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

* Posts by Maty

681 posts • joined 6 Jul 2007

Page:

BOFH: Is everybody ready for the meeting? Grab a crayon – let's get technical

Maty

Never document your code.

If it was hard to write, it should be hard to read.

0
0

Automated payment machines do NOT work the same all over the world – as I found out

Maty

Rocket science

Um , the first thing the machine said was 'insert cash ...' which was in fact the last thing that Dabbsy did (and the thing which finally worked).

Okay, not everyone speaks Italian, but if he has Google maps on his phone, presumably he also has Google translate?

4
3

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops

Maty

Re: @AC ... The cat is pretty well out of the bag already

@StargateSg7

Where do you get the information it was a 9mm? According to the news story linked in the article it was the 'family .22 calibre pistol'.

Actually, catching a 9mm in the neck would be a pretty big, bad, deal. Given the mass/velocity difference a 9mm is much more likely to do serious damage to the many essential bits crammed into the area than a .22 would.

With a .22 he would be unlucky to be fatally injured. With a 9mm he'd be lucky to survive.

2
0

Pentagon in uproar: 'China's lasers' make US pilots shake in Djibouti

Maty

Re: Not biting the hand that feeds it?

'Do they want war? That's what they'll get if they bring down a plane with the orange one in power.'

While I'm no fan of the 'Orange one' let's take a look at significant American military activity this century starting with Afghanistan 2001 (Bush jnr), Iraq 2003 (ditto), Somalia 2007 (Bush again), Lybia 2011 (Obama) Iraq - the surge 2014 (Obama) Isis in mid-east 2014 (Obama).

Going back further we find several wars under Clinton and Bush snr. So far all Trump has managed is a credible prospect of peace talks with North Korea. I'm not saying we won't get a Trump war yet, but compared to his predecessors, to date he's been pretty peaceful.

1
4

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

Maty

mouse golf!

My father-in-law has a tablet, and constant training has got him to use the basic functions through pure muscle memory.

However, it's a joy to see him at the computer, where he moves the mouse by delicate whacks until the cursor is where he needs it. Actually holding and moving the mouse involves gestures so extravagant that if the pointer wasn't limited to the screen, it would end up in the next room.

6
0

My Tibetan digital detox lasted one morning, how about yours?

Maty

Re: When "off duty" and out & about with the Wife ...

This is rather like speaking in a foreign language - it works wonderfully until you try it with someone who knows it, and you didn't know they knew. Then it can get embarrassing.

.- -. -.. -- .- -. -.-- .--. . --- .--. .-.. -.- -. --- -- --- .-. ... .

7
0

An easy-breezy attitude to sharing personal data is the only thing keeping the app economy alive

Maty
Devil

Devil's advocate

Okay, just wondering - why are targeted ads worse than untargeted ones? I pay for my TV programmes by sitting through irrelevant advertisements for stuff I'll never buy - vaginal washes, child-safe products and mildly insulting crap which suggests that any middle-aged white man is a bumbling moron.

By and large online ads show stuff I might actually be interested in - upgrades for my Jeep, outdoor hiking kit and new computer products. Yes, they often get it wrong, and if I buy something online, I don't need twenty more of the damn things. OTOH Amazon's alogs have got it pretty much right, and thanks to their recommendations I've found and enjoyed several new authors.

My local grocer (I live in a small town) often recommends products that he knows I will like, and when our cat died the local SPCA sent us pics of a little feline orphan who is now on the chair next to me as I write. I never feel the need to slap either for' violating my privacy'.

In other words, insensitive and intrusive advertising is unarguably a bad thing. But if people know what you like and use that information sensibly and politely, what's the problem? Seriously, do explain and don't just downvote.

3
0

2 + 2 = 4, er, 4.1, no, 4.3... Nvidia's Titan V GPUs spit out 'wrong answers' in scientific simulations

Maty

As Einstein didn't say ...

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again on your computer and expecting the same results.

