* Posts by Nick Ryan

1865 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

Naughty sysadmins use dark magic to fix PCs for clueless users

Nick Ryan
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Re: "Mechanical Sympathy" and magic

Pretty much happens to me all the time. User: <something> is not working. I go over to watch the user demonstrate the problem. User: <something> is working now.

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UK ISPs may be handed cock-blocking powers

Nick Ryan
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iframes won't help at all, because the content is still fetched by the same user agent (web browser) as would have been accessing the contained page in the first place. Access is gotten around where one website requests the content of another and embeds it within itself - very much a specialised VPN.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: I don't often resort to profanity in discussion fora, but...

Its unlikely they will block pro EU sites

Why not? Many in the top levels of the current government openly backed and supported flagrant lies that were painted onto the sides of buses, only to downplay their support and the lies afterwards. Wanting to block websites is relatively trivial compared to this level of dishonesty.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: sigh...

Are these people really THIS close minded...

Yes. And immensely hypocritical as well - just look at one of the sources of this hate nonsense, the Daily Mail, and compare it to the celebrity drivel they contimually push about what swimwear some talentless nobody is wearing, or often even their children. In the next article they then instruct their "readers" on how the sexualisaton of society is the fault of <delete-as-applicable> (current bogeyman).

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Boffins break Samsung Galaxies with one SMS carrying WAP crap

Nick Ryan
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Re: " that no authentication is used to protect OMA CP "

This seems to be an extension of the carrier inflicted ass-hattery where you got a perfectly good phone and then were sent "carrier settings" to it by text/sms which murdered the performance of the device and removed all the useful stuff that the carrier thought they could charge you for instead.

No excuse for not range checking and treating the entire message and payload as untrustworthy though.

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Batman v Superman leads Razzie nominations

Nick Ryan
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Re: "The very concept of Batman v Superman is dumb"

On the other hand, the lego animated version of Batman vs Superman was superb. Go figure.

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Avaya files for bankruptcy

Nick Ryan
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Sympathy? Not a lot here

Last I checked Aaya were still stuck somewhere in the early 90s by way of product offerings. The last "cloud" phone service I saw from them was nothing more than a virtualised instance of their same spaghetti mess boxes with a bit of VOIP tacked on as an afterthought. And maybe a half-baked "UC" implementation thrown in, appalling UC and "collaboration" apps dumped on a few mobile devices and never updated. Followed by the same with video calling.

They chose to continue down the road of their same old rubbish, insanely and intentionally hamstrung systems while new "upstarts" came and delivered what users actually wanted - systems that were built around VOIP and integration and were manageable in a cohesive manner rather than the exact opposite.

Avaya may have produced newer, better systems since but I gave up looking at them a while ago.

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Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

Nick Ryan
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Re: Today's pedantry

Yes you do. Won't somebody think of the sheep? although in this case, most definitely not in a vacuum.

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Devs reverse-engineer 16,000 Android apps, find secrets and keys to AWS accounts

Nick Ryan
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Facepalm

over 304???

A security firm has reverse engineered 16,000 Android apps on Google's Play store and found that over 304 contain sensitive secret keys.

So that'll be 305 then?

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Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

Nick Ryan
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Re: Music

Many phones come with a pathetic amount of storage compared to media players (iPods or other), particularly those pushed on contract and with an exhorbitant price hike for larger capacities.

However even with this, I tend to observe that most people I see on London's underground and mainline trains use their phones to play music. There are the odd exceptions though, for example I used to regularly share a carriage with somebody who regularly used a portable DVD player which was a massive, bulky thing with a poor quality screen and undoubtedly heavily laden with batteries as well. On the other hand, they were happy using and carrying this monstrosity around and it would have been compatible with their home DVD collection.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: >So Mr Average uses his smart phone as an Alarm clock and map.

What does that even mean?

I think it means that the headphone cables and jacks have not been made out of unicorn hair spliced with unobtanium and the levels noise balanced with the device resting on 99.8% pure copper pins set in a 1970s breeze block in a large sonically padded and magnetically shielded room.

Blue light. Meh. Just have to love the impressionable. Just switch the damn ebook reader to the yellowish colour scheme as this somewhat reduces the blue component output in the RGB display. Or engage the OSes blue colour reduction screen profile.

As for the wrist watch comments? Huh? A device that has no, or few, buttons compared to a device with loads of them is more unclean? I'm yet to understand the logic on this.

Also, if somebody calls there is no requirement, legal or otherwise, to answer the bloody thing. How about putting the device on silent or low volume unless you're expecting calls, then you can call back if you like. Actually, this is the one thing that a "smart-watch" actually does well, you can quickly check the caller without taking the phone out of your pocket.

