* Posts by Trixr

407 posts • joined 30 Jun 2009


New Zealand cops cuff alleged jackasses who shared mosque murder video, messages online

Trixr Bronze badge

Most countries in the world have censorship laws, so please stop with the slippery slope argument.

Posting the video was already an offense in NZ law, under the Human Rights Act 1993 - Section 61 Racial Disharmony, which bans media "being matter or words likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons in or who may be coming to New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons."


Before that, going back to 1972, there was the offense of "Inciting Racial Hatred". None of this is new or "knee jerk". In fact, to be prosecuted on racial disharmony grounds, it needs the assent of the Attorney General - checks and balances.

Beyond that, any material can be banned by the govt Censor after classifying it objectional, including graphic violence. Even *fictional* graphic violence. Hundreds of media items are currently classified as Banned/Not Approved in NZ, mostly violent pr0n, but some just on the grounds on pure violence.

And beyond those two mechanisms, no, the govt does not "approve" what we watch. As has been the case for decades.

Ransomware drops the Lillehammer on Norsk Hydro: Aluminium giant forced into manual mode after systems scrambled

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...Legacy OSes running "critical" systems that cannot be patched, or require shitty SMB1 or shitty NTLMv1.

College student with 'visions of writing super-cool scripts' almost wipes out faculty's entire system

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When recovery is not an option

A lot of the time these days, you'd just restore from backup - and it's handy the more sophisticated products let you restore just ACLs if they've been hosed.

However, I learned the hard way in the late 90s that you need to watch your backups as well. We had a HP tape jukebox that held about 24 tapes, I think, and only the database backups were exported and stored in a safe (our mail and user files weren't deemed that important back then, but of course you'd ship them offsite now).

One day I needed to do an inventory to find the tapes that needed exporting. I think it was the second or third time I had to do the job, so it wasn't routine yet. The jukebox control panel had 8 buttons on the front, in two columns, with the actual button names displayed on an LCD panel between the physical buttons (like many ATMs). The INVENTORY button was in the top row.

So I pressed that and waited for it to finish - it normally took about a minute to scan the barcodes and then we were ready to export. Well over five minutes later, it was still "scanning"... in fact, it was loading the tapes and the drive was active for a minute or so after a tape loaded. ...Oh bugger.

Turns out the top row of the control panel had the INVENTORY button, sure enough. But the other button in that row was INITALIZE. The room was dim, the LDC panel was very low contrast, my eyesight is not fabulous, and the words began with the same letters and were about the same length in the fixed-width font...

So yes, I managed to single-handedly wipe 3 months' worth of backups in less than 10 minutes. Thankfully we didn't actually need to restore anything during that interval by the time those backups aged out. Boss was not happy, but at least I'd fessed up straightaway and we did an immediate backup of everything again.

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The big failure there was assuming the users followed instructions.

It's actually not that hard to ask a user where they keep their crap if you're doing a manual rebuild and have a script ready to copy it somewhere temporary on the network (that's not their usual home drive, since 9 times out of 10, it IS crap, like copyrighted media files, and they won't be allowed to store any of that stuff in their real home drives. Or family snaps that they can bring in a USB for you to copy to.).

Yes, it makes doing those workstations slower, but you can get on with other stuff while they have to wait the extra time. For you, it saves a lot of whinging and negative reports to management.

On the eve of Patch Tuesday, Microsoft confirms Windows 10 can automatically remove borked updates

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Not every failure is a boot failure

Yes, I wish I could figure out what goddamned update screwed my headphone jack. Windows 10 doesn't seem to think there's such a thing as a "headphone" output device any more.

I normally use wireless headphones, which is why it took me a while to realise there's a problem, but it's pretty fundamental that connecting a piece of physical hardware to the appropriate socket should do something appropriate. And yes, even after installing new chipset and audio drivers. It's driving me nuts.

These monolithic updates give me the utmost sh*ts.

Hapless engineers leave UK cable landing station gate open, couple of journos waltz right in

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Also, other than the sucky latency when it comes to satellite, there's this little thing called *capacity*. Govt and military will be allocated that bandwidth first.

As a thought exercise that should make the fat cats sit up and take notice, try running the London Stock Exchange or Forex Market over satellite. (I'm actually sure that's a fallback for those markets, but forget your sub-second trades.)

Sure, we've got a problem but we don't really want to spend any money on the tech guy you're sending to fix it

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Re: Nokia

That's from the logo for the California Volcano Observatory (there's more than one around the US), and represents Mt Shasta. I did a double-take as well.

