* Posts by Herby

2950 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

San Francisco sysadmin stays in jail for now

Herby Silver badge

And it isn't Friday (yet)

I suppose Simon would be proud.

Of course, as any BOFH knows: ALL managers are stupid. That's why they were promoted to the position!

Seattle Spam King Dark Mailer faces 47-month sentence

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There is a lesson here...

Spam DOES work (until you get caught!). As long as people respond (and it doesn't take much of a response), spammers will continue. The cost for sending out zillions of emails is NOTHING, and the income realized is (although really sleazy) significant. As long as this continues, we WILL have spam.

Somebody always wants Viagra! (or so it appears!).

If the time from first spam message to jail decreased significantly (hours?) it might help!

Convicted spammer goes AWOL from federal prison

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Perhaps we should send him to Austin Minnesota...

...where he can be packaged up properly and sent to those who would appreciate receiving SPAM.

see: http://www.hormelfoods.com for further information.

eBay breaks bread with luxury goods firms

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Maybe they can go the "other way" as well.

Prohibit the sale of $500 cat5 connection cables (http://www.usa.denon.com/ProductDetails/3429.asp). Of course there ARE suckers born every minute!!

BOFH: The PFY wants a reference

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Almost as good as...

The 30 minute Bill Gates talk I listened to yesterday (Saturday). Of course that is another thing to talk about, but another time.....

Tech woes threaten NASA's Moon plan

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Time to wonder given how this is progressing...

Will any of the 12 who have walked on the moon be alive to see the 13th on the moon? The mind wonders.

It seems that those with ANY experience have "left the building", and the replacement crew is attempting to make a go of it. Given all the people looking over their collective shoulders, it doesn't seem to be turning out well. In other industries, the sequel doesn't do as well as the original!


Volcanoes fingered in oceanic mass extinction

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You mean is wasn't...

Global Warming? Isn't that the cause of everything (including the Ice Age(s))

Gone in 60 seconds...

Microsoft questions Google's plan to save the world through ads

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Maybe Microsoft and Google can agree...

Microsoft will break up its OS dominance, and Google will break up its AD dominance. Fair is fair, you know.

Oh, and if that goes through, I have some swampland in Florida/New Jersey to sell. Cheap!

And so we begin the tech sector's journey into the Heart of Darkness

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Moving on up....

Weird... Some people "cash out" and then go on. Some just "cash out". It looks as if the guy who sold MySQL to Sun did just "cash out". He moved out of his "rental" and now is looking for a bigger house (one he can throw BIG parties at without the neighbors complaining). Maybe Sun over paid for that as well.

Irate sysadmin locks San Francisco officials out of network

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Should have been on Friday...

Obviously this happened because there was no BOFH episode on Friday last, something had to make up for it.

If done according to the script, there is a piece of code that forwards "release papers" at the proper time. Then air fare to a proper vacation spot, with a money transfer.

Oh, well, scripts don't go according to plan always.

Gmail uses DomainKeys to lock out eBay phishing attacks

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A couple of things that always help...

Plain text email (no HTML!)

Be VERY wary of ANY email that is addressed to "Undisclosed Recipients".

If the eBay/PayPal people would do the first, it would cut down on traffic, and be "safer". Of course anything helps!

Segway CTO scoots to Apple's design team

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Just thought of PERFECT Segway low tech substitute

It probably takes less energy to run anyway.

A Horse.

Probably cheaper to procure as well. Sorry about it not being welcome "indoors", and oh, by the way, hold your nose.

Small humor for the day. I'll be leaving.

AVG chokes fake traffic spew

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What happens to a "payment" link?

If the link scanner is there, does it get "clicked" twice? Once for the scan, and once for when I really want to pay?

Maybe these guys are promoting double payments to vendors or some such?

It could happen, but does link scanner work on "secured" pages (https://)?

BOFH: The admin gene

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For a long time....

It seems that I have had some sort of thing like this. I am reminded of a time when I was having lunch with a couple of friends from work (it was around 1980 or so), and the music playing in the restaurant was interrupted by a brief spurt of the (USA) EBS tone. We both looked at each other with the look like "that shouldn't happen!". A bit later they did the standard "this is a test of the emergency broadcast system..." and we breathed a sigh of relief!

The other time was a few years earlier when my (then) boss poked a grounded soldering iron into a live AC (mains) circuit. After it vaporised the terminal (think BOFH cattle prod) and as I was walking over to supply to get another tip he indicated "when did they ground soldering iron tips?"

I got my BOFH training early (and admin gene).

Judge grants Viacom 12TB of YouTube user records

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How many floppies??

