* Posts by James O'Shea

1491 posts • joined 14 Jun 2007

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: correcthorsebatterystaple

I am currently using a passphrase built out of:

two words, neither of them from the English language and usually from two different languages, but which I remember quite well 'cause I know what they mean in English; my current words add up to 12 characters.

two numbers

one special character

That's 15 characters, total. I don't use the same two numbers or special character, and vary the order of the two words and change the words themselves every now and again. I write down a passphrase hint (two alpha characters, one for each word, two different alpha characters for the numbers, and a different alpha character for the special character) so that _I_ know which passphrase I used this time, and carry around that list; the master list showing what alpha characters mean what is securely locked away elsewhere (y'all don't need to know where; those who do need to know also have instructions as to where to go to find it in an emergency). Without the master list, the passphrase list is useless. (quick: what passphrase does er wi o represent?) and that's without considerations as to the number and position of uppercase letters and the order and location of the numbers and special character. (The alpha character used tells me the order and location, thanks to the master list. Oh. Wait. Others ain't gonna have the master list.) Making the passphrase longer (and usually stronger) merely requires using longer words or more numbers or special characters or some combination.

I find 15 characters to be easily remembered, especially after a look at the hint list, while being difficult to crack even for a native speaker of the languages in question. And I complicate things by using words from two _different_ languages. I went to uni with, among others, native speakers of Lakota, Urdu, Farsi, Japanese, and Tagalog and I have found certain phrases in those languages (and others; Arabic is really nice to have around when you want to curse someone out) to be quite useful.

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Get Informed

Just ship the pandas to Oz, they'll stop eating bamboo and start eating drop bears.

James O'Shea Silver badge

Speaking as someone who escaped Belfast nearly 50 years ago and will never, ever, go back.... how did they tell the difference between the chimp and the other locals? Other than the chimp being smarter and not quite as hairy, that is?

Ever used VFEmail? No? Well, chances are you never will now: Hackers wipe servers, backups in 'catastrophic' attack

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Backups?

If _I_ were running a email hosting service, _I_ would periodically hook up a tape drive, back up everything to tape, and remove the tape. In fact, I'd use different sets of tapes for different days of the week, so that if malware got in I'd have time to detect the problem before all the backups were contaminated. It's hard to erase tapes which are not even in the tape drive. It's even harder to do it multiple times because I have multiple sets of tapes. Backing up to tape means that the latest mail won't be backed up, but it would be a whole lot better to be out a few hours or even a few days of mail than to be out of _all_ mail.

For those who don't like tape, back up to a _removable_ drive... and remove it once the backup is completed. Again, have at least one removable drive per day per mail server, and physically remove the drive when the backup is done. All of my backups at work are to tape, with a nice 5TB removable drive covering the important stuff as well. Tape is slow, old-fashioned... and works. Hipsters and millennials will pry my LTO tape drives out of my cold dead hands.

It sounds as if all backups were live, online, backups, so that the backups were killed at the same time as the main systems were killed. This means that, effectively, there were no backups. They're fucked.

Lovely website you got there. Would be a shame if we, er, someone were to sink it: Google warns EU link tax will magnify media monetary misery

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Ah, capitalism at its best

"Cos I have. I'll specifically set cm or opera to use duckduckgo - go to use the browser shortly thereafter and the search settings have gone back to Google. It happens more in phones than PC but it shouldn't be happening at all."

Most intriguing... and demonstrably not so. I am currently replying to you using Safari on a Mac; I set DuckDuckGo as the default on Safari on _all_ Macs around here literal years ago. The only ones to not have DuckDuckGo as search on Safari are used by perverts who actually like Google or (shudder) Bing, and there are only two of them (one each).

Hmm. Maybe it's Safari, which must be superior to other browsers... ah, no. I set DuckDuckGo as the default in Firefox on Macs _and_ Windows at the same time as I set DDG in Safari. Again, with the exception of a few perverts who deliberately contaminated their systems, DDG is the default still.

And my personal cell and tablet systems are all set to use DDG and change only when I test out a different search engine, only to be changed back to DDG after a short trial.

