* Posts by Alister

3265 posts • joined 19 May 2010

UN corruption cops commence probe into domain-name and patent body WIPO

Alister Silver badge

Worry Gurry, super scurry, call the troops out in a hurry

neunundneunzig luftballons

Good old Nena.

'Backronym' crowdfunds itself into Oxford English Dictionary

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Re: For all those pedantic bastards out there....

So you think that people who spell the word lose as loose (which is a completely different word with its own meaning) should be encouraged, and not vilified as losers, which they will no doubt spell as loosers...

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'three letters added to another sciency word to make a product sound really expensive and worthwhile spending money on eg pro-biotic or pro-qubit'

Also "pro-Vitamin" which can be further enhanced by the addition of a random number and letter after it:

"New pro-Vitamin B5 Tile Grout, for that fresher, long-lasting whiteness"

Triple glitch grounds ALL aircraft in New Zealand

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Re: Picture editor fail

You realise you are merely reinforcing the (false) impression of New Zealanders that other nations hold?

This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

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To all the downvoters of my comment above, do you really need to be told that a transistor is a digital switch? on an El Reg Forum?

That was the point of my post.

I'm in awe of the Prof, and think it's a great (if bonkers) project.

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Each transistor acts like a digital switch, and can be chained together to form huge decision-making circuits that execute software, instruction by instruction.

Wow, amazing. So that's how they do it is it?

I always thought it was done by little Elves, or something.

Germany says no steamy ebooks until die Kinder have gone to bed

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Will be very interesting to see what their idea of steamy is.

Books about historic railways - very steamy, and oily, with lots of explicit photographs, and even ... diagrams!

SpaceX gets ready to crash barge-land ANOTHER rocket

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Re: I'll go with Wernher von Braun there.

Yep, completely agree.

We seem to be so risk-averse nowadays that it makes you wonder if, were we to go back a hundred years, but keep the same attitudes as we have now, whether many of the technological advances we have today would have survived the initial experimental stage without someone calling for them to be cancelled.

Would we have any civil aviation, or space program, if those who gave their lives in the early stages had meant that the testing and experimentation was deemed too dangerous?

Indeed, if you go back further, would the original American settlers have decided it was too risky to explore inland and to the the west, and still be stuck on the east coast?

Nobody wants to see people die, or expensive hardware get destroyed, but pushing the boundaries of technology means that accidents will happen, it is an essential part of the learning process, and we should embrace that.

DEATH by VEGETABLES: Woman charged with killing boyf using carrots. And peas

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The episode serves to underline the fact that there are worse and more damaging things than spamming someone

Hmm, I wouldn't be so sure, tins of Spam tend to be square, whereas tins of veg and soup are nearly always round, so I would suggest that being hit by a tin of Spam is potentially more damaging.

I feel some further research may be necessary...

Breqwatr breqs hyper-converged mould with all-flash box

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I'm waiting for the first commentard to correct the spelling in your sub-head... :)

Vicious vandals violate voluminous Versailles vagina

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Re: 19 June! Celebrate!

National Pendants Day comes round again. Huzza! I am celebrating with an Oxford comma-shaped cake.

And just to confirm, that should be Pedant's not Pendants


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I'm sorry, I really tried, but I'm unable to stifle the inner pedant...

talentless is a word, tallent-less isn't

and controversial isn't spelled contraversial

DuckDuckGrow: Privacy search soars 600% after Snowden dumps

Alister Silver badge

Although Snowden's revelations will have obviously played their part, I also think it likely that the various governments' attempts to stamp out TPB may have encouraged people to carry out more private searches.

Pwned so many times - but saved by the incident response plan

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It's definitely not paranoia when we can all pull out log files full of people out to get us.

This, exactly.

Every day, in mail logs, web logs, FTP logs - in fact everything that listens to incoming connections, you can see the background level of malicious connection attempts. Most are at the silly script-kiddy level, but you'll probably get at least one serious attempt a day, from somewhere.

