* Posts by Joe Drunk

257 posts • joined 23 Jun 2007


Only plebs use Office 2019 over Office 365, says Microsoft's weird new ad campaign

Joe Drunk

Nothing like having your work day extended a few more hours because 'The Cloud' is unavailable.

Local copies of productivity apps for me. 'We Apologise for the unavailability' is unacceptable.

Spammer scum hack 100,000 home routers via UPnP vulns to craft email-flinging botnet

Joe Drunk

Don't disable UPnP, at least not on the private side of the router - you need it for streaming audio etc, wireless speakers and so on.

UPnP is really nothing more than auto port-forwarding. All your gadgets that require outside access will still work by MANUALLY enabling port forwarding rules in your router. More work, more secure however since UPnP has long been a risk.

Easy enough for any long-time Reg reader. What am I supposed to do for friends/family? Everytime they buy a new IoT/download a new console game I have to do a service call and spend a few hours there. Have you ever tried to glean IP/PORT info for some IoT or console games?

RIP Paul Allen: Microsoft cofounder billionaire dies at 65 after facing third bout with cancer

Joe Drunk

Allen also bought into sports: the Portland Trail Blazers NBL team, and the NFL's Seattle Seahawks.

That's NBA Trailblazers .

Oracle? On my server? I must have been hacked! *Penny drops* Oh sh-

Joe Drunk

Re: Pinnacle of unprofessionalism

Back in the bad old days when I worked in a data center and often had to ship equipment to customers everything had labels attached on the front and back - Our assigned equipment ID and in large letters "Property of xxxxx - please call our 24/7 network operations xxx-xxx-xxxx before disconnecting, moving or any other issues with this equipment"

Sometimes I would have to visit client sites to troubleshoot connectivity with our equipment and was astounded at the cabinets with stacks of identical comm equipment, ours being the only ones clearly labeled.

Sneaky phone apps just about obey the law, still have no trouble guzzling your data, says Which?

Joe Drunk

Nothing new, nothing will ever change

Been this way since the MS-DOS days of installing apps with pages-long EULAs, now carried over to modern day Ts&Cs. There's little point in reading any of them, they essentially can all be summarized in three lines:

We Win.

You Lose.

Fuck You.

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

Joe Drunk

Plenty of Google Chrome alternatives

Vivaldi and Slimjet come to mind on Windows, Bromite, Brave and Kiwi on Android.

Faxploit: Retro hacking of fax machines can spread malware

Joe Drunk

Re: Why still a phone line on it??

Fax machines are ubiquitous because even the most technically illiterate punter knows how to use one. A single function fax machine's minimalist requirements (POTS line, mains line, paper, ink) means no boffin required for setup/maintenance. They are the def acto method for sending copies of documents for legal and medical as stated in the article so until that changes this dinosaur technology isn't going anywhere.

Stress, bad workplace cultures are still driving security folk to drink

Joe Drunk

Not just IT

I've colleagues in the medical and legal fields and they too complain about the constant stress, long unpredictable hours and need to self-medicate.

I started in IT as a PFY fresh out of uni, almost 20 years later now am a greybeard. My observation is that the stress level increases with the size of the organization. I worked in a few small to medium 5000+ employee companies earlier in life and although there was stress it was manageable as were the workloads/expectations. Pub gatherings were mostly restricted to Friday evenings unless a birthday or other special event occurred. I would say the key factors were regular work hours with rare nights/weekends and absolutely NO on-call. The downside? Salary was on the low end of the scale.

I've surfed more Fortune 50 companies than I can count on both hands for more than a decade. They've all had the extreme stress levels requiring frequent self-medication due to employing the Culture of Fear ™ management methodology. I too have seen colleagues succumb to heart attacks, strokes, kidney/gall stones etc. It could have happened to me too but I learned to adapt and yes, play the game. You can all criticize me for my lack of work ethic but this is what corporate culture cultivates. You will be discarded as a withered, empty husk of a human being and subsequently replaced if you don't adapt.

