* Posts by defiler

993 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010

make all relocate... Linux kernel dev summit shifts to Scotland – to fit Torvald's holiday plans

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Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

Has the food been fixed?

Yep. Now we have deep fried Curly Wurlys and deep fried Maltesers!

To tell you the truth, there are loads of great places to eat in Edinburgh, but during the festival they're all crammed. So you end up with a burger out of a van, which are as shite as usual, or some pretentious fuck with a stand called Pulled Aporkalypse or something equally fantastic who'll do you something just as awful but wearing glasses and hair that make him look like he's in disguise.

And it'll be £20. Plus more for a drink.

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Re: New! It's the elReg trip advisor

Get into The Malt Shovel. Just round the back of Waverley Station, they can see how many shelves of whiskeys they can work their way through before passing out.

Or The Ox on Young Street. Still a favourite, well away from the gold diggers, sycophants and... well... yeah, them on George Street.

Or they could head up to Marchmont / Newington, and wander around student-land, where the mid-1990s were a feast of CS students blowing up their monitors with bad timings on X11...

A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

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Lawyers and speech-to-text

There was a senior partner at a law firm in Edinburgh in the mid-late 90s who didn't bother with the typing pool. Used Dragon Dictate with a long cable on his microphone so he could watch the world out of his office window. It did a great job too - he was delighted.

One day we upgraded him to Dragon Naturally Speaking, which would process fluid speech, rather than having to halt briefly at each word. (He was very practiced with Dragon Dictate, so this style of speech was no problem, but newer is better and all...) It choked every time he said 'notwithstanding', which (as a solicitor) was rather a lot. Every time it would enter 'not with standing'.

Took a week before he gave up and went back to Dragon Dictate. Until he retired, to my knowledge.

I understand the minutes of their monthly partner meetings became quite hazy part-way through. And don't bother trying to get anything near the end of the agenda actioned...

Brit teen pleads guilty to Minecraft-linked bomb and airline hoaxes

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Re: And the worst part of it all...

I'd watch that. A post-apocalyptic nightmare with an Easyjet hub.

Went to Luton once. Saw Steve McFadden (plays Phil Mitchell on Eastenders, apparently). Didn't go back.

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Ah - 19...

When you thought you know how the world worked. How to fix everything. Bad guys were bad, and all the good guys were on our side. But best of all, you were bulletproof.

Seems like this trumpet is going to have to grow up awfully suddenly.

Voyager 1 left the planet 41 years ago – and SpaceX hopes to land on Earth this Saturday

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Re: 3.6AU per year

then what's been slowing it down?

Throw a rock in the air. It rises slower and slower, hangs in the air, and then speeds up again as it falls. And then it stops when it hits you. More or less the same with orbital mechanics. Long story short, the lowest point on an orbit is the fastest, highest point is the slowest. Trading speed for height, effectively.

I'll refer you to a wonderful computer-based training course called Kerbal Space Program. 30 quid on Steam, and a lot of hours of fun. Runs on Linux too, if that's your bag.

Microsoft sharpens its claws to cut Outlook UI excess, snip Ribbon

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Re: UI revamp

Who wants to bet that all the keyboard shortcuts will change again?

Nonsense - they're easy.

^C for Copy will become ^D for Duplicate

^V for Paste will become ^G for Glue

^X for Cut will become ^S for Slice

^P for Print will become ^H for Hard Copy

^W for Close will become ^W for We Love Clippy!

Mikrotik routers pwned en masse, send network data to mysterious box

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Sometimes you need a mouse. Especially with Windows... Besides that, couldn't agree more. It the difference between the sloppy (who are perceived as getting things done) vs the thorough (who are perceived as slow).

Anyway. The current RouterOS doesn't seem to have a fix for this bug. So, blocking the management interface from the outside world it is then! But what's wonderful is that CHR reboots so fast. I don't even have to disconnect from my Citrix session.

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Re: Is that the one I noticed this morning?

I'll have to have a look at mine, but the MIPS/ARM binaries will be useless on my CHR.

Besides, if people are existing the management interface to the outside world, surely they'd firewall it to trusted addresses only, no?

TSB goes TITSUP: Total Inability To Surprise Users, Probably

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Re: Loose change?

Do they even allow that anymore? Most refuse it. :(

That's why you use the self-service till. It's like commission-free Coinstar.

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

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Re: And then there's steganography ...

Until you realise that the video is actually a 4k clip of the message on a whiteboard.

Southport: Come for a round of golf, stay for the flesh-eating STIs

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Re: Hey, it's Southport ...

How did you know I was there once?

It surprised me, though. It's not in the South, and there's no port. What's the game?

Just how rigged is America's broadband world? A deep dive into one US city reveals all

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Re: Choice

50 types of toothpaste...

Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires

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Re: Unlimited; that word does not mean what you think it means

Are you a troll or an idiot? The latter is a derivative of the former over time. You cannot limit one without limiting the other.

Steve, where have you ever seen a connection with literally unlimited bandwidth? There isn't one. So even from step one you have a limit on the amount of data you can transfer, since you (I'm singling you out, but there seem to be dozens more) seem to want to be arsey about it.

WHAT? WHAT??! I can't download unlimited amounts of data in my billing month because it's only a 100Mb/1Gb/10Gb/1Tb/whatever pipe??! BASTARDS! I shall write a firm letter to the editor!


Outraged of Ormiston.

I don't get that it can be so difficult to understand that contracturally they can still download, and download as much as they like, only slower. It's not what the fire department need right now, but it's what they're contracted to. Sure, Verizon aren't doing themselves any favours by not opening the taps, but it sounds like the FD have been talking to the wrong people. Besides which, when did Verizon ever give a shit what people think about them?

Redis has a license to kill: Open-source database maker takes some code proprietary

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It seems that someone has to bring vitriol to the comments this morning. Bah.

Security MadLibs: Your IoT electrical outlet can now pwn your smart TV

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Re: What the flying F**K


Read this and my immediate thought was "yes, why can't it just run on powerline Ethernet?"

On the other hand, remote power sockets can be handy in a strange. Used them before, and whilst in that case they never actually paid for themselves they did did me a lot of hassle. Around the house, though? Not feeling it.

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Re: Friends don't let friends belk

One day I was wearing a T-shirt that read "no I will not fix your computer" when a guy (clearly thinking he was clever) asked if I'd fix his wireless network instead.

"Does any of it say Belkin anywhere?"

"Yes, how did you know?"

"Funny that..."

Next time I saw him (climbing centre) he said it was working since he'd binned the Belkin...

It liiives! Sorta. Gentle azure glow of Windows XP clocked in Tesco's self-checkouts, no less

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Re: Local Optician

But are they Econet-connected? :-/

No Clock

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update

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Re: trolling

In Linux you can have as many as you like! As long as you keep thinking that's an advantage Linux is staying in the server room.

I'm with this argument. It's the techie's approach. We can make it customisable, therefore we must make it customisable. It gets to the point where there's too much choice, and people are paralysed in making a decision. So they stick with Windows because it's what they know and it's less confusing.

Sometimes choice is a bad thing. I hate buying toothpaste because it's all powdered rock, fluoride, mint and a binding agent but somehow there are 50 options when I'm in front of the shelf. At that point I take the simplest option. And when it comes to GUIs, for most people the simplest option is to stick with Windows / OS-X.

Pare it down to 6 options that'll work with desktops, servers and laptops. Have an "expert" mode with all the configuration buttons you like, but keep them hidden by default. That is how you'll attract users.

Honestly, for developers they don't seem very good at Keep It Simple, Stupid.

(I think it's been 3 years since I last saw a GUI on a non-Android Linux machine. It used to be my daily driver, and it was definitely viable. Now all my Linux is on the server end.)

London's Gatwick Airport flies back to the future as screens fail

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Re: "no redundancy in the internet link"

I'm just going to lob this on the end here, since everyone's screaming about having a second cable (expense of installation, potential proximity to first), and others are screaming about having a cellular backup (potential proximity to cable because Vodafone).

Nobody's saying satellite link. If all you're looking for is 3Mb/sec, it's not expensive. Oh noes - 200ms latency? Who cares? If the power stays up, the data stays up. And if the power drops, the airport is closed anyway.

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

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Re: EU Standard plug

Pain in the arse to put through a wall though. SCART, not Volvos - they're pretty straightforward.

Risking ire by replying to myself, but I actually had to push a SCART through a partition wall today. Had to disassemble the connectors on both ends. It was an enormous pain in the area, and I'd have been easier threading a Volvo 440 through the damn wall.

Still, Dreamcast is up, so it's not all bad!

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Re: To later

And while we're at it, we'll colour it passport blue. That will make everything right.

Bloody hell that make me so proud I could weep!

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Re: EU Standard plug

For a standard developed in 1970, it proved to be extremely far-sighted: particularly in standardising a method for direct RGB input to TVs,

Yep. It's still the go-to connector for hooking up old videogames consoles for collectors. Everything up to the Xbox/PS2/Dreamcast/N64 era. As they said about Volvos in Crazy People "They're boxy but they're good". Pain in the arse to put through a wall though. SCART, not Volvos - they're pretty straightforward.

Lo and behold, Earth's special chemical cocktail for life seems to be pretty common

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Re: So, why don't we still have dinosaurs?

