* Posts by tfewster

778 posts • joined 18 May 2007


BT: Soz about that £1.3m CEO bonus vote, shareholders. Friends?

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Baffled

Share price rises : Must have been the CEOs magic 8-ball touch

Share price drops: "Difficult trading conditions", would have been much worse without CEOs magic 8-ball touch

The fastest, most secure browser? Microsoft Edge apparently

tfewster Silver badge

Re: I feel the good in you

Agreed, as long as Microsoft focus on something, they can do it very well. Such as integrating Office app functions, and creating a consistent layered UI to hardware model in the 90s.

When they lose focus, they become -->

25% of NHS trusts have zilch, zip, zero staff who are versed in security

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Security costs

> "I would look to getting rid of the management overhead first, there are still lots of people without medical qualification in the NHS taking home wages that the qualified are unlikley to ever see."

When I worked for the NHS in the 80s as an IT specialist, my salary (low for IT but high for the NHS) put me into a management grade. As such, I was contracted to "work the hours necessary to perform my duties", i.e. long hours and no paid overtime. I regularly made the comment to medical staff that I was an "administrative overhead"; They were polite or smart enough to recognise that my IT skills were valuable.

I understand what you mean about administrative waste, but most of the administrators are desperately trying to make sure money is spent well. The Government has the same underlying goal, though frequent changes in policy inevitably mean more short-term waste. It's not a simple subject, but it's highly visible.

Lenovo tells Asia-Pacific staff: Work lappy with your unencrypted data on it has been nicked

tfewster Silver badge

Re: news

> 'Unlikely chain of events...' With about 500 million laptops out there, even with odds of a million to one, that's a lot of occurrences.

And, as we know, million to one chances happen 9 times out of 10

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

tfewster Silver badge
Big Brother

Three Databases for the NHS under the sky,

Seven for the Civil Servants in their halls of stone,

Nine for Security services doomed to lie,

One for the Home Secretary on his dark throne

In the Land of Britain where the Shadows lie.

One Database to rule them all, One Database to find them,

One Database to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,

In the Land of Britain where the Shadows lie

Identity stolen because of the Marriott breach? Come and claim your new passport

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Burden of Proof

> make the customers whole.

Including the cost of the customers time - Probably > $110 per hour times many hours to sort out an ID theft.

Actually, y'know what? I'd just have a lawyer sort it out for me, and send their itemised bill to the Marriott group.

Bloodhound SSC reaches the end of the road for want of £25m

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Bu**eration!

Green/Noble/Thrust SSC have held the official record for 21 years, but the Australians are still in the running to reach 1000 mph: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_speed_record

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

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Sales Person of the Year

BigFix is an InfoSec and sysadmins wet dream, and should have been a huge seller. Let's hope HCL don't screw it up.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers

tfewster Silver badge

The difference is that buses failed safe - the network connections failed, but the buses still ran.

As I heard it, the Ericsson software was just used for billing usage. But because O2 couldn't track customers usage, they denied them access completely.

I think O2 should have to credit every account with 20p, even if the customer didn't complain (or get through to complain). Costly enough to impact execs bonuses, but cheaper to implement than handling 32m complaints, so even then they get off lightly. And if I have to waste £10-worth of my time to get a 20p credit, that just adds insult to injury - I'd be asking for the £10 rather than 20p

Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

tfewster Silver badge

Or alternatively...O2 have maintained essential Emergency services even though their nice-to-have services have been down?

tfewster Silver badge

Don't be nasty, of course they have a Test network.

Some companies have a separate Production network as well.

Oz opposition folds, agrees to give Australians coal in their stockings this Christmas

tfewster Silver badge

Of course, they're upside down, so the blood rushes to their heads rather than their dicks! Hmm, maybe they DO know more about mathematics than people in the northern hemisphere?

tfewster Silver badge

Gets popcorn

- Dec 2018: Australia becomes the first nation to nail its colours to the mast.

- Jan 2019: First TCNs issued?

- Apr 2019: First prosecutions for failure to change the laws of physics?

US told to quit sharing data with human rights-violating surveillance regime. Which one, you ask? That'd be the UK

tfewster Silver badge

Re: People in glass houses ...

And they say that Americans don't "get" irony.

