* Posts by Tony S

549 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Page:

Non-existent sex robots already burning holes in men’s pockets

Tony S

Re: Washing venues

@ Flocke Kroes

Ref: "Bring it on". Just for you - enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsCB7suQiZM

BTW, he bought the full car wash; his vehicle was covered in mud because he liked to "drive hard"!

0
0

If only our British 4G were as good as, um, Albania's... UK.gov's telco tech report

Tony S

(I haven't heard that one for a while - there can't really be any factories still using pre-war machinery).

Want to bet? I know of at least one place where they are still using a punch press that has the manufacturers metal label on the front, stating it was produced in 1931. It's still being used pretty much every day. It just hammers away, then when finished, they remove the dies, clean and sharpen them, then refit ready for the next morning.

2
0
Tony S

I've been working overseas, in what is still technically a "developing country". 4G coverage was almost 100%, and they have already begun planning a rollout for 5G.

Then I get home and I can't even get 3G in most places; and probably 50% of the time, I can't even get a data connection full stop.

If we want to be serious about trading with the rest of the world, we really need to invest in our infrastructure. It's bloody embarrassing when a 6 year old kid chasing after tourists begging for ciggies has a better connection to post his social media comments, than a team of people trying to develop high tech engineering solutions.

7
0

Beancounter nicks $5m from bosses, blows $1m on fantasy babe Kate Upton's mobe game

Tony S

A while ago, I was working at a place where we were convinced that the head beancounter was funnelling money out of the business. Unfortunately, there were internal political issues that prevented the necessary investigations.

A colleague and I had managed to uncover certain indiscretions; my services were no longer needed after that, and my former colleague is concerned that he will be out after Christmas.

0
0

Remember that brightest supernova ever seen? It wasn't one

Tony S

Just going to throw this out there

Apparently, the Hubble telescope was conceived back in the late 1940's. Eventually launched in the 1980's, the total cost was US$ 1.3 billion. (I think that also includes the cost of the optics to correct the mirror polishing mistake.)

The cost of the 2016 US Presidential Election was US$ 6.8 billion.

I'll leave it to the individual readers to make up their own minds as to which was of more value.

21
1

UK.gov has outsourced tech policy to Ofcom because it is clueless – SNP techie

Tony S

"Kerr concedes he does not have deep technical knowledge “but in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, so in here I probably have more than most.”

Kerr needs to read a bit more.

In H.G. Wells' book "The Country of the blind", the sighted man is believed by the villagers to be suffering a mental problem caused by the strange organs in his head that seem to be affecting his brain, creating delusions; and they decide to remove his eyes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Country_of_the_Blind

I suspect that a similar scenario might occur at the HoP, where anyone that seems to express any knowledge is immediately treated with complete suspicion and not trusted until they fall into line.

1
0

Ransomware scum offer free decryption if you infect two mates

Tony S

Had a rather disturbing conversation with a senior manager. I had outlined the problem (several times), but he refused to authorise the payments for a backup system. (Wouldn't even pay for a couple of external USB drives).

The business was hit by ransomware; I got called in to help. I explained the processes to the IT staff, and they actually managed to recover about 97% of the files.

I then highlighted that the business was extremely lucky to get off so lightly, and used this to identify just how exposed they were, and then provided some advice on suitable options. He thanked me for my input, and showed me the door.

They still have no backups.

7
0

UK.gov state of the nation report: Infosec's very important, mmmkay

Tony S

Pretty much everyone that works in any form of security, will advise you that the biggest threats are usually internal. Most research will also identify that this is more often due to a failure of process, or inept workers, than due to malicious activity.

In other words, you have far more to be worried about by idiots screwing up than you have from any external hackers. But obviously, it doesn't go down too well when you tell ministers that they are more of a threat than [insert foreign name of choice], and as the government advisers want to keep on being paid, they'll go with the overseas options.

1
0

HPE UK preps the redundancy ride as Chrimbo looms

Tony S

Once upon a time, HP produced new products that were worth buying. By the sound of it, they won't have anyone left to do that; just low paid staff that might answer the phone to provide an indifferent level of support.

It's a shame; it was once a real powerhouse. These days, barely a shadow of that.

