* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

How Apple's early VR experiments accidentally led to RSS

Alister Silver badge

I thought he was an actor...

Aaron Swartz, on the other hand, was involved in the development of RSS.

Utah declares 'war on smut'

Alister Silver badge

War on Drink

I think they should prohibit the consumption of alchohol, it presents a far greater risk to "a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms".

They could make it an amendment of the Constitution, for greater impact, perhaps.

What do you mean "they tried that already"?

Catastrophic 123-reg VPS cockup deletes Ross County FC website

Alister Silver badge

I think you are misunderstanding.

I thought is was 67 VMs that were lost, not physical servers.

Furious customers tear into 123-reg after firm's mass deletion woes

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I mean seriously 123 customers.... you didn't have backups... AND trusted your provider..... ?????

Doh.....

But isn't that just what all these vendors keep telling you: no need for on-premises backups, it's all in the Cloud(TM)

This is why SMB Managers keep falling for it.

Chilling evidence emerges of Kilocat weapon

Alister Silver badge

In other news, it is understood that the Australian government has categorically denied that they have been developing a weaponised Drop Bear in the Kiloton range.

AMC sobers up, apologizes for silly cinema texting plan

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Re: Virulent disease won't be stopped by AMC!

The problem has got so bad that I'm typing this while driving the number 38 bus through Piccadilly Circus.

Unless you're eating a sandwich and drinking coffee out of a thermos mug at the same time as driving the bus and texting, you're not doing it right...

I am sending pouting selfies to a robot. Its AI is well buff

Alister Silver badge
Windows

Re: You clean up nice!!

It's an old photo. I'm much flabbier now...

As the photo at the foot of the article shows...

On, no, sorry, that's Les Dawson...

Misco: We're moving to the cloud after yesterday's bit barn meltdown

Alister Silver badge

Datacentre - or Broom closet?

The more I read about the Misco outage the more I wonder just what "Datacentre" means in their case.

Picture a standard bit-barn - usually a prefab building the size of a soccer field:

you walk in the front door , and (if it's any decent bit-barn) you have to go through various physical security checks.

Having passed them, you go through the security gate / airlock into the data-floor, which may be divided into separate halls, or for our purposes is just a single massive area.

Off in the distance, in the middle of an otherwise bare floor, stands a single 42U rack, and as we get closer, we can see that it's partially populated.

Close up, we see a firewall, a switch, a few ethernet cables and a 2U server with "Web1" written across the lid in marker pen, under the dust. On the floor of the rack is a box of floppies, marked "backup".

That's it ladies and gents, there's Misco's robust e-commerce front-end...

:)

Alister Silver badge

“Moving forward we’ll be moving our infrastructure to a cloud platform so we have continuity of service and are not relying on a back-up fail over failing”.

Typical management knee-jerk reaction. What they should do is look at what they spent on DR (clearly very little) and then work out a revised plan which actually works.

If they want to transfer it all to public cloud offerings, fair enough, but it won't magically give them "continuity of service" unless they put the work in.

They still need the same sort of planning - "cloud" is not magically robust, if you lose a server, and don't have any form of DR, then you're stuffed, no matter where it's hosted.

Oracle whistles happy tune as shadow of AWS bus parks on database lawn

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Thumb Up

Love the pic accompanying the article:

"Infamy, Infamy, they've all got it in for me!"

Cyber-security pro? Forget GCHQ, BT wants to hire 900 of you

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Re: Here's a crazy thought

Train them in-house! Just like big companies used to do.

Umm, TFA says:

"To meet the growing global demand for cybersecurity services and address the skills shortage in the sector, BT expects to take-on and train 170 graduates and apprentices, as part of its 900 recruitment intake in the next 12 months," said the company.

There's oil in that thar … Chinese space probe?

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Thumb Up

Re: With diesel engines

compressing 0.0017 milliJub of oil in a vessel capable of withstanding 103.95 kiloNorris per nanoWales,

I wish I had more than one of these to give you...

