* Posts by Kobus Botes

116 posts • joined 12 May 2008

Page:

Security firms team to take down rudimentary ransomware

Kobus Botes

..resort to rm -rf??

Wait, what??? Does it run on Linux now as well?

Or is this comment just in respect of the upcoming Windows 10 upgrade with BASH? But that just gets rid of BASH. (Although it would not altogether be a bad thing to get rid of WX, as far as I am concerned).

1
0

Microsoft's 3D Jedi phone explored

Kobus Botes
FAIL

Wave your hand and hope....

Yep. I thought it was funny when I recently saw a test drive of the newest S-class M-B (or was it the 7-series BMW?), that uses gestures to control the radio (to change the radio volume you twirl your index finger in the air clockwise or anti-clockwise).

I think it is silly to replace functional knobs that have been working excellently for many decades, with air-controls. In fact, it went silly when rotating knobs were replaced by buttons that you have to hold down in order to change volume or the frequency; it can take a long time to manually find a station, and the volume is almost always never exactly right. It is either too soft, or too loud at the next step up.

As far as that is concerned, I think the most usable radio is the one in my wife's VW Caddy; it is electronic, but has actual manually operated knobs that you can turn to change the volume or station, if need be.

20
0

Microsoft shifts Windows 7 and 8.1 fixes to 'rollup' bundles

Kobus Botes

Re: Time for a test, I think...

Just missed the Edit deadline...

...Spybot's Anti-Beacon...

Thanks for that one - it is currently running and has already found a couple I missed. It will be interesting to see what it would do with Windows 10 installs where I already spent a lot of time going through all the settings to block unwanted telemetry and adverts.

(I KNEW there must be a reason why I read the comments sections! Apart from the witty, sharp and funny comments, of course).

3
0
Kobus Botes
Boffin

Re: Time for a test, I think...

@Carl D

...Josh Mayfield's GWX Control Panel...

I just downloaded the latest version and installed it on my work machine and found that MS Security Essentials now flags it for analysis. The message reads

"We found some files we would like to analyze. Send them to Microsoft to help us improve our anti-virus and malware measures".

The question now is: will they mark it as acceptable or PUP (potentially unwanted program)?

I did not send it, by the way.

Regarding slow Win7 updates, WSUSOffline is your answer. It takes substantially less time to use, especially if combined with WPKG.

3
0

Sysadmin paid a month's salary for one day of nothing

Kobus Botes

Re: Y2K farce

...that peoples microwave ovens would start blowing...

You won't believe how many people were worried that their cars would not start on 1 January 2000! Most cars then had analogue clocks or, at best, a digital clock that was not connected to anything at all.

That was the type of fear-mongering that got big captions in large fonts in newspapers, that had many people in a tizz, worrying about Y2K.

0
0
Kobus Botes
Boffin

Re: Wow

We also tested everything in advance - the really old machines that could not be patched were replaced and the ones that could be fixed were fixed (I think it was a BIOS upgrade that needed to be run). I was on leave during that December and my boss and the PFY spent the night playing games until he was reasonably sure that nothing untoward would happen and then left to party.

The more interesting thing about that time happened in late October. The company that I worked for had recently merged with another company and IT had only just finished merging their operations. We were in two seperate buildings (across the street from each other). Anyway, in October a directive was sent out by Head Office that each branch had to procure, rent or otherwise obtain the following prior to 1 December:

A power generator capable of running the office, in case there was as total meltdown and the power utility could not provide power. The most important requirement was that all PC's and the server room must be operational.

Portable loos in case the municipality had a total meltdown and there were no water to flush the toilets (there were much gnashing of teeth in the press that automated systems would not be able to run in the absence of the expected power failures, or should their computerised systems fall over).

Tanks to store water - primarily to run the loos.

The local directors then called me in to get my take on that and to give them some guidance, as they had discovered that, IF they could get a suitable generator, it would cost almost their year's profit (supply and demand - the forward-thinking people having long ago secured what they needed at reasonable cost). Ditto for loos and water tanks.

So I said, let's look at this logically: what good would keeping the servers and PC's running do, in case of total meltdown? There would be no telecommunications, as the telco's back-up systems could only run for a limited time in any case. Furthermore, there was no guarantee that the entities we needed to communicate with, would have the capability to do so. So all we would be doing is generating power at huge cost to create Word documents and spreadsheets and store it locally. We have been doing that manually for donkey's years (wide-spread PC's only came into use late in the 80's, so most people still knew how to do it - in fact, there were a fair number of die-hards who still ran manual systems next to the computerised system, as they did not fully trust the new-fangled way of doing things) and could easily revert. Once the expected chaos has subsided, we could then just scan or copy everything, or type the hand-written documents if push came to shove.

We also did not need power for lighting (it being summer down here) and air-conditioning is really just a luxury that we can dispense with if needed.

As far as loos and water was concerned, I told them that I am sure all the valves could still be manually operated, so I do not foresee any interruptions there. As far as water was concerned, if there were no pumps to pump water into the reservoirs, having tanks on the premises would be redundant in any case, since there would be no water to fill the tanks to start with.