8
0

Accountant falls for sexy Nigerian email scammer, gives her £150k he cheated out of pal

Tony S

Re: Scam if ever I saw one...

OK, I've installed the app. Go ahead and make snide comments if you wish. (Just to let you know I've scored 3 times in 10 months; so who's laughing now!)

It actually has a bug / undocumented feature. There is a section called "Meet Me", and you get the profile outline and picture of the people that fall into the categories that you indicate you are looking for (height, age etc.)

However, if you go to move to the next lucky lad or lady, the system automatically generates the "Meet Me" request on behalf of the person looking, even if they've decided not to bother because your profile is incomplete. It is a PITA, because you get loads of bogus requests, half of who are not even remotely interested.

1
0

Thanks, IoT vendors: your slack attitude will get regulators moving

Tony S

"Mirai botnet attack against Dyn must force everybody's hands – vendors, regulators, and Internet infrastructure operators."

You'd think so, wouldn't you. But in reality, it won't do a damned thing.

The only time that anything will change is when it hits the decision makers in their pockets. Then they will do the absolute minimum necessary to address the identified issues; and no doubt, at a later stage, they will get hacked again. Rinse and repeat.

5
0

Hard-up Brits 'should get subsidy for 10Mbps'

Tony S
Facepalm

We have a crumbling infrastructure; roads, rail, air and sea.

We have schools that are dire need of repair

We have hospitals that could use a serious injection of cash

We have a military that is being asked to do even more with even less

and they think a priority should be to subsidise broadband.

5
3

What’s that Sooty? You want a girlfriend?

Tony S

Re: Lets not start on about Captain Pugwash!!!

"Nope, he was called Tom"

I think that you're missing the purpose of the comments as well as the joke!

Should be working, but instead thinking of other potential names; such as:

The head of the Marine Contingent, Major Hardwick (or the more obvious, Major Hardon).

Gunner Blige and his lovely daughter, Sheila (there's a naval joke there as well!)

Fat Willy, the cook.

And of course, the Ship's Cat, "Nine-Tails"!

0
0
Tony S

Re: Lets not start on about Captain Pugwash!!!

How about Roger the Cabin Boy?

1
0

Portsmouth bomb about to be detonated

Tony S

Re: Blowing up Portsmouth?

My family were all from Pompey. We left in the early 60s.

My mother went back in the late 80s / early 90s (not quite sure when) and apparently was wandering around trying to find a couple of the key landmarks that she remembered. Apparently she came across the infamous Tricorn shopping centre and sat down on the steps and cried, it was so awful. (3rd ugliest building in the UK). She was often heard to say that they should invite someone over to bomb it.

When she heard that they were demolishing it, she made a point of going down to visit her sister; and they took a day trip to see what was left.

3
0

The server's down. At 3AM. On Christmas. You're drunk. So you put a disk in the freezer

Tony S

I had advised the site director about backups. He assigned someone to look after the job, but despite this, no tapes were swapped.

As predicted the server failed; and the drives were the cause. No tapes swapped, despite my forceful admonitions, so no restore possible. I arranged for the tapes to go to a specialist recovery place; meanwhile, built a new server ready for the data. Got about 85 - 90% back at a cost of about £1400.

You'd think that they had learned their lesson, but oh no. Still no tapes being swapped. So I ended up running a remote backup process, D-2-D-2-T. That seemed to be the only way to prevent a recurrence. Over the next 5 years, didn't lose a single file.

I left the company and I'm told that the overseas parent company demanded they take control of everything. That included backups and they insisted each site manage their own process. About 2 years later, they had a server disk fail and no-one noticed. When a second drive failed, they lost all of the data, because no-one had swapped tapes!

5
0

Scrapped NHS care.data ballsup cost taxpayer almost £8m

Tony S

In terms of the overall NHS budget, £8 million is probably not a lot, but there are a lot of things that could have been done with that money at any one of a number of places that are really struggling to make ends meet.

The real issue is that the project may have been shelved; but it's clear that they still want to press ahead with the concept under a different name. So that £8 mil, may in fact become £18 mil, or £28 mil or £50 mil in just a few years time, and still never actually deliver anything of any value to the NHS, the care providers or the patients.

