* Posts by Herby

2569 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

Herby
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Facepalm

Situation Normal...

All Fouled Up.

Can't say much more. Welcome to beta test.

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FTP becoming Forgotten Transfer Protocol as Debian turns it off

Herby
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Re: Sad but not terrible

Yes, I know no sensible person sends mail by "telnet <mx> 25"

While this may be true, spammers do exactly that programatically. Spew to port 25 and just discard the result.

Me? One of my web cams nicely transfers pictures once a minute to my FPT server and has for over 10 years. Of course, FTP is a really weird protocol (PORT/PASV and all that), but if it is implemented, it DOES work. There is a lot of history around it and the problems/flaws are pretty well known, and for the most part pretty well fixed. It is like the energizer bunny, it keeps going, beating its drum.

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Super-secure Pi-stuffed nomx email server box given a good probing

Herby
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Must have been made by...

Marketing geniuses, and programmer rockstars that are gurus as well.

Any buzzwords I missed?

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Risk-free Friday evenings, thanks to Office 365 license management

Herby
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License? What license??

The easiest way out of ALL of this is to use software that doesn't require licenses to work.

LibreOffice is your friend.

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Stanford Uni's intro to CompSci course adopts JavaScript, bins Java

Herby
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Re: Algol-W

The 60's called. They want the chad back.

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Herby
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What is an "intro" course for??

It is to get young minds full of mush some understanding of what really goes on. Unfortunately the problems encountered in such a course have little bearing on "reality". Stanford has gone through many languages in its "intro" courses, some which really don't exist outside of the given course work. They started out with:

1) Algol on a Burroughs 5500

2) Algol-W on an IBM 360/67

3) Pascal on TOPS-20

(and as the author says):

4) C

5) Java

6) Javascript, the latest.

Most of these are nice "teaching" languages, but are a bit difficult to get going in "real life". The problem is that the techniques taught in the first course of programming just don't translate well. One of my experiences was helping a younger sister (student at Stanford!) with an assignment in Pascal. Kinda obtuse the problem, but it did teach some programming concepts. I also helped out a roommate work the same problem (in a different way, don't want to give it away!) which was based on the notes from the professor. They were two different programs in the end. Now that we all have computers, the problems encountered seem to be along the lines of "how do I format this in Excel" or some such. Most who USE computers don't have a clue about what work goes into the various programs they use. For the most part, it really doesn't matter. Sure we do actual "programs", but being in an IT profession is but a fraction (and a very small one) of the workforce.

Life goes on.

Maybe the intro course should be how to do macros/database in Excel. Combine with "elementary Word" and you might even have a course.

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Drunk user blow-dried laptop after dog lifted its leg over the keyboard

Herby
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Rubber Gloves...

Should be in everyones "repair" kit. This example should have shown that.

Given that moisture of many varieties seems to invade electronics on a semi-regular basis, a good supply (they come in nice boxes at surgical supply stores) ought to be on the "buy" list.

As always, your milage may vary.

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Farewell Unity, you challenged desktop Linux. Oh well, here's Ubuntu 17.04

Herby
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Proves the axiom...

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Me? KDE all the way with Fedora!!

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Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Herby
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Advertising seems to "work"...

As much as it is annoying to us all, and we all strive to ignore it, it DOES seem to work. This is because we are all talking about it.

Ad blockers are interesting devices. They are but one item in the never increasing battle between the eyes that look and the people who show. I suspect that eventually the result will be a draw, the declared "winner" keeps going back and forth. With ad blockers, comes web sites that detect them and don't display content, and so it goes.

As for TV ads, the wife desperately does all she can to skip over them (via TiVo), or mute them otherwise. I on the other hand seem to ignore them altogether, and assume that it is a perfect time for a potty break as necessary.

In the end, life goes on. If there were no ads, we would have two results:

1) Everything formerly supported by advertising would be more expensive (Newspapers, US TV, magazines, web content...)

2) Nobody would buy "new" things since they wouldn't know about them, which would drive up the costs there (supply/demand).

So, we're stuck with the current imperfect arrangement much as we ALL loathe it.

Life goes on.....

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Stop asking people for their passwords, rights warriors yell at US Homeland Security

Herby
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Common profile...

So, we all setup a "common profile" that we know the "password" for and everybody refers to it. You might need to make up one for each gender, but we could all refer to it.

Border guy: "This looks like the last one I saw".