The end result was that a nice letter was sent back to HO, stating basically that they have discussed the matter and, given the possible scenario's, have decided to do none of the suggested steps, for the reasons I gave and the crippling financial burden were they to try and implement it.

And everybody was reasonably relaxed about the whole thing afterwards. Yes, there were plans made on how to handle total melt-down, and procedures circulated on how things would need to be done if everything was to be done manually again, but people were happily continuing as always.

That said: there is nowadays a lot of smirking about the non-event that Y2K turned out to be ( I suspect mostly by people who were not there at the time, or who did not know what had been done in order to avert problems), but that was only (as said by many in the know) because a lot of hard work and testing had been put in by a lot of people beforehand to make it so.

In some ways I think that they (we) had been too successful and did it too well, so that the general feeling was that a lot of unnecessary hype had been created.

3
0

Spaniard live streams 195km/h burn-up

Kobus Botes
Devil

Re: I found...

@Lee D.

BMW's mostly...

It used to be the case here in sunny South Africa as well (same aversion on my side), but a recent trip up-country made me reconsider, as it seems that those idiots have traded their B-M's in for Ford Rangers - mostly double cabs.

I vividly remember one incident near Kimberley, when we were caught up in a slowish train (doing about 100 in a 120 zone) and this idiot decided to overtake all of us sightless (he came from at least four vehicles behind me, with five in front, stuck behind two articulated trucks).

He saw his chance when the truck at the back started overtaking the one in front of him, so he probably thought that he would be protected. When he caught up with the truck doing the overtaking (which was still in the on-coming lane) he went onto the shoulder of the road to overtake said truck, only to have to sharply take an escape route on to the dirt shoulder in order to narrowly miss oncoming traffic that had already taken avoidance measures by going on to the hard shoulder to miss the truck.

How they all missed each other I do not know, as he blithely continued on his merry way, hardly lifting his foot off the accellerator.

It is quite scary seeing four vehicles abreast on a two-lane road, with the idiot overtaking four cars coming towards him, on their left sides! By that time we were already on the left shoulder, hoping to avoid the incumbent pile-up, which mercifully never materialised.

3
0

Database man flown to Hong Kong to install forgotten patch spends week in pub

Kobus Botes
Pint

Re: "...spent the next week languishing in the Excelsior Hotel..."

@JeffyPoooh

"...such an interesting place."*

My late father-in-law worked at the Post Office in the sixties and seventies in Cape Town. According to him one of his colleagues were sent to sort out a problem with the microwave link (telephone) in a little place called Garies, which really is in the middle of nowhere (-30.567357, 17.988452, if you are interested).

He drove out on a Sunday, so that he could get to work early on the Monday morning, and fixed the problem early on in the morning. Once he was done he called his boss to find out if there was not perhaps anything else to attend to, since he was already there in any case, so his boss told him to sit tight and monitor the original problem, to make sure that it was fixed.

A week later he called his boss to find out whether he should get back to the office, only to be told not to call again, but to stay there until his boss told him to come back.

Three weeks later, when his boss handed out pay-packets, he wanted to know whether anyone knew what had happened to this guy, only to be told that he was still propping up the bar and playing darts and pool on S&T. Seems that the boss had completely forgotten about recalling him.

* Unless you are a photographer, there really is not much else to do.

---------> We're having a braai, with me doing the honours!

11
0

Wi-Fi network named 'mobile detonation device' grounds plane

Kobus Botes
Black Helicopters

NSA Surveillance Unit #whatever...

is what I want (am going) to name my WiFi at home (haven't decided on the actual number yet). Have thought about doing it some time ago, but never could be bothered, but I need to sort out my network in any case.

Tinfoil hat needed though, to guard against ------->

(I wonder - do their tentacles reach into darkest Africa as well?).

6
1

US data suggests Windows 10 adoption in business is slowing

Kobus Botes
Big Brother

Re: Privacy & ..

@Rumble Jesus

"concern that the next out-of-control update "shoved at you" installs drivers and or updates that break the operation of needed equipment"

We see that regularly with Windows 7 lately (also 10) - especially with printer drivers. One would have thought that in 30+ years the printer driver problem would have been solved by now, but that is sadly not the case. Things were reasonably sane until a couple of months ago: where Windows did not have native drivers, we used drivers supplied by the manufacturers and everything was hunky dory.

But it seems that Microsoft have now decided to deem supplier drivers as PUP's (potentially unwanted programs), which need to be replaced by MS's own offerings. The problem we have is that the MS drivers do not play nice with Linux, with the result that print jobs sent from Linux servers just disappear into the void. You can see them fleetingly appear in the print queue, only to disappear without trace and the printer oblivious to the fact that a print job had just gone past. (I am talking about Epson - LX 300 and up to LX 350, as well as various models from Bixolon). The only cure is to uninstall the resident driver and reinstall the vendor-supplied driver to get things working again.

There is also no readily apparent rhyme or reason which machines will be targeted: a couple have had repeat changes, whilst others are still untouched.

5
0

Get lost, Windows 10 and Phone fans: No maps HERE on Microsoft's OS

Kobus Botes

Re: Without a decent mapping solution...

@ Captain DaFt

Bing search on Bing Blogs seems to be fubar - ANY search term returns "Not found" errors.

