* Posts by Alan Brown

10400 posts • joined 8 Feb 2008

Washington Post offers invalid cookie consent under EU rules – ICO

Alan Brown
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Re: One down, 99999999999999999999 to go

"the other half are complaining like crazy that our traffic analytics currently report less than a quarter of the traffic it recorded this time last year."

And the ones who've read the report from Legal saying that you're not going to be prosecuted?

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Alan Brown
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"They deliberately do not have a "Select All" option, just to help persuade you to accept their tracking cookies."

Point _that_ out to the ICO (Hint: It's not legal)

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Alan Brown
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Re: Build a wall!

(WP does have a bureau in London).

Exactly this. WP does business in the UK - and as such the ICO ruling can (MUST!) be challenged.

They've been fucking up a number of decisions recently.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Wait, what?

"I thought the rest of the world was just going to *have* to tremble and comply with this legislation ... if they wanted to do any business with EU citizens."

The problem here is that each EU country gets to choose its own level of enforcement.

UK "authorities" love to play the game of "oh, it's out of the country, we wash our hands of it", even when you can prove the trail comes back into the country later on.

_other_ EU authorities take a far different point of view on the matter and the UK is regarded as the dog in the manger about this issue.

It's one of the reasons that a lot of EU states are saying "about bloody time, good riddance" regarding Brexit. The UK has been systematically sabotaging a huge number of law changes aimed at protecting individuals and consumer rights, along with deliberately nobbling its own enforcement agencies when laws are forced to be passed, in order to be "appearing" to be enforcing, but not actually doing anything.

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Alan Brown
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"The Ad-X software is run by an organisation outside the UK and is not on the regisrar of Data Controllers."

If they're targetting UK individuals, they need to be on the register. Tell the ICO.

"That worked for around a month until a futher update went through that forced consent and doesn't allow the withdrawal of consent"

Which is completely and utterly illegal under EU _AND_ USA laws.

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Alan Brown
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Re: The EU vs US?

"From a technical perspective, you *MUST* have cookies if you log into the site."

Only for as long as the site login is maintained. My ones evaporate after 12 hours.

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Alan Brown
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Um... ICO copping out.

If the boot was on the OTHER foot, American authorities would be using "Long Arm" statutes to come down hard on any UK outfit breaching USA laws (what do you think all those extradition demands were about when noone had set foot on US soil, for starters?)

What this needs is someone to file a complaint with German privacy authorities as they take this shit seriously and don't pull "oh, it's all in another country so we can't do anything about it" bullshit, when the laws are clearly written so they DO have extraterritorial cover.

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Bloke fined £460 after his drone screwed up police chopper search for missing woman

Alan Brown
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Re: Perhaps the Police ...

"Accuracy International do make a rather nice rifle in .338"

Uh yeah, right.

What goes up, must come down. In this case, ballisiticaly and 1-2 miles from where it was fired.

First rule of gun control: ALWAYS ensure you know where your rounds will end up even if you miss.

On this side of the Atlantic even thinking about taking that shot would cost you your license.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Priorities

"I am almost certain that a helicopter could suffer no damage at all if it was to make contact with a drone.."

Unless it was to somehow get _below_ the drone it's unlikely to make contact.

Rotor wash will pretty much ensure that. US pilots have downed drones using theirs.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Rather it wasn't destroyed.

" A bit like when cars are crushed for no tax. "

They seldom are. The owner has a chance to pay the fine & get his car back and then the car goes up for auction if he fails to do so. 90% of crushings are old bangers noone in their right mind would want and the remainder are ones the police have decided they want publicity with (or are dangerous mods that can't be allowed back on the road)

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5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1... Runty-birds are go: 12,000+ internet-beaming mini-satellites OK'd by USA

Alan Brown
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Re: Cameras

"With this many nodes I imagine they could almost get realtime video of the whole surface of the planet."

In this day and age - THAT is not a bad thing, as long as it's all publicly viewable.

We're sleepwalking into a bunch of ecological disasters and being able to keep tabs on who's breaching treaties aimed as survival of the species (it could easily get that bad - people can move away from sea level rises and extreme weather, it's hard to move away from a reduction in global oxygen levels) may well be the game changer that's needed to ensure that people actually STICK to them.

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Alan Brown
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Re: GPS?

the US GPS system used to be known as NAVSTAR GPS. Some people still call it NAVSTAR.

