* Posts by Jos V

204 posts • joined 6 Jun 2014


Google: We've blocked 126 million COVID-19 phishing scams in the past week

Jos V

Re: Old school spam

Ha, good catch :-)

I wish I were in a manor.

Cheers, Jos

Jos V

Old school spam

I'm starting to get almost on a daily basis again the classic "we have installed an app that activates your camera and recording you "touching yourself in an indecent manor", send money to BC address [bc1q0x0rdt4znhspvxlm8cahtdntxtrhse2f2slhet] or we send the material to your contact list" mails again.

It even includes a -very- old password in the subject header, that probably came from the LinkedIN data breach a while back. The last 4 it was always that same BC address, but different email sender.

It's reported a couple of times on bitcoinabuse.com

Several of my friends are getting the same thing happening now, with again, the same BC address.

When looking at the source of the email (I know, don't tell me), the originator IPs all come from Microsoft (Outlook) domain, so good job MS (not). Also targeting my outlook email.

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network

Jos V

Re: My uni had similar rules :)

It was also great to bring the dang computers to their knees running Orcad/Pspice/Ultiboard.

Was still good fun times though. My "home rig" would take days of calculating/designing the PCB, only to find out you needed to make a "minor" change and redo it.

Help! I'm trapped on Schrodinger's runaway train! Or am I..?

Jos V

Stuck again?

Hey Dabs. Looks like SNCF has nicely borked your trip back again. Next week's episode?

Good luck on the rest of the trip...

Boeing aircraft sales slump to historic lows after 737 Max annus horribilis

Jos V

Re: Level D?

SkippyBing, you have it the wrong way around:

Full Flight simulators:

FAA & EASA classify FFS's into four levels:

FAA / EASA Level A - 3 axis motion / night visuals

FAA / EASA Level B - 3 axis motion / night visuals / ground handling simulation (lowest level of heli sim)

FAA / EASA Level C - 6 axis motion / night & dusk visuals / dynamic control loading / higher fidelity

FAA / EASA Level D - 6 axis motion / night, dusk & day visuals / dynamic control loading / highest fidelity

There are different catories for flight procedure trainers:

The FAA groups FTD's into seven levels (levels 1, 2 & 3 are no longer issued)

FTD Level 1 (not used for new devices / various grandfathered devices)

FTD Level 2 (not used for new devices / various grandfathered devices)

FTD Level 3 (not used for new devices / various grandfathered devices)

FTD Level 4 - basic cockpit procedural trainer / often a touch screen procedural trainer

FTD Level 5 - specific class of aircraft [S/E, M/E etc] / meets a specific FTD design criteria

FTD Level 6 - high fidelity / aircraft specific / specific aerodynamic modelling

FTD Level 7 - helicopters only / all controls & systems modeled / vibration system / visual system

Beware the three-finger-salute, or 'How I Got The Keys To The Kingdom'

Jos V

Re: French company

I was called up yesterday, saying they had a big problem. I told them I was at an Italian restaurant having pizza and beer. He asked me to bring pizza and beer. I complied. And fixed the problem in 5 minutes before the pizza went cold, and the beer warm. Why do I keep the damn Cisco blue flat serial cable on hand you ask?

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors

Jos V


Here's the details of the thing:


What are they trying to print there?

I discovered the world's last video rental kiosk and it would make a great spaceship

Jos V

Re: Recycling

My house was build on a swamp. Then it sank into the swap. Then we build a house on top, and that sank into the swamp. So we build our 3rd house on top of that, and one day, you will inherit it all!

Divert the power to the shields. 'I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain!'

Jos V

Re: Why do they always forget the cooling?

Yeah, I've not seen DC where the UPS would drive the AC in the DC (yeah, pun intended), but you hope the gen kicks in soon enough to start driving things after they stabilise/sync up.

Currently, I give it about 20 minutes before I order a complete graceful shutdown, as at 6 degree below Neptune's wrath, it's never really cold outside.

From that moment on, humidity becomes an instant issue, as everything condenses up once the AC kicks back in, so you'd have to wait for the center to "dry up" before switching things back on...

And truth too to heavy rain... You just know you will have a fun day when kids are playing outside and swimming along with your taxi on the way to work.

One more thing that's a killer by the way, is extreme drought. The grounding poles around the building stop reaching any sort of ground water level, and basically just poke into dried out soil. As in... no more grounding. Don't count on the local power supplier to be of any help.

Jos V

Planning works wonders...

… Unless the local population, with the help of security guards, have syphoned off all the diesel from the generators and sold it on the street..