Let's see:

at 1.44Mbyte each we get: around 8.33+ million floppies. Making them at the rate of 1 per second, gets us to about 100 days just to make them.

Oh, Mr. Judge, it might be a while!

Plenty of time for an appeal!

Boozers rejoice - it's the USB wine tap!

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But does it do Napa Valley wines as well?

Look, if you want it to be "universal" it should work world wide. None of that yucky French stuff, only good California stuff for me.

Of course, if they had one for sodas or coffee, I would have signed up already.

I can see it now: USB Starbucks. You heard it here first!

Google's Street View spycar clocked in London

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Was it seen...

...driving past #10 Downing St.?

THAT would be a wonderful street view.

Microsoft touts trustworthy browsing with IE8

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"Microsoft Security"

Another oxymoron!

Probably compromised before the final is released. Just wait.

The Moderatrix will see you now

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Simple question(s):

What is the meaning of life?

Why is life a terminal disease?

Should I change my mantra from "What is life, but to live it"?

Have you ever met the BOFH?


'HD TV gas' 17,000 times worse for planet than CO2, claims boffin

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Unintended consequences.

Left hand, meet right hand. You win some, you lose some. Maybe "next time" when they have unrealistic goals, they will include "world peace" as well. Might as well go for broke!

Of course, I prefer a good old CRT. Thankfully it contains a vacuum inside which compensates for other things.

Google a broken hell for five-year-olds

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And Microsoft is "better"?

I think not. As was said before, Vista isn't anything to brag about. Of course when you are a monopoly, you can say lots of things. If Microsoft were split up (as was proposed back in 2000) they wouldn't have much to say. But I repeat others:

Pot. Kettle. Black.

How to beat AVG's fake traffic spew

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Why this (pre scanning) is bad.

Compare it to the little kid (it always seems to be one) of your boss who presses ALL the floor buttons on the elevator when YOU want to go to a high numbered floor. You get to stop at all the intermediate floors and see the doors open and close. A big waste of time, money and effort!

If you have ever been in this predicament, you will readily acknowledge that you have an overwhelming desire to decapitate the offender. The desire is usually related to the number of floor buttons you needlessly endure!

p.s. It really doesn't do any good anyway!

TSA says 'checkpoint friendly' laptop bags on the way

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What about my $10 IKEA bag

It works perfectly well, and encloses my laptop. They'll probably get over $100 for some name brand designer bag anyway.

Oh, sorry, make that over $1000 for the "TSA Friendly" logo.

What a waste. Just use a lead lined one and hide everything! A nice black blob!

Tiwi spies on your children, so you don't have to

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Ah, to drive when nobody (significant) is looking...

We here in sillycon valley have this freeway numbered "85". Many assume it is the speed limit. Unfortunately those with "gold stars" don't have such inclination. Tis a shame.

Life would be quite interesting if vehicles were equipped with a limiter that would not allow the vehicle to go over the limit (enforcement vehicles included). Would be interesting.

Life goes on. Oh, to have the 365 ('62 Cabroliet!) back to drive (*SIGH*).

King Arthur was English 'propaganda', French claim

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Verification is pretty easy, if you ask me...

Mr. Peabody, where are we going today?

Sherman, crank up that Wayback machine to around 473 AD. In a Castle, somewhere in the British Isles.

You mean we're going to see the RoundTable?

Well, we're not going to get Pizza!

Wonderful device that Wayback Machine!

Warning sounded over black hole in UK physics teaching

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Look, this isn't rocket science...

Oh, wait a minute, maybe it is!

Bill Gates has gone, what's his legacy?

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Compare to another zillionare

OK, bad comparison, but it might be OK. I am reminded of this guy from Benton Arkansas, Sam Walton. He had gobs of $$$ and made his fortune building huge stores and squeezing out competitors. Yes, it worked for him, and we have Wal-Marts to see the results. The problem is that while they "Low prices, always Low Prices", the stuff they sell is CHEAP. Now we have this other company in Redmond Washington, that seems to follow the model. Yes, they have something that works, but it really is CHEAP. Competitors have better stuff, but some way or another the Microsoft stuff is sold, because it is "CHEAPer" (in the first analysis). Unfortunately for all of us, that is the only thing any bean counter does, the first analysis. When you take into consideration other factors (security, ease of use, compatibility, etc..) the real cost goes up. At Wal_Mart, the items just wear out real quickly, or just don't work that well.

We will always hold Mr. Bill in high regard since he has more money (about $10 for each person on this planet) than anyone can count. He will now proceed to give it away and become the darline in out eyes.

North Carolina targets WTF licence plates

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With trace flag?

