With the SPB, when are drinks not in order?
I guess having their HQ in a bar ought to be a clue...
5072 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009
With the SPB, when are drinks not in order?
I guess having their HQ in a bar ought to be a clue...
I'm normally prepared to spend the extra 30-40p required to get tinned ones, when I'm not on such a strict budget.. Though the real answer is that it put me off the humble chickpea, which was never an ingredient I cooked with much anyway. So I've not had them since. I'll find an alternative, probably lentils.
Someone likes the things though. Or so I deduce from the downvotes I've received, possibly from the chickpea liberation front?
When they've been soaked in food factories and the skins taken off by nice machines, chickpeas are OK. I wouldn't say yummy, given they don't taste of much - so the flavour is down to how nice your sauce is. Also why roasted red pepper humus is the food of the gods, and plain humus is a bit dull.
But I soaked them for longer than the 8 hours the packet said (I think I gave them 12), and then they were cooked in a stew that got 2 hours, and they were still hard so I had to cook the stew for another hour the next day. Whereas the tinned ones soften up nicely. The problem was that it was more expensive to buy a tin, than a much larger packet of dried ones - and I was straining my budget by trying to have as much variety in my meals as possible.
Looking at my spreadsheet, I spent more on chickpeas than I did on rice (44p as opposed to 42p). Weirdly, my biggest expense was £1.05 on tinned tomatoes, next 94p on frozen mixed veg, and 73p on 11 eggs. I think the chickpeas might have been better replaced with some cheese, more eggs, or another loaf of homemade bread (32p) and more marmalade. Lidl's 49p thick cut marmalade is surprisingly nice, though only had 2 or three actual pieces of (admittedly thick cut) peel in the whole jar...
On checking my spreadsheet I went 10p over budget. Which I'm quite pleased with, given I did it in my head and calculated the budget at the end of the week, by working out what I'd used and comparing to the reciepts. If I do it again, I really want to try and get some meat in there, just to see if I can still make it add up.
Dear Lester and El Reg,
I've just had an email saying that they're not doing the Live Below the Line challenge this year. Apparently they've got some new ideas, which forces them to take a year off or something. Even though the users do most of the organising...
Anyway, was wondering if you were going to run something El Reg-tastic again, in which case people might like a bit of notice to prepare, or whether you'd also give it a miss until next year?
I think I'd probably be up for joining in again in early April. And this year, no bloody chickpeas!
I don't think I had time to get you my report, with the tasty pictures of all my stuff, but I've still got the left over dry chickpeas in the cupboard. They're quite nice in tins, but as my aunt advised me (and I didn't listen) they're horrible from dry.
Otherwise I didn't really struggle too badly. My Italian (with added chick pea ickyness) stew was so nice that I kept eating it, rather than turning it into curry for the last couple of days as planned. But when I finally got round to totting it all up afterwards, I think I spent £5.09. Shame! And on the Friday night I was at a friend's house, one mate brought doughnuts that were left over from a meeting at work, they had roast chicken (while I ate my stew and rice) and finished with apple pie and custard. Then Steve decided to be really cruel, and cooked a sponge cake. My own fault for going I suppose...
If you haven't seen those Paperclip porn videos, you haven't lived!
You can't actually transfer calls between people on deskphones. It's a myth. Anytime this actually happens, you'll notice you're put on hold first, then they just shout over to the person, who's sitting on the desk next to them, and hand them the phone. Or reception have several handsets with very long cables, and simply walk to the appropriate office with them.
At least this is the conclusion I've come to after trying to use the phone systems in various offices over the years. We currently have some Panasonic units that are totally programmable... and totally unuseable.
The problem with that, is you can then shove so much stuff into your many pockets, that you can no longer walk. Or find which pocket any of it is now in...
I now hate you both! Say after me: "The RAZR was the best phone ever!" Now write that down 100 times!
It's forever implanted in my memory as my favourite ever phone. Because ergonomically it was perfect. I don't ever remember having problems with the shiny keyboard - partly I suspect because it was a proper keyboard with big keys for my big fat fingers, so I didn't need to look at it. Even though it had that weird, flat, interleaved metal design, you still got positive feedback from pressing them. Unlike the occasional frustration of tapping on unresponsive glass smartphones. I had the original, in silver, and don't recall it being too shiny, followed by the the V3i in (ahem!) metalic aubergine - it came with an Orange contract, so I suppose I should be grateful it wasn't metalic orange.
