* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

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.

HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

Alister Silver badge

Re: I am enough of a naval history buff...

"I think it is nuts for a small country to try to have a big naval force"

We're a small country who has one of the longest coastlines in europe. You need a large navy to defend it.

We're also a country which now relies almost entirely on foreign imports for most of our raw materials and consumer goods, most of which come by sea. We therefore need to be able to protect our supply lines, should it ever become necessary.

'Toyota dealer stole my wife's saucy snaps from phone, emailed them to a swingers website'

Alister Silver badge

Re: @Emmeran: Maybe...

An apostrophe can be a contraction as well as a possessive.

Yes, but only in specific cases, and not for plurals.

Eugene Kaspersky is now personally defending your feet

Alister Silver badge

I've recently been working on a Winsocks application...

Didn't realise I could have got these to protect it.

HyperGrid's ex-ice hockey player evangelist wants to slot the puck

Alister Silver badge

..wants to slot the puck

Well, so long as it's between consenting adults, I say let 'im!

Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

Alister Silver badge

RE: Windows 10? What is it?

It's the operating system Microsoft couldn't get business to buy even when it was free.

Hull surfers cut off by router attack

Alister Silver badge

I'm sure I read a recent story on here about certain models of ZyXel being wide open to attacks due to an internet facing open management port which was meant to be locked down to certain IPs, but was left open to everyone and his dog.

I thought it was Talk-Talk, but apparently not, I can't find the story now.

Could well be the same problem though.

Imagine every mistake you can make with a new software rollout...

Alister Silver badge

Re: Brings a whole new dimension to punishment

but impossible to prove given the state of Roman record keeping.

Ah, so they were using Odyssey as well!

Scotland's Skyscanner sold to Chinese rival Ctrip in £1.4bn deal

Alister Silver badge

Skyscanner is one of the largest travel search platforms in the world

It is?

I'd never heard of it...

Big Music goes mad for chat bots and AI

Alister Silver badge

Microsoft’s chatty bot Tay became a sex-obsessed Nazi in just 24 hours. Normally it takes years of toil in the music industry to achieve that.

Thumbs up for this, but see icon

USS Zumwalt gets Panama tug job after yet another breakdown

Alister Silver badge

what's the point of having a stealth warship

It's not to try and hide it, so much as to make it harder to hit with a missile.

The days of warships firing dumb shells at each other are long gone, and so the majority of anti-ship ordnance is missiles nowadays, either ship-launched or air-launched.

Giving your warship a low-return radar signature means that potential attackers have to get closer before they can successfully lock on, and if combined with a reduced heat signature to fool IR targeted missiles can help protect the ship from attack and bring attackers in range of the offensive armament.

Alister Silver badge

USS Kumquat

So, you're saying it's a bit of a lemon?

Missile tech helps boffins land drone on car moving at 50 km/h

Alister Silver badge

I thought you could only fly a drone within the direct line of sight of the operator?

Or does that only apply to personal use, and not to commercial operators?

Twitter bans own CEO Jack Dorsey from Twitter

Alister Silver badge

Ah, the dichotomy...

For a miraculous moment, I witnessed @jack having been suspended from his own shitty website

And it was a pure, perfect life. I miss it.

— Gus (@guscraw) November 23, 2016

...of posting this on Twitter.

HPE's first standalone year ticks most boxes – except Donald Trump's

Alister Silver badge


Ha, made you look!

See, you only have to add Trump to any headline, and the clicks go up, and up...

Signal security revealed: A triple-Diffie-Hellman with a double ratchet

Alister Silver badge

Signal developer Open Whisper Systems has quietly posted some important documents for developer consumption:

What! You mean they've posted details of strong encryption algorithms on the Internet!

But that means the Terrists can use it!



Microsoft still working to fix Outlook sync issues

Alister Silver badge

As I posted on the previous story about this, I was able to make Thunderbird work with my Hotmail account by setting up an alias on the account using the outlook.com domain, and logging in with that email address.

The error thrown when trying to connect to my hotmail.co.uk account was Error="AuthFailed:LogonDenied-FederatedStsUnreachable

which suggests that the Federated Trust between the outlook.com domain and other domains like hotmail.co.uk had failed.

Stay out of my server room!

Alister Silver badge

The headline image...

Trevor, you shaved your beard off!!

Alister Silver badge

Our comms room at the office - it's not big enough to grace with the term "Server room" - was carefully planned by us IT staff when we moved buildings 6 years ago. We were given free reign to design the best possible space, as we were starting with a new build.

It had three 42U racks full of servers, and a fourth 42U cab which held the switches, patch panels and routers which sat in the middle of the room with free access all round.

It had nice open worktop areas round two sides, with loads of power and network outlets, and plenty of storage space for cables, components, etc, etc.

It is currently full to bursting with assorted crap, including old office chairs, 4 car tyres, a pile of ceased network switches and routers from a branch office which closed, 2 large-screen TVs, and the bicycle, and full golf-trolley, belonging to one of the Directors.

We can't actually open the doors to the racks without moving stuff out of the room.