I think that you're Doinig It Wrong™.

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing

James O'Shea Silver badge


From the other side of the Atlantic... Are people _really_ saying that 'supermarket shelves will be empty'? Really? Will Brexit mean that the EU won't take the UK's cash in return for goods? Really? Even if they do something so monumentally _stupid_ (and a lot of them are French, so they might...) how will that stop the UK from buying elsewhere? Last I looked Canada, the US, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand and even Australia export food (stretching it a little for Oz...) and would be _happy_ (except maybe for Oz...) to take the UK's cash. How would the EU be able to block them. Further, again when last I looked there were (shock! horror!) farms in the UK Seriously, this appears to be utter bollocks to me.

The Apple Mac is 35 years old. Behold the beige box of the future

James O'Shea Silver badge

Wrong in so many ways

Users became quickly accustomed to swapping floppies in order to do what little useful work the pitiful 128K would afford.

Many/most users got an external floppy drive, either Apple's (expensive) one or a 3rd-party unit. I purchased a Mac 128 with an Apple external floppy and an Imagewriter (note: that's 'Imagewriter', it didn't get InterCaps until the ImageWriter II, be advised that the Wiki article is full of shit even for Wiki.). Because I got it literally the last day before I graduated, and my uni was a member of the Apple University Consortium, I got the whole bundle for under US$1500. I did have to wait three weeks for the Mac to show, another week for the Imagewriter, and two more for the external floppy. Apparently Apple couldn't make the things fast enough to keep up with demand. As very few applications required three floppy drives, I did very little floppy swapping. And, as I had two drives, most of the floppy swapping I did was much simpler than you imply. The Mac shipped with MacWrite and MacPaint, and as an early adopter and member of the AUC I qualified for free copies of MacDraw and MacProject. I used all four to good effect, with minimal floppy swapping, in my first job out of uni.

Third parties eventually launched hard drives for the machines, which had to be attached via the serial port.

External floppy and some early external hard drives attached via the (slow, and annoying) external floppy port, not the serial port. There was a hack for an internal hard drive. That, and some external drives, used the serial port, as it was a 'virtual slot'. Floppy port hard drives weren't particularly fast. Serial port external drives were faster, but that's not hard. There were external hard drives for both the floppy port and the serial port by the end of 1984, so 'eventually' translates to 'within 8-10 months from go'. The internal drive hack, which was much faster, arrived before the Mac 128's first anniversary. By the time that Apple got around to offering hard drives, multiple 3rd parties had been there before them, and had faster, cheaper, drives with more capacity. There would be a reason why the Hard Disk 20 wouldn't sell well. Several reasons, actually.

Hard drive support (and Finder 5.0) turned up in September 1985's System 2.1

I was using a hard drive well before Sept 1985.

While visually flashy, with menus, windows and a funky mouse-pointer, System 1.0 could only run one application at a time (let's face it, that 128K would have struggled with much more)

I was using a 3rd-party Finder replacement on the hard drive noted above which allowed me to run multiple applications. In particular, I would usually run MacWrite or Word at the same time as MacProject.

Even with a woeful amount of RAM, and only a limited line-up of productivity software at launch – although Microsoft was quick to support the thing with Word and Excel

Incorrect. Word 1.0 didn't show for several months, and was quickly (very quickly) replaced by Word 1.05, as Microsoft was, as usual, unable to get it right the first time. Excel did not appear until 1985. What was available from Microsoft was Multiplan and Chart, Excel's ancestors. They were available before Word. I got a copy of Multiplan, and one of MS Basic, the day I ordered my Mac, so I actually had them for several weeks before I had a computer to run them on. I also got database software. I used MS Basic until I got MacPascal in 1985.

Jobs, however, left the company in 1985.

Jobs was kicked out by John Scully & Co., who had been brought in to bring 'modern business management' to Apple. The first bit of modern business management they did was to get rid of Jobs. The second was to ride Apple into the ground, paving the way for the Return of the Steve in wrath and gory... ah, 'glory', I meant 'glory'.

