* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!

Herby Silver badge

Fun to scan through

From the looks of it, there are quite a few copier systems in hotels (at various prices) that are exposed.

My fun would be to setup something that would be like the WOPR and have "Global Thermonuclear War" on it just to see who takes the bait.

Then again it could be quite subtle: "White House Access Control", but that would be redundant (*SIGH*).

Worst … commute … EVER – Surrey to Sydney

Herby Silver badge

Idea??

Setting up paid WiFi for Bondi Beach (or something similar) that would "earn my keep" would be n interesting thing to do.

Turns out my wife's nephew (form the wine country in California) met his wife while working in Oz. He is there right now, and in the process of getting her a perm-resident card here in the USA. It takes a while to do it the "right way". He really likes the Aussie life style. For a while he was living right on the beach.

Me? No I haven't been there, only NZ back a long while ago for a brief stay for work.

Calm down, dear: Woman claims sexism in tech journalism

Herby Silver badge

You know "gullible" isn't in the dictionary

Or so I'm told.

Do we need to hold up a sign "sarcasm" to tell people that it is? (as was done on _The Big Bang Theory_). Some people can find fault in anything.

Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

Herby Silver badge

Well, it is just "different"

And that IS the problem. Users are (I include myself here) LAZY. They don't want to change their ways unless there is a compelling need. Do you take a different route to the grocery store just "because". I doubt it. Sure the road may be nicer, but it may take you out of your way. If you only want to buy groceries why should I need to bother with the nice new route when it doesn't gain me anything.

The underlying problem is that software doesn't really "wear out". It will work the same way as it did one year ago if it hasn't changes. The problem is that parts DO change for a variety of reasons, but take great pains to hide the changes. This is so that users will see the familiar face of the software and think that nothing has been done that effects them (life goes on). Then someone comes along and changes things just to be fancy (there is a road construction near my house where this is going on), and the "old" way becomes "functionally obsolete". Yes, it worked nicely, but we are going to improve it.

Now everyone asks the big question: WHY?

And nobody can come up with a good answer. In the case of W10 the hardware hasn't changed, and the users haven't changed, and everyone is asking the question why has the software changed?

Some of this probably goes back to the service life of WXP. It was first released in 2001 (I don't use it so I may be wrong here), and continued for over 10 years. Sure it has service pack update, but by and large it was pretty stable for that period of time. Users now look back and wonder why can't recent operating system releases be as long lived, and will continue to complain about changing their habits.

Me? I use Linux at home and it has done the job for me quite well. My desktop machine was running Fedora 8, and I have recently gotten a new desktop running Fedora 21. I can update it at my will, when it prompts me that things are available. I do it on my OWN schedule. The interface has been quite consistent over the years (even though I massage things to my own way of doing things). No complaints.

Do you qualify as poor in Palo Alto? Spoiler: Yes, yes, you do

Herby Silver badge

It was a much better place when I grew up

Of course that was in the 50's and 60's, before the invasion of silicon.

When my dad sold our house in 1973 it went for $95k (or so, I really don't know). The house next door sold a couple of years ago for $4M or so.

That was for a lot that was purchased in 1946 for only about $20k. The house was probably built for about the same price as the lot, but it was done over time (the last big change was in 1952). Of course things have grown in price since then (at least 10x, if not more), but at one time it was a nice sleepy little town at the edge of Stanford University.

Times have changed.

French scream sacré bleu! as US govt gives up the internet to ICANN

Herby Silver badge

What is needed...

Is a benevolent dictator. Unfortunately these don't exist.

If too many governments get their say, we end up with something like ISO, and their definition of networking. We all know how far THAT went.

Governments really don't add anything to the inner workings of the internet as it exists now other than to restrict its use (e.g. great firewall of China). If they continue, we will get a tower of babel and every country will have its "own internet" that they devised. Much as we now have over 200 languages on planet earth.

Hopefully ICANN can keep its head above water while everyone is out to drown them.

Israeli biz fingered as the FBI's iPhone cracker

Herby Silver badge
Black Helicopters

The bigger problem...

Probably is that it cost the FBI some amount of $$ that they didn't want to pay, and also required an increment of time as well as physical access to the item in question.

ALL of these were bypassed in the court order fostered upon Apple.

So, in reality they wanted to do it on the cheap, and with little oversight, which they would need to pay someone to do the dirty deed.

Yes, the president would be set.

Streaming now outsells downloads – Recording Industry Ass. of America

Herby Silver badge

And who gets the $$$ from this??

When you do a nice download of a cutesy song, and pay (for example) $1.00 for it, the majority of it goes to the download service and very little (less than $.10) goes to the producer or the artist, who probably contributed the majority of the effort in making it come to fruition. Admittedly for the artists/songwriters it wasn't much better with physical media, but the ones that flog the content (the producers) did get a bunch of money for all their effort (and it was a bunch!).

I just don't know if this is a sustainable model, but we all try.

Yes, the tunes storehouses should get some $$$ for hosting and delivering the content, but near 90% is a bit much!

Oh, sugar! Sysadmin accidently deletes production database while fixing a fault

Herby Silver badge

Backups, what backups, Oh, that one...

Back in my PFY days (it was the 70's, forgive me), we were going to (eventually) upgrade the OS to the next version. A few months earlier we had ordered some more memory (expensive in its day) and I knew that the old (currently running OS) would upon seeing this new memory would use it, and since the new OS took more memory (but not as much as the add on we had just purchased) I decided to patch the current OS to limit its scan of memory and just use the fixed size of the existing memory. Fast forward to the installation of the memory, and I chime in "see, we need the new OS to use the added memory". I was hoping to get it installed because it had nice features I liked.

Well, the powers at be decided that it would take training to get users up to speed (not really, but OK), so the installation was delayed a while. A little while later while experimenting, I wiped out the old OS, and being a good guy, and not knowing where the backup system tape was (or if it existed), just loaded up the new OS. Posted a few instructions (actually pretty simple ones) and left for the day (it was late).

Surprise surprise, I come in the next day and tell what happened, and was asked why I hadn't used the backup tape (it was in a filing cabinet, safe keeping and all that). It was handed to me and I looked at its date, which was before I had buggered up patched improved the OS to only accept the old memory limits. OOOPS!!

I reloaded the old OS and everyone wondered why they had more memory. I flustered a bit and said, well the new operating system was MUCH better!!

Eventually we did go to the new OS, but I did a whole lot of dancing that day.

Ah, youth.

Hackers giving up on crypto ransomware. Now they just lock up device, hope you pay

Herby Silver badge

And...

The arms race continues....

Where is a tactical nuclear strike when you need it??

IETF group proposes better SMTP hardening to secure email. At last

Herby Silver badge

Authenticate the sender please!!

It would be nice if somehow they could authenticate the sender of the email. Perhaps they could use some certificate that you PAID for (traceability) and could be revoked to verify the sender. If you didn't get one of these, it might straight into the bin. I'm sure that IETF could come up with something. Maybe there would be two classes of "sender certificates", one for reasonable use, and another for "heavy" users (I am sure there are cases of this). If upon checking the certificate the agency (whoever it is) finds out that you went from "casual" to "heavy", it would warn the person verifying. It might even stop spam in its tracks (which is the idea).

Please IETF, come up with something to stop the flood of spam. Judging from my domain, it is about 90% of the email I actually get!

Microsoft will rest its jackboot on Windows 7, 8.1's throat on new Intel CPUs in 2018 – not 2017

Herby Silver badge

Last place I worked...

I was given a W7 laptop, it took me all of about 30 minutes to re-partition it to run Linux. I never looked back. For those rare moments that I actually needed the W7 partition, the nice GRUB loader let me boot there. In my about 2 years of working there, I could count on one hand the number of hours I actually ran W7. I considered it an upgrade from what I was initially given.

After that it was updates that were available easily online to keep everything running smoothly. I even went through a couple of major revisions. Smooth!

I suspect that it would still be OK even a year and a half later, and a couple of major Linux updates. No nag stuff either (see comments there).

Hand in glove: Google and the US State Dept

Herby Silver badge
Black Helicopters

And the FBI needs to break into iPhones...

Maybe they should ask Google, they probably already know what is on the silly device anyway.

Of course the NSA probably knows as well, but that is a topic for another story.

Maybe Google runs the black helicopters. You never know.

New York senator proposes tax credit for open-source developers

Herby Silver badge

So I need to spend $1000

Just to get the $200 back. Sitting at a computer monitor doesn't count, and I doubt that buying hardware that is shared with your mild web surfing for porn news items is going to work. So I guess it is toner and ink cartriges that I will need to qualify.

I guess it is the thought that counts.

The stupid idea would be $$$ for lines of code, and that would be an interesting proposition.

Mighty Soyuz stands proud at Baikonur

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Alternatives??

Give me a nice Saturn 5 any day. Puts others to shame!

Irish shun beer, whiskey in favour of … wine

Herby Silver badge

Choices, choices...

Jameson, or Bushmills

Green or Orange??

Life goes on.

How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

Herby Silver badge
Big Brother

Finally confirmed my belief...

That Windows (in any form) is a virus.

Former Nokia boss Stephen Elop scores gig as chief innovator for Australia's top telco

Herby Silver badge

Peter prniciple at work...

Promote someone to their level of incompetence. Then they retire (and buy basketball teams).

I could go on, but why.

Posh frockers Lord & Taylor spanked after Instagram fillies shocker

Herby Silver badge

Fine print

"Paid model" at the bottom of the pic. Probably in such small print that you can't easily see it.

Look aren't all pictures some sort of paid thing. Give me a break.

Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

Herby Silver badge

We could...

Get a lawyer involved. You know, the ones who are telling us about bad drugs, bad hip replacements, and the like.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Problem is that finding the money is quite difficult.

Sorry, never mind.

Like masochism? Run a PC? These VXers want to help you pwn yourself

Herby Silver badge

Wonderful telephone "support"...

I recently had one of these phone calls. It was quite humorous when he told me to "hold the Windows key and press R". Of course nothing happened on my Linux desktop machine, and I told him so. Funny how the script doesn't take that into account.

I suspect that given the gullability of the general public (the word ins't in the dictionary), they would follow instructions to take a kitchen knife and slice open some biological thing to eradicate toxins from the body that blood has.

p.s. Please don't do this at home!

Mechanic computers used to pwn cars in new model-agnostic attack

Herby Silver badge

Hack dealership computers...

Maybe the hack of the diagnostic computers will morf into the machines that do the emissions checks. It would be nice if you rolled up to a smog test, and it said "passed" just as you turn on the ignition. Please, please provide a proof of concept on this one, and I'll drive my vehicle around to several testing stations just to make sure it is working.

Not that vehicle makers haven't dome part of this already.

NASA's mighty SLS to burn 1.215 Olympic-sized pools

Herby Silver badge

Family sized swimming pools...

For most of them, they are around 20,000 gallons. This number is needed to calculate the amount of chlorine stuff to add to make the water be nice and blue (not green with algae, which WILL happen if you don't pay attention (been there, done that!).

I'll leave it to others to do unit conversion (metric, or Register as necessary).

FBI channels Kafka with new rules on slurping Americans' private data

Herby Silver badge

Scott Mc Nealy was right...

You have no privacy, get over it.

Which is why encryption is so necessary (see another story about El Jefe Mr. O's blabbering).

Obama puts down his encrypted phone long enough to tell us: Knock it off with the encryption

Herby Silver badge

Mr. President, aren't you a constitutional scholar??

Please read up on such things as amendment #1, and amendment #4, and no I won't give you the combination to my safe, see amendment #5.

Lots of people can come up with codes and cyphers (and we all do!), and you aren't entitled to break them.

So, can you keep a secret? So can I!!

p.s. How about telling this to your former Secretary of State.

I beg you, please don't back up that secret directory full of photos!

Herby Silver badge

I am surprised that...

No-one has mentioned Simon, or what a BOFH would do. Then again, I'm sure there is a story hidden in there that would make us all proud.

Now where is the cattle prod (buzzzzert)

Reprogrammble routers axed by TP-Link as FCC bans custom firmware

Herby Silver badge

Just get the firmware from elsewhere...

My router had vendor updates that fizzled out. Thankfully there was an update overseas that added more features and corrected some things. It works just fine, thank you.

Now I don't think it changes anything that the FCC is concerned about, but who knows. I still set it to channel 6 on WiFi, and all si well with the world. It can't scream any louder than it was designed for (another FCC limit) so that won't be a problem.

Of course, I could put a big amplifier on it and call it a ham radio device, but that would get into another trouble area (commercial use). Oh, well.

What the FCC should do is hunt down and fine people BIG BUX if they go outside the proper limits and confiscate the offending problem.

Maybe the FCC should go after spammers and robodialers which would make more people happy.

Monster motor breathes fire in Mississippi

Herby Silver badge

Re: Hmm. How about Saturn V

Yes, the upgoer 5 was a REAL rocket. None of these wimpy solid rocket boosters that you light off and hope they work properly (o-rings and all that). See: http://xkcd.com/1133/

Put an assembled Saturn 5 in space, fuel it up, and you would be at Mars "real quick", you might need pretty good brakes though as you would likely keep going. The other problem is getting full Saturn 5 up in space. It would take a few launches.

Last I heard "real quick" was a couple of days, but I don't have the exact numbers here.

Stop whining, America: Your LTE makes Europe look slow

Herby Silver badge

Options abound...

We could go back to two tin cans and a string for "low cost". The coverage would be wonderful for the task at hand, almost no latency. Given how our government fiddles with things it may be a viable option. Not much connectivity though, going to need some work here!

Yes, I do like my land based wired phone. It works quite well!

Is there anything left to ask Bill Gates? (Other than gissus a million?)

Herby Silver badge

So he has an ASR33??

It looks close to the same one in the 1973 picture. There are subtle differences, but it looks very interesting.

p.s. Programming on an ASR33 will humble you very quickly. Everyone should do it once!

NASA preps stadium-size sandwich bag launch

Herby Silver badge

Move over LOHAN

Here comes some special competition. Of course LOHAN was first with the idea, and claims the northern hemisphere. NASA can have the southern half.

Californian tycoons stole my sharing economy, says Lily Cole

Herby Silver badge

Property?

One of the basic tenants of common law (used in most English speaking countries) is that "owning" property is the right to DENY others its utility. She seems to forget that in her discourse. When you "share" you really don't own anything any more. Of course this includes money in various forms as well.

It seems she needs a basic lesson on how the world works!

p.s. Politicians please take note as well!

Persistent memory: Has HPE got there already?

Herby Silver badge

What was it called??

Back in the 60's and 70's it was called "core" memory and it had nice little donuts (insert Homer Simpson quote: "Mmmm Good!") that were magnetized as ones and zeros.

What goes around, comes around.

Yes, I even did work on machines that had these nice devices. I used the fact of persistence to keep accounting data across restarts to make sure the bills were paid, even if the machine crashed. they were speedy at the time. Not by today's standards, but 1.33 MHz clock rates for 32 bits was reasonable in the 60's

Verizon fined just $1.4m for stalker supercookies

Herby Silver badge

And the FBI wants what??

What one hand giveth, the other taketh away.

The battle is now FBI vs. FCC, and given the fact that BOTH are government agencies, it might be and interesting tussle!

Blah Blah blah ... I don't care! To hell with your tech marketing bull

Herby Silver badge

Re: You know you can get the recently departed

Maybe so, but you need to add "personality", which every feline has a unique one. Come to think of it, a good purring machine would also be necessary as well, that responds properly to input.

Wikimedia chucks sueball at NSA and DOJ over mass surveillance

Herby Silver badge

On "mass surveillance"

We have had "mass surveillance" in the past, but with it comes massive amount of data. Until recently, this volume of data was so huge that getting any information from it was difficult to say the lease, and the task of gathering it was most likely costly in terms of human activity,

Now days, we have cameras and storage the allows the saving of this huge amount of data and its direction into minuscule bits of information.

We are victims of our own technology in this regard. Without the farms of spinning rust (or flash memory), and the ability to sort it all out, we wouldn't be talking about this much, but we have been advancing technology, and now we must deal with it.

Pogo said it well: We have met the enemy, and it is us!

Paraphrasing Scott McNealy: You have no privacy, get over it.

Sorry, that is the way it is.

Dead Steve Jobs owed $174 by San Francisco parking ticket wardens

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Yes, parking in "The City" is a B**CH!!

It always has been. Long time ago a group of abused citizens found out the name of their local "meter maid" who was particularly aggressive on the timing of meters. They got together and bought a complete junker of a vehicle and parked it on her route. They also blessed her with the title to said vehicle. Dutifuly the meter maid applied ticket after ticket to this parking outlaw vehicle. After a month of tickets, I believe that the vehicle was towed, but it had many many parking tickets (worth big bux) on it. Add on to this the penalties for not paying on time and towing fees, and the meter maid got her just rewards.

As for VC's they all live on Sand Hill Road (where parking is much more plentiful).

All-American Apple challenges US gov call for iOS 'backdoor'

Herby Silver badge

A backdoor for one is a backdoor for all

Enough said.

I doubt that anyone (much less a government agency) can keep a secret about any backdoor.

Question: Can you keep a secret?

Answer: So can I!!

Tandy 102 proto-laptop still alive and beeping after 30 years, complete with AA batteries

Herby Silver badge

I have one too!!

Mine is currently running a program that turns on and off my pool motors. I hooked up a relay board and that turns on and off the nice BIG relays that switch the one HP motors. I added a few features to control the various valves as well, so that a simple press of the 'H' key flips everything so that the hot tub comes up, and engages the heater. Thirty minutes later the nice hot tub part of the pool is at an ideal temperature.

The difficult part was to get its printer port to work. It isn't like the normal PC port when the data is valid when you write to the port, but rather it is only valid when the strobe happens. I had to write a special subroutine to do the dirty work and not have the response line active. Thankfully the Basic (the last program actually written by Bill Gates personally) has a call routine. The task next month is to reset the time so that the motors will start an hour earlier. The Basic doesn't know about Daylight wasting saving time.

This combination has been doing its job since the mid 80's and works quite well. I first used the relay combination to control sprinklers, but the controllers commercially available were easier for my mom & dad to understand.

Computer Science grads still finding it hard to get a job

Herby Silver badge

Maybe that is what comes of...

...teaching Java as the only language that is taught in many CS schools these days. Then there the "real world" that is not even close to what a CS student learns in school.

Maybe they should make them buy a Raspberry Pi and work from there. Anything to get away from an (explicative redacted) windows laptop.

FTC: Duo bought rights to Android game – then turned it into ad-slinging junkware in an update

Herby Silver badge

Now if the FTC went after real spammers...

my mailbox would be shorter by over 200 messages a day.

Cluestick to FTC: Go after widespread problems as well. Everyone would appreciate it!

Forget Tiger Woods – here's Cyber Woods: Robot golfer hits hole-in-one during tournament

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Joke

Good walk interrupted...

This begs the question:

Why do they call it GOLF?

Answer:

Because all the other four letter words were taken.

Did you know ... Stephen Fry has founded a tech startup?

Herby Silver badge
Joke

I'm in the USA, and the only "Fry" I know is...

Fry's Electronics (which I visited on Monday). It is a sillycon valley thing.

One of these days I'll look up this Stephen guy. Could be entertaining.

UC Berkeley profs blast secret IT monitoring kit on campus

Herby Silver badge

Nothing to see here, please move along....

Or some such.

Yes, they do grok all the data, but in the words of Scott McNealy:

"You have no privacy, get over it".

US taxmen borked in computer cockup riddle

Herby Silver badge

April 18th??

It is on this date (not April 15th) due to "emaciation day" observed in Washington DC. Go figure.

I thought it was an error but looked it up. Our government works in strange ways. Now if there was a week long holiday around that time it might even be helpful.

The tax man commeth always.

GCHQ’s Xmas puzzle proves uncrackable

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Re: the answer

I was going to say something like that, but you beat me to it!

BOFH: In-depth IT training needs a single-malt distillery

Herby Silver badge

Remote??

It ought to be pretty easy to setup a remote connection to BOFH central, then both of them could go.

Then again, showing off remote capabilities might not be in the best interests, as how else would pub time qualify as being "present"!

Cabling horrors unplugged: Reg readers reveal worst nightmares

Herby Silver badge

Neat wiring doesn't fail

An old adage told to me in the late 70's by a telco guy. Applies here as well.

Then again I've heard talk about wiring in a telco central office. The main central cross connect was a wire bundle that went across the room and was over 3 feet deep. The procedure "normally" was to yank out the de-commissioned wire before wiring its replacement, but after the build up you couldn't do it any more. Then there were rat infestations where the insulation would be eaten, and they they made up poisoned impregnated wire to prevent it, and every had to wear protection to do wiring. The mass just grew and grew. I was told it wasn't a pretty sight.

Now if I can get the short in the mains line to the bathroom that keeps popping the breaker fixed (it is intermittent)m my wife will be much happier. (*SIGH*)

SpaceX: launch, check. Landing? Needs work

Herby Silver badge
Joke

Quick Fix??

Look, just pound out the dents, and a little bit of bondo, then a new paint job, and you ought to be in business. Do you have collision insurance? Flo says you can save by bundling, and might get 15% reduction by switching.

Look, it works for the dents my wife's car gets (*SIGH*). It is insured by Flo as well.

No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

Herby Silver badge

Maybe we should "call as it is"!!

Yes, Windows 10 (or at least the updater) is a VIRUS.

Get CERT or some such to label it as such when it interrupts something vital requesting you do an update.

Then it MIGHT be fixed (or likely not).

Me? I use Linux (actually Fedora 8) an older version that I haven't updated much as it still functions quite nicely, but I suspect it will need it soon (*SIGH*).

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