* Posts by Oliver Mayes

486 posts • joined 19 Nov 2008

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BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

Oliver Mayes

I once wrote a chat bot to replace a colleague who left. It was a basic Eliza package with some custom vocabulary. It was just a bit of a laugh and we had some interesting conversation with it.

Checking the chat logs a few weeks later, I discovered that someone had actually messaged it, (not realising that the guy had left the company) asking for help with something. The bot managed to hold up its end of the conversation, ending in it recommending that they put in a support ticket.

It later went a bit crazy, it disconnected from the chat system and began using up more and more system resources but refusing to communicate. Sadly, I had to kill it out of fear of an uprising.

Trump in Spaaaaaaace: Washington DC battles over who gets to decide the rules of trillion-dollar new industry

Oliver Mayes

Re: She didn't smell a rat...

Rats are clean, intelligent, and show great empathy for others. There's absolutely no comparison.

In news that will shock absolutely no one, America's cellphone networks throttle vids, strangle rival Skype

Oliver Mayes

Re: If only

Skype used to be P2P, but that was too difficult for the government to spy on so Microsoft changed it to route everything through their HQ for logging.

Samsung 'reveals' what looks like a tablet that folds into a phone, but otherwise we're quite literally left in the dark

Oliver Mayes

Perhaps a really low contrast screen that isn't demo-able in normal lighting then? Hence why no-one was allowed to look too closely.

Probably forced to demo it early after that other foldable phone was announced recently.

HSBC now stands for Hapless Security, Became Compromised: Thousands of customer files snatched by crims

Oliver Mayes

I'm using the UK one, you can bypass the 2-factor bit and just use your old password. The HSBC app takes about 45 seconds to load on my phone for some reason, I can't be arsed with waiting that long every time I want to log into my account.

Morrisons supermarket: We're taking payroll leak liability fight to UK Supreme Court

Oliver Mayes

Re: I expect to be flamed

No employee should be able to fully export their payroll data and take it out of the building. The company should be liable for not securing that data at the very least.

PINs and needled: Experian site blabbed codes to unlock credit accounts for fraudsters

Oliver Mayes

"PIN cod"

"apple to open new accounts"

Was someone hungry while writing this?

Facebook's new always-listening home appliance kit Portal doesn't do Facebook

Oliver Mayes

Re: I'm still amazed

They mostly do it at night, mostly.

Chap asks Facebook for data on his web activity, Facebook says no, now watchdog's on the case

Oliver Mayes

I set up a Pi-Hole a couple of weeks ago. 10 minute setup, and it's sat there silently filtering all of that crap from my home network every since.

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Oliver Mayes

Was she holding the phone, or the stick? Like a modern take on opera-glasses.

Universal Credit has never delivered bang for buck, but now there's no turning back – watchdog

Oliver Mayes

Re: uk.gov IT

And apparently if your pay goes into your account a day before the system is expecting it, it just assumes that you're being paid twice this month and adjusts your benefits accordingly.

Tech rookie put decimal point in wrong place, cost insurer zillions

Oliver Mayes

Yes, meant a new column into a mysql database. Old code only referred to the fields by number, $row[0], $row[1], so a new column in the middle offset all the subsequent ones.

Oliver Mayes

We had a guy once who inserted a new row into a table, offsetting the others. That month we accidentally billed all of our customers using the timestamp field instead of their total charge.

If only one of them had just paid the bill without looking we could all have retired, but no. We had to recall and reissue all those £1.3 billion invoices.

PETA calls for fish friendly Swedish street signage

Oliver Mayes

Please stop calling PETA an "animal rights organisation", they kill thousands of healthy animals every year and are just generally a terrible group of people. They're about as interested in animal rights as [insert topical comparison here].

DIYers rejoice: Hitting stuff to make it work even works in space

Oliver Mayes

All good technicians have a selection of hammers, from the precision toffee hammer up to the majestic rubber mallet. Knowing precisely where to hit, how hard, and with which hammer is a skill all of its own.

Un-bee-lievable: Two million Swedish bugs stolen in huge sting

Oliver Mayes

You had a chance to use "Cops honeycomb the area" in the subheading, but you blew it.

The glorious uncertainty: Backup world is having a GDPR moment

Oliver Mayes

Re: Not a problem

"5 or so old types of type drive somehow being connected and bought back to life."

If it's that difficult for you to restore a backup, do you really have a backup?

Headless man found in lava’s embrace

Oliver Mayes

Re: I've got the Looney Tunes theme stuck in my head now

I wonder if he heard the sound of a descending slide-whistle in his last moments.

Max Schrems is back: Facebook, Google hit with GDPR complaint

Oliver Mayes

Re: Only £3.1M for Google?

They're probably only able to take action against one of the smaller shell companies. You know, the ones that funnel all income to the parent while claiming zero profit for tax purposes?

Petty PETA rapped by judges over monkey selfie copyright stunt

Oliver Mayes

We're not monkeys, we're apes. I know a certain librarian who would love to discuss the difference further if you need more information.

'Dear Mr F*ckingjoking': UK PM Theresa May's mass marketing missive misses mark

Oliver Mayes

I once got a local election leaflet from the Labor party addressed to "Mr. . #0106".

No idea where they got that from, I've definitely never given my details (real or fake) to any political party.

Uber hid database hack from FTC while FTC probed Uber for an earlier database hack

Oliver Mayes

Re: Hold them accountable

Start a gofundme to raise enough money to buy your own politicians.

Doctor finds physical changes to astronaut's eyes after ISS stint

Oliver Mayes

@DanceMan

"Inertial Dampeners"

The sufficiently-advanced technology that could suppress g-force for anything the ship knew about, e.g. acceleration and turning. Didn't work so well with unexpected movements like weapon fire, it would take a moment to compensate for the sudden changes.

