* Posts by mistersaxon

42 posts • joined 6 Jul 2012

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


Re: Backups?

LTO8 is about 20TB per tape so not that many tapes, even if they are a hundred bucks a pop.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers


Pedant mode=on

"We only realise how pervasive machine-to-machine (M2M) mobile data connections are in our lives until they stop working"

It's either "we DON'T realise" or "WHEN they stop working". As supplied the sentence only works because I assume I know what you mean, not because you've conveyed that.

Under the circumstances a communication failure due to a mismatch of standards is . . . ironic? Only missing the bullseye by still just about functioning...

Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Re: @AC But that wouldn't bring three thousand million deleted files back

As I said elsewhere in this thread: OneDrive is a HA solution, not a backup. And, as a HA solution, its job is to duplicate your source offsite ASAP - sadly it'll do this even if you (or your OS upgrade) decided to delete something important.

So yeah, people need to understand that Windows Backup / Time Machine is a backup and OneDrive / iCloud is not. But setting up and running backups is so *boring* you know? Always running at the wrong time and interfering with your work!


Re: OneDrive - Why even touch user folders?

Not to be picky but if your data in the real system is precious, why isn't it backed up?

Moving on, the issue here seems to be related to the idea that OneDrive is a backup solution when it's a HA solution, the difference being that the HA doesn't record a point-in-time, it attempts to recreate a state by copying and deleting. The lesson being that old chestnut: you always need a backup.

'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls


Re: The FCC isn't going to do anything that isn't easy

auto-diallers never leave a VM message in my experience - they pick up the network VM announcement and terminate the call. That said, I get very few robo-calls to my mobile - most are to my land line.

That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?


Re: Insurers, banks, board of trade, government...

If it's an iSeries there's a decent chance you could restore the lot to the latest version of the OS on new iron and it'll work perfectly. I mean if the company let the entire infrastructure stagnate for more than 20 years then issues will be more likely but otherwise... go for it.


Put the blame in the right place

So... 'Then, there’s the networking issue. “Your legacy machine was probably built in the days of token ring. It has isolated switches. You have 10,000 clients with hard-coded addresses to it and you want to move it to a new environment where you have IP mobility,” Trundle said. “Lift and shift explodes quickly.”'

Sounds like the desktop and networking team fouled this up, not really fair to blame the legacy system for that is it?

'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!


Re: "wasted"

The whole point about the Irish border is that the GFA was negotiated on the basis that we would be part of the EU and there's really no way around it without the Brexiters' magic unicorn powers. And that means there's no way round it. Brexit - ANY Brexit - trashes the GFA.

Now clearly you don't care (though why not is a question you need to ask yourself seriously). But I believe that Brexit isn't worth restarting a war for. So let's just scrap it.

What we SHOULD have done is used the referendum to make a credible threat of leaving and negotiated some more candy. Too late now - anyone with half a brain (most of the EU and at least 48% of the UK electorate) knows Brexit is a disaster waiting to happen. That bluff has already been called.

Apple iPhone X: Two weeks in the life of an anxious user


Re: I am not an Iphone fan

Right at the moment Apple are doing battery replacements for £25 - get in...


Re: I hate iOS - but......

I have a 200GB USB stick that includes its own wifi for up to 5 devices to stream files from it. Obvious business uses but also great as an in-car entertainment option without having to load up phones (apart from their video player app which is on the USB stick anyway).

UK exam chiefs: About the compsci coursework you've been working on. It means diddly-squat


Re: So it all hinges on exams


New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles


Re: "But it is usually a seven year journey @ John Smith 19

Three times a phone battery is not a hand grenade, by any stretch of the imagination (except yours and possibly a H&S inspector now, thx).

As for ingredient cost - did you see the article? Nothing expensive and the membrane is self-applying.

Anyway I'd settle for twice the life and a bigger antenna, as the ones we seem to have now couldn't hold a signal if it had big brass handles on it.

Pickaxe chops cable, KOs UKFast data centre


...and so is the backhoe driver I imagine.

(spectacularly so)

Walk with me... through a billion files. Slow down – admire the subset


Re: can’t retrofit … metadata generation, storage and access to an existing file system

IBM i (nee AS400) has had a fully object-oriented, strong object-typed file system with a relational database built in since it launched in 1988. Now whether it scales to billions of files is a different question but the whole "database for the OS" is not new.

It also has a single address space for memory, disk and other file systems but that's a different matter, as is the virtualisation from hardware that's been baked in for generations.

AI smarts: IBM pushes out 'faster than X86' POWER9 servers


Re: POWER to the people!

Re; the relative costs - you're paying for the database in every case and for Linux you're (not) paying for the OS, only the support.

