* Posts by Down not across

1185 posts • joined 21 Mar 2013


'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit

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IT Angle

But does it sucks like an Electrolux?

Nothing sucks like a VAX.

Tech support discovers users who buy the 'sh*ttest PCs known to Man' struggle with basics

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Re: It's 2018

One morning I left the office and entered the nearby motorway. After a short distance it started to rain - and the screen smeared. I pulled back on the column "wiper" stalk to get a washer jet and nothing happened. I had to glance down at the dashboard to identify the marked knob that had that function. As I looked up a lorry had come down a slip road and changed lanes into my "safe" space.

So, why not check the impotant controls like lights,wipers,heating/blower while still parked, before embarking on you journey?

Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate

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Re: But what was working?

Voice was down for many users for 10 to 12 hours, as 4G carries voice as well as data.

Yes it does, but is should fallback to 3G/2G.

Sometimes phones/cells dont fallback to older tech as they should. In that situation, it may be worth forcing the phone to 3G/2G in settings. I had an issue years ago where calls were not getting through and O2 (yeah, funny that) suggested forcing the handset to 3G which worked around the issue. Allegedly there was some issue (which persisted for some time) in the local cell(s).

Windows 10 security question: How do miscreants use these for post-hack persistence?

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You make it sound like it should require a license to use a computer: something normally used inside one's own home.

Did you read the article?

From the article:

As for protecting against this post-attack persistence problem? “Add additional auditing and GPO settings,” said Sela. The two also suggested that Microsoft allows custom security questions as well as the ability to disable the feature altogether in Windows 10 Enterprise. The presentation slides are available here (PDF). ®

...makes it quite clear it is not really about home use, but using Win 10 in corporate environment.

The hardcoding issue applies home as well of course, but as many have said (and I presume most of us do already) there is no need to give real answers to the questions.

COPPA load of that AOL! $5m fine for targeting kids with ads

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Re: $5m is Not Enough

$5m is petty cash for Verizon.

£10k offer to leave firm ASAP is not blackmail, Capita told by judge

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Re: Accountants

The tax system files it under "compensation for loss of office", at which point it becomes a tax-free payment up to certain limits (used to be £30k, but may well have increased since then).

Still the same I think. Certainly applies to for example redundancy payments:

Payments that are made between an employer and employee are normally subject to tax as they will be described as ‘arising out of the contract of employment’ by HMRC. Ex-gratia payments are an exception to that rule and fall under a tax exemption from s.403 Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 for any amounts under £30,000.00. This is because the payments made are not made for the work that has been undertaken or for a provision of services; they are a “voluntary” payment made by the employer and are “compensation for loss of employment”.

Payments in lieu of notice used to be too, but are now taxable since last April.

Sysadmin’s plan to manage system config changes backfires spectacularly

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Re: Ah, SUN's pizza boxes

Now, I personally *loved* the beautiful engineering that could be seen inside the pizza box design, but it had one b*stard of a gotcha involving a connected terminal. If you would switch it off before you disconnected, it would issue a STOP instruction to the system so it would basically be off as far as functionality is concerned.

Close but no cigar. Some, not all, serial terminals effectively send BREAK when powered off. This is usually caused by combination of the RS-232 driver and power supply causing logic low that appears as BREAK. SunOBP goes into PROM monitor on break. You can recover by typing 'go' and system should resume.

I don't know who dreamt that up, but he must have been the one to originate the BOFH DNA.

Hate to disappoint, but it is due to bad(cheap) design/engineering terminals (and many terminal/console servers) and the way they have implemented RS-232. As an example Cisco 2511 would send break, whereas 26xx/36xx/28xx/38xx with NM or HWIC async cards IIRC don't. Likewise ISTR Cyclades mostly worked. Then there are some that send break when powered ON, just to be awkward.

Amazon's homegrown 2.3GHz 64-bit Graviton processor was very nearly an AMD Arm CPU

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Re: Was looking good up until the bit...

.... where we here that all 16 cores are slower than 5 cores of a Xeon.

Not everything is about speed. It is quite common for cores to be not that highly utilised for example.

