* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

You lost your ballpoint pen, Slack? Why's your Linux version unsigned?

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"I think that John is trusting readers of El Reg to draw the logical conclusion from the statement"

Sure we can. But that doesn't stop PR spouting the same self-serving crap every single time. I suspect they're simply saying it to get the statement on record to use in defence in any future court case. If they actually gave such a statement in court they'd be seriously challenged on cross-examination.

They really need to be challenged in the media as well. Tell them they're not being believed. Tell them their statement isn't going to be used at all unless they enlarge on how the events contradict the statement. Tell them that instead there'll be something like "We asked X for a statement but their response was so anodyne and bore so little relationship to events that we won't trouble you with having to read it because you won't believe it any way.".

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""Slack takes security very seriously."

Why do you journalists let them (PR people in general) get away with this when the circumstances say otherwise? Follow it up with "Then how do you account for...?". Make the bar stewards work for their money.

CCleaner targeted top tech companies in attempt to lift IP

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Re: "Peoples Republic's timezone"

"the IP address which the malware phones home to is located in....the USA. Saratoga Springs? Langley?"

Whois says the registrant is in Seattle.

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"With the update to CCleaner, software should be included that totally removes all malware that could have been introduced by the infected versions"

Easier said than done. CCleaner phoned home to a server and that server would have supplied the real payload. It's not possible to determine what that was simply by looking at the rogue CCleaner. It's not even possible to be certain by looking at the server; even if the server is sufficiently accessible to determine what it's hosting now that might not be what it had before Talos investigated.

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Re: And yet when I suggested the only way to safely fix a malware infected host...

"the downvoting commentards were out in force."

That might have been because you were suggesting reinstalling Windows.

BlackBerry's QNX to run autonomous car software

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The steering wheel will be a small, fiddly keyboard.

Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time

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"an African child is 100 times more likely to die of a preventable disease than an American child"

Meanwhile, in the US, the anti-vaxers are trying to reduce this ratio.

Compsci degrees aren't returning on investment for coders – research

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Re: Study if you are interested in learning a subject in depth

"If it is just about maximizing income, get some business degree."

Or a degree in music.

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Re: @tiggity re. all those JS coders

"your condescending attitude"

I don't find it condescending at all. In fact I find the attitude that I have to open up my browser to any Tom Dick and Harry's code that the site developer wants, simply in order to view the visual marvels that he (thinks) he's provided. Well, I'm not playing that game. NoScript is part of my security set-up and if anybody thinks they're important enough for me turn that off then I have to disagree.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: More!

"If people think of comp sci as a bit like doing a degree in botany, they might be more realistic."

Cough. My degree is in botany.

When I finally moved into IT after a good deal of lab computing and "if you want a program to do that, write it yourself" I ended up on a team consisting or a botanist, a zoologist, a geologist and a recent comp sci grad. The latter actually wanted to be an astronomer.

Black screen of death after Win10 update? Microsoft blames HP

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"stupid thing autoinstalled and I haven't removed it"

You haven't removed it but not by choice?

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Re: The registry that should never have happened

"Even funnier is that... HP"

Back in Windows 3 days there was a 3rd party package called New Wave which added a lot of the OO-type click to open with the right application stuff, etc. This, as I recall it, had a heap of little files which presumably did much the same thing as the registry did. A lot of that New Wave stuff got incorporated in W95 as could be seen by the copyright declarations.

The company who provided New Wave?..... You've guessed it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "The Register"

"Blatant Trade Mark Infringement by Microsoft causing damage to the reputation of El Reg."

In Microsoft's case the abbreviation is ill Reg.

"And, in passing, a curse on sans-serifs."

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Re: when does the 'joke' : windows IS the malware...

"went fishing in task mgr the other day"

The equivalents (top and ps -ef) will find all manner of stuff running in an Unix or Unix-like system these days. It wasn't always like that. Stuff just gets more complicated with time.

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Re: HP maybe the source, but Microsoft is still to blame

"Without a trace of irony or humour."

Or common sense.

EU watchdog: Govt bods are seeking 'legal knockouts' to dodge transparency

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"if the government publishes a dataset as a file that runs to 11 million rows a month, it won’t be much use to people who only has the skills to use Excel, where a file can support about 1.5 million rows."

When all you have is a hammer it's no use complaining the nails are too big.

Chap tames Slack by piping it into Emacs

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Re: I don't see the point

"the return on effort for this seems pretty low."