The fun you can have in a developing country :-)

At my new posting, after lessons learned, they finally wired up the building chillers to the Genset, as it was cheaper than replacing hardware that went into meltdown. Just in time for our latest 24hr+ region-wide power outage...

Take your pick: 0/1/* ... but beware – your click could tank an entire edition of a century-old newspaper

Jos V

Re: destructive hdd check

I used to work for a company that had a knack for putting reverse logic questions in their GUI/command-line software, "Do you wish to not continue? Y/N" type of stuff. That, and same for config parameters, like

"disable_override=yes" kind of things.

Made for great troubleshooting sessions.

Town admits 'a poor decision was made' after baseball field set on fire to 'dry' it more quickly

Jos V

Track drying

In case of dragracing tracks, this is not something that they "happen to have at hand".

This is standard equipment. Unlike most racing, dragracing does not allow a spot of water, as the track simply won't allow the power of the cars/bikes and accidents will happen.


Having said that, I don't think it will do much good on a grass pitch drying.

In case of Santa Pod:


Hope to be back there again soon :-)

Overzealous n00b takes out point-of-sale terminals across the UK on a Saturday afternoon

Jos V

Re: UPS batteries dont last forever

It's always the same thinking by beancounters. It's working, right, so why do regular maintenance on the batteries.

I have 6 UPS across my site, carrying 46 batteries, rated 120Ah. I requested new batteries $Diety knows how many times, until one UPS started going down within a few minutes of operation, before the Diesel gen would kick in, and they got their wake-up call. Minimum age of batteries was 5 years by that time.

We do regular tests though. But not by choice. Power fails at least once a month because of lightning strikes at the local substation, or just because of shoddy infrastructure problems.

Fun extra, the diesel gen doesn't supply power to drive the building airconditioning, so humidity shoots up pretty fast. Don't turn machines back on (after controlled shutdown) right after a power restore. Condensation is a killer...

Ethiopia sits on 737 Max report but says pilots followed Boeing drills

Jos V


For those who want to read the preliminary report:


Ethiopian Airlines boss confirms suspect flight software was in use as Boeing 737 Max crashed

Jos V

Re: And now for the missing word round.

Well, the warning light is there already. It's on the glareshield and lights up as "WARN". Which will put the attention of the pilots to the ECAM display where it will say what it's about.

Since MCAS was only reading from 1 sensor, there is no disagree, and hence no warning! Which is damn stupid.

Jos V

Hans 1. No and Yes. AF447 was a 330, not 320. And the 330 uses 3 primary (PRIM) and 2 secondary (SEC) computers between all controls.

320 has 2 ELAC, 2 FAC, and 3 SEC computers.

The issue was more or less (it's much more complicated than that) that there is no physical connection between captain and FO sidestick. If you push full nose down on the left, and full nose up on the right, the result is no action at all. This is indicated by a control disagree alarm, but I'm not sure if this was implemented before, or after AF447. Same as a button on each sidestick that when pushed, says "I have control now", and the other side gets cancelled.

Jos V

Re: Why not just disable the system and put the planes back in the air?

imanidiot, just one caveat there. MCAS doesn't operate when flaps are extended, or A/P disabled, and only works under high thrust, low speed. You'd find that on approach none of these conditions would be met.

When you look at the FDR data from JT610, you will see that the problems started as soon as they retracted flaps to 0.

Jos V

Re: Pull Breakers

That's exactly what implied Spartacus. We don't know the reason yet so don't step ahead of yourself. And as for the Boeing vs. Airbus dispute, I don't have time for those people.

What is wrote is factual without bias.

We will find out. And then we can all banter about how we all know better.

Jos V

Re: Pull Breakers

Having said that, one thing seems to have been missed in the news. Both aircraft went very fast at low altitude. Whether that was because of unreliable airspeed indication, or because no attention was given, I'll leave that to investigators, but..

Airplanes have a nasty characteristic in this situation. When there is a pitch down , at high speed, low altitude, the earodynamic forces on the elevator will actually go into blow-back. The hydraulic actuators won't be able to avoid this and the control surfaces will be pushed to full nose down.

The only way to get out is to reduce speed, and full pull on yoke, plus full up trim. When already pointing down, this is almost neigh on impossible. Certainly at an altitude without margin. Ethiopian was at 9000ft, but 1000ft above ground...

Both aircraft ended doing a full nosedive in the last moments.

Don't take my word for this. I don't do conspiracies. You can look it up.

Jos V

Re: Pull Breakers

There is a procedure for "runaway elevator trim" in the flight manual. However the situation calling for this was when the original STS (speed trim system) was installed only, where it would trim nose-up at constant rate.

