* Posts by Alister

3425 posts • joined 19 May 2010

Imation CEO voted off board in proxy war bombshell

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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?

Alister Silver badge

Downvoted for using loose instead of lose...

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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

Alister Silver badge

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)...

Ex 'Tech City' chief Shields appointed junior Fun minister for internet safety

Alister Silver badge

Baroness Shields has been Prime Minister David Cameron’s adviser on the digital economy since July 2014.

So she's the one that advised him encryption was unnecessary and should be banned?

Good to see she has a good grasp of her subject.

Stripped to the core and full of Xfce: Xubuntu Linux loses it

Alister Silver badge

Re: Lubuntu...

Minimal set of apps and still has a GUI software center.

I don't get why you need a GUI for software installs? Seriously, I don't get the point of them?

If' there's a piece of software I want, I find it in a repo and then apt-get, or yum install depending which machine I'm on.

If it's not in a repo then download the source.

Right Dabbsy my old son, you can cram this job right up your BLEEEARRGH

Alister Silver badge

Re: I blame the parents...

@Alistair Dabbs

It's Gallic for Alexander. Probably originally spelt in runes.

Yes mate, I know. I've carried the burden of it for over fifty years...

Do you find not even family members can spell it properly?

Alister Silver badge

Re: From the Taxman

Well.... We've got you now Mr Dabbs.....and all your names !

...and your little dawg...

Alister Silver badge

I blame the parents...

I mean, come on, who'd give their child a christian name that no-one can spell correctly, never mind Starbucks personnel.

What kind of stupid name is it, anyway...

















Ha, ridiculous! You wouldn't catch me going around with a name like that...


Hang on, just off for a word with my Dad...

BOFH: Getting to the brown, nutty heart of the water cooler matter

Alister Silver badge

You know how each packet is supposed to have a responding acknowledge packet which is source routed back to the originating hardware address using the Bourne Protocol? Well ours has apparently been flipping between Ghost protocol and the Fourth Protocol because of a memory issue


I splorfed...

Messerschmitts, Sinclairs and a '50s living room: The Bubblecar Museum

Alister Silver badge

Not really a correction, but if you want the phrase to fit the meter of the original song, then the caption on the last photo should be:

"Have you ever seen a bubblecar that's pink? Think!"

Penn State University network sacked by China malware blitz

Alister Silver badge

traced partially to China

traceroute stopped at Hong Kong...?

LOHAN's final test flight moniker: The people must decide

Alister Silver badge

Sorry Ben but I had to work that out... it took a while, but I make that


Worth at least one of these ======>>>>>>

Alister Silver badge

Glad to see PRATCHETT is leading so far - a fitting tribute, I feel.

Maybe we could have a Death Of Rats as Nose Art?


Alister Silver badge

galaxies are being fatally throttled

I blame the ISPs...

Chinese cyber-spies hid botnet controls in MS TechNet comments

Alister Silver badge

Ooh! Can I use El Reg comments to send messages to my Volcano of Doom Command and Control Headquarters?

Wait! I've worked it out! That's what amanfrommars2's posts are all about - they're not just disjointed drivel with lots of capital letters!

Damn, John Miles beat me to it by a second!

PHOTON SPACE SAIL successfully Kickstarted into orbit

Alister Silver badge

32 square metre (it sounds better as 344 square feet)

Oh come on El Reg, where's your consistency, why aren't you using the El Reg standard measurements?

I make that to be 1.5402 NanoWales, or 0.0079 of a football pitch.

Drone penetrates Virgin's shapely space arse

Alister Silver badge

Re: Slightly worrying

Am I excessively heteronormative or does the Register team have a tendency to see bottoms everywhere?

Um... number 2?

Heartbleed, eat your heart out: VENOM vuln poisons countless VMs

Alister Silver badge

Re: wow...definitely doesn't deserve its own vuln "codename"

Yet they still felt the effort to create the "sweet" snake logo, nickname (surely took several researchers multiple 2-hour meetings to agree on it) and marketing release was justified ey?

Agreed, you can imagine the marketing meeting for a new vulnerability:

MarketDroid "You can't call this new vulnerability SPLODGE! What does it even mean?"

