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* Posts by AndrueC

3730 posts • joined 6 Aug 2009

Either my name, my password or my soul is invalid – but which?

AndrueC
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Facepalm

I had a similar issue when I tried to sign up with Samsung several years ago (I had a good reason, I wanted a firmware update for my TV so I could get into the engineering console). Anyway it refused to let me create an account so eventually I had to resort to a less legitimate source. I've since found out that it was my DEA system that caused the problem. Samsung will not let you register an email address with 'samsung' anywhere in it. Of course it never actually tells you that :-/

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Fukushima reactors lend exotic nuclear finish to California's wines

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Grapes do not absorb much

There were only two things which drove it off the scale. Cucumbers (specifically the peel) and forest mushrooms.

And there's not mushroom for error, there :)

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'Fibre broadband' should mean glass wires poking into your router, reckons Brit survey

AndrueC
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Facepalm

There is some fibre in there

Well strictly speaking (and I think this was what the ASA actually said the first time BT complained about VM's adverts) 99% of the connection to the ISP is fibre. That's true of all telephony data technologies - even an analogue modem. It's only the last mile or so that might not be. Of course the fact that the last mile or so was the most important as far as advertising was concerned seemed to escape the ASA.

One of the daftest decisions they ever made. Although adjusting the 'Up to' figures to reflect customer experience was possibly dafter. 'Up to 80Mb/s' is a valid and technically accurate way to describe the VDSL service that Openreach provide, the more recent speed caps introduced by the ASA are meaningless.

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AndrueC
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Stop

The current law is silly.

No, it isn't, because it's not a law. It's just one of the rules that companies voluntarily follow in order to avoid getting a public slapping. The ASA has limited powers to enforce these things. In theory it can go crying to Ofcom in this case but I don't know if it ever actually has done or if Ofcom will even care.

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AndrueC
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Meh

In practice there's very little difference with FTTC and ADSL2 based on the few connections I had in the UK.

You apparently didn't try many connections then. Most people are seeing at least a tripling of their speed and noticeable improvements in reliability. I, for instance, went from an 11/1.8Mbps ADSL2+ connection that dropped maybe once a month to a 67/18Mbs connection that drops only if/when the DSLAM decides to adjust something which happens maybe once or twice a year in the early hours of the morning.

Of course as I've posted elsewhere one person's experience doesn't count for much but since rolling out FTTC the UK's average speed has risen from around 6Mb/s to around 30Mb/s. Quite why you didn't see much difference is hard to say but one possibility is that the UK buys connectivity on price. Possibly the people you stayed with were typical tight wads and bought the cheapest package they could.

There's an interesting article here that suggests if people in the UK bought the best package available to them we'd actually be in the top 3 countries for 'average speed' with number one a possibility in a couple of years.

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

Ironically, VM started it. BT then complained to the ASA pointing out that VM services are coax in the last mile. The ASA ruled in favour of VM so BT joined in.

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It walks, it talks, it falls over a bit. Windows 10 is three years old

AndrueC
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Boffin

Re: Not since 1998...

Personally, I cannot believe how unstable Windows 10 is, today. I'm not a rabid anti-Windows-10 hater. I use Windows 10 professionally and at home and I have been developing on Windows-based platforms since 2000 and I feel that Windows 10, in 2018, is about as unstable an operating system as I have seen in a very long time.

You must be doing something very odd then, or running on dodgy hardware. I'm not a huge fan of Win 10 myself but it seems at least as stable as previous versions. My laptop at home is only rebooted if an update requires it (so perhaps three times a year) being left in sleep the rest of the time when I'm done with it. The PC I use when working from home has always been fine but to be fair I don't use it much.

My PC at work is left on all week and only powered down over the weekend. I'm a software developer (albeit a high level one) so my work machine gets a lot of stress. At the moment it's typically running three or four Visual Studio instances, two of which in debug mode spawn web sites and services with the third spawning an application and another web site. The machine is also hosting a Linux Postgres server and an Elastic search server.

It's been many, many years since I'd describe any Windows version as unstable. So called BSODs are a rarity and have been since Windows XP SP1. If you can give us more information perhaps we can help sort out what sounds like an annoying problem.

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AndrueC
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Meh

Re: "the Windows 7 hold-outs should finally feel able to make the upgrade"

I tried to upgrade my mail server at home a couple of months ago as part of a general 'refresh'. Unfortunately the upgrade process kept falling over at phase two. I tried to read through the log files but there was too much crap in there to make much of it. It looked like at one point it was failing to talk to its SSD but since by that point it had copied Windows 10 on, moved everything around and was supposedly just tidying up that seemed unlikely.

