* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16449 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

Security guard cost bank millions by hitting emergency Off button

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The Big Red Button story we're all waiting for is the BA one from last year.

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Re: Slightly off-topic, but a memory stirred by tales of being shown around places.

The only possible response--->

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Re: Kim or Ken?

"When you smell and see fire, you don't hesitate, you use the emergency button to shut down kit"

Not if everybody who knows what's what (a) hasn't hit it already and (b) is shouting at you to tell you not to. You can at least allow a few seconds to check.

Thunderbird gets its EFAIL patch

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Re: Good to see it's still in development

"If Thunderbird pooled resources with Pale Moon, Waterfox, Basilisk, and SeaMonkey"

Even better, if they, and preferably Seamonkey, had gone over to the Document Foundation when that was proposed a few years ago...

US Declaration of Independence labeled hate speech by Facebook bots

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Re: Fortunately for us here in the UK

"Not abolished as much as subsumed in the Bill of Rights 1689 and the Human Rights Act 1998."

Abolished seems about right. We now have the presumption of guilt to allow mass surveillance. Anything in the BoR or HRA is now subject to ministerial whim. Why do you think the Home Sec in No 10 wants to get out of the jurisdiction of the European Courts who represent the only real way of overseeing a UK govt's respect for human rights?

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"We Americans may be muzzled on social media for hatin' on you Brits, for example"

AIUI you also regard Magna Carta as a foundational document.

Unfortunately we celebrated its 8th centenary by conveniently (for HMG) disregarding one of the few important remaining clauses, the presumption of innocence, in favour of the presumption of guilt to allow mass surveillance.

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"What happened to the first two parts?"

They died. After George IV it was considered wise to wait nearly a century before the next instalment.

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Re: This could be solved by...

"El Reg's world famous comment forums (which, amusingly, are social media)"

We are determinedly, and sometimes amusingly, anti-social here.

Sysadmin shut down server, it went ‘Clunk!’ but the app kept running

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Re: shutdown silliness


That was the one.

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Re: shutdown silliness

"That's the sort of thing the previously mentioned molly-guard is for"

If I were still working I'd look at that.

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Re: shutdown silliness

"Don't use the shutdown command."

I suppose it doesn't make as much difference as it used to do but when shutdown was first introduced it was a script. It enabled us to build in various extras such as inhibit new database connections during the grace period. Good luck doing that with halt.

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Re: type 'reboot' in the local console instead of the remote one

"In my eyes, a 30 day uptime is a prime contributor to root cause"

If you think a 30 day uptime is a prime contributor to root cause I've got news for you. The prime contributor is some other problem, maybe a memory leak, that's slowly poisoning your system. Your reboot is just treating the symptom.

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Re: Random USB

"Didn't think of that. Good point."

However, an LCD panel built into the back and front of each server that displays the name.

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Re: Random USB

"a roll of carpet with your name on it"

Or, given the present context, somebody's name on it.

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Re: BBC2's transmission mixer...

"I think it was only Wimbledon so not many people watching"

As the Beeb often contrived to have Wimbledon on both channels (even in the days when it had the test match coverage) you might only have lost half of it.

UK.gov IT projects that are failing: Verify. Border control. 4G for blue-light services. We can go on

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It's a pity that all this agency can do is issue warnings. If it had power to fire the incompetent and claw back payments for poor work and missed deadlines it might actually do something useful rather than tell us what we already know.

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"If Brexit is a mega-programme, where’s it happening and why haven’t we heard about it?"

Like all other consequences of Brexit it will only become visible on Brexit day. Or, in this case, some time after because it takes some time to work out the requirements. IoW, don't put off any long contracts for something else; you'll have time to do those and come back to get on the gravy train although by that time the gravy will be little more than boiled water.

They grow up so fast: Spam magnet Hotmail turned 22 today

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Re: Hooray?

"maybe I should quit being a tight-arse and *gulp* pay for my email account."

Maybe you should. Even I, a Yorkshireman, think my own domain and a few quid a year for as many aliases as I can eat is worth while.

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Re: Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam...

