* Posts by The IT Ghost

50 posts • joined 13 Dec 2016

Six Flags fingerprinted my son without consent, says mom. Y'know, this biometric case has teeth, say state supremes...

The IT Ghost

Years ago, when I was at Disneyworld, the person I visited with used a season pass and they required FOUR fingers of his right hand be scanned, and that was decades ago.

The IT Ghost

Re: So I gather

But then they have your photo, which is private biometric data and right there on the pass is proof they saved that data. And how do they apply it to prevent cheating? Have an actual human earn minimum wage looking at each pass and comparing it to a face? That costs money! Facial recognition camera to compare the person at the entry gate with the photo on the pass? Again, biometric data, though this time they could claim (and not be believed) they didn't save the data.

And there is the ticklish problem if getting the photo on the pass. The parks want to sell them online so they staff fewer ticket offices, as that's an expense. A probable virtual pass that someone brings up on their phone (even airlines have gotten that far with boarding passes). You can trust someone to paste their own selfie on it...but a clever person will find a way to overlay any photo on it. Say person A buys the pass, and goes into the park with A's photo on the pass. B then alters it with B's photo, and goes to the park later. If the park detects the photo change, they admit they're...wait for it...storing biometric data, since they still had A's photo stored to compare to the one on the pass.

Photos are simpler, but don't get around the "biometric" hurdle.

The IT Ghost

Re: Thank you!

Some such parks will require extra ID when a person presents a season pass. I've never read the T&C for such a pass, but its safe to say they have a clause that prevents sharing the pass with friends, nobody goes to an amusement park every day, or even every weekend, all season long, so there's temptation to go in with a buddy and alternate weekends or something, and split the cost. The park can claim they then lose money due to the high usage rate of the pass.. Since many visitors are underage for a driver's license or other state-issued ID, they needed something everyone has with them, regardless of age. The choices are fingerprints or facial recognition, and privacy advocates will (rightly) protest either.

Is there a solution? They could eliminate the unlimited season pass, I suppose, and instead just push the multi-visit passes with, say, 20, 30, 40 visits per season, they really have no reason to care if people share those, though they probably will still prohibit it. just because they can.

The Iceman cometh, his smartwatch told the cops: Hitman jailed after gizmo links him to Brit gangland slayings

The IT Ghost
Joke

Never seen a bicycle wearing a vest before. Talk about getting attention.

Basic bigot bait: Build big black broad bots – non-white, female 'droids get all the abuse

The IT Ghost

"people were consistently and significantly more negative towards and dehumanizing of the gynoids relative to their human counterparts." Dehumanizing a robot? They're not human to begin with.

GoDaddy CEO says US is 'tech illiterate' (so, yeah, don't shut off that cheap H-1B supply)

The IT Ghost

Re: Trump in Nevada: 'I Love the Poorly Educated'

No single candidate or party is causing the "educational crisis". Its weeks, months, even years spent in classrooms covering things that no student will ever see, use, or hear about again, unless that student becomes an educator as well. If we can pare down the stuff that's of no objective use (I have not been asked to identify the adverb in a sentence since I was in fifth grade - or so) perhaps we can free up time for kids to be taught real life skills. Democrats have screwed things up just as much as Republicans have, its short-sighted to place the blame entirely on one party. The "purse strings" of Congress are controlled by the House of Representatives - all spending must originate there. Since 1855 (when the two party system pretty much took hold), Democrats have controlled the House 86 years, Republicans, 74. For 40 years, ending in 1995, Democrats never lost their majority in the House. If all the educational ills of our nation are due to the Republican treachery, exclusively, we should have had an educational system that was the envy of the world in 1995. But we didn't. Fact is, *both* sides of the aisle are packed with cretinous, self-righteous narcissists, and the solution is term limits to force turnover in Congress so new people with new ideas have a chance, instead of having the same old carcasses re-elected time and time again with the same tired old plans and the same tired rhetoric. I don't care if a person has a "D" or "R" after their name on the news reports - if they've been there 15 or 20 years, they're dead weight and need to be tossed out to make room for someone who might have more than getting re-elected (yet again) in mind. Plus, it'd help of the Congress Critters realized that, eventually, they'll be private citizens again and be subject to the laws they make the rest of us live with, instead of being in Congress and subject to Congressional immunities until they keel over and die of old age.