Anyway while trying to investigate this I discovered that after several years (lol) of it being unable to pull down any updates the update fixer actually worked and it found 600MB of Windows 7 updates. So I applied them and after it rebooted I decided I'd had enough.

I will try and upgrade it to Win 10 again eventually but I need to build my strength up first :-/

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Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

AndrueC
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Re: Futuristic progression of Programming Languages?

All hardware sucks, all software sucks, all languages suck...

Yes, and as was already pointed out 'all operating systems suck'. I learnt that one back in the 90s when I briefly became an OS/2 fanboi. Since then I've forced/taught myself to use whatever is most suited to the task. Of course some of that 'suitability' is 'what managers/customers/the market wants' but a good engineer is a pragmatic engineer ;)

So for now it's Windows and C# for me in the main. With luck that'll see me through another few years until I retire. Beyond that I will endeavour to try and not care.

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Ticketmaster breach 'part of massive bank card slurping campaign'

AndrueC
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Just waiting for the punters who have been hit by this to be past back on forth between the bank and Ticketmaster each saying that you need to get your money back from the other party as they are not to blame

If paying by UK credit card, it's possible that Section 75 would apply. I'm not entirely sure though as there is a third party involved though.

S75 is a great thing - that and not having to pay until the statement is due makes a CC kinda like a financial firewall. I'd never pay with anything else.

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Dudes. Blockchain. In a phone. It's gonna smash the 'commoditization of humanity' or something

AndrueC
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Joke

And another. :)

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Infrastructure wonks: Tear up Britain's copper phone networks by 2025

AndrueC
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Meh

Affordability is only part of the problem. Fibre doesn't lay itself and requires a reasonable level of skill - if you want it done properly. We're going to struggle to find enough engineers even if we import them from other countries - not forgetting that the current network will still need some until it's retired. It'll mean ramping up training (starting with colleges) as well. And when it's all done probably 90% of the workforce will be useless because one of the benefits of fibre is less maintenance.

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Big contenders in the broadband chart this week, but who will be #1? Well, not Britain

AndrueC
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Stop

It is worse than that. The Government declare that 95% of the population has access to speeds of 24Mb/s or more. My connection is advertised as 'up to 24Mb/s' but I never get more than 9.5Mb/s.

In what way does your particular experience make it worse than what I described? I said that 95% of properties have access to at least 20Mb/s. The fact yours is one of the unlucky ones doesn't invalidate my statement. It just means that yours is one of the unlucky ~1 million properties that can't get that speed.

My connection is advertised as 'up to 24Mb/s' but I never get more than 9.5Mb/s.

...aaand here we go again. Your connection is not advertised as any such thing. The service and technology that your connection is using was advertised as being capable of a particular speed under ideal conditions. Those same adverts will have warned you that the actual speed is line dependent. You will have been encouraged to get a tailored estimate for your particular line at the time you signed up and in all likelihood you will have been advised that your line was not capable of better than 9.5Mb/s.

It's ridiculous that so many people still don't understand this, especially on a technical site like this one.

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AndrueC
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Meh

Re: There needs to be a concerted push to bring FTTP to all areas

How about insisting that they get fibre too.

Should have done that at least ten years ago. A foresighted government (haha) would've done it twenty years ago. Interestingly BT did offer to do that in the 80s in exchange for TV broadcast rights but Maggie turned 'em down and created the cable market instead.

Would be interesting to know what the residential internet situation in the UK would be in an alternative universe where Maggie agreed to BT's request.

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AndrueC
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Yeah, it'd be interesting to produce a graph of connection speed v. availability. The UK probably has greater than 95% availability of 20Mb/s or higher for instance. We've probably had >99% universal broadband availability for at least a decade.

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Boffins build neural networks fashioned out of DNA molecules

AndrueC
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Alert

I for one, ...

... am a bit creeped out.

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No one wants new phones – it's chips that keep Samsung chugging

AndrueC
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Unhappy

Re: What else IS there?

The last update to my S7 Edge brought Samsung Pay's slide up window on the home page. I don't use and never will use it so every time I reboot the phone I have to force stop the application. It doesn't seem like you can modify the settings without first signing in to the service.

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

AndrueC
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Meh

Users access clinical NHS applications by being authenticated against the national SPINE, using an encrypted key on a Secure ID card plus PIN or password.