Guy entering: "Yup. That's the name I use online."

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Guess who's back at Microsoft? Excel, Word creator Charles Simonyi

Herby
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Eve of destruction...

Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,

But when your return, it's the same old place,

Apologies to Barry Mcguire

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IDF now stands for Intel Ditches Frisco: Chipzilla axes annual tech conf

Herby
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Now all you get...

Is dribblings after you sign an NDA or some such, but don't talk about it either.

Maybe this is why ARM processors are gaining traction?

I just put this in my list: If IBM had picked some other processor architecture (say Motorola 68000), it wouldn't be Chipzilla, but just a bit of dust probably making DRAM chips. (Wishful dreaming on my part!).

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'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules

Herby
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Privacy in wire communications??

Please tell the congressman that the equivalent would be a telephone company using speech recognition on telephone conversations and selling people (advertising scum) what keywords you use in everyday life.

That is what browsing history is after all.

He needs to get a clue

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Half-baked security: Hackers can hijack your smart Aga oven 'with a text message'

Herby
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But will it...

Cook Pizza?

In reasonable time?

My nice USA electric oven can whip out a pizza in about 20 minutes from a cold start. If you start the oven as you order the take & bake one, it can take less, as the travel time is about the same as the warm up.

Get out the beer and have at it. Don't need this multi-door monstrosity that thinks it is hot all the time. How do you clean the beast?

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Boss swore by 'For Dummies' book about an OS his org didn't run

Herby
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Pint

Good Friday?

You need the proper attitude. You see, ALL Fridays are "good Fridays". This is especially true around beer o'clock in the afternoon. That is when you read the current BOFH episode, and wish you could do something similar with your boss, and groan while walking over to the pub "across the street".

Yup, every Friday is a "good" Friday.

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Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

Herby
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Of course, will they go after other bad guys?

Like those who fake being the IRS, or "Microsoft" support.

Yes, these guys rake in $$$ every day, from unsuspecting people, but I have yet to hear any FTC action about them (like shutting down the toll free number at first sight!).

Somebody needs to get with the program!

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Euro Patent Office reforms hit another stumbling block: Reality

Herby
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Improve quality?

One step might be to throw out all software patents. It might be a good start.

After that the more through an examination, the more solid the patent. This goes without saying.

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Cyberattacks wipe more than $50bn off big biz value, say beancounters

Herby
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Maybe Law Enforcement should take notice too.

With all the scams out there, law enforcement takes little notice. They seem to think that a small $50 or so problem is insignificant. Of course it is, but when you multiply by a big number (a simple thousand will do) it DOES become significant.

You just don't see that many good prosecutions for scams out there. Maybe the FBI could open an office in Lagos. I'm sure they could get some business there!

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HMRC beer duty bungle leaves breweries struggling to pay online

Herby
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Could be worse...

They could have shut off beer sales for a fraction of the month. It might be the only way to calculate the taxes. Just use one rate for the whole month, and since you didn't make any for the time the new rate was in effect, no tax.

Yeah, real bummer.

Than again, it might start a new campaign: Don't Tax Our Beer!! (of course, good luck with that).

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Evil ISPs could disrupt Bitcoin's blockchain

Herby
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Needs an army!

Any good currency, or language needs an army to back it up. The world's main currencies seem to have this made (I could question the euro, but there are a couple of armies there).

Three cases:

Esperanto: Fail, no army!

Ebonics: Fail, no army!

Bitcoin: Bound to fail, no army. May exist as a "stock" and traded as such.

And so it goes...

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Apple wets its pants over Swatch ad tagline

Herby
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Maybe...

They will trade "the swiss" (probably different than "swatch") for the right to use second hands with circles in them. I believe that the Cupertino Fruit company got hit with that one for clock displays.

One can conclude from actions like that that an paid, idle lawyer is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Live and learn. Oh, The Bard might have been right in Henry VI, pt 2.

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FCC kills plan to allow phone calls on planes – good idea or terrible?

Herby
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Technical reasons....

While there are MANY social reasons why cell phones shouldn't be on airplanes (many enumerated here in the comments), there are technical reasons why it isn't a good idea.