The IT Ghost

Re: Solution

Free college for everyone? Never going to happen, doesn't matter who gets elected. Nor should it. College isn't a right. Its not "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of a bachelor's degree." But I'm not getting on my soapbox today. I would rather see people coming out of college able to handle Windows and/or Cisco kit. Because most networks are Windows-based, that's where the jobs are. Likewise, most routing and switching runs something very like Cisco IOS, and in fact, usually identical, since IOS isn't patented or copyrighted, since its derived from Unix and thus is no an original work - so anyone can use it, and *lots* do, so learning Cisco actually gets you solidly grounded in a lot of manufacturers. SUSE? Good on you to learn alternative tech, but I suspect most of your CS peers are happy to learn the skills likely to get them a job right off. I have never been a Microsoft fan...I came up in the days of Novell Netware, which I believe to this day was a far superior product compared to Microsoft Servers. But Microsoft is where the money is, and as I have to work for a living, I have to work with the products the companies are buying, not with what I like the best.

The IT Ghost

Re: @Ghost ... Solution

I never mentioned either one..in this thread, I think I mentioned code monkeys in another posting thread on this article, though. Here, I was just talking IT as a whole; waiting for universities to re-tool their curricula and starting churning out people who have knowledge and how to apply it in the real world is a fool's game. Companies can come out ahead if they take some initiative and train their people instead of expecting people to just come to them already experts in whatever field of IT.

The IT Ghost

Software Architects write up the design for the developers. The developers then slap the Software Architects around a bit, remind them that anti-gravity drives require hardware, not software, and the Architects then revise the specifications so the developers can get on with their code-monkey work.

The IT Ghost

Solution

The solution to this problem isn't to drive kids through 16 years of education...its for companies to open their budgets and send staff to technical schools to learn specific technologies. Universities are great at teaching theories, and a very few have begun to actually integrate vendor coursework (primarily Microsoft) into the curriculum so students graduate with the diploma that says they know the theory *and* a certificate that demonstrates at least a minimum level of practical knowledge. Take a new hire, have that person spend the first two weeks being trained in the dominant technology the employer uses that the employee will be supporting. Then allocate another two weeks the next month for training in a secondary skill area.

Costs a few dollars, sure, but without the four year degree, HR at most other companies won't even let the person's resume through the first culling, so the candidate will be staying a while (plus, there are always contractual agreements that you won't quit within a certain time unless you pay back the costs). And the person who has actual tech training will be better able to contribute than one who has a four year degree with no practical aspect integrated in. Over time, other universities are likely to include a practical aspect to their degrees, but for the time being, filling the alleged half-million jobs is a matter of investing in people...not buying their servitude. Take the average salary for the area, for a newbie, and cut a few thousand off the top, but add it back in as training. Its a perk, and the company can move that money to the business expense column instead of payroll.

And with a bit of cleverness, the company can avoid paying for any advanced training, even though there's supposed to be a budget of x dollars per year per person for training, by keeping the work load too high for the employees to actually go to any training, once they have the minimum necessary to blunder along doing the job they have already.

The IT Ghost

Because "STEM" is a cool buzzword, or I suppose in this case, buzz-acronym. And its "developers", not "programmers". Did you not receive your latest copy of Buzzword Almanac?

Amazon S3-izure cause: Half the web vanished because an AWS bod fat-fingered a command

The IT Ghost

Re: So much for fault injection testing !

Plenty of fault was injected, no doubt. Probably 4 or 5 people shown the door, none of them the one who actually flubbed the command.

IBM's Marissa Mayer moment: Staff ordered to work in one of 6 main offices – or face the axe

The IT Ghost

Re: Downward spiral?

The IBM PC was, for the time, a good product - PS/2 was CRAP. Proprietary *everything*...damned Microchannel...back in the day you could get a good sound card for $90...ISA. An entry-level MCA card, $160...and that was in 1991ish. Monitors...mine lasted a year before one of the guns went out, necessitating replacement. Pins on the video card so fragile they bent if you looked at them wrong. I suppose it was a decent system when it worked, but it was expensive to buy and more expensive to upgrade. I was very happy to retire my 8088 PS/2 70 for a self-built 386SX...with a ****ing ISA bus.

