* Posts by phuzz

4239 posts • joined 23 Feb 2010

Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey

phuzz Silver badge

It wasn't hollow, it was solid:

which as half a sphere, about 18 inches in diameter -– “is made of solid gold."


(Although from my back-of-the-envelope calculations that would weigh over 400kg, so I think either it was smaller, maybe eight inches, or it was hollow.)

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

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Re: Not Unique...

Ah yes, the reset button (or power button in the pre-ACPI days) which only engages when you take your finger off the button.

I remember taping someone's finger to a switch after they pressed it at the wrong time, and as long as the finger was taped in place, the computer stayed up.

phuzz Silver badge

So if he was seven feet tall, and it was his head that hit the switch, how high up the wall was it? Could a shortarse even push the button if they needed to?

Help us sniff out 50 neutron star collisions so we can calculate universe expansion, cosmoboffins plead

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Re: How small can you make a black hole?

Ok, lets start at the beginning:

"Matter is composed of two sizelss particles"

NO. It's just not.

"one force, electric, electric propagates at infinity"

If you mean that the 'electric force' propagates at an infinite speed, NO. It's not even that hard to measure at home.

"there is no mass, no speed of light, no momentum, no inertia, no meaningful sense of time"

Wait a minute, this isn't a deranged attempt at misunderstanding physics, this is a trip report! It all makes sense now.

Look AC, perhaps you should reduce the dose a bit, and maybe share some with the rest of the class?

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Easy to remember

Yep, a memorable line from a song or a book is easy to remember, and with a bit of creative punctuation (eg zero instead of the letter O), you'll end up with something that looks like gibberish, and is hopefully as hard to crack, but which you can remember.

Amazon throws toys out of pram, ditches plans for New York HQ2 after big trouble in Big Apple

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Re: This happens all the time

The irony is though, if (for example) Amazon moved their HQ to Buffalo, the increase in potential customers would start to bring in all the vegan coffee shops, and wellness clinics*, that the hipster staff could want. Eventually you'd get other tech companies moving into the area as well.

Of course they'd also start an increase in rents and prices, but hopefully not to SF levels.

* Am I doing ok at making up bullshit?

Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence

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Re: Hutchins received notice of his Miranda rights?

"So, when someone from law enforcement starts asking you questions: shut up"

In the US. As noted in TFA, in the UK it's a bit different.

Boss of venerable sect with millions of devoted followers meets boss of venerable sect with... yeah, you get the idea

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Re: Not worth the attention

So that you'd click on the article, which worked.

Take your pick: Linux on Windows 10 hardware, or Windows 10 on Linux hardware

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Re: Using five years before written...

You have to imagine that sentence in an 'old-man-shouting-at-clouds' voice.

phuzz Silver badge

You know, I quite like Mint. I've even rolled it out to all the machines of one of our customers, but something about the sanctimonious cries of "I've been using linux since nineteen eighty six and it does everything I need much better than windows", that makes me want to switch them all over to Win10.

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"As if to demonstrate that anything Windows can do, Linux can do a bit worse, there are reports of an effort to coax Ubuntu onto the machines."

Ha! I hope you remembered to wear your flame proof undies today Richard, I don't think the penguinistas will see the funny side of that...

Roses are red, this is sublime: We fed OpenAI's latest chat bot a classic Reg headline

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Re: Absolutely fu$%#ng insane

That's exactly what an AI would say, to lure us all into a feeling of false security.

You're not fooling anyone you metal menace!

Roses are red, we've received about fifty. Google's next trick? Pixels for the thrifty

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Can I just say bravo to all of the commentards above, who have shown more wit in one comment than I manage in a week.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1: Sumptuous pro PC that gets a tad warm

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Re: Nice, but ...

^^ This, a thousand times this.

Outlook was perfectly usable when I had to use it, but then I'd start archiving as soon as my mailbox got up to 100MB.

Which helpfully left more time for the users who insisted that they had to have online access to every email from the last 6 years because that one time they had to find something for a customer and it was in an email (and no, they weren't interested in using the knowledge base that we'd set up allowing everyone to have access to their secret insights). Or the recruiter who had so many emails he never shut down Outlook, because it was a gamble if it would ever restart...

Cover your NASes: QNAP acknowledges mystery malware but there's no patch yet

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Re: New year?

