* Posts by Dwarf

684 posts • joined 11 Dec 2014

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Intel loves the maker community so much it just axed its Arduino, Curie hardware. Ouch

Dwarf
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Pint

I bet a cold beer that most would just have stuck to the Atmel based boards - given that its about getting people on the ramp of understanding how things work.

Why add in another variable for beginners?

Would those starting from page 1 copy the page they are looking at or go - wow, look thats got an Intel badge and a different spec ?

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Adobe will kill Flash by 2020: No more updates, support, tears, pain...

Dwarf
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Bit academic

Since most informed people have stopped using it anyhow.

I expect that the majority of users are just the corporate's out there who aren't sure whats still using it - hint - probably more malware than line of business applications.

Obviously they are less likely to be running an up-to-date browser that understands HTML5 at which point the need for flash is significantly smaller. .

I've been running without it for a long while, there are a couple of sites still whine that they want to install it - no I just go elsewhere to providers that have updated to not required this evil technology.

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

Dwarf
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Somewhere in Microsoft Land this makes sense

They produce a paint tool that people find handy and it gets used.Its not fancy, but it works and you can ensure that everyone knows its there, so you can use it for remote support to get screenshots.

They decide to make a 2D user interface on Windows 10, then ship it with a 3D paint program - oh the irony.

Then they remove the 2D version

Whats next ?

Visual Paint.Net version 35.4 - comes as a 20Gb download and has loads of features that you'll never need ?

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UK households hit by 1.8m computer misuse offences in a year

Dwarf
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Coat

Re: Is twatting a fly with your laptop...

Don't be daft, there are enough bugs in the system already - why introduce more !

Mines the one with the Zap-Bat in the pocket

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SQL Server 2017's first rc lands and – yes! – it runs on Linux

Dwarf
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Re: Good first step.

So, you've not heard about the SAMBA project then, its only been out for 25 years. :-)

Its not a full 100% compatible replacement, but most of what you care about is in there. See the Samba Main Page and Wikipedia article

SMB client support - Check

File server support - Check

Print Server support - Check

Domain member support - Check

Domain controller support - Check

If you check your repo, you will find it already in there.

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Eggheads identify the last animal that will survive on Earth until the Sun dies

Dwarf
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"Dwarf planets like Pluto and Eris might be able to, but are too far away to be a threat." - nothing like tempting fate is there :-)

Oi - Stop being sizist, Dwarf planets are just fine.

Oh and don't forget that things get smaller the further they are away from you, that doesn't mean its not a threat. Consider a Tsunami on the horizon or a freight train on the same track as you.

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1Password won't axe private vaults. It'll choke 'em to death instead

Dwarf
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Re: KeePass

You can already import 1Password .1pif files directly, its been available for a couple of years. Look at the plugins link on the KeePass site at KeePass Plugins

Want to define a form that you like for credit cards templates, then just add in the KPEntryTemplates plug-in and away you go.

Its all there and it works really well, local, cloud, PC, iPhone, etc.

Look at the plugins link and see what you like.

Make sure you check out the PickChars function - to help with the "enter the 5, 9, 2nd digit type challenges that some sites use.

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Electric driverless cars could make petrol and diesel motors 'socially unacceptable'

Dwarf
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As Clarkson once said.

The problem with public transport is that it goes from somewhere I don't live to somewhere that I don't want to go.

A car on the other hand .. Well, it was a broadly car themed show.

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Dwarf
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Marketing Waffle

Come back when there is a viable alternative that works reliably at the distances and frequencies that I need to travel, when I don't need to plug it in outside in the street every day, and when they stop looking like some 5 year old's view of what a car might look like and offer me more than I've got already.

Realise that cars are handy for getting a lot of people around in comfort with all the stuff they carry in their boots - luggage, tools and other work related stuff.

Come back when you have something viable. In the mean time, stop dreaming and wasting our time.

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Speaking in Tech: What is a Windows 10 licence worth these days?

Dwarf
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Whats a "Windows 10" ?

Not seen any of those things.

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Microsoft drops Office 365 for biz. Now it's just Microsoft 365. Word

Dwarf
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Perhaps

Perhaps when they can demonstrate that they can deliver some of their products on a 365 basis without the mandatory Russian roulette of downtime and the constant need for patching to stay on the supported version, then I might look again. Until then - I've got customer deadlines to worry about and I might go and look up the terms of the trade of descriptions act about false advertising. 365 implies always available.

A good start would be to define the "supported version" of all products as a number of years that is larger than the number of fingers a person has on one hand, not this "upgrade every 18 months to stay in support" plan that doesn't fit with the business change plan of any real company.

Microsoft. Take a look at the amount of new legislation that has to be met, the amount of testing (yes, that word again) that has to be done and look at where fiddling with the OS comes in the plan of "running the business"

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The AA's copped to credit data blurt, but what about car-crash incident response?

Dwarf
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GDPR

Can't come quickly enough.

Unless companies feel some pain when they fail to manage our personal data properly, they will continue to be laid back about things.

I might only be a row in a database to you, but my personal data is valuable to me - hence the word personal. For example when the bad guys run off with all our cash, it might stop us putting food on the table whilst we sort out your mess.

Customer service is the whole thing - treat us well and give good service and we might come back. Don't give a damn - well there's a good chance that we won't either.

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Male escort says he gave up IT to do something more meaningful

Dwarf
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Joke

Re: i did this when i was younger

Just a text or a call to say "You busy? Fancy some fun?" and then in half an hour I'm riding them like a donkey.

Most of the time when I see people riding a Donkey (at the beach), they are jiggling up and down at a random pace; often fall off unexpectedly. Some realise that they prefer watching someone else doing it.

There's also the cheap gag of someone making an ass of themselves.

Sorry, that all the innuendo's I cam cum up with.

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Intel launches 64-layer 3D flash client SSD

Dwarf
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Re: Spinning Rust

In my yoof I remember seeing an 8 inch hard disk that had decided it preferred to be a lathe until the tool bit, er, I mean head assembly finally disintegrated.

There was literally a large pile of bits in the bottom of the drive. First major hard drive failure I ever saw. Most of the rest have been really tame compared to that one.

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Northern Ireland bags £150m for broadband pipes in £1bn Tory bribe

Dwarf
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If you're going to dabble in politics, please get the details right.

That's the first time I've seen the words "getting the details right" and "politics" in the same sentence

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Latest Windows 10 Insider build pulls the trigger on crappy SMB1

Dwarf
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Re: Yawn

The bigger issue is that when they get to the bug list and adding lettuce to an icon is higher up than fixing the UI that everyone hates, or adding the option to remove telemetry completely then that tells us a lot about how Microsoft works internally these days.

Here's a hint on the unwanted telemetry - how about making it a role that can be added or removed and making it a separate service, so that we can choose what we want to do with it in the service list.

Either they don't care, or the skill set of their programmers are not up to much.

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'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Dwarf
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Joke

Re: When was the last update for...

Re: When was the last update for...

cat -n ?

cat -v ?

Generally after about 13 years, unless they play chicken with a car before that.

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Hacker exposed bank loophole to buy luxury cars and a face tattoo

Dwarf
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ACID, I blame ACID

Call me old fashioned, but don't ALL databases work on the principles of ACID (Atomic, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) precisely to prevent this sort of thing happening.

Or is the bank using one of those new fangled millennial age database engines that farts fairy dust ?

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Researcher says fixes to Windows Defender's engine incomplete

Dwarf
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Re: MS & security in the same breath?

@TheVogon

Perhaps not ... See the NIST Vulnerability Database to see who writes the buggiest code.

Don't forget that this is based on the number of products they provide, so the longest or shortest line isn't necessarily the worst vendor.

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You're all too skeptical of super-duper self-driving cars, apparently

Dwarf
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Re: I'm in charge of me

Pacemakers - no

Autopilots - pilots still control and have overrides, they also go into simulators regularly to keep the skills so they can try and recover when something goes wrong, it's not the computer that is expected to fix a problem, since there is no camera to tell it that a piece of the wing came off or that a lithium battery just filled the plane with some bad smelling smoke or any of a stack of other potential failure scenarios that the computer has no sensors for or code to interpret that special case that it causes on the sensors it has got.

Take that training need to self driving cars - will people be expected to attend regular driving lessons and will the manufacturers provide simulators - no, they will just claim it's not necessary at all

Traffic control systems - they advise us, but we still make the decision if we trust the info it's giving us as we are accountable for our actions. Crossing lights out, take extra care and work out when to cross. What would an autonomous car do - fail to sense it or wait till it comes back on sometime next Tuesday.

Train control - still has a meat bag at the front, at least on most U.K. Trains. Ok, some of them do get it wrong, but they generally get my vote.

Power control systems - I'm not plugged into the mains, so if it goes off then it's just inconvenient and I'll carry on. If the power goes up and it all starts going pop, then I can walk away to safety until a human fixes things.

The trend is that I'm in control and am accountable for me, not a computer where I'm expected to put my trust in a piece of code written by the cheapest programmer they could get who doesn't have any accountability for their code.

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Dwarf
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I'm in charge of me

I'm in charge of my life, my choices - good or bad are mine. I live and die by them.

I will not allow a machine to be in charge of something that is life or death for me or others around me.

I've seen plenty of badly written software and until you can demonstrate over a long period that the software is 100% error free then I might change my mind.

Of course, when the inevitable bugs do come out from the edge cases that were never tested by the manufacturer, they need to be liable with big, really big fines, otherwise, its just a different tax to get sales of their latest toys that will have been developed in the normal corporate manner of the least cost to the business with the minimally complaint solution and cheapest components they could source.

Perhaps if you started by taking the finance people out of the loop, put the engineers back in control and doing things right then I might consider it in a couple of decades.

Until then, the answer is no.

Oh and I quite enjoy being in control of my car, its a relaxing past time and its part of what makes me unique - the choice of model, style, colour, what I put in it, how I drive it, where and when I drive it, etc.

I'm not so sure that I'll enjoy cleaning it and polishing it when its jut a computer controlled gadget - just like I don't enjoy cleaning the house or cleaning the dust out of my computer when its getting hot and starts to do odd things. Imagine if a car, built with the same basic lego bricks were to suffer the same sort of problem.

Is anyone else wondering what happens if you put a million cars on the road with different laser and lidar systems on them and they all start receiving each others signals or blinding every other living thing withing a 300 metre radius.

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HPE hatches HPE Next – a radical overhaul plan so it won't be HPE Last

Dwarf
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Hewlett and Packard

Built up by a couple of engineers who understood what they were doing.

Now a new senior bean counter comes in and looks to reduce|optimise|other mgmt BS the costs (as that is all they ever do).

I wonder where the words innovate and excel in engineering appears on the company strategy these days ?

It takes a lot of skill to build up a company and a lot less to destroy one.

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Marissa! Mayer! out! as! Yahoo!-Verizon! closes!

Dwarf
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Oath? Why?

Because then everyone can mix it ups with Oauth and confusion can reign.

I'm sure it makes sense to some marketing person who will have complete desks of WhatsthePoint slides to justify their rationale.

However, in the real world, it just leads to bewilderment.

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Axed from IBM for remote working? Don't go crying to HPE

Dwarf
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Giving flexibility gets flexibility

When a company gives the trust and flexibility for people to work remotely, they often get a lot more back - in extended working times for example, I'll happily trade some of my normal travel time for work time as overall, I gain personal time and flexibility.

Similarly, if there is something to finish off, then if I'm working remotely, the problem of having to run for a train or leaving to miss a traffic hot spot isn't an issue any more, so you can work until its done and meet that deliverable deadline.

If I'm remote, then I can work around things with more flexibility, for example getting a hair cut or walking the dog between rain showers whilst I wait for that international call with the customer in some remote part of the world that's outside of my normal time zone - it makes absolutely no difference as long as I deliver the working day and get the work done - since it should all be about what is done, rather than how or where.

If they are worried about the workers vs shirkers problem is the same if people are in the office as when they are not, so measuring work output is a simple way to figure which pool the person is in.

Then there is the working environment - my home office is set up much better than the cramped basic desk and cheap corporate IT components, its also a lot quieter than the open plan offices, so I can concentrate more and be on calls without everyone having to mute all the time to block the background noise.

The other big point is that companies were dropping office space due to the cost overhead of car parks and floor space to make themselves more competitive. How many of us asked for them to pay for our home office set up or to support it ? How much does it really cost for them to buy you a headset and provide you with a Lync/Skype (or whatever its called this week) and configure for help desk remote control when its necessary - its peanuts compared to the office space !!

Come on corporates, wake up to where your real assets are and start treating the work force like the grownups they are,

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Kaspersky files antitrust suit against Microsoft

Dwarf
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Its the customers choice, not Microsoft's choice.

+1 on the list of reasons not to use Windows 10.

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Amazon granted patent to put parachutes inside shipping labels

Dwarf
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Glue, Rain and Hedges

I wonder how they will affix the shipping labels to the parcel to stop them coming off when the parachute deploys - after all the shipping material is only made up of paper or cardboard. Sometimes they are stuck on really well, other times they have nearly fallen off by the time they get to you - and that's without some huge jerk as the parachute opens up to slow them down.

The application of a little drop of water that is traditional in these parts clearly won't help with structural integrity of the parcel and its safe arrival either.

Anyone want to guess how many parcels will have proof of delivery showing something like "delivery location:" Roof / pond / top of hedge / neighbours garden.

Second thought - note to self, don't order anything fragile or of value off Amazon until this idea has passed by.

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Walmart workers invited to shuttle packages

Dwarf
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So many holes in this, you could drive a truck through it.

Presumably this means that all deliveries are at commuting times, so that would be the same sort of times that everyone else is on the road and therefore unlikely to be at home - what would they do then - try again tomorrow at the same time to get the same effect, then card it and return it as non-deliverable ?

I wonder if the staff are late due to traffic, etc will they be expected to make up time, or is the delivery service counted as overtime ??

What happens when they are on holiday - do people not get deliveries at those times of the year ?

Good job its not in Europe - what with the working time directive that is supposed to set a limit on the time people do in a week.

I'd also guess that many staff are making more than a delivery driver, so I can't see how any of this will stack up.

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BA IT systems failure: Uninterruptible Power Supply was interrupted

Dwarf
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Re: If it got interrupted...

IT staff rarely go near the electrical stuff, it's far too dangerous for that.

Er, IT staff work on things that are run off the very same electrical stuff. I do hope you are not implying that data centre grade equipment is too dangerous ?

Having said that, even a complete Muppet can hurt themselves with nothing more than a mildly sharp stick or an LR44 button cell battery that looks like a sweetie, like everything, its all down to training and understanding the job and the risks of the job. Take a look on YouTube for the chaps that work on the live 500KV power lines, or the guys that maintain the bulb at the top of the radio towers

Everyone should have seen all the warning signs on the way into the facility (that tick the boxes in the H&S assessment) and had the prerequisite training.about safe escape routes if gas discharge occurs (no, not that gas, the other one), the presence of 3 phase power; the presence of UPS power; various classes of laser optics; automated equipment such as tape libraries that can move without warning and of course the data centre troll who's not been seen for a couple of weeks now, oh and of course, the ear defenders due to the noise plus the phone that you can't hear as its too noisy.

My point is that data centres are no worse than any other environment - like maintaining a car engine or running a mower in your garden.

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Microsoft's cunning plan to make Bing the leading search engine: Bribery

Dwarf
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Re: Again?

Didn't they fail at bribing people to use Bing before?

Actually its their tried and tested approach - be last to the party, try and muscle in and force their way, then completely fail to deliver what users want. There are so many stories through history of where they have done this.

If it were and odd product here and there, then you could let them off as being unlucky or something, but the more they do it, the more it can be confirmed as pure incompetence or a complete lack of understanding of people's needs..

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Qualcomm names its Windows 10 ARM PC partners

Dwarf
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Re: Stop me if this sounds familiar...

x68 - so I take it that its nearly compatible with x86 or its more relevant flavour of the last decade or so - amd64

Microsoft definitely won't be getting any of my money though - too many cluster fsck's in recent technology and I've permanently moved on to better technologies.

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BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding

Dwarf
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Re: "millions of messages"

You are probably 100% correct - The IP packets are probably "ICMP unreachable"

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Seminal game 'Colossal Cave Adventure' released onto GitLab

Dwarf
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Xyzzy

Magic news !

Drop stick

Pick up bird

Pick up stick.

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Google can't spare 113 seconds of revenue to compile data on its gender pay gap

Dwarf
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Should investigate using the cloud

Perhaps if Google are admitting that their analytics platform isn't up to it, they could investigate using AWS,

It should only take an hour or two and will work out far less than the numbers they are banding around.

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Dell BIOS update borks PCs

Dwarf
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Dual BIOS is the way to go - as you say, some systems do this already. Its not difficult to test in the BIOS if the image is valid before booting it, to check if it booted successfully last time or to have a keypress that forces to the alternative bios image for this / next reboot.

As to Jumpers and replacing chips - do you really expect a user to be able to disassemble their laptop and do this ?

Dual BIOS removes all this pain at the cost of a larger device that can support both images.

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Backup crack-up: Fasthosts locks people out of data storage for days amid WCry panic

Dwarf
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The joy of cloudy stuff

Someone else's panic becomes your outage and you can do nothing but sit back and wait until they decide to provide service again.

Perhaps a little planned maintenance wouldn't go amiss - rather than the unplanned / forced maintenance.

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Microsoft Azure almost doubles infrastructure cloud market presence

Dwarf
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Market share

The article states that Microsoft 1.5Bn vs AWS's 3.5Bn over the same period.

So, with a quick bit of maths 1.5 / 3.5 = 42.8%, or AWS is more than twice the size of Microsoft.

That shows how little people trust Microsoft's offering - even with their forced push to make them look like the "obvious" option.

When will they learn that customers aren't gullible ?

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Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry

Dwarf
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You run a large estate of 600+ machines. If you have all of them on one O/S, you hire one engineer on 50k and 3 technicians on 20k. If you have them on a 12 bespoke OSes, you hire 12 specialist engineers on 50k each, and each of them spends 90% of his time doing nothing.

That's why.

Whereas when the vulnerability hit you had 100% of everyone doing nothing *

* Except the IT team who were working through the weekend.

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Sophos waters down 'NHS is totally protected' by us boast

Dwarf
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Re: Panda

The register hijacked by sales drones ???

Perhaps you would substantiate your claim - which version, when was the patch out, how come you knew about if before everyone else etc.

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Beeb hands £560m IT deal to Atos. Again

Dwarf
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Re: "declare harddrives with bad sectors fit for work"

Being a bit 'vertically challenged' there's not many other places to hit.

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Dwarf
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Re: "declare harddrives with bad sectors fit for work"

Re: "declare harddrives with bad sectors fit for work"

Actually, all hard drives come with bad sectors that are mapped our during manufacturing, its been like this since the start as nobody can manufacture defect free discs, its called the factory defect list and the bad blocks are mapped out during the manufacturing process. Grown defects that occur during life are generally not a problem, that's what the defect map is for. The drive will spare out dead blocks with one of the pre-allocated spare areas. Go read on SMART and its metrics for reading these counters. This is only a problem if the drive runs out of spare blocks due to a significant issue, or more commonly it suffers a major problem with a sensor, head or motor that renders the whole unit inaccessible.

SSD's are the same, as are device that use NAND flash There are standard methods of dealing with these challenges (which are detailed in the manufacturers data sheets) and ultimately its what makes your IT products cheaper to produce.

There is plenty of info out there on how this works and on the technologies that make reliable storage from raw media that inevitably contains defects. Unsorted Block Images (UBI) is a good example of this.

Not that any of this has anything to do with the BBC/ Atos deal though.

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UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

Dwarf
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They don't need their own Linux distro, there are plenty that will already do what they need.

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Dwarf
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Budgets

I guess that if the NHS was better funded then they would have the budget to spend on keeping the IT that keeps their business working up-to-date.

Its a bit rich that Amber Rudd is quoted on the BBC as saying that "the NHS must learn from Friday's cyber-attack and upgrade its IT systems". Surely the fault lays at the door of the of government funding (or the lack of it). Critical public services must be correctly funded - irrespective of which government that happens to be on any given day as they are all as bad as each other in this regard.

I also believe that key supplier such as Microsoft should be forced to support applications for a longer period of time that reflects the complexity of making significant changes in large enterprises. This is a cost of doing business with such customers.

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Dwarf
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Re: It doesn't have to be connected to t'internet

I take if that you've either been on a different planet or asleep under a rock whilst the variety of USB VID/PID control products hit the market then ?

Its trivially simple to control USB device insertion to only approved device types / types & Serial numbers and/or to specific users

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IBM wheels out bleedin' big 15TB tape drive

Dwarf
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Re: Why does nobody build disk libraries?

There was also the Plasmon UDO, archive platform, which looked really good from a reliability perspective.

Last I heard they had gone, but it seems that the domain still exists, but the driver compatibility seems to be about 10 years old, so looks like its gone to the great big bit barn in the sky.

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Dwarf
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@kain

How is that any different from any other type of tape drive in existence ?

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Crooks can nick Brits' identities just by picking up the phone and lying

Dwarf
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Re: They shouldn't encourage you to give out your 'security' data so easily

Mutual authentication would be a big plus here.

If there was some way for me to authenticate that they really are genuine, then I might be more inclined to talk to them. My usual response when they call is "if its important, then write me a letter and provide some account specific information so I can validate your request is genuine and I'll contact you on your customer service number that I hold on file."

The problem is that they always ask for something that is by definition useful to the bad guys.

If I give some info on trust, then all they have to do is say "yes, that matches", how do I know that they didn't just write it down and say "OK". Of course, if their next response is oh, "my system has just gone down" and they want to call back later - then you know you were suckered, but by then its too late. How many non-IT types would fall for this ??

Don't get me started on phrases containing "for data protection reasons" - its my data, you can't protect it from me or intimidate me with the scary sounding phrase !!

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OpenWRT and LEDE agree on Linux-for-routers peace plan

Dwarf
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Re: Forks and Choice

DD-WRT forked from OpenWRT too.

I've used OpenWRT and LEDE on a number of devices (a bunch of BT HomeHub5's) and it seemed a bit fragmented as to which site / code base one was best for any one topic. LEDE seems to be better in terms of functionality and the overlay file system is great for config and upgrades (run sysupgrade and you are done), but the documentation on how to tweak a particular router seemed more up-to-date on the OpenWRT site. I just hope that they merge the "good" from both projects - like dropping the pointless drinks recipe from the login process

I kind of expected the target project to be called something like LibreWRT, but I guess that OpenWRT has a certain heritage.

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Microsoft distie Entatech goes TITSUP

Dwarf
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So we can conclude from this that Microsoft licences are not flying off the shelves then - contrary to all the marketing hype.

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It's been two and a half years of decline – tablets aren't coming back

Dwarf
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Sales and Marketing reality distortion field

When will sales and marketing people wake up to the fact that there is not a limitless market of people who either have the disposable income or are prepared to pay more and more and more for their tat.

We buy things because we want them and haven't already got one. I purchased a hammer 20 years ago and will probably pass it on when I'm gone. Socks, OK they may well wear out, but only get replaced when they have to. Tablet PC's, mobile phones, etc - only replaced when there is nothing better to get such as a holiday, new car, new socks.

What are tablets really used for web browsing and e-mail on the move, definitely not Fakebook or some random calorie counting spy-on-me with their "lack of privacy policy" application that thinks that I really really need it..

Hint to sales and marketing people

My hammer doesn't need to report back on what sort of nails I'm banging in or what my nail to thumb hitting ratio is, so drop the spyware type bolt-ins and "analytics" on everything I do with my stuff in my life and I realise that I spend my money on things I actually need and only when there is nothing better to spend that money on. You flooded the market with devices, now you need to realise that the market is full, except for breakages and the like.

Its not exactly rocket science is it *

* Rocket science - take tube, bang one end closed, fill with propellant, light, stand well back.

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What augmented reality was created for: An ugly drink with a balloon

Dwarf
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Coat

Re: Oh God

Regrettably I am also alcohol intolerant. I tolerate it so little that it never stays in the glass for very long.

Look on the bright side, it could be worse. You could get one of those male only medical complaints such as Beer Bulimia, which only ever seems to come after 20 pints !

The only other one is obviously Man Flu - which has the awful medical details here

Coat icon - because its got the wallet in it for the next round, or the pack of industrial strength man flu tablets in the pocket.

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