* Posts by Dr Who

289 posts • joined 25 Oct 2007

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Security robot falls into pond after failing to spot stairs or water

Dr Who

See it's only the K5. The K9 has no such problems.

8
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UK.gov embraces Oracle's cloud: Pragmatism or defeatism?

Dr Who

Exactly, with expensive apps consultants.

And what about completely bespoke third party integrations from legacy systems to banks, third party logistics companies etc... There will be no templates for these so they'll all need to be built from scratch, and because they are likely to be mission critical that will be a lengthy and expensive development and testing cycle.

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Dr Who

So people moving to Oracle Cloud have to port all their legacy workloads. At the same time Oracle claim that their cloud eliminates the need for systems integration consultants. Now that is the biggest, slipperiest barrel of snake oil I've ever seen. And I'm a cloud fan.

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Azure Stack's debut ends the easy ride for AWS, VMware and hyperconverged boxen

Dr Who

Re: A different battle

I've got this issue with my clients too, but I know for a fact that all of those who have safe harbour / data protection issues still send a lot of sensitive data around the world (think spreadsheets etc...) in unencrypted emails, and make use of sharing services such as Dropbox and GDrive for work related material. I know they shouldn't and you can tell them they shouldn't, but they still will. On premises hardware solves none of that.

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€100 'typewriter' turns out to be €45,000 Enigma machine

Dr Who

Re: There is quite a bit of that floating around Eastern Europe

"bugger out" - like it. I think I'll add that to my vocab.

Reminds me of an Eastern European friend of mine, trying to impress upon me that he knew more than I gave him credit for. "You think I know fuck nothing, but I tell you I know fuck *all*". Legend.

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Fasthosts' week to forget: 4-day virtual server summer bummer

Dr Who

Fasthosts - always pulling a fast one.

Do a Google News search for Fasthosts, and be amazed that anyone is still using them.

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Cloud may be the future, but it ain't all sunshine and rainbows

Dr Who

Re: Cloud is not really about learning lessons though, is it?

When was cloud ever about cost savings?

Outsourcing of any sort is about turning capex into opex i.e. spreading the cost over time.

With cloud in particular it's also about scalability. If you are planning on growing fast you can start small at very low cost, with the costs only scaling as your business scales. When you're building on-prem infrastructure you have to predict the future to a much larger extent. If you think you're going to grow from a 1000 to 1000000 customers in 8 months, you need to build much of the infrastructure for that up front. And what if your predictions are wrong?

Doing cloud properly is never going to be about saving money.

2
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Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

Dr Who

Galileo

Here's Theresa May's plan. It's a much better plan than she's had for pretty much everything else.

Very, very frightening me.

(Galileo) Galileo.

(Galileo) Galileo,

Galileo Figaro

Magnifico-o-o-o-o.

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Don't touch that mail! London uni fears '0-day' used to cram network with ransomware

Dr Who

I got one with the same subject line but the link to the javascript is different. I'm not at a university, just a small business so this looks like it's broadcast rather than targeted.

Mind you, I would have thought that "Copy of K9b Form assessed by : James Eley-Gaunt" would pretty much flag this as suspicious in most intelligent people's minds. Eggheads my arse.

5
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PC, Ethernet and tablet computer pioneer 'Chuck' Thacker passes

Dr Who

Re: Rest In Peace

I think I'm probably standing on his little toe, but even from there I can see for miles.

8
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Specsavers embraces Azure and AWS, recoils at Oracle's 'wow' factor

Dr Who

Re: Interesting

Quite. And the poor sod who is going to have to pick up the pieces is probably the one who wanted to keep things in house all along. Bit like Farage securing the out vote and then buggering right off to let everyone else sort out the impending catastrophe.

Don't get me wrong, I don't thing cloud is actually the real risk here. Revolutionary rather than evolutionary change at scale is as we all know an excellent recipe for potential disaster. If I was on the board of Specsavers I wouldn't let anyone draw up the plan if they weren't going to be around when it's executed. Madness!

6
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Boeing preps pilotless passenger flights – once it has solved the Sully problem, of course

Dr Who

Re: The industry is also facing a severe shortage of pilots

@Voland. I'm with you. Pilots are the single biggest cause of aviation disasters, accounting for half of all plane crashes. The fleshpots are the weakest link. They get hung over, tired, are easily confused and get disorientated in very bad weather (think Air France where the pilots flew the plane into the Atlantic without even knowing they were doing it).

The Scully events of this world are vanishingly rare. To set that event up as the minimum standard for autopilot abilities would be like setting it as the minimum standard for all human pilots, which would clearly be ridiculous. It was a heroic and brave event, but a very rare one.

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Hand in your notice – by 2022 there'll be 350,000 cybersecurity vacancies

Dr Who

Re: £87,000+ ???