Map development seems to have halted or slowed down dramatically - most of the results are rather stale (2012?); in fact, the latest blog dates back to November 2015.

0
0

Aircraft now so automated pilots have forgotten how to fly

Kobus Botes

Re: ...how many landings are fully automatic...

@ Vociferous Time Waster

Depends on where in the world you are. Here where I live lack of vision and political will has over many years (and different governments) led to a serious deterioration in railways. Building a viable, efficient and cost-effective (not necessarily profitable, but the subsidies would be orders of magnitude less than the cost to the economy as a whole of having to transport most goods and people by road) will now be an extremely expensive and hence unpopular option. It would also take much longer than any politician would care to plan for.

3
0
Kobus Botes
Boffin

Re: ...how many landings are fully automatic...

Years ago (more than ten, at least) I was on a flight to Cape Town, landing in driving rain with a gusting cross-wind, in deep dusk. Having experienced a couple, let's say, "interesting" landings, I paid particular attention to how the pilot was handling the plane. There were some very nervous passengers around me and flight attendants were going up and down the aisles reassuring people that they need not worry.

In the event the landing was one of the smoothest I have experienced, as if there was no wind at all.

I ws mightily impressed by his skill and passengers broke out in spontaneous applause and cheering all around me. When the noise abated, the pilot announced "Thank you for the applause, ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate it, but the credit must go to the plane, as it landed itself".

The over-reliance on machines and loss of skills is a worrying factor to me. One can have a long discussion about self-drive cars, for instance (and whilst I very much prefer my car to be under my control (I do not like even ABS and traction control), I do appreciate the benefits that they bring), but I still feel that people want to compensate with automation for something that is largely a lack of proper training.

(Drifting ever so slightly off-topic here). As far as self-drive cars are concerned, whilst my initial reaction was that it represent a huge mistake, upon reflection I came to the conclusion that there is at least one good case to be made for them, in the case of elderly people or people with physical (and even mental) disabilities who would gain independence without endangering themselves or other road users. And then there are people who should never be allowed near the controls of a car and who definitely need a vicious dog with them, as they have absolutely no clue about what they are or should be doing, who obliviously waft themselves along public roads daily. Self-drive cars should be compulsory for them.

Mixing wet-ware and silicon-driven cars on the same roads, however, is a recipe for disaster as far as I am concerned. Ideally there should be seperate roadways for each mode of transport, but that is unfortunately completely out of the question.

23
3

No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

Kobus Botes
Black Helicopters

Who's squeezing Microsoft?

Given Microsoft's increasingly desperate efforts/attempts to get WX on to as many machines as possible and PRONTO! it seems to me as if someone has Microsoft's gonads firmly in a vice and they are turning the screw seriously hard.

The question is: who is doing the squeezing? Is it advertisers who were promised 1 billion installs (with concomitant income from advertisements served) (as I have speculated earlier in these hallowed pages), or is it someone else (like NSA/GHCQ/whichever other spy agency who might want an in on the data) and, in the latter case, what do they have on Microsoft and what do they want?

If it is the first case, I suspect that Microsoft is on a hiding to nowhere (unless, of course, they manage to get that billion installs in real, actual numbers): hubris may have led Microsoft to vastly over-promise and now the REAL clients are putting the screws on big-time.

Who would first relent, though? - the party(ies) doing the squeezing, Microsoft or the users of Microsoft's wares? Options two and three are equally unpalatable to them, as it would have a serious effect on Microsoft, possibly leading to a much-reduced company and/or the demise of Microsoft altogether (that would probably also mean that BillG has an MS thumb in a screw and is putting the squeeze on them, with Monkey-boy having similar fun with the other thumb; except that it is no fun for anyone (at least, not for the squeezers and the squeezee)).

A much smaller Microsoft would actually be A Good Thing (TM), as it would mean that they would not be able to do whatever they want anymore, but be forced to play nice with everyone. Hopefully in that (admittedly rosy) future it would leave the door open for two or three major Linux distro's to get equal traction (even if one have to pay for it, no problem with that). A more level playing field would then also foster healthy competition and real innovation. One can but dream, no?

6
1

Kill Flash Now: 78 bugs patched in latest update

Kobus Botes

Re: Sigh...

@a_yank_lurker

Double sigh here. Our institutional collector of funds (aka SARS) insists on living on the bleeding edge with Adobe (I sometimes think they must get some sort of kickback for testing Adobe's delightful products) - so much so that I have to use my better half's Windows machine, as Adobe does not update their Linux products anymore.

Personally I would have thought that, being a public service and all (and we being mostly a third world country) that they would cater for the broadest demographic, not just the risk takers going after the latest shiny-shiny, but there you are.

-------> for SARS (South African Revenue Services), obviously. Wish I could add the nuke icon for Adobe as well.

0
0

Pause Patch Tuesday downloads, buggy code can kill Outlook

Kobus Botes
Linux

Re: Update stops users from logging in to Windows 7

@psychonaut

A bit off-topic, but every time I see an instruction (like the following:

Type or paste this line in to the cmd prompt window ( be careful to type it exactly with all punctuation marks) dism /image:X:\ /remove-package /packagename:Package_for_KB3097877~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~6.1.1.1 /scratchdir:X:\temp (where X is the drive Windows is installed on))

I cannot help but smile (and shake my head) at those (shills?) who regularly spout some nonsense about arcane commands that must be typed in linux in getting almost anything to work. Talk about arcane!

