* Posts by J.G.Harston

874 posts • joined 4 Mar 2009

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City of birth? Why password questions are a terrible idea

J.G.Harston
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"Tried again without those villainous (ASCII) characters and again rejected"

You entered a password that consisted of no characters at all?

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J.G.Harston
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I used to be registered on a job website that would send me my password in clear text with every job listing email - WHILE I WAS IN THE JOB CENTRE WORK CLUB!!!!! (JobClubsWorth: Why aren't you reading your jobs emails? Me: Because you're looking over my shoulder watching my emails!)

But, tangentially, WTF does a job website want super-secure authentication? WhoTF can do anything with the list of jobs I've applied for?

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100s of Virgin Media customers hit by handset repair glitch, telco admits

J.G.Harston
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They *repair* mobile phones? Don't they just chuck it in a spares bin, swap the identity and send back a replacement?

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Manchester car park lock hack leads to horn-blare hoo-ha

J.G.Harston
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How does a radio jammer magically pull the key out of my pocket, put it into the lock and turn it?

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So why the hell do we bail banks out?

J.G.Harston
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I don't have your money, it's in Bob's house, and Bill's house!

(Grabs pitchfork)

EVERYBODY TO BOB'S HOUSE!!!!

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

J.G.Harston
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This is why I always wear a name badge when I'm working on lots of different sites - I just b***y wish the people there would do the same. "Ian? Sorry, Chris? Where's Shaffaq's desk? Surjan? Surjit? Rajit! That's it, where's his desk? Oh, sorry, *her* desk?"

Last week I balls up migrating two users on a site called Ian. Not just Ian, but Ian surname-starting-with-L, so their user names were ian-randomnumbers-L-randomnumber. Luckily, Chris H, Chris H and Chris H were on seperate days.

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Hacker 3D prints device that can crack a combo lock in 30 seconds

J.G.Harston
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I don't see anything in that video that needs a 3D printer.

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Lies, damn lies and election polls: Why GE2015 pundits fluffed the numbers so badly

J.G.Harston
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Re: Up the Pole!

Not quite right. The single UKIP MP needed 19,500 votes to get in. The other 3.8 million votes were spread across 549 other consitituencies, none of which individually were high enough for the UKIP candidate there to win.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: "Shy Tories"

"As for PR that was unfortunately voted down in the referendum a few years back"

No it wasn't, we've never had a vote on PR, we had a vote on AV which is very definitely *NOT* PR.

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Crowdfunded ZX Spectrum revival just days from shipment

J.G.Harston
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Re: WTF!?

What's wrong with a nested loop? How else do you do multiple loops?

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J.G.Harston
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*INSERT /enables/ ROMs. *UNPLUG is the command to disable a ROM.

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J.G.Harston
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Note quite. It was:

10 G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10:G.10

the point being that the expansion of line number parameter of the GOTO always took four bytes. If you entered GOTO 10 the GOTO was compressed to a one-byte token, so 'GOTO 10' compresses from 7 bytes to 6 bytes, but 'G.10' compresses from four bytes to five bytes, so the input buffer overruns and crashes into the sound buffers. Fixed in later versions of BBC BASIC where an extra BCS err_NoLineSpace was put in.

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Hey! Want a FREE TOASTER that makes BITCOIN? What? You DO?

J.G.Harston
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Re: Erm....

Because washing+mining .greaterthan. washing for positive amounts of mining, so electricity(washing+mining) .greaterthan. electricity(washing).

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J.G.Harston
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This sounds like the schemes where you could get a loan to put solar panels on your roof, and get a return on the feed-in-tariff which would be less than the loan repayments.

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E-voting and the UK election: Pick a lizard, any lizard

J.G.Harston
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Case in point: Caroline Lucas won Brighton Pavillion with 31% of the vote, 2.5 percentage points ahead of her nearest rival.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Secret ballot?

"They do write the number of your ballot slip along side of your name in the register, so it is not that secret."

No they don't.

They cross out your name in the publically available marked register. All you can see from ther marked register is that you have been given a ballot paper. Nothing more, and nothing less.

You elector number is written on the counterfoil to the ballot paper. You are given the ballot paper, seperate from the counterfoil. The counterfoil and ballot paper have a serial number on them. The ballots and counterfoild are stored seperately and kept for about a year before being destroyed.

If you have sufficient evidence to convince an electoral court that electoral irregularities may have occured (cf Tower Hemlets), that court may order that the ballots be examined to search for irregularities. If you have sufficient evidence to convince an electoral court that those electoral irregularies are of a sort when a match needs to be made between ballots and electors, then that court may order that election officials take hundreds of hours sorting through tens of thousands of ballot papers to match up the suspicious ballots.

To all intents and purposes, the ballot is secret. Only the voter can breach that secrecy by themselves stating (or ratherm, claiming) who they voted for.