Oh, forgot to say, access is controlled by physical locks and electronic passkeys, only the IT team and Directors have access. Guess where most of the junk comes from...

It's time: Patch Network Time Protocol before it loses track of time

Alister Silver badge

pretty much any 'net-facing server is running it


Pretty much none of mine do, unless they really need to sync time between themselves. I have a few specific ntp servers which fetch time from pool.ntp.org but the firewalls don't allow inbound connections to them.

2016. AI boffins picked a hell of a year to train a neural net by making it watch the news

Alister Silver badge

It's a good thing that nowadays everyone seems to "emote" when talking - think back to the fifties, when people seemed to speak whilst barely moving their lips, particularly upper-class English folk.

Gov's industrial strategy: 'Look, we've changed the words above our door'

Alister Silver badge

May's Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to back priority technologies – such as robotics and biotechnology


Of all the technologies that the government could be funding, those are considered a priority?

Outlook outage outrage

Alister Silver badge

AD authentication borked

The error I was getting mentioned something to do with Federated Trust issues.

The exact error was:


when trying to log in to POP using a hotmail.co.uk account, which suggests an issue with AD domains and the Trust between them.

As mentioned in the article, I set up an alias on my account using the outlook.com domain, and using that I was able to connect and retrieve mail as normal.

UK PM Theresa May's £2bn in R&D still a drop in the ocean

Alister Silver badge

Hang on a minute...

What she said was "the government will invest an extra £2bn a year in R&D by 2020. So this doesn't actually commit her to doing anything before her present term of office ends, nor does it mean that there will be any extra money in the next 3 years.

Going shopping for a BSOD? We've found 'em in store at M&S

Alister Silver badge

Re: London Waterloo

I've never got a camera handy though.

What, do you not own a smartphone? you luddite, you.


Three to appear in court over TalkTalk hack

Alister Silver badge

Re: Poor show

they would have got away with it too if it wasn't for those meddling kids!

AI gives porn peddlers a helping hand

Alister Silver badge

Re: Lack of Research

That's a very short list of sex acts.

It's the Wholesome American list of approved sexual perversion.

Most of the list you mention are highly illegal in a number of US States.

Elon Musk wants to launch 4,000 satellites and smother globe with net connectivity

Alister Silver badge

A large number of low-flying satellites is definitely breaking the mould.

Not to mention seriously impeding any further earth launched space travel under the orbital path of all of those whizzing satellites.

Alister Silver badge

As anyone with a vague interest in SpaceX knows, a rocket blew up on one of their launch pads in September, with no casualties except for the Facebook-owned satellite strapped to the rocket at the time.

How long are El-Reg going to perpetuate this myth?

It was not a Facebook owned satellite, it was a Spacecom owned satellite, built by IAI, and Facebook and EUTelsat had rented bandwidth on it.

Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China

Alister Silver badge

What fucked up distro do you use? Does it not have ping or traceroute or ssh installed either?

From my own experience, none of the following have the full set of network tools installed by default:

Redhat, Centos, Ubuntu, Debian (and its offshoots, like Mint).

They do have ping, and ssh, but not traceroute, whois, dig etc.

Alister Silver badge


I suggest you check your $PATH for /usr/bin or /sbin because whois is part of the standard unix/linux networking command set and has been for decades.

I suggest you check your information, it hasn't been included in the standard install for many distributions for years.

China gets mad at Donald Trump, threatens to ruin Apple

Alister Silver badge

Re: Trade War

>>Regan was elected in 1980 - he was the 80's version of Trump

>Not even close.

Not even spelled correctly...

Panicked WH Smith kills website to stop sales of how-to terrorism manuals

Alister Silver badge

Re: Streisland ????

I certainly won't be storming the barricades with a pitchfork in one hand, and the Anarchists Cookbook in the other.

Yeah, the Anarchist's Cookbook is no use at all as a shield, you need something with a bit of meat to it, like The Bible, or a Telephone Directory...

Tech Trump: Silicon Valley steps into the valley of unhappiness

Alister Silver badge

I believe the impression most people have of Trump and what he said is so distorted you can't believe anything anyone says about him.

Are you trying to suggest that the live broadcasts of his insane rantings have been manipulated by the media, then?

Alister Silver badge

Re: The Trump name

He rates his branding very highly (the word Trump is apparently supposed to be worth 3bn) and he has a penchant for naming things after himself.

Surely, surely he knows what the word "Trump" is mostly associated with in the UK?

There's no way that he will ever be able to change that.

US citizens crash Canadian immigration site after Trump victory

Alister Silver badge

Re: President Pence scares the shit out of me WAY more than president Trump


...and ideally go back to the pre WW II party of less overseas intervention - and allow us to actually balance the budget when we don't waste so much money on defense spending.

I'm afraid that you won't see your wish come true, as I understand it one of Trump's less controversial ideas was that he wanted to increase defense spending.

Computer glitches force US election poll stations to stay open for longer

Alister Silver badge

an obnoxious, bullying ham robot with one too many authoritarian programs installed

Careful, your editorial bias might be showing there... :)

I find it interesting that Donald has consistently maintained that the election is rigged. Should he win, does that mean that the Democrats can legitimately call the result into question, and if so, what could he say?