The IT Ghost

Re: @IT Ghost.

Actually, I was a contractor there on two separate occasions - once for 18 months or so, another for just under five years. The first time I switched teams once, and the second time twice, and possibly a third was pending at the time I resigned. But...in the sense you mean of actually being an IBM employee, no; I was a yellow-stripe.

The IT Ghost

Re: She has no clue

Me, too. I said nothing at the time, since you then get dinged for "being defensive", but I thought "I'm over THERE talking with people near where my desk is, I'm just not over HERE on the other side of the building, chatting with people where you can see me from your office."

The IT Ghost

The part that I find odd is that a person could live in a suburb of Atlanta, but be working on a team on LA, and instead of going to the Atlanta office, be forced to move to LA, despite living within a semi-reasonable distance of *an* IBM office. Too much to hope for that the unlucky person would be permitted to switch to the team based at the office already nearby, rather than moving to where the cost of living is three times higher? This isn't about being "competitive" or "x factor" or any of the other buzzword-bingo terms used here, this is so a managerial person that reports up the chain to our videogenic friend here can go and count noses and shoulder surf to make sure people are working, to keep the minions firmly under thumb. If you're looking to get someone to spend seven figures on an AS/400 upgrade, you don't work that deal over the phone from the other side of the country. And airplanes, hotels, rental cars...they add up fast, especially if the saleperson has to make several trips. Add in more of the same for "presales engineering" on at least some of those trips, you can quickly find expenses exceed the "savings" of putting everyone in to one location.

Fact is, it boils down to trust..or lack thereof, in one's employees. So you gather them together where you can watch them...c'mon, these the salespeople, they're on commission. If they goof off, they don't get paid...at least, not very much. Besides...if "A" has zero sales for very long, its not hard to think "Gee, maybe we should be talking to A, find out what's going on." Maybe there's leads A is chasing but the customer has to work the budget, and pry more money out of the accountants, maybe A is watching Youtube all day. Either way, A isn't getting much income. That's a self-correcting situation...A will eventually need money and get busy selling stuff, will drum up new leads for the stagnant ones, or move on to some other job where doing nothing pays well and is appreciated...like being a member of Congress. They're paid well and, generally, the less they do the better since everything they do ends up costing billions of dollars for no return or make life less happy for the average taxpayer.

BOFH: Password HELL. For you, mate, not for me

The IT Ghost

Re: "I rarely get cold calls"

Of course he got a return, but he was demoted to removing hands and such for a while, before working his way back up to...<ahem> head executioner.

The IT Ghost

Re: "I rarely get cold calls"

I get the "Windows Support" ones rather often, I usually hang up, but sometimes they tick me off so I mess with them. Sometimes my only computer is an Apple. Sometimes its various Linux distros, a few times I simply invent an OS name and claim I wrote my own. Having claimed to be "Windows Support", they have then undercut themselves. One of these days, I'll spin up a Windows VM and let them play a while, then power it off in mid-stream and claim they broke my computer.

I might also, at some point, interrupt them right off and say something "Oh, thank goodness you called! My computer thingie won't get on the Interweb thing, you can help me fix it!" And since their only skill will be connecting remotely to a working machine and loading it with crapware, yet they claim to be "support"...I predict awkward pauses.

Paper factory fired its sysadmin. He returned via VPN and caused $1m in damage. Now jailed

The IT Ghost

He must've been angry and bitter - that much is clear from two facts - first, he started his rampage right after he was sacked, and second, a felony rap like this means he's going to have a hell of job finding work again at all, and the nature of his crime means he torpedoed his IT career. Its not like he took some exotic, skilled way in to make mischief he could teach others to avoid - they left the door wide open!

HR has a tendency to forget to notify IT of things...I've had many a battle with them. The moment the head of HR closes their office or conference room door to have "The Talk" with the about-to-be-unemployed, an underling needs to be ON THE PHONE with IT. That person should not leave that room with working credentials.