Alister Silver badge

Interesting, Diesel engines compress air until the fuel oil explodes...

TFA didn't say whether the containers were vacuum flasks or not, could be fun...

What exactly is it that infosec miscreants get up to? A quick overview

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A high degree of specialization leads to a constant cycle of reinvention and innovation.

This is another DevOps story, then?

Symantec.cloud portal limps back online after day-long TITSUP

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This is not a security issue, all customers remain protected.

In fact, it's more secure than ever, 'cos no-one can hack into your account and change the settings!

Okay, so you can't log in and do that either, but It's really secure...

Prof Hawking to mail postage-stamp space craft to Alpha Centauri using frickin' lasers

Alister Silver badge
Joke

Re: IKEAShot 1

Never seen Stimulation spelt with a Z before...

:)

Alister Silver badge

Laser powered spaceflight has been mooted, and even demonstrated experimentally, but the idea that they can aim the laser accurately enough through the atmosphere to propel something the size of a postage stamp is surely piling on more complexity than they needed to?

It would of course also be quite useful as a ground based weapon...

US bus passenger cracks one off for three hours

Alister Silver badge

Johnson County eh?

You couldn't make it up...

Johnson: [Noticing Dr. Evil's spaceship on radar] Colonel, you better have a look at this radar.

Colonel: What is it, son?

Johnson: I don't know, sir, but it looks like a giant--

Jet Pilot: Dick.

Dick: Yeah?

Jet Pilot: Take a look out of starboard.

Dick: Oh my God, it looks like a huge--

Bird-Watching Woman: Pecker.

Bird-Watching Man: [raising binoculars] Ooh, Where?

Bird-Watching Woman: Wait, that's not a woodpecker, it looks like someone's--

Army Sergeant: Privates! We have reports of an unidentified flying object. It has a long, smooth shaft, complete with--

Baseball Umpire: Two balls.

[looking up from game]

Baseball Umpire: What is that. It looks just like an enormous--

Chinese Teacher: Wang, pay attention!

Wang: I was distracted by that giant flying--

Musician: Willie.

Willie Nelson: Yeah?

Musician: What's that?

Willie Nelson: [squints] Well, that looks like a giant--

Colonel: Johnson?!

Johnson: Yes, sir?

Colonel: Get on the horn to British Intelligence and let them know about this.

Graphene solar panels harvest energy from rain

Alister Silver badge

lightbulb moment...

OK, so here's an idea that's just come to me...

Would it be possible to use piezo-electric devices to generate electricity from the actual force of the rain drops falling on a surface?

Citrix asks you, yes you, to write its certification exams and courseware

Alister Silver badge

Re: When using the ICA protocol, What...

When using the ICA protocol, what is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

African or European swallow?

'Fart detector' wins Chinese Physics prize

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A study into why flies and other insects ... work on maglev trains in an evacuated tube.

Interesting. They must be well trained...

Britain is sending a huge nuclear waste shipment to America. Why?

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Deep Disposal

"We're sending 700kg of nuclear waste across the Atlantic by ship..."

(2 months later)

"We're very sorry to announce the ship carrying 700kg of nuclear waste to the US has unexpectedly sunk in the deepest bit of the Atlantic..."

Hmmm...

Illegal drugs and dodgy pics? Nah. Half the dark web is perfectly legal

Alister Silver badge

specialist software and expertise

I love this bit:

A spokesman from Intelliagg explained: “The dark web is renowned for illicit and illegal trade, unmonitored and anonymous. Not any more. We have successfully penetrated into the darkest parts using specialist software and our expertise.

Yeah, so they know how to use a TOR browser and a port scanner... whoop-de-doo...

Alister Silver badge

It depends what you call the "dark web".

Do they just mean .onion sites, or do they include sites that don't have a DNS lookup, or which serve on non-standard ports?

There must be thousands, if not millions of the latter.

Lots of companies, ours included, have web sites and services accessible on the internet which are for company use, and don't appear in DNS or use standard ports, or only accept connections from certain IP ranges. Are these all counted as the dark web?

