* Posts by Halfmad

579 posts • joined 16 Jan 2013


Trump's cybersecurity strategy kinda makes sense, so why delay?


Re: He didn't sign it

Wife and I genuinely thing Trump has early stage dementia, his vocabulary is increasingly limited and when challenged on anything from memory he's vague and usually annoyed by default - an automatic reaction to being frustrated.


"Each network administrator, system admin, and program manager should be held accountable for the security of their own systems. "

Hold the boat there buddy, shouldn't that be each SYSTEM OWNER - those you are holding accountable there have sweet FA authority in the grand scale of things.

Microsoft's device masterplan shows it's still fighting Apple


Re: The future for MS is grim

I know kicking MS is eternally fun on here but as a linux fan who uses Window 10 at home (mostly due to my 6 year old loving games - and me wanting to play Star Citizen (no linux client - yet!). It's actually OK, but my wife did laugh when I spent 30 minutes one morning trying to get Cortana to do a very simple task.

"Cortana -open chrome"

cortana opens notebook

"Cortana open chrome"

cortana opens edge

"Cortana open chrome"

Cortana mutters something about not understanding

"No sh!t Cortana you should go home"

Cortana opens chrome

I pull the mic on the computer and disable Cortana forever. By the end I was literally shouting at it.

Yes so anyway, there are a lot of nice touches in Windows 10, mutliple desktops at long last, it's surprisingly solid, boots quickly etc. You can easily send your data to random recipients like microsoft with little (or no) effort. But in there, behind all that p!sh is a decent OS crying for help in the corner, naked and alone.

Then I just boot back out into Linux.

'Webroot made my PCs s*** the bed' – AV update borks biz machines hard


Re: "where we don't have any IT staff."

Yeah but, who REALLY needs IT staff right? Oh right well until you REALLY need them that is and remember they no longer work for you.

Sounds like they had zero contingency plans in place for this, so those 130 staff can put their feet up - bet that's not costing them much.


Re: Some UK companies have 130 overseas installs?

Yeah I'm a little mystified why they'd assume they'd NEVER need any IT boots on the ground for something like this, management need their heads seen to.


At least EPO can be leveraged to install something useful now and then.

Tablets become feebleslabs as sales spiral down


Is anyone surprised?

We're more or less at saturation point now.

Only exception being Amazon and only because their tablets break after about 13 months most of the time.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is delayed, Ministry of Defence confesses


Re: Who cares

I care, it's cost BILLIONS on a vanity project for the MOD. We could and should have fought for a proper carrier equipped with British made aircraft or at least some that are actually bloody useful and work.

Bottom line is we have a Navy with a big shiny boat they can't get into sea trials and don't know when it'll happen - I'm shocked nobody has lost their job over this, well OK maybe I'm not as they never come in on time or budget.


Whilst MPs bluster and the MOD drags it's heels

It's billions of pounds of taxpayer money that's sitting unused because the MOD can't project manage anything.

Dido queen of carnage steps down from TalkTalk


Re: Hmm.

She'll be in another high paid job within a few months. We need the ICO to start using it's teeth more and we need executives to be held to account by our justice system when cock ups on this scale happen. There are reasons they are considered accountable - yet we never hold them to account.

GitLab.com melts down after wrong directory deleted, backups fail


Re: Super! Great

This sort of situation is why I constantly nag my IT department about testing backups, just because the backup product says the backup verified OK is not the same as the occasional bare metal restore just to check.

Ransomware killed 70% of Washington DC CCTV ahead of inauguration


Re: No word on how it got in?

I'm wondering if a majority of these devices taken down recorded to a single point which itself was affected. So the devices themselves were fine but they have no where to save recordings.

Is certainly screams single, or low number point of failures.

Devonians try to drive Dartmoor whisky plan onto rocks


Re: Scottish architecture?

All areas of the UK have distinctive architecture, or as you eluded to - use to have.

Thing is this looks like it's out on it's own, not in the actual village so it wouldn't look out of place - but then again they don't seem to be objecting to a distillery, just the cosmetics so easily enough fixed.

I just hope they don't end up with random grey panels under windows which seems to have become the latest architectural trend on houses in my area,it looks **** !