FAKE BREWS: America rocked by 'craft beer' scandal allegations

The IT Ghost

Re: This story only got written...

No, he's suing because Wal-Mart is charging more for the product based on its status as a "craft" beer, when it doesn't meet the definition. We have TONS of microbreweries in my area (Atlanta metro area), and none of the big brands are making inroads in buying them out. It is not the *good* crafters that get bought up - its the marginal ones. The good ones make money and prosper selling superior product at premium prices, and very often to a limited geographical area. The beer cartels want stuff they can ship out by the pallet load, not product that goes out by the case. Some crafters, like our local Sweet Water, don't pastuerize the beer, so it can't be shipped very far, and has a very short shelf life. The cartel boys don't want something like that.

New Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters can't transmit vital data

The IT Ghost

Re: And they have to land to ask for directions !!!

"Visual Orientation Exercise". I think the exercise failed, and its time for a COURSE in it instead. Nice to see the pilot pulled rank though, and made is co-pilot actually get out to ask for directions.

The IT Ghost

Re: This weeks name

I always look for corporate logos on the missiles that go whizzing by me. Doesn't everyone?

Citrix: CEO exit plans accelerated, results take a turn.... for the better

The IT Ghost

Having been one of the ones laid off (not fired, we got severance) I really liked the atmosphere at Citrix, but I saw the writing on the wall - I was a new hire at the time, no seniority, no special skillsets, and that put me squarely on the chopping block. A good place to work, plenty of chances to work with other teams, other departments. I was not happy to have to leave, but at least I saw it coming and took everything home before Axe Day - few things are worse, in my opinion, than having to stand there packing your stuff while everyone else is trying to hide their relief it was you to got cut instead of them, and be sympathetic - while some random representative of the managerial corps hovers over you watching that you don't steal anything belonging to the company. The departures, in my personal opinion, could have been handled better.

US anti-encryption law is so 'braindead' it will outlaw file compression

The IT Ghost

Re: Just a point of clarification...

To be pedantic, the President cannot "make laws". He (or, someday, she) can sign bills that Congress has approved so that they become law, but that's not making a law, since the President cannot introduce legislation to Congress. At least not directly. Executive Orders are another matter, and, constitutionally, only apply to people employed by the President. Just as the CEO of a corporation has sweeping powers to issue edicts to that company's own employees, but have no standing outside that company, so do is the idea behind Executive Orders. Much has been made of them, especially in the past 8 years, but I do not know that the legality of them in regards to the general populace has been expanded in the slightest.

In any case, the slide to increasing levels of idiocy began with Clinton (the First). That's where the notion of "Oh, we can't give tax breaks to individuals! They might *save* that money for their futures instead of spending it right away to stimulate the economy!" began. Where we got the idea that "to professionalize, you must federalize!" (That wasn't Clinton, but it was that era). Where the idea that it was perfectly okay for all your electronic devices to be snooped through just because you had the temerity to enter the United States was born. And where we go this gem "We're either going to do what we said we're going to do, or we're going to do something else."

IT guy checks to see if PC is virus-free, with virus-ridden USB stick

The IT Ghost

Re: Petards.

Not a virus, but IT fellow at a place where I was contracting had come up with a plan...insert a DVD that had just enough on it to boot the machine, format the C: drive, link up to the network and pull down the a disc image (This was the mid 90s, this was pretty clever by the standards of the time). Infected desktop? Pop the disc in, reboot, and watch the magic.

He gets everyone gathered for his big demo. Hooks his laptop to a projector, adjust the image just so, pops the desktop imaging disc in, reboots...and at about 2% of the format, goes int a blind panic realizing the desktop image disc didn't have the network drivers for his laptop.

Oops.

Unfortunately, he hadn't gotten around to working on the laptop imaging project yet, so did was stuck doing his recovery the hard way.

The IT Ghost

Re: Not work but...

In fairness, poster did say that the startup options had been disabled. So booting from a CD/USB may have required some...persuasion.

Haven't run across the "disable startup options" trick yet, only seen the Gen I and II ransomwares thus far. And one scareware that merely claimed the files were encrypted and hoped for panic payment.