I think that was the objective. He doesn't want much returned from the feed.

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Re: EMACS. Is there anything it cannot do?

"Unfortunately this is probably impossible for vi"

Why waste time? Straight to /dev/null

Ofcom to crack down on telcos' handling of nuisance callers

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"A lot of countries can't/don't/won't supply CLI last I heard. "

If their calls don't get through without it they'll find they can/do/will.

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Re: Doesn't go far enough on nuisance calls

"This will only be effective if it is forwarded to the nuclear deterrent targeting system."

No, just credit the recipient's account with an answering fee and charge it back to the originating caller/telco. The delivering telco (and any other in the chain) can add a fee of their own for handling it. It does away with the folding call centre company; their telcos just apply the necessary credit control or take the hit and learn by experience.

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Re: Follow the money

(4) Credit the recipient with a fee for answering the phone.

Equifax's disastrous Struts patching blunder: THOUSANDS of other orgs did it too

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"Some developers / maintainers do care about backwards-compat, see the lengths Debian"

I've used Debian for many years. I also, however, remember libc6 undergoing radical changes (about the time of Linux kernel 2.6, I think) that broke previous application binaries. And if the application was commercial and no replacement was available -well, just too bad.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Imagine a senior dev has left and he was partial to using Go for servers, node.js for UI, python for some algo, ZeroMQ plus numerous 3rd party github projects, the NoSQL flavor of the day."

A few days ago there was an article being somewhat snotty about enterprise architects. One role for the EA should be to make an informed choice of the technologies in use, minimising the uncontrolled dependencies and keeping up to date with them when they change.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Over the years Struts versions have unsupported/broke features, plugins,"

Backward compatibility. Nobody cares about it. Except the users, of course.

I'm not familiar with Struts but a good policy, whether for free or commercial products, would be:

If the major version number is the same we'll ensure it's backwards compatible. If we have to break compatibility we'll update the major version number but maintain the last major number for X months/years or as long as practical.

From the users' point of view they can then choose who has the longest maintenance period, changes least often and best lives up to the policy They can also minimise the number of external dependencies.

Programming in the Middle Ages: Docker makes a lovely pair of trousers

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Re: QUBAL : teletypes?

"The only QUB teletype I ever used was at an Expo thing in the Botanic Gardens (or near it) and running a poker dice program."

I remember that. I think it was to mark 50 years of Stormont or something similar. IIRC it was in the new Stranmillis sports centre.

I used to use the old computer centre in University Square Mews. There was a punch room upstairs. Although during the day most of the machines were used by data entry staff keying in from coding sheets which was the most practical way of getting your first draft onto cards a lot of changes ended up being done in the evenings.

Even on the Teletype system FORTRAN had to be compiled from cards and the executable stored online - you just ran it from the Teletypes.

Kids today 0 they'd never believe it.

"Why did it get written as Apple ][ ?"

Marketing/Steve Jobs?

"I should have bought an S100 machine."

Another memory.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


"Precursor to pascal (so I'm told). Queens University Belfast Algorithmic Language (maybe)."

That's what I thought. Did they run it on the home-grown multi-access system with the teletypes? I managed to bring down the whole 1907 from one of those.

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Re: I'd suspected this for years.


Sounds vaguely familiar. Please remind me.

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Re: Docker makes a lovely pair of trousers

"them boots with air-cushion soles that skinheads and punks used to wear."

As we used to say in the forensic lab: very popular with the criminal classes.

More data lost or stolen in first half of 2017 than the whole of last year

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It's not surprising. Big Data means more data to be snaffled.

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Re: A poor reflection on the industry

legally liable for any and all losses that are incurred by users as a result, plus damages


The users' losses are the damages. Otherwise, you're quite right.

What do you call an all-in-one PC that isn't? 'Upgradeable', says HP

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"All-in-one PCs look pretty and make for tidy desks"

If an AiO makes any measurable difference to the tidiness of your desk than you're a raw amateur.

Forget "a clear desk is the sign of a clear mind"; an empty desk is the sign of an empty head.

Google, Bing, Yahoo! data hoarding is like homeopathy. It doesn't work – new study claims

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If this applies to all the other Big Data stuff then eventually there's going to be an awful lot of storage capacity sold off cheap. I suppose it'll be bought up to store all the data being leaked by all and sundry.

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Re: Homeopathy doesn't work??

"don't do it using links to hour long TV shows."

Or even 20 minute TV shows padded out to an hour in typical modern day BBC style.

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Re: Don't see their successes

"I don't define success as convictions for gun murders."

It would be a lesser type of success. But wouldn't you agree that a conviction for possession that prevented the murder would be a success?

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Re: Clowns at GCHQ and your pals, please take note!

"You don't see the people they manage to proactively stop 'doing something'"

Up to a point this is true. But if they are proactively stopping people how are they doing it? Where are the prosecutions?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The purpose of targeted advertising ...

"It is to increase the price of advertising by claiming the adverts only go to people who might buy."

I'm not saying you're wrong but if everyone else sees adverts for stuff they've bought why don't the people who place the ads; and if they do, why don't they realise that this is happening to their ads and that they're paying for junk? Or do the people who place the ads not see them because use ad-blockers like the rest of us because ads are so annoying.

It's not only AI that fails to be self-aware.

What's that, Equifax? Most people expect to be notified of a breach within hours?

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"I hope you have more luck with this than I did trying to get Anthem to reimburse me"

But did you take the approach Eddie proposes: the small claims court?

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Re: Not Qualified

"Most people that age in IT don't have a degree at all, especially in the UK - only 20% of people even went to university - and it hasn't stopped them being effective at their jobs."

But was she effective at her job?

BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled

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"And to all the upset, selfish geriatric Leave supporters - I just don't care for your sheer ignorance, bigotry and intolerance."

And I just don't care for your stereotyping. I may be on the old side but I'm not a Leave supporter.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: BoJo is very right

"Of course, some flows back into the UK in CAP and project payments, but the UK government does not control that money."

I recall on the morning the result was announced a Leave-supporting MP whose constituency was receipt of EU funding was demanding that UK gov replace that funding. So, as far as that particular Leave campaigner was concerned (a) control meant only that it be spent in the same way as if the EU were still in charge and (b) that money wouldn't be going to the NHS.

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"think Bernard Manning in Yes Minister"

Sorry, but that exceeds even my imagination.

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Re: Journalists

"Starmer would probably get us more progress in a week than Davis will have managed in a year"

That assumes there's something of value to be obtained.

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Re: RE: Sabroni

"Which bit do you think is undemocratic?"

The ratification process.

A constitutional change on such a scale ought to receive a popular supermajority* (as, of course should a decision to leave). It's possible that if Maastricht and Lisbon had been properly explained they would have received that. It's possible but I suspect it wouldn't have happened and that very different treaties would have had to be negotiated.

That means that there is a democratic deficit that Leave was based on. However it doesn't justify the ensuing rhinectomy.

*Being told to vote again until you get the right answer doesn't count!

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: @James 51 Re"....he won't be able to change......."

@Arctic fox

"He has a very clear pathology when it comes to his distant relationship to the truth"

Does that comment apply to BoJo or Trump? Insufficient data to decide...

Microsoft's AI is so good it steered Renault into bottom of the F1 league

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Re: It's the singer, not the song

In practice ITYF that the driver talent pairs up with the best car/engine combination. Except for Alonzo unfortunately.

Grab your popcorn: The first annual Privacy Shield review is go

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This isn't the real review. The real review will happen once the ECJ gets to look at it.

Outlook.com looking more like an outage outbreak for Europe

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Re: This is e-mail, it shouldn't be complicated

"you'll have next to no outages."

Except, of course, when your correspondent uses $CommodityEmailSupplier

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Re: Important Emails?

"Why on Earth would anybody have important emails in Hotmail?"

Marketing people always send me important information to my spam bin Hotmail address.

The developers vs enterprise architects showdown: You shall know us by our trail of diagrams

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Re: Awesome article

If the process is no longer serving the business, then it is the process that needs to be updated (rather than forcing the business to follow the process).

I've long thought that a process/rule/whatever you want to call it should include a rationale as to why it exists. This would serve two purposes:

Firstly it would allow everyone* to be aware of its significance so that "Legal requirement due to GDPR; failure to compy might cost 4% of global turnover in fines" might carry the implication "being CEO isn't a good reason to ignore this".

Secondly it makes it clear when the rule no longer applies: "This information is required in order to complete the the 1998/9 accounts after which new accounting procedures will apply".

*Everyone = senior management

DXC Technologies mails another corp message (gulp)

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“We recognise that our people are essential to DXC Technology’s $ManglenebtSPeak”

Better late than never.

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