MCAS does a nose-down trim, and switches off for 5 seconds after the pilots counter trim from the yoke, and then repeats.

The pilots were not familiar with this behaviour, so it didn't trigger the action to turn off the two switches.

On the flight preceding JT610, a Batik air captain (typically the grey-beards coming out of long service from sister company Lionair), who was also 737-max8 rated and sitting in the observer seat, did conclude it had to do with auto-trim (he wasn't in control, so had a bit more room to evaluate the situation), and advised the flight crew to turn the switches to off position, which recovered the situation.

Jos V

Re: Pull Breakers

Just a small correction there. It's two switches next to each other, covered by a guard lever. They're located on the right side of the center console, below the flap lever.

Aussie engineer accuses 'serial farter' supervisor of bullying, seeks $1.8m redress

Jos V

Re: From observation ...

I've had the pleasure of doing work for a customer at a data center near Melbourne.

It was pretty much squeezed in between a landfill and a huge cow hide processing (not sure, tanning, or leather producing) factory.

In the nights, when the air calmed down, the A/C would suck in all these lovely smells. Enough to make you gag all the while there. It did make for more speedy installation and testing jobs.

National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

Jos V


Let me get this straight..

So Bezos, whose company is hosting Pecker's, sent Gavin Becker to investigate Pecker, and Pecker tried to stop Gavin Becker by exposing Bezos' pecker, but instead Bezos exposed Pecker?

Ooh, my machine is SO much faster than yours... Oh, wait, that might be a bit of a problem...

Jos V


Don't want to sound pedantic, but in 1990 I think it was Cat-3, 10BaseT. Cat-4 and Cat-5 were introduced in 1991.

I guess it would have worked if it said "it was the 90's".

Only from the mid '90s did 100BaseT arrive as well.

Impressed with a 386 downloading 20MB. I'm not sure my HDD was much bigger at that time :-)

NASA's Chandra probe suddenly becomes an EX-ray space telescope (for now, anyway)

Jos V

Re: Windows 10 ?

I know right? It really fascinates me how this is done. I know it's all technically possible with our current technology, but I'd love to be that fly on the wall and see how.

Technology is beautiful in its complexity. Bravo to the engineers making it all work!

Powerful forces, bodily fluids – it's all in a day's work

Jos V

Re: Monitor

Lee, this is more prevalent than I wish it to be. I keep trying to educate my techies to work from the lowest layer up (including the layer between chair and keyboard), instead of having them do turn-off turn-on stuff and "see if it works now". To no avail, mostly.

I remember a callout at 2am Saturday morning where "the hub has failed, we replaced it, but systems are still down." Strange, as we don't have any hubs in the complex.

So, I go over there, even after enjoying a good Friday "activity", which is a 2km walk, driving was out of the question...

Only to find the "hub" being a c3650, which they slapped in without thinking of configuring.

Even if you think you've covered it all, things like that will make you go.. hmmmm

Assumption is your enemy when troubleshooting.

Oh, systems were back up and working in 15 minutes. Is configuring-while-intoxicated a crime?

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

Jos V

Re: earthing stories ...

You can also find out if grounding in your setup is done proper when you try to measure the 80V/16hz ringer circuit output (as in telephone ring voltage), by hooking your 1:1 oscilloscope probe to ground and touch the ouput with the probe. It's very effective, and capacitors give of nasty smoke when they blow. Can be expensive too.. (it wasn't me, ex-boss, I swear)

Jos V

Re: It happened to colour TVs, too....

Truth that. I usually carried a magnet with me from a decommissioned subwoofer. You could "smear" the blot on the screen back out by expertly waving it over the screen. Magic! Usually tv sets that alligned north-south a long time would get that.

More fun with people putting plant pots on top of the set and watering all the time too heavily. And heavy plants would sometimes even break the circuit boards underneath, requiring a lot of trace resoldering. Extra points for fixing TV's by vacuuming the interior cob-webs and dustballs out.

Jos V

Ah, cleaning crews

Sometimes they can actually be helpful, unwittingly.

We had a team running bit error rate tests on an STM-64 test setup in our labs, only to find out that every morning there were a high number or errors over the line, which is not really acceptable in a 5-nines setup.

So, a crew was assigned to monitor the equipment over-night, and for a week they sat there, with nothing happening. 0 bits fell over.

That is, until one of the guys left the DC for a break, and while walking out in a half-zombie mode, switched off the lights, said sorry, and switched them back on. Bang: errors.

