* Posts by Alister

3335 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Mars orbiter FLOORS IT to avoid hitting MOON

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Re: strictly speaking

Hmmm, maybe eccentric is the wrong word, if you take it to mean how circular it is.

My understanding however, is that however circular their orbit, the moons' track across the planet (is it called the orbit footprint) can change in quite a random fashion, dependant on their interaction with each other?

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Re: strictly speaking

Perhaps time to do some mapping of Mars' moons to refine the models a bit more?

If I remember correctly, the orbits of Phobos and Deimos are quite eccentric, and the tidal forces between the two moons and Mars mean that predicting the exact orbital path for the moons over time is non-trivial.

RAF pilot awaits sentence for digicam-induced airliner dive

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Voyager ZZ333 was returned to RAF service after exhaustive tests, including X-rays of the captain’s stick assembly and assessments of cosmic radiation measurements

With apologies to PTerry, but I saw that and thought of:

"Special offer this aeon is various measurements of paracosmic significance built into the very fabric at no extra cost"

If we must have an IoT bog roll holder, can we at least make it secure?

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Re: IOT Bog Roll holder?

Anyone who would market an IoT bog roll holder is three sheets to the wind...

US military drone goes AWOL, ends up crashing into tree 623 miles away

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Re: Stryker?

Nah, it's better than that, it's Ed Stryker, from S.H.A.D.O

Palmtop nostalgia is tinny music to my elephantine ears

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So Dabbsy, are you Living on the Ceiling this week?

BONG! Lasers crack Big Ben frequency riddle BONG! No idea what to do with this info BONG!

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Re: huzzah!

I'm sorry but I didn't half chuckle at the fact you said "teaching lord jobs how to say words" and then spelt archives wrong...

Oh, and are werthers ordinals some obscure mathematical unit?

Blighty floods with techies' tears as Capita boss Parker quits

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Thumb Up

Re: such a diverse range of businesses

Thumbs up for Bubblegum Rhinos / Stringpersons

We found a hidden backdoor in Chinese Internet of Things devices – researchers

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I'm not sure I would classify VoIP GSM Gateways as an IoT device, really, it's more a network device like a router or switch.

Dark net webmail provider Sigaint still in the, er, dark

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Canary time...

If it's suddenly disappeared, suspect foul play.

Amazon's AWS S3 cloud storage evaporates: Top websites, Docker stung

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Re: @Lusty


You put:

The lack of any legitimate data would flag it up as a security risk. Using Telnet without encryption to connect to a TLS service is a dead givaway that it's not legit since Telnet doesn't set up the TLS before the connection.

And just how do you imagine a TLS session starts? If you are using telnet to prove or disprove connectivity exists to a host, then the initial connection attempt is all you need, and that is the same for any tcp connection, whether it be a TLS negotiation or any other protocol.

I agree with you about ping, most secured environments block ICMP traffic nowadays, however, it and traceroute are still useful for investigating latency and routing so long as you temporarily enable it on the endpoint.

Alister Silver badge


I think you just blew any credibility you had to comment on networking subjects.

Two million recordings of families imperiled by cloud-connected toys' crappy MongoDB

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People learn far more from their mistakes than successes. Sure fire the IT dept, but can bet your boots those guys/girls won't make the same mistake twice.

Except in this case, they obviously have, not once, but multiple times. Their databases have been deleted on several occasions, and replaced with warning messages, and they have had to restore the databases each time, and yet apparently, at no stage did they wonder why this was happening, or investigate ways to stop it.

NSA snoops told: Get your checkbooks and pens ready for a cyber-weapon shopping spree

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Too Late?

Part of that is, no doubt, down to increased levels of security vetting involved. After all, they don't want another Snowden in the ranks.

Much too late:


"Zachary Myers, an assistant US attorney with the District of Maryland, told a court last year Martin had 50TB of potentially secret and top-secret data at his home."

Also a Booz Allen Hamilton contractor, strangely...

BOFH: Elf of Safety? Orc of Admin. Pleased to meet you

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Re: Reminds me

...the noise level in some server rooms...

...is NOTHING, compared to the noise from the "low environmental impact" turbofan hand dryer in the Gents'


I swear, I think our hand dryer is designed to work by sonic waves, and doesn't actually have a fan in it.

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Hah, brilliant!

Was not expecting that ending at all, loved it!

I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

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Missing the point

An awful lot of commentards seem to be missing the point of this story.

Thomas has never disputed that what he did was wrong, and would be grounds for a civil lawsuit from his ex employer, however, he was very specifically charged with a criminal act under the following:

"intentionally causing damage without authorization , to a protected computer."

His argument is that he should not have been charged under that statute, as he was authorised to access the computer(s) in question.

