* Posts by Mr Sceptical

81 posts • joined 21 Jan 2010


Blockchain is bullsh!t, prove me wrong meets 'chain gang fans at tech confab

Mr Sceptical

@Politicians: Blockchain = public audit trail

What's difficult to understand about that???

At times like this you despair for the future of humanity.

Oh dear, Lads: Spam marketing bosses banned from forming UK firms for clobbering folk with 500k calls and texts

Mr Sceptical

Make them pay?

Anyone care to wager on whether they'll recover the full amount of those fines from the miscreants involved? I doubt it.

Icon for how I'd prefer they end up --->

Openreach to heap faster broadband on UK's media-heavy hubs

Mr Sceptical

Can I nominate some boundary changes?

Aw c'mon - if they can just move the Richmond or Merton boundaries about 5 miles I'd be in with a chance to sup the fibery goodness!

Apologies to everyone still suffering dial up speeds in 2019...

London's Gatwick airport suspends all flights after 'multiple' reports of drones

Mr Sceptical

Call a farmer!

Who ever suggested using standard Police firearms just needs to call a farmer or any professional clay pigeon shooter.

Why isn't it blindingly obvious you just need a couple of barrels of birdshot to take one of these down - and you don't need to worry about collateral damage across the distance of an airfield.

Only trick is getting close enough to the target in the first place.

Microsoft confirms: We fixed Azure by turning it off and on again. PS: Office 362 is still borked

Mr Sceptical
Thumb Up


This should enter the El Reg standard units of uptime (or something).

^ More upvotes above please ^

Microsoft sysadmin hired for fake NetWare skills keeps job despite twitchy trigger finger

Mr Sceptical

Re: Memories ...

I only recently threw out my Exchange 2000 manual!

Similarly, my binder of useful pages from dawn of t'internet was also only just recycled. It was around the same time El Reg became my most viewed website. Aaah, happy days...

If Shadow Home Sec Diane Abbott can be reeled in by phishers, truly no one is safe

Mr Sceptical

Re: Eh?

I assume you're trolling, but off the top of my head;

The fact she's a Labour MP 100% behind state education, but sent her kid to a private school.

What, hypocrite, moi?!

DBA drifts into legend after inventive server convo leaves colleagues fearing for their lives

Mr Sceptical

Re: My boss was demonstrating the instrusion sensors on our building

In the UK it's actually 15 minutes max an external sounder should be set for (BS EN50131).

The local authority are allowed to disable someones sounder after that under noise pollution regulations. Doesn't specify how many pieces they're allowed to leave it in though...

Cops called after pair enter Canadian home and give it a good clean

Mr Sceptical

Re: Milk in Bags?

Yes, some supermarkets here do that too. Think it's saving some plastic over a 'bottle' container.

Mr Sceptical

Re: Door locks.

Is that because of the 'Beware of the Leopard' signs on the doors?

Icon for any intruder's appearance afterwards ->

The last phablet? 6.4in Samsung Galaxy Note 9 leaves you $1k lighter, needs 'water cooling'

Mr Sceptical

Re: Fuck that.

I concur - out of 10 we got - 3 have failed in ~3 years

Capture your late-night handbrake turns with this 'autonomous' car-chasing camera drone

Mr Sceptical
Black Helicopters

Re: THe Chase Is On :)

Dammit, they've stolen my idea - I thought a remote controlled model plane with video downlink would be a useful traffic avoidance tool years ago!

Kill the blockchain! It'll make you fitter in the long run, honest

Mr Sceptical

Re: A large consultancy at a tech conference this week

Use the stairs?

Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Mr Sceptical

Signal not required!

Don't worry, your AlwaysTurnedOnWeKnowWhereYouAre tracking device will simply log your location for upload the GBC (Great British Cloud) when you DO have reception...

GPS generally works except when underground/in City of London highrise canyons.

Mr Sceptical

Re: Can't lawmakers be sacked for being too dim to be useful?

Lawyers by definition believe* in laws, ergo they may like them a little too much if it could make their job easier.

* as in, "I believe I can make a comfortable living from this with no manual labour and only feel slightly less icky than a person-of-negotiable-affection".

Mr Sceptical

Deepfakes inbound...

Combine that with the ability of deepfakes to replace faces on CCTV footage and you could* claim, "It weren't me Guv, I've been fitted up! My mobe proves** I were at the Mistress's/Toyboy's gaff all night."