Turned out that every night, the cleaning crew would come in, and then upon leaving switched off the lights. First person in the next morning would turn the lights back on.. and there you go. It was a faulty starter in one of the overhead tube-light pair causing it.... While the guys were monitoring for a week, the light always stayed on.

(It did demonstrate a bit of a over-sensitivity to EMC in the equipment though.)

Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

Jos V

Re: My hovercraft is full of eels

Well, if we're starting to quote Monty Python now, I think this one is fitting:


Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

Jos V

Re: The autopilot is not an autopilot ?

A bit OT there, but "Because it was dark, had no visual confirmation" means your flying on Instrument Flight Rules. Key word being INSTRUMENT there.

The first officer was pilot flying and interpreted the situation wrong, and pulled the aircraft into a stall.

It also didn't help that the Captain tried to control the situation, but resulting in both pilots trying to to do opposite actions, which in an Airbus of the type, just cancels each out (one nose down, the other nose up, resulting in a neutral position, which was already up). You do get an aural warning "Dual input", and a red light saying the same on the glareshield, but both ignored it, for the most part of the way down. In other words, CRM was part to blame.

The aircraft was perfectly flyable otherwise...

Experts build AI joke machine that's about as funny as an Adam Sandler movie (that bad)

Jos V

Re: A career in television?

Spot on JassMan. I was wondering about that part.

After having to learn several languages while meandering around the globe, I've only ever considered having a decent grasp of the local language, when I could actually not just understand what was being said, but able to understand the jokes, with all the local contexts, and laugh about it.

Japanese humour is by far not the same as US, or British humour in this case.

Also, if anyone could develop an AI chatbot, that would recognise where a person was from, and then switch the conversation to match the cultural limits, and courtesy rules of that person's locale, now that would be impressive. If neigh-on impossible. Even humans seem mostly incapable of it.

F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m

Jos V

Re: "...it's booted into IOC, says there's a driver issue"

And 'round here where I work, Airbus pilots are called bus drivers :-)

Office junior had one job: Tearing perforated bits off tractor-feed dot matrix printer paper

Jos V

Re: Lost count...

Oh boy. HQ in Tel-Aviv.. Could I please fly out for a meeting in Sydney planned for the next morning, as "I'm in the country next to it". I wished sometimes HQ owned a globe (Jakarta-Sydney is about the same as London-NY).

Of course it didn't beat the rush job in Seattle that needed attention, while working in Melbourne, subsequently changed to LA, then Dallas (all east-bound), with a flight back to Melbourne through Dublin and Amsterdam.

Round-the-world trips are sooo romantic and adventurous :-)

(I have some news for you flat-Earthers around there)

Cyborg fined for riding train without valid ticket

Jos V

Re: Did he pay the appropriate fare for the journey?

I think the Ts & Cs are pretty clear on what you can and can't do with an Opal card.

If you get one, and use one, you agree to these, cyborg or not:


A good start is reading item 40.

IANAL, but point 82 seems pretty clear:

Acceptance of terms:

By using your Device as a ticket on a public passenger service you agree to be bound by the Terms of Use in force at that time. If you do not agree to be bound, you must refrain from using your Device.

What I (might have) missed from the article is whether or not his "card" was topped up, or if he was indeed traveling without paying. If you want to use PT, pay up.

More money than sense? Saudi Arabia invests $400m in Magic Leap

Jos V


A short search turned up this one:


Still though...

FBI chief asks tech industry to build crypto-busting not-a-backdoor

Jos V

Re: Have you ever done that thing...

Bastards! I'm was trying to erase that stupid song from my head. Now you've done it again.

May you walk around with "shine like a diamond" in your head for eternity!

Java EE renamed 'Jakarta EE' after Big Red brand spat

Jos V

Re: Krakatoa East Of Java

Well, yeah. And no. Krakatoa is more or less the Portuguese spelling of it, and the Indonesian name is Krakatau, but technically if you go far enough east of Java, you would end up at (now anak-)Krakatau. You'd hit Zanzibar before that actually.

It's not helpful when giving people directions though.

(Oh, and there is also a Zanzibar in the greater Jakarta region.)

Jos V

Re: Unsurprising outcome

Well, to be honest, if you would know Jakarta a bit, you'd probably know there is a bar called EP in Jakarta.

Stands for Eastern Promise, but I guess that would be a fitting name too.

