* Posts by Marshalltown

588 posts • joined 30 Sep 2011

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BOFH: Oh dear. Did someone get lost on the Audit Trail?

Marshalltown
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Re: Ah!!Ah!!

Nope, not from Texas. Grew up on a ranch though. We and our neighbors mostly used either gasoline or horses for herding. Gasoline in ATVs, hay in horses.

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Marshalltown
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Ah!!

Thanks for that. As a USian, I've run across the term "red diesel" in British literature but never could figure out what it meant.

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

Marshalltown
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Re: More spying?

Until you catch the webcam popping out of the lid to watch the key board as you type in your passwords, your biggest worries are mainly about being caught napping or someone noticing how often you seem to be AWOL. And, just for laughs you can make faces at the camera, rude gestures, and if the spy can read lips, more fun. Now the lass attending meetings from her bedroom, well either she should worry about her webcam more, or she has alternate income streams.

This episode really makes me appreciate my old boss. He was odd, left pr0n up on other people's pc's and forgot an at least quadruple-X magazine in the [female] office manager's scanner once, started an inhouse plague international computer viruses until we destroyed his infected floppy disk, but by and large, really kept out of the way.

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US judges say you can Google Google, but you can't google Google

Marshalltown
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Ah - Alta Vista

It had a vastly superior search syntax to G*****. Among other things you could make a soft criteria for related terms within a certain proximity (number or words) in a document with none of the "Did you mean ...." crud. With ads priotized the usefulness of the big G is even more limited.

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BOFH: Oh go on. Strap me to your Hell Desk, PFY

Marshalltown
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Re: Benedict?

Stephen was one name, but if you read over BOFH it seems probable that there have been several PFYs over time. Some went on to become BOFH themselve's; others came to a bad end. The BOFH reserves his true disappointment for PFYs.

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Marshalltown
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Re: I have a computer cart in my spare room...

There's no pillow on it?

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Marshalltown
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Depends entirely on prioritization

Saftey calls for never crossing (which might include not being so naive as to reveal a potentially profitable line at work in front of the BOFH and certainly never to the boss who is as trustworthy as that moldy stuff in the jar in the back of the fridge). Continued decent working relations require a cut in the action, but that has to be handled very cautiously because clearly the BOFH is no more trustworthy that the boss might be.

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GoDaddy gives white supremacist site its marching orders after Charlottesville slur

Marshalltown
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Re: Brown plague

No, you don't want to defend Nazis, but you do want to know who they are, along with all the other --ists with extreme ambitions. So, let them talk. The labels they create are what they themselves are wearing.

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Marshalltown
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Re: 'scum in the shadows'

The MSM doesn't inform any more, if it ever did. At best it is an entertainment enterprise. At worst it continues to operate in the William "You get me the pictures, I will provide the war" Randolph Hearst mode.

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Marshalltown
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Alien

Re: 'scum in the shadows'

...Brexit and Trump did make it more acceptable to be openly racist in the UK and US....

In fact, the ones who "caused" this were the lazy twits that stayed home and didn't bother to vote because they couldn't believe the issue was as close as it was. In the US a minority voted, and a bare minority won thanks to the peculiarities of the Electoral College. In the US one advantage of the First Amendment is that we can always watch the idiots slat the "I'm an idiot" label on their foreheads when they open their mouths. Unfortunately, there are other idiots who think know what someone else thinks is a bad thing, especially if they don't like what other thinks. The Right and Left are both like that and aren't about to sit down and talk about substantive issues since both sides run on faith in their convictions.

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Marshalltown
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Stopped clock moments

Yep. I thought Trump's remarks were on of his stopped clock moments (depending on the stopped clock and the country it's in, the clock will show the right time once or twice a day).

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Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report

Marshalltown
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Re: I would guess MS is to blame

"...Could it just be that Intel's documentation was wrong? ..."

