* Posts by Mike Lewis

71 posts • joined 18 Apr 2009

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Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

Mike Lewis

You can use picture hooks for cooling

https://i.imgur.com/vo2zlBm.jpg

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Mike Lewis

Re: I always like when people put flammable materials...

When I started working at one company, I saw that they were storing half-empty paint tins in the same cupboard as the fuse box. That cupboard was located between our offices and the stairs, cutting off escape if it caught fire. I got my manager to move them.

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Mike Lewis

Re: Only cracking I have done is

A program I was using on a UNIX box was setuid root. It had a menu option to start a shell which turned out to be a root shell. I reported the security hole to the sysadmin and my manager and thought nothing more about it. One day, the sysadmin was away and we had four programmers starting. My manager asked me to break in and set up their home directories. I did so and told the sysadmin what I had done when he returned so he could check my work. He was fine about it but my manager was furious that I had told him, saying the sysadmin would fix the problem so we couldn't break in any more. That didn't happen. Every four to six weeks, I'd get a call from the sysadmin saying he had forgotten the root password and asking me to break in to reset it.

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Azure North Europe downed by the curse of the Irish – sunshine

Mike Lewis

In other words...

the cloud started raining.

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Now Microsoft ports Windows 10, Linux to homegrown CPU design

Mike Lewis

Re: It's been a long time..

Windows 10 was pretty jaw dropping. They managed to turn Comic Sans into an operating system.

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Microsoft pulls the plug on Windows 7, 8.1 support forums

Mike Lewis

Re: Not sure how big of a loss this is

Someone on a Microsoft forum asked how to add Copy to Folder and Move to Folder to the context menu of File Explorer on Windows 10. The MVP advised them to reinstall Windows. I knew it was a registry edit in Windows 7 so I ran Windows 10 as a VM, made the changes, found that they worked and posted the results. The next thing I knew, I got a message from the MVP congratulating me on having solved my problem. WTF?

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Britain's new F-35s arrive in UK as US.gov auditor sounds reliability warning klaxon

Mike Lewis

What will happen during a war?

What worries me about the F-35 is that we're having so much trouble with them under ideal conditions. What happens during a war when local factories have been bombed and international trade is disrupted so we can no longer get parts? Cannibalising broken planes to make a working one can only go so far and 3D printing of parts made from exotic high-temperature materials is not yet possible.

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nbn™ ponders a gamers' gate to throttle heavy wireless users

Mike Lewis

What about video streaming?

I would have said that video streaming uses more data than gaming. If he thinks it's bad now, wait until 4K takes off.

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Telstra's mobile networks go TOESUP* in national outage

Mike Lewis

AAPT too

AAPT, upon whom Exetel depends, went titsup at the same time and in the same areas. I wonder if there's a connection (or lack of one).

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Boss sent overpaid IT know-nothings home – until an ON switch proved elusive

Mike Lewis

Whenever there was a problem with a computer, the CTO would sit down in front of it, confirm there was a problem then hand it over to the accountant. The accountant was quite good at fixing computers and networks. This was a company making medical equipment, by the way.

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Intel: Our next chips won't have data leak flaws we told you totally not to worry about

Mike Lewis

Between Scylla and Charybdis

It's hard to decide between upgrading to a meltdown-free CPU with Windows 10 and keeping my newly-hobbled CPU with Windows 7.

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Fresh docs detail 10-year link between Geek Squad informers and Feds

Mike Lewis

I'm more worried about Best Buy employees planting evidence than finding evidence.

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Facebook users are Zucking off, but that's what Zuck wants

Mike Lewis

You're thinking of MySpace. Facebook is for parents.

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Mike Lewis

Hotel Menlo Park

Facebook is really creepy with its tracking of users' actvities on the web. You can logout any time you like but you can never leave.

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'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

Mike Lewis

Torch Triple X

> "George" sent a story from his time working as tech support manager for seminal 1980s Cambridge outfit Torch, which gave the world some fine Unix desktop workstations.

I used Torch Triple X computers in 1987. "Fine" is not the word I would have chosen as they kept crashing.

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Murdoch's Fox empire is set to become a literal Mickey Mouse outfit

Mike Lewis

Re: A very rich mouse

Rupert's mum lived until she was 103 so we might be stuck with Rupert for a while yet (he's 86).

In all the interviews I saw with Elisabeth Murdoch, I'm disappointed that no-one asked the question "What do you think went wrong with your and Keith's child rearing?"

