* Posts by Tim99

437 posts • joined 24 Apr 2008

Page:

Debian Project holds Sparc port's hand, switches off life support

Tim99
Gimp

Alternatives?

BSD on Sparc:-

FreeBSD: Sparc 64

OpenBSD: Sparc 32

OpenBSD: Sparc 64

NetBSD: Sparc 32

NetBSD: Sparc 64

Icon: the only BSD (distantly) derived one El Reg has: >>==============>

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Greece? Zzzz. EU bank says TWEETING can move the stock market

Tim99
Coat

Nomenclature

Tim, you seem to be trying to persuade us that messages sent using Twitter are twats. I think you will find that twat is usually the correct name for the sender of a tweet.

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Scammers going after iOS as fake crash reports hit UK

Tim99

Re: A Fix

@Annihilator

The "It just works" way is to go to Safari settings and use the 'Clear History and Website Data' option. That seems pretty simple but, just like many of the other devices that you might use JavaScript on, you will lose your previous history which can be inconvenient.

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Tim99
Gimp

A Fix

Click Home Button to close Safari. Double Click Home Button to display running apps and swipe Safari towards top of the screen to close it.

Open Settings and use Airplane Mode to turn wireless off. Open Safari Settings go into 'Advanced' and turn JavaScript off.

Now the slightly tricky bit - Open Safari and quickly touch the 'View open tabs' double square icon in the top right corner and close the offending tab.

Remember to turn Airplane Mode on.

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Reg reader? Work at the Home Office? Are you SURE?

Tim99
Happy

@x 7

"Work at the Home Office"

= oxymoron

NO-ONE in the Home Office works

When I was a Civil Servant, employed by them, the Staff Regs stated that you should "Attend".

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Tim99

Re: Middle managers

Until they were all suddenly wiped out by a virulent disease contracted from a dirty telephone...

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Dumb MongoDB admins spew 600 TERABYTES of unauthenticated data

Tim99
Coat

But

Mongo DB is Web Scale - YouTube Link (NSFW).

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Minister for Fun opens consultation on future of the BBC

Tim99

Simple

How about going back to just "inform, educate, entertain" (Lord Reith: Wikipedia) - In that order, and get the politicians out of it.

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Attention dunderheads: Taxpayers are NOT giving businesses £93bn

Tim99
Trollface

It''s simple?

If Tim and @The Axe are correct with the idea that "the burden of taxation always falls on individuals, never on corporations" why don't we legislate that corporations do not pay tax?

Any profits paid to individuals would be taxed at their normal tax rate. Profits shipped abroad are taxed at the highest rate of personal taxation. Foreign purchase/lease arrangements where a company gets product from another (foreign) division of the same corporation for sale within its home country by buying the product from a country with a lower tax rate is a current problem - The company is acting as a private individual might act to avoid paying VAT or corporation tax, so incoming purchases could be subjected to an import duty (just like a private individual who buys an expensive item while on holiday). Profits that are banked for more than a year within the country could be taxed at the VAT rate too.

Ideas: I've got a million of them. Good ideas are another matter.

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Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue

Tim99
Pint

Re: "...mockery..."

Pfft. I can drive for two days from my home town in Queensland and I'm still in Queensland. Bigger place.

Pfft. Western Australia, is half as big again as QLD. My home, south of Perth, to Kununurra is over 2,000 miles. I admit that I have not driven it myself, but I did drive to Derby, which is only 1,500 miles. I made a couple of diversions on the way, so I clocked up over 5,000 miles on the trip.

Unless we have a motorist from the Sakha Republic, I claim this >>=======>

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Blackhats exploiting MacKeeper hole to foist dangerous trojan

Tim99
Gimp

There's your problem

According to the saw, if you have a problem with your Mac and you install MacKeeper, you now have two problems (or in this case, at least three).

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Chancellor Merkel 'was patient zero' in German govt network hack

Tim99

Re: Hackers based in Russia? Probably Snowden.

I have to say, since the moment Admiral Canaris was forcefully removed from office, german counterintelligence has been a bit lacklustre.

Probably not: See Wikipedia - Reinhard Gehlen who, apparently, died of old age.

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Tim99
Boffin

Re: Hooooooooooowl...

@Dan Paul,

She has a Doctorate in quantum chemistry. I am a Chartered Chemist, and was one of the earlier adopters of computers in chemistry. I was (in a a very minor way) one of the people who helped move chemistry from minicomputers to PCs. Almost all chemistry relies heavily on computers, but physical scientists generally consider computing to be just a necessary tool and not an end in itself.

I started doing serious computing stuff when I had to write a laboratory management system, and a later a financial management system, that would run on a number of LANs connected by a WAN. This included specifying and purchasing and installing equipment and staff training. My "qualifications" were the experience of running a chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry laboratory for the organization. This involved connecting together systems that run on DECnet, Token Ring, RDOS, PDPs, VAXen, UNIX minis, PC DOS, CP/M, POS, the Apple ][, and a whole pile of other assorted equipment with serial ports. My recollection was that this was pretty easy compared to mass spectrometry...

Incidentally as a subtle, but good-hearted, dig at people who "know computing", I was put in charge of computing for 300 scientists (>400 computers) by an organization that did not believe in "putting computer people in charge of computing". Their rational was that people who "did computing" did not always see the needs of the business, and were just as likely to set up systems with a 4GL or Java or whatever was becoming cool at the time because "it was interesting" - Particularly if it helped their career development.

Angela is a bit younger than me; but back then, even in East Germany, she would have required a fairly detailed understanding of computers to get a Doctorate in quantum chemistry. I expect that nowadays she might be too busy to look after her own computer, so she probably relied on a professional [expert],[security officer],[self-important bureaucrat].

Disclosure: I learnt FORTRAN as an essential part of my chemistry course in 1969, so my mind is probably damaged - All of the above may, probably, be disregarded.

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DON’T add me to your social network, I have NO IDEA who you are

Tim99
Pint

Re: Bit Sneaky. Reprinting That Particular Article During Dabbsy's Absence

@Pomgolian

A you would be sure to be sure to know, whiskey (irish spelling) is older than whisky (Scottish spelling). American whiskey is later. It seems that Irish monks brought the method of distilllng to Scotland in about the C14th.

The oldest modern whiskey is probably Bushmills Irish and dates back to 1608.

The history of Scottish whisky is now lost in the mists of time, but perhaps the oldest of the popular single malts is Smith's Glenlivet which goes back to the 1820s.

Have a beer, unless you would prefer a proper drink >>===============>

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Scientists love MacBooks (true) – but what about you?

Tim99
Gimp

Re: The view from Silicon Valley

@macjules

I'm not sure if you are trolling or not. He used another Jobsian device a NeXT computer running a BSD derived OS. You could say that that was a progenitor of the later fruity stuff when Jobs came back to Apple.

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Security sleuths, sniff out the stupid from your Oracle DBs

Tim99
Facepalm

Scott Tiger

Years ago, when I did this, I was always unpleasantly surprised by what I could see (and by implication change) if I logged on to an Oracle DB with the above default training/developer credentials.

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Attack of the IT monuments men: Museum wants your kit

Tim99
Unhappy

We grow old too

Technology generally ages fast, people tend to think that they don't. A few years ago a friend of mine was appalled to find her gym-slip marked with her name-tag as an exhibit at the Museum of Childhood at Sudbury Hall, then she realized that it was over 50 years old.

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Patch-crazy Aust Govt fought off EVERY hacker since 2013

Tim99
Coat

He might be right

As it would seem that many security breaches come courtesy of the US and the other five eyes countries Oz is safe - There is no need to target them - We just give all of our data to the other partners.

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Google spins up 'FREE, unlimited' cloud photo storage 4 years before ad giant nixes it

Tim99

Re: Nonplussed

It is a warning that Google are believed to have form for giving their users something, and then taking it away if it doesn't make enough money...

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Tim99
Black Helicopters

Re: privacy...