GPS is a pretty pretty generic name, GNSS is a messy workaround for someone asserting IP rights on a generic name shortening of a longer one that should have been tossed out (the USA spent quite a long time building the NAVSTAR name, but media called it GPS and the name stuck)

GPS is as generic as "tissue" or "vacuum cleaner". NAVSTAR is not.

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Alan Brown
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Re: What could possibly...

"OK how is this going to impact space aviation in the future?"

Believe it or not, "not that much". These things are all going into the same orbital belts (so instead of 1 or 2 sats in one orbit you might have 100 looping around) and "space is big, very big" in terms of being 3 dimensional.

There's a lot of effort going into ensuring these things don't shed parts and are de-orbital at end of life - and besides stuff at lower altitudes has a very short halflife anyway (months to years). It's things in the 600-6000km range that's annoying and worrying as it can stay up there for centuries.

The vast majority of junk up there is from missions predating the 1980s. Attitudes changed when things like 2nd stage boosters left shut down in orbit (without venting everything) started exploding and the Skylab guys spent an anxious few months worrying about where their launch vehicle would come down, not having planned a return trajectory and then realising that it was large enough to cause mayhem if it landed on a populated area.

These days just about _everything_ which doesn't need to be in orbit (eg, second stages, etc) is left in deeply eccentric orbits where the lowest point is low enough into the atmosphere that it'll come down in a few orbits thanks to friction.

There's still a shitload of stuff to bring down, particularly from higher orbits, but a laser broom is probably the most viable option. One of the biggest impediments to getting it underway isn't cost, but the politics of actually getting all the countries with stuff in LEO to agree to allow it, as starting to bring down debris could be interpreted as a hostile act. Remember how the USSR were shitting bricks about Shuttle's return from orbit capabilities?

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Alan Brown
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Re: What could possibly...

"You want broadband? Cover your own country in infrastructure"

One of the unstated parts of these kinds of networks is that it effectively _destroys_ all hope of any one government managing to censor their citizens Internet access. Think of it as VoA or Radio Free Europe on steroids.

In the case of the USA, this may be aimed at "rural dwellers" but with a huge number of folks having a choice of one broadband provider or no broadband provider it's the kind of market shakeup that comes along one in a lifetime.

The FCC may approve this for USA and other countries may not, but as Iridium proved with satellite phones, once you have low powered enough technology it's virtually impossible for hostiles to pick up on it - and between proposed clouds of observation sats and uncontrolled broadband, places like Rakhine State in Myanmar are going to benefit from the inability of the government to make a single hostile step without it being documented (it will also allow targets of other military forces to document atrocities in a way that I think military planners haven't even begun to appreciate, let alone plan for.)

(The Rohingya have been facing Burmese extermination campaigns since Burma first invaded the (then) Arakan Kingdom in 1784 (before being beaten out by the British in 1826), resuming in 1962 as part of their ongoing religious clensing policy. What's happening there isn't recent developments - just recently getting better coverage - and the Burmese attitude is somewhat like a certain Saudi Prince inasmuch as "they've been doing it for years, what's the big deal now?")

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Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again

Alan Brown
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Re: SI

"when you run out of fingers (and toes at 20 [sandal wearers?] "

There's a Thai system for counting to 99 on your fingers, but multiplication isn't easy.

(left hand fingers +1-4 thumb +5, right hand thumb +50, fingers +10-40. You use your fingers twice in each decade)

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Alan Brown
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Re: SI

"Why use exact powers of 10? Why not use binary numbers? The power of 2 used will still be arbitrary."

The Babylonians used 12 and 60 (can you guess where we still use those?)

The Romans used 12 a lot. 10 was mostly only used for military work.

In both cases it's because the number of divisors make them easier to work with than 10s.

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Alan Brown
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Re: SI

"if eventually you ended up describing the width of a horse's arse"

Two of those has an intrinsic tie-in to the width of a standard gauge rail line. Can you guess why?

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Railways use 4'8 because that's what was already in use most places (+- a couple of inches)

Railways originally used the same track width width as horse drawn tramways

Horse drawn tramways used wagon chassis, with standard widths

Wagons were a standard width due to ruts in the road. Noone built to other widths as doing so was to invite broken wheels.

Roads had ruts in them due to centuries of wear, many dating back to the roman empire (when they were better maintained)

Ruts in roman roads were caused by chariots, wagons and other horse drawn traffic.

Roman roads were as wide as they were to allow two way traffic

Wagons tended to be the same width as chariots because chariots defined the width of the roads

Chariots defined the width of the roads as they were military traffic and the roads were military roads.