RAF pilot sent jet into 4,000ft plummet by playing with camera, court martial hears

The IT Ghost

Re: Low level loss of concentration

"Dismissal" for an officer is the same thing as a "Dishonorable discharge" is for an enlisted. A person with either one is followed by that for life...when one seeks civilian employment, one has to account for the years spent in service...if you own up to the dishonorable/dismissal, most of the time you go right to the bottom of the list, if not disregarded immediately. If you lie, and claim an honorable or medical discharge, or invent civilian jobs to account for the time, better hope your new employer never finds out. Nothing can balance out the lost lives, but these two will be reminded of what they did every single day they have to work at a lower-level job. If they work in a labor union area, the union won't back their complaints as readily as someone else...because of what they did...they might even forbid someone with a dishonorable from even being in the union - which means, no job at all in a union shop. Non-union...the bosses will be a little slower to hire someone with that history, and pay raises will always be a little less than someone else would get...and promotions will be extremely rare. "Look what you did last time you got responsibility for something." I don't know if its right...but its punishment for life, in a very real sense.

The IT Ghost

Re: Piloting From the Ceiling

I'm wondering at what point the co-pilot realizes "when we level this thing out, I'm landing on something that isn't made for me to land on."

US Supreme Court to hear case that may ruin Lone Star patent trolls

The IT Ghost

Actually, if the judge is accused of malpractice in some manner the the Bar Association takes exception to, and they elected to pull the judge's license to practice law, that judge can be removed from the bench without Congressional action. But getting a group of lawyers to narc on another lawyer is probably harder than getting a formal impeachment. To the best of my knowledge, being licensed to practice law is required to be a Federal judge - ergo, if you are no longer licensed, you are no longer qualified to serve. But, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if there wasn't a clause hidden somewhere that negates what seems a common sense rule. If a person drives a truck, and loses his driver's license, he gets fired from the job. So if getting the job requires a law license, and you lose it, you SHOULD lose the job. But...lawyers.

David Hockney creates new Sun masthead. Now for The Reg...

The IT Ghost

Re: Don't Buy the Sun

Now there's a bright lad

Motivational speaker in the slammer after HPE applies for court order

The IT Ghost

The way Oracle's going, it won't be around when the first 9 month jail term is completed

Texas cops lose evidence going back eight years in ransomware attack

The IT Ghost

Re: @The IT Ghost -- wtf ?

An unfortunate truth, that. On rare occasion, you will see an officer remove the handcuffs and let the person go (seen that happen a few times on shows like COPS. Supposedly the person is merely being "detained"...but it says a lot about the relations between police and the public that they think putting someone in cuffs is "for everyone's protection". Sorry, officer, you don't need protection from me - I'm not going to prison for 10 years for assault and battery of a police officer - or anybody else for that matter. That you feel you do doesn't speak very well to your attitude toward the general public, though.

The IT Ghost

Re: wtf ?

All too often in the US legal system, a police officer's sworn testimony is given more weight than that of any other person. While everyone is supposed to be equal under the law, if its your word against a police officer's, with no evidence either way, a judge will side with the officer every time. Sometimes it will take multiple supporting witnesses to overcome the bias. The officer *supposedly* has no vested interest in the outcome of a trial, while the defendant does, by definition. So the officer would not have a reason to lie, necessarily. However, should a conviction fail, I think its safe to think the officer's next promotion might be a little slower coming, to there's a hidden interest in having successful convictions following the officer's arrests.

So yes...the playing field in a court of law always tilts in favor of whatever the police officer's report and/or sworn testimony says, and the opposing side has a battle to prove it wrong or mistaken.

NHS reply-all meltdown swamped system with half a billion emails

The IT Ghost

Re: Email snafu

Years ago, had a contractor (soon to be ex-contractor) who fell for the "we'll give you one share of stock for every two people you send this email to", and sent the email to everybody in the company, individually, not to any "all" group...he selected each person by name, apparently to ensure he got "credit" for each one. My sites (I ran systems for six divisions) happened to be still running Microsoft Mail. The servers were all fine, but the email crashed the client software. This was the days before Windows 95, when you still had to contend with the limited "conventional memory", and MS Mail client had a smaller memory footprint than Outlook. As LAN admin, I had full Outlook, so I had the "pleasure" of cracking every mailbox one by one and removing the offending email so the users' client software would work again. I printed one copy of the email...the "to" line filled five full pages of printout, WITHOUT the headers.