But I suppose stratovolcanos all look pretty similar to each other if the landscape around them is sufficiently open.

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Re: Travelling to client sites

Seriously? They have Cisco engineers as well in NZ, even back in ye olde days of the early 2000s. Surely they could have had a local on-site support arrangement with some outfit like Datacom or IBM or whoever supplied their computer kit? Not sure when DiData got to NZ.

At least you got to see the rugby.

Packet switching pickle prompts potential pecuniary problems

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So there was no domain controller in the England site at all, or no-one thought to configure it up as a separate site and change the replication interval to once or twice a day at a specified time? Which, yes, worked with SBS.

I know that managers were stingy about hardware back in the day, but due to time wasted for the users and techs and that honking ISDN bill, the ROI should have been obvious. Even the good-old deskop PC-based DC in the office stationery cupboard would have been an improvement.

My sympathies for being in that clusterf*ck.

The Handmaid's Tale or Man-made Fail? Exposed DB of 'BreedReady' women probably not as bad as it sounds

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Yep, I thought the Guardian's reporting of this whole thing was absolute garbage. I assumed that it was a bad translation of "given birth", i.e. a mother. Or some similar thing.

Hipster whines at tech mag for using his pic to imply hipsters look the same, discovers pic was of an entirely different hipster

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Different (sub)cultures

Eh, I don't think it's a big surprise that we want to conform to different standards. I might be a woman, but there's no way in hell I'm going to perm my hair, paint my nails and wear skirts. So yeah, I "conform" to the "big old dyke" look (because that happens to be my natural style, because that's what I am).

Nothing to do with being rebellious at all, and I'd say for most people adopting a particular subculture look, they're doing it because the look happens to appeal to them. And perhaps the subcultural package as a whole - I look queer, and a) it's great advertising for those who might fancy me; b) I don't get many blokes trying to chat me up (bonus).

Mind you, Mr Precious "I'm Not A" Hipster in the story just got what was coming to him. And of course there are those insecure idiots who adopt the subculture package without *any* individuality at all - I have never worn a rainbow garment, and I never will. Some people like rainbows, and they're straight as a ruler.

Customer: We fancy changing a 25-year-old installation. C'mon, it's just one extra valve... Only wafer thin...

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Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

I do Windows Server/IDAM, so the punters get told a) I'm almost as useless as they are with Win 10 and other MS workstation OSes and the cruft MS insists on jamming into them b) I require bribes, for the entire duration that I work on their virus-infested underspecced PoS and afterwards. The post-work bribes should consist of bottles of alcohol of a value exceeding $30 (AU or NZ), at least one per hour I've had to swear over their garbage.

The best one I had, though, was the mystery Windows PC that "didn't work most of the time" when they tried to convert part of the garage to a home office.

What's not working? (when people say "the PC", they mean Word, web browsing, or power is off)

- The internet. (yup)

How's it connecting to the internet?

- Wifi

Where is the wifi router?

- In the house.

So I connect my phone to their wifi and disable mobile data. Walk outside, nice steady connection, lovely. Into the garage, still fine. Close the *metal roller door* to the *metal garage*, whoops, no more "internet".

Luckily the wifi card in the PC tower was attached to its aerial (pointing at the *metal door*) via a metre-long RP-SMA pigtail. So I just had to move the PC to the top of the desk, open the window above it, and drop the end of the aerial out the window.

Very satisfying, especially since one of them had a brother working as a software dev earning about a gazillion bucks more than I did, who'd looked at it for an hour before giving up. Two excellent bottles of French wine bribery for 10 minutes work. I threw in the furniture moving for free.

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Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

There's a difference between a project you're trying to ship to your benighted customers for cash money vs a product that your STAFF actually use in-house for important things. I mean, eventually, your customers will get sick of the shite you're pumping out and go elsewhere, or maybe what you're trying to flog isn't that important.

Try explaining that difference to a manager who's been on 3 day Agile trainnig and fancies himself as a "scrum master".

I actually do believe in a phased approach to internal product delivery rather than a classic waterfall, but you need to understand exactly what those phases will deliver and explain that to your "customers".

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

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Re: From my cold, dead hands!

My first job in the UK in the late 90s was a real shock to the system. Central London, biggest law firm in Europe (at the time), full restaurant in the basement...

Tea supplies in the office areas were the crappiest drink vending machines known to humankind, with that powered instant "tea" shite and at 7p a pop.