Early adopters of the original Mac were offered what was effectively a motherboard replacement at a cost of $995 to make their 16.5lb plastic boxes more useful.

It was a motherboard swap. I held off until the arrival of the Mac Plus, did a motherboard swap for that, and got an internal 800 kB floppy drive as part of the deal. I also bought an external 40 MB SCSI drive. Total cost: under $1500. Getting extra RAM was expensive: two 1 MB sticks at $600 each. Six months later two more 1 MB sticks at $300 each, RAM prices had tumbled. I used that configuration for seven years, except that I added external SCSI drives. The supermini at work had a 5MHz 24-bit CPU, 2 MB of RAM and 300 MB of storage (CDC disk packs, US$10,000 each. No, I'm not exaggerating.) I had a 8 MHz 32-bit CPU, 4 MB of RAM, and a total of over 200 MB of storage.

Assuming their pockets were deep enough.

You _do_ know what IBM PC-XTs and _ATs cost at the time, don't you?

Dutch boyband hopes to reverse Brexit through the power of music

James O'Shea Silver badge

@Semtex451: BritPop

Hmmp. There hasn't been an Englishman who could sing since Mick Jagger died. (Yes, he's dead. Has been since at least 1990. Anyone who says different has merely beeb fooled by his zombi.)

Corel – yeah, as in CorelDraw – looks in its Xmas stocking and discovers... Parallels

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: History, history

WordPerfect was dominant on MS-DOS. The original devs hadn't a clue about Windows and were very, very, VERY late to Macs. When they did make it to Windows, they charged more than Microsoft did for Word. When they made it to Mac, they charged 150% more than Microsoft did for Word for Mac. Seriously.

They then wondered why sales were so bad.

Novell bought them, cut prices (you read that correctly, Novell actually CUT PRICES. Be still, my heart.) but couldn't stop the bleeding.They offered cheapish, for Novell, upgrades ($50 at first, to move to v3.2 for Mac...) but that didn't help much, and they started (horrors!) giving away free upgrades. Of course, you'd have had to have paid for a copy in the first place...

Corel bought the mess; I'd suspect that the boyz at Novell. talked very fast and got the Corel reps very drunk, but that can't be, Novell, like WordPerfect Corp before them, was run by upright, uptight, Mormons who don't drink _coffee_, much less alcohol. However they managed it, though, the boyz at Novell sure saw the Canadians coming and escaped back to Utah leaving the dumpster fire on Canadian soil.

Corel then tried to salvage things. On Windows, they tried to rebuild. They encountered formatting problems. For some reason, many, but not all, .DOC files would have odd formatting problems, such as being entirely bold and italic. No, I'm not joking. This particular problem _still crops up_, or at least did up to WP X8, the last version I tested. And WP X8 does it to .DOCX files, too. Sometimes. Ah, guys, y'all can't blame Microsoft for this, it's been TWENTY YEARS and multiple MS versions, and the boyz at OpenOffice and LibreOffice and Apple and many many more manage to handle .DOC and .DOCX files without this kind of problem... There's a fix. Well, two fixes: the one Corel likes, and the much simpler one I like: don't use WP.

On Mac, Corel went full-on shotgun to foot. Remember how Novell had given away free upgrades? Well, that was good to WP 3.2 for Mac. WP 3.5 was Corel's first version (I think, it's been a long time) and it was a pay upgrade... which had serious bugs. WP 3.5e (yes, 'e'...) stomped most of the more prominent bugs... for a price. Yes, there was a pay upgrade to the bug fix of the pay upgrade. Corel wanted essentially full price to go to WP 3.5, plus another $50 to go to 3.5e. And, no, you couldn't go directly from WP 3.1 or 3.2 (Novell) to 3.5e, you _had_ to get 3.5 first, despite the known problems, and then upgrade to 3.5e, or you could just buy the full retail 3.5e package with no upgrade discount. (And don't even _think_ about upgrading from WP 1 to 3, WordPerfect Corp versions, you _have_ to buy the full retail package, no upgrade discount for you...) The sonic boom you might have heard was the sound of users hauling ass to Microsoft, Apple, Nisus, others, anything other than WP. If they were going to pay full freight, why would they pay full freight for massively buggy software from Corel when they could pay less for fewer bugs and better customer service from Apple and Microsoft and Nisus and others? (Things are bad when Microsoft offers a better 'user experience' than Corel did...) After a bit someone at Corel panicked, and overreacted: they stuck an updater which would take WP 3.2 to 3.5e on a free CD in one of the Mac magazines (MacAddict) _and_ they put that updater, for free, on.their website. Oops. Too late. Corel had so obliterated their reputation on Mac that they literally couldn't _give_ WP away. Corel walked away from the Mac market and hasn't been back. It'll be interesting to see how Parallels of Mac is treated. If Corel does a WP, again, I see a lot of new business in VMWare's future.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