I suspect that its main use at Google will be to enable them to run face recognition software to work out who is in your photos, and then see what other photos these faces are recognised in, producing a net of likely terrorists customers for the organizations that actually pay them.

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Google puts Android on a diet, names it after the first thing it sees under the sink ... yes, Brillo

Tim99
Trollface

Brillo and Chromium plate

Presumably the hipsters who came up with the name Brillo are too young to know that it used to be used by dodgy second-hand car dealers to bring up a nice shine on tatty rusty Chrome...

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Right Dabbsy my old son, you can cram this job right up your BLEEEARRGH

Tim99
Unhappy

Re: Desk name plate and worn name ID for all

Presbyopia has crept up on me and I can't read without glasses. My choices in the chestal area are to either go in close so I can peer at their name within the focussing distance of my glasses or if I am looking above the lenses I can move quickly backwards and squint. Neither option is likely to inspire the confidence of the owner of the chest.

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Tim99
Coat

Re: Memory for names

I now live in Australia - It's easy (Monty Python).

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Telstra builds trans-continental land bridge for data

Tim99

Re: Living in Perth....

@Steve Davies 3

I use Ghostery, Adblock, ClickToFlash and a custom hosts file. You do know that some adblockers just stop the ad from being displayed? Some of the content is still downloaded.

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Tim99

Re: Living in Perth....

True. but traffic within Oz is often OK. The problem is offshore data. Even the onshore sites tend to load their website pages with advert and framework stuff that has to come from halfway around the planet. So does that mean that our experience in Perth will be further degraded to support Melbourne and Sydney?

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Microsoft points PowerShell at Penguinistas

Tim99
Windows

I've wrestled with MS software for nearly 34 years

It is a trap.

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Spotify springs bloody leak as losses grow to $197m – report

Tim99
Coat

Re: 40% headcount increase!?

Subordinates multiply at a fixed rate regardless of output.

Professor Parkinson

Unless something else is going on here as well, it is unlikely to be Parkinson's Law - The formula for which generally only gives 5-7% staff increases per year. Oh dear, maybe the extra staff are lawyers?

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SOD TABLETS, if you want to get anything done travelling get a ... yes, a LAPTOP

Tim99
Gimp

I know that I'm a bit dim...

...but wouldn't most of the upload problems have been trivial if your iPad took a SIM card with a cheap plan? Even if you had a laptop, how were you going to get the photos off your SIM card and back to base, unless you sent them by post or courier?

The last time I was in the UK, I got a rechargeable SIM card with 6GB of 4G data for £17.00 - Most of the hotel WiFi that was available was slow and expensive - 4G worked almost everywhere that we travelled.

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Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Tim99

Re: Could work for me

Hi Neoc, I'm (semi-)retired now so I am at home for much of the day near Perth and get full advantage of solar power. Short sleeve shirts are OK here, and when I was working I kept a tie in the office/car for the 3 meetings a year I might need one. Before I retired, we set the aircon to come on at about 10:00am so we had free sunshine cooling the fabric of the house for when we came home.

Before aircon some people used to sleep on the beach here because their houses were too hot at night. It could be worthwhile to look at how well your house is insulated and if it is worthwhile getting ventilation or additional insulation/heat reflection for your roof-space - We found that putting up some solar screening on our exposed window helped (deciduous trees are good if you can spare the water).

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Tim99

Could work for me

Richard,

I live where it is hot and sunny. Most of us don't start our day with "flipping the switch on 1,200 watts of air-conditioner and fire up the 2,400 watts' worth of iron to get the wrinkles out of shirts". The house is usually cooler in the morning, and we would be unlikely to have the single 5kW "cool only" split system air conditioner in your link. What we would have is solar panels which would be generating power when the sun came up and the house started to get hot. If we had bought our aircon in the last year or two we would be more likely to have two modern 2.5KW systems which would draw a maximum of 0.42KW each, but we probably would not have both of them running flat out at the same time.

