* Posts by Wensleydale Cheese

1104 posts • joined 28 Jan 2011

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National Cyber Security Centre boss: For the love of $DEITY, use 2FA on your emails, peeps

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Not the point ....

"So any attempt to log into a service using your email address and correct password triggers a 2FA call (say SMS, but any number of authentication services are available)"

I don't use webmail.

My various email clients scan the IMAP server for incoming messages every 10 minutes, and whenever I send an email.

Please tell me how 2FA is going to work there.

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Debian package depicts 'Tux the penguin' with sheep in intimate ASCII

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Ascii 'art' was funny for about 10 minutes in 91 when we still used VT52s.

"To this day can't handle dark VS themes, just too much like a VT52 :-)"

My aversion to dark themes stems from MS-DOS days rather than the VT series. I could still handle VTs long after Windows 95 and NT arrived.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Ascii 'art' was funny for about 10 minutes in 91 when we still used VT52s.

"You were still using VT52s in 1991? I was using a VT101 and that felt pretty antiquated even then..."

Out PDP delivered in 1977 came with VT52s. The new terminals we got in 1979 were VT100s.

1986 and I was using VT220s, which had a much better keyboard, with a full row of 20 function keys (though the first 4 or 5 were reserved for hardware setup).

1991 and the latest was the V420, maybe by then the VT520. The VT525 I used in 1996 was the best of the lot, but quickly superseded by X11 capable displays.

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Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

Wensleydale Cheese
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Finger pointing

"Many helpdesks will not transfer a ticket between resolver teams due to past football tossing between teams. Bad management forbids it, good management regulates and tracks it for abuse, then beans the offender(s)."

I've experienced that as a user in 2 main forms:

1) products from different suppliers, where each supplier blames the other one

2) where the hardware folks blame software, and the software folks blame hardware.

Both can be difficult to resolve and involve a careful mix of diplomacy and your own diagnostic skills.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: PCMCIA

"What about the Computers Often Make People Quite Angry advert from John Cleese?"

That almost spells COMPAQ.

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

Wensleydale Cheese
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"Proper Tea is theft, that why Labour party staff drink P-Tips"

I see what you did there. :)

Mine's a cup of Yorkshire Tea.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Rip off on car sales ...

"The double-tax sale month is indeed a scam."

I suspect that a certain percentage of the non-payers will be those who felt ripped off by this and decided not to renew immediately, to recoup their losses.

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Windows Update borks elderly printers in typical Patch Tuesday style

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: dot matrix

"in some places these printers are preferred because of their ability to print on practically endless kilometers-long continuous-style paper."

Being impact printers, they can do multipart copies (carbon or NCR - No Carbon Required) as well.

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The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Shit and Shovels

Do not speak of things you do not know - shit does *not* fly off a shovel - it mostly sticks.

It depends on the moisture content.

When it's dry, it does fly off the shovel.

When it's wet, it does fly off the shovel.

There's a range in between the two consistencies where it is sticky, and does stick to the shovel.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: The Quantum of Firefox

"THUNDERBIRD!"

Thunderball, Shurley?

Thunderbirds Are Go!

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Does UK high street banks' crappy crypto actually matter?

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: 2 Factor Authentication

"Phones are better than nothing as a second factor but they're not considered to be properly secure now. It's become so easy to social engineer phone providers into swapping number to the crooks."

A more important factor for many is crap telephone reception at home.

There's nothing more infuriating than being sent an SMS that you cannot access without going outside, or even have to drive somewhere else to receive.

By which time, of course, the authentication period might have expired.

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Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

You could try using a meter :-)

"I don't know whether recently installed LV transformers in the UK network have moved to be centred on 230v - can't be arsed to google it."

The first I heard of the 230V harmonisation was about a decade ago. The newly installed bank of meters in the building all said 220V (I'm in Europe), so I was sceptical about when it would arrive.

I measured the mains using a meter, and hey presto, it was already on 230V.

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Self-driving bus in crash just 2 hours after entering public service

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: re: Will self driving busses come in threes?

"the overtaking opportunity is at the stop, but at peak hours there will be people wanting to get off a bus at pretty much every stop. So all buses have to stop at all stops, leaving no overtaking opportunities"

That wasn't true on my school bus run (a long time ago). Between home and school was mostly residential, so buses only needed to stop for passengers waiting to board.

Once past my school, and all the way into the city centre, your observation was correct.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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"But one would think that the programmers would require the bus to leave a big cushion behind trucks, right? Like real drivers do? (if they're smart...)"

As any truck driver knows, a large number of car drivers simply don't understand the lack of manoeuverability of a truck, its stopping distances etc.

