* Posts by Michael Hoffmann

369 posts • joined 12 Jul 2007


Trust the public cloud Big Three to make non-volatile storage volatile

Michael Hoffmann
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Re: I NEVER get tired of saying this

Very well, thanks for asking!

Careful and steady as she goes.

Not clear about the purpose of asking in the context of this article specifically, however.

It's OK, everyone – Congress's smart-cookie Republicans have the answer to America's net neutrality quandary

Michael Hoffmann
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I tip my hat to thee

You know, some days I think, it could be fun for a cynical old bastard like me to write for The Register. I'd fit right in.

Then I read an article like this, behold a True High Priest Of Saint Cynic - and recognise that I just couldn't cut the mustard! I am but a candle against a blue giant star.

Tell NASA to grab the margarita mix – a sextillion-kg salty ring found floating in space

Michael Hoffmann

New El Reg unit

Can we use this as unit of recommended daily Sodium allowance?

As in “this bag of crisps is 34 pico-orionscris of the daily allowance” (pronounced oh-rye-ON-screes)

Furious Apple revokes Facebook's enty app cert after Zuck's crew abused it to slurp private data

Michael Hoffmann

Re: They literally have a scandal every week

It's way too early in the morning and it's been decades since my high school stochastics classes, but uhm... yes, it does follow:

Given a large enough sample set with normal distribution (which such a population would be) you indeed get the "50% of a group are below average".

Small sample sets, such as your example - and sadly just about everything you read in the MSM about "averages" - you're of course absolutely correct.

Now, we can discuss whether the set of Facebook users follows a normal distribution, as opposed to already being warped towards the ... gullible spectrum of the population... that's a whole different question!

Tech sector meekly waves arms in another bid to get Oz to amend its crypto-busting laws

Michael Hoffmann


... the testing ground for non-GDPR supposedly Western liberal democracies to see how far they can push while still saying "at least we're not Russia or China".

Even if one day you can't even fit a sheet of toilet paper in the gap.

I still don't understand what this will achieve even IF they force tech companies to use broken encryption. Anybody with half a brain cell will simply run their own unbroken crypto on top of whatever broken layer sits underneath. Is the end game that in that case they wave iron rods around while glancing meaningfully at my knee caps until I give in and hand them my own keys?

Fake broadband ISP support scammers accidentally cough up IP address to Deadpool in card phish gone wrong

Michael Hoffmann


Where was the IP coming from? Did that help at all or was it TORed or spoofed or somewhere in Lower Tajikistan - where even knowing doesn't mean you'll ever get at anybody.

Would have been nice to at least add that bit to the story.

Looming EU copyright rules – tackling Google news article scraping, installing upload filters – under fire from all sides

Michael Hoffmann

Author's problems with copyleft?

Could someone explain the author's issues with proponents of copyleft?

Calling them lunatics and loons seems harsh, what am I missing? Is that deserved? Are we talking "information just wants to be free" neck-bearded fundamentalists here? Or did one of them once piss in the author's cereal?

Holy crappuccino. There's a latte trouble brewing... Bio-boffins reckon 60%+ of coffee species may be doomed

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Umm... nope.

What also confuses me is that coffee is a hot climate crop. Just look up "coffee belt".

Even if the area covering the current (already hot and tropical) coffee belt gets TOO hot, then won't that merely shift the crop areas further into higher latitudes?

This isn't academical: it's already happening with grapes for various wines: areas that weren't suitable at all can suddenly grow cold-climate grapes such as Riesling or Pinot (*). Areas that had grown those grapes are becoming viable for Cabernet and Shiraz. I'm speaking from what is happening in a 200km radius in our own wine growing regions, seeing the changes and speaking to growers.

(*) which isn't the first time. Once upon a time during the minor warming period in the dark ages, England grew some acceptable varietals for a short time. Source: Oxford Wine Dictionary

Michael Hoffmann

Great solution to overpopulation!

Half the coffee addicts in the world will commit suicide within 48 hours of caffeine withdrawal.

The other half will go on withdrawal induced killing sprees and THEN commit suicide.

I predict that the remaining population levels will be equal to around 1850.

Oh snap: AWS has only gone and brought out its own Backup

Michael Hoffmann

As usual...

The one thing that really gets my knickers in a twist:

Big announcement followed by "not yet available in your region".

US prosecutors: Hey, you know how we said 'net gambling was OK? LMAO, we were wrong

Michael Hoffmann
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Loot boxes next?

EA and Activision must be quaking in their greedy little corporate boots.

Two out of five Silicon Valley techies complain Trump's H-1B crackdown has hit 'em hard

Michael Hoffmann
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Re: Great news

Can't believe I'm agreeing with Trump, but the abuse of H1-B (and 457s in Australia) had gotten ridiculous.

Disclaimer: I myself had benefited from the H1-B program back in the 90s. Back then it still worked as intended: the hoops my employer and I had to jump through to prove that I was required and could not be found on the local market (which was true back then) was mind-boggling. Especially also proving that I indeed made greater or equal than other employees due to my skillset. I witnessed the change first hand as it became ludicrously easy to ship low-paid "IT experts" in by the bucket load. Yes, I know what they made. Yes, they replaces US workers. Yes, I witnessed coworkers or friends/family losing their jobs after training their replacements. No, I no longer live in the US, thank goodness.

Typical! You wait ages for a fast radio burst from outer space, and suddenly 13 show up

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Parkes!

One of my favourite movies. A true gem!

For you ->

Michael Hoffmann

And the MSM is already spouting off about aliens.

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

Michael Hoffmann

Much-adored Linux toolkit...

That headline is just adding insult to injury!

Forget 2019's tech biz takeovers, here's the mega-merger everyone's talking about: Milky Way and LMC, coming soon

Michael Hoffmann

Future of Earth...

What descendants would that be? By the time the LMC arrived there already won't be a habitable Earth any longer.

Wikpedia sayeth:

"The luminosity of the Sun will steadily increase, resulting in a rise in the solar radiation reaching the Earth. This will result in a higher rate of weathering of silicate minerals, which will cause a decrease in the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In about 600 million years from now, the level of carbon dioxide will fall below the level needed to sustain C3 carbon fixation photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C4 carbon fixation method, allowing them to persist at carbon dioxide concentrations as low as 10 parts per million. However, the long-term trend is for plant life to die off altogether. The extinction of plants will be the demise of almost all animal life, since plants are the base of the food chain on Earth.

In about one billion years, the solar luminosity will be 10% higher than at present. This will cause the atmosphere to become a "moist greenhouse", resulting in a runaway evaporation of the oceans. As a likely consequence, plate tectonics will come to an end, and with them the entire carbon cycle.[13] Following this event, in about 2–3 billion years, the planet's magnetic dynamo may cease, causing the magnetosphere to decay and leading to an accelerated loss of volatiles from the outer atmosphere."

Oz cops investigating screams of 'why don't you die?' find bloke in battle with spider

Michael Hoffmann

Re: May well you mock...


Missus and I were working outside on the horse arena yesterday.

Fat spider runs over her hands while holding a sleeper board.

"Ugh, that's an ugly spider.... oh shit, that's a redback!"

Gloves! Thick tradie's gloves always and everywhere! After you've twisted and crunched them severely every time before putting them on. Because redbacks love hiding *inside* gloves when given a chance.

Why doesn't El Reg have an Australia-with-overlaid-skull-and-crossbones icon yet?

Millennium Buggery: When things that shouldn't be shut down, shut down

Michael Hoffmann

Wrong headline?

"Millenium buggery"?

Don't you mean "buggrit millenium (hand and shrimp)"?

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!


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