* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Alister Silver badge

Communists saw human society as a "system" that could be perfected if only a small group of very clever people (themselves) could only be given absolute control over it. How did that work out again?

To be fair, the actual root idea of communism (with a small "c") where everybody shares property, and wealth is distributed equally amongst everybody, is a valid utopian ideal.

The way that Communism was actually implemented in those countries that espoused it was as a ruling elite with all the property and all the wealth, and the rest of the population kept in poverty.

Uncle Sam to strap body sensors to hackers in nuke lab security study

Alister Silver badge

It's a Trap!

Hi, Welcome to the Department of Defense Hacking Study.

For your comfort and convenience, please wear the orange jumpsuits provided at all times.

Free transport to our Caribbean paradise testing area is included in the program.

Remember CompuServe forums? They're still around! Also they're about to die

Alister Silver badge


Yep, I used to use the Borland forum on Compuserve a lot back in the day, and I had a numeric email address, shame I can't remember what it was, now.

Think the US is alone? 18 countries had their elections hacked last year

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Up

Refusing to give in to the terrorist hysteria is a sign of a stable and mature society. Whether it has anything to do with the level of education of an average citizen I cannot rightfully say.

Well said AC.

Harry Potter to get the Pokémon GO treatment

Alister Silver badge

explore their real world neighborhoods and cities to discover and fight legendary beasts

Yeah, send your kids with expensive smartphones off into the shittier neighborhoods that most large cities have, and they'll be coming back with their phones magically vanished.

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

Alister Silver badge

Flying is the easy bit...

Landing gently however, is more tricky...

Self-driving bus in crash just 2 hours after entering public service

Alister Silver badge

Re: One thing's for sure: we're gonna need more mechanics.

Or even if the bus sounded its horn to alert the meatsack to the impending collision.

That might have been enough.

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

Alister Silver badge

Re: Erm...

There's no claim that the two women were helping him, they were just on the premises when he was arrested. I would guess probably his mum and his sister.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Time to start deporting the problem fast before it gets much worse!

eject the people en-mass of alien religions/cultures

Yeah, they're the worst, especially those religions that started in the Middle East, you know like in Jerusalem, or Nazareth...

US domestic, er, foreign spying bill progresses through Congress

Alister Silver badge

Re: It may already be too late for legislatures to stand up to security agencies

What the fsck could the FBI have on Trump that he doesn't tweet about himself ?

Details of his tax payments?

That awkward moment when AWS charges you BEELLIONS for Lightsail

Alister Silver badge

I wonder if Jeff Bezos calculates his wealth based on the same algorithms - maybe he isn't a multi-billionaire after all?

Look out, Pepe: Martha Lane Fox has a plan

Alister Silver badge

Re: How about the Badger's Nadgers?

What about "The Penguin's Privates"?

There's already the Bee's Knees, but I would also like to offer Gnat's Knackers and Cat's Pyjamas as alternatives.

Landlubber northern council shores up against boat-tipping

Alister Silver badge

Re: Vocabulary

Here in the States, there's supposedly a pastime of misguided rural youth called "cow tipping"

I thought you did "tractor tipping" over there?

Alister Silver badge

Re: "In boat heaven"

I don't understand all these gybes.

Osama Bin Laden had copy of Resident Evil, smut, in compound

Alister Silver badge

Re: Work for El Reg

Jake was around a long time before Eadon, sorry to piss on your conspiracy.

TalkTalk glitch causing mobiles and landlines to go off at the same time

Alister Silver badge

Re: To their remaining customers...

Yep, love the typo in the article which says:

"One customer deserved the issue..."

I reckon any remaining customers deserve all that happens.

Google Drive ate our homework! Doc block blamed on code blunder

Alister Silver badge

They should implement safeguards to safeguard the safeguards, I reckon.

Vlad the blockader: Russia's anti-VPN law comes into effect

Alister Silver badge

Russia is using its sway at the United Nations to push a much more restrictive approach to the internet: something that many Western governments fear hope will lead to a gradual shutting down of the open internet.


Submarine builder admits dismembering journalist's body

Alister Silver badge

I know he's supposed to be innocent unless proven guilty, and all that, but his credibility is rapidly diminishing every time he changes his story.

USB stick found in West London contained Heathrow security data

Alister Silver badge

Re: “Heathrow remains secure”

"Olympus London has fallen."

They should do a film...

Oh, wait...

Chinese whispers: China shows off magnetic propulsion engine for ultra-silent subs, ships

Alister Silver badge

Shurely shome mishtake?