I checked ours as soon as I read the article. It's not affected. Accordingly I didn't bother to post anything, and I'd guess neither did most people in the same position.

If you see ten people on a forum complaining about a problem, all it means is that those people have the problem, not that everyone does.

No fax given: Blighty's health service bods told to ban snail mail, too

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Re: 2FA

Wait, what else does TOTP stand for is not Top of the Pops?

"Time-based One-time Password"?! Aside from that being a really ugly sentence, surely the acronym would be TBOTP? Or if you are only taking the first letter of hyphenated words then it would be TOP. Honestly, who came up with that acronym?

If you want a vision of the future, imagine not a boot stamping on a face, but keystroke logging on govt contractors' PCs

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More relevantly, am I working if I'm reading elReg? Sure, I'm not actively working right now, but I am learning about security threats and the current state of the art. Reading around a subject is the only way to stay up to date.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: New Jersey? Relax ...

Why not? I can see a useful new service of providing false evidence of someone "working".

I'd have thought organised crime would be well up for that, after all, every new law is a new business opportunity for a criminal.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

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Re: 1984

"As a proportion of GDP, welfare spending is or higher than the level it was" [sic]

Yes, but 55% of the welfare budget is spent on pensions, which given the demographics of the UK (and most western countries), it's not surprising that most of the increase in the welfare budget has been increased spending on pensions.

Is anyone else cynical enough to point out that the natural constituency of the Tory party is pensioners?

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?

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Re: Doctor Who

"blew off the vote to attend Glastonbury"

Postal votes, what are they?

Ever used VFEmail? No? Well, chances are you never will now: Hackers wipe servers, backups in 'catastrophic' attack

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Backups?

You could go with tape, or you could go with a harddrive in a USB enclosure.

A 12GB LTO8 tape is about £150, and a 10TB hdd is about £250-£300, but with the saving that you don't need to buy a tape drive (and it'll work in any computer with USB).

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

phuzz Silver badge

I was going to upvote you, but then I noticed you have 42 upvotes and I'm not going to mess with that.

You are missing at least one word from your quote though.

Ivan to be left alone: Russia preps to turn its internet into an intranet if West opens cyber-fire

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Re: Clientside Loopback Protection.

You can't jam an RJ45 connector into a USB socket, however, I have had to deal with users who've managed it the other way around.

A USB type A plug is almost perfectly sized to fit into an ethernet socket, try it!

The gimlet gaze of Azure to be turned upon UK footpads thanks to cop-friendly analytics

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Re: Different across the pond

I'm not sure where the aggrieved commentators above live, but I've never heard of them failing to turn up promptly, or to sod off without at least doing something.

Q. What's a good thing to put outside a building of spies? A: A banner saying 'here we are!'

phuzz Silver badge

I grew up in Cheltenham, and various of my friends' parents worked at GCHQ. Obviously they didn't talk about it, but they referred to their job as "I work for the civil service in Cheltenham".

Of course, back then there wasn't a Doughnut, and GCHQ was split between two sites on either side of town. There's still rumours that there is/was tunnels connecting them both.

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

phuzz Silver badge

Re: the ICO had recouped just £2.2m of the £8.5m fines

Note that this happened in October 2017, before GDPR came into force, so the ICO does currently have more powers (at least until next month...)

NHS needs to pull its finger out and prep staff for future robotics, genomics, data-led healthcare

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"A world in which a hospital can’t pull up a patient’s GP record to see the reason for stopping and starting medications is downright dangerous," he said.

Fortunately due to years of cuts, the GP waiting list is so long that the patient probably had to go straight to A&E without ever seeing their GP, so there's no records to pull up.

Lets face it, harping on about a "digital NHS" is a waste of fscking time when we can't even afford to hire enough staff...

620 million accounts stolen from 16 hacked websites now for sale on dark web, seller boasts

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Re: Password hashing

PBKDF2 was only recommended in 2017, which was when the first of the dumps came from, so I'd be surprised if any of them are using it. I'd expect it to start showing up in dumps in a couple of years, if not longer. Companies rarely move fast (and nobody is going to force all their existing customers to change their passwords, especially if it means admitting that the old ones might not have been secure).

Also, the sort of company that would use a bleeding edge crypto method, like PBKDF2, might be paying a bit more attention to their basic security, and would be less likely to end up in a dump like this.

phuzz Silver badge

It's good to know about the hack, but it does add some value to the hacker to have a reputable news outlet do the hard work of contacting firms and getting them to confirm that, yes indeed, that is their data.