Perhaps life did start multiple times in Earth's distant past but it cannot do so again while every habitable environment on the planet is infested with organisms selected by millions of years of evolution to be efficient at exploiting their environment.

This. All of this. And entirely this.

Even the humble garden slug is an ultimate bad-ass in its own niche. It has fought and defeated every challenger for its particular (narrow) environment. Having evolution start all over again - a fresh roll of the dice to spawn entirely fresh organisms - is not impossible, in my view. However, it'd be like putting a newborn infant up against special forces troops. In a straight fight it's just going to lose.

The only option is for this new evolution to find an unexploited niche. Perhaps this is why extremophiles are just so bizarre - maybe they have arisen as totally fresh instances of life, separate from whatever chains have spawned us, and they've just been the first into that environment. Maybe not.

Who can say? Without a way to go back and see it's impossible, and the car's in the workshop today - brakes are binding, so getting 88mph is a bit of a slog. Besides, the flux capacitor is being tricksy just now.

Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

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Re: Would have got away with it too

That looks like an email I got from the Prince of Nigeria University.

I hear they're doing fantastic work in cold fusion. Just need a little individual funding to push it over the line.

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Re: Extraordinary claims—

Which would make all those barren stretches of Sahara desert suddenly extremely valuable.

Only during the day. The Bedouin can have them after dark.

Oh my Tosh, it's only a 100TB small form-factor SSD, SK?

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Re: Sign me up

I'd like to announce my MagicVegaLeapDrive which will pack 300TB into a 1.8" form factor which will be fully compatible with all known interfaces and drive bays.

Pricing to be determined.

Investors please contact the usual address and leave your money in the burning skip out the back.

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Re: No-one will ever... need more than 64TB on a 2.5inch SSD

lazy developers who don't understand shit about optimisations

I've dealt with my share of lazy developers, but I'll bet that most devs understand a fair bit about optimisation, and I'll bet a lot of them even care. They do, however, have to report to management who care about getting it out of the door now. Not in three weeks when it can be 10% faster.

ZX Spectrum Vega+ blows a FUSE: It runs open-source emulator

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Learning how to use blu-tack

From tiny acorns, and all that...

That said, when I had Acorns I never had an ounce of trouble with them.

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Re: Could there be a more reflective screen?

What are they going to do? Steal it or commiserate?

Samsung Galaxy Note 9: A steep price to pay

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Re: The one thing I wholeheartedly agree with Jobs on ...

If you need them

And that's the thing. I used to have a Note 3, and the stylus was great. You never really needed it, but it was handy for doing crazy things like running a Citrix session on your mobile...

Phased out: IT architect plugs hole in clean-freak admin's wiring design

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Re: get out quick

2 phases connected together by accident one time and it wasn't nice. The bang was huge

Yep. I was working in Charlotte Square in Edinburgh when somebody dropped a tool into a 3-phase about 1/4 of the way around the square from us. Power was off for the rest of the day. I was in reception at the time and there was a flash like a lightning strike.

I know my limits on electricity. Sockets are fine. Consumer Unit is a job for a spark. 3-phase? Not going near that!

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Re: Plot twist? What plot twist?

Yarp. Still, whilst working in an old building we were proudly told by the beaming electrician who'd just finished a rewiring job that the three phases had been nicely isolated so that one carried the lights, the second all of the sockets, and the third the high-drain devices such as aircon, the kitchen appliances and the server cabinets...

Those UPSs took a beating smoothing out that load.

IPv6: It's only NAT-ural that network nerds are dragging their feet...

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Re: "the world is clinging stubbornly to IPv4"

The world is clinging stubbornly to IPv4. And IPv6 zealots are clinging stubbornly to the notion that everyone MUST switch to IPv6 despite the fact that doing so costs money and provides little or no benefit to the end user.

And then there are those of us looking at IPv6 as (as per the article) an inevitability. Surely it makes sense to have the deployment underway by now at ISPs, and leave the consumer endpoints until later (when they ask, or when the equipment fails, or when the ISP decides that IPv6 is prevalent enough to justify a blanket deployment).

As has been pointed out, the core routing equipment has been dual-stack for years. The devices at the ISPs are probably all ready to roll, just needing an assignment and a shitload of configuration. That configuration has had years to happen. I would have expected by now that I could call my ISP, say "IPv6, please" and get at least a /64 out of them. On my router. But no - they just don't have it.

I'm not suggesting that everyone needs to be funneled into IPv6 right now, but that it should at least be an option.

Of course, if we were to punt all the porn off IPv4 tomorrow, we'd have universal IPv6 by Monday morning...

Bank on it: It's either legal to port-scan someone without consent or it's not, fumes researcher

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So who can I portscan?

I mean, I scanned our public subnet at one of our sites and found that our comms provider has left BGP open to the world. Am I in trouble now?