Apple eats itself as iPhone fatigue spreads


I got my first ever iPhone in 2016

It was the iPhone SE, I begrudgingly have to say I like it a lot after 4 years with android handsets I can feel the downsides but it was the right size and unlike many I only use it for phone calls (gasp), camera and podcasts.

I simply didn't want a bugger phone but mobile phones seem to constantly be heading in that direction making getting any sort of deal on a small phone (such as the Sony Z5 compact) harder.

I just feel like Apple has lost it's way a bit with much larger handsets and dropping the headphone port, I can't see me upgrading the SE at any point, in a couple of years I'll probably be back on Android if there isn't an SE4 with a headphone port/wireless charging (My SE has this thanks to a wireless case adaptor).


Re: (users needed to use a phone one-handed, Apple argued)

I like using it one handed, means I can drink my coffee in the morning on the loo whilst browsing Reddit.

Got to get some of that /r/crappydesign in before breakfast.

Windows code-signing tweaks sure to irritate software developers


Why bash MS? Surely your ire should be directed at the Certificate Authority Security Council ?

Former Mozilla dev joins chorus roasting antivirus, says 'It's poison!'


Bodyguard cards

I remember back in the 90s having little PCI (might have even been ISA?) cards which would effectively protect the active windows partition, reboot the PC - it resets back to how it was. We used them in public library pcs and they were excellent - got a problem? Just reboot the PC - problem solved. You could even format the c drive and still reboot to fix.

I've no doubt there are/were alternatives but it suited us great, eventually we just removed AV and scheduled the PCs to reboot nightly at closing time + 2 hours.

IBM's SoftLayer is having a meltdown – and customers aren't happy


Social media for support

What? Really people are happy to accept tweeting or posting on a FB page as a method of contacting support? Talk about keeping customers at arms length.

In real life, Q is a woman! Head of MI6 calls for more female techies at SIS


Re: Perhaps

I'm not sure what's quite right. My wife is very nerdy but then again so were many of the engineering apprentices I was with during my teens - but most have apparently not left that sector following time off to have kids.

It could be problems getting back in following maternity leave as many wanted reduced hours and that's not always practical in engineering. Where as Scientific/medical jobs (particularly GPs) can tailor their working hours far better.

Trump lieutenants 'use private email' for govt work... but who'd make a big deal out of that?


Never as clear cut as that.

One of the problems I've had is people using gmail etc for personal e-mail which then over the course of the conversation includes work related stuff, this should be request-able via FOI and should only be on work e-mail servers - it's a surprisingly common problem.

UK ISPs may be handed cock-blocking powers


So for now it's just porn.

Then another amendment and it's P2P traffic.

Then another stating anything as instructed by whitehall.

Then another and it's basically anything any ISP fancies blocking.

It's laughable that the UK criticizes other countries for internet censorship whilst heading down this path., inevitable? No but let's face it with the current government it's highly likely.

Biz claims it's reverse-engineered encrypted drone commands


slowmo guys could make a fantastic video of drone bits flying off.

Symantec carpeted over dodgy certificates, again


Re: Symantec

Hold up, isn't that Veritas?

Unbreakable Locky ransomware is on the march again


Re: viduses

Hey look I'm all for blaming Microsoft but we all have the tech built into Windows to help mitigate this sort of threat, just hardly anyone seems to use applocker as they're too lazy to set it up. We can also disable macro's entirely or make them run only from trusted locations etc.

But convenience, such as running any .exe you want trumps security or even if you bother setting up applocker etc a senior manager loses his mind at not being in complete control and running local admin rights on his PC and you're back to square one.

Mega UK hospitals trust Barts says IT borkage was due to trojan – not ransomware


That's not what usually prevents people upgrading. There are numerous, sometimes hundreds of clinical systems to consider, many of which aren't being kept up to date in terms of latest browser etc and which simply cannot run on the newer operating systems.

Ransomware scum infect cancer non-profit


Knee jerk response seems to be from them "if in doubt - go more into the cloud"

There was probably a reason they didn't go fully in to begin with, the failings here don't seem to be related to the use of local storage, they're to do with the lack of protection, probably a lack of training for staff and a lack of a proper local backup.

Going to fully cloud just changes the risks, doesn't necessarily lessen them.

