* Posts by Alister

3263 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Dovecot mailserver graded 'nearly impenetrable'

Alister Silver badge

Was going to post the same thing... It's not the most straightforward piece of software to configure...

Stanford boffins find 'correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity'

Alister Silver badge

The problem with all these "X is good for you", "X is bad for you" announcements is that they occur in isolation.

I'm pretty sure there have been other studies which suggest that caffeine, tea and chocolate have deleterious effects on the human body. I'm also sure I have read other studies which suggest tea and chocolate in particular are beneficial (in sensible amounts).

What is needed is a study which takes into account all the previous work done concerning a substance, and then measures any harmful effects against any perceived benefits, and makes a judgement as to whether, on balance, the substance is good for you, or bad for you, and at what level of intake.

SpaceX makes successful rocket launch

Alister Silver badge

Re: Conspiracy? Two references to speeding bullets during the webcast.


Man you seriously need to upgrade your Tin-foil Hat, and your meds!

Alister Silver badge

In that instance a SpaceX rocket blew up on the launchpad, incinerating a Facebook satellite.

Goddamnit Gareth, how many more times: IT WAS NOT A FACEBOOK SATELLITE!

Embrace the world of pr0nified IT with wide open, er, arms

Alister Silver badge

Re: The pontification of Lara Croft with swishy hair and swaying breasts...

I thought it should have been pointification... or am I missing something here?

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Up


For the benefit of Scottish readers, that means you'd have to walk 3,000 miles and then walk 3,000 more.

I genuinely Lol'd at that, out loud and everything.


EE brings 1,000 call centre jobs to UK and Ireland

Alister Silver badge


Is "in-sourcing" the new thing for 2017?

I certainly hope so.

Boffins turn timid mice into psycho killers – by firing lasers into brains

Alister Silver badge

I was thinking "reavers" as well...

Miranda Mouse...

EU policy makers consider FRAND licensing of machine-generated data

Alister Silver badge

The principle of free movement of personal data enshrined in primary and secondary law should also apply in the cases where the GDPR allows member states to regulate specific matters.

So, what happened to the protection of personal data then?

Oh it's anonymized!

Well that's alright then...

So, if I understand this correctly, I could, in the future, face EU sanctions if I don't allow other people access to data that I generate? Really?

That can't be right, can it?

Now that's a Blue Screen of Death: Windows 10 told me to jump off a cliff

Alister Silver badge

Re: What can we say? It's The Reg wot won it.

Thanks for responding. I did wonder whether your original intention was just to go "look at this: funny" and I'm not sure I understand the motivation for El Reg to contact Microsoft about it.

In these litigation-fearing days, I guess it's no surprise that Microsoft would remove the image once brought to its attention, but it's a very sad reflection on society nowadays.

Cheers for replying.

Alister Silver badge

What can we say? It's The Reg wot won it.

Well I hope you're feeling suitably smug, but frankly it seems a rather hollow victory to me, pandering to those who go out of their way to find things offensive or "inappropriate".

Personally I thought the combination of picture and text was funny, and completely inoffensive.

Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

Alister Silver badge

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com

I'm sure I've asked this before, but anyway... Is his wife called Su?

Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband

Alister Silver badge

So when BT start saying they provide FTTC to so many percentage of the country, the fact is they don't know for sure whether it actually works.

Oh Britain. Worried your routers will be hacked, but won't touch the admin settings

Alister Silver badge

consumers are not tech savy

I think you are quoting A Non e-mouse out of context here, I don't think he's blaming the consumer.

What I understood him to be saying is that because consumers are not tech savy and don't know what to do, it is up to the ISP or device manufacturer to ensure that the device is secure by default.

Alister Silver badge

I don't see why this is such a surprise.

For the vast majority of households, an ISP router is considered to be a consumer device just like a TV, stereo, or bedside alarm clock, there is no expectation that you should have to fiddle with its internal workings, it should just work and be secure.

It is only those of us who work in the IT world who take delight in replacing the ISP router with our own chosen brand, or making changes to settings, or investigate what devices are on the network.

The onus is on manufacturers or suppliers to configure the device to be secure as sent from the factory, whether by providing random passwords for each device, or other similar mechanisms.

How to secure MongoDB – because it isn't by default and thousands of DBs are being hacked

Alister Silver badge

Re: WTF is a DB engine doing on the Internet?