As a shaky analogy, If I cause a road accident by throwing a concrete block off a bridge, and then got charged for "driving without due care and attention" I would be within my rights to appeal, as I wasn't driving at the time.

Ad men hope blocking has stalled as sites guilt users into switching off

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How many swallows do you need for a summer?

African or European?

Paper factory fired its sysadmin. He returned via VPN and caused $1m in damage. Now jailed

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"This case is a powerful reminder of the very real threat and danger that businesses and individuals face from cyberattacks and other cyber-related criminal activity," said United States Attorney Walt Green on Thursday.


This case is a powerful reminder to businesses to take rudimentary security precautions when terminating staff, like removing their access to your networks, for instance.

A webcam is not so much a leering eye as the barrel of a gun

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Re: When squirrels were squirrels and men were men

While the alleged trojan may be able to enable the camera in device manager, putting tape in front of the lens doesn't remove that ability ;)

No, it doesn't, but here's a clue: It stops the camera seeing anything!

In an earlier post, you put:

Using tape is surely a great mechanical way to solve the problem. But it isn't necessary with a basic understanding of how computers work.

I would counter that anyone with more than a basic understanding of how computers work, knows that software lies and therefore hardware (a piece of tape) is the most conclusive solution.

Magic Leap sued for sex discrimination … by woman it hired to stamp out sex discrimination

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he began to dig his heels in even more in the face of dissenting ideas and to explode ever more frequently into child-like fits of rage, threatening retribution when he didn't get his way, felt betrayed or was portrayed publicly in an unfavorable light."

I know someone else like that.

Vinyl, filofaxes – why not us too, pleads Nokia

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Selling Point

For me, the one thing that made Nokia my phone of choice in the Nineties / Noughties was the quality of the GUI, not the pixel value or anything like that, but just the intuitive way the menus and settings were laid out, requiring minimum key-presses to get to what you needed and back again.

It was obvious that an awful lot of time had been spent by the UI designers in making it as easy to use as possible.

Any modern Nokia will I suppose, be stuck with the crappy Android UI, but it would be a great thing if a Nokia skin could be developed which followed their old traditions.

King's College London bods recruit members for penis ring study

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Paris Hilton

Limiting the sample size...

"Couples who have been in a relationship for more than six months and who have intercourse at least twice a week".

That should narrow things down a bit...

Roses are red, violets are blue, HMRC confirms Verify can STFU

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can I not just sing in

Two verses of "T'was on the good ship Venus"?

NASA bakes Venus-proof electronics

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Re: Geek note

It has more than 250 polymorphs!

ObRedDwarf: "That's a lot of curries!"

Grumpy Trump trumped, now he's got the hump: Muslim ban beaten back by appeals court

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"However, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest used publicly available information and identified at least 17 individuals from these seven nations that from March 2014 to June 2016 were implicated in terrorism.

Wow, 17 whole people from 7 different nations.

How about this then:


In Great Britain, between 11 September 2001 and 31 December 2015, 656 individuals were prosecuted for terrorist offences, 542 of whom were convicted.

That's a mean of roughly 38 a year, from one country.

So maybe the UK should be added to the immigration ban as well?

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I would like to congratulate you

...on your correct spelling of loser.

A very rare and welcome sight.

Speaking in Tech: So. Hard-boiled Brexit... will tech firms scramble?

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Well I for one got that you were making egg type puns following on from the headline, and not necessarily a serious point. Sadly it seems some people don't get humour unless it has a big sign saying "WARNING! HUMOUR ALERT"

PS. I expect employers to have to shell out more on their workers, it's really no yoke.

Brought to you by UK.gov: 'Most ambitious programme of change of any government anywhere in the world'

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Unfortunately, we don't have "swamps" in the UK, just "marshes" and "bogs".

Somehow "drain the bog" doesn't have quite the same ring to it...

Mag publisher Future stored your FileSilo passwords in plaintext. Then hackers hit

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Re: Future Publishing

I remember when they used to publish "Your Sinclair".

I remember when they used to publish "PC Plus" magazine.

More tech companies join anti-Trump battle, but why did some pay for his inauguration?

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Inauguration funding

I'm struggling with that idea too, plus, what's this money being spent on?

It's to pay for all the "Make America Great Again" Made in China Baseball caps and T shirts

Revealed: 'Suicide bomber Barbie' and other TSA quack science that cost $1.5 billion

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Re: Bah!

Don't forget to email corrections@thereg ah fuck it.

"I'm sorry, that address is not recognised, the domain thereg.ah.fuck.it may be incorrect"


Eee by gum! Aye up, Microsoft, what's tha y' got? Cloud for accents?

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Regional AI

"I'm sorry Dave, but one on't cross beams gone owt askew on t'treadle"

Streetmap loses appeal against Google Maps dominance judgement

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Google denied it was dominant in the online search market,” said Lord Justice Jones.