Brave Twitter axes Russian media ads 11 months after the fact

Alister Silver badge

Re: Russian bought adverts influenced US presidential election?

I have it on good authority it was albino shape shifting reptiles from a planet in the Draco constellation that bought the adverts.

You've been listening to David Icke again, haven't you?

Alister Silver badge

I couldn't work out why Twitter would block the Radio Times...

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

Alister Silver badge

At one site I worked at, the server room (on the third floor) had a number of rows of racks set at 90degrees to the external wall, and between each row was a large high window in the wall which was hinged at the top.

I was working in the rack nearest the wall, and leant on the window whilst trying to persuade a server into the sliders in the rack.

The window was unlatched, and opened under my weight, so there I was hanging out of the window with a large server in my arms, desperately trying to lever myself back in through force of will and a toe hold under the rack...

Interesting moment... :)

Alister Silver badge

A vintage bit of BOFH

Thanks Simon.

Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Alister Silver badge

Re: Who wrote this crap?


Wow, your first post for four years and that's all you can think of?

Most of us quite enjoy Mr Dabbs' rantings. What a shame you don't.

Alister Silver badge

Therein lies madness.

Yes, it did.


Boss put chocolate cake on aircon controller, to stop people using it

Alister Silver badge

Re: It's not just cake which can annoy the real folk.

I have to confess to acquiring a very handy Casio watch

Awww. Given the mention of wire-cutters above, I was hoping for a James Bond style watch with a laser in it to cut the speaker wires...

Disappointed now...


Alister Silver badge

I think I've written before about our comms room. Unusually, we, the Ops staff were given the opportunity to design the space and layout from a blank sheet when we moved into the building, as it was a new build specifically for the company.

We therefore designed the whole area to be open and spacious, with a central row of racks down the middle of the room with power distribution and network access from the ceiling, and wide sturdy worktops down one side, with loads of power outlets and network ports available. Dedicated air-conditioning was put in place with a hot side and a cold side for the racks.

Access to the comms room was controlled by electronic tags as well as physical locks, and only IT staff and company Directors were allowed access.

Within 3 months of moving in, the room had changed from a roomy, pleasant work space, to being jammed full of crap. There's a golf cart, a set of car wheels, broken desks and chairs and all sorts of other stuff, to the point that it is no longer possible to open the rack doors unless you first empty the room into the corridor.

The IT staff have not done this, so guess who?

Whois? No, Whowas: Incoming Euro privacy rules torpedo domain registration system

Alister Silver badge

Re: I doubt this will change anything...

Which would be a breach of the law as it is not required for dns to work.

It's not got anything to do with DNS, as such, just domain registration.

Alister Silver badge

There's an awful lot of FUD being preached in the name of GDPR.

Article 6.1 states:

1. Processing shall be lawful only if and to the extent that at least one of the following applies:

(a) the data subject has given consent to the processing of his or her personal data for one or more specific purposes;

(b) processing is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is party or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract;

(c) processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject;

(d) processing is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person;

(e) processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller;

(f) processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.

As far as I can see both (c) and (e) are sufficient to allow for the publication of basic whois information.

Humble civil servant: Name public electric car chargers after me

Alister Silver badge

A whole new meaning to the phrase "Hayesing"

Telegram settles lawsuit against ex-staffer who claimed FSB links

Alister Silver badge

Re: Another article written on speculation

I realise that Britain has always considered Russia its enemy...

I'm not sure that that is the case, and certainly not to the extent that America has taken it, both in the 50s, and now again in the present.

I completely agree with you that the article seems determined to cast doubt on Telegram's integrity, and surely, if any software written in Russia is to be considered a security risk, then exactly the same should be said of any software written in America.

I'm quite sure the NSA and other shadowy organisations are doing their best to subvert American software to their own ends, either with or without the agreement of the software companies.

Boss visited the night shift and found a car in the data centre

Alister Silver badge

Re: Mini - not really

Not in a datacentre, but a telephone exchange where an equipment room which was once full of 30 racks of strowger selectors was emptied out when the exchange became System X.

One of the TOs used to regularly park his Land Rover in there on nights to work on it.

You can yacht be serious: Larry might be planning his own version of America’s Cup

Alister Silver badge

Re: Left hand down a bit!

Whilst doing a quick google to explore nautical terms I could use to extend this plethora of puns, I was stopped in my tracks by the following definition:

- A signalman who prepares and flies flag hoists.

How very apt, I thought.

Larry Ellison, what a Bunting Tosser!

