Feeds

* Posts by Alien8n

246 posts • joined 15 May 2007

Page:

BOFH: On the PFY's Scottish estate, no one can hear you scream...

Alien8n
Alien

The irony

The irony is architects seem to be very good at creating designs that generate a lot of energy, just not so good at harnessing that energy (except as Jaguar melting plants). Imagine a couple of well designed window frontages that actually focused the beam onto a solar panel, rather than onto nearby parked cars, or high rise skyscrapers that directed winds through turbines instead of creating pavement level local hurricanes...

6
0

BOFH: He... made... you... HE made YOU a DOMAIN ADMIN?

Alien8n
Alien

That was my last role, very happy to help them out, even pointed the IT guys in the direction of the databases I'd been building to support the systems I was working on. Not their fault, their biggest client went titsup.com owing them over a quarter million.

The role BEFORE that however was literally walked out the door, here's a box and don't think about coming back. This was AFTER I'd fixed the problem caused by one of the clients (which incidentally involved a hell of a lot of data we weren't supposed to have and would cost the company thousands in fines for breaches of data protection). No warning, nothing. At least I know my domain access and email account would have been stopped immediately, which may cause them a few problems when it comes to renewal time for the remote access software :p My only satisfaction was knowing the Finance Director was using my name as a swear word for months afterwards after the company solicitor took one look at my letter to them and demanded that they pay me.

1
0
Alien8n

That sounds vaguely similar to one of my previous roles.

To put the company in perspective I'm 100% certain that despite making sure the person with the most knowledge leaves a company with the worst feelings towards said company all the passwords for the doors and computers will still be the same ones that were being used when I left. Hell, whenever they sack someone for stealing at a remote site they still don't change the passwords on the banking sites that they use, and because they're generic accounts there's no way to tell who is logged in at any given moment. Pretty sure my admin account probably still exists as well... (No, I haven't tried it, I enjoy freedom too much and I'm damned if I'm going to tell them how to do their jobs)

0
0
Alien8n
Alien

Re: @bpfy

My last company the IT guys would send emails to each other. Amazing how often the only female member of staff got emails of undying love from the other members of her team. Less said about the youtube videos sent from the IT Director the better (I thought you wanted videos on "goat sex").

In a previous incarnation as an engineer I once changed the desktop wallpaper on a colleagues desktop machine each morning to a different photo of the 5 koala bear paper clips that were kidnapped at the start of the week with an accompanying ransom demand. Day 1 showed them lined up with blindfolds and paws tied together. Day 2 photoshopped one of their heads onto the floor (with obligatory red smear under head). Day 3 saw 2 of them sold into sexual slavery...

Made better by the fact that the Aussie tech in the department was also taking the photos and emailing them back home to his family in Australia :)

1
0
Alien8n
Alien

Almost as bad the other way

In a previous role one of the Directors decided he was now in charge of all things IT despite having no IT skills at all, made worse by one of the other Directors deciding he needed oversight of IT as well. So effectively that gave me 2 competing bosses who spent most of their time trying to out-compete themselves for IT ignorance. As a result we moved from a Platinum certified Cloud provider to one that could barely be classed as Silver certified and I was originally tasked with moving everything within 2 weeks while having zero input while still having to do the day job and hand holding the IT (*cough*) person moving the web server and the SQL servers. Yes, the new provider had no one with any experience of setting up a SQL backend IIS front end system. It took them a month just to get the backups working on the SQL databases. Cue Director 2 moving the website design to a new company and myself then having to fix all the css scripts because the web design company couldn't code css for our websites despite being given a copy of the entire website for coding purposes. All in the name of "saving money". Anyway, you can imagine the disaster when they decided to upgrade all the security permissions for the remote workers, resulting in around 50 folders having individual permission groups being setup followed by the complaints when permissions didn't work because Jenny from Site A was at Site B helping Tony today. Almost as much fun as having myself setup as a special permission group despite being their only IT person so that I was actually locked out of most of their reporting folders, including the reports that I designed and built for them. So when a "Boss" decides they know better than their IT department now I just say go ahead, I'm just glad I'm no longer the one having to fix the god awful cluster f%&k that is the inevitable outcome.

