* Posts by Michael Hoffmann

351 posts • joined 12 Jul 2007


Falcon 9 gets its feet wet as SpaceX notch up two more launch successes

Michael Hoffmann


Coffee all over my screen. And now I have to go watch the lego version again.

Amazon tries to ruin infosec world's fastest-growing cottage industry (finding data-spaffing S3 storage buckets)

Michael Hoffmann

Re: You call them "policies" I call they default settings.

It *is* default!

However, if you are delegating control over a bucket within an account, you end up with some herp-derp for whom "IAM 101" might as well have been in Minoan Linear A who, after 2 failed attempts at secure access, just sets public on their bucket.

This is a ... I believe in the UK the favourite term is now "backstop"?

Premiere Pro bug ate my videos! Bloke sues Adobe after greedy 'clean cache' wipes files

Michael Hoffmann

Premiere Pro bug ate my video files...

... works with that Buggles song - and now I can't get it out of my head!

Thanks, El Reg! :(

30 spies dead after Iran cracked CIA comms network with, er, Google search – new claim

Michael Hoffmann

Quote: "This, Yahoo! says (citing agency officials), culminated in a 2012 incident in China where 30 agents working for the US were caught and executed.

The CIA does appear to have lucked out when it comes to Russia. The Intelligence Agency ring fences its Russian activities and the report states that intel chiefs were quick to harden up its Russian communications channel at the first sign of trouble."


Because for the CIA the Cold War never ended and there is still a Soviet Union bugaboo - instead of China. But hey, they already own all manufacturing, the tech bigwigs catch a cold when China sneezes, so I guess they recognised that that horse has bolted.

London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

Michael Hoffmann

Is the apt saying here...

... "don't shit in your bed"?

FYI: Faking court orders to take down Google reviews is super illegal

Michael Hoffmann

How was he found out?

I'm curious: did Google routinely check back with the supposed judge or court and they said "we have no record of this"?

Atlassian: Look at our ginormous Jira revenues!

Michael Hoffmann

Could be great

I deal with this stuff every day and while I'm not quite in the "hot garbage" camp, Atlassian software is like "there's some good stuff screaming to be let out".

The problem seems to be that it all should be torn down and rewritten, instead they just add yet more layers of enterprisy Java/Tomcat/Catalina.

Their QA is absolutely atrocious, I've had to deal with two showstopping regression bugs between *minor* version upgrades just in the last 2 weeks. Rollback without also rolling back the home directory and database is largely a lie (the supposed ability to do so is documented as "should work, no worries").

Functionality that used to be or should be built-in is increasingly outsourced to the marketplace - where you pay extra to third party vendors or Atlassian.

In 2018 you still can't execute fully unattended automated installation ab initio. The convolutions I - and others on the Atlassian forums - have had to do to get around this (especially for cloud deployments of the server products) are just frightening. Sometimes I look at my Cloudformation templates and weep.

Bugs and badly design configuration makes encryption-in-transit and at-rest a nightmare to set up. Another "forget about automating this".


OK, so maybe it *is* hot garbage.

Can't put my finger quite on it, but the downward trend seemed to really start - and accelerate - when they went public.

There is one exception: I love Bamboo! It kicks Jenkins' balls, it kicks CodeBuilt/Deploy/Pipeline to the curb. I've evaluated the lot like 3 times in the last year (there's a lot of pressure to go Jenkins) and every time I've come up with "out of my cold dead fingers".

SAP bug beatdowns, Apple gets nasty with Mac repairs, Struts woe, and more from infosec

Michael Hoffmann
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Re: Wonder what Louis Rossmann thinks about Apple's dick move

*sigh* my dream spec Athena comes in at AUD4K. Still less than a similarly configured Dell though - and you can't even *get* a Macbook with similar specs.

It looks like they don't deliver o/s or am I DST-change-addled and blind?

EDIT: alas, indeed:

Entroware currently ships to the following territories using DPD:

United Kingdom (Shipment service: next working day for UK mainland)

Republic of Ireland





On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

Michael Hoffmann

He's not the messiah...

... was I the only one who read this with the choir from the Life of Brian opening scene in their head?

It's over 9,000! Boffin-baffling microquasar has power that makes the LHC look like a kid's toy

Michael Hoffmann

Poor Alderaan

... there it went boom!