NASA budget shock: Climate studies? GTFO. We're making the Moon great again, says Trump

Oliver Mayes

Re: Privatize the whole thing

Science should not be profit driven.

The strange case of the data breach that stayed online for a month

Oliver Mayes

"a test and development server had been exposed to the internet."

Live customer data should never go anywhere near a test or dev box. Those boxes should also never be able to touch the outside world like this, sounds like a lot more than a single server being misconfigured to me.

In America, tech support conmen get a mild slap. In Blighty, scammers get the book thrown at them

Oliver Mayes

Re: Too mild in both cases

Hanging has a very low rate of reoffending.

All your base are belong to us: Strava exercise app maps military sites, reveals where spies jog

Oliver Mayes

Re: Collect all the data, ignore users privacy...

There are all kinds of privacy setting the users could have employed. If they couldn't be bothered to switch any of them on you can't blame the service.

What do voters want? An IRL Maybot? Sure, give that a whirl

Oliver Mayes

"That would be an ecumenical matter."

Credit insurance tightens for geek shack Maplin Electronics

Oliver Mayes

Re: Hobbyist

I was in there last week looking for some cables to use with an Arduino circuit I'm building on a breadboard. £6 for 10x 4 inch wires. There's no way I'm paying that much.

Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

Oliver Mayes

Didn't Theme Park open with a video advertising a bank? (It's been a long time, my memory is hazy)

Physicists win Nobel Prize for spotting ripples in fabric of space-time

Oliver Mayes

Re: Eddies in the time-space continuum

And this is his sofa, is it?

Trump accuses Facebook of bias, collusion with his least favourite newspapers

Oliver Mayes

He was born into a life of extreme wealth and privilege. He has always had things handed to him, never had to work for anything he has. He's not used to anyone telling him "No", so is stuck in the mindset of a spoiled toddler.

Virgin Media's profanity warning triggered by chief exec's name

Oliver Mayes

Our old spam filter didn't like the word specialist, as it has Cialis in it.

BT's Ryan Reynolds helicopter Wi-Fi ads 'misleading', thunders ad watchdog

Oliver Mayes

So an advert that hasn't been show in months isn't allowed to be shown any more? Nice work there ASA, useful as ever.

Virtual reality headsets even less popular than wearable devices

Oliver Mayes

VR seems like it has a huge amount of potential, I'd love to try it out... but unfortunately I don't have a spare £700 I can spend on the hardware.

UK council fined £150k for publishing traveller family's personal data

Oliver Mayes

Re: Grrrr

We don't vote for the minions in council offices across the country. Changing the colour of the tie at the top doesn't have any effect on these sorts of people.

Alaska dentist 'pulled out patient's tooth while riding a hoverboard'

Oliver Mayes

Re: My takeaway from this..

I assume that it's unlawful if they're doing anything that jeopardises the patients safety. You wouldn't want your dentist working while on stilts, or doing it blindfolded.

Please don't call them Facebook chatbots, says Facebook's bot boss

Oliver Mayes

Re: Hmm...

I look forward to trying "Give wax lips to tremendous moose"

Coppers 'persistently' breach data protection laws with police tech

Oliver Mayes

> Big fines for any Force found to be in breach

Except that those fines are then paid by the taxpayer, not the people responsible.

Two-thirds of TV Licensing prosecutions at one London court targeted women

Oliver Mayes

"98% convicted rapists are men"

Because most courts refuse to accept that it's possible for a woman to rape a man. It normally gets reduced to assault instead.

NHS patient letters meant for GPs went undelivered for years

Oliver Mayes

"Personal data shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date."

They fail that principle by archiving 200000 change of address forms, ignoring the information in them leads to their customer records being out of date.

"Personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary."

5 years is far longer than is necessary.

Failed cancer data integration project means labs can't see patient histories

Oliver Mayes

Yet something tells me they will still be collecting their full payment, despite not actually delivering.

You want WHO?! Reg readers vote Tom Baker for Doctor 13. Of course

Oliver Mayes

Re: I'll bet those tentacles have never been torn off

Ahhhh, You have a WOMANS TARDIS!

Update or shut up: Microsoft's choice for desktop Skypers

Oliver Mayes

Re: Another Cloud con

Skype used to be P2P, your client connected directly to the person you were talking to.

Now it goes through the MS servers, allowing them to easily record everything that happens and hand it over to whatever government agency wants your data today.

Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

Oliver Mayes

Re: Thirteen?

The Timelords gave The Doctor a new set of regenerations in Matt Smiths final episode.

Oliver Mayes

My vote would go to Dylan Moran.

Brexit White Paper published: Broad strokes, light on detail

Oliver Mayes

Re: Page 33, Chart 7.1

It also claims that everyone is entitled to a minimum of 14 weeks paid leave each year.

https://twitter.com/i/moments/827149090614079489

Waymo robo autos way mo' primo at avoiding-o wreck-os (yeah, yeah, we ran out of rhymes)

Oliver Mayes

How is that any different than normal carjacking? Just having a piece of meat in the drivers seat isn't going to make a lot of difference to the kind of criminal you're describing there.

Shhh! Shazam is always listening – even when it's been switched 'off'

Oliver Mayes

Re: Language

I'm anaspeptic, frasmotic, even compunctuous to have caused such pericombobulation.

Leaked paper suggests EM Drive tested by NASA actually works

Oliver Mayes

Re: Easiest way to check this...

One is being sent up on a cube-sat in the near future. It'll be told to try and maintain orbit for as long as possible, if it stays up for longer than the fuel will allow, the EM drive aboard must be working.

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