EDIT: JimC got in before me :)

Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

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Deja Vu

Can you tell me what the difference is between this article, and this one.

Apart from some slight changes to the wording, it doesn't really offer anything new?

Click bait?

Alister Silver badge

Re: Super capacitors are a good touch

@theModge

I think you need to understand the difference between breaks and brakes - although transposing the one for the other does lead to some interesting sentences :)

Eat your greens, FCC tells ISPs with new broadband "nutrition label"

Alister Silver badge

And just what are you supposed to stick the label onto?

The modem, the cable, or each packet??

Space archeologist discovers new evidence of Vikings invading America

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Re: Greenland etc

The Celts came from what is now the Basque country

No, I don't think they did, they came from Central / Eastern Europe.

China enacts 'real name policy' for internet addresses

Alister Silver badge

What's new?

Not sure why you are making such a big thing about this, various countries already require proof from companies before allowing them to register a domain.

Note that this is FOR COMPANIES, not for individuals.

I recently had reason to have to register a .fr domain for a company. The requirements for this were very strict indeed.

I don't recall there being a big story about France's domain registration policies?

Hi! Up here! I'm your Amazon drone. Do you mind if I land now?

Alister Silver badge

Amazon seem to be going to great lengths with this drone delivery idea - but do they really not recognise what a stupid idea it is?

Apart from the lack of range of the drones, they are going to be shot at, or hijacked, or otherwise interfered with.

And if that isn't the case, how do they deliver to anyone who doesn't live in an idealised American home with a white picket fence and front yard?

Let's see a drone delivering to an apartment block in the middle of a city!

Microsoft's Brad Smith on encryption: Let the politicians decide

Alister Silver badge

"decisions are best made by people that are elected by people."

Wow!

Does anybody really think that our elected representatives are safe to be allowed to make decisions on any level greater than what to have for breakfast?

Is Brad thinking of running for office soon?

Microsoft's bigoted teen bot flirts with illegali-Tay in brief comeback

Alister Silver badge

Passes the Turing test?

Compare and contrast, here's a real US teenager on Twitter:

http://metro.co.uk/2016/03/29/american-student-angers-entire-nation-with-scathing-review-of-british-way-of-life-5783000/

French scream sacré bleu! as US govt gives up the internet to ICANN

Alister Silver badge

Re: Obliged

obligated is a perfectly valid word (cromulent, even!), not made up as you claim.

Its use in the sentence you fail to quote is correct.

The board is also obligated to explain its reasoning if it does reject that advice

Obligated and obliged both mean "to be morally required to do something", however in normal use obligated is used where the subject has no choice in the matter, whereas obliged is more like being indebted to someone.

EU ministers to demand more data access after Brussels attacks

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Re: Priorities...

Brussels, with its airport now becoming famous for not doing even basic security checks.

What? Which security checks would you expect to see, and where?

At check-in? At the front door? At the unloading point? In the car park?

It doesn't matter where you start the security, you will always have a point before it which is vulnerable.

Alister Silver badge

Not more data, better analysis

They should be concentrating on dealing more effectively with the data they already have, not trying to add to it.

The haystack is big enough already, they need more people with magnets to sift through and find the needles.

And then, they need to use that information appropriately, not keep it secret. Once again, it appears, the security services were aware of at least one of the Brussels attackers, but they didn't release that information to the people that mattered.

Met police commissioner: Fraud victims should not be refunded by banks

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Headmaster

"disincentivised "

What a horrible word that is.

What's wrong with discouraged?

Water treatment plant hacked, chemical mix changed for tap supplies

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A couple of weeks ago South Derbyshire and North Leicestershire residents were warned not to use their tap water for any reason because the chlorine concentration was at dangerous levels.

Curious coincidence.

Israeli biz fingered as the FBI's iPhone cracker

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I wonder whether (whatever the actual outcome) the FBI will triumphantly announce their finding of (unspecified) incriminating data on the phone, just to justify their law suit.

I really can't see them going "ah, well actually there wasn't anything worth having on there, sorry to have bothered you..."