If you live somewhere really hot, it is also unlikely that you would be wearing a long sleeved, crisply ironed, shirt with a tie :-)

Would a single 7kW or 10kW system give me all the power I need with a maximum draw of 2kW? Probably - Except for a few days in the middle of winter where it might be a bit tight, but I could always look at running a cheap 4kW petrol generator for a few hours to charge the batteries. I would also look at putting a "soft start" power supply on my fridge, or paying the extra for a DC powered one.

Would I buy one now? No, but I might in 5 years where the cost is likely to have come down by half.

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London Coffee Festival: Caffeine, tech and martinis on show in Shoreditch

Tim99
Thumb Down

Wot no Aeropress?

Can be a bit of a faff, but it makes really good coffee: Wikipedia link. It's cheap too.

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Why should I learn by ORAL tradition? Where's the DOCUMENTATION?

Tim99
Facepalm

Trainers

A long time ago, I was put in charge of computing in our large research group and charged with running Novell 2.0a training courses for some of our scientists, engineers, and support staff. We employed an external trainer to teach the courses. The first one lasted 4 days and it was all going well, I thought, until near the end of the second day when at the request of the trainer I brought in a 40cm long boxed set of the Novell documentation. I expected protests from the trainees that they could not be expected to read all of this; but after me spending a few minutes showing them the main index all seemed well.

At the end of the afternoon, just I was congratulating myself as to how well it was going, I was approached by the trainer who asked me if he could borrow the manuals. "Sure" I said, "Didn't you bring your own?". His (paraphrased) reply taught me a valuable lesson: "Oh, the company does not allow it's trainers to have access to the manuals. If they did we would read them, learn the subject, and get a better job actually using it. We only have access to the company's own training materials that I have here to teach the course". I told him that I had spent a few hours reading the Novell documents and had successfully installed the several networks that we were using for the courses, and he said that he had never actually used Netware except to log in and run the course materials. Hopefully this was an exception...

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Turnbull's Digital Transformation Office is actually working!

Tim99

@Big-nosed Pengie - iOS

A few nights ago the head honcho of Centrelink was interviewed on TV. Among the more interesting things he said was that they will not (be able to) increase staff numbers, so if the punter wanted service without waiting, they should go online. A brief discussion followed about young mums; and then when asked about older pensioners (a large portion of their users) having difficulty with computers he said that they should use Apps on tablets. He particularly praised the iPad.

I'm a volunteer teacher for seniors, and I would agree. I have posted before about this: here and here: It's all to hard for some people.

I suspect that unless the punter has significant PC experience, or cheap access to a techie type person, that this is also true for a significant portion of younger people too - Most of whom can't afford a regular payment of the $150-250 that they will be quoted to keep a malware riddled PC working. Whether they have an iPhone or not is another matter...

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C++ Daddy Bjarne Stroustrup outlines directions for v17

Tim99
Joke

Re: C++

Now all we need to do is take that object-oriented stuff out...

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Love-rat fanboi left bobbing for Apples in tiny Japanese bath

Tim99

Re: Shakespeare was right..

Please celebrate Shakespeare's birthday, but the quotation is "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned - Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, 1697

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GDS monopoly leaves UK.gov at risk of IT cock-ups, warns report

Tim99

Re: Government technocrats

@localzuk

I gave you an upvote.

I agree that people don't engage with systems that are clunky and complex. A simple easy to use interface, if well designed, shields the user from the data store which can be as complex as required. COBOL is still used in a lot of systems, for instance I believe that it still lurks within DVLA systems. A lot of legacy banking type applications use old z/OS and/or COBOL but the punter sees a web-based front end.

Facebook, I think, uses their own customized Linux across much of their systems Being old, I consider Linux to be a *NIX, although I admit that I might be biased towards systems that have a BSD legacy.

You may believe that I might be discounting new technologies, but I have developed stuff using them until very recently. One thing that I have noticed is that putting system logic in the interface almost always causes many problems, particularly with maintainability - I have seen several JavaScripted applications that do this.

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Tim99
Unhappy

Government technocrats

I have worked in the Scientific Civil Service (a long time ago); then as a science/technology specialist and advisor in a very large public organization; then as the senior technical bod in a high tech private company; and then, until I retired, as the MD and major shareholder of a tech/consulting/software/science company. I have a radical idea. Why not go back to the old days when the UK science/tech civil service used to be "a job for life".