Euro consumer groups: We think Android tracking is illegal

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Generous Google

"We're constantly working to improve our controls, and we'll be reading this report closely to see if there are things we can must take on board," Google told Reuters.


Great Scott! Is nothing sacred? US movie-goers vote Back To The Future as most-wanted reboot

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Re: Do it in style

What car? Clearly a Tesla. Marty will still be an idiot who struggles to outrace a VW van loaded down with terrorists despite driving a vehicle capable of hitting 88 MPH in about 50 feet.

Might take bit longer than that. DMC12 was bit underpowered compared to its looks.

The movie was accurate in one way though, the original alternator was too weak and battery would end up flat if everything was turned on. Later cars did have better alternator.

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Re: Do it in style

How long would it take a 2 ton SUV to get up to 88mph?

About same time as DMC12 if the SUV is something like X5 4.4i or similar given the 2.85 litre PRV V6 only had about 130hp and 200 Nm of torque.

Pasta-covered cat leads to kid night operator taking apart the mainframe

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Re: Burroughs/Unisys...

BTOS - Burroughs Technology Operating System (it was the Burroughs name for CTOS and it was also marketed under the name Starsys).

Wasn't CTOS from Convergent Technologies? I rememeber running 68K based MiniFrame and MegaFrame boxen running CTiX. Some MegaFrame I/O processor boards ran CTOS (scaled down obviously). They also came out with 80x86 based NGEN (or Burroughs B25 if you prefer) that ran CTOS. I'm talking about before Unisys bought Convergent Technologies.

OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship

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Re: Dumb dumb dumb

are you switching phones so often that the 'i can switch my sd card between them' is genuinely a feature? or is it nice to have on that odd occasion you switch phones every other year when u upgrade?

It is not always case of how often either. I had a phone break when it dropped and hit ground in a bad way. Luckily I had any personal data, photos, Keepass database and such on the SD card. Get new phone and put the card in, wait for Google Play to redownload apps and everything was back.

So yes I am definitely in the "no SD card - no sale" camp.

Open the pod bay doors: Voice of HAL 9000 Douglas Rain dies at 90

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Lock confirmed on beacon Terra One. Message commencing.

Junior dev decides to clear space for brewing boss, doesn't know what 'LDF' is, sooo...

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+1. In the classical period (1995-2005) being an enterprise DBA was pretty hard. You had to know your OS inside out, you had to understand how to do fast I/O and then you had to design the database, as in tune how tables should be laid out for maximal performance. Wasnae easy, cap'n.

Hear hear. I miss those days. You really ended up knowing the systems, both hardware and OS, better than most of the sysadmins.

Oracle tries to be clever and decide things for you. It does acceptably for most of the time. But not always. And being Oracle is buggy as hell. And it can get it really horribly wrong. It is also even worse piece of bloated crap than what it used to be.

All-flash or tiered is cheap so that takes care of I/O performance. Of course raw blocks weren't just for performance, it was also to bypass filesystem cache, after all you cache rows in memory anyway, but also for ensuring that writes that the database thinks have been written to disk have actually been written to disk.

Having said all that, even if everything is faster and more automatic, the data volumes and business requirements have increased too so there is still very much need for skilled DBAs. Don't forget lusers have not improved even if hardware and software may have done.

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Re: Back in the day

Anyway, it was running on NT4 and I set it to use half the available memory. I forget how much it had - 256mb or something - but completely forgot it was in 2Kb increments so setting it to 128Mb really meant 256Mb.

Yes. Because memory was specified in 2K pages just like with Sybase SQL Server/Adaptive Server Enterprise, that MS SQL Server has its roots in.

Net result was the machine booted, SQL started and immediately took all the available RAM and the whole thing blue screened. Obviously, this was whilst I was at the client site, whilst remote controlling their server which was in a data center elsewhere.

We had to get a technician out to put more RAM in the server in the end. They weren't impressed...

Or you could have just started it in minimal single-user mode with -f command line option, and then used sp_configure to resize memory to more acceptable size.

Sybase on UNIX of course would be even easier as configuration is always written to a text file on filesystem, but I digress.

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

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Re: And even older.

Could've sworn DPS6 was mini-computer (even if it may have taken a rack or two), and DPS8 was a mainframe.