In the end it is just a job, not worth dying over.

You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

Joe Drunk

Mobile version comments still defaults to desktop view

on both new and classic el reg, Android 6 stock browser. Same thing when desktop Firefox user agent is set to Iphone 5.

Probing for IoT weaknesses?

Joe Drunk

Probing for IoT weaknesses?

I've noticed quite a few HEAD / HTTP/1.0 requests sent to my home internet. The requests vary in frequency and source/destination IP/Port range. I realize the request itself isn't a DOS attack since the information returned is minimal. It does however include what web server and version you are running, if any.

Since every IoT device has some sort of web server I believe that miscreants are using bots to send these requests and recording the responses. They probably have a database of known web server exploits and may likely follow up with an attempt to hack into whatever device they have an exploit for.

You may think I'm being paranoid but we all now how shite IoT security is.


IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row

Joe Drunk

Best of luck Jonathan Langley

I hope you hired a good legal team and you win because suing your employer is career suicide.

I'm a Gen X'er. Cynical. Jaded. Lowered Expectations. I started consulting at around the same time Langley started at IBM. I've also consulted for IBM 3 times. It was no worse than any other company I've contracted for, although my observation was there were far too many middle managers.

As a consultant it always surprises me when I hear of someone who has worked for the same employer for more than 7 years post 2000. I can't tell you how many long-term employees I've replaced over the years but a conservative guess would be 40 (many roles were consolidated). Publicly traded companies are motivated solely by profit and Human Capital are the most expendable items on the balance sheet.

I'm a career consultant. I want neither the false sense of job security nor the complacency a so-called permanent job produces. I've no patience for office politics and find performance reviews condescending. I don't do exit interviews.

Repeatedly seeing long term employees cleaning out their desks in tears over the years cements this mantra. My current employer constantly praises my performance. It goes in one ear and out the other because in the end it is meaningless.

Millenials: You better embrace transience. As corporations are bought, sold, merged, absorbed there's only one certainty in your career path: The company logo on your work ID will change every 5-7 years.

A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

Joe Drunk

But it's that reliance on being connected to the net which is the Achilles heel - having a device which is fully functional but disconnected happens more often than these cloudy vendors seem to want to acknowledge.

Have an upvote. I can't tell you how many hours of productivity I've saved by being able to perform my job functions offline when the network was down/unavailable. It also means I get to go home at a normal time rather than stay late because I couldn't update a project status/staff schedule/equipment order etc. They're gonna have to pry my offline apps from my cold dead hands.

OnePlus smartmobe brand modelled on 'a religion', founder admits

Joe Drunk

OnePlus had invited fans to show that they had destroyed their existing phone in order to get the chance to obtain a OnePlus One for $1. Destruction didn't guarantee a replacement, however. Some did just that and were left with no phone at all.


Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

Joe Drunk

Taking over two minutes to load a 64 kilobyte into memory was maddening. As Russell told Bagnall: "I wasted millions of people's hours I was later told."

Horrible by today's standards but at a time when the majority of C64 punters owned tape drives it was nonetheless a welcome improvement. Thankfully there were a lot of peripheral solutions that vastly improved loading times. Even the software companies had custom fast loading routines included in their products towards the end of the C64's life that reduced loading time to seconds.

Kudos to those still making available (emphasis on available) hardware and software not just for the C64 but for all retro computing and gaming gear. I do not include crowd-funded vapor-ware in that category.

Fancy that, Fancy Bear: LoJack anti-laptop theft tool caught phoning home to the Kremlin

Joe Drunk

Re: Well...F*ck

@AC - thanks for the informative link. Have an upvote.

Looks like this is a win for the Penguinistas. This malware will only run on Windows systems. Time to installl Mint and use Wine for Office apps etc. for the work PC.

An easy-breezy attitude to sharing personal data is the only thing keeping the app economy alive

Joe Drunk

Re: I also don't use FaceBook

I never have and never will. Unfortunately I have family that do, so I'm certain there is a lot of data about me that's been stored.

