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

* Posts by Doctor Syntax

13903 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

From here on, Red Hat's GPLv2 software projects will have GPLv3 cure for license violators

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

So, having made a composite of two licences what's the actual result? Surely it's neither GPL v2 nor GPL v3. GPL v2.1?

0
0

Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Date format history - somewhere?

"sure, pedants will find exceptions"

I don't think I've seen one that adopted that. Things were generally spelled out, often using regnal years - in fact the realms covered by the regnal years still included France well into the C17th.

Here's a Derbyshire lease: "the twelfth day of September in the fourth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord James ye second by the grace of God England Scotland France & Ireland King defender of the faith &c Annoq Dom one thousand six hundred eighty eight "

That one was on the cusp of replacing regnal years by AD years. A few decades later and into the C18th this is the somewhat terse date of my 6x great grandfather's Will: "the twenty first day of October Anno Dmi 1720".

By the time of my 5x great grandfather's Will this had got abit more wordy: "dated this twentythird Day of November in the Year of our Lord one Thousand seven Hundred forty and nine".

That continued into the C19th with my 3x ggfather: "the twenty seventh day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fourteen".

0
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: The HAVE been robbed: The Internet is international - and so are many supermarkets.

"The quarter around September 1752 ... was bad news for renters."

Thanks for that. I'd not thought about quarters. Yearly contracts were adjusted by moving the financial year end back by 11 days to April 5th.

0
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: The Internet is international - and so are many supermarkets.

"Now - of what does that remind me?"

An 11-day booze?

0
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"It was Excel"

When all you have is a hammer...

See also https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/06/18/home_office_loses_bid_to_reduce_number_of_potential_claimants_from_2013_data_error/

0
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Hills

"For your Devon bonus, pronounce the name of the small town spelt Woolfardisworthy."

Isn't that one of those with several correct pronunciations?

0
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Because computer dates are numbers but real dates aren't

"You're confusing the Julian calendar with the Julian Day."

Oh no I'm not.

"The calendar is extinct"

Not if you're dealing with historical material. Just because you don't it doesn't mean that nobody else does. It's building in assumptions like that that lead to failures.

If you have a Unix-like system with TZ set to one of those for "England and its colonies" (to quote the original man entry) run

cal 1752

1
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

In terms of weird formats does anyone remember the TACS serial number as given on the phone's label and its relationship to the hex format CellNet needed to activate it?

0
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"I have an application that extracts the likely date content from free text postings."

Thursday before S Dunstans day, the year abovesaid [25 Edward I]

7
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: What did you break by getting little details like dates wrong?

"You are supposed to remember the date of your wedding anniversary."

I can remember the month, year, approx day of month and day of week. cal does the rest.

1
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: No standard for epochs - @katrinab

Unix counts seconds since the epoch, hence the approaching Unix Time "Apocalypse"

From then link: "On January 19, 2038 03:14:08 GMT all computers that still use 32 bit Unix Time will overflow."

In 20 years time will there be anything outside of museums still using 32-bit Unix time?

2
3
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: The Standard Date Format?

"I think year 0 on computers should have been end of last Ice age in Ireland"

What's your reference site, Littleton, Sluggan or something else? And are you including pollen zone I or even I, II and III as ice age?

9
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Because computer dates are numbers but real dates aren't

Get into historical dates and you have more complications. Julian or Gregorian? Different countries switched at different times and the start of the year isn't necessarily the first of January. (Unix cal always starts with January. man cal, at least back in V7 days, listed that as a bug.)

Then you get documents with the year given as regnal years and/or the rest of the date relative to a church feast or saint's day. Such documents may relate to property.

6
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"those standards mostly say: think about what you're doing, do it consistently"

I'm not sure low level customer service agents are allowed to think what they're doing but consistency seems to matter, even if it's done badly. Once something goes wrong any complaint leads to the same wrong being repeated.

Newspapers often have a weekly column where a journalist manages to sort out various customer issues with big companies. Inevitably the problem has gone round a C/S loop several times without success, gets fixed as soon as it gets tackled out of loop and turns out to be some combination of "unique" and "computer" issue. The only thing unique was that it got handled by the company's press desk who needed a sensible answer. Up to then it had probably been handled strictly according to the C/S scripts with all the consistency that ISO 9000 and the like dictate. A few decades back the talk was of "empowering" C/S. That's been killed in the name of consistency.

6
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Re : Can someone explain to me...

"Why this wasn't tested offline first before applying it to a LIVE database ?"

No test database?

7
0

Asylum seeker spreadsheet data blurt: UK Home Office loses appeal to limit claimants

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"The Home Office has been contacted for comment."

I'd like to see their comments as to whether this spreadsheet was the actual tool used for day-to-day management of their operations, why nobody checked to see if it was the appropriate form of this data for release and what in-house IT expertise they have for supporting staff.

