* Posts by Dr Who

268 posts • joined 25 Oct 2007

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ...."

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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
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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

5
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Father of Pac-Man dies at 91

Dr Who

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

2
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KCL out(r)age continues: Two weeks TITSUP, two weeks to go

Dr Who

You've totally hit the nail on the head. I'd upvote multiple times if I could. This failure has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with system administration practices.

And yes RAID is not backup. Nor is cross-site synchronisation.

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Fujitsu workers to strike in Blighty over pay

Dr Who

Overheard from a UK Fujitsu employee

OMG the company's cutting its UK headcount by ten percent next year!

Should I :

a) put my nose to the grindstone and keep my head down

b) take what will probably be a reasonable redundacy package and great reference and start planning now for my next career move

c) go on three days of strikes accompanied by "a continuous work to rule, withdrawal of goodwill and ban on overtime"?

Hmm ... let me think about that one for a bit.

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HMRC to create new compliance team focused on 'gig economy' workers

Dr Who

As ever this is being framed as the government ensuring that rapcious employers are not exploiting the workers - whereas of course it's about squeezing more tax from the same tax base.

Even if it were about workers rights however, there's always an assumption that self-employment is inferior to being employed from the worker's perspective. What about the rights of those workers who want to be self-employed? Exploited by a rapcious government intent on squeezing the lifeblood, both literally and figuratively, out of the UK's workers.

3
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No, software-as-a-service won't automatically simplify operations and cut costs

Dr Who

There's more - much more

From off-the-shelf SaaS to something that works for your business and it processes will need a *lot* of expensive consultant time to configure, customise, script, integrate with other systems, migrate data, retrain and support users etc...

In this respect SaaS is no different to on premise. SAP in the end became famous mainly for its monumental implementation and customisation costs (nearly killed Lego) and things like SalesForce are no different.

2
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Astronauts on long-haul space flights risk getting 'space brains'

Dr Who

Re: Space hats!

Never mind 50s sci-fi. If the uniforms look anything like this http://bit.ly/2dWu9MK, I'm signing up. (biddi-biddi)

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Bloodhound supersonic car backed by Chinese taxi biz Geely

Dr Who

Excellent news. Of cours the investors have all been duped. The car will never reach 1000mph. As it hits 888mph (we have moved on you know) the flux capacitor will kick in and the whole thing will disappear leaving but a trail of flames.

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My God, I've got nothing on! Microsoft's $200m Wunderlist is down

Dr Who

Normally, I groan when faced with yet another "cloud computing strikes again" type comment, but in this case I'm absolutely in agreement. A todo list is fine on a piece of paper, stuffed in my back pocket. We're not talking project scheduling here, it's just a list. I've just checked and there are dozens of shopping list apps out there too which is unbelievable. Paper, back pocket, HB pencil, job done.

12
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NHS health apps project plan: Powered by your medical records

Dr Who

Re: There is no security issue

We are all blinded by dogma and nostalgia. The health service in the UK needs more money - a lot more money. We need more doctors and nurses and we need to pay them more. We will need a lot more geriatric and other age related facilities.

What Tony Blair proved is that chucking loads of money at the NHS as it stands is tantamount to chucking it into a black hole. It disappears and nothing improves. Something has to change and an urgent and honest national debate is needed about how to dismantle the current dysfunctional system and build one that can handle the epic healthcare challenges facing us over the next few decades.

One thing is absolutely certain, the NHS as it stands is an outdated, inadequate and inappropriate vehicle for delivering health services in the UK for the 21st century. Let's get over our ideological hangups and have a serious attempt at tackling the problem. If we don't, chaos and disaster in our healthcare system are guaranteed.

8
10
Dr Who

There is no security issue

Because it is not going to happen. Many billions will be spent. Many IT services companies will come and go. Fuck all will be achieved. There is therefore no security implication.

The electronic patient record has been in the making for over 20 years. According to this article it will now be available by the end of 2017. Bollocks will it be.

The NHS will never learn that grand, centralised, monolithic schemes will never work and they will continue to waste our hard earned dosh with the behemoths of the IT industry.

The internet is not a centrally designed thing, which is why it works. It's a set of protocols to which anyone who wants to build an internetty thing must adhere. That's the route the NHS should be taking.

Britain clearly has an almost religious attachment to the NHS, and Jeremy Cunt is not helping things. I think that attachment is wrong. The state should guarantee each and every citizen their healthcare through a state funded insurance scheme. Almost certainly however, the provision of healthcare and its satellite services would be done better by multiple, competing, well regulated private organisations. We have world class medical professionals being managed by an organisation of world class waste and incompetence. This has to change.

5
18

Dropbox: Leaked DB of 68 million account passwords is real

Dr Who

Can someone explain

How did Troy Hunt verify the leaked data by encrypting his own password with bcrypt and comparing it against the leaked hash when he would have had no idea what salt Dropbox had used for his user account? Or did the leak include the salts?

0
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HPE sharpens knife for next salami-slicing staff redundo round

Dr Who

To me

It looks more like a chorizo.

5
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Vodafone: Dear customers. We're sorry we killed your Demon

Dr Who

Re: Saw this coming and recently decamped to Zen

Zen. I use them for home and work broadband and landline. Cannot rate them highly enough. You pay a bit more, but it's worth every penny..

6
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Quip away, but Microsoft Excel 365's REST APIs win the day

Dr Who

Re: Yup you're old

@Ragarth. Totally agree. I just get frustrated with the large contingent on El Reg who are anti-cloud full stop. They base their entire opinion on services such as Office 360 or SalesForce where in effect you lose control. There are many shades of grey between in house and the Office 360 / SalesForce type scenario. Horses for courses and all that.

3
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Dr Who

Yup you're old

Years ago my company used to licence a copy, at great expense, of the Post Office PAF file, with regular updates arriving on tape which had to be laboriously loaded into our in house system.

Now - we use PostCodeAnywhere of course. Yes, we depend on a third party for this, but so what? We depend on many third party companies to do business, not least our utilities suppliers, accountants, logistics companies, Internet service providers and so on ad infinitum.

With IT, it's not outsourcing that's the issue, it's how you arrange your outsourced services and who you outsource them to that matters.

In this interconnected world, where as many or more of our users are remote as are office based, the geographical location of the systems is neither here nor there. Even firewall's, DMZs, and intrusion detection systems are increasingly irrelevant in a world where the distinction between your internal and public networks is ever more blurred. You need to defend each system individually, not the perimeter.

I'll stick my neck out even further. Anyone who still believes there's an advantage to running an in house data centre where they can touch the hardware and see the blinking lights is hopelessly out of date. If you know what you're doing, you can deliver far more reliable, far better performing, far more functional systems by outsourcing (cloud or otherwise) than you can in house.

PS I'm old too.

5
10

Cray profits literally go up in smoke after electrical incident

Dr Who

Re: Electrical Smoke Event?

Exactly! Why does everything have to be an event these days?

Severe weather event = big storm

Seismic event = earthquake

Unanticipated landing event = plane crash

Morning ablution event = shit/shower/shave

It's the bloody yanks again I tell you. They started it.

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Google Research opens machine intelligence base in Zurich

Dr Who

Re: Actually...

The ch is the hardest sound for a non-native to get right, hence the time honoured test of asking someone to say "chuchi chaeschtli" which simply means kitchen cupboard but is damn hard to day if you didn't grow up saying it. When a Swiss says the ch it sounds OK. When a foreigner tries it, it normally sounds like they're about to deposit an enormous flob at your feet.

Not mentioned in the article but must be part of Google's thinking is that on their door step in Zurich they will have the ETH - probably the best technical university in Europe.

0
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When DIY is not enough: Web-snack firm Graze has an offline awakening

Dr Who

The main thing I got from this article is that the Graze office is in a smashing building on the river at Richmond in a Georgian quad opposite Facebook and PayPal - a fact that impressed the author so much he had to write it twice.

8
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Outsourcery to perform ULTIMATE outsource as it enters administration

Dr Who

Re: The Cloud...

In this case, the customers should be OK. Outsourcery, inspite of its misleading name, is just another reseller of MS cloud services and as such it is likely that service will continue. Now, whether being on the MS cloud is a good thing is an altogether other discussion.

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Rogue Somerset vulture lands at Royal Navy airbase

Dr Who

Re: Surely there's a marketing made in heaven here

With the greatest of respect and to your great credit, your post is an excellent demonstration of why you are a techie and not a marketer.

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Salesforce claims 'record' quarter record at Oracle and SAP's expense

Dr Who

Isn't it ironic

I am in general, and in contrast to much of the opinion expressed on the Reg, a fan of cloud and the opportunities, if used wisely, it offers. This though is a little ironic. The company that just irretrievably lost data for quite a lot of its US customers reports record sales because the competion is cr*p. Have you actually used SalesForce? I have, and it's a nightmare. If they're the best, the others must be truly tragic.

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What is Hybrid Infrastructure? Glad you asked...

Dr Who

Horses for courses

These are all good points well made. It surely depends on the user base you are considering when assessing where your systems should run. If the system you are looking at is for internal consumption within your business, keep the system local. If you are serving tens of thousands of consumers via the web, it may well make sense to place that system in a third party data centre with massive redundant routes to the Internet, something that would be tough to deliver from your own premises. If your system is serving both internal and external user communities, then maybe hybrid is the answer.

I agree entirely that using cloud infrastructure is no silver bullet either financially or technically, it just increases the options available for delivering solutions.

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