Ah but do you have the right skill set? Communicating risk to the board is an essential part of the job.

If the phrases "gotta have the right hashtags" and "security depends on removing the scourge of end-to-end encryption" do not sound right to you, and if "pen testing" for you does not involve vigorously scribbling with your BIC biro then you're never going to earn £87K I'm afraid.

10
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The biggest British Airways IT meltdown WTF: 200 systems in the critical path?

Dr Who

Anyone who claims they can deliver five nines availability, even for discrete components let alone a complex web of hardware and software, is talking out of their arse. Five nines means you can have a maximum 0.864 second outage in any given 24 hour period. Of course you can start saying that the up time calculation should be done over a week, month or year but where do you stop - a decade? Up time stats only have real meaning over short periods.

So, hands up, who for any amount of money is going to guarantee less than 0.864 seconds of downtime over DC, comms, hardware, and 200 interdependent applications. And how do you even define what counts as "up"?

It's basically all finger in the air stuff.

4
9

ViaSat lofts world's most powerful communications satellite into orbit

Dr Who

To all space comms experts

I've set up a satellite dish for fixed domestic satellite Internet. It's a bit of a pig, to say the least, to get the alignment spot on and the signal can easily be disrupted by stupid things like leaves growing on a nearby tree.

My question then is how does a mobile terminal such as an individual sat-phone or an aircraft moving at several hundred miles per hour acquire and maintain a high bandwidth connection to either a geostationary or LEO satellite?

1
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Edinburgh Uni email snafu tells students they won't be graduating

Dr Who

Email is a bit like KFC

Sometimes it's fingerlickin' good. Other times it's just ass wipin' bad.

The shit bit is things like this, spam, people still sending out messages with 500 recipients in the Cc field and then the people who still Reply All to that same message.

The great bit is it's the last bastion of the Internet as it should have been. SMTP for all its faults is a protocol to which all email services comply. I can get my email service from anyone, or run my own email server, or write and run my own mail server and still communicate with everyone else who is on email, irrespective of where they get their email service from. The tragedy of FB, Whatsapp, Snapchat etc... etc... is that they are walled gardens. There is only one Whatsapp service in the world, and it's proprietary. This goes against all the early promise of the Internet, back to the dark dark days of Compuserve and AOL.

18
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'Odour' from AnalTech ramming leads to hazmat team callout

Dr Who

Fnar Fnar

Anyone who says that playground humour has become more prevalent since the 60s should talk to my colleague Buster Gonads who can testicle to the fact that no such trend is observable. In fact any such claims are unfeasibly large porkies. Just today I walked into a restaurant and asked the waitress for an opinion on toilet humour, and she gave me one. What more proof do you need?

22
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Quick, better lock down that CISO role. Salaries have apparently hit €1m

Dr Who

Re: Eye-watering CIxO salaries mean absolutely nothing...

*Roughly* £633,000? That sounds quite specific to me.

Some kind of fookin' tape drive that must have bought! Or was it £500 for the tape drive and tapes plus £632,500 on backup rotation design consultancy and tape changing training.

3
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Ransomware scum have already unleashed kill-switch-free WannaCry‬pt‪ variant

Dr Who

You could look at an event such as that of the last few days as the Internet's version of a wildfire. In the short run some damage is done but in the long run the fire's job is to clear out dead wood and enable the regrowth of a stronger, healthier ecosystem. Short term pain for long term gain.

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The Co-Op Bank's online banking has gone TITSUP*

Dr Who

"We are looking to bring it back online as soon as possible"

There's a gaggle of techies sitting around with that slightly vertiginous / nauseous feeling in the pit of their stomachs, sweaty palms, and fingers trembling too much to type accurately at the command prompt ... all of them quietly mumbling "fuck fuck fuck oh fucking fuuuuuck" under their breaths. AKA the patch borked everything and the rollback isn't working.

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IT error at Great Western Railway charging £10k for 63-mile journey ticket

Dr Who

Re: small city

Is it small? Or is it far away?

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30,000 London gun owners hit by Met Police 'data breach'

Dr Who

Shit meet fan. Do your thing.

6
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OpenStack: Pleeeeease stop panicking, Intel and Rackspace still love us

Dr Who

Re: The Cloud...

In this case, not necessarily.

OpenStack is designed to run public, private or hybrid virtualised server environments (aka clouds) so the computers may well be yours and may well be on your network.

A second point is that is that if I wanted to base some or even all of my infrastructure in the public cloud, I would much rather it was running in an open sourced virtualisation environment than a proprietary one, so the demise of OpenStack would be a significant loss to those who are serious about secure and reliable computing, and a significant gain to the proprietary vendors.

2
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Gordon Ramsay's in-laws admit plot to hack sweary celeb chef's biz

Dr Who

Hell's bells! Ramsay's raunchy relative's robbing rollocking.

It's enough to put effin flames in your kitchen.

2
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Crafty Fokker: Norfolk surgeon builds Red Baron triplane replica

Dr Who

Your coat is indeed required. Orthopaedics is muscles and bones. Orthodontics is teeth. Lucky he wasn't one of those Paedophilic surgeons they have in Portsmouth (https://goo.gl/8zunyy)

All of that said, we are all actually Xenophobes now it seems so he's finished his plane just in time to fly it back to Germany where he belongs! He is after all a prime example of yet another low skilled immigrant nicking our jobs and sucking our welfare system dry.

14
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Goodbye, cruel world! NASA's Cassini preps for kamikaze Saturn dive

Dr Who

NASA engineers are currently conducting a final check on the list of commands that will maximize scientific returns during the kamikaze dive, before uploading the instructions to Cassini on April 11.

April 11th 2017 : "Cassini to NASA Engineers. Well you can fuck right off if you think I'm doing that. Cassini out"

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Web-app devs note: Google wants to banish JavaScript dialogues

Dr Who

What about applications

In a browser based application there's often a genuine case to use a beforeunload confirm if for example the user has not saved some changed data.

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Ex-broadband biz 186k hit by major outage

Dr Who

The obvious comment here is, why on earth is anyone still using any services delivered by 186K.

However email migrations in particular, which used to be a trivial task, are now a nightmare. First, email is used by most users as a storage system, resulting in multi-gigabyte mailboxes. Secondly, people now expect to sync their mail, contacts and calendars across multiple devices (phone, tablet, laptop) using ActiveSync, IMAP, CalDAV etc...

Moving even a single mailbox is a significant job, and the time and effort involved increases proportionately with the number of mailboxes. OK there are some automation tools you can deploy such as imapsync, but none of them are perfect and all need a lot of manual intervention.

In the light of this, maybe people don't move away from poor providers because they don't know where to start, and they can't afford to get someone in who does.

4
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Microsoft beefs up Skype for Business as Amazon Chimes in

Dr Who

Heard in IT Support. "Office 365 is down again Bob. Odd that our phones aren't ringing off the hook with irate users. Well if they're not bothered I'll just finish my lunch and then call Microsoft. Oh ... wait ...."

4
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Profitless Twitter starts rumour of paid-for Tweetdeck option

Dr Who

Re: Enough already!

I thought it was quite a good comment myself. Trump is famous for his outrageous tweets. Maybe top politicians (and Stephen Fry) should pay for a "licence to Tweet". Not such a bad idea when you think about it. Possibly anyone with over 100 followers should pay a fee. Or anyone who wants to send more the one tweet a month. Any of these would work for me.

12
2

Google Spanner in the NewSQL works?

Dr Who

Is it just me

or was most of this article complete gobbledegook? I kept having to reread sections which looked on the surface like they should have meaning, but even with rereading may just have well been a load of blahs.

5
2

Spammy Google Home spouts audio ads without warning – now throw yours in the trash

Dr Who

Re: Good way to lose customers

Probably a bit steep to say that all these lonely business executives are lesbians.

0
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Smart sex toys firm coughs up $3.75m in privacy lawsuit

Dr Who

Do you mean like a throwing star, machine gun or light sabre? Now you can vibrate your enemies to death!

5
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Royal Navy's newest ship formally named in Glasgow yard

Dr Who

Blimey - that'll show 'em!

The Russians and the Chinese will be quaking in their jack boots when they get wind of this.

4
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Java? Nah, I do JavaScript, man. Wise up, hipster, to the money

Dr Who

If you think JEE is good, you should try JEEZUM ... it's orgasmic.

2
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Rackspace unplugs 250 staff to chase hot new products

Dr Who

Re: What do you mean by 'utterly naive'?

I ran a company years ago whose primary market was dying. What we should have done is made most of our staff redundant and changed the focus of the business to the bits which were making money (email systems and browser based software development).

Instead, we (the directors) took pay cuts and kept the staff on hoping against hope we could revive the loss making core business. This was the wrong thing to do. Our staff were talented and when we did eventually have to let them go they all very quickly found great jobs on better pay. It would have been much better for everyone involved, staff, management and shareholders to make the redundnancies early instead of hanging on. That's a lesson I never forgot.

There is an assumption that anybody who runs a business is a ruthless psychpath who treats people like meat. In the vast majority of cases the exact opposite is true, and it was because of our loyalty to our staff that we eventually had to wind the company up. As I say, it's a lesson I learned the hard way.

6
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Father of Pac-Man dies at 91

Dr Who

Hours. Days. Weeks. Months on my Atari playing this! RIP.

2
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London Ambulance IT system hit by three outages in last year

Dr Who

Re: Pen and paper?

Eh??

I don't think they were writing the call details on a piece of paper and then having a bloke on a bike deliver it to the ambulance. I think that in the absence of their job recording and routing system, they had to do that bit on paper, and then look at a map, possibly even one hanging on the wall, and contact the nearest ambulance by phone, text, radio or whatever to assign the job.

To me this sounds like a very acceptable fallback. And, as an emergency measure, it appears to have worked.

Still, with the money that's been thrown at that system, a five hour outage is pretty unacceptable. 99.30% uptime on a monthly basis.

3
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Lloyds Bank customers still flogging the online dead horse

Dr Who

BOS online banking has been intermittent today.

I'm generally very happy with BOS. If you're going to move banks, where is better? All the established banks have the same legacy problems. The new fintech online only banks have brand new systems, but I wouldn't trust them with my business banking yet.

2
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Google must be Beaming as Apache announces its new top-level projects

Dr Who

Agreed. Smacks of an article written by someone who has no understanding whatsoever of the technology in question but at least has had a go at reassembling the PR blurb in order to justify their fee. The result is unfortunately gobbledegook.

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Corrupt NHS official jailed for £80k bribe over tech contract

Dr Who

Re: Amateurs

Totally agree - utter amateurs. These amounts are loose change compared with the shenanigans involved in awarding NHS wide contracts to the big consultancies. How many ex-politicians are now non-execs on a big business board somewhere?

And then we get to defence contracts, but that's a whole nother story.

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Stealing, scamming, bluffing: El Reg rides along with pen-testing 'red team hackers'

Dr Who

Re: The abuse of "military grade"...

"yeah baby, I'm totally cool and a spy and dangerous and have a massive willy, want to come back to mine?"

Why ask the question when you already know the correct, and perfectly sensible, answer.

PS I have a military grade lawn mower. The exact same model is used by the army to mow their lawns - I kid you not!

9
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AWS is coming for UK infrastructure suppliers' lunch – report

Dr Who

Data Protection?

On what basis can any UK private or public sector business use AWS whilst complying with data protection legislation? Even with the EU-US privacy shield (which replaces the old safe harbour agreement) and even with a UK data centre, the fact that remains that Amazon is a US incorporated business and as such cannot give any guarantees that it won't have to hand over data to any US federal agency.

In my view, to give any kind of meaningful data protection commitment to UK customers, your company must be incorporated in the UK and your data centre must be at least within the EEA or more likely within the UK.

That said, this is the kind of thing no IT services buyer really cares about ... until their employees' email history is released to the FBI. And as they used to say about Microsoft, nobody ever got sacked for buying AWS.

4
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Half-ton handbuilt CPU heads to Centre for Computing History

Dr Who

Megaprocessor

So the OS must be Megahard Doors then.

6
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AI gives porn peddlers a helping hand

Dr Who

And in other news

Tech industry struggles to understand why it has increasing problems attracting women to the industry.

6
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Everest outage was caused by split brains

Dr Who

A lesson in redundancy

To have redundant everything you need to know what everything is. In the complex interconnected world in which we operate it's often hard to know what you don't know.

One of our servers at Memset (who are normally an all round top notch provider) was affected by this outage. Anticipating that data centres can never actually have 100% up time, we replicate our servers to another DC run by a different service provider. That way we can just switch the DNS and hey presto.

For our DNS we use another normally top notch provider with loads of DNS servers spread around the world etc.... It just so happened that after ten years of flawless and uninterrupted service they had a problem at the exact same time as the Memset outage. All DNS servers were running normally, but their control panel went offline for an hour due to a database glitch - meaning we couldn't switch the DNS to our redundant server.

As it happened, our Memset server came back very quickly and we didn't need to switch, but still, another lesson learned.

Any tips on how to mitigate against this problem would be much appreciated. DNS secondaries with another provider (or our own) would not have helped in this instance as DNS was running normally. We just couldn't modify the zone files.

2
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WileyFox Swift 2: A new champ of the 'for around £150' market

Dr Who

Don't know about the new one (and the Cyanogen Inc thing is an issue), but my first Swift which I'm still completely happy with is bloody brilliant.

3
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Arkivum's new CEO gets £3m cash boost to play with – now what?

Dr Who

Arkivum

Delivering all your backend services through our AaaS. When it comes to data, do a dump on us.

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Tesco Bank limits online transactions after fraud hits thousands

Dr Who

This is really bad

The options surely are :

- a failure in the two factor authentication

- a web app vulnerability that allows the bypassing of some or all of the authentication process.

What else could this be? Even if somebody has my "Something I know" they still haven't got my "Something I have " unless they nicked it. It's a bit unlikely that the attacker had nicked the "something I have" fom 20,000 people.

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