The "interfering with air navigation" excuse sounds nice, but it really doesn't hold any water. No way reasonable navigation aids (well designed ones) should be susceptible at all. On the other hand, the cell towers are another matter. You see there are a couple of reasons. First, most of the cell tower antennas point horizontal (and a bit downward) to pick up terrestrial based cell phones (well, that's where they are). They don't send their main signal "up to the sky" as it would be wasted. Secondly, cell phones in the sky broadcast (and receive) their signal in an omnidirectional pattern, so in the air they would be in contact with LOTS of cell towers line of sight. Since the cell towers normally signal "outward" not "upward" they need to increase their power to even get to the flying high cell phone, which causes interference with other cell towers, limiting capacity of many towers. In addition, your little cell phone must increase its power in its attempts to communicate as well, and that drains your battery faster.

So, for a bunch of reasons, both technical and social, you should turn off the damn phone and chill out.

I also take notice of the 60 minutes (US News show) piece last Sunday indicating that lots of people are making cell phones "addictive" to get more usage. Maybe that's why people want to use them in planes, they gotta feed their habit. (*SIGH*).

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BOFH: Defenestration, a solution to Solutions To Problems We Don't Have

Herby
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STPWDH

I just found a new acronym to use in everyday life.

Unfortunately these exist in too many places.

Hopefully BOFHs of all stripes strive to squash them as quickly as possible in as obscure way as possible, thus the phrase "we'll think about it".

Gotta love it!

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Pong, anyone? How about Pong on a vintage oscilloscope?

Herby
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On building Pong...

My experience was with a single chip (plus video modulator) game of pong. You hooked up a couple of potentiometers to the game and they controlled the position of the paddle. It worked quite well. One of my friends made the mistake of trying to hook up "audio taper" (logarithmic curve) to the game (instead of "linear taper"). The thing worked OK, but you had to understand that the movement was in the last tenth or so of the rotation.

Fun in the early 70's. You needed to be there!

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Wi-Fi sex toy with built-in camera fails penetration test

Herby
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Jokes just write themselves.

From the comments, it appears that in the given context, the jokes are pretty good. The subject matter appears to be one that common readers of ElReg are quite familiar with, and appear to have experience.

May they continue. Keep calm and carry on.......

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UK's 'homebrew firmware' Chinooks set to be usable a mere 16 years late

Herby
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To err is human....

To really foul things up requires a computer....

To make it truly worthwhile, you need a government contract to finance it all at taxpayers expense.

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Cheap, flimsy, breakable and replaceable – yup, Ikea, you'll be right at home in the IoT world

Herby
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Lightswitches...

Still cost less than $1.00 at the local hardware store, and don't need monthly maintenance fees to keep working. Looks like a bargain to me.

Dimmer switches are a little more (a little over $5.00) if you want control.

Good enough for me.

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Bloke whose drone was blasted out of sky by angry dad loses another court battle for compo

Herby
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On bats and other such implements...

Yes, people have lots of "impact therapy" implements, and while baseball bats might be the club of choice, people use other implements. The problem is that baseball bats have been described as lethal instruments, and just swinging them around is "assault with a deadly weapon", which is a no-no that might send you to the "big house" in the wrong part of the state.

On the other hand, other implements (axe handles come to mind) are not classified as such and probably pack similar punch, as well as being available at any well stocked hardware store. Running around intimidating others won't be classified as wielding a deadly weapon, so you are probably going to get no citation in the process.

You need to be careful when you want to intimidate others with a device that might beat their brains out.

Just so you know.

As for shotguns, well, we have a second amendment for such items. The problem with them is that when mixed with intoxicants (legal, or otherwise) doesn't yield a good result, as I found out last week (no, I wasn't involved).

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Amazing new WikiLeaks CIA bombshell: Agents can install software on Apple Macs, iPhones right in front of them

Herby
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Why??

Does WikiLeaks only have info on things from English speaking countries, and not others who are equally invested in spying operations (China, Russia, North Korea) in the world? This seems a great injustice.

As the saying goes: Inquiring minds want to know!

Maybe they could run a story on how the diplomat got "stung" and died later. THAT would be interesting!

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US Senate votes to let broadband ISPs sell your browser histories

Herby
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Wiretapping made legal...

Sounds like that to me!

If they peek at my "content" it is the same as tapping my phone, and should be illegal. But who am I?

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Carnegie-Mellon Uni emits 'don't be stupid' list for C++ developers

Herby
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Maybe the first rule should be...

(I'm being VERY cynical here)

Don't use C++

If you start with that premise, and note exceptions, you might have something, you never know. Of course this leads to LOTS of "this" is better than "that" style arguments. These quickly degrade into religious wars sooner or later.