IT resellers, this is your future: Shifting driverless cars within 5 years

Alister Silver badge

Being autonomous doesn't magically remove a car's need for physical maintenance and repairs, so I would suggest that the traditional car dealers are better placed to continue to sell autonomous vehicles.

I'm not aware of many (any) IT resellers with a fully equipped workshop for car maintenance...

NHS: Remember those patient records we didn't deliver? Well, we found another 162,000

Alister Silver badge

Re: Help me understand this

In a private healthcare system, people provide a private company with all of their health information; arguably a lot more valuable and intrusive into one's life than many think. Yet, get absolutely mad upset about handing over a PIN to their phone.


Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user

Alister Silver badge

Re: Now it can be told...

Once the USB attached peripherals took over from PS2 connections, it became trivially easy to connect more than one keyboard and mouse to a PC.

In an office of back to back cubicles, if done with some subtlety, this could provide hours of enjoyment, as the victim's keyboard and mouse apparently did random things.

Like the mouse ever so slowly drifting diagonally across the screen, or the keyboard sometimes adding random letters, but not necessarily the same ones.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Every day's a school day

I think I've posted before about one of our sales staff who went to do some in-house training for some of the software we produce.

She sat with one young lady who had a wireless mouse and keyboard, and consistently, over the duration of the training period, the client would grab her mouse upside down, and then try moving it, and clicking it, and then whinge about how "she's told IT about her mouse being broken loads of times, but they never fix it".

Our salesperson said she had to hold herself back from just snatching the mouse from the client and showing her how to use it, all through the training session. She said afterwards she was rehearsing in her mind the old question: "do you still have the box your PC came in?"

Judge says US govt has 'no right to rummage' through anti-Trump protest website logs

Alister Silver badge

Re: What puzzles me is why organisations like this (disruptj20) make such problems possible.

I can see no valid reason for a hosting service to retain data about inbound connections to a given site.

How about, for instance, traffic analysis, threat identification, forensic investigation?

'There has never been a right to absolute privacy' – US Deputy AG slams 'warrant-proof' crypto

Alister Silver badge

I have bare arms quite a lot in summer.

Not so much now, though, it's too cold.

I think you meant bear.

Equifax: About those 400,000 UK records we lost? It's now 15.2M. Yes, M for MEELLLION

Alister Silver badge

Yep, all you need is name, date and place of birth. No evidence of identification of the requestor is required.

Alister Silver badge

Re: What are your thoughts on...

The problem with GOV.UK Verify is that it outsources / delegates the verification process to third parties, including credit reference agencies...

So the security and verification it provides are just as vulnerable as it's weakest link.

Hello Experian, Verizon...

Alister Silver badge

Any answers to security questions – such as your mother's maiden name – given to Equifax during an account signup should now be considered compromised, the NCSC warned, and should be changed for other websites, if possible.

Mum? Hi, yes, listen, I need you to change your maiden name to something different...

Yeah, but look, it's not me, it's the government...

Well can't you forge your birth certificate, or something?

Ok, ok, forget I asked...

Sniffing substations will solve 'leccy car charging woes, reckons upstart

Alister Silver badge

Re: Access to the Open LV dataset...

Which bright spark started this? These puns are re volt ing, they are so bad it Hertz.

Alister Silver badge

Using an 11kW charger would take six hours to fully charge a Tesla Model S, ... from the 25 per cent full state.

So a 3.5kW charger is likely to take between 18 and 20 hours to charge an equivalent vehicle, therefore people will be much more likely to use a higher wattage device.

This means that the following:

The project concluded that across Britain 32 per cent of low voltage circuits (312,000) will require reinforcing when 40 per cent –70 per cent of customers have EVs based on 3.5kW chargers.”

...is a load of rubbish, and that actually the current electrical infrastructure is unlikely to support any serious uptake of electrical vehicles.

NASA readies its asteroid warning system for harmless flyby

Alister Silver badge

Re: Bit late ain't it?

It's a test!

In order for it to be a successful test, they need to already know the asteroid is there, to see if the warning system detects it.

Moon trumps Mars in new US space policy

Alister Silver badge

Re: Policy for Future American Leadership in Space

Yeah, I blame the Russians.

Oh, sorry, wrong thread...

What does the Moon 4bn years ago and Yahoo! towers this week have in common? Both had an awful atmosphere

Alister Silver badge

Re: What a delicious typo

NASA’s administrator Robert Lightfood

Well, he's on a diet.

Leicestershire teen admits attempting to hack director of the CIA

Alister Silver badge

So when's the extradition?

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019