* not suggesting that would actually fly in court

** depending on the legally mandated/tested accurracy of the location

You would have thought a lawyer might have thought through the implications of this wild idea, but...

Mr Sceptical

Dear Sir Geoffrey,

You can *^&$ right off.


The Public.

PS. Maybe someone could clue him in about the ability to have a second device to show to the Gestapo when you're stopped at a checkpoint (because you'll be needing those to enforce the rule).

Leave your registered phone at home then go on a crime spree #lawfail

BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network

Mr Sceptical

Surely they're offering full spectrum audio now...?

BT have totally failed to say they'd be able to offer much better audio quality on a decent VOIP line rather than the 'select' frequency range we've suffered until now. This is the best opportunity to upgrade call quality since phone lines became commonplace last century.

Anyone who's compared the audio quality of a Skype* call to the fixed or mobile standard realises it's comparing two tin cans & string to studio monitors.

Plus, if all the VOIP handsets can't handle that quality audio then they've an excellent opportunity to partner with ones who can.

Anyone would think the commercial opportunities here have been deliberately overlooked just to reduce their ongoing PSTN costs - very short-sighted!

* caveat: over a decent internet connection.

BOFH: Turn your server rack hotspot to a server rack notspot

Mr Sceptical

Stairs - they go up and DOWN...

'nuff said.

BBC presenter loses appeal, must pay £420k in IR35 crackdown

Mr Sceptical

@Doctor Syntax

"Their employment includes a degree of permanence not available to freelancers. It ought to be valued as a perk of the job and taxed accordingly."

Hang on - so I, as co-founder of a company (& thus employee of it according to HMRC); now employing 25 staff, should considering successfully growing the company to this size a PERK?!?

The risk is all mine; I had many years of living on the breadline to get to this point, and if it goes wrong we all have no employment, so strongly reject the idea that it's anything other than a giant sense of responsibility to others and cause of sleepless nights.

So anyone claiming my employment is a 'perk' can *£&! right off...

Brazil says it has bagged Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean for £84m

Mr Sceptical
Thumb Up


You've got my vote - thumbs up to you sir!

Mr Sceptical

Re: Whats in a name - I prefer the Banksian naming convention

Can we not get some appropriately named ships please - they are WARships!

Iain M Banks had it exactly right in the Culture series - a ship's name should reflect its personality. Or for ships not exhibiting actual sentience (and choosing their own name) yet, how the RN want them perceived?

I'd like to start with HMS Really Vicious Bastard - any alternative offers?

Pint for Mr Banks, he's sorely missed by many & long may his writings live on! ->

Japanese quadcopter makes overworked employees clock out

Mr Sceptical

Re: Hovering targets

Japan - also home to the Ninja star.

Minus points if you impale a fellow employee though.

Need a Ninja icon >

Mr Sceptical

Japan - home of the Samurai sword, kendo stick, etc.

Unless the drones are programmed for military-grade avoidance tactics, they won't stand a chance.

Would make a pretty entertaining YouTube channel - bagsy 5% of the gross! ;-)

China plots new Great Leap Forward: to IPv6

Mr Sceptical
Black Helicopters

Well, you can see the attraction of it!

Chinese state security (translated): "We enforce an unchangeable IPV6 address (by law) on all devices used inside the Great Firewall and bingo, we can follow everyone, everywhere and log everything they say, do, read and connect to. No hiding behind NAT any more. What's not to like?

The NSA are gonna be soooooo jealous!"

Addresses are dynamic now, but if they force local manufacturers to bake one into the networking stack of each device, how can they refuse? Do it or we shut you down and all your plant are belong to us. And enjoy the re-education hard labour camp.

Practical enforcement is another issue, but the mindset is obvious.

Boffins: We can identify you by your typing, and we're gonna sell the tech to biz, govt – yay!

Mr Sceptical

Re: Who cares?

They won't care about the typed input, just the rythmic data from the accelerometer and the GPS indicating you're stationary at home / public toilets / local park...

BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

Mr Sceptical

Re: !!!!!!

It was C&W in our case - back in 2006 they had a datacentre in Leeds fed from two power stations being used to house our new Exchange & File server farm.

Mains failed one weekend and when the UPS tried to kick in it blew, took down not only all the client machines (ours included), but they were running the whole control room off the same UPS system! Can anyone say Single Point of Failure. They only told us Monday morning when the complaints about lack of emails flooded in. Whoops, sorry, didn't think you needed to know.