Microsoft's elderly .NET Framework shakes stick at whippersnapper Core while Visual Studio drops another preview

Michael Hoffmann
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Wish I could disagree - I mean, you'd expect that with increase in features and capabilities comes a cost in increased resource usage.

But man, VS just has crossed that line into ginormous bloat, with much of it getting in the way.

I look at my daily work with IDEs and find that what used to be all VS is now VSCode or Jetbrains (who wisely make you use a different more stripped down IDE for each language/framework even if they're based on the same underlying "engine" as opposed to one massive Swiss Army knife from hell).

I used to maintain my Jetbrains sub for access to Resharper and a little bit of the IDEs. That has now pretty much flipped and it's all about being able to jump between PyCharm, CLion, Ryder and Webstorm. Horses for courses.

New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Mission Creep

You'd be amazed: onward from Auckland to Christchurch, get your gear and south you go in a luxurious C-17 or C-130 (I did it in an ancient C-141).

Fortnite 'fesses up: New female character's jiggly bits 'unintended' and 'embarrassing'

Michael Hoffmann

Meanwhile in World of Warcraft...

... the female night elf has been doing a jiggle-bounce animation in idle mode every 30 seconds since 2004.

(and has a dance that certain people still get up in arms for, even though it's directly based on that of a French singer, said French apparently far more laissez faire about such things).

What's Big and Blue – and makes its veteran staff sue? Yep, it's IBM

Michael Hoffmann
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If 1978 is now baby boomer...

... then I'm now part of the Greatest Generation! Brilliant!

Florence and the Machines: Data centers brace as hurricane smashes into US coast

Michael Hoffmann


Whoever came up with that title at El Reg: I will find you, I will capture you - and I will make you listen to Shake It Out non-stop until blood comes out of your ears at every "oooh-wooo-oooh".

As porn site pounds hard on piracy laws, Cox pulls out prematurely

Michael Hoffmann
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Sometimes the subtitles just write themselves

Someone at El Reg must have wept tears of joy when given this task.

Whoa, AWS, don't slip off your cloudy perch. Google and Microsoft are coming up to help

Michael Hoffmann


I can see Alibaba moving into the upper right quadrant by sheer size once it becomes quasi-mandated within China and they even start pushing the other 3 out of the country.

But would any Western organisation seriously consider using Alibaba? Whatever you may think of Google "Do no evil", AWS "Steamrollers R Us" and Microsoft "We CAN change our spots, honestly, meow!", shoving your data into the PRC just seems a step too risky. Regions outside of China notwithstanding.

That said, how much do you trust the US-based Big 3?

NSA or PLA... decisions, decisions...

Microsoft Visual Studio Code replumbed for better Python taming

Michael Hoffmann

Re: 'IntelliSense autocomplete system'

I have used it extensively in Visual Studio for C## and Python and it works well. The again, for all I know it's things like ReSharper (which you mentioned/linked) which makes it actually usable? I've not run without for so long, I'd probably be paralysed without it.

That's not a good thing, it just occurred to me... I should mend my ways.

Michael Hoffmann

To enable it?

... set an Enable flag to 'false':

"python.jediEnabled": false

Obvious! Probably just the cold meds that I don't "get it".

Who's leaving Amazon S3 buckets open online now? Cybercrooks, US election autodialers

Michael Hoffmann


I still don't get it. Never will. You have to actively make buckets public, you will get spammed and nagged if you do so.

The biggest danger of the Cloud is the morons who can't understand how to set up a bucket policy. :(

US Supreme Court blocks internet's escape from state sales taxes

Michael Hoffmann


So, does that mean us anti-podeans get Amazon US back, because they now have to figure out how to collect state sales tax anyway, so might as well add our GST as just another "state tax" for the effective 51st state?

Yeah, right.......

Silk road adviser caught, Kaspersky sues Dutch paper, and Vietnam's tech clampdown

Michael Hoffmann


Am I missing something about all these S3 fiascos?

Just how do you DO that? You have to actively make a bucket or object public, S3 will bitch at you "are you certain?" and then it constantly has a reminder/warning "blabla you have public buckets/objects, this is not secure, you may want to reconsider blabla".

That's in the console obviously, but frankly I have the nagging suspicion that those who commit these blunders would be out of their depth using CLI/SDK anyway.

So, just how incompetent are your cloud monkeys that this happens all the time? Is that a rhetorical question?

