* Posts by Alister

3335 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Firefox 57's been quietly delaying tracking scripts

Alister Silver badge

Re: Firefox 57 on Ubuntu 16.04

Can somebody fix the memory leaks on Linux?

Posting this on El Reg is unlikely to get you much of a response. Why not try the Mozilla forums?

'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

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Re: "and gloves were forbidden"

a mixture of mercury and iron filings in his lab-coat pocket,

Magnesium, dammit, not mercury

Alister Silver badge

Re: "and gloves were forbidden"

My secondary school Head of Chemistry used to walk around with a mixture of mercury and iron filings in his lab-coat pocket, and he used to walk behind the pupils and throw pinches of the mixture into the lit bunsen burners on the bench. Very hard to concentrate when a low-grade thermite reaction is going off in front of you!

US senators rail against effort to sneak through creepy mass spying bill

Alister Silver badge

and now we have the Liberty act they are trying to push through the back door.

Yeah, if they'd called it the Butt-Plug law, we'd have known where we stand...

Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

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Make read/ write heads operate independently (on seperate platters)

So, not actually, then.

Exploding alien bodies' space death-rays gave Earth its radiation cloak

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Earth is Flat

NASA should be funded for a mission to send a probe under the earth to look at the bottom, we need to know if it's turtles all the way down.

UK's map maker Ordnance Survey plays with robo roof detector

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Re: Ho ho ho

However, determining if there's a gas or electric fire at the bottom of the chimney is still beyond AI.

Yes children, that muffled thumping noise and swearing is just Santa trying to deliver the presents...

At Christmas, do you give peas a chance? Go cold turkey? What is the perfect festive feast?

Alister Silver badge

Re: Goose

Fellow residents of Great Britain;

Yorkshire puds with Xmas dinner. Yes or no?

A resounding NO here, I can't imagine why you would do such a thing.

Alister Silver badge

Starter for Ten...

So, we normally have the following to feed the assembled hordes:

Chicken (as it's much moister than turkey) with streaky bacon laid over the breast, and cooked as a crown.

Pigs in blankets (cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon, for those not aware of the term).

Roasted carrot and parsnip coated in honey.

Roast potatoes done in goose fat.

Sprouts, boiled and then mixed with chestnuts and lightly fried in butter.

Boiled carrots.

We don't do peas, or any other green veg.

Gravy, made from the legs and wings of the chicken boiled and reduced down.

Sage and Onion stuffing.

Bread sauce.

Redcurrant Jelly, not Cranberry sauce.

Then Christmas Pud with double cream, not custard, about 2 hours after the main course...

Christmas cake and mince pies may appear in the evening, as we argue over the family jigsaw...

America's drone owner database is baaaack! Just in time for Xmas

Alister Silver badge

Re: If you want a laugh...

@Big John

The whole point of this exercise is that the new bill is NOT like the old one.

John, you seem to be having a comprehension fail here. What part of the following suggests that the new rules are different?

President Trump today signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 that will reinstate rules created by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2015

Pickaxe chops cable, KOs UKFast data centre

Alister Silver badge

Re: DR Testing Failure


Doesn't matter how big your batteries are, if the generators don't work the batteries will eventually run out.

No, that's obviously true, but my reading of this situation is that the mains power went out and everything stopped immediately. They should have had sufficient battery power to at least give them time to manually start the backup generators, but that doesn't appear to have happened.

Alister Silver badge

Re: DR Testing Failure


The article very carefully skims over that bit, doesn't it.

The incoming mains supply was lost to the site and generators failed to take over the service.

Every datacenter I've ever dealt with does weekly on-load generator tests, and UPS failover tests.

Now we all know shit happens, no matter how much we try to prepare, but this does feel like they haven't been taking enough time on planning or testing.

Why didn't their UPS have enough capacity to keep things up, even if the generators failed to start cleanly?

Millions of moaners vindicated: Man flu is 'a thing', says researcher, and big TVs are cure

Alister Silver badge

Re: Man Flu - banter OK but no balance

@A Non e-mouse

Unfortunately you seem to be in a minority, most managers I've come across don't care about whether you infect everyone else, they just don't want you to be off.

My experience is not that it's bravery driving people to come in when ill, it's fear of reprisals.

Alister Silver badge

Well, he must o' thought that is quite a joke

And it got a lot of laughs from a' lots of folk,

It seems I had to fight my whole life through.

Developers, developers, developers: How 'serverless' crowd dropped ops like it's hot

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...and is it a good idea?

Serverless is all about giving developers the ability to execute code without requiring sysadmins.

Given the recent large numbers of incidents where private data has been dumped in an S3 bucket and then ALL THE SECURITY TURNED OFF, I would suggest that developers shouldn't be trusted to do anything without sysadmin supervision.

Berners-Lee, Woz, Cerf: Cancel flawed net neutrality vote

Alister Silver badge

Re: Whaaat?

