* Posts by Herby

2924 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Chap joins elite support team, solves what no one else can. Is he invited back? Is he f**k

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It all boils down to...

No good deed goes unpunished.

Better luck next time.

Holy sh*tsnacks! Danger zone! Edinburgh Uni's Archer 2 super 'puter will cost a cool £79m

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For that money...

You could buy a BUNCH of Raspberry Pi's and make a GIANT cluster. It might even do some computation in parallel.

Oh, there might even be some money left over to figure out how to compute the answer as well.

Yes, I believe that somewhere there is a cluster like this actually doing some work.

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?

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Well that is what "Artificial Intelligence" is these days.

Pretty simple if you ask me.

Roses are red, this is sublime: We fed OpenAI's latest chat bot a classic Reg headline

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Goes to show: Artifical Intelligence...


And probably never be.

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...

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Every web site should...

Make its "programmers" load pages using dial-up (57k) speed. If it were a requirement, things might speed up a bit. Every time a web page loads, you get ALL sorts of stuff loaded in, taking up bandwidth as well as memory.

While I used to use noscript, I don't know, and I might go back to is soon.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine not a boot stamping on a face, but keystroke logging on govt contractors' PCs

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"at zero cost"

I doubt it. Somebody needs to buy/install/maintain the software and keep it for 7 years? That is NOT a zero cost event. Someone in this case is the state contracting for business. I'm sure that the company promoting the service isn't going to give away the software for free, and then there is a server or two where screen shots can necessarily bog things down. The software necessary will probably only work on Windows Vista anyway...

No, no thanks. No soup for you.

Of course, the internal state owned projects (DMV anyone) won't be subject to any of this nonsense.

620 million accounts stolen from 16 hacked websites now for sale on dark web, seller boasts

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I now suspect...

That a bunch of email addresses will get extortion letters that say we have your web cam feed, and we know what you were doing while watching a video. It seems that this is a much more lucrative than trying to get bank credentials or the like. While you send out email to 1000's of addresses, and get a couple to bite and send you back $$$ (in bitcoin form), there seem to be suckers born every minute.

Of course, maybe this seller bought said records and did his thing, and sold off the used addresses after he found it might be too much work to make money from them. Oh, well.

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

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On dates...

One piece of software I wrote only kept the last digit of the year. For the most part it worked just fine, as I had another table that expanded the last digit to a (get this) a two digit year. That was OK as well. Turns out that the company only lasted around 5 years, but I continued to do some consulting after that.

Yes, it was memory limited, it was the '80s and I was using an 8 bit micro.

Life goes on. I still have a machine close to that one in my garage.

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

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Yes, drains can become fountains. What is more terrible is when toilets become fountains. Yup, had one of those in my two story house. The lowest toilet in the house gladly "fountained" and you can assume the rest. Had to get the drain cleaner guy out and snake the drain to the street (75 feet of it!) to unclog the mess. Before I re-assembled things, I took things outside and hosed the toilet down (inside and out), then hosed down the half bath where the subject toilet was supposed to be.

It wasn't a pleasant experience.

Or as the saying goes: When you are up to your @$$ in alligators, you forget that the original task was to drain the swamp. Priorities, Priorities!

Forget snowmageddon, it's dropageddon in Azure SQL world: Microsoft accidentally deletes customer DBs

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Now where was.....

That multi-million transfer from the Nigerian prince that was supposed to come through....

Kinda a 'duh' for the icon...

NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 15 years on Mars – by staying as dead as a doornail

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Message inside??

Maybe there is some message now hidden inside the rover from far far away. Could it be:

Send more Chuck Berry

Should the super-rich pay 70% tax rate above $10m? Here's Michael Dell's hot take for Davos

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Other peoples money...

It is nice that legislators like to spend other peoples money on their favorite pastime: buying peoples votes. It has worked for many a year, and will probably continue. The problem with others peoples money is that you soon run out of it (I believe a great person is responsible for this quote).

You see, 70% on incomes above $10M soon becomes incomes above $5m, then because it isn't bringing in enough, it drops to $1M. By then inflation has risen and just about everyone has incomes of $1M or so, and it all goes downhill.

You see those with incomes or wealth DO something with their money. The list is long, but they don't stash it in Scrooge McDucks's money bin where it does nobody any good. Oh, and they provide jobs as well. I mean somebody has to make the installations of Dell stuff.

As for government (take your pick) moving money around, there is a gross inefficiency there, and lots of bureaucrats to feed, so not 100% of the taxes we all pay get spent on the things necessary (duh!). Keep it out of their hands and we will all be a bit better off.

Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good

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"Prior Art"...

The problem with the current system is that s far as the USPTO is concerned (I don't know about others), prior art is what THEY have seen before (i.e. issued patents).

Until they get over this issue, it will be hard to reconcile the huge mess that is almost 10 million strong and counting.

Sad, but true...

Data hackers are like toilet ninjas. This is not a clean crime, you know

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Re: Inquiring minds want to know...

I worked a University where they did this as well. They had 5 digit codes. The unfortunate part was that they (at that time) used DIAL telephones, and it took a while to get thru.

Oh, well.

I don't remember how many people were in the staff directory, but as I remember it was over 1k, probably 5k.

Core blimey... When is an AMD CPU core not a CPU core? It's now up to a jury of 12 to decide

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From what I hear, a "core" is...

...anything the marketing literature says it is. No more, no less.

Who knows, I may even get on the jury given my locale. That would be a treat! Of course, for all I know, they are talking about "Apple Cores" (boo hiss...).

Linus Torvalds opts for the scream test: Linux kernel syscall tweaked to shut data-leak hole – anyone upset, yell now

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At least...

Linux admits to it, and publicly at that. I suspect that there are MANY cases where you can hear screams all the way from Redmond Washington, and with the amount of "wonderful" releases, it appears that the scream might even be continuous.

Detailed: How Russian government's Fancy Bear UEFI rootkit sneaks onto Windows PCs

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I long for simpler days...

On one computer I worked on (a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away), the "load" sequence put a set of about 10 32 bit words into memory, and included the device number of the "boot device" (it could be cards, tape, paper tape, or disk). The next operation was to execute this sequence to read in the first record from the designated media and continue the process. It was the responsibility of the provider of the media to correctly do the rest of the job. The BIOS we have today has gotten a bit far from its original task (to get an operating system in place) and has provided all sorts of hooks, and other grunge to make it "easy" for normal humans to do such a simple task.

The biggest problem is that the BIOS/UFEI stuff is masked and hidden from us "mere mortals" that have to get a job done. Perhaps if it were open source and examined by lots of eyes/minds it wouldn't so fragile.

One of these days motherboard vendors will listen, but I'm not holding my breath.....

Millennium Buggery: When things that shouldn't be shut down, shut down

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Falls into the category...

Be careful for what you ask for, you may just get it...

Many "instructions" are like that...

The solid state of storage in 2018: Latencies, they are dwindling. On-premises, the kit is glistening...

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Sounds like....

The glut of disk drive companies in the late 80's, early 90's when they were all funded with the proposition of getting a "large share" of the market. Now we have only a few true drive companies.

Will solid state/cloud/etc.. companies follow? I don't know, but I suspect that there might be a falling out in a bunch (technical term) of years.

Amazing what you can get VC money for these days.

Me? I will enjoy the prices going down as the competition heats up. That's a "good thing".

An upset tummy and a sphincter-loosening blackout: Lunar spaceflight is all glamour

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"Santa Claus..."

I remember this quote quite well when I watched it on TV. Exciting times those days. Computers of the day were BIG things and memory (if you were lucky) was measured in kilobytes (or k-digits (with flags) if you had that computer).

We've come a LONG way since then (understatement of year!).

Error pop-up? Don't worry, let's just get this migration done... BTW it's my day off tomorrow

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Reminds me of...

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Of course this is kinda like "on error resume next".

Hole-y ship: ISS 'nauts take a wander to crack Soyuz driller whodunnit

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It got a bit of religion on the way to space. Holy hole, Batman. Of course, it is near Christmas.

Official: Voyager 2 is now an interstellar spacecraft

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Message just relayed from Voyager...



BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

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I like it!

Just not on the receiving end.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

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It's not encrypted...

...its just random numbers. I have no idea what it is.

In the USA, we can exercise our 5th amendment privilege, thankfully.

As for not revealing TCN's, one can every day say "We haven't seen any TCN's", and when they stop, we can draw conclusions.

Apple co-founder and former CEO has the most expensive John Hancock on the planet

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My (younger) sister had the autographs of all four of the Beatles. Complete with Aerogram written to her by Ed Sullivan himself. I wonder how much that would be worth today?

Alas, it was lost many decades ago, but it did exist! We should have had it framed properly, but I believe it was stuck in some Beatles album somewhere, and lost not much thereafter (*SIGH*).

He's not cracked RSA-1024 encryption, he's a very naughty Belarusian ransomware middleman

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Basically what he was doing. It has been done in several instances before. One instance, a programmer who was "contracted" to do a job, found someone else to do the job "cheaper". The contractor sat back and collected the difference (ElReg even reported this).