The IT Ghost

So every single person who has an NHS email is a life-saving medical professional? There are no clerks, payroll people, people who handle buying more tongue depressors, nobody who...well, you get the idea. For every doctor and nurse there are probably 5 support staff who barely know one end of a stethoscope from the other, and certainly don't spend all day "saving your life".

Trump's cartoon comedy approach to running a country: 'One in, two out' rule for regulations

The IT Ghost

Re: > deadwood...created for a brief purpose...left...when it had served it's purpose.

Anyone who looks at the vast sea of sometime-contradictory law that DC has churned out can tell there's a lot there to be gotten rid of. The former governor of Minnesota (and former "wrestler", Jesse Ventura, required the legislature spend one day a week finding legislation to repeal...and Minnesota didn't actually implode, shockingly enough. Sure it was a gimmick since most legislators just didn't bother to show up that day at all, and there was no actual measured result requirement.

And this is a LOT easier than the huffy newspaper-scribbler thinks. You identify ONE regulation you could get rid of...then you simply take a second one that's actually doing something useful, re-write that one, then submit both the original as the ones to get rid of. Complies by the rules, eliminates two, adds one, no delta on cost. In 1982, 35 years ago, the US Justice Department guesstimated there were 3,000 separate crimes on the books. In 2008, the Heritage Foundation published a "minimum" of 4,450 criminal offenses. This does NOT include executive orders or court-created regulations...these are laws that passed Congress and were signed by the President. Four thousand separate ways to break Federal law (doubtless, the ways to infringe upon justice at state, city, and county level would add tens of thousands of opportunities to accrue jail time). I'm fairly sure its well within the realm of possibility to cut that down to, say...1,000 without actually impacting the legal system in any way. US Code 21 USC 461 & 9 CFR 381.171(d) make it a crime to sell "Turkey Ham" as "Ham Turkey" or with the words "Turkey" and "Ham" in different fonts. I'm REALLY sure we need that as a Federal law. 16 USC 551 and 36 CFR 261.16(c) tell us its a crime to wash a fish in a faucet not labeled as a fish-washing faucet, in a national park. Other laws make it a crime to allow your pig (doesn't everyone have a pet pig?) into a fenced area of public land where it *might* destroy grass. Its also Federal crime to "harass" a golfer in any national park in Washington DC (I think the clothes some people wear to play golf amount to harassment of everyone in visual range). Its a Federal crime to "consult" with a known pirate. Its a Federal offense to "injure" a government-owned lamp. Need I go on? There's a lot of stupid, nonsensical CRAP that can easily be cleared out that even Mr. Newspaper would have to agree we can do without. One more...its against US Law to advertise wine "in a manner that suggests it has intoxicating qualities". Because its not intoxicating...it just causes behavioral changes that closely resemble being drunk.

With net neutrality pretty much dead in the US, your privacy is next

The IT Ghost

Confused here...

"ISPs know the success of any digital business depends on earning their customers' trust on privacy."

So if these providers are so very concerned with privacy - why would they want the regulations requiring privacy to be removed?

So they can sell all data until we complain, making some bucks in the interim, then stop selling SOME of it to make more money until we complain again, and repeat several times until finally returning more or less to the current system, except we, the customers, get five times the spam, three times the paper-junk, and the telcos have money in the bank...at our expense.

If they want to earn our trust, that's fine...but until they have *earned* that trust, keep the rules in place - because they certainly haven't EARNED IT YET!

Heathrow Airbus collision 'not a drone incident'

The IT Ghost

Re: Still, I think it's time this is tested properly

It would help considerably if the restricted airspace didn't change every time a bureaucrat has heartburn. There are static ones around airports and high value targets, of course, but others change constantly. An example is in Arlington, Texas. For just one day, there is a 31-mile radius exclusion zone (for manned aircraft and drones) centered around Levi Stadium while the Super Bowl is played. The next day, the exclusion zone vanishes. So if you fly out of a regional airport 30 miles from the stadium...you can't fly *anywhere*...nor can you fly home if you're away. And if the government's spies hear "rumblings" and they raise the terror alert level from Sky Blue to Mauve, the exclusion zones suddenly bloat up all over the nation...then shrink down again for equally mysterious reasons a day or two later. Other zones that didn't exist just pop up then disappear again. By the time a pilot actually plots a course, calculates fuel burn, gets a weather report, factors in the winds, and then plows through a huge pile of NOTAMs to ensure the flight is legal, he may as well just drive in his car and be done with it.