Roman chariots were built to a standard width to allow interchangability of most parts (and to ensure they would pass freely across the empire.)

That width was defined by rear ends of the two horses operating side by side in front of the chariot.

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Alan Brown
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Re: My calculator is out of date

Mine said 5318008618 (until the teacher saw and asked to have the joke explained. She pretended not to be amused)

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Alan Brown
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Re: yard/mile on our roads for some strange reason

Having lived through such a change (Imperial to metric) in two countries in 1973 and 1974, the roadsign and car odometer change isn't that difficult to deal with, people just deal with it.

For starters, all UK roadsigns are already positioned so they can be changed to 400m, 800m, 1/2km, 1km or 2km and have been for a very long time, despite being written in miles (1/4 mile and 400m are interchangable)

Fahrenheit to Celcuis is far more annoying. Using a scale which choose frozen brine as zero and Ox blood as one hundred didn't make a heck of a lot of sense at the time and it really still doesn't. At least Celcuis stuck with the same substance at both ends of the scale.

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Alan Brown
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Re: So we've gone from six to five

"I'd really hate for our measurement standards to end up as one big Catch 22 or chicken/egg paradox"

What, you mean like being dependent on something as parochial as the rotation period of a particular planet in a binary planet/satellite pair(*), in a particularly short window of a period of their 7-8 billion year lifespan?

Or the circumference of that particular planet?

(*) Earth/moon are frequently described as a binary due to the size of the satellite having an easily observable effect on the barycenter of the pair (it's about 75% of the way towards the surface from the earth's core). It's not a classic binary inasmuch as the barycenter is still below the surface of the earth but it does mean there's a hell of a wobble in there and it would have been a true binary originally)

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Alan Brown
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Re: Sad case of science ignoring the evidence

"At one time this would have been enough to warrent an investigation"

It did. Several. And then several more. Some variances were explainable (fingerprint contamination, etc) and others just seem to be random noise of the universe

The things may have been under jars, but it's not an inert space and they were periodically cleaned. The opportunity to pick up or lose a few molecules of contamination arose, but even when the greatest of care was taken to ensure no contamination took place, successive measurements on the same balances would give different results on different days.

Even le grand K has varied a few nanograms between measurements - sometimes when measurements were taken within weeks of each other. This variance and the continued variances between the lesser Ks is what drove the search for a better reference (which started about 40 years ago)

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Alan Brown
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"virtual particles as well even if there is no real particles in your vacuum"

Which gets even messier when you start apparently extracting energy from those virtual particles. Evidence of extra dimensions that we simply can't perceive?

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Alan Brown
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Re: Le Grand K's fate

"They did use the 10.000 km as the distance from the equator to the pole by simply saying it's 10.000 and thus 1m is what it is."

For some reason the metre was defined as 1/10,000 of 1/4 of the circumferential arc a few times in history.

The French innovation seemed to be defining it from pole to equator (of course that's going to be different from north pole vs south pole, oblate spheroid etc). Previous definitions were either at the equator or sliced at the latitude of the city of the civilisation which defined it - so the egyptian metre was slightly longer than the greek metre, etc (the ancients were perfectly well aware that the earth was round and had a pretty accurate idea of its size. Colombus' fallacy was that it was much smaller than it is and everyone thought he'd starve to death on the voyage, not fall off the edge. He nearly did starve too - and falsified ship's log records to make it seem as if the distance travelled was considerably less than reality in order to deceive his crew, because by his stated original calculations they should have reached Asia long before they hit the Carribean.)

The roman mile was slightly different, being "1000 marching paces" and defined to allow for planning of rest breaks, etc.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Le Grand K's fate

"The old MKS system was based on several non-universal numbers but for everyday use the most important were [spoiler alert] the metre, kilogramme and second."

Anyone who's had to calculate anything in rods, poles perches and chains (never mind gills, barrels, hogsheads, bushels and pecks) will have heaved a sigh of relief that most of the sane world switched to something that used common multipliers AND UNITS across the board.

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RIP Bill Godbout: Cali wildfire claims the life of master maverick of microcomputers

Alan Brown
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Re: Preventable

There's another aspect to firestorms which people tend to forget.

Even if you build the most fireproof structure possible, with a shelter to cover from the flame front, an intense firestorm can kill by taking all available oxygen out of the air - and it only needs to so do in any particular area for 5-6 minutes whilst it's passing over.

