nav search
Data Center Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes
BOFH
Lectures

* Posts by John Brown (no body)

10412 posts • joined 21 May 2010

Ah, British summer. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the internet is on the fritz

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Talking of bright things in the sky

"Looking on the bright side, the bloke in the cherry picker's bucket won't be having any further offspring. Presumably that lucky fellow won a Darwin Award whilst remaining alive?"

If that were possible, there'd a be a line/cone of dead birds on the ground radiating out from the transmitters. Cherry picker bloke would have to be right in front of and close to the transmitter for an extended period to come to harm.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Big red ball?

"Never red? Nope, the description will eventually be correct, just wait a little while.

OK, you'll have to wait quite a long* time,"

Nah, you only have to wait a few hours for almost sunset then goes a lovely red if the weather is right.

0
0

British Airways' latest Total Inability To Support Upwardness of Planes* caused by Amadeus system outage

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: How can knowing which platform a train leaves from be a security problem?

"I can think of several ways I could abuse this knowledge if I were so inclined, generally involving timers planted well ahead of time."

And yet it's never happened to the best of my knowledge. It's almost as if a group of middle managers went on a team building piss-up weekend and brainstormed as many "security threats" as they could think of and then implemented "solutions" for all of them instead of the just the existing or likely ones.

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"By making a man in a fancy hat ultimately responsible you solve the problem"

A humorous way of putting it, but the "driver" is ultimately responsible for the vehicle while in motion. The same applies to ships and road vehicles to. I'm specifically aware of lorries/HGV in that no matter who does the loading, the driver is the one who gets fined if the load is unsafe, out of balance etc. and possibly on charges of manslaughter if the mis-loading is the root cause or attributable cause to a death in an RTA.

2
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"There's an ICAO standard weight for a passenger which you can use if you're carrying more than a certain number of passengers. Unsurprisingly a few years ago it was revised upwards, I think to 83kg."

Which is probably why, on a school exchange visit to France many years ago, 40 kids, aged between 12 and 16 were manually rearranged into suitable seats on the first leg of the journey flying a Trident down to Heathrow. A small enough aircraft that the unusually large number of little people meant taking their approximate weights into consideration in the seating plan. There was none of that kerfuffle flying the much larger Tristar across to Charles De Gaulle.

0
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"There nothing in these calculations that a straightforward IOS app (Android if you prefer) can't handle. Jiust make sure you have the passenger numbers to start with. Its known as plan b."

That thought crossed my mind too, in a slightly dissimilar way. What is so complex about this software that it has to run "in the cloud"? Why is this not something an airline can by in and run on it's own systems? You really don't want to be at the mercy of a 3rd party for business critical systems. I wonder if the savings of doing it this way will be more or less than the losses just from this one outage?

0
1

Fork it! Google fined €4.34bn over Android, has 90 days to behave

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Where does the fine go?

"Do the end users actually benefit in any way from this?"

At the very least, phone manufactures can sell a choice of Android and non-Android phones, which quite possibly may increase the visibility and development of alternatives.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: EU Highwaymen....

"I cant help but think this is nothing to do with antitrust but about topping up the EU pot of money."

Even what looks like an enormous fine to you is still only a tiny amount in terms of the EU annual budget. Its barely a blip on the radar.

"The only part I think is totally wrong is that manufacturers cannot use a fork on another handset and be able to have play on another. That is wrong. They stopped car manufacturers limiting sales at dealers to their cars which amounts to the same thing."

And this is exactly what the fine is about. Google have been told this strong-arming was illegal for years but took no notice. The large fine is based on not just the action, but the duration of the action, after being told they were being naughty boys and girls.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: At least it's not BING

"If I were Google I would threaten to pull out of the EU... There would be riots of angry denizens facing a future of shitty Bing search."

Except everyone would just point and laugh at an obvious empty threat because Google are not going to pull out of a market much bigger then the USA.

2
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: @Ledswinger

"Good luck with your European Operating System. Whilst it may not slurp your data to advertisers, it will slurp your data to your political masters, the EU."

