* Posts by Michael Hoffmann

218 posts • joined 12 Jul 2007

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Stardock’s Start10 brings the familiarity of 7 to Windows 10

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Quickstart Bar

One of the first things I've been doing since Windows 7 upward - and which happily still works in Windows 10 - is get the XP Quickstart bar back. I hate the "pin" stuff.

Add a toolbar, select %appdata%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch, drag it to where you want it (traditionally towards the left just to the right of the start button), unselect Show text and show title, et voila! One click joy for my favourite apps, like mum used to make them. Or something.

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Dead Steve Jobs' life and times are being turned into an OPERA

Michael Hoffmann
Headmaster

Not Christine

It's Chrisann Brennan.

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Pope loses grip on Antarctica: Clergy withdraw from austral landmass

Michael Hoffmann

Sad

For years the USAP was immune to major cuts, due to "strategic presence and claims" considerations, but ever since the moronic US government shutdown that seems to have changed. Back when I worked down there it was even closer to 3,000 people (including various outer camps). Now McM must look like a ghost town.

Never mind the decline in religious belief, what about the decline in science? Though I expect the penguins and seals are happy about the reduction in "alien abduction" style poking and probing.

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Backup upstart Code42 is in a world of Payne

Michael Hoffmann

Headline scared crap out of me

CrashPlan is the ONE backup product I recommend to non-techie friends and family (and I'm talking of the level that would normally get them admitted to an Assisted Computing Facility) and which even they actually understand and can use.

Worst case, you can use the "Friends" mode and just have them pump they data to you and you bundle it into your own.

Please, just don't mess with that! It has saved me so many hours of "you know computers, I lost this file can you help me get it back?" and it truly just bloody works.

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Pluto revealed as KING of the Kuiper belt

Michael Hoffmann
Boffin

Re: The Dwarf King

In keeping with naming after gods of the Roman pantheon, it might have to be something like Bes. A dwarf god originally of ancient Egypt but, like many others, adopted into the Roman Empire. Popular among the legions, it seems.

Might even be fitting: the "foreign non-planet" is "adopted" into the pantheon of the "proper" planets.

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The Empire Strikes Back: Disney tractor-beams StarWars.co.uk from Brit biz

Michael Hoffmann
Coat

Somebody has to do it

Disney: give us all your starwars domains.

Abscissa: but you let them lapse! We picked them up 2 years later and now had them for 10 years. Selling authorised merchandise. What's the deal with that?!

Disney: we have altered the deal. Pray we do not alter it any further.

That's not a coat, it's a huge black cape...

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Spaniard sues eBay over right to sell the Sun

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Prior claim

Ha! I own the multiverse, you still owe me rent for your universe.

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Australia's digital technologies curriculum parked AGAIN

Michael Hoffmann

ICT in Schools

Interestingly, whatever is happening with this, seems to be causing lifesigns in the ICT in Schools program. CSIRO actually sent an email, apologising for the silence, assuring me that despite the LNP slaughter at the organisation (*), the department(s) had survived and confirming whether I was still interested.

Maybe it's just my hubris, but I think such a program would be of more use than trying to teach primary students Javascript.

(*) The lady used a more polite form of phrasing the changes they'd undergone.

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Boffins grasp Big Knob, get ready to go ALL THE WAY at the LHC proton-punisher

Michael Hoffmann
Coat

CERN Moff Tarkin

You would prefer another target, a hadronic target? Then name the particle I grow tired of asking this so it will be the last time: *Where* is the supersymmetry?

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US military finds F-35 software is a buggy mess

Michael Hoffmann
Coat

Eject!

So, jettisoning of the tests will leads directly to jettisoning of the pilot, I take it?

Coat, door, on my way...

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I'm sooooo green: The Beginner's Guide to Krautrock

Michael Hoffmann
Pint

Thank you for this!

Awesome article. German born, I was actually an expat, growing up in the US, but then returned in the early 70 when my muscially formative years began. Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk had so much influence on me that I *still* listen to mostly electronic or at least electronic heavy music. Though much of it with a born-by date no later than the late 80s, with a few exceptions. I did miss the Can and Neu! days.

You can find the not-bad BBC doco on Youtube.

Can't quibble much with TD's best years, though I'd personally go up to maybe Logos and then it was all downhill. When you started to see TD albums classified as "New Age" you could only go "sic transit gloria mundi".

Overall the influence of those greats is felt throughout Germany's music. Techno, industrial, even gothic: in their dominant forms all arguably born in Germany and out of the krautrock influence. Mildly interesting counter-example would be the NDW (German New Wave), which was influenced by British New Wave/Synthpop (Gary Numan et al), with those UK worthies influenced by Krautrock.

Here too, I believe there's a decent BBC doco on Youtube? I believe I watched them back to back, but during a painkiller addled hospital stay so my memory may be hazy.

Beer, because that's what I'd like to have while getting together with authors, readers and commenters of this article to discuss until unconsciousness! ;)

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NBN 'working' on pay-for-fibre-to-your-premises product

Michael Hoffmann
FAIL

Re: A small payment will make it manageable

If it were a mere $1000 per km, I'd hop on it, even if I had to take out a second mortgage, sell the wife, or prostitute the cats! 6km from the nearest NBN planned estate... heck, $5K/km and I would probably have a serious sit-down with the Financial Planner Who Must Be Obeyed.

But of course, we're talking about yet more options for already over-crowded cities with some of the highest real estate prices on the planet. Instead of using technology as a means to shift populations and companies into regional areas.

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Microsoft: It's TIME at LAST. Yes - .NET is going OPEN and X-PLATFORM

Michael Hoffmann
Meh

Will there be a Redhat of Linux .NET?

What I mean by the somewhat strange title is whether Microsoft will not just open source the .Net stack with resulting releases on Linux, but will there also be a "enterprise pays for support" option?

You know the companies I'm talking about. The ones who, faced with CentOS vs RHEL will always go for the latter because that way "we can call someone if things go wrong". And consequently forbid deployment unless they can actually send an annual cheque for support to somebody.

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GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim

Michael Hoffmann

LHC Reboot

I'm surprised nobody else has commented yet that the LHC itself hasn't even been run at full strength yet.

With the 2015 reboot they'll finally cross the streams at maximum beam luminosity (or some time after appropriate testing to make sure the magnets don't melt again ;-)

If after that massive influx of inverted femtobarns they still aren't sure, the Danes can re-open their case for their new SSC under Copenhagen.

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Russia to ban iCloud.. to PROTECT iPhone fiddlers' pics 'n' sh*t

Michael Hoffmann

Not a ban per se. Just hangs them upside down in a scorpion put with an upside down sign saying:

выучить слова

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We're doing great, say dot-London chiefs ... Unfortunately, few agree

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Figure out the pricing...

Do you know that if I hadn't been reading Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" series, I wouldn't have understood what you were talking about!

Good way to learn about London in a brilliantly entertaining way, I must say.

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Michael Hoffmann

Re: Figure out the pricing...

I'm his carrot provider, we have to renegotiate the contract if I have to become his agent as well.

It did occur to me after posting that he shares the name with a certain British war hero of the Napoleonic wars, hence a UK registry "hammering" that domain with a premium. Oh well, I'll keep an eye on it and wait for the air to come out of that particular over-inflated balloon.

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Michael Hoffmann

Figure out the pricing...

... nearly impossible.

As an equestrian, I thought I'd look at registering a .horse domain for our club. Then, for the heck of it, one for my horse's name.

For the club, it's 19 Euro/year. For my horse's name.... 2,000 Euro/year! Wha...?! Can't find what the criteria are.

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Forget the $2499 5K iMac – today we reveal Apple's most expensive computer to date

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

What this world needs...

... is a 4GHz 6502! ;-)

Ah, the memories. Cut my teeth learning Machine Language and Assembler on it, then later on the Z80 with an add-on card for CP/M.

*sigh* *cue kids today/back in my day/yorkshiremen rant*

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I've got a new Linux box, how does it work... WOAH, only asking :-/

Michael Hoffmann

Systemd is "dumbing things down"?!

Well, thank you very fucking much, because now I know that my problems wrangling that miserable beast must be due to dementia setting in.

Off to cry in a corner then call a nursing home...

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Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

Michael Hoffmann
Meh

Never quite got...

... the point of "wanting your old job back".

Really? Why would you want to work at a place that treats you like that again? And that will put you on the top of the next inevitable round of layoffs?

Is it a calculation to get back to a steady income in a holding pattern while immediately searching for something else? Or not having a "got fired" stain on your CV?

Seems like the stress of going to work back at a horrid sh*thole while job hunting would be better avoided by taking the payout from the legal settlement, recharge those batteries and then get into the job hunt refreshed.

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Australia's Digital Tech curriculum looks to be shelved for another year

Michael Hoffmann

ICT in Schools

I wonder if this holds for other initiatives as well.

After much hoopla and "welcome on board, so excited to have you, speak soon" by CSIRO for joining the ICT in Schools program, there is now deafening silence.

Guess each and every cent is now being sent to fight ISIS or do unwarranted surveillance of Australians at home?

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Australia mandates* cloud use by government agencies

Michael Hoffmann
WTF?

Subtitle...

So, it's really NOT mandated, going by the disclaimer of the subtitle?

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Linux systemd dev says open source is 'SICK', kernel community 'awful'

Michael Hoffmann

Systemd - the Init of the Beast

If this had come anybody but the author of Systemd, I would be paying attention.

The ulcers this abomination has cause since I've been trying to migrate to RHEL7... the looks I get for drinking Peptobismol straight out of the bottle...

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Brandis: NO LIMIT to ASIO network taps

Michael Hoffmann

Re: What could go Wrong Indeed

Palmer?! Why would they? So far their voting record is "LNP plus some extra goodies for the Flying Fat Man (*) thrown in".

(*) You mean he *doesn't* remind you of Vladimir Harkonnen?!

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MOM: CHEAP Mars ship got it right first time. Nice one, India

Michael Hoffmann

Confusingly phrased

Could somebody clarify what's meant with the "first nation on first go" comment?

Do they mean that the managed a successful mission to Mars without having a few probes go boom or disappear into deep space? Or have all other successful missions had to do a few loops before successful orbital insertion?

I assume it's the former, would just like clarification from those who know these things better.

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GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins

Michael Hoffmann
Boffin

Re: Two modes of investigation - you chose

Nice troll. Actually it was more like:

One scientist: heh, going by these observations the universe must have been in a hot dense state. Maybe it started in a huge Big Bang

Other scientists: ugh, not sure that term is a good idea

Media and Popsci: OMG, that's so awesome, BIG BANG! Giant space kablooie! So the universe started as a giant explosion, so cool!

Scientists: uhm, no, that's not what we meant!

Media and Popsci: don't bore us with the math!

Every crank, kook and religious nutcase with a crank to grind: Ha! First they say it was a huge explosion then they don't! Scientists don't know anything!

Scientists: But... we never actually said...

Every crank, kook and religious nutcase with a crank to grind: don't bore us with the math!

Hang out on the Against The Mainstream forum of Cosmoquest or Physicsforum or similar and you'll see what I mean.

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Michael Hoffmann

Now that you mention it...

You may be right. The post BB inflationary phase is still very much a part of current models that fit observations. Unlike the post-modern "we can't know, so everybody come up with their favourite hypothesis multi-versy stringy thingy and get a huge cash bonus from some Russian oligarch with more money than sense or science knowledge".

I definitely have been reading too much Woit and Smolin...

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Michael Hoffmann
Facepalm

How not to do science

From my amateur scientist reading of a number of blogs and science magazines, this is, sadly, far less a case of mis-interpreting data than another instance of "science by press release and media hype".

In their desperate drive to be the first to claim a discovery and to secure future funding by sheer amount of headlines - knowing full well how the ignorami in the MSM and the public would interpret the report and, worse, its possible refutation (*) - they jumped the gun.

I recall a similar case a few years ago, in which deformities in skeletons found in Herculaneum were misinterpreted as coming from Syphilis. Announced to the media before even a peer review of the paper, it was jumped on by the usual suspects in the "the Columbian exchange was only a one-way road of disaster to the Americas and lovely tomatoes and chillis the other way, perpetrated by Evil White Men" crowd. Egg on face all around when it turned out that the deformities likely were the result of a "relative" of Syphilis out of Africa, known since ancient times - but, of course, *that* wasn't in the MSM.

(*) Because you just know that "certain" people take this all the way to "see, the Big Bang is just rubbish, these scientists all just make it up as they go along".

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Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen

Michael Hoffmann

Picking the nit...

"feared the world over"? The IV? While not bad, it was hardly a scourge, even with the later gun upgrade. Good, solid MBFT, sure, but a bit outclassed later in the war.

I think it's more the V (Panther) and VI (Tiger) and their variations you're thinking of. Those would far more likely raise an "oh shit" from those on the receiving end.

I suppose Mr. Allen is doing a Pokemon (gotta collect them all) and already has those in his stable?

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Not pro Bono: Apple's audio junk mail made spammers' lives easier

Michael Hoffmann
Coat

Re: I have 47 "albums" on my device

Have you ever tested whether leaving the device in a car for a fortnight suddenly results in "Piano Sonata #5 - music by W.A.Mozart, lyrics by F.Mercury"?

(yes, I just re-read Good Omens for the umpteenth time, how can you tell?)

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General Motors issues STOP DELIVERY for 2,800 corvettes over defects in 2015 model

Michael Hoffmann
Coat

Airbags?

With Corvettes and their drivers, aren't "airbags" generally part of the... uhm, "removable accessory" in the passenger seat?

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The sound of silence: One excited atom is so quiet that the human ear cannot detect it

Michael Hoffmann
Headmaster

Listen?!

Please, I truly believe that the subtitle should use the word "Hark!"

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Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality

Michael Hoffmann
Pint

Re: Latest satellite status message

And I'm off to see Queen with their substitute flamboyant singer Adam Lambert tonight.

Thank you for this wonderful bit of synchronicity! :-D

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Aussie telcos to sell user location data to marketers

Michael Hoffmann
Meh

No name and shame?

It's not like Australia *has* that many telcos. Add to that the fact that Optus (the no. 2) is owned by SingTel, and surely the article could have come out and stated "Telstra and Optus, the two largest Australian telcos are seeking to..."?

Every Australian El Reg reader added this mentally while reading anyway! We know those mongrels only too well.

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Symantec security chap signs for CSIRO's ICT In Schools

Michael Hoffmann

Two questions

a) Who is "Walsh", seeing as your article speak of Msrs Karsten Schulz and David Shaw, with no other mention of persons (going by a page search)?

b) How did these guys get going so quickly? Just my bleeding WCC is taking for ages! (maybe that's just me...? >.> <.<).

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Oz telco results season! Telstra booms, Optus slides

Michael Hoffmann

Nobody can be surprised

I don't *want* to be with Telstra, but if you live and travel throughout regional Australia, your choice is Telstra or nothing, if you want any sort of acceptable coverage. "Acceptable" being 2 bubbles with Telstra - unless I walk out of the house, hold my phone over my head at arm's length and yell upward.

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Japanese boffins invent 4.4 TREEELLION frames per second camera

Michael Hoffmann
Boffin

Re: Higgs????

I just had to look it up. Looks like not quite yet:

Higgs Boson lifetime: 1.56×10^−22s

Still 10 orders of magnitude to go.

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NICTA man explains why he volunteers for CSIRO's ICT in Schools

Michael Hoffmann

Age Range

I've signed up (thought haven't heard back yet), and my greatest obstacle was actually deciding on a preferred age range. With no kids of my own, I had to look up what "upper primary" or "lower secondary" even mean!

Once I knew, I couldn't decide: the younger ones have the sense of curiosity and wonder, but might not be old enough to grok it. The older ones can grok but are too hormonal and cynical. ;-)

Ah well, speaking of cynical, in this day and age, I'll probably be refused the working with kids cert, because a middle-aged child-less guy just *has* to be a pedophile, amirite?

Wait, can I use Simon Sharwood as a reference? ;-)

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BANGKOK-BLOCKED: Thailand's dictators 'ban dictator sim Tropico 5'

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Headline...

You've outdone yourself, El Reg!

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FREE PARTY for TEN lucky Australian Reg readers

Michael Hoffmann

Mandatory rant?

Having moved to Australia 10 years ago, Melbourne in specific, I'm now supposed to let loose with a huge Melbourne vs Sydney rant, right?

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NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark

Michael Hoffmann

Slowpoke Curiosity?

Was a bit surprised to read this - having thought Curiosity with its greater oomph would have done that in a fortnight.

Then even more surprised when googling told me that as of Jan 2014, Curiosity had only just passed 3miles/5km!

I mean there's stopping to smell^H^H^H^H^Hlaser-blast the roses^H^H^H^H^Hrocks, but this is just dawdling! ;-)

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Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol

Michael Hoffmann

I'll add mine...

6'4" with mild scoleosis, back problems had been with me since my teens. Twice I'd had lumbago so bad that the inflamed nerve-muscle spasm feedback loop affected my breathing. They injected opiates, AFAIR, directly into the mess to shut everything down.

Only thing that finally broke it was physio-therapy, regular massages (deep tissue, not feel-good "Swedish"), getting my butt to the gym and - of all things - horseback riding. Now in my sixth decade, I still get the odd back-pain episode, because as a consultant on client site you always get the crappy chairs, but nothing like it used to be. Back muscles are strong enough that keep the bent spine in check. A spot of canter and a bit of massage keeps everything loose.

Like others wrote, Paracetamol does nothing for me, painwise. All it does is what the song "Pretty Paracetamol" describes, if any others remember Fischer-Z. And I don't mean the "soothe my aching brow"... I mean the "multiply by two in the mirror on the wall" part.

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New Star Wars movie plot details leak, violate common sense and laws of physics

Michael Hoffmann
Unhappy

Re: Hope the super weapon

You just had to do it, didn't you?

Make me cry and remember how I longed for a couple of good movies made of the (early) Humanx universe novels?

Nor Crystal Tears is still one of my personal favourite First Contact novels. Or The End of the Matter - before Flinx became annoyingg.

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Michael Hoffmann

Re: I've seen this one already...

Ah yes, the one Star Wars feature so bad that even Lucas wanted to destroy it...

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Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists

Michael Hoffmann

Significantly fewer now reported

As of this morning (Aus time), it seems that significantly fewer specialists were on that specific flight. Number mentioned now is around 7, including a former chariman of the HIV/AIDS organisation.

Source: The Guardian, Australian edition

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Gust catches Amazon's skirt, reveals glimpse of 'Netflix for books'

Michael Hoffmann

Let's see the catalog first...

If they manage to add the top technical and science publishers, I would be quite interested. That means, from O'Reilly and Apress to Addison-Wesley and Springer. I'm increasingly moving my tech library to ebooks, once I found how convenient it is to have them always with me on a tablet on client site (even though I will always remain a dead-tree fan - just something about having solid paper in your hands to flick through).

You can keep the Hunger Games, 40 grayscales etc etc. Even LOTR - that one I will always enjoy with my much-loved dog-eared now-30+ year old hardcopies!

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Retiring Reg hack explains how bass playing = tech reporting

Michael Hoffmann
Pint

Nothing else to say

... but raise this icon to your health!

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Physicist proposes 1,000-foot state-sized walls to stop tornadoes

Michael Hoffmann

Re: No bricks will survive category 5

It didn't work in Pacific Rim either! A category 5 kaiju won't be bothered by such a wall.

...

What? Isn't that what we're talking about?

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SHOCK HORROR: Oz's biggest govt agencies to miss infosec deadline

Michael Hoffmann

Just who is surprised by this?

Having been "IT security manager" at one such organisation, I can only laugh bitterly:

<bitter laugh>Ha!</bitter laugh>

Didn't last long because existence as a fig leaf for auditors wasn't my idea of a dream job.

Procedure went something like this:

- develop policy and procedure according to best practise and common sense

- get buy in from the people who actually have to deal with the stuff (ops)

- get audit tickbox

- have CIO overrule it/ignore it

When this finally happened with something as simple as the password policy (CIO decrees 6(!) character length, no special characters, probably because the fucking moron's password was 123456) I threw in the towel and walked.

Yet, they were declared standard compliant by the auditors (the usual gaggle of smartly dressed boys and girls from Ernst&KPwC led by a senior partner who mostly was thinking about what vineyard or yacht he was going to add to his collection from the billables).

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