James O'Shea Silver badge

three methods

1 get a MQ-9 Reaper drone (or whatever HM Forces calls them, if they actually have any which haven't crashed) and fit it with Hellfire or Brimstone guided anti-tank weapons or with Stinger guided anti-aircraft weapons. Hunt down the other drones, if they actually exist, and swat 'em with extreme prejudice. Alternatively fit a machine gun of some type (Colt-Browning .303 calibre or Hispano-Suiza 20mm are traditional; 30mm DEFA might also get a look in, but might be too substantial for a Reaper, especially one operated by HM Forces, who can't seem to land them without breaking them. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/08/12/watchkeeper_drone_wk031_crash_report_1m_uav_destroyed/ https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/01/thales_watchkeeper_crashes/ ) and go hunting.

2 get a few sqaddies and hand them Stinger or similar missile launchers. Or just a few machine guns.

3, and most glorious... borrow the Hurri or the Spit or both from the Battle of Britain Flight and make sure that the guns still work. Talley-ho, chaps!

Yes, mine's the one with the mint condition copy of 'Biggles of the 266' in pocket, thanks.

Ecuador says 'yes' to Assange 'freedom' deal, but Julian says 'nyet'

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Assange is not a "professional secrets dealer"

"On sunlight and love of his fellow man."

He likes men, too? And here I was sure that he's hiding out because of a slight problem with women...

It's December 2018, and a rogue application can still tell your Apple Mac: I'm your El Capitan now

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: hurr durr

There actually aren't any viruses for macOS and never have been. Trojans, yes. Adware, yes. Spyware, yes. Even worms, yes. Viruses, no, other than MS Office macro viruses, and damn few of those both worked and were even close to being actual viruses. Doubters are invited to scour the list of CVEs and produce examples.

Yes, I'm the one who points out that the armoured fighting vehicle that some twat on TV just called a 'tank' is a self-propelled artillery piece or, worse, an infantry fighting vehicle or even an armoured personnel carrier or an armoured scout vehicle. I also have been known to point out that aircraft such as AC-130s are NOT fighters. This kind of thing makes me very popular at parties.

Yes, that's my coat, the one with the box for a 1:32 scale model of a Douglas SBD beside it. And the box, too, thanks.

Microsoft polishes up Chromium as EdgeHTML peers into the abyss

James O'Shea Silver badge

Edge exists on iOS? Really?

Until I saw this article I didn't know that Edge was on iOS. I just had a look... it's in the App Store. It also has a 17+ age rating. I kinda wonder how that's enforced...

Memo to Microsoft Marketing: you boys ain't doing your job. Y'all ain't gonna get many victims... ah, that is, 'customers'... if they don't bloody know that your product bloody exists! And putting in ridiculous unenforceable age restrictions ain't helping!

From Motown to lockdown: Detroit bathroom bung IT exec gets one year in the clink

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: The obvious question

Give them less than the 20 seconds to comply that that softie ED-209 would insist on.