They may rail and argue and fight through the courts, but no US multinational already trading in the EU is going to pack up and go home, leaving what is pretty much their biggest single market (bigger than the USA) to the competition who WILL accept the laws and regulations and fill the void. MS broke the law, got fined big time, eventually realised they would have to suck it up and got right back to business. Why would Google or others be different?

1
0

Google to build private trans-Atlantic cable from US to France

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: If the Atlantic is so narrow...

"how come it takes six hours to fly across it."

Bring back Concorde. Less latency is Googles aim!

0
0

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Nothing new here

"The comment about Windows and XP reminds me of people coming into work, plugging in, going off to get the coffee and coming back fifteen minutes later in the hope of having a domain login prompt. In the case of one company I visited, more like 45 minutes.

That may not be the case nowadays but I think that experience put an awful lot of people off the idea of shared drives."

That sounds like the days of old when some admins didn't understand roaming profiles very well and allowed users unlimited profile space and filled up the desktop with folders full of huge files which had to be populated to the local copy of the profile instead of saving their files to the "network drive" or properly maping "My Documents" to the network storage. And huge outlook mailboxes full of PDFs and image file attachments going back years.

4
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Pointless?

"Note that having a build ready in a few hours without human intervention is still way ahead of the old days."

I think the point is that in a large organisation, particularly admin type departments, which are often he majority, they all have the same build. We do hardware support for a number of large orgs, and that's what we see every day. Having pre-imaged hard disks for desktops (or a whole PC) and pre-imaged laptops means a swap out is an almost instantaneous fix from the users point of view leaving the actual fix to happen without a user breathing down your neck.

3
0

Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

"This is just the democrats yelling louder and without pause--accusing others so people don't talk about the transgressions done while they were in power."

I take it you mean the Democrat 5th columnists hiding in plain site as members of the Republican party who were condemning Trumps Russia remarks?

3
1
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

"It's almost like Germany is following rules laid down to ensure it never becomes a military empire. Craziness."

I wonder who it was who had such a big hand in laying down those rules and when? Might it have been the USA? Same applies to why there is such a large US military presence in Japan (which Trump also railed against the cost of until someone told him the Japanese pay the USA for said military presence.)

2
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: "I don't think Trump is controlled by anybody..."

"I think this overestimates Trump. Because he looks like a person and makes noises like a person we assume that, well, he's a person, even if he's a bit disorganised in his thinking. "

I do sometimes wonder if there a zip hidden under his wig and maybe he farts a lot more than expected.

2
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Tee hee. Trump is to Putin as --

"The EU ensures that this is perpetuated by locking US firms out of the EU market on regulatory grounds."

There's nothing stopping US food producers and exporters dealing with the EU other than their own reluctance to meet the regulatory standards. There are certain EU foodstuffs banned in the US or manufactured here to US standards so they can be safely exported.

Pretty much all of the rest of your post is highlighting illegal practices under EU laws and regulations for which the perpetrators were found out and punished.

The NATO bit is a bit of a red herring too. The US was a prime mover behind the creation of NATO because the US needed a European buffer zone to contain the USSR. NATO, to the US of the day, was all about protecting the US and minimising the spread of communism. Trump was especially creative with the figures when he claimed the US was paying 90% of the NATO bill, but was right to some extent that some EU countries are not putting in the full whack. Trump just exaggerated for effect as he is wont to do on many, many occasions, to the extent that he's had to back pedal many, many times.

6
1

You wanna be an alpha... tester of The Register's redesign? Step this way

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Web stats analysis and crawlers

"Yup, "shame" that the industry has instead pretty much settled on GA, and that's kinda the only metric they accept."

Probably the advertisers have been stung by less than honest site operators too many times so prefer an "independent" 3rd party analysis of page and ad views. Google has become all pervasive and "trusted" in that respect so the bar is incredibly high for other to be able to join in.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: I'd like to see it fill the page

"On my 16:9 26" monitor filling the screen means head movement - and that is uncomfortable. A centred page can be read by maintaining the same head position without any feeling of the eyes having to scan to extreme edges. The right-hand panel usually never needs to be scanned - as there is nothing relevant for me to read."

I think this may be one of the reasons app windows can be resized. I rarely would have a browser maximised to full screen on a large monitor. This is also one of the reasons I'm all for properly done "responsive" pages, so I can resize my browser window to the size and aspect ratio that suits me, not something dictated by a web designer or screen manufacturer.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: I HATE IT!!!!!11!!!111!!

"I promise not to abuse it..."

...and so does his wife!!!11!!!1!

3
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: My Comments

"Like the idea of the most read section being bigger. "

I never really understood the point of a "most read" section anyway. I'll read the stories that interest me. Why would I specifically want to be guided to read the same stuff lots of other people are reading? Just because a story is popular with me any people doesn't mean I want to read it and it will be in the list of stories anyway.

3
0

Crooks swipe plutonium, cesium from US govt nuke wranglers' car. And yes, it's still missing

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

CCTV?

Did anyone check the local CCTV to see if there was a DeLorean in the area at the time in question?

20
1

It's 2018 so, of course, climate.news is sold to climate change deniers

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"No claiming it's fake doesn't make it fake. believing it's fake equally doesn't make it fake. Being fake makes it fake."

Again, you are correct, but you are concentrating on the correct and literal meaning of the word "fake" rather then the popular consensus of the meaning(s) of the entire phrase "fake new" and how it is being used currently. It's a bit like pointing out the origins of the word decimate and ignoring the fact it's not been used in its original meaning for generations.

6
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge
Facepalm

donut?

Shirley that should be D'oh, Nuts!

8
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"Fake news is "news" that is unsubstantiated by observation and observable facts. "

To most right thinking people, you are correct, but the reality of the situation today is that "fake news" is whatever the speaker/writer is claiming it is today. Just look at Trumps comments on his interview with The Sun. He rambled on about recording all press interactions and called the story fake news. Well guess what, The Sun also recorded it. Likewise a BBC reported called out Trump for claiming he was at Turnberry the day before the Brexit vote and "called" the result to the accompanying press beforehand. When the BBC reporter called him on that (he was also there at the time, the day after the Brexit vote, not before), Trumps head of communications backed up her bosses comments. The BBC reporter got no further replies after pointing out that the flight passenger records showed Trump arriving in the UK AFTER the Brexit vote.

the TL'DR version, yes, fake news is whatever the speaker/reader disagrees with at the time. It might be different tomorrow.

14
0

Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Shooting the messengers much?

"if people really are this gullible that they'd change their mind based on a random post on the Internet"

Because not just some random post that a voter may come across on the internet. It's thousands, tens of thousands of posts all over the internet, then being reported on by the media. It's how viral marketing and "nudge policies" work. A little drip drip drip can sway people over time, especially the "don't knows". It's not new.

15
1

Farewell then, Slack: The grown-ups have arrived

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: No, consistency is a FEATURE.

"Eh? I just opened the latest edition of Excel, "

I think it was Excel 2013 with whatever the latest patches do. I will freely admit I forgot about Ctrl-P :-)

5
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: No, consistency is a FEATURE.

Yes, that's what I came here to say too! I'll just add that it's a rather sad indictment of the current fad for "new is always better, more shiny is always better". No, it isn't. It REALLY isn't. Sometimes, there is a level of perfection that Just Works and no amount of UI redesign will make it better. (Not saying that Slack is that level of perfection, but you all know what I mean)

Yesterday, I had to print an Excel spreadsheet. I don't use Excel, I use LibreOffice (and even that not very often) and spent over 10 minutes trying to find the print function. How was I to know that MS in there wisdom had invented the equivalent of a Start button which just looks like a bit of decoration instead of me easily finding the File menu and clicking Print like I've done for pretty much every iteration of every application for the last 20 years?