Honestly, at least on the Heart of Gold, you would be flying around on a cool spaceship with an Infinite Improbability Drive, even if you couldn't get a decent cuppa.

YouTube's pedo problem is so bad, it just switched off comments on millions of vids of small kids to stem the tide of vileness

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That rant's about 2 years behind the times, but I suppose at least this has got YouTube to actually do something about it.

The original article that publicly described the issue is here: https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/21-11-2016/hello-my-name-is-ally-how-children-are-being-exploited-by-youtube-predators/. Several accounts were banned at the time, but obviously YT did a crap job of coming up with controls to prevent more.

And, call me old-fashioned, I don't know why any parent is publicly sharing videos of their semi-dressed children on YouTube, or allowing their kids to upload videos of any description. (Yeah, their friends might do it, but don't give kids smartphones with a camera, and use content filter apps on mobile devices and filtering on the router at home.)

Eggheads want YOU to name Jupiter's five newly found moons ‒ and yeah, not so fast with Moony McMoonface

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Re: The Famous Five?

If you think George gives a single toss over any Dick at all, you're sadly deluded...

Not so smart after all: A techie's tale of toilet noise horror

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Aren't you supposed to wear it on the non-dominant wrist?

Or maybe he was feeling a little lonely and wanted to get the "partner" effect.

OK, team, we've got the big demo tomorrow and we're feeling confident. Let's reboot the servers

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Re: Big project involving *banks*, and no money for development licenses?

Back in that day, no, most enterprise software did not have development licensing. Very rarely, we managed to negotiate a short licence term, like 6 months. Maybe for two products where we were one of a few potential customers in the country.

Otherwise, it was an evaluation copy (generally still complete with incredibly annoying licence activation) until it expired or someone paid. There ended up being much screwing around with system dates if some idiot restarted the dev system after a licence expired (and this was genuine dev stuff - no intent to run production functions on "dev" systems).

Frankly, I'm a little surprised they didn't h@X0r the system date during the demo in the OP.

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Re: Why?!

Oh boy. You realise the Open Software movement is relatively new? It's great, of course, but back in ye olde days, you were clobbered with very onerous licencing requirements and cost, or you wrote it yourself.

There were always homebrew clubs and the like, but that's basically writing it yourself - you needed to understand what you're running.

While I work in IT support, I'm not a dev and never have been. It's like saying you need to be an automotive engineer to maintain a car. The engineer would be bored and under-utilised, and getting the basic stuff fixed would be prohibitively expensive. Also, with complex systems like modern cars or enterprise IT environments, you never have one person with all the expertise required. (Don't get me started on devs doing server administration, database management or identity management - it works if everyone's an admin!)

Given the fact we're in a capitalist society, I don't begrudge people making money off their labour. As for "exercising rights" for whatever it is you think is a "right" in terms of software, it's not any taxation authority limiting your ability to exercise your "rights". They're skimming a little bit off the money you were charged to enter into a contractual relationship with the licence-holder. Blame the people who create the ridiculous licencing regimes for software they sell.

No yoke: 'Bored' Aussie test pilot passes time in the cockpit by drawing massive knobs in the air

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I admire the skill and the amusement factor.

Funnily enough, though, while I have very little time for wank on "gender differences" (other than purely physical averages), this drawing cock-and-balls thing is really the most significant gender difference that I can think of. I've never seen a women draw random vaginas as grafitti. (Ok, there's the almost-always-appalling "yoni" art, but that's not random grafitti.)

Welcome to the sunlit uplands of HTTP/2, where a naughty request can send Microsoft's IIS into a spin

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Re: Not putting in default values is fine, ...

Exactly. That min/max is pretty damn broad. They should have a reasonable default setting to kick off with. I can run a basic IIS server, but I'm afraid the fine detail of protocol implementations is beyond me. (And no, I'm not that interested in getting to that level of detail either - I'm a mechanic, not an engineer.)

Also, I'm surprised it's not a security update, considering the flaw can DDOS your system. I get it's a "bug", but surely security flaws are also "bugs". I say this from a general philosophy of being cautious when applying feature updates to servers, while always applying security updates in a timely fashion - I know I'm not the only one.

Twilight of the sundials: Archaic timepiece dying out and millennials are to blame, reckons boffin

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Re: I'll Bite.... Yes, I know he was trolling

There's a theory that a lot of the engineering knowledge the Greeks theorised about was actually swiped from the Egyptians (or other Middle-Eastern cultures like the Assyirans), who'd actually worked out these things in practice. Archimedes' Screw being a classic example.