A trained bus driver, on the other hand, will be able to anticipate the potential problems and leave ample space for the truck driver to complete the manoeuvre.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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"What I read earlier today was that the bus was stopped, and the truck reversed into the bus. So the bus knew there was an object coming towards it but wasn't programmed to move away from that object (i.e. reverse)."

If the bus had a real driver, he would have surely hit the horn.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: German Efficiency

"Does the car kill the occupants of the car, or those of the other car? Or those pedestrians?"

The Trolley Problem

There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person tied up on the side track. You have two options:

1. Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.

2. Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person.

Which is the most ethical choice?

The best answer I've seen is to let the trolley kill the lawyer, who will otherwise sue you for making the wrong choice.

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'The Queen' is showing Geneva how to be polite on public transport

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Well she's the Queen, isn't she?

"Let's get three people dressed as a millennial, a slow moving overweight man, and a Arsenal fan and see how polite people are around them!"

Bonus points for whoever manages to trip up the overweight guy in such a way that he flattens the millenial.

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It's Patch Blues-day: Bad October Windows updates trigger BSODs

Wensleydale Cheese
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Happy

Re: "So these updates come with some extra homework."

"Now where have I heard that phrase before?

To which Wensleydale should reply..."

Please, Miss, Windows ate my homework.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Internet melts under strain of refreshing WSUS Servers from scratch

clear the cache on WSUS servers" - WTF.. is he crazy? What has he smoked?

The WSUS caches on my servers are 200+ GIGABYTES on each server.

A demonstration of how one ill thought out comment could cause the whole internet to grind to a halt. You couldn't make this up.

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Sniffing substations will solve 'leccy car charging woes, reckons upstart

Wensleydale Cheese
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"been there, done that:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-transit-s-90m-hydrogen-bus-fleet-to-be-sold-off-converted-to-diesel-1.2861060

I'll save you the energy of pointing out that the H2 had to be shipped in from Quebec which certainly impacted the outcome. But hardly the kind of resounding success you claim."

I wasn't claiming a resounding success, merely that testing continues.

Your article isn't as negative as your wording implies.

Denhoff once served as chairman of BC Transit but, he says, they aren't receptive to new ideas. "I just think management there doesn't like new technology."

He denies this was a failed experiment, saying it helped prove the technology is viable and kept thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases out of the air.

...

According to Burnaby's Ballard Power Systems, which manufactures fuel cell engines, Whistler's hydrogen buses cost $1.34 per kilometre to maintain, versus 65 cents per kilometre for diesel-powered buses.

Canadian petrol/diesel prices tells us that in Canada diesel is 0.75 EUR per litre, compared to the UK's 1.34 per litre, which means their cost comparison isn't really valid for the UK.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: The Future is Nuclear

"No, people started thinking harder and realized ubiquitous flying vehicles only make sense in a world with no gravity. Otherwise, you'd be spending too much energy just staying in the air (which is unavoidable, again, due to gravity)"

James May did a programme on personal jet packs, and although he got a few feet into the air, straight upwards, the fuel consumed just to hove was in the region of that used by a 747 at cruising altitude.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: The Future is Nuclear

"Why stop at hydrogen. Convert it into an alcohol (preferably with CO2 extracted from the atmosphere), and you can deliver it via the existing infrastructure & use barely-modified existing engine technology."

See Brazil for an example of ethanol as fuel, but Apparently it's not going as well as it used to (Washington Post Article from 2014)

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Wensleydale Cheese
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"Hydrogen is a ridiculously expensive and impractical transport fuel. The yank DoE alone has invested $3 billion in 'hydrogen economy' research over the the last 27 years and come up with approximately nothing useful."

The DoE should have a look at what the Swiss Post Buses are doing.

Swiss Hydrogen Bus and Refuelling are “CHIC”

And yes, these are still in operation and expanding to other areas in Switzerland.

CHIC Project - Clean Hydrogen In European Cities

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Dell makes $1bn bet that IoT at the edge can kill cloud computing takeover

Wensleydale Cheese
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"Can someone wiser than me please enlighten on what on Earth the deer analogy means & why that's chosen as the great selling point?"

It probably does make sense if you have experienced a deer jumping out onto the road in front of you.

It happened to me once, on a narrow country lane bordered by dry stone walls, meaning limited opportunities except for braking.

The deer's actions were quite impressive, it jumped down from the hill on the left into the middle of the road and in one leap cleared the 5 foot wall on the other side.

If it had landed on the bonnet instead, it would have caused serious damage.

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It's 2017... And Windows PCs can be pwned via DNS, webpages, Office docs, fonts – and some TPM keys are fscked too

Wensleydale Cheese
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Joke

Re: force regeneration of previously created weak TPM keys

"So these updates come with some extra homework."

Please, Miss, Windows ate my homework.