Alexa, cough up those always-on Echo audio recordings, says double-murder trial judge

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Sounds about right

> Once the recordings are presented we will know.

I predict that what Amazon releases will be consistent with their official line.

Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

tfewster Silver badge



Windows 8 was designed for mobile and forced on unwilling desktop users; Then MS gave up on mobile...

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

tfewster Silver badge

Re: she'd never allow an Apple product to cross her threshold?

So she can't throw it out, as that would require it to cross the threshold.

Chuck this on expenses: £2k iPad paints Apple as the premium fondleslab specialist – as planned

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Perceived quality?

Vimes Theory: Quality is expensive

Reverse-Vimes Theory: Expensive means quality

Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Buzzwords...

Continuing the ASCII table: [\]^_a-z{|}~ and finally DEL?

Silent running: Computer sounds are so '90s

tfewster Silver badge

Re: One reason for removable batteries...

> took the noisy phone and placed it in the glass on the wanderer's desk.

As an intermediate step, place it in an empty glass, with a note: "Next time, the glass will have water in it".

It cured one 'wanderer' ;-)

Alexa heard what you did last summer – and she knows what that was, too: AI recognizes activities from sound

tfewster Silver badge

Forgive my ignorance of the state of the art - But can it distinguish "live" sounds from a TV or radio?

(I read the article twice, and all the comments, and no-one seems to have addressed this elephant in the room)

On the other hand, this could be incredibly useful for relaying the wife's softly-spoken orders - usually issued when I'm in another room/beside a boiling kettle or running tap/wearing headphones.

Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

tfewster Silver badge

"I’m an engineer, I work in IT..." - and PJMorgan never considered what would happen if he lost his phone/signal/cloudy app? Personally, I'd be keeping very quiet if I'd allowed that to happen to me.

Microsoft Windows 10 October update giving HP users BSOD

tfewster Silver badge

From the Article: "I cannot boot to safe mode and it does not allow me to do a system restore before the updates have gone through. …"

If the users statement is true, that's the real WTF here. Sure, changes can go wrong and you can't test for every configuration out there. But it's up to Microsoft to ensure there's a robust recovery mechanism before starting an update.

Which? That smart home camera? The one with the vulns? Really?

tfewster Silver badge

I seem to recall posting about this before, after looking at Which? reviews of handheld vacs

Two products had similar performance and ratings.

The Dyson was "good value" at £100, a "lightweight" 2.1 kg and ran for an "amazing" 18 minutes

The Vax was "pricey" at £60, a "hefty" 2.0 kg and "barely" lasted 20 minutes

But at least they usually try to compare like-for-like, unlike most El Reg reviews ;-)

Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

tfewster Silver badge

Re: The dick phone has already been invented

It's going to ruin that old joke

"Do you use a Dictaphone?"

"No, I use my finger"

Brit mobe operator O2 asks cut-off customers: Have you tried turning it on and off again?

tfewster Silver badge

I'm all right, Jack. Though I've been working from home today, so not moved between cells, and I'm not rebooting just in case!

Financial Conduct Authority fines Tesco Bank £16.4m over 2016 security breach

tfewster Silver badge

Re: It'll all be Clawed-back from Executive Salary

Presumably an *ANTI Financial-Crime-Operations-Team* and an *ANTI Fraud-Strategy-Team*?

Still, if you saw a robbery in progress, would you ring the police or write to your MP?

Health insurer Bupa fined £175k after staffer tried to sell customer data on dark web souk

tfewster Silver badge

Re: And in Other News

"an external partner" - There are "Reputation Management" companies that will trawl the Dark Web on your behalf, for a fee.

Though it's always sounded a bit dodgy to me: "Nice dataset you've got there - Be a shame if it got leaked, wouldn't it?"

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

tfewster Silver badge

Re: It's not always the cleaners

"Every Health and Safety rule is the result of at 3 occurrences"

In that vein: A company had offered me a job, and I was looking over the contract + T&Cs. There were some oddly specific items in there, such as an example of Gross Misconduct: "Hitting a Director".

Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Welcome to...

Where's the silver lining?

tfewster Silver badge

https://www.which.co.uk/money/banking/bank-accounts/best-and-worst-banks-a3q5d8c6dj7y - Last updated: Sep 2018

However, TSB are 4th in that list, so I'd take it with a pinch of salt.