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...one of the very few reliable network cards (it's been too long - I forgot what worked on that front).

I found that 3Com Etherlink (in its various incarnations) used to be fairly safe bet. Good driver support. DEC Tulip based cards were also fine. Mostly, but some implementations were not ideal shall we say.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

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Re: On a larger scale

The largest of those is a Silicon Graphics Challenge L ('deskside' chassis the size of a small fridge). Also a bunch of other SGI and Sun workstations from the 90s, all in various states of disrepair and I think none actually working.

I'm in that boat. Minus the Challenge L, but I do have various old HP 3000,9000, DEC (VAX,MIPS,Alpha) and Data General workstations and servers. Accompanying all that, is bunch of terminals, cabling, old network kit starting from early says of ethernet. There is also myriad of smaller,handheld and Z80 and x86 based stuff.

I should clear out. But I actually like the old stuff. The old stuff had soul. Maybe that's why they play tricks if you try to get rid of them.

Civil rights group says Oracles, Tapads and Experians get let off for wanton info-sucking

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Re: And their response?

Not quite. Your personal information is your data, not theirs.

I believe DPA considers them to have legitimate reason for collecting your data. Presumably it should be possible to ask them to delete all your data, however that would most likely make it somewhat difficult to obtain credit (or many services that may either do credit checks or effectively offer credit if you pay monthly).

I don't think they can necessarily do whatever they like with it either without risking falling foul of GDPR.

With all that said, I think they hoard way too much data that can be abused (or lost...) and welcome probing into their practices.

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

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Re: "secure" boot is *EVIL* 4 Chronos

Intersting link there.

But once again no mention of price without a frustration-inducing hunt.

Like clicking the "Buy" button to find out the price?

More frustrating was trying to find the resolution of either the 13.3" or 15" screen as the specs declined to mention it. Finding some reviews enlightened about the missing specifications, and were not necessarily glowing in terms of hardware itself. I love the idea, but the hardware does not appear to live up to the price tag. Shame.

Oracle 'net-watcher agrees, China Telecom is a repeat offender for misdirecting traffic

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Re: low priority traffic?


32 hops, 98% packet loss and 280ms later arriving at the destination.

Ok, that is a pretty funky route. Talk about taking the long way around.

Smartphone industry is in 'recession'! Could it be possible we have *gasp* reached 'peak tech'?

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Take note Samsung...

Samsung clinging on to first place with 20 per cent of the market globally – but declining, with its relative shipments falling 13.3 per cent year-on-year. Huawei and Xiaomi are growing faster than their rivals, with 14.4 per cent (2nd) and 9.2 per cent (4th) of the global market share.

Market seems to be quite clear that pricing your phone at nearly a grand, stuffing it full of bloatware and forcing some ridiculous assistant on people is not the way to go.

If only more phones came with wireless charging. Yes I know some people consider it pointless, but I prefer it to fiddling with the cable not to mention usb sockets in phones are not the most robust.

Roscosmos: An assembly error doomed our Soyuz, but we promise it won't happen again

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Re: I can't get the sensor to fit

I forget which company built that carb, but that wasn't the only quality problem with the car.

I seem to recall GM using Rochester carbs a lot. Of course many people replaced them with Holleys.

Icahn't let you do this: Stock botherer fires off sueball to scupper Dell's 'coercive' deal

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Re: Icahn for Fraud

His MO is to get enough stock to dictate the destruction of the company in such away he makes profit but everyone else including employees get shafted.

It sure is. He is driven by insatiable greed and anything else is just collateral damage.

That period, Icahn's announcement said, "is critical to DVMT stockholders because the company and its advisors have been soliciting votes, and DVMT stockholders have a right to know whether, and to what extent, the Board is aware of, and even planned, some of the apparently coercive tactics being employed by the company and its advisors".

Coercive? Pot. Kettle.

Oh and well done El Reg to drop the "activist investor" and just call him what he is, a corporate raider.

Bomb squad descends on suspicious package to find something much more dangerous – a Journey cassette

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Re: Harmless

Not any cars made this century. I'd be surprised to even see a CD player in anything made in the last couple of years.