Web security still outstandingly mediocre, experts report

Alister Silver badge

By contrast there has been no move away from the ageing TLS 1.0 protocol: 96.1 per cent of web servers still support it, compared with 97 per cent in June 2016. Maintaining compliance with the credit card industry’s PCI DSS standard means those who handle credit card data need to drop support for TLS 1.0 from June 2018.

Very few publicly facing web sites will be prepared to remove TLS 1.0 support whilst a substantial number of visits come from client browsers or operating systems which require it.

We investigated it last month, as a PCI audit highlighted that we still supported it on some of our servers, but an analysis of the client's site traffic showed that nearly 30% of visitors still used browsers which required TLS 1.0 to connect.

I can't see any company whose primary income stream is web based cutting off 30% of their customer base just to be PCI compliant.

Happy ending for Kettering as soapy veteran replaces Mean Girl Lindsay

Alister Silver badge

Re: Why?

What has his got to do with anything technolgy related?

Ok, first, it doesn't have to, the article is in Bootnotes.

Second, the story involves Lindsay Lohan, who has a long history of involvement with El Reg's Special Project Bureau (RIP Lester).

Third, it involves turning on Christmas Lights, which is obviously a technical function, and a post on Twitter, which is an IT angle.

British defence minister refuses to rule out F-35A purchase

Alister Silver badge

So you're saying, instead of relying on the F-35B being VTOL, which means we have S/VTOL only carriers that have to use helicopters for cargo, AWACs etc. we should go back to using the Harrier, which was a S/VTOL aircraft which relied on helicopters for cargo, AWACs etc...

No, I'm saying there are two different issues.

First, that they planned to build the carrier based on using VTOL / STOL aircraft, without considering the requirements for catapults and traps which permit the use of COD and other ancillary aircraft types to support carrier operations.

Second, having designed the carrier with VTOL / STOL in mind, they then sold off or scrapped our only operational aircraft of that type.

Alister Silver badge

Because they don't operate that way. If you want to prove me wrong please identify the countries that operate aircraft carriers that can handle cargo planes and tankers, along with the names of the ships themselves.


The US Navy uses the Grumman Greyhound in the COD (Carrier Onboard Delivery) role, to ferry personnel, mail, supplies, and high-priority cargo from land to aircraft carriers such as USS Nimitz et al. A derivative, the Hawkeye, operates as a carrier based AWACS.

They also use the Lockheed Viking in a number of carrier based roles which include anti-submarine warfare, and in-flight refuelling (tankers).

Er... no. Do a search on "Replenishment at Sea" for some clues about how it is done. For the Royal Navy the role is fulfilled by Royal Fleet Auxiliaries; see the relevant Wikipedia page.

Fleet replenishment by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary is fine for long-term planned logistics, where delivery times are in weeks, but of no use at all for short term requirements where COD is used.

Alister Silver badge

We are rapidly becoming an international laughing stock, aren't we.

We once produced the world's best VTOL / STOL fighter aircraft, but we decided to scrap them all instead of investing in upgrades and improvements. Then we built an aircraft carrier designed to only operate VTOL / STOL aircraft, and we have to beg another country to provide some barely capable aircraft to operate from it.

Even if you plan to only operate VTOL / STOL fighters from a carrier deck, why did no-one realise that the carrier would need to operate cargo aircraft and tankers to support the fighters, and they would need cats and traps to be useful?

As it is, the only way to ship cargo, spares, mail, and crew to the vessel is by helicopter, which limits the range it can operate from land based support.

AI boffins turn to StarCraft to train future neural networks

Alister Silver badge

I wonder if it's possible to link up two installations of StarCraft such that the game AIs can play each other, and if you did, would they just get to a stalemate situation?

British firm to build world's first offshore automated ship

Alister Silver badge

Useless Fact of the day...

I had to look it up, as I thought maybe Hrönn meant Heron, but no, it means wave, apparently.

Swiss, geez: Robo-hooker coffee shop to be erected in Geneva

Alister Silver badge

Prostitution is legal in Switzerland, but laws don't allow the, er, services to be offered in any restaurant that also serves food and drink.

Well no, I mean who wants coffee grounds and cake crumbs in their bed, really?

Perfectly sensible, in my view...

What should the Red Arrows' new aircraft be?

Alister Silver badge

Most disappointed that there is no Predator Drone option...

Alister Silver badge


But not as awesome as 9 Concordes in formation doing a vertical roll...

Teen UK hacker pleads guilty after earning $385k from DDoS tool

Alister Silver badge

A 19 year-old Hertfordshire man has pled guilty

It still makes me cringe to see "pled", I know it seems to be accepted nowadays in American English, but to me it's just wrong.

Now git orf my lawn!

Post-Mirai, HackForums kills off white hat DDoS rental service

Alister Silver badge

since banner ads in the section ran to as much as US$200 a week, with a $60 premium to make the ads sticky.

I wonder what percentage of visitors to the HackForums use ad-blockers or script-blockers?

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019