The ecology of many US forests is based around periodic fires keeping the undercanopy relatively clear and many trees have evolved bark tough enough to handle minor fires (as with many Australian trees, some American trees require fire to germinate too) The US Forest Service only realised the mistake of their "stop all fires" campaigns in the late 1980s - by which point decades of misguided human intervention had left megatonnes of flammables piled up, making the fires that did break out and get away on firefighters that much more deadly. That's still being addressed. Couple that with increasing urban expansion into vulnerable areas (and the factor that some californian plants may as well be producing creosote or turpentine - particularly Ericameria laricifolia, but also the imported eucalyptus varieties) and you have a recipe for disaster, but it's impossible to prevent people living where they want to in a "free country"

Yes, people usually know the risks where they're living, but when things happen they frequently happen so fast there's no time to react - and with the wrong conditions a fire can easily jump a couple of miles (especially if there are eucalypts involved and California has a lot of those in some areas)

It's a bit like earthquakes. You learn to live with the danger and to design for it, but that doesn't lessen the shock or grief when it happens.

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We asked the US military for its 'do not buy' list of Russian, Chinese gear. Surprise: It doesn't exist

Alan Brown
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Re: There is politics and then there is reality

"This doesn't mean that trade secrets aren't stolen and so on"

And the USA is one of the worst offenders for doing this on an industrial scale at state level, then handing the purloined material off to its favoured defence contractors.

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EE, Virgin Media hit with £13.3m fine: Squeezing users for fees for early contract termination not OK

Alan Brown
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"They keep upgrading my broadband speed (with a price hike shortly afterwards) every few months.... automatically starting a new 12 month contract,"

THAT practice has been illegal for a number of years.

If you can show this, then Ofcom will be nailing hides to walls.

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Alan Brown
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"Virgin's overcharging was absolutely not "mistaken". It was quite clearly deliberate."

In other countries when companies have come out swinging against findings like this, the fines have been tripled.

UK regulators have small teeth and a lack of spine.

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Court doc typo 'reveals' Julian Assange may have been charged in US

Alan Brown
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Re: No surprise

" then infringing contempt of court in that country, something which is taken very seriously, "

First (or subsequent) offence for contempt of court/bail breaches in the UK is most usually a severe telling off and a slap on the wrist with a wet bus ticket - EVEN for someone with a laundry list of offences and a string of prison terms. Sainted Jools of Asshattedness is only getting attention because he craves it and ensures he gets it. This resulted in Wikileaks becoming the Julian Assange Electric Revelation and Travelling Apparition.

It shouldn't be a surprise that he has charges under seal in US court. They'd have to be unsealed in order to begin any extradition proceedings unless he was "extraordinarily rendered" - which would trigger a shitstorm that even the USA wouldn't cope with.

Until fairly reecently one of Julian's larger risks is that the courts would reject the Swedish arrest warrant but immigration would declare him undesireable and put him on a plane to Australia via the shortest available route (LAX) - Now that would be a plane to Perth, but the Australians are highly likely to simply grab him and put him on a plane to LAX themselves. He's a multiply convicted criminal hacker after all and they've long been at the USA's beck and call (see: 1975 Australian Constituional Crisis)

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Data-nicking UK car repairman jailed six months instead of copping a fine

Alan Brown
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Re: Accuracy is not required......

"Take for example one of the large original banks"

You should name them.

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Alan Brown
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"there is also a need to ensure data held is accurate, which could be used to justify things like checking phone number, and if a delivery is planned, the accuracy of the address they have on record."

These only need to be _displayed_ when accessed for that purpose - and such access should be audited.

Showing them to all and sundry means you don't know who's writing them down or screenshotting them.

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Alan Brown
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"I actually would posit that almost all call-centre software should be illegal under GDPR because you have no need to actually KNOW what the customer's address / phone number actually are."

You're probably right. The problem is that the ICO is deliberately kept as nobbled as possible by the government, so their friends can thumb their noses at the law. Have you noticed that despite the egrarious breaches of privacy that go on, only a few actual enforcement actions get reported? They're the ones that are so extreme that they can't be ignored, or where the target can't lawyer up enough to fight the ICO off.

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Alan Brown
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> Avoids data breach rules if you say it was "unauthorised access",

The computer misuse act defines "unauthorised" as including "in excess of authorisation"

I'd say slurping up details unrelated to the exact jobs in hand would qualify (and could also be used against anyone who looked up a celebrity's or ex's details on the police or NHS systems too)

This is why you must be very careful what you wish for. One of the "Wishlist" laws which is wending its way through the system at the moment is aiming to make simple trespass a criminal act. It's aimed at dealing with all the traveller incursions on private and council land but I can see it being widely abused against anyone that "security guards" in "public but not public" spaces (like most open spaces around urban London) don't like. It'd be even more ironic if it was used against a Hunt that traipsed across someone's land chasing their dogs after they'd got scent of a fox (this is a regular occurance in Surrey and landowners who are opposed to Hunts would do it in a heartbeat)

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ZX Spectrum reboot scandal firm's original directors rejoin

Alan Brown
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Re: Errrmmm....