Until those making the decisions are help personally accountable for these cockups, nothing will change.

7
0

Brexit at the next junction: Verity's guide to key post-vote skills

Tony S

"Yup. And my approach differs from that of our government in what respect?"

This.

I'd upvote a fathom length if I could

13
0

The Great British domain name rip-off: Overcharged .uk customers help pay for cheaper .vodka

Tony S

Biased

Have to confess that I'm biased against Nominet.

I had them screw me around for about 6 months over a domain name that was not being used, but owned by a company in receivership (cost us nearly £1,000 in the process). Then on the day that the name became available again, one of their members registered it before we were able to; and then he demanded we pay £5,000 to buy it from him.

The worst part; they did sell it to someone else (apparently for £2,000), who are still not using it.

My view is that they are on a par with the sleaziest of second hand car dealers. Long overdue for cleaning house and make the system work as it should for the people registering domains, not just for Nominet's pals to make money.

12
0

Autonomous vehicles inquiry set up in the UK

Tony S

"The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee said its inquiry would look at how 'driverless' vehicles could be used for road transport as well as in areas such as farming "

They already have driverless vehicles down on the farm. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driverless_tractor

I've seen a number of driverless combines working together in a field; quite astonishing. The key advantage is that they don't get tired or need to use lights, so can operate around the clock.

1
0

Online scammers speed up: Hit gold every 15 seconds

Tony S

I still get calls from a certain bank for a credit card; and their staff get really frustrated when I refuse to answer their "security questions".

I get even more pissy when they say it's for "Data Protection"; especially when I ask them to tell me which section of the Act requires that.

6
0

UK.gov oughta get its data-sharing house in order before Digital Economy Bill plans

Tony S

"But to be blunt: how much can we trust the government to handle our data correctly?"

Well, as they can't get agreement amongst themselves as to what the definition of "correctly" might be, and they lose data with embarrassing regularity, I'd say somewhere between "not at all" and .... nope "not at all" seems to cover it.

1
0

Star Trek's Enterprise turns 50 and still no sign of a warp drive. Sigh

Tony S

As a side note

A few years back, Bill Shatner co-wrote a book. In it, he describes how some of the technology used within ST has become reality or is still in research.

The title of the book comes from the filming of an episode of ST:TNG, in which Data opens the show by playing cards with Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Hawking had been invited to play himself in a cameo role and was delighted to do so.

After shooting ended, he was given a tour of the various stages and sound lots. One of these was the "Engineering" section, with the iconic "Warp Field Generator". Apparently, he gazed at it for several seconds, before announcing to everyone "I'm working on that".

13
0

Sex is bad for older men, and even worse when it's good

Tony S

Bugger; I hope that they're wrong.

If not, I could drop dead anytime soo

10
0

Ireland looks like it's outpacing Britain in the superfast broadband rollout stakes

Tony S

"it is perhaps time the UK ... adopted its own national broadband plan.

There have been repeated calls for this over the last 15-20 years. Every 2-3 years, we get yet another minister declare that it is necessary for the future of the UK economy; and they point to yet another country that has woken up to this, and is in the process of upgrading their own infrastructure to ensure that they are in a position to take advantage of opportunities. But somehow, it all fades away, and nothing happens to make any changes.

It's not just the broadband, but other parts of the national infrastructure. Water, Gas, Roads, Rail, Air Transport, Power Generation, public services etc.etc. The money is there, but somehow always seems to be spent without actually delivering what is required now, let alone preparing for the future.

12
2

Jovial NASA says Juno flyby a success

Tony S

"...even more to begin to comprehend what Juno and Jupiter are trying to tell us”.

Get orff my laaand!

7
0

Software exploits overrated - it's the humans you need to be watching

Tony S

Re: "Organizations should put controls and processes in place"

"Most companies of more than 100 employees do, because they have enough money to get an IT department in place that will properly prepare and configure the network to allow for it.

Unfortunately, in too many cases, said IT team tell them what they need, but are then overruled by the beancounters, or other head honchos.

