* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Heads up, rocket fans: Soyuz launch tonight

Alister Silver badge

It really needs Howard Wolowitz screaming during the launch to add some excitement.

Actually I was thinking how very relaxed about it they were compared to American launches I've seen.

This is in no way a criticism of the Russians, though, I thought it was refreshing to see how matter-of-fact they were about the whole thing - calm professionalism instead of artificial drama.

Alister Silver badge

Well that all went very smoothly.

Feds raid 'extortionist' IT security biz Tiversa, CEO put on leave

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Re: I'm wondering how the FBI made its selection

Vehicles, including main battle tanks, depend on police and guard services to protect them from vandalism. There is no way to prevent bricks though windows, keyed door, and knives through tires.

I think you might have picked a better analogy, I really doubt it's possible to chuck a brick through the window, or knife the tyres, of a main battle tank, and I'm not even sure you could successfully scratch it with a key...

Off to Mars this summer? Don't forget your map

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Re: someone went and actually measures everything

@Sir Sham Cad

I think he meant Mars, not Ben Nevis...

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Re: Old OS maps online.

Just spent a happy hour or so immersed in that site you linked to.

Many thanks, fascinating to compare old with new.

Domino's trials trundling four-wheeled pizza delivery bot

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Re: R2D2 or BigTrak

It seems quite big to me

24" Pizza, or as the Americans call it... "Small"

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Re: @ Alister

@allthecool...sod it :)

Oh, go on then...

Alister Silver badge

And how would it work a lift in a high-rise?

Alister Silver badge

Hmm, I never considered that it might be an abbreviation of thought has.

It's not something I would ever write, except to illustrate the spoken word.

Mea Culpa.

Alister Silver badge

But there's a bit more to this than a stunt: there's a working prototype, trials have been conducted and thought's been given to safety

Classic greengrocer's...

Top rocket exec quits after telling the truth about SpaceX price war

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Being a rather naive right-pondian, it amazes me that you Americans accept as business-as-usual what I would consider to be the height of amoral and corrupt practices in your local and national politics.

I don't think I view the world through rose-tinted glasses, and I know that British MPs are not paragons of virtue, but I find it hard to believe that the sort of bribery and political influence that is described in this article would ever be condoned in the UK.

Mighty Soyuz stands proud at Baikonur

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Re: Hmmm

Unfortunately the humans are what is known as "very close" and the engines can be referred to as "far away".

"OK, one last time, Dougal. These are small… but the ones out there are far away. Small… far away…"

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Re: Horizontal assembly

@Mike Shepherd.

I agree that compared to take-off loads any forces will be small, but whilst all space launch vehicles are designed to withstand those launch forces vertically, I'm not so sure about sideways loads.

Would current US launch vehicles (for example) withstand the off-centre forces of installing the payload with the craft horizontal, or would that have to be built in as extra?

Alister Silver badge

Horizontal assembly

Does preparing the payload and rocket horizontally mean that it has to be constructed in a more robust manner though, to withstand the off-centre loads whilst laid down, and the strain of lifting it to the vertical?

Apple tells iPhone court 'the Founders would be appalled' by Feds

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Re: misinformed arrogance

Court+Search warrant for specific object == Legal Oversight.

If it works for your bedroom closet it works for your phone.

There speaks someone with no comprehension of the ramifications of this case.

If Apple are forced to provide a way to bypass the security on this one phone, there will then be hundreds - if not thousands - of requests / court orders for the same to be done for other phones.

At that point, it is 100% certain that the code to carry out the bypass of security will no longer remain in Apple's hands, and will find it's way, firstly into the FBI's hands, where they will use it indiscriminately without oversight, and secondly into the hands of the criminal fraternity, at which point it's game over.

Hackers demo prototype security scanner that thinks like a human

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Re: Descison Tree. . .

@Elmer Phud,

Was your miss-spelling of decision deliberate, or an ironic fail?

Brits seek rousing name for polar research vessel

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Re: I'm torn

Nice, I see what you did there :D

Alister Silver badge

Not quite a vulture...

But they could name her RSS Robert Falcon Scott.

Or maybe RSS Lawrence Oates, now there's someone worthy of remembrance.

Hotel light control hack illuminates lamentable state of IoT security

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what a missed opportunity:

to hack a bit of code to send messages across the Hotel frontage by turning the lights on and off in sequence...

Met Police cancels £90m 999 call command-and-control gig

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supplier didn't deliver

Maybe they left it round the back behind the bins...