11
0

New Google bias lawsuit claims company fired chap who opposed discrimination

Maty

Re: Does that mean...

'but the sausage fest that academia is ...'

When arguing for gender equality, it's probably not a good idea to identify one gender using derogatory slang that refers to their genitals.

Had you referred to a group of women as, let's say, 'a taco feast' you would rightly be condemned for misogynistic language. It would appear that, as a warrior for equal treatment for men and women, you fail to practice what you preach.

13
8

Beware the looming Google Chrome HTTPS certificate apocalypse!

Maty

Re: Well done Google....

'Google never does anything that doesn't directly benefit Google.'

well, yes. I assumed from the start that's what this whole 'https:' thing was about. A year or two back some phone companies announced that they were going to be stripping out ads - including Google's adwords programme - and inserting their own.

e.g. https://www.cnet.com/news/newspapers-to-brave-browser-dont-mess-with-our-ads-or-else/

Google is basically an advertising company that also does search and some other stuff. Threaten their revenue stream and big G will - literally - change the web to stop you.

6
0

London cops waste £2.1m on thought crime unit – and they want volunteer informers

Maty
Headmaster

'... in an eugenic attempt to preserve racial vitality.'

While not disagreeing with the extreme Spartan proclivity toward practical eugenics, what 'race' are we talking about here? The Spartans did not see themselves as a separate race. Overall, the Spartans were that branch of Greeks called Dorians, but they didn't show any great fondness for other Dorians, yet alone trying to keep that race 'vital'.

As for chucking people off cliffs as a punishment, that was the Romans. Google 'Tarpeian Rock' for details.

0
0

NYC cops say they can't reveal figures on cash seized from people – the database is too shoddy

Maty

Major crime?

There was an article in the NY Times a while back where a woman sued to get back a gold crucifix that a cop saw dangling from her rear-view mirror and rather fancied. It was the only item of value in the car when it was stopped.

The crucifix was worth <$100 but the woman wanted it back for sentimental reasons and had to spend thousands to do so. And no, she was not stopped for, or accused of, any crime, or even a driving offense (other than driving while being black).

2
0

IT plonker stuffed 'destructive' logic bomb into US Army servers in contract revenge attack

Maty

Re: Slightly inflated cost estimate here?

What you have here is what we used to call a 'logistics sink'.That's when a incident occurs which allows a military unit to write off stuff that has gone missing/been misappropriated, been broken, or just needs replacing.

As a result a one-minute contact with the enemy can consume a truly amazing amount of equipment. I'd imagine this logic bomb presented the IT folks with a similar opportunity.

6
1

Sysadmin tells user CSI-style password guessing never w– wait WTF?! It's 'PASSWORD1'!

Maty

I recall listening in despair on the radio as some numpty of a reserve officer - in a combat zone - gave his unit's map location in clear. Then realizing his error, he gave the same map location again, in code.

12
0

Retail serfs to vanish, all thanks to automation

Maty

Re: so they are saying

Actually, the guy with a liberal arts degree asks 'Do I need to hire a science, engineering or accounting graduate for this?'

A liberal arts degree pays shit only if you go for a job in that discipline. However, people with degrees in medieval poetry might end up running banks and government ministries. A liberal arts degree shows you can think analytically and deal with and in heaps of BS. There's demand for those skills.

2
0

Seriously, friends. You suck at driving. Get a computer behind the wheel to save your life

Maty

For the record

According to a survey I read a whiles back, over 90% of people reckon they are above-average drivers. That should tell you all you need to know about the ability of humans to assess risk.

2
0

Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Maty

Does this firing thing only work one way?

Two quotes from this article struck me -

'There's just something about using a long list of stereotypes to argue your pre-decided conclusion that doesn't engender much love in people.' and

"Using someone’s biological sex to essentialize an entire group of people’s personality is like surgically operating with an axe."

