* Posts by GreyWolf

120 posts • joined 29 Jan 2007


UK's Openreach sends full fibre to Coventry


Removing the copper cuts us off

We no mobile signal here. It's the shape of the land, and the fact that the nearest mast is a little short-arse (perhaps somebody wanted to "avoid harming the rural aspect" - fuck off, you townie). We are only two miles from an A-road, so this is not the Lake District or the Pennines.

Thus we will have no way to make a 999 call and have the location automagically identified when they pull our copper cable out.

There must be thousands of small pockets all over UK just like us.

We had a machine gun post at the crossroads during WW2. May have to re-instate it.

Southport: Come for a round of golf, stay for the flesh-eating STIs


Hey, it's Southport ...

...well known in t' North for uninhibited behaviour at the sleazier end of human depravity...

Learn your way round the Internet of Things in a day? Course you can...


Re: Optional

Try IoIT

Internet of Irrelevant Things

Nobody really wants IoT, there is no killer app, and the whole sector is a graveyard of good companies (see Ciseco for an example0.

Raspberry Pi 3 to sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE – first photos emerge


"They got widely panned here, seemingly for not being a Rapsberry Pi."

No, shipmate, they got widely panned for claiming to be a competitor to the Pi while being THREE TIMES THE PRICE. In other words, Intel completely missed the point.

Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Itty-bitty pyttipanna


Fat lot you know about culinary superpowers

"It's fair to say that Sweden is not known as a culinary world superpower". Yes it is - only the late great Escoffier (him what did the cookbook and reformed French cooking) said "Gravad lax is sublime, and is the Swedish contribution to world cuisine".

On the other hand, as I have lived in Sweden for many years, I agree entirely that pytt i panna is a real delight.

Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion


I returned two batteries yesterday in the recall

Got a £20 voucher for each, to spend in EE online shop.

Swedish National Font marches to the sound of whalesong


Söderhavet = Ironic

Söderhavet (the Southern Ocean) is clearly thus named because that's where the "creatives" who own the company want to retire to, in order to live on a nice tropical beach while necking Mai Tais. I mean, that's why you take government contracts, innit? Huge pile of wonga, f*ck off before the ink's dry....

Giant bank IT cockup of 2012 'could have brought down ENTIRE financial system'


Re: Tiny compared to the savings

Not unlucky - incompetent

IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres


Love Story Told in Linux Commands

whois gawk date unzip strip find touch finger mount join nice man top fsck grep eject more yes exit umount sleep dump

Password manager LastPass goes titsup: Users locked out


Re: Who trusts a third party with their authentication?


"This is one thing I would never entrust to "the cloud" - ever."

I see you got two downvotes immediately. That'll be one from the NSA, and one from GCHQ. Both of those love it when people put important stuff "in the cloud".

If you are ever in the same shower as an NSA or GCHQ person, don't drop the soap.

Need a US visa, passport? Prepare for misery: Database crash strands thousands


The new paradigm...

...do everything the RBS way...

UK gov rushes through emergency law on data retention


Here's the definition...

Here's the definition, encapsulated in a Czech riddle, given to me by my very good friend who grew up behind the Iron Curtain:

Q: Why do policement in Czechoslavkia go around in threes?

A: One can read, one can write, and the other is there to watch those two dangerous intellectuals.


I was sad in 1989 when the Iron Curtain came down..

...that all those wonderful Communist jokes would disappear, and in only a few years, no-one would understand them...

Now I see that our beloved Government is working to make them all relevant again...and a new generation of stroppy kids will be ridiculing our masters...

Hey, Marissa Mayer: Flexi working time is now LAW in UK. Yahoo!


Cloud-based technologies are ushering in a new social, cultural and corporate paradigm where..

...client companies go out of business because company data gets destroyed, hacked, stolen, held for ransom much more often...where service providers screw up the service for days at a time with no explanation or apology, or shut down their business with no notice, or lock you out of your data over a minor billing dispute. Just in the last few weeks Amazon Web Services, BT. No-IP have all screwed you over.

For almost any company, putting your trust in the "Cloud" is a suicide move.

Microsoft's anti-malware crusade knackers '4 MILLION' No-IP users


Accused of providing composting info to cybercriminals...