Now it's true that IBM i (AS/400 to you dodos) does need some microcode support for internal disks but honestly, in this day and age who uses internal disks? OTOH, once you have the IBM-suported hardware in the box you do get a really high level of stability, for the same reason you do with MacOS and iOS (and IOS for that matter) which is that the OS and hardware are tested, developed and certified together.


Re: POWER to the people!

IBM i has been hacked, both in labs and in the real world. Or I should say that Java, Apache, SSL and the like on IBM i have all been hacked.

Of course it can all be fixed in a proper implementation - but the default box won't be secure as-is in this new world and the skills to make it so are hard to find. Pro-tip, get your users in groups that don't have any members with high privilege and remove *PUBLIC authority, then add SSL support to interfaces (5250, DRDA and FTP looking at you here) and push it up to TLS1.2. Get current on the OS to avoid the SMB1 issues (IBM i doesn't have the issues, but supporting it means you expose your network) and keep it patched and audited.

So, not that different to any other system really except that doing the above won't give you grey hair (though you might already have it if you're an IBM i professional).


Re: Price-performance

Lenovo produce (non-IBM) POWER servers running Linux. You don't get to run AIX or IBM i on these but then you didn't really want to do that did you? Only POWER8 for now but expect POWER9 to hit that channel sooner or later.

And they're a LOT cheaper than the IBM-branded servers - competitive with Intel at the hardware level.

UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren


Re: This is a good thing

I don't think you know what Dish Soap is do you? It's for washing dishes, (aka Washing Up Liquid in the UK). Soap that goes in a dish is a soap bar or soap tablet.

There's some kind of irony here but I'm not sure where it is, exactly. Possibly in the protest against a stereotype by a living example of it?

Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads


How long indeed...

Used to be you could get away with putting a photo of your face in front of the camera but now Apple have eliminated that option.

Microsoft won't patch Edge browser content security bypass


Re: This is to support Microsoft Technical Support

Pull the network cable or disable the wifi then try. Pages should fail to load, rather than crashing, giving you the chance to close them and then shut down Edge and change the default browser.

Bit awks if you are skyping granny to talk her through this of course.

Apple blocks comms-snooping malware


Re: Why can apps do this?

Any auto-update task will need admin rights to update the cron service sadly. No clue why, it's legacy Unix I believe.

WannaCrypt: Pwnage is a fact of life but cleanup could and should be way easier


Re: @LittleTyke

Not to derail your main point any further but all those IoT devices that are pwned into botnets are, by and large, Linux. Sure the /desktop/ OS isn't a huge attack vector (vector, note, rather than surface - crooks aren't interested in the knowledgeable ans skilled users that tend to drift to Linux) but the IoT is MASSIVE and growing.

Remember, security through obscurity (Linux and to a lesser extent MacOS) is no security at all. You need a proactive and responsive developer community for your apps and OS. OSS helps and governments caching zero-days doesn't. So far Apple have shown themselves to have a high level of integrity (so far as anyone can tell, of course) and responsiveness that's on a par with Linux, plus the additional effort they spend on weeding their walled garden. If you can't stand the garden then you takes your chances with thistles or worse: it's your choice as an individual. With Windows you have a box full of triffids growing in the lounge of course but MS told you it was a swiss-cheese plant so that's OK.

Neither Linux nor MacOS is really set up to provide the CONTROL that your boss wants over you - only Windows has that obsessive level of micro-management and that's the real reason it's succeeded. Oh Novell, where are you when we need you?

UK Home Sec: Give us a snoop-around for WhatApp encryption. Don't worry, we won't go into the cloud


Deadworld ahoy

All crime isss committed by the living, therefore life itsself isss a crime. Prepare to be Judged!

Dishwasher has directory traversal bug


Re: Bewildered. (That's grown-up speak for "wtf")

Smart meters will have a 3G+ B2B network connection - hacking your wifi is not the only danger with a device that can tell crooks when you are home and optionally cut you off (or bill you £'000s for unreal electricity as is more likely).

I'm refusing all offers of one at the moment.

Microsoft quietly emits patch to undo its earlier patch that broke Windows 10 networking


Re: ,So there's an online fix for not being able to get online?

You misunderstand - the Zorin install is to replace WIn10 entirely, not just to get access for patching it. Well, that was my reading of it, the theory being that it doesn't get massively shafted every month in the name of "progress".

Apple downgrades iPhone 6S with wimpy 1715mAh battery


Re: I'll take the *2nd* thinnest phone in history, please

Swapping batteries was always the cheap / bad solution to running out of juice, especially if there is no external charger for the batteries (or "something ELSE to carry / lose" as I like to call them). Speaking of thick cases though - there are a fair number that have a built-in battery to power the phone for extended runtimes if that's what you need. They also offer various useful features like full weather protection or barcode scanners etc. depending on your need / niche.