I've just finished reading an article in the Guardian entitled ' Salma Hayek is right: compared with women, men are lazy and entitled.' And yes, the rest of the article reads as you might expect after that headline.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/11/salma-hayek-feminism-inequality-men-women

Should we confidently expect feminist writer Julie Bindel to be fired by the end of the week? I'm not holding my breath.

29
2

Dems fightin' words! FCC's net neutrality murder plot torn apart

Maty

Re: Not for profit

'You yanks do appear to have the worst ISPs in the developed world'. 'Appear' is the operative word. Canadian telecoms are way worse - we actually envy the Americans.

Still if the yanks scrap Net Neutrality that might change.

0
0

Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

Maty
Pirate

Re: This is why you want anonymous payments

'Civil forfeiture' is simply highway robbery by law enforcement officers in many US states. Abuses have been so rife that congress tried to control it, but discovered that some police departments have become so dependent on the income that they literally cannot survive without what they strip from passing motorists. Many confiscations are for less that $500 because the cops know it's not worth tourists fighting to reclaim the money in court.

It's standard advice in our part of the world that one does not travel in the USA with anything that a law enforcement officer might fancy. In some southern states, that even includes the car - even if you have a vehicle, at times you're better off still using a rental.

If that sounds like exaggeration, consider these cases

http://listverse.com/2015/06/29/10-egregious-abuses-of-civil-asset-forfeiture/

Piracy icon can be repurposed here ...

2
0

Sweden leaked every car owners' details last year, then tried to hush it up

Maty

Re: Too Many Idiots in the Kitchen

I think he meant 'tautology'.

'Oxymoron' btw IS an oxymoron. The word is from classical Greek and means 'sharp-dull'.

5
0

AlphaBay and Hansa: About those dark web marketplaces takedowns

Maty

Re: TL;DR -

You know, that sounds like you are calling US football players rapists.

Following your link, and leaving out the repitions and unproven claims I found less than 100 cases this year. But let's round it up to 100, to be on the safe side.

Now there are over a million teens and young adults who play football in the USA

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/football-top-sport-us-1088158-high-school-players

Which makes the number of rapists around one in 10,000. This is actually well below the percentage of rapes per male population of the UK. You might as well say British men are rapists.

Now, back to the issue of stupidity ...

8
0

Male escort says he gave up IT to do something more meaningful

Maty

Re: i did this when i was younger

Thanks guys

Reading this thread was a real ride down memory lane, right to the back of the bike sheds at secondary school. All it lacked was someone bragging that he'd screwed the gym teacher. ..

1
0

Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

Maty

no

This is typical CIA obfuscation. Don't be taken in by this attempt at misdirection. OBVIOUSLY, there is no Mars colony.

It's on Venus.

4
0

Dead serious: How to haunt people after you've gone... using your smartphone

Maty
Headmaster

not just bad spelling

The name is not only misspelled, it is inaccurate. These are messages to be delivered after death. A swan song should be delivered at the moment of death.

So to use the app as the name says, Dabbsy should spend his last moments in this realm of tears frantically tapping at his keyboard. Otherwise, it's not a swan song but merely a pre-recorded message.

8
0

US court decision will destroy the internet, roar Google, Facebook et al

Maty

Sometimes it's blatant

For example, I've found entire books photocopied and sold on sites like scribd.com. We're talking technical books that sell for around £40 in a bookshop or on Amazon.

Do the moderators on the site really believe that somebody in Albania has been given permission to sell it online for £2? Or does the fact that they get a cut of every book sold induce a degree of wilful blindness?

4
1

Ransomware scum have already unleashed kill-switch-free WannaCry‬pt‪ variant

Maty
Headmaster

Re: Experts all giving advice how how to stay secure

'Windows 10 was effected'

It was affected. To effect is to put something into operation - as in 'effective'. To affect is to change or influence someting.

Pedantic, I know. But it's one of those errors that actually hurts when I read it.

9
0

We are 'heroes,' says police chief whose force frisked a photographer

Maty

Umm... I can see why you chose 'anonymous coward' to post that comment.