4
0

BOFH: One flew over the PFY's nest

Alien8n

Where did he install it and do you have to pay to visit?

(It's a slow morning, GOG is running a very slow sale...)

1
0

Dark matter: Good news, everyone! We've found ... NOTHING AT ALL

Alien8n

Re: Flat Earth

There are some statues from Roman times where the Emperor is clearly standing with one foot on a globe representing the Earth. So yes, it has been known for a very long time.

Although the true position is of course that the Earth is flat and it's elephants all the way down...

0
0

Bucket? Check. Toilet plunger? Check. El Reg's 50 years of Doctor Who

Alien8n

Except that wasn't for the UK market, it was supposed to kickstart a US series which the BBC would then buy back for the UK market (hence why it was set in Los Angeles and not Cardiff). The project was then cancelled when US reaction was fairly negative (hey who knew, they actually preferred the low budget UK version with dodgy script writing).

0
0

Like iPads? Like stuff called AIR? Here's our REVIEW ROUNDUP-squared

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Quote.... It's just an iPad, FFS

Only once the keys have been put in the ignition and the engine turned on. Until that point it's just a stationary hunk of metal and plastic, much like the wheelbarrow. I know which one I'd prefer to put the grass clippings and manure in though :p

0
0

Alien planet is just like EARTH - except for ONE tiny detail

Alien8n

"It couldn't have formed in place because you can't form a planet inside a star. It couldn't have formed further out and migrated inward, because it would have migrated all the way into the star. This planet is an enigma," splutters Latham's colleague Dimitar Sasselov.

A slight lack of foresight there. Yes it could very well have formed further out and migrated. They just happened to look at it prior to falling into its sun. It's a big universe, look for long enough and you'll see lots of weird stuff, from black holes being formed, stars exploding, stars being born, it's all out there.

6
1
Alien8n
Alien

Re: So....without reading to much into this...

Why enslave the human race? You do such a good job of it yourselves :)

6
0

How I BLEW my co-workers' HEADS OFF ... without going to jail

Alien8n

I have an LCD TV like that...

It's a choice between hitting it or waiting the 5 minutes for it to warm up enough that it corrects itself anyway...

0
0

Cash-strapped students hungrily eye up old, unloved racks

Alien8n

Re: Who says it's got to be x86 ?

A few years ago maybe, but even my old 80Gb (okay, it WAS 80Gb, it's now 500 Gb) PS3 can no longer be used as a Linux box due to the updates to the machine. Remember they removed the ability to install another OS after someone found the master security. Unless there's a way to hack it back to a previous bios?

2
0

Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

Alien8n

Re: It's all about who you employ

Quite famously as I recall, attempting to bomb a US warship while pretending to be Arabs. Right up until the point they got captured and revealed who they actually were...

2
0

RUMBLINGS: Apple pondering 'Touch Cover keyboard' for iPads

Alien8n

If it's anything like the 3rd party covers it'll close keyboard to screen with an auto-off feature so while the cover's closed the iPad is in sleep mode.

0
0
Alien8n

Re: Quick question:

I have one for the iPad, works a treat (useful for editing documents on the fly as well as blog posts).

This is really where it works best, iPad with a 3G connection, sat with a coffee in a cafe (or via wifi if in a slightly better establishment) or even in the bar with a pint. Prop up the iPad in it's stand, pull out the keyboard and as soon as it's turned on it's away you go and comments are posted on El Reg shortly after (minus the typos from using the onscreen keyboard).

0
0

Congrats on MP3ing your music... but WHY bother? Time for my ripping yarn

Alien8n

Re: Well yes... I guess

Yes, I'm looking forward to seeing the Coldplay concert with Cradle Of Filth as support...