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Dentist-turned bug-biter given a taste of freedom

Mike Lewis

The real story

In the original non-Disneyfied version of "The Emperor's New Clothes", the child who cried out "But he isn't wearing anything at all!" was smothered and the parade continued on.

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How many times can Microsoft kill Mobile?

Mike Lewis

Microsoft is like Trump

Evil but also incompetent which limits the damage.

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PC sales to fall and fall and fall and fall and fall for the next five years

Mike Lewis

The catch: new PCs come with Windows 10

My desktop is six years old and I was thinking about getting more memory and an SSD. Then I thought I might as well buy a new one so I'd get a faster CPU as well. I was poring over the ads for new computers and found they all come with Windows 10. Oh dear. It looks like I'll be stuck with a slow CPU and Windows 7 for a while. Maybe Windows 11 will be better...

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Ubuntu Linux now on Windows Store (for Insiders)

Mike Lewis

I found Mensa to be full of people who mistook thinking quickly for thinking well, much like a teenage boy who thinks he knows how to drive fast just because he has a car with a big engine.

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Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

Mike Lewis

Self-crashing cars

This makes me a little nervous after the way Toyota buggered up its throttle software.

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Hotheaded Brussels civil servants issued with cool warning: Leak

Mike Lewis

That's not hot. This is hot.

Aussie here, ROFL. 29 degrees C isn't hot. 40 degrees C is hot.

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BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding

Mike Lewis

Re: Alternatives.

Qantas did crash, badly, in 1999. They switched to their backup data centre so they could test their main centre for year 2000 problems. The backup centre had a fire and they couldn't return to the main one.

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BOFH: Password HELL. For you, mate, not for me

Mike Lewis

Re: "I rarely get cold calls"

I'm waiting for Microsoft India to call so I can yell at them about Windows 10.

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Programmer finds way to liberate ransomware'd Google Smart TVs

Mike Lewis

Re: Best reason yet

Or yet another reason to avoid LG products.

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Retiring IETF veteran warns: Stop adding so many damn protocols

Mike Lewis

as well as the obligatory "The wonderful thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from" attributed to Grace Hopper, Andrew Tanenbaum, Patricia Seybold and Ken Olsen.

"The wonderful thing about sources of one quote about standards..."

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That's cold: This is how our boss told us our jobs are at risk, staffers claim

Mike Lewis

Nokia handled firing and smartphones equally well

When Nokia was closing down its Melbourne Product Development branch, we were never told the branch was being shut down. People just started disappearing, one or two every week. We eventually realised what was going on. It was like being in a horror movie, wondering who was going to vanish next. When my turn came, I was told the bad news then instructed to clean out my desk. My manager stood over me, watching my every move and constantly complaining about how long I was taking to pack.

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The Rise, Fall and Return of TomTom

Mike Lewis

Crap GPS Units

I hope the new stuff works better than their crap GPS unit I bought my mum which got lost more than she did.

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Mobile broadband now cheaper than wired, for 95 per cent of humanity

Mike Lewis

Re: Australia?

Don't even bother looking. My fixed line went titsup (no dial tone and no ADSL) and Telstra (yes, that Telstra) will take ten days to fix it. I'm limping along on an Optus 3G modem at £5.70 per GB instead of the usual 10p per GB from my ISP.

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Microsoft: Give us better staff

Mike Lewis

Re: Avast there!

> is it a case of "Take all you can, give nothing back"? I'm sure I've heard that before, now where was it?

I think it was before the French revolution. Or was it the first American one?

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BA 'offers' IT bods extra leave, flexible working - unpaid of course

Mike Lewis

I can see it now

"Help desk."

"Have you tried turning it off then on again?"

"What is your current altitude?"

"Yes sir, that's more than enough time to..."

"Upgrading operating system? Let me pass you on to Tier 2."

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Deploying software every day is... actually... OK – what devs tell their real-life friends

Mike Lewis

Daily deployments?

I can see a problem doing daily deployments with safety-critical software that must be certified every time it is released. Mission critical could be a problem too. At Telstra's Australian EFTPOS network, we were not allowed to deploy any new software at all in December and January, our busiest time of the year.

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Feds raid dental flaws dad

Mike Lewis

Re: When is a Flaw Not a Flaw

> Are there any rules on data confidentiality in the USA that would allow a customer, or even a worried person with dental issues to sue for worry and anxiety?

There's something called the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) that appears to have been violated. The Privacy Rule covers "any part of an individual's medical record or payment history". The Security Rule states that "Information systems must be protected from intrusion. When information flows over open networks, some form of encryption must be utilised." (quotes are from Wikipedia)

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Microsoft boots fake fix-it search ads

Mike Lewis

Fake might be better

I've used Microsoft tech support. I'll take my chances with the other ones.

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Ransomware grifters offer to donate proceeds of crime to charity

Mike Lewis

Re: "That the proceeds of crime might be turned towards philanthropy...

Bill Gates comes to mind.

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MIT boffins' code scans your health claims, tunes plans for bosses

Mike Lewis

The next step

The next step will be analytics software that pores over job seekers' health insurance claims and tells bosses whether or not to hire them.

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Mike Lewis

Near hit

Thirty years ago when I first used Unix, running as root because I didn't know any better, I created a file then decided to delete it "the Unix way" by moving it to /bin and doing rm -rf /bin/*. I thought /bin was the Unix equivalent of the Macintosh's rubbish bin icon. Fortunately, I decided to do ls /bin first in case there were files that other people didn't want deleted. Guess what I found.

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Telstra proclaims free data day to make up for epic TITSUP

Mike Lewis

Network crash simulator?

Would it be worthwhile setting up a network simulator to train techies how to handle network crashes before they happen?

Kudos to Telstra for the day of free data, although it is a Sunday which must be the quietest day of the week.

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USA lets visiting Australian tech workers keep toiling while they wait for visa extensions

Mike Lewis

Great news!

This is great news! I'm an embedded programmer in Melbourne who's looking for work and this will reduce the competition, much the same way as six of my friends working in that area went overseas after Australia's electronics industry died and went to China. I can't do that myself as I'm looking after my mum. If you think finding parts for old hardware is difficult, try keeping someone going who was built in 1932.

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At last – Feds crack down on crummy encryption … starting with your dentist

Mike Lewis

Re: I don't get it

I'll say it is. I once rewrote 2,650 lines of C as a seven line shell script. The previous team had written a data transfer program with its own implementation of ftp. I just used the one that was already on the computer.

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Victorian government teacher-laptop scheme illegal, says judge

Mike Lewis

Re: I am not amused

The slates are cheap. The chalk costs a fortune.

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'iOS 9 ate my mobile broadband plan'

Mike Lewis

Re: Only one reason...

Try $2 per MB. That's what Telstra charged me for the data on my new smartphone. I ended up with a $1,300 bill on a phone that had cost me $149. Something went wrong with registering the DataPack I purchased. Trying to get the bill cancelled took me three months of visiting their shop, writing emails and calling them. It was finally resolved when I received a phone call from them saying they were going to shut off all my phones the next day. They said the credit was in the system; they didn't know why it hadn't gone through.

I removed the SIM card from the smartphone and put it back in my old Nokia 3315.

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Toyota chucks $50m at AI car tech

Mike Lewis

Have they given up on natural intelligence then?

I'd feel safer if Toyota spent that money on fixing its existing code and development system. See "Toyota's killer firmware: Bad design and its consequences" at http://www.edn.com/design/automotive/4423428/2/Toyota-s-killer-firmware--Bad-design-and-its-consequences.

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Jeep Cherokee 2.2: Capable, comfortable ... but just not very Jeep

Mike Lewis

Hot stuffed?

Is that the one which catches fire when the automatic transmission fluid boils over onto the engine?

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BOFH: My diary is MINE and mine alone, you petty HR gimps

Mike Lewis

CRTs and Backups

Fun times were had when a team of software engineers kept getting corrupted backups on a Sony DAT (remember those?) so off to the repair shop it went. The shop couldn't find anything wrong but the team's backups were still being corrupted so the DAT, cable and controller card were bundled up and sent off. No errors detected. Then they asked me to have a look at it and I spotted the problem right away. They had laid the cable connecting the controller card to the DAT across the top of a 21" CRT. Cable moved, problem solved.

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Now car hackers can bust in through your motor's DAB RADIO

Mike Lewis

Re: Beats

It makes headbanging easier.

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Insurer tells hospitals: You let hackers in, we're not bailing you out

Mike Lewis

Outsourcing

To me, the most interesting part of the insurer's complaint is that the healthcare system "outsourced data to firms with poor security". Could that be extended in future to "outsourced programming to firms with poor security"?

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Windows 10 MURDERED your Lumia? Microsoft says it may have a fix

Mike Lewis

Re: This is *NOT* how you do interfaces

Been there, fixed that. I once rewrote 2,651 lines of C as a seven line shell script. The previous programming team had written a data transfer program with its own buggy implementation of ftp. I just used the one that was already on the computer.

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