Sadly not always (maybe not often) in primary care. In primary care there's not much standardisation - there's probably a lot of smaller surgeries and clinics that don't even operate a domain let alone single sign on.

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AndrueC
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Meh

A bad one?

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Have YOU had your breakfast pint? Boffins confirm cheeky daily tipple is good for you

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: "...increased risk of mortality.."

Life is a sexually transmitted disease and always fatal.

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Priceless: The cost to BT for bothering you with spam? 1.5 UK pence per email

AndrueC
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Happy

I got a £25 credit from Barclaycard when they sent me spam. I got three letters ('We acknowledge your complaint'), ('We are looking into your complaint') then ('We agree that your complaint is valid so here's £25'). I don't use that card much but decided to use the funds to pay for a couple of trips through the M6 toll. I think there's still a couple of quid left on it.

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MSDN unleashes a fresh round of unintentional innuendo bingo

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Does knob really have two meanings any more?

I've never seen a door penis.

I've seen a horse fly.

Oh, sorry, wrong joke.

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AndrueC
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Happy

I always used to chuckle at SHITEMID. It helped relieve the stress since, trust me, there is little else about working with the Windows Shell that is fun.

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'No, we are not rewriting Office in JavaScript' and other Microsoft tales

AndrueC
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Mushroom

Re: "showing Redmond is taking seriously the creeping advance of Apple"

I'm working from home today. My Windows 10 machine popped up a feature notification and asked if I wanted to do it now or schedule it for later. So I clicked on the re-schedule button. The notification vanished and that was that. No attempt to ask me when I wanted it done. Then I had to attend a stand up meeting and when I came back(*) my PC was in the middle of the feature update. Well..I say the middle but this was April's BFP (Big F-ing Patch) so it actually took the best part of an hour.

Aside from the idiocy of the timing (just checked and like my office PC this one has 7am to 6pm as busy hours) I'd actually left it running overnight Friday because I knew it was out of date and wanted to give it a chance to run that update while I didn't need the machine for anything.

F-ing Microsoft Update.

(*)I took it in the garden on my phone because it was a nice morning.

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Microsoft says Windows 10 April update is fit for business rollout

AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: Never safe from Microsoft

I get the same thing with my work computer. It's configured with busy hours being 7am to 6pm and yet it prompts in the middle of the working day.

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Citation needed: Europe claims Kaspersky wares 'confirmed as malicious'

AndrueC
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WTF?

Lawyers are doubtless oiling up the sueball catapult as this very moment

Why do I keep reading that as 'oiling up the seagull catapult'?

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WannaCry reverse-engineer Marcus Hutchins hit with fresh charges

AndrueC
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Happy

Re: Who do you trust?

I doubt there are many people who work with computers who have not donned both a black and white hat

You could be right. I worked for years as a data recovery engineer and software developer. We also wrote forensic software and the company was a major player in computer forensics throughout the 90s and early 00s.

But while at Polytechnic in the 80s I wrote a virus for CP/M. I don't think anyone's going to want to bring charges about that though :)

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Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

AndrueC
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Unhappy

Re: The right person to blame is the USA highways administration.

This is why I'm very much a skeptic on autonomous cars , especially in cities like London

Not just London. There are several roundabouts around Banbury that have lane markings and a lot of vehicles ignore them. Sometimes it's just a handful of lazy drivers but at some roundabouts it's endemic. Not that I'm a fan of lane markings but FFS they put them in place for a reason.

The Brackley A43 roundabout has just been 'upgraded' to a light controlled junction with lane markings and once they wear out I predict problems. I'm really glad I don't have to commute across that. The roundabout over M40 J11 is bad enough :(

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AndrueC
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Meh

So Tesla has follow-distance control but no emergency stop? Isn't that becoming standard even on regular cars?

My Honda Jazz has it but only at low speed. I've had it trigger once and it was - sorta - right. Someone pulled out onto a roundabout in front of me. It would have been a cheeky but safe lunge if it wasn't for the fact they were towing a trailer. So I stopped (no panic, just slowed and waited). But I was a bit irritated and concerned about being rear-ended so when the trailer was half way across my front I accelerated. I knew the trailer would clear before I got there but the car disagreed. Cue lots of beeps, lights flashing on the dashboard and the brakes coming on.

But I think it only trggers below 30mph so wouldn't help in this scenario.