Tracy Emin dons funeral shroud, marries stone

Alister Silver badge

I hope he'll mica great husband, and doesn't turn out to be a bit of a schist

Alister Silver badge

Sticking with the Bay Area, former San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein married Sharon Stone, while renowned funkster Sly had an entire Family Stone.

I've drunk lots of pints of Stones, does that count?

Oh, sugar! Sysadmin accidently deletes production database while fixing a fault

Alister Silver badge

What we need is production databases that require 2FA or 2 user auth to run DELETE and DROP commands :p

Or possibly Sysadmins who stop and check, and then check again, before deleting anything, ever.

My thought is that he restored a duff backup over the top of the live database, instead of creating a copy.

Canuck named as next UK privacy watchdog

Alister Silver badge
Boffin

Hope she brought her hockey stick.

Nah, it's the Environment Secretary who needs the hockey stick for all them graphs...

Clear April 12: Windows, Samba to splat curious 'crucial' Badlock bug

Alister Silver badge

Re: Home Users

Current versions of Windows, even the workstation versions have SMB enabled by default

I'm not sure that's true of anything after Vista, to the best of my knowledge the Windows firewall blocks SMB traffic, and the "File and Printer Sharing" and "Network Discovery" services are disabled by default.

Hands on with the BBC's Micro:Bit computer. You know, for kids

Alister Silver badge

Re: Old photo caption

I remember my school had the RM 480Zs, although I had left by then, but my younger brother got to play with them.

The school my Dad taught at, in Sheffield, got Sharp MZ80A's though, I remember him bringing one home to "test"... ahem... as he was the member of staff responsible for AV resources - which included computers, in those days.

Alister Silver badge
Mushroom

teen-proof?

The five-by-five grid of LEDs are surface mounted and only the most determined teenager will break them,

Ha!

Wanna bet?

Comms 'redlining' in Brussels as explosions kill up to 30 people

Alister Silver badge

@boltar

"Do you really want to see physical searches before you are allowed on a train? "

What, like the ones you get at airports and Eurostar? That doesn't seem to have affected their popularity.

You really are barking, aren't you.

There are at least 100 times the number of people who would require searching for normal train or tube services, compared to airport departures or Eurostar.

As a commuter, would you be prepared to spend an extra 2 hours EVERY day queueing for a security search on your way to work, and on your way home?

The delays and congestion would simply not be manageable, and would also offer a prime target for a suicide bomber...

Alister Silver badge

I'm not a fan of increased generic mass surveillance but to be honest I could accept increased levels of physical searches on or near transportation hubs if it meant less chance of being killed.

I suggest you think very carefully indeed before making statements like that.

Do you really want to see physical searches before you are allowed on a train? Can you imagine the chaos at rush hour if that were implemented? Or the same at the entrance to bus stations and airports?

And whilst you're at it, what about physical searches before you're allowed into a shopping centre, or cinema complex?

Unless you make every country a complete police state, where public gatherings are not allowed, and access to every method of transport is strictly controlled, you will never stop this sort of incident from happening.

And if you do put such draconian measures in place, then the terrorists have won, all the way.

Alister Silver badge

Security expectations

UK government explains "This could be avoided if you let us track every single thing you say or do" in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Joking apart, watching the coverage of these incidents on the BBC I heard one TV anchor ask "If the security services were on high alert, how could this happen".

Sadly, this seems to be something which a lot of people think: that miraculously the police and security services can prevent this sort of attack.

This is simply never going to be the case, despite ever increasing security theatre, you cannot stop a determined person from walking into a public building and either leaving a bomb or committing suicide.

My condolences to all in Belgium.

What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?

Alister Silver badge

Re: Noooo...!

but you can't put a ship on a boat

Unless it's a ship-in-a-bottle...

'Hot Tech Talent' IT job board ads caught up in sexism allegations

Alister Silver badge

Mary Pankhurst chained herself to the Houses of Parliament for female equality, you know!

Umm, Emmeline (Emily) ITYM

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