UK Snoopers' Charter crashes through critics into the next level

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Unfortunately, because of the abstentions, the outcome of the vote (281 votes in favour and 15 opposed) gives a completely unrepresentative impression of the support for the bill, and one that I've no doubt will be used to "prove" that the bill was well received by the majority.

Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

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But no, ad-blockers are bad and should be banned...

Any Swedish publishers care to comment??

Hollywood could learn a lot from software devs, says GitLab founder

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Hollywood will be turning to the worlds of DevOps and Continuous Delivery to make movies in the future

Based on that then, by the time it gets to DVD release, it'll be a completely different movie to the one shown in the Cinemas...

A bit like Bladerunner, in fact...

Want to kick butts? Go cold turkey

Alister Silver badge

plus patches are a sod to light.

You Bastard... :)

Alister Silver badge

Re: Long odds

Good thing I don't want to quit then, eh...

Alister Silver badge

So neither of the groups were better than 23% successful in quitting, then, or am I misunderstanding?

Computer says: Stop using MacWrite II, human!

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Just wondering...

Why the nice drawing of a B17 at the head of this article?

Brits shun nightclubs and CD-ROMs for lemons, coffee and woman’s leggings

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Computer game downloads are added, as “attracting increased expenditure and their inclusion splits the eight of computer games".

I didn't get what this means, anybody??

UK fella is a multimillion-dollar cyber-hustle mastermind – US DoJ

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"As this case makes clear, we will investigate and pursue charges against individuals who abuse the financial information of American consumers."

I nearly spat my cornflakes over the keyboard when I read that, I was laughing so hard.

Yes, so Long is a criminal, and deserves to do time, but it's seemingly OK for banks and businesses to abuse the financial information of American consumers, but if an individual does it: Oooh, can't have that...

7,800 people's biometric data held on police anti-terrorism database

Alister Silver badge

The BBC's reporting of this story contains the following gem:

The Report revealed up to 50,000 records of under-18s on the Police National Computer (PNC) may be incorrectly showing that their DNA profiles need to be erased after five years, when they should be stored indefinitely.

However, a number of problems have emerged which indicate that profiles are being wrongly kept on the database, including 4,650 profiles of people classed as "Wanted/Missing" on the PNC.

So if I read this correctly, any under-18 should have their DNA profile stored indefinitely. Surely this is wrong?

We’re so over Uber: Italy ponders slapping taxes on workers in the ‘sharing economy’

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Google translate seems to be very good at Italian, I can't see any errors in the quoted text at all.

ExoMars ready to roll atop bloody big rocket

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bloody big rocket

Is this now an official El Reg term?

How does "Bloody Big" equate to London Buses or Olympic Swimming Pools?

Ad-slinger Opera adds ad-blocking tech to its browser

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Re: Oric 1?

Umm, they both begin with "O"?

Don't get it myself, but nice to be reminded of the Oric.

My mate had a Lynx (he always was a flash bastard), which was a similarly obscure alternative to the Spectrum.

Cisco says CLI becoming interface of last resort

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“The 'greybeards' are still going to be there to build the automation and build the interfaces and the programmatic ways that they want to interact, because they know their networks better than anybody,” West told El Reg at Cisco Live in Melbourne this week. “They have grown and lived in those things.”

Now Cisco thinks those greybeards, even the experts holding high level certifications like CCIE and CCNE, will spend less time rummaging around under the hood and more time talking to business people.

Speaking as someone who has a beard of the requisite colour, I don't think the second paragraph is true at all, given that it is recognised that we of the hirsute persuasion are the ones who make it possible for the clever automation and scripting to work.

In West's view, sublimating the CLI therefore means NetAdmins can make their other skills more prominent and profit as a result. That's a story plenty of Sysadmins were told as server virtualisation took away the need for server-related drudgery.

In my experience server virtualisation doesn't take away the need for server-related drudgery, it just adds an extra layer of complexity which also requires managing.

Whether a server is virtual or physical, it still has the same management requirements, and although individually a virtual server may no longer have the associated hardware management requirements, those just transfer to the host hardware - you still have to replace broken bits, just not on a per server level.

Go DevOps before your bosses force you to. It'll be easier that way

Alister Silver badge

now is the time to ensure your organisation gets saddled with some misconceived implementation of DevOps.

Did you really mean that? I would have thought "now is the time to ensure your organisation doesn't get saddled with some misconceived implementation of DevOps" would be your stated goal...

Airbus' Mars plane precursor survives pressure test

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I came to say the same thing, it looks very much like a Scaled Composites design - not just the windows, but the tail too (which has traditionally been a way to tell designer's work in aeronautical circles).


Having looked it up, it appears that Bert Rutan was not involved, but it sure looks like one of his.