I'd like to see banks & ISPs compensate customers for loss of their time rather than service; If an outage doesn't actually affect me, no problem. But if I can prove I spent 20 minutes in a call queue or running around to find a working ATM, I should be compensated for that. Even a few quid per complaint would help suppliers focus on customer service :-)

UKIP flogs latex love gloves: Because Brexit means Brexit

tfewster Silver badge

@ RobertTheDick

Brexiters - YOU WON. GET ON WITH IT.

Except they haven't, have they? They've spent the 2 years meant to prepare for Brexit on talking about what Brexit means, leaving 0 time to actually prepare.

It's time to recognise that Brexit is impossible at the moment. Blame the EU, blame us remoaners - I don't care, just hit the brakes until the "Will of the People" can be implemented properly.

You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Wordpad @COG

Long lines in Wordpad: Click View, Word Wrap, then choose from No Wrap, Wrap to Window or Wrap to Ruler

The internet – not as great as we all thought it was going to be, eh?

tfewster Silver badge

The Internet is great! The WWW less so. I think some things have become worse in the last 10 years

- Contacting a service provider, e.g. a bank. Pre-internet, you had to phone them during working hours (and they didn't patronise you with "Your call is important to us, but we're experiencing unusually high call volume at the moment"). Then came email and web forms. Now, you have chat & Twitter - but only during working hours. It takes ages to find a contact email address.

- Search. Google had it down to a fine art, then blew it. I regularly find myself going to the second page of results to get past the chaff. I was disapponted when Google stopped spidering Experts-Exchange, though I understood the reasoning. Now, there's a million websites/fora with a million uncurated and incomplete Q&As.

- Don't get me started on blogs, vanity sites, "fake news", website usability or influencers/followers. Suffice to say there's an awful lot of crap out there, and finding reputable sites is tough, especially as many of them are disappearing behind paywalls. Maybe AOL were right with their "curated portal" approach :-)

How an augmented reality tourist guide tried to break my balls

tfewster Silver badge

Re: You're too old, Mr. Dabbs...

Spinal Tap - 18" Stonehenge

Facebook flogs dead horse. By flog, we mean sues. And by horse, we mean BlackBerry

tfewster Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: IP freely



Ever wanted to strangle Microsoft? Now Outlook, Skype 'throttle' users amid storm cloud drama

tfewster Silver badge


"We're taking corrective actions to address an issue in which users are receiving a message revealing that they are being throttled when accessing Outlook or Skype. More details denials on this event can be found ..."

Forget WannaCry, staff themselves pose a risk to healthcare data

tfewster Silver badge

Genuine questions

1. What are Verizon selling?

2. How do the > 25% "for money" monetise healthcare info? I can see newspapers paying for info on slebs, but then being cited for bribing the leaker. Blackmail and trying to sell info on the Dark Web seem pretty risky and low value

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

tfewster Silver badge

Oi, 5-eyes

Start obeying the law yourselves, they we can start a dialogue:

- Warrants for snooping, like you have to for physical access.

- No more getting an untouchable "partner" in another 5-Eyes country to snoop for you and using the results.

Quite apart from the fact that atrocities are almost always committed by someone "known to the authorities", so you don't need the mass-surveillance anyway.

Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

tfewster Silver badge

Re: "1 business day after dispatch"

I also rely on "fulfilled by Amazon" - though a recent order arrived, the wrong item and in re-used Amazon packaging, so clearly not always true either.

>The ASA is not a statutory regulator

That explains a lot. But if they're not going to do anything, shouldn't Trading Standards take this up under false advertising/contract law?

Devon County Council techies: WE KNOW IT WASN'T YOU!

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Actually back in the 1990s I was at a company...

Lemme guess - Serial comms, and cheap cables without the DTR pin connected?

We had a similar setup, with about 3 multiplexers between host & line printer, and every hop had to be cabled and configured right, else the monthly* inventory print would foul up when the printer buffer filled up - after about 60 pages.

* Just long enough to forget that a component had been "upgraded" but not load-tested.

Second-hand connected car data drama could be a GDPR minefield

tfewster Silver badge

Paramount: adj

"more important than anything else". What, more important than sales, revenue, profit, design, reliability...?

