* Posts by sisk

2362 posts • joined 17 Mar 2010

Scanning an Exchange server for a virus that spreads via email? What could go wrong?

sisk
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Re: Deleted Emails

Still, creating 7000 new accounts seems a bit knee-jerk

You misunderstand. I was supposed to delete 7000 accounts 20-30 at a time. The mistake was on one OU. Since it was a teacher OU instead of a student OU it was a little bigger, but still no more than 40. I also wasn't deleting the OUs themselves, just the accounts they contained.

As for restoring, it was probably the first thing I tried (It's been several years, some details are lost to my memory), but at the time our backup system was both a major PITA and a bit unreliable. It only took around a couple hours worth of work to fix the whole mess once you discount the fruitless call to Microsoft tech support. Had it happened during the school year it would have been a much bigger problem, but as I mentioned all the teachers who were affected were out on summer break.

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sisk
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Deleted Emails

Many years ago I was responsible for deleting student AD accounts at the end of the school year. I did this by going to the OU in the third-party AD front-end we used, hitting select all, and hitting delete. I had to do this for each grade in 18 schools ranging from primary schools to high schools, somewhere around 100 OUs and 7000ish accounts in total. All was going well until about halfway through the task. I watched it clear the OU I was on and then, as it finished, realized that I was in a teacher OU.

"Whoops" doesn't begin to cover it.

While hiding my mistakes really isn't in my nature, fixing them before I tell the boss I screwed up is. I created new accounts for all the users I'd just deleted, restored the contents of their network drives, and a did a bit of hacking to recover the deleted Exchange mailboxes from the old accounts and connect them to the new ones (after being told by a Microsoft support tech that such a feat wouldn't be possible, I might add). Once all that was done I fired an email off to the boss explaining what had happened. In the end the only inconvenience to the deleted users was that they had to set new passwords for themselves when they came back a month later and I was spared any consequences by the fact that I'd already fixed it before anyone noticed anything.

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Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

sisk
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Whole board or panel swaps in most cases. It's rare for a repair shop to do component level repairs these days.

Depends on where you take it. There's a local electronics repair shop here that will do component level repairs for $50/hour (the cost of living around here is pretty low by US standards). For easily diagnosed stuff like popped caps it usually comes in under the cost of replacing the whole board, especially in cases where the whole board is hard to find. Cheapskate that I am I usually just fix my stuff myself if at all possible, but I've been known to send friends and coworkers his way.

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sisk
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I kept a VCR around a lot longer than most people did. My last VCR was killed by a 2 year old with a peanut butter sandwich. She pushed it in the slot just like she'd seen us pushing in tapes. The result was peanut butter everywhere. I suppose I could have cleaned and saved it, but it just really didn't seem worth the effort. By that point all the VHS tapes I had that were worth watching had either been run through a TV capture card and stored digitally or re-bought on DVD.

The same kid tried the same thing a couple weeks later with a PS3. Fortunately, though, the peanut butter ended up all over the front of the case. No real damage done.

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sisk
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Re: Monitor

You don't last long in this profession if you don't learn proper troubleshooting techniques and eliminating possible causes of a problem is a pretty vital technique. I know a some people who have never managed to get it down, but in my experience they don't last more than a few years.

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Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

sisk
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A couple months ago on my home computer (which has several Linux distros installed and which all share a common /home because I apparently like to make life difficult for myself - and yes, that's as close to a logical reason I have for having multiple distros installed on one machine) I was going to get rid of one of the extraneous Linux installs and use the space to expand the root partition for one of the other distros. I realized I'd typed /dev/sdc2 instead of /dev/sdc3 at the same time that I verified that, yes, I wanted to delete the partition. And sdc2 is where the above mentioned shared /home lives. Doh.

Fortunately I have a good file server and a cron job running rsync every night, so I didn't actually lose any data, but I think my heart stopped for a few seconds before I realized that.

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Raspberry Pi supremo Eben Upton talks to The Reg about Pi PoE woes

sisk
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As I said when it was first announced, a 3rd party PoE hat has been available for Pis for years. And, what's more, it's not a terribly difficult thing for a competent electronics hobbyist - granted, one with probably too much time on their hands - to cobble together for themselves if they really wanted it and had the networking equipment to support it. What advantage does the "official" PoE support - that still requires a hat - have over the one that's already out there? No one yet has been able to give me an answer to that simple question.

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Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

sisk
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Re: said it before I'll say it again

Nah. Email itself is fine. Its the idiots who insist on treating it like a secure channel for confidential communications that are the problem.

