* Posts by ISYS

175 posts • joined 21 Jul 2011


Is your kid looking at GCSE in computer science? It's exam-only from 2022 – Ofqual


I think that is the point - coursework was cut and paste of badly written code from t'internet. So, as they can't prove the students work is original, they are resorting to a closed exam at the end of the course.

Computer Science has always been a weird subject to teach in schools - when I was in school (1980s) we all knew more about it than the teachers. The course was a complete farce as we had to demonstrate we knew how to write a For Next loop (when I say write I literally mean it - on paper with a pen) and the rest of the course was identifying a Mouse, a Keyboard etc as input devices and a Monitor and printer as output devices.

Looking at what my kids are taught today it isn't much further forward and as ever, the kids know more than the teachers.

Spending watchdog points finger at Capita for 1,300 shortfall in British Army rookies


Re: TBF...

One of the challenges the MOD has is that in the 60s, 70s, 80s and most of the 90s joining the military was a nice way of getting a career with foreign travel and a good trade qualification at the end.


Since then, there has been a very high chance you will actually get involved in serious action.


No right to the IT system at the end of the contract?

Capita may own the IT infrastructure etc but I bet they don't have as many weapons as the Army.

I suggest they hand it all over before somebody gets hurt.

Huawei CFO poutine cuffs by Canadian cops after allegedly busting sanctions on Iran


Re: Coincidence?

Looks like I forgot to add the <sarcasm> tags ;-)

Big Brother


Yesterday in the UK our largest Telecoms provide, BT, who look after the core comms infrastructure of the UK announced that they would be replacing all the Huawei kit in their datacentres. Today Huawei exec is arrested.

Also today the UKs second largest Mobile service (O2) is suffering a complete Data network outage....

Marriott's Starwood hotels mega-hack: Half a BILLION guests' deets exposed over 4 years


Re: Just wondering

Glad it worked out well (in the end) for you. Hopefully it won't be too long before banking switches to using MFA with an one time pad App on peoples phones. Not difficult to do. I know this won't be convenient for everyone right now but as time goes on it seems to be the way to go.


Just wondering

Don't get me wrong these breaches are bad news but I was just wondering how many people have had real money stolen or an increase in spam because one of them?

I'm not saying these companies don't deserve everything they get in the way of fines etc I was just wondering what happens to the data.

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget


How are these supposed to save energy

I can see from my smart meter that I am using some electricity so what do I do?

Turn off some lights - that might save a few pence.

Turn off the TV - nope I am watching it.

Turn off the fridge and freezer - not a good idea

Turn off the oven - I only turn it on when I am cooking

Turn off the heating - I only turn it on when I am cold and if I forget to turn it off the thermostat does it for me.

I am really struggling to see what else I could do as everything else in the house that uses energy only does so when I need it to.

HSBC now stands for Hapless Security, Became Compromised: Thousands of customer files snatched by crims


Shared responsibility

I am in no way defending banks here but online banking security has to be a shared responsibility.

I agree that all banks should use 2FA for access to online services, geo-location restrictions could be implemented but this needs to be a discussion between the user and the bank especially if the user travels a lot. Restricting which devices can access an account is another measure that is not difficult to implement.

However I also know that Joe Public on the whole does not like using 2FA. Joe Public has to wake up and realise that using the same password for all their Internet accounts is a bad idea and that 2FA is there to protect their data (and money).

Microsoft doubles Azure Stack's footprint, embiggens Azure VMs


Re: Four 9s?


Four 9s

365 days x 24 hours = 8760 hours

0.01% of 8760 hours is 0.876 hours (approx 52.5 minutes of potential downtime)

You then have to work out what that would cost in money to your business.

Five 9s buys you an extra 47.25 minutes but I would imagine the additional cost dwarfs what most business would lose under four 9s.

That's not too bad

HostingUK drops offline after losing Farmer vs Fibre competition


Users began reporting problems from 2055 UK time on 31 May

2055 is 37 years from now.

20:55 would be 5 to 9 in the evening.

Just saying..

Select few to watch World Cup in 4K high dynamic range colour on BBC iPlayer


Be careful

If you accidentally brush past the TV whilst getting a drink, all the players will fall over.