Nah. The chipset has been in use fairly widely with no issues on the radar. MS has always been a crew that "know better." It has bitten them before. It will again. I am still at loss about the point of using a "fondle slab." I like my desktop.

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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

Marshalltown
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\dev\null

I've always wondered - but never very much - why not simply redirect ad content to \dev\null. Don't let the server know the ad is blocked. Just lie. I don't mind the well behaved ads, but any that asks for a new window, new tab in front, autoplay video or audio, "sure, you can have anything you want. Right this way."

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Senators want FBI to vet FCC's 'cyberattack' claims

Marshalltown
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Re: The same old story

With Trump acting as Trump, no one has to "work" to do him damage. One of the scariest things about the Republican Party is its steadfast appeal to the lowest common denominator in voters and the apparent search for the worst candidate it can get elected. Dan Quayle who happily never had a chance. Bush #2 who argued with unseen "voices" in public, recorded live on public TV. And now, a specimen of "reality TV" narcissism who was actually elected! We might not like Hillary, but Trump and his administration appear to aiming at beating her record on triggering investigations. And there were more investigations of Hillary than she served years in office. The Trump administration is achieving a new investigation on a monthly basis! Hillary was a terrible choice, but Trump? Really? It's getting so you can't do anything but laugh every time you hear about Trump "tweeting." "I t'o't I taw a puddy tat!"

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Marshalltown
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As one US citizen who posted my personal beliefs ...

As one US citizen to another, where precisely did you post them? And why, as a US citizen, would you parade your ignorance of British slang on a UK website?

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Marshalltown
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Re: I wouldn't be surprised if it was either the system getting flooded with comments or foul play

Making the system for commenting readily accessible would surely constitute foul play from the FCC's view point.

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US voter info stored on wide-open cloud box, thanks to bungling Republican contractor

Marshalltown
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Re: 50 cases in the last 25 years

"... it surely reflects poor detection rather than the actual level of fraud."

Not necessarily. Fraudulent voting would mean much more in local elections than in national elections. With the exception - possibly - of California, the states with the highest numbers of "illegals" all voted for Trump. By and large, they have better things to with their time than trying to alter an election outcome. Beside which, when you look at the demographics of the 2016 election, it appears that "liberal" - in the US sense - basically stayed home or refused to vote for Clinton. Not getting Bernie, they apparently said "**** it" and either didn't vote for president or didn't vote at all. Also, as the Democratic campaign demonstrated, it is far easier to rig voting rules in the primaries than in the actual election. The Dems did precisely that and lost. Apparently, the Republicans were nearly as bad. I know many and less than half will admit casting a vote for president. They walked into the polls, voted on the issues that were important to them, but could not choke down voting for Trump or crossing party lines and voting for Clinton.

Fraudulent votes are important in things like city council elections, venues where the out comes are of trivial significance except locally.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Police State

NO to mention the page is IN French.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Voter registration data is not confidential

You didn't read the article did you. If it were ONLY voter info, that would be marginally less sloppy. But the data on each consisted of a short dossier including speculations by the analysts. There are some serious privacy issues tied to that.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Hey, don't blame the repuglicans - they're new at acting responsible

According to the story, Deep Root Analytics is a "Republican" firm. Their webpage is most impressive in what it doesn't say and the manner in which it redefines "audience." So, yes, Republicans are to blame. And given the obvious behaviour of DT, quite plainly "responsibility" in far-right mores has a special place too.

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Marshalltown
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Re: 200 million people in the DB?

Excel is THE classical program to misuse as a DBMS. My most common task when it comes to computers is explaining users why their "database" choked and has started giving them nonsense results, or shall I say results they finally recognized as nonsense. Loads of people "who have better things to do" jump into "databases" using Excel. After all, it counts, it sums, it has statistical routines. . I usally spend loads of time "sane-ifying" their data into useful, analyzable computer chow. Quite often they are shocked to discover that "all this time" what ever they thought their data was telling them was wrong. I get their data converted over to a DBMS, usually Access, which is pretty decent for a MS product, and then get called back several times before the differences between a spreadsheet and a DBMS finally sink in.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Data mining?