Compaq iPaq anyone?


Re: Bit of soft shoe-ing here

Get the vastly(!) cheaper(!!) genuine Apple Micro-USB to Lightning adapter tip and never buy another Apple charge/sync cable again. Just don't lose the little b*****d because it's flipping small for the cost of it (which is kind of the point of course).


Re: Yeah, I noticed The Register is in Apple Hate Mode

Brand loyalty is often simply loyalty to the investment that you have made in chargeable software over the years - that often (usually) represents a bigger commitment of time and cash than simply splurging on the new hardware. It may also be an acknowledgement that the phone you have "just works" - whatever platform you have.

The time spent migrating from one platform to another, sorting out the syncing and data transfer, learning a new phone OS, repurchasing accessories and so on are all small points but not insignificant in the decision to stay with a platform or jump ship. "Fashion" or "fanboyism" is not the major driver for most people to stay with the platform of their choice but it is worth noting that if Apple produce a real stinker instead of a well-made incremental improvement on the previous generation then the migration will be significant for them, since they are the only producers of phones with IOS (yes, yes, Cisco SIP phones run IOS, ha ha very clever now shut up Apple and Cisco both hate that acronym clash I'm sure). So far that hasn't happened - although you may well feel that the iPhone capabilities are surpassed by other hardware on the market (and that may even be true).

It's easier to stay with Android without being a brand-loyal consumer of hardware but whether that is a good thing or not I will leave for you to discuss with Samsung, Sony, HTC etc. I'm sure they are all delighted with the level playing field just as the many carrier-locked droid owners on backlevel OS releases are.

Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension


Re: Whatever happened to 'respect'???

Or you could pony up and pay for a receptionist service. They can text you the subject of the call and you can generally read a text and absorb the importance while not intruding on your existing customer's time. I get paid to handle calls (IT support) so I know where you are coming from but I cannot just dump one customer I am in front of to talk to another unless the situation is critical, usually not even then. The call handling service answer immediately, respond politely and escalate the calls to me as SMS text instantly, with a follow up phone call shortly thereafter if I don't acknowledge the text.

Seriously, pay someone else to help you if it's that important to your business because pissing off your potential or existing clients is a lot more expensive that finding new ones and I tend to think that if you don't get repeat business it's because you aren't looking for it... For example - when you open or replace a lock do you always do a quick free "security check" of the windows and other doors? Highlight the garage door and garage access to the house as weak points, or the conservatory or even the shed. There's always something...


Re: Whatever happened to 'respect'???

To which behaviour you should simply have said "If you take one more phone call you will lose the business, get a bad review on (relevant local review site) and I will bill you for my wasted time."

Or, before getting to that point (ie at the start of the visit) explain that he isn't to take calls because you don't have the time to wait / waste.

Mind you the number of times I've stood behind someone in a queue who wasted my time and the relevant cashier's time because they were on the phone instead of packing / paying etc. clearly show the lack of respect goes both ways...

Australia cracks tech giants' tax dodge code


Re: why should the coumtry in which the item is sold enjoy the biggest tax 'take'?

Because it's the SAME company, in spite of the legal fiction that it's not. All are answerable to the same globe-spanning management.

If I sold my services or goods to Apple and made a profit that would be for me to deal with in the UK, but Apple UK, Apple Ireland and Apple Corp in the USA are not independent companies working in a free market. Otherwise Apple UK could sell Samsung phones because they are cheaper than iPhones...


Re: Wait and see

If BigCorp Aus are forced to pay over the odds for a product or service that's anti-competitive / pseudo-monopolistic. If they are choosing to do so then the arguments about legitimately independent business go out of the window, putting the directors in the frame for corporate mismanagement and possibly fraud charges. So yes, you can ban it - IF you want to.

And the staff salaries genuinely are a legitimate business expense which do not incur corporation tax, BTW. Possibly the only one...

This is what happens when a judge in New York orders an e-hit on a Chinese software biz


That software is a lifesaver - if only the activation didn't require a connection to their servers every time making their BluRay player impossible to use on an airplane, for example, unless you leave it running before you suspend your laptop. But I travel for business and like to NOT have to cart around a bluray player in order to watch films I own already.

We give Panasonic's new 5-inch Toughpad phablets a kicking


Re: No justification for the price especially with no wireless charging.

The difference between an app for a camera and a real barcode scanner is huge - I've never found a scanner app that could read the micro-barcodes on an SFP module for example - so I think it's justified for applications where you need reliable industrial-grade scanning. *shrug* the odd price-check in Homebase, not so much.