Astronaut took camera on spacewalk, but forgot SD memory card


Venera 14 mission

This story reminded me of the Russian Venus missions. They had no end of mishaps and problems but the best one was on Venera 14 mission. Part of the mission was to measure the compressability of the Venetian soil using a probe. The rover was fitted with cameras which on previous missions had failed because the lens caps got stuck. On this mission they fitted the lens with a push rod mechanism and it worked perfectly. However the lens cap fell right in front of the rover and the probe then proceeded to measure the compressability of a titanium lens cap.


HMRC opens consultation to crack down on off-payroll working in private sector


Shooting themselves in the foot

If they press ahead with this, most contractors would go permie as the idea of paying a lot more tax for no extra benefit (sick pay, holdiay, pension etc) is not desirable. Permie pay is a lot less than contract rates. End result will be that the HMRC net tax take goes down and the workplace becomes less flexible just when really need it to be as the loonys seems hell bent on pushing ahead with Brexit.

Flash! Ah-ahhh! WebEx pwned for all of us!



Pint for the headline. However I have got that stuck in my head now

Guess who's still most moaned about UK ISP... Rhymes with BorkBork



Yep been with Zen for years during which time I have watched with amusement as the other Internet 'Service' Providers have battled each other to provide a worse service.

IBM's homomorphic encryption accelerated to run 75 times faster



Am I the only one who read that as

"IBM's homophobic encryption" at first? Anyone? ...No? OK, mine's the nice black one on the left.

I'm glad it is not just me.

Russia could chop vital undersea web cables, warns Brit military chief


Re: "Can you imagine a scenario where those cables are cut or disrupted?"

"Yes. Problematic access to cat videos, grumble sites, modest inconvenience for the leeches of the city, It wouldn't be the end of my world"

Unless you keep your money under the bed and not in a bank and you have an allotment, the severing of these cables would most certainly affect you.

Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots


Common Sense or New Laws

As far as I can tell there are two things about Drones/UAVS/Quadcopters that concern people. Safety and Privacy; you could endanger aircraft/cars/people with them and you can film other people/places with them. Both of these situations apply to many other items - Model Aircraft/High Altitude Balloons/Kites etc all carry the same risks.

So as we currently apply common sense or have existing legislation for the above why do we need new laws?

UK.gov departments accused of blanket approach to IR35


Re: Stop taking the p***

You kind of contradicted your own argument there. If a contractor gets paid the same as a permie but then has fund his own holiday pay, sick pay and pensions why should he pay the same tax?

This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!


The military can beat this

This reminds me of an old ShoeComics strip. I can't find it on Google but basically somebody was complaining about the Air Force spending $78 on a woodscrew - The General said:

Ah to you it is a woodscrew, but to us it is a M-1 8 fully-slotted, manually activated, fibre intrusive, material securing device.

Happy Mappiversary, Ordnance Survey


Happy days

I love OS maps (sad I know) and remember many a Geography lesson learning about them.

Church with a tower

Church with a dome

A Tumulus


Scree - Google Maps still does not include this useful bit of information.

A pint to OS - If you need to know where to get the pint - Search for the pint pot with a handle.

If MR ROBOT was realistic, he’d be in an Iron Maiden t-shirt and SMELL of WEE

Big Brother

Mr Robot

Nice piece. However I am going to stand up for Mr Robot. I get that everything happens in a ludicrously short period of time - nobody can hack the jail door system from a laptop in the car park, piggy backing of the bluetooth connection in a police car - but other than that all the social engineering and the apocalyptic view of big business and everyone living on social media is dangerously close to what is happening today.

Blighty's GCHQ stashes away 50+ billion records a day on people. Just let that sink in


How long do they store the data for?

What this does not tell us is how long the metadata is stored for. 217TB sound like a lot of data but in the grand scheme of things it isn't. Banking systems hold nearly as much.

Do they slurp up a days worth of metadata from across the globe, process it and then keep the bits they are interested in?

Or do they just download the entire internet's browsing history and file it away?

My guess is somewhere between the two. As another poster mentioned, this system would have been a govt IT project. The spooks probably wanted the first option and got something nearer the second.

AT&T grabs dictionary, turns to 'unlimited', scribbles it out, writes: '22GB a month'


Dictionary attack

ISPs SELL us 'unlimited' data. Either honour the meaning of the word 'unlimited' or SELL us something else.

The situation reminds me of the rail companies in the UK who are liable for fines for running a late service. They now try to define the word 'late' as meaning a certain time after the timetabled arrival time.

Sony sends muso stratowards on vintage TV set


Great view

Could he see LOHAN from up there?

Why are Google and 'VW group' having a 'global summit' in San Francisco today?



Not the correct Google typeface ;-)

Lockheed Martin's bored with UK.gov IT and going back to fast jets


The same but different

It appears that IT services is a very different proposition to defence manufacturing & services

Oh I don't know - Endless meetings, scope creep, over-budget and late.

My top three IT SNAFUs - and how I fixed them


Those were the days

A long, long time ago when I was cutting my teeth on a IT Helpdesk I took a call from a user who told me all his work had disappeared.

After a bit of questioning about how and where he saved files I established what he actually meant was that the Word document he was currently working on suddenly had no text in it. He had typing all morning and now it was gone - and what was I going to do about it!

More questioning about had he been saving as he went along (no auto-save in them days!) and what was the last thing he did.

Eventually I wore him down and he admitted he may have changed the text colour to white. He couldn't remember how and wanted to know how to make it black again!


Testing Windows 10 on Surface 3: Perfect combo or buggy embuggerance?


Re: Weather chart

Yellow rain means it will be pissing it down.

Drone penetrates Virgin's shapely space arse


3DR Solo

Dear Santa....

UK exam board wants kids to be able to Google answers


Poll answer

I tried googling the correct option for the poll and haven't found the answer.

Plane crash blamed on in-flight SELFIES


When I was learning to fly (about twenty something years ago now) we were all told

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate - In that order.

You see it all the time now - people walking, shopping, driving etc completely focused on their phones and not on what is going on around them.

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Sizzling sag aloo


Alternative ingredient

I don't have a large onion that I can cut in half. Would a small onion be a suitable substitute?

HMRC fails to plan for £10.4bn contract exit... because it's 'too risky'


Quelle Suprise

Just Quelle Surprise

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Chickpea stew à la Bureau des Projets Spéciaux


Tres enticing

This looks delicious

It might even be an acceptable remplacant for Poisson pane entre deux tranches de pain.

Elon Musk: Wanna see a multimillion-dollar rocket EXPLODE? WATCH THIS


Have a cigar

To get the rocket that close after having already been through the launch phase and then a descent is still very impressive.

Keep going guys!

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: 1.5 MILLION SCOVILLE masala omelette

Thumb Up

Re: I did a whole Bhut Jolokia

'business end of the bat mobile' - haha brilliant.

My other favourite is 'arsehole like the Japanese flag'

Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport


not very big

A drone made of bits of metal and carbon fibre could do serious damage to any aircraft that hit it. If it was ingested in an engine it would almost certainly cause major damage.

FOUR, count 'em, FOUR big rockets launching in next seven days


Talking of rocket launches

Does anyone remember the LOHAN project that was going to launch last year / the spring /this Autumn?

LOHAN avionics survive 27,700m stratospheric ordeal


Still a shed

At 1:05 on the video you will spot a lawnmower - it is a shed!


Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box


It's a tattoo on LOHAN's box and there is a photo of it online.

Sorry, still not a story

LOHAN crash lands on CNN


Well done CNN

Nice intro, factual reporting and a little bit pazaaz! to finish.

The BBC could learn a lot from this.

APPLE still building fanbois CULT HQ in Cupertino, it seems


Looks like GCHQ...............

Your chance to win the world's only handheld ZX Spectrum


Am I the only person who stopped watching the video when he called it a ZEE X Spectrum?

LOHAN tin-rattles to a whopping £27,000 on Kickstarter


Re: only my opinion


Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM


Useful when you want to print a BFD

a document of ~9000 pages

iPhone 6: Advanced features? Pah! Nexus 4 had most of them in 2012


Apple Pay

Will this be as secure as iCloud?

Boffins attempt to prove the universe is just a hologram


Re: It's just mathematical equivalency

My cat's breath smells of cat food

Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD


Why did the chicken cross the playground?

To get to the other slide..........


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