SSNs are not a guaranteed fix. When my dad retired he had to through numerous hoops because someone else had been using his SSN in a different part of the state. You very rarely need to present your Social Security Card.

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Marshalltown
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Re: 200 million people in the DB?

"Each entry is a small .jpg of a printout."

Not likely. Jpegs would be analytically useless without conversion to actual data. It would mean the contractor was even more stupid than it already looks like. Though, perhaps the company was really owned by Trump.

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Marshalltown
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Re: 200 million people in the DB?

What's interesting is that it appears to indicate that the "reds" have dossiers not just on their voters but also on democrats and independents and probably the hens in the barn. So, presumably we're looking at politics in the US an information warfare situation. Presumably the democrats are similarly well equipped.

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Slapping crap bosses just got cheaper: Blighty's Supreme Court nixes tribunal fees

Marshalltown
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Re: Setting a good example

DT lacks the psychological profile necessary to internalize such things. He wants loyalty for example but doesn't offer it. The sole objection he could have to Session's recusal would have to be that he expected Sessions to run interference for him with the investigations. Why would he need that? The behaviour makes him look like a Nixon.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Judicial independence

Ideally, the courts *can't* do anything about abuses unless they are brought to the attention of the court by either law enforcement or the public (well some other agencies too, I suppose). The lack of action is not a failure, but a maintenance of separation. Laws are ham-handed and tend to be inherently unjust at times. Theoretically, some civil problems can be better handled on a person-to-person or small numbers of persons to small numbers of persons. Hopefully without mortal combat. Only if the offense is irremediable in fashion, and can't be dealt with common-sensically by those involved should the courts actually become involved. Once they are, they are bound by the letter rather than the spirit of the law, and that "letter" is only as good as the oaf who wrote it and the other oafs who edited it, before a majority of oafs passed it into law.

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Marshalltown
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Politicians and judges

The fiasco here in the US with Trump, Sessions and the other crony crowd should also be regarded as what happens when the separation is not maintained as carefully as it should be.

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Find your happy place: Fedora 26 has landed

Marshalltown
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KDE spin

I had a major catastrophe of some form with OpenSuSE LEAP 42.2. Initially I suspected a drive failure, that proved not be the problem. I was never able to track down the real problem - KDE, LEAP, ?, ? But the upshot was the system would not boot. It would hang consistently somewhere between the initial boot and the launch of KDE. No amount of tweasling would recover the system. So, I downloaded Fedora 25 KDE spin (on Windows alas), burned a bootable USB stick and installed Fedora 25. Plasma's idiosyncrasies are still irritating - no differentiating virtual desktops with different wall papers - but the system is snappy, runs everything I use, and wonder of wonders, I had actually recently backed up everything but three data files. Now running 26, by and large my impression is that it is solid, and less quirky than OpenSuSE.

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Hey, remember that monkey selfie copyright drama a few years ago? Get this – It's just hit the US appeals courts

Marshalltown
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Re: Devil's Advocate

It also reveals how ethically challenged PETA is.

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Marshalltown
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Corporations - meh

The court decision declaring corporations to have the same rights as people simply demonstrated that even judges can have off days or be on the take. It has since been the grounds for any number of additional stupid decisions.

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BOFH: That's right. Turn it off. Turn it on

Marshalltown
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Re: "it doesn't work"

We had an office manager whose machine really would go on the fritz for her. She was extremely Christian and the more difficult the machine became, the harder she had to work not utter basic Anglo Saxon descriptions of the machine's ancestral line. She would call me in, say "it's doing it again," which meant it was "not doing it again," what "it" was. I would sit down at her desk, move the mouse, and then tap a key, any key, and it would be perfectly fine. That would lead to the sound of teeth grinding behind me and occasionally sniffles linked to tears of frustration. I told her she had to be less impatient. The electrons didn't like being around upset people. Naturally that would drive her into a rage - sentient electrons?? Anyway, she quit when the world didn't end, divorced her husband and headed for the Caribbean.