It also has to be said, that sometimes, the IT staff themselves get into bad habits; and can easily do things for speed and keeping the suits off their backs, rather than doing what they know is right.

0
0

HPE sharpens knife for next salami-slicing staff redundo round

Tony S

"...give HPE the needed workforce to be a more nimble customer- and partner-centric company

(Nimble = they all have to do 3 times as much work as before.)

That is a really shitty, mealy mouthed piece of garbage. What they are showing, quite clearly is that they simply do not give the furry crack of a rat's arse about their staff, their customers or their partners.

What the c-level suits do care about is trying to maintain the value of their shares and quarterly bonuses. Nothing else at all.

They are despicable and beyond contempt.

16
1

Beauty site lets anyone read customers' personal information

Tony S
Pirate

This happens far too often

I've said it before; I'll say it again.

Nothing will change until the people at the top making / allowing this sort of idiotic decisions to occur are held personally responsible.

I'm not taking about a slap on the wrist; the directors need to be facing serious financial penalties that really will make them squeal.

Voltaire said it best:

"Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres

"In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others."

16
0

Ford announces plans for mass production of self-driving cars by 2021

Tony S

Exciting times

I think that the big motor companies are just waking up to a new business model.

For years now, people tend not to "buy" a car, but rather get it on some sort of leasing deal, which allows them to roll over to a new model and just keep paying. This is actually more profitable for the auto manufacturers than the traditional purchase route, and it offers them the chance to provide additional services.

I still think that we will move to some sort of subscription based package; you'll pay based upon what type of vehicle you want to use, when you tend to use it, the locations, and how long you want to wait for a car. Those that don't want to wait pay more; if you can wait half an hour, you'll pay less.

It will probably be linked to some sort of mobile technology, either through phone app or similar. The prospective user will request the vehicle, and it will be dispatched either from a holding location, or after having dropped off a previous customer. Having completed the journey, it will then either park or go to another job.

The key advantages; fewer cars on the road, more efficient use of those that are. They will also get maintained and valeted on a set cycle, so should be kept in better condition. The motor companies will probably do deals with 3rd party maintenance companies, so there is the opportunity for smaller businesses to get involved.

I still think my £50 bet is looking OK!

2
5

Hilton hotels' email so much like phishing it fooled its own techies

Tony S
Paris Hilton

I had that email.

My reaction was also "just another scam" as I haven't used Hilton since last year, due to the way they handled a complaint of mine. So I deleted it.

Way to go Hilton. (Paris of course)

10
0

London's Met Police has missed the Windows XP escape deadline

Tony S

Re: Government investment in the Police

"go check out the earth station they built just north of Bude "

You're mistaken; there's nothing there.

Seriously; according to the authorities, there is nothing there and never has been.

It doesn't matter what you think you see, you are definitely incorrect.

If you give them the location, they will tell you that it is just a patch of open ground above the beach; nothing to see, please move along.

7
0

HMRC's IR35 tweaks have 90% of UK's IT contractors up in arms

Tony S

James Avon Clyde (Lord Clyde) said it best

""No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his stores. The Inland Revenue is not slow, and quite rightly, to take every advantage which is open to it under the Taxing Statutes for the purposes of depleting the taxpayer's pocket. And the taxpayer is in like manner entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the depletion of his means by the Inland Revenue"

22
0

Australia to spend a billion bucks and seven years on SAP project

Tony S

Anyone there been told about Queensland Health Authority? I actually read the report from the inquiry, all 500 + pages and I could have written about half of them just knowing it was a government project, SAP & IBM. 1.2 billion AUD down the tubes.

Now I hate SAP with a passion; worked on a couple of implementations, so I know exactly what kind of shit can hit the fan. It's a bitch to implement, a swine to manage, a pig to train people on and it can become the worst nightmare when things go wrong. It's bloody expensive, inflexible, out dated, and an absolute bastard to work with.

But it can be made to work.

To do that, you HAVE to follow SAP's own guidelines. You MUSTN'T change requirements part way through. There HAS to be a project champion high enough up to kick backsides when people start drifting off plan (which they will). The Project Manager MUST be able to keep track of what's going on, and organise things to happen at the right time. And the business units HAVE GOT to be involved all the way through, in their own process, but also for several complete end to end tests of all processes. And the system should ONLY go live once those tests have been completed successfully without any hiccups.