The flip was brilliant. Made it small, and thin in the pocket - because they'd made the phone so wide. This made it very nice to hold in your hands - and meant the microphone reached your mouth. Also the flip and your face together act as a wind-break - so your listeners don't think you're standing in a hurricane when talking to them on the street. And they could use a more directional microphone too, hence the call quality was better. And you couldn't accidentally press buttons in your pocket. Even my smartphone has managed to unlock itself in my pocket before. Finally, you could end a call by flipping the phone shut, one handed, with a very satisfying snap.
The software on the other hand. Oh dear. Aaarrgggh! Now you've reminded me, and spoiled my happy nostalgia. What a mess. And on the V3i - the hardwired WAP button, that couldn't be reassigned. The one that they put, right next to the on/off/end-call/cancel button. Aargh! I think it was about 2p just to open the Orange WAP portal, that it defaulted to.
I wonder if it's some kind of law? The better a phone is ergonomically, the worse the software? Certainly borne out by my favourite smartphone case design, the HTC Wildfire.
I dug an old Samsung slider out of a drawer for Mum, when her phone broke. It was my second favourite dumbphone, bought after flip phones stopped being sold, and the RAZR had died. I had fond memories, until I tried to show her how to use it. That Samsung UI was even worse.
My esteemed colleague has got WiFi calling turned on permanently. As it doesn't appear to have a setting of use the phone network that actual works when it's available, and only default to WiFi when that isn't working.
So, wonderful, he can make Dalek style calls on Tube platforms. But it then uses
Dalek mode WiFi when he's in the office and he ends up coming and standing virtually on my desk (which is next to the WiFi router) in the vain hope of getting some reception. I've pointed out that it's our office broadband connection that's flakey and the WiFi not only reaches into his office perfectly well, but also the next door pub garden...
The other constant conversation I overhear is, "just a minute. Let me call you back. I'm about to leave the office and it'll cut the call off when I do".
Sadly he's still ignoring my suggestion of just turning the damned thing off - though he's also still complaining about it.
utter bollocks will always make its way onto the Internet. It is the way of things.
This is Dabbsy's problem. He's worked out the reason for everything, but failed to make the vital final connection.
No, his phone isn't trying to slice off his bollocks. It's trying to bite them off. Once achieved it can then upload them to the internet. Where they belong.
That was Indiana Jones. Shooting someone, rather than having a sword fight. Where the appropriate rhyme is that:
The one who follows through, gets covered in poo.
In the Star Wars Cantina scene I'd imagine it's far more likely that the Wookie farted first.
So we can add to our stock of fart knowledge then. We already know that:
The one who smelt it, dealt it.
And also: The one who made the rhyme, committed the crime.
Now we know that: The one who opened fire unleashed the arse choir
This explains why George Lucas had to change it so that Greedo fired first...
Easy on the Croydon slurs, people.
Surely it's only a slur if it's not true.
Surely there's a simple solution to this. Rocket fuel is dangerous. It's messy, and expensive to deal with. And some of them even eat their way through the fuel tanks.
Surely the only possible answer can be Project Orion. Totally safe. If we use only the finest neutron bombs that money can buy and launch from somewhere like Croydon, who could object? The bonus being that we could have a space hotel by simply cutting the foundations of a local Travelodge, bunging a big old metal plate underneath, and whoosh!
I keep my children locked in the drawers of a filing cabinet. My kids are safe, are yours?
Also, rather worryingly, their statement sort of suggests that they regard their customers' data as part of the company's IP.
Perhaps it makes them look petty, because they are petty? So useful PR.
For example, whenever I see the "only a limited number of our customers have been affected" statement, I know that a) management don't give a shit, and; b) lessons will not be learned. Particularly given that "limited number" doesn't mean small, and is technically correct so long as all but one customer have been affected...
Of course when I see "lessons have been learned" I also know that no they bloody well haven't been.
Whereas our cloudy accounts are with a company who had an incident where their datacentre had a problem, which killed some hard drives, the fail-over didn't work and they lost a few hours of data. This was about a year before we signed up. After the event they published a decent discussion of what had happened, within a day or so to explain the problems to the customers. They then had about 10 further articles, over the following 3 months, giving a breakdown of what went wrong, what mistakes they'd made, what they'd learned and what they were doing to fix it, as they did it. Plus set up a system where you could have a backup sent to you each week, for peace of mind. They screwed up, but I've a lot more confidence they're doing things better now.
Also, I guess it's quite useful if/when some of the data turns up in nefarious hands. As then you can say, "look! It was that hacker what done it! And in no way was it our pisspoor security. Oh no! No Indeedy. Look! Over there! A squirrel!"
That's not breaches against numbers of phones, but breaches against numbers of phones running security software capable of detecting them - and/or where somone's downloaded a ransomware removal tool. Which is a much smaller subset.