"Shenanigans? From this crowd? Surely not?"

If Levy filed those terminations then he's probably just made himself an "unfit person" in the eyes of Companies House.

I think I'm going to invest in popcorn shares.

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'My entire company is without comms': Gamma's Horizon cloud PBX goes DOWN

Alan Brown
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This is why....

Critical service updates should be done in the wee smalls of sunday morning.

That way you have around 24 hours to fix things before brown smelly stuff REALLY hits rapidly rotating thingy when things don't work.

Of course PHBs don't like that as it means doubletime (and then some), but it was the normal way of doing things in telcos once upon a time - and it's cheaper than the losses if (when) things go wrong.

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Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

Alan Brown
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" I thought it was CE..."

There's a reason it was called "Wince"

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Alan Brown
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Re: Jesus

> Every time I so much as read the words "Wicrosoft ME" I gag a little.

ME is a nasty lingering disease. WIndows ME is even worse.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Few comments

"Digging out salvaged IDE drives (10\20\40Gb) & cloning the still working drive of a emissions tester, got me a free MOT at the garage concerned about 11 years ago."

Considering how much you saved the garage, you should have got free MOTs for life.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Few comments

"IDE to compact flash converters"

NO, just NO.

CF and other small stuff don't do wear levelling unless you want pay stupid money for specialist units.

SATA and later PATA (ATA-5 onwards) drives have commands to change their reported size AND available parameters, which is why the jumper went away. (DCO and HPA commands)

Learn to use them and stop trying to fuck around with old drives that are likely to die when you least want them to. Those old bastards park the heads on the platters and tend to stick if left for years - sometimes to the point of breaking loose from the arms when you try to "unstick" them.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Few comments

"Just last week I hunted high and low for < 32GB IDE hard drives because a customer had one of those 6-figure CNC machines with a DOS controller and the old drive was dying. The 200-500GB drives I had didn't work and didn't have a jumper for 32GB compatibility..."

I can (and HAVE) solved _that_ problem with any modern SSD (or other SATA drive) and a £6 IDE-SATA adaptor and so can you if you bothered to RTFM (if the interface is a PATA 2.5" then use a MSATA drive and a 2.5" PATA carrier)

The fact that you don't know how to do it shows you haven't done your homework and the fact that you're attempting to do this with old mechanical hardware is simply buying more trouble a few months down the line.

SSDs solve the vibration problem permanently and end up with so many spare blocks that wear levelling essentially means even the smallest one you can lay your hands on will last forever (don't use HDD to SD adaptors. These will die eventually unless readonly and you can't make them report as 32GB)

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Alan Brown
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Re: Few comments

> interestingly enough, a FreeBSD system could run these with virtualbox or its own virtualizer 'bhyve'.

Yes, but - that's far too sensible and doesn't cost enough to keep consultants in their jobs.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Oh boy, ME

"designed a fancy computer controlled fountain for a spa resort and still is in charge of maintenance of the old thing (to get the idea, the pumps beneath the fountain draw about 70 kW). Of course, he has a limited budget, and a very special application"

So at some point he's going to have to bite the bullet and replace the 20+ year old pumps and control gear with something a bit more modern anyway.

In my experience "limited budgets" are only such as long as he can keep it running with what's cobbled together and have a tendency to become "It needs to work, how much do you need to fix it?" when the thing finally becomes unrepairable (IE: he should have a plan for a complete replacement system costed up and ready to drop in for when that event occurs so that the question can be answered in 30 seconds, not 5 days and the entire replacement system ordered within 24 hours)

If he doesn't do that, manglement may decide that he's been keeping himself "essential" for no good reason over the last 30 years and decide to replace _HIM_ along with the equipment.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Oh boy, ME

"My partners Linux installation is 32 bit "

Not for much longer. Not on x86 anyway.

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Alan Brown
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"I think you'll find that's the actual code used to actually sweep for actual mines."

I hope not. Losing would be painful.