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Microsoft will ‘lose developers for a generation’ if it stuffs up GitHub, says future CEO

AndrueC
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Unhappy

One consequence of the imminent acquisition appears to be difficulty connecting. It's been a bit sluggish off and on and was down (for me, not colleagues) earlier this week for an hour. Right now it appears to be down again. I'm not blaming MS though. More likely it's some silly disgruntled skiddie showing their disapproval.

That's the down-side of cloud repositories. At least I'm only wanting to push at the moment, not pull. I'll be more worried at EOB today.

Edit: It's back. For the moment.

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'Tesco probably knows more about me than GCHQ': Infosec boffins on surveillance capitalism

AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: They does

A couple of years ago amongst my latest vouchers from Tesco was one for babies nappies. Given that I've been living the bachelor life my entire adult life I'm not sure what that says about their data gathering abilities.

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

I don't have, never have had nor do I want a Facebook account. If that makes me appear to the authorities to be suspicious then I'd suggest that the authorities are not fit for purpose.

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Whois? Whowas. So what's next for ICANN and its vast database of domain-name owners?

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: Rejected one year moratorium oddly similar to 12 months they say they need to devise a new model

I think something has changed. Nominet has always hidden my name and address for my well over a decade old .me.uk domain. It used to say that I was a private individual who had chosen to hide my details but now it says:

"Nominet was able to match the registrant's name and address against a 3rd party data source on ..."

My employer's domains say the same thing so my guess is that Nominet is universally hiding those details rather than only providing an opt-out for non-trading individuals.

Ah ha.

"The .UK WHOIS will no longer display the registrant’s name or address, unless they have given permission to do so – all other data shown in the current .UK WHOIS will remain the same."

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Cloud is a six-horse race, and three of those have been lapped

AndrueC
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Thumb Up

Re: O.R.A.C.L.E.

Opinions

Research

Advice

Computer

Linked

Experts

Actually quite a good novel by Kevin O'Donnell Jnr.

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TalkTalk plans to sell family B2B jewel to Daisy Group for £175m

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: Ah Good old Daisy!

Expect line speeds to plummet.

Why? I suppose that it might result in LLU ADSL customers being moved back onto BT's DSLAMs but there's no particular reason to think their line cards are any worse than TT's. Given that BT would prolly have to buy more line cards to increase capacity it might actually mean a slight increase in line speed due to more modern chipsets and/or 'younger' electronics. As for those on VDSL nothing will change because all ISPs are using openreach owned DSLAMs in the roadside cabinets.

Now if you actually mean that throughput speeds will drop then that's possible. Or at least it's possible that throughput at peak times might be worse. If the business is not doing well the ISP might not be able to maintain bandwidth availability resulting in increased contention at peak times.

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EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out

AndrueC
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Joke

I nominate Zaphod Beeblebrox to steal the drive

That sounds like an improbable idea.

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ISP TalkTalk's Wi-Fi passwords Walk Walk thanks to Awks Awks router security hole

AndrueC
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Joke

Maybe Talk Talk thinks that customers who are still with them must have so little interest in personal security that it's not worth patching.

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The future of radio may well be digital, but it won't survive on DAB

AndrueC
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Facepalm

The DAB+ standard offers some hope as it uses the far more efficient HE-AAC encoding

Yeah. The broadcasters see the hope of cramming even more channels in.

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Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

AndrueC
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Thumb Up

Signal power is totally unrelated to data carrying capacity ie. speed...

Plus there are strict regulations governing RF transmission and if BT's router is transmitting more powerfully than any others it is illegal equipment and Ofcom would have taken them to court.

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AndrueC
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Boffin

Re: Why not pay for the speed you actually get?

Either the sync rate, or an averaged actual data rate?

In the case of sync speed because the cost to the provider is the same. Or, if there is any difference, it will be slightly more expensive to provide a service on a longer line due to higher transmission costs and statistically greater chance of a fault due to more cable involved. Since it costs the same for the provider charging pro-rata means they will either stop selling services to those on longer lines or else raise the prices for all resulting in those on shorter lines being overcharged, or choosing lower speeds.

As for average data throughput the problem there is how do you measure it? Data speeds can be affected by every hop along the path the traffic takes between the user's computer and the remote host. Average speeds could therefore be being dragged down by:

* Misconfigured computer.

* Old computer not able to keep up.

* Wifi issues.

