re: Enjoy driving

I've never really understood why when driving you never(*) suffer from motion sickness. Doubtless it's something to do with concentrating.

* There's always an exception: I've felt motion sickness when driving a Renault Twingo (not sure which year / model). The most hateful, idiotically designed vomit wagon I've ever had the mis-pleasure to drive.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Hmm, air travel or autonomous vehicles

There is *always* a volunteer to take point.

They are otherwise known as your "crumple zone".

On a continued point: it is critical that if you drive a white, grey or silver vehicle that you must not, under any circumstances, turn your lights on when it's foggy. :-/

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Get out and walk

IANAL but my wife worked in the "interesting claims" department of a leading motor insurance company. If you leave the keys in a car and it's running then you are responsible for it. For example if you leave the engine running and (automatic) gear engaged and your dog jumps onto the accelerator, then the last driver is responsible for what happens next.

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Playmobil cops broadside for 'racist' pirate slave

Nick Ryan
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Re: Common Lego !!

Stick it on the white guy and have a giggle.

And much more apt. There were far more non-black (e.g. white) slaves than there were black slaves - call them "indentured servants" or whatever you want, they were still slaves. However that doesn't ring well with the popular culture that (evil) white people raided Africa and made away with black slaves. The fact that the European powers tended to buy the slaves from black Africans (i.e. they sold their own countrymen or enemies) or that black slaves were apparently treated better and were more valuable than white slaves because they were harder workers doesn't matter jack. There are also a lot of stories where the slave owners treated their slaves very well indeed, much better than is usually portrayed - discovering this kind of humanity makes for some good reading even if they make for appalling popular culture.

History. Sometimes it's quite interesting to read what actually happened and its comparison to popular or hollywood culture.

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Microsoft tool-crafter Idera buys database, app firm Embarcadero

Nick Ryan
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Re: Will Delphi survive?

They basically decided to "do an IBM". As in screw the core developers every which way they could and instead focus solely on "enterprise". While utterly failing to appreciate that the biggest reason their tools were in use in "enterprise" environments was because of the number of developers using them.

It also didn't help that various versions of the RAD Studio IDEs were so unstable that they were barely useable and their previous fixation with the aberration that is/was the BDE.

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BBC joins war against Flash, launches beta HTML5 iPlayer

Nick Ryan
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Re: About time...

And what makes you think that the various media players used by the browsers aren't full of different holes? Any good player will try and offload the decoding to the GPU and this means that privilege escalation is always possible.

There's no guarantee, of course, however the surface of attack is considerably smaller and rather importantly doesn't involve Adobe. When a plugin, e.g. one initially designed to provide nothing more than a simple augmentation of a website but extended mercilessly and thoughtlessly, has access to the entire client system and particularly when Adobe is involved any problem is much more likely to be serious compared to what's likely through a "simple" (hahaha) video decoder.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: About time...

Agreed. Finally.

I'll be very happy when I can use the BBC's websites using something other than a security hole propagation system.

I've had flash uninstalled for my main PC for a few years now and, partly thanks to initially Apple then others, there are steadily less and less websites that rely on Flash.

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Thousands of 'directly hackable' hospital devices exposed online

Nick Ryan
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Re: Nice to have confirmation of expectations

True. The intersting point as well is that many of the systems supplied into hospitals are/were designed as utility systems and are not expected to be connected to the Internet. Unfortunately the lure and convenience of network connectivity for devices to communicate is strong and therefore many of these devices had network connectivity patched in later. Again, not the most serious of issues when within a trusted network however as soon as even one node is the network is not trusted, the entire house of cards falls down.

There is also the very real point that these systems were sold to solve a problem, not sold as an ongoing maintenance burden for OSes to be continually updated, applications supported and defences put in place for changing connectivity. As such, many are "sell, install and forget" type systems.

For what it's worth, when I was in this industry one of the first things I did was insist that our systems (often private networks) were segregated from the wider network through a hardware firewall which only permitted specific communictions through. While this doesn't protect our internal network from the situation where an engineer introduces a virus to one of the systems, it does protect the wider network. Many thanks to MS and their virus deployment auto-run scheme which even if you turned the bastard off, still auto-ran unless you had XP SP3 installed. Gits. However our internal network was also safe from whatever unpleasant things happened elsewhere and given the state of much of what we saw, we were very happy to be segregated.

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'Miracle weight-loss' biz sued for trying to silence bad online reviews

Nick Ryan
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Re: When they show me their nobel prize

No need. Scumbag lying toads like this are advertising, and paying for their space, on hundreds of supposedly "reputable" websites.

The sheer anount of complete lying shite that is linked to on otherwise not entirely unreasonable websites is ludicrous. Think all the targetted lies of "5 tricks millionaires don't want you to know", "<local area person> makes <x>£ a week from this", "miracle slimming tricks that your doctor doesn't want you to know", "how to get the latest iDevice for only £1" and the slightly more benign but still outrageous, "you wouldn't believe what happened next in these holiday photos".

And the problem is, the more this shite is present and seen the more it is perceived as being "true".

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332M Kick Ass pirates get asses kicked by scareware ass-kickers

Nick Ryan
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If I were to partake in such underhand computer use such as accessing torrent sites, I'd use a minimal software Linux VM. Makes it pretty tough for windows executables to run when there are no windows libraries and makes a mockery of popup windows "errors".

A purely theoretical situation of course and there are plenty of legitimate uses for torrents.

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Ouch! Microsoft sues recycling firm over 70K stolen Office licenses

Nick Ryan
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Re: Customers may not be guitly...

The "Sales of Goods Act" is more correctly titled the "Sales of Goods and Services Act". However Microsoft are correct that computer software, as a licenced service, is not covered by the act as there is the technicality that the software itself is in the digital domain and therefore a copy of it is provided, without such a licence for the copy the customer would be in violation of copyright. (Note to the F.A.C.T. bullshitters: this would be a violation of copyright, never theft). So in some ways what you're really getting with software is a contract exempting you from copyright violation of the software.

On the other hand the provision of this software is a service itself and is therefore covered by the Sales of Goods and Services Act, with the details around how much this provision extends into the software and how much is the supply of the software. For example if the medium that a company such as Microsoft supply the copy of licenced software on is found to be faulty or deficient, this is definitely covered by the Act. However beyond this point it starts to get very messy on the legal front with activations, licencing servers, product support terminations and so on.

Anybody would have thought that the legal system hasn't noticed the birth of computers and is 50 years out of date...

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