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Equifax: About those 400,000 UK records we lost? It's now 15.2M. Yes, M for MEELLLION

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Time for a New Best Practices

"(c) implementations for dumb-phones that use time-bounded codes sent via SMS are not user-friendly* (had the SMS turn up about 4 hours after it was requested, and the "usable window" for it had expired)"

I've also experienced the situation where there is no phone signal indoors, which involved going outside and walking until reception kicks in and the SMS message arrives.

By the time I got back to the computer, the code had expired.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Yes, it's called Excel

Excel specifications and limits

For "Excel 2016-2013"

Total number of rows and columns on a worksheet: 1,048,576 rows by 16,384 columns

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Foiled again! Brit military minds splash cash on killing satellites with... food wrapping?

Wensleydale Cheese
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Obligatory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wntX-a3jSY ...

Miss Piggy deals with Space Garbage

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2019: The year that Microsoft quits Surface hardware

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Isn't it obvious

"anyone who can qualify for a credit card should be able to qualify for buying a $2500 laptop if they can't just pay cash."

Maybe in your country, but not everywhere in the world.

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Nailing a cloud project without killing Bob boils down to not being a tool

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Article forgets that

"... and bizarre connectivity that spider-webs your corporate information assets around the globe."

"Bizzare connectivity".

Must remember that one for meetings to come.

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Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Techies will continue to sneer.

I'll just leave this here:

Speculation that Amber Rudd wants to be PM

What are her leadership chances? She came fifth in the latest poll of party members, with 7.5%, after Boris (21%), Jacob Rees-Mogg (15%), David Davis (14%) and Other (18%).

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Dnsmasq and the seven flaws: Patch these nasty remote-control holes

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: It can be from the outside Internet

"Personally, I would not risk it. I had only one instance in use outside lab work (my mom's house) and even that just got disabled and replaced by a proper adult bind + isc dhcp server combination running on the razzie which controls the cctv."

Noted and thanks. I've been trying dnsmasq out on a Raspberry Pi, but find the documentation somewhere between hard work and impenetrable.

I've used bind and isc dhcp server before and will probably be more comfortable with those.

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Vibrating walls shafted servers at a time the SUN couldn't shine

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Tivoli blues

I think "Tivoli" means a fun-fair / "amusement park" but not in English?

Tivoli Gardens and Amusement Park, Copenhagen

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: VMS documentation

"Forget WhatsApp and Slack, VAX Phone was where it was at!"

Stashed for future use.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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"The VAX compiler therefore optimized the FORTRAN code down to a signle NOP instruction and linked to an empty executable, which finished in 0 seconds."

The VAX-COBOL compiler wasn't anywhere near VAX-FORTRAN in terms of optimising code, but it could still surprise you.

On one occasion I was trying to do something similar with large arrays, but the COBOL simply decided that anything not referenced wasn't required. Passing the appropriate variable(s) to an external routine brought in at link time was the only way to fool the compiler.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Unhappy

Second hand MicroVAX

"Back in the '80s of Big Bang London there was the story of DEC being asked by a non-customer if they could supply a copy of the OS. They asked what it was for. Someone had found a presumably surplus Micro-VAX tossed into a skip."

It was around that time that second hand MicroVAXes could be had for as little as £10K, and my thoughts turned to setting myself up as an independent developer.

It turned out that these were extremely hard to come across, because when the initial purchaser upgraded to something else, the MicroVAXes would get handed to another department within the same company, rather than released onto the second hand market.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: At DEC's headquarters in Maynard

"And that is why you should have an external system monitoring and alerting, not rely on kit on just one site."

This is where, back in the day, using external systems to monitor serial line console output was a good idea, aka "Out of band" monitoring.

The network stack could throw a complete barf, but the messages coming out of a bog standard serial line would still get to their destination.

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It's a real FAQ to ex-EDS staffers: You'll do what with our pensions, DXC?

Wensleydale Cheese
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"So, if you work for 25 years at Acme Co and end with a £50,000 salary you will get a pension of 25/80 of £50K or £15,625 p.a less tax. To achieve this you are like to have paid in approximately 18% of your cumulative salary over the 25 years. Assuming you started on £25K and increased linearly to £50K you will have paid in £175K which would then take approximately 12 years to get back, assuming you live that long."

Comparing that with the scheme I am on (not in the UK):

It's calculated from the total you have accumulated. Interest does accrue over the years on that sum.

You get 6.8% p.a. of the final value as income, so that £175K would result in a yearly pension of £11,900. Because interest does accrue while you are building it up, £175K of contributions will turn out to be a decent bit more by the end, even at quite low interest rates.

100 / 6.8 is 14.7 years, so more years to get it back than the Final Salary scheme you describe.