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Marshalltown
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Happily

My time on Hell Desk was limited. My employer concluded I was missing a diplomatic gene. Apparently a fellow caught my muttered remark over the phone when I finally dragged out of him the real problem, which was that he really, really could not put his hand on something called a "mouse." I choked I think. He was dealing with his very first Windows machine. Then I muttered something about a "rat."

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Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

Marshalltown
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Re: Humidity control

Heh. That reminds me of a job on an archaeological expedition in Israel in the late 1990s. The project laboratory and analytical facility was headquartered at a kibbutz. The older kibbutz architecture was big on windows and really weak on staying actually cool. We had a computer room with a window mounted air conditioner which we kept set to "Arctic." The locals asked why we kept the room so cold and we just said the computers couldn't take the heat.

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Marshalltown
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Re: @wolfetone

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Re: @wolfetone

"What kind of sysop is that???"

A sysop that gets laid.

Yeah, but WHAT KIND OF SYSOP get's laid?

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Everything you need to know about the Petya, er, NotPetya nasty trashing PCs worldwide

Marshalltown
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Re: The real blame goes to..

"... all it would have done is meant us having this discussion X years ago ..."

In fact the discussion WAS being held years ago. As early as the early '90s at least. Many pointed out the hazards of monocultures, systems where a single "organism" is the primary foundation for a complex overstory. Attack that foundation and and the entire system can be brought down. Mathematically the internet and an ecosystem are very similar. The opposition offered the lame argument that computers and operating systems are not biological. There were Engineers at the helm; Great Geniuses were protecting us all; immense multinational corporations "knew" what they were doing. Besides, open source or some means of auditing critical code bases would risk trade secrets and patents. Besides, all us peons were just consumers (cash cows).

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BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

Marshalltown
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Re: A Question of style

Ah - Stardock. I first became acquainted with them when - IIRC - Galactic Civilizations was their few products and the only decent game that ran in OS/2. They also came up with a few really nice utilities for OS/2 that took excellent advantage of things OS/2 did that no other OS did at the time. Sadly, they drifted toward Windows while I was settling into Linux.

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Donald Trumped: Comey says Prez is a liar – and admits he's a leaker

Marshalltown
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Re: Impeachment?

Pay attention to you own arguments. The president as chief executive is responsible for running the government - yes. However, ALL law enforcement agencies of the US government are part of either Justice Department, or some other of the departments that comprise the executive branch. While he "might" have a leg to stand on concerning most Departments, interfering with the DOJ is to all public appearances also interfering with the courts and with due process, which doesn't simply apply to an accused, but also to the nation as a whole where the nation's interests may have been affected by the accused's actions. Trump to all appearances was attempting to prevent Flynn and the citizenry of the US from having their day in court. Presidential interference in ANY law enforcement investigation coul lead to a constitutional crisis. Go back and read the SC decision in favor of the Cherokee and then consider Jackon's inaction regarding enforcement of the court decision. I know Cherokee who, to this day, will not accept a twenty-dollar bill because Jackson's failure to enforce a court descision lead to the deaths of thousands. The presidential right to interfere is a "check" in the "checks and balances," but unless it is applied "judiciously" the "balances" of the courts and congress can turn on the president - impeachment for instance. So, a sane reading of the constitution tells you no president should interfere with the DOJ without very serious reasons having to do with national interest. It was quite plain from the start that there were no national interests being protected by going easy on Flynn.

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Marshalltown
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Re: I'd fire Comey too

For what cause? If Trump had even an inkling of his responsilities and limits under the constitution he would have kept out of the affair. As it is, he has practically labeled himself a criminal, even if "all" he did was try to ease things for a friend - show loyalty in shotrt. Loyalty to a criminal is criminal and where is approaches attempting to influence a criminal investigation, becomes obstruction of justice, even if the word "hope" is substituted for "want" or "I am telling you". Comey would be criminal himself if he was "loyal" to a person rather than the office, and he knew full well the office had no business saying what the person said.