I don't think I'll be buying a JLR product.* Even if they haven't gone bust, apparently their product quality is of even less importance than their shoddy service.

Or, more probably, their stock statement is just a lie.

* I always wanted a SWB Land Rover Defender one day, but too late :-(

Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

tfewster Silver badge

Re: minimum password reset time

> Which is why you should set a minimum time between changes - just don't be monumentally stupid about it.

Ugh, even that brings its own problems. Being told you can't change a password that's been compromised because the minimum time hasn't elapsed. On one of our systems, a privileged generic* account password is retrieved several times a day by different people, but can only be changed once a day. So a bunch of people can re-use the password all day, with no accountability for who did what.

A long password history usually means you don't need a minimum time. Until you meet That Guy who ruins it for everyone:

>>...casually sabotage his own monthly New Password prompts by changing his password 11 times immediately.

* Yes, they should have individual logins. But the ancient application doesn't support that, OR auditing,

Brit tech forges alliance to improve cyber security as MPs moan over 'acute scarcity' of experts

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Why?

As mentioned, the certifications are there - (ISC)2, GIAC - and the guidance is too - NIST, CIS, PCI-DSS. I'd not heard of Cyber Essentials Plus, but it has regular patching as one of their top-5 which puts it ahead of the rest in one respect.

A few years ago I couldn't even spell InferSec Enginneeer - Now I are one! (uncertified, but common sense goes a long way).

The training courses are expensive, but the books are sufficient, and if a company will give you the time for self-study & pay for the exams, that builds a lot of loyalty. I'd be prepared to accept a nominal "bill" for that, e.g. a weeks wages + cost of the exam, to be worked off by staying with the company for 2 years OR the remainder repaid if I left without good cause.

Why Google won't break a sweat about EU ruling

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Tooooooo Slooooooooooooooow

As others have said - "It's complicated". But not completely pointless, as the alternative is to do nothing.

It's clear that BigBiz just treats it as a cost of doing business, as they continue to milk it until fined, and even then ask for an extension to "fix" something they've had years of notice of. Expect to see bigger fines in future for "wilful contempt".

Taps running dry for Capita? Southern Water pens 5-year managed service

tfewster Silver badge

It's particularly ironic that the Rainy City should be the first to get hit by a hosepipe ban. Although we get our water supply from the Lake District. I think Liverpool gets theirs from North Wales, and presumably Leeds/Bradford/Sheffield from the Peak district.

I seem to recall that the North also supplies the South in times of drought. So water is already treated as a National resource. But you can't expect the regional, privatised water companies to plan nationally, so it's back to the government/Parliament/taxpayers that allowed that situation to develop, for additional capture & storage capacity.

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

tfewster Silver badge

I've seen many repurposed broom cupboards. Plus a specialised computer room, which would have been great if the computers hadn't been moved in before it was finished. The servers were lifted (and dropped) by the contractors laying the floor covering. And covered in little piles of brick dust where shelves were being put in.

One of my employers saw the light, and moved the servers and noisy high speed line-printers out of the general office to their own room. With not just an extractor fan, but external air from the cool side of the building sucked in! Unfortunately wasps built a nest near the intake one year, and we had a computer room full of dead wasps.

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Wrong Type of Leaves

The issue is that we don't often get hot weather in the UK, so proper cooling would be a "waste of money". ISTR that UK Elf n Safety regulations specify the lowest temperature staff can be made to work in, but not an upper limit.

Apparently the business being shut down by overheating kit heat isn't a problem?

Ticketmaster breach 'part of massive bank card slurping campaign'

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Why do browsers allows JS from other domains to run

I see your point, but it's essential in some cases - e.g. checking a payment using Verified by Visa loads the Visa JS from Visas site (if I allow NoScript to run some JS from those dodgy-sounding domains when prompted). However, I really wouldn't want multiple "local" copies of that.

"...i get the third party components, bundle and test them then distribute".

Unfortunately that's why you get multiple installs of Java on some systems, all out of date.

Every solution has its own problems :-( The real question is, 'is the "trusted" site trustworthy?'

Dudes. Blockchain. In a phone. It's gonna smash the 'commoditization of humanity' or something

tfewster Silver badge

"We want to get into the premium phone band. Do we make a $1000 phone, or just turn this over to Marketing?"


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