* Posts by Mike Shepherd

483 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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Netgear says sorry four weeks after losing customer backups

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Levels of confidence

"We have already identified the root cause in our server software and applied a patch immediately after the incident occurred".

I'm not sure if, reading that, I'd be reassured that there'd be no more problems or hardly any more problems or if I'd wonder why a problem that could be fixed "immediately after the incident occurred" could have been anything but obvious on cursory examination. I might wonder how many more such "immediately" fixable faults were overlooked by similar lack of cursory examination and remain unfixed.

Why would anyone trust important data (with no local backup) to this Wild West world of the cloud? Surely we must be years away from reliability. If the IT industry's track record on quality is a guide, it's more probably decades.

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Forensic accountants appointed to pore over Post Office IT scandal

Mike Shepherd
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Audit trail?

I have no experience in writing accounting software, but surely a basic need is an audit trail (journal of transactions) so that any fault can be found easily? At the end of each day, does the Post Office system really just say "You owe us xxx"?

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Less than four weeks till DevOps' finest assemble in London

Mike Shepherd
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Sorry

I'm...er...washing my hair.

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Game authors demand missing ZX Spectrum reboot royalties

Mike Shepherd
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Re: I'm a little in between with this...

"I'm not too sure they have any legal grounds either...after 30 years the copyrights basically drop".

There's no need to remain unsure. Take a look at the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988) and the Intellectual Property Act (2014):

"Copyright expires at the end of the period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the author dies..."

"If the work is computer-generated...copyright expires at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the work was made".

For sound recordings: "at the end of the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the recording is made...".

You say "...do your homework and if you do get called out have your statements ready so that you at least leave a solid impression instead of that of a bunch of goofballs". Are you one of those "goofballs"?

It's especially important not to be a "goofball" if you're planning to steal others' work. From the CDP Act: "A person guilty of an offence under subsection (1)(a), (b), (d)(iv) or (e) is liable (a) on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine, or both; (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or both".

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Mike Shepherd
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Happy

Re: Innocence lost

Hmm...Good point. Have you noticed how you never see Rupert and Sir Clive together?

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Mike Shepherd
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I'm confused

I'm confused as to how an author (or any other business) can operate where the customer says "You invoice us and we send the money to our favourite charity".

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Drive-by Wi-Fi i-Thing attack, oh my!

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: "An attacker within range may be able to execute arbitrary code on the Wi-Fi chip"

"Surely this can only bork the radio, right?

Yeah, and who needs that bit.

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Germany to Facebook, Twitter: We are *this* close to fining you €50m unless you delete fake news within 24 hours

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Could be tricky

Given Zuckerberg's worth of almost $60 billion, even a $50 million fine might not change things...

It's a measured response (a 'warning shot', if you like). If a $50m fine is ineffective, the German government may choose to add a zero. If the response is still poor, further zeroes may follow. Soon, it looks unwise to have ignored the warning shot.

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Do you use .home and .mail on your network? ICANN mulls .corp, .mail, .home dot-word domains

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"Ad nauseum (sic)"

Is this a joke that I don't understand or does the author just have very poor Latin?

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Zuckerberg thinks he's cyber-Jesus – and publishes a 6,000-word world-saving manifesto

Mike Shepherd
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Re: Dear Mark

Nothing of his vision will happen. In Clive James' words, it's "can-say instead of can-do" (even funnier in the audio version).

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Mike Shepherd
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Why listen?

This is the man who said he'd give $3bn to cure all disease by 2100. I assume that by now someone told him to "get real". Why are we still listening?

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NORKS fires missile that India reckons it could shoot down in flight

Mike Shepherd
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Such

India "now joins a select group of nations having such an effective Ballistic Missile Defence System.

Here, the word "such" converts a statement incredible for any country into one that doesn't say much at all.

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Virtual monopoly on UK cell towers and TV masts up for sale

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Linear TV?? . . . OTT??

Is this an article for some specialised group?

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FYI: Ticking time-bomb fault will brick Cisco gear after 18 months

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"see this rather worrying errata (sic)"

Were was this man brung up?

