* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Data-nicking UK car repairman jailed six months instead of copping a fine

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I’m saying that when you have severe data breaches then individual should be liable for gross negligence or malfeasance."

GDPR and DPA 3.0 both have this provision but only with fines administrative penalties as punishment. As it's an administrative penalty (except in those countries that don't allow administrative penalties) there'd be no criminal record.

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Re: Time will tell

"Hopefully this won't reach the mainstream media"

1. I don't know why you hope that. It should reduce that.

2. The Beeb had it before el Reg.

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Re: "Shall I ship it to you home address sir?"

"And then I know a guy who moved like 9 years ago, and the council, BT, his pension provider, and lots of other people still send stuff to the wrong address."

We had that for some time until I phoned the sender and told them there would be a £10 handling charge on every item I sent back to them and if they didn't pay I'd have no qualms about taking them to court. It stopped.

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Re: Accuracy is not required......

"Unfortunately, the requirement to ensure data is accurate does not apply to all."

The requirement applies. It's just that businesses aren't always good at applying it. The more self-important the business the less good they are.

"Despite threatening to call the police on us as we had breached data protection"

In the circumstances my reply would have been "see you in court - as a witness against you for wasting police time".

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"99.9% of the times I've called up any utility companies... there is literally zero need for them to personally have access to any of those details."

It depends what the call's about. If it's to do with utilities there can be a definite need to know as the physical network can be a problem. Recent anecdotal evidence is that the call centre doesn't know enough. Last week the road was closed for water main work almost at my gate with no notice. The call centre operator was sure it was a different road that was affected.

Yesterday the internet connection went dead. And then it died a second time. Checking the phone showed no dial-tone either. When I finally got back online I rung BT. The immediate response was to offer an engineer visit (at a cost of £85 if it was a false alarm); no no faults or work in the area. I went down to the village and found 2 Openreach vans with one engineer working at the cabinet and another down a manhole doing remedial work on the cable between the two. Call centre don't have access to that information or aren't able to relate location of work to physical addresses.

Congrats from 123-Reg! You can now pay us an extra £6 or £12 a year for basically nothing

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Re: Moved to Mythic Beasts

"Mythic Beasts who seem ok. They don't offer free web or mail forwarding which is a shame."

They offer both.

Log in and go to https://ctrlpanel.mythic-beasts.com/customer/home

Top left of the options is "Web and Email Hosting". The second option there is Web Mail which offers a choice of Round Cube and Squirrel Mail.

On the "Mail Configuration" page the first option on the "Add delivery address" panel is "Forward to".

Maybe you've discovered all that by now.

Between you, me and that dodgy-looking USB: A little bit of paranoia never hurt anyone

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You're dealing with marketroids & PR.

These are the folk who will keep sending out emails which exactly emulate phishing emails to customers and would-be customers. Emails, even, warning their customers of the dangers of phishing. They'll keep doing that until you prise their keyboards from their (hopefully) cold, dead hands.

Given half a chance they'll hoard customer details contrary to GDPR until they earn their employers multi-million quid fines.

They'll make every effort to force ads onto people who make abundantly clear by using ad blockers that ads are unwelcome and hence hugely counter-productive.

They lobbied Bambi's govt to make exceptions for existing customers to let them bypass TPS and make those calls despite use of TPS should send the same message as ad-blockers.

They're the biggest single risk to their employers in terms of pissing off potential and existing customers and in attracting GDPR fines.

You're never going to talk sense into them.

France: Let's make the internet safer. America, Russia, China: Let's go with 'no' on that

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Re: Strange bedfellows here...

@ Phil O'Sophical

It's now over an hour since you posted that & el Reg still hasn't corrected it.

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World leaders were meeting in France for the Paris Peace Forum, where French President Emmanuel Macron used the Internet Governance Forum

So it's forums (or fora) all the way down.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

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Re: I think this proves you can throw things away...

"my theremin. I hadn't touched it in years."

Dammit. I've only just caught that. Nice one, Simon.

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Re: Logic

"As such it is impossible to benefit from you having it."

No, you benefit immensely from having it. The benefit is the absence of the need you'd have if you binned it. Don't discount that.

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Re: Peeking?

"All nicely labelled so things can be found"

That's cheating!

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Somewhere I have an early Nokia Communicator Superb build quality (IOW size and weight of a brick). All it needs is a new battery but can you still get the original credit card sized SIMs?

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Re: I think this proves you can throw things away...

"I got rid of my Dyson - it was just gathering dust"

Isn't that what it's supposed to do?

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Re: assuming you know what it is

"leave them undisturbed for more than a week.and they will form an impenetrable tangle"

I've explained this before. It's how they breed. You know it's true because there are always more than you started with except for the one you were looking for which has been divorced and left the family home.

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Re: I feel the need...

Five minutes later - without even looking for something else


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Re: I feel the need...

"Someone please make me feel better and tell me i'm not the only person that does this?"

No. Most recent was a pair of pliers. Couldn't find my pliers anywhere. Went out and bought a new pair. Used them. Went to set them down and realised I was putting them beside the pair I couldn't find on a shelf I'd searched several times. Tools have this mysterious ability to dematerialise, possibly move to a different place and maybe time and then return by some quantum jiggery-pokery.

Palliative care for Windows 10 Mobile like a Crimean field hospital, but with even less effort

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Re: "The goal is to make the OS team work more like lean startups"

"The goal is to make the users the beta testers."

If you do that you've got to take note of what the beta testers say. That applies irrespective of who the beta testers are.

UK.gov fishes for likes as it prepares to go solo on digital sales tax

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Re: Industry mouthpiece TechUK sound like idiots

"Represent your clients by all means, but don't think up excuses that make them look like incompetent idiots in technological savvy terms"

No need to do that at all. Said clients manage to do that all by themselves.

Take their "recommendations" for a start. You may be interested in whatever it was I made a one-off purchase of.

The chaos resulting from a failed delivery to an Amazon locker which results in a courier being tasked to come to the door to collect the item that wasn't delivered because they treat non-delivery as a return.

The spamming for feedback which, should I ever consent to click in a link in a spam, is only going to result in score that represents the negative customer service that is spam.

The failure to notice that an item hasn't legitimately moved out of (and probably can't be found in) the depot where it's recorded as having arrived at and should be delivered from.

The battery of estate agents' ads that follow any search for information about a specific place.

And more and worse besides.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Spreadsheet Phil hopes that it will bring in £5m in 2019-20, rising to £275m the next year and to £440m by 2023-24."

Has there ever been a Treasury prediction that didn't look more optimistic the further it got into the future? And has any Chancellor ever presented the eventual result to Parliament with a comparison of the predictions of one, two, etc. previous years?

NHS*IT: Welsh system outages put patients at risk

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Re: NHS Wales

"x Ray done and results instant on the dentist pc"

Remembering the days of wet chemistry for developing X-rays and even the gains resulting in use of Polaroid-type film I'm still surprised by the speed by which they can get an image onto the PC. Is the "film" some type of CCD?

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Re: NHS Wales

"I have noticed throughout, however, these pages that any positive comments about Wales receives downvotes as a matter of course."

Someone was determined to prove you right so have an upvote.

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“The fact that NHS Wales still refers to its digital programme as 'Informatics' is emblematic of how dated its approach is.”

I raised an eye-brow at that too. Using last year's buzzword is bad; using last century's....

Junior dev decides to clear space for brewing boss, doesn't know what 'LDF' is, sooo...

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Re: Killing a database?

"After that more care was taken in ensuring data integrity."

Put the box lids on and secure with string?

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Re: Coincidentally...

"We never did get the job, which was based in an East Anglian city well known for football and insurance."

Were they also as keen as mustard?

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"Running a full backup will normally consolidate the transaction logs on a MS database (SQL, Exchange, etc) server. If you run incremental or differential backups, it doesn't."

I'm more used to Informix where you back up the logs separately. Also the restore of a full backup plus incremental takes you to a fully check-pointed position. You only need the logs since the last incremental was made to roll forward from there. And you were doing your incrementals every night or even more frequently, weren't you?

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Re: Killing a database?

"I'm not paranoid about it"

Being paranoid is the essential requirement for a DBA.

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Re: Coincidentally...

"I'm quite sure the local acting DBA was later called for a word or two"

The local acting DBA would probably have had a good response if he dared use it: "Why don't you send me on a training course?". That wouldhave put his manglement in a real quandary - if they did that they might have to pay him the going rate for a trained DBA.

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"Why would database software be written such that deleting an ancillary file ( such as a log file of historic steps) cause it to fall over?"

Not familiar with that particular engine but one possibility is that it contains the log of current transactions, i.e. WORK that's STARTed but not yet COMMITted or ROLLed BACK. That puts the engine in a bit of a quandary as to what it's working on. The longer term need for the logs is to roll the database forward after a restore from backup and there ought to be a means of archiving logs for use as and when required instead of letting them grow indefinitely.

Brit boffins build 'quantum compass'... say goodbye to those old GPS gizmos, possibly

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Re: Quantum navigation

"passed it some Schrödinger fellow because he wanted to see if it was both raining and not raining at the same time."

And he left it in a box where it's folded up or not folded up.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

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Re: Few comments

"one of those 6-figure CNC machines with a DOS controller"

This is the Real World where computers do Real Stuff, not just PowerPoints.

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Re: Few comments

"new hardware for ME / 95 / 98 / Win 7 etc will become increasingly hard to find"

See the comment above about old hardware the running of which, which might be entire purpose of that particular box.

In news that will shock, er, actually a few of you, Amazon backs down in dispute with booksellers

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"Antiquarian Booksellers: almost as badass as Librarians."

Ordinary librarians have nothing on special collection librarians. They weigh the books in and out.

Bloodbath as Broadcom slashes through CA Technologies personnel

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Re: As ye sow, so shall ye reap

Yup. The buyer bit.

Bruce Schneier: You want real IoT security? Have Uncle Sam start putting boots to asses

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Re: America always waits for class action suits

This is something that's always puzzled me. Why go with lawyer benefit jamborees class action suits where you don't control anything and aren't likely to see any significant damages when you win instead of tailoring the claim to what will just fit into the small claims process. Small claims negates the BigCo advantage and the death by a thousand cuts effect is likely to have a much quicker affect on the vendor than a long dragged out class action.

Can your rival fix it as fast? turns out to be ten-million-dollar question for plucky support guy

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"271st law of programming"

And free() doesn't.

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Re: recompense?

"shared box of Quality Street"

IME that counts as an unusually lavish reward.

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Re: Interrupt service routines.

"the bug was mine"

I worked for one company body-shopped in from a consultancy, as an employee, briefly as a freelance and even more briefly on behalf of a vendor with whom I was freelancing. The last was hand-holding migration to new kit with new versions of the OS & RDBMS.

The entire custom software application worked fine except for one SQL statement that failed due to incorrect use of SQL's 3-way logic. I recognised it. It was one I'd written back in the body-shop days and involved a tricky bringing together of two very different types of products when converting from non-SQL to SQL. It was my first exposure to SQL; that's my explanation anyway.

It was clearly wrong but there must have been a compensating bug in previous versions of the RDBMS engine because the whole thing had been working with no problems for about 10 years. The really odd thing was that my replacement as employee insisted that the original SQL was correct.

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"the expertise and work ethic of an arbitrary employee get again and again confused with a level of customer service a whole firm is believed to reliably deliver."

OTOH the customer knows that (a) supplier has a Ben and (b) that may be typical of their expertise and (c) competitor doesn't have Ben and (d) their lack of expertise was demonstrated by their insistence that the fix wouldn't work. (d) might be the real killer there.

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Re: Trivial fix

It's the old invoice breakdown: hitting with hammer, £1; knowing where to hit, £999

Windows 10 Pro goes Home as Microsoft fires up downgrade server

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Re: Expecting test versions to not have problems is amateurish.

"Expecting test versions to not have problems is amateurish."

Making comments without RTFA is amateurish.

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Re: Oh goody

"Consumer rights only apply to consumers though."

If MS have downgraded to a consumer version then maybe consumer law should apply.

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Re: Contractor rights

"is a great deal more interested in other things (according to El Reg, Poop, specifically) these days"

Not too big a difference.

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Re: Will this never end?

"Microsoft at least in consistent in the quality of its services."

That's ISO9000 for you. All that's required is consistency.

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Re: Oh goody

"However , if you manage to beat the M$ lawyers , all you'll get back is the cost of the win 10 licence"

There was one report of a woman who got a few $k for the disruption caused to her by the enforced upgrade.

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Re: Oh goody

"They will just deny all liability and point to their EULA that says you can't sue them for anything. Queue 10 years of costs in court getting nowhere."

Small claims court and stuff their unenforceable EULA.

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Re: The joke is on you!

"If MS wants to do you in the rear, they ask"


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Re: Just go Linux

"I used to prefer KDE years back, what desktop do people go for these days"

KDE but it's not as good as it was. The UX flat GUI infestation gets everywhere.

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Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

"Replacing the OS on a computer they bought as a unit would be like buying a car and replacing the engine with a completely different one."

More like remapping the ECU so the engine works like a better one.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"We're working to restore product activations for the limited number of affected Windows 10 Pro customers,”

Typical PR version. Limited as in limited to what? Everyone with W10Pro? Both users who used their left pinkie to switch on whilst facing north? Meaningless twaddle!

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