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The huge flaw in Moore’s Law? It's NOT a law after all

J.G.Harston
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Re: Spelling Police

That's just plain wrong. two-year (*singular*!) is a *PRE*positional adjective: a two-year turnaround. two years (*plural!*) is a postpositional descripitve phrase: two years later.

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So why exactly does almost ALL tech live in Silicon Valley?

J.G.Harston
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"And despite the steel works being gone for decades non-ferrous metals trades still set up around Sheffield and Rotherham."

I think you mean ferrous metals. And Sheffield & Rotherham produce more steel than ever, it's just that nowadays it only needs one man and a dog to do it. The man to feed the dog, and the dog...

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BOFH: Explain? All we need is this kay-sh with DDR3 Cortexiphan ...

J.G.Harston
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Paris Hilton

Pandora's box... hurr hurr...

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Lib Dem manifesto: Spook slapdown, ban on teen-repelling Mosquitos

J.G.Harston
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Re: New Political Party...?

"None of the above" is illegal as a party name or description, however Above and Beyond were formed and stand on the single issue of getting "None of the Above" on the ballot paper.

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J.G.Harston
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Half an election? Or one that swings both ways?

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J.G.Harston
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We've never had a referendum on the single transferable vote. The referendum in 2011 was on the Alternative Vote. STV for local government in Scotland and NornIron was introduced without a referendum.

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Silence is golden: Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp is 100 today

J.G.Harston
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Re: When?

Thinko - of course that should be Safety Last.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: When?

A lot of the Harold Lloyd stunts involved building very clever sets on top of buildings and lining up cameras so that the streetscape behind looked like it was below the set. The clock in Safety First was only about twelve feet above the roof of the building the set was built on, but when testing it by dropping a dummy from the clock it bounced off the roof into the street below.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: When?

Sod that, when are we going to get a decent Harold Lloyd retrospective? I've not seen any of his films since a special season on BBC2 in the early '80s.

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

J.G.Harston
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It's called equity drawdown/equity liberation/equity release here, but I'm 15 years too young, you have to effectively not need it because you're already of pension age before they'll allow you to have it.

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J.G.Harston
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What annoys me most about the financial system is that it expects - nay, demands - that I die with a great lump of wealth, specifically my house. If I could spend that wealth *now* and die with a zero balance instead of a large credit balance, then I could actually afford to stay alive.

I've worked out that if I could pay off my mortgage and start drawing on my pension, I'd still be £30 a week short of being able to stay alive, and the very presence of my pension would bar me from getting any unemployment benefit, so, in the absence of anybody prepared to get off their arse and pay me to work, I would just have to find a lender that would allow me to sink further and further into debt for another 15^W 20^W 22 years until my state pension starts paying out.

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'It's not layoffs, it's operationalising our strategy'

J.G.Harston
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Thumb Up

Operationalising our strategy

Bingo! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyV_UG60dD4

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Building a better society from the Czechs' version of Meccano

J.G.Harston
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Re: And....

Vax and Vax had to come to an agreement that Vax wouldn't manufacture vacuum cleaners and Vax wouldn't manufacture computers.

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Instead of public sector non-jobbery, Martha, how about creating REAL entrepreneurs?

J.G.Harston
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"Why hasn't Britain (or even Europe?) produced a Google or a Facebook yet?"

Yes, why hasn't Britain produced an ARM, or a Rolls Royce Aerospace, or an ICI, or an AstraZenica, or a BAE Systems, etc.

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Can your code survive crappy 2G? This open-source traffic controller will test it

J.G.Harston
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Reminds me of when I was testing some buffered data transfer code, I progressively thottled it down all the way to one-byte buffer and it worked fine.

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Aged 18-24? Don't care about voting? Got a phone? Oh dear...

J.G.Harston
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Re: Online Voting

"No electronic voting in the UK yet then."

We tried electronic voting in the compulsary-absent-voting trial in 2004. Noticable that it hasn't been repeated. Or that anybody remembers it.

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Bride legs it from wedding after groom proves unable to add up

J.G.Harston
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The report on the BBC World Service was that the marriage had been arranged without the bride or groom meeting. The bride consented after being assured by her and his parents that the groom was educated. At the wedding she suspected this was not the truth and asked the sums question.

Also, on the subject of arranged marriages in modernising developing countries, there is an increasing incidence of couples who already know each other to ask their repective parents to arrange a marriage for them. So, it's an arranged marriage with a pre-vetted candidate.

And how many westerners can say they've never had an older relative say something like: that Susie you used to know at school has grown up well, why don't you get in touch with her...

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BBC gives naked computers to kids (hmm, code for something?)

J.G.Harston
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"...so we’re talking about ... buying a new bunch each year."

Why, do they self-destruct after 50 weeks?