Q: If Pesky Pepper had a peek at patient papers, at how many patient papers did Pesky Pepper peek? A: 231

James O'Shea Silver badge


In the US, HIPAA https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_Insurance_Portability_and_Accountability_Act would have applied. The Feds would Not Have Been Amused. As far as I can see, m'girl would, at the least, have been liable for up to US$50,000 per offense to a max of $1,500,000. Or, if the judge wanted to heave the book at her (and he'd be a federal judge, they just love to throw the book, have a nice lapdog prosecutor go and retrieve it, and then throw it again) a fine of $50,000 per offense plus one year per offense ranging up to $250,000 per offense and 10 years in a federal pokey per offense, should the judge feel that there was an attempt to 'use individually identifiable health information for commercial advantage, personal gain or malicious harm'. That 231 offenses. If she gossiped about even one, that's malicious harm, and she's looking at up to $250,000 and 10 years times 231. In the real world even the feds don't go for the max unless you piss them off, but they can if they want to.

M'girl got off lightly.

There is a reason why some people refuse to do any work involving health info. HIPAA has very big, very sharp, teeth, and the feds deploy it with fell intent. https://www.medprodisposal.com/20-catastrophic-hipaa-violation-cases-to-open-your-eyes Note that several of those cases involve people who did less than what m'girl did, and got seriously hammered.

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

James O'Shea Silver badge

@herman Re: Vista anyone? Anyone?

No, the purpose is to make Microsoft Bob look better. And it's working.

Bloke jailed for trying to blow up UK crypto-cash biz after it failed to reset his account password

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: A note to USAian authors

"To the world at large (ie not resident in the USA) London means London, England."

Around here it usually means London, Ontario, The Great White North. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London,_Ontario There's a London in England, too? Is there a a river named 'Thames' running though the one in England, too? Perhaps someone should do something about the copyright violation.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: The Royal Navy--when we say "blue screen of death"...

Only if they have Harpoon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpoon_(series) installed. Many is the hour I spent playing Harpoon, usually sending Backfire regiments and Oscar subs out into the North Atlantic to hunt down imperialist carrier battle groups. Long live the glorious Red Banner Northern Fleet!

Soyuz nerushimy respublik svobodnykh

Splotila naveki velikaya Rus'!

Da zdravstvuyet sozdanny voley narodov

Yediny, moguchy Sovetsky Soyuz!

Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: This is a non-news story if I've ever seen one

it's worse than that. See https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208330 for how to disable secure boot. This story is an example of Fake News. El Reg must have been bought by Murdoch's boyz at Faux News.

James O'Shea Silver badge

Bullshit. See https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208330 where Apple officially puts on record exactly how to disable secure boot.

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Secure Boot should be optional

As has been noted elsewhere, secure boot can be disabled. it _is_ optional.

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: As a non-apple owner...

Or, perhaps, there's a brain-damaged troll trying to stir shit.

James O'Shea Silver badge

It's BSD, not necessarily FreeBSD, plus Mach, plus stuff originally thought up at NeXT before the NeXTies conquered Apple when the Steve returned in wrath and glory.

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: As a non-apple owner...

macOS is NOT in any way, shape, or form, a Linux derivative. OS X was originally built on NeXTSTEP, which was based on the Mach kernel, plus BSD. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeXTSTEP

For some reason, a lot of tuxers seem to think that macOS/OS X is just another Linux distro, except that Apple used to cheat and charge for it. Given how easy it is to find the facts, I can only think that this kind of thing is sheer willful ignorance.

'He must be stopped': Missouri candidate's children tell voters he's basically an asshat

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: It's Missouri

"You mean Hillary is ~still alive~?!"

I thought that she was a zombie powered by the DNC (Feinstein and Pelosi definitely are...) until I saw Bill Nelson. If there's a personification of the walking dead, that's him. Skeletor Scott will win the Senate seat in Flori-duh, if only because he still has a pulse. (He stole it, of course.)

I hate Skeletor Scott. He plead nolo contendere to his company's looting Medicare of billions and walked away with a multimillion dollar golden parachute. He loved the Mango Mussolini right up until being a Friend of the Don became a liability in parts of Flori-duh that he needs to win to win the election, and now he's putting distance between himself and He Who Bends Over for Shirtless Bronies. But unless Bill Nelson manages to claw himself out of the grave he's dug for himself, Skeletor is going to be a senator.