For most people they tend to like a particular genre (be it viking metal, black metal, hard rock or whatever) and then throw a few Iron Maiden albums in for good measure. My personal collection is exceptionally large due to actually liking an extremely wide range of music. I have everything from medieval folk music through to black metal. When you have that range you need to know your genres and sub-genres...

0
0

Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

Alien8n

I used to design them (in my defense I designed the cashier operated tills, not self service).

My guess is that after a while the testing guys get so utterly bored of running the same tests for hours each day that they become immune to the error messages and just go "sod it, good enough". And yes, they do get tested, by real humans. Maybe what is needed is to hire a mixture of the brightest and dumbest people to do the testing as it always seems to be designed for one or the other...

3
0

Study accuses media companies of cooking the books on piracy losses

Alien8n

Re: And bears are catholics. Or something like that...

Difference there is while the original pressing is obviously a rare and unique piece JMJ himself did grant universal permission for anyone who can get hold of a copy of the original to make a copy (albeit at only as good as "taped off the radio" quality). You have to admit, clever marketing to an extent. The real question is does the album state that resales of the original should include an "original artist tax" to enable JMJ to profit each time it sell?

0
0
Alien8n
Alien

Re: Wrong assumption

From what I've seen it falls into several areas. Some are a bit greyer than others but all as far as the law is concerned are wrong.

1. Files shared between friends. Not actually any different than any time since the 1970's where friends would swap tapes, then CDs.

2. Files downloaded for interest. "That band has an interesting name, I wonder what they sound like".

3. Files downloaded because you simply cannot find them any other way. Poe and Aimee Allen come to mind here, both had their music leaked AFTER the record company stitched them up and refused to release their music (Poe was famously unable to even perform her own music for 7 years after her label refused to re-release her albums despite a large fanbase requesting it).

4. Files downloaded that you already own. This tends to be the older generation who still has an extensive collection of vinyl, cassettes and CDs but in the case of vinyl and cassette no way to convert to mp3/flac.

5. Files downloaded to try. Done this one myself, downloaded an album from a friend, liked it so much I bought the CD 2 months later when it was released in the UK along with the limited edition CD singles.

6. Then you have the music downloaded because you can.

Interestingly most of the above have the potential to either increase sales (1, 2, 5), or were a result of a sale in the past (4). The clearest piracy case is 6, which would never have resulted in a sale. However this is also the group that is closest to the argument of piracy is theft as the nearest pre-digital case would be walking into a store and walking out without paying with a bag full of stolen CDs. Number 3 is my personal bugbear where the music industry is concerned. It's quite simply industry bullying of artists, taking their creative work and then preventing the artist from actually being able to sell what they've created. Often in the mistaken belief that if they promote a small heavy metal band it might mean less money available in the market for sales of their star hip-hop artist. At a certain level in larger labels they lose sight that the people who are interested in band A simply aren't interested in band B and by not promoting one it actually does not help the other.

4
0
Alien8n

Re: Yawn

For some record companies those are important (and underpaid) people. What is needed is not a cull of the people, but of the big labels. It's the concentration of a small handful of big labels strangling creative content that is the biggest problem in music. These are the companies that tell musicians to take single digit percentages knowing in most cases they'll have to accept or see their music held from radio play as the labels carpet bomb the airways with their formulated tripe. What is needed is more labels like Nuclear Blast that are using social media, digital distribution and allowing their artists to do what they actually want, which is to create.

2
0

500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Is that really true?

Main problem I've found is that the PC I have at home now runs like a total dog on Win7. It's also completely messed up my screen resolution. On XP it would output 1920x1080 without any problems, but now if I try to output 1920x1080 it seems to spread out and and I only see a quarter of the screen. Hopefully a new graphics card at a later date with HDMI output will fix this. (P4 3GHz Win 32 with 2Gb of RAM)

Then again with all the photo editing I'm now doing I'll be building a new pc anyway... got my sights set on a new i7 3.5GHz Haswell setup (will be doubling up as my new MMO machine ready for ESO)

0
0
Alien8n
Alien

Re: Extra Support

I don't remember anyone else working in the IT dept at my last company... were you my replacement?