6
0
Kobus Botes

Re: 100% CPU

@LDS

Mmmm. Noticed it when going through the updates to see what each one does. The only problem is, updates are sequential only, so one still have to suffer through all the interminable updates (on new installs/reinstalls) before the happy (hopefully) moment when the update that fixes update problems finally rolls around.

@phuzz

"There's a lot of sysadmins out there who clearly aren't testing patches" - we support a client (initial installs, fixing whatever breaks, et cetera). They do not have any Windows servers, so we cannot use WSUS (nor do we, but even if we had we cannot use WSUS on behalf of others). Manually installing updates is out of the question, so updates must be automatic. We are looking at installing WPKG, (currently testing) so hopefully that problem will shortly be a thing of the past.

0
0
Kobus Botes
Paris Hilton

100% CPU

Does anyone else have the same issue with Windows Update service (wuauserv) using 87%+ of CPU? The updates are already downloaded, just awaiting review and installation, so what on earth is it doing that occupies so much resources?

@The tables have turned:

Beware of hubris! Whilst I have also (in my private capacity) been Windows-free for more than 12 years, I have had a couple of updates breaking stuff, although never seriously (from a usability perspective) and normally easily rectifiable.

Numerous commentards have remarked on Windows' inefficient update process (including myself) and it still is perplexing to me. Why should a machine take 30 to 40 minutes (on average) just to FIND updates (when manually looking for it), let alone download and install?

To contrast that, my work (Mageia) machine took less than five minutes yesterday to find, download and install Libre Office updates, plus a handful of others. Ditto for my home machine. I cannot recall ever waiting more than 10 minutes (and I am VERY generous in my estimation) for updates to be handled. And not once can I recall that performance was negatively affected during the process.

Oh well, off to reviewing the rest of the updates (for what it's worth), as we will be involved in fixing the mess again and I need to know what we will be up against. Sigh.

-----------> Just because, since I cannot use more than one icon and could not decide on the most appropriate/satisfying one.

9
0

Next year's Windows 10 auto-upgrade is MSFT's worst idea since Vista

Kobus Botes

Re: The recommended update will still require the user to accept or decline before installing

Nope. It could be that they are staggering these updates, for in our environment I have seen the whole gamut of options, from no GWX nag icon through to it being an "optional" update that comes pre-selected and which will install once you reboot.

As far as we know only one machine has updated itself on a reboot without any user intervention at all, but I have caught a couple of machines that would have installed X on the next reboot.

Ditto for CEIP - Microsoft ignores your decision NOT to participate and installs all those telemetry and other spyware updates.

Ditto again for ignoring your decision to hide KB3038853; on some machines I have had to hide it up to four times (setting up brand new W7 machines - installing updates takes up to a week: OK, if I were to babysit it permanently it would probably take three full days. I still cannot understand how it can take up to six hours to FIND updates, let alone install. I remember one particular machine that started installing updates late on a Friday afternoon (just after 5) and, come Monday morning, was at 86%. On those machines I usually abandon the job and reboot the machine - the subsequent update goes a bit faster then. We also do not use a domain and I update before installing anything else or create users - so that problem with multiple logins to a domain taking up to six hours logging on does not apply.) before it would relent and accept my choice. I just don't know how long that will last, though, before it will override my choice.

I sometimes wonder if Microsoft had not perhaps made an undertaking to $Advertiser(s) that they would have an installed base of Windows 10 of X hundred million by Y months after release of 10, and now realise that they are falling woefully behind schedule, with possible penalties amounting to $$$$$$ plenty, hence their agressive push to get 10 on as many PC's as possible.

11
0

Microsoft's Big Data-driven improvement efforts flounder

Kobus Botes
FAIL

Re: Just providing data doesn't work

Well, yes. Just look at the helpful links in Event Viewer, if you want to know more about a problem.

I have taken MS on about broken pages when following the suggested links in Event Viewer, when trying to figure out what the problem was (in my experience, about 80% of the time I would get a "Page does not exist" error, or a friendly message stating that MS does not have any information about the problem, with a helpful suggestion to hone my search terms).

In my post I provided them with the necessary links, as well as full details about which events it related to (I just started from the top and listed the first ten - all of which ended up at one of the above).

They replied fairly promptly, asking for links and more info - so this time I took the first fifteen unique events (i.e. ignoring repetitions), which all yielded broken links, plus I pointed out I initially did provide the info they looked for,

Needless to say, I never received any reply, and the links are still broken. Maybe my suggestion that the website maintainers and the Event Viewer writers get together to sort out the problem did not go down too well.

The funny bit is also that the option to "Search TechNet with Bing" yields very little results, whereas using Google or Bing (ouch!) can return thousands of hits, including many more from TechNet than reported by "Search TechNet with Bing".