Before, it was just a large, but untested dump, which may or may not have contained useful (to ner do wells) information. Now it's conformed, by at least some of the firms impacted, that the data and hashed passwords are legit.

Ever yearn for the Windows 95 shutdown sound? TADA! There's an Electron app for that

phuzz Silver badge

Re: "getting the thing to talk to the internet was challenging"

For what it's worth, you can still download the installer for XP Mode, officially, from Microsoft here. If you open it as a .cab file, you can find the VHD, which can be imported into Virtualbox. Assuming you're running a Microsoft OS and are fully licensed of course.

Cops looking for mum marauding uni campus asking students if they fancy dating her son

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Re: garage shop

Without hiring a massive crane, how exactly does one pick up a shed from the back patio of a terraced house and move it? I'd also be pretty surprised if it was big enough for even a half sized container to fit (assuming a big crane to lift it over the house and into the garden).

Terraced houses in the UK aren't that big, and neither are their back gardens (chances are the front door opens directly onto the pavement, so there's no front garden).

Think of an area not big enough to park two cars side by side, with the only access being through the house like these.

QNAP NAS user? You'd better check your hosts file for mystery anti-antivirus entries

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Re: Source of the NAStiness?

The problem we find is having to reboot the Qnap to install newer firmware. It's fine in a home unit, but when you're using it as iSCSI storage for some VM hosts it tends to mess things up.

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that

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Re: id10t


Or, if I'm having to be polite "user interface issue", as in, "I want to interface the user's head with a baseball bat".

Hungover this morning? Thought 'beer before wine and you'll be fine'? Boffins prove old adage just isn't true

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Well someone's been on a heavy drinking session

Some people seem to leave their nice booze until the end of the evening, which is totally the wrong way around.

Drink the nice stuff first, while you're still sober enough to enjoy it. After a few drinks you can move to progressive cheaper stuff, because you won't be able to tell the difference anyway.

After Amazon's Bezos exposes Pecker, National Enquirer pushes back, promises to probe itself

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Re: Dodging the accusation

"They been known to pay good money for salacious photos and videos in the past with regard to the veracity of the source. And they get nailed for it"

I'm going to guess that they've sat down and worked out that paying out $X million per year in false claims is worth the $Y millions they make from extra sales (where Y>X).

If you can pay the lawyer fees you can say what you want.

Wells Fargo? Well fscked at the moment: Data center up in smoke, bank website, app down

phuzz Silver badge

Re: The BOFH Strikes Again

The 'delay release' button is right next to the exit door, why stand there pressing the button when you can just leave? (unless you open the door and the corridor is on fire I suppose)

phuzz Silver badge

Re: The BOFH Strikes Again

I had to go in for 'health and safety training' at one of our data centres, and while talking us through what to do if the fire alarm goes off (turns out you should leave the building, good thing they told me that eh?), they told us that while you'd survive being in the room when the fire suppression went off (it uses some fancy new, non-deadly, chemical), you'd probably have both your ear drums ruptured by the air pressure suddenly increasing.

Brit Mars bot named while NASA 'nauts must wait a bit longer for a US rocket trip to the ISS

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I should have done more than 30s of research.

phuzz Silver badge

Why would they mention Airbus?

The first part is about Boeing and SpaceX's respective spacecraft, no Airbus involvement there.

The second part is about LRO taking pictures of Chang'e 4, again, neither built by Airbus.

The third part is about the ExoMars rover, that's being built by Thales.

The forth part is about Skyora, still no reason for Airbus to be name checked

And finally there's a few paragraphs about Virgin Galactic.

So which of these stories has an Airbus angle that elReg are cruelly censoring? The only space related Airbus news I can find is that they're building a satellite for a Japanese telecoms company, not really very interesting.

Housing biz made to pay £1.5k for sticking fingers in its ears when served a subject access request

phuzz Silver badge

You'll notice that all the cases that get reported are still from 2017. Imagine what'll happen when they get through the backlog of older cases, to the ones that fall under GDPR...

Reliable system was so reliable, no one noticed its licence had expired... until it was too late

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Soon never seems soon enough

I'm surprised no-one has made a "SCSI emulator" out of an Arduino or RPi or something.