Knackered Euro server turns Panasonic smart TVs into dumb TVs

Alister Silver badge

Re: Real world problems ?

My google-foo fails to find any further mention of Yorkshire grown tea, although there is a UK plantation at Tregothnan in Cornwall, so sadly it appears the idea didn't bear fruit (or leaves).

Alister Silver badge

Re: Real world problems ?


I can't quite recall where the tea fields are in Yorkshire...


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Re: TV problem?

Nah, you have to tweak the cores of the RF coils with a non-conductive twiddly thing...

London cops hunt chimpanzee in top hat

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Re: Apes

please refer to any of the films in the "Planet of the Apes" series. They aren't documentaries...

They aren't?

I wish someone had told me!

Jeff Bezos to give forth at US space symposium

Alister Silver badge

Re: Don't mention SpaceX...


Well Larry's already got the island volcano, it just needs excavating for the rocket silo.

Alister Silver badge

Re: Don't mention SpaceX...

If only there was an internet billionaire with a space technology company that didn't use the RD-180. They could call the company SpaceEx or something, that would be cool. Like Space Exploration.

That would be a great idea, I wonder who we could get to do it.

UN rapporteur: 'Bad example' UK should bin the Snoopers' Charter

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@Anonymous Blowhard

You appear to be threatening the use of a nuclear device on the person of the Home Secretary, is this wise?

Alien studs on dwarf's erection baffle boffins

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Re: Cool

Just once though, I would like us to find some evidence of alien civilisation.

You've got a domed city, what more do you want?


Alice, Bob and Verity, too. Yeah, everybody's got a story, pal

Alister Silver badge

Yay, Stob!

A fascinating tale of sex, drugs and cryptography. All very relevant to today's leading topics.

Hillary Clinton private email server probe winding up – reports

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Re: Do not understand the issue

@ tom dial

She also bypassed the Federal Information Security Management Act and the federal and State Department regulations and instructions derived from that.

Yes, that's what my 2/ said.

North Dorset Council hit by ransomware, flips the bird at miscreants

Alister Silver badge


What I don't get is why organisations don't use whitelists.

This is almost certainly not how the infection was introduced, it is much more likely to have been an infected attachment in an email.

And whilst you can try to minimise the risks there, (and software is available to catch most known infections) if you are in a public service environment like a local council, you cannot just block all emails with attachments, or from unknown addresses, as you will receive hundreds of perfectly legitimate emails which look just like the dodgy ones.

Everything bad in the world can be traced to crap Wi-Fi

Alister Silver badge

Re: On the one hand...

Some years ago our company staged a corporate event for the new improved version of one of our web-based products, where new and existing customer's representatives were to be given a presentation and then a live demo of the new features.

The company chose an hotel with conference facilities as the venue, and the week before the event, we of the sysadmin team went and carried out a full dress rehearsal to make sure that everything was in place and worked.

The presenter's rostrum had power connections and a VGA connection to the built in ceiling mounted projector, but no ethernet connectivity. However, there was an adequate WiFi connection, from an AP that was located in the roof space of the entrance hall to the conference room, as we later found out.

Using a laptop, as was planned for the day, the testing all went smoothly, so we were happy to report to the chairman that there were no problems with the venue.

Come the day, the presentation (Powerpoint, what else!) in the morning went well, but at lunchtime I received a panic phone call saying there was no WiFi signal, so they couldn't do the live demo section of the presentation, and the venue had no IT support.

I drove to the venue, and on arrival, some quick testing showed that whilst the conference room was empty, the WiFi worked as advertised, but once the room was filled with 300 guests, the signal just got soaked up by all the big bags of water wandering around (the guests), and never made it from the back of the hall as far as the rostrum.

The nearest accessible ethernet connection was the 24way switch located under the desk in main reception, so I grabbed a 100M reel of Cat5 out of the back of my car, and it was threaded from the rostrum at the front of the conference hall, out of the doors at the back, and along through the corridors to reception. Two quick plug terminations later, and all was well.

The chairman gave me some grief about not testing properly, but short of hiring 300 extras, what could I have done?

I did have words with the venue manager though, and explained that one weedy access point in the roof was no bloody use.

Dell-EMC Federation, stardate 11254.7: What about the storage?

Alister Silver badge

Re: So who's correct here?

So I'm gonna stick with the StarTrek Online version

NOOO! It's not canon...

It even says "This does not work for the television shows or movies. It is only for Star Trek Online. "


Alister Silver badge

I just knew this would bring out the Star Trek Stardate geeks...

I make that April 3, 2334, Time: 23:10:19

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