Yes, your static website has to be public, but does anybody use that for anything but error failover with a few HTML pages?

Bucket policies, IAM policies... there's bloody wizards that do hand-holding for the CLI/JSON impaired!

Just don't get it.

'Incomprehensible failure' – Canada's $1bn Phoenix payroll IT fiasco torched by auditors

Michael Hoffmann


What heads actually rolled amongst those to blame?

Any? Even a single one?

No root for you, or how to stop worrying and love AWS China

Michael Hoffmann

Self-baked AMIs?

I'm curious as to how they would do that. It's a 5 line user-data script to add a custom account and add that one to sudoers - and user-data is run as root.

Not that I'd be surprised to hear what they do to prevent that - can't even bake your own AMIs, they filter all user-data, *prohibit* user data (or cfn-init/cloud-init)? I'd love to see their IAM profiles :P

How that is to ever lead to a culture of innovation (as opposed to copy-catting) is beyond me. But as long as our corporate overlords are happy to have our daily tat produced by cheap and oppressed quasi-slave labour to sell it at max profit here, I suppose the system works.

Git push origin undo-my-last-disaster

Michael Hoffmann

Aaaaand, one bill for a new keyboard and monitor cleaning coming your way.

I am so stealing that term!

to you -------------------------------------->

Scratch Earth-killer asteroid off your list of existential threats

Michael Hoffmann
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Re: All very well...

Put a young Asian girl and a washed up cop on it and re-direct it to Venus?

Michael Hoffmann

n-body problem?

Isn't this the n-body problem from hell and therefore unpredictable? Tens of thousand of these rocks floating about nudging each other around, how would they calculate which one may get the "wrong" nudge?

This isn't Snooker.

The Register Opera Company presents: The Pirates of Penzance, Sysadmin edition

Michael Hoffmann
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I do have a baritone voice (though, until I get rid of this lingering cold, more a basso) and a friend who is an opera soprano. I wonder... with some coaching by her... and the appropriate "uniform" (short sleeve shirt with pocket protector and a tie, natch)...

Of course, I will now be humming this for the next month or so.

No Falcon Way: NASA to stick with SLS, SpaceX more like space ex

Michael Hoffmann

See also:

Senate Launch System; pork-barreling; mid-term elections; "do as we say (private enterprise is always best), not as we do (feeding off the government troughs)"

Rogue IT admin goes off the rails, shuts down Canadian train switches

Michael Hoffmann

Was I the only one...

... who thought "switches as in rail switches"?

As in "this IoT thing is getting ridiculous, now the rails are network connected" and then "if someone can muck with those, people can get killed".

nbn™ scoreboard: our new way to look at Australia's national broadband network

Michael Hoffmann

Effing Nimbys...

They could add several 10s of thousands in our regional area if 3 or 4 nimbys weren't up in arms about the FW towers. The usual suspects, from "ruin my view" (of dry brushland?) to "gives me brain cancer".

Apple tells GitHub to fork off: iGiant steps outside DMCA law in quest to halt iBoot leaks

Michael Hoffmann

Them horses....

... are just about a mere dust cloud on the horizon.

Good idea to shut those stable doors now, Apple!

What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids

Michael Hoffmann

Won't these work?


Michael Hoffmann

Re: Asteroid belt?

Da koyo de im bosmang gut, sasa!

(I think that's correct...)

Intel alerted Chinese cloud giants 'before US govt' about CPU bugs

Michael Hoffmann

Bread. Side. Buttered.

South Australia bins emergency alert app, contract

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Ripe for ridicule

And for rest of critical fire season. What good is that going to do? Some (many?) people who don't watch these sorts of news and announcements will have no idea their app is less than useless.

Michael Hoffmann

SA app written in Vic...

... however I wonder who wrote the app for VicEmergency? Seeing as that one is quite good and up to date.

Several times during last weekend's heatwave my phone went off with a warning before the icon showed up on the website of CFA farcebook/twitter (and yes, during those extreme fire risk days, you have every resource under sun on auto-refresh).

Now that's sticker shock: Sticky labels make image-recog AI go bananas for toasters

Michael Hoffmann

Still no laughing matter

Seeing as how I expect "AI" and "ML" to be pushed out regardless by our masters and overlords, no matter how faulty and erroneous it is, I am always reminded of that scene in "Brazil", where a smooshed fly causes a name to be mis-identified and the wrong bloke gets arrested and tortured to death.