"I get hardly any spam at all"

I used to get quite a lot of spam to my Hotmail address, largely because of it being exposed on Usenet. Very little gets through now - Microsoft filtering has improved vastly over the last year or so. Occasionally SEO spam gets through - disappointingly little as I like to bait them now and again. Emails threatening suspension of the Hotmail account seemed to get through the filters occasionally although you'd have thought these would be the easiest to filter - does it pretend to come from us? yes, did we send it? no = spam. There was the occasional less well-informed spammer threatening to cut off my Gmail or Yahoo account but they all seem to be gone now.

A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

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Re: Killer App

"Perhaps it's well-intentioned, but in so many cases the result far exceeds what Access was intended for"

Think yourself lucky they didn't do it in Excel.

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"i have to run either the 32bit or 64bit prefix, but cannot run both at the same time, to allow two programs, a 32bit and 64bit to run at the same time."

Surely you could run each from its own script that sets the appropriate value of WINEPREFIX.

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"Unfortunately, ... the most popular supported programs on Wine are games."

This, I found, was the problem. They concentrated on performance for gaming at the expense of H/W portability. In particular they deliberately assumed display drivers reporting 24-bit pixels would handle 32-bit because they preferred word alignment. It led to a lot of bug reports where applications would crash on commodity H/W with Intel video.

As they regarded it as a feature the reports went unaddressed which didn't stop them sending out automated emails when new versions were released asking if it had been fixed yet. I kept recompiling new versions with a simple patch until (a) I got fed up, (b) the application I was interested in stopped using a 32-bit splash screen which was the only bit that caused the crash.

London's top cop isn't expecting facial recog tech to result in 'lots of arrests'

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"I think the public would expect us to be thinking about how we can use that technology"

Yes, innocent members of the public would expect the Met police to use a technology that might wrongly identify them as being wanted. Especially when the force is under the command of someone who has form for running an operation that ended in the shooting of an innocent man wrongly identified as being wanted, an event one would reasonably have expected to have been the end of her career.

Whoever thought it would be a good idea to promote her to a position which requires the trust of the community?

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Re: The spectre of Charles De Menezes has no face...

"the operation is which Charles De Menezes was executed."

Execution happens as the consequence of a trial and sentence. There was no trial in his case. Looking for a more appropriate word...

What a flap: SIM swiped from slain stork's GPS tracker used to rack up $2,700 phone bill

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Re: And the moral of this story is...

"Else they find them in the field of cabbage"

I thought it was under a gooseberry bush.

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On the avian theme I'm surprised el Reg hasn't picked up on https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-44668607

'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!

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"Some insurance firms offer cheaper insurance to careful drivers, based on readings from telemetry devices and sensors."

There's a GDPR case in the offing! Lawyers could get fat on the fine detail of that.

IBM fired me because I'm not a millennial, says axed cloud sales star in age discrim court row

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Re: Real benefit—or entrapment?

"If the older generation present a handicap to companies like IBM, it might be that they do indeed recognise the mountain of bullshit, and are torn between the need to bring in the cash, no matter how dishonestly, and the old-fashioned idea that you should, in fact, actually help your customers."

I was with you up to this point. However, the guy was a salesman and thus a front-line pusher of said bullshit. That wouldn't be a handicap to IBM.

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"I mean, I hate to sound like an SJW type, but this is a pretty blatant and disgusting example of age discrimination"

Age discrimination is not just the only discrimination that's PC, or SJW-approved or whatever this month's vocabulary has it, it's actually mandatory amongst these folks.

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Re: millennial

If this comes to court it should at least require the provision of a legal definition of millennial - and possibly of boomer.

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Re: Take the money

"Since he's engaged lawyers he's already spending whatever resources he has"

They could be no-win, no-fee lawyers who scent a big win.

"Personally I would have made taken the package and let my partners know of some newly found availability. After 25 successful years in sales he must have made some contacts."

True but a good damages payment in addition wouldn't come amiss, it might even allow him to buy his way into such partners' business.

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"he was on a team of four rather than eight"

Just looking ahead.

Not API: Third parties scrape your Gmail for marketing insights

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Re: Selectivity, again...

"So that would be an algorithm, artificial intelligence, a machine - not a person."

And what does Sample Application then do with the data? Sell it on? Use it as a basis for spear-phishing? Although the article says there's no evidence this has happened what we should be more interested in is the absence of evidence that it hasn't. Yes, I know finding evidence to prove a negative can be difficult or impossible but if companies want to be trusted simply saying they don't know something bad hasn't happened isn't really going to cut it.