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Thanks a lot, Google, for snatching .dev for yourself. It's not like the rest of us wanted it

J.G.Harston
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Have an exhalt! Cheered me up.

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

J.G.Harston
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Re: The BBC should have bought a stockpile of Pi's and gave them out

"BBC BASIC was for the expensive BBC Micro only."

No it sn't. You can get BBC BASIC for BBC Micro, CP/M, Torch, Wren, Einstein, RML480Z, 32000, RMNimbus, Tiki, Amstrad CPC, DOS/PC, Sinclair Z88, Apple Mac, RISC OS, Victor Sirius, ZX Spectrum, PDP-11, Amstrad Notebook, Windows/PC just off the top of my head.

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The voters hate Google. Heeeeyyyy... how about a 'Google Tax'?

J.G.Harston
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Re: The voters hate Osborne

At what income level do you pay 60% of it in National Insurance. Total IT+NI only platauxes out at 50-anna-bit% of total income when getting to the £800K level.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: Hmmm

I avoid paying tax by buying Jaffa Cakes instead of biscuits. My employer colludes in my not paying tax by paying me less than the personal income tax allowance. I avoid tax by not buying cigarettes. There's probably loads of other tax I avoid. I avoid minerals extraction duty by not being a oil company.

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J.G.Harston
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Re: The voters hate Google

Since 1992 Business Rates have gone straight to HM Treasury, Local Government just acts as an (unpaid) collection agency.

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One does not simply ask the inventor of the WWW what he thinks about memes

J.G.Harston
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I think the naming order came about because Americans were more used to using domains in email addresses, so smallest@middle.larger.largest whereas on this side of the pond we had more experience in using domains as parts of paths, so largest.larger.middle/smaller/smallest.

Somewhere I've still got my uk.ac.stir.cs sweatshirt...

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Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

J.G.Harston
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Re: failure or not

"The taxpayers will be paying for it in the end, one way or the other."

And non-taxpayers. It will be anybody paying a leccy bill, not just those people rich enough to pay tax.

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Want to find LOVE online? Make sure your name is high up in the alphabet

J.G.Harston
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Re: "'Fun2bwith' [...] this type of name is universally attractive"

"I must be abnormal, then, because "Fun2bwith" sounds to me like a bubbleheaded slapper with the attention span of a gnat on crack and I wouldn't even bother looking at their profile."

Obligatory Weird Al reference

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Ford to save you from BIKE FITNESS HORROR

J.G.Harston
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There doesn't seem to be any indication of price. I paid £20 for my bicycle, I'm unlikely to be prepared to pay any significant multiple of that for electric assistance, and it would have to get me up the hills in Sheffield.

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The BBC wants to slap a TAX on EVERYONE in BLIGHTY

J.G.Harston
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Just a few bits of pedantry...

The BBC is not a state broadcaster. It is *funded* by the state, but that does not make it a state broadcaster. Just because you receive your funding from the state does not make you an arm of the state, otherwise Virgin Trains would be an arm of the state.

"Privatise the Beeb, sell it off". The BBC is owned by.... the BBC. It is *not* a state-owned entity. It is a self-owned corporation created by statute, just like Channel 4, the Olympic Delivery Authority, various others. Just because you receive public funding does not make you a state-owned entity, otherwise Virgin Trains would be a state-owned entity, as would whoever supplies the sandwiches to the Commons Tea Rooms. Entities such as Directly Operated Railways t/o East Coast Trains, and UK Financial Investments (that owns vaious bits of banks) *are* state-owned.

That doesn't mean that the government can't sell the BBC's assets and pocket the money, as it tried to do with the original TSB, and the Beeb's incorporation statutes state that any wound-up assets pass to the state, but legally, structurally and operationally, the BBC is *already* a private company.

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J.G.Harston
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The BBC is the only British website in the top five British websites? errr... so the other four websites in the top five British websites aren't British websites? ...???

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Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

J.G.Harston
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Re: Four Yorkshire Television Productions

Our remote control was attached to the telly with a six-foot wire.

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J.G.Harston
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"Now add one point for each physical (as opposed to digital) book that you own"

lBooyd 'ell. That starts me at 600 points just glancing around the room.

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C'mon! Greece isn't really bust and it can pay its debts

J.G.Harston
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Re: There was never a need for a combined currency all over Europe

As I've described it: common currency yes, single currency no.

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Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report

J.G.Harston
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Re: False economy is an ugly thing, Detroit.

"There are certain complications that arise when a huge chunk of the population abandons your city, leaving you with just as much infrastructure to support but a drastically reduced tax base."

Looks like it could be worth their while getting rid of some of that infrastructure, either by demolishing it, or shrinking the city limits and de-annexing back the surrounding counties.

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Marconi: The West of England's very own Italian wireless pioneer

J.G.Harston
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For those of us who actually use proper coordinates, that's SW 6955 1204 and SW 6638 1958.

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