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PlayStation 4 probs: Gamers struggle with PSVR headset blackouts

Nick Ryan
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Re: Thank you for contacting Sony support...

It's usually found to be more useful when fixing something to turn it off and then back on again rathe than the other way round :)

Although it is true that just turning the thing on in the first instance tends to improve performance :) [not forgetting to turn it off again when you're done with it]

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Anti-smut law dubs PCs, phones 'pornographic vendor machines', demands internet filters

Nick Ryan
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Re: Ebay

Somehow I'd managed to forget all this throw-back stupidity around "dry counties" or even just "dry towns"... Yeeeach, because nothing was learned from prohibition and how it catapulted organised crime to prominence. I suppose the least bad is liquor stores and bars right on the border, but seriously?

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Nick Ryan
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Re: One has to wonder

Unfortunately I suspect that the sole intersection involves their theft of oxygen.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Now THAT is worth hacking

If folk get caught and reported sexually pleasuring bicycles then there *should* be some who sexually pleasure themselves looking at pictures of politicians. Therefore all imagery, names (ooh, err "Jane" or "Ethan") and anything else even vaguely related to humans or anything remotely erotic (e.g. bicycles) must be immediately prohibited from all local government websites, media and premises.

Naturally anybody who doesn't think this should be done is demonstrably a god hating, America hating, kiddie fiddling terrorist. Do not think of the children.

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New Windows 10 privacy controls: Just a little snooping – or the max

Nick Ryan
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It does make you wonder what the point of having a "Professional" edition as opposed to just Home and Enterprise. Seems just like cash cow milking gone mad in associaiton with marketing drones.

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British military laser death ray cannon contract still awarded, MoD confirms

Nick Ryan
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Re: FFS

"... projects like the Laser Directed Energy Weapon which will keep this country ahead of the curve."

Does every guvmint announcement now have to sound like a corporate tag line ??

Also somebody somewhere needs to understand that lasers tend to go in staight lines* and not curves.

* Except when passing close to something with very strong gravity of course. Actually, thinking about it given how dense many politicians (and "celebrities") are there is a good chance that our lasers curve.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: operational in all weather

So, lasers can work blasting through rain, snow, fog and other airbourne particules thern?

Given enough power, yes. :)

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Researchers work to save trusted computing apps from keyloggers

Nick Ryan
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Shifting trust

What these solutions really do is shift trust from one location in a system to another. But almost as important (for the vendor) they invariably add vendor, or typically at a minimum, vendor licensed technology, lockin paths.

While there is no such thing as complete security systems can be made harder and harder to circumvent but at the expense of implementation costs. Whatever the system one has to implicitly trust that every component involved in the process is not compromised, implemented poorly or has design problems. While this level of trust is reasonably achievable for most use cases, the more components there are in a system the more vectors there are for problems.

In the end regardless of these technologies banks will still store passwords in a two-way encryption scheme (meaning that the password can be decrypted and seen) and offshore both the development of its systems and the final use and support of them to the cheapest suppliers using the cheapest staff.

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Turns out there's a market for marijuana... plants' video surveillance

Nick Ryan
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Re: An advert...

Not just an advert. A disjointed advert written by somebody who just can't write (good copy).

At times it reads like one of amanfrommar's posts.

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Backup Exec console goes AWOL

Nick Ryan
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Re: "Function not supported"...

Sounds like normal Backup Exec coding standards. It's 2016 and the software is probably still using, or trying to use in this case, Windows 3 components.

I don't know what it is about backup software but the designers and developers of them consistently seem to run with the opinion that any best practices, or even common sense, guides with regards to user interface design should be avoided at all costs.

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Ham-fisted: Chap's radio app killed remotely after posting bad review

Nick Ryan
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Re: I remember when ...

Was it you or the car that got wise?

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Nick Ryan
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> I think most companies are smart enough to realise the negative PR would cost them far more.

So you're suggesting that Oracle will probably try it?

I really hope so. I'm going to post as many damning reviews of Java as I possibly can. Then just wait until it stops working and never works again.

Maybe I should also try this with Adobe Flash??? :)

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It's round and wobbles, but madam, it's a mouse pad, not a floppy disk

Nick Ryan
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Finger on the button until the end of the day... have you tried this? Don't! :) You'll need to move your finger before too long as cramp sets in.

