* Posts by Chris King

1032 posts • joined 13 Feb 2009


TalkTalk returns to the email hall of shame as Pipex accounts throw weekend-long wobbly

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Venn Diagram Please

I was with Nildram around the same time. The deterioration in service was very sudden, with things like DNS suddenly blowing up at random and e-mail bouncing higher than a cheque on the wrong side of pay day. Funny how UK-based tech support disappeared around the same time !

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Claranet Email

"Claranet... Now that is a name that brings back the memories of a bygone era..."

...an era where the MD would ring you on a Sunday lunchtime to personally apologize for a billing cock-up that maxed out your credit card, and to offer mucho compensation for the inconvience.

Nildram also squeezed apologies out of BT Wholesale when my ADSL went phut on a Saturday night. I've no idea what they said to BTW, but it got me a grovelling apology on voicemail the next day, along with a priority fix.

Sadly, this was just before the Tiscali take-over, and every support call became "Have you turned it off and on again ?"

"No point. YOUR DNS servers are DOWN, that's why I'm calling YOU"

TalkTalk - the company that claimed IPv6 used six-byte addressing (seriously, this was on their domestic support portal) before accidentally blocking access to said portal with THEIR OWN content filtering system. I wish I'd kept the screenshots, that's a level of muppetry that has to be seen to be believed !

AAISP can still give BT and TalkTalk a good kicking if either of them mess about.

TalkTalk kept my email account active for 8 years after I left – now it's spamming my mates

Chris King Silver badge

Re: I can confirm...

"some news sites simply won't allow a change of email address, would you believe it"

Not just news sites - and the worst of it is when "support" takes a month to tell you that they can't actually change the e-mail address associated with your account anyway, then waste even more time trying to delete it.

Danger mouse! Potent rodents 'see' infrared after eyeballs injected with nanoparticles

Chris King Silver badge

Danger Mouse

Well, that would have made all those "eyes in the dark" fight sequences in the original series even more one-sided - and they did a lot of them to keep the costs down.

The new series updated this old trope with Greenback shouting "Fools ! I have night-vision goggles !" then asking Stiletto to turn the lights back on so he could find them.

(Yes, I also watched the new Clangers as well - growing OLD is compulsory, growing UP is a different matter)

'They took away our Cup-a-Soup!' Share your tales of bleak breakout areas with us

Chris King Silver badge

El Reg talks to PornHub sister biz AgeID – and an indie pornographer – about age verification

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Huge loophole?

Sooooo, all a pr0n website has to do to avoid doing age checks is to put up two thirds of their content as "not adult". Regardless of your opinion on age checks, you've got to admit that's one big loophole right there

AKA the old "I only read Playboy for the informative articles" defence.

Intel to finally scatter remaining ashes of Itanium to the wind in 2021: Final call for doomed server CPU line

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Finally !

"Sink the Itanic" becomes an appropriate comment !

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Header pic

"And one chemistry lesson came to an abrupt end when the Bomb Squad rolled in"

Bah, you've never had the Fire Brigade turn up (unannounced) in hazard gear to collect a Strontium 90 ** sample, have you ?

(** EDIT: Someone told them it was a -90 sample, but it was actually a lump of the naturally-occurring stuff that ISN'T terribly radioactive)

It's Shodan embarrassing: Red-faced Rubrik blames public-facing DB on developer ballsup

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Quite a statement

Oh, it wasn't "exposed". The intruders just sneaked off with it.

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Disappointed

“Look at you, hacker: a pathetic creature of meat and bone, panting and sweating as you run through my corridors. How can you challenge a perfect, immortal machine ?”

I take it you know about the reboot ?

'Nun' drops goat head on pavement outside Cheltenham 'Spoons

Chris King Silver badge

Okay, so you linked to a movie, and didn't even bother with the obligatory Father Ted scene...


Microsoft's Master Chief calls time on Cortana as a standalone AI platform

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Turning her evil in Halo 5 wasn't enough...

...so SatNad just threw her under a Warthog.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Favorite prompts


Not really what you want a customer Big Cheese to see, when ceremonially starting up a new system at a launch event...

Goddamn the Pusher man: Nominet kicks out domain name hijack bid

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Similar experience

Been there, seen that, got the t-shirt.

Buying up multiple domains and pointing them at the same content is as lethal to your search engine ranking as stuffing pages full of irrelevant META tags. Yes, people still pull this "SEO" crap, then wonder why they only appear on page 30 of Google's results.

