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

* Posts by Andy The Hat

751 posts • joined 21 Oct 2010

Page:

Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

I do find it amazing that a company with such tight margins and minimal taxable profit can be so financially efficient that they can still find a few coppers to invest in space exploration ...

1
11

Brit competition bods to probe Experian and ClearScore merger

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Is GDPR valid here?

If company A buys Company B does the customer database of B become the property A and subject to legitimate use *without* having to confirm with all the parties in the database? I thought there was a rule about this ...? If you do indeed have to confirm with customers, how do you do that without using the database?

1
0

BBC websites down tools and head outside into the sun for a while

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Scary

Was it just me or did other people find that rag doll test card image scary?

I miss the selection of test cards - used to see them all the time so you could set the tv up correctly. Now you have to set reds by David Dikinson's face which varies depending on the last coat of Cuprinol ..., blues by the colour of the Brexiteers' rosettes which brighten and fade depending on the state of the Pound, and greens by the grass at Wimbledon but that's currently brown so doesn't help much. Be great if there was a regular 5 minute test card window at some point for all channels - be more interesting to watch than "Rental Properties Under the Sledgehammer" - but then again it may show just how terrible the current SD broadcast quality is on static images ... I doubt if you could even use the contrast bars on some multiplexes ...

17
1

Sorry, Neil Armstrong. Boffins say you may not have been first life-form to set foot on the Moon

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: That means you heard it before it was released

'Eclipse' seemed to be the album title of choice for a couple of years around the '71 and '72 eclipses. I would guess the 1973 Jade Warrior album was the conflicting one ... Can't believe a fundamentally experimental album is still being talked about and apparently still selling well nearly fifty years after its release. Also can't understand why there was not a single PF album in the second hand record shop I found the other day ... Genesis, Yes, ELP, Tomita but not a hint of Pinkness anywhere ...

12
0

Geoboffins spot hundreds of ghost dunes on Mars

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Giant?

Compared to a lot on Earth they're certainly not 'giants' - the larger deserts of the world have dunes hundreds of meters high. Maybe these are giants on the Martian dune scale?

As it's a photograph, perhaps ninjaturtle is right - it was taken as the sandworms were breaking the surface and another shot is needed to confirm movement ...

9
0

$100m sueball smacks Huawei over Facebook HQ infiltration claims

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

I agree - an annual meeting of companies does not generally infer the open exchange of confidential information just a bit of networking and nosying around to try to gauge the direction of the market. Perhaps there is more to this story that one shindig - how would you 'infiltrate' meetings at Facebook HQ (assuming they were indeed restricted in some way) without significant subterfuge but, on the other hand, why would you be 'infiltrating' a non-confidential meeting ...? More information required I feel.

1
0

European Parliament balks at copyright law reform vote

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: McCartney

As usual, an individual who happens to have loads of money and a potential axe to grind makes the headlines and can try to directly drive the political process at the highest level. Bert from Scunthorpe, Abbi from Brighton and Jessie from Bognor on the other hand are ignored as they're not rich, not famous and wish to present balanced political opinions based on common sense and research ...

Democracy is such a wonderful thing.

7
0

Seagate's Barracuda SSD bares its teeth at PC, laptop upgraders

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

MTBF

After quoting total write life and warranty, is the actually any reason for a human to bother with MTBF "having a useful increase" up to 205years ...? If it was ten or even fifteen years I'd think about it as I'd possibly get a fail in five but this is more or less stating that it won't fail in the life of this tech ... or the next one!

1
0

Thanks for the happy memories, Micron – now beat it, says China: Court bans chip sales

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

So, if I'm right, UMC has accused Micron of using using UMC IP that (possibly) UMC aquired illegally via FJIC from Micron. This could be complex ...

0
0

Micro Focus offloads Linux-wrangler SUSE for a cool $2.5bn

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

A company with revenues of $164m and a value of $2.5bn? That would smack of a company with silly levels of capital asset and, in the hands of an asset stripper, little future ...

7
3

Jimmy Hill feted in Shoreditch

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Whoever they are, they're good artists. That has to be the best Attenborough done in green spray paint I've ever seen ...

4
0

Tesla tips ice on Apple, Google, Microsoft accounts of '$1m leaker'

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

This is Tesla ... "Autopilot, copy all data to offsite repository, play Fast and Furious 13 on the full-windscreen display and put seats in full 'driver unable to reach the controls in the event of an emergency' mode ..."

1
1

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a giant alien space cigar? Whatever it is, boffins are baffled

Andy The Hat
Silver badge
Happy

Slight correction ...

I believe the text of the article should read:

"At first, there were a group who believed it was an alien starship. Those claims were quickly debunked by researchers who classified the group as completely bonkers."

17
2

Relive your misspent, 8-bit youth on the BBC's reopened Micro archive

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: Only the straight-A students had access to the schools computer (singular)

Pah, computer? We had a teletype connected to the local Tech College's ICL via a 150/300baud acoustic modem (in stylish wooden flip-top box with velvet lining) but most of the time it was fill in the programming sheet and wait a week for the punched cards with the obligatory syntax error to be returned, correct error ... wait ... time passes ... a card punch emits a blinding flash as a circuit board explodes ... miss a week ...

Had the honor of working with a guy who was on development of one of the last big card reader/punches and (reputedly) the fastest ever built ... It was also the one that produced the biggest mess if it misfed and jammed on the output ...

4
0

Labour MP pushing to slip 6-hour limit to kill illegal online content into counter-terror bill

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Who decides what is illegal?

If I post a complaint that a video is illegal,

(a) are Google, FB etc obliged to take it down as *I* made a complaint and said it was illegal?

or

(b) do the companies themselves have to decide whether the material referred to in a complaint is illegal then take it down?

If (a) then the entire system is open to abuse and fraudulent/frivolous complaints.

If (b) then we are opening the entire system to open censorship by private companies.

Either way it stinks.

What should happen? I make a complaint, an officer of the state (police, judge or whatever) decides on the validity of that complaint and issues a take down/block request to the company followed necessarily by legal action against the purportrator.

46
0

Sophos SafeGuard anything but – thanks to 7 serious security bugs

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Glad to see that all this is all purely "bug" - there can be no infiltration or spying links as Sophos is a good British company and therefore not associated with the nasty Ruskies ... so nothing to see here, patch and move along ...

1
0

Israel cyber chief's 'pants' analogy for password security deemed, well, 'pants'

Andy The Hat
Silver badge
Facepalm

Advice: Use a password manager

Oh goody, lots of password managers to choose from, all which promise to keep all my passwords nice and secure so they must be good ... I'll pick one ... eany meany miney doh!

At which point do I trust one organisation, of which I have no specialist knowledge at all, with all my passwords? The only time this would be good advice is when I was running the password manager company and either I was (a) completely legit and wanted to help the world or (b) completely bogus and wanted to trawl as many passwords as possible. The third option is obviously good intentions plus more security holes than a Trump policy statement allowing access to miscreants anyway.

I don't have a solution but tell me how to find a trustworthy password manager ... and, before someone says it, reading a.n.other's 'reviews' is not a good way of assessing data security, neither is having 'an encrypted database' if the NSA decode and clone it every day, nor is having a local database if the app "updates regularly" by uploading unencryped password data to a C&C server ...

9
4

By gum, that's chewy: Samsung's NF1 fattens M.2 card capacity with wider gumstick format

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Warranty ... who needs it?

1.3 drive writes *per day*? Gawd blimey Guv, that's a serious "fit and forget" reliability claim!

5
0

How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

... Camelot - 'tis a silly name

but Elderberry would have been worse ... :-)

10
0

Keep your hands on the f*cking wheel! New Tesla update like being taught to drive by your dad

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Potential safety update

I would suggest a total solution to this 'issue' is the August update containing "You are the driver, you did the test, you are in control. If you can't be arsed to drive, get a taxi or a train or a bus and let someone else do it ..."

5
1

Actual control of Windows 10 updates (with a catch)... and more from Microsoft

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Inspired or close to illegal?

We have a situation where we pay for a product and update support but we then have to *pay* to not use the support we have already paid for, strikes me that it's dangerously close to unfair practice ...

Perhaps Ford will start charging if you don't use the can of puncture repair gunk they put in the boot of a new car ... ?

And as for start-up/repair disks - you have ten weeks to use them or we'll charge ...

11
0

UK's first transatlantic F-35 delivery flight delayed by weather

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: Alternatives

Does Yet Another Anonymous Coward who created this thread get the award for most thumbs-up ever? Can't remember anyone close ...

3
1

DIYers rejoice: Hitting stuff to make it work even works in space

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

"All good technicians have a selection of hammers ..."

I disagree - all good technicians should have an HSE-approved protective pad of hard skin on the heel of their hand which can be delivered in a highly focused force distribution pattern and frequency to match specific system requirements ...

16
0

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

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: just receive an IP stream, buffer as necessary.

No data, no phone, bugger all tv signal and even Norfolk FM is dire ... what hope has North Norfolk got if they go DAB or IP?

0
0
Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: just receive an IP stream, buffer as necessary.

Buffered clapper - more of a 'bouff' than a 'bong' ..

