* Posts by Peter2

624 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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UK TV is getting worse as younglings shun the BBC et al, says Ofcom

Peter2
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I would be surprised if anyone could not find one show (Dr Who, Top Gear, Strictly, Eastenders, HIGNFY, etc) which made a good part of the licence worth paying.

Cost of TV License. £145.50.

Cost of boxset: £14.99 (£19.99 if blu ray)

Calculate the cost of the license fee vs the cost of the box sets for everything you would want to watch.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

Peter2
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Re: very old news, deliberately ignored for too long

If we put a dam on every single suitable location in the UK (ignoring the political backlash of forcing people out of their homes to flood those locations) then we still wouldn't have sufficant energy storage capacity.

The only form of energy storage we have is:-

1) pumped storage (different from hydro- it's insanely space intensive and bad news if the dam breaches. The grid has 2GW worth)

2) Electrical storage (hillariously impractical for anything more than keeping a few racks of servers up for long enough to fire a generator up) Used by many readers of this site to supply low killowatt range power for up to an hour, but not attached to the grid because you simply can't supply multiple gigawatts in this manner.

3) A big pile of coal next to a coal plant. 25GW attached to the grid, but it takes a while to get a good fire going so notice is required that it's needed.

4) Lots of gas storage next to a CCGT plant. 25GW attached to the grid, which needs bugger all notice to bring online.

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Peter2
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Re: Current Renewables are a Band-Aid

http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

At the time of writing the 8GW of installed wind farm capacity in the UK is generating 3.21GW. Our 8GW worth of wind capacity appears to have generated up to 5GW 8 times in the last 12 months.

We constantly max out the 2GW connector from France to reduce our emissions (otherwise we'd have to use the CCGT (gas) plants were built to "back up" the wind capacity. Wind output has not equalled the amount of gas based power produced in the last 12 months, though it managed exceed the amount of coal used on one day. This apparently because a couple of coal plants have gone green by burning trees (sorry: biomass) instead of coal, which reduced the coal power total, but keeps the power output, CO2 emissions, and most importantly qualifies them as a "green" plants which lets them claim renewables subsidies.

http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/france/

France sells electricity to quite a lot of people. Germany generally exports renewables to france by day when the wind is blowing and they have a low demand, and imports the rest of the time, most heavily by night.

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Google helps Brit crims polish their image – but what about the innocent

Peter2
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Re: If you commit a crime....

*citation needed.

Could you which other search engine or news source has been declared exempt from the law in Europe please? Over here everybody has to comply with the law.

(Unless you've provided a big enough bribe free all expenses paid fact finding tour (of a sunny beach) to the right politicians, but I hear that sort of bribary lobbying is common practice in the US as well)

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SPICEWORKS FAIL: Are we ready for ‘social’ network administration?

Peter2
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Re: A Very Serious Discussion

Hmm. I do find the Roman solution to this sort of problem attractive. Once upon a time they had a serious problem with structures (bridges etc) collapsing when the supports used in it's construction were removed.

They made the architects stand under the bits they were removing the supports from. There was a breif adjustment period, followed by construction being performed to such a standard that two thousand years later many of the buildings and bridges are still standing.

You can't argue with the results! (I'm not sure how you could apply this to IT Development though)

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Peter2
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•What is the necessity of integrating any given application with services hosted on the internet?

Generally very little, but a lot of the things in spiceworks (eg checking warranties etc) don't work well if they can't use the net.

This is a huge security screwup by spiceworks, which should have zero impact for paranoid users of it, which to be fair is going to be the majority of it's userbase. I mean, who puts total trust in any software package being 100% secure? A few years reading daily horror stories of disasters on El Reg from top tier suppliers should have put paid to that for even the newest IT bods, let alone the older paranoid cynics amongst us.

At the end of the day though, unless your firewall rules read:-

ALLOW INCOMING TRAFFIC FROM *.external to *.internal

ALLOW OUTGOING TRAFFIC FROM *.internal to *.external

Then you already looked into what the program wanted to send, decided this was ok and then set rules to allow the program to do it.

•What must be best practices regarding this sort of implementation, both at a code level and at a systems administration level?

Maybe it's just me having deep trust issues, but I consider that the outside of my network is an extremely hostile environment that will be hacked mercilessly from the second it's discovered by one of the port scans my firewall shows being run against my network on a near 24/7 basis. On that basis, I assume that *nothing* should be directly available on the internet, apart from port 25. (which on my network gets a huge number of people connecting and running directory scans for email addresses I accept, which they then send spam. This keeps the honeypot on my anti spam system busy collecting IP's which are then used against the spammers.)

As far as these applications are available then i'd say:-

Available on LAN: Yes.

Available on VPN: If business requirement.

Available on WLAN: I don't have one because we don't have a business requirement for it, but if I did then i'd say "if business requirement, and if adequately secured from public access"

Available on WAN: Hell no.

•How comfortable are any of us, really, with "hybrid cloud" applications such as Spiceworks?

Reasonably. I like spiceworks, but I don't trust it security wise. Then again, I don't trust anything security wise enough to leave it open to the WAN. Excepting the firewall, which only accepts SSLVPN logins from things with the right security certificate and connection details, the right user & pass and authentication via 2FA.

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It's 2015 and Microsoft has figured out anything can break Windows

Peter2
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Re: Just Use Linux

"Can all you Windows people please stop thinking like blacksmiths about to lose their jobs because the car has been invented?"

The "windows people" are actually IT Professionals who are paid to deliver (generally) the cheapest solution to a requirement handed to us by the people who pay our saleries. Frankly, our jobs won't change much if we are using Windows or *nix because the job of the OS is to Operate Systems and we build and maintain those systems.

The businesses we work for tend to want particular bits of software, not windows. In my particular enviroment to run any currently available flavour of *nix on the desktop would entail accepting the loss of a huge swathe of boring, mundane tools that improve the productivity of the people who make money in the business. (As in, it would cost us money because our productivity would drop)

The business exists for the sole purpose of making money, and the IT exists for the sole purpose of supporting the business in it's objectives, which dictates that we use the OS those tools work on. For the most part, we *really* DO NOT CARE which OS we use.

Incidentally, the biggest thing that Linux fans could do to help increase the utilisation of Linux would be to cease harming the the "Linux" name by making any proponent of Linux look like a stark raving madman or a frothing zealot. These idiots have done, and continue to do far more damage to Linux's name than Microsoft's FUD tactics with patent threats etc ever aspired to cause.

As a result it is vastly more difficult (and in some cases utterly impossible) to get Linux into deployments where it makes commercial sense. If you really want to do Linux a favour, stop making yourself, and everybody else proposing a solution based on it look like an unprofessional hippie with the reasoning skills of a five year old.

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Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

Peter2
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Re: Hardly a surprise

Our local police do actually use PMR446 & PBR. PBR as there is a frequency that all of the smaller shops (and larger shops security bods) use to get in touch with the local police immediately bypassing the time the regional call centre.

I'm given to understand that the reason for this was that the regional call centre was logging calls for the right shops in the wrong towns (sometimes the wrong county) and both the local shops and local police got a bit fed up with this and quietly did something about it. I have a sneaking suspicion that the local shops simply have bought half a dozen extra radios and a fleet charger which is on "temporary" loan to the local police station.

They also monitor one of the PMR frequencies at local events, which is particually handy if your staff at said events. Being a cynic though I do wonder how much most crime being reported by radio has on our towns (exceedingly low) crime figures since presubably a lot of calls are dealt with locally rather than being logged as a crime through the call centres.

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Last flying Avro Vulcan, XH558, prepares for her swan song

Peter2
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Re: Didn't have any plans for a visit to the UK

The NMM does contain a huge amount of material, however little of it is on public display. Their publicly accessible displays are frankly bordering on a national disgrace. Might I suggest striking the NMM from your list and visiting the Shuttleworth collection instead? If your primarily interested in the historic RN then you might wish to visit HMS Trincomalee and HMS Unicorn instead.

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Yay for Tor! It's given us RANSOMWARE-as-a-service

Peter2
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Re: "ransomware...as a Windows screensaver"

And how many people do you expect realise that now CRT's are defunct the use of a screensaver is zero?

The mystery is that people aren't simply dropping .SCR files at the gateway before the users get them. My personal irritation is PDF files with viruses attached. Unlike .SCR files you can't simply arbitarily drop them at the gateway.

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Private cloud has a serious image problem

Peter2
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Re: According to recent Gartner data,

>"Your toaster could tell your fridge that the toasters element is about to fail "

Alternately, you could simply buy an old fashioned toaster that consists of a heating element and a crude timer which will probably last longer than you will do because all of the money for building the thing went into the electronics and housing, rather than into overly delicate microelectronics in a place that there is absolutely no need for them.

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If IT isn’t careful, marketing will soon be telling us what to do

Peter2
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Re: Huh!

Many see it that way, because they are right. Many departments frankly add nothing in value, and so are simply seen as a cost. And yes, I work in IT. If you simply say "you can't do X" then you are going to be seen as obstructive and as a cost.

You add value by providing things that exceed expectations. Advertising is actually largely done through IT here, rather than through marketing. Funny hey?

The reason is because I have call monitoring on our telephone switch, a large pool of DDI's that don't actually exist as telephones and are just routed to the same place. Each advertiser has a different telephone number, so I can track how many telephone calls we get from each advertiser via that method. I track how many visits we get to the website through web tracking tools and how many conversions we get from each source through our customer management system.

The value I have delivered through eliminating non productive advertising in the past year is multiples of my salary. Hence, i'm an asset. I'm listened to and invited along to meetings because I can turn up with facts and figures showing what is going on (such as cost per customer from each advertiser). Suggestions that I make on this basis adds value by saving money that would otherwise be unproductively expended. (i've also heard of due dilligence and don't book adverts without checking rules on what you can say and do, which marketing had failed to do repeatedly)

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High-level, state-sponsored Naikon hackers exposed

Peter2
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Re: an executable file with a double extension.

Very little.

But how much effort would it take to strip .exe's off of emails at the gateway? Even if your firewall doesn't support it then you can implement this via free software such as Xeams.

And how much effort would it take to put a Software Restriction Policy in place that simply prevents users from running executables outside of %program files%? (this also hinders people posting you viruses on USB etc)

The answer to both of those questions is "very little" as well. It'd also be free, since the tools for the first can be used for nothing, and the tools for the second and built into windows. It'd also annihilate an entire family of attacks.

This would however require that the responsible admins actually do more than "very little" to harden their network. Just doing an out of the box install and then installing some form of AV on your endpoints and declaring the network "secure" is not really good enough these days.

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Swedish Supreme Court keeps AssangeTM in Little Ecuador

Peter2
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If it was entirely UK law then they certainly wouldn't face any charges whatsoever, since making a citizens arrest in a situation where a police constable cannot is perfectly legal.

There are international treaties that basically restrict how a hosting nation can treat an overseas embassy.

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Peter2
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Yep, he could be arrested one step outside of the embassy as he's be on British soil.

Technically, the people "kidnapping" him would be in violation of Ecaudorian law however they can't enforce that outside of the embassy and if the embassy staff attempted to intervene one step outside of the embassy then they would be committing a criminal offense under British law, though chances are that their diplomatic staff would be covered under diplomatic immunity. If they did then they'd probably end up being arrested and then later released when it was proved that they did have diplomatic immunity, though having been arrested they'd probably be declared "persona non grata" (Latin for "An Unwelcome Person") which basically means that we would refuse to accept their diplomatic immunity after a period long enough to pack and take a flight out of the country. At this point we might either press criminal charges or forcibly kick them out of the country if they didn't leave of their own accord. Being PNG'd is embarassing and career damaging enough for a diplomat without further indignaties so they generally leave quietly.

Once outside the embassy then Ecauador couldn't request Assange be extradited. Extradition is a process that is simply used when somebody commits a crime in one jurisdiction and then flees beyond the short arm of the law. The long arm of law then comes into effect and the police in the jurisdiction the criminal has flad to arrest the suspect, check to see if there is reasonable cause to assume that the criminal is in fact a criminal and then extradite them to face justice in the country they committed the offense in.

If somebody did "kidnap" Assange and drag him outside the door to be arrested then personally were I them then i'd avoid going on holiday to Ecaudor, however I doubt they'd face charges in the UK as there are precedents going back half a millenia when people have (while abroad) dragged a wanted criminal aboard a ship and sailed back to the UK and handed them over to the police and ultimately the courts. In no case that I can think of has anybody ever faced charges in the UK for delivering a wanted fugitive evading justice to a British court. I think British courts have declined to extradite people who have dragged somebody onto a British ship in the past, but frankly I can't think of any cases of embassies being invaded to drag somebody out and there is no real way of predicting what the judge would decide if an extradition request was put before him.

Personally, I doubt they'd be extradited though. The justice seceratery has a veto IIRC which he'd probably use if it came down to it given the government efforts put into persuading the ecuadorians to hand him over in the first place.

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RAF radar station crew begs public for cash to buy gaming LAN kit

Peter2
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Re: Can't provide cash, can help provide kit...

From this:-

http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/stations.cfm?selectStation=9E1391FE-AF20-CAFC-2BB5532364919C64

and the article i'd guess this would be the correct mailing address:-

Mr S Grundy

Radar Technician

RRH Staxton Wold

Scarborough

North Yorkshire

YO12 4TJ

I'm not sure if they'd be allowed to run their own cables internally though, the defence housing agency gets pretty shitty with people doing DIY repairs on publicly owned properties IIRC, so i'd hate to think what they'd say about drilling holes for wiring the place. Wifi might be a better option for them if anybody has one of those wifi hotpoints that Misco were trying hard to give away to business customer decision makes if they'd endure an hour long sales spiel recently? I skipped this because I hate salesdroids, but if anybody has one going spare then it'd probably be more useful than cable.

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OECD nations gang up on internet retailers, tax dodgers

Peter2
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Re: And a good thing too

If I ruled the country i'd just implement a law called the "taking the piss act" which says that on conviction via jury trial for "taking the piss" by avoiding/evading tax (a prosecution for which can be bought by any citizen, or groups of citizens) the company will be taxed a largish percentage of their turnover instead of a largish percentage of profit for the next five years.

If the multinations go out of business, tough. It simply means that other businesses will take up their market share, most of which will actually pay tax.

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HORDES OF CLING-ONS menace UK.gov IT estate as special WinXP support ends

Peter2
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Re: Surely it is not beyond the wit of HMG

Are you really suggesting a massive IT Project to save money with the governments record on massive IT Projects "to save the taxpayer money"?

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New Windows 10 will STAGGER to its feet, says Microsoft OS veep

Peter2
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Re: Why "upgrade"?

Microsoft produced this in 2001. I still find it funny. The only improvement OfficeXP had over 2000 was not having clippy as I recall.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI2LVI4xgvs

So, we are going to have a sucessor to Clippy now? :( Roll on Windows 11.

All I want from a corporate Microsoft desktop OS is:-

1) stability, and boringness. An OS exists for the sole purpose of Operating Systems and the less time spent fucking around with the OS the more work the users get done. If you have to stick in lots of crap in the OS that nobody wants then allow us to disable it via group policy.

2) No "exciting" feature updates. Just fix boring things like the copy feature so that if it runs into a file requiring human input it does everything else in the que and then just leaves the exceptions for human input. Otherwise, stop fiddling. Corporate IT will pay for lack of fiddling.

3) 10+ year lifetime. Recertifying every application is expensive, time consuming and gains us nothing and we don't want to do it every week just because somebody felt the need to redevelop the wheel to look more fashionable.

4) A consistent "people ready" user experiance requiring no new training from or to the next version.

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Remember SeaMicro? Red-ink-soaked AMD dumps it overboard

Peter2
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Re: Any Way Back?

Or they've been more interested in consumer because it has been proven that Intel are deliberately and anti competitively keeping them out of the server market by screwing the OEM's if they take AMD chips?

Going for the consumer space does make quite a bit of sense because it's impossible for Intel to stop, unlike in the business sector.

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Peter2
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- And I'm curious as to why all those commenters, who are salivating over the remotely possible demise of Blackberry, are not going for AMD's throat the same way.

Because being required to support a blackberry can cause an obsessive dislike of it in certain people. (though they aren't THAT bad.)

AMD on the other hand, has probably been used by virtually everybody here in the early years from the point you could buy an AMD 486 for less than an Intel 386 to the relatively recent point that it made more sense to buy an intel chip on a price/performance basis. The only reason they don't have more of the market is intel successfully managing to illegally lock them out of the market. (for which intel was found criminally guilty and fined)

Even the most diehard intel fan knows that without AMD occasionally thrashing intel's best chip designs there would be a total monopoly of the market by Intel and R&D would be greatly reduced, and with no competition on prices they would go up significantly as well. So if AMD dies then we will largely stop getting faster chips, and we'll pay a lot more for them because there is nobody to cause the prices to stay down at a reasonable level.

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Labour policy review tells EU where to stuff its geo-blocking ban

Peter2
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Meanwhile, in the real world...

You'll simply be required to sign into an account to access anything on the BBC website. Everybody in the UK with a license will be mailed a username/pass, and people without an account will be invited to buy a license to access the content.

This is of course totally compliant because it's not geo-blocking and nothing changes (apart from needing to enter a user/pass) but costs skyrocket due to the complexity of delivering such a system. The outsourcing company the project is outsourced to charges 5 billion for the job, and it is delivered 2 years late and considerably over budget due to the extreme difficulty of implementing such unknown technology. We're advised afterwards that "lessons have been learnt" as a result.

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Welcome to the FUTURE: Maine cops pay Bitcoin ransom to end office hostage drama

Peter2
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Re: GPO

Actually, it doesn't fail that at all. "msword.exe" is an EXEcutable file, "randomfile.doc" is not. Even if it was an executable file, you'd simply remove it from the list of file types the poilcy applies to. You have to do this with links anyway, since the handling of them is outright idiotic.

The idea behind the use of an SRP is that you prevent *.exe, *.bat, *.vbs, *.etc files from running outside of %programfiles%, and optionally any network locations required. This means that if a user receives an email with a virus then they literially cannot actually run it.

These days a single AV product catches around a third of stuff coming in. Simply saying "I have AV installed, that's secure enough" is no longer good enough. It was adequately effective in a low threat enviroment in 2005, but it simply doesn't work in 2015. I have 3 seperate AV scanners running on my network (Firewall at the gateway, the anti spam system has it's own AV and then the mailserver/desktop AV) and the three combined don't catch enough for me to be happy relying on the users as to which executable files received by email they can run. We are an office, not a programmers. They have no business need to run executables received by email, so they have no ability to.

SRP's alone aren't enough as a security measure because they don't block macro viruses sent in office documents, though these are easily eliminated with another GPO. I've largely dropped Adobe reader for a reader that doesn't understand the concept of embedded files, and the remaining installations have javascript disabled through a GPO to harden them against PDF viruses as much as is possible and I simply don't install Flash installed on my machines due to a lack of any requirement for it and the fact that exploits for it exist when it's embedded in office files. (though to be fair EMET ought to prevent such things from working)

The time required to manage this lot is *zero*, if you exclude the extra line on the New PC checklist for installing and configuring EMET. The only time the users ever notice is when they insert a CD they received in the post and then manually attempt to run the launcher. (which the business agreed that there is no business requirement for)

Otherwise, the relatively extensive set of measures emplaced to protect them goes utterly unnoticed by both the users and support, save for our annual review of security threats and our countermeasures. That, and when I feel a burning need to correct comments about how impossible it is to harden a windows network to the point of being near impervious. It is neither impossible or difficult. You can get 90% of the way there with half an hour editing GPO's to fit your enviroment, with zero impact to your users.

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Microsoft's top legal eagle: US cannot ignore foreign privacy laws

Peter2
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Do you really think it's a moral decision on Microsoft's part?

Or do you think that they know full well that if they lose this ruling then trust in the cloud is *completely* dead in foreign nations across the world?

Microsoft is a major cloud vendor with massive investments in cloudy stuff (even office 365) and they stand to lose truly massive amounts of money if the US government wins. They pretty much have no other option but to fight this and exhaust every single avenue of appeal from a commercial point of view. Given that, why not also milk it for PR to the greatest extent possible?

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El Reg offers you the chance to become a Master Investor – for free

Peter2
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Re: Fail to see the link

Sailor on a warship that got hit by a bomb which failed to go off - yet the warship still burnt to the ground and sank. Operated by an organisation which failed to plan to fight fires, failed to have adequate backup systems to fight fires, failed to have fire protection for crew of a ship which is designed to have bombs dropped on it.

Mmm. Firstly, he wasn't a sailor. The nautical term is "burnt to the waterline". They use this instead of "bunt to the ground" since ships aren't usually on land.

You missed the fact that they were strafed at the same time, and that they activated their disaster recovery plan, which worked and the ship survived. A small, but significant oversight. Likewise with the fact that it was a landing craft, not a warship.

On a separate occasion, it was hit by three separate bombs which did explode, setting about a hundred tons worth of fuel on fire. This exceeded the disaster recovery plan somewhat because there is a finite amount of damage that an unarmoured landing craft that's not designed to have bombs dropped on it can reasonably be expected to receive before it is written off.

The only thing that is broadly correct in your post is the punctuation and grammar.

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Marvell: We don't want to pay this $1.5bn patent bill because, cripes, it's way too much

Peter2
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Re: Patents: Sought by the Wright brothers while Europe built planes

Actually, the EU is now a country. It's got it's own national anthem and the EU also wants it's own army.

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Mobile 4G spectrum investors actually spent $12.4m on walkie-talkie frequencies – US SEC

Peter2
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Re: Peter2

I'll let you off then. :) I was shaking my head myself, given that voice is generally down in the 400-500MHz range and the frequencies are going to be less use as a chocolate teapot. Still, one can't expect the users to know anything everything.

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Peter2
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Coat

That's rare. El Reg missed the opportunity to make bad puns about Janus being two faced about their offerings. :/

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Are you sure there are servers in this cold, dark basement?

Peter2
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How do you end up with two IT Managers stealing all of your equipment within a year?

It sounds like this company has both severe systematic problems with recruitment, and also with how they are treating employees for that to happen to the same place twice within a year. I haven't encountered that sort of theft once during my career.

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Comcast: Google, we'll see your 1Gbps fiber and DOUBLE IT

Peter2
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Re: Marketing fluff?

Don't be silly. The router will be supplied with fast ethernet ports and EVERYBODY knows that's fast enough.

(so you can connect 20 devices to the 4 ports on the device)

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Peter2
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Re: Distribution architecture vulnerability

The UK network was mainly constructed by a government owned industry.

Actually, we had about 600 separate grids all running at different voltages until somebody came up with the idea of standardising a high voltage series of interconnects between power plants and to each grid so losing a power plant didn't result in a power cut. (After low takeup) the use of this was mandated by law and the government bought the main grid after WW2 when labour nationalised every industry in sight, but i'm not convinced government deserves the credit for our grid.

Also in the UK most of the low voltage lines (240v/440v) are underground not the ugly overhead line jungle that you find in third world countries and the US.

To be fair, in the UK that generally applies to houses built since electricity was discovered.

Properties that are older than that tend to have power and phone cables delivered via pole instead of via buried underground, especially in the countryside on (or near) flood plains.

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Users shun UK.gov flagship digital service

Peter2
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Re: The complete digitalisation of the process would remove safeguards...

Prices per hour? I wish. Can you provide a single example of a firm regulated by the SRA not providing an affordable fixed fee for completing an LPA? As far as i'm aware our competitors that weren't doing fixed fee work went out of business years ago, with the exception of a few London firms doing work for people who don't know (or much care) what they are being charged.

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Boris Johnson backs trade union campaign to ungag civil servants

Peter2
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You mean back when parliament used to occasionally meet once a year or so because the people elected had jobs/lives outside of parliament? (I think king Charles the first had one meeting of parliament in two decades, which is perhaps a bit too much of a gap.)

Wouldn't it be nice if we limited politicians to one day in parliament a quarter. That'd sharply reduce the number of crap laws simply by reducing the total number enacted.

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BOFH: Never mind that old brick, look at this ink-stained BEAUTY

Peter2
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Re: says:

I'm using an (old model) IBM model M keyboard at work which uses a DIN connection. You have to use one converter to change this to a PS/2 and then another to convert to USB to allow me to plug it into a modern computer.

The keyboard is older than the newer entrants to the workplace, and it does more useful work.

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El Reg uncages its truly demonic BOFH t-shirt

Peter2
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Re: Still waiting for

Actually, thinking about it a BOFH polo shirt would be quite good. I couldn't get away with wearing a T-shirt to the office, but I could (and probably would) wear a polo necked shirt.

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BT Home Hub SIP backdoor blunder blamed for VoIP fraud

Peter2
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Re: SBC?

The fact that article indicated that they were running on a telephone system called FreePBX isin't a giveaway that they wanted to do the job on the cheap? I'd never even heard of it, and I would wager that it was not installed by a professional.

That said, I do work for a law firm and rarely get a week without somebody trying to sell me a brand new IPPBX. I am assured by roughly eight of ten sales people that I have contact with (usually via email as our reception intercepts and discards most sales calls for me) that I can run an IP PBX on my internal network and on my existing internet connection without needing to worry about security, QOS or having sufficant bandwidth. This usually comes with a quoted price tag of approximately 6x the price of the equipment and installation I have from a company I know is competent.

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CIOs: What tech will be running your organisation in 2020?

Peter2
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Re: As IT manager for my company

I was just going to post the same thing, actually. Until a few months ago, my oldest desktop hardware was 13 years old, since the business didn't care enough to replace the XP boxes in good time. The stuff i'm putting in now is virtually certainly going to still be here in 5 years time, though there might (maybe) be enough money available to move off of Win7 before support ends in 2020.

My guess is that the deliberately-higher-spec-than-it-needed-to-be server running 2012R2 is going to be the core of the network, and the 2003 boxes will have been visualised to it, hopefully as 2012 boxes rather than 2003 ones...

That's not much of a prediction though, it's going to happen next time something dies in a generation 5 Proliant and the costs for consolidating turn out to be lower than the extensive list of replacement parts required.

We'll probably be using the same equipment down to the printers, since maintenance kits for Kyocera printers every quarter million pages is still going to be a lot cheaper than replacing every network printer we have. The only thing that's likely to change is the phone system, which will certainly have been replaced on the basis that it's already coming up to legal drinking age and it deserves a dignified retirement before it finally blows a component that's not redundant.

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One BEEEEEELLION sensitive records went AWOL in 2014

Peter2
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Three in four (74.5 per cent) of these reported incidents took place in the United States.

Clearly nowhere else in the world has crime just because it's not reported as much.

And blaming poor code on apathetic developers is bullocks. Imagine the following meeting with higher management.

Manager 1. I delivered 2 projects on time and on budget.

Manager 2. I delivered 5 projects, all of which were completed early and under budget!

Higher management shower congratulations, praise and bonuses on which manager?

Was it the guy who diligently ensured that the job was done properly to the point of pedantry and delivered secure, stable, well tested and documented code while ensuring his team was kept well trained?

Or was it the guy who forced his staff to cut every corner, denied requests for training, eliminated testing and declared the program done and the project ready to deploy company wide shortly after a mostly working build was produced that should have been considered an alpha test. At which point having deployed the tangled mess it was declared to be the responsibility of the Business as Usual support staff since it was live code and not in development, to the deep joy of the support staff when they discovered the mess was not only a poorly coded disaster waiting to happen but had no documentation.

By which point like a hurricane leaving a trail of destruction he's doing the same thing to the next project and his staff can't be disturbed. Naturally. A cycle which continues until either something blows up that he can't pin on the Business as Usual staff and he's fired, or he's promoted. (either because management think he's doing a good job, or because everybody technical deploys the "failing upwards" technique of ridding themselves of somebody useless.

Once at such rarefied heights (where hopefully he'll suffocate) he has two options to explain the poor performance of the programs he's been responsible for. He can admit that all of his coding, working, supervisory and management practices are destructive and try to do something about the mess he's caused, or blame his useless and apathetic developers.

. . . so who do you think got promoted, and who do you think is at blame for the situation?

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X+Y shows teens are teens, regardless of where they are 'on the spectrum'

Peter2
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Re: Classification

It's a way to allow people to avoid thinking and avoid understanding people. If you can label somebody then it allows people to ignore their concerns (or anything else they say easily) because "they are from group/tribe x, of course they are going to say that".

Politicians love and encourage this because, well. Divide and conquer. There's lots of votes in creating arguments and discontent by promising one group that you are going to screw over their fellow citizens. The more groups that exist, the more arguments that can be stirred up and the more futile and impotent each group becomes.

In the 21st century in civilised societies comprised of people who from a historical standpoint are almost unimaginably well educated and informed it is of course unthinkable to sit down with all of the groups, address all of their concerns and come to a sensible compromise.

But why is it unthinkable? Politicians. And you. If you let them get away with it then you share responsibility for the situation.

Of course, we could end it. Easily, even. Just promote tolerance, understanding and a dislike of politicans.

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'Get your privacy policy down to one page': AVG CEO throws glove down

Peter2
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Re: “Get your privacy policy down to one page in a language that everybody understands"

American lawyers may like long documents, but Solicitors do not like long documents. (or at least, the ones I work for and correspond with don't!) emails, letters and contracts are masterpieces of brevity which are ruthlessly pruned to the minimum size possible.

A document ten times the length has on average ten times the likelyhood of containing an exploitable error. As with coding, functions ten times the required length make finding errors ten times harder.

It also takes ten times longer to explain them to a customer, which is not desirable when you offer services on a fixed fee basis instead of an hourly rate.

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Hurry shipmates - the black hats have hacked our fire control system

Peter2
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Re: they all lost....

I think it probably would work rather well. I somehow suspect that Belfast is not generating her own power.

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IDC downgrades sales outlook for PCs AND tablets

Peter2
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/me predicts further falls in brand new PC sales because most barely solvent businesses are buying refurbs to stretch their budgets.