I've also had to chase down former employees to get domains renewed/transferred. As I've said before, they're assets, and should be treated as such. Keep track of them, and don't let random people register them on your behalf - or at least get them to transfer such domains to you before they leave.

Chris King Silver badge

Re: How about some grace time after expiry?

"And if they didn't feel the need to pay another £60, I have to question whether it was actually THAT important to their business anyway?"

Exactly - if it's THAT important to your business, then it's an ASSET, and should be treated like one.

Chris King Silver badge

Re: How about some simple logic ?

Actually, that's what JANET does with .ac.uk domains. Even though the application process is web-based these days, all applications go through a Naming Committee and the applicant has to justify why they want a particular .ac.uk domain. They can be quite fussy about what they'll accept, but no money changes hands until the application is accepted.

They also have a specific rule for "Generic" domain names - from their Eligibility Policy:

"Generic domain names, which could be applicable to a number of eligible sites, must provide evidence that they have the backing and approval from the majority of relevant members of the UK academic and/or research community, in order to be permitted to have that generic domain name".

This mostly covers domain names based on a single dictionary word, but anything which could be legitimartely claimed by multiple sites can also come under this rule.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

Chris King Silver badge

Re: And another old name is discarded...

As I recall, the Orange ROMP pretty much died the death when Orange changed hands from Hutchison to France Telecom - the point at which most of the technical innovations like Line 2, Fax and Wildfire got canned.

But hey, we got the "Animal" tariffs and discounted cinema tickets/pizzas, right ? Yay for mediocrity.

Chris King Silver badge

And another old name is discarded...

I was with Demon from 1996 to 2000, on Tenner-a-Month and back in the days when they were still technically competent. Anyone remember the Orange ROMP for mobile users ? 9.6K ISDN-like dialup on GSM mobile (HSCSD), before the days of GPRS - hideously expensive (10p/minute) but being able to check e-mail on the move with a Psion 5MX and Ericsson SH888 was quite something back then.

Demon as I knew it died years ago - I remember a colleage migrating to ADSL to keep his static IP, and having no end of problems. By then I was was on Nildram (another name long gone) and eventually migrated to AAISP.

Not many ISP's left from the early days...

Demon - pretty much a shambling zombie in the hands of C&W and then Vodafone, and about to be put out of its misery ;

Pipex - ended up as part of Tiscali, and eventually died as a brand with TalkTalk Business ;

Nildram - ditto ;

EasyNet - originally sold to Sky, but has had a procession of new owners since then ;

ZetNet - went bust and was picked up by Breathe ;

EntaNet - still around, but part of City Fibre ;

Force 9 - merged into PlusNet ;

Elite - still around, but more business-oriented ;

Freeserve - became Wanadoo, then Orange Home, then EE Broadband and eventually part of BT.

Zen are one of the few survivors from that era, along with AAISP and ClaraNet (but they're more business-oriented now).

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider

Chris King Silver badge

"Yeah? You wait until you get a dairy cow climbing up the bath plughole, you'll soon change your tune!"

"Hello, my name is Inigo Moo-ntoya, you killed my father, prepare to die."

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame

Chris King Silver badge

Re: In education

Back when Dilbert was published in the Today newspaper in wobbly EddieShahVision, we used to have a "Dilbert Rota" for pinning the latest strip on the notice board if it that day's strip was relevant.

The other guys on the rota were a fair bit taller than me, so I had to take a running jump at the board to pin it at a suitable height.

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Workplace Darwin Awards?

Boyzone.com was another one that caused some hiliarity - some of the students would hit it instead of the boy-band's URL, and get more in the way of flesh tones than they were expecting. I even had a couple dob themselves in for making the mistake, I toild them not to worry about it but don't make a habit of visiting regularly because other students would just point and laugh at them.

I had a similar experience once, just by missing out a hyphen.

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Access Denied

It wasn't just URL's that were affected. An over-enthusiastic regex test in SpamAssassin (FUZZY_XPILL ?) would trigger if people used "Oxon" instead of "Oxfordshire" in a snail-mail address in their signature - stick the postcode straight after it (OX whatever), and you got flagged as pink-and-porky for peddling pills.

That made dealing with JANET and Travelodge... Interesting... for a while.

