* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Bankrupt school ITT pleads 'don't let Microsoft wipe our cloud data!'

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Dump it onto tape* encrypted. Hand the tapes to the administrators. When the bill is settled the administrators get the key.

*Other media options are available.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Estimations

"It reminds me of the presentation our VP gave regarding the efficiency gains of "lean" introduction."

That in turn reminds me of the estimated savings to be gained by relocating a company. Various subheadings were given along with the overall figure. The overall figure was £1m out from the sum of the subheadings. Rounding errors!

Horse named 'Cloud Computing' finds burst of speed to beat 'Classic Empire' in actual race

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: So many "interesting" horse names...

Something like Privacy Shield - wears see-through blinkers.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Take offense at "nag"

"galloping pet food".

Not just pets: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_horse_meat_scandal

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Take offense at "nag"

"all thoroughbreds come from a mere 3 stallions"

What about the maternal lines? Everyone seems to concentrate on the paternal ancestry as if the mares are simply vessels in which to incubate a replica of the stallion. But the mare provides the only X chromosome of a stallion foal, one of the X chromosomes of a mare foal, half of the rest of the nuclear genes - and all of the mitochondrial genes. Given that it's the last which provides the critical mechanism of aerobic respiration if there's any variation, however small, in that it could have a significant effect on performance.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I think it was a ringer. It was actually a horse called Somebody Else's Computer.

Scheming copyright scam lawyer John Steele disbarred in Illinois

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: federation / republic of USA

"USA is not 'a country' and should be viewed equivalent to Europe, and something i wish was highlited more often, mainly to brexiters."

I think that's their complaint - it is too federal like the US.

Quick, better lock down that CISO role. Salaries have apparently hit €1m

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Advice given by someone on €1m will obviously be better than the same advice given by someone on £100k. After all you paid more for it.

Japan (lightly) regulates high-frequency algorithmic trading

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Tax'um

"held for less then say ten minuets"

A dance to the music of time.

NASA duo plan Tuesday ISS spacewalk to replace the mux that sux

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Just another day in the office?

"Have they fixed the second cooling and power umbilical yet?"

Gaffer tape to the rescue.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Unscheduled?

"Why don't we all just have a pint and relax, and toast our colleagues in spaaace?"

I'll drink to that.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Unscheduled?

"I'm struggling to grasp the concept of a scheduled unscheduled spacewalk"

Yup. Bernard Woolley wants a word with Richard.

Google cloud glitch hits at Beer O'Clock Friday, fix coming Monday

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The point of SLAs is to define exactly what they promise to deliver, and what compensation I get if they don't."

This is the MBA version. The reality could be that a failed backup leads to a failed business.

If you're a DBA or sysadmin working for the company that owns the database you know that a failure could lead to the loss of your jobs and those of your colleagues. If a problem happens on a Friday you work over the weekend to fix it, you don't leave it until Monday.

If you work for a 3rd party provider you know the worst is that it cost your employer whatever the SLA says and nothing else. What's more your employer has already taken the decision to carry the risk themselves or to insure against it and if they don't care enough to tell you to work the weekend why should you care any more?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Pushing an emergency fix on a Friday evening sounds like a good recipe for disaster."

Pushing an emergency fix on a Friday evening and waiting until Monday morning aren't the only alternatives.

Code-thief pleads guilty to pinching file system to sell to China

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"If he'd wanted to put China's IT efforts back 20 years, he could've stolen WebSphere."

Why stop there? Lotus Notes.

IBM CEO Ginni flouts £75 travel crackdown, rides Big Blue chopper

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: There is nothing wrong against proper old guard

"Then all those extra millions that they are used to making are deferred 3-5 years."

Make that 10 years minimum.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Quite consistent

"Do as I say, not as I do"

Just the same as recommending teleworking to customers.

Wondering why the office is so productive? Yep, Twitter's knackered

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Is the bug attacking Vine a vine weevil?

Man sues date for cinema texting fiasco, demands $17.31

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: One mistake with the lawsuit

"Should have filed it as class-action to get everyone in the theater reimbursed."

Maybe half the rest of the audience was doing the same thing.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Why bother dating?

Maybe they were also a married couple.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: This guy is about to become a legend

"I think the judge should sentence these two to marry each other to protect the rest of society."

No. Think of the children.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

They seem like a well matched pair.

Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Some of the best recorded music was cut direct to the masters at 78rpm (maybe rather approximately in some cases).

Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"doesn't appear to reward loyalty for very long and is totally self-obsessed"

You could say that about both of them.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: @Jason Boomberg

"Now he's going to get the boot from the UK back to Australia."

Unless the US issue an extradition warrant. There was no sign of that happening under the previous administration but the current one seems to be thinking about it. It's possible that his delaying tactics may well have brought about the very situation he was trying to avoid. Of course actually being wanted by the US is good for his ego and he can continue to stay where he is.

I wonder how long the Embassy's lease has to run...

LastPass now supports 2FA auth, completely undermines 2FA auth

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Once again: WE NEED A STANDARD !!!!

"can we not have an RFC or W3C devised standard on password generation, usage and storage ?"

Which everyone will implement with their own little amendments. Like IE implemented HTML.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Banking

" I need to generate a unique token using my debit card and card reader, plus the payee account number and the amount. This generates a unique code, which is used to verify the transaction."

Or, in the case of the card reader my bank sent me, is used to fail to verify the transaction. However the use cases needing this are very few; the only one I encountered was changing the email address. So the security device is a piece of crap but the good news is I don't have to use it!

America's drone owner database grounded: FAA rules blown out of sky

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

It'll all change when an airliner engine ingests a drone. At that point there'll be all sorts of legislation introduced in a big hurry.

WannaCrypt: Roots, reasons and why scramble patching won't save you now

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The real solution is always ignored...

"What do you do when the one doesn't get it is on the board?"

What you need is something that starts up when clicked and displays an animation, flashing text whatever saying something like "Deleting all the files on your Network", "Kiss your business goodbye" and the like for a few minutes. And then ends up with a message "Don't panic, that was just a warning. Go and offer your IT whatever they need to secure your system."

Then get someone to email it to them from outside the business.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Lack of any finger pointing at the right people.

"here am I running XP in a VM because I refuse to throw away a perfectly good scanner just because Canon don't want to release Win 8.1 drivers in the hopes that I'll throw it away and buy a new one."

Yes it's a familiar refrain but do take a look at Linux or BSD. They may well have a driver for it and you'll be able to run updates on the OS and the scanner will still work.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Was XP the problem?

Over on /. there's a report from Kasperksy that actually it was mostly W7 machines that were hit. https://tech.slashdot.org/story/17/05/19/1916257/almost-all-wannacry-victims-were-running-windows-7

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Remember the Millenium Bug?

"those risks were in fact minimal if not non-existent."

I've trotted this one out a few times but it looks as if it has to be repeated. I had a client for whom I'd got new live and backup ready because the old ones (actually, the old backup server to be precise wouldn't run the Y2K-ready version of their application. We were all tested and ready to cut over between Xmas & New Year. Their beancounters refused to let us go ahead because they didn't want to take the risk!!! of migrating before they'd gone through their year-end closedown of the books.

So for a fortnight we had the application vendor logging in on about a daily basis, maybe more, maybe less, to fix the data corruption we kept getting. It wasn't, therefore, an absolute disaster - a pity as I'd have liked to have had to take them back to the end of December and make them re-input several days work - but I don't think you can count daily remote access to fix corrupt data as a long-term working solution.

Yes it was a real problem. Most people weren't that stupid so didn't get to see what could have happened.

And BTW however much money was to be made out of Y2K not much came may way - 99 was the slackest year I ever had.

Wannacry: Everything you still need to know because there were so many unanswered Qs

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Way back one of the client's network guys had discovered that someone was persistently trying to probe the firewall. He then looked at the IP address and found the eejit was sharing his C: drive. If it had been me I'd have tried to mount the drive and see how much could be deleted from it before it all fell apart.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Oh, the irony!

Updates to W7 also got switched off because it was taking until the heat death of the Universe or the arrival of WannaCry before the updates ran. There are still posts here from people complaining about that and even I, a non-Windows bod, know that there's a specific update to be downloaded and applied individually that fixes it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Wasn't "But we had to have SMB for our internal shares on the network" the NHS problem?

"our VPN has security checks in place that won't let you connect fully until you've:

a - got the recent antivirus definitions"

Which still won't protect against something new enough not to have got into the definitions.

Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Insist you're running Windows 94.

Mi casa es su casa: Ubuntu bug makes 'guests' anything but

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Flaky guest account

Poettering's Law: the idea that as an online discussion grows longer about a flaw in Linux, eventually _someone_ will irrefutably pin the blame on systemd


‪There's a ransom-free fix for WannaCry‬pt. Oh snap, you've rebooted your XP box

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

If it relies on getting the data out of memory would this also be in the swap file if the PC hasn't been restarted? If so then there should be scope for recovering of the disk is taken out and mounted on another running system.

Proposed PATCH Act forces US snoops to quit hoarding code exploits

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Simple process


The authority to hoard a vulnerability must be signed off by whatever politician is in charge of the department (e.g. Home Sec or Foreign Sec in the UK) and that sign-off should be made public when the time limit has expired or the vulnerability is exploited in malware.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "I'm still amazed that no-one else had found this vulnerability* "

their biggest patch was "Shift toBuy Windows Whatever-is-current"

FTFY and I'm not sure their intended benefits extended anywhere beyond themselves.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Is what we might learn about the terrorists worth risking people's lives for?

@WatAWorld "If you patch the NHS computers, civilian computer types are going to know..."

Which is why I said the "suggestion" would be to block SMB at the firewall, which can be justified for other reasons.

Blocking SMB at an external firewall would be effective against external scans. If you're running SMB internally because that's how your network works and the malware is distributed by phishing scams than it really doesn't help very much.

Windows 10: Triumphs and tragedies from Microsoft Build

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "I'd like to employ Microsoft F'CU (NT) S to help clean up this Ransomware mess"

A "Windows skin" for an underlying Linux codebase is where the solution is, Microsoft.

No. Let MS keep their own mess. Don't import it to Linux.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Focusing"


If you're against things that cause eye strain, pleas give the caps & exclamation marks a rest. Just make the effort to type normally like everyone else.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Business users

"It is an in joke. You have to be in the group to know what it means."

In jokes limited to a group are not the best approach to wider communication although I'm not sure wider communication is Bob's intent.

Bloke charged under UK terror law for refusing to cough up passwords

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: There's 2 sides to stories

"So, technically, on the face of it he's not innocent; he didn't hand over his passwords when asked and there is a statute in place to prosecute him as a result. Whether that's right or not is another matter."

In this country there is, theoretically, a presumption of innocence. Making it an offence not to hand over passwords without good reason sets aside that. If there is reason to believe that there might be something incriminating locked by the passwords then the appropriate course of action is to present that evidence to a court and get a warrant. It's called due process of law. It seems that having given the idea a trial for 8 centuries (hint: look up what happened in 1215) we seem to have decided it wasn't a good idea and ditched it.

Dell BIOS update borks PCs

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Dell's initial reaction was to tell customers they needed to buy new motherboards."

Sorry but if Dell Command Update offers you a BIOS update that then bricks the chip it is your responsibility to fix it Dell.

Presumably it was someone on work experience who gave out that advice. One hopes the grown-ups took over after that.

EC fines Facebook €110m for 'misleading' data on WhatsApp deal

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"they're not that concerned about privacy in the first place."

Or even worse - that they're not aware.

UK.gov plans to overhaul £6bn in big IT deals 'watered down'

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Public sector IT

"I think I've found the problem"

I think you've found two.

Self-driving car devs face 6-month backlog on vital $85,000 LIDAR kit

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Once upon a time

"When stuff like tellies in the home were too expensive to buy, people got them on the never never instead."

Your ability to pay off the TV loan didn't rely on your watching the TV so it can be assessed on your earning history.

The ability to pay off an R & D cost relies on the outcome being successful to create future earnings. That means there's no history on which to rely. You won't be able to go to a hire purchase company for that. The people who'll be lending money on that scale in that sort of way are going to want your first-born a slice of the company. It's called venture capitalism and the pre-IPO spin and PR are also factors in the VCs being able to get their money back. They won't see R&D and PR as alternatives, they'll see them as complementary.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I don't know...

In order to perceive distance you first have to perceive the objects in the visual field. That in turn involves edge detection. Then you have to correlate the relative positions of the objects as seen from the two eye points and the feedback from the muscles controlling the eyes. It's all massively parallel - some of the processing seems to be done in the retina itself. And none of it is conscious so I'm not sure that the I bit of AI applies.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019