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sisk
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While I agree that usually the correct response is to look closely at the evidence before coming to any conclusions and that immediately assuming a fantastic claim is BS is wrong, this case is is a matter of the former, not the latter.

There are lots of red flags raised here. The first of which is an identical noise profile. The whole reason it's called "noise" is because its random. For it to be identical like that would be so statistically unlikely that we wouldn't expect it to have ever happened once even if they'd been repeatedly running the experiment ever since the Big Bang. So that's red flag number one. Red flag number two is the faked emails. Even if they had good evidence that would - and SHOULD - raise some eyebrows.

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sisk
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Re: It's dead, Jim, but not as we know it

Quantum computer works precisely because everytime you look at it - it turns itself to some combination of off and on again

FTFY

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US voting systems: Full of holes, loaded with pop music, and 'hacked' by an 11-year-old

sisk
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Re: Old joke!

Why aren't elections done that way in the US?

They are in at least some states.

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sisk
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Re: Obligatory

To be fair to the issues raised in the XKCD comic, planes that have someone trying to make them crash don't typically fair very well. Nor, I think, would elevators that had a person knowledgeable about them trying to make them fall.

But, yes, security on electronic voting machines is a joke. From what little I've seen of them (which isn't much because my state thankfully still uses paper) I've got better security on the wifi enabled light switches I built and scattered around my house.

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You won't believe this but... everyone hates their cable company: Bombshell study lands

sisk
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In fact, if you want to be less infuriated with your cable company, the answer appears to be to go with the small guys

I'd love to. Any tips on how to get one of those small guys to come into town and start competing with Cox?

Here's the real problem: unless you live in a big city - which around half of Americans still don't - they've got you. My options for internet here are AT&T, Cox, or a couple local companies that top out around 5mb speeds. And as for cable TV? The local companies don't even try. Granted I (and, in my opinion, anyone who budgets with any kind of sanity) don't have cable TV these days, but I'm still paying out the nose for internet simply because I have no options.

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Space, the final Trump-tier: America to beam up $8bn for Space Force

sisk
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Re: Wrong

Jemma, you need to read a bit closer before you start going off on other people and calling them idiots. Both Trump's comments and Patrician's, which set you off on that little rant, specifically state they are talking about AMERICA'S first rocket. Wernher Von Braun may have launched the world's first successful rocket, but it was not by any stretch of the imagination America's first rocket, even if it did come before the Jupiter C. Context matters.

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sisk
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Re: Americans need to alter the criteria for being allowed to be president.

Let's be fair: space aliens are almost certainly real.

Millions or billions of light years away, undiscovered as of yet by humans, and absolutely never stepping foot on planet Earth, but probably real none the less.

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sisk
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Somehow I don't think Trump cares if he tramples over the Outer Space Treaty. He certainly hasn't shown much interest in honoring other treaties and commitments made by the US before he was elected. He's done everything from actively try to dismantle NAFTA to pull out of the Paris agreement. Space based weapons platforms in violation of a 1960s era treaty would be par for the course for him.

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Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help

This post has been deleted by a moderator

sisk
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Re: Shooting the messengers much?

Also: how does one "affect" an election?

How gullible do you have to be if you let random posts on the Internet affect your decision on who to vote for? That is the one thing I simply cannot comprehend.

It's really not that difficult to understand. Every piece of information you encounter regarding a person or idea will have an impact on your opinion. If you encounter enough pieces of information that challenge your own views sooner or later you're going to start questioning those views. That's not gullibility. It's just the way the human mind works. And we're not talking about "a" random post on the internet. We're talking about hundreds or thousands of them. Anyone who is undecided or not strongly committed to their decision will be swayed somewhat by that. Only someone who has closed their mind to the possibility that their views might be wrong would be totally immune to that sort of influence.

Personally I'm of the opinion that it takes a serious lack of introspection to understand this concept. I see people who say they think for themselves but immediately reject any information that challenges the ideas they've already formed, regardless of the obvious merit of the information in question, exactly as you are doing here.

At this point it's bleedingly obvious that Russia attempted to sway the US election in favor of Trump. Even if they had zero impact - which, in my opinion, only a fool would believe - that is worrisome. They may or may not have been what made an impact in the election, but the fact that the man they wanted as US President is now President is troubling to say the least.

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Oldest swinger in town, Slackware, notches up a quarter of a century

sisk
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You know, my Arch install is acting up (due to local problems like lack of drive space, and some idiot who shall remain nameless doing a partial update rather than any problems with Arch itself, but the easiest fix is still a full install) and I've never given Slack a go. Maybe it's time....

(I might be a masochist.)