For instance, Event 7001 (e) has the following result:

Event Viewer Online Help - No information

Search Technet with Bing - 50

Bing - 288000

Google - 186000

Quite a large discrepancy, I would say.

Edit: I tried to edit the two lines about the results, in order to line up the columns, but it gets ignored, so I changed it to make it more readable (hopefully!).

0
0

Don't want to upgrade to Windows 10? You'll download it WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT

Kobus Botes
Linux

Re: Something Missing

@bobgameon

On new Windows 8 machines, the upgrade to Win10 is now set to On out of the box (in fact, when you start the initial setup, the first option is to upgrade to 10).

If you decline the offer, it will install 10 the first time you reboot, as Windows update has it already ticked (under OPTIONAL updates - natch!!) - you have to explicitly untick the upgrade option and then hide it. I will check my better half's machine tonight, to see what the situation is (Win7).

Personally I moved to Linux (Mandrake|Mandriva|Mageia) about 12 years ago - still no regrets or anything I really miss (not into gaming much - my game of choice is still HalfLife and I have not completed HL2 yet. Installed Steam on my machine, but the video card is not up to standard).

Moving to Linux is really not that hard; a bit strange/different initially, but Google is your friend.

34
2

If you installed Windows 10 and like privacy, you checked the defaults, right? Oh dear

Kobus Botes

Re: I wonder....

@ Timmy B

...I give information away but what I do is with my consent...

Ahh, but then you DO care. The point is that you have looked at the issues, assessed the implications and decided that it is not worth (in most cases) your while worrying about it. That is OK.

I, on the other hand, refuse to have a Facebook account, or a Twitter account, or a Watsapp account or a Skype account. And I keep location awareness off on my phone, as well as WiFi - both only gets turned on when I need to or have control over what is sent out (as far as it is in my means).

That is also why I post here under my own name (I also have another account, or post anonymously when I do not want to be easily linked to whatever I have to say, for various reasons). But I am under no illusion that The Reg can connect the dots and know who I am, and I am OK with that.

The problem with giving away your privacy, though, is that the vast majority of people who do not care are completely unaware of the possible ramifications (and seemingly also do not really want to think or worry about it). Those of us who do value our privacy therefore stand to lose it, as the majority who do not care will also not do anything about protecting privacy rights, thereby giving your and my privacy away. That is why those of us who have assessed the problem should fight to keep it and make others aware of what is really happening.

12
0
Kobus Botes
Boffin

Re: I wonder....

@ Timmy B

A good introduction is to read up on the right to privacy - particularly what Judge Brandeis had to say. Unfortunately it is too long to repeat here (and too intricate), but you can start here:

https://www.brandeis.edu/now/2013/july/privacy.html

http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/classes/6.805/articles/privacy/Privacy_brand_warr2.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Brandeis#Olmstead_v._United_States_.281928.29_.E2.80.93_Right_of_privacy

If that does not scare you, you are welcome to give away your privacy.

2
0

Microsoft: This Windows 10 build has 'NO significant known issues'

Kobus Botes
Devil

Re: Hallelujah - File Explorer's file path limit is not 256 any more !

Does Outlook still have the endearing feature that you cannot attach a file to a message if the filename is longer than (ISTR) 110 characters? This was in all versions up to the last one before Office 2003 - I have not had much exposure to Outlook/Exchange since then.

It took me quite a while to work out why users were unable to attach certain documents. Experimentation and numerous tries eventually revealed the limit (the company I worked at then had a file structure of the order Mapped Drive:\LongClientName\LongEventName\Year\Some\More\Long\Identifiers\LongFileName.xxx, some of which had to be truncated to fit within the 256 character limit.

My workaround was to ask them to copy the file to their local My Documents folder, attach and send and then to delete the file afterwards (this obviously led to a number of other problems, chief of which was people that moved rather than copied files and then deleting same, or a plethora of other combinations of exciting things that one can do to files (like moving entire directories and dropping it in some unsuspecting directory halfway through the procedure, when they realised that they were doing something wrong and then let go of the left mouse button)).

0
0

LOOK OUT - it's a GOOBER! Google's über-Uber robo apptaxi ploy

Kobus Botes
Coffee/keyboard

Re: "The thot plickens"

An ex-boss of mine used to say "the plot sickens", which I found very appropriate. It could be applicable in this case.

------> Don't ask.

2
0

Microsoft pulls a patch and offers PHANTOM FIX for the mess

Kobus Botes
Mushroom

Can I get my lost time back, please?

Wasted hours yesterday, trying to update a new Win7 install so it can go out to the client. I went through all the hoops (also was not able initially to install the System Update Readiness Tool, until I found a suggestion to turn off the Windows firewall), to no avail. Kept getting "Windows Update encountered and unknown error" messages. Trying to get help by clicking on the link, would give "Microsoft.com is not responding" errors, which led me to believe that the update servers were overwhelmed. Hence my continuous attempts, hoping to squeeze in during a rare lull.

Strangely enough, doing this morning's update also successfully installed a device (that only the user (non-admin) account encountered. Device Manager did not know about any problem devices (it supposedly was a USB Root Hub). Even making the user an administrator did not resolve that issue.

There is still one optional update (Intel graphics adapter) that refuses to install, but at least the machine can go out today.

