* Posts by Alistair

1888 posts • joined 18 May 2007

Stick to the script, kiddies: Some dos and don'ts for the workplace

Alistair
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Windows

scripts! OMG scripts!

I've built out automation processes for hosts using version control and an automation tool to ensure that the hosts were built, managed, monitored and had (a whole mess of different) applications installed on them correctly, consistently and repeatably. The backbone of this was scripting. Some in python, some in perl, some in bash, some in rshell, some in sh. I've got core application scripts in ksh that were deployed to an app over 11 years ago that are *still* in use today. I've written a *very* few powershell scripts to monitor and maintain a non windows based application on windows hosts (that I very much despise having to deploy to windows boxes, hopefully never again since MS has ssh for windows). Most of my scripts were written to do one thing and one thing only, and to bail if the environment they were pointed at did not match what they were meant to do. One of the reasons I'm still kept around is because I can go through the mental process of (from box on loading dock to plugged in, built, deployed, connected, made operational) and pick out the hundreds of steps that go into each step of that flow.

The biggest issue anyone ever runs into in scripting is *not* comprehending that things can go *wrong*. Error cases are *hard* when you haven't had time to think them through or test them out.

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When it comes to ML, reports of JavaScript's death are exaggerated

Alistair
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Re: My God.....

@SVV

Well, what happened here officer is that the DevOps team updated the range detail finding calculator in the client with what was supposed to be a slight tweak to improve the accuracy and inadvertently switched from metric to ElRegStdUnits, but the firmware in the brake control system works in Imperial units, so the pizza delivery car miscalculated the stopping time and applied the brakes as it went through the front door.

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Loake Shoes admits: We've fallen victim to cybercrims

Alistair
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so the IT group

Will be taken to the meeting room and taught how to do the bunny ears again?

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Once more unto the breach: El Reg has a go at crisis management

Alistair
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header pic

Does not look like the situation is going well.

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Linus Torvalds 'sorry' for swearing, blames popularity of Linux itself

Alistair
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Re: You expected it...

ahh -- off to start a new distro called Sauna linux.

The wayland driver will periodically fog over the display, reminding you to get up and dive in the lake.

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Iranian military hacker fingered for 'Game of p0wns' HBO leak

Alistair
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Re: game of p0wns

You *REALLY* do not want to know about rip off series' of Game of thrones. Someone we know.....

NO. not doing this

Dammit, left my mind bleach at home, anyone have a bottle I can borrow?

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Uber: Hackers stole 57m passengers, drivers' info. We also bribed the thieves $100k to STFU

Alistair
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Re: "The incident did not breach our corporate systems or infrastructure"

what was that thing again .... oh .gitignore

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Iran the numbers – and Persian internet is the cheapest in the world

Alistair
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@AGD:

The price listed for Canada seems a tad *low* - if it were based on average prices. Although I'm paying a tad less than the listed average. I rather suspect that this list may have been subject to the "18 months on this bargain price" sales pitches that are used around this neck of the woods.

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CEO: 'Claying the ongoing continuous chaos of info into one logical masterpiece'

Alistair
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Frictionless revelations in contradiction.

@ Stevie -> I hope you have a cleaning staff and left them a good tip.

@Hollerithevo -> I suspect your joss sticks have been swapped out for something a little more potent. May I have some, please?

"an autonomous machine learning data warehouse that doesn't require human beings to either manage or tune the database".

This concerns me greatly. I know what my 21 year old considers "organized". I know what my 11 year old considers "organized". I've seen what machine learning can accomplish with almost 5 years of training and close to 3Pb of source data. I have no wish to discover what this will do to data organization. I suspect I might suffer a stroke or three.

"It's a learning machine, forging the rules of its universe, claying the ongoing continuous chaos of information into one logical masterpiece."

Yaniv has a fetish, and mistyped clawing. At least I *hope* that's what this is. Otherwise I'm not too hopeful for the staff of Panoply. Unless they have killer benefits, and big red "kill it now, with fire" buttons handy.