(If so, you have my deepest sympathies)

0
0

Rotten Apple iOS 7 fury: Glitchy audio or is today's music really that bad?

Alien8n

Re: Only official cables

So much this. I used to love the Sony Ericsson phones until the Xperia range came out. I now refuse to use a SE phone with a micro USB slot as they're prone to breaking and SE refuse to admit there's a design flaw. Not had any issues with the charging sockets on any other phone.

Socket on my old iphone 3 survived several years before being given to my daughter as part of an upgrade. So far her track record is 3 laptop chargers, a portable dvd charger and one iphone charger and the socket on the iphone. I have since banned her from using anything electrical that requires anything other than a bog standard kettle lead or smaller 2 pin lead (which I have loads of).

0
0

OK, so we paid a bill late, but did BT have to do this?

Alien8n

Re: BT has "senior managers responsible for ‘customer experience’"?

I remember one interview I had in London years ago.

First question: "Are you married?"

As soon as I answered "Yes" I was told I wouldn't be getting the job due to the fact it involved international travel to areas of the world with a very high chance of being shot at. They were very open about the fact that some of their employees have literally driven through the security fences at airports to race for a plane about to leave with bullets being fired at them. Still sounds safer than dealing with the bosses at my last place...

(The job involved installing satellite uplink services for media outlets in 3rd world countries. Think Rwanda)

3
0

NSA slides reveal: iPhone users are all ZOMBIES

Alien8n

Re: Listen to them...

Testing kit at a previous job was like that. All devices being tested would start failing approximately 20 seconds prior to anyone with an Orange mobile receiving a call. Phones were banned from within the actual clean room facilities themselves for this reason and the testing rig had a 1m space painted around it with "do not enter if you have a pace-maker fitted" painted on the side of the rig.

0
0
Alien8n

Re: @poopypants

I recall when I was an engineer being told of an inspection of the faraday cage at one supplier's factory. The operators were working away merrily within the cage while listening to the radio. Which was also inside the cage with them.

0
0
Alien8n

Re: Android

So so true, even in the UK. Last time my uncle came home he was strip searched (complete with cavity search). Reason? He had been sent to Iraq to inspect the oil wells there and they detected traces of "explosives" on his passport when he came back through customs.

He's a health and safety manager for a large oil company, trained in emergency first aid (the hard way, on the Uganda in the Falklands) and with handling explosives. It would be more suspicious if there weren't traces of explosives on him.

1
0

Canadian family gives up modern tech to live like it's 1986

Alien8n

Re: iPhone and iPad?

My daughter has all her coursework loaded onto an ipad due to the library running out of copies of the fixed texts they're using this year. Made more annoying as the school has decided to close it's library so has no copies of it's own to hand out either.

0
0
Alien8n

Re: Re:80's?

Having owned the 2.0 Sierra (Same engine as the Cosworth, just without the Cosworth tuning) you can keep the Cosworth. Those cars are lethal, most dangerous car I've ever driven :( Must have nearly killed me at least 3 times in the wet, too much power and not enough weight. Great fun in the dry however...

0
0

Headmaster calls cops, tries to dash pupil's uni dreams - over a BLOG

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Truth or consequences

In my case it was a lucky punch to the nuts, resulting in bully rolling on the floor for 5 minutes in pain, 6 other bullies walking off, every teacher turning their back ("nothing to see here") and the bully never daring to come near me again. That was the bog standard comp. Private school however was sheer hell, the rule tended to be the richer your parents the more you could get away with, so it was always the poor kids fault.

1
0

The Solar System's second-largest volcano found hiding on Earth

Alien8n

Re: So how come...

My understanding is it's to do with magma chambers. 1 chamber per volcano. So this volcano just has one huge magma chamber.

What hasn't been determined is whether the volcano is extinct or dormant, which would be determined by whether there was still any magma in the chamber (the suggestion here would be that it's actually dormant, but so dormant as to be pretty much permanently comatose)

1
0

NSA is 'great at some sophisticated tasks but oddly bad at the simplest'

Alien8n
Alien

Re: here's an idea...

If only it was that simple. I have plenty of experience but many companies out there won't even look at my CV without a bit of paper.

I remember when I switched departments in a previous job and the IT director's response was "oh well, we'll find something for you to do" when I told him my highest qualification was an A level. This was despite having developed the company's entire manufacturing platform, reporting tools and the engineering department's intranet solution for distributing those reporting tools. While at other companies I've been tasked with building solutions for Pepsico, the US State Dept and done technical support for some of the world's largest publishing houses. The common denominator in all those jobs is the size of the company I was working for, small enough that they'd rather have the experience but also small enough that they won't pay for the training.

1
0

Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Not so much

I used to have a lovely surround sound system with enough inputs on the back for 2 consoles, Sky box and DVD player. Until a power cut surged the main board on it and resulted in full surround sound white noise ever after :(

To make it worse they no longer make those models and I've never found another manufacturer that does...

0
0

Boffins' keyboard ELECTROCUTES Facebook addicts

Alien8n
Alien

Camera flash capacitors

Imagine hooking it up to a camera flash (old style with the large capacitors)

The longer you look the higher the charge :)

0
0

Google Glass: Would you pay a mere $299 to plop one on your brow?

Alien8n
Alien

Dual display

I'd be more interested if they had a dual display option. Set it to twin display to mimic 2 monitors for work and then switch to overlay for 3d gaming. And without the need for those pesky filters to stop people checking what you're reading when they walk past

0
0

NSA gets burned by a sysadmin, decides to burn 90% of its sysadmins

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Security is not just confidentiality, people!

I use to dream of staff ratios like that. My last place was closer to 1:250 with me being the 1. So glad I don't work there anymore as the Finance Director decided he knew more about IT than anyone else on the planet and moved all the services to the cheapest cloud provider he could find. I understand my replacement spends more time off sick than he does in the office due to the stress of dealing with a boss who has zero people skills, an ego with its own gravitational field and a pretty serious sociopathic disorder.

6
0

Snowden's secure email provider Lavabit shuts down under gag order

Alien8n
Alien

Re: no host

But how can you spy on someone without them knowing you're spying if you have to ask for the password?

The point here was Lavabit it would seem were told to build in a backdoor that would allow the NSA full access. We'll never know if this was the actual demand made but it seems most likely given what we currently know.

1
0
Alien8n
Alien

Re: Pre-emptive Denial of Receipt of Gag Order

"I've never been issued any investigatory letters"

Pretty sure the point has been the fact that our govts have simply bypassed issuing any of these under the grounds of "but it's the War on Terror, that means it's all legal since we passed that law that bypassed all your privacy"

0
0
Alien8n
Alien

Re: ECC Patents

Sensible and reasoned debate on El Reg?

*checks date*

Nope, not April...

:)

2
0

Terror cops swoop on couple who Googled 'backpacks' and 'pressure cooker'

Alien8n
Alien

Re: 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing

Just rename the east coast Mega City One while they're at it?

0
0
Alien8n
Alien

That's us cooked then....

0
0

Mystery object falls from sky, area sealed off by military: 'Weather balloon', say officials

Alien8n
Alien

It's cheap an effective. Not everything floating in space is made with an infinite budget*

* Actually we tend to use the secret slave labour camps in China for those things, we've been outsourcing all our alien space tech to Foxconn for years, it's cheaper than running a factory on Alpha Centauri...