That was a short while after we'd had a project planning meeting with them when one of their reps stood up to talk and immediately knocked a cup of coffee into my mate's new laptop. You couldn't make it up...

US voting server in election security probe is mysteriously wiped

Mr Sceptical

Re: You can get it back

Clearly, the BOFH or PFY weren't involved as the hardware is still intact, but someone HAS tried to copy their style. Simon should sue for breach of copyright!

If the BOFH did this, the server would be a pile of slag after an 'uncontrolled thermal event' and all that remained of the staff involved would be a smell of quicklime and some unexplained mounts of freshly dug earth...

NSA bloke used backdoored MS Office key-gen, exposed secret exploits – Kaspersky

Mr Sceptical
Paris Hilton


What exactly was the NSA staffer going to used said software for anyway? I can't think of any legitimate reason for them to take it home and you certainly wouldn't do dev work on your own PC!

Perhaps a bit of 'personal research' being done? Were they stalking someone or moonlighting as a corporate espionage contractor?

Paris - because was this all triggered by an urge in the pants department?

MoD: We've got a handle on contract costs. Audit Office: About that...

Mr Sceptical

That's the problem with Other People's Money - no one cares how much it costs.

Here's an alternative plan - give the total budget for the item to the staff as a personal payment, and then make them personally liable for overspend but they get to keep 10% of what they save. If they do what they're supposed to that might be rather generous on a nuclear sub project. They obviously have to meet the agreed outcome of the procurement, so they can't just cut back the project or reduce numbers of units to save money.

That would instantly solve the issue of getting talented procurement staff and if you add the stick of a guaranteed visit by Her Majesty's armed forces most lethal killers to anyone attempting to do a runner with the cash it should keep them on the straight and narrow.

Can't be worse than the current system...!

Russian telco backs up North Korea's sole Internet link

Mr Sceptical
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Re: Counterproductive..

Exactly my thoughts!

A rain of Pi's with LCD display and solar charging kit all in one might change the nation.

Alternatively, even some LW radios (+headphones to avoid the giveway sound) might do the job.

Brit military wants a small-drone-killer system for £20m

Mr Sceptical
Black Helicopters

Surely microwaves?

Just need a bloody powerful, not particularly accurate microwave array.

Point in general drone direction, whack up power to 'roast swan' level and watch the drone flip out/short circuit/turn into firework display - at the distance they'd become a threat to a warship, should easily be in range.

Could you retask some of the comms gear for this function?

Icon for drones too!

Stuff the movement of celestial spheres, let's sit down and watch Bonnie Tyler on TV

Mr Sceptical

Re: Sheer Heart attack

From what I remember from my last first aid course:

If you're on your own doing CPR, the priority now is chest compressions as they also force air in & out of the lungs as long as the airway is clear (it's the Airway part of the ABC).

If you've got assistance, they can do the breathing, then you swap places when you're knackered from the compressions. Then keep that up until help arrives or the patient starts to breathe on their own.

FCC taps the brakes on fudging US broadband speed amid senator fury

Mr Sceptical


That is all.

Facebook claims a third more users in the US than people who exist

Mr Sceptical
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Re: @Ledswinger Dual accounts?

Dunno about the rest of you but I block FB with Privacy Badger / No Script.

That and utilising FB 'stealth' mode where I haven't used it in a decade....


Crowdfunding scheme hopes to pay legal fees for Marcus Hutchins

Mr Sceptical

Re: No travel insurance?

Good point - would be a typical insurer trying to wriggle out of a payout.

Mr Sceptical

No travel insurance?

Serious question:

Did he REALLY go to the US without travel insurance? There's no way I'd even consider it, mainly because a simple hospital visit could bankrupt you with ease. Not that I've been there this decade or planning to either but I always took out cover in the past.

Most policies will include legal expenses cover, so did his not include that? Considering how litigious they are over there and what line of work he's in, wouldn't that be a sensible precaution?

Chalk it up to the innocence of youth if he had no insurance, but bet he will if he ever goes there again!

Saying all that, I'm hoping 'justice' will be done in the way we're all hoping and he's safely back over here soon (no doubt working under the oversight of the hobnailed boots of GHCQ).

New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

Mr Sceptical
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Inherited wealth doesn't prove a thing...

Correct me if I'm wrong but she's the offspring of a billionaire? In which case, unless she's also made her personal $1,000,000,000 fortune, then she's no more brilliant than the office junior in my book.