--------> Would like to nuke Windows, of course.

4
0

Sealed with a kiss: Er, 80 MILLION BACTERIA

Kobus Botes
Paris Hilton

Re: BACTERIA ARE NOT BAD!!!!!!!!!!!

@ Alistair:

You're on the right track, but wrong agent. Try intestinal worms - see Helminthic therapy as a start (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helminthic_therapy). Any search on intestinal worms/parasites and allergies will yield numerous hits.

It is actually a fascinating (albeit slightly gross, if you are of a delicate disposition) subject. But, I fear, with hordes of lawyers lurking in the shadows, it may never become a viable therapy. Not to mention that Big Pharma are furiously looking for something to synthesize that can be administered in a more socially acceptable form - obviously with the promise of enormous profits acting as an incentive to bad-mouth a natural (and vastly less profitable) remedy.

--------------> No worm/parasite icon, so this will have to suffice (and it is in keeping with the topic, no?).

0
0

USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked

Kobus Botes
Thumb Down

Re: Hidden partitions

Isn't the hidden partition where the device drivers are stored (that Windows insist on installing every time you plug your USB device into a different slot, until all slots have been utilised)?

I have found that if you delete the hidden partition on a USB drive, Windows insist on scanning and fixing the "problem" ("Do you want to scan and fix Removable Disk (Whatever letter it decided to assign:)? There might be a problem with some files on this device or disc." Yadda yadda...) before you can use it. Skipping it, however, allows you to use the device.

Most annoying.

----------------> Windows, mostly - not your comment. For once I suffered from a surfeit of icons to choose from. Weird.

5
1

justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups

Kobus Botes
Coat

Re: Palm called, wants her sisters back

Or, as an ex-colleague said, they were so poor if he weren't a boy he would not have had anything to play with!

That rather tatty trenchcoat, thanks.

6
1

Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000

Kobus Botes
Coat

Re: I once met a young lady in Kiev

And here I was - thinking she said she was a dancer.

Mine's the one with the English/Russian phrasebook in the pocket, thanks.

2
0

Is the answer to life, the universe and everything hidden in Adams' newly uncovered archive?

Kobus Botes

Re: ...............pation! (Anticip......)

@Pet and Steve

Mmmmm. My bad (Thinks - I'll have to re-listen to the radio series).

I was actually thinking of Dr. Frank 'n Furter (I can see you shiver with anticip...... pation!).

Hence the reference to the coat, etc.

Now where is that hide under the rock icon?

0
0
Kobus Botes
Coat

...............pation! (Re: Anticip......)

Why exactly is that word unacceptable??? Love the music and the movie - seen it too many times to count.

But now the music is stuck in my head!

------------------> Obviously

0
0

Women crap at parking: Official

Kobus Botes
Boffin

..."a whopping 80 per cent of crashes ... involved male drivers"

A more useful measurement would be to express that as a percentage of the total number of drivers. As it stands, the figure is fairly meaningless, as we have no context.

(Not saying that male drivers are the epitome of safe and careful drivers - but I have also witnessed female drivers doing equally stupid and dangerous things as men do).

27
1

Have you reinstalled Windows yet? No, I just want to PRINT THIS DAMN PAGE

Kobus Botes
Mushroom

Re: @Brian - I move printers

"Once Windows has installed a drivers for a particular USB device, it won't install the driver again..." - Oh yes, it does (at least, Win7 does). Regularly. On various machines. For every USB port you plug the device into, until you have used all available USB ports. Only then does it accept that the keyboard or mouse or printer or USB memory stick you plugged in is a known device and not something new.

And each time Windows goes off on its own mission, hunting for drivers; first locally and then (I presume) on available resources on your network and then it wanders off to the Internet, where it spends an awfully long time (browsing PC porn? Ooooh! look at all those beautiful Linux distro's!) before returning to tell you that it is installing drivers.

---> What I'd like to do to Win7. Honestly, it's like a four-year old: self! I want to do it self! Even though it more often than not need copious amounts of assistance to complete what should have been a simple task.

6
0

Call yourself a 'hacker', watch your ex-boss seize your PC without warning

Kobus Botes
Black Helicopters

Re: Try googling for "Battelle litigation fraud"

I did - if I were an American, I would be extremely worried about the influence they seem to have (also see Don Jefe's posts later on), as most links I found ended up being suspended (HostPapa) seemingly due to billing problems.

Hmmmm.......

0
0

Internet Explorer 11 BREAKS Google, Outlook Web Access

Kobus Botes
Linux

@Pierce - Adobe Lightroom replacements?

Try Darktable (http://www.darktable.org/). I use it on Mageia 3 (it is in the repository, so no hassles installing) and it works a treat.

FWIW, I use Digikam to organise, preview and tag my photos, Darktable to convert raw to tiff and Gimp for final tweaking.

9
1

Boffins spot LONE PLANET roaming interstellar void

Kobus Botes
Alien

No, it's.....

Krikkit!

The size is misleading - what they are seeing is the dust cloud surrounding Krikkit.

I wonder if they still sing those wonderful songs? At only 80 ly away, we should be able to pick up their radio transmissions one of these days.

3
0

BOOGIE BALLMER: Steve Dirty Dances at tearful Microsoft leaving do

Kobus Botes
FAIL

Re: Lets see....... (@Big_Ted)

Or maybe even this:

Dogs - Pink Floyd

You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need.

You gotta sleep on your toes, and when you're on the street,

You gotta be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed.

And then moving in silently, down wind and out of sight,

You gotta strike when the moment is right without thinking.

And after a while, you can work on points for style.

Like the club tie, and the firm handshake,

A certain look in the eye and an easy smile.

You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,

So that when they turn their backs on you,

You'll get the chance to put the knife in.

You gotta keep one eye looking over your shoulder.

You know it's going to get harder, and harder, and harder as you

get older.

And in the end you'll pack up and fly down south,

Hide your head in the sand,

Just another sad old man,

All alone and dying of cancer.

And when you loose control, you'll reap the harvest you have sown.

And as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone.

And it's too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw

around.

So have a good drown, as you go down, all alone,

Dragged down by the stone.

I gotta admit that I'm a little bit confused.

Sometimes it seems to me as if I'm just being used.

Gotta stay awake, gotta try and shake off this creeping malaise.

If I don't stand my own ground, how can I find my way out of this

maze?

Deaf, dumb, and blind, you just keep on pretending

That everyone's expendable and no-one has a real friend.

And it seems to you the thing to do would be to isolate the winner

And everything's done under the sun,

And you believe at heart, everyone's a killer.

Love Supertramp, by the way.

---> For the big man, obviously.

0
0

Microsoft begins automatic Windows 7 SP1 rollout

Kobus Botes
FAIL

Re: Useful Service Pack

Correction of your correction:

Mandriva and Mageia are RPM based and use urpmi.

0
0

Microsoft coughs up compensation for Azure cloud cock-up

Kobus Botes

Re: Isn't Blue Sky of Death a trademark ?

Roger

Accountants abhor uncertainty. I discussed a problem with an accountant some years ago, where they wrote off a rather substantial amount in the current financial year (about to end), rather than claw back most (if not all) of the loss the next year. When I told him that it did not make sense, he told me that accountants only work with certainties - ifs and maybes does not cut it. So, where there was some leeway in the books, they were happy to take a loss now, rather than having to suffer the uncertainty of a win the next year.

Possible/probable lost/delayed sales and customers cannot be quantified and are therefore invisible to accountants and deemed not a "real" cost.

When the loss does show up in the next year, it will be the salespeople who will be blamed for not making budget and duly punished for this lapse in duty.

0
0

Firm moves to trademark 'Python' name out from under the language

Kobus Botes

Re: Indeed

Erm... wrong anarchist; it was actually Pierre-Joseph Proudhon who coined the term.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_is_theft! amongst many others.

They certainly knew each other, but Proudhon is cited as being an influence on Bakunin, not the other way round.

<---- Can't we have a "This is just a gentle correction" icon?

0
0

Facebook glitch briefly crashes several sites

Kobus Botes

Re: FB logon for SECURITY reasons ?

Exactly.

0
0
Kobus Botes
FAIL

...FB login to access other sites?

Yup, unfortunately.

I have had a run-in with Media24 some time ago, as the only means of posting or reading comments on their articles is to log on with your FB account. I was told it is a security feature, as an e-mail account is no proof of identity. They never answered me (apart from stating that it was policy) when I pointed out that I could use exactly the same "insecure" (GMail) address to create an FB account and then post comments.

I received a number of these messages this morning before the issue was resolved some time later:

http://www.news24.com/Error.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/Templates/Categories/CategoryHomeDemo.aspx

<--- For all those websites crippled by Facebook.

0
0

Tennessee bloke quits job over satanic wage slip

Kobus Botes
Devil

Re: helldesk

Man! I could have done that!. I had a user who was forever complaining about her number ending on 666. Every time something untoward happened to her (like contracting 'flu, stubbing her toe, getting a parking ticket, etc.) I got a call to have her number changed, as she was being punished/attracted bad luck because of that devillish number.

I managed to avoid changing her number, as we had used all our allotted numbers and changing it would incur all sorts of unmerited expenses (changing business cards and other printed matter, changing fax numbers, et cetera).

Swopping her number for mine would have had all sorts of positive consequences, looking back. (Can I go back into the past?).

5
0

'You get burned out on Facebook after a while'

Kobus Botes
Mushroom

...850 quadrillion-dollar monstrosity.

Didn't El Reg standardise on long numbers?

But even so - it is an obscene amount of money to even consider to spend on a totally unnecessary venture (to allay fears of "terrorist" attacks?). 53 000 times the American GDP for 2012?? Boy, talk about smoking something. Did anyone proposing this even sit down and think where the money must come from?

A MUCH better investment (in world peace and American ease of mind and goodwill towards the US of A) would be to just spend 1/22 of the USA's annual defence budget to eradicate world hunger (http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jun2008/2008-06-03-04.asp). And if we can get the world's obese (mostly secptics in any case) to stop excess consumption, they could actually save, rather than spend money on eradicating hunger.

Yet they still wonder why the USA's image in the rest of the world is a PR disaster (to put it lightly).

<---- What should be done to those wastrels.

0
5

Microsoft's Surface Pro team takes on Reddit to finesse fondleslab

Kobus Botes
Paris Hilton

Re: MS Surface pro FAIL

In all fairness - it took me a while to figure out what Eadon meant: it seems as if he intended to write "Microsoft('s) copy (of) Apple (led to a) fail (for Microsoft)".

<---- Paris, because, well, defending Eadon makes me feel dirty and a little confused (this despite my being firlmy in the penquin camp). I may as well defend RICHTO or BDG555 (now fortunately no longer with us, although I still believe they are one and the same).

But I won't evangelise nor slag people off for their choices - my choice is personal and probably idealistic, but there you are.

3
0

Revealed: The Brit-built GRAVITY-powered light that costs $5

Kobus Botes

Re: Nice

"You don't have to carry the weight around...".

Allan, I think you did not read Charles' post to the end. You want the light to be portable within your dwelling - either to light up another room, or to provide more concentrated light in a particular area (to study, for instance). You are not going to empty the bag and refill it every time you move it about.

Here in South Africa (and elsewhere on the continent) numerous people die or get horribly burned through candles or kerosene lamps falling over (for whatever reason) on a daily basis. Added to that numerous shacks get destroyed, increasing the misery.

This light has the potential to save numerous lives and reduce the number of shack fires and should therefore be applauded and supported. As far as I am concerned just one life saved makes this a worthwhile project.

Some recent examples:

http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/eastern-cape/two-children-die-in-shack-fire-1.1417937

http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/child-dies-in-cape-town-shack-fires-1.1412512

http://westcapenews.com/?p=3291

http://www.abahlali.org/taxonomy/term/841

http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Candle-causes-massive-Cape-fire-20120715

1
0

Microsoft rolling out Windows Phone 8 update in Europe

Kobus Botes
Flame

Re: Windows Phone antivirus - specially for you!

RICHTO - why the anonymous post? It certainly does not give you more credibility.

5
0

GPU-stuffed monster cracks Windows passwords in minutes

Kobus Botes
Paris Hilton

Re: As a non-security person

"...fail x times and you're locked out' method".

On the face of it a sensible approach, but it does not work as well in practice as one would hope or assume.

A previous employer had a strict password policy (8-16 characters, mix of at least one letter, number and special character, monthly changes, last 10 passwords prohibited, automatic log-out after ten minutes of no keyboard activity and only three unsuccesful logon attempts).

You will not believe the endless problems that that caused - I am sure at least one third of calls logged concerned passwords.

First and foremost was forgotten passwords (especially bad on a Monday following a password change the previous Thursday or Friday - I would be swamped by calls the moment I walked in the door (and I was usually 30 minutes early); also almost no-one could remember a password upon returning from leave or an absence of more than a week), followed by locked-out users.

Lock-outs presented an interesting problem: at one stage we suddenly had a spate of locked out accounts every weekday morning (all machines had to be left on overnight, so that security updates, virus program updates and policy changes could be run after hours). I initially suspected a problem with the scripts or the DC or maybe the AD server, but everything checked out fine. Also, it was just one building complex in my branch that had the problem.

Then one night I decided to stay after hours (I discovered from the logs that lock-outs took place between 17:30 and 18:30 every night) to see if I could catch the culprit, as I had begun to suspect that it was deliberately done, since lock-outs ran roughly sequentially in seating order, suggesting someone moving from machine to machine.

Lo and behold! In came a bevy of cleaning ladies who whipped out damp cloths and proceeded to vigourously clean each desk, keyboard and monitor! (I should mention here that usernames were automatically populated, as there were a number of complaints about having to enter both a username and a password - surely the computer can do a little bit of work as well?). So obviously, the third time the "Enter" key was hit, the account got locked out. The sudden emergence of this problem was because the business had changed their cleaning service provider and keyboard cleaning was top of their list of things to do.

Password strength was also a problem; despite the restrictions enforced, users kept using easily guessed passwords (Qwert1@3, or password1!, etc).

I eventually resorted to suggest that they use easily remembered mnemonics (and choose your own, thank you, do not use my example), like Ihhtcpem!-12, which would stand for "I hate having to change passwords every month! - xx", where xx would be the month of the year. That way they only needed to change the last character or two and still have a reasonably secure password that is easily remembered.

But yeah, despite all that a large number of users used to write theirs down and hide it under the desk blotter or the keyboard, or write it on the calendar (obviously on the date of the forced change, as everyone waited until the last day (we used to have a ten day warning period)).

Password change requests I particularly hated was for mid-month changes, when some girl broke up with her boyfriend and did not want to be reminded of him every time she needed to log on. I used to refuse to do those as punishment for ignoring my sage advice about good passwords, until we got a central Help Desk and SLA's.

<---- Paris, obviously, for the disconsolate girl being forced to enter an ex-boyfriend's name.

3
0

Hefty beauty GAGA gets voluptuous new undercarriage

Kobus Botes
Coat

Re: Surely....

Are you by any chance employed by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation?

The satisfied sigh of automatic doors comes to mind....

Mine's the one with the electronic thumb in the pocket.

1
0

Page:

Forums