* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16427 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Also, Tories have commons majority and I am quite sure that, if MP vote is after all required ... Brexit vote be pushed through no matter what."

I'm not. It's a matter on which the big parties are split and have been for a long time. The whole referendum thing was an attempt to glue the Tory party together. It hasn't worked. I think it's an issue where whips will be defied by MPs who believe that the national interest is at stake.

Facebook chokes off car insurance slurp because – get this – it has privacy concerns

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Re: Just read Twitter then ...

"4 crashes to date"

I'd guess the insurers have a note of her record anyway without reading Twitter. That's assuming she's insured.

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Re: Dreadful idea anyway...

'The logical endpoint of Admiral's idea is that if anyone doesn't have a "social media" profile then they don't get car insurance'

It depends on how you look at it. I'd regard not having a profile as in indicator of a sober, well-balanced personality and set the premium accordingly.

Microsoft's chaps slap Slack chat brats with yackety-yak app

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Re: Why oh why?

"since before the great y2k hoax"

That's a bit of a give-away about the state of your commercial knowledge. I had a client who insisted on using a non-Y2K updated accounting package for a couple of weeks into Jan 2000 (they didn't want to risk switching whilst they closed down their financial year). It was no hoax. For those two weeks the thing fell over on a more or less daily basis. We had the vendors dialling into a modem on the server to fix it on an equally frequent basis to sort out the database. Fortunately most businesses weren't so daft.

Amazon guarantees bitterly contested Ohio wind farm project

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Re: Utterly unreliable nuclear power !

"That could happen in any industry, so it's dishonest to impute the Nuke industry for this issue."

And has, indeed, happened to some wind turbines. Too much wind. Or maybe the wrong sort of wind.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Green PR BS

'The fossil fuel industry is massively subsidized, with trillions in defense spending over the years to "secure" oil supplies in the middle east'

Wind and solar are subsidised by the costs of having fossil fuel plants on standby to make up the gaps. So if the fossil fuel industry is itself subsidised then wind and solar are doubly so.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Meanwhile the large turbine on my horizon hasn't turned for months. Admittedly this is an exceptionally long period for it to be out of service. I'd call it TITSUP (Total Inability To Supply Usual Power) but I'm not sure its reliability record is good enough to justify "Usual".

Survey finds 75% of security execs believe they are INVINCIBLE

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Re: Reasons

"Compare to the minor wobble and bounce back on share prices, and ambivalence by most of their customers, and the tiny cost of fines, then they can continue to ignore it"

GDPR is coming. I suppose there'll still be some execs who'll have to learn the hard way.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: optional title

"a bit Dunning Kruger really"

Make that a lot Dunning Kruger. With extras on the side. I posted the other day that paranoia is the prime requirement for sysadmins & DBAs. It should be even more so for security execs. Eternal vigilance is not enough.

Teen UK hacker pleads guilty after earning $385k from DDoS tool

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"We want to make clear it is not our wish to unnecessarily criminalise young people, but want to harness those skills before they accelerate into crime."

The police didn't criminalise him. He did that himself.

Windows 10 market share stalls after free upgrade offer ends

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Re: Elderly relatives

"if you have elderly or vulnerable relatives"

Don't be mean. Let younger relatives use it as well.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "Windows is far easier to use for non technical people."

"So, you'e suggesting that if a Windows user switches to Linux, not only will they need to run any software not supported in Linux through a third party software layer and hope it runs with no issues, and they'll need to buy a console to be able to play games?"

I think he was suggesting that if you want to play games doing so on a console would cost you less than upgrading a Windows PC to do it there.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The internet is full of Windows programs to download to do what you want, it is not full of linux programs. Few people want to run commands to install software, they just want to double click an icon and it gets installed and creates a nice shortcut on their desktop."

The trouble with posting this sort of bollox is that it immediately identifies your lack of experience. What you probably mean by "the internet" is the web. Mostly Linux users don't even have to go to the web to download stuff from the net. What they need is right there in their distro's repository and they already have what they need to access that. And that's access with a click or two because their distro already provides a GUI interface to the repository.

What's more, if I were using Windows I'd always be a bit dubious about anything I'd download from the web.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "a new version of OS used to trigger purchases of new PCs."