As for the mine, these are/were craftily designed killing devices. The pressure to trigger them was relatively high however the release pressure was very low, which was pretty simple to engineer. You'd have to insert a shim under the unlucky walker's foot taking care to release no pressure whatsoever otherwise the thing would trigger and doing so required a second person to assist leading to almost certain injuries to them as well. From what I understand shields could be tried (with leg shaped holes in them) with the intention that the unfortunate soul could try to leap to safety and hope the shield protected them but these weren't terribly successful and were very cumbersome to deploy.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: ahh, floppy disks

Perhaps true, however the modern UK plug sockets are pertty damn safe due to the switching mechanism and the insulation on the pins. Rather safer than the equivalend EU and in particular US plugs.

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Nick Ryan
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5.25" disks also had a write protect tab. While the 3.5" disks had a slightly better engineered embedded plastic tab to move up and down the 5.25" disks generally just had a metal clip that served the same purpose. When this wasn't there (which was pretty the case for purchased software disks) there was just a tab cut out instead and to write-enable a disk one just had to put a label (or other tape) over the space; Many earlier used a mechanical device for detecting this slot, later units tended towards optical sensor therefore as long as it was solid and opaque it worked.

This image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Dysan_Verbatim_5.25_disks_1978.jpg shows both a metal clip and metal over the space.

Here's one with the write protect slot cut out: http://www.fileformat.info/media/5.25-floppy/top.jpg

(images provided through nothing more than just a google image search).

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Beauty is in the AI of the beholder: Young blokes teach computer to judge women by their looks

Nick Ryan
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Re: I can see the benefits.

Interesting how you included a link to a picture of Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos) - not only does she have an unapproachable pose but when combined with a moderate amount of research or recollection about Theranos one then projects defensive traits to this as well. Possibly because Theranos is a company built on lies, lies and more lies and therefore she's been forced to defend herself repeatedly.

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View from a Reg reader: My take on the Basic Income

Nick Ryan
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UBI is a nice idea but...

UBI is a nice idea but I don't believe that it's workable. It would be abused to hell on multiple levels and will lead to high inflation until the economy settles to a level where the UBI is worthless.

There will be a large number of people on or close to the line who will chose not to work and instead collect just UBI instead. While this may not seem too bad, there will be various hits from this. Firstly government tax income will drop not only from the reduction in paid tax but there will doubtless be quite a number who take the UBI and then supplement it through non-taxed methods - it would be rather Daily Mail/Express like to describe this as "UBI is funding crime" but it's pretty much how it would be seen.

Many of the people benefitting from UBI will be employed doing the less popular or menial jobs which will lead to a sudden workforce void in these types of roles and the only way to encourage people to do these level of jobs will be to pay them somewhat more than they would have been paid previously. This increase of low level job pay rates will lead to inflation as the extra money has to come in from somewhere which means dependent services and products will go up in price; this is already observable now due to the effects of minimum pay rate. The cost of food, accomodation, energy and transport will all rise due to both rising costs to provide these and through market pressures, i.e. "charge as much as the market will handle". If UBI isn't increased in line with the rises in the cost of food, accomodation, energy and transport then UBI will become worthless however because UBI will be the cause of these rises it'll become a circular economic loop.

It's not that providing support for those members of society that need it is a bad idea, it's just that utopian schemes such as UBI will not work in reality, particularly for larger and larger population sets. As a result some form of means tested system is likely the only workable scheme but only if this is a fair implementation - currently it is erring very much on the side of being inflexible, uncaring and overly bureaucratic. Society would also need to change to be more flexible and to allow the inclusion of those who are not able to operate at the same regularity or levels of performance as the "average" person does, such as the writer of this article. Through various contacts I know of quite a lot of people who would jump at the chance to work but cannot due to interactions with their current benefits, that they reply on to survive, but also due to employers finding it very hard to employ these kind of people due to bureaucratic issues more than operational ones.

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London's Winter Wonderland URGENTLY seeks Windows 10 desk support

Nick Ryan
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Winter wonderland has been running for a while now...

Winter wonderland has been running for a while now... so why the sudden need for two hands-on possibly junior level (ad seems to imply this) staff. Sounds like the place is a total mess IT wise and they've been royally dumped on. Mind you, I'd suspect that this kind of place has a scary turnover of staff.

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New US rules on 'vehicle-to-vehicle' communications under consultation

Nick Ryan
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Righhhttt... So they're proposing a trust based uncontrolled ad hoc messaging system. It's trust based because you (or your car's systems) will have no real way to definitively trust the identity and therefore the content of any message received. It's an uncontrolled ad-hoc system because connections between individual nodes will be made and dropped based on external physical circumstances, for example oncoming cars on the same road, cars turning on or off the road and cars coming in and out of range for any other reason. It will be interesting to see how this works, particularly where multi-layer or otherwise independent roads have vehicles that can communicate with each other. Just the "safety" side of round the corner notifications would require a reasonable communication range and this will lead to irrelevant messages from vehicles on unconnected roads.

