* Posts by iainr

41 posts • joined 12 Nov 2010

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother


Julia Andrews vs whoopi Goldberg? or Rourkes drift vs Isandwala or just NATO standard?

Nineteen mysterious invaders from another Solar System spotted hanging around the outside edge of ours


Re: Only 16 times earth and moon distance

No, that's "close, but no cigar". within the moons orbit is "a hairs breadth" and within geosynchronous orbit is "a ba' hair away" You need to brush up on your Astronomical distance terms.

A paper clip, a spool of phone wire and a recalcitrant RS-232 line: Going MacGyver in the wonderful world of hotel IT


Re: Proper lash up

If it does it'll get knocked down the following year.

Not exactly the kind of housekeeping you want when it means the hotel's server uptime is scrubbed clean


I once put a sign "Strictly no admittance, person working behind door, knock and wait" on a door and the senior tech in the department (and the H&S person) bounced the door off my head. Why did he open the door? he wanted to know why there was a sign on the door.

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE


Possibly, but face it a British state owned ISP will look at ipv6, decide it's too complicated, implement something more elegant that will work only because of 4 hugely kludgy routers custom built by a firm that will go out of business the day after they're delivered.


Given the rate of progress on heathrow it's possible that one of his heirs could fulfill that promise by scattering his ashes on the ground in front of the bulldozer.

Idle Computer Science skills are the Devil's playthings


Re: OReally?

10Base-T? In the 1980s I'd have thought 10Base2 or thick ethernet would be more likely. Back in those heady days of t pieces and 50ohm terminators I would fairly regularly lose it with phd students who would decide to add a computer to the network using whatever coaxial cable would fit and without thought to what happens when you get over the magic "around" 200m. you would get added debuging fun when they either put a length of coax between the NIC and the T- piece or saved on the price of a t-piece by just removing the resistor end piece and replacing it with a length of coax directly into a NIC.

I was in better humour dealing with the fallout of the student that going, on a 12 month exchange to a university in Holland wanted to know how to forward email. He followed the instructions failry well but whilst he didn't make the mistake of forwarding mail from Holland back to his account in Edinburgh he did forward the Dutch account to hist home account in New York as hew was going home for a couple of weeks. of course he'd forgotten that his home email forwarded to his account in Edinburgh. I think he had about 30 or 40Mb of mail orbiting over the north sea, across the atlantic and back every 3 or 4 miniutes.

Reach out for the healing hands... of guru Dabbs


Re: Ah, you have "the glare"...

I once got a sparc 10 workstation to boot correctly by threatening to throw it out a second floor window. I swear i did nothing different to the 3 other times I started it booting after reconnecting cables etc.

Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?


Re: wasting taxpayers' cash

My dad had a montego van at one point which I boorowed on occasion I asked him why he had four paving slabs in the back and he explained that the only way to get the rear brakes to pass the MOT was to load the rear axle. The collective conclusion of everyone that drove it was that the best way to do a three point turn was to find another montego van pointed in the opposite directions and offer to swap with the other driver. I always wonder if Herbert Austin's ghost haunted them until they took the austin badge off the later versions.


Re: Turntables

For me peak audiphile bullshit happened when someone reviewed a £200+ USB cable and recommended it.


Re: Not only Military

Had the same issue on a much smaller scale in a former job. I was asked by one of the academics why I always bought 6 months worth of toner and paper for the labs in the last two weeks of the financial year. I explained that I'd run the budget down until there was a small amount to cover emegencies and then blow that on stationary at the last minute to clear the account. Stationary was an internal order so you could order it up to two weeks before the end of the year, external orders would take about 6 weeks to be processed and although you could run these into the next financial year it caused much gnashing of teeth and screaming from the accounts folk. He started doing the same and I got a thank you from the accounts person as he had up till then been the worst offender in the "fuck I need to spend my budget today" stakes.


Re: Well, I didn't *waste* money

Depends what you mean by attacked. Noone fired torpedoes at each other but I think there were a couple of collisions and an awful lot of near misses

College PRIMOS prankster wreaks havoc with sysadmin manuals


Many moons ago I was a sysadmin at a university department and a Phd student asked me about mail forwarding. He was going to be working at a dutch university for a month or so. I explained how forwarding worked and cautioned him to not to forward email back to his account in the UK from his Dutch account whilst that forward was in place otherwise the mail would loop.

It seemed he then went on a 2 week visit to the states and arranged for his email to be forwarded on to the states. At some piint someone didn't warn him about mail looping and when he left the states he forwaded his email back to the UK. I was alerted to this state of affairs by the mail server (as was typical in academia at the time it was a sun workstation) going "thrumm" every 30 seconds or so. a little investigation found about 20M and inreasing of mail looping from the UK, through holland, to the west coast in the states and then back to the UK. it wasn't an issue for our mail server but it did provoke an "oh shit" from the student when his plane landed

Sysadmin’s plan to manage system config changes backfires spectacularly


Re: Why use a revision control system?