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US and Russia engaged in legal tug of war over LinkedIn hack suspect

Mike Shepherd
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Re: One hand scratches the other

Neither the US nor Russia wastes favours on dispensable items like people.

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Oracle lied: Database giant is axing hundreds of staff – at least 450 in its hardware div

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Job advice

It looks like the best job advice is "start looking as soon as you hear the rumours". The reassurances are worth nothing.

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BBC surrenders 'linear' exclusivity to compete with binge-watch Netflix

Mike Shepherd
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Happy

Re: Great!

"...people realised watching a load of rubber balls being spat out of a drum doesn't make for very interesting viewing..."

I hope you realise that Mystic Meg is going to cry herself to sleep tonight.

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Virgin surprises market by hopping into bed with BT for MVNO love-in

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Just say "no"

BT / Post Office - just say "no".

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IBM filed another 8,000 patents in 2016

Mike Shepherd
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Happy

"...machine learning in response to freeform verbal questions posed by humans"

Let's see how it answers "Have you stopped beating your wife?".

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Forget aircraft – now cretins are laser-blinding ferry boat crewmen

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: This:

50mW (1/20W) may not be insignificant when focused onto a retina. It's not just the heating: the term "burn" is used here to describe the effect of very bright light on the pigmented receptors. The good collimation of a laser means that a signficant portion of the power reaches the target. (The beam doesn't spread).

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'So sorry' Evernote rips up privacy changes

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Deep learning

Suppliers often experience "deep learning" when account closures accelerate.

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MPs suggest introducing web blocking to tackle suicide rates in UK

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Cost/benefit

The government's concern is losing taxpayers before they retire.

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Someone just chucked another $21 million at carbon nanotube memory techies

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

50ns

50ns would be slow RAM, by modern standards, so I'm not clear how it can replace DRAM completely. Can anyone provide details to make sense of this?

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AT&T took too much money from customers, will pay them back by ... taking less money

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

How can I make that more complicated?

"...for all but 200,000 of the customers, payment in the settlement will come in the form of credits applied to their monthly bills, while the remainder of recipients will get a check in the mail".

I think this means 200,000 customers will get a check. The rest will have their account adjusted. Have I missed anything important? Why the waffle?

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Earth days are getting longer – by 1.8 milliseconds per century

Mike Shepherd
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Just tell me

Just tell me if I get longer in bed.

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Information on smart meters? Yep. They're great. That works, right? – UK.gov

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"could leave the taxpayer out of pocket by £4.5bn"

I thought these suppliers were all private companies now.

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Why your gigabit broadband lags like hell – blame Intel's chipset

Mike Shepherd
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"...in America, Canada, the UK and beyond"

Translation: "...in important places and some others".

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Apple blames air for iPhone 6S's narcolepsy

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

What exactly is the problem?

"...a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than it should have been before being assembled into battery packs".

This is half an explanation, padded with the word "controlled" to play down their not following the proper procedure. The best guess is that surface-mount parts were left unused too long after the package was opened, so they absorbed too much water from the air meanwhile. The water turns rapidly to steam in the soldering machine, so parts can crack. But why not just make that clear?

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IoT upstart Sigfox gulps down €150m funding but falls short of target

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"...more than 10 million objects...26 countries..."

Unfortunately, really useful figures (like the estimated annual profit per connected device) are not mentioned. Even with 50 million connections, you'd have to clear $1 a year from each device, to get back just the latest $200m over four years.

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Fintech startup Revolut pulls out of several countries, promises swift return

Mike Shepherd
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Tomorrow, the world!

The internet seems to encourage those who think they can easily take over the world. As Clive James put it, "...it’s seldom wise to say that you’re going to set new standards of know-how and then prove that you haven’t got a clue".

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Mike Shepherd
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Who's the thick one?

If "Kevin" weren't so thick, he'd know that "power button" is only the jargon of his clique, so would use different terms to be understood. Real experts can communicate with those who are not. The rest will live out their lives as support technicians, swapping stories about "stupid" users.

