* Posts by Herby

2909 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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...

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

"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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge


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

Herby Silver badge

Message just relayed from Voyager...



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

Herby Silver badge


I like it!

Just not on the receiving end.

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge


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

Herby Silver badge


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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge


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?

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge


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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge


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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

Welcome to....

...beta test.

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

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

Herby Silver badge

Re: Electrifying

"Proves again BS1363 FTW"

Nah: NEMA 5-15 Even better FTW.

Herby Silver badge

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.

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?

Herby Silver badge

Hot water...

We here in parts of the USA have nice little devices near sinks that produce bloody hot water on demand. While it may not be exactly "boiling", it is HOT. Oh, they also get their funny kilowatts from a normal 15 amp/120 volt outlet with room to spare. No need to even get out a kettle or wait. It is very instant. Oh yes, it is bloody HOT.

Eat my shorts, watchdog tells every city mayor in the US – FCC approves $2bn 5G telco windfall

Herby Silver badge

Just an attempt...

To prevent the cities from extorting BIG BIG BUX from wireless operators.

Yes, it is BIG BIG BUX, and yes it is extortion.

'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls

Herby Silver badge

Need a couple of laws?


1) Make phony caller ID illegal.

2) Require a license for origination of ANY robo calls (there may be some, not many legitimate ones).

3) Add a new *xx code that says "I believe this is a robo call". If too many pile up with no license, haul them to jail. Lots of enforcement refunds from this.

4) If the call originates from overseas, kill it immediately. I don't need Windows/Mac/IRS calls.

5) Require audits against the "do not call list".

Got any more?

Linux kernel 'give me root, now' security hole sighted, dubbed 'Mutagen Astronomy'

Herby Silver badge


What version of the kernel has it "fixed"?

Why did Visual Studio Marketplace go down in the Great Azure TITSUP? Ask Azure DevOps

Herby Silver badge

Definition of "The Cloud"

Is: Someone else's computer that by the way you have little control over and might fail at ANY time with absolutely no recourse for your operations.

Or: "Good luck with that!".

NASA to celebrate 55th anniversary of first Moon landing by, er, deciding how to land humans on the Moon again

Herby Silver badge

Reminds me of...

Just take those old records off the shelf

I'll sit and listen to 'em by m'self

Today's music ain't got the same soul

I like that old time rock and roll


Still like that old time rock and roll

The kinda music just soothes the soul

I reminisce about the days of old

With that old time rock and roll


No disco for me!

Have I been pwned, Firefox? OK, let's ask its Have I Been Pwned tool

Herby Silver badge

The answer is obvious...


Nameless Right To Be Forgotten Google sueball man tries Court of Appeal – yet again

Herby Silver badge

Of course it might be interesting if.....

He posts here as an "anonymous coward".

I wonder if when he shows up in court, somebody just follows him out the door to where he lives, or the vehicle he drives. Sounds like a job for a bailiff or something.

Somehow I suspect that somebody does KNOW who he is.

You are Number 6. Who is number 1? You are[,] number 6. And so it goes.

Internet be nimble, internet be QUIC, Cloudflare shows off new networking shtick

Herby Silver badge

"Check one two"

Proves the maxim: Sound guys can only count to two. Then there are those that understand binary.....

Apple's dark-horse macOS Mojave is out (and it's already pwned)

Herby Silver badge

Wasn't there a "Windows Mojave"?

It was an ad ploy that was actually Vista, and all those who tried it "liked" it.

Explanation link here.

Of course, at least they are doing releases that actually work, something the boys in Redmond have difficulties at times.

How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

Herby Silver badge

Console? What console..

Yes, sometimes your machine won't work if the system teletype (it was the 70's) is on the fritz. Luckly, we transported the inner workings of the ASR35 (EBCDIC) off to get fixed. On the way back from doing the transport, I thought a bit, and hooked up an idle computer (HP 2114) to take the place. A little software later (translation from EBCDIC to ASCII) and it worked. Good thing as well. The repair was to take a day, and ended up taking three as I remember it. When returned, it snapped back in, and all was well.

Of course things like this are hard to forget. I needed to a more urgent repair a year or so later, and took out the old hardware and slapped it together again. We had it that way for about 5 days as I recall. Somehow those "temporary" lashups have a life of their own.

Curiosity's computer silent on science, baffling boffins

Herby Silver badge

Why not call the nice "support lines" that land in India

They always offer to help, and the cost would minimal, like $299 for a three year unlimited service.

Of course, they might 'syskey' your computer, and take all the credit card info, but I digress.

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

Herby Silver badge

Long for the days...

Of an 029 keypunch and a box-o-cards. They worked for a couple of decades, why not. Lacking that, we could move forward to an ASR33 and go from there.

Me? Yes, I've used both!

Man cuffed for testing fruit with bum cheek pre-purchase

Herby Silver badge

Maybe he wanted...

To make it more "Organic".

Of course "Organic" is a synonym for "more expensive and fancy sounding".

The Reg chats with Voyager Imaging Team member Dr Garry E Hunt

Herby Silver badge

Regards to "Golden Record"...

I am reminded that shortly after the launch of the spacecraft, there was an update on Saturday Night Live (Weekend Update).

This just in from space.....


Yes, Johnny B. Goode was on the record!

Me? I was in my PFY days helping out some on the Radioscience team. The PI was in an office upstairs.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019