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Marshalltown
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Re: @ Sparty...

"...(You can google it.)..."

Ah, but if you do, will you find it? Clinton and Obama actively supported an independent Ukraine - which is not Russia. Some of Trump's campaign staff were actively supporting pro-Russian politicos inside the Ukraine during an election. Meddling with the internal affairs of another government, which was marginally acceptable as long as they don't receive favors from their clients in return, when they turn to US politics. World leaders preferred Trump to Clinton because Trump is just what we see, a political idiot who can't keep his fingers away from the twit pad or his mouth shut.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Impeachment?

Lying to a law enforcement officer or investigator during an investigation is a felony, obstruction of justice among other things.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Impeachment?

They have to put up a token resistence. Otherwise it would look far too deliberate. Trump is an obvious patsy when you get down to it. Chosen for self-centered egotism, arrogance, a total ignorance of Constitutional law, and a preference for secretive backroom deals (like these failed meetings where he tried twisting Comey's arm). This is guaranteed to get him into trouble not just with the blues but with a good many reds as well. I expect that as soon as the mid term election polls start showing up, the reds will start looking very seriously at where they stand, unless Trump shows a clear improvement in public opinion.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Impeachment?

Not at all. Trump's "power" to execute the laws of the US as enacted by congress. He is also responsible for protecting and defending the people and Constitution of the US. That's why he's the chief "Executive." He isn't a a law enforcement officer and hasn't any legal say in what laws are inforced. Obama's action with respect to marijuana was political - recognizing a swell of popular support for legalization. That means that federal enforcement becomes more difficult since the states involved are going to be less than cooperative. In effect we are fighting a "cold Civil War" at this very moment and Obama's action was to ease things up between factions. It was certainly no better founded than Trumps attempt to protect Flynn, and get the DOJ to ease off on Russia.

Flynn however was consulting - AS A FORMER DIA DIRECTOR - with foreign and not necessarily friendly powers. There's no state or popular tie there. The only question is whether he endangered US security. Trump's action in meeting privately with Comey were not only unprecedented - though not illegal - but by even expressing his "hopes" directly to Comey constitute outright misfeasance of office. Firing Comey after failing to gain his "hopes" was almost certainly malfeasance after having those conversations with him. He would have been better off to have never spoken with Comey and simply asked for his resignation. Obama in contrast acted OPENLY and publicly making an outright political call, and didn't fire anyone for disagreeing about the call. And you can bet that there are loads of DEA and ICE out there that were worried. Current US laws regarding property forfeiture in drug enforcement cases are a literal license to the agencies to commit piracy.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Criminal Foolishness?

It is a good question but rather murky historically. The FBI was organized in the first half of the 20th C. J Edgar Hoover was the first director taking up the post in 1935. Prior to that the US had the BI, of which Hoover was the sixth director. His approach to maintaining independence for the FBI and his own position was through thoroughly illegal means. He could blackmail almost anyone in power who didn't like him and could harass politicians that opposed him and weren't in his files by having them "investigated" intensively.

The only other director to be fired was William Sessions who was turfed out by Clinton. That act had two prongs to it. One, Sessions was a Republican and Clinton apparently wasn't happy about that, and 2) he really was an awful director. The FBI was forted up, and seriously firewalled communications with other agencies where it should have been cooperating and the evidence, scant thouh it be is that failure if cooperation between agencies has lead to some monumental intelligence failures.

Comey in contrast was a Republican into 2016. He switched to Independent sometime that year. His actions regarding Clinton and her emails very likely cost her the election, not that she would have been much more popular than Trump. Trump may have assumed that Comey was "loyal" until he failed to ease off on Flynn as "hoped."