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NASA – get this – just launched 8 satellites from a rocket dropped from a plane at 40,000ft

Nick Ryan
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Black Helicopters

Re: hmmmm

No wonder the US authorities are dragging their heels on the approval. NASA must have leaned on them as they didn't want to be shown up by a bunch of foreigners on their own turf.

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Rogue One: This is the Star Wars back story you've been looking for

Nick Ryan
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Re: Looking forward to seeing that now

What Lucas prequels?!?!

I think these are similarly mythical to the Matrix sequels.

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WINNER! Crush your loved ones at Connect Four this Christmas

Nick Ryan
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Re: It's not Christmas without a game of...

I'd forgotten all about Escape from Colditz...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Monopoly

The orange and red frequency compared to others is higher because there are more cards that send a player to one of them, or ahead of them (including Jail and Purple in the first side) but even the "go back three spaces card". Combine this frequency with the most common value out of two dice being seven with eight a close second and the odds are stacked in their favour.

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Microsoft's Edge to flush Adobe Flash in Windows 10 Creator’s Update

Nick Ryan
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Re: Not possible to ban smoking in the office?

I don't know what it is about smokers but most seem to think that littering isn't a problem and just throw their butts either wherever they happen to be at the time or into a nearby small area (often causing fires). Even if there's a bin within 10 paces.

When it was more prevalent it used to annoy the crap out of me that I'd be working hard all day, taking what passed for a lunch break and other breaks yet many smokers would think nothing of standing outside 20m out of every hour. In the end I took to joining them - probably passive smoking myself to death a little bit...

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Trump meets Google – exclusive transcript

Nick Ryan
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WTF?

/Could be better.

Next time include the phrase "Winter is Coming".

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Men! If you want to win at board games this Christmas, turn off the rock music – scientists

Nick Ryan
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The Imperial Festival is an event to promote science to non-scientists and to generate more interest into STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in general.

Not everything has to be high brow science...

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Additional Data

I would like to corroborate this and add that this same theory appears to hold true for a sample size of two. Although for science's sake it may be a good idea to check again. And with a sample size of three, and four.

Science *is* important.

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Busted Windows 8, 10 update blamed for breaking Brits' DHCP

Nick Ryan
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Re: Thanks for the Windows Bashing.

... Armitxes is nothing more than a troll account created just to annoy. This troll has the usual 0 registration time and a single post

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Microsoft announces 16 years of support for Windows, SQL Servers

Nick Ryan
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Re: A bit overkill on the diversity don't you think

I count six ethnic types and only the one whiteboy in that picture, a bit overkill on the diversity don't you think.

It's America. Despite various other things, it's no wonder that the majority of Americans, who happen to be mostly "white", are pissed off when every Hollywood and marketing message apparently has to have a majority of minorities in it: because the minorities may be offended if it were otherwise. You kind of start to understand why so many voted for a different lizard this time.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Sounds kind of like,

Why all this bitching about the UI? Don't you know real SysAdmins never use a GUI!

:)

Real SysAdmins also don't have a backspace key on their keyboard :) They also don't using windowing systems at all, everything is done in a single full screen VT-100 compatible terminal window. Preferably green screen, although orange is acceptable at a push. But no other colours.

Personally, I find the "you must do everything in a GUI" and "you must do everything in a command line" camps annoyingly stupid. I'll use whatever is most appropriate thank you: If it's something that I don't have to administer very often then a GUI is just fine but if it's something that I have to administer often then scripting is the way forward, particularly if I want to perform repeated or consistent processes and especially so when this spans multiple systems.

In some ways this would imply that a GUI should not have it's own interface into a system and should instead call a command line behind the scenes to perform it's actions, this way the same functionality is available wherever you want it. If the GUI also lists the commands that it is performing then this makes learning what the hell it does (with the aim to automating the process elsewhere) rather easier. While this can work well, sometimes this means that a GUI is rather inefficient or the command line interfaces are sub-optimal as they're designed primarily to support a GUI.

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Nick Ryan
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Re: Sounds kind of like,

Have you seen Server 2012? It's already had the Windows 10 treatment on the user interface, only a matter of time before it starts showing ads, uninstalling important tools and auto-installing bloatware.