Either that's a typo, or Google should be prosecuted for contempt, how can they possibly justify that?

UK uni KCL spunks IT budget on 'reputation management' after IT disaster headlines

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Maybe, instead of managing their reputation and depleting the existing IT budget, they should be considering an increase in the IT budget to allow the installation of a robust, tested, verified backup regime?

Oh no, silly of me, this is the real world we're talking about.

Police drones, robo surgeons and chatbot civil servants. What could go wrong?

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Chatbots could shave off around 90 per cent of the total number of Whitehall admin workers by 2030 - and save £2.6bn a year in the process - it claims. A further 90,000 NHS admin and 24,000 GP reception jobs could be automated in the same way, saving around £1.7bn.

I wonder if that £1.7bn saving includes the welfare costs for those 114,000 NHS admin staff and GP receptionists, or the costs to retrain or employ them elsewhere. Or maybe we could just shoot them, as they will be an unnecessary drain on the economy.

Ubuntu Linux daddy Mark Shuttleworth: Carrots for Unity 8?

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Put Ubuntu running Unity 8 on a phone and it'll render as a phone, put it on a PC and it'll render as a PC, put it on a tablet and it'll render as a tablet. That's the idea anyway,

You see this, done properly, would be great. However it is not the same thing at all as " a unified set of experiences across all the kinds of personal computers", which is what Windows 8 and Unity 8 were trying to do.

A vanishingly small number of desktop users want a touch based interface with big buttons or widgets, in the same way that phone and tablet users don't want cascading menus. To try and enforce the same UI on all possible devices is a stupid idea

By all means have an overall architecture which is cross-platform, but the way it renders the UI should be device specific.

Slammer worm slithers back online to attack ancient SQL servers

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Slammer attack traffic came from IP addresses in China, Vietnam, and Mexico.

What we need to do is ban all IP traffic from those countries through our borders, even if they have current visas, and then build a Yuge firewall.

Who do you want to be Who? VOTE for the BBC's next Time Lord

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I wonder if Helen Mirren would consider it?

I think she'd be great as the Doctor.

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Affording the chance for change is new writing talent: Steven Moffat, who's been on board since the 2005 Christopher Ecclestone reboot, is off and in comes Chris Chibnal, writer of ITV's dark crime drama Broadchurch.

Come on Gavin, not one mention of Russell T Davies? If it wasn't for him, there wouldn't have been a revival at all.

Super-cool sysadmin fixes PCs with gravity, or his fists

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Did you thump it on the top to fix the horizontal hold?

No, don't be daft, for the horizontal hold there was a little knob you had to twiddle...

(oh gods I'm going to regret typing that)

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The beatings will continue until Morale Disk RPMs improve...

I wonder how many times he bounced the heads on the platters?

New measurement alerts! Badgers, great white sharks and the Lindisfarne Gospel

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You should stop using the jub unit. It's offensive.

Please explain your reasoning?

NHS reply-all meltdown swamped system with half a billion emails

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Those "fucking idiots" are too busy saving your life pal to worry about clicking the wrong button on an email.

Gimme a break, they were probably all admin staff.

Oh and FYI, I used to be one of those that does the life saving at the sharp end, and I still know not to click reply-all to a group email.

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"strict controls must be in place to limit the volume of any one email sent by an individual user or local administrator".

One of these requirements that looks so easy on paper.

"A requirement to put in place compensating controls to limit the impact of fucking idiots who respond with Reply-All to a test message" would be good too.

Where's the tick box in Exchange for that then?

'Grey technology' should be the new black

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Re: Important safety information:

Nowadays, manufacturers seem to design leaflet text to be only read by eagle-eyed twenty year-olds.

I think it's more that manufacturers design leaflet text in the expectation that nobody will actually bother to read it anymore...

Facebook ad biz comes under scrutiny in MPs ‘Fake News’ probe

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Re: Why tell the truth when a lie will do

All the way back to Jefferson and Adams US presidential elections have been stuffed full of everything from out of context quotes to outright lies. They learnt if from the Brits who have it in the list of "Things the Romans did for us".

I didn't think "Life of Brian" had been released in Jefferson's time?


Alister Silver badge


The BBC TV news coverage has the following ticker running:

"MPs call for enquiry into whether "fake news" is a threat to democracy."

I can't help thinking that other events happening at the moment are more deserving of being classified "a threat to democracy"

Corn-based diet turns French hamsters into baby eating cannibals

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Mmmm, corn-fed hamster, lovely!

Ransomware killed 70% of Washington DC CCTV ahead of inauguration

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Ah, this explains the discrepancy between Trump's estimate of turnout on inauguration day, and everyone else's perception - the cameras were rigged!

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