I'd be willing to have a crack at it; not that I'll get the chance. But only if they signed up to follow the above, otherwise I wouldn't even contemplate the idea.

7
0

All roads lead to Rome as Irish seminary gripped by Grindr scandal

Tony S

"The church in question demands it of their priests, nuns, and monk types so they will be more "like Jesus"."

I'm not a religious scholar, but I believe that those who are (and who are a bit less controlled by the church) have established that Mary Magdalene became Jesus' "companion"; which in those days meant the equivalent of "common law wife". Apparently, this is now pretty much accepted as true even by many of the hierarchy within the church.

I was also told that in a couple of the various writings that were eliminated from the Bible by the Council of Nicea in 325, there were also references that suggested that Mary M had also had a child before his death. (This was part of the back story used by Dan Brown for the "Da Vinci Code".)

2
1
Tony S

Not surprised

I've been sharing a place with a gay couple; well it's saved me a few quid rather than live on my own, plus I get my washing done and meals cooked! But it is a real eye opener when you see some of the things going on.

This couple have a habit of inviting some of their friends over; pretty much just offering them a cheap holiday in the sun. One of these people was around last week, and he seemed to be finding a new conquest every other day, and it was getting a bit embarrassing seeing him with yet another bloke in the swimming pool.

On his penultimate day, he was accompanied by a fresh faced young chap that he had picked up locally on Grindr. It was only later that I found out this new paramour was a man of the cloth, running around in civvies.

"Nowt so queer as folk"!

17
0

F-35 targeting system laser will be 'almost impossible' to use in UK

Tony S

You couldn't make it up

There was a really great film made some years ago, with Cary Elwes and Kelsey Grammer. The Pentagon Wars https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDYpRhoZqBY - if you've not seen it, take the time to watch. But get ready for the WTF moments. (The way KG tries to hide how much money they've spent and how long they took, without a single functioning device.)

Based on real events, it shows just how crazy the whole procurement system has become. What's quite sad is that all of the officers involved were promoted, apart from the one who blew the whistle; and he was dismissed the service.

8
0

My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

Tony S

" Under no circumstances should anything be accessing the internet these days without a list of defenses as long as my leg."

Yes; for sure. But the trouble is, that's not what happens. Everyone is obsessed with capturing metadata that can be analysed and then (most importantly) used to make MONEY. Even some FOSS / OSS has been modified (in some cases without people knowing) specifically to make it easier to capture / monitor data.

The worst are the apps that continue to run in the background after being closed, and capture data from other apps or web browsing. Normally, the developer company are adamant that "they" would never abuse what they find, but are the first ones to get upset if someone else does the same thing, and messes up what their lovely app does.

2
0

Floods hit India's IT hubs, wash away some credibility

Tony S

Test your BC / DR plans

The problem is that so many senior managers seem to work on the principle "outsource = I don't have to worry". In reality, they should be worrying even more, as so much of what they've outsourced is completely out of their control.

They are often expecting the external business doing the right thing, when it is far more likely that the 3rd party are trying to keep their costs down. And as a result, anything that doesn't generate an income is seen as being of questionable value, and might even be cut.

Anyone that has sent work to any external supplier should now be checking on their ability to keep operating when the smelly stuff hits the air circulation equipment. Anyone that doesn't should be held accountable for their negligence.

20
0

What's long, hard and full of seamen? The USS Harvey Milk

Tony S

Re: What would Aubrey and Maturin say?

Why are ships called she?

“A ship is called a she because there is always a great deal of bustle around her; there is usually a gang of men about; she has a waist and stays; it takes a lot of paint to keep her good-looking; it is not the initial expense that breaks you, it is the upkeep; she can be all decked out; it takes an experienced man to handle her correctly; and without a man at the helm, she is absolutely uncontrollable. She shows her topsides, hides her bottom and, when coming into port, always heads for the buoys.”

10
0

Capita was always going to axe staff under Project Vincent – sources

Tony S

I'm waiting for the day that Capita decide to start outsourcing all of their work; so they don't provide a single person to the client, just "manage the relationship".