The IT Ghost

Re: near-misses

I was wondering about that, as well. "Near-miss" does imply they failed to miss, ergo, they did hit. "I nearly missed my flight" clearly means you actually did catch your flight, but only barely.

This airliner collided with a UFO. As we learned from the BOFH years ago, a UFO is not, by definition, necessarily extraterrestrial in origin. The authorities have admitted they do not know what it was (so its Unidentified), it was aloft in the air (therefore, Flying) and demonstrably is an Object, and therefore, logically, its a UFO.

Ransomware killed 70% of Washington DC CCTV ahead of inauguration

The IT Ghost

Re: No word on how it got in?

Since even basic perimeter security is aggressive about executables in emails, ransomware frequently comes in as a macro-laden DOC file while has to be executed, and the macros enabled on, or the machine has to go to a compromised website that installs the software as a background task to ease it past the filters. Neither of which would be expected to be something a CCTV camera was capable of. Perhaps every camera was set to dump its recorded footage to a central server, as AVI, MPG, whatever...and when a human who had access to those folders on the central server got hit, all the files were encrypted, including the ones the cameras were actively spooling into. The camera software, realizing it hadn't actually moved to a new file on its own and was unable to find the file it had been filling up, did its version of a blue-screen. A few cameras or controllers with an updated/different firmware may simply have handled the file-access break more easily.

And they are orange-neutral, so as not to inadvertently get footage of any coloration changes in the Chief Executive. That would put them in competition with CNN, NBC, CBS, and ABC, all of whom are rabidly recording, and reporting on, every time Trump blinks his eyes.

Oracle sues its own star sales rep after she wins back $200k in pay fight

The IT Ghost

With all that in the bank, she could afford to go somewhere with lower commissions, that's a very nice nest egg to fall back on, plus this couldn't have been an isolated year, article says she had to fight for commissions before...she probably has enough banked that, once this is added in, she could clear enough per year to make ends meet even without working...anything she got doing sales elsewhere would just be padding.

BOFH: Thermo-electric funeral

The IT Ghost

Re: I need a cooling hammer!

A "Manually Operated, Percussion-oriented Adjustment Device". MOPAD. Always have one handy.

Unite: CSC UK set for 'jobs massacre' as 1,101 heads put on chopping block

The IT Ghost

Re: Job Cuts?

I note that "graduates" and "apprentices" are not affected. I'm not entirely sure what the former means in this context, but I expect apprentices are just like the ones here - newbies to the field under active training by more experienced workers while working for comparatively low wages.

And now the experienced workers are being let go, so more and more responsibility will be dumped on the apprentices - trial by fire.

Deadly Tesla smash probe: No recall needed, says Uncle Sam

The IT Ghost

Re: Phew, got away with it...

Smacks of urban myth to me, Mark 85. Sounds like a "<insert service branch> pilots are so dumb that...." joke. All pilots drive cars much more than they fly airplanes, especially when you only count the time when they fly according to ground references, yet you don't see reports where the pilot wrecked because was trying to stay "in my lane" and traveling down the one side of the runway. People adapt better than that.

The IT Ghost

Re: Phew, got away with it...

One might point out that, on the ground, there are lines the autopilot could pick up on a camera and it would be calibrated so if the centerline (sorry, centreline) is following this certain path along the display, the car is centered in the lane. Easy, line following is robotics 101. If someone invented a way to place such lines at 35000 feet, through cloud cover, and prevented either gravity or wind from affecting them a camera equipped airplane autopilot with the same programming as a ground-based one would be able to follow the lines to the same tolerances as their grounded cousins, even with might tighter airways. The ground based "autopilot" is cheating.