Chelsea Manning sentence slashed by Prez Obama: She'll be sprung in the spring


Re: Just a pawn

Pawn? No she was the main actor in the leak, that's not a pawn. She was let down by her commanding officers who should have pulled her from duty, but as an adult she was responsible for her actions.


Re: The real culpability lies...

Yes, partially. Officers are always responsible for monitoring the performance and fitness for duty of those under their command. I'm by no means saying Manning wasn't guilty but that doesn't mean all of his senior officers were blame.


Re: Assange will back out of his word somehow

He'll blame Trump, then after Trump he'll blame someone else.

It'll never be Julian's fault that's for sure.

Ransomware brutes smacked 1 in 3 NHS trusts last year


Re: NHS network security?

The vast network is basically thousands of silos with decent firewalls etc between them, it's not as if it's a LAN party were they're all trying to play counterstrike together. From my experience they all default to lock down and open access when given a countersigned form to do so - but I can only speak for my own experiences, I've no doubt there's plenty of plonkers in charge of IT kit out there.

Still it's not JANET..

PlayStation 4 probs: Gamers struggle with PSVR headset blackouts



As a PC gamer who's keen on VR but wants to see it mature before throwing cash at it - I'm wanting the PS VR to be a success, that's not going to happen if the console that was built for it has silly bugs like this.

Got to wonder how bugs like this get back QA in huge companies like Sony though, seems to happen a little too regularly.

Soz fanbois, Apple DIDN'T invent the smartphone after all


Re: Apple stole the iPhone

Apple were making increasingly popular computers through out the 90s, I say this not as an apple fanboy but someone who was repairing them. They had a lot of success with the early iPods too. Without the iPhone they'd be a fraction of the size they are, no doubt about it but they'd still likely have gone on to make the iPod touches, ipads etc anyway as they was clearly the way they were headed.

As much as the iPhone was critical to their expansion it wasn't the reason they stayed in business.

Hacker publishes GitHub secret key hunter


Re: sesnitive

Has to be more than 20 characters long for them to check.

Plusnet outage leaves customers unable to stream Netflix. Horrors!


Re: People that use their ISP's email service are asking for trouble

Since the 90s I've owned by own domains and simply forwarded e-mail to the provider I wanted to use, for now it's gmail, but I have used ISPs in the past. Means moving ISP isn't a factor and if the likes of gmail change the account address or close I never need change my e-mail address that banks etc are registered too.

Costs less than £1/month to have that flexibility.

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


Re: So why, oh why do you still trust these clowns?

Thing is it's getting worse with the cumulative patching adopted by Microsoft. I know in the NHS it's caused problems with various clinical systems so CCGs/Trusts/Boards are forced to either run a few months behind security patch wise and hope someone else spots the problem, run ludicrously expensive testing of clinical systems in-house and maybe run a month behind or patch and cross their fingers.

At least with previous updates we could remove the offending patch, now MS are less likely to tell us which it was and even if they did we'd have to remove the entire cumulative patch instead.

BT's hiring! 500 more customer service folk to answer your angry calls


Your call is important to us, if we bother to answer it

and then don't lie through our teeth.

I've had over a dozen "engineers" out to look at our line over the past few years. I finally cracked a few months ago and took the BT master socket to bits, discovered an ancient ADSL splitter built into it and reconnected everything - voila! 3 times faster internet speed with no drops.

Now you imagine how many hours I spent on the phone to get that number of engineers to attend? How often I spoke to "Gary" in India who ran through his little script word for word, how often I told him "Yes I've got internet explorer open", how often I then had to agree to accept any costs should they find no fault etc etc.

What a waste of space these companies are.

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason


Anyone with actual management skill of any kind

would have suggested running as-is with the new process documented and any additional users going on in the new format and if/when there's an issue with an existing account on the old system it's transferred over.

A common naming convention is a good idea, however spending a huge amount of time correcting an existing system which works isn't if it's documented to prevent a problem with loss of staff through illness or being driven to leave by a terrible boss.

Few IT staff I know are precious about how things are recorded, they just want it to be consistent an accurate.

90 per cent of the UK's NHS is STILL relying on Windows XP


Re: Extended support?

"Guess what, the IT department hadn't bothered to read the email and so no updates for ~5 months and no-one had thought to check XP machines were receiving the updates."