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MPs draft bill to close loopholes used by 'sharing economy' employers

Alistair
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Re: I run a business that competes

@ disgusted

Just like your mortgage/rent, electric, water, food, clothing are all voluntary.

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OnePlus 5T is like the little sister you always feared was the favourite

Alistair
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@ Andrew :

Yellow leaves ---> Fog

Perhaps the testing was done during the mid summer 'Smogageddon' period and the QA folks just missed this?

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Massive US military social media spying archive left wide open in AWS S3 buckets

Alistair
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Re: Got it, thanks. It's all clear now.

@ JimC:

"consider how much damage has been done round the world in the last decade or so as a result "

Decade? Dear lord man. CENTURY!

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How is 55 Cancri e like a Sisters of Mercy gig? Astroboffins: It has atmosphere

Alistair
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It life Jim.

But not as we know it.

(sorry, my take on SoM, not 55 Cancri e)

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User experience test tools: A privacy accident waiting to happen

Alistair
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Re: Time...

@SirRS

No! Kermit!! we need Kermit!

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'Do the DevOps?' No thanks! Not until a 'blameless post-mortem' really is one

Alistair
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@ Jay2:

And hauling in GIT repositories that were put in place 3 years ago by someone with a leetspeek handle that have never been updated as 'core code components'.

Or python modules with 275 dependencies hitting 55 repos that update once a month on different days of the month. Or RoR based on code written by "B0hrrr44T$9000"

I had to quite literally stab a Sdir in the back to get a QA department involved.

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Chainmail tires re-invent the wheel to get future NASA rovers rolling

Alistair
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I can just imagine that

Getting that bugger balanced properly for highway operation will be seriously annoying

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Big Cable's pillow talk with FCC to forbid US states from writing own net neutrality rules

Alistair
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*sigh*

Profits profits profits, free market free market, no regulations, no regulations.

I really don't understand how it is that anyone in government cannot understand the *reason* for government to exist. Therefor they understand why the government exists, and clearly have only one reason for being in government, and that is to scrape off as much cash, credit, ego padding, fame and glory as possible before they dance off into the sunset with a glorious pension fund and retirement home. And just plain f**k the rest of the suckers on the other side of the wall. I mean, really, what the cable industry has done in the US and what the bells are doing again is utterly transparent to anyone with a modicum of intelligence looking at the current situation.

Oh, right. modicum of intelligence. Sorry, I'm setting my standards too high again aren't I?

(Oddly Kieren, I don't liken what's happening here to a seduction, more like they drove into the red light district in a rented $250,000 lambo and offered the first available subject $5 for a night .....)

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

Alistair
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Meanwhile north of the excited snakes

We've much the same system - registration is tied to owners birth date, and tax (and/or emissions test) is due annually on or before said date - sticker on plate in multiple colours, here in Ont, there are 8 colours in a (FG/BG/Frame colour) cycle that result in a whole crapton of different colour patterns.

Were the "tax disks" at one time not metal? My Granpapa came from Liverpool and had a bunch of metal disks from the 1920's and 1930's with a date and county name on it.

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Yes, I took Putin's roubles to undermine Western democracy. This is my story

Alistair
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Re: Where is Susannah York?

@ Telwaz:

Both.

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Fake news ‘as a service’ booming among cybercrooks

Alistair
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Ahhh. News, Fake News, opions, memes and social media

I'm gonna have to go round up all my "Fletch" books and re-read them. It is ironic that the character is a better "news" reporter than anything that is available to us on the interwebs. And they might just make me laugh again.

What I keep seeing, constantly, around me is that the "Media" -- from the local advertisement delivery system "paper", to radio stations, to tv stations, to internet news sites, to (some days) this particular site, all now appear to have specific goals in their coverage, and wildly polarized interpretations of similar events. Certainly, things like the event in Las Vegas involving the 32nd floor shooter tend to have a *fairly* similar interpretation by most media, but take Mugabe at this time, or Vietnam at the moment, or the stream of 'inappropriate sexual behaviour' situations happening now, and there are insanely polarized views and interpretations in various media, and even more radicalized interpretations of those events on social media. All of the above results in greater fracturing of the proletariat, resulting in more and more aggravation between the groups that compete day to day for a few (dollars/pounds/euros/yen/grams of salt) in order to feed their families and dress their children.