Isn't that what it means? It says so in my Altos manual (it was from 1985 or so). The error message for unknown input to the ROM monitor was: "WTF?". Then the ROMs were all programmed and ready to go, and they wanted an explanation. They got it.

Of course, one could go to: http://thedailywtf.com/ to see the REAL problems of the day.

Dreamer calls for revolution of the algorithm

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A good starting place...

...is to look into a mirror. Seems logical to me!

ICANN approves customized top-level domains

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Register this...


Yeah, that's the ticket. Register "stupid" as a top level domain. Then we can put all these silly suggestions there.

Note to self: remember to register .smart as well, just to be safe!

p.s. What are the rules for registering? First come, first served? If so, everyone will need to hurry!

North Carolina will pay IBM $750,000 for 10 jobs

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"likes of Google and Microsoft, since they're so strapped for cash "

I should be so lucky. According to the 2007 annual report, Microsoft has over $21 Billion ($21E+9) US Dollars in "cash and short term investments"

If that is "strapped for cash", I've got some nice swamp land that has "excellent growth potential", or some otherwise investment from Nigera available.

Then as the saying goes: "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money" (Ev we love you!, unlike your current senator!)

Microsoft says ‘hasta la vista XP’ - well, kinda

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Bundling problem in Windows

The big problem with the various editions of Windows is that they are all bundled up. Smart systems (Linux is but one) have the kernel separate from the windowing system, separate from the applications. Microsoft (by design) doesn't do this, and we all pay for it. When they want to release something, they have to "do it all", and it has to "work". With so many interrelations there is bound to be some junk that doesn't work as planned, and the more interrelations the worse it gets. Fixes, fixes, and more fixes get stuck on a balloon with zillions of holes, and no matter how many band-aids you add, the holes are still there, leaking like a sieve.

You see, Microsoft built this messy balloon, and now they have to live with it. The problem is that Vista is but ONE result.

As silly as it sounds, Microsoft (and us) might have been better off if they accepted the Anti-trust ruling, and broke up the company. Too late for that!

Overstock CEO offers $75,000 for Wall Street's soul

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For Sale: One Bridge (several to choose from!)

Oh, you mean I need to have it in my possession first. I was just going to buy it back from you for nothing as you realized it was of no value.

Never mind.

Mobile phones to save airlines, by exposing passengers

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Black Helicopters

Why not...

Just have an RFID brain implant and get it over with!

That's what it is coming to anyway! (*SIGH*)

Microsoft should buy Rackable instead of building custom computers

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Microsoft build hardware (or innovate?) I doubt it!

As I remember, Microsoft's recent ventures in the hardware arena were CP/M softcards for the Apple II, and mice with two buttons (with weird communication protocols). Those were the profitable ones. Zune and X-Box rely on tie-ins to really make anything work.

I suspect that Microsoft can't be a hardware vendor, much less a service provider like Rackable. They would actually need to do some "work" and compete in a business they can strong-arm and bully people. Of course, if they use Rackable as their own, and change over to their own (IIS comes to mind) software maybe they will realize how terrible it really is. The problem there is it might take some innovation and original ideas (Bob??).

Sorry, doesn't compute for me!

What I learned from a dumb terminal

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Never attribute to Malice that which can be explained by stupidity

While this is a wonderful statement, the "malice" part is more fun:

Example 1: Most character terminals, being monochrome, had simple deflection systems. Some of the coils inside had a simple two position connector that with little effort can be installed the "incorrect" way given a little "push". Opening up a terminal and swapping said connector can be most fun to an unsuspecting victim/sucker/co-worker. It can take a few hours of all sorts of "how could that happen" and mad diagnosis attempting to find a solution.

Example 2: While working at Apple, a co-worker described an 'init' routine that decreased the screen size 1 pixel in each direction every time the machine re-booted. The effect of this "screen shrinker" are fascinating. In his developing work, he thought his eyes were going bad as the screen shrink day by day. It was just a little, but over time it became significant. The victim was finally told of the "hack" and let in on the prank. It was much fun while it lasted.

Example 3: (Not really IT related) Back when gas economy was not THAT important (read the '60s), someone had purchased a VW Beetle. He would come to work and brag about his mileage every time he filled up his tank. Then one of his co-workers would add a little gas (remember it was "cheap" then) to his tank, the bragging became worse. More was added over time, and the "zillions of miles per gallon" ensued. Then he stopped adding gas, and down it went., not getting so much now, and he would run out of gas every once in a while. It ended the "bragging rights" of the VW owner. I suspect that this was before VW's had gas gauges, so it was pre-1964 or so. For the UK: gas == petrol.

We now return you to your regular program. Yes, BOFH's existed even then!