My current car, and pretty much all previous ones (at least ones that still had original factory installed audio) have all been equipped with radio/cassette.And in some cases also with cd-changer. Even with factory sat-nav and tv (analogue). Now if I could only find any of the old cassettes I used to have, but some things as best forgotten I think. Yes, current and several previous have been made this century.

BlackBerry KEY2 LE: The first budget Android QWERTY for years

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Re: Close but no cigar

See HTC Touch Pro (2008) - slider horizontal QWERTY with full size screen.

I just want a modern phone in this form-factor.

I'm hoping HMD Global will, in their stream of remaking Nokia's old models, get around to making the Communicator.

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It's made for the home! The office! On fruits!

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Re: Worthless Marketing hypeHypeHYPE

We'll have REAL 5G in two years, MAYBE. Meanwhile, bull excrement. The first tasty stool will be served up by Verizon.

Doesn't stop them appearing to bet everything on it. I suppose the voluntary redundancies and booting large portion of their IT to outsourcing will help fund it.

Our brave El Reg vulture sat through four days of Oracle OpenWorld to write this cracking summary just for you

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Re: Just wondering

And yeah, I know a few people who work with Oracle stuff - zero of them like it, their licensing, or their support...

They have support?

Oh. You mean where you pay them lot of money, submit SRs, know more than the drones, and find out the solution before "support" comes back with any answers. Some suggestions from their "support" would have wiped out production databases.

Most useful part of the support is the MOS archive. Also, they do have some people with a clue, but getting to them can be a challenge.

We asked 100 people to name a backdoored router. You said 'EE's 4GEE HH70'. Our survey says... Top answer!

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Re: Virgin Media routers

They do. They also require login on that page to change anything. In theory, depending how buggy the code is. Without password all you see is various status pages.

Default IP address != default password

Sadly SH3 is JS hell, the previous ones at least had status pages that were easily readable with curl to build some automatic monitoring and statistics collection.

British Airways: If you're feeling left out of our 380,000 passenger hack, then you may be one of another 185,000 victims

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Re: Incompetent all round

I knew their website was crappily coded, not working properly on some browsers, but to use 3P JS code on a website that collects payment details is verging on criminal negligence.

Fixed that for you.

Page collecting payment information should have no need for any script. Just collect the information on the form and submit the information.

As an added bonus it might work better too.

Brace yourself, Britain: Health minister shares 'vision' for NHS 'tech revolution'

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Re: We do know some things for sure...

7) Highly personal medical data will be sold off

8) It won't be secure and medical data will leak

Virgin Media? More like Virgin Meltdown: Brit broadband ISP falls over amid power drama

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Re: I miss working at NTL back in 2000

You don't remember the "transparent proxies" that used to fail all the time?

Isn't old age is wonderful! It allows you to forget things. I'd completely forgotten about those.

Yes, the proxies were bad, but affected only small amount of what I was doing online. And as you said were easy to work around.

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Re: I miss working at NTL back in 2000

I have to disagree with you on that. Back in those days NTL's early Cable Modem service in Cambs was rock solid. I don't recall a single outage all the time I lived there.

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If your internet connection is important to you, you should have a backup circuit.

Absolutely. Which is exactly why I have crappy DSL backup in case VM plays up. Which is not that often, but when it does it tends to be a while or at best intermittent for quite some time.

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Status page

Their status page is rather worthless at best of times. I've lost count the number of times it claims everything is fine when there are faults (confirmed by calling their customer "service") in the area.

Samsung’s flexible phone: Expect an expensive, half-bendy clamshell

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What I really want is a Fallout Pip Boy strapped to my arm

Not the "Global" from EFC then?

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"Clamshell phones have all but died out"

Clamshell phones have all but died out, which suggests Samsung has a big market job persuading the public that the benefit of the form factor outweighs the inconvenience of unfolding it.

That depends on the market. I did fairly recently, after getting fed up with "feature" phone pocket dialing despite being allegedly locked, look if there were any clamshell phones (other than some awful Doro or Binatone) available. Seems like the answer is yes ...if you're in Asia. Accordingly the answer is "no" if you're in EU. And yes some were made by Samsung. So perhaps not much persuasion will be required.