Microsoft asks devs for quantum leap of faith

Michael Hoffmann

I ran the code while my cat was snoozing under the monitor and now I can't tell if he's alive or dead.

<ba ching boom>

Like Uber, for socialism: Chinese leader calls for more use of AI, big data and sharing economy

Michael Hoffmann

Bullshit bingo

If you insert some corporations name in place of "China" you would easily win bullshit bingo during the conference. What's "bingo!" in Mandarin?

Another sociopathic ruler/CEO wanting to square the circle: progress, advance and be top cocky of the yard, while keeping ultimate control over information flow, the peons - and who gets the riches. Was it Robert A. Wilson who wrote "true communication is only possible among equals"?

Somewhere the ghost of Mao is laughing and Deng Xiao Ping is spinning in his grave.

Pretend Python packages prey on poor typing

Michael Hoffmann

There but for the grace of god...

Ugh, I mistype a fair bit before my first or after my fourth mug of caffeine. I presume these are just the ones they fund (sic!)?

Unless the spoofers are so thorough they also post docs, a more reliable method would be to grab a full list from reathedocs or such and correlate it? What fun!

China orders immediate shuttering of Bitcoin exchanges

Michael Hoffmann

Already back up?

A glance at Coindesk (which came up first on google) says it's already back up by over 15% in the last 24 hours. Didn't check any of the others, I confess I'm quite cryptocurrency ignorant. Maybe somebody more knowledgable can comment on "what it all means".

Linus Torvalds' lifestyle tips for hackers: Be like me, work in a bathrobe, no showers before noon

Michael Hoffmann

Last time I tried to work in a bathrobe...

... they wouldn't even let me on the train to the office! <ba-ching-boom>

As for showering: if I don't get my morning coffee and shower I'm not even functional. Never mind smell.

Blessed be working for a company that has a very generous WFH policy. I swear my boss is in the office less than I am! But even then it's stumble to the coffee maker, curse for the millionth time that you need coffee to be conscious enough to make coffee, zombie-walk to the bathroom for the 3 S's. Go on Mr Hyde, come out Dr Jekyll.

You could say I am NOT a morning person.

Atlassian kills God, rebrands as a mountain, a structurally unsound 'A' or a high five

Michael Hoffmann


The forehead above the face that is being hit by a palm?

Following flat financials, Telstra pins hopes on NBN renegotiation

Michael Hoffmann

Re: A wireless future?

Not sure why someone would downvote you: I'm presuming you're NOT saying it's a feasible alternative to the NBN due to its superiority, but because it may be the only viable alternative, when the only other choice is NBN's increasingly lazy default of dumping you on Skymuster if they can't otherwise be bothered.

That said, Optus has a good deal if you can get it. For many of us country yokels it's Telstra's eye-wateringly expensive 4GX, at $150/month for 50(+30)GB/month. SMB tax write off, but still. When your NBN has been pushed out to dates unknown and then you find out they just cancelled the FW tower, your options are slim, with otherwise a piece of rotting copper in the ground.

hiQ prevails / LinkedIn must allow scraping / Of your page info

Michael Hoffmann

Putrid business model?

Never mind the scrape-or-do-not-scrape, is this the company that is making money off selling employers whether their minions are using LinkedIn for job hunting and networking? What the hell else do people seriously use LI for? It sure as hell isn't those endless "motivational updates" by sales and marketing droids. If so, that putrid mob needs to be burned with fire!

Roland McGrath steps down as glibc maintainer after 30 years

Michael Hoffmann

Roman emperor Diocletian?

Google Chrome's HTTPS ban-hammer drops on WoSign, StartCom in two months

Michael Hoffmann

Alas, StartCom

In the days before Let's Encrypt StartCom was a good way to get a basic and free SSL cert.

Now, they're part of my "remove trust" process in my browsers.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Be careful what you wish for

What hogwash!

The chances of anything coming from Mars, are a million to one, I say!

Plutus Payroll clients given hope pension payments will land

Michael Hoffmann
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Simon, the job you are doing, reporting on this and keeping it in the limelight at least here among techs is beyond praiseworthy. It seems the whole story has already faded out of the MSM. Not enough sex, drugs and violence for them, I suppose. (EDIT: looks like The Age now has it in the top section).


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