If you want to revert a file, it's a lot quicker and easier to use a version control system to see when it was changed and see what the differences are than pulling stuff off tape. At work we use a configuration management system called LCFG (www.lcfg.org) that allows us to configure large numbers of unix boxes via configuration files that are under version control. If I want to add software to a lab full of machines I can do it by editing a file, in a months time if someone wants to know who installed the software and why it was installed they can check the configuration log files. If they want to remove the software they know what to remove from the config file and if they want to revert the labs software set back to what it was before the start of the term it's a matter of reverting the configuration file in the version control system.

Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt


Equally anyone who has any sense must have known that given how the EU works a staged, managed withdrawal was never going to happen. The two phrases that I've always seen waved around any major political decision within the EU are "nothings agreed until everythings agreed" and "it all gets agreed at the last minute".

Techie was bigged up by boss… only to cause mass Microsoft Exchange outage


Re: Reboot anyone?

Yes, I hated those belkin KVMs, we had a cluster of 40 odd linux desktops desktops with 5 kvms daisy chained together. THe choice of scroll lock as a hotkey for linux was bad, and not being able to change it to something else was worse. Pressing scroll lock whilst the kernel starts to boot pauses the whole process. so unwary colleagues would reboot a hung node, wait until is was starting to boot and then switch to work on another node, leaving the first one paused mid boot.

A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running


Re: What budget?

BTDT, including the 5-10% overspend in a previous job . I didn't like being peniless in the two moonths in between the "last" order date on the old budget and when the new budgets were approved so I'd generally hold back ~£1k for emergencies, Outside orders took 6 weeks to come off the budget but consumables would cycle in a day or so, so I'd agree with the department admin to hold back 1K for emergecies until the last possible date at chick point an order for $1ks worth of toner and paper would be squrited into the purchasing system.

Then there was the year that the Uni's coffers were very low and ALL IT purchases had to be countersigned by the HOD, Head of University Information services and a Vice Principal. At which point the CPU fan on our main router died (it was a linux box we were cheapskates). I still have somewhere in my attic a purchase order for a £2.50 CPU fan countersigned by £300k+ salaries which took 3 weeks to be processed, even with me walking it to the relevant offices. At the same time a very similar looking PO for a very similar looking part but marked as "office cooling fan"*, costing £5 and coming from a more generic supplier sailed through the system without a question.

*it's a cooling fan and the router was in my office....

Whisky business: Uni of Edinburgh servers Irn-Scru'd by cyber-attack


As a result, the Scottish college's websites and wireless network gateways are down due to a flood of junk traffic during its first week of class.

It's Freshers week this week, classes don't start till next week.

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


Re: It's pronounced EE-din-Berg*

no it's pronounced Edd-In-burr-ah and they have the only knighted brigadier King Penguin in the world.

Probe Brit police phone-peeking plans, privacy peeps plead


Re: How do these work?

what's the bit of Napolionic law that allows breathing?

Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?


Re: "How would it have protected them?"

"So, in the Windrush example, they would have been registered in the ID system soon after their arrival, and they would have not depended on unrelated record to demonstrate their status as legitimate UK citizens."

Well no it wouldn't because whey they arrived they were not uk citizens and unless they've applied for UK citizenship they're still not UK citizens. They arrived as Commonwealth citizens which gave them certain rights to remain. Depending on where they came from they lost that citizenship when the countries they came from got their independence and became citizens of that country. Their right to remain then hung on the fact that they had it when the arrived and they had not lost it in the meantime (by leaving the country for more than 3 months for example) so an ID card would show when they arrived In the UK but not that they had been continuously resident for the intervening period. A dirving license issued the same year would provide the same proof of arrival.

"The death certificate was already submitted - I used my ID card to obtain it at the city office - should they issue it to the any person who comes up to ask for it?"

Well in the UK if you want a copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate you can go to any Registrar and buy one for about £30, see https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/registration/how-to-order-an-official-extract-from-the-registers, or you can get them online at https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/r for ~£2. If you want a copy of my dads his name was James William Rae he was 80 and he died in Lanark. What you're going to do with it I don't know, all it does is prove that he's dead.


Re: "And extremely sad you're happy to carry a ID card 24x7 "

ID requriements for UK internal flights is interesting, legally you only need to provide Photo-ID if you're checking a bag in, if you're just walking on then it's down to whatever the airline wants, these days that's some kind of photo id but I know people who'v emanaged to talk their way onto EDI-LHR shuttles with a credit card. Going to Ireland currently all you need is photo ID, passport or driving license is best but they'll accept a bunch of other things including a university staff card.


Re: "How would it have protected them?"

The problem is they didn't become ctizens on arrival, they didn't need to because at the time they were Commonwelth citizens with indefinite right to remain in the UK, because that's the way the old Empire worked, there was total freedom of movement for all. Since arriving however their situation changed as the various colonies became independent countries and they lost their Commonwealth citizenship and as uk immigration law became more restrictive and finally had to align with EEC law when we joined in 1973.