@Big John

Are you really so deluded as to think that all these people are part of some evil conspiracy to push a political agenda.

Can you not appreciate that these people, many of whom are the pioneering founders of what the internet is today, may be genuinely concerned by what they see as an ill-concieved and flawed plan of action?

Have you actually read the open letter? I have, and I'm not seeing the "personal attacks and Good vs Evil language" which you mention.

Shady US sigint base upgrade marred by stolen photograph

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thieving gits

A mate of mine had a similar experience with Transport For London, who, in their online documentation for the London Exclusion Zone, nicked a photograph of his to illustrate a type of vehicle that was not compliant.

The photograph, which was taken by him of his own vehicle, was published on his own website which was for enthusiasts of that type of car. Under every image on his site there was a copyright notice, but sadly he didn't watermark the image.

TfL didn't even bother hosting the image themselves, they just linked to my mate's server, which is how he found out about it - he noticed a sudden increase in traffic to the site.

When he contacted TfL to get them to stop, they claimed they had tried to find the copyright owner before using the image, but couldn't. Clearly bollox.

He said afterwards that he regretted the missed opportunity of replacing the image with one of the same filename, but different content...

Euro Patent Office ignores ruling and refuses entry to vindicated judge

Alister Silver badge

Re: New challenge

The UN could appoint him to bring peace and harmony to the Middle East.

They could crown him King of Jerusalem, that should go down well with all parties.

Yes, Britain has an urban-rural 4G schism. This is what it looks like

Alister Silver badge

Surprisingly, Hutchison’s Three bests O2 for average 4G download speed in every region

But that graph doesn't tell the whole story, whilst Three may be faster than O2 where it is available, its overall coverage is still poor, in my experience. Certainly in the East Midlands region, you'll be lucky to get any signal on Three outside of urban areas, whereas O2 coverage is much more evenly spread.

Opportunity rover survives Martian winter for eighth time

Alister Silver badge

Re: Image scale

Could someone suggest an idea of the size of the rocks in that photo, wrt to Opportunity?


Mailsploit: It's 2017, and you can spoof the 'from' in email to fool filters

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@Doctor Syntax

There seems to be a view in some comments that being able to spoof From: is a Good Thing.

I challenge that. It facilitates all sorts of crime and what's possibly worse is that business who "legitimately" make use of this are training their correspondents to be phished.

You seem to be under the impression that this is a technique only used for marketing emails. This is absolutely not the case. Lots and lots of businesses don't want to, or cannot, run their own email server, but do have their own domains which they wish to use.

Like Charlie Clark above, I run SMTP servers providing email services for multiple businesses, on multiple domains. I don't do mass-marketing, or newsletters, just normal everyday emails.

If I was unable to spoof the from address, I would have to set up an individual mail server for each and every domain I host. This is patently not a sustainable solution.

Alister Silver badge

Re: I dunno

And no one is able to fix that.

Fixing it, as you put it, would break a lot of things. It's there by design, it's not a bug.

Removing the ability to spoof the from address would stop third party companies handling mail on someone else's behalf; a very common thing in business nowadays.

♫ Storage falling, all around me... Snowflake, Komprise... Paragon ♬

Alister Silver badge

So many puns,

...so little time...

Oh and love NAND understanding should win a prize.

Lauri Love appeal: 'If he's dead, no victim's going to get anything'

Alister Silver badge

In earlier, more enlightened times,

A prison sentence was meant to protect the public from dangerous criminals, and to deter them from re-offending.

Nowadays, it would appear that any false ideals are stripped away, and the prison sentence is punishment to "make him pay" for what he did.

Fitzgerald added "If he's dead, putting it bluntly, no victims are going to get anything from a trial."

Some would consider his death sufficient punishment, it would appear.

Watchkeeper drones cost taxpayers £1bn

Alister Silver badge

Re: Good value


I did in fact pause before posting it, I was going to Google it to make sure I'd quoted it correctly, but thought that might be a bad idea.

It's a sad state of affairs when you have to wonder whether looking up a bit of poetry on the Internet might mark you as a terrorist.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Good value

"Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough! It isn't fit for humans now"

Elon Musk says he's not Satoshi Nakamoto and is pretty rubbish at Bitcoin

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Ok, ok, fine

Thumbs up for having the gall to register just for this story :)

Alister Silver badge

El Reg staff

but our plans to hack society remain secret for now for reasons we cannot divulge.

Yes, it's embarrassing when your secret villainous volcanic lair suddenly goes public and starts spitting LIQUID HOT MAGMA, isn't it?

Accused hacker Lauri Love's extradition appeal begins

Alister Silver badge

Re: I am an Aspie. I don't hack stuff and then cry like a baby.


Personally, I hope he gets told to grow up and gets shipped off to supermax.