Samsung: Swanky hardware alone won't save a phone maker

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Re: Make anything more than a plain vanilla Android completely optional

I just wish that a European manufacturer came back into the mobile market.. Come back Nokia...

Nokia has (well yes, they're made by HMD) range of Andoird phones with plain vanilla Android. Nokia 8 seems to be now available for around 260 quid, which seems very good value.

Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works

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Re: "I’m an engineer, I work in IT..."

I would expect an engineer working in IT to understand the difference between unplanned and planned maintenance.

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To be fair, they are at least doing maintenance and attempting to improve the system and security that they are providing the public...

Given it was unplanned maintenance it sound more like something went wrong and they were trying to fix it rather than improving anything. Looks like they may have broken something else while trying to fix the original issue.

PINs and needled: Experian site blabbed codes to unlock credit accounts for fraudsters

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Re: The email address was not necessarily the one associated with the account ?

Also, Experian don't necessarily have your e-mail address, they just collect details about you while you go about your life hence the difficulty of proving that you're you to them.

Considering this is about unlocking accounts that people have frozen with a pin, I would think it is reasonable to expect Experian in this situation to have email address and other information relating to that account for the people to be able to manage their account.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave me tea... pigs-in-blankets-flavoured tea

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Re: Christmas is essentially Page 71 of the Brand New Monty Python Bok

...then it should be legal to find the fucker in charge of the music & strangle them to death with their own ear canals.

That. Conjured up some bizarre imagery. Thanks for the laugh!

It's October 2018, and Microsoft Exchange can be pwned by a plucky eight-year-old... bug

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For Digital Editions, the update will patch nine CVE-listed vulnerabilities that could allow remote code execution. The Adobe Experience Manager update addresses five cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, while an update for Framemaker includes fixes for a single privilege escalation flaw.

What is is with everyone insisting in some "experience". In my, ahem, experience any software with experience in their name has been total and utter crap. I don't want a bloody experience, I just want stuff that simply works.

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

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Re: bleh...

commit confirm <minutes-default-10>

Cisco box config always feels so antiquated compared to Junper.

I used Cisco kit for years before ending hands-on on any Juniper kit so perhaps bit more comfortable with it and quirks of IOS. Having said that, I use both and I'd say they both have their pros and cons.

Juniper may have the edge in more value for money if you look at what you need to pay for the kit to get the throughput you want.

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Re: bleh...

On a Cisco router (note: I haven't logged into a Cisco CLI in over a decade, so beware of fading memory and outdated knowledge):

#rel in 5

Yes. Its funny how quick one learns that one, especially if it involves driving down to Telehouse with a laptop to fix an ACL on a router that didn't have remote console at the time.

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Re: 128K of ISDN

I raise you X.25.

Umm, with apologies to anyone who had to wrestle with HSSI and SunLink.

Gemini goes back to the '90s with Agenda, Data and mulls next steps

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Do design rights expire? http://oldcomputers.net/zeos-ppc.html

I had HP-95LX (and HP-110 which wasn't exactly pocketable, but was handy as a terminal plus it had HP-IL) which was nice. Nowhere as good as Psion 3 and 5 though. I have fond memories of dialing up with Psion using Nokia phone as a modem via IR to log in to some boxen at work.

I was very tempted by the Gemini and nearly backed it. I'm glad backers have actually gotten the kit. I am also glad I didn't back it as it sounds like it would've fallen short of my expectations.

Facebook's new always-listening home appliance kit Portal doesn't do Facebook

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Re: I'm still amazed

More appropraitely may be a short story (might be by Asimov) I once read based around a murder investigation in the future where everyone communicates via video screens most of the time...

It has been a long time since I read Asimov's Robot series (with Elijah Baley and R Daneel Olivaw), but that story sounds like The Naked Sun.

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

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Re: .cobol

Probably designed by the same person who designed the crontab app then, with the command line options -e to edit and -r to remove immediately without confirmation. Misstype at your peril...

Using crontab -e is asking for trouble even without mistypes. I've see too many corrupted or truncated crontabs after someone has edited them with crontab -e. crontab -l > crontab.txt;vi crontab.txt;crontab crontab.txt is much better way.

You mean not everyone has crontab entry that backs up crontab at least daily?


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