Tech "Well it's an acronym of what the vulnerability does".

MarketDroid "Well think of a better one! We can't use SPLODGE, it would adversely affect uptake of our new product... er, I mean... er... no-one will take any notice of this critical vulnerability..."

Swedish Supreme Court keeps AssangeTM in Little Ecuador

Alister Silver badge

I assume we'll send the bill to the Swedes?

No, why would we? It's not their fault he decided to skip bail in Britain. The police are there to arrest him for that offence - for which there is no shadow of a doubt of his guilt btw...

Alister Silver badge

What! Hasn't he finished digging a tunnel from the Ecuadorian Embassy to the Thames with a teaspoon yet?

Don't panic as Server 2003 rushes towards end of life

Alister Silver badge

The thing is, although all of our important stuff was migrated some time ago, I'm really really going to miss Server 2003 R2, it was just so rock solid (for a Windows product).

We've got 2008, 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 running in various places, and not one of them is as reliable as 2003 R2 was. They all have their own idiosyncrasies which seem to translate into unexplained crashes or downtime.

ISS 'naut: How we collect our POO and DROP it FLAMING on hapless Earthlings

Alister Silver badge

Don't they know how to use the three seashells??

Malfunctioning Russian supply podule EXPLODES above Pacific

Alister Silver badge

Re: Erm...

Ha, I wish you'd posted that five minutes earlier, I wouldn't have felt so stupid...

Alister Silver badge

The spacecraft would have accelerated to around 16,000mph causing the air in front of it to heat up and destroy the capsule …

Right, I'm probably showing my complete ignorance here, but why would the capsule accelerate?

Isn't it entering the atmosphere at the orbital speed it already had?

HORDES OF CLING-ONS menace UK.gov IT estate as special WinXP support ends

Alister Silver badge

Re: err, what?

In which case I will offer my services. I have extensive experience in Refrobulation and indeed, was instrumental in designing many Reciprocating Flangulators.

Ah, I'm glad to hear it, I've been having terrible trouble with the elliptical cam gradually sliding up the beam shaft and catching on the flange rebate, with disastrous results as you can no doubt imagine.

Cop in gay porn film advised to put his helmet away

Alister Silver badge

Seriously, if he's doing it on his own time, how's it any business of his employers?

I don't know if it is still the case, but historically a police officer had to adhere to certain moral, ethical, and legal standards in their private lives - for instance they would face disciplinary action if they defaulted on a debt, and were prohibited from taking part in certain activities.

The offence committed would be "bringing the force (service) into disrepute".

NSA spying is illegal? Then let's make it law, say Republicans

Alister Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: $30 locks....

and eventually wrap our surveillance devices around the dendrites.

You're not wrapping that round my dendrites, sunshine!

Fake Cisco box pushers cuffed by Intellectual Property Police

Alister Silver badge

That's intellectual-property police, not intellectual property-police

Thanks for the clarification, I was taken aback by the use of "intellectual" and "police" in the same breath...

Spooks BUSTED: 27,000 profiles reveal new intel ops, home addresses

Alister Silver badge
Black Helicopters

The ICSWatch database, offline at the time of writing, is compiled from LinkedIn searchers for industry terms including OSINT, SIGNIT, and TSSCI.

The Register has inquired about the cause of the outage.

Answers on a postcard, please...

VOTERS! This Election: Vote #Smart, Vote #Digital

Alister Silver badge

Lulu is now a verb...

Please give an example sentence, utilising "Lulu" as a verb...

"Oops, I just Lulu'd myself"

"I'm going to Lulu you in a minute"

Microsoft discontinues Media Center with Windows 10

Alister Silver badge

PC-as-tellybox just not a popular enough idea, it seems

Well, no, I don't think that's true, PC-as-a-tellybox-but-having-to-run-the-whole-of-the-Windows-software-stack-underneath was maybe not as popular...

The Linux based ones were/are much more frugal in their power needs, and will run on minimal hardware, meaning you don't need a big PC with lots of noisy fans running - not really something you want under your telly...