Therein lies the heart of the problem. Sure there's plenty of people that don't use Facebook, Twitter, Et al, lie on websites that ask for personal info, myself included. We are a very tiny minority. The rest of the planet would gladly surrender privacy for popularity.

The many-faced god of operational excellence, DevOps and now 'site reliability engineering'

Joe Drunk
Thumb Up

Re: First, what exactly is DevOps?

That is by far the most accurate summation of what DevOps actually is. That makes you a Thought Leader.

Humanity is doomed: We watch 45 BILLION hours of YouTube a month

Joe Drunk

Re: YouTube University

Have an upvote. While admittedly there is a lot of garbage on Youtube there's also plenty of useful tutorials/repair guides that have helped myself and several friends of mine fix things around the house.

UCL ransomware attack traced to malvertising campaign

Joe Drunk

Ad blockers FTW!!!

See title

MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

Joe Drunk

Re: MP3 is good enough for 90% of people.

Add the fact that if you have MP3 files they will play on practically ANY device - from an old Motorola V3 cell phone, DVD player, PCs from 2000 on, modern car stereos, tablet/smart phones etc. Rarely if ever will you be presented with an "unsupported media /no CODEC available" when playing MP3 audio.

Although certainly not the best or most efficient it truly has become an ubiquitous audio format.

Agile consultant behind UK's disastrous Common Platform Programme steps down

Joe Drunk

This never would have happened if they had used DevOps

DevOpsTM, used by savvy bleeding edge consultants everywhere a PHB is seeking a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. Now available in fresh minty flavor.

Teenagers think Doritos are cooler than Apple

Joe Drunk

Teenagers AKA (Attention-Span Disadvantaged)

They think Doritos are cool...That was five minutes ago. Now something else on social media is cool for another few minutes.

Web-app devs note: Google wants to banish JavaScript dialogues

Joe Drunk

onbeforeunload dialogues are the second most annoying internet annoyances

second only to auto-play video ads. Thankfully the Tampermonkey extension has a disable-onbeforeunload script which eliminates those dialogues.

DevOps hype? Sometimes a pizza really is just a pizza

Joe Drunk

Re: I hate to use the Simpsons as a reference, but

That or "Better Off Ted - Jabberwocky". Because it's going to change the way we do business.

Firefox Quantum: BIG browser project, huh? I share your concern

Joe Drunk

Re: a bare-bones web browser that has no JavaScript

It also returns a 404, meaning it's no longer maintained. As for Lynx, I need a graphical web browser, just a baseline one, so Lynx won't do it.

True it hasn't been updated since 2006 but it can still be downloaded from the offbyone.com download links (hover your mouse over the middle links in the download links and you'll see, I just downloaded from all three).

In any case this and Lynx are your only two choices for Windows browsers with no JS.

Joe Drunk

Re: a bare-bones web browser that has no JavaScript

Off By One browser has no Javascript or plug-in support, just a bare-bones HTML 3.2 web browser. I only remembered this browser because it was included in Bart PE bootable environments.

BlackBerry sued by hundreds of staffers 'fooled' into quitting

Joe Drunk

It's hard to pass judgement on why they signed

a contract without scrutinizing it. I have worked for companies larger than BB, even when they were at their prime. Have signed numerous employment, security and other related contracts. No pressure to sign anything on the spot.

This is pure speculation - the last remaining employees in the corpse of a company so desperate to keep their jobs they'd sign anything, which they did.

Samsung SmartCam: Yes, those eyes really are following you around the room

Joe Drunk

Crims don't like being on camera

I have several security cameras recording video set up on the perimeter of my property as do my neighbors. One of the first thing a police officer does when arriving at the scene of a crime with no witnesses is scan the area for surveillance cameras. They can ask nicely for any footage recording crimes committed or subpoena if necessary.

A motor vehicle accident occurred just in front of my neighbor's house. Police arrived and both parties involved blamed each other. My neighbor showed recorded footage of the accident while it occured to the officer who was able to see clearly who was at fault and provide an accurate report.