Error pop-up? Don't worry, let's just get this migration done... BTW it's my day off tomorrow

Chris King Silver badge

Re: took the day off

"So everyone not in IT thinks it was all a ruse by IT techs to get paids loads".

I didn't get paid an extra bean. They even chained up the door to the computer centre just in case the heating control system set fire to everything, that's how confident they were. (I did point out that this was the same type of heating control system that covered student halls, which were still occupied by a few overseas students over Christmas)

Just after midnight, I quickly checked the most critical systems, said "Meh, my stuff's fine, everything else can go whistle" and went back to partying like it wasn't 1999 any more.

Some sites turned EVERYTHING off, just in case. Some of them then discovered that leaving stuff powered down but still plugged in won't necessarily save it from a nearby lightning strike. Just when you think you've covered all possibilities in your disaster recovery plan, Mother Nature says "Hold my beer".

Chris King Silver badge

"Forget professors and lecturers - if you get on the good side of secretaries, security, storesmen and technicians (including syshacks) you can get absolutely anything done and in an amazingly short time".

Oh hell yeah, and I bet this earned the Prof a "Laser Stare of Doom" for a long time afterwards !

(Icon, for a Prof reflecting on bad life choices)

Chris King Silver badge

Re: been there - done that

UK web site suddenly selling little blue pills in Canadian Dollar values - domain renewal allowed to lapse. Seen that happen all too often.

Dev's telnet tinkering lands him on out-of-hour conference call with CEO, CTO, MD

Chris King Silver badge

Re: About a billion years ago in internet time (call it 1986) ...

Obligatory "Yeah, but wot about Johnny Alpha?"

Letting him loose in your manufacturing facility with a Westinghouse Variable-Cartridge Blaster isn't going to end well, is it ?


Time for a cracker joke: What's got one ball and buttons in the wrong place?

Chris King Silver badge

Re: New???

"...plugged into an ISDN TA rather than the 10/100 NIC. (Both RJ45)"

I used to see this a lot with German students turning up with hand-me-down PC's. Usually reported as a "No network" problem, and the sole RJ45 connector on the machine would be attached to an AVM Fritz! ISDN card.

Official: Voyager 2 is now an interstellar spacecraft

Chris King Silver badge

Re: I was around 50 years ago, just barely

If you can't find one of the old replicas, there was a Kickstarter project that produced a vinyl version for the 40th anniversary.

Check out Ozma Records for more information. I pledged for one and it cost me almost as much to ship it to the UK as I pledged for it.

Dine crime: Chippy sells deep fried Xmas dinner

Chris King Silver badge

Re: festive fried food

One of my local chippies also does the pigs-in-blankets and deep fried mince pies, plus deep-fried Christmas cake and Walnut Whips.

HCL picks up Notes, spanks total of $1.8bn at Honest John's IBM software sale

Chris King Silver badge

Re: That's a lot of notes for Notes

Notes and Windows have both evolved, but sadly not in the "awesome superpowers" sort of way.

Giraffe hacks printers worldwide to promote God-awful YouTuber. Did we read that one right?

Chris King Silver badge

But I don't want to be a pie...

I don't like gravy !

(Lawyers for Aardman Animation on line one)

Millennials 'horrify' their neighbours with knob-shaped lights display

Chris King Silver badge

"When you walk home you just don't expect to come face to face with an enormous penis on a wall."

Sometimes, it's not even a human one.

The mural is still there, but Dobbin is not so pleased to see his master these days.

Microsoft sysadmin hired for fake NetWare skills keeps job despite twitchy trigger finger

Chris King Silver badge

I only used an agency once in my career...

...and they set me up for an interview with a company that had gone bankrupt a few days earlier.

Turning up at the location, the empty building and chained-up gates kind of gave the game away.

Chris King Silver badge

CV okay but HR screwed up

I was once interviewed for an industrial placement at DEC, and the interview came to an abrupt halt when the interviewer started asking me how and where I learned Arabic.

Turns out their HR had accidentally short-listed me for a post specialising in DECWindows Arabic localisation rather than a standard placement, and sent to a different interview location to where I should have been.

Needless to say, I didn't get the job, and my placement tutor tore me a new one for being a "no-show" for my proper interview - he did apologise when DEC 'fessed up to their mistake.