James O'Shea Silver badge

It's Missouri

Famously Missouri elected a dead man rather than elect a Republican asshat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_election_in_Missouri%2C_2000

Asscroft was the _incumbent_ and _lost to a dead man_. Herr West might want to start looking for a nice deep fuhrerbunker.

Assange catgate hearing halted as Ecuador hunts around for someone who speaks Australian

James O'Shea Silver badge

translating to aussie the right way

The Ecuadorians should kick him in his billabong and have him Advance Australia Fair out the door or be fed to a jumbuck.

Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: BBC Claims: Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder to take legal action against Ecuador

I just sent in a tip to El Reg on this and was coming here to comment.

Balls of steel. Brain of mud. Or possibly something else which is brown but is more, umm, organic.

James O'Shea Silver badge

"It is disgusting that Assange is held, without trial in an effective jail for so long."

He's not being held anywhere. He can walk out of his rent-free accommodations any time he wants. To be sure, he will then get different rent-free accommodations. And a free flight to sunny Sweden, followed by more rent-free accommodations.

Euro reseller giant Computacenter gobbles US-based FusionStorm

James O'Shea Silver badge

Drinking the Orange One's Flavor-Aid

Repeat after me:

There are _three_ countries in the North American Continent. In order of size, that would be Canada, the United States of America, and Estados Unidos Mexicanos. (Depending on who you're talking to, adjacent islands such as the Bahamas, Bermuda, and Greenland, but not, repeat, NOT Cuba, may also be included under the heading of 'North America'. The Aleutian islands and the islands in the Canadian Arctic are also part of North America; the Hawaiian islands are not.) (Yes, there are _two_ countries with 'United States' in their names in North America. Referring to the second largest country in North American as the 'United States' alone is... insufficient.)

Removing Mexico from North America is something that certain people in the US have been doing for some time now. It has escalated in the Trumpanze Era. There are those who, until forcibly corrected, insist that New Mexico is not part of el Collosso del Norte, much to the amusement of citizens of Estados Unidos Mexicanos, very few of whom want New Mexico back. Particularly after certain events in the decade and a half starting 16 July 1945. (Look it up.)

And, oh, yeah... the boyz'n'gals at Jonestown drank Flavor-aid.

Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Welcome to...

That's not rain.

Juniper's Contrail gets edgy, Cloudflare joins BGP club, and an $Important announcement

James O'Shea Silver badge

I see that we have the serial downvoter again

see title.

That syncing feeling when you realise you may be telling Google more than you thought

James O'Shea Silver badge

Well, that's it

I have killed my gmail accounts. All of them. (I had four.) I have killed my Google Play Store account. (just one, attached to one of the gmail accounts.) I have deleted all things Google from my system. This includes Maps and Waze on my iOS devices. This includes DNS, on all systems where I can easily change DNS.

I have, of course, deleted Chrome and all of the crap installed with it.

Good-bye, Google. I won't say that it's been fun, because it hasn't.

New MeX-Files: The curious case of an evacuated US solar lab, the FBI – and bananas conspiracy theories

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: You left out a few words...

If that were true, we'd be in darkness, as Mike Pence's head would be in the way.

Microsoft: You don't want to use Edge? Are you sure? Really sure?

James O'Shea Silver badge

Why do that? Install calibre to manage your epubs and use the calibre ebook reader. The only reason to use Edge is to go to Microsoft sites, and to download another web browser.

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Another weird feature in 1809 (current release)

"In Windows search, try typing Internet Explorer It will only ever find Edge, even if you have Internet Explorer installed."

Errr... no. I have Win10 1809 installed on this machine. When I type 'Inter' into the search box the _first_ item shown is Internet Explorer. The second is Edge.

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: It's OK; you can set firefox as your default!