The president appoints the director and that director serves at the pleasure of the president. Presidential interference with the FBI is clear evidence of Trump's ignorance or outright for how the US governmental system was designed to operate. He should have absolutely known going in that expressing his "wishes" and "hopes" regarding how the Justice Department operates were tantamount to misfeseance. It absolutely is irrelevant whether he expressed a "hope" or simply issued an order he has no right to issue. Likewise, stating that he expected "loyalty" is also misfeasance.

Comey's "leaking" of his memos, and Comey being both a lawyer and a procesecutor, indicates that his informed opinion was that Trump had no leg to stand on. He would absolutely know how to cover himself legally.

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Marshalltown
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Re: Impeachment?

For a paranoid view, Trump has been set up to take the fall, leaving Mike Pence to assume the Oval Office by a Domionist conspiracy to take over the US in a religious dictatorship. Trump is so obviously unprepared, so clearly ignorant, and so blatantly corrupt that he was likely a target since his coke snorting days in the '70s.

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Alleged ISIS member 'wore USB cufflink and trained terrorists in encryption'

Marshalltown
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Re: Another 'intent' crime

As much as I agree with the general tenor of this, the charge was not described as addressing an intention, but rather as a fact, i.e. he is alleged to have "supplied training", "was a member of [DAESH]," etc. Note the tense there. The case *allegedly* isn't about "intent" but actual acts. Theoretically, since the actual charges aren't about thoughts but rather about acts, the defendant has a vague chance of being acquitted. Or might have had before the vicious stupidity on London Bridge.

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Microsoft to spooks: WannaCrypt was inevitable, quit hoarding

Marshalltown
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Re: Pointless

One thumb down, hmm. Well you may not like it, but that is the bitter truth. Microsoft capitalized on human laziness at the expense of security pretty much from the founding of the company. Then, when the inevitable problems cropped up, they wanted you to pay for something they had "persuaded" computer makers to "bundle" with the hardware. Then the new user, rather than try different OS's and interfaces, simply learned what "came with the computer." MS effectively gave away Word, Excel and even Access in order to achieve dominance in the entire PC Windows environment. Excel was so horrible that there companies that banned its use due to flaws in results and bad algorithms in its statistics routines. You can still Google "Friends don't let friends use Excel" and get over a thousand hits. Developers simply went with the current (flow), developing for what the "users" had learned, and generally avoiding the costs of developing for alternate systems and smalle,r niche markets.

This pattern had already thoroughly distorted the PC environment by the very early '90s before WIndows. In addition, the Microsoft "tax" encouraged "piracy" - after all, if you already paid money to MS simply to buy that CPU, why should pay them twice to buy a "legitimate" copy of MSDOS on a disk? I went with PC-DOS, OS/2 and later Linux for my own systems. There were never-fixed bugs in MS-DOS. One in particular was replicated in alternative DOS's like IBM's PC-DOS, simply because developers were writing code that actually relied on that bug in order to work properly.

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First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired

Marshalltown
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Re: @wolfetone

In the original story, the teller did not precisely follow the "document's" instructions. The script he was supposed to run would generate codes that he was supposed to use. In stead he used codes typed into the "document." I would bet the teller actually read the script and, rather than waste a chance to know more about the system, simply "tried to follow the logic" of the script. He would learn about the system doing by hand the tasks in the script. But, presumably, he did not think through the privileges that the script would need to set up his account. Or worse, he did (as an amateur, would-be BOFH), but had not properly counted on the laziness of upper levels, or anticipated the linkage to the production system, which should not have existed.

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Marshalltown
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Re: So....restore from backup

"Rule 3 - never lets Devs have access to stuff. Like small children, they *will* break stuff.."

That's kind of the job description isn't it?

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BOFH: This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back

Marshalltown
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Re: Rutherford Advanced Computing Society.

To truly appreciate the RACS, you need to consider the reversed acronym.

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Marshalltown
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Send me your bank account details and I'll sign you up immediately.

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