They used to oversee all of this stuff. For a large project you would have a (very) few (very) short term technical consultants in to teach/mentor the full time civil servants. The government types knew that, short of gross moral turpitude, they had a job for life - So they tended to make decisions based on their long term careers inside the service and (I can say this with a straight face) for the general good.

This tended to avoid the responsible people choosing whatever technology was new and likely to gain them employment outside the service. I have personal knowledge of a large public service contract in the late 1980s that was awarded because it used the new, shiny, coming-thing that was Sun kit. The project was implemented, and then the staff left for private enterprise. Something similar happened with Java in the mid to late 1990s...

It seems to be a mind-set issue - Way back then if you asked a public servant what they did they would tell you that they were employed in the public service. They did not say that they were a network engineer. This stuff worked really well until the commercial and political fiddling and cronyism that came in later. To encourage good people to stay, salaries were at least comparable with those outside (not now)."Special Merit" promotion grades were available to skilled people - If you were good at your job you were promoted, but you still did similar technical work. A "normal promotion" generally meant that you stopped doing what you were good at, and became an administrator (which many techie types are very bad at). Obviously there were the typical project creep/budget and implementation problems that you would expect, but there was little perception of practices that tended toward subornation.

Anyone who says that the old fossils that might result in the decision making process would mean that progress will stall, probably does not understand the basic problem. It is not all about RoR and Javascript and whatever is new and cool - What works, and is still probably needed, is mostly large *NIX systems, z/OS and an infrastructure to handle generic web traffic. So more open source, HTTP, and COBOL please.

I am expecting a lot of down votes from people who do very well with the current, broken, regime...

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America was founded on a dislike of taxes, so how did it get the IRS?

Tim99

Re: It is a natural consequence ...

... of having many state employees. You have described a consequence of Cyril Northcote Parkinson's Law. He was one of the first people to formulate the inevitable increase in the public service in a 1955 article in the Economist. Describing this as a state/government problem is, perhaps, unfair - This phenomenon can be observed in any large organization including private companies.

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Philip Glass tells all and Lovelace and Babbage get the comic novel treatment

Tim99
Coat

Headline?

I thought that Mark might have been reviewing cartoons featuring Linda, not Ada...

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The Walton kids are ABSURDLY wealthy – and you're benefitting

Tim99

Re: Fallacy

Tim,

" A 3% net profit margin is excessive now?"

I too have run businesses, I would be more interested in what sort of return the principals were actually getting - You know the ones that include "salaries", "fees", "rentals" "charges" etc.

Before I had a company where I was the main shareholder, I ran a high-tech business for a banker who could always adjust the books by paying himself a very large salary whenever the net started to look too high. He also charged the business for the rentals on a Mercedes 600 saloon and a coupe, etc. Just before I left he sold it, but removed these charges so the net look a lot bigger...

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Tim99

Re: Problem?

Charity actually doesn't bring that much benefits since in the US people seem to just deduct them (up to 50%) in income taxes, and which percentage of the money is actually used to help people in need?

After being on the Board for a number of years of a medium-sized but respected charity, I came to a regretful conclusion: Stop tax relief on all charities. That includes relief on donations and on charities' operations.

Most charities are run as a "business". They are not. They almost always seem to morph away from their core purpose and to increase their overheads by expanding the number of paid staff that they have (Volunteers are much harder to manage), or they subcontract their core activities to real businesses.. After a while, to ensure reliable revenue, they tend to expand to encompass more work that is done by a "real business" which does not have the tax break; or they do work that was previously done by governments, often with public money.

Large donations are often used to drive the donors' personal, political or business agendas. This can be potentially even more damaging when the charity is set up by wealthy "philanthropists".

Alternatively, if we are going to allow tax relief, how about relief being dependent on the charity being wound up after, say, 5 years - Any excess monies being directly given to the beneficiaries - Failure to comply would cause a full audit and any tax deficit to be paid by the directors...