1
0

Milk IN the teapot: Innovation or abomination?

Tony S

Re: No brainer shirley?

During the 30s, 40s & 50s, the army used to have tea made in huge dixies; no tea bags in those days, loose tea leaves. The water and tea would be boiled, then they would add evaporated milk and a couple pounds of sugar. When ready, men would be allowed to dip their mugs into the brew and this meant that relatively few leaves would be taken up as those would settle to the bottom.

Many ex-service and a lot of national service men actually developed a taste for evaporated milk in tea; and in some of the former service base areas, they do still make tea with either evaporated or condensed milk from a tin.

0
0

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo XI expenses claim revealed

Tony S

Hmmm...

A shame that he couldn't claim mileage. My last company offered 45 ppm.

4
0

Happy Mappiversary, Ordnance Survey

Tony S

Re: Happy days

Totally agree, nothing to feel sad about.

I spent many a happy hour / day / week pottering up and down various hillsides, along footpaths in my younger days. A great way to get out, get exercise, fresh air, and enjoy the countryside.

After I reached 18, and could legally be served in pubs... well actually, it didn't make a lot of difference, as I had been nipping in and out since 16, but there was a greater sense of enjoyment.

0
0

TAFE's troubled TITSUP tech terminated AT BLOODY LAST

Tony S

Been here before

There was a major buggerup of a project just next door in Queensland a few years ago. They had an enquiry, produced a report (over 500 pages and I read the lot) and it basically came down to the same old things that seem to be the case every time. I'd put money on it that it's the same in this instance.

Dealing with a similar situation at the moment. So frustrated because I've warned them, but of course, they think that they know better.

What is it about senior managers that means they won't listen to people with experience?

0
0

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

Tony S

The senior managers decided to outsource a specific function. They selected a partner organisation with no staff with provable skills in that field, very much against the advice of the IT Manager.

The consultancy then employed a couple of people from the sub-continent; they were cheap and had certain buzzwords on their C.Vs. that matched the requirements. However, not one of them had previously worked with the systems involved; or it appears, anything relevant.

Move forward four years, and the project has gone from bad to worse. The amount of money that has been spent in the last year, is nearly three times what the organisation had been spending before it was outsourced.

The senior managers decide to bring it back in house as clearly the consultancy can't deliver. They advertise the jobs that had been sent overseas; but at a rate that was about 40% below what they had paid their staff 4 years before. They then complain that they can't get the "trained staff" that they need.

Anyone recognise this situation?

19
0

Voter registration site collapse proves genius of GDS, says minister

Tony S

Pure Doublethink; where a failure becomes a success.

I think that we may have to change the old adage.

To err, is human. To really mess things up requires a computer and a government.

3
0

Lester Haines: RIP

Tony S

He'll be missed.

RIP

34
0

Developer waits two years for management to define project

Tony S

It was a large multi national manufacturing company. I was told that they needed someone to sort out their IT in the UK. This would involve the network, servers, data storage etc.

On the very first day, it became clear that the people that offered me the job, did not have the authority to make any changes to the IT; so neither would I. I queried what I supposed to do and it seemed to be mostly travelling between the two sites, taking part in meetings where I was not required to make any comments. I also occasionally talked to the people that did have to do the work, but they were not required to take any notice of what I suggested.

Basically paid £40k a year to sit at a vacant desk and surf the Internet. Made a start on a research project for my Master's.

I did actually find a few items where I was able to help some of the staff out; none of them were authorised and I got told off, but they actually meant that I more than covered the cost of my salary. So I don't feel at all guilty.

9
0

Mars One puts 100 Red Planet corpses colonists through fresh tests

Tony S

"My nightmare about it is that people continue to support it and give it money and attention, and it then gets to the point where it inevitably falls on its face," said Roche.

That's actually a really cogent point. Think how quickly the American Public (and Congress) lost interest in the Moon Landings. Apollo 12 had considerably less viewers than Apollo 11; and it seems that none of the networks were interested in Apollo 13 until they thought that someone might die.

If they make a complete lash up of this, then the public and potential investors will lose any interest in future space exploration.

3
0

Page:

Forums