0
1

Only 1 in 5 Americans believe in pure evolution – and that's an upswing

Alien8n
Alien

Re: There are more things in our heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies

The Goldilocks Zone is more to do with "Intelligent Life" though. Given a planet with a similar gravity, atmosphere and temperature and a star producing the right light for the creation of photosynthesis it's a good bet that intelligent life could form on another planet given that it's almost happened on Earth.

For all other forms of life, it's open season. I have high hopes of creatures living in the seas of Europa.

Never know, give it a few more million years and humanity may evolve into an intelligent species ready to take it's place with it's Galactic Lizard Overlords.

2
0
Alien8n
Alien

Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

You did read my reply didn't you? Pretty sure it says "almost". In fact here it is:

"Almost every fossil known to man is a result of the fossilisation of skeletons".

Yes, there are fossils of skeletonless creatures, but they are a lot rarer as skeletons are much more likely to survive long enough to be fossilised. It's basic biology, anything else is likely to be another creature's dinner. Bone, being primarily calcium, is not really that appetising.

There are pre-Cambrian fossils galore, but the Cambrian era sees the fossil record explode with quantity and variety as a direct result of the evolution of a skeleton.

Or do you believe that the first T-Rexes suddenly appeared like a dinosaur Adam and Eve with no parents in some sort of Dinosaur Genesis? Maybe created by a Dinosaur God?

0
0
Alien8n
Alien

Re: Even Science doesn't support the widely held views of evolution

Actually I think you'll find that even as creatures are constantly evolving so does the theory of evolution. It's called science, amending the theory to best fit the latest evidence. It does not invalidate the original theory, but instead compliments it and makes it fitter for purpose.

Hybridisation has been known about for centuries. It's how most of our domesticated animals and plants came into being. Want a faster dog? Breed your dog with your neighbour's faster dog. Repeat until you get a greyhound.

2
0
Alien8n
Alien

Re: @ g e - As an atheist...

The one I use is "where is Satan?"

At this point the truly religious will state "in Hell" and thus showing that they really don't understand the Bible at all. 3 points to blow a religious person's mind (this is based on what the Bible actually says, not how it's "interpreted"):

1. Hell is not a place any being (human, demon, devil or angelic) can "visit" and return from. It clearly states that Hell is a one way trip to non-existence, no "eternity of torture".

2. The Bible clearly says Satan chats to God in Heaven on a regular basis. In fact he's described as one of God's senior angels at one point. It also states that nothing he does is without God's consent. Read Job.

3. The casting out of Satan from Heaven is detailed in Revelations. This is a book of prophecy and therefore a description of future events. As the fall of Satan is described as a future event he must, logically, still be in Heaven and furthermore this means he's still an angel. As God cannot have sin or evil in Heaven this also means Satan is good.

The above must be true if you actually believe the Bible, it's written in the Bible and therefore must be correct. If you genuinely believe the Earth is a few thousand years old then you must also believe Satan is good, everything evil that happens is by God's will and God and Satan are best buddies who like nothing better than to sit and have long chats about how to screw up people's lives. :)

7
1
Alien8n
Alien

Re: Let there be.....Ignorance?

You obviously don't know much about paleontology. There's a reason there are so few fossils pre-Cambrian. Almost every fossil known to man is a result of the fossilisation of skeletons. Pre-Cambrian creatures were by and large skeletonless. It's also the reason why we have no ancient fossils of sharks, despite knowing they existed due to their teeth being discovered, due to the fact a shark's body is made almost entirely of cartilage. If you're going to post about a subject at least do some basic research first.

14
1
Alien8n
Alien

Re: Ahem...

She does, and her name is Eris!

2
0

Sammy had Sweet Fanny Adams to do with Swiss Fanny madam's blast

Alien8n
Alien

Re: Most people can't spot fakes

"Even top tech companies have been fooled to the tune of millions. What chance does the avg punter stand?"

Not to mention several governments going by the sales figures for golf ball cleaning bomb detectors...

3
0

Page: