* Posts by PC Paul

180 posts • joined 13 Aug 2007


Erm... what did you say again, dear reader?

PC Paul

Words are hard

I was going to take you to task over using arrogate instead of abrogate but decided to double check myself. It turns out they are both words and you used arrogate quite correctly - I must have learned both meanings assuming they referred to the same word.


So the ESN guy abrogated (repealed, annulled, cancelled)the original shutdown timescale, or would have if it had been part of a formal treaty or the like rather than the vague hope we all knew it was. And then you wisely avoided arrogating (laying claim without justification) a lack of knowledge to him.

Nicely done. I've been told.

Ad watchdog: Amazon 'misleading' over Prime next-day delivery ads

PC Paul

Re: Better than things used to be

A completely made-up Amazon spokesman said: "What we actually mean is 'next day starting from the day before it gets delivered".

Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

PC Paul

Re: Only cracking I have done is

I'm not sure if that's the same one I was asked to get into. It turned out it had one of those TPM chips in and about the only thing you can do is send it back to the manufacturer or get it to a surface mount rework bench and swap the chip out.

As Apple fixes macOS root password hole, here's what went wrong

PC Paul

It's a shame nobody seems to have posted the immediate 'make yourself safe' step which should be to create a root account with a strong password, avoiding the logic flaw completely.

I don't have a Mac here to test, is there any reason this wouldn't work?

Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots

PC Paul

It is exactly the same principle as driving really. Drinig at 'appropriate speeds' will often allow you to break the rules completely unpunished because for massive speed to be appropriate you will already be certain nobody else is anywhere around to notice, or that it's something like the M4 with all lanes running at 90MPH so doing 70mph would actually reduce safety.

If you're flying your drone out in the middle of nowhere with no airports/prisons/Motorways nearby then absolutely nobody will care what you do.

PC Paul

> I don't even want to know what would happen if such volatile chemistry ignited in a jet engine...

I suspect: not much.

I think any bit of a jet engine that can be got to by ingestion is either strong enough that it will rapidly completely disassemble the cells and even if they ignite it will be spread over a large enough area to no melt anything, or is capable of handling extreme heat and pressure so literally won't care.

I could be completely wrong, of course. Where are Mythbusters when you need them?

Customer satisfaction is our highest priority… OK, maybe second-highest… or third...

PC Paul

Re: Public wifi?

The first figures I found in a lazy Googling were these:

"Fraud on contactless cards and devices remains low with £2.8 million of losses during 2015, compared to spending of £7.75 billion over the same period. This is equivalent to 3.6p in every £100 spent using contactless technology while fraud on contactless cards and devices accounts for only 0.5 per cent of overall card fraud."

That was from https://www.financialfraudaction.org.uk/fraudfacts16/

I happily use contactless for most small purchases now, even though I am well into cybersecurity and know the risks. Having per-transaction and per-day limits makes a lot of sense and limits the damage that could ever be done.

Ofcom chisels away at BT Openreach's cold, dead hands

PC Paul

Re: Stupid

Our area which was originally fibred up by Telewest, now owed by Virgin.

I know of quite a few places that are surrounded by Virgin cable properties, but can't get it themselves because Virgin are not fitting any new lines. Some of these are small housing developments in the middle of older cabled-up estates, others are individual houses where the original cabled up property was knocked down and rebuilt, but they now cannot have cable put back in.

I have Virgin cable broadband and can't deny it works well for me, but I don't believe they have any real intention of growing their fibre network until competition forces them to.

FYI – There's a legal storm brewing in Cali that threatens to destroy online free speech

PC Paul

Re: Thanks California...

Sounds like "substituted service" is in no way fit for purpose.

If I'm sentence to go to prison can I substitute someone else to go in my place? It's not actually that different.

Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

PC Paul

Re: Easily fixed

10% of your customers give you 90% of the hassle. But you can't always tell which 10% until you're well into the contract.

PC Paul

Re: smartarse AC

When I did SOHO/SME stuff I had a customer who had never realised that ADSL had arrived at his rural location so had sorted his bandwidth needs by getting a phone line and modem for EVERY ONE of his six users.

He actually contacted me to ask if there was a way to spread the traffic across the lines better since some users were much heavier users than others.

Well, yes, but actually I got him onto an industrial strength dual input router and cut it down to just his two best phone lines (they were all a bit flaky and a long way from the exchange, so a bit of redundancy was worth paying for).

More bandwidth and much less monthly cost. He was pleased.

PC Paul

Re: Moving from XP to Win7

I had to track down a dot matrix printer which could provide some very specific emulation options (via DIP switches no less) to keep a customers very expensive optical measurement system running. The software was running on a 486 PC, running DOS, connected through a bespoke ISA card to the equipment.

This was in 2015.

PC Paul

Re: So you didn't fix root cause

Anyone working with Notes, take comfort that they may soon end up migrating to a SharePoint based system and then all your problems will be over!

Oh... wait....

What went wrong at Tesco Bank?

PC Paul

Re: VbV

Not sure if it's different now but last time I used VbV ages ago I had forgotten my password - and the only things I had to provide to do that were already included in the transaction I was trying to verify!

So, no actual verification was being performed over and above that at all.

PC Paul

Re: Santander must also not be hashing passwords

My ex-Abbey National account also needs a full (alphanumeric and customisable) user ID along with a password and a PIN, so that firs your theory.

I do also have it tied to a moneydashboard account too but ISTR that was set up with a one-off security exchange to prove to Santander that I wanted Moneydashboard to have read-only access to my accounts.

TeamViewer denies hack after PCs hijacked, PayPal accounts drained

PC Paul

Re: Bad idea

The Internet of Thugs

Lost containers tell no tales. Time to worry

PC Paul

Chaos monkeys

You need a chaos monkey: https://github.com/Netflix/SimianArmy/wiki

PC Paul

Re: Ah, DevOps

I'm a sysadmin. All I want is to have stuff work, and focus on the interesting bits.

Working with the developers to make sure what they produce and what I need are compatible is the best way to do that by far.

BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

PC Paul

Re: Tracking

We have that system on one of our more secure areas. It actually works fine until there's a fire drill when everybody leaves through the emergency exit, and the system then refuses to let anyone back in because as far as it's concerned they are all in there already. Even worse is if some twazzock put the door control system console inside the secure area.

We were only saved by the fact that someone had been off site for a meeting and came back so everyone could tailgate them in and get back in sync...

Someone please rid me of this turbulent Windows 10 Store

PC Paul

Re: 80% * 80% = 64%

64% ought to be enough for anyone.

Rdio's collapse another nail in the coffin of the 'digital economy'

PC Paul

Re: Something went wrong a long time ago

The answer is right in front of them. Spotify, Deezer, Jango all find that with their short term lower price offers they get a lot more people signing up.

I listen to Deezer while I'm driving to work. I hate all the ads and popups(?) they put into the free service, and when they started their recent offer I took it up. But it isn't worth £10/month to me, maybe £3 tops.

As has been the case since CDs first came out, they ask too much for the market.

Deutsche Bank to axe 'excessively complex' IT, slash 9,000 jobs

PC Paul

It's easy to NOT end up with 45 OS variants and versions.

It just requires management to plan in aside the time and budget to port your applications to the choisen few and to keep them up to date as time goes by.

Oh, wait...

Watch out VW – French prosecutors are pulling on the rubber gloves

PC Paul

Re: an advantage of hierarchy

From what I've seen in bug business it's quite possible the higher levels *deliberately* didn't want to know about it. "Don't tell me how you did it".

LOHAN unleashes 'waiting for the FAA' collector mug

PC Paul

Just Do It!

Why not, after all even if the FAA get upset now everyone involved will be long retired before the next mission after LOHAN at this rate...

El Reg regains atomic keyring capability

PC Paul

Re: Just be careful

If people read all about what it's like over there and still decide to go to substantial trouble to voluntarily go, why not just let them?

We should be concentrating on not letting them come back...

PC Paul

Re: Just be careful

On the other hand it's exactly because it's so dangerous that controlled use of it is effective in helping him.

He's not wrong, but like all things there's a right time and place...

Are you running a Telnet server on Windows? Oh thank God. THANK GOD

PC Paul

Re: More evidence that Microsoft have finally caught up to the 1980's

I regularly use a dual monitor setup with four desktops (for which I use Desktops.exe from Sysinternals - it's simple, free and it works).

It's really useful to be able to do a complete context switch from a sysadmin desktop to a development desktop to a testing desktop to a writing reports desktop in one click, with a pile of windows open on each.

More screen space = better.

Attack of the drones: ‘Nefarious’ private use rising, says top Blighty copper

PC Paul

Re: Blocker

Correct, *but* they do use spread spectrum of various flavours all over the 2.4GHz band, so a broad spectrum wifi jammer would still screw them up. Also the video feed back to the FPV goggles (if they have one) is quite likely to be 5GHz so they could still watch it crash ;-)

Philae healthier: Proud ESA shows off first comet surface pic

PC Paul

Re: "Just how or why the lander stopped bouncing..."

,,,swearing drunkenly through a swanee whistle.

You know it's true.

Top 10 SSDs: Price, performance and capacity

PC Paul

Re: but where are the 2TB Drives

If you want huge but are happy with SATA speeds, go for four 1TB mSATA disks on one of these http://www.addonics.com/products/ad4mspx2.php.

mSATA is a small format but comes in pretty much the full range of SSD sizes and makes. Infact I bought a 60GB mSATA card from Fleabay for £37 with a £12 mSATA to IDE adaptor so I could fit it into an old laptop, makes a huge difference.

I just bought an mSATA to combined USB and SATA adaptor card from Dealextreme for the price of a bag of fish and chips too, which gives me 140MB/s on USB and way more on SATA (haven't measured it yet), things are getting ridiculous if you don't mind mixing and matching a bit.

On my budget I'm aiming to go SSD for boot, programs and temp space with spinning rust for big storage. 95% of the benefits for a fraction of the cost. For now.

Edit: The penalty for running a bit behind the curve: mSATA is already going obsolete, M.2 has taken over. BUT that usually means lots of good clearance deals so if you're a penny pinching non-Luddite like me you could be in luck.

Be nice to the public, PC Plod. Especially if you're trying to stop terrorists

PC Paul

Re: worth noting

At the time of the Dunblane Massacre and the resulting kneejerks I was the secretary of a pistol club. I had 4 semi-auto pistols, two revolvers and two single shot target pistols and up to 5500 rounds of .22LR ammunition in a sturdy cupboard in my garage.

They all had to go, the better ones to a club with much better security (fair enough) and the others were handed in at the local Police station to a startled civvy on the desk. And then the extra .22 ban came in so even the good ones got destroyed.

So now only the criminals have easy access to guns.

But anyway, about handing them in: when you have a Firearms Certificate absolutley everything you do with transferring guns or ammo has to be marked on it. If you buy or sell a gun it has to go on the FAC, to buy ammo you have to show your FAC and convince the gun shop owner that you have space in your allowed quantity to buy it. If you get a surprise inspection (and they do happen), and have anything different to what it says on your FAC all your guns are destroyed (with no compensation), and you could be in serious trouble. NOBODY would ever hand in a gun without getting their FAC stamped and signed, that would be lunacy.

FLASH drive ... Ah-aaaaaah! BadUSB no saviour to plug and play Universe

PC Paul

'Plug and pray' is indeed very old but it's nothing to do with the current context. It was about how USB drivers were very hit and miss for a long time, needing installing for each individual port, being very OS specific etc.

'Plug and prey' refers to maliciously altered USB devices that actively prey on whatever system they are plugged into.

Kenyan court case could sound death knell for mobile money

PC Paul

It would be a victory for the courts if they allowed the banks to clamp down on it BUT also introduced a mandatory banking service so they HAD to provide banking services to anyone and everyone at an equivalent cost to the mobile money that's there now.

How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?

PC Paul

If it's a digital clone then you're right, there should be no difference, the CD and CD-R should be identical.

But if it was a CD and it was ripped to a CD-R in the common way of converting it to MP3s and storing the files on the CD-R then they are very different.

We don't have enough information.

Oh God the RUBBER on my SHAFT has gone wrong and is STICKING to things

PC Paul

Talcum powder would be my first choice too. If you're feeling spendy then car trim restorer/protector like the armourall stuff can work well too.

If you think 3D printing is just firing blanks, just you wait

PC Paul

Re: Digital photography and inkjets...

Inkjets - SWMBO does a lot of craft stuff which involves printing stupid amounts of stuff - full page patterns as well as inidividual design elements.

I bought a reasonable Canon printer and a continuous ink system from EBay which feeds ink to it from a set of bottles through silicon tubing. Over the last two years I've had four sets of 5x100ml/colour ink bottles through it at about £35/set, and the only issues are that I occasionally had to re-prime it (it works using the syphon principle, no pumps or moving parts). Wear gloves and don't mess with it over a carpet you need.

If you print a lot (at least several times a week) then it's well worth giving it a go. 500ml of ink in individual cartridges would cost you several hundred pounds...

LOHAN in FIGHT to DEATH with brace of cantankerous canards

PC Paul

Has anyone ever heard of the KISS principle

It's nice to see all the gadgetry on show and the details of the engineering decisions, but it also feels like the KISS principle went out of the window a long time ago.

There are lots of things in this project that would make a substantial research task for an experienced hobbyist on their own.. I just hope it all works out in the end.

When is the end anyway? Is there a planned launch date?

SPB's mountaintop HQ menaced by wolves

PC Paul

Re: Have to change armaments

Wolf packs will require depth charges...

French teen fined for illegal drone flight

PC Paul

THIS is a racing quadcopter

There is a newish design of quad that is designed for extreme stunt flying and 3D racing - for instance a course marked out down the side of a cliff...


Unlike normal quads that use a variable speed motor per rotor and fixed pitch props, the Stingray 500 uses a single larger motor with belt drive to each corner (well proven in 4x4 racing buggies) and collective pitch on each rotor.

It gives it amazing manoeuvrability compared even to acrobatic quads. Want.

Powershell terminal sucks. Is there a better choice?

PC Paul

Re: come on, tell us what os so wrong with bash?

bash is fine.

But on Windows, bash via cygwin or whatever just doesn't have the power it has on Linux, because Windows just doesn't work that way. Linux command line admin is all commands taking strings joined together with loops and pipes, but for Windows you need commands taking OBJECTS held together with loops and pipes. That's what Powershell gives you.

And it was designed by Linux-y guys, so it will be more familiar to you than you think once you get into it.

A Powershell clone would be useless for Linux, for the same reason.

Use the right tool for the job.

LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane

PC Paul

Re: Bah!

Well at least with all that heavy paint and vinyl it won't flutter down like the first one did...

I wonder what it's glide ratio will be once the rocket cuts out and it gets back to a thicker atmosphere?

OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs

PC Paul

Re: Well...if one doesn't USE Windows Defender...

As I understand it, Microsoft has made their AV definitions and fixes available for free to ALL other AV suppliers. So if any AV supplier can't beat the MSE results then it means they've basically done absolutely nothing.

SpaceX Falcon tests hovercraft tech – despite ISS outage

PC Paul

Re: Soft landing on the ocean

If it was me I'd be tempted to have a barge or flat-decked cargo ship in place at the expected landing area, then if the approach was going well tell it to land there - otherwise you could choose/be forced to miss and land it in the sea anyway.

Seawater and complex systems are a bad mixture, why dunk it if you can help it?

LOHAN preps Vulture 2 for hot vinyl wrap

PC Paul

Re: How much does this wrap weigh?

It's a weird thing with planes, especially gliders, which this essentially is - after a looong balloon phase and a few seconds of rocket powered terror, anyway. Weight makes them go faster. A given airframe will have a certain glide ratio, i.e. it will go a certain distance forwards for every amount it drops. Within sane limits this ratio is constant, so if you make it heavier it drops faster, therefore it has to fly forwards faster. With radio controlled gliders it's common to add lead or even tungsten ballast to really get the weight up. Full size gliders use water so they can easily ditch it.

In this case there are other factors that come into play. The vinyl will make the surface smoother which will help especially at very high speeds. The weight becomes an issue when you have to lift it with a balloon to ridiculous heights. But it also makes it tougher - I have a foam flying wing covered with vinyl which is super tough and super fast, at the expense of needing a really good day to go gliding.

I just want to see this thing FLY!

My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS

PC Paul

"PS: The dichotomy of not liking my widescreen laptop and liking my widescreen TFT, I can rotate my widescreen TFT into portrait mode and get ungodly number of lines (well, 120+) on the screen"

I managed to get dual monitors for all the developers by showing the boss something that he could understand - an IBM report saying that programmers were 15% more productive with dual screens. Getting that more work from you for only a couple of hundred pound a head, for monitors that could be nicely depreciated against tax makes business sense.

We got crappy widescreen monitors as well, but if you're willing to put shiny and conventional aside (and what true techie isn't?) then you can either use both vertically or even better one landscape and one portrait then use which ever layout works best - vertical for coding, wide for browsing.

It looks daft, but it works brilliantly.

Google Glass driver told she CAN wear techno-specs while on the road

PC Paul

Re: Restrict Glass to GPS when driving

"Maybe Google should make it so that only the GPS function can be active above a certain speed... "

That would be a pain if you were a passenger. Or on a train. Or in a self-driving car...

What is the difference between a drone, a model and a light plane?

PC Paul

Re: Damnit, I'd just about decided not to renew my BMFA ticket...

"Still flying the paraglider though: model planes scare us and we do our best to keep well away."

I wish... there are lots of good paragliderists, but there are a minority who seem to feel entitled to fly wherever they like whenever they like, even at slopes where there are long standing agreements between model fliers and the local PG clubs. The same minority also seem to spend a lot of their waiting around time getting the nerve up with the help of funny smelling fags...

Human safety comes first obviously but having to risk crashing an £800 model because some knob has deliberately decided to keep flying across directly in front of the RC slope is painful. Frankly with a few kilos of pointy nosed carbon fiber model doing unpredictable aerobatics at 100mph+ I'm not sure I'd want to invade the RC airspace, but then again I wouldn't risk flying a PG either, so maybe it just enhances the 'fun/danger' aspect for them..?

When we co-operate, it can be very good. I'm always happy to scout around for thermals then leave them to the PGs if they are having trouble finding lift, and many PGers are happy to work together at the meeting of the airspaces. But some PGers seem to be on a power trip from the get go and cause nothing but trouble and bad feelings.

Some modellers are as bad probably, but then again PGers seem to be mainly 30-40ish well-off blokes, whereas RC gliderists are largely 55+ retired blokes. Sometimes obnoxious certainly , but not really so aggressive.


HP: This Xmas, get the SACK... and not the one filled with presents

PC Paul

Re: Morals

"I remember seeing a study from a top US university some years ago that said the only difference between a CEO (or other top executive) and a psychopath is the methods they use."

I found that this explained it all quite well for me...


Asteroid-hunting beauty AWAKENS, takes cheeky snaps of neighbours

PC Paul

Re: red dots

The red dots are the moving objects against the static starfield.

I guess in this image the fast thing is asteroid (872) Holda, the red streaks are earthly satellites. There are similar images from its earlier incarnation on their website.


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