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Y'know... Publishing tech specs may be fair use, says appeals court

sisk
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Is it just me or isn't it blindingly obvious that technical specifications should fall under fair use?

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Tired sysadmin plugged cable into wrong port, unleashed a 'virus'

sisk
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Re: Common trick

This happened to us exactly once. Then our network manager enabled BPDU guard across the whole network. Real quick easy fix.....well, would have been quick and easy if we didn't have a couple hundred switches to change the settings on anyway.

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Foot lose: Idiot perv's shoe-mounted upskirt vid camera explodes

sisk
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Huh. I guess karma DOES work once in a while.

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Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

sisk
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Re: Just Wait till NZ gets the bill

Medivac choppers run 50K+ (pure unalloyed greed, but that is another story)

Insurance companies are to blame for that, not the medivac companies.

plus hospital at the walk-in uninsured rates

Most hospitals will write off most of the uninsured rate. Insurance companies demand a huge discount so they've got to jack up the price, but they rarely actually charge the full hyper-inflated price.

Also, I'm pretty sure New Zealand won't be on the hook for medical care in America at all even if he is one of their citizens.

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sisk
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I am going to print this article off and make my daughter read it. Articles like this should be required reading for kids around a certain age IMHO.

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BOFH: Got that syncing feeling, hm? I've looked at your computer and the Outlook isn't great

sisk
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I guess this Boss had to do something worthy of punishment sooner or later. I was starting to think Simon liked him too much.

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Woman sues NASA for ownership of vial of space dust

sisk
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Re: So... uhm...

Not muddy at all.

They went there with an aim to collect materials as part of the mission. As with most companies, if you produce something whilst doing your job the stuff you produce/collect belongs to them.

True, but things are a little different with jobs where you're on the job 24/7 for long periods of time. Think of it this way: if a soldier is on mission someplace exotic and takes a few seconds to collect some sand from the beach in a test tube as a souvenir in between doing other things, does the military own that vial of sand? Of course not. I don't really think that the fact that very few people have been to the moon and had that chance to grab a vial of moon dust changes the situation that much.

He collected samples for NASA and took a few seconds to collect one for himself, as anyone else who has a job they can't leave at the end of the day would have been allowed to. Just because he was paid to go there doesn't mean every speck of everything he brought back automatically has to be the property of his employer.

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sisk
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Re: So... uhm...

If you go and collect your own samples then that is a different matter.

I'd say even by that measure this particular case is a bit muddy. Armstrong DID go and collect those samples and gave one to a friend's daughter. The argument could be made that NASA paid to get him there, but I think - just my opinion - that it'd be a hard sell to say he couldn't get something for himself while he was there in between all the samples he collected for NASA. And if he could get something for himself them he could also give it away.

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Microsoft will ‘lose developers for a generation’ if it stuffs up GitHub, says future CEO

sisk
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A generation? Nah. The horror story would get passed down to baby developers as a lesson to never trust Microsoft for at least three generations. But he's right about Microsoft's recent acquisitions though. Minecraft in particular. I mean how may games can claim to have been the number one game in the world for several years in a row?

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Trio indicted after police SWAT prank call leads to cops killing bloke

sisk
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They're just now bringing charges in that? It cause quite an uproar in this area back in December. Here in SW Kansas all our news filters through Wichita, so it was all people were talking about for about a week.

Anyway, I hope they throw the book at these guys so hard that the next dumbass who thinks about SWATing someone feels it when they reach for the phone and decide not to do it.

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BOFH: Their bright orange plumage warns other species, 'Back off! I'm dangerous!'

sisk
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Coffee/keyboard

"Which is why I always carry a carrot for self-defence,"

And now I need a new keyboard.

On a related note, coffee ejected through the nose does not feel wonderful. But hey, I must have absorbed some of the caffeine through my nasal cavity cuz I'm definitely awake now.

And yes, I do know better than to drink my coffee while reading BOFH.

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Boffins: Michael Jackson's tilt was a criminally smooth trick

sisk
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Yes, but when the cyborg dancers decide to become full Cybermen, then we have a problem

Only if you consider involuntary upgrades a problem.....wait, are Cybermen running Microsoft these days?

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sisk
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Re: So in order to lean over further than normally possible...

Does that deserve a patent? Surely that counts as "obvious"?

Clearly you haven't paid attention to patent litigation. "Obvious" may legally be a reason to deny a patent, but in practice I can name quite a few patents that have been granted to obvious ideas.

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sisk
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Re: dance moves are So Dangerous

You Are Not Alone if you tire of Bad puns with Michael Jackson songs. It's enough to make you want to Scream, but hey, at least it's not the Man In The Mirror making the puns, right?