Wireless charging would be good but doesn't that make the charger very proprietary? And large... But it would still be nice to have the option I suppose, assuming it can charge as fast as the charger options provided here...

iOS 8 screencaps leak: Text editor, dictaphone and 'tips' on the way


Textedit? Hurrah!

What everyone is forgetting is that textedit on Mac saves to iCloud which is fine and dandy if you have multiple macs to share text docs between, but if you want to read those little notes on an iPhone or iPad you have to migrate them all into Pages and use that as though it were notepad - or spend on a text editor for Mac and iPad etc. Same thing for Preview. Mac users have been asking for both of these in iOS for a while now. If this isn't a troll then it's good news for some of us.

No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too


Re: Oh dear

So the /government/ will actually be looking at ALL the porn directly and cataloguing it? Why isn't it blocked for them as well?

I suspect I will know where to look if I want to find people who like to watch a lot of porn: they will all have white-collar jobs in .gov and a tasty pension at our expense as well.


What's in a name?

It would be a lot easier to "explain to the missus" - or indeed anyone who you want to discuss this with - if it wasn't universally referred to as a "porn filter" or even a "child abuse filter" or a "paedophile filter" because once that name sticks then just asking about turning it off labels you.

So let's call it an "arbitrary censorship filter" or some other name that describes it in terms that make turning it OFF seem like the sensible thing to do. If anyone can think of a good, snappy name for it that will capture hearts and minds then please PLEASE offer it up here (and everywhere else you discuss this).

How about the "thinking filter" or the "responsibility filter"?

Mac fans: You don't need Windows to get ripped off in tech support scams


Re: Browser speed

Ctl-c would not get out of his teamviewer job probably. Rather than faffing sending Ctl characters it's easier to hit the X. I really must set up a nice unfriendly VM that can run teamviewer et al. I'd use the IBM HMC appliance or one of their SAN simulators but those don't. If anyone can think of a way to feed teamviewer full-screen into a single application with no menu bars I would be delighted to know it - can I run the app, rather than going to the web site and set up a connection so the caller shares his hard drive, for example?



My best result so far was to string the guy along for a while and then, before I let him onto my laptop I asked him if his mother knew what he did for a living.

"I'm sorry?..."

"Does your mother know that you lie to people and cheat people for a living? Is she proud of her criminal son?"

"I'm sorry?..."

"Are you? Are you really sorry? Are you going to give up this filthy criminal job you're doing and get a job that will make her proud of you or are you just going to keep lying to her and feeding off other people's misery? You make me sick."

"..." *click*

I like to think he went home sobbing and mended his ways. He certainly didn't call me back.

MacBook Air fanbois! Your flash drive may be a data-nuking TIME BOMB


Soldered in would be a huge mistake

Shame that's what they did on the MacBook Pro then isn't it? I'm looking forward to getting a new mobo for mine some day and in the meantime CCC and time machine are my friends :)

Chrome, Firefox blab your passwords in a just few clicks: Shrug, wary or kill?


There's some silliness here

All these password safe stores are designed to disburse the password when you go to the site - automatically and without intervention. IF you set a master password firefox will ask you for it on the first site you visit which has a stored password and then not again until you close / reopen the browser. So, without going into Prefs and browsing the list you only need to go to the site you are interested in (Apple, amazon, what have you) and let the system log you in automatically.

And in IE10 it's even easier than that because if you click the little Eye icon in the password field it is shown in clear text - no registry hacks or 3rd party tools needed. For any browser that stores passwords and is left unlocked and running, just go to the site and let it log you in. Do your harm there and then.

Only Firefox makes even a stab at protecting these assets once stored and that is carefully balanced against the usability of the feature. There is no option to require you to input the master password on every use so if you wander off leaving your laptop unlocked you do need to close the browser first!

Realistically the danger is that the laptop will be stolen and the passwords retrieved from it. In which case the fact that the passwords are put into the website for you is the same for all browsers - whether the password is known or not the site is still compromised. Moral of the story: don't save passwords in your browser unless you are prepared to accept the consequences. Do users understand this? Well, most of them CAN understand it if it is pointed out to them, but most don't think about the risk of losing the laptop or of leaving it unattended. The tool is fit for purpose, the users - less so.

Used software firms win small victory in shrinking on-premises world


Re: Is the author not reading too much into the decision?

You can only re-sell it ONCE, not unlimited times! That would be piracy, plain and simple. So I don't think it will "kill the app store model" unless the origianl vendor relies on selling software people only want to use once (like a jailbreak app :) ) I suppose you could sell a game you had finished and never want to re-play or you could try and sell an app that you hated - key learning point: check the reviews before buying software, even second hand.

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