Make that 'anonymous coward with poor reading skills' as the photographer was not 'approached by a copper'. In this event, the photographer was approached by a member of the public who seemd to think she was a copper.

You wouldn't be of that persuasion yourself perhaps?

4
0

Need the toilet? Wanna watch a video ad about erectile dysfunction?

Maty

air dryers - ugh

To quote Sheldon Cooper - I would rather have a diseased orang-utan sneeze on my hands.

Take a bacteria-rich environment, and then pump warm damp air over a dark surface such as the interior of the blower. What could possibly go wrong?

Some reading for the unsqueamish

https://arstechnica.com/science/2016/04/dyson-dryers-hurl-60x-more-viruses-most-at-kid-face-height-than-other-dryers/

(We don't seem to have a biohazard icon)

4
0

Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

Maty

.. .and the thing about your new windows is that it makes it so much easier anyone who is interested to see what you are doing.

4
0

Back to the Future 2: Gasp! America's trade watchdog discovers the risks of 'free' movies

Maty
FAIL

Well, someone had to ...

Tune in next week when Will is going to share with us what he discovered when he typed the phrase "eager beaver" into one of those new-fangled search engines.'

Well, if he'd used Google as I did, he would have found a removal company, two dictionary definitions, a scout adventure camp, a list of animal idioms, and a woodsplitting firm. Even page 10 of the results offered nothing more risque than a Dutch design company.

try #2 was image search with all filters off. The first hundred images were of - surprise - a flat-tailed rodent, which was occasionally depicted on a T-shirt.

4
0

More brilliant Internet of Things gadgetry: A £1,300 mousetrap

Maty

A better mousetrap

Back a whiles, we had a problem with mice in the kitchen. A friend took a standard 2l plastic coke bottle, cut off the top third, inverted it and duct taped it back on. He then put some minced sausage at the bottom of the bottle and taped it upright to the side of the kitchen cabinet.

Next morning we found that the mice had dropped into the bottle via the inverted top and were awaiting disposal. Total cost - something like 15p + sausage, as the mice had eaten the sausage and the bottle couldn't be recycled.

That's a saving of £1,29.85

4
0

DDoS script kiddies are also... actual kiddies, Europol arrests reveal

Maty

Tried and true works best

"Well my team and I really concerned ourselves fundamentally with a statistical analysis as a whole; in tandem with and related to a psycho-chemical and broadly speaking a behavioral analysis of over a thousand individuals."

"We've come to the inevitable conclusion that the one course of action that the authorities must take is to cut off their goolies."

0
0

HBO slaps takedown demand on 13-year-old girl's painting because it used 'Winter is coming'

Maty
Headmaster

Wouldn't 'homophone spellings be a better usage here? 'Homophones' - apart from gay chat lines, obviously - are words with the same sound (homo = same, phonos = sound) but different spellings. For example 'moat' and 'mote'; or indeed 'beanz' and 'beans'.

Homonyms are words with the same spelling but different meanings, such as the Poles who are from Poland and the poles that hold up phone wires.

I'm aware that there's a certain overlap between the two words, that's why my suggestion is 'better usage' rather than 'correct usage'.

3
1

Congrats America, you can now safely slag off who you like online

Maty

evaluating reviews

Something else to look for is polarization. If a product has mostly 1 and 2 star reviews on one side and 5 star reviews on the other with nothing in the middle, that's a red flag.

I recently reviewed a book like that on Amazon. Some one star reviewers went into great detail about how and why the book was terrible, and the 5-star reviews were mostly 'Good book'. and 'I loved it.' Most of the 5-star reviewers had never reviewed anything else. As you might guess, the book was an abomination.

1
0

Men overboard! US Navy spills data on 134k sailors

Maty

Another one to add to the list of meaningless PR buzzphases

'We take X extremely seriously' = now that we have been found not to have been taking X seriously at all.

This joins

'We apologise for the inconvenience' = we don't give a shit

'Is our highest priority' = after making money, of course

'We are sorry that people feel .." = we want to sound apologetic but are not

'Robust' = we need a positive-sounding adjective that can mean whatever we want

Anyone else care to add?