What the #!/%* is that rogue Raspberry Pi doing plugged into my company's server room, sysadmin despairs

Chris King Silver badge

Vision Direct 'fesses up to hack that exposed customer names, payment cards

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"still supports TLS1.0"

If that server is handling card data (and not handing off to a payment gateway), it's not compliant under PCI DSS 3.2.1 - SSL 3.0 and "Early TLS" (1.0) got the chop in June.

Bright spark dev irons out light interference

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Have you ever put something apparently useless to good use?

"I bet you don't even use your wheelie bins and just leave rubbish sacks next to them".

Or he just puts his rubbish in other peoples' bins, just like everyone else does (so I'm told *whistles innocently*)

Microsoft lobs Windows 10, Server Oct 2018 update at world (minus file-nuking 'feature') after actually doing some testing

Chris King Silver badge

Re: PCI compliance

Critical patches within one month, everything else within an "appropriate time frame" (e.g. 3 months) - isn't that what PCI's documents and training courses state ?

Of course, Microsoft had to make that so much more difficult by bundling up patches and making it harder to apply/test just the critical ones.

Chris King Silver badge

"Extensive internal validation"

TRANSLATION: We threw more animated Ninja Cat GIF's at the Insiders.

Can your rival fix it as fast? turns out to be ten-million-dollar question for plucky support guy

Chris King Silver badge

Re: I'm just going to say...

If you're going to have him run over in the car park by the bin lorry, remember - ONE set of tyre marks BFEORE the body. You don't want it to look like they reversed over him several times just to make sure.

And THAT's just for using Flash. You really don't want to know what most of us would do for that Javascript over-ride.

Has science gone too far? Now boffins dream of shining gigantic laser pointer into space to get aliens' attention

Chris King Silver badge

This won't end well...

The aliens have probably been observing our world, and decided that we're still too primitive, stupid and violent enough to bother dealing with. ("We shall wait for the ignorant monkeys to blow themselves off the face of the planet, then begin negotiations with the cockroaches")

What if they interpret that laser beam as saying "come and have a go if you think you're hard enough" ? I mean, it's bad enough that we sent the Voyager probes out with a bunch of nude pics of ourselves and told them where we live.,

Clunk, bang, rattle: Is that a ghost inside your machine?

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Library of Doom

"Knowledge is power, stacks and stacks of books are just evil"

Librarians are made of stronger stuff than mere mortals

The best way to screw the competition? Do what they can't, in a fraction of the time

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Nah.

"I don't play those games. I'd rather lose a contract if the client is a shit. Life's too short".

If a client treats you like that at the start of a relationship, what are they going to be like towards the end of it, i.e. the bit where you're supposed to get paid ?

Congrats from 123-Reg! You can now pay us an extra £6 or £12 a year for basically nothing

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Speaking of domain hosting

"how is the experience with Mythic Beasts, anyone?"

I've been with them for web hosting and e-mail for over 10 years. Reliable, clued-up, and excellent support on the few occasions when I've needed it. One-click automatic DNSSEC, easy SSL certificate setup with LetsEncrypt at no extra cost on domains you host with them, and if you can't stretch to a dedicated server you can even host on a Raspberry Pi or Mac Mini in their data centres.

Not the cheapest out there, but pretty decent.

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

Chris King Silver badge

"To be fair the ten commandments were written on a tablet".

And they came down from a cloud.

Chris King Silver badge

Re: I have a code of conduct

I think along the lines of "Use common sense and don't be a dick towards other people", but these days Equality & Diversity seems to need a manual and a mandatory training course before it is taken seriously.

Can't get pranked by your team if nobody in the world can log on

Chris King Silver badge

You'd leave them a bicycle pump ? Haven't they got lungs ?!

Google Cloud chief joins Saudi shindig exodus over journalist's worrying disappearance

Chris King Silver badge

Re: There are Futuristic AI Forks in Roads to be Travelled though, ...

"Unless they control their own batteries and spare parts..."

So when they've tethered us all to giant hamster wheels to charge their batteries (or forced us to work in their factories) we'll know who gave them the idea...


Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

Chris King Silver badge

Re: Is Julian's cat leaving little "presents" on the carpet in the Ecuadorian embassy?

"And what happens to Mittens if Julian is thrown in a British pokey??"

Mittens gets a new Forever Home and heaves a big sigh of relief ?

Chris King Silver badge

Maybe they have a point ?

Scrub the bog and scoop the litter tray - even most teenagers get the hang of both eventually, even if there is much wailing of "Awwwwwwww, mum !"


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