Swings and roundabouts between the two flavours. The final salary scheme probably comes out better in times of high inflation, but only if salaries keep up.

P.S. That 6.8% figure was undoubtedly calculated by actuaries, based on life expectancy of pensioners.

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Power meltdown 'fries' SourceForge, knocks site's servers titsup

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Same everywhere

"Scheduling" tests never works because Operations will subvert you by shifting the workload elsewhere. That causes the servers, fans and CRAC units to idle which means the power load you're switching won't be representative of a real failure condition.

I can well believe that.

Related, and seen somewhere on Youtube recently:

"Staff will treat Penetration Testers the same way as they do auditors. The natural inclination is to hide anything embarrassing; they won't tell them everything."

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UK Home Office re-bans cheap call gateways because 'terrorism'

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Oh dear

"Authorisation revoked or not renewed, and you are out of a job, house and probably bank account too."

deportation threatened, child benefit stopped, driving licence revoked

A Japanese woman living in London with her Polish husband has been threatened with deportation, had her child benefit stopped and driving licence revoked even though she is lawfully in the country under EU law, it has emerged.

You probably won't realise unless you have been through the process, but there's an international agreement about driving licences across civilised countries.

If you become resident in a new country for a long enough period, your existing driving licence can be surrendered in exchange for a local one, and you can do the same again if you go to any other country that has a reciprocal agreement.

The UK could be on extremely dodgy human rights grounds if that revocation results in a licence which is worthless worldwide.

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Wensleydale Cheese
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"So people who are single and live in the middle of nowhere are on their own then?"

That started with Gordon Brown's "Hard working families".

The inference is that singles or childless couple are obviously a bunch of shirkers :-(

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Equifax fooled again! Blundering credit biz directs hack attack victims to parody site

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Careful me...

"Cash in the pocket from now on?"

Hang on to your cash. This dash to digitise payments is dangerous

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Wensleydale Cheese
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You. Could. Not. Make. This. Up.

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How's that 'turnaround' year going, Capita? ...Sheesh, sorry I asked

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Capita issued its first ever profit warning...

"A decade ago isn't long enough to account for IR35. That must have been something else."

According to a recruitment consultant I chatted to in the mid-80s, some Sir Humphrey decided to make a name for himself and force contractors off self-employment status, form Limited Companies instead, and be liable for both sides of NI.

As any accountant worth his salt would tell you, typical contractor rates at the time didn't warrant going the Ltd Co route; at those turnover levels self-employed status was more appropriate.

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AI slurps, learns millions of passwords to work out which ones you may use next

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Password changes, and trix for good ones

"Thanks for telling everyone your trick. I'm sure it'll be picked up by the rule-generators shortly."

Back in the day we had a discussion about obfuscating Usenet email addresses to thwart spammers, but still make them decipherable by humans who wanted to reply directly.

What many didn't realise was that it would only take one glance from a competent regex programmer to devise a rule to grab the correct address for each scheme suggested.

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UK Data Protection Bill lands: Oh dear, security researchers – where's your exemption?

Wensleydale Cheese
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Winston Smith is alive, well, and working on Rees-Mogg's Wiki entry

"GDPR is not compatible with high chancellor rees-mogg. "

Someone's very busy editing the Wiki entry for Jacob Rees-Mogg

Here he's "A member of an established Somerset family of coal mine owners", in later versions that's disappeared.

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BOFH: We're only here because they said there would be biscuits

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: pantome

"https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267770648_Pantome_an_integrative_architecture_for_speech_and_natural"

That'll be one of the entries the PFY created from his phone to bump his fake site into the search engines.

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ICO whacks Welsh biz with £350k fine for 150 MEEELLION nuisance calls

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: "Shut it down, start up under another name and so the merry go round continues."

"All the more reason to pursue the directors for liabilities, if they're stripped of any profits then they wouldn't be able to afford to start up again"

There is provision somewhere in the law to bar them from being company directors, though I have no idea what specific offences can trigger this.

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Tick, tock motherf... erm, we mean, don't panic over GDPR

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: Live data

"Unless you can analyse and predict data patterns in your live data, a system will never be properly tested until it's seen the real database."

A recently reported example was where two girls had the same first name, last name, date of birth and they were born in the same city. IIRC, it was a student admissions system that got tripped up by that combination.

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'Don't Google Google, Googling Google is wrong', says Google

Wensleydale Cheese
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Re: A proposal… SWIG

"I don't know what this word means, I'll just SWiG it", or "has someone got a moment to SWiG for the nearest pizza joint?"

Swig is an existing verb:

swig |swɪɡ| informal

verb (swigs, swigging, swigged)

drink in large draughts: Dave swigged the wine in five gulps | [no object] : Ratagan swigged at his beer.

noun

a large draught of drink: he took a swig of tea.

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