Getting more or less incomplete reports of certain mechanisms from such places and trying to make sense of them would account for the mixture of practicality and weirdness that the Greek philosophers seemed to embody.

Splunk does a bunk from Russia: No software and services for you, Putin!

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Black Helicopters

Where have you been this last decade?

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

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Anyone working with geodata/GPS

...actively started working on this about a decade ago.

I worked for a geo-mapping company 5 years ago that was deploying the associated software updates and sending out customer bulletins during that time. For the major customers that were heavily GPS-reliant (law enforcement, fire services, etc), we knew what kit they had using our software and provided specific advice whether or not their devices would be affected.

Defaulting to legacy Internet Explorer just to keep that one, weird app working? Knock it off

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...or if their own products worked in their stupid new browser.

SCOM 2012 R2 web console - "This browser is not supported" in Edge. Admittedly it's in "extended support", but still.

Stop, collaborate, and listen: Microsoft Teams gets an Atlassian glisten

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No way to migrate data

Yeah, until MS provides a way to migate data out of Teams, no thanks. It's probably fine if you're a small shop, but if you're ever likely to merge or split your Azure environment due to company changes, there's no way to get data out of Teams and migrate it elsewhere.

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias

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Black Helicopters

In the middle of a complete re-watch of Person of Interest

...the synchronicity.

On the actual topic, I think I'll stick to non-cloudy HASS-based solutions.

You think election meddling is bad now? Buckle up for 2020, US intel chief tells Congress

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Re: Karma


Office 365 enjoys good old-fashioned Thursday wobble as email teeters over in Europe

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Re: And this is why

Personally, I think the purported reduction in IT costs across the board needs closer examination as well. Sure, if you have an environment with a lot of Dev/Test and/or a lot of scalable production load, it's great for spinning servers up and down.

For constant enterprise loads, I think the costs look different, especially these days when it's easy to rent tin in a bitbarn near your premises.

Of course, these days, the big vendors are trying to drive customers to their SaaS offerings, with all the drawbacks you describe (but marketing hype the business users fall for).

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The last on-prem Exchange environment I managed had better uptime over its 7 year lifetime from 2010 ownward vs what O365 has been able to achieve in Australia in one year.

Absolutely no exaggeration. If you have DAGs and multiple sites, maintaining the servers is a doddle, since there's no outage to the mailboxes if you shift them to another DAG member prior to reboots.

In fact, even the 2003 Exchange environment was better in terms of "unexpected outages". I had one Exchange server decide not to deliver mail for a few hours one day - one site affecting about 200 users at the time (5% of the userbase). Patching <1 hr per server per month.

The most annoying British export since Piers Morgan: 'Drones' halt US airport flights

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Re: 500g Drone vs 100 ton airliner

How about an entire 80 tonne Concorde brought down by a 435mm x 30mm x 1.4mm titanium strip (through a classic chain-of-events failure)?


Not to mention the potential impact of distracting the flight crew during a critical flight phase - landing a plane is pretty much the *most* critical phase. A drone smacking into the windscreen when you're 75m away from the ground might not be the most relaxing experience.

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Re: 500g Drone vs 100 ton airliner

The piece of tire was torn off due to running over the strip. A classic example of a "cascading failure".

(And whoops, didn't see this comment chain before my own contribution)

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Drone Pong?

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

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Re: Quick question...

Because it's free, unlike products like Angelfish. And you don't need to do anything to set it up or maintain it, like Webalizer etc, it's cross-platform, and it's actively maintained.

So for small/medium organisations, that makes it appealing. For larger enterprises that want to milk their customers, obviously they can scale up to the paid version with even more "customer experience" data-sucking.

Trixr Bronze badge

Re: Waterfox, my friend

Waterfox is great, other than the fact I actually use the Pocket extension, have done so for years, and now it's baked into FF, it's no longer available as a separate add-on.

The Waterfox dev refuses to make the Pocket extension togglable - fair enough, he's coding it, and he's simply ripping out the whole thing - but it was really really really disappointing.

It's quite possible some coder would be able to figure out the way to hack the extension out of FF so that it could be installed into Waterfox, but I am not a coder. It would have been even nicer if FF hadn't baked it in, and it was still a separate add-on.

Everyday doings of a metropolitan techie: Stob's software diary

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Re: Not from the Midlands...

She is most definitely a she.

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Re: Kudos

I must have been lucky with mine. Cloned a Dell XPS of 7 years vintage running Win 7 using the Samsung tool a year or two ago, and didn't have a problem.