One of our Directors overheard a colleague and I discussing one such script kiddy attempt - we were taking the piss out of the fact he was trying to find aspx files on a Linux PHP server - and the Director was horrified, asking why we weren't doing something about it.

He had no understanding of just how many attacks go on, day in and day out, and yet he's the one who normally queries why we need to invest in expensive firewalls, IDP / IDS systems, etc.

As an SME Admin, I do my best to maintain a robust and secure environment, but I'm well aware that at some point, we are going to get pwned.

We've had one incident, where a junior developer put up a web form without sanitizing inputs, and it only took a day before someone had successfully re-written the content of the site's CMS.

In another incident the Web team wrote a comments page without a capcha on it, which allowed anyone to type in an email address, and some text (not checked) and press send, and it would email the address given - an automatic spam machine, which was discovered by a bot within hours.

All you can do is try, with the resources available, to keep on top of things, and accept that despite all your best efforts, you are going to be hacked at some point, and if they're good at it, you may not even realise it.

NatWest IT cock-up sees 600,000 transactions go 'missing'

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Interesting that the article headline is NatWest IT cock-up.

As I understand it, none of the RBS businesses are handling transactions at the moment - including Coutts, Ulster Bank, RBS and NatWest.

So more of an RBS cock-up, really.

If I get hit by a bus, Linux will go on just fine says Linus Torvalds

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Re: Shut up and fix the video driver mess

It's open source, isn't it? I thought the idea was if you had a problem with something, you get the source code and fix it.

You're probably trolling, but I'll bite.

The source code for the video drivers for Nvidia and certain AMD (ATI) cards is not made available by the manufacturers, and therefore users of those cards are unable to "get the source code and fix it".

or are you just wanting someone else to do all the work for you, and you want to have it for free?

Linux users have just the same expectation as Windows and MAC users - manufacturers should provide support for their hardware and the software to make it work. They do it for free for Windows drivers, so why not Linux?

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Breaking news!

Lennart Poettering was glimpsed today leaving the offices of a coach hire business.

British Library publishes Digital Magna Carta – written-by-web-vote because it's 2015

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To celebrate the 800th anniversary, the Queen has got on her gold boat and headed down the Thames to the meadow where it was signed, to be surrounded by 75 American Lawyers, accompanying the US Attorney General, for some strange reason.

Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

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Re: ...lander is getting three hours of sunlight a day.

Isn't that more than the recommended daily exposure without protection? Philae should be wearing sunblock.

News website deserves a slap for its hate-filled commentards, say 'ooman rights beaks

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I think you are correct regarding current UK law.

However, in the case of the Reg, they do apply some light moderation, and therefore would probably be deemed liable for abusive comments. Thankfully, they do tend to jump on ad-hominem attacks and outright abusive posts, so content like that in the case mentioned wouldn't last long.

Zionists stole my SHOE, claims Muslim campaigner

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Re: Maybe...

with only one shoe, he just flipped.

That was a bit of a flop...

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He has given us a sign!

He has given us a sign!

He has given us...his shoe!

The shoe is the sign! Let us follow his example!


Let us like him, hold up one shoe and let the other one be upon our foot, for this is his sign that all who follow him shall do likewise!

British banks consider emoji as password replacement

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What I did on my Holidays

...and on the 14th day, the Great Wizzard went to the place of the bank, and did insert a piece of card into a hole in the wall, and say a magic incantation, and received in return pieces of paper he called money [urinating dog) (urinating dog]

'Snowden risked lives' fearfest story prompts sceptical sneers

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Re: Apparently

The BBC is set to announce that Snowden is a key cause of global warming as well.....

Yeah, well he is. All the hot air spouted by government officials about Snowden has increased global temperatures by a significant amount...

Uber petitions page p0wned, thanks to textbook code

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The trouble is, adding security to code inevitably increases the complexity of the code, (depending on the language, enormously so) and therefore "simple" tutorials to illustrate basic functionality are mostly written without the security additions.