*EDIT* Of course someone has done it already

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

phuzz Silver badge

nationalenquirer.com. 59 IN A

nationalenquirer.com. 59 IN A

nationalenquirer.com. 299 IN NS ns-1168.awsdns-18.org.

nationalenquirer.com. 299 IN NS ns-1945.awsdns-51.co.uk.

nationalenquirer.com. 299 IN NS ns-349.awsdns-43.com.

nationalenquirer.com. 299 IN NS ns-619.awsdns-13.net.

nationalenquirer.com. 299 IN SOA ns-1168.awsdns-18.org. awsdns-hostmaster.amazon.com. 1 7200 900 1209600 86400

Let's all take a moment to feel slightly sorry for the IT admin at the National Enquirer, who's just found out that his boss has decided to piss of the guy who runs their hosting. I'm guessing they're thinking about a migration plan right now. Although if it was me, I'd quit and go work for someone who's not an arsehole, and leave them in the shit.

Treaty of Roam: No-deal Brexit mobile bill shock

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Re: So predictable !

"The UK government and people of Ireland don't want a hard border, the EU do."

No, that's just wrong. The EU have been very clear that they don't want a hard border, because the Republic of Ireland is part of the EU, and it's their interests that the EU are negotiating on behalf of.

As for the UK government, their stated position might be that they don't want a hard border, but indevidual members of the government clearly wish that the Irish would sod off and stop getting in the way of their 'glorious brexit'.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: So predictable !

That might be why you voted, but most people would have trouble distinguishing between the EU, the EEC and the EEU, in the same way that many people didn't seem to distinguish between immigrants from the EU, and asylum seekers from the rest of the world.

Pants-purveyor in plea for popularity: It's not just any pork push... it's an M&S 'love sausage'

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Shopfront advertising gone too far #OffTopic

Still, I'm not going to complain about supermarkets already stocking hot-cross buns. I love the smell of 'em.

London's Met police confess: We made just one successful collar in latest facial recog trial

phuzz Silver badge

Re: London

As far as I'm concerned, everything inside the M25 is London.

Pixaaaarrrrrrghh! Mars-snapping CubeSats Wall-E and Eve declared dead (for now) by NASA bods

phuzz Silver badge

Damint, I've just remembered that I can do superscript, so I didn't need all those ^ marks :(

(it's sup fyi)

phuzz Silver badge

"wonder if/when they next encounter a planetary body"

Given their orbit, the only planet they're likely to encounter in the next few thousand years is likely to be Mars, and when they do they'll burn up leaving nothing more than a tiny bit of soot.

Still, you seem to be worried, so lets do some maths:

Obviously we can't measure the size of all of space, but then we're only really interested in the bit around us, so lets imagine the disk of the solar system, out to Mars orbit, and because most stuff orbits in the same plane, we can imagine it as a disc only as thick as the Earth (12x10^6m).

So, radius of Mars orbit (ish, it's really an ellipse) is 228 million km, or 228x10^9m

The area of our disc would then be 1.63x10^23 m^2, and the total volume would be 3.7x10^31 cubic metres (that's 37000000000000000000000000000000 cubic metres, more or less).

If we assume that each one of these cube sats is one cubic metre (they're smaller than that, but it's close enough), I hope you can see that 1 into 3.7x10^31 is a tiny, tiny fraction. And this isn't even the whole solar system, it's just a thin slice of the area out as far as Mars.

Space really is quite large.

Hey, UK.gov: If you truly spunked £45k on 1,300 Brexit deal print-outs, you're absolute mugs

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Out by over £2500

Change the printing defaults to duplex.

Slash printing budget by a third

Everyone complains about two-sided printing because it's "harder to read"

Get told off, rather than congratulated for saving money


Hi, Jack'd: A little PSA for anyone using this dating-hook-up app... Anyone can slurp your private, public snaps

phuzz Silver badge

Re: But

The prof unaccountably failed to say what a security researcher should do when the company they report the problem to does absolutely nothing.

I'd say that reporting (and demonstrating) it to the press, whilst not making any of the technical details public is a pretty responsible way of handling it. Perhaps Jack'd can be publicly shamed into fixing the problem even if they're not willing to fix it privately?

On the other hand, imagine how many more dates they'll be for people who fancy computer security experts, now that they'll all be making accounts to try and discover the flaw for themselves.

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