"Up to and including Windows Vista each successive iteration of Redmond's OS virtually mandated a new pc (or a significant hardware upgrade) in order for it to run with anything like decent performance."

Yes but, of course, you didn't buy the new PC unless you wanted the new OS. The change is not wanting the new OS.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "It looks like users won't adopt it if they have to pay for it"

"The overwhelming proportion of sales of Windows licenses to the private sector has always been driven by the purchase of new PCs."

So the lack of growth is due to lack of purchases of new PCs. But it used to be the case that a new version of OS used to trigger purchases of new PCs. Recent versions of Windows seem to have changed that behaviour.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I'm not surprised...

'Let me see you install Fallout 4, Dragon Age; Origins or Skyrim Special Edition in "one click"'

It depends on what you want to install. I have no interest in installing any of those in any number of clicks.

Arch Linux: In a world of polish, DIY never felt so good

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A systemd-using distro being touted as the last refuge of Linux purists? Really?

Microsoft ends OEM sales of Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1

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"They will enter the job market with next to zero influence from Microsoft"

I'm not sure about that. They put a lot of effort into the education market.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: When the time comes

"The only question is whether the 'Linux' community can get together and create a credible offering in the next couple of years."

(a) Why the quotes?

(b) Some organisations have already found the existing offering quite credible. They're apt to find MS piling on the pressure (e.g. Ballmer found he just had to pay Munich a visit without even waiting for Oktoberfest). But in the end MS will find they can't twist all the arms.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I don't hate Win10

"Maybe I'm just getting soft in my old age"

Sounds like it. Go and read the new MS "privacy" policy. Note what it enables them to do and how it avoids putting any limits on that. Compare that with the GPL or BSD licences. Then start frothing at the mouth again.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: And it still makes you wonder...

"why is it then still (almost) impossible to buy a machine without an OS?"

Because the cost is largely or even more than offset because of all the crap trial-ware (or trial crap-ware) the vendors are paid to install.

Stiff upper lips and sun glasses: the Chancellor bets on Brexit feeling

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"However, science, technology, and academia must now get in line behind car manufacturers and other sectors of the UK economy – and the regions expecting the Treasury to make up the shortfall in spending that would have come from the EU or to offset any trade tariffs with states in the single market post-Brexit."

What that means, I suspect, is that the sectors and regions that voted Remain are going to be bled dry to protect those that voted Leave from the consequences of their actions.

UK will retaliate against state-sponsored cyber attacks, Chancellor warns

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Re: Oh no...

"I'd have more confidence in this committee if it was chaired by a cyber security expert, not the Bean - Counter - in - Chief."

Chancellors of the Exchequer aren't generally bean counters. In Hammond's case he's been both Defence and Foreign Secs. But the most impressive thing about him was what happened when he was first appointed to the cabinet as Transport minister. He announced "the war on the motorist stops here". Can you imagine the consternation in the DoT? He was promoted to Defence PDQ. That's a politician who really knows how to get the Civil Service to take action.

Hm, is that a minefield? Let me just throw my magic bomb-sniffing spinach over there

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"Then put the sensor in my next phone."

I don't think your selfie stick will be long enough for safety in a minefield.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Botanically interesting. I think it might be missing something in practical terms as a mine detector.

Ransomware victims screwed

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20% fail to get their data back after paying ransom? It's enough to make you distrust criminals.

Quest celebrates first day of independence from Dell with layoffs

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General manager of network security unit laid off? That'll encourage potential customers.

Cloudflare ordered by judge to help unmask two website owners

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Assuming they {Cloudflare) kept the records all they can disclose is what someone, who they don't know and wouldn't be able to recognise, typed into a computer somewhere in the world, something they didn't see happening. From that Elsevier expect them to give evidence of identification?

Smart Meter rollout delayed again. Cost us £11bn, eh?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: No tin hat here

"If someone fat-fingers a disconnection, I'll call up and report it like any other power outage."

You'll then be told they didn't do it, it's a faulty meter. It'll be replaced within two working days. There'll need to be somebody there to let the technician into the house.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Free?

so the usual UK energy policy outcome - a costly, complicated change that helps nobody the usual suspects.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: What's the advantage to the consumer?

"The CFL are head and shoulders above the others"

That depends on your application. If you want something that gives you your 900-1200lm in little used circulation space, say a hall & landing fitting CFL is going to disappoint. Switch it on when you enter the space & it still won't have reached full brightness when you exit. The older it gets, the worse it gets. You're going to have to leave it on & waste the efficiency. Even your filament bulb is going to be better at that job.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The gravy train rolls on..."

Continuing to pay Crapita to fail to roll it out might not be the worst outcome.

WebAssembly: Finally something everyone agrees on – websites running C/C++ code

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Re: O.K. concept

"there's no reason this shouldn't work.

It's running in a browser.

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Re: Safe?

"This code is then executed in what is, hopefully, a safe environment"

Spot the key word in there.

Hope springs eternal.

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"Sure it will be different this time."

It always is.

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"Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla on Monday announced preview versions of WebAssembly, a low-level safe binary format designed to allow C/C++ code to run in web browsers."

Safe? We'll see.

KCL out(r)age continues: Two weeks TITSUP, two weeks to go

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Setting the new standard for FAIL

"KCL also blithely disposed of the *very first* computer worth the name"

What can you expect. It was digital & KCL was into analogue - the Wheatstone bridge.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Setting the new standard for FAIL

No. They did that years ago if the legend I heard in the '60s was true. According to that, after the war we were offered the whole of Somerset House, not just the east wing. And the offer was turned down.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"You have to ask yourself what are you protecting against? Then solve for that."

Complete loss of data storage and processing power. How it's caused is immaterial.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"RAID absolutely is a backup against failed drives."

It's not a backup against flood, fire, theft, accidental deletion, ransomware...

It's not a backup.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Optional

"All these people carrying out a FULL backup.... I take it you also tested that the restore process worked?"

Being a paranoid sysadmin, this goes with the territory.

Google drops a zero-day on Microsoft: Web giant goes public with bug exploited by hackers

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"Adobe worked fast on its patch because Flash malware was already in the wild."

You wrote that as if it was something new.

Uber drivers entitled to UK minimum wage, London tribunal rules

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Re: Bu****it language "This is your invoice but is not an invoice" Contract reads like an EULA

"While common-use language might refer to Uber's (or Lyft's et al.) as taxi's, they are not taxi's, they are hire car's."

And none of the nouns to which you have added unwarranted apostrophes are possessives. They're plurals.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: When UBER loses the Appeal

"They will just shut up shop here in the UK. (Maybe)"

Now that CETA's been signed they could move to Canada & then sue HMG.

America has one month to stop the FBI getting its global license to hack

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


"The United States has extradition treaties with more than 100 countries."

So they can extradite from more than 100 countries. If those treaties are along the lines of the US/UK treaty it's likely that a lot of people will be extradited to the US but not many from it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


"You are forgetting one little detail - the US insists on being able to extradite people to its courts, but refuses to allow extraditions of US citizens when they need to face the music."

We're holding a convention on international law enforcement in Berlin. Here are the invitations for the top tiers of the FBI administration...

Appointments on hold as (computer) virus wreaks havoc with NHS trust systems

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"All adult patients (over 18) should presume their appointment/procedure has been cancelled unless they are contacted. Those who turn up will be turned away."

It's the computer system that has a virus not the doctor.

The patient knows what time their appointment's for and may already have arranged to take time off work.

The doctor knows what time they have a clinic.

In some cases the examination may be impeded by lack of access to the system but that's not necessarily the case for all examinations. Take written notes. They'll need to be put online later and if there were notes from a previous visit they'll need to be compared to those earlier notes and maybe an extra visit to take action that follows the comparison. But a hospital should not be totally dependent on functioning IT systems. It sounds like the decision of an administrator totally divorced from any perception of patients' circumstances. If they can manage without the system for younger patients why not for adults?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"I bet it'll be another old dear of a health visitor"

More likely a dumbo millennial.

Boffin's anti-worm bot could silence epic Mirai DDoS attack army

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Re: "prompt the user to reboot"


AIUI these are telnet connections. They have a service running on port 23 that offers a login prompt for which the password is a known default. Replace that by a service running on port 23 that offers a message saying "Reboot your webcam and change the password".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: go for it

"They deem certain traffic undesirable .... Bye bye connection"

Some of them do it already. They call it traffic shaping. I had that happen when my ISP got taken over by another with a somewhat repetitive name. The traffic got shaped out of existence.

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