So all that having ID cards would have done was help the Home office identify who to deport as their indefinite right to remain evaporated.

wrt your fathers estate, didn't you need some kind of death certificate to wave at the notary to prove he's dead. That's all I needed to wave at my mums life insurance company to get them to release funds (actually I just had to read bits of it to them over the phone).

KFC: Enemy of waistlines, AI, arteries and logistics software


Given that my modern and newly updated gps, unaware of the queensferry crossing. urges me to drive through a concrete divider and down an 45% embanking in a desperate attempt to get to the Forth Road bridge every time I drive to Edinburgh I'd personally pass on relying on gps/mapping solutions, Along the same stretch of road it frequently thinks I'm driving on parallel non-motorway roads and there are so many cases of fleshware drivers blindly following out of date directions to drive the wrong way up one way streets etc that I'd be factoring in a hefty amount of scepticism of GPS in any AI I was building.

WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction


I suspect procedurally that's not possible, he's been in front of a judge and promised to appear when summonsed and then basically raised two fingers to the judge. Judges tend not to take that sort of action lightly as the people who put up his bail found out when they put forward the, quite possibly honest, defence that they had no idea that Assange was going to drop them in the shit. there's no judge going to set up a court hearing on a bail jumper and then not have the satisfaction of having the jumper stood in the dock whilst they tear strips off them.


Re: Here's a question

and C, get him accredited as a diplomat by the UK.


No they are very specifically saying that, and have been clear about it since day one

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said that ...

"Westminster Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Julian Assange following him failing to surrender to the court on the 29 June 2012," a statement said.

"The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the Embassy."http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/julian-assange-arrest-leave-ecuador-embassy-metropolitan-police-london-wikileaks-sweden-drop-a7744231.html


The french Tunnel in Colditz started at the top of the bell tower.


Nvidia: Using cheap GeForce, Titan GPUs in servers? Haha, nope!


Re: Unenforceable.

It's already the case


select titan/geforce etc...

Warranted Product is intended for consumer end user purposes only, and is not intended for datacenter use and/or GPU cluster commercial deployments ("Enterprise Use"). Any use of Warranted Product for Enterprise Use shall void this warranty.


Re: Unenforceable.

That's already the case, this takes things beyond that.


Re: Miners great cancer research FU.

Equally, if you have 80 students being taught macine learning you should apparently be spending £180K+ to get a DGX1 with 8 GPUs for them to share rather than spending £140 buying 10 servers and cards where they can all get access to their own GeForce Card.

Brazil says it has bagged Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean for £84m


Re: Ask the Canadians...

All ex MOD ships come with a 20000 revolution warranty, void on submarines if you sail them in heavy seas with both the top and bottom fin hatches open.


Probably not as the two navies have been fairly chummy recently with the argentinian navy flying aircraft off Brazils last two carriers having disposed of the 25th of May.

RAF Reaper drone was involved in botched US Syria airstrike


Re: Barrel Bombs vs Precision Guided 500lb Bomb

You're muddling accuracy and precision which are two different concepts. In this case precision refers to the size of target you are aiming to hit, accuracy refers to how close you come to hitting the target. Blowing up a single building in a city is a precision strike, blowing up the wrong building is still a precision strike, just not an accurate one and carpet bombing a city to blow up a building would not be a precision strike but if all the bombs fall within the target zone it would be an accurate attack.

and I'd have thought that decoys would render "the 'Precision Guided 500lb Bomb' less" EFFECTIVE, unless the defending forces are particularly suicidal.

Newest Royal Navy warship weighs as much as 120 London buses


Re: 2 Years is Impressive

we'd want more than £1 this time round.


Re: "River"-Class?

Whilst not designed for anti-shipping the good old Carl Gustaf 84mm recoilless rifle is certainly shoulder launched and has had some success in the anti-shipping role against small warships.

UK govt sneaks citizen database aka 'request filters' into proposed internet super-spy law


Re: Can someone explain this?

Not everyone on ADSL or Fibre has a static ip address, some ISPs still provide dynamic ip addresses which can change over time.

Cuba bound? Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong


Re: Oh dear.

Why bother having a multi-fatality incident, Two F15s will happen on this poor airliner and "help" it to land at GITMO. Most of the passengers will then be taken to the US mainland and a few others will stay for a while.

US space programme in shock metric conversion


But Britin is metric, last week I ordered 10m of 1/2" piping and a couple of 2m lengths of 2"x4".

Working things out on the bike is a bit trickier as they don't give mpg (or KM/l) figures but I work on the basis that 17l of 4star will get me about 150miles (at 76 mph)

Falklands hero Marine: Save the Harrier, scrap the Tornado


wasn't required

strictly no, the US (actually NATO) agreed that the UK could use sidewinders that were part of the uk's inventory but were committed to NATO.

I think any satellite intel would have been available anyway because we have an agreement to share stuff like that.

in terms of materiel technically we got most help from the kiwis who lent a frigate to take over from one of ours in the indian ocean.



'lusty is currently in drydock at rosyth undergoing refit, so when she comes out of refit ark royal will go into reserve and then be scrapped rather than having a final refit to take her service life up to when the new carriers appear.


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