Ex-Google recruiter: I was fired for opposing hiring caps on white, Asian male nerds

Jos V

Re: The art of discrimination

I'll explain "merit" and how I "discriminated". Every applicant that had his/her CV land on my desk would get the same 10 question survey emailed to them. Emailed for a purpose. That being, if it took more than a day to reply, it would automatically end in the bin, and second, if I copy-paste your answer in google and it is a copy-paste from a Cisco manual only one of two things could happen... First, you don't know the answer, but manage to find out. Bravo. Second, if more than 2 answers were copied from some source or another without showing any signs of actual knowledge, the bin.

The opening was mostly for pretty complicated work (well, no), lots of travel, and no "office hours".

1: Explain the difference between a hub, a switch, and a router



10: What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Between those, I "discriminated" a lot.

I needed to have a team that could both work together as a team, and be able to sit in a crap, remote, smelly, cold, devoid of any communications (even working in a telco) by themselves and do the job without help. As many of us commentards probably know, data-centers are never really in prime real-estate areas.(Thank you Sunshine, Brimbank with your abattoir next to the A/C intakes)

Coincidentally, the team I worked with was more diverse than you would find in most companies, but everyone could work alone, or as a well-oiled team together.

I think there is a definition of discrimination that calls it something like separating bad from good.

If I start judging people on race/religion/gender/gender-identity, you may kill me. Well, knowing Monty Python was just a bit of icing.

Jos V

Re: ticking the boxes...

yeah, I get company surveys too, which say it will be totally anonymous. Then again I'm the only employee in the country here on my cost center...

I guess it would be fun to read the outcome of country X evaluation though.

As for race... After half my life as an expat.. I'm not so sure anymore :-)

BOFH: Honourable misconduct

Jos V

Re: Funny but contrived

You've never worked in IT, have you?

Chilly willies: Swedish nudie nightclub opens in -11°C to disgust of locals

Jos V

Re: Swedish Winter..

FWIW, many moons ago, a bunch of my friends went to Mosquito Lagoon, FL. They found out why it carries that name. One of them had to be hospitalised for anaphylactic shock treatment.

What's in a name, eh?

Jos V

Re: IT?

"Come naked. Come as you are. Do whatever you want. Everything stays here," the club promo stated. Apparently, there are areas where guests can "do what you feel right now and then".

Sounds like the your typical night-shift in a data center to me. Even the part where you freeze your nuts off because it's so darn cold...

Edit: Someone beat me to it already. We really have cool jobs, don't we?

That terrifying 'unfixable' Microsoft Skype security flaw: THE TRUTH

Jos V

yeah... but but but..

"Far be it from us to run to Microsoft's rescue, but the vulnerability is present in Skype for Windows versions 7.40 and lower. In October 2017, Microsoft released version 8 without the flaw, so if you kept up to date, you're fine. If you're running version 7 for some reason, get version 8."

Ok, going to Help->about:

Skype Version

Right, so let's go help-> Check for updates:

"You already have the latest version of Skype installed"

So... it seems not to automatically update.

If the now brand new download from the MS site doesn't work, I'll be right angry.

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

Jos V

Speeding ticket...

Did El-Reg miss the part where WA police send Elon Musk a speeding ticket? :-)


Tech biz boss slipped Detroit's IT chief bungs in restaurant bathrooms to bag software deals, prosecutors claim

Jos V


Better not try getting business in certain Asian countries (and probably elsewhere around the globe). Taking your customers out to certain establishments for a night of entertainment will set you back a bit more than a measly $400...

Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

Jos V


Many moons ago I was put in the lead for putting a newly acquired company's product line through QA testing (the company I work for was a big global corp).

The company paid muchos dineros for said company+product, so they wanted it in their active product line as soon as possible.

The only problem was, that even though it was a reasonably good product, for 6 months it kept failing my tests on the sometimes smallest of details (a fix in the T1 protocol would introduce a bug in E1 mode, things like that).

Every change meant I did a full regression test.

In the mean time all the PMs, AMs, and direct managers were hammering on me to release the product. I kept wondering for how long I would keep my job...

6 months was the end of it. Not my job though. The newly acquired company and their product were canned.

It was one of those rare companies where in the end, QA/QC was taken very serious..

Not anonymous, as the company doesn't exist anymore, or speaks French now.

Jos V

Re: Oh, the irony!


This is not necessarily caused by mis-configuration on ElReg. There are a number of other reasons for this to happen, like a corporate network monitoring product intercepting secure traffic and replacing certificates, Microsoft safe "Family" settings, which replace the certificates with a MS certificate so they can do monitor/filter traffic, or your local security software doing much the same (ESET, AVAST, BitDefender, etc.)....

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

Jos V

Re: You want a back door?

And then, years later, the new supercomputer will just spew out one answer: 42



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