29
3

Ukraine claims it blocked VPNFilter attack at chemical plant

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge
Coat

"They were infected. Very difficult to then thwart the attack. Think horse, bolt, stable door."

Sodium Hypochlorite makes for a very good disinfectant.

The one with the bleach marks -------->

2
0

Fix this faxing hell! NHS told to stop hanging onto archaic tech

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Sometimes, Paper is just more valuable

"(or get overwhelmed by)."

Arse coving emails are the prime reason for being overwhelmed by emails. We've all worked with people who will email after every conversation or phone call to "confirm" what has been said and enter it into the "chain of evidence."

4
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Sometimes, Paper

"if somethings broken with email the sender may not know for days, weeks, if at all, that it wasnt delivered."

You can set email servers to report back on delivery status. Most are set to report back in a scale of days but can be set to hours or even minutes. If the receiving mail server is down, there's no reason the sending server can't inform you in a timely manner. That means all servers in the chain need to be properly configured to deal with time sensitive or mission critical email systems so it doesn't get received by a gateway then "lost" in a virus scanner without some sort of message being passed back up the chain to the original sender. (Of course, spammers can abuse this if not properly set up)

0
1
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"Faxes still have their places. When I moved to another state there was a screw up with DL. Now My choices were to drive back to California and hand delver the documents they wanted. Mail them and it will get there when it gets there or fax it(no they would not take email) Faxing it allowed me to clear it up in under an hour vs mailing it."

And yet, for various security clearance I've had over recent years, emailed scans of documents have been acceptable. In some cases, an "authorised person" in our company has to put eyes on the originals and sign off that the scans are true and correct, but not in all cases.

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: They'd still be using...

"And for fscks sake - STOP doing pointless operations on 85-90 year olds. "

Ok. But you get to be the one to tell each and every one of them why they can't have the operation. Especially the generally fit and healthy ones who are still active, driving and looking after themselves quite nicely thank you.

5
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Not the only Guvmint dept to use fax

"There certainly was a time where a signature sent via faxed was considered to be an actual signature for legal purposes while an email of a scan of the same signature was only an image of the signature and did not in itself have legal standing (that the actual signed document ... or faxed version ... would have)."

There was a mindset back then that said a fax was a faithful replication of the original, while anything scanned into a PC could be easily edited, even if the user only had the default MS Paint app. And to an extent, that was true. Faking a fax took a little more effort with actual scissors and glue/tape.

4
1
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"One of my first lessons in IT was to make sure a manual business process was sound before attempting to move it to a computer."

Yeah, it's called Systems Analysis. There used to be people called Systems Analysts. They've been replaced with people in shiny suits with MBAs.

25
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: @ wolfetone

...yet consider IVF to be "needed"....do you know how mind-bendingly expensive IVF is?

Yes, that is an interesting one. Taken to the extreme, if one person of a couple can't produce the necessary to create a child, maybe there's a biologic "fault" telling them something important. I've also heard IVF campaigners claim that it's every womans right to have a child if they wish. Well, actually, no, it isn't a right of any kind. No mention of the men either. But I could imagine it being a very, very difficult decision as to where to draw the line at when to offer or refuse IVF treatment on the NHS. As I understand it, different NHS trusts set the bar at different levels and it's usually set by people well removed from the process, ie bean counters.

17
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"You want to hazard a guess how much clinging to those fax machines and pagers is costing the NHS? I bet the maintenance and service contracts are eye-wateringly expensive with them being basically obsolete and with so few suppliers."

I wonder just how many fax machines are actual stand-alone fax machines (with thermal paper that fades in sunlight) and how many are big, expensive multi-function printer/copiers with the fax add-on pre-installed and so used by default as the lowest common denominator for comms to the multifarious parts of the NHS all running on different vintages of systems that won't always inter-operate reliably?

20
0

Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: I've done this too

"They were called Film Cameras!"

No, they were just called Cameras. There was no other type until those new fangled electronic Digital Cameras came along :-p

8
1
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Once upon a time

"Its always nice to know management values its ICE more than it does its coders"

Bloody wimps whinging about heat in a room full of ICE!!

6
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Wrong Type of Leaves

"During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable."

I take that to mean the old Shops, Offices and Railway Premises Act, which did have a minimum working temperature has been superseded then? (IIRC, the minimum temp. had to be reached within an hour of the start of the work day.)

1
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: I always like when people put flammable materials...

"Environmentally friendly recycling, and since they couldn't be used as extinguishers H&S can't complain"

They would probably ask for and get a budget increase approval to have them painted a special non-fire-extinguishy colour with a large notice on saying "NOT A FIRE EXTINGUISHER" and send all staff on a half day compulsory H&S refresher course to make sure everyone was aware that the new recycled door-stops are NOT FIRE EXTINGUISHERS, all at a far, far higher cost that just buying in a few quids worth of door stops.

16
0

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"And the spit-tray, where the phone is held horizontally about a foot in front of the mouth in a way that makes it look like it's infectious."

Ever since we got rid of all those pesky telephone sanitisers :-)

11
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Dead giveaway

"how to hold your phone" poster.

I saw one of those once in a large open plan office. Apparently a few twats were annoying about 50 other people.

7
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Only yesterday...

"The Apprentice" and its vain morons who don't want to risk the phone obscuring their face from the camera has a lot to answer for, this being one of the worst trends...

It pre-dates The Apprentice. Holding it flat in front of the mouth while on speaker-phone was a device the TV production companies came up with (AFAIK) so in both fiction and documentaries, the viewer gets to hear both sides of the phone conversation. For the vacuous "fashion concious" types, copying their TV and Film heros/s'lebs is seen as the cool thing to do.

7
0

AR upstart Magic Leap reveals majorly late tech specs' tech specs

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Should have been pretty obvious

"When you can smell it, and be fairly sure your are looking at, you should really just accept it"

It does AromaReality too? Roll on the fart apps!!!

2
0
John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Should have been pretty obvious

"But back to the Magic Leap, how come it's using a processor that's almost 2 years old? And won't that be totally underpowered for the light-field optics that ML was supposed to have at one point?"

Understood, but you have to set the baseline somewhere or you will forever be redeveloping and re-prototyping for the Next Big Thing instead of getting to market. They;re running so past schedule now, does anyone want to see them step back and start over with the latest chips?

2
0

Tech support chap given no training or briefing before jobs, which is why he was arrested

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

"So, the solution is to leave it with the security folks to be securely destroyed (I have images of little old ladies, *unstringing* the cores). Those things are expensive, but leaving the defective one for them to destroy seems like an easy way out, and just bill them for it."

These days, if an item has been used in a secure environment, or might have been used so in the past, then any system or component being replaced has to be left on site for destruction. That pretty much means anything that isn't just literally bare metal since pretty much all PC/server parts have some form of permanent programmable memory on board somewhere.

4
0

Microsoft adds subscriptions for SQL and Windows Servers

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Subscriptions and economic problems

"Subscriptions are dangerous for companies with economic problems. Be late with payment or unable to pay one month and see your business go tits up and die."

And also are the most likely to take up subscriptions if they can spread big lump sums out over a monthly payment plan. One company I worked for even changed the wages pay date from the 28th to the 1st at end of tax year to make a one off saving by only paying wages 11 times that year.

0
0

Cops suspect Detroit fuel station was hacked before 10 drivers made off with 2.3k 'free' litres

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Outrageous!

"Yeah but you can still use those pumps in the traditional way right?"

Yes, push the button to say "pay at kiosk". Does that not happen in the US too?

1
0

Intel, Microsoft, Adobe release a swarm of bug fixes to ruin your week

John Brown (no body)
Silver badge

Re: Flash Security Update?

I think what's most shocking is they only found and issued fixes for 2 bugs. The number for Acrobat and Reader outstripping the number of bugs for an entire OS and it's assorted bloat userland programmes is more shocking.

1
0

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing