* Posts by Phil W

642 posts • joined 10 Mar 2010

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BOFH: The ONE-NINE uptime solution

Phil W
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Re: Badgers?

I thought it was badgers. Badgers, mushrooms and a snake.

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Samsung buys LoopPay ... to be better at bonking than Apple

Phil W
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It wouldn't be that surprising for it to be free, the benefit to Samsung is in it being a selling point for the device.

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The Order: 1886 – Round Table gaming's all right on the knight

Phil W
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Lethality

"then move in for a lethal execution"

As opposed to non-lethal executions?

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First HSBC, now the ENTIRE PUBLIC SECTOR dodges tax

Phil W
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Re: "while no one would go to prison for false VAT claims"

In fact it will probably cost the tax payer more to sort it out, given the man hours required to unpick it all.

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Over 50? Out of work? Watch out because IT is about to EAT ITSELF

Phil W
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Re: Say what?

You've really hit the nail on the head for the most part there. No matter how wonderful and automated the software at some point there always needs to be hardware to run it, and that hardware still needs physically installing and does not always play well together particularly in a business culture where major purchases go out to tender and the cheapest always/usually wins.

Some argue that because of "the cloud" hardware is a thing of the past for most businesses but the reality is due to management/business culture still liking having someone to blame or go to for answers when things don't work, in house servers and datacenters still have their place. I don't believe that will substantially change in the next decade (or even 2 or 3 decades) regardless of the developments in technology.

The other issue is legal and political limitations such as Data Protection, requiring data to be kept in country meaning servers and storage are necessary to house it. Sure certain cloud services offer to let you pick where your data gets located but how many of these also have fine print saying backups may be stored elsewhere not to mention current political issues like the USA trying to force MS to hand over data stored in Ireland. Until or unless the landscape of these services changes a responsible company/ legal department is going to insist data is kept in house.

Fundamentally the longevity of IT departments and their staff is dependent on human issues not technological ones.

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Top smut site Flashes visitors, leaves behind nasty virus

Phil W
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Re: @ Phil W: "campaign leveraging the recent Adobe Flash zero day vulnerability "

If you believe my use of Muphry rather than Murphy was down to autocorrection you are incorrect, I suggest you consult Google.

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Phil W
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Re: @ Phil W: "campaign leveraging the recent Adobe Flash zero day vulnerability "

Indeed, I blame auto correct and muphry's law. As is often the case I was typing on my phone where i use "it's" far more often than "its".

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Phil W
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Re: Adblock plus is your friend...

That's an awful lot of effort setting up a sandbox VM just to watch porn?

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Phil W
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Re: "campaign leveraging the recent Adobe Flash zero day vulnerability "

You calling it pretentious doesn't make it's use any less correct and appropriate.

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Breaking news: BBC FINALLY spots millions of mugshots on cop database

Phil W
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SAR

Since the photos are apparantly covered by the DPA along with presumably other data the police hold on you, perhaps we should all issue Subject Access Requests to the police asking for copies of any and all data they hold on us.

Either they will be forced to waste their time finding and supplying the data or in fobbing us off.

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Planning to upgrade your Lumia to Windows 10? NOT SO FAST

Phil W
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Re: Low end will probably be dropped

I agree, I think the 1GB RAM marker will be key. Devices like yhe Lumia 620 already work poorly with Windows 8.1 for some things such as making video calls. Dropping Windows 10 support for them will help push them out of the ecosystem and raise the baseline.

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Telefónica to offload O2 to Three daddy Hutchison for £10.25bn

Phil W
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Re: Li Ka-Shing?

To be honest I would of just Li was Cashing in on an opportunity.

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EE data network goes TITSUP* after mystery firewall problem

Phil W
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Re: Whole country?

Same here no problem here across 30 miles of Cheshire at any point this morning.

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'If you see a stylus, they BLEW it' – Steve Jobs. REMEMBER, Apple?

Phil W
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Detached

"any pointing device other than a human finger attached to a human arm"

This would seem to imply that using a human finger which is not attached to human hand is specifically disallowed, as is a non-human finger attached to a human hand. That must have been one hell of a focus group.

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This could be a case for Mulder and Scully: Fox 'in talks' to bring back The X-Files

Phil W
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Re: Anal probes all round then?

Then we'll have a new use for Toblerone.

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Phil W
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Reboot

It's rare for me to say this as I think classic Sci-Fi should be left alone however in the case of The X-Files I think a reboot would likely work better. Have new agents come in to run the X-Files division with Mulder and Scully having left the agency for one reason or another.

The whole Mulder and Scully storyline has been worn out by now I'd say.

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HD and SSD Prices not declining - why ?

Phil W
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Terminator

Come on... if you're going to say that at least use the appropriate icon!

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Phil W
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Also looking back at the graph in the link, the price increase shown in the last 6 months looks to be around 10% which is about how much the Euro has fallen by against USD.

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Phil W
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"prices of specific models rarely change (other than due to currency exchange rates)"

That is a very good point, which probably explains what bahboh is seeing assuming he's in the Eurozone, based on the link he gave. The Euro has been dropping against the US Dollar quite sharply over the last 6 months.

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Phil W
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Re: HD and SSD Prices not declining - why ?

Yes I did mean rare earth metals, apologies for the slight slip.

But regardless I didn't say the prices for them were high I said availability was limited because of the Chinese limiting who they will sell to and the quantities they will trade. I also didn't say this was a current problem, this was actually a market event from circa 5 years ago which I was just quoting as an example of the factors in price fluctuation. Since then the expansion of rare earth metal mines in other countries has broken China's monopoly and brought the prices back down.

My actual point was that I don't perceive there to be a lack of decline in prices. As I pointed out, in the last 3 years the price of SSDs of a given capacity has roughly halfed.

Hard drive prices have also dropped though not by such significant percentage, but that's to be expected.

Can you give some examples of an SSD or HDD product you think is currently on sale for approximately the same price as it was 3 years ago (or more even since you claim prices have also gone up in some cases)?

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Phil W
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Re: HD and SSD Prices not declining - why ?

"Tech prices always naturally decline over time."

Your initial assumption is flawed. Tech prices have always fluctuated both up and down due various market forces and outside influences.

The main ones in recents months and years being either availability of precious metals in the international markets (China has become very restrictive on who it will these to, and has a large portion of the worlds deposits of certain metals), or accidents such as fire or natural disasters like flooding destroying factories and warehouses that produce/store the products and their components resulting in low availability pushing prices up through the normal supply and demand mechanisms.

In general though prices have declined fairly significantly. You can now easily buy a 250GB SSD under £100, where as 3-4 years ago a 120GB SSD cost £150-200 or more.

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Spammers set their sights on WhatsApp – that's that ruined then

Phil W
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Although receiving spam messages might be a pain unless it becomes massively wide spread it won't be that much of a problem since whatsapp has the ability to block contacts.

Although some phones allow you to block SMS messages from particular numbers SMS has the major flaw that it allows messages to be sent with the number replaced with arbitrary text preventing most devices from blocking them. Since whatsapp requires a number for use you should always be able to block unwanted senders.

As for the charge. If the above doesn't convince you the tiny fee is worth it, maybe it's not for you. Personally I find it worth it as I have international contacts and whatsapp messages are much much cheaper than international SMS messages.

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Mr Cameron goes to Washington for PESKY HACKERS chinwag with Pres Obama

Phil W
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Re: 80%?

It's ok they'll get Stephen Fry on board to advise he's very up on his tech and can explain it all to them with brief but accurate summaries.

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Eight pocket-pleasing USB 3.0 hard drives

Phil W
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Re: Samsung and Seagate do it for me

I have a previous generation Freecom XXS drive, which is very similar except that it has a Mini USB 2 port and at the other end there is a flap in the rubber allowing you to remove the drive.

It is about 4-5 years old now and still going strong.

I did have a problem with it shortly after i got it, where the USB port detached from the PCB and since the USB port is directly on the HDD instead of a SATA port I couldn't get the data off. I sent it back to Freecom directly under warranty expecting to get a replacement in the post and to have lost my data.

To my extreme surprise they had repaired the one I sent them, replacing the socket with a more substantial looking one and better soldered joints. As well as this all my data was still intact on the drive.

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BAN email footers – they WASTE my INK, wails Ctrl+P MP

Phil W
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Re: Obligations

"It's only a legal requirement because someone passed a law saying it should be."

You mean just like every other law.

"Better still, put the company information in headers where it can be used properly instead of in free text."

Um no. The whole point of the law is that the company information is readily available and human readable so that when receiving email from a company, particularly one you haven't dealt with before, you can quickly see any information you might need to know about who they are.

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Phil W
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Re: What kind of numpty prints out email, ever?

In principle you're right but there are occasions when it is functionally or legally necessary to have hard copy of correspondence.

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Phil W
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Obligations

Some of the stuff included in email signatures is there because there is a legal obligation for it to be. Perhaps not all the legal waffle is required, but a certain amount of signature content is.

What a lot of people don't realise is that under the Companies Act 2006 Private Limited, Public Limited or Limited Liability companies (so most companies in effect), email correspondence to people outside your organisation must include your company name, registration number, place of registration and registered office address. This is the same as the requirements for hard copy letterheads and order forms in the Companies Act 1985.

Many of course do have this on hard copy correspondence but are often missing one or more or all of these elements when it comes to emails.

http://www.out-law.com/page-5536

Of course this wouldn't apply to interdepartmental emails within the government, but turning signatures on and off all the time is a pain, and of course as others have said why print emails at all?

The only time I've ever printed emails is if they're required for a meeting, some form of disciplinary procedure or in response to a DPA SAR.

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It's 2015 and ATMs don't know when a daughterboard is breaking them

Phil W
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Re: indeed WTF

Likely because the USB is sometimes needed for update/diagnostic purposes.

However I'm sure it would be quite practical to make sure it is positioned in such a way as not to be so readily accessible for instance to the rear of the machine which is often inside a secure room where the refilling is done.

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When algorithms ATTACK: Facebook sez soz for tacky 'Year in Review' FAIL

Phil W
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It could be a reason to smile, as could photos of a former partner. But as Facebook doesn't know which it is perhaps having a year in review video appear, even if only to yourself, should only happen when you request one not automatically.

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Phil W
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Re: Blame the messenger.

"Unless you are going to dislike someone's ashes or dead daughter how is it going to help?"

Well that's precisely where it would help. It's far more appropriate in most cases to "dislike" a post about someone's death than it is to "like" it.

Thinking about it compared to normal social interaction, if you see a pot of ashes on someone's mantle do you express sympathy and unhappiness (i.e

disliking the loss) or do you smile, give a thumbs up and say "Hey I like the incinerated corpse of your loved one! Is that new?"

Unless you name is Simon Travaglia and you're visiting the boss it really shouldn't be the last one. Probably not even then.

Point being a social network should represent normal social interaction not a bizarro world where you can only ignore or "like" what other people say/show you.

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The Theory of Everything: Stephen Hawking biopic is immensely moving

Phil W
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BBC Version

I haven't seen this yet but based on the trailers I think the BBC's version with Benedict Cumberbatch just titled 'Hawking' seems better.

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Hilton, Marriott and co want permission to JAM guests' personal Wi-Fi

Phil W
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Re: So I just take a USB cable with me?

Bluetooth teathering then perhaps?

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Judge kills Facebook's bid to dismiss private message sniffing case

Phil W
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Re: "it's a chat system within an ad-funded social network site"

My opinion is that it is not the responsibility of the law/government to protect the terminally stupid from their own naivety.

It rather reminds me of a story I heard, perhaps true perhaps urban legend. The story goes that someone places an advert in a newspaper along the lines of "Send £10 to this address now!" and received a surprisingly substantial sum. Nothing illegal about it, the victims handed over money with nothing promised in return.

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Phil W
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Re: Yes ! Have them dragged over the coals, please !

Not excusing them here, but this isn't an email system we're talking about nor is it marketed as such, it's a chat system within an ad-funded social network site. A social network site which freely states it uses your data to target ads. Your expectations of privacy in such a service should be set accordingly.

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Dixphone's half-year P&L accounts are in. So much RED INK

Phil W
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Re: Comet?

Is the Internet not allowed in your city?

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Pirate Bay towed to oldpiratebay.org

Phil W
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Joke

Re: Ugh

It's a form of copy protection.

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Bloke, 36, in the cooler for leaking ex's topless pics on Facebook

Phil W
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One would hope that the police would require more evidence than the victims accusation to go to court, at the very least records showing the IP used to upload the images and records associating that IP to the suspect. Or perhaps text messages/emails to the victim saying they were going to do it.

I think in many caaes though the ass hats uploading the pictures admit to it when challenged by police.

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High Court: You've made our SH*T list – corked pirate torrent sites double in a day

Phil W
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Re: No one cares...

Not really, since the industry will simply make up statistics to prove that it's still a problem and the draconian laws they want are needed. You can use statistics to prove anything, 40 percent of people know that.

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Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray

Phil W
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Downhill

In my opinion it's all been downhill since Visual Studio 2008.

I'm not really a developer but I tinker occasionally, perhaps it's down to me because I use it so rarely but I find that Visual Studio 2010 and 2013 seem like they had more time spent on making them look shiney than on making them useful or straight forward to use.

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All ABOARD! Furious Facebook bus drivers join Teamsters union

Phil W
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Re: Disparity @Phil W

I agree, perhaps the point I didn't get across was that I think El Reg (and probably other media) are misreporting this as being about pay when it isn't.

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Phil W
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Disparity

None of the quotes in the article imply the drivers are unhappy about being paid less then the tech workers, so is that really what they're unhappy about.

I suspect the working conditions may be what they're actually complaining about, and while there may be some problems the fact that you live too far away from your job to go home at night is hardly the fault of your employer. If you want to live closer to your work either change home or change job.

If they really are complaining about getting paid less than tech workers at Facebook, then they need someone to tell them to stop being bloody silly. You can't legitimately complain your pay is different to someone doing a totally different job. It's the same stupidity you see in a lot of the arguments about pay disparity between men and women, in many of the cases I've see reported of women complaining they get paid less than men in their company they are not comparing their pay to men doing the same job. (Not to say their isn't any gender discrimination in any workplaces, just that people are not always making realistic assessment of the situation).

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Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins

Phil W
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Re: ALL YOUR XP BELONG US?

@localzuk presumably to prevent the clients from executing this vulnerability against a DC.

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Go on, buy your workers a smartphone. You know it makes sense

Phil W
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Buzzword

Buying smart devices for employees instead of doing BYOD, particularly if you already provide them with feature phones, is largely common sense but something lots of organisations don't do partly due to costs but mostly due to politics. These days entry level smartphones cost the same or less than a basic feature phone from many corporate mobile network providers so cost is much less of an issue, it's really mostly down to the politics of the managers at what ever level used to be allowed smart phones when they were expensive not wanting all the drones to seem like they have fancy shiny gadgets now to.

Using these lovely (but utterly pointless) buzzword acronyms of COYD and COPE, perhaps those managers can be beaten round to allowing, since we all know how managers like buzzwords.

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NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!

Phil W
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Could this be a rather shrewd long term plan?

Get rid of Elop and any other staff they didn't really want, and get paid a huge sum for it.

Then a few years later start making nice Android devices with typical Nokia design and styling.

If they still have the talent pool available that created things like the N900 and never released N950, then they could produce some very interesting Android phones.

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'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?

Phil W
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Re: Jeremy Clarkson

That does make me wonder how it might of been with James May presenting though.

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Microsoft exams? Tough, you say? Pffft. 5-YEAR-OLD KID passes MCP test

Phil W
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Re: Biased?

"They now include quite a few simulations"

As do Cisco qualifications, the problem with these however is the virtual lab tests only support 1 accepted method of achieving the result even if there are other routes or commands that are just as valid to use, in IT there are always multiple ways to do the same job.

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Lights OUT for Philae BUT slumbering probot could phone home again as comet nears Sun

Phil W
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Joke

Re: Question:

"Can anyone tell me the orbital velocity of the spacecraft around the comet"

What do you mean, an African or European spacecraft?

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Most convincing PHISHING pages hoodwink nearly half of you – Google

Phil W
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Re: For a particular value of 'you'.

"What's happening is the same as with cars - not many people even know what's is under the bonnet these days. There's no need -- many never even check the basics as the annual service will sort it."

I like the analogy but the flaw in it is that most people pay someone with training to service their car annually how many do this for their PC?

Most people will, if their car starts behaving weirdly or doing something it didn't do before, will seek professional advice, how many do this for their PC (before it's too late)?

Most people will, if they get someone knocking at their front door claiming to be from the garage and have come to service their car because it has a fault, when they hadn't called a garage about it, won't just hand over their keys. How many people fall victim to pop up ads, emails or even this spate of phone calls claiming their PC has a virus and needs looking at, just click here or type in this address to let us in to fix it?

The problem is, people don't view the things they access with their PC as "real" be it their email or their bank account, it's just on the computer so it's OK.

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BOFH: SOOO... You want to sell us some antivirus software?

Phil W
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The answer to 2,2b and 4 is use something like MailScanner on your edge mail transport, drop all exes and zips, the AV scan it does on the rest should take care of the rest including PDFs but you could drop them to if you want since MailScanner will notify the users when it's blocked their attachments, so they can ask you to release it if it's a false positive.

The answer to 1 and 3 are the same. Who cares? Put the most acceptable AV of your choice on end user machines for some protection but have them keep all their work on a file server. If their PC gets infected nuke it, re-image and away you go.

In a well managed and backed up environment viruses and malware are rarely more than a bit of a nuisance. The bigger security problem is educating and preventing your users for falling for phishing mails and the like.

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