* Posts by David Roberts

983 posts • joined 25 Jan 2007

Page:

Burglary, robbery, kidnapping and a shoot-out over… a domain name?!

David Roberts
Silver badge
Unhappy

Murica

Apparently if you are a visiting Yoga teacher from Australia, reporting that an assault on another woman may be in progress is enough to get you shot by Police.

I can't off hand think of anyone less threatening than a female Yoga teacher.

1
0

Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

Broadband

Unless my memory fails me (which it often does) I think this used to describe a modulation technique where a single physical cable carried multiple signals at different frequencies.

However it was redefined by marketeers in terms of speed to avoid confusing people.

3
0
David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

Re: "weaved"

Useage: I weaved it cos i din like it

0
0

'Millions of IoT gizmos' wide open to hijackers after devs drop gSOAP

David Roberts
Silver badge

SOAP

I didn't read in the report that these versions of the SOAP libraries were used ONLY in IoT devices.

It would be good to have a list of all the software which relies on the libraries.

Granted that IoT is one of the areas least likely to patch. Given that the pricing does not seem to allow for ongoing software maintenance. Much like the Android mobile phone and tablet market, amongst others.

Disclosure: posting from a Sony Xperia Z tablet which still seems to be going strong but hasn't had an OS update for years.

It would be nice if people who want bug fixes and software upgrades could subscribe to a support agreement. Which should of course reflect the true cost of support. Then anyone whinging that their 10 year old OS isn't being patched for free would have one less leg to stand on.

0
0

Amazon may still get .amazon despite govt opposition – thanks to a classic ICANN cockup

David Roberts
Silver badge
FAIL

What is the point

Of having byelaws if there is no was to ensure that they are enforced?

The EPO is another shining example of this approach.

3
0

Let's harden Internet crypto so quantum computers can't crack it

David Roberts
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Public key?

Isn't one of the main features of a public key that it is globally visible and so can be authenticated by a trusted global resource such as a signed certificate?

This seems to be using asymetric key pairs but there is no mention of how each end authenticates the identity of the other.

Unless one half of the asymetric key pair is encrypted using non quantum existing technology?

0
1

We'll hit THAT 95% Sigfox coverage target using telly aerials, says WND-UK

David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: Soooo...

My initial thoughts.

However the base station has a Yagi allegedly covered by existing planning laws (thus allegedly avoiding the planning regulations for mobile phone base stations). Nothing about the consumer equipment which will be transmitting to the base station.

3
0
David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: Note that "95% coverage by population" Ionica

IIRC the business case for Ionica was based on a successful roll out in countries without an existing infrastructure.

Going up against an established Telco with a virtual monopoly turned out to be different.

This does sound hauntingly similar. South America for previous success?

3
0

UK government's war on e-cigs is over

David Roberts
Silver badge
Pint

Psychosomatic?

Just because an adverse reaction to clouds of vape is held to be psychsomatic that doesn't automatically make it "not a problem".

The general concensus seems to be that vaping is not proven to be biologically harmful. However there is a feeling that obtrusive vaping is socially unacceptable in some locations.

From the anecdotal evidence in this discussion it seems that a blanket ban on vaping in public areas such as pubs and restaurants is achieving the desired effect. Undetectable unobtrusive vaping still takes place but the cloud factories are not allowed.

Given that, it seems to be a pragmatic solution.

I am against anything which encourages anti-social people to extend their personal space by pumping out visible clouds of {whatever}. Purely for reasons of personal comfort. It won't kill you is not IMHO the main issue. It will take a long time to break the link in the human mind between all the evils of smoking tobacco and people {not really} smoking a tobacco substitute. It is a very difficult line to tread between a legal ban and effective social pressure.

Whatever the underlying evidence, I am much more comfortable if I am not aware of people vaping.

Drink beer, a legal high ->

Hang on, scientifically it is actually a depressant....

Edit: vaping does need to be regulated to ensure that the liquids remain safe. Just food, drink, drugs common sense.

2
0

Security robot falls into pond after failing to spot stairs or water

David Roberts
Silver badge

It doesn't say

How long the robot was missing in the pond before security staff noticed.

So quite some time, probably.

12
0

Brit neural net pioneer just revolutionised speech recognition all over again

David Roberts
Silver badge

Sounds similar to the way we work.

Context and hidden cues are important.

One fine example is Peter Kay who does part of his act telling you an alternative lyric to a song then lip syncing to the track. You hear the alternative lyric because your mind and eyes have been given misleading additional information.

Which leads me to conclude that a fine test for this kind of software would be the accurate transcription of pop song lyrics.

5
0

Three Microsoft Outlook patches unpatched, users left to DIY

David Roberts
Silver badge
Linux

Explanation point?

Bang! Shriek!!*

* this should probably be exclamation point.