Dear humans, We thought it was time we looked through YOUR source code. We found a mystery ancestor. Signed, the computers

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I thought they were alien lizard men, which would explain the mystery third ancestor type.

Army had 'naive' approach to Capita's £1.3bn recruiting IT contract, MPs told

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Re: Actually...

Great summary of the joys of public sector IT.

While "agile" being thrown around all the time gives me hives, the (rightly) risk-averse nature of the organisations often result in stagnation, and they tend to hire management who are not good at putting their foot down with the higher-ups or the "customers".

Whereas if more of these orgs embraced the concept of incremental change - you MUST upgrade your systems as they approach their support lifetime being a very simple target - change would be a routine activity rather than an exercise in pearl-clutching, panic and huge expensive risky projects to mitigate legacy systems that have put the organisation at even more risk in terms of security and/or functionality.

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

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Re: Pesky microwaves

At least they wouldn't have had to worry about carrying a thermos to heat up a cup of tea.

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Yeah, NTP is no good if the computer isn't networked - no indication that this one was, or, if it was, it was using an IP stack that included UDP - or if the time jumps further than the permitted clock skew that can be corrected by the service (which is a configurable setting in the NTP client implementations I'm aware of).

Microsoft wins today's buzzword bingo with empowering set of updates to Teams

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Re: Talk about dumbing down

Given the way IT jobs are going, perhaps we should all start getting used to being treated like Macca's latest pimply-faced employee-of-the-month.

I'm just not sure the computer works here – the energy is all wrong

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Re: Ah, the carefree days of yore

Or the good-old days (not) of dad getting off his fat arse and doing the upstairs vacuuming himself rather than whinging at his wife. Solves both problems at once: grubby floors, monitor interference (since you're not looking at it).

Hands off that Facebook block button, public officials told by judges in First Amendment row

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What a stupid idea. If the municipal authority was able to deny people access to Facebook or from mentioning their name in a derogatory sense AT ALL, there might be an argument.

Spamming a moderated page is something else. It'd be primarily used for announcements, and while they might allow feedback in general, that can always be temporary. They can set it to no-comments if they wish.

If they're going to enforce something to say members of the public are able to say anything wherever they like, if you go and spraypaint the town hall with graffiti, you can't be arrested for that either? Freedom of expression is an important right, but saying no to spam and abuse is not curtailing someone's right to blather on their own platform/feed/whatever.

Reg Standards Bureau introduces the Devon fatberg as coastal town menaced by oily blob

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Re: But seriously though...

But so-called "flushable wipes" are not the same as bog roll and don't break down. The base material is "air-laid paper" that only has 85% fibre content and has binders added to get the material to actually form a sheet (activated by heat).

Of course, chucking down fat into the sewerage system is a huge problem in itself, but I think these products should be marked as NON-flushable by law. Manufacturers in Australia have been fined for making false claims that they break down like TP.

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

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Re: And that's why...

Good luck finding anything that *isn't* filtered on a real enterprise network. Even outbound 80/443 filtered unless coming via the proxy.

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Re: And that's why...

And when you're using application whitelisting, and Firefox (Portable) is not on the whitelist, good luck.

Heard the one where the boss calls in an Oracle consultant who couldn't fix the database?

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Yes, har har, but if you can get thru 5 minutes of a real IT task without typing, you're a character in Minority Report.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

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It makes the barrier to entry that much harder. You need a driver's licence to hire a car. Sure, you can get a forgery, but it's hard to find driver's licence forgers. I wouldn't even know where to begin. So that immediately stops me from hiring a car to rob a bank or deliberately mow down pedestrians. (Not that I'm personally ordinarily tempted to, but for those who would opportunistically commit such crimes, it still applies.)

It also helps to catch the morons who still commit crimes when using their actual IDs or bank cards. It may not prevent an actual crime being committed, but it makes it easier to track down the perps. It also gives you a mechanism to withhold the ability for someone to legally obtain the car, gun, whatever if they commit a crime and their licence is withdrawn.

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

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Re: let's just get this migration done... BTW it's my day off tomorrow

Our security guys decided we need to close one hole in our cloud accounts, after some of them had been already compromised (after years of us lowly admins whinging about changing non-expiring passwords on generic accounts etc, and other such basic account hygiene).

Cut to me running a script on 6000+ cloud accounts on FRIDAY AFTERNOON - most of the office, including techs, has already disappeared on leave - to enable MFA. I'm amazed I didn't get any phone calls over the weekend (fingers still crossed).


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