That's what happens when you run your DB engine on the Web server...

Alister Silver badge

Re: Cue useless drivel as defence

It makes it the Microsoft of databases - not to be trusted near a public connection.

Curiously, Microsoft SQL is locked down to local connections only by default, and requires a certain amount of effort, and joined-up thinking, to make it accessible on a public connection, or even to any other host on the network.

Binary star bash-up should add new light to Northern Cross in 2022

Alister Silver badge

Re: Boom tomorrow

Any civilization in the neighborhood will not be amused then?

Well they've had 1,800 years to get used to it, I should think they'll be celebrating the anniversary, with fireworks, or something.

You know how cop cars pile into each other in old comedy movies? That's how the Moon was built, say boffins

Alister Silver badge

You know how cop cars pile into each other in old comedy movies?

Did all the little moonlets have a siren that went weeeyooooooeeeeeeyooooooeeeeeeeeeyoooooooo ow, ow, urgh, uuuuuuuurgh.

Or am I thinking of the Clangers...


Crumbs. Exceedingly good cakes, meat dressing price hike in wake of the Brexit

Alister Silver badge

And look what they did to the Toblerone!

Half the chocolate for the same price!

Autocomplete a novel phishing hole for Chrome, Safari crims

Alister Silver badge

Autocomplete a Novel

I completely misinterpreted the headline, I thought it was a story about AI thriller writing...

TV anchor says live on-air 'Alexa, order me a dollhouse' – guess what happens next

Alister Silver badge


Isn't a chimp some kind of monkey?


It's an Ape, as is the Librarian.

Slim pickings by the Biggest Loser: A year of fitness wearables

Alister Silver badge

Re: Sorry for your loss Alistair.

I'll add a Me Too here, very sorry to hear about your Father.

British military laser death ray cannon contract still awarded, MoD confirms

Alister Silver badge

he RN still has no replacement anti-ship missiles lined up for when its current weapons are retired in 2018 – though sources tell El Reg that the UK is exploring options for this with France.

Yes, well the Exocet is French, that works quite well, I seem to remember...

NASA plans seven-year trip to Jupiter – can we come with you, please?

Alister Silver badge

I wonder if it was a conscious nod to Arthur C Clarke to name one probe Lucy, after Jupiter became Lucifer in Odyssey 2.

Robo-supercar hype biz Faraday Future has invented something – a new word for 'disrupt'

Alister Silver badge

Re: What is truly disrupting...


Not even this?:


Alister Silver badge

Re: What is truly disrupting...

Well to my European eyes, it doesn't look particularly bad, it's pretty much a stretched clone of the current Honda Civic. Not quite sure I understand the vitriol being poured in its direction regarding its looks.

AWS chief: Tens of thousands flocking from database rivals

Alister Silver badge

<wilfully misunderstanding>

"with virtually no downtime"

</wilfully misunderstanding>

So, is virtual downtime the same as real downtime, only distributed over more hardware?

Speeding jet of Siberian liquid hot Magma getting speedier, satellites find

Alister Silver badge

And even more during a Solar Eclipse...


The Zucker Mister Social Club: Facebook's daddy wants to be your friend, for realsies

Alister Silver badge

"Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside of my work. In recent years, I've run 365 miles, built a simple AI for my home, read 25 books and learned Mandarin."

Is general literacy really in such a parlous state that reading 25 books is considered an achievement?

Dear Gods, there's no hope...

Hackers could turn your smart meter into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens – new claim

Alister Silver badge

Re: I can haz smart meter haxxored?

Innocent face-->

Really? You think Paris is the face of innocence? Blimey...

Internet of Sh*t has an early 2017 winner – a 'smart' Wi-Fi hairbrush

Alister Silver badge

Re: Fantastic!

Here it is at last, what every teenage girl has been waiting for - the hairbrush that doubles as a mic!

and has a built in vibrator function...

2016 just got a tiny bit longer. Gee, thanks, time lords

Alister Silver badge

Peter Whibberley, senior research scientist at the NPL

It's all Whibberley Whobberley, Timey Wimey...