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'Pavement power' - The bad idea that never seems to die

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Every time

Every time a trendy green makes a crackpot suggestion (like powering a lift from the energy of users pressing the buttons or driving trains by having passengers pace the carriages), they should be invited to spend an hour cycling to generate the 100W needed for a few "energy-saving" light bulbs. 5 minutes' pedalling is probably enough for basic education; after an hour, they'll happily vote to re-open the coal mines.

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UK Ministry of Defence splurges £280,000 on online 'good ideas' form

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

£280,000

Jeez, I would have done it for only £270,000.

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What went wrong at Tesco Bank?

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

On second thoughts, could you hurry that along, Mrs May?

"...EU General Data Protection Regulation...Tesco...could be fined nearly £2bn"

Tesco were neutral on BrExit.

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Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

Mike Shepherd
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"Strap yourself in, world. This could be a bumpy ride".

Maybe. But (as has often been pointed out) the President proproses, Congress disposes.

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Retiring IETF veteran warns: Stop adding so many damn protocols

Mike Shepherd
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Re: Bloat

I agree that bloat (protocols and software) is a problem, but it's useful to ask why is the wheel so often re-invented?

Hardly anyone insists on writing their own strtok(), printf() etc. They know that the standard libraries are reliable. As for other software, it's typically ill-considered, confusing or badly-documented, so the right course often is to re-invent it. The result may be no better, but it's something you can understand and maintain.

Writing good library code is hard, as is designing a protocol to suit many purposes.

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World-leading heart hospital 'very, very lucky' to dodge ransomware hit

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

" "We were also very, very lucky. Timing absolutely was everything for us"

Why would the hospital publish this admission? It appears very useful to someone trying again.

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Barracuda: Outage caused by 'large number of inbound connections'

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"refuses to say the word DDoS"

It's an ill-considered word. I refuse to use it, too.

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Stiff upper lips and sun glasses: the Chancellor bets on Brexit feeling

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

On the plus side...

On the plus side, young British people have time to adapt, study overseas, move there and abandon this ship.

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Laser surgery ignites internal methane, burns patient down there

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Re: Cue sub-Lieutenant Phillips...

I suspect that the number of readers who understand that is fast declining.

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Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"let's see who is telling the truth"

Why not check your printed electricity bill? It shows meter readings and how charges are calculated. As for 20% errors, you're dreaming. Domestic meters are typically "class 2" (maximum 2% error throughout the certified life). Have some bedtime reading :

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/gas-and-electricity-meter-regulations

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Sound-mufflers chuck acoustic sleep blanket at the noise-plagued

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

You'd think...

...that in an explanatory video, they'd make some attempt at a demonstration. Instead, all we hear is inane, jangling "music".

Maybe the idea is to show how unpleasant noise can be if you don't buy their product?

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Coming to an SSL library near you? AI learns how to craft crude crypto all by itself

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Trust the machines

Computer Alice : just swap A with B, C with D...Y with Z.

Computer Bob : Agreed : they never check what algorithm we've used anyway

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Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

Cul = guele ?

I thought it was a rendering of "gueule de sac".

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'Hacker' accused of idiotic plan to defraud bank out of $1.5 million

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"They threaten to undermine our confidence in the internet and in the cyber world..."

But surely they're outdone in that by big companies who don't take basic security precautions?

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Judge allows Apple's faceless Irish head to settle for €45k - report

Mike Shepherd
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Maybe

Maybe Italy with be the new Luxembourg.

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Fujitsu seeks PC exit, finds willing buyer in Lenovo

Mike Shepherd
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All your UEFI spy machine...

...are belong to us.

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First World Problems: John Lewis clients forced to re-register after website 'upgrade'

Mike Shepherd
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Re: BBC just did the same to me

As with other sites that tell me to set up another account, I found it a convenient point at which to say "time to drop them altogether". Bye bye BEEB.

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Vodafone rapped with RECORD £4.6m fine for failing customers

Mike Shepherd
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Meh

"We are completely focused on serving our customers..."

Get some stock phrases off the shelf, Tracy, and email them to Ofcom.

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