0
0

Kill Flash now. Or patch these 36 vulnerabilities. Your choice

Maty

Why is Flash so relentlessly crap ...?

Every time you have to update the latest security failure in Flash you have to look around for, find and uncheck that optional extra program that Flash has bundled with the update.

Assuming the makers of that extra program pay Flash for bundling the software along with the update, it would seem that for Flash producing software with security holes must be quite the money-spinner.

If people don't need the patches, they don't download the extra software. Call me cynical, but if making a more secure product will cost the makers lots of money, expect an insecure future.

1
0

Donald Trump confirms TPP to be dumped, visa program probed

Maty

Re: are you saying all American programmers are too stupid to learn?

'What evidence is there that this is the case? Or is it just supposition and speculation? You may well be right -- I haven't a clue -- but data, please, not anecdote.'

I know! Why doesn't someone - perhaps America's new president-elect - set up an inquiry into this, and other types of visa fraud?

1
0

Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

Maty

Re: Objectivity

As a matter of interest, during the US election the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) made its preference so obvious that it was widely referred to as the 'Clinton Broadcasting corporation'.

5
5

2016 in a nutshell: Boffins break monkeys' backs to turn them into tragic shuffling cyborgs

Maty

Re: Not ethical

Facts don't have ethics.

If someone discovers a fact in an immoral manner, that research is immoral, not the discovery. By all means find and punish the researcher appropriately. (In the case of the Nazi researchers, they should have been punished as one would any other murderer and torturer.)

However, the facts do not change according to who discovered them, or how.

2
0

Drubbed Grubhub bub scrubs anti-Donald-dubbed snub sub-hubbub

Maty

Re: such poor reading comprehension

'One out of every five illegal immigrants agents caught along the border in 2014 had a criminal record.'

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, quoted in USA Today.

'When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best they’re sending people that have lots of problems. They're bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists… And many of them are good people”' - Donald Trump.

Likewise, Trump never said 'Women are pigs ...' etc. He called some individuals who happened to be women 'pigs'. He's an equal opportunity insulter. I'm no Trump fan, but what is alarming is the extent that the media have deliberately skewed so much of what he said (which was not admirable to begin with).

Also note that Trump is regularly called 'homophobic' despite having very little on the topic, and being well on the liberal side of the 'official' Republican posiiton as expressed at its convention.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/gay-republicans-platform-lgbt-rachel-hoff-log-cabin-republicans-gop-donald-trump-1.3686672

3
0

Trump's taxing problem: The end of 'affordable' iPhones

Maty

ah ... economics

Here's how it was explained to me (it was late, the pub was about to close, so the economist doing the explaining had to use some heroic simplificatins, but still ..)

Basically, it's about the consumers. If everyone in the state has a good job, they can afford to buy stuff. If company A moves its operations offshore, but continues to sell stuff within the state it makes a profit, because its goods are cheaper. However, the pool of available consumers has shrunk by the number of jobs moved offshore.

Currently the US is in a position where the consumer pool is shrinking as more and more companies move jobs offshore and try to sell to the diminishing number of people who have good jobs within the state. (Not a lot of people are buying stuff in the rust belt right now) Everyone knows that the way to stop this impoverishment of the nation is to stop offshoring. But any individual company that tries this will be broken by the competition. It has to be the government.

It's rather like raising the minimum wage - when this happens there's more money going around (poor people spend money, the rich bank it). However, no single business can unilaterally raise wages and stay competitive.

Some economic actions have to be done by the gubmint for the common good.Sort of government by the people for the people ...?

3
0

Brexit may not mean Brexit at all: UK.gov loses Article 50 lawsuit

Maty

[One word of comment: It's our ruling party, not their ruling party, you made a couple of grammar errors specific to Polish native speakers.]

I found none either. Perhaps you meant 'grammatical errors'?