People lie. Cameras don't.

Camera's inside my house? Don't see the need.

Soon only Ticketmaster will rip you off: Concert scalper bots face US ban

Joe Drunk

Local artists & venues offer better experience

I haven't been to a TM sponsored event since 2003 and I overpayed for my tickets because it sold out in seconds thus being forced to buy from a reseller.

I'm so old I have actually gone to the box office of an arena where AC/DC were playing and purchased tickets a few rows from the stage with cash. Ahh the good ole days.

I love live music. It's so much better going to smaller venue such as a pub/dance hall where a local artist or cover band is performing. A small cover charge at the door, free parking, closer to home..

Even the local watering hole has live bands on Saturday nights. Safe to say TM won't be seeing anymore of my money.

Support local talents and your local bartenders.

Firefox hits version 50

Joe Drunk

I recommend Google Chrome to noobs for the desktop

Simply because Google invests more in browser security than the rest. Privacy? well these are noobs so they don't know/care about privacy. My personal preference on the desktop is Slimjet - Chrome with all the plugins, minus the Google.

On my Android phone the stock browser with javascript disabled is good for most my needs. Otherwise it is Firefox/Ublock.

One feature I particularly like about FF/Android that I'm surprised hasn't received a mention - it is the only Android browser that will render the full desktop sites properly when selecting "request desktop sites". All other Android browsers, including Chrome, fail to render most desktop sites when this option is selected.

Three LibTIFF bugs found, only two patched

Joe Drunk

Yes FAX still widely used by Legal, Banks and Medical for sending copies of documents. Walk around any office and you will always find at least one FAX machine.

I surmise that this is still the case because punters haven't a clue how to scan/email copies of documents but good 'ole FAX you just load in your docs, punch in destination number, hit send and walk away.

What will happen when I'm too old to push? (buttons, that is)

Joe Drunk

Not all us 'Merikans prefer the euphemism "Holiday Season" over Christmas. It's merely our obsession with political correctness that forces us to remain belief-agnostic.

I used to believe adverts when I was a yoof and rush to the store to buy the latest and greatest thing-a-ma-bob to impress myself and my friends. The vast majority of the time disappointment was all I got.

Jaded. That's why the latest shiny new gizmo no longer appeals to me. I know that the newest phone/tablet/computer/TV etc. will only be slightly better than what I have now. All adverts are lies. That's why I block them/skip past them on my DVR.

The other thing is I have other ways I would rather be spending my time than troubleshooting faulty electronics/firmware, Google-ing for hours on why new gadget won't sync properly with WIFI/bluetooth/IOT etc. despite documentation stating it should work flawlessly.

That's the real sign I'm getting old - I used to have the patience to spend an entire afternoon on the above scenario.

Beer icon not only because it's Friday but because that is one of the ways I would rather spend an entire afternoon than trying to get some wonky gadget working.

BOFH: The case of the suspicious red icon

Joe Drunk

Ahh the horrible days of desktop support

Didn't have too many 1b's. Our helldesk software tracked all types of calls so that persistent non-sense callers would be sent to IT training.

2b's. Ugh. What a nightmare. You can't win with them. Since they are smarter than you regarding their tech problem the only way to get rid of them is stroking their ego/straight out lying. It was here that I developed those fundamental skills that would eventually lead to Project Management.

GASP! There's a suspicious yellow icon top right of my message! Must be a virus!

Ten-year-old Windows Media Player hack is the new black, again

Joe Drunk

noobs are why we have so many botnets

Anyone who's a regular downloader of movies is not going to fall for this ruse because

a) they are already using one of many dozens alternate media players

b) will only download DRM free content. I'm looking at YOU Cinavia (R.I.P.).

NBA's Golden State Warriors sued for 'mic snooping' mobile app

Joe Drunk

Re: Answer Is Simple

I used to have the official NHL app for "my" team. Very handy to get score updates when away from TV or radio. Handy to lookup the team schedule. Then late last season, the app refused to run unless it was updated. It decided that it needed access to my SD card, my camera, my microphone, my call history, etc. Basically lit the Christmas tree of options. Sorry guys, uninstall.

I really am disgusted by the excessive permissions required by the most basic of apps. I have the been running the same apps on my phone for years with only the permissions I deem are necessary for them to function and am loathe to update them unless they flat out stop working. You really need to have the same attitude for your phone as you have for your PC - you have all the base apps you need that you use regularly. You shouldn't install any new ones unless absolutely necessary and from reputable sources.

Like you, I used to have the ESPN app for sports scores, news, schedules, etc. until it stopped working due to a mandatory update. The update required permissions to my contacts, microphone, camera and other excessive permissions. Bye bye ESPN app, hello ESPN mobile website.

ISPs face piracy sue-balls

Joe Drunk

Relax kids

Nothing has changed. ISPs are still provided safe harbor by the DMCA providing they comply with takedown requests/notifications within 24 hours. COX ignored these. Megauploads ignored these. KA Torrents ignored these...See the pattern?

My ISP responds promptly to DMCA requests as I leared the first and last time I used torrents. I received an email warning. The warning stated that the second offense would lead to suspension of my internet. The suspension would be lifted upon my watching an educational video on the evils of sharing pirated material. I think the third would lead to an extended suspension, I forget the length because it was years ago and I haven't used torrents since and subsequently received no further warnings.

This is how ISPs avoid multi-million dollar judgements and injunctions.

Vivaldi's tweaky grinders fire out another release: Add themes, security

Joe Drunk

I still can't get Vivaldi to actually give me a blank page for a new tab. I really don't want ANY of that junk on there and the barest I can get it down to is two huge +'s, Bookmarks and History. Opera 12? Guess what? New blank tab = a damn blank tab.

This is probably one of the biggest annoyances for me for Vivaldi among all the others you listed.

I've settled on Slimjet for most of my browsing. It is a Chrome clone without the Google bloat and tracking. I get a blank page for a new tab! Best part is it works with all essential add-ons for Chrome (Ublock, Ghostery, Noscript, Tampermonkey). There's even a Linux port I intend to try soon.

If you're Windows they have a standard and portable version.

I still use Firefox but mostly SJ. I do miss Opera 12...

Bleeping Computer countersues Enigma in software review libel row

Joe Drunk

We all know how effective all these "Registry Cleaner" apps are..

See title.

Facebook to forcefeed you web ads, whether you like it or not: Ad blocker? Get the Zuck out!

Joe Drunk

Re: I'm wondering

We need more people making pages that don't require 3 different blockers just to view them.

Today I tried using my secondary browser that has no blocking enabled to view a blog that seemed to require cookies and JS and all that nastiness...

...Three clicks later the browser jammed solid with a badly scaled reproduction of a Microsoft alert page and two undismissable javascript pop-ups telling me that my computer was infected/hijacked/doomed and to call Microsoft support on the helpfully provided phone number that I'm sure would connect me to a nice Nigerian man who could then explain how "Microsoft" was going to fix this "infection"...

...On my Linux machine.

Because this is what the internet has become. It is not the "shiny, happy place where everyone is your friend" experience that social media is brainwashing punters into believing. Your web browser is akin to some sort of sci-fi starship exploring space governed by a corrupt coalition that looks the other way when space pirates loot or destroy hapless vessels because of the percentage kickbacked to the coalition.

Shields up! (Ublock, Noscript, Ghostery). Activate cloaking device (Tampermonkey Adblock cloaking script).

Server techies 'stiffed on overtime pay' banned from ganging up on HP

Joe Drunk

Class action vs Individual

If they are actually interested in recuperating unpaid overtime individual lawsuits are the way to go. If their goal is merely to stick it to HP without any interest in full compensation then class action is the right choice.

I wouldn't enjoin this class action if a significant sum were owed to me.

