* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Customer data security is our highest priori- ha ha ha whatever, suckers

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"That's my boy. It's obvious that you understand the Circle of Life."

Retired freelancer here.

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Re: Company law

"I always tell people Point one of any Business Plan should be: Make a profit"

Not necessarily. Could be "Get bought out be Microsoft/Google/Salesforce/HP*/whoever for a shedload.".

*Select your preferred fragment.

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Re: Company law

'Whenever I hear the phrase "maximize shareholder value", I know the beancounters are in charge, and the company is not long for this world.'

Either that or you're hearing it from asset strippers who are trying to get in charge.

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Re: Company law

"The problem in the UK has always been short term thinking except in a few companies with strategies and vision like RR."

There's a case for banning quarterly statements. Maybe even requiring annual statements to report the previous two or even five years lumped together. That would encourage longer term thinking.

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"In the meantime, I purchased and installed my own copy of a much better and more expensive utility, and added the cost to the bottom of my invoice, which was settled as usual."

And, of course, retained it to use on subsequent contracts.

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Re: Shadow IT

"Shall I try my luck and ask for them to start NFS on the server again for the third time in a month and a half?"

No, but get them to replace FTP by scp.

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Re: Inflation

"There is phrase I once heard, during an course about agile, that your company product(s) will reflect your internal structure."

That goes back a few decades before agile.

User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

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Re: Can you hold down the power button

"Her car has automatic lights and in just a few years we now have people prepared to drive in the dark with no lights because they don't know where to find or how to switch on the lights any more."

Easily done. A few days ago I took SWMBO's car out - it's the one with 4WD & snow was forecast. Realised it's getting dim enough for the lights to have come on and they.. oh, they're not automatic. Never mind, the light switch is in more or less the same place as on mine...nope, that was her previous car. Then remembered it was on a steering column stalk.

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Re: @hplasm re jargon

"You owe me a new keyboard, monitor, & soda."

Don't drink soda whilst reading el Reg. Try this instead.

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Re: F+1+2?

"do you see a button that specifically says 'F12'?"

Slight snag with that. Laptop one: simply keying F1 - F12 gets the functions, holding down the fn key at the same time gets the hardware controls - brighter, dimmer etc. Laptop two: yup, you guessed it - the other way round. How do you know what the user has unless you're very familiar with the particular model.

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Re: Witless idiots

"pop ups too"

The real problem popups are those with at least 5 lines of spindly Arial text of which at least 3 are the path to some deeply buried file or a code understood only by the developer who has probably moved onto 4 other jobs since he wrote it. Copy and paste doesn't apply and there's no chance of writing it down correctly.

Error messages should be short enough and clear enough to be remembered.

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Re: Hmmm!

"Took me ages to figure out that it doesn't have a visible power button, you just press anywhere on the hinged front panel."

And did accidentally pressing anywhere on the front panel switch it off again? It sounds like one to avoid.

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Re: Can you hold down the power button

"Having to tell someone that it's the big key with 'Enter' printed on it was embarrassing for both of us."

Both? Why? Surely only the one being told.

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Re: Can you hold down the power button

"Rule number one ( and not just in IT) Sorry for shouting this, but, YOU DO NOT USE JARGON TERMS UNLESS YOU KNOW THE USER."

There was a time when terms such as "clutch", "accelerator" and "gear" were technical terms. At some point it becomes a reasonable assumption that such things become part of everyday language and, indeed, unreasonable to assume they aren't.

Microsoft's cmd.exe deposed by PowerShell in Windows 10 preview

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Re: I was told at work to learn to "embrace disruption"

The sort of garbage that drove me out of employment into freelance a couple of decades ago.

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Channelling the Windows shills: why should the ordinary user be subjected to an OS that has a command line interface? Surely everything should be clickable?

Mine's the one with the New Wave manual in the pocket.

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Re: Yet another Windows 10 annoyance

'KDE 4? Gnome 3? It's not for nothing that Mint was born - there were simply enough people fed up with having "cool stuff" shoved down their throats that they neither wanted nor needed.'

I'm not sure I recognize that situation. There were lighter weight desktops around all along. AFAICR Mint was a response to people wanting Gnome 2 functionality when a seriously deficient Gnome 3 arrived. KDE 4 also arrived on the scene with a good deal missing in comparison with KDE 3 (although it was supposed to be an early development version not intended for serious use). Those of us using KDE do so because it actually has stuff we want and the rest don't (in my case complete control of how I use the desktop surface).

The advantage of Unix-like systems is that they don't shove anything down anyone's throat. They provide the choice you advocate from a plain vanilla console upwards.

Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

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Re: "All White Execs"

"Do you need a safe space?"

A civilised society is one where it doesn't matter what colour the execs are. Although if the board member is turning green and hasn't moved from one meeting to the next maybe it's time they retired.

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Re: "If the 7S doesn't do something spectacular"

"I will say the techie crowd at the Reg sees lack of upgradability as a FAR worse sin than the average buyer will."

It's not just a matter of upgrading. It's also a matter of servicing. The laptop that can't have its storage upgraded is a laptop that can't have a dead drive replaced. Same goes for a dead battery: it should just be a quick order from one of the numerous online shops flogging spares, not a ceremonial visit to a "Genius" and a long wait. The average buyer might not be moved by upgrading but few would be prepared to do what another commentard here did; buy a second machine to cover the two weeks it took to get his battery replaced.

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Re: Surface is nice and all

"as long as you don't mind doing things the way poettering wants."

In Debian-land Wheezy is still LTS for a little longer and on newer H/W I'm giving Devuan a try.

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Re: FanBoi

"a bit of upgradability would be nice."

You're not even talking about upgradability just basic serviceablilty. Imagine the car analogy: how long to fix a puncture?

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Re: A fair response.

"Use sync & cloud to minimize the disruption when your Core and Companion aren't physically connected."

Wandering a little OT here - but it's Saturday at el Reg.

There's something here that keeps puzzling me. Two devices, one, portable, with you and one not. Why the apparent reliance on a third "device", cloud storage to keep them in sync? They can be synced peer-to-peer once they're brought together. There's no need for the second device to be in sync when you're not using it so why the cloud intermediary.

The use case of two non-portable devices, say work and home desktops, I can understand but not the rest.

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"Apple Past, when all the hype around product launches was real"

Now there's a statement to reflect on.

Hyperloop One settles hangman lawsuit

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"There is also the other Bambi"

You've forgotten the third, the one who smirked his way into becoming PM.

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"it's probably fair to assume that BamBrogan was given just enough to make him go away."

I think his idea of "just enough money" would be extremely welcome in Syntax Towers.

Surveillance camera compromised in 98 seconds

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"You assume a lot, in that who of they potential buyers knows how to check telnet passwords?"

Only those interested in mitigating the problem which was what the statement in the article was about. In other words, the best thing that you or I could do if we wanted to buy such a product.

Of course the better solution is regulation as I've written here numerous times.

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"The correct mitigation is 'put these devices behind your firewall',"

The correct mitigation is not to buy crap that can't have its password changed.

Apple admits the iPhone 6 Plus has 'Touch Disease'

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"a 5 year old fan oven that has had the fan replaced 3 times free of charge."

Don't remind me. It's coming up to that time of year again. One year the oven element blew on Christmas morning just after SWMBO had switched on to cook Christmas dinner. We've had at least one more element fail at about this time (not a real problem, I bought 2 after the first incident & keep ahead of that game now) and also a fan motor. At least it's a 15 year old oven so not as bad as yours.

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Re: "after being dropped multiple times on a hard surface"

"The UK Gov't can leave parts of EU law in UK legislation if it wants to."

And AFAICR "merchantable quality" pre-dates EU regulation on warranties.

Samsung flames out as Chinese march on

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With VW & now Samsung we've seen how easy it is for a hardware brand to damage its reputation. In contrast it seems almost impossible to damage a service provider brand, say an ISP, to do the same no matter how hard they try.

AI can now tell if you're a criminal or not

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"Although the theory has generally been disbanded"


TfL to track Tube users in stations by their MAC addresses

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Re: That's not how it works

"Tracking a device by slurping up the beacons it makes whilst looking for WiFi hotspots does not expose any data being transmitted by said device. As such, no you cannot identify the user, their emails, their web browsing habits, their home address, etc."

You missed the bit where the data is being collected by the company running the WiFi service so if you use that service, yes they can identify emails, browsing habits etc and work their way to the rest of it.

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Re: Bollocks

"its not hard to figure out why if there are delayed trains or mulitple trains arrive at the same time"

Or if there simply aren't enough trains. Thank goodness my days of commuting on the tube are long gone.

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Upvoted for the statistical point but "IF done properly, then the WiFi MAC address is a reasonably good, pre-anonymised means to use"

Note that the company collecting the stats is also the company running the WiFi service so can potentially identify the user from any use they may make of that service.

A better option would be to take the MAC, hash it and save that. If that's what they mean be anonymising then that might be OK but as the report stands it should be a bit worrying.

The solution to security breaches? Kill the human middleware

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"What's more, who monitors the monitoring software?"

It's software all the way down.

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"The answer is to step away from the idea of security as preventing anything from entering and look at monitoring what is going on inside your network to look for anything unusual."

And by the time you discover something unusual going on and stop it what damage might have been done? And what might it have installed somewhere inside? At this point you've got a clean-up to mount.

Surely prevention is still the first line of defence and monitoring the second.

Contracts trading personal data for digital content: Rights to remedy, redress required

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It takes the MEPs to do this, not MPs. Why wonder that so many of us think leaving is a bad idea?

Helping autonomous vehicles and humans share the road

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'Cyclists have to follow the highway code, or face fines, but there's no "Bicycle Test".'

I'm not sure about the face fines bit in practice. How else do you explain the woman I saw yesterday slowly wheeling her bike across three lanes of traffic against the lights?

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Re: Price hikes on the way @Dave 126

"Approach an incident at a lower speed and you have more time to react and possibly avoid it becoming an accident altogether. Approach at a higher speed and the forces involved can turn a minor collision into a serious or fatal one."

So would you rather be struck by a car travelling at low speed because the driver was concentrating on his speedometer or missed by one whose driver was concentrating on the road and let his speed drift up beyond an arbitrary number?

The driver's concentration is not infinite and the things most deserving of it are outside the car. By observing those the driver can subjectively set an appropriate speed. Solving complex problems involving motion, speed, relative locations etc. has been more or less automatic since our ancestors were swinging about in trees. Natural selection saw to that.

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Re: Price hikes on the way.

"- the people that think the best time to come out of the fast lane to exit the motorway is when they are 3 inches from the exit"

Can I add the people that think they shouldn't take the exit after they've already taken it but still can't work out that the way to rejoin is to continue on the slip road, navigate round the junction and find the "on" slip road.

Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

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'The answer, apparently, is that to stop people clicking on crazy stuff, you take the crazy stuff away from people. You force Facebook to stop carrying anything crazy in a section labelled "News"... people carry on sharing the crazy stuff anyway"'

Maybe it's the people who are crazy. After all the "stuff" doesn't originate itself.

Three Mobile, two alleged hackers, one big customer database heist

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Re: Would these Telcos and ISPs be the same ones...

"I have nothing to hide (I.e. not a criminal)"

Of course you have something to hide. That's why the "nothing to hide" formula is a big lie to cover the removal of presumption of innocence. And you've fallen for that lie. You clearly do recognise the value of that data: that's the stuff that you should be able to keep hidden, you're probably contractually obliged to keep hidden (check your obligations in the T&Cs of any online accounts you have) and that those with whom you share it should be equally obliged to keep hidden. So why go along with the notion that bad stuff has to be hidden?

Microsoft ❤️ Linux? Microsoft ❤️ running its Windows' SQL Server software on Linux

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Re: Competition

"Currently we have SQL, Oracle and DB2"

Also Postgres, MySQL & MariaDB and Informix. Unfortunately IBM seem to do even less to promote the last than the previous management did.

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Re: Drawbridge

"Maybe Linus could get that built in to Linux."


What they've done is simply provide an library level emulator on top of the Linux system calls and libraries. A non-proprietary version of that has been about for years. It's called Wine.

"too old, stupid and/or lazy to learn the command line - like me"

I'll hazard a guess that I'm a good deal older than you. I've installed Linux for a number of even older relatives who never need to use the command line. As you seem to be admitting to being stupid I'd suggest that that lies in not realising that you don't need use it unless you choose to.

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So what it comes down to is this: they've done a proprietary alternative to Wine in order to run SQL Server under Linux.

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Re: "Can it run Crysis?"

" in my experiencce requires you to learn an archane annd unintuitive commmand line language to make it work."

Look, if you're going to shill, at least learn to spell.

Every time - every damn time - Linux and Windows stuff gets mentioned we have this spurious notion involved that Linux doesn't have GUI interfaces. It has a whole stack of them. For any given version of the kernel you can choose any of them. Windows may have had a selection of interfaces, sometimes overlapping in terms of being in current support, but it's strictly one to one between the core and the interface. Yes Linux also has the command line option; remind me what it's called. It's not cmd.com or Powershell is it?

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Re: Target audience?

"Organizations that want 'free' but don't care about 'open-source'? SQL Server Express running on Linux means a proper database for no money"

This only makes sense if SQL Server is the only thing you recognise as a "proper database". Some of us not only recognise other "proper databases"* but regard SQL Server as a Johnny come lately.

*Database engine or database server to be correct. Databases are just the collections of data that the engines manage.

US Director of National Intelligence legs it

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"I submitted my letter of resignation last night, which felt pretty good,"

Translated from Clapper-speak: he's been fired and he's livid.

Smart meter benefits even crappier than originally thought

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I admire the staff who produced this report.

They must have been working very hard to find reasons to keep the projected savings positive.

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"If i cut it off from the wifi - what happens?"

With eny luck you get in touch with someone who can be asked WTF this was about. And give them a good bollocking. Then you have a name when you raise your complaint with OFGEM. And the ICO.

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