It looks suspiciously like the consequence of the "if the only thing you have is a hammer..." approach to using spreadsheets for everything.

2
0

What can you do when the pup of programming becomes the black dog of burnout? Dude, leave

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: I don't recognise this. ...

"I'll be on-call if I'm getting paid."

My attitude (mostly in the days before mobiles) was "If you can contact me and I'm able to, I'll come in but no amount of pay is going to tie me to sitting by the phone all weekend".

4
0

Audi chief exec arrested over Dieselgate car emissions scandal

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"Genuinely shocked that he didn't have enough money to get out of being remanded."

Would that even be possible under German law at this stage in the proceedings? Even if it were, given that, as per comments above, the charge is witness tampering, bail might not be allowed.

0
0

Pwned with '4 lines of code': Researchers warn SCADA systems are still hopelessly insecure

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Back in the day

"you read that correctly, 24-bit"

I started out on ICL 1900 so 24-bit seems perfectly normal.

3
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: SCADA systems running windows

Not ideal, but at least they have the right attitude to the security of such "IoT" devices

It makes the manufacturer suffer for their own attitude. I think, even if it's not ideal, it's some sort of local optimum.

10
0

... Aaaand that's a fifth Brit Army Watchkeeper drone to crash in Wales

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Savings

"this is not some groundbreaking design"

It seems to have broken the ground several times.

0
0

Boffins offer to make speculative execution great again with Spectre-Meltdown CPU fix

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: To Stop Futures and Derivative Plays as Presently Planned for the Past ..... Believe in Miracles

"I thought this was buzzword bingo."

No. Just AMFM

7
0

Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: They finally did it...

"I'll bet they won't use it themselves."

Don't be too sure. Taking a whole archive home to run on a PC. Using gmail for Company business. The people whose job it is to break into other people's stuff don't seem that interested in protecting themselves. Is it any wonder they don't see what's wrong with their idea of the public running back-doored devices?

6
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: tamper-proof screws aren't

"There are various screwheads around that are claimed to be tamperproof, but really they're just mildly inconvenient."

We had a new HP tape drive with a shipping bar secured by Torx screws back when they were new and supposedly uncommon. The engineers who came to set it up were a bit taken aback to find it already being used. My cheap screwdriver set already included a range of Torx bits.

8
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"I'll stick to my (not quite quite as easy to compromise) padlocks that I paid $20 dollars for"

I'll stick to the ancient Yale monster securing my shed. It's older than I am. Probably considerably older. It looks more like something built in a shipyard than a lock factory. OTOH it wouldn't be that hard to break through the side of the shed...

11
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Where did you get that $20 padlock?

"Probably half the padlocks in a 10 mile radius open with the same key."

For years it seemed every filing cabinet I saw had a lock with the same key number.

11
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Yeah - but if I am a "common criminal" I'll definitely find another non-indiegogo to pawn

"PETA will be on the case."

That's OK, the dogs will eat them.

43
0

Bank of England to set new standards for when IT goes bad

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Government Infrastructure as a Service.

Right. The team will be with you to start on that as soon as they've finished Universal Credit.

2
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: So basically

"All to do with slack lending, the thing at the core of retail banks."

And all to do with low interest rates set by the BoE on the basis of a fallacious inflation figure. Personal debt just kept on climbing because when it's so cheap why not borrow a bit more?

1
0

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Pipe dream

"Also, apple and microsoft both have maps applications of their own."

I don't know about Apple but in the UK Microsoft, at least on the desktop uses the OS which, compared to Google Maps is ... what's the word? ... ah, yes... better.

4
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Pipe dream

"try living with out...Google Maps"

Google maps is, as far as I'm concerned, not the first choice for mapping. Their actual maps, even at small scale, are just street maps. Ironically it's streetmap.co.uk that has the real Ordnance Survey maps. Oh, and Bing has them too. No Google is not the sole provider of good stuff; in fact it can be the provider of somewhat less good stuff.

12
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Get a grip

"How did you open a bank account? How did you get a credit card?"

So you have a bank account and a credit card? Have you looked at their T&Cs? Does it say anything about keeping your access credentials secret? Yes?

No tell us; if your phone allows - encourages even - apps to take information from unrelated bits of the system how do you know one of those apps isn't slurping those credentials when you use them? How do you know it's not aiding abetting your breaking of those contractual obligations?

You think you've nothing to hide? Wrong!! You've got plenty to hide, not only out of self interest but also because you're contractually obliged to.

12
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Get a grip

"However, if I'm running a calculator app, it doesn't need to know where I live, and I have no reason to give it that. If it goes about getting it anyway, there is reason for me to dislike that"

I'd go a step beyond that. If it wants access to something it doesn't need I'd suspect it of being up to no good and the reaction to that is a bit stringer than dislike.

8
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"the ad companies have been taking the piss - in order to be able to extract more money from you, they gather all sort of shit."