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Because the server room is certainly no place for pets

Tim99
Joke

Re: No really, wire recorders have a much warmer sound.....

Actually, two very ancient and knackered Ampex machines were eventually stolen from deep storage. The insurance settlement bought four new PCs with audio software!

OK, BOFH, so what did you do with the ancient Ampex machines then?

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Bonking with Apple is no fun 'cos it's too hard to pay, say punters

Tim99
Gimp

Alternatively

A link with a bit more meat from the Pheonix article from Macalope at Macworld last week:

Reading comprehension: Misunderstanding Apple surveys continues apace

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Linux Australia hacked, warns personal details exposed

Tim99
Joke

Linux?

Linux Australia notified Australia's Privacy Commissioner about the breach and has tightened the screws on the rebuilt server. It has committed to better patching regimes.

The group has welcomed assistance from Computer Emergency Response Teams in identifying the exploited unknown vulnerability.

Or Theo could lend them a server running OpenBSD?

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To defend offshore finance bods looting developing countries of their tax cash

Tim99

Re: To put it simply....

Ossi,

Good point, but governments don't want increased productivity - They say they do, but they really don't. A nightmare for a government that has to pander to a small vested interest, is a high productivity economy that allows their population lots of free time. You can have only so much of bread and circuses before the proles start asking questions instead of being safely at work, or travelling to it.

This might be one reason why we have created so many "non jobs' since industries were off-shored. The last thing that our rulers want is a lot of over-educated people with spare time. The other effective mechanism of high levels of un(der)employment, or forced leisure can only be held at a certain level before the rioting mobs start setting fire to stuff.

I wonder what we will do when the current Indian, South American, and Asian work force is too expensive; and they too are replaced by automation and workers from still cheaper countries? I remember the 1970s and 1980s, when I was one of the people tasked with increasing productivity by means of automation - We were told that everyone would only have to work 2 days a week, and that would apply to our children too, who we should encourage to go into service and leisure related jobs...

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Tim99

Re: Must be like Quantum Mechanics

A. "Yes, because it's the workers in those countries who would pay corporation tax if it were collected. Thus tax dodging raises local wages".

Tim,

One of the things that could effect this is whether the supplying countries are sufficiently powerful and organized to set up an effective cartel.

I think that local wage taxation only fully applies when you go tax and price shopping between developing countries. If there was a similar cost for a raw material in all the developing (lesser developed) countries that could supply it, and the tax rate was the same for all of those countries, wouldn't the tax have be paid by the corporations and thus their shareholders and customers in the developed world, and not the local workers? Obviously some developed countries supply their own raw materials, and export their production surpluses weakening this potential effect.

I note that Australia (and Brazil) were/are major suppliers of tantalum - Did the destabilization of world prices cause the war lords of the Congo to become significant suppliers (up to 10%) or was that an effect of them effectively enslaving their workers and undercutting Australia and Brazil?

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Microsoft drops Do Not Track default from Internet Explorer

Tim99

@AC

They could look up Yahoo while they're at it: "Yahoos are primitive creatures obsessed with "pretty stones" as Defoe considered them...

Lemuel Gulliver, Gulliver's Travels Part IV: A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms (1715) by Jonathan Swift.

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Firefox, Chrome, IE, Safari EXPLOITED to OWN Mac, PCs at Pwn2Own 2015

Tim99
Joke

I will be (nearly) secure

OS platform fan boys, you are not secure.

I have a computer that I can set up with only the default install of OpenBSD on it and curl.

Then I can curl the websites I need and download them; then transfer the files that I created to a computer with a browser. Now, what can I use to do the transfer? Maybe SFTP; copy to floppy; burn to CD; transfer to USB - Oh crap, they are all potentially insecure.

I suppose I could always write my own compiler and OS and browser...

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Ex-cops dumped on never-hire blacklist for data misdeeds

Tim99

@45RPM

I worked with police officers in the 70s and early 80s. Trust me, Life On Mars was closer to being a documentary than dramatic (science) fiction.

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