Was anyone sacked for this? I bet not and that's one of the biggest problems in the public sector, even when colossal mistakes are made, nobody, absolutely nobody takes the blame.


Re: Migration to Office 365 and Cloud Services etc

Someone isn't interpreting the DPA correctly, NHS England can have datacenters anywhere in the UK, not just England and can also have them within the EU if the risk is accepted by the trust/CCG etc.

Hell if the risk is accepted they can have them ANYWHERE in the world, it's just that when someone went wrong, and it would they'd be up to their necks in it.

I'm guessing whoever thought it was unacceptable in Wales either was assuming Wales would go independent in the next few years or there was a technical consideration such as rural broadband around the data center etc.


Re: Migration to Office 365 and Cloud Services etc

icloud - in use

dropbox - in use

one drive - in use

It's not all blocked/banned. I'm guessing you see a snapshot of local use. I know of instances where these are being used and can be used with proper controls in place. Ideal? Absolutely not but if the information going onto them is of sufficiently meaningless level then the risk is massively reduced.

Not saying I personally approve of their use but I do know it's happening.

For God's sake, stop trying to make Microsoft Bob a thing. It's over


VR? I'd rather have AR

I like VR, have used most of the current set of devices on the market but I'm more interested in AR - I can see it being far more useful at work as well as at home than VR.

Cables though - that's the problem with VR for me, I don't want them hanging off me when I'm using a VR headset.

Real deal: Hackers steal steelmaker trade secrets


Re: does EVERYTHING need to be on The Connected Internet? Really?

Time is never that critical and it's easy to have a workstation on segregated network that has no external egress/ingress nearby.

I was an engineer during the 90s and early 2000s before moving into IT. we had such a setup for our clients with high security buildings, draughtsmen were not permitted to transfer files onto any PC on our (then coaxial cable based) network which had a PC connected to the internet. My boss and founder of the company was a little paranoid, think he'd seen "Sneakers".

This was prior to e-mail etc really kicking off and any transfer would have required someone to install a floppy disk drive on their desktop PC anyway, so it was physically impossible for them to do it covertly.

We had 5 CAD workstations on a little LAN connected to an NT server which stored the files for hospitals, airports etc. Everything else was plotted onto vellum and stored in cabinets.

If anyone needed and answer our guys would pull the vellum first and give an answer within seconds as the latest version was always there. These days this would be just as quick by accessing a workstation, it's possible, just not as convenient for staff - and that's a decision which requires backing from the very top of the company.

Masterful malvertisers pwn Channel 9, Sky, MSN in stealth attacks


Re: The steps we have to take to protect our data

As with data protection legislation they should be forced into accepting the blame since they essentially outsourced responsibility for it.

The decision was made by them, they are responsible for the outcome.


Re: What ads?

Adblock, Ublock, we all block!

Fitbit picks up Pebble, throws Pebble as far as it can into the sea


Thing is

As a fitbit owner, they're garbage. I'd rather have a Pebble device.

Ah well another IP down the pan, hopefully Fitbit follows soon after on the second flush.

'Toyota dealer stole my wife's saucy snaps from phone, emailed them to a swingers website'


Re: Maybe...

Comparison would be handing your credit card over and having it's details swiped and sent online. People wouldn't think that's right but some are trying to justify this? Seems really wierd.

I'd never hand over my unlocked phone and I've nothing more worrying than Pokemon Go on it, but if I did I'd expect my Evee and Bulbasaur back unharmed.

Mozilla launches 'privacy edition' Firefox... that phones home


Re: Generic web privacy policy in use

well at least that way I'll get one person looking at my youtube channel.

Wearable eats wearable: Fitbit 'to buy Pebble' with a steal of a deal


OH dear

My experience of fitbit has not been great, let's hope they can't mess up Pebble too much.

European Council agrees to remove geoblocking


Honestly businesses should be free to say "nope not sending stuff there" as a business decision if it's backed up by historical losses etc.

It's unreasonable to force companies to sell at a loss or where there's a high risk IMHO.

SHIFT + F10, Linux gets you Windows 10's cleartext BitLocker key


Hold up - Microsoft are covered on this one folks!

The clever sods makes sure you never know when a bloody update will happen, making it FAR harder to do this.

Sly buggers.


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