I'm still surprised by how few though. Given Google's awful update policy, I've been expecting a big outbreak for a while now. But I guess phones aren't networked in the same way as office PCs - so wide transmission is more difficult - and everyone learned something from the outbreaks of things like Melissa and I Love You back at the beginning of the last decade.
Everyone's shown perfectly willing to accept this on phones and tablets. And even TVs and internet of
insecure stuff... stuff. So I guess it's just the future.
To be fair to MS, they're also being expected to provide similar reliability to tablets where the hardware and software are much more controlled - so I guess it's no surprise they've tried this on.
I wonder what the diagnostic info is like on Macs nowadays? Given that Apple have total control of iPads and iPhones to collect to their hearts' content.
Also, given normal consumers appalling attitude to security, I'm sort of tempted to say that this improves the privacy for them. In that sure it opens them more to MS, but it protects them more as a herd too, against security threats that might hit them later - as MS are now much more likely to catch and patch them.
I'm amazed they've allowed themselves permission to operate tools (even the limited subset of OS tools they say). I can't see how that's legal, given that they've sought absolutely no permissions whatsoever. And no, the ticked by default request for diagnostic info definitely doesn't count as permission to actively run a piece of software on the computer. Particularly given how sensitive everyone's been when they've been trying to take down botnets, and I don't believe anyone has yet tried to clean up the affected PCs remotely.
I can confirm Full is the recommended default on Home, as I've just had a shufti at the settings. Which live with Windows Update and Defender - I'm sure that menu wasn't there when I first installed Windows 10, but I could be wrong. I upgraded pretty early, as the PC was on Windows 8. Being a small company we tend to only buy about one PC/laptop a year, so get whatever OS it comes with.
Anyway I'd been through the non-automatic installation, and unticked almost all the telemetery stuff, although I may have left the security/virus reporting stuff on.
MS had interpreted that decision as "Enhanced" in this new (if it is new) menu. And I was given a choice of basic, enhanced or full (recommended).
I don't think Nokia want a toe in the water. Cheap or otherwise. I suspect they want to sell (well rent) their name and reputation for a bit of easy cash.
After all, they only just sold the whole phone division to Microsoft.
Getting a toe in the water is pointless. Blackberry are nearly dead, Palm/WebOS/HP fell by the wayside, as did all the versions of Symbian and from the amount of effort Microsoft are making, who knows if they aren't about to go the same way? Samsung barely even bothered to release Tizen. And you can tell it's Tizen, when your eyes are shut!
If' you've not got volume, nobody will write apps for you. If you've not got apps, you won't get customers.
This is nothing new either. I had the excellent Sony Ericsson P800, back in 2003. In some utterly insane dispute with Nokia, they ended up using a different version of Symbian. An incompatible one. Doh! So although I got a Symbian phone, it wouldn't actually run any Symbian apps. Every time I read a review, or found an interesting app, it was always for S60, and not UIQ. Then Sony Ericsson gave up.
Also, I've got plans for a song about the Hundred Years War. Can't yet decide whether to go for a cricketing metaphor (bound to attract votes across Europe!) and call it 'Black Death Stopped Play'. Or just go for simplicity and call it, 'That's Why I Hate the French'.
'Toasting Our Marshmallows On St Joan' perhaps?
Ah well, that explains it. If it was Suffolk. Then obviously all the terrorists would need to bring their wives and mothers. That's one woman per terrorist...
Actually, being Suffolk, there's bound to be several per woman, so that's why all the calcs come out with 6 coaches worth of armed nutters. The other 3 coaches are for their womenfolk.
Now we just have to work out how to apportion the number of fingers to a coach...
Plus, shouldn't it be number of tractor loads of terrorists anyway?
So do you use the small bullets as bait to catch the squirrels, then the squirells as bait to catch the mooses?
Or have I got confused...
3 might not save much in the way of internet data, but the important commodity to them is mobile bandwidth. Which is limited by radio spectrum and how many transmitters they wish to build. So that's a real financial saving. Especially as in the cenre of big cities, so may customers are using data that they often struggle to maintain performance. The only other solution to which is smaller cells, and more towers. That costs lots more than a few chunky servers.
Until all tablets have a stylus - paper wins out for taking notes and doodling. Plus annotating, editing and of course, proofreading.
I have a paper file for important stuff at work. Yes I have the datasheets and relevant regulations on the PC, but the important stuff gets printed. Firstly, it's easier to find when you're on the phone, and flipping through pages is easier than scrolling too.
Secondly I can scribble notes and annotate graphs and such.
Thirdly I often only want one or two relevant pages of a piece of legislation or standard. So it's easier to just print those out and keep them handy.
