* Posts by Robert Carnegie

2138 posts • joined 30 Sep 2009

This is why copy'n'paste should be banned from developers' IDEs

Robert Carnegie

Re: Code Review

I got caught out by reading something on a support blog.

"Why does powershell 4 automatically convert my UTF-8 text to Unicode?"

That was what actually I wanted it to do.

But it doesn't. It just treats it as ASCII or ANSI or something.

Powershell 5 does allow e.g.

powershell -version 5.0 -command "&{gc -encoding utf8 euro-utf.txt | sc -encoding unicode euro-ucs.txt}"

I am going to need a little more than that though. Specifically, arbitrary input file name, e.g. to be dropped onto the CMD file. I can have four of those, because I want four output files.

0
1

Linode SSH key blunder left virtual servers open to man-in-the-middle fiddles for months

Robert Carnegie

Re: Finger trouble

You can stir your coffee with a box cutter knife, but most people do not. They use a more appropriately shaped metal tool. Or plastic, indeed.

2
0

Bitcoiners are just like everybody else: They use rubbish passwords

Robert Carnegie

Re: Hmmmm

If it's also the door guard's day off, sure.

Then again, maybe it also voice prints selected senior British actors.

Ian McKellen

Michael Hordern (BBC radio Mithrandir)

Peter Cushing (always possible, e.g. he played Doctor Who in movies, but also a Star Wars baddie)

Christopher Lee: obviously not. He's a vampire.

0
0
Robert Carnegie

Re: "...I'll be hacked"

I usually have 6 letters (from any untraceable text document), 2 numbers, and no Bitcoins. How secure is the virtual money that I haven't got?

0
0

What's it like to work for a genius and Olympic archer who's mates with Richard Branson?

Robert Carnegie

Constructively criticising the Amstrad Emailer

That was Dave Gorman in his UKTV one man show.

1
0

Socat slams backdoor, sparks thrilling whodunit

Robert Carnegie

Re: Dyslexia?

Dyxlesia is a bastrad

But that mistake everyone has mad

0
0

When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'

Robert Carnegie

Here 1 perhaps is a semaphore flag that means "Test that the data meeting valid accounting standards", things like sales x tax rate = salestax and so forth. Disabled (set 0) in development when processing produced no output at all with no visible reason, necessarily enabled at all times in the live system.

I agree that these stories probably are edited down to get us to the punch line faster.

1
0
Robert Carnegie

Re: Any chance of a solution?

I think if you aren't a programmer then this may not be the series for you. Although the web server that executes any UNIX command in the URL (in it is in fact doing that) doesn't require a programming qualification to appreciate. So efficient! :-)

I can imagine encoding an "rm" cleanup command in the parameter which would invoke the equivalent actual "rm" command on the server, without recognising any other UNIX command input.

But even then it might be unwise.

1
0

'Dodgy Type-C USB cable fried my laptop!'

Robert Carnegie

Human error

Usually human error... in the latest adventure of "The Avengers", the superheroes build a time machine... all of them, including Squirrel Girl, a charming young woman who has powers (and proportionate tail length) of a squirrel, and her sidekick Tippy-Toe... who is a squirrel. And is colour blind (despite also being a girl squirrel).

Red-green cable coding mix-up hilarity ensues.

People make mistakes is what I'm saying (and so do squirrels).

But testing the equipment before it leaves the factory would be a welcome courtesy.

3
0

You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Robert Carnegie

SCO UNIX wouldn't let us set a (root?) password containing the symbols "sco". Specifically I'd chosen "moscow" and it occurred to me that there might be a routine to prevent American software being used in the Soviet Union. Then I read the docs and found out.

These days I respect nearly everyone's stupid password rules (parsed either way), by grabbing a random book and picking random letters from some random words, excluding repeated letters and capitalisitg the first letter. Then check my watch for the slightly inaccurate time as M minutes and S seconds, and include the least significant digit of each. Awkward if that is a duplicate as well. The rule I do obviously break is the one about writing the password down. And I haven't got around yet to using my ultra-violet ink pen (invisible ink) for that.

1
0

The monitor didn't work but the problem was between the user's ears

Robert Carnegie

Re: The thing is...

You could put your power strip inside some kind of enclosure. A plastic 2 or 3 litre lemonade bottle, slit along its side, could do the job, while keeping the contents visible.. A slight risk though of the "sharp" edge of the cut plastic damaging the cable insulation. So you could fold duct tape over the edge.

Also, empty the lemonade from the bottle first. Gradually if you don't have a large bladder. Then rinse the bottle. Then let it dry before introducing it to electrical things.

A lemonade bottle can also be a solution for electric lawn mower extension cord issues, used in a similar way.

6
0
Robert Carnegie

Re: Intermittent mouse

My mouse at a former job had that problem - under sunlight it just wouldn't go. I got it a cute little furry coat, complete with eyes and a tail. Solved.

"Wow!" for the case where intermittent daylight MADE the mouse work when untouched by human hand.

But where do they make and test these things where daylight is not a normal condition?

3
0

Criminal records checks 'unlawful' and 'arbitrary' rules High Court

Robert Carnegie

As you probably knew,

A judge declaring the current disclosure system "unlawful" doesn't mean that the system is suspended straight away. It's business as usual for now.

3
0

Aroused Lycra-clad cyclist prompts Manchester cop dragnet

Robert Carnegie

Doubtful

I don't think a 50 year old man on a bicycle on a wet winter evening could achieve that condition without pharmaceutical assistance.

That's possible (there is that advert where the old bloke loses his last Viagra tablet and goes off bicycling to get more) but it's a bit of a waste.

Also "young people" would be anyone under 40.

I suspect she misidentified his multi tool or rapid inflater, or possibly a spare pair of socks.

10
1

One-armed bandit steals four hours of engineer's busy day

Robert Carnegie

Re: Hands up if...

I've done the "shut down remote server without restart as intended", and gone over to sort it out, yes.

I have also freed up disk space by deleting a stupidly large file that some unimaginative colleague had named "/unix". I think that server was fine until they tried to reboot it. Should I have known? For that matter, should I be admitting it now?

This is not exactly on the topic, but half of our fleet of remote site cabinetted servers were fitted with a cheap modem (the telephone kind) for support and file transfer, which occasionally went funny and stopped answering our calls, or something like that. (If I remember right, the ones the supplier installed the previous year were fine. Or maybe that was the other supplier.) We had between 50 and 100 of the wonky ones. On site staff weren't comfortable being asked to press the button or pull a plug as required to restore service. Supplier wouldn't replace them or couldn't be asked to for some reason. Probably because the equipment worked some of the time.

So I recommended buying household clockwork time switches to turn each modem off and then on every day. This wasn't popular but eventually management decided to buy a box of these.

But there wasn't room in the cabinet to plug them in. I was told; I wasn't hands on for this. Power strip in the wrong place, presumably.

It was still a good idea of mine though, wasn't it? It would have worked, if it worked.

Technically we could have bought a similar number of our own modems, but this game does have rules and that would have broken them.

0
0

Your taxes at work: Three hours driving to turn on politician's PC

Robert Carnegie

Re: Colour blind

I have a TV box with one of the buttons labelled "Timer".

It doesn't have a timer. The button actually un-changes channel, to the channel you were previously watching. Which is good to know.

The message may be that colours are more easily translated to another language, than technical words. Although perhaps if that's a challenge then it is one better left unaddressed..

1
0
Robert Carnegie

Re: Palo Alto to Halfmoon Bay. 1AM.

I humbly confess that I don't understand this story.

7
0

The Edward Snowden guide to practical privacy

Robert Carnegie

Re: TAILS

I expect people who read The Register are also watched. Especially people who comment.

Snowden doctrine suits freedom warriors but doesn't protect your ordinary private life. Vital universal liberty.

It turns out that the government can simply give itself permission to read everything that you send and receive on the Internet - for instance, the British government intends to have (if the prime minister decides that he wants to see it) a list of names and home addresses of anyone who in the last twenty-four hours accessed BlackLivesMatter.com, IMayBeGay.org, HowTradeUnionsWork.info, BorisJohnsonWouldDoItBetter.net . No warrant and no reason, just for fun. Or to pass it to a Taxpayers Alliance murder gang to carry out a few hits. (You say that isn't what -they- do, but, how do you know that?)

And it really will be illegal to supply, and presumably to possess, encryption software that the government can't see through.

That's the plan -here-. Try blowing your whistle wiht all that going on.

It must be stopped if possible, I suppose by the government being made to accept and actually abide by rules that properly limit what our governors can know about us and why. Which sounds difficult.

There are more unprincipled regimes around the world, of course. But our lot have a natural inclination to move in that direction.

19
1

Old tech, new battles: Inside F-Secure’s formidable Faraday cage

Robert Carnegie

Didn't understand

what they were using the "Faraday cage" for.

Light dawns. It is a prison* to lock up viruses in.

If I was more stupid, I would have understood that sooner.

*Or rather... the exercise yard.

Btw why are Bluetooth viruses no longer an issue?

1
0

Music lovers move to block Phil Collins' rebirth

Robert Carnegie

Re: Quite

Yes, how many besides me are taking the trouble to urinate on the Daily Mails at the news stand? Biology permitting.

Ideally I want it to be a movement, but that may not be practical.

7
0

Dev to Mozilla: Please dump ancient Windows install processes

Robert Carnegie

Finish install, but run the new program first?

My end-user experience has a twist - it appears that if I allow the installer for FrogSpotter Plus to run FrogSpotter Plus for me before it closes, FrogSpotter Plus is typically running as Administrator.

I infer this because (1) the installer had to be and (2) my third-party touchscreen keyboard software can't type into FrogSpotter Plus, because the keyboard is only running as me.

This is wrong too, isn't it?

3
0

Have a Plan A, and Plan B – just don't go down with the ship

Robert Carnegie

If Site 1 isn't accessible, it's about the same as having it knocked out and you have to switch to Site 2. If however you can't switch Site 1 off to disable.it, consider air strikes. I think that was a Doctor Who plot more than once, in the old days, and also whichever Doctor bombed Downing Street:

0
0

Doctor Who's The Girl Who Died ships in nasty Vikings floating atop a time-bending tidal wave

Robert Carnegie

Re: Was I the only one...

I think Specsavers do a two pairs for the price of one offer. Fact. (Probably.)

0
0

Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?

Robert Carnegie

Re: Under the Lake?

Are we sure it isn't Zygons? Are they coming later?

0
0

Dodgy amphetamines drive drug-crazed man on to pub roof

Robert Carnegie

Re: Monkey Meth

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wants his monkey-gland short story plot back. Title "Gur Nqiragher bs gur Perrcvat Zna" (ROT13).

0
0

CHEAT! Volkswagen chief 'deeply sorry' over diesel emission test dodge

Robert Carnegie

Re: It is from all times

BP is an American company. What about the name suggests otherwise? They haven't been "British Petroleum" for a long time.

2
0
Robert Carnegie

Unintentional?

It seems to be common knowledge - reported at BBC News web site anyway I think - that the emissions control on all diesel cars just doesn't work as well in stop-start road driving as it does in a test lab. So I think this case could be accidental. Or not. Anyway, expect U.S. regulators to find fault with more non-U.S car brands. PS. The thing with Japanese air bags could be the same deal.

3
0

Holy litigation, Batman! Custom Batmobile cars nixed by copyright

Robert Carnegie

Re: Owning characters forever is wrong

Publishing new comics or reprinting the old ones doesn't extend copyright, as legally defined, on the earlier material. 1939 comics may be out of copyright in the U.S. (I doo't know) although probably still copyrighted in the E.U., where the creators' lifespan plus a term is what counts.

However, this case is about the television Batmobile - did someone say from 1966? - which is a specific different design.

According to Wikipedia, in 1939 Batman owned a car. It only gradually acquired special accessories (which might have been there all along) and bat-motif designs (which weren't).

A story character may also be a trademark, and that can be protected as long as you are using it. This means that there are obstacles, although not insuperable, to publishing your own copy of some Mickey Mouse products that did fall out of U.S. copyright. For instance, the title probably can't be "Mickey Mouse".

0
0

Adobe patches Flash dirty dozen, ignores 155 in Shockwave shocker

Robert Carnegie

To see Flash version

http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ tells you which Flash version (if any) is installed, and what the latest release is for various systems. Currently you don't want to have one less than 19.0.0.185. I think the Windows "Uninstall a program" dialog also tells you the current installed version.

I'm not sure if there is a separate "update" page that performs the test first, or if it's the same one and they just change what's on it.

0
0

Doctor Who storms back in fine form with Season 9 opener The Magician's Apprentice

Robert Carnegie

Re: Magician, but no Magic Wand!

I think the first episode titles refer to Narnia books - although that probably doesn't help with guessing the outcome: "The Magician's Nephew" and "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe". Although they've already had (1) "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe", and (2) Santa Claus pitching in last Christmas in "Last Christmas".

Next episode "The Witch's Familiar" should be an animal, and may refer to Missy having reprogrammed K-9 or maybe the robot parrot from "The Pirate Planet", but I don't really think so.

0
0
Robert Carnegie

Re: there are a few potential "outs"...

I've been pondering why Clara went into the trap with the Doctor, my answer: to bring Missy along. If the Doctor's going to certain death and Missy is free, then Earth is in big trouble. So Clara sacrificed her life to take out Missy as well.

Obviously the Doctor went back in time to change the past and stop it from happening. Maybe he did zap Davros dead as a boy and we'll spend a while in a Dalek-free timeline, maybe where the Thals (generally not nice in Genesis) replace them as cosmic fascists.

0
0

As we all know, snark always comes before a fall. Mea culpa

Robert Carnegie

Whither Marxism?

Apparently science sez that human beings don't really understand the value of some things unless they try really hard, and therefore, somehow, left-wing politics and Karl Marx's understanding of capitalism are wrong.

I don't think this argument works. Does it mean that if people did understand the value of things, then Marx would be right?

Well - now we can work out the values of things on computers, which we all have!

Marx wins! Again!

0
1

Doctor Who returns to our screens next week – so, WHO is the worst Time Lord of them all?

Robert Carnegie

Re: Misisng options

They said "Time Lord". So that allows the Master (all of them), both Romanas, Catherine Tate, Maurice Denham, Omega, Rassilon, Borusa, and Drax from "The Armageddon Factor", who was at school with the Doc and anyway I think that's a Star Trek episode. And The Meddling Monk, who in the person of Graeme Garden intervened catastrophically on twenty-second century Earth -and- infiltrated a mediaeval monastery using the alias of "Thelonios". It doesn't get much worse than that. Even the Reverend Magister wasn't as bad.

This feature is a rip off anyway of Doctor Who Magazine, which offended Colin Baker by running a favourite-story-ever poll in which the Maurice Denham one came last, so he didn't speak to the magazine for years. He doesn't like favourites and coming last applied to creative work. Eventually he did give an interview this year, because Big Finish asked him to, to promote some of their audio "missing adventures". Now, or at last report, he's miffed - this time on Twitter - because the magazine quite stupidly ran the updated favourite-story poll again in the same issue.

So - vote for Colin Baker, and turn most Doctor Who fans against The Register as well. That's what I'm gong to do, and it's what they deserve.

But you can vote for Colin Baker as the Time Lord security officer who executed Peter Davison as the Doctor in "Arc of Infinity". That was a perfectly good performance as well, but that isn't the point, is it?

0
0

GCHQ wants to set your passwords. In a good way

Robert Carnegie
Joke

OK, set

My password s now "hardware2FA", [*] I'm glad it is more secure but I don't understand why I have to pay to use it, or, how they know. Well, unless they read this.

[*] I thought "pbkdf2" was o.k., is it too short?

4
0

Batteries on wheels are about to reshape our cities and lives

Robert Carnegie

Re: Lemmings

Batteries help, to make some-of-the-time energy generation useful the rest of the time, and batteries that can drive themselves to where electricity is needed, also will help. It is rather awkward though if you want to be driven somewhere else, does that mean you have to shutdown your house?

If not "traditional" batteries then scary-big capacitors or fuel cells with sustainable or bio fuel generation.

Maybe lighter-than-air hydrogen bag drones - although you'd have to legislate to let them be autonomous. Or invent a new sport (if not already done), para-droning. (Apparently what does exist is "para-gliding in the company of a drone".) And an Uber for where to take it to.

Currently, rural home heating is liable to be oil burning, and quite expensive to keep supplied. The delivery service is a big part of the cost. So...

0
0

Bloke clicks GitHub 'commit' button in Visual Studio, gets slapped with $6,500 AWS bill

Robert Carnegie

Re: I am not a developer...

I think it doesn't mean http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/git

but maybe "Generous with Information Technology"

On this occasion, too generous, to the wrong people.

0
0
Robert Carnegie

Re: "GitHub [..] has apologized for the error in its code"

I assume that the software licence says that they aren't liable for anything that happens. Inexcusable or not. These are the conditions that we accept.

Having said that, I don't understand the technology, but it seems that it would be a good idea for the function that goes "Upload the project to the repository" to have a feature that goes "Don't upload that part of the project to the repository".

As long as that worked, of course.

1
0

Cell-network content crunch needs new cache designs, say boffins

Robert Carnegie

Re: Worth it?

A while back I think the BBC wanted to put video servers in ISPs so you'd get video from there instead of across the Internet. This however might breach net neutrality, giving the BBC an advantage. I don't mind because I like the BBC. I think it didn't catch on, ISPs had a different idea - they would charge the BBC a fee for letting the ISP's customers watch BBC video. I think this hasn't caught on either.

Another catch however is, if I reasonably encrypt everything I do on the Internet then how are you going to cache it?

Still, if this refers to mobile data and maybe to buying specific videos from my phone company outside my ordinary data allowance, then there may be something in that.

1
0

Angler plonks August's Flash feeding frenzy into its boat

Robert Carnegie

Angler's business model is to offer its customers the latest Flash vulnerabilities to exploit, including those recently or even less recently patched by Adobe but still open on user systems. Not to do that would be crimin...hmm. Well, anyway, it seem you get your money's worth. (Disclaimer: for all that I know, The Register made them up.)

0
0

America's crackdown on open-source Wi-Fi router firmware – THE TRUTH

Robert Carnegie

Re: Once upon a time...

I don't get the Star Trek reference, but their "deflector dish" makes a fearsome weapon whenever they set it to transmit handwavium radiation on this week's frequency. You could probably shoot satellites down with it. And, no, you'd better not.

0
0

You tried to hide your extramarital affair … by putting it on the web?

Robert Carnegie

Re: I wish

IIRC Bugs Bunny looks good in a dress from the neck down (how? never mind), and has an engaging smile.

0
0

Hackers spent at least a year spying on Mozilla to discover Firefox security holes – and exploit them

Robert Carnegie

Not all bugs with an indicated security dimension are exploitable - that having been said, you don't work on writing an exploit, you close the hole.

There's a problem however if by doing so, lots of people's favourite web site doesn't work with your browser. Not because the site uses the hole (you hope) but because the site doesn't work for whatever reason when you change the code to disable (thing) outright.

So, this can take a long time to resolve.

I'm writing hypothetically.

0
0

Croc country cops' mobile facial matching a festival party pop

Robert Carnegie

Australia

Stolen by European criminals from the previous owners. All else follows from that.

4
0

Manchester skeptics annexed in hostile digital power grab

Robert Carnegie
Joke

I'm gonna register The Register

First I legally change my own name to Reg Ister.

Then I sue the so-called "news" site for impersonating me.

Then? I dunno, probably sell homeopathic remedies from my new site. And to the e-mail subscribers.

1
0

Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

Robert Carnegie

Re: @Hugh Pumphrey - Track Stand? Bah.

I also cycle and I also would... react negatively to someone doing that ahead of me.

Probably park my bike on its stand, walk ahead, and blow hard on the guy, sideways. Remount and cycle past the wreckage.

Or, not blow him over, just stand there and mock him.

But doesn't Google have a fleet of deathray satellites in orbit to deal with these situations?

Heck, why don't I??

2
3

Visitors no longer welcomed to Scotland's 'Penis Island'

Robert Carnegie

Maybe not Ayrshire but

Someone's house name caught my attention... it seems to be Gaelic for "Our House". I'm not sure what to make of it. Except maybe to build my own house next door, call it the same thing, and wait for the cheque to come when they win the football pools.

0
0

Can't get a woop, woop! Twitter gives politicians nice Gaffe-Delete button

Robert Carnegie

Theoretically, when I have a Twitter account, they're working for me. So, if I want to delete something that I previously published, then that should happen.

If I'm important, people will keep a copy to embarrass me anyway.

If I wasn't important 10 years ago, then what I said then shouldn't be held against me now.

0
0

Sysadmin ignores 25 THOUSAND patches, among other sins

Robert Carnegie

"users not happy that they had to restart their machines"

Boo hoo. The workstation has to be restarted to complete the update. And all those documents? You need to "save" each one with a file name. Not just leave them open, unsaved, and lock your PC every night.

Our PCs tend to decide when to reboot and give you 5 minutes warning if lucky, sometimes just 1. This isn't my policy and I think it goes too far, but it does work.

3
2

Ashley Madison spam starts, as leak linked to first suicide

Robert Carnegie

Re: Let it pass

The Religious Police, in countries where there are Religious Police (and computers), presumably are already rounding up and prosecuting homosexual men and women identified in the data.

If we'd known it would happen (and I suppose we did really) then those of us who disapprove of that kind of policing apparently could have opened accounts in the names of each country's Head of Religious Police and their leading deputies. If we wanted to spend the money.

0
0

Collective noun search for security vulns moves into beta testing

Robert Carnegie

or

I suppose, a "bootload" of security flaws and/or fixes.

1
0

Forums