My take: The language book written by the authors of C is about 1/2 inch thick. The language book written by the author of C++ is around 1.5 inches thick. To me this implies that the fancy language is THREE (maybe more) times more complex. I can just barely remember the minute details of C so I barely need to look up things. Memorizing 3 times as much is a big burden for me (look, I'm getting old!), so the language is MUCH more difficult. So I follow rule zero as stated above, and let it go.

Generally languages have gotten more complex as time goes by, and have become more difficult to understand as a whole. Sometimes I long for the days of Fortran II (yes, I used it at one time!).

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Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

Herby
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Moral: Life is a terminal disease.

I'll drink to that. Relax and chill out. If you think about it too much, worrying will shorten this disease, which nobody really wants.

Me? Mom is 98 and still going strong. Genetically I'm OK!

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Microsoft delivers secure China-only cut of Windows 10

Herby
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I can see it now....

#if WINDOWS==RED

#include "send info to chicoms"

#else

#include "send info to CIA/GCHQ"

#endif

I would put in a "Joke Alert" icon, but it might be true....

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Coppers 'persistently' breach data protection laws with police tech

Herby
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Simple solution...

Log all access PERMANENTLY. No way of deleting logs. Then insert logs into review process. Tell everyone that yes, we are watching your access, and at any time you may be called upon to justify the records you accessed.

Should slow down things pretty quickly.

Of course, it would be logical, so it will never be done.

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Microsoft IE11 update foxes Telerik dialogue boxes

Herby
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Welcome to...

Microsoft beta testing. Please carry on.

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'Sorry, I've forgotten my decryption password' is contempt of court, pal – US appeal judges

Herby
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Hashes of Encrypted files?

If they think they know what is on the other side of the encryption, then they already have the password. Last I heard, the hash before and after any encryption ought to be different.

Of course, we could ask which hash they were using, and argue that some hashes are know to have collisions (SHA-1).

All in all not too good for us normal folk, as I disagree with the ruling, but from the looks of it the guy is a real scumbag if the government is right.

We shall see....

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Beijing deploys facial scanners to counter public toilet abuse

Herby
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In the USA we have Charmin commercials on TV

Now there is something that might be interesting in China.

The commercials try to extol the virtues of using LESS TP.

Me? I like a nice wad!

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Hell freezes over: We wrote an El Reg chatbot using Microsoft's AI

Herby
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But what does it do with BOFH stories and the questions like that...

Who is Simon?

What is PFY?

Why do bosses disappear frequently?

How far is it from "Command Central" to the nearest pub?

Why are the windows so fragile?

How does a cattle prod work?

Why hasn't the BOFH been arrested?

Inquiring minds want to know!

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User jams up PC. Literally. No, we don't know which flavour

Herby
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On where power buttons are...

On the nice Mac All-in-one (really nice by the way) the power button is nicely hidden on the BACK of the one piece display/CPU/etc. When I first started, I had to ask where it was as it is not even visible from the front of the machine. Luckily I did that before the person showing me the office had walked out the door. Said button is nicely disguised and hard to see unless you are looking directly at the back of the machine, which is difficult when it is close to a wall.

Oh, well...

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Do you use .home and .mail on your network? ICANN mulls .corp, .mail, .home dot-word domains

Herby
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Things like 'lan' for names...

In a company I worked for (was a two letter company, but is now three letters), some of the examples were specified as "private.lan.com" which is all nice until you realize that the state airline of Chile is (wait for it) LAN airlines, and they own "lan.com". I attempted to point this out, but to no avail.

Oh, well!

In the end, I suspect that ANY suitable name, or letter combination will be used somewhere. I long for the days when ".org" was non-profits, ".net" wasn't a Microsoft thing but someone who ran a big interconnecting network, and ".com" were ACTUAL commercial businesses (and registration was "free"). Days long gone by (*SIGH*).

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This is where UK's Navy will park its 75,000-ton aircraft carriers

Herby
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Joke

50Hz vs. 60 Hz

Maybe this is a precursor to the whole island going 60Hz. You know Brexit and all that.

I've often wondered how difficult it would be, the generators needing to go 20% faster and all that. Not much is totally dependent on 50Hz, other than some clocks.

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Pennsylvania sues IBM for fraud over $170m IT upgrade shambles

Herby
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Changing requirements...

Probably contributed to the problem. Most likely on both ends of the contract. The original specifiers had no knowledge of the scope of the project, and as careers go, people came and went. High priced consultants (on both sides) came up with the "right way" of doing things, and it went downhill after that.

Sounds like there were a LOT of cooks making this broth, and spoiled it as they went. Everyone trying to protect their little fiefdom created over many years.

Typical government...

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Get it while it's hot: NASA's Space Poo contest winners wipe up $30k

Herby
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Toilets in space...

I am reminded of a talk given by Pete Conrad (3rd man on the moon) about adventures in Skylab (he was on the first crew). He had all sorts of hints on how to handle the toilet in space. One comment was to put some motion on before anything "detached" so it wouldn't float away, but rather enter the receptacle. It was a hint passed to others who later went to Skylab. For some reason the vacuum wasn't enough.

I don't know what the current state of the art is now.

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Herby
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Where is Howard in all of this?

Experimenting with analogs made from his mother's meatloaf.

Hopefully it doesn't get stuck to the ceiling!

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User lubed PC with butter, because pressing a button didn't work

Herby
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Re: I'm an Excel abuser

"...sudoku-solving spreadsheet..."

This I want to see. It ought to be VERY interesting. I wonder if it works in LibreOffice Calc as well.

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Silicon Valley bites back via Europe’s copyright reform

Herby
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Just the BEST legislation...

money can buy.

Enough said.

I am reminded that legislation is like sausage, you may like the final product, but you don't want to know what goes into it.

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Oh my God, 911 is down. Quick, call… aaargh!

Herby
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Re: 911?

Yup... 9.7% tax. Just about right. Sorry no tip included.

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Police raid India call centre, detain 500 in fraud probe

Herby
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I've always wondered...

What happens if you call the IRS scammers and ask for "Technical support for Windows computers"?

That might be an interesting call. Of course the opposite (Calling the tech support bozos and asking for the IRS) might be just as funny.

I'll await the you-tube recording.

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Windows Server ported to Qualcomm's ARM server chip. Repeat, Windows Server ported to ARM server chip

Herby
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Genetic Diversity...

Is always welcome.

It might be interesting if an ARM CPU chip just plugged into a motherboard to change it. I suspect it could be difficult, but it could be done. Just have a way of switching the BIOS from one ISA to another (which half of the chip would you like today?).

Now if they would make a 68000 speedy chip that would do the same...... (*SIGH*).

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

Herby
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On meters for electricity...

Having been in the business of just that (just before "smart" meters appeared on the scene), There are lots of things some people might not understand. Those rotating dial meters that frequented homes for the last century are pretty accurate. While it HAS taken a while, over time they have become better at their job. The first "smart" meters (I had one) that had separate registers for various times of day, were simple detectors of the rotation of the disc that was driven by voltage on one side, and current on the other. So, if the mechanical meter was "wrong" (or "right") it would continue to be, it just was counted a bit differently.

The typical meter on the side of a house (here in the USA) was a "Class 200" one that was good up to 200 amps at 240 volts (we commonly use a center tap to get to 120 volts). The relevant standard of accuracy (ANSI C-12, if you want to look it up) was to have 1% accuracy at 1% of full scale, so you needed ti be accurate at about 20ma of current, which isn't that much.

What made things more fun was that if you want higher currents in your house (are you powering a VAX??) you could ask for more and bigger conductors and a higher class meter were put in place. These higher class meters typically used current transformers to take the max (say 320 amps) down to something more reasonable (like 3.2 amps) in a 100:1 ratio coil. The fun begins when said current transformer gets a DC current impressed upon it and saturates. A simple way of doing this is to have a nice fat diode in series with a space heater, and you turn it on, and watch the meter come to a screeching halt. I suspect that the metering method that needs to integrate to get the current signal will have the same problem, but can be fooled wither way. A large spike in the wrong direction for a brief instant (very easily done with a spark or three) will really foul things up.

Metering electricity is pretty tricky, and can be subject to all sorts of ailments. One old trick was to squirt sugar water near the meter and wait for ants to get into the inside of the meter and foul up the spinning wheel (it doesn't take much!). This was solved when insecticide was put inside the breathing hold cloth spacer to thwart such things. So, people can become VERY inventive when it comes to absconding with power, and sometimes to just doesn't work out. You need to test for LOTS of possibilities. Any metering company that hasn't is asking for trouble!

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