10
0

Samsung are amateurs – NASA shows how you really do a battery fire

Maty

Re: Only 96 batteries

Yes.

I once had the fuel line rupture on a motorbike I was riding at speed down the A10. It sprayed petrol over my legs which somehow ignited. Because I was wearing thick leathers, it took other road users to point out that my lower half was basically a moving fireball.

A battery would not do that.

0
0

Blighty's Home Office database blunders will deprive hundreds of GB driving licences

Maty

Re: Stasi nation

'There has been a long-standing transfer of wealth away from younger people towards the elderly'

Not necessarily so. Interest rates at the moment are lower than inflation, which means that those on fixed incomes or saving for pensions are getting right royally screwed. The elderly usually benefit from interest on their savings, but currently they're running on capital.

Meanwhile, it's the millenials who are borrowing cheap money at rock-bottom rates to buy houses, cars and yes, a better education. In other words, in the topsy-turvey world central bankers have given us, nothing really works the way it did (or should).

0
0

BOFH: The Idiot-ware Project and the Meaningless Acronym

Maty

Outflanking from the extreme side

Okay, let's say you work at a university. When involuntarily co-opted onto a committee take extensive notes (you'll need them for later, and it helps you to pass the time). Then as matters wend to a conclusion, point out that every third person pronoun needs changing to 'she or he' to reflect gender diversity.

Then point out the focus of the programme is inherently patriarchial and does not reflect the need for inclusiveness in the student body and everyone needs to restart from scratch because of the total disregard the committee has shown for environmental issues. And disrespect for the LBGQTZYB community.

Add that you'd like to help re-work the programme, but you have to go to a protest about the exploitation of Elbonian orphans in animal adoption centers. Mention racial issues somewhere.

Because it's a university no-one dares disagree with you on any of these things, but a quiet consensus develops that you should never, ever be allowed to sit on a committee again.

I chose universities because I know them, but every outfit has its own hot-button issues.

Make the system work for you and you don't need quicklime.

3
0

Snoop! stooge! Yahoo! handed! all! your! email! to! Uncle! Sam! – and! any! passing! hacker!

Maty

So, to summarize ...

Yahoo left an insecure backdoor on their email servers for American intelligence to use. Later some un-named hackers - allegedly a foreign power - found some way to get into Yahoo's mail accounts and slurped the lot.

Are we seeing cause and effect here?

10
0

Official: Windows 10 has hit the 400 million device mark

Maty

ah, win10

The last update but one took out my wife's sound card.

The last update bricked the entire computer, because it decided that the disk imaging system was not compatible, and so blocked it, making it impossible to so much as open a file or folder. You could also not uninstall the imaging program, even in safe mode, because the uninstaller was also deemed incompatible.

So far it takes about a morning every month to keep this POS operating, and we live in dread of what the next update will do. Meanwhile, my win7 computer just chugs along. I think I'd rather eat my own foot than 'upgrade'.

15
0

Moron is late for flight, calls in bomb threat

Maty

Re: Wanted to visualise him

'It most be possible to look like a complete moron without wearing a baseball cap, by why bother when you can don one and save all the effort.'

That's a heck of a slur on the 2.3 million males in British Columbia, Sir. Almost every man outside Vancouver wears one of these things whenever outside his home and they cannot decently be removed without a crowbar or the playing of the national anthem. I've seen people with baseball caps eating at 5-star restaurants.

Incidentally, have you seen the headgear they make you wear while you receive a P.hD?

1
1

Sex is bad for older men, and even worse when it's good

Maty

Re: Evolution

'A parenting failsafe would reduce fertility to zero 15 years prior to end of life.'

Well, that would be useful. Become infertile in 2016, make no plans for after 2031, take out a large loan repayable in 16 years, update insurance policy.

Anyway this does not affect me. My family have been sterile for generations.

4
0

UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Maty

At what point are the British going to be honest with themselves and admit - 'Yes, we live in a police state, (but it's for our own good).'

4
0

Page:

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