Unless everyone thinks Bernie Ecclestone's daughters are also world class dealer makers? (clue: they're not).

If you can't walk the walk, don't talk the talk.

Perhaps her dad can foot the bill and save NYPD blowing all the taxpayers cash?

No, what can one do with 36,000 lightly used smartphones?

Western Digital hauls out weighty tome with 20TB external storage

Mr Sceptical

RAID 0 - really?

So you've got 20TB of storage - how many people are going to use this as a cache and how many will consider it permanent storage?

My guess is most will be the latter and will then be totally gutted when one drive hiccups and they lose 20 TB of data!!

RAID 1 or JBOD are the only viable choices for me unless you need a ridiculously big external cache drive. At that point you might as well put them inside a PC so this is only really useful for laptop based video creators or Mac users (how many extra drives can you install in most Macs?)

My review: Meh.

NotPetya ransomware attack cost us $300m – shipping giant Maersk

Mr Sceptical

Re: He says he learned that there was nothing that could have been done to stop the attack

The cleaner?

Disgraced US Secret Service agent coughs to second Bitcoin heist

Mr Sceptical
Big Brother

One way to pay off the National Debt...

Hang on, did I read that right - "US government seizing 1,606,6488 BTC in November 2014" - that's $71,046,009,936 in today's currency!

I'm sorry, but when exactly was that much monetray value mined into existence?!?!

And weren't the original owners (miners?) compensated for state seizure?

PS. That bitcoin eh? Totally untraceable so perfect for crims, I think not...

Sweet Christmas: Micron more than triples SSD capacity with 9200

Mr Sceptical

If you have to ask...

Icon as I definitely can't afford one!

China can't find anyone smart enough to run its whizzbang $180m 1,640ft radio telescope

Mr Sceptical

I hear...

...ET is looking for a way to hail a ride home?

Hackers could exploit solar power equipment flaws to cripple green grids, claims researcher

Mr Sceptical

Re: Lack of competence

"Well, installers install. It really isn't a credible expectation that they should become ITSec configuration experts, and for smaller installations you can't expect that one should be brought along as another expensive body visiting the site."

Well, that might be OK for a one-man band lashing together solar kit after an internet training course to power off-grid stuff, but that's not acceptable in the commercial space. Customers are paying for the expertise to install AND configure kit correctly, otherwise they'd just get their regular sparky to do that.

Gone are the days you can be a credible installer without knowing how to optimise the configuration afterwards. If you can't do that, you're just a 1st fix / 2nd fix fleshpot pair of hands, you're no commissioning guy. Got to move with the times or get out of the game.

A little ignorance goes a long way in creating unintended future f*ck ups I'd say...

* We do security systems but the same principle applies to power, seen to many 'installs' by companies that don't understand the IT aspect of current systems - even the big boys fail miserably to train all their engineers.

Re-identifying folks from anonymised data will be a crime in the UK

Mr Sceptical

Extreme data-analysis?

At the top of a waterfall, with a mains powered laptop? Whilst ironing?

Sysadmin Day 2017: Still time to get the beers in

Mr Sceptical

It's quiet here...

...is everyone over at the Full English breakfast debate comments??

Anyway, Happy Sysadmin Day everyone!

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

Mr Sceptical


I'm with you on the mushrooms, they grow on dead things for crying out loud.

However, fried tomatoes are OK, as long as you're using olive oil to fry in.

And I gently fry my baked beans every morning to get a nice thick goo. After years of testing (yum), I've come to the conclusion Tesco beans are best value for money & taste. I dabbled with Branston ones for awhile, but they were too salty to eat daily.

Sausages should always have 85%+ pork content, that's why I avoid them when staying in most hotels....

US Homeland Sec boss has snazzy new laptop bomb scanning tech – but admits he doesn't know what it's called

Mr Sceptical

Re: Built in Timer

Err, doesn't virtually every BIOS in existence have the ability to wake a PC (or laptop) at a set time...???

BOFH: Halon is not a rad new vape flavour

Mr Sceptical


Yep, back in the mid 90s I had a temp job at British Gas in Cardiff. One of the old server rooms was being used as a file store for old customer records and I had the incredibly exciting job of spending my days looking for microfiche records in there.

Europe-wide BitTorrent indexer blockade looms after Pirate Bay blow

Mr Sceptical
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Re: Anyone still using TPB?

Three words: Opera Turbo Mode.

That is all.


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