/me hides from Interpol since it's a DC abroad...

Alaskan borough dusts off the typewriters after ransomware crims pwn entire network

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Day-to-day domain admin

What are the odds that one/some of the admins used Domain Admin creds on their normal day-to-day account? You know - the one they open their email and browse the web with.

Obviously I can't say that this is definitely what happened, but plenty of us have done it in the past, and have only been lucky enough to get out of the habit before something like this kicked off...

Sitting pretty in IPv4 land? Look, you're gonna have to talk to IPv6 at some stage

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You lost me at SBS

I have wrestled that demented beast far too often in the past, with its IP and its .local AD domain baked in. Bah.

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Re: Never!

And just to reiterate, at no point did I claim that NAT is not possible with IPv6. It's just not necessary.

I was under the impression that NAT was regarded as a "bad thing" on IPv6, and that since everyone had a publicly routable address you shouldn't ever be using it.

I do get people's reticence to abandon the safety net of IPv4 NAT, but it's really as simple as dumping any packets that aren't on an "established" session on the firewall. Shit, Draytek do that straight out of the box (although they didn't initially - oops!)

My bugbear with IPv6 is that it was invented by somebody (or 1000 somebodies) looking at IPX with all of its autoconfiguration, and they pinched bits. But not enough to just let the client figure itself out. In the meantime we got stuff like DHCP for IPv4 and we're happy with that, but we suddenly have to configure using two mechanisms for IPv6? The firewall is absolutely the least of my worries...

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Good luck with IPv6 if you're on Plusnet. Yeah, you can tunnel, but really? I mean it's not even as if they're a small ISP. They're part of BT, the biggest consumer ISP in the UK. They trialled IPv6 years ago, and then promptly pushed the genie back into the bottle and said "well that's that then".

I'm at the point where I'm thinking about ditching them, because IPv6 would be bloody handy for me now.

Facebook deletes 17 accounts, dusts off hands, beams: We've saved the 2018 elections

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Re: What about the rest?

Problem is, so much crap is propagated with "don't share, copy and paste this post", and you're not going to get those. At least not without doing a massive search across the whole database, and even with the best will in the world that would be a gargantuan task.

Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

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Re: It was aliens wot did it

*Must be 18 or over in UK to purchase Pointy Mummy.

Well my mummy always told me that pointing was rude, so there!

Early experiment in mass email ends with mad dash across office to unplug mail gateway

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Up in Aberdeenshire there's a town called Strachan. Pronounced Stron.

Don't get lost in Aberdeenshire,,,

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn

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Re: was it for RBS

Is that RBS the "substantial publishing company" ?

I've seen many of their works - quite samey though, and always seem to start "I promise to pay the bearer on demand..."

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Not in IT...

...but my wife's team at a construction company (no names) had to train their replacements before getting the boot. Then most of the replacements left because another big company opened up offices nearby. Then the company pretty-much fell apart. Like share-price-halved-in-the-next-year sort of fell apart.

The fun of losing institutional knowledge.

Swan dive: Intel shares dip under interim CEO Bob as 10nm processor woes worry Wall Street

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10 minutes?? But I want it now! :(

HPE supercomputer is still crunching numbers in space after 340 days

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...and for heating their tap water? Double-win!

ReactOS 0.4.9 release metes out stability and self-hosting, still looks like a '90s fever dream

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Re: This could be a hit in the NHS ...

The problem that I see with that is that somebody needs to stay on top of the ongoing security patches and stuff. It's a big enough job for Microsoft - I can see it being overwhelming for a small team. If somebody as big as the NHS adopted it then it would no longer be an obscure target.

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The fecking floppies didn't work reliably in 1995

Remember them well. DMF disks at 1.6MB. It got to the stage where we were quicker temp-fitting a CD drive and installing it from there. Still not the worst I've done - that was Wordperfect Office... Always used to break some time after disk 48. D-:<

Spectre rises from the dead to bite Intel in the return stack buffer

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the Motorola 68000 is unaffected

So, embedded systems are fine. Shame the IoT boys and girls seem to invent new ways of running everything in the software instead! :)

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In comparison to what?

In comparison to flailing around wailing "Oh noes! The lock is imperfect - I can't buy a lock until all of the security flaws are fixed! The lock manufacturers are robbing everyone by continuing to make locks with these known vulnerabilities! They need to stop making any locks until they perfect them!" whilst somebody nicks the lawnmower from your unlocked shed...

That's my bugbear with the gnashing of teeth going around here - the idealism in the face of the real world, and the notion that I (as someone who just needs to get a job done) am somehow a lackey to the corrupt semiconductor industry.

Phew - glad to get that off my chest! Also, I didn't downvote you - it was actually a fair question.

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