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Skimming cash off UK police budget for tech projects probably not the best idea, say MPs

Alan Brown
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Re: I never expected that

GIven some recent headlines involving the NHS.... (both in the UK: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/manager-who-defrauded-welsh-nhs-15366209 and in Queensland: http://www.mcleodgovernance.com/the-tahitian-prince-fraud/ )

A little bit of due diligence looking into the directorship and management structure of companies being awarded contracts wouldn't go at all amiss.

The two cases stand out - one because of the sheer audacity of the numbers (which finally attracted an auditor's attention) and the other because it was only discovered after a fraud line tipoff.

However they don't really stand out because of those factors - they stand out BECAUSE THEY GOT CAUGHT. This kind of scam is far too easy easy to perpetrate in the UK Civil Service - if it takes a 3rd party tipoff or simple brazen avarice to make people realise this kind of thing has been happening, then the odds are pretty good they're just the tip of the iceberg.

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Western Digital: And when I pull the covers off, behold as NAND becomes virtual DRAM

Alan Brown
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Re: So... how is this different to swap on an SSD?

"so they can bypass Linux's house of cards"

The house of cards is built that way because it has to handle everything that's thrown at it. Swap has been a standardised interface on *nixen for nearly 40 years and is well-overdue for heavy maintenance.

The reality is that "swap" as we know it has been a dead duck for a number of years (if you look at most non-choked systems you'll find they've pushed trivial amounts out to swap. Ram really is staggeringly cheap these days) and a system which "needs" more than 1-2GB of swap is a rarity, because the effect of hitting any form of drive interface in anger makes your machine leap back to the 1980s speed-wise(**), which in turn makes justifying more ram an easy decision. 32GB in a desktop is cheap. 64GB only slightly less so. Putting 512GB-2TB in a server isn't mortgage material anymore either

There's no real secret sauce here and quite frankly the way WD & Seagate have treated buyers over the last decade-and-a-bit means they'll have to try a lot harder than this to convince me to buy their solid state products - especially when they're pushing it in a 12nm format that everyone else backed away from due to it having limited endurance and poor speeds (Hint:There are only so many electrons you can fit in a 12nm cell and it's getting towards "you can count them individually")

(*)except for the ones which hibernate to the swap partition, but that's not quite the same thing as actively banging on it)

(**) It's not helped by more than a few "really fast, honest guv" NVME drives being flogged by name brands who should know better *ahem*HP*ahem* turning out to have write speeds on par with (actually, worse than) 2011-era consumer sata-SSD drives and only slightly better than WD's old Raptors.

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If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

Alan Brown
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Re: Eh?

"Brown is the only one not elected"

Please tell me when the last popular vote for a Prime Minister took place.

Last time I checked, the party with the most votes (or members in the house) formed a committee and picked someone to be their Prime Minister, then that person trotted off to Buck Palace to be asked by Lizzie Windsor if he or she would like to be appointed as Prime Minister for a while.

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Alan Brown
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Re: Re:Re:Eh?

"The political system in terms of FPP is broken, it leads to a two party system"

And as such, the two parties DO NOT want it changed.

It took a lot of effort to get New Zealand switched over to MMP - and only because politicians from both main parties were silly enough to make noises in favour of it when opposition. This was used against them when they got to power and tried to sweep it under the carpet.

It's rather telling that when NZ switched, the establishment tried very hard to convince the public to vote to stay with FPTP or go to the least proportional system (the same one that was on the referendum here) - only to find out in a fairly overwhelming turnout (twice!) that the electorate wanted a change and they wanted MMP.

The extablishment also tried to convince the electorate that they should go back to FPTP after the 20 year trial period in a recent referendum (or change to another form of Proportional representation) - and found out yet again that the electorate LIKE this new form of representation very much thank you and would like to keep it.

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Dutch cops hope to cuff 'hundreds' of suspects after snatching server, snooping on 250,000+ encrypted chat texts

Alan Brown
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Re: That broke rule 1 of creating secure services

> if the Dutch peelers were worried about drugs, I'd have to say the "crime" must have been a biggie,

The Dutch approach is pragmatic: Narcogangs are in it for profit, not for the drugs - and they tend to be rather ruthless about keeping that profit, which is where civilians get hurt, so they do stomp on organised crime quite hard when they find it.

That said, whilst the rest of the world has recently been waking up to the fact that the war on drugs has only succeeded in making narcogangs more profitable (and more dangerous), the Dutch have been under relentless political pressure to tighten up on drug laws and availability of coffeeshops. Ironically most of the more irritating problems they have are caused by German and French addicts nipping over the border, not by locals.

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