Any reputable writer will include a disclaimer that states that the code should not be used "as is" in a production environment.

Unfortunately, developers, being human - and also in certain cases being under time pressure from management - will tend to pick the quick and easy solution, and copy and paste the simple tutorial, rather than the more complex ones showing how it should be done properly.

ISS 'nauts quit orbiter and aim for Kazakhstan splashdown

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Re: Splashdown!

Yes, given that they are landing on land, not water, a "splashdown" is not what you want.

Really, Really not...

Teaching kids to code is self-defence, not a vocational skill

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Teaching "coding" is just a sop to the masses, and is of no use in isolation.

Without the underlying knowledge of logic and how to break down any task into achievable steps, and also some basic knowledge of what your code does in a computer, then abstract copying and pasting of code snippets until it works is worthless.


I'm constantly amazed by young developers with nice new shiny degrees in "Computer Science" who don't know why "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" messages happen.

They have no concept of memory allocation, or how pointers work, or how garbage collection works, either. Just because their chosen language is supposed to clean up after itself doesn't mean they shouldn't be taught what's happening underneath.


All right, who guessed 'street mapping' for those mystery Apple vans? Congratulations

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For the UK, street mapping will be done in Essex, Greater London, Kent, and Birmingham

Really comprehensive coverage of the UK, there...

Using leather in 'leccy cars is 'unTesla', rages vegan shareholder

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Re: Sentient being prejudice

Please, vegans - kill your vegetation before eating it.

Exactly, it should be dropped, screaming, into a pan of boiling water and left until dead.

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Tesla can continue to fill cars with the skins of sentient beings that suffer unspeakable horror while adding massive amounts of greenhouse gas into the air.

“Or, Tesla can adopt one of the many faux leather materials used by Mercedes Benz, Lexus, BMW, Infiniti and others that are cruelty free, have wonderful reviews, last a long time, come in multiple colours and involve far less greenhouse gases”.

I'm so glad that Mr Peters didn't resort to using over-emotive language to make his point...

TERROR in ORBIT: Dodgy rocket burp biffs International Space Station off track

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Re: Flight into terror

Is one of the astronauts called Dougal McGuire by any chance?

Douglas, Shirley?

Israeli firm gets legal on Indian techie over ISP ad injection spat

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Re: Flash Networks and Bharti Airtel?

I'm sorry, your post has been edited, due to a Cease and Desist order from Flash Networks and Bharti Airtel. It now reads:

So just to clarify, it's .___________________. and .___________________. that are alleged to be involved in this this Ad injection, and .___________________. lawyers, but not .___________________. laywers, have issued a cease and desist order, to prevent .___________________. and .___________________. being named. Additionally the laywers for .___________________., but not for .___________________. issued a take down noticed for Github, where a screen shot for the the alleged Ad injection by .___________________. and .___________________. could be found.

.___________________. and .___________________. have yet to comment to The Reg, who have asked .___________________. and .___________________. for comment about ad-injection that .___________________. and .___________________. may be involved in?

Is that correct?


Thank you for your compliance.

United Airlines accounts open to mass lock-outs

Alister Silver badge

Re: Poor editing - here is the key to this issue

"Dahan says the MileagePlus system will inform when user identification numbers are incorrect"

This is a problem where web developers try to be too helpful to the customer.

The error message for a failed login should not identify which bit (username / ID or password) is wrong, it should just give a generic "Login details incorrect" for both an incorrect ID or an incorrect password.

That way, at least there is no shortcut for a hacker, they have to find both a valid ID and matching password.

Obama issues HTTPS-only order to US Federal sysadmins

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Call-Me-Dave is going to have to do some serious back-pedalling, now POTUS has come up with this...

Caterham 270S: The automotive equivalent of crack

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Re: Hang on...

from the Caterham website:

The ‘S’ pack is geared towards the casual road driver and includes creature comforts such as a fully-carpeted cockpit, full windscreen, hood and side screens and leather seats.