'Twas Brillo but then Android Things, which watched as Google Weaved its Nest

Alister Silver badge

'Twas Brillo but then Android Things, which watched as Google Weaved its Nest

If that was meant as a Jabberwocky reference, you didn't try very hard... ;)


'Twas Brillo and the Kythe Docs did GYP and Google in the Weave

Windows 10 nags, Dirty Cow, Microsoft's Linux man love: The Reg's big ones for 2016

Alister Silver badge

Re: "Microsoft's Linux man love"

Does this mean that Bill Gates is like Captain Kirk?

Naah, more like Yoda...

"Never more than 640k will you need"

Energy firm points to hackers after Kiev power outage

Alister Silver badge

Worryingly, if this does prove to be another cyberattack on the Ukrainian grid, it sets an uncomfortable precedent that similar attacks may occur annually at this time of year.”

Well yes, whilst ever you don't disconnect it from the Internet...

Google's latest legal opponents: Shooting victims' families – and a cheesed-off ex-manager

Alister Silver badge

Funny to see how strongly Americans defend their First Amendment rights, except when they think they can sue somebody...

Europe trials air-traffic-control-over-IP-and-satellite

Alister Silver badge

I do wonder whether any pilots were consulted in this matter?

I would be interested to hear whether a pilot would prefer to receive verbal instructions as necessary, rather than have yet another screen in front of them full of extraneous information.

Why does Skype only show me from the chin down?

Alister Silver badge

Re: Cable degradation

And if there's a break in the cable somewhere, there's always a strong smell of TCP as the packets leak out...

MPs suggest introducing web blocking to tackle suicide rates in UK

Alister Silver badge

Ah, the UK government with their unerring ability to get to the heart of the matter, have once again aimed their sights squarely on the root cause of the problem.

Some may have been sidetracked by the idea that the general uncertainty of jobs, the pressure put on school pupils, the increasingly underfunded mental health care sector, may have contributed to a rise in the suicide rates.

But no, they are foolish irrelevancies, the problem is the internet, and the government have an enviable track record of successfully managing it.


Christmas cheer for KCL staffers with gift of extra holiday after IT disaster

Alister Silver badge


With the greatest of respect to your relatives, they don't sound very dilligent teachers. My parents were both secondary school teachers, and at least two weeks of their 6-week holiday were taken up with lesson and timetable planning for the new term,

I remember them with a great roll of paper spread out across the floor trying to fit all the lessons into a week, and all the pupils into the lessons without any clashes.

(this was in the eighties, nowadays I expect they'd use a spreadsheet).

Europe to launch legal action against countries over diesel emissions cheating

Alister Silver badge

Re: Why can't the EU...

We could just ban the sales of VW's, Audi's, Skoda's and Porsche's until they fix all the 'bent' cars

AARHHG! so many grocer's...

Alister Silver badge

Re: Reg units - @Your alien overlord - fear me

Might I respectfully suggest the goebbels as an appropriate name for the new unit?

No no, the goering, he was in the air a lot at one time...

Alister Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: "the best available technology"

CATNAP: Cheapest Available Technology Narrowly Avoiding Prosecution

Bravo sir!

Major outage at broadband biz 186k

Alister Silver badge

no future?

The Register has contacted 186k to ask when it expects the service to return to normal, and the reason for the outage. ®

I would have thought it is clear from the below that the answer is "never"

"If you are currently experiencing an outage with your broadband service, please be advised that you will need to find an alternative provider as we are unable to continue to supply your current service."

It sounds to me (pure speculation) that whatever deal they had with BT Wholesale has fallen through, rather than it being a technical issue.

ESA to try tank-to-tank fuel switch on sat that wasn't designed to do it

Alister Silver badge

Re: How?

What they're going to do is eject the fuel into space from the other tanks (at a low delta V) and then swing round and suck it all back into the main tank...

No seriously, That's what they'll do, honest...

Military reservist bemoans frost-bitten baby-maker on Antarctic trek

Alister Silver badge

I'm sure there's a joke to be made about being forewarned about this and getting a tip off

No need to go off half-cocked...

Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP

Alister Silver badge


The Register has contacted Microsoft for an update.

I don't think that's a good idea, the last thing you want is another Microsoft Update...


HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Alister Silver badge

Re: I have an idea

Also done!

Privacy is theft! Dave Eggers' big-screen takedown of Google and Facebook emerges

Alister Silver badge

Re: Cuddly?

Is "cuddly" some politically correct euphemism for "old" now then?

I don't think I can recall Hanks in a "nasty" role before, so I think that's what Andrew means.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019