My budget is essentially "what we can afford when we can't afford not to spend it" at the moment. I'm getting shot of Pentium IV's running XP and replacing them with C2D's with Win7. My back of the envelope equipment plan is to replace the HDD's in the refurbs with SSD's (it's the only degrading component) to extend their life out to 2020 and then start putting the business back on a normal replacement cycle with new equipment (the replacement cycle stopped in 2007 when the economy went down like the titanic) if the company's cashflow continues improving in line with the economy.

I know at least a couple of other businesses have broadly similar plans, so I would imagine that an awful lot of hard up against it businesses are doing similar.

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Scotland to get National ID system 'by the backdoor', campaigners mull challenge

Peter2
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Re: Why the fuss?

That's exactly the point, we don't want ID Cards. A national ID Register will through scope creep eventually lead to ID cards, which will then lead to a requirement to carry them, which will lead to our police being distorted even further to the point they end up demanding "Papers!", which as a protest nobody will carry. Which in turn will lead to not carrying ID papers being a crime, and then criminal punishments for not carrying them. At which point you'll be required to produce papers all the time and we will be well along the way to becoming an authoritarian state and ending up like George Orwells 1984.

In short it would hugely change the relationship between the individual and the state. At the moment our system of law functions on a very different principle than yours, namely that you are free to do anything you want, unless restrictions are placed on those freedoms via law. We like this, wish it to remain so and fight any attempt to introduce creeping change.

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Oi. APPLE fanboi! You with the $10k and pocket on fire! Fancy a WATCH?

Peter2
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Re: Really?

It was aced by an Anon commenter above in a truly excellent post.

Summarising what he said there are two reasons for wearing a watch. As a timepeice (for which a Casio is perfectly adequate, I wear once myself) or as the only socially acceptable piece of jewellery a man can show off as a status symbol without looking like a total knob.

So he's saying that we should give up our perfectly adequate Casio combination timepiece/stopwatch/alarm clock/etc for a single purpose timepiece which has the virtue of being an expensive status symbol you can flash at people to impress them.

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Peter2
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Re: Hmm...$10,000...

I've been wearing a Casio watch since before the newest entrants to the workplace were born, and I am just idly wondering which Casio watch other people are wearing? (daily, as a working timepiece and not as a fashion statement)

W-93H for me.

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Is there a cure for cancer sitting at the back of the medicine cabinet already?

Peter2
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Re: I sincerely hope

And also for labelling a significant percentage of the population as "right wing" and then proceeding to construct a pantomime evil straw man that you can demolish. Who do you think your persuading with logical fallacies?

Politicans love groups and labels because it allows them to stir up arguments between groups, which allows them to divide and conquer. By promising to address one groups concerns they get support from that group, usually by promising to screw another group over. Never mind the damage this does to our society with the constant encouraged infighting between groups.

If you find this objectionable, then don't take part.

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

Peter2
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Re: You want a bigger picture?

It really comes down to how many pixels per inch you want.

At 1920x a 24" would be 80ppi and 152" would be 12ppi. Even a 4k resolution would only give you 26ppi so it might be a little pixelated.

So you wouldn't want one. You'd want 3 for a multi monitor setup so large that in a FPS you'd see things in your peripheral vision.

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TrueCrypt + Norton AV = BSOD, wail disgruntled users

Peter2
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Re: "Who uses Norton?"

And 7zip's LZMA format blows RAR out of the water in compression sizes, absurdly so when you get to very large numbers of slightly similar files since it deduplicates.

More usefully, it's supported by NSIS, so you can wrap an installshield like GUI around it so that people don't need to care about the format your using.

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For pity's sake, you FOOL! DON'T UPGRADE it will make it WORSE

Peter2
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Re: Accented characters in windows

Or just press the alt button and type the code of the accented thing, such as ALT-136 for e with an accent (îê.)

Most of them are in the extended ASCII set. You could then either print out a list (or more usefully) stick the common ones in macros tied to something she can use easily like the F1-F12 keys which are usually unused.

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Your hard drives were RIDDLED with NSA SPYWARE for YEARS

Peter2
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Re: Grzegorz Brzeczyszczykiewicz

"Since this name seems to be fake, I find myself wondering about the veracity of the whole story.".

Maybe the people responsible for doing the work didn't want to give their names to the NSA in case they suffered a traffic accident along the same lines as Iranian nuclear scientists do? (generally caused by a bullet rather than other road users)

If I was releasing something like this then I can see why I might get quite paranoid.

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