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"Every time I go onto facebook"

I think you'll find that's where your problem is.

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"There is no evidence that any of the devs have misused data."

Is there any evidence they haven't?

Vodafone drank Facebook's network Kool-Aid … and LIVED!

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Does this mean that Facebook could actually have a life as a genuine tech business when/if the slurping business model finally gets extinguished ( https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/07/03/four_federal_agencies_facebook/ )?

British info watchdog slaps Midlands firm with £4,500 fine. Next time, register

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Operating CCTV without warning notices? It sounds like an ignoble thing to do.

'Coding' cockup blamed for NHS cough-up of confidential info against patients' wishes

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"privacy of patient data is a key priority for TPP, and we continually make improvements to our system to ensure that patients have optimum control over information"

Has anyone in this situation - other, maybe than Zuck - said that privacy isn't important?

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Maybe if data leaks were treated like H&S, where corporate and individual criminal responsibility is assigned and poor performance can result in losing your house and going to jail, then we'd see companies take it seriously.

From the Data Protection Act 2018:


Liability of directors etc

(1) Subsection (2) applies where—

(a) an offence under this Act has been committed by a body corporate, and

(b) it is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of

or to be attributable to neglect on the part of—

(i) a director, manager, secretary or similar officer of the body

corporate, or

(ii) a person who was purporting to act in such a capacity.

(2) The director, manager, secretary, officer or person, as well as the body

corporate, is guilty of the offence and liable to be proceeded against and

punished accordingly."

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Re: The Online Opt-Out Does Not Work Either

"I still do not see how they (UK authorities etc) can keep on failing at this simple stuff."

I don't know about the authorities but in TPP's case I can see quite easily how they do that. A few weeks ago I reported here seeing a recruitment poster "Write code/solve problems/save lives No experience needed". It was recruiting for TPP.

And TPP don't believe in providing first line of support for users; that's delegated to your GP's receptionist who is, of course, fully trained as first line IT support as well as being a receptionist.

I read this report on the Beeb a few hours ago. Unlike el Reg they didn't say who was responsible at the top of the report but I'd guessed who it was before I got that far.

Dear Samsung mobe owners: It may leak your private pics to randoms

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"are they going to turn themselves into the ICO"

Clarification: by "they" I mean Samsung. They're turning themselves into data processors on behalf of all their customers.

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And in the new world of GDPR are they going to turn themselves into the ICO (other regulators are available)?

DNS ad-hocracy in peril as ICANN advisors mull root server shakeup

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ICANN challenging somebody else's governance? Maybe there's a market for panes of glass out there.

RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

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A few years ago the Barnsley municipal art gallery had a show of props from SmallFilms. Apart from cocktail sticks & so on you can add cycle wheel spokes to the ingredients.

I'm too old to have watched it at the proper age, so to speak, but that's why you have children...

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Re: Oops

"a mistaken downvote from me"

You can just go back and change it to an upvote.

When Google's robots give your business the death sentence – who you gonna call?

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We have to keep saying, cloud's not really anything special, it's just somebody else's computer you can't control. But if it gets sold to CxO* types as a panacea there's little chance of getting this through to them except by experience.

* In absence of evidence to the contrary assume O stands for Orifice and you won't go too far wrong.

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Re: But...?

" you walk away and present the boss with a cost/benefit comparison of cloud vs self hosting, don't you?"

And probably get ignored by the beancounters. Although in this particular case if it had been a beancounter's decision getting the CFO out of bed to deal with it on his credit card would have been well justified.

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Re: More info?

"But I don't get it how you can bet your house on a free service that is clearly not meant for such use."

Given that there was a demand for a credit card it doesn't seem likely that a free service was used. In fact, IIRC, the quote in the article about AWS handling billing issues better came from the complainant and not a commenter, again pointing to the fact that it was a paid-for service.

Micro Focus offloads Linux-wrangler SUSE for a cool $2.5bn

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"Not bad price for free software"

And written by amateurs as so many shills commentards seem to have been told to say think.

Namecheap users rage at domain transfer pain, but their supplier Enom blames... er, GDPR?

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"it isn't clear how the General Data Protection Regulation is at fault for this specific issue"

Whilst GDPR has dealt with a few weasel holes from previous data protection legislation it's missed adding a penalty for blaming every miss-step on data protection. If they ever have a v2.0...

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