Ah, so it's "S" for civilised, then...

Alister Silver badge

Hang on...

All are available in road-biased “S” or track-biased “R” versions

Is this a typo, or British cussedness, surely "R" for Road and "S" (Sport) for track would have made more sense?

Voyager 2 'stopped' last week, and not just for maintenance

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Isn't it amazing how they managed to build into Voyager the ability to send tweets, 25 years before Twitter was a thing...

Festival tech: Charge your mobe while you queue for a pee

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Re: Knife fail

cock stoppered bottle


HMRC ditches Microsoft for Google, sends data offshore

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Is this a paid version of Google Apps? If not, do HMG understand that Google may at any time pull the plug on their free offering, as they have done before with other services? Then what will HMG do?

SpaceX signs off on another successful mission with Pacific splashdown

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a zero-g washing machine

I thought that's what they meant by the SpinSat...

Imation CEO voted off board in proxy war bombshell

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Why are "we" calling asset strippers and market manipulators "activist investors" now?

Um, because it's an equally accurate description as the two you offered, perhaps?

WHOOPSIE! Vast US health insurer CareFirst plundered of 1.1 MEELLION records

Alister Silver badge

Sadly whilst ever there is data held in databases, someone will find a way to steal it.

I'm pleasantly surprised by how CareFirst have handled this, they appear to have been up-front and honest with their customers.

Contrast this with how so many other big companies in recent memory have behaved after a data breach.

I have no axe to grind here, just thought it worthy of comment.

US Air Force launches not-so-secret space plane. Thanks Russia

Alister Silver badge

Re: don't listen to McCain

Don't listen to old man John McCain yelling for the kids to get off his lawn. He hardly represents the majority of anything.

Yeah, and look what he did to the Nakatomi Tower...


Not the same bloke? Oh!

Candlelit vigil planned to honour executed Newcastle cow Bessie

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The Northumbrian Police have released a statement saying:

"In anticipation of tonight's demonstration, we have authorised the use of lethal force to control the crowds, and have mobilised more than 15 police vehicles, a helicopter hovering overhead, and three or four officers in sniper gear to deal with the gathering, which may cause dangerous and severe obstructions to a major highway."

After #Election2015: How can we save Big Data?

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Downvoted for using loose instead of lose...

Amazon cloud to BEND TIME, exist in own time zone for 24 hours

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Re: Sounds complicated

Wouldn't it be more practical to have a gyroscope turn really really fast to accelerate the rotation of Earth?

What we need is every able-bodied member of the population to stand facing away from the direction of the Earth's rotation, and start running really, really hard all at the same time...

I'm sure this would be trivial to organise.


Oh come on, guys?


South Korea mandates spyware installation on teenagers' smartphones

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I'm slightly conflicted about this.

My first reaction is to abhor this idea, and condemn it as an unacceptable invasion of privacy, however, as the parent of a teenage daughter I would in some ways welcome the ability to keep an eye on her browsing habits on her phone.

It's the end of life as we know it for Windows Server 2003

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Re: "Unlike Windows XP Server 2003 won’t cling around, zombie-like, at high numbers for years."

Yep, It's only last year we were sent a backup of a database from a client, they wanted us to import the data into their systems. Turns out they were running Microsoft SQL 5 on Windows NT4, we had to build a legacy machine just to read the data!

Airplane HACK PANIC! Hold on, it's surely a STORM in a TEACUP

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This article seems to be based on the erroneous "fact" that Roberts has done these things, whereas it was my understanding of the original story that Roberts claimed that such actions were possible, and the FBI twonk totally misrepresented what Roberts had said?

Robots.txt tells hackers the places you don't want them to look

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Re: It's nice to have regular recalls, but...

I was just going to post the same thing, this is hardly a new revelation.

Any sysadmin who manages web servers has to balance the plaintive cries of SEO consultants (who want robots.txt) with those of Security consultants (who don't)...

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