Amazon slashes mobe prices to get more eyes on lockscreen ads

Joe Drunk

Lockscreen ads / Notification ads = Pox on Android

I was introduced to tiny banner ads in some apps in my first Android handset. Unobtrusive, sometimes annoying, able to live with.

The greed factor kicked in. Ads interrupting you with unwanted notifications and now worse, full screen ads displayed as soon as you look at your phone on the lockscreen. Ads forced down your throat.

I don't install any apps that use these tactics nor will I ever purchase an Amazon device now that I know it comes bundled with this garbage.

77 per cent ignore company social media policies

Joe Drunk

17% use it to strengthen relationships with co-workers

51% say it helps them get to know their co-workers

And here I am wasting all my time and money by treating my co-workers to after-hours dinner/drinks, attending co-workers' summer cook-outs and other non-work related personal affairs.

Lester Haines: RIP

Joe Drunk

Condolences to his family and close friends

55 is too young. A huge loss to The Register and to regular readers such as myself.

New Firefox versions will make you activate all new add-ons – except one hacker favourite

Joe Drunk


If you want to watch Netflix on Windows 7 without Silverblight Firefox is the way to go. I used to watch it on Google Chrome but it was choppy/stuttery. Buttery smooth playback on the same PC with FF.

I don't really have a favorite browser right now, they all have their pros and cons. Firefox is my favorite for Netflix for sure.

Revealed: The revolving door between Google and the US govt – in pictures

Joe Drunk

The second image

Very Spirograph-y. Just counting the hours till Pub O'clock like the lot of you!

Edward Snowden sues Norway to prevent extradition

Joe Drunk
Black Helicopters

It's a Trap!!!

Wouldn't it be easier to send someone who could accept the award in his stead citing the obvious reasons for not being able to leave Russia?

Twitter spends $10m on rights to cover Thursday-night NFL games

Joe Drunk

It's great if you're an NFL fan like me that I will be able to watch Thursday night matches anywhere

Now if only they would schedule matches worth watching and not the usual snooze-fests that have become staple of NFL Thursday night football then Twitter/NFL may have struck gold.

This chap's maintained an Apple game for 32 years – from Mac to iOS

Joe Drunk

"It kind of rekindled things. I got to learn a new language, I got involved in Github, it was programmer heaven," he said. "I didn't have any schedules and I didn't have any bosses hammering on me."

It sounds like heaven to me too if you include significant disposable income.

Bleeping Computer sued by Enigma Software over moderator's forum post

Joe Drunk

Re: I was beginning to wonder if this whole article is just an advert for Bleeping Computer?

> It would not be an exaggeration to say that Bleeping Computer is a vital part of the Internet's immune system.

Yes, it would.

No it wouldn't.

It is puzzling how someone who claims to do Windows support has never heard of BC especially since it is one of the top results anytime you search for "remove <MALWARE/TOOLBAR/FAKE AV/RANDOM POPUP/SEARCH REDIRECTOR>"

Perhaps you are still doing Windows 1.0 support?

Joe Drunk

One of two outcomes...

1. BleepingComputer caves and pays a settlement because they can't afford to fight this one out in court.

2. The case goes to court and and Enigma loses (similar cases found that reviews were opinions and therefore protected free speech). Since they, like many of these scareware software producers are mere shell companies, will cease operations under its current incarnation and merely re-brand, a la Andersen Consulting.

You will note that the more established AV products will find and remove malware for free and are fully functional for a trial period.

I did a test a few years ago with a then widely advertised AV product. I had a genuine Windows XP installation CD, installed it in a VM, installed no software and put it to the test. It found several hundred problems. The company may have cleaned up its act since then but this is the best reason to avoid scareware (software that finds problems but won't clean anything till you fork over your credit card number).

I have no AV on any of my computers. Never needed one and therefore can't recommend any. I can recommend the afore mentioned ComboFix, HiJackThis and Sysinternals. These are intended for boffins and punters can trash their systems with these powerful tools if used incorrectly.


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