The ad companies do not extract more money from you, at least not directly. The advertising industry only sells one product, advertising. They sell it to advertisers. The shit they gather is part of the product. The reason you see the pointless ads for what you bought is that the advertising industry has conned their mugs into believing that you're interested in buying 200 toilet seats and 100 new cars - or at least they've conned them into believing that their analytics indicate that you're in the market for one of these even if you're not.

They do, however, extract money from you indirectly because that advertising adds to the vendors' costs and all of us, whether we saw the adverts or not, pay the advertising tax.

5
1

Indiegogo lawyer asks ZX Spectrum reboot firm: Where's the cash?

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Perhaps Indiegogo and similar sited need to monitor the firms who use their facilities to keep track of where the money's going and what it's bought.

5
0

User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Not Millennials!

"finished school after Eternal September had already ended"

Oh no it hasn't. There's a new infestation of newsgroups from Google Groupies who think they're posting a reply direct to their OP despite the fact that the OP hasn't been heard of in the group this side of Y2K.

4
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Keyboard ecosystems

"An old recipe for Elderflower Champagne^W sparkling wine doesn't use added yeast - there's enough on the flowers and in the air to do the job - results can be somewhat... inconsistent though."

Explosive, even. And that was cordial which isn't even supposed to ferment.

1
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Keyboard ecosystems

"Now they're a consumable item."

What flavours do they come in? A choice of coffee or Tango?

12
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Keyboard ecosystems

"And every year the winner was... keyboards."

In my student days it was hand towels but I don't think we tried the keyboards of the Marchant calculators.

"Alcohol any one?"

Don't mind if I do, even if it is a tad early.

7
0

Universal Credit has never delivered bang for buck, but now there's no turning back – watchdog

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"Consequently the benefits that people have often paid years of national insurance for are unfairly denied."

National Insurance was an exercise in getting rid of the difficult bit in the title. What you pay in doesn't go into insuring you against anything nor into a fund for your pension. It's just a form of tax. The benefits are paid out of current taxation.

There seems to have been a campaign against ring-fencing it recently with the H word being paraded round. The Treasury must be getting worried that there'll be pressure for ring-fencing NI. You can tell how much the Treasury hates ring-fenced by the fact that they coined the alarming-sounding word "hypothecated" to describe them. What's actually wrong with them, in the Treasury's eyes, is that it's money the Treasury doesn't get to control.

I suppose in the case of NI they do have a point but that's only because the DWP would be controlling it instead.

3
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"And NO! I DON'T count being a barrister as a qualification to be an effective administrator.....!"

The effective administrators are supposed to be the Civil Servants but in this case they're DWP.

2
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Years ago a client of mine dealt with several govt. departments including DWP. A colleagues considered opinion? "Not the sharpest knives in the box." Nothing has changed.

In fact nothing has changed since the days when I was a "client" when I was redeployed* and the erk behind the counter had difficulty understanding that not being able to sign on because I had a job interview at the other end of the country was incompatible with the notion of "not being available for work".

* HMG's then current jargon, back in that weasel Harold Wilson's time.

13
0

ICANN pays to push Whois case to European Court of Justice

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

"The answer is simple: the organization has more money than sense."

A few GDPR-max fines will correct that ratio. Meanwhile I suppose their lawyers are assisting them on a slightly smaller scale.

8
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: This one could run and run

"Are they trying to outdo the SCO / Linux case for extended legal farting about?"

Given that they're trying to accelerate its progress to the top court, maybe not. Unless they want to take it on to the UN or something when they've failed comprehensively in Europe.

4
0

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

Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Pedant Alert

"There are many "A" roads that are 3 lanes in each direction with a central reservation and barrier."

And a few with just 3 lanes, one each way and a suicide lane in the middle.

1
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Crash Test Dummies.

"The computer would eliminate accidents through inattention. inc drink/drugs."

They'd eliminate a sub-set of those accidents - those that arise from things they're programmed to deal with such as keeping lane. The drunk, drugged or over-tired driver will find accident opportunities other than those they've been spared.

3
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Crash Test Dummies.

"Sad fact of life really..."

All true but with cars it's more like life and death.

2
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Crash Test Dummies.

"Still, once we get over this hump it's going to be super safe"

There's an assumption built into that statement.

2
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Auto-crash-pilot

"Just have two seconds between you and the car in front."

When I learned to drive (an probably for a long time before that) the rule was a car length per 10 miles an hour. That turned out to be a reasonable approximation for 1 second. Given that brakes and tyres were less efficient than nowadays it seems that the advice then was a good deal more optimistic.

1
0
Doctor Syntax
Silver badge

Re: Auto-crash-pilot

"The radar is used to detect other moving objects, not stationary ones."

What about an object crossing the road perpendicular to the line of travel? It's moving but not with a component in the direction the radar's looking.

1
0

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