Server 2012 had the Window 8 (not Window 8.1) interface foisted upon it. Windows 2016 is better on this front because the Windos 10 UI is somewhat less shit than the Windows 8 interface.

Then there's the Server Core installation of Windows Server 2016, entertainingly easy to confuse with the per-core licensing naming, which is a sort of no-GUI interface (if you've used it you'll understand) which would be OK if MS's tools and products were actually complete, or ideally just consistent, when it came to running in a GUI-free environment. Compared to adminstering Linux systems, managing Server Core system is rather more painful but "entertaining" fun when you involve 3rd parties who can only work with a mouse... :)

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Latest loon for Trump's cabinet: Young-blood-loving, kidney-market advocate Jim O'Neill

Nick Ryan
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Pint

Re: Your bias?

Yummy popcorn time! :)

It's Friday m'kay?

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90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP

Nick Ryan
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Re: Extended support?

The last I saw when I was looking at many of these XP systems that litter the NHS was that they typically were left running XP because vital but stunningly incompetently written software was in place that required ActiveX components and appalling versions of Internet Explorer.

This was one of the key reasons for them to still be in place. On some occasions the original vendor no longer existed, frequently a tiny organisation that disappeared due to the appalling way in which the NHS trusts often treated their small suppliers, or often where an updated version was available but the department couldnt sufficiently justify the upgrade costs of a system that other than running on a dead OS still did the job it was brought in place to do.

Most departments have such a tiny budget left over after the huge staff costs (massive layers of management and consultants) are taken into account that they can barely afford to buy the consumables they need and more important medical equipment that replacing an otherwise working system just doesnt happen. it's further complicated because many pieces of software are cross department that it needs all departments to upgrade which adds to the impossibility.

On the positive front it did appear that NHS trust IT depsrtments were getting smarter when iit came to new systems but this doesnt help the old software - it wasn't as if the IT departments didnt want to upgrade our see the value in it, they just can't...

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Stung by Dynamics 365 hike? Microsoft has a deal for you... just don't expect much

Nick Ryan
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It can't just be me but when I read something like this:

"Some will pay a little more in that transition pricing and some will pay less.

I tend it to read it like the following because this is closer to reality:

"Most will pay more for the same service but in an attempt to spin this positively there is a very small chance that a small number of users will pay less."

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Sysadmin figures out dating agency worker lied in his profile

Nick Ryan
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Re: Setting passwords for international users

Wonderfully evil, even better as the average USAian erroneously thinks that the Pound sign consists of two (near) vertical and two horizontal lines overlaid in the shape of the game board for noughts and crosses - a "number" or "hash" sign to the rest of the planet: #

None of this was helped by the marketing morons at Microsoft who named their fork of the C language as C-Hash (pretty apt at times) or C-Number, except for USAians where it as read as C-Pound. Of course, the marketing morons really meant C-Sharp but failed to notice that there is a difference between a pound sign £, a hash/number sign # and a sharp ♯.

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Nick Ryan
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I had a user that just couldn't manage to login. Reset password, still no luck.

I tried logging in using one of my accounts but no joy on that either no matter how carefully I typed. Next step was to test the characters being generated by the keyboard by switching to "other user" and typing away to see what was coming, which is a useful and regular trick to check if the damn keyboard/system is running in American instead of Engish. Turns out that the shift key functionality on the keyboard had failed (both left and right shift keys) and there was no longer any normal way to generate a capital letter or most symbols.

Later the user admitted that they had spilt water onto the keyboard the day before but had tipped it out quickly (apparently there wasn't much) and the keyboard had been fine afterwards therefore didn't worry too much about it.

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Three to appear in court over TalkTalk hack

Nick Ryan
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Re: Poor show

One where there's no penalty for failure and security is only seen as a cost.

...and where is the court case against the TalkTalk executives that did not permit/push for the investment needed to prevent simple hacks like the ones that opened up TalkTalk?

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UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

Nick Ryan
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Re: Well...

What's particularly galling is that a pathetic nut job murdered a popular MP who was generally regarded as doing what she was meant to be doing: representing the people who elected her to represent them compared to Ms May who has her own personal agenda of an all invasive (thought) police state that many experts have clearly stated has no benefit to the electorate, particularly in what is meant to be a leading democracy in the "free" world.

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Investigatory Powers Act signed into UK law by Queen

Nick Ryan
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Re: *idly wonders how easy it would be to access an MP's WiFi*

It's not Britain (as I've always known it) anyway.

No, it's Ms May's private wet dream police state. She just needs to get the interfering EU out of the picture and she'll be free to push through even more mindbloggling gross indignities and abuse of personal rights.

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