That there is/are group(s) that are marketing this function to the folks that *have* the (dollars/punds/euros/yen/grams of salt) in order to earn a few strikes me as both wildly ironic and terribly sad.

Still looking for a lottery to help me buy my isolated south pacific island home.

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Drone maker DJI left its private SSL, firmware keys open to world+dog on GitHub FOR YEARS

Alistair
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Joke

This Kevin guy

... He's been causing a lot of grief lately -- too much time on his hands I think. If he finds anything in the intersection of GitHub, AWS and whitehouse I suspect there will be a sudden cuban vacation on his agenda....

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Robocall crackdown, choked Lifelines, and pole-climbing: Your new FCC rules roundup

Alistair
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Windows

I'd be willing to bet that the cable and comms companies are celebrating that all the money they spent on lobbying purchasing Pai's ass, etc. was well spent.

FTFY

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Crewless dinghy signs to UK Ship Register for Middle East mission

Alistair
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Windows

I'm going to suggest

"more quickly than" should be phrased as "less expensively than".

It would certainly be possible to have a second craft following the laying craft and performing this service. It makes neither financial nor logical sense to do so in this day and age, and this will save buckets of money on that step of the process.

<corrected typo in edit>

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It's artificial! It's intelligent! It's in my home! And it's gone bonkers!

Alistair
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Windows

Re: When I was a kid.....

when wall street realized that locked in services are more valuable than sold assets as relates to *revenue* generation. This is why wall street beats corporate entities (devalues shares) when profit to revenue levels do not increase year on year. Revenue can drop. So long as the relative percentage of profit against revenue continues to climb, your share price will go up.

This is why entities that have 0 real value, no real assets, and no real product continue to have valuations in the billions.

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Alistair
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Windows

Re: Applause

@(not me)

But the robo dog already shared it on snapchat with all the robo cats she has following her. For some reason all the squirrels in the neighbourhood are gathered in my front yard making that very strange noise at me while I have my morning smoke.......

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The Reg parts ways with imagineer and thought pathfinder Steve Bong

Alistair
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Venture Capitalist going on a venture?

Perhaps, now that the other fella has been retrieved from the deepest woods of PNG, Bong should seek him out and set up a new gig, hooking deep forest dwelling tribal cultures with 5G based, ad supported, solar powered, fully recyclable green 'portotablets' in order to monetize this unique set of cultures and accelerate acceptance of alternative cultural diets in the modern world.

Either that or Steve just needs a long vacation in the specialty resort on the south western edge of Cuba.

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Thousand-dollar iPhone X's Face ID wrecked by '$150 3D-printed mask'

Alistair
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Joke

Actually, I rather suspect this is apple cooperating with the NSA/FBI/(insert tla/fla of choice).

Locked yer phone did ya? ... smile for the 3d laser scanner!

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Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Alistair
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Windows

for us northern left pondians,

I'll just note that we have this:

http://craftbeerimports.ca/beer-advent#

And I'm kinda picky about my sausage rolls. Sadly, the only commercial one I ever connected with left (to my knowledge) this mortal plane about 25 years ago. Shop lasted another 12 years or so but the youngster just didn't have the touch his Nana did. And she could make to die for veal and lasagna to boot.

Happy hakwchristice

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Los Alamos National Lab fires up 750-node RPi cluster

Alistair
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Re: Not enough buzzwords

"a cheap dev environment is *very* useful"

So -- we should be calling it Thomas then?

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Teensy weensy space shuttle flies and lands

Alistair
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Okay -- I get the idea that this is cool and all

But there's no mention of the Orbital ATK hyjinx this weekend?

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Inmarsat aircraft Wi-Fi lift off set to fill coffers

Alistair
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Windows

Re: Satellite in-flight Wi-Fi ..

