* Posts by Mike Shepherd

509 posts • joined 23 Aug 2008

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Tell us what you're doing in DevOps, Containers, and Agile

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Tell us what you've stopped doing too...

I've stopped reading articles about snake oil.

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Customers cheesed off after card details nicked in Pizza Hut data breach

Mike Shepherd

Not until the credit card companies are made jointly liable.

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Co-op Bank's users moan over online wobbles

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Ethical

Had a house sale complete today, so would like to move some funds, but...

Well, I look on the bright side: at least they claim to be "ethical". And perhaps they are (if you overlook the occasional drug-taking and procurement of rent boys by senior management).

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Cortana, please finish my sentences in Skype texts for me

Mike Shepherd
Meh

But...

It will take a lot of AI to make up for having nothing important to say.

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Mike Shepherd
Meh

"It looks like you're writing a letter"

I suppose it could work, if it's not another annoying elbow-nudger.

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Dumb bug of the week: Apple's macOS reveals your encrypted drive's password in the hint box

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Hints

Password hints can only weaken the security of a password. Apple just did it better, that's all.

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Sole Equifax security worker at fault for failed patch, says former CEO

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"Sole...worker at fault..."

That's convenient. No need, then, for the company to shrivel and die like Arthur Andersen.

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MH370 final report: Aussies still don’t know where it crashed or why

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Man up

"...societally unacceptable...for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of..."

As a kid, I would wander from home, maybe climb a tree or two. I recall once for a thrill making my way across a railway bridge (on the outside). If I'd never made it home I doubt that the world would be much different now. I quite like the notion that there are still places you could disappear and never be found, somewhere still neglected by Amber Rudd, GCHQ and the CIA. If you step outside your home or fly across an ocean, there's a risk. It would be useful to know what happened, but that's a long way from insisting that we monitor every inch of the planet (unless you're a company looking to sell numerous radar and other systems to satisfy those who can't handle uncertainty).

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Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Re: The whole thing's stupid

If I remember correctly, packet switching was conceived by a Welshman (Donald Davies) who invented the concept of a router and did the hard work in analysis of problems like network congestion. On that basis, the internet is Welsh. Any more stupid ideas?

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Don't panic, but.. ALIEN galaxies are slamming Earth with ultra-high-energy cosmic rays

Mike Shepherd
Happy

I got a sudden warm feeling

You can still sleep soundly at night...Particles with an energy level greater than 10 EeV, and typically arriving from beyond the Milky Way, tend to hit Earth at a rate of one per square kilometre per year.

That's no consolation if you happen to be standing there at the time. I think 10EeV is about 2J?

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NBD: Adobe just dumped its private PGP key on the internet

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Who copied whom?

The article is very similar to this one. Neither acknowledges the other (or any common source). I thought the whole point of a link was that you didn't need to duplicate.

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Homeland Security drops the hammer on Kaspersky Lab with preemptive ban

Mike Shepherd
Meh

In plain sight?

"There are two possibilities...1...Kaspersky is a tool of the FSB..."

If so, you'd think the FSB would choose a more American name, perhaps "Dexter" or "LeRoy".

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Want to get up to speed on machine learning? We've got a deal for you

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Want to get up to speed on machine learning?

No.

3
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Florida man is world's fastest flasher: Just 53 quintillionths of a sec

Mike Shepherd
IT Angle

Video

No doubt this has uses, but it's not clear how it can help to "...shoot slow-motion video of electrons and atoms...". However short the pulse, surely an electron which absorbs an X-ray photon will immediately head off at high speed, so won't be around to be "videoed". If the photon isn't absorbed, I assume it just passed by. Can anyone explain?

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Microsoft breaks Office 365 sign-in pages ahead of surprise update

Mike Shepherd
Meh

MBA talk?

...we believe that this sets us up for an exciting future of innovation in the sign-in space

When you read this kind of drivel, expect trouble.

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Everything you never knew about mail: The Postal Museum opens

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Multimedia

How about the full multimedia experience? Visitors could enjoy dealing with a crotchety postmistress or learn about the Post Office Act. We're sorry to hear that your Recorded Delivery item is missing without a signature, but there's no refund as we don't guarantee anything. Here's a book of stamps. Now go away.

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Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

Mike Shepherd

Awww....

Only one vote...that's so sad! I'll get my boyfriend to sign it.

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Google hit with record antitrust fine of €2.4bn by Europe

Mike Shepherd

"Alphabet had revenues of 90Bn last year". Revenue is not profit and the court hasn't said "This is our final settlement": these fines can be applied again and again, if needed.

"Other solutions...have to be considered". No, courts have standard means by which penalties are imposed e.g. fines or (for criminal cases) imprisonment (or worse, in some countries). Although other means may be available to the court, they don't "have" to use them to suit you or the defendant.

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4

Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

Mike Shepherd
Meh

I'm shocked, *shocked* to find that spying is going on in here

'The former MI5 chief said...she went to Moscow to make "first contact" with the KGB. "I found myself facing a long line of KGB officers in their headquarters".'

The surprise must have ranked with that of visiting a nudist camp and finding it full of naked people.

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Hyperloop One teases idea of 50-minute London-Edinburgh ride

Mike Shepherd
Meh

But...

But I don't want to go to London at any speed. Besides, I thought we were all "telecommuting" by now?

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Capita payments service Pay360 goes TITSUP

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Euphemisms

"...we continue to treat this issue...major issue...Once this issue is resolved...some of our customers have experienced technical issues"

It's not a problem, then? Just an "issue" (or maybe a "challenge").

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Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

Mike Shepherd

Re: So, are the Swedes going to pay

The UK will pick up the tab, in support of the US empire.

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3

What could go wrong? Delta to use facial recog to automate bag drop-off

Mike Shepherd
Meh

...agents will be freed up to...deliver more proactive and thoughtful customer service

Reaccommodation?

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ATM security devs rush out patch after boffins deliver knockout blow

Mike Shepherd
Meh

It's difficult to take ATMs seriously on security...

It's difficult to take ATMs seriously on security when they show adverts. Given the struggle to make any software secure, adding unnecessary parts to financial applications seems, at best, ill-advised.

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Yeah, keep buying those SSDs, grins Seagate: Your data will be on our disks eventually, muaha

Mike Shepherd
Meh

"Seagate made a canine evening meal..."

Midday, surely?

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Netgear says sorry four weeks after losing customer backups

Mike Shepherd
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
Meh

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
Meh

Sorry

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

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Game authors demand missing ZX Spectrum reboot royalties

Mike Shepherd
Meh

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
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
Meh

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
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
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
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
Meh

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
Meh

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
Meh

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
Meh

Linear TV?? . . . OTT??

Is this an article for some specialised group?

4
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FYI: Ticking time-bomb fault will brick Cisco gear after 18 months

Mike Shepherd
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
Meh

Re: One hand scratches the other

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

3
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Oracle lied: Database giant is axing hundreds of staff – at least 450 in its hardware div

Mike Shepherd
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.

2
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BBC surrenders 'linear' exclusivity to compete with binge-watch Netflix

Mike Shepherd
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.

0
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Virgin surprises market by hopping into bed with BT for MVNO love-in

Mike Shepherd
Meh

Just say "no"

BT / Post Office - just say "no".

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IBM filed another 8,000 patents in 2016

Mike Shepherd
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
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
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
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
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
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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