UK developer trio accused of game plagiarism

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Is it just me, or aren't all games the same anyway?

Look, almost every game written is pretty similar. Get weapon, use on enemy, make points, discover treasure, find goal, live happily ever after. Yes, these guys just took some screen shots and fit them into the mold.

The whole process (stealing stuff) has been going on in media for a LONG long time. See:


MySpace wins $6m judgment against Spam King

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I may be wrong now, but I don't think so...

The article said "Hormel, the firm behind the meaty snack". I know several people who would disagree with that statement. In particular, I have an uncle who was stationed on Fanning Island during WW2, and he has "not so kind words" about SPAM (the meat). He doesn't want to see if even darken his doorway!

Than again, given the choice between the awful meat, and the spewed verbiage that infects us all, I might take up the former. Yes, it would be a hard choice, but at least I would lose weight which is a "good thing".

Malware not man blamed in child abuse download case

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What needs to be done...

Is prosecute the SUPPLIER of the laptop since they were the ones responsible for the distribution of the "bad stuff".

What you should do when getting a "supplied" computer is a statement that the supplier warrants it to be "in good working order" (which given some suppliers of operating systems may well be impossible).

Microsoft ga ga over Goo-Hoo! deal

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Pretty simple answer to "Was it a good idea?"

If Microsoft doesn't like it, it MUST be a good idea. Generally that is a good truth indicator.

Now if Carl Icahn would take note, we would all be happier!

Cambridge woman in £90m 'leccy bill shocker

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Death Star budget

"That's enough power to run a Death Star for just over 12 years."

The gas bill of $4.5 trillion won't run the Death Star for even a couple of years. It takes about $2.5E12 to run the current Death Star. I looked it up myself:


You must have a cheaper Death Star in mind.

AT&T brainstorms Time Warner-like bandwidth cap

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Eliminate SPAM traffic first

Then you might get somewhere. It accounts for a vast majority of the email traffic, so it should be a good place to start!

Spinal Tap's Tufnel gets new Honda hydrogen car

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Ah, but there is a VERY difficult problem here...

Making a container that will hold the Hydrogen is VERY difficult. Because the molecule is so small, it leaks through everything. To top it all off, it will react with the container, and make its contact surface VERY brittle. People have been working on this for YEARS. The other problem is that when you (attempt) to store it, it isn't very dense. The volume of a container which might hold 10 gallons of gasoline (UK: Petrol) won't store the amount of Hydrogen that the gasoline will allow you to travel. That says NOTHING to the weight of the container necessary.

No, at the densities of storage, it won't be lighter than air.

P.S. You don't want to be around when it blows up either (if you can see the explosion).

Outsiders get a crack at eBay's Selling Manager

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Paypal's portal...

They said "...safer, easier online payments.". Don't get your hopes up. Anything that is "easier" isn't (almost by definition) "safer".

Unless the buyer and seller are in a nice "padded cell" alone, where items and cash can be exchanged (or not), it won't get "safer" or "easier".

By the way, I've got $N millions in a check, can you help me cash it?

Stunned commuter finds more secret papers on train

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There ARE solutions to things like this

Like the handcuff attached to the briefcase/laptop coming to mind. If you have secrets, you might need this "accessory". Don't most laptops have a place for the cable already??

Random thoughts. I always saw these things in the spy movies in the 60's anyway. They seem a good idea!

Security? We don't need any security!! Airport "security" is just window dressing anyway!!

Dog collared with Cat-5 cable

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Not very "technical" at all

Look if it were to be a reasonable technology piece, the accessory would be a connector that receives the Cat-5 connector and makes the loop. I mean, bowline knot, how very "last century". Even include the handle that accepts the connector. They latch very nicely, you know!

Microsoft: 'We will save America from foreign domination'

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Funny they didn't have it working at the confab.

From the looks of the picture, all the people were using wireless mics. The whitespace grabbers would have swamped out the mics and nobody would have been heard!

They should go to 2.4 GHz where they belong!

BOFH: Shafting the consultants over the new layout

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Re: walk-in wine storage / chiller

Please please, please!!!

Wine for a BOFH? No, it needs to be storage for the pub's next door beer. Of course, there will be taps that happen to work in the command & control center, but that isn't the 'primary mission'!

Everyone knows that IT people start with caffeine and end with alcohol. It is just the way the day works.

Foldable sports plane gives Everyman a chance at crashing

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Does it come with...

...a small person yelling "Da Plane Da Plane"?

I couldn't resist. Bye now...

Canada moots tough sanctions for DRM flouters

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A lose - lose proposition

Everybody loses, even those who are supposed to "benefit" from the solution. Most of these bills have SEVERE problems.

Enough said!

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