Boffins' ball barrage bombardment biffs bumbling bimble biped-bot

Alister Silver badge

Boffins' ball barrage bombardment biffs bumbling bimble biped-bot


Apple Watch fanbois suffer PAINFUL RASH after sweaty wristjob action

Alister Silver badge

Re: Compliance?

Will compliance be rewarded?

You are Sunil Bakshi and I claim my $5


Alister Silver badge

Has the human race really degenerated to the extent that they need to be told that wearing a watch strap (or other close fitting, non porous item) can cause a rash due to the build up of sweat between the strap and the skin?

I suppose Apple will face a class action now, instead of the litigants being told to fuck off and grow up.

It's nearly as bad as having to mark a packet of Dry Roasted Peanuts with a warning sign:


Major London rail station reveals system passwords during TV documentary

Alister Silver badge

The signalling application would appear to be running on Windows XP as well, the default border and taskbar colours rather give it away...

Who thinks Microsoft Edge sucks? Erm, Microsoft

Alister Silver badge

Re: Hatters Will Hate!


You're a mad hatter you are...

BATWINGED DINO-PIGEON causes FLAP in bone-boffinry circles

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Nature editor Henry Gee, a palaeontologist and evolutionary biologist, said a feathered dinosaur with a wing membrane "is not something anyone would ever have expected to find."

As a complete lay-person, I wonder why that's the case.

If it's accepted that there is an evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds, then to me, there must have been a point in the evolutionary process where you would have pre-bird lizards with some type of wing, or post-lizard birds with wings, and therefore the existence of fossils of these must have been expected to exist, even if no-one had yet found one?

The fact that there are no obvious signs of feathers on the wing doesn't mean it's much different anatomically to present day birds - feathers on flight surfaces were perhaps a later refinement.

My roast chicken this weekend had a wing membrane without feathers...

UK rail comms are safer than mobes – for now – say infosec bods

Alister Silver badge

Network Rail already have an existing countrywide telecommunications infrastructure which is completely independent of public communications and the internet, so they may not be as susceptible to external attacks as some other industries.

Whether they choose to make use of that network, though, or whether they consider this an opportunity to cut costs and use the internet instead, remains to be seen.

Google officially doubles EU lobbying – but true figure is surely higher

Alister Silver badge

More chocolate dessert, Commissioner?

...and finally, sir, a wafer-thin mint?

Range Rover Sport: Like a cathedral on wheels, only with comfier pews

Alister Silver badge

Re: re: If I was looking for an SUV ...

when did they stop making repairable Land Rovers.

Well I reckon it was the later model 300Tdi - so '87 onwards? when they introduced the ECUs in both the Defender and Discovery. Prior to that I reckon they were still completely fixable by a knowledgeable home mechanic.

I started with a Series 2A SWB in 1983, and have owned (and fixed) most types of Land Rover since then at some stage or another.

I really dislike the fact that my D2 is mostly black boxes, but it's still possible to do stuff yourself (like the injector loom) to stave off the effects of old age.

The D3 onwards however, you've got no chance...

Alister Silver badge

Re: If I was looking for an SUV...

And why do people still bang on about reliability? There are no unreliable cars anymore, it's not 1981 and we don't pull out chokes and flood cylinders.

The Land Rover brand has had a well deserved reputation for poor reliability with their recent vehicles, particularly to do with their electronics and electrical systems. The early Discovery 4s in particular were known to suffer from various problems on a regular basis.

However, I do believe most of these have been sorted in the last few years.

From my own experience in a Discovery 2, the wiring loom to the ECU has required replacement due to oil contamination twice now, due to poor design, and the sunroofs are known to leak badly, although mine doesn't have this problem.

Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

Alister Silver badge

Re: Anyone else wonder...

Pray tell, are there any actual downsides to permanent driving lights?


Pedestrians and other road users stop looking for vehicles, and just look for lights. So any vehicle without its lights on becomes invisible (or it certainly appears to be).

Alister Silver badge

Re: Gah!

The most often quoted idea is to replace the airbag in the steering wheel with a big spike...

People would definitely be a bit more careful then.

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