... We are a website in a rural village in Suffolk where those who compost their own food and green waste keep a record of what weights they have recycled. We hope to demonstrate that doing your own food and green waste recycling is worth the (minor) effort. This is of course exactly what cybercriminals need to know, and Microsoft wish to hush up.

Our site is unreachable because Microsnot are NOT doing what they said they would - they are not allowing innocent traffic through (or they are too incompetent to do the filtering fast enough, before the timeouts).

Revealed: GCHQ's beyond top secret Middle Eastern internet spy base


" If I was the cable owner,"

Callam, sorry lad, you don't know how this stuff works. The cable owner does not "make a massive public fuss", he/she/it contacts the Powers-That-Be and says "My knighthood seems to have got mislaid. It will be arriving tomorrow first post, will it?". No "massive public fuss" required, just a word in the right ear.

Waterfront flats plan for IBM's UK HQ as housing market goes bananas


Anybody seen IBM hanging out with BT lately?

BT have been trying to get planning permission for 2000 houses on the Adastral Park site, estimated worth to BT £300 million +.

Greenwald alleges NSA tampers with routers to plant backdoors


Details of the hack, list of routers

Description of the hack http://www.synacktiv.com/ressources/TCP32764_backdoor_again.pdf

List of compomised routers https://github.com/elvanderb/TCP-32764

Please work for nothing, Mr Dabbs. What can you lose?


Re: Returning a favour would be nice

I work for marmalade. I live in a village full of retired people, some of whom make killer marmalade. I ALWAYS respond to those people's requests for assistance. I also work for whisky - the composting group wanted a website, and gave me a bottle of Old Pulteney (if you haven't tried it, you've missed something special). The other guy, who can't keep his email working for more than 2 weeks at a time, takes me for days out on his yacht.

Works for me.

All men are part of a PURE GENETIC ELITE, says geno-science bloke


Essex females @ Arnaut the less

If you really think that in Essex, females are now or ever have been unable to dominate, or are as oppressed as elsewhere in the world, I challenge you to say that out loud in Basildon on a Saturday night. I promise to give your remains a decent burial.

If you are not up for being the object of a blood sport, read about Boudicca (whose influence extended over most of East Angular).

Big Blue's GPFS: The tech's fantastic. Shame about the product


IBM products, licensing, etc

26 years at IBM, so I've seen this before. When you the product manager go to Legal before launch, to get the licensing decided, your project can end up being assigned to the nasty paranoid tight-ass, and you end up with an unworkable propositon in the market place. Even at behemoth companies like IBM, it oftens comes down to the attitudes of individuals.

In my day, it was not unusual to have to have a very large number of Go/NoGo signoffs before being permitted to launch. In one case, 57 signoffs, any one of whom could kiil the product after hundreds of thousands had been spent on developing it.

Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed


So... Windows 7, then?

No. Dual-boot with Linux. Mint Cinnamon looks like XP, mostly works like XP, closer to XP than Win 8, easier upgrade path than Win 8, lower rate of support calls from friends and family ...and in my experience, it's lighter and faster and more responsive than XP. So, no, I won't be laying out hundreds of pounds/dollars on a new machine or even more hundreds on replacing all the software that will not work on Win 8.


Re: How many XPers?

Go dual-boot with Linux. I went to Mint Cinnamon a while ago. Looks like XP, mostly works like XP, closer to XP than Win 8, easier upgrade path than Win 8, lower rate of support calls from friends and family ...and in my experience, it's lighter and faster and more responsive than XP. So, no, I won't be laying out hundreds of pounds/dollars on a new machine or even more hundreds on replacing all the software that will not work on Win 8.

When I "need" XP (for software I've paid for), I select it at boot time.

BTW, I have an nVidia graphics card - it works smoother and faster under Mint Cinnamon than it did in XP.

Security 101 fail: 3G/4G modems expose control panels to hackers


Can anyone point to a list of vulnerable devices?

Could be a useful list [cough cough] both coming and going.

BT-owned ISP Plusnet fails to plug security hole on its customer signup page


BT fix a software problem...

...don't hold your breath. I've seen what their software development process looks like from the inside. I know it used to be good, while BT still had its own IT development shop, now long gone. Nowadays everything is outsourced, takes for ever, and costs more and takes longer. And bugs don't get fixed because BT does not manage the contracts.

e-Reader feeling empty? Top it up at El Reg's book shop


Please create the Essential Guide to Getting Up Like a Sex Machine

The collected writings, build instructions, mission reports, launch stories, software code of the LOHAN-Vulture-PARIS Special Projects team. With feeeelthy pictures.

I'd pay for that.

Firefox joins the insanity


Firefox joins the insanity

There's a brain-eating paradigm loose on the streets - the idea that your UI has to be the same on your desktop, your laptop, your tabet, and your phone. So the designers either make the icons big enough for touch (and space-wasteful for mouse use) or too small to touch so they make you move your hands from mouse to keyboard and back (which James Martin condemned 40 years ago). We've seen Windows Metro and Ubuntu Unity.

Now - wait for it - comes Firefox Atlantis Preview and discussion at Daily WTF

One look at this and I've turned off Firefox's auto update on all my computers.

Test question for the alert student: what does the "fairy cake" icon do?

Ex-BT boss bags £9 MILLION bye-bye bundle, moves to key gov post


What He Got Wrong

1. Failed to oversee Global Services division while they were busy making a £100 million loss

2. Failed to get the land round Adastral Park sold (worth £300 million (at least) if planning permission is granted for the 2000 houses they want to erect next to an extremely sensitive European Protected Area.

3. Failed to sell Adastral Park itself (very likely that's their end game for AP which they no longer need or use)

4. Failed to see or deal ith the huge operational issues arising out of closing BT's own software development (who knew what they were doing, sort of) and shipping the work offshore to people who have no clue how BT's internal systems quirk (sic).

Fanbois shun 'crappy plastic' iPhone 5C


Re: IBM Songbook

That was so long ago that anyone who actually experienced it is now in their grave (or balancing on the lip thereof).

Snowden journo's boyfriend 'had crypto key for thumb-drive files written down' - cops


Where do you hide a book?

...in a library...

1. I want to get a copy of secret files out of UK reach

2. I make up up a shiney-shiney, a distraction, a bauble to attract the eye of spooks

3. I "hide" the real files among the shiney-shiney (encrypted differently).

4. I let it fall into the hands of GCHQ/NSA

5. Spooks are satisfied, but they don't know that the real thing has passed them by.

If you are going to Brazil from Germany, there are surely direct flights - if not, you go via Schiphol, not Heathrow. The only reason to go via Heathrow is to wave the shiney-shiney under the noses of the spooks.

'Symbolic' Grauniad drive-smash was not just a storage fail


The purpose was intimidation

1. This time it's your computer that gets the hammer. Next time you publish something, it's your head.

2. This time it's your boyfriend gets done over. Next you publish something, it's you, and it won't be the hammer, it'll be an HIV infection, your home burnt down, and your boyfriend renderd to an American jail.

12 simple rules: How Ted Codd transformed the humble database


Chris Date was my instructor...

..on the various database models..he had to get pretty egotistical and dogmatic because of the "misleading" (aka pack of lies) FUD being spread by the Codasyl advocates. Chris came up with a simple and obvious Codasyl design, a simple and obvious program code example - no-one was ever able to debug it - if I remember rightly it was about 20 lines of code and contained at least 18 bugs. The fundamental problem that he was illustrating was that ring structures like Codasyl look nice in the abstract, but it is impossible to validate programs wrtten for them..

Microsoft warns of post-April zero day hack bonanza on Windows XP


Re: Is there a basic flaw in this reasoning?

You have not understand how these bugs arise.

The process of removing bugs is called debugging. So what is it called, the process of putting bugs into software?

It's called programming.

Every time MS add or change anything in XP, they add bugs. The best news about April 2014? MS will stop screwing around in XP.

It's now or never for old sysadmins to learn new tricks

Black Helicopters

Cloud is so over

or at least, cloud provided by a third party (see recent news about NSA, GCHQ, ISPs and telcos spreading their legs). The Data Protection Act 1998 (and EU legisation) makes it illegal for you put personal data into the care of a cloud provider that is not wholly compliant within the correct jurisdiction.

OTOH, having your own cloud implementation makes sense if (1) you have the problems that cloud solves (2) you have the expertise in-house to design and build it. Few places have (1) and (2).

IBM CIO's Great Refresh: No, Sales Guy, you can't JUST use DropBox


"Building apps for Big Blue".

"to help IBMers quickly find experts in a field using simple keyword searches" was what I was doing in 1986-1987. Obviously, the moment the real hotshots leave, the entire company falls into disrepair.


Re: Translation needed

Customer to IBM salesman: You want me to buy this? Do YOU use it?

IBM salesman desperately wants to be able to say, not just YES, but How would you like to see it in action?

- Chance to show off the products, that they really do what it says on the tin

- Chance to get customer away from the office, more willing to open up

I remember one outing to see the new colour screens (circa 1978). We went on a IBM company jet to Brussels. Don't tell me that wasn't exactly what the salesman wanted.


Re: IBM Software

I was an employee, and already an experienced email user since several years back, when we were all pushed over to PROFS (aka Noddy Email for The Toddlers of Corporate HQ). I am still deeply scarred by the experience, and the thought has me reaching for the whisky, beer, anything to blot out the memory...

British computing pioneer James Martin found dead in Bermuda sea


I did what he told me to do..

I used his 1973 book " Design of man-computer dialogues" to design the interface for an IBM software product, which got launched with my interface. The product was very profitable, and is still out there, still doing what it is supposed to (but of course the UI has been replaced since by far better technology than was available to me). And I think my copy of the book is still in the store room - might worth taking a look to see if it still makes sense in this fascinating modern world we live in.

I'll raise a glass for him.

RBS Mainframe Meltdown: A year on, the fallout is still coming


Re: AC: This wasn't a hardware flaw. This wasn't a mainframe flaw.

" what would probably have been a far simpler task on UNIX, Linux or Windows.....?"

You have just revealed how little you understand of what the night batch at a bank actually entails...

When to say those three little words: 'I am quitting'


Re: Caveat Emptor

I agree about British managers. I worked in Sweden for many years, where 75% of managers have a technical or science degree, and are fully numerate - they do the calculations on every business decision, very little is decided on dogma or fashion. I've seen the stats on British managers - less than 50% have education as high as A-levels. In my experience, they are selected to be wilfully ignorant bullies.

Fifty, fired and fretful: Three chaps stare down CAREER MORTALITY


Forget getting a job...

become a contractor. Being an employee means that the company takes all the value from your work and pays you a pittance. Being a contractor means that the value of your work remains in your control for you to choose what to do with. You can build up a cushion to pay the bills with, so you sleep well at night. When it is your own company, it can buy you a stakeholder pension and deduct the cost.. You can take your income as salary or dividends, according to your tax situation. You decide how much holiday to take and pretty much when. Best of all, you can pick and choose who you work for. You can charge the d**kheads double rate, or refuse the gig, or give notice when they behave badly, confident that there'll be another gig along in a minute.

IBM's $1bn layoffs latest: Now axe swings in US, Canada - reports


Re: Workforce rebalancing

IBM invents these stupid phrases for all these layoffs, but the inmates of the asylum rename them instantly.

1992 Career Transition Program (CTP) became "Cash To Piss-Off"

1993 Skills Rebalancing Option (SRO) became "Smiling, Rich, and Out".

EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan


Re: Pork Barrel

@ Danny14 "Data roaming across the WHOLE of the EU would be the best pork barrel contract known to man for some telco."

Vodafone are deeply interested and have been gearing up for this for some time....mind you, their mindset is conditioned by their history with mobes ("try the product in the marketplace and dump it if it doesn't fly immediately"), which is completely wrong for a life-and-death service that has to function reliably for decades.

Culture Sec: You - Google. Where's the off switch for all this filth?


Bloody noobs..

..government ministers who have absolutely zero clue how any of this actually works, ranting on about things they don't understand...and ignoring the things they are actually supposed to understand (namely, human nature). [Actually, this is probably just theatre, like airport security]

Every time you ban something, it goes underground and becomes impossible to control, and a moneyspinner for criminals.

It will end up just like the guns thing (nobody has guns except the criminals, who have as many as they want). or the Prohibition thing (people go right on drinking, thereby fundng the rise of the Mob).

How to get rich: (1) harvest material likely to be banned while it is easy to find (2) put it on web servers that do not have a domain name associated (3) sell the IP addresses to those who want access (4) let the ISP dynamic reallocation occur (5) those who want access have to buy the new IP addresses every time they change(6) PROFIT!!!

You can use multiple servers in multiple jurisdictions and TOR or proxies to make it hard to find you - just be a moving target.

IBM gets ready to push more UK and Irish bods overboard


How are the mighty fallen...

IBM used to create a 5-year-plan and keep it up to date, so they knew in advance what was going on and what to do about it.

But now they have fallen into the Wall Street disease, which thinks that knee-jerk reactions to three-month results are the right route to profit. Yes, but that's not a route to long-term profitability.

Bah, humbug.

O2 brushed off outsourcing 'rumour' - but it's happening ... to THOUSANDS


Subtle problem

The decision makers who decided to outsource waited till it could be proclaimed a success, then either have been promoted or moved on to a better job smartish. They are never available to be punished.

Builder-in-a-hole outrage sparks Special Projects Bureau safety probe


Ref doghouse and "tenuous IT link"

Obligatory reference to Raspberry Pi. Camera driven by Pi, image analysis to ensure that the automatic dog-feeder that you install will feed the correct amount to the correct dog. You might as well get the R-Pi in its idle moments to record Radio 4 on iPlayer and play the programs back to the dogs time-shifted to Central European Time. And check the temperature inside the doghouse and spray water onto the roof when it gets unpleasant for the dogs.

UK.Gov passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now


A Point Being Missed...

Everybody is talking about suing the thieves. To do that, I have to know it has happened.

How will I ever know that has happened, except by chance? The images could be used anywhere, in any country, on any medium.

I will have to run searches to detect abuse of my images. I will have to run the equivalent of the Google spider with the TinEye image comparison built in. It's not practical., I don't have the resources. In the end, I'll get shafted and never know.

Mind you, if we all club together, build a server farm out of old computers, then run lots and lots of Google spiders, we can bring the web to its knees, and show the government that they can't expect the new Benefits system to go on working while they are simultaneously shafting the citizenry.

Inside Adastral: BT's Belgium-sized broadband boffinry base


Not a word of truth...

This piece reads as if it is a rehash of a BT press release. Let's deconstruct it, using a few facts as crowbars to break through the layers of bullshit.

1. "home to thousands of engineers not just working on the frontier of boffinry"

No boffinry (in the meaning of basic research) has occurred at Adastral in the last 10 years.

2. "Thousands of engineers". there are around 4,000 people working at Adastral, of whom only 1500 are permanent UK employees of BT. The rest are onshore contract workers, mostly from the subcontinent, who are operations and support staff for the various IT services that are hosted there. The 4,000 is down from 11,000 in 2004, who were all permanent UK employees.

3. "the park hosts a £500m scale model of BT’s full global network". When Adastral is redeveloped, that will disappear. The building that houses it does not appear on the redevelopment plans.

4. "The team now has a full licence to invest BT’s cash in helping young Brits discover their creative spark " But it's Google that are buying Raspberry Pis for our schools, not BT.

5. "BT is now working on plans to create 2,000 new jobs and provision for up to 2,000 homes by 2025, by opening up areas of Adastral Park as a science campus." BT has never committed to creating 2,000 new jobs, and cannot even point to more than 1800 jobs that are already in existence on the site, even if they count the restaurant staff and the building maintenance people, none of whom are BT employees.

6."opening up areas of Adastral Park as a science campus" BT has been trying for at least 10 years to attract other firms to the park, without success. I know of at least one firm that tried it out, but left when they found BT could not provide a fast reliable broadband service inside their own science park.

7. The truth about the "provision of 2000 new homes" is that BT having inherited for free a large stretch of land that was bought by taxpayers for the RAF, is now getting the local council to alter its policies to allow BT to sell the land with planning permission, This will give BT a windfall between £100 million and £300 million.

One of the companies resident at Adastral, not listed in the article for some reason, is Huawei, who would dearly love to have a foothold in Europe. An established research park, with a company town literally next door, would be just what they want. Of course there would be no significant numbers of permanent UK employees - they'd be all imported.

Dave Wilby, you've been had.


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