@Walter:

First one gets on an airplane.......

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NASA shoots for 200Mbps networks on swarming satellites

Alistair
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Space -- its big

One of the things about the 'cubesat' (little tiny box of goodies) that keeps coming to mind for me is that its big out there, and the cubesats, being tiny are relatively inexpensive to make or launch. And we can thus put quite a few little tiny things doing (something) up there for for a lot less than one great huge thing doing the (something). -- i.e. better coverage for networking, or greater redundancy at least. Or rather a lot of little worker bots assembling something ... I keep ending up with an image in my mind of several hundred thousand bots floating up there assembling the elevator in a top down configuration - this seems to me the only way to put that in place.

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User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

Alistair
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Windows

Re: "saying less words"

@Hollerithevo

Personally I married my best friend. Its worked out rather well I think. I, however don't tend to get the generalizations -- I've worked with some spectacularly competent folks of several genders (although it can take some effort to decode that) and some terribly incompetent folks of all sorts and types. I've found that listening well to the original statement is the key.

While I get that running into "I can't do this" or "That doesn't work" from someone who should be equipped (i.e. this is your employment, you should have some basics under your belt) to provide at least some better detail is a massively frustrating event, I have the experience of making my name by being able to decode "the thing on the top isn't blinking the way it should" into the fact that a quad pack of 9600kbp/s dedicated links were deserialized. -- Patience, something I've found is in short suppy in pretty much every human these days, is an absolute requirement in life.

And incompetence occurs in all humans, even myself. It is the willingness to challenge one's own incompetence that I find honourable.

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'Sticky runway' closes Canadian airport

Alistair
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Windows

Re: CFB Goose Bay

CFB Goose Bay is a Nato lift point -- oddly, several European countries are part of Nato, I rather suspect that some small portion of Nato's budget gets spent on things in and about Gander.

Perhaps CFB Goose Bay's most famous moment is Sept 11 2001, as it became home to rather a *lot* of aircraft and travellers. There's even a broadway show about it I think.

And well, there's the fact that it is in newfie. So, go, visit the towns and have a good time. Just, don't kiss the fish.

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BOFH: But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

Alistair
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Windows

Nicely done.

The window situation is now dealt with - I have to wonder how the charged brass pole will be handled next.....

Apparently Simon has either decided that this Boss is someone he can work with, or the plot is far deeper and more twisted than we've seen before. I'm guessing there's a director's female offspring in the mix somewhere.....

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Intel's super-secret Management Engine firmware now glimpsed, fingered via USB

Alistair
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Windows

Urrr

I still have a box of blue 768Mb floppies. 28 of them. And a blue and white binder. With 600 and change pages of source code & commentaries. Cut my teeth on that stuff with an 80286 4.77Mhz from Commodore Canada.

Thanks Mom.

(It was a christmas gift. She was building a TI/(something) from a kit she'd bought).

So it seems I have a decent start on hacking some servers ... I just have to get the floppies copied over to a virtual disk and spin it up in kvm.....

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Jet packs are REAL – and inventor just broke world speed record in it

Alistair
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Re: Duration?

@Lee

I have a whole box of "Oh shit thats cool" injections. I'll send ya one for free.....

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Brit moron tried buying a car bomb on dark web, posted it to his address. Now he's screwed

Alistair
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Re: er...

@SirRS

---- I'll concede that I could have used better syntax there.....

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Alistair
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Re: Improvised Marketing Term to defend the defence industry.

"Sounds like preparing the ground for possible future patents of such devices."

FTFY

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Alistair
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Re: er...

@AC

"Selling car bomb assemblies online? Sure, grab the buyers asap"

The implication in the article is that the seller was a cop. Posting to a dark web sales portal.

There are of course *other* implications there but I'll bet fairly long odds that this was in the category of that group of LEA that are tasked with "Get some idiot to do something stupid online, and find out where they live". Like the herd of '13 year old teenage girls'.

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Alistair
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Windows

Re: er...