Entrepreneurial initiative at its best.

No, I do not condone it. The procedure is a very good example if "slime"

Why is my Windows 10 preview build ticking? Microsoft reminds users that previews have timebombs

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Then there are registry hacks...

...That might soon be published that get around such things. Give it some time, and they will appear. Sorry I don't do Microsoft, so I won't contribute, but "watch this space".

GCHQ pushes for 'virtual crocodile clips' on chat apps – the ability to silently slip into private encrypted comms

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Trading "liberty" for "security".

One once said that if you do that, you deserve neither.

I've got the Yo-Yo...

I've got the string...

Where to implant my employee microchip? I have the ideal location

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Have trained us humans to care for them pretty nicely.

The cat I had before I had the cat flappy door would jump on my bed then wander over to the sliding glass door and await my opening of it. The clawing of the screen door was the signal to be let back in. I was perfectly trained.

Hands up who isn't p!*$ed off about Amazon's new HQ in New York and Virginia?

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They probably...

Wouldn't have gotten such a "big deal" if they hadn't done the "competition". If they stated before hand we're doing HQ2 at ..., then there would be no incentive for the towns/states to give up anything.

Amazon needed something to bargain against. If you are the only one playing the game, then you are the "lowest bidder" no matter what you price yourselves at. Two bidders makes a contest.

They needed to "play the field" and they did it very well.

Our local sillycon valley mayor of San Jose, said "no thanks", and passed. He probably saw the writing on the wall and decided that any response wasn't worth the effort. Others took the bait, and went through the motions and got nothing for their effort. Oh, well.

Ethernet patent inventor given permission to question validity of his own patent

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Looks like to me...

That this is a case of trying to look in a mirror, and hoping you don't see yourself, then arguing that it isn't your image.

Oh, well. Be careful for what you ask for, you may just get it.

Bruce Schneier: You want real IoT security? Have Uncle Sam start putting boots to asses

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Lots of things are "long lived".

Most notably houses. They (here in the USA) have 30 year mortgages, which indicate that somebody thinks that they will last that long (the house I'm in is older than that!). The items that are installed in it (wiring, walls, etc.) have lasted that long, and I expect them to last longer.

Maybe the law should be: If you don't support it then you can't claim it is proprietary and its design is public domain for all to tinker with, including software! That might be a worthwhile ting to do.

Oh, if you DO support it, it must have security updates, or you aren't really supporting it!

Then again I live in a dream world.

We (may) now know the real reason for that IBM takeover. A distraction for Red Hat to axe KDE

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I've found that KDE is a much nicer desktop environment than the silly cashew. I hope that at least Fedora will keep it as an option. I've been using it for about 15 years. Yes, on Fedora as I type.

Then again, maybe IBM took it over to keep KDE. Sillier things have happened.

Supreme Court raises eyebrows at Google's cozy $8.5m legal deal

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If you want to fine Google, and benefit people...

How about making them not run ads for a certain period of time. How about a week or so.

To really make it stick in, make the lawyers for everyone watch the ads that were turned off.

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship

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At least..

We here in the good 'ol USA have a First Amendment. Other countries aren't so lucky. Hopefully someone will read it correctly.

Pirate radio is another thing. Those who do it probably don't know what they might interfere with. The RF spectrum is much like a multi dimensional real-estate bonanza. I doubt that mobile phone users would like their usage interfered with (governments seem to be excluded in this regard though).

Life goes on.

Californian chap sets his folks' home on fire by successfully taking out spiders with blowtorch

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If you actually use one these days. Usually rolled up and used with great impact.

The Garfield comic strip usually has something about these at least once a month.

Ad blocking. All fun and games – until it gets political: Union websites banned by uBlock Origin

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Similar to Godwin's law.

Before something devolves to WW2 antagonists (I'm trying hard here), it first gets political in some respect.

I suspect that a mention of a current US President will also be in the chain as well, but that is not international in scope.

Be careful for what you ask for, you just might get it. As always, life goes on.

Apple to dump Intel CPUs from Macs for Arm – yup, the rumor that just won't die is back

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In further news....

Apple just announced that after the transition to ARM chips in 2020, they are thinking about switching to 68080 based chips in 2025. The new chips will be 64 bit compatible and run faster with many cores.

Yes, I am dreaming.

Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax

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Be careful what you ask for...

You might just get it.

EU please take note. Some cases the "cure" is worse than the "disease". This may or may not be true, but the regulators need to be careful. Sometimes they just do things to justify their existence and say they are "helpful".

"I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you" is a very dangerous phrase.

Of course Google is getting a bit big these days, but how do you stop it in a meaningful way that satisfies everyone? Good luck.

The mysterious life of Luc Esape, bug fixer extraordinaire. His big secret? He's not human

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Rise of the Machines...

Not much to add. Now if it can actually do my project from scratch AND make it "bug free", that would be something.

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

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Smokers, etc...

Long ago, in a galaxy far far away, I did some work with answering services. The "operators" there were mostly of the female persuasion and many smoked. We installed a system that had CRT terminals (yes, it was long ago), and sometimes we would come in for "servicing", and one of the things we would do is clean the face of the CRTs using Windex or some such.

The reaction we got was "boy this works MUCH better now" (or similar). Of course not much operationally changed, but the CRTs were MUCH cleaner.

As for answering service operators: It was almost a truism that the voice quality (of the operator) was the inverse of looks, and that weight was a factor as well. Yes, I know this is not politically correct, but more often than not it was true.

Take my advice: The only safe ID is a fake ID

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Names are just weird...

I've been told that the surname of "English" is most likely an Irishman, and the surname of "Irish" is most likely from England. Go figure.

Then there is what I post by. It is more unique than the real alternative, and it was a name "given" to me when I was in University. Seems to have stuck.

One should always have a couple of identities when online. It just works out better that way.

Remember that lost memory stick from Heathrow Airport? The terrorist's wet dream? So does the ICO

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Makes me wonder...

What would happen if you left a USB stick lying around with "important" information. Probably some BOFH type information that might get the "boss" in hot water.

Of course, it would all be made up, but convincing.

Then wait for the after action and laugh very hard.

Project. HAL 9000?

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth

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Information on "shunt trips".

There are special circuit breakers that exist that have an extra set of wires to allow remote tripping of the breaker for whatever reason. Usually there is some fire code involved. The power for this extra circuit is usually a separate circuit from the one that needs to be tripped.

In the case mentioned, I suspect that the wires in the ceiling were those intended to be wired to the "big red switch" somewhere. They will nicely read line voltage (USA: 120 volts) since the meter is of such high impedance. In fact this reading is probably through the extra coil on the "shunt trip" breaker. Fast forward to turning off the breaker for the circuit, then turning it on with the outlet in place of the "big red switch", and any load will impress enough current in the shunt trip breaker to let it do its job (turn off a nice (probably 3 phase) circuit that powers the rest of the floor.

So the projector took the place of said "big red switch" and killed power to the rest of the place.

In the end, somebody should have labeled the wires!

On the third day of Windows Microsoft gave to me: A file-munching run of DELTREE

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Welcome to....

...beta test.

California cracks down on Internet of Crap passwords with new law to stop the botnets

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But will they give out the "unique" password?

Let's say I have an older device that has been idle for a while, and I want to re-purpose it (or some other activity). The vendor has nicely provided a "factory reset" switch. I go through the process and connect y nice browser to the device in question. The nice online manual indicates that if I give a call center a nice multi character string, they will give out the factory password.

Ah, there is one problem. It has been a while, and they vendor no longer supports this model. They just don't have said password, or the algorithm to get it.

You have a brick. Have a nice day.

Yes, this happened to me. I lucked out in that the user (a friend) remembered the older password, and all was well again. But still......

What do Zuck, Sergey, @Jack and Bezos have in common? They don't want encryption broken

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A backdoor for one...

Is a backdoor for everyone. That type of secret won't last long in these modern times.

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

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Re: Electrifying

"Proves again BS1363 FTW"

Nah: NEMA 5-15 Even better FTW.

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MOSFETs and fill-up stations

Mosfets: In my PFY days, when attending university, I had occasion to work with mosfets (RCA 40468's) which were EXTREMELY static sensitive. In one experiment I had the device in a curve tracer and hit the "open base" (in this case gate), and walked back a few steps. With black comb in hand and using it to attack my hair, I could make the curve go from bottom to top of the trace by just moving the comb about 2 feet in front of me. It was very instructive.

Fill-up (gasoline/petrol) stations: Yes, Oregon makes "attendants" pump fuel. Every time I visit it is weird to have pump droids at Costco. As for the auto shut-off, sometimes they removed the mechanism that engages it (lever that latches from the back). Then I saw the "bug fix". It involved propping up the fuel lever with the filler cap. I subsequently used this "bug fix" and it was wonderful. I could scrub my windshield windscreen while the tank was being filled. Bliss renewed.

As usual, life goes on.

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