* Cabinet issues (for xDSL, Fibre and Coax) (1)

* Head-end issues. (1)

* Backhaul issues. (1 & 2)

* Customer's ISP server issues. (3)

* Interconnect issues.(2)

Then any number of:

* Some other ISP's interconnect issue.

* Some other ISP's server issues.

* Some other ISP's backhaul issues.

And of course at the very end of the connection:

* Overloaded host.

* Badly configured or throttled host.

(1) - For coax (cable) this will be the responsibility of the customer's ISP. For other service types, they won't be.

(2) - The customer's ISP will have responsibility for some part of this, but probably not all of it.

(3) - The customer's ISP will have exclusive responsibility for these.

What this means is that it's impossible to place the blame for poor data throughput at your ISP's door. You might in some cases (when the host is on your ISP's network, perhaps) be able to moan that your ISP should pick better people to partner with. However even then your ISP may have no choice in the matter. All non-LLU xDSL connections are reliant on at least one of the BT group members to carry data at least part of the way, and all VDSL connections are reliant on openreach to get the data between the cabinet and head-end (the exchange).

And when all's said and done it's a service. The law does not require services to be fit for a purpose. The law only requires that the service provider not over charge, be upfront about limitations and make reasonable efforts to deliver the service.

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AndrueC
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Thumb Down

consumers paying for speeds of "up to" 38Mbps receive just half that (19Mbps).

That doesn't make sense. They pay to receive 'some speed' up to a maximum possible of 38Mb/s. What's the mathematical formula for deciding that 19Mb/s is half of 'some speed'?

If they got nothing, or even if they got more than 38Mb/s they'd have a reason to be surprised. But 19 is a numeric value between zero and 38 so they are getting what they paid for. They'd be told at the time of signing up that their actually connection speed would depend on their line and they would have been forced to obtain a customised speed estimate.

The only people who might have a valid complaint would be customers on cable or fibre since they are supposed to have access to a specific speed. But even they will probably have to accept that congestion on residential services means that some drop off is to be expected at peak hours.

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GoDaddy exiles altright.com after civil rights group complaint

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: I'll just leave this here :

As far as free speech it does not exist. At least in the UK.

Yes it does, subject to restrictions. We are a signatory to the ECHR, So thanks to membership of a European institution we finally got freedom of speech in 1998.

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It's World (Terrible) Password (Advice) Day!

AndrueC
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Joke

That's the code for the parental lock on my Sky box. If I had any kids I'd be jolly annoyed by it being made public.

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No top-ups, please, I'm a millennial: Lightweight yoof shunning booze like never before

AndrueC
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Happy

Dependence on alcohol is a terrible thing. I'm not dependent on it - I can make a twat of myself while sober.

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UK Parliament roars: Oi! Zuck! Get in here for a grilling – or you'll get a Tower of London tour

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Well, as a Citizen of the Former Colonies

incidentally if you know anyone with the surname Bullen - there's a good chance they're related to Anne - the family slightly adjusted the name after her Tudor haircut.

Oh, I see a pun to be had there. Descendants of Anne Boleyn: Heir today, gone tomorrow.

Well..I didn't say it was a good pun.

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AndrueC
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Happy

Re: fail

I was lucky this time. I have no interest in other people's lives(*) and assumed that they felt the same way about me so Facebook, Twitter and all that social media crap has passed me by :)

(*)Frankly it's bad enough I have to share a planet with you lot, don't ask me to take an interest as well :)

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More Brits have access to 1Gbps speeds than those failing to muster 10Mbps – Ofcom report

AndrueC
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Meh

According to BT there's currently insufficient demand to upgrade ADSL speeds.

What they probably mean is insufficient residential demand. There's probably plenty of business demand currently being 'satisfied' by leased lines and the like. An interesting question would be whether those businesses would prefer to pay less for contended xDSL if they could.

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Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish

AndrueC
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Facepalm

Microsoft’s trying to excite end-users with a new feature called “Focus Assist” designed to help you “get things done without distractions,

Does that mean they have finally (!) fixed focus stealing as well?

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Openreach and BT better watch out for... CityFibre after surprise £537m takeover deal

AndrueC
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Thumb Down

Re: Sigh .....

This is why they should still be owned by us rather than investors.

Except that when they were owned by 'us' under the guise of the PO the network was starved of investment and almost run into the ground. For sure BT group has its problems but the network is far more reliable, reaches more people and is cheaper than it was under public ownership.

There might be a better way of running a national data/telephony network but I can assure you that public ownership is not it. It's been tried. It failed (or nearly did).

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