@ Peter2

The taliban

Osama bin Laden

The Muslim Brotherhood

ISIS (no concrete proof on that one yet, but y'know, regime change and all)

Jamaliat based variants throughout asia .....

And that's just the muslim radicals that the "western" governments have spent money, arms, training on in the last 50 years. We could go on and on -- there's reason to look at all of Chechnya and several of the 'stans something about oil and other interesting minerals that seem to have gone missing over the years... It really is a simple fact, the CIA is either utterly stupid or completely insane.

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KVM? Us? Amazon erases new hypervisor from AWS EC2 FAQ

Alistair
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@ Trevor

I keep telling folks this - and we've a few small islands that use it intensely in DEV environments, but getting *anyone* other than the hands on guys to buy that is equivalent to pulling teeth out of a hungry T-rex. Most of the issue we're presented with at this stage is that handing C&C off to the <outsourced> staff without the pretty utterly dumbed down front end is just about impossible.

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Take Kubernetes, and bish bash BOSH, you've got Container Runtime

Alistair
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Windows

Re: Shame on you!

@Gordon10

I've been muttering for ages. But along with all that I've got the "Standards? what are those" and "Who cares where it lands, once the rocket goes up its not my problem" stuff rattling around in there.

Application vendors that push out app deployment tools that have never heard of POSIX, third party coding shops that seem to think that the only way to do anything is when running as root, corporate divisions that believe that their silo should be the only snowflake, and everyone else should be a standard, management that don't comprehend that there is more than one vendor or product that can do the job, or that lock in will be cheap to land on, but will get more and more expensive over time. Don't get me started on windows based applications. There are days when I'd be glad to deal with JCL, MQ, CICs, MVS and SNA heck, I'd be happy to go back to VMS.

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NASA tells The Reg: For crying out loud. We're not building flying taxi software for Uber

Alistair
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Windows

Sooooooooooo

Clickbait "News" website created a clickbait article and ........ idiots bought it? Or perhaps inflated egos in a corporation full of inflated egos simply gushed out a little too much whalesong at an ego inflation event?

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Evil pixels: Researcher demos data-theft over screen-share protocols

Alistair
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Windows

I think I get the idea here.

It still requires injecting the RAT somewhere in the pipe, but would allow folks to pull data that should not otherwise move. The weird screen view would be on the receiving end, who <should> be expecting it. If you see it on your RDP sessions and you aren't expecting it -- you're already too late as your (desktop/laptop/tool of choice) has been shanghaied for quite some time, and the results have likely already flown the coop.

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That awkward moment when AWS charges you BEELLIONS for Lightsail

Alistair
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Windows

Mondays on Mars. Thats it - Mars. New DC on Mars, slight increase in latency, but guaranteed geo segregation. It *has* been a bit pricey to set up though, so we might have to subtly increase pricing......

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Google, Twitter gleefully spew Texas shooter fake news into netizens' eyes

Alistair
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Windows

Re: In the town where I live --

There are enough fact free folks all over the world to have precipitated several measles outbreaks in the last 4 years because "vaccines cause.......<insert dog whistle of choice>"

While the garbage floats to the top (see Caribbean plastic slick) has been around as a physics principle since time immemorial, and thus the Google algorithm suffering from this principle, what society (at least most of the G40 societies) had was a reasonable level of bullshit detection. Sadly, that tool seems to be in *very* short supply lately. For several years. Perhaps a decade or two. Sadly, this affect is spreading to some small corners of the Reg Commentariat.

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Take off, ya hosers! Silicon Valley court says Google can safely ignore Canadian search ban

Alistair
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Windows

.... until the poles are finished drinking 5 time zones away......

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Superdome X gets pumped on Skylake to become Superdome Flex

Alistair
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Windows

I've been

Waiting for these. We have a target environment that needs this sorta toy - and some budget next year for it......

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OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

Alistair
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Joke

Re: yes, it's very nice but...

@Solarflare:

No one expects.......

Nope, thats not a soap on a rope....

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