Hilton hotels' email so much like phishing it fooled its own techies

The IT Ghost

Re: Purchase order systems can be just as bad

I would have replied back with "As you are a new customer, please pay half of the balance due immediately in Bitcoin or wire transfer. Once we have had satisfactory business relationships for two consecutive quarters, we will be happy to discuss Net 30 or possibly Net 90 payment terms. The paid amount is non-refundable unless we are unable to provide the agreed product within the agreed time frame. Thank you."

Of course, I'm not in accounting, ergo I would never receive a real PO, so its easy for me to know it is not legit. At least its a PDF - we had a customer who got a very similarly-crafted email with a DOC attachment. Fortunately, the recipient was wary and didn't open it.

Fired Ofcom Remainer bod sues UK gov for withholding his payoff

The IT Ghost

Re: Judicial Review...

I expect that he somehow thought that since his articles were published in Italy, they would not be in the public view in the UK. Naive, perhaps, or perhaps merely arrogant. When you accept a job in which you're expected to render judgement on others, you have to accept that you are constrained in what opinions you're allowed to express in public...showing any bias in one area and recusing oneself from selected cases won't keep the defendant's attorney in the cases you do hear from casting your every decision as stemming from bias. If a criminal-court judge were to openly espouse sexist ideologies in articles...would it not be all too easy for a lawyer to claim the judge also harbors racist bias too? He was told the policy and agreed to it. Then found he couldn't hold his tongue (or, I suppose, keyboard) after current events and violated his agreement...and tried to conceal it by publishing in another country. One doesn't have to give cause or written warnings for violations of policy. If a co-worker came into the office and went on an obscene rant, using foul language and expressing hatred of various ethnic groups, you would expect that person to be dismissed immediately - not gently cautioned not to do it again, and given a written warning to sign off on promising to be good from now on.

Samsung, the Angel of Death: Exploding Note 7 phones will be bricked

The IT Ghost

Re: Should't a court decide on this?

(I'm a bit late here)

If a person has such a phone in his pocket and it explodes into flame...he'll sue Samsung for his injuries - and damage to his pants. C'mon, one idiot tried to sue a Verizon store for NOT STOPPING HIM from committing identity theft. Our phone-clinging, pants-afire litigant isn't going to accept personal responsibility for his misfortune either. Samsung didn't FORCE him to stop carrying the phone, did they? Given the number of such units sold, the number that actually DID catch fire, and the percentage of sold units unaccounted for *and* the fact that one cannot be sure how many of the unaccounted-for units might have still been used, the scenario here is far from "certain to happen", but lawyers make their living dreaming up unlikely, but possible, situations that could result in liability. Other lawyers with clients wanting to sue likewise spend a lot of time trying to find SOME way for as many parties as possible to be in some way "responsible" for their client's injuries/loss, and preferably, many of those have deep pockets and an interest in settling out of court for PR purposes.

The IT Ghost

Re: Is this even legal in the EU?

Its worth noting that the money you paid was for the hardware - they aren't taking the slightest bit of that away from you. So, in a strict sense, you still have what you paid for, it doesn't do all the neat tricks it once did, but then again, what you purchased was...hardware. Really is this simple, friend. You can never buy software - not even open source. You buy a license and every license agreement says the publisher can pretty well do what they want with it, with or without your consent, and if you don't like it, too bad, you don't own the OS, the applications, or anything else. You bought a license to use it all in whatever form the publishers of all the various bits.

So you bought hardware, and you can keep it for as long as you want. Eventually, you'd be wanting to trade the thing in for a shinier model with more stuff. Its just an earlier trade than one might normally do. And, Samsung *could* refuse to accept trade-in on these after a certain time - the trade-in won't be there forever. The longer you cling to "its MINE, I paid for it!" the more risk you have of shelling out 600 more for another...smarter to trade it in while it lessens the bill for the next generation, hopefully this time, a bit less of a "hot selling item".

Boffins link ALIEN STRUCTURE ON VENUS to Solar System's biggest ever grav wave

The IT Ghost
Alien

That's the alien colony ship trying to hide from us while they wait for the planetary cleansing ships to arrive to clean up planet ZooleNix (Earth, to us) to make way for them to settle here.

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