Yes, I'm going. I've Got To Be There you know....

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sisk
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Um......did anyone ever actually think he did the lean unaided? It took me about 30 seconds after the first time I saw it - at the age of 10 I might add - to conclude that there must have been something special about Jackson's shoes that made it possible.

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Kids and the web latest: 'Won't somebody please think of the children!' US Congresscritters plead

sisk
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Re: We can protect them from those evil advertisers.

And before any of you point to guns and Conservatives as the problem, let me point out one significant observation: guns, and even kids with access to guns, have been around for centuries. Mass murders were virtually unheard of until recently. What has changed?

It's not the schools, liberals, or globalists. The problem is much closer to home than that. I do agree with you that it is demonstrably not guns. If it were the current disturbing trend we're seeing with school shootings would have started a century ago instead of just a few decades ago. And besides that, there are nations out there with far higher gun ownership rates than the US (guns may outnumber people here, but they're owned by a proportionately small number of people with large gun safes) where this doesn't happen.

Somewhere along the line a basic respect for life has been lost in our society. We've also failed to teach our kids to cope with adversity. Most of these school shooters have been bullied kids, which is where some people want to lay blame. Well, I was a bullied kid (likely along with a lot of other Reg readers given how the tech field attracts the less-than-socially-adept) with access to guns but shooting up my classmates never entered my mind. And mainstream media doesn't help matters at all by turning every mentally disturbed kid who shoots up his classmates into an instant celebrity.

That said, measures that will make it harder for kids to get guns are a reasonable stopgap measure while we address the real problems. I'm a strong gun rights advocate myself, but this is getting ridiculous.

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Router admin? Bored? Let's play Battleships using BGP!

sisk
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This article made me chuckle.

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Lawyers for Marcus Hutchins: His 'I made malware' jail phone call isn't proper evidence

sisk
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The idea is they could get a job when they leave and become a useful member of society - often at Timpsons Shoe Repairs.

That's another reason for our repeat offender rate. If you've done a stint in a US prison for a felony, good luck finding a job that doesn't involve the risk of going back. And even if you do the government might just screw you over. I know a guy who managed to get a - I think his parents put in a good word for him - job when he got out after going to prison for a couple years on a drug offense. 3 months later the state decided he need to go spend 6 months at a halfway house to "help him integrate back into society" - never mind that he had already done that with a little help from hi family. Most places would have fired him. Fortunately for him it was a small, local company that was willing to hold the job for him till the state decided to let him come back.

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sisk
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If the purpose of putting a felon in a US prison is to rehabilitate them

Let me stop you right there. It isn't. What, you think we get a 90% repeat offense rate by having rehabilitation anywhere on the list of priorities in our prison system? Nah man. US prisons are built and run around the idea of punishment, with a little though given to things like dignity but none at all given to the possibility of taking in a criminal and spitting out a rehabilitated, possibly productive, member of society. If anything our prisons do the exact opposite, taking in petty criminals and spitting out hardened ones.

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sisk
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Erm....Ok....so you took a guy from another country who was drunk at the time. Then you let him waive his Miranda Rights while drunk and sleep deprived. On what grounds can you realistically say this person could possibly understand his rights?

There are times, more and more of them lately, when I'm disgusted by my own government.

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You love Systemd – you just don't know it yet, wink Red Hat bods

sisk
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Re: fscking BINARY LOGS.

"I have no clue what I'm talking about or what's a robust solution but dear god, that won't stop me!" – why is it that all the people complaining about journald sound like that?

I have had the displeasure of dealing with journald and it is every bit as bad as everyone says and worse.

systemd works just fine with regular syslog-ng, without journald (that's the thing that has binary logs) in sight

Yeah, I've tried that. It caused problems. It wasn't a viable option.

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sisk
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It's a pretty polarizing debate: either you see Systemd as a modern, clean, and coherent management toolkit

Very, very few Linux users see it that way.

or an unnecessary burden running roughshod over the engineering maxim: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Seen as such by 90% of Linux users because it demonstrably is.

Truthfully Systemd is flawed at a deeply fundamental level. While there are a very few things it can do that init couldn't - the killing off processes owned by a service mentioned as an example in this article is handled just fine by a well written init script - the tradeoffs just aren't worth it. For example: fscking BINARY LOGS. Even if all of Systemd's numerous other problems were fixed that one would keep it forever on my list of things to avoid if at all possible, and the fact that the Systemd team thought it a good idea to make the logs binary shows some very troubling flaws in their thinking at a very fundamental level.