I understand your frustration at how having Aspergers is used to justify this sort of hacking, but honestly, you really think 99 years in jail is a fair and just sentence for what he did?

Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Siemens tease electric flight engine project

Alister Silver badge


That's not what they are proposing, the electrical fan will be powered by an onboard gas-turbine generator.

2001: A Stob Odyssey

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Re: I wonder if anyone with a lisp..

"...theveral theditiouth thcribth from Thaetharea,"

Alister Silver badge

Yay, Stob!

"How's your LISP"


Three useless UK.gov 'catapults' put in Last Chance Saloon

Alister Silver badge

Re: I wonder how many

There's a certain irony in that the associated phrase in the nursery rhyme for the Bells of Shoreditch is "When I grow rich"

Don't shame idiots about their idiotically weak passwords

Alister Silver badge

Aha! so your password is SW, D, G, H, S, B, S, D

See if you recognise this one:

P, P, B McG, C, D, G.

Vanity, thy name is: M1SCO company car reg plates for sale

Alister Silver badge

Unless someone's name is (improbably) Misco, or someone is planning to set up a new company with the same name, I'm not sure that the personalised plate is going to attract much interest.

Maybe they should attach it to the "ride-along floor sweeper" as a combined lot?

A certain millennial turned 30 recently: Welcome to middle age, Microsoft Excel v2

Alister Silver badge

Shameful confession

Whilst pouring scorn on everybody else for inappropriate use of Excel (all the usual suspects like writing documents in it, creating databases in it, etc, etc) I must admit that I find it incredibly useful for managing scripts and log files, 'cos if you dump a text file into Excel using spaces as the delimiter you can manipulate stuff by columns, which is great, not just for ordering the data, but doing find / replace on a single column and leaving the rest untouched.

Alister Silver badge

Eh, memories, memories.

I've still got, (mouldering in a corner somewhere) a boxed set of Visicalc floppies (5 1/4, naturally) with instruction manuals, in a very nice blue vinyl covered case, if I remember correctly.

Pokémon GO caused hundreds of deaths, increased crashes

Alister Silver badge

Re: Headline

Okay, mea culpa. Not enough coffee yet this morning, I apologise to El Reg.

Alister Silver badge


I know El Reg is prone to a bit of artistic licence, not to say exaggeration, but how do you get from 2 fatalities to "hundreds of deaths"?

'Water on Mars' re-classified as just 'sand on Mars'

Alister Silver badge

Re: Water on Mars turns out to be damp squib

Damp squid. It's damp squid.

No it bloody isn't, it's damp squib.

Squib n a small firework or explosive device.

A damp squib is therefore one that doesn't go off - more generally, something that doesn't live up to expectations.

Alister Silver badge

I recall at the time, posting on the original story, that whilst the headline, widely reported, was "Liquid Water Found On Mars" the reality was a bit more prosaic: "Strong evidence pointing to the presence of liquid water in the past, found on Mars".

And now, not even that is true.

Mythical broadband speeds to plummet in crackdown on ISP ads

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CAP's sister body, the Advertising Standards Authority, also today ruled that it is not materially misleading to describe broadband services that use fibre-optic cables for only part of the connection as "fibre broadband"

Great, so anything that uses a fibre trunk to the exchange, and copper to the subscriber, can be fibre broadband?


Permissionless data slurping: Why Google's latest bombshell matters

Alister Silver badge

Re: So, if I want the benefits of a smartphone, without the (opaque) slurping....

@Jason Hindle:

My Google Nexus 5X is pretty much everything. It''s my plane ticket, train ticket, bus ticket, tram ticket, taxi ride and method of paying for most transactions < £30 (and many other things).

Have you ever heard the phrase "single point of failure"?

It sounds to me as though, if your phone breaks, you're basically screwed.

Royal Bank of Scotland website goes TITSUP*

Alister Silver badge

I reckon they've just implemented HSTS.

It's very secure now - nobody can get in.

See, it works!

It was El Reg wot won it: Bing banishes bogus Brit bank banner ad

Alister Silver badge

Re: ‘Check car tax on’ Google

Interesting how personalised search works.

If I Google "check car tax" I get the top five results all starting with "https://www.gov.uk/"

Alister Silver badge

Re: Follow the money ...

are Microsoft following the money that paid for the ad?

No, why would they?

Microsoft would have to pay it back, then.

Container ship loading plans are 'easily hackable'

Alister Silver badge


I thought it was a comment on my generous posterior...

Yew Bastud!


Alister Silver badge

Container ships don't have rowlocks in their gunwales, me hearty. Shiver me girders.

ICO probes universities accused of using private data to target donation campaigns

Alister Silver badge

Re: spending millions on poor kids

Everyone pays the fee's through student loans

Greengrocer's University education?

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

Alister Silver badge

How is 55 Cancri e like a Sisters Of Mercy gig?

'why may a caudled fillhorse be deemed the brother to a hiren candle in the night?'

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