0
0

Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: Bleeding edge vs cutting edge

Not sure ... if you give a kid has a knife in the kitchen, and you don't want tainted food, in you tell them to keep their fingers away from the bleedin' edge - which is the cutting edge*

* Unless it's my mum's knife in which case you can't tell the sharp edge from the not sharp without asking ... :-(

0
0

Pentagon on military data-nomming JEDI cloud mind trick: There can be only one (vendor)

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

I love confused links ...

"...cleared for access to secret and top secret Defense Department data, including <nuclear weapon design information> (PDF)."

One assumes that the helpfully highlighted link text isn't actually an open link to the top secret "nuclear weapon design information" PDF as it infers but to the JEDI contract perhaps?

Though it could explain where the Norks got their plans ...

0
0

Facebook misses Brit MPs' deadline, promises answers on Monday

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: I wonder ...

If he was on UK soil and refused to play ball the cops would probably call him then collar him, lead him to the House, make him sit and bark out his answers ... at which point he'd probably ignore everyone anyway and openly lick his bits to embarrass the participants.

After that kerfuffle the MPs wouldn't risk issuing a summons to the dog as well ...

2
0

Chap charged with fraud after mail for UPS global HQ floods Chicago flat

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: How was he able to cash checks made out to UPS?

Maybe he set up a disguised account to cover his tracks - United Postal Swipe?

4
0

Sort your spending habits out, UK Ministry of Defence told over £20bn black hole

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: Simple solution

No, I quite like haggis and I don't want to be tarred as a traitor so an Anglo-Scottish skirmish could be bad form. What about having a severe squabble with the Isle of Dogs instead? It would even work - start squabbling about whelk exports, UK sets up blockade for a week (we've nearly got enough ships but we can rope in local Oligarcs' yachts to fill the gaps and it would be a multinational expeditionary force ...) As sovereign territory the UK could arrange a 'Berlin Airlift' to deliver jellied eels and Red Bull to save it's citizens and HM Government could take the credit for everything!

Anonymise everything by calling the island "Pimblico" and there may be even be a film in it ... :-)

5
0

Make masses carry their mobes, suggests wig in not-at-all-creepy speech

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

So you are saying that tracking data for *any* mobile phone is sent to Google unknown to the owner? For Android or Google maps users I would consider that reasonable(ish) however for those not using Google products it would be in direct contravention of the GDPR and probably the DPA ... so they would have to stop it quickly ...

6
0

Score one for the bats and badgers! Apple bins €850m Irish bit barn bid

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Obviously 360mW is the estimate of total power requirement on which they have to pay a carbon levy ... possibly

I would hope that the green energy was not to be bio-mass derived using rotting apples as that would have been so deeply ironic that the US based Jobs-worths wouldn't get the joke ...

6
0

Password re-use is dangerous, right? So what about stopping it with password-sharing?

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: Password Managers?

I don't believe this ... "use a password manager"?

"Dear Password Security Thingy User. Your password is of great importance to us. This SuperSecurePasswordStorage App promises to never ever send your database of signins and passwords to a scummy server in out-of-reach-of-the-rozzers-land. In fact we're so confident in our scam ... err ... 'security' that we never even crossed our fingers or lied through our teeth when we wrote the app's privacy statement or generated to 130000 false-positive reviews ..."

Fundamentally there are a hundreds of password managers and no way of deciding whether they are any more secure than a post it note on the monitor ... In fact I would suggest that with the statistical incidence of burglary times the probability of a.n.other burglar being able to use the data on the post-it, the post-it would be more secure than a.n.other's NSA sponsored password app

2
1

The Sun will blow up into a huge, glowing bubble of gas during its death

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: Forestry

Who want's to live forever ... Who want's to live forever ?

I'm the one with a big sword and a liking for 1970's rock gods ... :-)

1
0

Hacking charge dropped against Nova Scotia teen who slurped public records from the web

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: "no grounds to lay charges"

"Under English law you are innocent until/unless proven..."

Which is why we need the Snooper's Charter ...?

Sorry but delusions of "Ye Good Olde Days" went out with the internet and trial by media.

11
0

Royal Bank of Scotland decision to axe 160+ branches linked to botched IT gig – Unite

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: 'Created' My Arse!!

Bought out then rebranded ... much like TSB except, until they're out of their IT mess, TSB won't have a spanish name and a Catalan bull branded on its arse so people will still think they're failing part of Lloyds ...

RBS have simply resurrected the Williams and Glyn name to spin off so there was no actual 'selling to W&G' per se as it was simply a dormant company and just an accounting tweak on the books. The 'sale to' really happens if W&G is actually passed to a third party but 'selling W&G' arguably sounds better than 'selling off RBS branches' although in reality it's almost identical. There's also the possibility that there's a tax dodge going on too with the technical sale of assets from RBS to W&G but that obviously isn't the case as the banks are whiter than white and would never do such things.

5
0

Double double, soil and trouble, fire burn and heat shield bubble: NASA cracks rover, has dirty talk with ESA

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

No news here ...

The story: "The heat shield cracked whilst under stress testing specifically designed to see if it would break".

Reason: Original design flaw or (more likely) material develops age related changes - like microfractures or changes in structural properties - after standing at the back of a warehouse for ten years ...

This is all at the limit of space exploration technology and finding flaws before wasting one meelion/beelion dinar is what testing is designed to do. Test, inspect, learn, check budget, fix flaws, check budget again, repeat ... Ultimately spend as little as possible whilst still convincing the team "We're not at home to Mr Cock Up"

17
1

Community Fibre wins £18m from UK.gov infrastructure fund

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Misuse of funds?

*If* it was discovered that "rural broadband fund" cash was indeed being redirected from its intended targets and allocated to highly urban projects I would expect MPs, and fund auditors to squirm ...

The fact that the BT chief is even suggesting that application to the fund for a central London location infers that there is a belief that funds may indeed be allocated ...

NOA contact anyone?

0
0

SpaceX finally Falcon flings NASA's TESS into orbit

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: How about we....

They'll be landing stuff by sky-crane on Mars next ...

7
0
Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Good info asphytxtc. Look up "graveyard orbit" too, the Wiki page is quite good ...

7
0

BT pushes ahead with plans to switch off telephone network

Andy The Hat
Silver badge
Holmes

So what about the customers?

If we're looking at VOIP and digital-only to the premises, who's going to pay to make my analogue interfaced cordless system a VOIP compatible one? Who is paying for my mum's new digital phone? Physical lines and infrastructure "owned" by Openreach are one thing, the millions of pounds of existing analogue hardware owned by domestic customers that would need replacing is another.

Perhaps there'll be a ten year gradual changeover period like DTV?

Thinking about this needs ...

8
5

Super Cali health inspectors: Tesla blood awoke us

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

"Extremist" is a politically convenient term currently being hijacked by the media and politicians for anything politically or physically violent (traditionally the "terrorists") or simply not following the politics of the western governments. In the 70's/80's it was widely used in the UK as a term for anyone simply not following the mid to right wing political dogma - in particular socialist groups who were branded 'left wing extremists'. Violence not orchestrated by the state was generally attributed to 'terrorists'.

An "extremist" is someone outside the bounds of your personal bubble ...

6
1

US, UK cyber cops warn Russians are rooting around in your routers

Andy The Hat
Silver badge
Facepalm

More security required ...

We should replace control systems where you have to connect to the device using dedicated protocols via a dedicated cli or gui from a physically attached device to something much more sensible ... like a fully accessible web front end on a server so I don't have to get off my arse to manage things ... and nor do those darned Ruskies ...

7
0

SpaceX's Falcon 9 poised to fling 350kg planet-sniffing satellite into Earth orbit

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Launcher

I wonder if Orbital ATK are a bit miffed that they have to deploy their payload on a SpaceX launch vehicle?

1
0

Australian Feds cuff woman who used BTC to buy drugs on dark web

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

If this is true ...

... it means that Five Eyes have cracked bitcoin, thus Blockchain security.

Surprisingly, there are currently organisations calling for the use of blockchain for secure transactions ...

Coincidence?

1
3

PCs were more and less expensive in Q1 as shipments stalled

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: My 2009 desktop still works fine

It does seem true that the Wintel not-a-monopolistic-partnership-at-all 'OS needs more power ... here is some ... oh, our lastest update now requires more power' spiral has certainly slowed if not stopped. To me, at the front end it's only the power games market that is the real upgrade driver now.

0
0

UK.gov expected to quit controversial harvesting of schoolchildren's nationality data

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

You miss the point - if they are in school until 18, they're not signing on and do not contribute to the woeful unemployment statistics!

4
0

Fear the Reaper: Man hospitalised after eating red hot chilli pepper

Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: To be honest

I disagree with that - up to about 400,000 on the habanero side of the group is still tasty.

10
2
Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: Ghost Peppers

Trouble with the Schoville tests now is that they are based on a single highest result from one seed or even a few placental scrapes from one heavily dehydrated fruit. It used to be an average of the entire fruit pulp so "1.5 million" or "2 million" in modern terms does not really mean a lot.

2
0
Andy The Hat
Silver badge

Re: Not the worst of it

I would agree with that - day after the fresh chilli massala night before :-)

0
0

Page:

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