0
0

Google unleashes 20m lab-created blood-thirsty freaks on a city. And this is a good thing, it says

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

Sexist approach?

Releasing infected males to mate with wild females...hang on.....cold shower....aaahhh....now where was I?

Oh, yes.

I assume that they decided that releasing infected females to waste the efforts of wild males...{sploosh.....damn that's cold.....aaahhh} would be less effective although ISTR that has been tried with other species.

-> hanging my coat up to keep it dry

4
0

Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

David Roberts
Silver badge
Linux

Re: praise?

For example "systemd actually sucks slightly less than some really bad bits of init".

HTHHND

27
0

Ashley Madison throws US$11.2m on the bed to mop up leak affair

David Roberts
Silver badge
Trollface

Confirming blackmail status?

No, no, no that wasn't me.

Somebody else used my name and email address.

I completely refute......

......

.....hang on, money you say?

Well, yes, where do I sign?

0
0

Burglary in mind? Easy, just pwn the home alarm

David Roberts
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

iSmart

As in "Ouch. That's gotta smart!"

12
0

Beware, sheep rustlers of the South West of England! Police drone spy unit gets to work

David Roberts
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Back in real life

I've seen a very sensible use of a drone by the emergency services.

Mind you, in Katooma, NSW, Australia.

There is a mahoosive stairway from the Echo Point viewing area down to the valley floor.

Someone was reported to be in trouble near the bottom.

They sent a drone down to check this out before commiting to sending someone down all those 800+ steps.

2
0

Luxembourg passes first EU space mining law. One can possess the Spice

David Roberts
Silver badge
Happy

Re: They need more than just this

Goldskins?

3
0

User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

David Roberts
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Nailed it in one

I think....

30
0

'Help! I'm stuck in this ATM,' writes poor bloke on a scribbled note

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

Classic

Man In The Middle situation.

21
0

U Vlad bro? Docker accidentally cuts off Ukraine

David Roberts
Silver badge
WTF?

Putting sanctions into context

Apparently (from the report) a lot of those hit just used a proxy to get round the block.

Bite, sanctions, bite..........

1
0

Don't panic, but your Bitcoins may just vanish into the ether next month

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

Ransomware?

Just SPAM everyone telling them you have made their Bitcoin disappear and demand a Western Union transfer to make them reappear.

Kind of reverse ferret.

19
0

European Parliament keen to throw news publishers a bone

David Roberts
Silver badge
WTF?

Only Google and Facebook?

So we can post e.g. Daily Mail links here free of charge?

Struggling to make sense of this.

Do you need permission to retweet a news story?

Or does this just apply if you are charging money to view the links?

2
1

It's July 2017 – and your expensive HoloLens can be pwned over Wi-Fi

David Roberts
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

What a big nose you've got!

Oh, wait.....

4
0

Russia, China vow to kill off VPNs, Tor browser

David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: Resist with crowdfunded RPNs...

You hit problems with rural areas and also the number of hops between source and destination.

Mesh network using radio or infra red are possible.

Local communities might network up but getting out of country is a totally different ball game.

4
0

Male escort says he gave up IT to do something more meaningful

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

IT people in chocolate....

.....oh, baby!!!

1
0

One-third of Brit IT projects on track to fail

David Roberts
Silver badge
Facepalm

In other news

Sky blue, water wet, ice cold........

I am more impressed that more are apparently succeeding than failing despite the woefully familiar list of reasons why projects struggle and often founder.

27
0

German e-gov protocol carries ancient vulns

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

We have ways of making you talk?

See above

3
0

Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

David Roberts
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

You thought Men In Black

Was fiction.

It was a documentary.

Hang on, somone at the door. I'll post this then come back and add the rest.

6
0

Ubuntu 'weaponised' to cure NHS of its addiction to Microsoft Windows

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

Magical thinking?

Ploughed my way through all this at last and it does seem to be 90% belief that Linux farts pixie dust and so the logistical problems that are stopping Windows version updates (known technology, established in house support) will just disappear as soon as Linux is offered.

Also a lot of "well, obviously they did it wrong" which doesn't really help much. That doesn't change the existing problem of trying to do it right.

I am old enough to forget most of the reasons that bespoke systems running various flavour of Unix died out and were replaced by generic Windows systems but I think the main one might have been that bespoke software ran on Windows on standard hardware which everyone knew and used.

At the time if you wanted to sell a Unix box you had to have all the specialist software ported by the supplier then demonstrated to the customer.

Or you could buy Windows and choose a package written in the USA (huge market so much better market place for software developers) and shop for a cheap hardware deal for PC compatibles.

Where are they now? HP, Data General, NCR, Honeywell, {mumble} and others?

Linux has changed that playing field a lot; you can now shop for commodity hardware and look for your favourite Linux distro but you still have to counter the enormous commercial driver to develop first (only) for Windows.

So moving from Windows to Linux is possible.

It may well have major long term benefits.

However people posting here with experience of working within the NHS seem to be mainly in the "never happen" camp and it is quite possible that they know whereof they speak.

The cost of change is huge, and people see Windows as familiar and low risk.

Things are bad enough already in the NHS. I don't expect there is a massive appetite for a major upheaval in IT.

Kudos to the people demonstrating that it can be done. Dedicated forward thinking enthusiasts. I wish them luck but I'm not going to be holding my breath.

Oh, and IT in general has changed a lot. Dedicated IT specialists are replaced by outsourced support on a different and much cheaper continent. Traditional in house skills are slipping away. Loved by bean counters though. Not the most encouraging environment for a brave new strategy.

6
1

Fresh cotton underpants fix series of mysterious mainframe crashes

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

Apocryphal tale

Of a Telex engineer tracking a problem who got into deep trouble for asking a young lady if she was wearing nylon underwear.

Could be urban legend, but as already posted, tact required.

7
0

'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

David Roberts
Silver badge
Facepalm

And your problem really is?

You supplier no longer wants to support the Centos version and toolset your legacy software runs on.

No problem. Just find another supplier and move to them. There isn't one? First tap of the clue stick.

No problem. Find a bare metal hosting company and set up and maintain your own platform with the OS and toolset you need/want. Too hard/expensive/time consuming? Second (harder) tap of the clue stick.

What is the cheapest and most practical option? Upgrade the software to run on a current platform? Oh, you just did that?

Then stop fucking moaning! The turtle moves!

1
2

Stack Clash flaws blow local root holes in loads of top Linux programs

David Roberts
Silver badge

So,

sudo su - is a bad thing?

Oops!

1
0

As you head off to space with Li-ion batts, don't forget to inject that liquefied gas into them

David Roberts
Silver badge

Lead researcher?

Not much information in the article but it reads as though a bright but unnamed student pushed a radical idea against some resistance and the boss gets to publish and form a company.

Hope the student has plenty of shares.

OTOH it could just be the way it was reported.

6
0

You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins

David Roberts
Silver badge

Identical or non-identical?

Makes a big difference.

3
0

Now you can 'roam like at home' within the EU, but what's the catch?

David Roberts
Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Still confusing?

It is looking as though anyone who travels within the EU still needs two SIMs.

One for your home country to roam at will in the rest of the EU, and one from any other EU country to call cross border at local rates when you are at home.

I assume the original aim was for all calls within the EU to be charged as national calls.

So for example if you flit between France and Belgium you will still need two SIMs, you just change which calls you make with which SIM.

ISTR that there are supposed to be measures which govern how long you can roam with a SIM to try and prevent this cost optimisation.

0
0

Don't all rush out at once, but there are a million devices ripe to be the next big botnet

David Roberts
Silver badge

Open ports?

Presumably the ones being counted all have open ports listening to the Internet?

Just wondering why.

Are these all surveillance camera systems set up for remote access? As others have said a list of devices would be helpful.

0
0

Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

David Roberts
Silver badge
Trollface

Not man in a pub

Ex fighter pilot told me so it must be true!

I'm not sure why you think fighter pilots are less likely to believe in alternative science. I suspect that they may be more superstitious than average.

37
0

Don't touch that mail! London uni fears '0-day' used to cram network with ransomware

David Roberts
Silver badge

Re: Fundamental problem in vulnerable OS protected by AV

Just checking, but isn't this a browser executing code via a URL embedded in an email?

So mail client not to blame, nor OS?

0
0

Labour says it will vote against DUP's proposed TV Licence reforms

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

Separate fee

Was shirley intended to wall off the funding from the whim of the current government on a day to day basis?

Thus giving a measure of visible impartiality?

Otherwise content is specified by a combination of government whim and advertising revenue.

There should be a source of development funding for new programmes which are adveturous and challenging. The BBC used to do this but less so these days.

I don't see that turning them into yet another channel funded by advertisers is going to preserve the last traces of independence.

2
1

Uber culture colonic cleanses CEO Kalanick

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

What they need

Is some well known reputable person from outside to lead them.

I hear Boris Johnson might have some free time coming up.

0
0

NHS U-turns on blanket IR35 tax crackdown

David Roberts
Silver badge
WTF?

Puzzled as usual

So the contractor is treated as employed and put on payroll.

This means that tax and NI are deducted at source including employers NI.

[I am assuming the following, but this is the puzzle.]

Contractor also gets holiday and sick pay and other benefits such as pension contributions.

In this case what is the benefit in using a company to handle the income?

Surely the sane option is to mothball the company and become an employee.

Thus moving from a charge on the current accouting year to a long term liability for all the overheads required to feed and water employees. Presumably this does not look good in the long term accounts.

In for 2 years and you are more difficult to sack, as well.

Head count goes up, long term liabilities go up, flexibility in staffing goes down.

Trying to push patients into the private sector where these constraints don't apply?

0
0

BT considers scrapping 'gold-plated' pensions in bid to plug £14bn deficit

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

20/20 hindsight

A feature of all actuaries and many commentards.

If I could have predicted the massive rise in house prices then I would have invested every penny I could scrape together in property. Oh, and I would have bought Apple and Microsoft shares in the 80s and held onto them and never sold even when the gains were huge.

A lot of the large companies, including BT, IBM and HP have been massively downsizing to get rid of expensive experienced staff and bring in cheap inexperienced staff via 3rd parties.

BT used to have 250k workers and now has less than 100k. That alone cuts the contributions by roughly 2.5 and also alters the ratio of those paying in to those taking out dramatically.

You can't sustain profits by cutting the work force and increased automation, and at the same time tell everyone that they must stay in full time employment for an extra 10 years. As others have pointed out, where are all these jobs going to come from?

At some point the whole edifice will implode. What then? Back to extended families living in very large houses and employing poor people to care for them and their aged relatives in return for food and shelter? Poor houses and alms houses? Attempts to cut the population by restricting the birth rate as they tried in China?

Bitching about pensions starts to seem trivial in comparison.

Oh, and outlaw exporting jobs to other countries and funding their economies. Keep them local. Or wait until the economy implodes and we are the 3rd world country with masses of cheap labour begging to be exploited.

0
0

Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice

David Roberts
Silver badge

See the printer?

So presumably visible (look it up) over WiFi.

I am assuming that the printer had the web interface enabled over WiFi and that there was no password set for WiFi access to the printer.

Guessing further (yes, wild speculation) there was another connection to the printer by Ethernet or USB which opened up the internal LAN to the printer and it was browsable from the printer web page. Or there were at least two WiFi networks one secured and the other hosted by the printer.

Otherwise it was just wide open WiFi and the printer was irrelevant.

6
0

Well this is awkward. As Microsoft was bragging about Office at Build, Office 365 went down

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

Triumph of the mediocre?

A vanilla generic cloud offering based out there somewhere is unlikely to match a well run local service.

On the other hand it is unlikely to go as spectacularly bad as a dreadfully run local service (looking at you UCL).

In time the level of service will be accepted and IT skills will wither on the vine.

Then prices will start to rise.

5
0

Australian Taxation Office named as party preventing IT contractors being paid

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

Re: @ Red Bren - 10,000 dollars?

I have a hazy memory of a charge out rate of £500 UKP per day back when consultancy rates were good.

Even at current exchange rates that probably breaks your limit.

Moral: bill every fortnight.

1
0

Gig economy tech giants are 'free riding' on the welfare state, say MPs

David Roberts
Silver badge
Windows

Time for a turnover limit on IR35?

Bogus self employment has been a target for decades where minimum wage slaves are forced to be "self employed" to save money for their "employers".

This has had an impact on those (a much smaller number) higher up the value chain, such as IT consultants and radiographers.

So it is probably time for a new set of guidelines for those above a certain billing point. This would allow different treatment for those earning enough to fund their own training, healthcare, holidays etc. and protect those who are paid so little they can't afford to be sick.

Difficult to pick a cutoff point - perhaps a multiple of the living wage?

Rough calculation (not minimum/living wage): £5 an hour for 8 hour day for 200 days a year gives you £8,000 a year. Three times that rounded up gives you £25k a year. Possibly a cut off point? If you are billing over £100k a year you probably don't need protection from modern day slavery.

8
1

SpaceX spin-out plans to put virtual machines in orbit

David Roberts
Silver badge
Go

Standard range of harware sensors?

I can't see an obvious business case for running standard compute workloads in space.

I can see benefits in running research programs on a standard hardware platform in orbit.

Cool for education if nothing else. No more one shot special builds and hitching a ride on a major launch. Just submit a software project for time sharing in orbit.

I do hope it gets off the ground if only for the additions to the "On Call" weekly war stories.

"You need a new disc drive installing? O.K. Where is the server? Can you repeat that, please?"

13
0

40,000 Tinder pics scraped into big data service

David Roberts
Silver badge
WTF?

Aggregating data?

I know that aggregated data can have a higher security classification than individual data items, but stil.......

Has this person just developed a script to save publicly available pictures?

I mean, given the time and an insane love of crushingly repetetive boredom could the same not be done by hand?

Couldn't one do the same with almost any source of pictures e.g. LinkedIn profiles?

Struggling to see the problem here.

5
0

While Facebook reinvents Sadville, we still dream of flying cars

David Roberts
Silver badge
Coat

Re: And . . .

Well, you could try and merge concepts and have a flying car shaped like a penis.

A sort of refined E-type Jaguar, perhaps?

4
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017