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Every major OS maker misread Intel's docs. Now their kernels can be hijacked or crashed

sisk
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Imagine you're teaching a math class. You have one kid who's failing but the rest are doing fine. Odds are you have a bad student. If, on the other hand, all your students are failing odds are you're a bad teacher. You are failing to convey the concept to your students and your poor explanation is not their fault.

If everyone misread the documentation then the problem is with the documentation.

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Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

sisk
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It's been years since I've opened Notepad on my own computer. There are FAR better alternatives - most of them free in every sense of the word - for what it does. Mind you my preference is for one of the few non-free ones, but meh, still applies.

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sisk
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Re: relief arrived a long time ago

Open the file in wordpad any non-MS text editor instead of notepad. Though I suppose it's good for the newbies that probably never knew that.

FTFY

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BOFH: But I did log in to the portal, Dave

sisk
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Heh. Yep. Just, yep. Unfortunately - or maybe fortunately - all the support vendors I deal with go to lunch at least 300 miles from my office.

Also, anyone else getting the feeling that Simon likes this boss for some reason?

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Bill Gates declined offer to serve as Donald Trump's science advisor

sisk
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Microsoft make hardware too and spend many billions on scientific R&D, it's not that far apart.

Running a company that employs a lot of scientists does not make one qualified to be a science adviser. At the end of the day Gates is a very intelligent businessman but also a college dropout. He does not have the qualifications for any sort of science based position.

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sisk
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I don't think ANY of the men mentioned in this article would be qualified to be the White House science adviser. Gates was right to turn down the position, and of the three men mentioned towards the end of the article Musk - whom I quite like but whose idea of science is commendably lacking in considerations of what's actually feasible much of the time - is the closest to being qualified, but he's still no scientist. I know who would be on my personal short list for that role and, sadly, none of them are from Silicon Valley. In fact a couple of them aren't even from the US.

One in particular - a British scientist who would be #1 or 2 on my list if we didn't have to consider nationality for White House positions - is a rather infamous YouTuber who would really piss off the radicals at both ends of the spectrum (bonus!) but who would be fantastic at the job. That's especially true with a President like Trump who needs to be told things in a blunt fashion by someone who's not easily intimidated.

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Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST

sisk
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Re: Even in the extremely unlikely event that fully autonomous vehicles ever become viable

but on public roads driving your own car will rapidly become viewed as violently antisocial insanity. I've been saying for a few years now - by the time my (so far unborn) kids are old enough to learn to drive, they won't need to bother, and by the time THEIR kids are old enough, it'll be against the law.

I highly doubt that. For starters, there will still be cars on the road 40 years from now that were built before self-driving cars were a thing. Not many mind you, but there will no doubt be some just as there are still people driving around in cars made in the 1960s today. Around here it's not even unusual to see a mid-60s model muscle car in the parking lot at the local grocery store. In fact, given the type of person who drives them, it's likely that a lot of those cars will still be running up until their current owners are too old to drive. Even in the unlikely event that autonomous drive becomes mandatory there will be holdouts in older vehicles. Just like seat belt laws, autonomous drive laws will not apply to cars that don't have autonomous drive.

Second, we're at least a couple generations from people really being completely comfortable with autonomous cars. More than a couple if the robot apocalypse genre continues to be popular in the future. Too many people actually think Terminator is a realistic scenario.

Third, software is glitchy. Every time some car manufacturer issues a bad update or a car gets hacked - and make no mistake, both will happen on occasion if autonomous cars are widespread - it will be a reminder that computers are not 100% trustworthy.

Yeah, autonomous cars will probably - quickly - get to the point where they're safer than a human driver. But that won't matter. Just as flying is much safer than driving and people still get nervous flying, autonomous cars are going to make the average person nervous for a good long time.

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It's US Tax Day, so of course the IRS's servers have taken a swan dive

sisk
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Re: COBOL hacking

"At the conclusion of his questioning, Connolly lightheartedly suggested the silver lining of legacy systems is that the Chinese don't know how to hack COBOL"

So the Chinese don't have any aging programmers looking for a way to pad their wallets a little now that their skills are out of date? I find that hard to believe.

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sisk
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Ok, I get that today is the deadline, but I still have to wonder why anyone is filing taxes today. Maybe I'm weird but I've always had the philosophy that you should get your taxes done just as soon as you can. I usually have mine done and a tax return check in hand (not literally of course - this stuff is all done digitally these days) by mid-February. The only time I put off filing my taxes it was because I had to pay in and needed a little extra time to come up with the money, but even then my taxes were done long before mid-April rolled around. I could see maybe putting it off till March if you're still waiting for some paperwork, but why would anyone put off filing their taxes till the last possible day?

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