Hmm. I'm typing this using Firefox on a Win 10 system. I have _never_ seen the message "something went wrong and we had to reset your default browser", not even once. This particular machine started as a Win 7 system (and still has Win 7 in another partition) and was 'updated' to Win 8 (there's a reason why the Win 7 partition is there) and Win 8 to 8.1, which was semi-usable but I kept the Win 7 partition, and Win 8.1 to Win 10... and it's been the better part of a year since I've booted the Win 7 partition, and that last time was merely to update the various Microsoft patches on the partition. It took a weekend, which is one reason why I've not booted Win 7 since. It may be heresy to some, but Win 10 is not merely better than Win 8/8.1 (not at all difficult), but is at least as good as Win 7 in most ways, and sometimes is actually better. It boots faster, on the same hardware, than Win 7 does. Yes. Really. (Warning! Danger, Will Robinson, danger! Many downvotes inbound at Mach 6!)

I use Edge only to visit Microsoft sites. The Win 8 partition started as a clone of the Win 7 partition, and I did an update install of Win 8, followed by an update install of Win 8.1, followed by an update install of Win 10. Firefox was the default browser on the Win 7 partition. I had to slap the Win 8 install to make it admit that Firefox was the default browser, but the Win 8.1 and 10 installs behaved.

No, Chrome is not present on this machine.

NASA 'sextortionist' allegedly tricked women into revealing their password reset answers, stole their nude selfies

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: why?

Personally, I always use variations on 'Olive Cromwell'.

Exits, humming 'The Wearing of the Green'.

Google skewered in ad sting after Oracle-backed bods turn troll

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Freudian slip?

They're El Reg. It may have started as a typo, but it stays 'cause they're El Reg.

Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: I'll take it

Ay, caramba! It's worse than I'd thought.

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: I'll take it

That's on the _Gulf_ coast, over on the other side of the peninsula, near Tampa. South Beach is on the _Atlantic_ coast. And even if there was toxic algae, the scenery would still be better than Croydon. Croydon looks like Cleveland, except without the charm. There are several reasons why Cleveland is the Mistake on the Lake, not least being that it's the place where the river caught fire. Twice.

James O'Shea Silver badge

I'll take it

I'll just get my old British passport (and make damn sure that my Irish and American passports are up to date) and go and have a nice six to seven month vacation in the south of London. At the end I'll deliver the final report (I can start writing it as soon as I set foot in Britain, 'cause I _know_ what it'll say) and board a flight back to Deepest South Florida, one step ahead of the Hounds of MayNotVille, having sent my money ahead of me.

They will have to pay me the 100K GBP in advance, though. Plus an allowance to cover relocation costs. And another allowance to cover renting a place near London. (Have you seen the prices lately? They're worse than Miami Beach, and the scenery's a whole lot better on South Beach!)

Australia blocks Huawei, ZTE from 5G rollout

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Good idea

"I learned a few weeks ago form someone involved in aircraft satellite comms that now in China the comms needs to be routed via their ground stations while in Chinese airspace."

ummm... how are they enforcing this? If it's a satcom, and the antennas and all the other hardware on the aircraft or in orbit, then the aircraft can transmit without anyone on the ground even knowing. People on the ground would be able to receive the signal but would have no idea which, if any, of the aircraft in the sat signal's footprint is the intended recipient, especially if the signal was encrypted. A LEO satcom would have a footprint big enough to cover all of China plus some adjacent countries (northern Vietnam, Japan, the Koreas, Mongolia, parts of Russia, Nepal, Bhutan, parts of India...) and a MEO would cover most of east Asia. A GEO would cover just less than half the planet...

Never mind enforcing. How would they _detect_ this?

ETSI crypto-based access control standards land

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: When the title said ETSI I thought it might be a standard for...

I thought that it might be a standard for performing serious compression, but that'd be ITSI, not ETSI...

Rejoice! Thousands more kids flock to computing A-level

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Fundamentals of IT

"I bet as a structural engineer, you don't have people in the meeting saying "High tensile steel is pretty expensive. Couldn't we use something cheaper - like cardboard?""

Don't be too sure about that. Here in Deepest South Florida, some good ol' boyz once put styrofoam and cardboard in place of steel and concrete on the off-ramp from I-95 to Palm Beach 'International' (it is to laugh; with the exception of propeller-driven puddle-jumpers going to and coming back from the Bahamas and, during snowbird season, far too many Air Canaduh flights bringing in far too many Quebecois, all regularly scheduled flights at PBIA are to and from other places in the US...) Airport. You can't make this up. They really did have styrofoam and cardboard where steel should have been in the joins between the concrete slabs on the off ramp, and some of the concrete had more styrofoam instead of aggregate.


At least no-one died here. In Boston, part of the tunnel under the harbor collapsed and killed someone. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/boston-tunnel-collapse-kills-newlywed/ It turns out that the construction company had used regular steel in the connectors, instead of the recommended salt-water-resistant steel. The tunnel was, I repeat, _under the bloody harbor_. Why there was absolutely no chance of salt water getting into the structure, no was there...

'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Home Address?

"I would expect the only police officers taking cars home after work will be living in very rural parts of the US and half the county probably knows where Deputy Dawg lives already. everywhere else the car will be back in the pool for the next shift."

Ah... no. Here in Deepest South Florida it is _very_ common for cops to take their vehicles home with them. One local housing development I know of has, on one road ('Azalea Circle') at least three Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputies, one each Miami-Dade and Broward County Sheriff's Deputy, and one each West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, and Ft. Lauderdale police officers, plus one Florida Highway Patrol, one Florida Fish and Wildlife, and one Federal Border Patrol cop. Those would just be the marked cars. There are also several cars with yellow 'state', 'county', and 'city' and white US Gov license plates, but those might not be cops, just civil servants. Two of the PBCS deputies live next door to each other. The Ft. Lauderdale cop and the Broward deputy live opposite to each other. Two of the US Gov plated cars are parked by houses on the same block as the Border Patrol cop. No doubt there are lots of unmarked cars which don't have yellow plates.

Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Why city planners love autonomous vehicles

If the town planners decide to discourage me from using my car in their town, the result will be that I don't go to their town. And I don't spend money in the shops, restaurants, etc., in their town. And their tax base erodes, because I won't be alone in not spending money where I'm not wanted. They'll get their desired lower congestion, alright; they just won't like the side effects. I see that kind of thing in action right now; those who live in Deepest South Florida may have heard of how the town of Jupiter has been doing this kind of thing over the last few years, with negative effects on the businesses inside the Zone of Social Progress(tm). Several of the more Progressive(tm) council members are up for re-election this year and next year. The results of the election should be quite interesting.

Grubby, tortuous, full of malware and deceit: Just call it Lionel because the internet is MESSY

James O'Shea Silver badge

"And if they're FIREPROOF...or worse, can FEED on fire?"

1 Tie 'em to the muzzle of a largish cannon; during the Sepoy Mutiny, 6, 9, and 12-pounder field guns were often used, but with modern trolls something larger, such as a 120mm tank main gun, may be more suitable.

2 load hyper-velocity discarding sabot armour-piercing, your choice of tungsten carbide or or depleted uranium. (In the Mutiny, they had to load first, of course, as they were using muzzle-loading guns, and they usually loaded with a blank charge. Sometimes the guns were loaded with grape, or if they really didn't like the boyo tied to the muzzle, canister.)

3 fire.

4 Repeat until out of trolls or out of ammunition.

It worked a treat in 1857-8.

Wasted worker wasps wanna know – oi! – who are you looking at?

James O'Shea Silver badge

You're not thinking BIG enough

See https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2332214.The_Furies

M'man Keith Roberts thought BIG. He had wasps big enough to carry off humans, and pitched battles involving armoured vehicles and aircraft vs wasps with bad attitudes. I liked it, if only for the battles between wasps and Saracen APCs (the Saracens didn't always win...) though to be sure I was about nine when I first read it, so the idea of a wasp big enough to bite through a machine gun barrel was more exciting than terrifying...

Prank 'Give me a raise!' email nearly lands sysadmin with dismissal

James O'Shea Silver badge

Re: Common sense

""I'm off to roger me mum"

Lazarus Long"

And his opposite-sex clone 'sisters'. And his computer. And his adopted daughter. And... do you really want a complete list?

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