I do find reading on a tablet screen is more comfortable than a desktop, and especially a laptop. But ebooks are still not as nice to read as real books. Although I'd admit eInk screens almost are (if a bit greyish) - I remember borrowing my brother's Sony e-reader and liking it. But you can't write on those either.
Even though we've got the technology to go paperless, it's still a massive pain in the arse a lot of the time. I'm sure that'll improve slowly. But I'm sure paper will never totally die.
You can't tuck a mobile between your shoulder and cheek, while typing. Modern smartphones are like bars of bloody soap. I wish I could have something ergonomic like my old Motorola RAZR. It's also easier to tap numbers into a real phone keypad, without having to look - and you can transfer incoming calls to other people as well.
Not that I don't use the mobile as well.
Leave finance alone. I do (most of) our company accounts, and nothing beats a year's receipts all collected into a big lever arch file. You can hand it to the accountant to randomly audit a few, and make sure you're not mucking things up. And you can find the receipt for the printer that's died under warranty - when heaven knows what's happened to it. And you have some nice records to show the tax man, should you be unlucky enough to get audited.
the number of men who will hold open a door for an attractive woman with what looks like a pass of the correct colour round her neck while she 'juggles' a mountain of paperwork, even though her pass has a snowball's chance in hell of opening the door
My friend had to meet a client in one of the secure defence bits of Marconi back in the day. Having been there before, he couldn't be arsed to waste the half an hour that security took. Not being an attractive young lady doesn't help him though...
So he removed his suit jacket and took his lunchbox from the back of his van and lo-and-behold the lunchbox was as good as a pass to get back into the building. So long as you look like you belong.
Does this mean that standard procedure, after it's eaten your leg, is to offer it a quiche. So that it doesn't eat the other one?
Back in the 70s, we had a party line. Saved a bit on the phone bill. For the less chronologically advantaged amongst you - you were paired up with a random nearby house - and shared a phone line. Both could receive incoming calls, and had different numbers, but only one of you could make outgoing calls a the same time. This also means you'd pick up in the middle of their conversation and could hear or join in.
So my Mum looks out the back window. Sees the people on the other side of the garden's kitchen is on fire. Picks up the phone to dial 999.
Neighbour: Get off the line! I need to call the fire brigade! My house is on fire!
Mum: I'll call them for you. You get out of the house! It's not safe.
Neighbour: Get off the line! I need to call the fire brigade!
Mum: Let me call them for you. You get out of the house.
Neighbour: It's my fire! I'll call them.
Mum decided that logic wasn't going to win out, and hung up.
Yes. I thought it was support of the theories put forward by Mr Cory O'Vulcan until I read this...
The minutae of the lives of politicians is documented. And has been for years. Even if much of it is secret. Their private lives have been known and more-or-less public for years. But lots of their professional lives get released under the 30 years rule, so historians at least can look at it. Even if us mere mortals have to wait for the biographies to come out to find stuff out. Plus of course the partial information they put out in their autobiographies (usually soon after retiring) and what they themselves spaff onto Twitter and their websites.
New Labour did a lot more "sofa government" and spurned the committees with written notes to some extent. So we may have less on policy from them. Though that tendency seems to have been reversed by the next government, partly as a matter of policy, but also because they had to be more formal as a coalition. Anyway we've now got emails being archived, so even more crap for historians to trawl through.
But the creative output of most people has very little value. If you're one of those people, getting the output of other, more talented people for free is a net gain.
I'd imagine Orlowski is also talking about personal data here. As he's talked before about using something akin to copyright to allow people more control of their personal data.
Ah, Daley Thompson's
Decathlon Joystick Destroyer. Happy memories.
That and 'Blue Danube' from Elite and whatever the music was from Gauntlet. All of which I played for many, many, many hours. Gauntlet was the only tragedy though, given a tape load error when I'd got to level 92.
The other game I played which burned a soundtrack into my head was TIE Fighter.
I've not played a PC game in years, although if a new version of TIE Fighter came out, I think I'd be forced to buy a nice graphics card and a joystick.
Read it, patched it, stopped worrying about it quicker than it normally takes me to compose a double-entendre-laden comment.
So what you're saying is that you immediately jumped on it, whipped it out then it was all over in a few seconds?
Did the earth move for you?
What Chainsaw magazine provide vital consumer advice. Leave them alone!
My experience too is that users just carry on blithely using the PC, however slow and awful it gets. Until their friend who can deal this thing is round, then ask for help.
In my Mum's case, she's a little more cunning. She invites me over for dinner. Then after we've eaten, she turns Eastenders on - and says, "I've got a bit of a problem with my computer..." At this point, I'm so eager to get as far away from the telly as possible, that I run to fix it.
Just found a weird bug on a laptop yesterday, where Windows Update decided that it was still October 27th, so has no done any updates since that day. I'm sure I'd notice not having had the computer update itself for that length of time, but nope. A whole bunch of new icons having been installed over the years by programs so the user couldn't find his preferred ones didn't seem to worry him either. Rather than just right clicking to get rid of them - he just found stuff some other way. Ten minutes of clickety-click and 2 hours of updates and reboots later - it's now back to how it was set up.
Just things like telling the system tray how many icons it can show seems to be beyond most people. Given that I've seen this sometimes taking up half a 22" widescreen monitor...
DX? Luxury. You flash bastard!
My first PC was an Ambra - IBM trying to do a cheaper consumer PC so as not to dilute their profits from business sales. VGA monitor, 386SX 25MHz - 2 MB of RAM and a huge 40MB hard drive. Bought in 1993 I think.
A fondly remembered Belgian manager of mine used to do that. The restaurant in question was a lovely italian one, with the disconcerting name of l'Arsenic.
The only problem was that although there was no pressure to be back quickly, my boss did have a tendency to order drinks while we looked at the menu, and then a bottle of wine between two with the food. And you had to stop him ordering more with coffee. I had a warm office, and didn't wish to sleep my afternoons away...
Now let me dump this idea on you, and see if it floats...
"giant terrarium" surely?
Depends. If you're meeting management, or marketing, it's called a serpentarium...
For lizards in general (see HR), it's a herpetarium.
The kind of meeting I hated most, is the one they fly you out there for.
Everyone knows you're there and there's only that opportunity to collar you, you have nothing else to do and there's nowhere to hide!
You don't have a desk to go to - and I did this in the era before smartphones, so couldn't even sneak off into a corner and
pretend to email.
Worse they feel the need to entertain you, so you get taken out to lunch by the same people you're meeting - and so the horror continues over lunch as well!
So you tended to step out of your taxi from the airport around 9ish, get ten minutes of small talk and bad coffee - then 3 hours of meeting, followed by lunch (with a side order of more meeting), and then at 4 more hours of lovely afternoon meeting - followed by taxi back to airport.
I'd have been grateful for a lack of chairs in those meetings, as it would have kept me awake. After the projector's been running for all that time, the meeting room starts to get toasty-warm, and your 3-4am start begins to catch up with you.
Surely if you were a proper agile programmer, you'd be able to climb/run fast enough to evade the progress meetings?
I'm sure the codpiece industry would be grateful as well...
And if it's running something more important than People Pods, like an industrial environment or the a/c to the server room, somebody could do some serious damage...
I'd not thought of that. You could have a new security term ADoS. A DDoS is a distributed attack, an ADoS is an Aircon Denial of Service.
It all depends on how integrated stuff gets. At the moment most kit has built-in protection. So servers will shut down on over-temperature, meaning your kit doesn't cook. Though I suppose that not all the kit will come back up again, so it's still bad. And you lose service.
Electric motors last a long time when they run, but suffer stress on start-up. So you can kill a pump by turning it off and on repeatedly. But to combat this, many industrial electric motors have run-on timers, for example most water pumps will run for a minimum of 2 minutes.
Heating systems contain electronic controls to stop the boiler if things go over temperature or pressure. But there's also a hardware backup, the emergency temperature and pressure relief valves. This limits what you can screw up even with control of a BMS.
Many tall buildings have an anti-vacuum system on the pump - to avoid water hammer damage on restart. Some also have automatic anti-vacuum valves, doing the same job in hardware.
If people come to rely on electronic sensors and controls, and then further come to rely on the BMS to operate these, then I forsee a problem.
Fortunately the building services industry is too fucked up for that. Design is done in silos. No one talks to each other. Purchasing too - often the people who buy the equipment now will save 10% on physical kit, even though it costs them more in labour than that saving - because they're bonused on saving purchases and don't even talk to the site engineers.
As manufacturers, we don't talk to the BMS people, who treat their whole field as a black box that only they understand (and charge large amounts to commission). So all they get is volt-free connections giving a fault/no-fault signal. Even with pumped systems on timers they don't often manually tell the pump to switch on, rather they open a valve, that causes water pressure to drop - activating the pump that way (on its normal controls).
Incoherence and incompetence will save us! Hooray!
...Sorry, I was trying to be hopeful. Think I blew it at the end there...
*making "a" facebook and twitter doesn't really sound right, but i have no idea what the correct term should be when i can't be bothered to refer to them separately.
I would suggest: excreted.
As in, the marketing department have excreted a TwitFace.